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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



ECCLESIASTICUS 50

 

CHAPTER L.

 

Ver. 1.  Simon I. was "styled the just, on account of his piety towards God, and his good-will to his countrymen."  Jos. xii. 2.  Many apply what follows to him.  Eus. Salien. M. &c. --- But Simon II. is more probably meant, who opposed the entrance of Philopator into the sanctuary, after he had offered sacrifice for him, in the pompous manner here described.  Boss.  iii.  Mac.  C. --- Temple.  Which began to want repairs.  M. --- Simon II. reigned twenty years.  C.  Jos. xii. 4.  H. --- The first lived in the time of Ptolemy I. of Egypt, when this book was written; and dies before it was translated, under Ptolemy III. about three hundred years before Christ.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Walls.  Gr. analhmma, "the repairs (or elevated building, Mello.  2 Par. xxii. 5.) round the temple," including the court of the Gentiles, which had not been finished.  Ezec. xl. 5.  It was necessary to build at the edge of the mountain, (C.) and the wall was three hundred cubits from the bottom.  This was more than double the height of the temple, as it was only one hundred and twenty cubits high.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  Out.  Of the reservoirs.  But he repaired them.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Destruction.  When it was in the most imminent danger from Philopater.  3 Mac.  Bos.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Enlarge.  Gr. "fortify." --- Conservation.  Gr. "when in the midst of the people, coming out of the house of the veil.  (6.) He," &c.  H. --- Leaving the most holy place, he was surrounded by crowds of sacred ministers, (v. 14.) or rather on the day of expiation, he came into the court of the people, to purify them.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Cloud.  He was a far superior to the other priests in majestic appearance and attire, as Lucifer is to other stars, &c. v. 11.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  So did.  Gr. "on the temple of the Most High," with dazzling effulgence.  Jos. Bel. vi. 6.

 

Ver. 11.  Forth.  Gr. adds, "fruits." --- Rearing.  Gr. "elevated to the clouds."  H. --- Robe.  Stole, or violet tunic.  C. --- Power.  That is, with all his vestments, denoting his dignity and authority, (Ch.) and extremely rich, as virtus often implies.  C. xliv. 3.  C. --- Gr. has, "boasting."

 

Ver. 12.  Vesture.  Gr. "enclosure of holiness," peribolhn.  H. --- His splendid attire of gold and jewels, cast a dazzling light all around.  C. --- He was pleased to offer the peace-offering for the king of Egypt, (Bossuet) to honour him, though another priest might have done it.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Palm.  A forest of young ones shoots up from its roots; (Job xxix. 18.) so the high priest shone among the other children of Aaron.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  King.  Gr. "Almighty" King, pantokratoroV.  H. --- He presented an unblemished victim, with all due solemnity.  Lev. iii. 1.

 

Ver. 16.  Grape.  Pouring wine upon the fire.  Ex. xxix. 40.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Prince.  Gr. "universal king."  H. --- The whole sacrifice was pleasing to him.

 

Ver. 18.  God.  Gr. "the Highest."  He had required these sacrifices, as memorials of his covenant, and sovereign dominion.  Lev. xxiii. 34.

 

Ver. 20.  House.  Gr. Comp. and Grabe, "sound, sweet melody was made."

 

Ver. 21.  Office, leitourgian autou, "his service."  H. --- The people prayed for king Ptolemy, to whom they were subject; though the high priest possessed almost sovereign power.  The Egyptian monarch was present, (C.) and at the end of the sacrifice expressed his resolution to go into the inmost recesses of the temple, from which the people endeavoured to dissuade him.  Finding their efforts to be in vain, "they all (addressing themselves to God) said with one accord."  3 Mac. ii.  Grabe substitutes, "wherefore the high priest, Simon, kneeling down before the temple, and stretching forth his hand with solemnity, made this prayer."

 

Ver. 23.  Prayer.  Gr. "adoration, that they might receive a blessing from the Most High."  H. --- Power.  In keeping Philopator out of the temple.  God granted his request, (C.  litaneiaV) "and scourged him who was so insolent and bold...throwing him like a reed, unable to move, and speechless on the pavement."  2 Mac. ii. 26.  After Philopator's guards had removed him, the high priest congratulated the people, (v. 26.) expressing his abhorrence of their enemies in general, though the only mentions three neighbouring nations which had shewn a particular enmity to the Jews, when a contrary behaviour might have been expected.  v. 28.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Now.  A the sight of these wonders, the author exhorts the people to be grateful, and full of hope.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  His, Simon's, (M.) or God's days.  When he may judge it convenient.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Abhorreth.  Viz. with a holy indignation as enemies of God and persecutors of his people.  Such were then the Edomites, who abode in Mount Seir, the Philistines, and the Samaritans, who dwelt in Sichem, and had their schismatical temple in that neighbourhood.  Ch. --- This was the source of continual dissensions.  Joseph. xi. 8. and xii. 2.  Jo. iv. 20. --- The Jews and Samaritans are still at variance.  The former, in the days of Esdras, pronounced a curse against the latter, forbidding any of them to become converts to their religion, (Grot.) which, if true, shews a very blameable malice.  See Deut. xxvii. 4.  H. --- Which, &c. is omitted in Gr.  These three nations had evinced the greatest hatred towards the Jews, and thus deserved to be accounted objects of horror, though if the author harboured any ill-will, his conduct is not praised, (C.) but only recoreded.  H. --- The Samaritans consisted of Assyrians, Jews, &c. and therefore are styled no nation; and they were foolish in mixing idolatry with the true worship.  W.

 

Ver. 28.  Seir.  Gen. xiv. 6.  All the Greek copies read corruptly "of Samaria." --- Foolish.  Thus Christ said, you adore what you know not.  Jo. iv. 22.  C.  See 4 K. xvii. 29.  W.

 

Ver. 29.  Jesus.  He declares his name, and concludes with wishing peace to the observers of these maxims.  Grotius thinks that this was inserted by the grandson, (C.) who translated the work into Greek.  H. --- But there is no reason for this supposition.  Solomon puts his name at the beginning and at the end of Ecclesiastes, and he frequently commends his own instructions, as this author does.  C. xxxiii. 17. and xxxix. 16. and li. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 31.  Steps.  He...shall have the light of life.  Jo. viii. 12.  M. --- Some Gr. copies add, "and to the pious he has given wisdom.  Blessed be the Lord for ever.  So be it.  So be it."  H.

 

 








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