King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Proverbs 3

Exhortations to obedience and faith. (1-6) To piety, and to improve afflictions. (7-12) To gain wisdom. (13-20) Guidance of Wisdom. (21-26) The wicked and the upright. (27-35)

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Exhortations to obedience and faith

1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

To piety, and to improve afflictions

7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

To gain wisdom

13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

Guidance of Wisdom

21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

The wicked and the upright

27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

32 For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.

33 The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. My son. God speaks, or the master instructs his disciple. v. 21. C. — We must remember and love instruction, and reduce it to practice. W.

Ver. 2. Peace. These prefigured more substantial blessings. C.

Ver. 3. Truth. Be kind and faithful to all. Gen. xxiv. 27. Ps. xxiv. 10.

Ver. 4. Good. Sept. “forecast good before the Lord and men.” S. Paul seems to allude to this version, Rom. xii. 17. and 2 Cor. viii. 22. H.

Ver. 5. All. God will have nothing by halves. — Lean not. By pride. 2 Cor. xii. 13. All must be referred to God. C. — In him we may safely trust. W.

Ver. 8. Bones. Thou shalt enjoy perfect health.

Ver. 9. Fruits. Sept. add, “of justice;” to intimate that no presents will be acceptable, which have been unjustly acquired.

Ver. 11. Him. Correction is rather a proof of love than of anger. Ps. iii. 19. C. — God thus shews that he approves of his servants; and therefore his other promises, which seem of a temporal nature, must be understood with reference to the next life. W.

Ver. 12. And as. Sept. “but he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth,” as S. Paul quotes this passage. Heb. xii. 6. The verb is now wanting in Heb. or ceab; “as a father” may signify “scourgeth, in piel, (M.) with i prefixed. C.

Ver. 15. Riches. Heb. peninim, (H.) “pearls.” Job xxviii. 18. C.

Ver. 16. Glory. Her hands are full, and she grants favours with profusion, (H.) as with both hands, promising eternal life. W.

Ver. 18. Life. Like that planted in paradise. Gen. ii. 9.

Ver. 19. Wisdom. Hitherto he had spoken of that virtue. Now he treats of the uncreated wisdom, (C.) which is God the Son. M. Jans. S. Greg. Mor. xii. 4.

Ver. 20. Out. The higher and lower waters being divided, (C.) or the channels formed to receive the waters. Piscat. — It may also speak of the deluge. Ven. Bede.— With. Heb. “have distilled dew.” This is so copious, as to resemble rain in Palestine. Judg. vi. 37. and 2 K. xvii. 12.

Ver. 22. Mouth. There have been wise and virtuous men afflicted, v. 11. But they have borne all with patience, and have merited a more glorious reward than what this earth could afford. C.

Ver. 27. Able. Prot. “withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” Relieve the distressed. H. — They have a title to that wealth, since those who possess it are bound to relieve the indigent. C. — Sept. “refrain not from doing good,” &c. H.

Ver. 28. Present. Alms in season are doubly valuable. W. — Antigonus acquired the title of Doson, “about to give,” as he never gave, (Plutarch) but only promised.

Ver. 30. Cause. We may defend ourselves; but herein great discretion is necessary. C. — Cum pari contendere anceps est: cum superiore furiosum; cum inferiore sordidum. Senec. Prov.

Ver. 31. Ways. Of injustice. Seek not to attain his prosperity by the same means. C.

Ver. 33. Want. Heb. “a curse.” — Shall be. Heb. “he blesseth.” H.

Ver. 34. Scorners. Lit. “he will delude the scorners.” H. — He will treat them as they would treat others. Ps. xvii. 27. C. — Sept. “the Lord resisteth the proud,” &c. So the apostles quote this passage. 1 Pet. v. 5. Jam. iv. 6. H.

Ver. 35. Disgrace. They are seen by more, and their fall is more dangerous. C. — “A fool extols what is ignominious.” Pagn. H.