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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



ECCLESIASTICUS 38

 

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Honour and pay.  Prov. viii. 9.  C. --- Gr. adds, "with his fees."  H. --- The health of body and soul must be regarded.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  King.  Physicians were formerly kept at the king's expense.  Pliny xxix. 1.

 

Ver. 4.  Them, as he will all superstitious remedies.  C. --- "A crowd of physicians killed C√¶sar," said Adrian, on his death-bed.  They often try experiments, and kill with impunity.  Pliny xxix. 1. --- Yet we must not condemn the prudent use of medicine.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Wood, of various sorts.  Grot. --- Many suppose that he alludes to the miracle of Moses, (Ex. xv. 25.) who thus was supernaturally informed (C.) of the effects of a certain wood.  T.  M.  S. Aug. q. lvii. in Ex.

 

Ver. 6.  The.  Gr. "that his or its virtue  might be known by man."

 

Ver. 7.  These plants. --- And of.  Gr. "Of these the maker of ointments shall compose a mixture and his works are not yet finished, when peace (health) from him appears on the face of the earth."  H. --- Disease flee before him; so powerful are his medicines, that the very smell effects a cure.

 

Ver. 9.  Thee.  We must neither trust too much in physicians, (2 Par. xvi. 12.) nor despise them, as this would be tempting God.

 

Ver. 10.  Sin.  All diseases are in consequence of original sin, and may are inflicted for actual transgressions.  Jo. ix. 2. and 1 Cor. xi. 30.  Num. xii. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Then.  Gr. "as being no longer.  Yet give," &c.  H. --- Be converted and offer sacrifice, as if there were no hopes of life.  Still do not despair.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Thou.  Gr. "a sweet smell (success) shall be in their hands."  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Physician.  This state is very troublesome, and a punishment of sin.  v. 10.

 

Ver. 16.  Burial.  Thus we must shew our respect for the deceased.  The Jews also prayed for them.  2 Mac. xii. 42.  C. --- "The care...and pomp of funerals are rather the consolations of survivors than of service to the dead."  S. Aug. cura 2.

 

Ver. 17.  For.  Gr. "and shed burning tears of mourning, (18) and lament for," &c.  H. --- Sorrow would be unsuitable for the saints, and useless for the damned, who being rebellious to God do not deserve our lamentations.  Yet nature dictates, and people expect we should allow something to the first emotions of sorrow, (C.) for a day or two; and we may receive the consolatory visits of our friends, during the seven days of mourning.  C. xxii. 13.  Jo. xi. 19.  S. Paulin. ad Pam. --- To avoid the evil reports of men, we must shew ourselves to be really sorry; yet we must not suffer grief to hurt our health.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  And the, &c. is not in Greek.  Excessive sorrow brings on sickness, and renders us unfit for any thing.

 

Ver. 20.  Aside, in solitude. --- Substance; or what the poor has to live on, will seem sweet or bitter according as he is affected with joy or grief.

 

Ver. 21.  End.  This is the chief utility derived from attending funerals.

 

Ver. 23.  Thee.  A man on his death-bed, or already dead, is introduced speaking.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Him.  Gr. "thyself."  He is at rest, we hope; (H.) be thou so too.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  A scribe; that is, a doctor of the law, or a learned man.  Ch. --- Sorrow (H.) and too much employment, are injurious to learning.  C. --- Sapienti√¶ otia negotia sunt.  S. Bern. ser. 85. Cant. --- When pastors have leisure, they would do well to write, in imitation of S. Paul, &c.  W.

 

Ver. 28.  Work: engraving on gold, or silver, or on precious stones.

 

Ver. 29.  Sitting.  Such was the ancient custom of smiths, (C.) who carried all their implements with them, and laboured with much pain.  Chardin.

 

Ver. 34.  Glazing.  The earthen vessel would otherwise spoil all but oil and water.  C.

 

Ver. 37.  Dwell.  Gr. "travel," to get a livelihood, (Grot.) or to acquire wisdom, (C. xxxiv. 9. and xxxix. 5.) and walk about like the ancient philosophers.  They shall not be chosen magistrates.  C.

 

Ver. 38.  Spoken.  They have not leisure to attend the lectures of sages; (H.) nor are they ever quoted by them.

 

Ver. 39.  World, giving children to the commonwealth, (M.) and employing themselves in useful arts.  The Jews would not allow magicians, players, &c. to reside in their country. --- Craft.  They pray that they may succeed in their employment, while some also strive to comply with their religious duties.  C. --- Applying.  Gr. refers this to the following chapter, "As for him who applies his soul and meditates on the law of the Most High, he will," &c.  H.

 

 








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