1883 Haydock Douay Rheims Bible

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Wisdom 1:1 Love justice, *you that are the judges of the earth. Think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in simplicity of heart:

3 Kings 3:9.; Isaias 56:1.
Goodness. Entertain just sentiments of the Deity, and avoid all duplicity. This truth is placed in the strongest light in the five first chapters, or preface.
Wisdom 1:2 *For he is found by them that tempt him not: and he sheweth himself to them that have faith in him.

2 Paralipomenon 15:2.
Wisdom 1:3 For perverse thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise:

Unwise. He shews that their wisdom is all folly, and that they cannot withstand his power. (Calmet) --- There are mortal sins of thought. (Worthington)
Wisdom 1:4 For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins.

Subject. Or "enslaved to sin." (Haydock) --- Soul and body are intimately connected, so that the actions of one defile the other, and banish wisdom.
Wisdom 1:5 For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee from the deceitful, and will withdraw himself from thoughts that are without understanding, and he shall not abide when iniquity cometh in.

Discipline. The instructive light of the Holy Ghost. --- Understanding. Those who deny God or Providence, (Calmet) and lead a wicked life, are abandoned. (Haydock) --- Not abide. Elegchthesetai: "He shall be connected or manifested," shewing that he will not acquit the guilty, ver. 6. (Menochius) --- When Solomon fell, his wisdom ceased. Iniquity soon betrays itself. (Calmet)
Wisdom 1:6 *For the spirit of wisdom is benevolent, and will not acquit the evil speaker from his lips: **for God is witness of his reins, and he is a true searcher of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.

Galatians 5:22.; Jeremias 17:10.
Wisdom 1:7 *For the Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world: and that which containeth all things, hath knowledge of the voice.

Isaias 6:3.
That. St. Augustine reads hic, "this who," more correctly than hoc, as it refers to the spirit, (Calmet) which having made and filled all things, must be perfectly acquainted with every transaction. (Haydock)
Wisdom 1:8 Therefore he that speaketh unjust things, cannot be hid, neither shall the chastising judgment pass him by.

Wisdom 1:9 For inquisition shall be made into the thoughts of the ungodly, and the hearing of his words shall come to God, to the chastising of his iniquities.

Wisdom 1:10 For the ear of jealousy heareth all things, and the tumult of murmuring shall not be hid.

Jealousy. God is strong and jealous, Exodus xx. (Calmet) --- He examines the smallest deviation from the paths of rectitude. (Haydock)
Wisdom 1:11 Keep yourselves, therefore, from murmuring, which profiteth nothing, and refrain your tongue from detraction, for an obscure speech shall not go for nought: and the mouth that belieth, killeth the soul.

Wisdom 1:12 Seek not death in the error of your life, neither procure ye destruction by the works of your hands.

Seek not with such eagerness (zelare) your own ruin, (Calmet) by an evil life, (Worthington) or rather throw not the blame on death, as if you were necessitated to sin. God created man to be immortal.
Wisdom 1:13 *For God made not death, neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living.

Ezechiel 18:32.; Ezechiel 33:11.
Wisdom 1:14 For he created all things, that they might be: and he made the nations of the earth for health: and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor kingdom of hell upon the earth.

Health. Good, Genesis 1:31. (Calmet) --- Poison, or medicine, (Worthington) medicamentum. (Worthington) --- Poison and wild beasts become noxious to man only after sin. It is this which infects the veins. All may derive an antidote from Jesus Christ.
Wisdom 1:15 For justice is perpetual and immortal.

Wisdom 1:16 But the wicked, with works and words have called it* to them: and esteeming it a friend, have fallen away, and have made a covenant with it: because they are worthy to be of the part thereof.

Isaias 28:15.
It. Septuagint, auton. --- Death. The wicked strive (Menochius) to draw upon themselves the second death (Calmet) as they will not repent. (Worthington) (Isaias 28:15.) (Haydock)
Wisdom 2:0 The vain reasonings of the wicked: their persecuting the just, especially the Son of God.

Wisdom 2:1 For they have said, reasoning with themselves, but not right: *The time of our life is short and tedious, and in the end of a man there is no remedy, and no man hath been known to have returned from hell:

Job 7:1.; Job 14:1.
Right. He shews how the wicked brought death into the world, and expresses the sentiments of the epicureans, as in Ecclesiastes. The six first chapters are a sort of paraphrase of the nine first of Proverbs, in which the attractions of virtue and of pleasure are contrasted, etc. (Calmet) --- Remedy. Literally, "refreshment." Septuagint, "healing." --- Hell, or the grave. (Haydock) --- They reject as fabulous, the accounts of people being raised to life by miracle. (Calmet) --- They suppose that the soul is mortal, and that there is neither reward nor punishment after death. (Worthington)
Wisdom 2:2 For we are born of nothing, and after this we shall be as if we had not been: for the breath in our nostrils is smoke: and speech a spark to move our heart,

Nothing. Septuagint, "by chance." The epicureans imagined that the first man was produced by the conflux of atoms. (Lucret. 1:5.) (Calmet) --- Smoke, or vanishes like it. --- And speech. Budaeus would substitute "a little spark." --- Speech may be used for "thing." Our life is something like a spark. (Menochius) --- Speech is an effect of the rational soul, as a spark comes from fire. (Calmet)
Wisdom 2:3 Which being put out, our body shall be ashes, and our spirit shall be poured abroad as soft air, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist, which is driven away by the beams of the sun, and overpowered with the heat thereof:

Wisdom 2:4 And our name in time shall be forgotten, and no man shall have any remembrance of our works.

Wisdom 2:5 *For our time is as the passing of a shadow, and there is no going back of our end: for it is fast sealed, and no man returneth:

1 Paralipomenon 29:15.
Sealed, like one in the tomb, Matthew 27:66. The epicureans were well convinced of the fragility of our nature: but they drew false inferences from it, pretending that we should enjoy ourselves now, as there will be no future life. This they ought to have proved. (Calmet)
Wisdom 2:6 *Come, therefore, and let us enjoy the good things that are present, and let us speedily use the creatures as in youth.

Isaias 22:13.; Isaias 56:12.; 1 Corinthians 15:32.
Come. From the disbelief of future rewards and punishments proceeds the epicure's life. (Worthington)
Wisdom 2:7 Let us fill ourselves with costly wine, and ointments: and let not the flower of the time pass by us.

Time. Alexandrian Septuagint, "of spring." (Haydock) --- Youth is the spring of life. The voluptuous conclude, from the transitory nature of things, that we should make use of them. Would it not be more rational to despise them? (Calmet)
Wisdom 2:8 Let us crown ourselves with roses, before they be withered: let no meadow escape our riot.

Wisdom 2:9 Let none of us go without his part in luxury: let us every where leave tokens of joy: for this is our portion, and this our lot.

Wisdom 2:10 Let us oppress the poor just man, and not spare the widow, nor honour the ancient grey hairs of the aged.

Wisdom 2:11 But let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth.

Worth. Strange maxims! which few will dare to proclaim, though they act according to them. (Calmet)
Wisdom 2:12 Let us, therefore, lie in wait for the just, because he is not for our turn, and he is contrary to our doings, and upbraideth us with transgressions of the law, and divulgeth against us the sins of our way of life.

Just. Infidels are not content to live in riot: they also persecute the just. (Worthington) --- This passage points out the conduct of the Jews towards our Saviour, in so striking a manner, that Grotius would assert it has been altered by some Christian. But the Fathers adduce it as a clear prediction (Calmet) of the Jewish malice, Matthew 27:41., and Mark 14:53. (Worthington)
Wisdom 2:13 *He boasteth that he hath the knowledge of God, and calleth himself the son of God.

