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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



ECCLESIASTICUS 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 2.  Evils.  Gr. "injustice."  Evil communications corrupt good manners, (H.) or the punishment of sin follows it commission.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Not.  Gr. "not in."  H. --- Seven-fold: more abundantly.  Osee x. 11.  Job iv. 5.  Gal. vi. 7.  C. --- The wicked shall receive the fruit of their wickedness.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Honour.  Ambition is the source of ruin to men and empires.  Jam. iii. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  God.  Gr. "the Lord, and affect not wisdom (sofizou) before the king."  H. --- Of ourselves we are despicable; and kings love not those whose superior talents seem to eclipse their own.  David's valour excited the hatred of Saul, and Alexander "was indignant that Antipater (his general,  H.) had conquered, thinking his own glory was diminished by that which another acquired."  Curt. vi.

 

Ver. 6.  Integrity.  A judge is expose to many dangers.  2 Par. xix. 6.  C. --- "He must be prudent and firm."  Plato, 2 Rep. --- What will become of those who push themselves forward?  S. Chrys. hom. xxxiv. in Heb. xiii.

 

Ver. 8.  To sin.  Correct not thy severity by too great indulgence, nor entangle thyself with the sins of othres, as with a chain.  Is. v. 18.

 

Ver. 9.  Mind.  If thou hast committed a fault, despair not, but pray, (v. 10.) avoiding presumption.  v. 14.

 

Ver. 12.  Soul.  Whether the person have incurred a fault or not, we ought to shew pity, reflecting on our own frailty.  1 Cor. x. 12.

 

Ver. 13.  Devise.  Lit. "plough."  But Heb. Charasch, means also to machinate. --- Brother.  We cannot hence infer, with Grotius, that the Jews allowed themselves to deceive strangers.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Good, but very pernicious, (Mat. v. 37.  Apoc. xxi. 8.  S. Aug. Mend.) though some have thought that lies might be told to prevent evil.  Orig. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Repeat not.  Make not much babbling by repetition of words, but aim more at fervour of heart.  Ch. --- A supplication ought to be drawn up in a concise manner.  H. --- Judges and orators should speak with due reserve.  Prayer must be unceasing: yet many words must not be used to inform God of our wants.  Our Saviour seems to allude to this text.  Mat. vi. 7.

 

Ver. 16.  High.  Gen. ii. 15. and iii. 18.  The patriarchs and the most famous Roman generals followed this employment.

 

Ver. 19.  On the flesh, is not in Greek.  Christ appears to have had this passage in view, Mark ix. 44.  Many suppose that both allude to the fire which burnt dead bodies, &c. in the vale of Hinnon.  But all allow that the inextinguishable flames of hell are meant.  Whether the fire and worms be corporeal or not has been questioned: the Greek Fathers, and the Church of Florence, generally maintain the negative, and the Latins assert it on better grounds.  S. Thomas adopts the opinion of many of the Fathers, who explain the worm to denote the remorse of conscience.  Yet many take it to be a worm, though not like those with which we are acquainted.  Horreo vermem mendacem et mortem vivacem.  S. Bern. cons. v.  See S. Jer.  Is. lxvi.  A. Lap.  S. Greg. Dial. iv. 29.  S. Aug. De C. xx. 10.  S. Amb. vii. in Lu. xiv.  C. --- Fire and the worm of conscience are both eternal.  W. --- The punishment at least is such, and more intense than we can conceive.

 

Ver. 21.  Wife.  The virtuous never approved of divorcing any but the incorrigible.  C. Dis.

 

Ver. 27.  Man.  The Jews in general embraced the married state in their youth.  S. Paul prefers virginity.  1 Cor. vii. 8.

 

Ver. 28.  Hateful.  To marry such a cone would be an occasion of divorce, which is always odious.

 

Ver. 29.  Groanings, in child-bed, and (C.) during thy infancy.  M.  Job iv. 4.

 

Ver. 33.  Priests.  Gr. "priest, and give him the portion which is enjoined thee, the first-fruit, and for negligence, and the gift of the shoulders, and the," &c. v. 35.  H. --- Arms.  That is, with all thy power: or else by arms (brachiis) are here signified the right shoulders of the victims, which by the law fell to the share of the priests.  See v. 35. (Ch.) Ex. xxix. 28.  Lev. vii. 22.

 

Ver. 34.  Few offerings, if thou be poor.  Sa. --- Be alone with the priest when thou dost confess, and imitate the small number.

 

Ver. 36.  Poor.  They and Levites are always to be invited.  Deut. xii. 19. and xiv. 26.

 

Ver. 37.  Dead: detained in purgatory.  W. --- And restrain not grace from the dead.  Withhold not from them the benefit of alms, prayers, and sacrifices.  Such was the doctrine and practice of the Church of God, even in the time of the Old Testament.  And the same has always been continued from the days of the apostles in the Church of the New Testament.  Ch. --- Meat was also placed on the tombs of the deceased, for the benefit of the poor.  Tob. iv. 18.  S. Aug. Conf. vi. 2.

 

Ver. 38.  Walk.  Gr. "mourn."  H. --- It was customary to join those who mourned for the dead, and to offer them meat, and endeavour to comfort them.  C. Diss.

 

Ver. 39.  Love, being approved both by God and man.

 

Ver. 40.  End.  Gr. "things;" death, judgment, and either hell or heaven.  H. --- This consideration is a powerful preservative against sin.  W. --- For who would dare to offend his judge, if he believed that the next moment he would be arraigned before his dreadful tribunal?  C. --- "We die daily," &c.  S. Jer. ad Heliod.

 

 








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