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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



WISDOM 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Him.  The folly of exposing one's life, without necessity, to such imminent danger at sea, is great; though much less than to confide in idols, (C.) which are commonly made of more corruptible wood than ships.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Waves.  Of the Red sea, (Vat.) through which the Israelites passed, (W.) or rather hast taught navigation to Noe, (v. 6.) and enabled him to build the finest vessel that ever appeared.

 

Ver. 5.  Saved.  Before the invention of the compass, long voyages were deemed the effects of rashness, or of great confidence in Providence.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Cometh.  By which Noe was preserved, (Corn. a Lap.) or criminals are executed.  Jansenius --- The author foretells the redemption of mankind on the cross.  W.  Gal. iii. 13.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei.  C. xv. 26.  S. Amb. Ps. cxviii. ser. 8.

 

Ver. 12.  Fornication.  Invention of idols brought people to give way to spiritual fornication, and corruption of manners.  W. --- They freely practised what was sanctioned by the example of their gods.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. ii. 7. and 3 K. xiv. 24. and 4 K. xxiii. 7. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Beginning.  Truth is always prior to falsehood.  H. --- Josephus (Ant. i. 4.) says, idolatry commenced in the 8th generation, and the Jews assert, under Enos.  "Then began the name of God to be profaned," as the Chal. &c. translate, Gen. iv. 26.  S. Jer. q. Heb. --- The corruption of morals was the natural consequence.  v. 12. --- Ever.  Christ shall destroy them.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Servants.   This was at first done privately, and made the way for public idolatry.  Calvin attempts to refute this assertion, maintaining that Laban's idols were more ancient, and not images.  But this argument is nugatory, as theraphim may be rendered either images, (Prot. 1552.) or idols.  Prot. 1603.  The latter version is preferable, as Laban called them his gods, and the Greek and Latin have idols.  It is also certain, that Ninus set up the image of his father, Jupiter Belus, to be honoured by the people, before Abraham's time; and the fathers agree, that the making of images in memory of the dead, was the first occasion of idolatry.  S. Chrys. hom. 87. in Matt.  S. Jer. in Osee ii. &c.  W. --- Nimrod ordered divine honours to be paid to his deceased son.  Gul. Paris. Leg. --- Yet this fact is not certain.  Diophante, the Lacedemonian, assigns the same origin to idolatry as is here given.  Grot.

 

Ver. 18.  Ignorant.  The arts of sculpture and painting may be prejudicial, (C.) and were therefore banished by Moses from his republic, (Philo) as the Jews were so prone to idolatry.  C. xv. 4.  The case is different with us.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Name.  It cannot with propriety be given to any but God.  W. --- The Jews explain this of the name Jehovah, which they will never pronounce.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Children.  This was done by the Chanaanites, Hebrews, &c.  C. xii. 23.  Is. lvii. 5. --- Hidden.  The sacrifices of Ceres, Bacchus, &c. were performed in the dark, and horrible impurities were committed.  Eph. v. 12. --- Madness.  Before they be initiated in the mysteries of Ceres, or prostitute themselves in honour of the deities of impurity, (Jos. Ant. xviii. 4.) in the very temples.  Quo non prostrat femina templo?  Juv. ix.  C. --- Many crimes proceed from idolatry.  W.

 

Ver. 28.  Mad.  Like the Bacchanalian women, running crowned with serpents, and eating raw flesh. --- Lies.  The delusions of the devil, or the fraud of priests. --- Easily.  Those who believe not in religion, or in the power of him by who they swear, can give no security by an oath.  They fear no harm.  v. 29.  Yet they are perjured if they believe Jupiter, for example, to be a god, (S. Aug. ep. 54. ad Pub.) and if they do not, they are impious; abusing an oath, which is in itself sacred.  C.

 

Ver. 31.  Just.  Lit. "the punishment of sinners always walketh about," &c.  H. --- "The stone does not hear thee speaking, but God punishes the deceiver."  S. Aug. --- The pagans supposed that their idols sometimes punished perjury.  Juv. Sat. viii. --- It is God who does it.  C.

 

 








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