Matthew 27:42.
Knowledge. The prophets spoke to sinners in the name of God, and many of them lost their lives in the cause. Christ appeared as a new star, to promote their welfare; yet this only serves to irritate them. (Calmet) (John 8:16.)
Wisdom 2:14 *He is become a censurer of our thoughts.

Psalm 21:9.
Wisdom 2:15 He is grievous unto us, even to behold: for his life is not like other men's, and his ways are very different.

Wisdom 2:16 We are esteemed by him as triflers, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and he preferreth the latter end of the just, and glorieth that he hath God for his father.

Wisdom 2:17 Let us see then if his words be true, and let us prove what shall happen to him, and we shall know what his end shall be.

Wisdom 2:18 *For if he be the true son of God, he will defend him, and will deliver him from the hands of his enemies.

Jeremias 11:19.
Wisdom 2:19 Let us examine him by outrages and tortures, that we may know his meekness, and try his patience.

Wisdom 2:20 *Let us condemn him to a most shameful death: for there shall be respect had unto him by his words.

Jeremias 11:19.
Words. Or he shall be punished for what he has said. (Syriac, Vat.[Vatable?], etc.) (Matthew 26:61.) (Calmet) --- We shall hence form a judgment of his real merits, (Menochius) unless this be spoken ironically; as if the just had foolishly flattered himself with the divine protection, Matthew 27:43. (Haydock)
Wisdom 2:21 These things they thought, and were deceived: for their own malice blinded them.

Wisdom 2:22 And they knew not the secrets of God, nor hoped for the wages of justice, nor esteemed the honour of holy souls.

Secrets. The disbelief of mysteries leads to a dissolute life, and to the persecution of the just. (Worthington) --- The pagans knew not the advantages of suffering, and even the apostles were ignorant of the mystery of the cross, till after the resurrection. (Calmet)
Wisdom 2:23 *For God created man incorruptible, and to the image of his own likeness he made him.

Genesis 1:27.; Genesis 2:7.; Genesis 5:1.; Ecclesiasticus 17:1.
Wisdom 2:24 *But by the envy of the devil, death came into the world:

Genesis 3:1.
Envy. Lucifer thought that the honour of the hypostatic union (Calmet) belonged to the angelical, rather than to the human nature; and this he was guilty of envy, (Haydock) and strove to become like the most High, Isaias 14:14. (St. Bernard, ser. xvii. in Canticle of Canticles) (Cornelius a Lapide, etc.)
Wisdom 2:25 And they follow him that are of his side.

Wisdom 3:0 The happiness of the just: and the unhappiness of the wicked.

Wisdom 3:1 But *the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them.

Deuteronomy 33:3.; Wisdom 5:4.
Of death, is not in Septuagint. During life the just are protected by God, (Luke 12:7.) and still more in death. This passage is very applicable to martyrs. (Calmet) --- Temporal death is to the just the road to happiness, where they shall not incur damnation, or the torment of death. Though the martyrs seem to be utterly destroyed, they pass to joys eternal and unspeakable. (Worthington)
Wisdom 3:2 In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure was taken for misery:

Die. In this the wicked are not under a mistake; but they err when they suppose that the just shall be no more. If the hopes of the pious were confined to this world, they would be the most miserable of all, 1 Corinthians 15:19. (Calmet)
Wisdom 3:3 And their going away from us, for utter destruction: but they are in peace.

Wisdom 3:4 And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality.

Wisdom 3:5 Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of himself.

Wisdom 3:6 As gold in the furnace, he hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust, he hath received them, and in time there shall be respect had to them.

Holocaust. The sufferings (Menochius) which they have voluntarily endured, cause them to be pleasing to God. (Haydock) (Zacharias 13:9.) --- Time of judgment, or of death. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "at the time of their visitation, they shall shine, and," etc., ver. 7., and Matthew 13:43. (Haydock) (Zacharias 12:6.)
Wisdom 3:7 *The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds.

Matthew 13:41.
Wisdom 3:8 *They shall judge nations, and rule over people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.

1 Corinthians 6:2.
Judge. All the just shall approve of God's condemning the wicked. (Worthington) --- They shall be invested with power, (Apocalypse 2:26., and Matthew 19:28.) which, like that of Christ, will be of a spiritual nature, (Haydock) and will appear most terrible at the last day, Matthew 28:18., and Apocalypse 19:6. (Calmet)
Wisdom 3:9 They that trust in him shall understand the truth: and they that are faithful in love, shall rest in him: for grace and peace are to his elect.

Elect. Septuagint add, "and a visitation for his saints." Charity secures both faith and hope; which, without it, are unavailing to happiness. (Haydock) --- Those who have the virtue of hope, will await the completion of God's promises.
Wisdom 3:10 But the wicked shall be punished according to their own devices: who have neglected the just, and have revolted from the Lord.

Wisdom 3:11 For he that rejecteth wisdom, and discipline, is unhappy: and their hope is vain, and their labours without fruit, and their works unprofitable.

Wisdom 3:12 Their wives are foolish, and their children wicked.

Foolish. Dissolute, as the sequel shews, Proverbs 9:13., and Romans 1:26. The family of the wicked imitate his conduct, and become his torment. (Calmet) --- This is often the case. In the moral sense, the sensuality and works of the impious are corrupt. (Worthington)
Wisdom 3:13 Their offspring is cursed: for happy is the barren: and the undefiled, that hath not known bed in sin, she shall have fruit in the visitation of holy souls.

Barren. The Jews deemed this a reproach. But it is better than to have children by a crime. (Menochius) --- Fruit. Her good works shall serve instead of children for her glory, at the hour of death.
Wisdom 3:14 *And the eunuch, that hath not wrought iniquity with his hands, nor thought wicked things against God: for the precious gift of faith shall be given to him, and a most acceptable lot in the temple of God.

Isaias 56:3.
Wisdom 3:15 For the fruit of good labours is glorious, and the root of wisdom never faileth.

Wisdom 3:16 But the children of adulterers shall not come to perfection, and the seed of the unlawful bed shall be rooted out.

Perfection. Literally, "shall be in consummation," or wholly destroyed. (Haydock) --- They shall not come to age, or Septuagint, "initiated." The pagans excluded the base-born from their mysteries, as the Church does from holy orders; and experience shews, that the fruits of adultery are often miserable, (Calmet) and while they imitate their parents, they can have no hope, ver. 18.
Wisdom 3:17 And if they live long, they shall be nothing regarded, and their last old age shall be without honour.

Wisdom 3:18 And if they die quickly, they shall have no hope, nor speech of comfort in the day of trial.

Trial. Literally, "of knowing" (Haydock) the works of all. The crime of adulterers is not imputed to their offspring; and it sometimes happens, that the children of saints are cast away.
Wisdom 3:19 For dreadful are the ends of a wicked race.

Wisdom 4:0 The difference between the chaste and the adulterous generations: and between the death of the just, and the wicked.

Wisdom 4:1 O how beautiful is the chaste generation with glory: for the memory thereof is immortal: because it is known both with God and with men.

Glory. The offspring of the chaste is happy, (Calmet) and honourable: (Haydock) very different from that of adulterers. (Calmet) --- Bodily chastity is a great virtue; but purity of faith is more requisite to please God, being the foundation of all virtues. (Worthington)
Wisdom 4:2 When it is present, they imitate it: and they desire it, when it hath withdrawn itself, and it triumpheth crowned for ever, winning the reward of undefiled conflicts.

Itself. Virtue extorts the esteem even of worldlings. Antiochus wept for Onias, 2 Machabees 4:37. (Calmet) --- Sublatum ex oculis quaerimus invidi. (Horace, 3:od. 24.) --- Conflicts. In the cause of continence. (Calmet)
Wisdom 4:3 But the multiplied brood of the wicked shall not thrive, and bastard slips shall not take deep root, nor any fast foundation.

