Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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PROVERBS - Chapter 19

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Proverbs xix.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Rich, is not in Hebrew, Septuagint, Complutensian, or St. Jerome. (Calmet) --- But as there is no antithesis between a poor man and a fool, it ought to be inserted, as it is in the Syriac, which reads, "than he who is perverse in his ways, though he be rich." The Manuscript 2 confirms "ways." (Kennicott)

Ver. 2. Soul. Wholesome and spiritual. Hebrew, "the soul or life is not good." --- Stumble. "The more I make haste, the less I advance," said Plato; (Republic 7.) and Augustus often repeated; Sat cito, si sat bene. (Suetonius)

Ver. 3. Fretteth. Literally, "burneth." Septuagint, "blameth." Hebrew, "his heart rageth against the Lord." (Haydock) --- Thus Adam tacitly laid the blame on him, as all those do who excuse themselves on account of their temper, habits, stars, the violence of temptation, &c. (Calmet)

Ver. 7. Only. Hebrew has lo, and the margin lu, with the Vulgate. (Calmet) --- The former word intimates that the words have no solidity, and the latter that they shall be his only portion who is so foolish as to trust in them. Sequens dicta non ispa; (Montanus) or ei ipsa, if we follow the margin. (Haydock)

Ver. 8. Mind. Hebrew, "heart," intelligence, chap. xv. 32. --- Loveth. This does not contradict the gospel; (John xii. 25.) as those who refrain from what the soul would crave to its own detriment, truly love it.

Ver. 10. Fool. He would eat them, so as to prejudice his health. --- Princes. Chap. xxx. 21. Such are commonly insolent, and should attend to Ausonius. Fortunam reverenter habe.

Ver. 11. Wrongs. The wise man is not vindictive or punctilious.

Ver. 12. Anger. Is not their dominion enough? Having none to admonish them, they do not perceive their excesses.

Ver. 13. Through. It cannot be endured long. (Calmet) --- Dos est uxoria lites. (Ovid, Art. 1.) --- "Quarrels are a wife's dowry."

Ver. 14. Properly. Septuagint, "fitted by." (Haydock) --- Hence the Fathers dissuade marrying with infidels. (St. Ambrose in Luke xvi.) --- All good comes from God.

Ver. 15. Hunger. Both temporal and eternal. (Calmet) --- Non progredi, regredi est. St. Bernard says, "Not to advance, is to go back."

Ver. 16. Neglecteth. Hebrew, "contemneth." In the law of Moses, many transgressions are punished with death, but here that of the soul is meant. (Calmet)

Ver. 17. Lendeth. To receive interest, fœneratur. (Haydock) --- Such usury is lawful, and God will abundantly reward acts of mercy. (Calmet) --- He engages his word for the poor. (St. Augustine in Psalm xxxvi.)

Ver. 18. Killing. Protestants, "crying;" or by his complaint be not deterred. (Haydock) --- Chaldean agrees with us. The law permitted parents to sell their children, and to have them stoned to death, if they declared them disobedient, (Deuteronomy xxi. 18.; Calmet) and riotous, ver. 20. Timely chastisement may prevent such extremities. (Haydock) --- St. Paul dissuades unnecessary severity, Colossians iii. 21.

Ver. 19. Thing. A child neglected will continue to steal, or to offend; (Calmet) while too much harshness will do no good, but tend to the damage of all parties. (Haydock) --- Anger is productive of the worst effects.

Ver. 21. Firm. Ignorance and weakness cause men to change.

Ver. 22. Merciful. Hebrews ii. 17. Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco. (Virgil, Æneid 4.) --- Hebrew, "the desire of a man is his mercy," (Montanus; Haydock) or "shame," (R. Levi) as it leads to sin, Genesis vi. 5. All wish to be esteemed merciful. --- Man of quality. Hebrew meish, "prœ viro." (Montanus) --- "Rich man." (Septuagint) (Haydock)

Ver. 23. Life. Both temporal and eternal, chap. x. 27. (Calmet) --- With evil. Literally, "the worst," pessima. (Haydock) --- Sixtus V, "by the most wicked one." The devil shall have no power over him.

