King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Proverbs 9

The invitations of Wisdom. (1-12) The invitations of folly. (13-18)

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The invitations of Wisdom

1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.

3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,

4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.

6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

The invitations of folly

13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

14 For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

15 To call passengers who go right on their ways:

16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. House. The sacred humanity, (S. Ignat. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xvii. 20.) or the Church. S. Greg. Mor. xxxiii. 15. — Here we may receive all instruction, the seven sacraments, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Pleasure had mentioned here attractions: now those of true wisdom are set before us. C. — God sent his pastors at all times, to invite people to embrace the latter. They are all included in the number seven, both before and under the law, as well as in the gospel, where S. Paul styles SS. Peter, James, and John, pillars. Gal. ii. This is the literal sense, on which the mystical is grounded, and both are intended by the Holy Ghost, intimating that the uncreated wisdom took flesh of the blessed Virgin, prepared the table of bread and wine, as Priest according to the order of Melchisedec, and chose the weak of this world to confound the strong, as S. Aug. explain this passage. Sup. and q. 51. W.

Ver. 2. Victims. Moses ordered the blood to be poured out at the door of the tabernacle, and a part given to the priests, after which the rest might be taken away. The like was probably done at Jerusalem. Lev. xvii. 4. These victims are contrasted with those of pleasure. c. vii. 14. — Mingled. It was not customary for any but barbarians and the gods to take pure wine. Some mixed two, others three, five, or even twenty parts of water. But the scholiast of Aristophanes says, the best method was to have three parts water, and two of wine. Mercury complains that his wine was half water. Arist. Plut. v. Sun. i. — The Fathers often apply this text to the feast of Jesus Christ in the blessed Eucharist. C. — S. Cyprian (ep. iii.) citeth the whole passage of Christ’s sacrifice in the forms of bread and wine. W.

Ver. 3. Maids. Sept. “servant men,” the pastors of the church, inviting all to piety in so public a manner, that none can plead ignorance. S. Greg. C. — To invite. Prot. “she crieth upon the highest places of the city.” H. — Christ enjoins his apostles to preach on the roofs. Matt. x. 37.

Ver. 4. One. Simple, but not inconstant, like children. 1 Cor. xiv. 20. Pleasure addresses the same, (c. vii. 7.) but for their destruction. C.

Ver. 7. Scorner. This is the reason why wisdom speaks only to the simple. The conceited would only laugh at her instructions. These scoffers represent heretics and libertines. c. i. 22. C. — Where there is no hope of amendment, prudence and charity require us to be silent, as our rebukes would only procure us enmity, and make the sinner worse. W. — Of such S. John was afraid, and therefore ceased from writing. 3 Jo. 9. Yet S. Paul commands public reprehension. 1 Tim. v. 20. M. — When there is any prospect of good, all, particularly superiors, are bound to correct. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. i. 9.; and S. Bas. reg. fus. 158. W.

Ver. 9. Occasion. This word is found in Sept. Syr. and Arab. We might supply instruction, (C.) with Prot.

Ver. 10. Prudence. Or “prudence is the science of the saints,” (H.) directing what to choose on all occasions to obtain heaven. C. — The knowledge contained in the holy Scriptures, and possessed by the saints, is superior to all other sciences. M.

Ver. 13. And full. Prot. “she is simple and knoweth nothing.” Sept. “is in want of a piece of bread.” They have several verses before this, which are here omitted. H. — Wisdom and pleasure are opposed to each other. C.

Ver. 17. Pleasant. Impure pleasures are more delightful (C.) to sensual men. H. — The prohibition increases appetite. M.

Ver. 18. Giants. Who lived when all flesh had corrupted its ways, (Gen. vi. 12.) and were sentenced to hell. Job xxvi. 5. Is. xiv. 9. C.