Slips. Vitulamina, a word, to which the people were so habituated, that it could not be altered. (St. Augustine, de Doct. xii.) --- Yet some read better (Calmet) plantationes. (St. Bonaventure) (Lyranus) --- The offspring of the unchaste will not prosper, Wisdom 3:16.
Wisdom 4:4 *And if they flourish in branches for a time, yet standing not fast, they shall be shaken with the wind, and through the force of winds they shall be rooted out.

Jeremias 17:6.; Matthew 7:27.
Wisdom 4:5 For the branches not being perfect, shall be broken, and their fruits shall be unprofitable, and sour to eat, and fit for nothing.

Wisdom 4:6 For the children that are born of unlawful beds, are witnesses of wickedness against their parents in their trial.

Beds. Literally, "sleep," somnis, upnon, Wisdom 7:2. (Haydock) --- Whether the children live or die, they are a reproach to their parents, as those who see them enquire about their birth.
Wisdom 4:7 But the just man, if he be prevented with death, shall be in rest.

Death. He is always ready; but dies in his youth. (Calmet) --- Whenever death comes, it is for his advantage, and if he depart in his youth, his immaculate life is to be preferred before the old age of the wicked, ver. 16. (Worthington)
Wisdom 4:8 For venerable old age is not that of long time, nor counted by the number of years: but the understanding of a man is grey hairs.

Wisdom 4:9 And a spotless life is old age.

Wisdom 4:10 *He pleased God, and was beloved, and living among sinners, he was translated.

Hebrews 11:5.
Wisdom 4:11 He was taken away lest wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul.

Away. Like Henoch, Genesis 5:24., and Hebrews 11:5. (Calmet) --- "Bad conversations corrupt the best manners," 1 Corinthians 15:33., and Isaias 57:1. But could not God have supported the just under temptation? Undoubtedly. His judgments are unsearchable. (St. Augustine, de Praed. xiv.) (Calmet) --- The holy doctor thence proves, that those who die in a just state, might have forfeited it, if they had lived longer. God knew this possibility, and that it would not take place, and his foreknowledge agrees with man's free-will, which some, inclining to Pelagianism, would controvert. They objected to this authority: and he was therefore obliged to prove that the book of Wisdom is canonical. (Ibid.[St. Augustine, de Praed. xiv.?]) (Worthington)
Wisdom 4:12 For the bewitching of vanity obscureth good things, and the wandering of concupiscence overturneth the innocent mind.

Bewitching. Thus the pleasures and goods of the world are well described. For as fascination consists in a delusion of the people, who suppose that their senses are deceived by vain appearances; so it is the mistake of worldlings to believe that the objects of their desires are real goods, and contain no danger.
Wisdom 4:13 Being made perfect in a short space, he fulfilled a long time.

Wisdom 4:14 For his soul pleased God: therefore he hastened to bring him out of the midst of iniquities: but the people see this, and understand not, nor lay up such things in their hearts:

Wisdom 4:15 That the grace of God, and his mercy is with his saints, and that he hath respect to his chosen.

Wisdom 4:16 But the just that is dead, condemneth the wicked that are living, and youth soon ended, the long life of the unjust.

Wisdom 4:17 For they shall see the end of the wise man, and shall not understand what God hath designed for him, and why the Lord hath set him in safety.

Wisdom 4:18 They shall see him, and shall despise him: but the Lord shall laugh them to scorn.

Wisdom 4:19 And they shall fall after this without honour, and be a reproach among the dead for ever: for he shall burst them puffed up and speechless, and shall shake them from the foundations, and they shall be utterly laid waste: they shall be in sorrow, and their memory shall perish.

Speechless. The damned shall have no excuse, being condemned by their own conscience, (Worthington) which shall be instead of a thousand witnesses. (Menochius) --- In three words, three different punishments are specified.
Wisdom 4:20 They shall come with fear at the thought of their sins, and their iniquities shall stand against them to convict them.

Against. Conscience will condemn or acquit those who have no other law, Romans 2:15. (Calmet)
Wisdom 5:0 The fruitless repentance of the wicked in another world: the reward of the just.

Wisdom 5:1 Then shall the just stand with great constancy against those that have afflicted them, and taken away their labours.

Then. At the day of judgment. The just and the reprobate know each other's condition, Luke 16:20. --- Labours. Defrauding them of their wages, (Leviticus 19:13.) or plundering them. Septuagint, "despised, (Calmet) or frustrated his labours." (Haydock) --- Worldlings deride those who strive to obtain the goods of eternity, (Calmet) and think they labour in vain. (Worthington)
Wisdom 5:2 These seeing it, shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation,

Wisdom 5:3 Saying within themselves, repenting, and groaning for anguish of spirit: These are they, whom we had sometime in derision, and for a parable of reproach.

Within. Or among themselves. --- Repenting. In despair. --- Reproach. We diverted ourselves with turning them to ridicule. (Calmet) --- This change of sentiment (Haydock) proceeds not from the love of virtue, and is useless. (Worthington)
Wisdom 5:4 *We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honour.

Wisdom 3:2.
Wisdom 5:5 Behold, how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints.

God. As they styled themselves truly, through the merits of Christ, Wisdom 2:18.
Wisdom 5:6 Therefore we have erred from the way of truth, and the light of justice hath not shined unto us, and the sun of understanding hath not risen upon us.

Understanding in not in the Roman (Calmet) or the Alexandrian copy [of the Septuagint]. (Haydock) --- Some read "of justice," Ephesians 5:11. (Calmet)
Wisdom 5:7 We wearied ourselves in the way of iniquity and destruction, and have walked through hard ways, but the way of the Lord we have not known.

Wisdom 5:8 What hath pride profited us? or what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us?

Wisdom 5:9 *All those things are passed away like a shadow, and like a post that runneth on,

1 Paralipomenon 29:15.; Wisdom 2:5.
Post. Septuagint, "fame." --- Fama malum quo non aliud velocius ullum Mobilitate viget, viresque acquirit eundo. (Virgil, Aeneid iv.)
Wisdom 5:10 *And as a ship, that passeth through the waves: whereof when it is gone by, the trace cannot be found, nor the path of its keel in the waters:

Proverbs 30:19.
Wisdom 5:11 Or as when a bird flieth through the air, of the passage of which no mark can be found, but only the sound of the wings beating the light air, and parting it by the force of her flight: she moved her wings, and hath flown through, and there is no mark found afterwards of her way:

Wisdom 5:12 Or as when an arrow is shot at a mark, the divided air quickly cometh together again, so that the passage thereof is not known:

Wisdom 5:13 So we also being born, forthwith ceased to be: and have been able to shew no mark of virtue: but are consumed in our wickedness.

Virtue. How quickly passes the life of man, (Proverbs 30:18.) and how few leave behind them a good reputation! Many of those whose actions are recorded in history, were falsely admired, (Calmet) and indeed the scourges of mankind. (Haydock)
Wisdom 5:14 Such things as these the sinners said in hell:

Such, etc. This is not in the original; but supplied to complete the sense, (Calmet) as otherwise the following remarks would seem to be the confession of the damned in hell, (Haydock) or before the judgment-seat. (Castro.) --- The past time is used to shew the certainty of the event. (Worthington)
Wisdom 5:15 *For the hope of the wicked is as dust, which is blown away with the wind, and as a thin froth which is dispersed by the storm: and a smoke that is scattered abroad by the wind: and as the remembrance of a guest of one day that passeth by.

Psalm 1:4.; Proverbs 10:28.; Proverbs 11:7.
Dust. Septuagint, Psalm 1:4. Literally, "like the tender beard, (Haydock) or wool." Lanugo. (Calmet)
Wisdom 5:16 But the just shall live for evermore: and their reward is with the Lord, and the care of them with the Most High.

