King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Proverbs 15

Proverbs 15 Audio:

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1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

5 A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.

7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.

8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.

10 Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.

11 Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

12 A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.

13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.

15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.

16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.

17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.

19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.

20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.

21 Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.

22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

25 The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.

26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.

31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Fury. This was seen in Nabal and Roboam, while Gideon and Abigail shewed the good effects of a mild answer. Jud. viii. 1. and 1 K. x. 25. and 3 K. xii. 11.

Ver. 2. Knowledge. It requires to be proposed in a proper manner.

Ver. 4. Life. This comparison was become proverbial for something very excellent. Immoderate. Heb. “perverse.” C. — Evil discourse kills the souls both of those who speak, and of those who pay attention to it. H.

Ver. 5. In abundant, &c. Is omitted in Heb. Chal. and many Greek and Latin copies. The same idea is expressed in the following verse.

Ver. 7. Unlike. The wise, or themselves. Heb. and Sept. “inconstant.”

Ver. 8. Wicked. Still unconverted. Eccli. xxxiv. 23. When they repent, and offer sacrifice with sincerity, they will obtain mercy. The Donatists abused this text, to prove that baptism conferred by wicked ministers was unavailing. But S. Aug. shewed them, that Christ was the principal agent, and conferred grace, even though the minister might draw down judgments on his own head. Con. Parm. ii. 6. — Even pagans confessed, that sacrifices, without virtue, could afford no benefit. “God was more pleased with the prayers of the Lacedemonians, than with all the sacrifices of the Greeks,” say the idolatrous priests in Plato, Alcib. ii. Seneca de Ben. i. 5.

Ver. 10. Instruction. Heb. “a heavy punishment.” H. — The mind which gives way to vice, must have embraced some false doctrine.

Ver. 11. Before. Naked. The state of the damned is known to God. C. ix. 18. C.

Ver. 13. Down. Compunction is salutary, but worldly grief blameable. C. xxv. 20. and 2 Cor. vii. 10. S. Greg. past. ii. 10.

Ver. 15. Feast. Those who repine at their condition are miserable; while the poor may be delivered from many cares. C. —

O vitæ tuta facultas

Pauperis angustique laris. Luc. Phar. v.

— Under affliction every thing displeases; but all delights the cheerful temper.

Ver. 16. Content. Sept. “fear.” Heb. “with trouble,” which is preferable. 1 Tim. vi. 6.

Ver. 17. Calf. Or feast after sacrifice. 1 K. xvii. 19. Lu. xv. 23.

Ver. 19. Thorns. All seems to them impossible. C. — In agriculture, however, (H.) “in domestic affairs, negligence is attended with more labour than diligence.” Colum. xii. 2.

Ver. 21. Fool. He thinks himself the most happy of mortals. C. — Sept. “the ways of the fools are senseless.” H.

Ver. 22. Counsel. Heb. “secrecy.” — Established. We put in execution without fear, what has been resolved maturely. C.

Ver. 24. Above. Lit. “upon the learned.” H. — One path leads to the realms above. C. — The wise must be intent on God. M.

Ver. 26. Shall by, &c. is not added in Heb. &c. nor in several Latin MSS.

Ver. 27. Troubleth. With all sorts of temporal misfortunes. A judge who receives bribes, is accursed. Ex. xxiii. 8. — By, &c. is not here in Heb. but c.. xvi. 6. S. Cyprian (3 Test.) found it in his copy. — Faith, or fidelity and truth, as it is elsewhere expressed. C. iii. 3. These virtues move God to pardon.

Ver. 28. Studieth. And speaks deliberately. Sept. Rom. is more embarrassed in the rest of this, and the nine first verses of the following chapter, than the Complut. edition.

Ver. 30. Fat. And contributes to health. By less noble motives, the mind is gradually raised to the more excellent.

Ver. 33. Lesson. Or “what teacheth.” Humility, or docility, as those who acknowledge no master will never be wise. Matt. xxiii. 12. C.