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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



ECCLESIASTICUS 51

 

CHAPTER LI.

 

Ver. 1.  Sirach.  This prayer may be in imitation of the book of Wisdom.  H. --- Grotius assigns it to the grandson, without reason; as the author continues to speak of his travels, &c.  He seems to have lived under Onias III. and under Seleucus and Antiochus Epiphanes, of Syria, to whom he was probably accused, and hence took occasion to retire into Egypt, where Ptolemy Epiphanes was king.  C. --- Others think (H.) that he was accused before Ptolemy Lagus, when he took Jerusalem.  M. --- We know too little of his life to decide any thing.  C.  See c. l. 1.  H. --- Saviour.  When we are not able to make a return, we must shew greater marks of gratitude, and particularly to God, for the favours which we have not deserved.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  By.  To accuse me.  Zac. iii. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Gates.  Gr. "many."  H. --- He exaggerates the danger to which he was exposed, as he was not miraculously delivered from the flames, &c. (C.) though this might be the case.  At least he thanks God for preserving him (H.) from the various torments which were then in use.

 

Ver. 6.  In.  Gr. "from the midst of a fire which I did not enkindle," or deserve by any crime.

 

Ver. 7.  Hell.  The grave.  I was preserved like Jonas.  C. --- Unjust.  Gr. "the accusation was made to the king, by an unjust tongue.  My soul approached unto death, and my life," &c.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  World.  Shewn to Noe, Joseph, &c.  C. --- Nations.  Gr. "enemies."  v. 12.

 

Ver. 13.  Thou.  Gr. "I raised my supplicating voice from the earth, and I," &c.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  The Father.  Grotius asserts boldly, that it should be, "my Father," and that some Christian has changed this.  But his authority may be rejected, when he brings no proof; and Bossuet has solidly refuted him.  The passage clearly proves the belief of the second person, and seems to allude to Ps. cix. 1.  Drus. Vat. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  When.  He now gives some account of himself, and exhorts all to seek for wisdom.  H. --- He was advanced in years, when he fell into the aforesaid danger, after his travels.  C. xxxiv. 9.  C. --- Wisdom is most easily acquired, while a person is innocent.  Eccle. xii.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  After her.  Being convinced that prayer is requisite for the preservation and improvement of such a treasure.  See 3 K. iii. 8.  C. --- And.  Gr. "from the flower as of a ripening grape.  My heart," &c.

 

Ver. 22.  Wisdom.  Gr. "instruction for myself."  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Wrestled.  Against pleasure, idleness, &c.  This shews how arduous a task it is to attain wisdom.  C. --- Confirmed.  Greek, "in earnest."

 

Ver. 27.  Knowledge.  Gr. Alex. "time of harvest."  Grabe substitutes, "in purification," (H.) or the practice of virtue.  Wisd. i. 4.

 

Ver. 28.  Heart.  Or understanding, as the Heb. place this in the heart.  3 K. iii. 9.

 

Ver. 29.  Her.  I did it, with all solicitude.  Cant. v. 4.  Jer. iv. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Tongue.  Eloquence, (M.) which I will exert in praising him.

 

Ver. 31.  Gather.  Gr. "dwell in the," &c.  H. --- He addresses those who are walking in the broad road.

 

Ver. 33.  Silver.  Only good-will is necessary, which all may have.  Is. lv. 1.  Rom. x. 6.  Wisd. vi. 13.

 

Ver. 36.  Gold.  The wise man has more opportunities of enriching himself than others; but he despises unnecessary wealth.  C. --- We must labour for wisdom more than for riches, and we shall be rewarded hereafter.  W.

 

Ver. 38.  The time.  It is never too soon to be wise.  In doing good let us not fail, (Gal. vi. 9.) in order to obtain that food, which remains for ever.  Is. vi. 7.  Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is all man.  Eccle. xii. 13.  C. --- This is the sum of the sapiential works, and of all the Scriptures: To depart from evil is understanding.  Job xxviii. 28.  H.

 

 








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