Care. Literally, "thought." (Haydock) --- God thinks and provides for them.
Wisdom 5:17 Therefore shall they receive a kingdom of glory, and a crown of beauty at the hand of the Lord: for with his right hand he will cover them, and with his holy arm he will defend them.

Crown. The Scripture thus represents the glory of the blessed, because there is nothing more desirable than independence. But the happiness of the elect will be to throw their crowns at the foot of God's throne, (Apocalypse 7:10.; Calmet) in whom they find every advantage. (St. Augustine, ser. 1:de vit. apost.)
Wisdom 5:18 *And his zeal will take armour, and he will arm the creature for the revenge of his enemies.

Psalm 17:40.; Ephesians 6:13.
Armour. Septuagint, "he will take zeal, his complete armour." (Haydock) --- See Isaias 59:17., and Ephesians 6:16. (Calmet) --- The misery of the damned is unchangeable. (Worthington)
Wisdom 5:19 He will put on justice as a breastplate, and will take true judgment instead of a helmet:

Wisdom 5:20 He will take equity for an invincible shield:

Wisdom 5:21 And he will sharpen his severe wrath for a spear, and the whole world shall fight with him against the unwise.

Unwise. "As we have sinned in all, we are wounded by every thing." (St. Gregory, hom. 25.; Ev.)
Wisdom 5:22 Then shafts of lightning shall go directly from the clouds, as from a bow well bent, they shall be shot out, and shall fly to the mark.

Directly. Straight to the mark. (Menochius)
Wisdom 5:23 And thick hail shall be cast upon them from the stone-casting wrath: the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the rivers shall run together in a terrible manner.

Casting. He alludes to the ballista, used to throw stones, Josue 10:11. These comparisons shew the power of God over all nature. (Calmet)
Wisdom 5:24 A mighty wind shall stand up against them, and as a whirlwind shall divide them: and their iniquity shall bring all the earth to a desert, and wickedness shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty.

Wisdom 6:0 An address to princes to seek after wisdom: she is easily found by those that seek her.

Wisdom 6:1 Wisdom *is better than strength: and a wise man is better than a strong man.

Ecclesiastes 9:18.[16.?]
Wisdom, etc. This is not in Greek, and seems out of its place, being taken from Proverbs 16:32., or Ecclesiastes 9:16. (Calmet) --- The connection with the preceding is observable in the next verse. (Haydock)
Wisdom 6:2 Hear, therefore, ye kings, and understand, learn, ye that are judges of the ends of the earth.

Kings. The author puts these words in the mouth of Solomon to give them greater weight, (Calmet) or rather (Haydock) as the inspiration of God is the most unexceptionable authority, and it would be of no service to introduce a false personage speaking; these nine first chapters were written by Solomon, though the original has since disappeared. This has been the case with respect to the original text of Tobias and Judith, (Houbigant) as well as to that of the many canticles and parables which Solomon wrote. (Haydock)
Wisdom 6:3 Give ear, you that rule the people, and that please yourselves in multitudes of nations:

Wisdom 6:4 *For power is given you by the Lord, and strength by the Most High, who will examine your works: and search out your thoughts:

Romans 13:1.
Power. All power is from God, and to be respected, even though the magistrate should sometimes abuse his authority. (Worthington) (Romans 13:1.) --- They must render an account to the common master, 2 Paralipomenon 19:6.
Wisdom 6:5 Because being ministers of his kingdom, you have not judged rightly, nor kept the law of justice, nor walked according to the will of God.

Wisdom 6:6 Horribly and speedily will he appear to you: for a most severe judgment shall be for them that bear rule.

Rule. How severely did God chastise Moses, David, and Ezechias.
Wisdom 6:7 For to him that is little, mercy is granted: but the mighty shall be mightily tormented.

Little, and ignorant. Those in power ought to know, and to perform their duty.
Wisdom 6:8 *For God will not except any man's person, neither will he stand in awe of any man's greatness: for he made the little and the great, and he hath equally care of all.

Deuteronomy 10:17.; 2 Paralipomenon 19:7.; Ecclesiasticus 35:15.; Acts 10:34.; Romans 2:11.; Galatians 2:6.; Ephesians 6:9.; Colossians 3:25.; 1 Peter 1:17.
Equally. In proportion to their exigencies, or he punishes all as they deserve. It is not clear that he speaks of grace, as the Pelagians would assert, (Calmet) abusing this passage. See St. Augustine, ep. cvi., or clxxxvii.
Wisdom 6:9 But a greater punishment is ready for the more mighty.

Mighty. This cannot be too often inculcated, (ver. 6.) lest the great should forget God and themselves. (Calmet) --- Each must render an account of his charge, and be punished accordingly if he offend. (St. Gregory, hom. ix. Evang.) (Worthington)
Wisdom 6:10 To you, therefore, O kings, are these my words, that you may learn wisdom, and not fall from it.

Kings. Septuagint, "tyrants." But this title was not formerly odious.
Wisdom 6:11 For they that have kept just things justly, shall be justified: and they that have learned these things, shall find what to answer.

Just. Septuagint, "holy." The Jewish judges were generally priests. --- Answer. The sovereign judge, to whom Job and David confidently appeal.
Wisdom 6:12 Covet ye, therefore, my words, and love them, and you shall have instruction.

Wisdom 6:13 Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away, and is easily seen by them that love her, and is found by them that seek her.

Seek her. With the assistance of divine grace, Deuteronomy 30:11., and Romans 10:6. The advantages of wisdom invite us to seek her. (Calmet)
Wisdom 6:14 She preventeth them that covet her, so that she first sheweth herself unto them.

Wisdom 6:15 He that awaketh early to seek her, shall not labour: for he shall find her sitting at his door.

Door. Ready to introduce herself. (Haydock) (Proverbs 1:20., and 8:34., and 9:1.)
Wisdom 6:16 To think, therefore, upon her, is perfect understanding: and he that watcheth for her, shall quickly be secure.

Think. With eager desire to be guided by her maxims. (Calmet)
Wisdom 6:17 For she goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her, and she sheweth herself to them cheerfully in the ways, and meeteth them with all providence.

Providence. To facilitate our just designs, Proverbs ix. (Menochius) --- She is on the watch to save us. (Haydock)
Wisdom 6:18 For the beginning of her is the most true desire of discipline.

Discipline. We must begin with a sincere desire of instruction, and submit to correction, (Calmet) if we would come near to God, ver. 20. (Haydock) --- Wisdom is attained by this gradation. (Worthington)
Wisdom 6:19 And the care of discipline is love: and love is the keeping of her laws: and the keeping of her laws is the firm foundation of incorruption:

Wisdom 6:20 And incorruption bringeth near to God.

Wisdom 6:21 Therefore the desire of wisdom bringeth to the everlasting kingdom.

Everlasting is not in Greek. Wisdom conducts to the throne, (ver. 22.; Calmet) which shall last for ever. (Haydock) --- The sense of the Vulgate is very just, Wisdom 5:17.
Wisdom 6:22 If then your delight be in thrones, and sceptres, O ye kings of the people, love wisdom, that you may reign for ever.

Wisdom 6:23 Love the light of wisdom, all ye that bear rule over peoples.

Wisdom 6:24 Now what wisdom is, and what was her origin, I will declare: and I will not hide from you the mysteries of God, but will seek her out from the beginning of her birth, and bring the knowledge of her to light, and will not pass over the truth:

Now. The pagans attributed the invention of wisdom to Socrates, or to Pythagoras. But she proceeds from the bosom of God, and was practised long before their times.
Wisdom 6:25 Neither will I go with consuming envy: for such a man shall not be partaker of wisdom.

Envy. I will not imitate such, Wisdom 7:13. Wisdom ought to be diffused. (Calmet)
Wisdom 6:26 Now the multitude of the wise is the welfare of the whole world: and a wise king is the upholding of the people.

World. The wicked is ransomed and healed by the wise. (Philo.)
Wisdom 6:27 Receive, therefore, instruction by my words, and it shall be profitable to you.

