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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



ECCLESIASTICUS 39

 

CHAPTER XXXIX.

 

Ver. 1.  Ancients.  The Essenes (Jos. Bel. i. 7.) and Therapeuts (Philo. Comtemp.) were most famous of all for doing so.  In general the Jews despise the learning of foreign nations: but some have applied themselves to it, particularly Philo, Josephus, &c.  1 Mac. i. 11. and 2 Mac. vi. 11. --- Prophets.  These required the utmost study, before the coming of Christ.  1 Pet. i. 11.  Dan. ix 9.  C. --- The virtuous must follow both an active and contemplative life.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Sayings, or history of Abraham, &c. --- Parables.  This was most in vogue.  3 K. x. --- But mechanics abstained from this study.  C. xxxviii. 38.  C. --- To meditate well, 1. knowledge; 2. virtue; 3. humility; and 4. hope, are requisite.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Governor or the province or army.  The most enlightened were chosen, like Joseph.  Daniel i. 4. &c.

 

Ver. 5.  Men.  Travelling was very requisite, (C. xxxiv. 11.) and history records the actions of the bad as well as the good, for the instruction of the public.

 

Ver. 6.  Pray.  Diligence and prayer are the means to acquire wisdom.  C. iv. 13.

 

Ver. 9.  Lord, being in a sort of rapture, and enlightened by Him.

 

Ver. 13.  Generation.  With what care de we not preserve the Scripture? &c.

 

Ver. 15.  Thousand.  Children or other men. --- Rest, in death.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  With.  Gr. "as the moon in the first quarter," dicomhnia. H. ---  The Vulg. has read Diomhnia, "divine transport."  The author declares that he was inspired.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  By.  Gr. "Hear me, ye holy children." --- Offspring.  Lit. "fruits."  H. --- He speaks to the children of Israel, the people of God: whom he exhorts to bud forth and flourish with virtue.  Ch.

 

Ver. 19.  Bring.  Gr. "praise a canticle."

 

Ver. 20.  Voice.  Gr. "songs of your lips, (H.) and with ancient lyres," &c.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Waters.  At the world's creation, or at the passage of the Israelites.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Salvation.  None can prevent the salvation of God's elect.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Wonderful, or new.  C. --- The greatest miracles cost him nothing.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Time.  The veil shall be withdrawn, and Providence will appear.  Gr. "all things are made for their use."

 

Ver. 28.  That.  Gr. "as he changed the waters into saltness," (H.) at Sodom, (C.) "his ways are plain for the saints: so to sinners they are stumbling-blocks."  v. 30.  The Red Sea gave a passage to Israel, and overwhelmed the Egyptians.  H. --- Him. God does all with grandeur.  He poured his graces upon Israel, and overwhelmed the giants in the deluge.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Good and, is omitted in Gr.  Before the fall, all was happiness.  Now, the wicked have still some mixture of good.  v. 32.  Bossuet.

 

Ver. 31.  Water and fire.  These are requisite to prepare bread.  The Romans refused them to the enemies of the state. --- Cluster.  Gr. "blood," as Deut. xxxii. 14.  C. --- God gives the necessaries of life, which the virtuous use well, for their reward; and the wicked ill, to their ruin.  W.

 

Ver. 32.  Evil.  The good or bad use of them decides all.  Wisd. xiv. 11.  Rom. viii. 18.  Tit. i. 15.

 

Ver. 33.  Spirits.  Storms (Ps. x. 7. and cxlviii. 8.) good angels, (Gen. xix. 11.  Is. xxxvii. 36.) or rather devils: who, though created in holiness, fell, and became executioners of the wicked.  C. --- They abused their free-will, and are eternally punished.  W.

 

Ver. 34.  Destruction, and final ruin of the impious, or at the least day.  C. --- Appease.  God is pleased with the execution of justice.  M. --- Yet the devils cannot obtain a reconciliation; neither do they act to please God, having their wills obstinately bent against his, though they be forced to obey.  H.

 

Ver. 36.  Beasts.  Wolves, &c. with which the country was infested.  Deut. vii. 22. and xxii. 24. --- Sword.  War.

 

Ver. 37.  Feast.  Gr. "rejoice," as at a feast.  Ezec. xxxix. 16. --- Word.  They will be ready at the first sign.  C. --- All creatures, but the rebel angels and man, obey God.  H.

 

Ver. 38.  Resolved.  Lit. "confirmed" in this opinion by a divine light.  v. 16. 21.

 

Ver. 39.  Time.  If we receive  not at first, we must have patience.

 

Ver. 40.  That.  Even sin contributes to manifest the justice and mercy of God; and we are not to judge of his works, but to praise  him; as every thing is created for wise purposes, and evil proceeds from our abuse of things.  C.

 

 








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