King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Proverbs 8

Christ, as Wisdom, calls to the sons of men. (1-11) The nature and riches of Wisdom. (12-21) Christ one with the Father, in the creation of the world, and rejoicing in his work for the salvation of man. (22-31) Exhortations to hear Christ’s word. (32-36)

Proverbs 8 Audio:

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Christ, as Wisdom, calls to the sons of men

1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

The nature and riches of Wisdom

12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.

19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

Christ one with the Father, in the creation of the world, and rejoicing in his work for the salvation of man

22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

Exhortations to hear Christ’s word

32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Voice. Men are wanting to themselves: they cannot plead ignorance. C. — Wisdom stands on high in the Catholic Church inviting all to virtue and happiness. W. — Some explain this of the light which is communicated to men; but the Fathers apply it to Jesus Christ, some of the expressions regarding his divinity, and others his human nature. Eccli. xxiv.

Ver. 3. Doors. Amid disputants, whose eagerness ought to convince us of the preference due to wisdom over all terrestrial concerns. v. 10.

Ver. 10. Money. They are generally incompatible.

Ver. 12. Thoughts. All good comes from God, the eternal wisdom, (C.) which speaks here. W.

Ver. 15. Things. Power and knowledge are the gift of the Almighty. Rom. xii. 1. A prince who resembles God the most, is his best present. Pliny in Trajan.

Ver. 18. Glorious. Lit. “proud.” H. — But here it only means great. Is. ix 15. and lxi. 6. Riches too commonly nourish pride, and it is very rare to see them joined with justice. C.

Ver. 19. Stone. So the Sept. translate paz, (H.) which designates a more pure sort of gold. Gen. ii. 11. C.

Ver. 21. Enrich. Heb. “grant what is (real goods) an inheritance to them,” &c. — Treasures. Sept. add, “with goods. If I announce to you daily occurrences, I will admonish you to number the things of the world,” (H.) and all past events. C.

Ver. 22. Possessed. As Christ was with God, equal to him in eternity. Jo. i. Sept. “created,” which many of the Fathers explain of the word incarnate, (see Corn. a Lapide. Bossuet) or he hath “placed me,” (S. Athan. iii. con. Arian. Euseb.) a pattern of all virtues. The Sept. generally render kana, “possessed,” as Aquila does here. C.

Ver. 23. Up. Heb. “anointed.” Sept. “he founded.” Christ was appointed to be the foundation, on which we must be built. S. Athan. iii. Orat.

Ver. 24. Conceived. Having yet manifested none of my works. Since the creation, wisdom only seeks to communicate itself to us. C.

Ver. 26. Poles. Heb. “head or height of the dust of the world.” H. — I subsisted with the chaos, before things appeared in their present form. C. — The poles denote the north and south, or the four quarters of the world. M.

Ver. 28. Sky. Prot. “clouds.” Pagn. “the air.” Vulg. √¶thera. Sept. “the clouds above.” H. — Moses assigns the higher and lower waters the same origin. Gen. i. 7.

Ver. 29. Pass. This is often remarked. Ps. xli. 8. — Earth. See Job xxxviii. 8. C.

Ver. 30. Forming. Heb. “one nursed,” (C.) or nursing, nutritius. Pagn. — He was not an idle spectator. — Playing. With ease and surprising variety. C.

Ver. 31. Men. God saw that all was good, but delighted most in his own image. M. — He prefers man before all other corporeal creatures. W. — To him alone below he has granted understanding, and a soul capable of virtue. The Son has also assumed our nature. Bar. iii. 37.

Ver. 35. Lord. Wisdom, or Jesus Christ, is our salvation, happiness, and life. Sept. “and the will is prepared by the Lord.” S. Aug. often quotes this to prove the necessity of preventing grace. Ep. ccxvii. and clxxxvi. C.

Ver. 36. Death. Not in itself, (H.) but by adhering to such things as bring death. M.