Wisdom 7:0 The excellence of wisdom: how she is to be found.

Wisdom 7:1 I myself also am a mortal man, like all others, and of the race of him, that was first made of the earth, and in the womb of my mother I was fashioned to be flesh.

Myself. Solomon acquired wisdom, and all others may do it.
Wisdom 7:2 In the time of ten months I was compacted in blood, of the seed of man, *and the pleasure of sleep concurring.

Job 10:10.
Wisdom 7:3 And being born, I drew in the common air, and fell upon the earth, that is made alike, and the first voice which I uttered was crying, as all others do.

Wisdom 7:4 I was nursed in swaddling clothes, and with great cares.

Wisdom 7:5 For none of the kings had any other beginning of birth.

Wisdom 7:6 *For all men have one entrance into life, and the like going out.

Job 1:21.; 1 Timothy 6:7.
Out. Augustus asked a little before his death: "Have we acted our part (personae) well enough?" (Suetonius) --- Life is like a stage; before and after which, all are equal.
Wisdom 7:7 Wherefore I wished, and understanding was given me: and I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came upon me:

Wherefore, as I had no advantage over others naturally, I asked for the wisdom requisite to fill so important an office, 3 Kings 9:10. (Calmet) --- Solomon, whose sayings are here recorded, prayed for wisdom. (Worthington)
Wisdom 7:8 And I preferred her before kingdoms and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her.

Preferred. I did not ask for extensive dominions, etc. (Calmet) --- In Proverbs 8:10., etc., as well as here, some things refer to the uncreated, and others to created wisdom. (Menochius)
Wisdom 7:9 *Neither did I compare unto her any precious stone: for all gold, in comparison of her, is as a little sand; and silver, in respect to her, shall be counted as clay.

Job 28:15.; Proverbs 8:11.
Wisdom 7:10 I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for her light cannot be put out.

Wisdom 7:11 *Now all good things came to me together with her, and innumerable riches through her hands,

3 Kings 3:13.; Matthew 6:33.
Wisdom 7:12 And I rejoiced in all these: for this wisdom went before me, and I knew not that she was the mother of them all.

Wisdom 7:13 Which I have learned without guile, and communicate without envy, and her riches I hide not.

Not. Ecclesiasticus 20:32., and Matthew 25:25. Such disinterestedness deserves to be imitated by all the learned, Wisdom 6:25.
Wisdom 7:14 For she is an infinite treasure to men: which they that use, become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts of discipline.

God. Coming near to him, Wisdom 6:20., and 1 Corinthians 6:16. The wise do not seek for glory; but it follows them.
Wisdom 7:15 And God hath given to me to speak as I would, and to conceive thoughts worthy of those things that are given me: because he is the guide of wisdom, and the director of the wise:

Would. With sincerity, and in a sententious and captivating manner, 3 Kings 9:24. (Calmet) --- Thoughts. Praesumere has this meaning. (Haydock) --- Presumption is far removed from true wisdom. Solomon manifested his greatness of soul by his buildings, and wise regulations.
Wisdom 7:16 For in his hand are both we, and our words, and all wisdom, and the knowledge and skill of works.

Wisdom 7:17 For he hath given me the true knowledge of the things that are: to know the disposition of the whole world, and the virtues of the elements,

Wisdom 7:18 The beginning, and ending, and midst of the times, the alterations of their courses, and the changes of seasons,

Times. Or "things." (St. Ambrose, Abr. 2:7.) --- Times past, present, and future, (Origen, hom. xxi.) or the three seasons; autumn, the beginning of the civil year, summer the end, and spring or winter, the middle. (Grotius) --- Their. The "seasons," as the Greek implies, (Calmet) and the vicissitudes of heat and cold. (Menochius)
Wisdom 7:19 The revolutions of the year, and the dispositions of the stars,

Wisdom 7:20 The natures of living creatures, and rage of wild beasts, the force of winds, and reasonings of men, the diversities of plants, and the virtues of roots,

Wisdom 7:21 And all such things as are hid, and not foreseen, I have learned: for wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me.

Wisdom 7:22 For in her is the spirit of understanding: holy, one, manifold, subtile, eloquent, active, undefiled, sure, sweet, loving that which is good, quick, which nothing hindereth, beneficent,

Holy. These are the proper epithets of the spirit of wisdom, (Worthington) or of the Holy Ghost. (Cornelius a Lapide; Lorin.) --- They may also be applicable to the wisdom which resides in man: one, in essence, manifold, in its operations, subtle, knowing all things; (chap. 1:7.) eloquent, to persuade; (Calmet) Greek, "easily moved, or moving," eukineton, (Haydock) active. Greek, "open (Calmet) or entire."
Wisdom 7:23 Gentle, kind, steadfast, assured, secure, having all power, overseeing all things, and containing all spirits: intelligible, pure, subtile:

Wisdom 7:24 For wisdom is more active than all active things; and reacheth every where, by reason of her purity.

For wisdom, which is the same with the Spirit, and the Son of God, ver. 25.
Wisdom 7:25 For she is a vapour of the power of God, and a certain pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty God: and therefore no defiled thing cometh into her.

Glory. As St. Paul testifies of Jesus Christ, Hebrews 1:3. (Eusebius; Demon. Evang. 4:5.) --- It may also be understood of the wisdom given to the prophets and saints, ver. 27. Plato thought this to be a vapour, or fire proceeding from God. (In Protag. Philo. de Som.) --- Some apply the passage to the blessed Virgin [Mary]. (Cornelius a Lapide, 5:26.) (Calmet) See Proverbs 1:2. (Worthington)
Wisdom 7:26 *For she is the brightness of eternal light, and the unspotted mirror of God's Majesty, and the image of his goodness.

Hebrews 1:3.
Goodness. This is particularly noticed, as he speaks of the favours received. It was also an effect of infinite goodness, that the Deity should communicate itself substantially, in the generation of the Son, and the procession of the Holy Ghost. (Menochius)
Wisdom 7:27 And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself the same, she reneweth all things, and through nations conveyeth herself into holy souls, she maketh the friends of God and prophets.

Prophets. No age or nation has been left destitute by God. Among the Gentiles, Job was a saint. (Haydock) --- The philosophers also knew God, (Romans 1:21.) and taught many important truths, (Calmet) though they erred in other respects, and dishonoured their profession. True religion has always subsisted, and saints, (Haydock) yea even pagan philosophers, have borne witness to the truth. (Clement of Alexandria, etc.) (Calmet)
Wisdom 7:28 For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom.

Wisdom 7:29 For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of the stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it.

Wisdom 7:30 For after this cometh night, but no evil can overcome wisdom.

Evil. Or disgrace. (Grotius) --- The brightest days are succeeded by night. The divine wisdom never fails, though that of man is subject to change, as Solomon has taught us by his own woeful example. (Calmet)
Wisdom 8:0 Further praises of wisdom: and her fruits.

Wisdom 8:1 She reacheth, therefore, from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly.

She. The uncreated wisdom is infinite; and the created is the most excellent of God's gifts. (Worthington) --- Sweetly. God is every where present, (St. Bernard) and directeth all with ease. (St. Augustine, ep. ad Dard. q. i.)
Wisdom 8:2 Her have I loved, and have sought her out from my youth, and have desired to take for my spouse, and I became a lover of her beauty.

Wisdom 8:3 She glorifieth her nobility by being conversant with God: yea, and the Lord of all things hath loved her.

Wisdom 8:4 For it is she that teacheth the knowledge of God, and is the chooser of his works.

Works. Directing us to imitate them, as much as possible. (Haydock) --- She teaches us how to refer all to God, (Menochius) while mere philosophers stop at vain speculations, and barren admiration of the Deity.
Wisdom 8:5 And if riches be desired in life, what is richer than wisdom, which maketh all things?