Ver. 24. Arm-pit. Or Hebrew tsallachath, "in the pot," out of which he eats; which shews his negligence. --- Mouth, to eat. This hyperbole indicates that he is too lazy to take the necessary sustenance, chap. xxvi. 15. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "in his breast unjustly. Neither will he bring them to his mouth." (Haydock) --- He will bestow nothing, and shall reap no benefit from his avarice. (St. Bernard) --- He will not practise what he teaches. (St. Gregory, Mor. xii. 10.)

Ver. 25. Wicked. Hebrew, "scoffer." Chastisements have always some good effect either on the sufferer, or on the spectators, who will be cautioned not to imitate what is wrong.

Ver. 26. Infamous. Hebrew, "a son of confusion and reproach;" a spendthrift.

Ver. 27. Not. Hebrew seems to say the reverse. (Calmet) --- But we may read it with an interrogation. "Wilt thou cease?" &c. Or the instruction here meant is of a dangerous nature. Protestants, "that causeth to err from the words of knowledge." Septuagint, "a son who neglects to keep the instruction of his father, shall muse on bad sayings." (Haydock)

Ver. 29. Hammers, (Symmachus) "punishments." (Septuagint) See Judges v. 25. (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

1 Better is the poor man, that walketh in his simplicity, than a rich man that is perverse in his lips and unwise.

2 *Where there is no knowledge of the soul, there is no good: and he that is hasty with his feet shall stumble.

3 The folly of a man supplanteth his steps: and he fretteth in his mind against God.

4 Riches make many friends: but from the poor man, even they whom he had, depart.

5 *A false witness shall not be unpunished: and he that speaketh lies, shall not escape.

6 Many honour the person of him that is mighty, and are friends of him that giveth gifts.

7 The brethren of the poor man hate him: moreover also his friends have departed far from him.

He that followeth after words only, shall have nothing.

8 But he that possesseth a mind, loveth his own soul, and he that keepeth prudence, shall find good things.

9 A false witness shall not be unpunished: and he that speaketh lies, shall perish.

10 Delicacies are not seemly for a fool: nor for a servant to have rule over princes.

11 The learning of a man is known by patience: and his glory is to pass over wrongs.

12 As the roaring of a lion, so also is the anger of a king: and his cheerfulness as the dew upon the grass.

13 A foolish son is the grief of his father: and a wrangling wife is like a roof continually dropping through.

14 House and riches are given by parents: but a prudent wife is properly from the Lord.

15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep, and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

16 He that keepeth the commandment, keepeth his own soul: but he that neglecteth his own way, shall die.

17 He that hath mercy on the poor, lendeth to the Lord: and he will repay him.

18 Chastise thy son, despair not: but to the killing of him set not thy soul.

19 He that is impatient, shall suffer damage: and when he shall take away, he shall add another thing.

20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayst be wise in thy latter end.

21 There are many thoughts in the heart of a man: but the will of the Lord shall stand firm.

22 A needy man is merciful: and better is the poor than the lying man.

23 The fear of the Lord is unto life: and he shall abide in fulness without being visited with evil.

24 *The slothful hideth his hand under his arm-pit, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth.

25 *The wicked man being scourged, the fool shall be wiser: but if thou rebuke a wise man, he will understand discipline.

26 He that afflicteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is infamous and unhappy.

27 Cease not, O my son, to hear instruction, and be not ignorant of the words of knowledge.

28 An unjust witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.

29 Judgments are prepared for scorners: and striking hammers for the bodies of fools.



2: Proverbs xxi. 16.

5: Daniel xiii. 61.

24: Proverbs xxvi. 15.

25: Proverbs xxi. 11.