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Proverbs 24

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1 Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.

2 For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.

3 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:

4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

7 Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.

8 He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.

9 The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.

10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

11 If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;

12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

13 My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:

14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.

15 Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place:

16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:

18 Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

19 Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked:

20 For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.

21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:

22 For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?

23 These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.

24 He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:

25 But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.

26 Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.

27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.

28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.

29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.

30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.

32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.

33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Like. Be not allured by their prosperity to imitate them. Ps. xxxvi. 1.

Ver. 3. Wisdom and virtue, and not by injustice can the house be established.

Ver. 5. Valiant, as well as a good economist. v. 4. C.

Ver. 6. Counsels. “Consult many what ought to be done, but only a few of the most faithful, or rather thyself alone, what thou art about to do.” Veget. iii. 9. and 27.

Ver. 7. High. Thus the fool excuses himself. But wisdom condescends to our weakness, if we be truly in earnest. Deut. xxxii. 12. Mouth. To defend himself, or to give advice. C.

Ver. 9. Of a fool. In as much as he is wicked. Though he may have some pious thoughts, he attends not to them. H. — He thinks how he may commit evil, and renders himself hateful. C. — Heb. “a wicked thought is the sin of folly.” Sept. “the fool dieth in sins.” — Detractor. Heb. “scoffer.” H.

Ver. 10. Diminished. This is the sad consequences of too much dejection. Eph. iv. 19. Despairing, they abandon themselves to impurities. H.

Ver. 11. Deliver. The Jews often put people to death without any formal trial, pretending zeal, as they did S. Stephen, &c. Our Saviour rescued the adulteress from such a situation, as Daniel had done Susanna. Yet this text may regard poor debtors. Ps. lxxi. 4. C. — Christian bishops used all their influence to preserve the lives of those who did not deserve death. S. Amb. in Ps. cxviii. Ser. viii. Off. i. 36. and ep. xxv. and xxvi.

Ver. 12. I have. Heb. “behold, we know not this man.” Pagn. H. — He is a stranger. But all mankind are brethren, and have a charge to assist one another, even though they be enemies. Eccli. xvii. 12. Ex. xxiii. 4. C. — Keeper. Heb. notser, “preserver.” As thou hast received many good things from God, shew mercy to thy neighbour.

Ver. 13. Honey. Of wisdom, which is most delicious. M.

Ver. 14. Thou shalt. Heb. “yea, it is the last.” Mont. — “Then there shall be a reward.” Prot. — Thou shalt enjoy old age, or have posterity. C.

Ver. 16. Fall into smaller sins, (S. Greg. vi. in 2 Reg. xv. &c.) or into disgrace, as yippol (H.) rather intimates. Vat. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xi. 31. — Both significations agree with the context. See Job v. 27. Matt. xviii. 21. C. — He who is not subject to mortal sin, may still be exposed to many failings, and venial sins, which do not deprive him of the title of just; whereas the wicked consents to mortal sin, from which he riseth not so easily. Hence the wise man admonishes us not to lie in wait, or calumniously seek impiety in the house or soul of the just. W.

Ver. 18. From. To punish thee. C. — Thus will thy thirst of vengeance be disappointed. H. — The Hebrews believed that there was no evil, which was not caused by sin; and this was true in some sense. But still God often afflicts his servants, (v. 16,) as the whole book of Job tends to prove. C.

Ver. 19. Contend. Or Heb. “associate.” — Like. v. 1. Ps. xxxvi. 1.

Ver. 20. Come. Prot. “no reward,” (H.) prosperity, &c. as designated also by the lamp. v. 14. C.

Ver. 21. Detractors. Or those who speak ill of God or the king. C. — Prot. “that are given to change,” (H.) and relapses.

Ver. 23. These. Sept. have an addition, and then our C. xxx. to v. 15. after which follows the remainder of this chap. and then the ten first verses of the 31st. H. — Solomon here resumes the sententious style. C. xxii. 17. C.

Ver. 26. Lips. And be deemed a friend. M.

Ver. 27. House, and support thy family. Before building, great deliberation is requisite. Lu. xiv. 28. Those who attempt to instruct others, must first set good example.

Ver. 28. Cause, and necessity. Sept. “be not a false witness against thy fellow-citizen.”

Ver. 29. Work. Revenge is often reprobated, though the law allowed of retaliation, which the more virtuous did not insist upon.

Ver. 30. Man. Those who neglected their land were despised. C. — The ancient Romans esteemed agriculture as a most laudible and profitable employment. Cato. Rust. i. Cic. Off. i.

Ver. 32. Which. Sept. “at last I repented: I looked forward to receive instruction.”

Ver. 33. Said I, is not in Heb. C. vi. 10. C. — Sept. “I will slumber a while,” to rest. Sept. “I will enfold my breast in my hands a little.” H.