Wisdom 8:6 And if sense do work: who is a more artful worker than she of those things that are?

Are. Wisdom is an universal teacher. But she particularly inculcates virtue. All science which has not this tendency is vain. (Calmet)
Wisdom 8:7 And if a man love justice: her labours have great virtues: for she teacheth temperance, and prudence, and justice, and fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life.

Wisdom 8:8 And if a man desire much knowledge: she knoweth things past, and judgeth of things to come: she knoweth the subtilties of speeches, and the solutions of arguments: she knoweth signs and wonders before they be done, and the events of times and ages.

Speeches. Rhetoric, (Grotius) or doubtful matters, as Solomon discovered the real mother, 3 Kings 3:27. --- Arguments. Greek, "riddles," which were much in fashion, 3 Kings 10:1. (Calmet) --- Wonders. Such as comets and eclipses. (Menochius) --- When Anaxagoras discovered the latter, he durst not write, but only instructed his disciples in secret, for fear of being taken for an atheist, or magician. (Plut.[Plutarch?] in Nicias.) --- The sciences, which are now common, were formerly confined to few; and the people looked upon eclipses as so many prodigies. The wise man is possessed of all natural sciences, and can predict the changes of weather, etc. --- Ages. Forming a judgment of futurity from past occurrences.
Wisdom 8:9 I purposed, therefore, to take her to me to live with me: knowing that she will communicate to me of her good things, and will be a comfort in my cares and grief.

Wisdom 8:10 For her sake I shall have glory among the multitude, and honour with the ancients, though I be young:

Wisdom 8:11 And I shall be found of a quick conceit in judgment, and shall be admired in the sight of the mighty, and the faces of princes shall wonder at me.

Wisdom 8:12 They shall wait for me when I hold my peace, and they shall look upon me when I speak; and if I talk much, they shall lay their hands on their mouth.

Wisdom 8:13 Moreover, by the means of her I shall have immortality: and shall leave behind me an everlasting memory to them that come after me.

After me. He speaks to the great, who are more sensible of glory. Solomon's fame would have continued untarnished, if he had not fallen, (Calmet) and we may hope that he repented, and verified this prediction. (Haydock) --- It is not certain that he obtained immortal glory. (Worthington)
Wisdom 8:14 I shall set the people in order: and nations shall be subject to me.

Wisdom 8:15 Terrible kings hearing, shall be afraid of me: among the multitude I shall be found good, and valiant in war.

Of me. Wisdom is the best protection. --- Good and valiant. These are the two most essential qualifications of kings.
Wisdom 8:16 When I go into my house, I shall repose myself with her: for her conversation hath no bitterness, nor her company any tediousness, but joy and gladness.

Wisdom 8:17 Thinking these things with myself, and pondering them in my heart, that to be allied to wisdom is immortality,

Wisdom 8:18 And that there is great delight in her friendship, and inexhaustible riches in the works of her hands, and in the exercise of conference with her, wisdom, and glory in the communication of her words: I went about seeking, that I might take her to myself.

Wisdom 8:19 And I was a witty child, and had received a good soul.

Received. "By lot," sortitus, (Haydock) to exclude all preceding merit. (St. Augustine, de Gen. lit. 10:18.) --- Good soul. Natural dispositions (Pineda) are perfected by grace and labour. (Calmet)
Wisdom 8:20 And whereas I was more good, I came to a body undefiled.

More good. The pre-existence of souls seems to be insinuated, though this is not clear, and the opinion is now rejected. Some are born with a better disposition for learning than others. (St. Augustine, contra Jul. 4:3.) --- Yet none possess any seeds of virtue by nature, or are more infected than others, with original sin, as some heretics would assert. (Calmet)
Wisdom 8:21 And as I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it, and this also was a point of wisdom, to know whose gift it was, I went to the Lord, and besought him, and said with my whole heart:

Continent. All good must come from God. (Haydock) --- Chastity cannot be preserved without his aid. (St. Augustine, Confessions 6:11.) --- Yet this seems not to be the literal sense. Solomon prays for the acquisition of wisdom, (Calmet; Ecclesiasticus 6:28., and 15:1.; Menochius) which includes continence, religion, and every virtue. (Haydock)
Wisdom 9:0 Solomon's prayer for wisdom.

Wisdom 9:1 God of my fathers,* and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things with thy word,

1 Kings 3:9.
God. This prayer, which continues to the end of the book, is a paraphrase of 3 Kings 3:6., etc., with several additional instructions, to remind people in authority of the love of justice. (Calmet)
Wisdom 9:2 And by thy wisdom hast appointed man, that he should have dominion over the creature that was made by thee,

Wisdom 9:3 That he should order the world according to equity and justice, and execute justice with an upright heart:

Wisdom 9:4 Give me wisdom, that sitteth by thy throne, and cast me not off from among thy children:

Wisdom 9:5 *For I am thy servant, and the son of thy handmaid, a weak man, and of short time, and falling short of the understanding of judgment and laws.

Psalm 115:16.
Wisdom 9:6 For if one be perfect among the children of men, yet if thy wisdom be not with him, he shall be nothing regarded.

Wisdom 9:7 *Thou hast chosen me to be king of thy people, and a judge of thy sons and daughters:

1 Paralipomenon 28:4-5.; 2 Paralipomenon 1:9.
King. Hence it appears, that the sentiments of Solomon are expressed. (Worthington) --- Judge. This is the first duty of a king. --- Thy sons. He ought to govern his people, remembering that they are God's creatures and children.
Wisdom 9:8 And hast commanded me to build a temple on thy holy mount, and an altar in the city of thy dwelling-place, a resemblance of thy holy tabernacle, which thou hast prepared from the beginning:

Beginning. In thy eternal decrees, or when thou madest choice of Israel. (Haydock) --- The temple was greater, but very like the tabernacle: only the court of the priests was divided from that of the people. In the desert, the whole camp was considered a the court of the latter. (Calmet)
Wisdom 9:9 *And thy wisdom with thee, which knoweth thy works, which then also was present when thou madest the world, and knew what was agreeable to thy eyes, and what was right in thy commandments.

Proverbs 8:22.; Proverbs 8:27.; John 1:1.
With thee. The uncreated wisdom is God himself: that which is communicated to man is his gift, ver. 10. (Worthington) --- World. Proverbs 8:22. This request shews what idea Solomon had of God's majesty, for which he was preparing a temple.
Wisdom 9:10 Send her out of thy holy heaven, and from the throne of thy majesty, that she may be with me, and may labour with me, that I may know what is acceptable with thee:

Wisdom 9:11 For she knoweth and understandeth all things, and shall lead me soberly in my works, and shall preserve me by her power.

Wisdom 9:12 So shall my works be acceptable, and I shall govern thy people justly, and shall be worthy of the throne of my father.

Wisdom 9:13 *For who among men is he that can know the counsel of God? or who can think what the will of God is?

Isaias 40:13.; Romans 11:34.; 1 Corinthians 2:16.
Wisdom 9:14 For the thoughts of mortal men are fearful, and our counsels uncertain.

Wisdom 9:15 For the corruptible body is a load upon the soul, and the earthly habitation presseth down the mind that museth upon many things.

Wisdom 9:16 And hardly do we guess aright at things that are upon earth: and with labour do we find the things that are before us. But the things that are in heaven, who shall search out?

Wisdom 9:17 And who shall know thy thought, except thou give wisdom, and send thy holy Spirit from above:

Thought. How shall we govern as we ought, and act as thy vicegerents, without thy Spirit? (Proverbs 16:10., and 2 Kings 14:17.)
Wisdom 9:18 And so the ways of them that are upon earth may be corrected, and men may learn the things that please thee?

Wisdom 9:19 For by wisdom they were healed, whosoever have pleased thee, O Lord, from the beginning.

