King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Proverbs 1

The use of the Proverbs. (1-6) Exhortations to fear God and obey parents. (7-9) To avoid the enticings of sinners. (10-19) The address of Wisdom to sinners. (20-33)

Proverbs 1 Audio:

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The use of the Proverbs

1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

Exhortations to fear God and obey parents

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

9 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

To avoid the enticings of sinners

10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

18 And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.

19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

The address of Wisdom to sinners

20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:

21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,

22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Israel. The dignity of the author, and the importance of the subject, invite us to read. S. Bas. — Solomon is the first whose name is placed at the head of any work in Scripture. C.

Ver. 2. To know. This is the design of these parables. C. — They tend to instruct both the unexperienced and the wise. v. 5. There are three sorts of wisdom: the divine, which is God himself; (c. iii. 16.) the supernatural, which is his gift, to lead us into all virtue; and the worldly, which is mixed with error, &c. W. Wisd. vii. 25.

Ver. 4. Subtilty. Discretion to the innocent. C.

Ver. 5. Wiser. “Tamdiu audiendum & discendum est, quamdiu nescias, & si proverbio credimus, quamdiu vivas,” says Seneca, ep. 77. — Governments. And be fit to govern others, (W.) as well as himself. C.

Ver. 6. Sayings. This science was much esteemed. 3 K. x. l. Eccli. xxxix. 2.

Ver. 7. Fear. Thus we arrive at charity. S. Aug. in ep. Jo. ix. Job xxviii. 28. &c. This fear includes religion, but not barren speculations. C. — It implies a desire to act, and not simply to understand.

Ver. 8. Mother. The first precept is to learn of our elders, and the second to resist evil counsels. v. 10. W. — Our parents have the greatest influence over us. Solomon presupposes that they are virtuous and well informed. C.

Ver. 10. Entice. Heb. “deceive.” C. — Pessimum inimicorum genus laudantes. Tacit. in vit. Agric.

Ver. 12. Pit. Grave, or hell, like Dathan. Num. xvi. This shews the greatest rage. Job xxxi. 31.

Ver. 17. Wings. If thou attend, therefore, to my instructions, their arts will be vain. Ven. Bede. — They unjustly seek to deceive the pious. C. — Watchfulness will be the best protection against them. W.

Ver. 19. Possessors. Of money. C. — While they attempt to invade another’s property, they ruin themselves, and come to the gallows. H.

Ver. 20. Streets. In every place we may learn wisdom. “The wise learn more from fools, than fools do from the wise,” as Cato well observed. C.

Ver. 22. Fools. Heb. “and scorners delight in their scorning.” Prot. — Such are the pests of society. H. — They turn piety to ridicule, and will talk about things which they do not understand, like our esprits forts, (C.) or pretended philosophers. H.

Ver. 26. Mock. God is too much above us to act thus; but he will treat us as an enraged enemy. C. — In hell, the damned will cry in vain. v. 28. They had sufficient graces offered while they were alive. W.

Ver. 28. Find me. Because their repentance was false, like that of Antiochus. 2 Mac. ix. 13. and Ps. xi. 4. C.

Ver. 30. Despised. Lit. “destracted,” (H.) supposing my threats would not be put in execution. Heb. “they abhorred.” C.

Ver. 32. Turning. Heb. “the ease of the simple,” who have given way to deceit. C. — Them. The objects of their eager desires, prove their ruin. Ezec. xvi. 49.

Ver. 33. Evils. Both the just and the wicked, (v. 31. H.) shall be treated according to their deserts. 2 Cor. v. 10. W. — Even in this world, the just enjoy the peace of a good conscience. M.