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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Proverbs 25

Verse 1

These. Solomon wrote 3,000, and we have only 915 verses extant. (Calmet) --- The rest perhaps shewed his genius, but were less useful. (Tostat. in 3 Kings iv. 9.) --- Men. Isaias, Sobna, &c. (Calmet) --- Out of other records, (Menochius) or "translated" into a language better understood. (Denis the Carthusian) (Bayn.)

Verse 2

Speech. The Scriptures will denounce the truth to them, and shew them how to reign with justice. We must adore the mysteries of God; but are allowed to examine the secret designs of princes.

Verse 3

Unsearchable. Their counsellors must not betray their secrets, Tobias xii. 7. The greatest enterprises depend on secrecy.

Verse 5

Justice. The wicked in a kingdom resemble rust on silver. (Calmet)

Verse 6

Glorious, or a boaster. (Haydock) --- We must not seek the first places, Luke xiv. 10. Vive sine invidia, mollesque inglorius annos

Exige; amicitias et tibi junge pares. (Ovid, Trist. iii. 4.)

Verse 8

Not. Septuagint, "repent when thy friend may reproach thee." (Haydock) --- Friend. A word spoken in haste may expose him to ridicule.

Verse 9

Stranger. It sometimes happens that friends fall out; but if either disclose the secret of the other, he will be deemed infamous. (Calmet) (Josephus, contra Apion 2.) --- St. Ambrose says of his brother Satyrus, "though we had all things in common, yet the secret of our friends was not so."

Verse 10

Grace, &c., is no in Hebrew, Complutensian, St. Jerome, &c. But it is in the Septuagint, "favour and friendship may give liberty; which keep thou for thyself, that thou mayst not be exposed to great shame. But guard thy ways unchangeably." (Haydock) --- Avoid quarrels.

Verse 11

Time, (Symmachus) "on its wheels," (Hebrew) flowing smoothly, (Calmet) or "according to his two faces, is apples of gold in network of silver. The Scriptures have a double sense. The exterior one leads to that sense which is interior, and more excellent. (Maimonides) (Parkhurst, p. 366.) --- Gold, oranges. --- Beds. On such the kings of Parthia slept, and these metals were very common under Solomon, 3 Kings x. 27., and Esther i. 6. (Calmet) --- Montanus renders mascioth "transparent cases." Protestants, " pictures of silver."

Verse 12

Bright. Hebrew chali cathem, "an ornament of fine gold," (Montanus; Protestants; Haydock) may probably denote a collar or ring. The eastern nations wore rings fixed at the top of the ears, and under the nose. Some were so large that they put their meat through them. The Scripture often alludes to these customs, which are so different from ours. (Canticle of Canticles vii. 1.)

Verse 13

Harvest. In June and July, when the heat was most intense, people of quality had snow from Libanus to mix with what they drank, Jeremias xviii. 14. (Calmet)

Verse 15

Hardness. Hebrew and Septuagint, "bones." (Haydock)

Verse 16

Up. We must moderate the sensual appetite, (Menochius) and even the study of wisdom, which is compared to honey, chap. xxiv. 13., Romans xii. 3., and Ecclesiastes vii. 17. (Calmet) --- We must not be too familiar, ver. 17. (Ven. Bede) (Cajetan)

Verse 17

Having. Hebrew, "being tired of thee." No man is so perfect, but he will manifest some defect, and become importunate. (Calmet) Nulli te facias nimis sodalem. (Martial)

Verse 20

And. Protestants, "as he that taketh away a, &c., and as vinegar....to a heavy heart." (Haydock) --- The former sentence may be joined with the preceding, as it is improper to deprive a person of his garment, no less than to trust in the faithless; though some would suppose (Calmet) that this conduct, as well as the mixing of vinegar with nitre, is no less absurd than to attempt to relieve by music those who are extremely afflicted, Ecclesiasticus xxii. 6. (Tirinus) --- But Solomon does not speak of such, but only of those who are "heavy;" and we know that music has wonderful efficacy in relieving them, (1 Kings xvi. 17.) in like manner as this mixture serves to cleanse the skin and garments, (Jeremias ii. 22.; Calmet) and to purify the ears, when they are deafish. (Pliny, [Natural History?] xxxi. 10.; Vales. lx.) --- As a, &c., is not in Hebrew, St. Jerome, &c. (Calmet) --- The Chaldean has the latter part, (Haydock) "grief tries the heart, as fire does silver. As the worm eats wood, so folly," &c. (Calmet)

Verse 22

Coals of charity; (St. Chrysostom in Romans xii. 20.) or, if he prove obstinate, his punishment will be the greater. (Geier.) --- The former sense is more received. (Calmet)

Verse 23

Rain; (Symmachus; Protestants) or marginal note, "bringeth forth rain." (Haydock) --- But St. Jerome, who live in the country, knew that this wind was rather dry; and therefore he has abandoned the Septuagint, raiseth the clouds," Job xxxvii. 9., Joel ii. 20., and Ecclesiasticus xviii. 23. The countries north of Palestine were not calculated to produce vapours and rain, which came rather from the south. (Calmet) --- Tongue. If the hearers would shew their displeasure, detractors would soon be reduced to silence. (St. Jerome, ad. Rust.) (St. Bernard)

Verse 24

It is. Chap. xxi. 9. Sixtus V does not insert this verse here.

Verse 25

Tidings. Hebrew and Septuagint. The Vulgate seems rather to speak of a "good messenger." Homer said that a good messenger honoured the business most. (Pindar, Pyth. viii.) (Calmet)

Verse 26

Falling into disgrace, or sin, occasions the wicked to exult, as if there were no God or religion. (Calmet)

Verse 27

Majesty, viz., of God. For to search into that incomprehensible Majesty, and to pretend to sound the depths of the wisdom of God, is exposing our weak understanding to be blinded with an excess of light and glory, which hit cannot comprehend. (Challoner) --- When the Church proposes to us any mystery, we have only to believe. Hebrew, "but it is glorious to sound their glory," and see where the wicked end, that we may not envy them, chap. iii. 31., and Psalm xxxvi. 7. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "so for men to search their own glory, is not glory," but a sin. (Haydock) --- "It is not good to eat too much honey," (Chaldean) or to sound the glorious words of God and wisdom, or the mysteries of religion. Septuagint, "But it is right to reverence glorious speeches," (Calmet) with esteem and humility. (Cat. Gr'e6c.)

Verse 28

Speaking. He lays himself open to every attack, chap. xxix. 11.

Verse 33

CHAPTER XXV.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 25". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hcc/proverbs-25.html. 1859.