Whosoever, etc., is not in the Septuagint. But men includes as much. (Haydock) --- The saints have been preserved from the contagion and punishments of the world only by means of the divine benefit. (Calmet)
Wisdom 10:0 What wisdom did for Adam, Noe, Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Joseph, and the people of Israel.

Wisdom 10:1 She preserved him, *that was first formed by God, the father of the world, when he was created alone,

Genesis 1:27.
Wisdom 10:2 *And she brought him out of his sin, and gave him power to govern all things.

Genesis 2:7.
Sin. Hence it is clear, that our first parent repented, (Worthington) and was saved, Genesis 5:5. (St. Irenaeus 3:34.; St. Augustine, ep. xcix. ad Evod.; Cornelius a Lapide) (Calmet) --- Things. Before sin, he submitted willingly; but afterwards, he was forced to use all his ingenuity to preserve this dominion.
Wisdom 10:3 *But when the unjust went away from her in his anger, he perished by the fury wherewith he murdered his brother.

Genesis 4:8.
The unjust. Cain. We have no proof of his repentance.
Wisdom 10:4 *For whose cause, when water destroyed the earth, wisdom healed it again, directing the course of the just by contemptible wood.

Genesis 7:6.
Cause. The wickedness of the race of Cain. (Calmet) --- Just. Noe[Noah]. --- Wood. Who would have thought that such a vessel would save mankind, etc., amid the raging storms? Noe must have been an able mechanic: (Calmet) but God both directed him, and closed up the door, Genesis 7:16. (Haydock)
Wisdom 10:5 *Moreover, when the nations had conspired together to consent to wickedness, she knew the just, and preserved him without blame to God, and kept him strong against the compassion for his son.

Genesis 11:2.
She knew the just. She found out and approved Abraham, (Calmet) Sem, or Heber, who took no part in building the tower. (St. Augustine, City of God) (Chap. 16:4.) --- To God. Many say that Abraham was at first addicted to idolatry. (Philo.) (St. Augustine, etc.) --- But not after he was directed by the light of heaven. (Calmet) --- Strong. Gave him strength to stand firm against the efforts of his natural tenderness, when he was ordered to sacrifice his son. (Challoner) --- Against. Literally, "in." To obey God was true compassion to his son, though it might have deprived him of this life. (Haydock) --- How many virtues did not Abraham manifest on this occasion! (St. Ambrose, Off. 2:5.)
Wisdom 10:6 *She delivered the just man, who fled from the wicked that were perishing, when the fire came down upon Pentapolis:

Genesis 19:17.; Genesis 19:22.
The just man. Lot. --- Pentapolis. The land of the five cities, Sodom, Gomorrah, etc. (Challoner)
Wisdom 10:7 Whose land, for a testimony of their wickedness, is desolate, and smoketh to this day, and the trees bear fruits that ripen not, and a standing pillar of salt is a monument of an incredulous soul.

Wisdom 10:8 For regarding not wisdom, they did not only slip in this, that they were ignorant of good things, but they left also unto men a memorial of their folly, so that in the things in which they sinned, they could not so much as lie hid.

Wisdom 10:9 But wisdom hath delivered from sorrow them that attend upon her.

Wisdom 10:10 *She conducted the just, when he fled from his brother's wrath, through the right ways, and shewed him the kingdom of God, and gave him the knowledge of the holy things, made him honourable in his labours, and accomplished his labours.

Genesis 28:5.; Genesis 28:10.
The just. Jacob. --- Of God. Or heaven open, and angels ascending and descending, Genesis 38:12.
Wisdom 10:11 In the deceit of them that overreached him, she stood by him, and made him honourable.

Deceit. Laban's craft did not prevent Jacob from growing rich. (Haydock)
Wisdom 10:12 She kept him safe from his enemies, and she defended him from seducers, and gave him a strong conflict, that he might overcome, and know that wisdom is mightier than all.

Enemies. Laban and Esau. (Calmet) --- Conflict with the angel. (Challoner)
Wisdom 10:13 *She forsook not the just, when he was sold, but delivered him from sinners: she went down with him into the pit.

Genesis 37:28.
Just. Joseph. (Challoner) --- Sinners. His brethren, etc. Septuagint, "from sin" of adultery. (Menochius) --- Pit. Or prison, to which he was confined at the instigation of Potiphar's wife, always preserving his virtue. (Calmet) --- He had also been let down into an old pit by his brethren. (Haydock)
Wisdom 10:14 *And in bands she left him not, till she brought him the sceptre of the kingdom, and power against those that oppressed him: and shewed them to be liars that had accused him, and gave him everlasting glory.

Genesis 41:40.; Acts 7:9.
Kingdom. Which he ruled under Pharao, Genesis 41:40. (Calmet) --- The Hebrews styled all in high authority kings. (Grotius)
Wisdom 10:15 *She delivered the just people, and blameless seed, from the nations that oppressed them.

Exodus 1:11.
Wisdom 10:16 She entered into the soul of the servant of God, and stood against dreadful kings in wonders and signs.

God. Moses. (Challoner) --- Numbers 12:7., and Psalm 104:26., etc.
Wisdom 10:17 And she rendered to the just the wages of their labours, and conducted them in a wonderful way: and she was to them for a covert by day, and for the light of stars by night:

Wisdom 10:18 *And she brought them through the Red Sea, and carried them over through a great water.

Exodus 14:22.; Psalm 77:13.
Wisdom 10:19 But their enemies she drowned in the sea, and from the depth of hell she brought them out. *Therefore the just took the spoils of the wicked.

Exodus 12:35.
Wisdom 10:20 *And they sung to thy holy name, O Lord, and they praised with one accord thy victorious hand.

Exodus 15:1.
Wisdom 10:21 For wisdom opened the mouth of the dumb, and made the tongues of infants eloquent.

Eloquent. They would, if possible, have sounded forth thy praise. (Dionysius) --- The Hebrews had been kept in ignorance, and afraid to speak. (Calmet) --- Infants, and dumb people, might also, by miracle, join in the song. (Haydock)
Wisdom 11:0 Other benefits of wisdom to the people of God.

Wisdom 11:1 She* prospered their works in the hands of the holy prophet.

Exodus 16:1.
Prophet. Moses, (Challoner) by whose ministry the Hebrews were delivered, (Haydock) and governed with the utmost prudence, Numbers 12:26. (Calmet)
Wisdom 11:2 They went through wildernesses that were not inhabited, and in desert places they pitched their tents.

Wisdom 11:3 *They stood against their enemies, and revenged themselves of their adversaries.

Exodus 17:12.
Their enemies. The Amalecites, (Challoner) and all others, who durst attack Moses, Deuteronomy 3:1.
Wisdom 11:4 *They were thirsty, and they called upon thee, and water was given them out of the high rock, and a refreshment of their thirst out of the hard stone.

Numbers 20:11.
Wisdom 11:5 For by what things their enemies were punished, when their drink failed them, while the children of Israel abounded therewith, and rejoiced:

By what things, etc. The meaning is, that God, who wrought a miracle to punish the Egyptians by thirst, when he turned all their waters into blood, (at which time the Israelites, who were exempt from those plagues, had plenty of water) wrought another miracle in favour of his own people in their thirst, by giving them water out of the rock. (Challoner) --- The Egyptians were thus tormented with thirst, though so near the Nile; and the Hebrews were refreshed in a barren desert, Exodus 7:20.
Wisdom 11:6 By the same things they in their need were benefited.

Wisdom 11:7 For instead of a fountain of an ever-running river, thou gavest human blood to the unjust.

River. The Nile, to which the Egyptians gave divine honours. (Calmet) --- Thou. Septuagint, "disturbed with corrupted blood, in punishment of the infanticide decree, thou gavest," etc.
Wisdom 11:8 And whilst they were diminished for a manifest reproof of their murdering the infants, thou gavest to thine abundant water unlooked for:

Wisdom 11:9 Shewing by the thirst that was then, how thou didst exalt thine, and didst kill their adversaries.

