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with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Proverbs 5

Exhortations to wisdom. The evils of licentiousness. (1-14) Remedies against licentiousness, The miserable end of the wicked. (15-23)

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Exhortations to wisdom. The evils of licentiousness

1 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:

2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

6 Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

7 Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.

8 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

9 Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:

10 Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;

11 And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,

12 And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;

13 And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

14 I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

Remedies against licentiousness, The miserable end of the wicked

15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.

17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.

18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Thoughts. Or wisdom; and act with discretion. — Mind, &c. is omitted in Heb. and S. Jer. C. — By woman all concupiscence, or the inducement to sin, is commonly understood. We must not think of such things. W.

Ver. 4. Sword. “It is a crime even to hearken.” S. Amb. de Abrah. ii. 11. She seeks thy ruin. v. 5. c. ii. 16.

Ver. 6. They. Heb. “if perhaps thou ponder the path of life.” Pagn. H. — Or “she ponders not,” &c. She walks inconsiderately, and consults only her passions. c. vii. 10. C. — No one can depend on her love. M.

Ver. 9. Strangers. The world, the flesh, and the devil are such; cruelly devising our ruin. W.

Ver. 10. Strength. Or children. v. 16. Gen. xlix. 3. C.

Ver. 11. Body. He alludes to a shameful disease, the just punishment of intemperance. Eccli. xix. 3.

Ver. 14. Evil. Infirm and worn out, having lost my reputation, &c. C. — Though I lived among the faithful, I was under no restraint. M.

Ver. 15. Well. Live comfortably on your own property, (Cajet.) with your own wife. C.

Ver. 16. Waters. Mayst thou have a numerous offspring, (v. 10.) and be liberal. Many copies of the Sept. &c. have a negation, with Aquila, “let not thy,” &c. (C.) though it my be read with and interrogation, “are the waters of thy fountain to be?” &c. De Dieu. — By not means. Origen (in Num. xii.) acknowledges both readings. C. — Good instructions must be given to those who are well disposed, but not to scoffers, or obstinate infidels. W. — Husbands are exhorted to be content with their own wives, (v. 15. 20.) so that the negative particle seems to be here wanting, as it is, c. vi. 17. in MS. 60, (Kennicott) and c. xiv. 33. Sept. &c. Capellus.

Ver. 17. Thee. Stick to thy own wife. In a moral sense, let those who instruct others, take care not to neglect themselves.

Ver. 18. Vein. Thou shalt have a numerous progeny. Ps. lxvii. 28. Is. xlviii. 1. C.

Ver. 19. Love. This is spoken by way of permission, and to withdraw people from unlawful connections. Eccle. ii. 1. and 1 Cor. vii. 29. C.

Ver. 22. Ropes. “Evil habits unrestrained induce a necessity,” (S. Aug. Conf. viii. 5.) though not absolute. H. — The libertine thinks he can get free as soon as he pleases; not being aware of the chains which he is forging for himself. C. — Sin requires punishment. M.