Wisdom 11:10 For when they were tried, and chastised with mercy, they knew how the wicked were judged with wrath, and tormented.

Wisdom 11:11 For thou didst admonish and try them as a father: but the others, as a severe king, thou didst examine and condemn.

Wisdom 11:12 For whether absent or present, they were tormented alike.

Wisdom 11:13 For a double affliction came upon them, and a groaning for the remembrance of things past.

Wisdom 11:14 For when they heard that by their punishments the others were benefited, they remembered the Lord, wondering at the end of what was come to pass.

By their punishments, etc. That is, that the Israelites had been benefited and miraculously favoured in the same kind, in which they had been punished. (Challoner) --- Benefited. After war, peace is more agreeable. (Worthington)
Wisdom 11:15 For whom they scorned before, when he was thrown out at the time of his being wickedly exposed to perish, him they admired in the end, when they saw the event: their thirsting being unlike to that of the just.

Wisdom 11:16 But for the foolish devices of their iniquity, *because some being deceived worshipped dumb serpents, and worthless beasts, thou didst send upon them a multitude of dumb beasts for vengeance:

Wisdom 12:24.
Serpents. The Egyptians adored asps, and fed them at their tables, without receiving any harm. (Aelian. Hist. 17:5.) --- Dumb beasts. Viz., frogs, sciniphs, flies, and locusts. (Challoner)
Wisdom 11:17 That they might know that by what things a man sinneth, by the same also he is tormented.

Wisdom 11:18 For thy almighty hand, which made the world of matter without form, was not unable to send upon them a multitude of bears, or fierce lions,

Wisdom 11:19 Or unknown beasts of a new kind, full of rage: either breathing out a fiery vapour, *or sending forth a stinking smoke, or shooting horrible sparks out of their eyes:

Leviticus 26:22.; Wisdom 16:1.; Jeremias 8:17.
Wisdom 11:20 Whereof not only the hurt might be able to destroy them, but also the very sight might kill them through fear.

Wisdom 11:21 Yea, and without these, they might have been slain with one blast, persecuted by their own deeds, and scattered by the breath of thy power: but thou hast ordered all things in measure, and number, and weight.

Wisdom 11:22 For great power always belonged to thee alone: and who shall resist the strength of thy arm?

Wisdom 11:23 For the whole world before thee is as the least grain of the balance, and as a drop of the morning dew, that falleth down upon the earth.

Wisdom 11:24 But thou hast mercy upon all, because thou canst do all things, and overlookest the sins of men for the sake of repentance.

Repentance. If people neglect to reform their conduct in this world, they must expect to be treated with all severity in the other.
Wisdom 11:25 For thou lovest all things that are, and hatest none of the things which thou hast made: for thou didst not appoint, or make any thing hating it.

It. Sin and disorder is the work of man, deserving hatred. (Calmet) --- God created nothing evil, nor is there any but one God, as the Manichees pretended. (Worthington)
Wisdom 11:26 And how could any thing endure, if thou wouldst not? or be preserved, if not called by thee.

Called. Into existence, or into its proper place, Romans 4:17.
Wisdom 11:27 But thou sparest all: because they are thine, O Lord, who lovest souls.

All. Awaiting their amendment, and unwilling to destroy thy creatures, Wisdom 12:10. Hence thou didst not exterminate the Egyptians at once. (Calmet)
Wisdom 12:0 God's wisdom and mercy in his proceedings with the Chanaanites.

Wisdom 12:1 O how good and sweet is thy Spirit, O Lord, in all things!

O how. Septuagint, "for incorruptible is thy Spirit;" which St. Athanasius (ad Serap.) adduces as a proof of the Holy Ghost's divinity. (Calmet) --- God loves the soul of man. (Grotius)
Wisdom 12:2 And therefore thou chastisest them that err, by little and little: and admonishest them, and speakest to them, concerning the things wherein they offend: that leaving their wickedness, they may believe in thee, O Lord.

Wisdom 12:3 *For, those ancient inhabitants of thy holy land, whom thou didst abhor,

Deuteronomy 9:3.; Deuteronomy 12:29.; Deuteronomy 18:12.
Wisdom 12:4 Because they did works hateful to thee by their sorceries, and wicked sacrifices,

Wisdom 12:5 And those merciless murderers of their own children, and eaters of men's bowels, and devourers of blood from the midst of thy consecration,

Consecration. Literally, sacrament, or land. That is, the land sacred to thee, in which thy temple was to be established, and man's redemption to be wrought. (Challoner)
Wisdom 12:6 And those parents sacrificing with their own hands helpless souls, it was thy will to destroy by the hands of our parents,

Wisdom 12:7 That the land which of all is most dear to thee, might receive a worthy colony of the children of God.

Wisdom 12:8 Yet even those thou sparedst as men, and didst send wasps, forerunners of thy host, to destroy them by little and little.

Wasps. These were the auxiliaries of the Hebrews, Deuteronomy 7:20. St. James saved Nisibis from the Persian army, by praying for gnats to descend. (Theod.[Theodoret?] Philot. i.) --- The inhabitants of Belgrade incensed bees, by fire and smoke, to attack the troops of Amurath. (Bonf. 4:dec. 3.)
Wisdom 12:9 Not that thou wast unable to bring the wicked under the just by war, or by cruel beasts, or with one rough word to destroy them at once:

Wisdom 12:10 *But executing thy judgments by degrees, thou gavest them place of repentance, not being ignorant that they were a wicked generation, and their malice natural, and that their thought could never be changed.

Exodus 25:30.; Deuteronomy 7:22.
Natural. We are all by nature children of wrath, Ephesians 2:3. (Haydock) --- But the Chanaanites were accursed by Noe[Noah], (Genesis 9:25.) and were brought up in wickedness (Psalm 57:4.) by their parents. (St. Augustine, de Bapt. 2:8.) --- Changed. Because they would not employ well the time allowed them. (Calmet) --- By custom, malice became as it were natural, after nature was corrupted. (Worthington)
Wisdom 12:11 For it was a cursed seed from the beginning: neither didst thou for fear of any one give pardon to their sins.

Pardon. Or impunity. (Calmet) --- "Thou art angry, and yet are tranquil.["] (St. Augustine, Confessions 1:4.)
Wisdom 12:12 For who shall say to thee: What hast thou done? or who shall withstand thy judgment? or who shall come before thee to be a revenger of wicked men? or who shall accuse thee, if the nations perish, which thou hast made?

Done? Shall the clay say to the potter, why hast thou made me thus? (Isaias 45:9., and 64:8.) We know, that under a just God, no one is miserable, unless he deserve it, ver. 15.
Wisdom 12:13 For there is no other God but thou, *who hast care of all, that thou shouldst shew that thou dost not give judgment unjustly.

1 Peter 5:7.
Wisdom 12:14 Neither shall king, nor tyrant, in thy sight enquire about them whom thou hast destroyed.

Wisdom 12:15 For so much then, as thou art just, thou orderest all things justly: thinking it not agreeable to thy power, to condemn him who deserveth not to be punished.

Punished. (St. Augustine, ep. 106.) Some have read incorrectly: "Thou condemnest him who ought not to be punished, and deemest him a stranger to thy virtue," which St. Gregory (Mor. 3:11.) explains of Jesus Christ, the victim of sinners; others, of people born in sin, (Lyranus) while some would hence prove the decree of reprobation. (Duran.) --- But it is needless to explain a text which the Greek shews to be inaccurate. (Calmet)
Wisdom 12:16 For thy power is the beginning of justice: and because thou art Lord of all, thou makest thyself gracious to all.

Wisdom 12:17 For thou shewest thy power, when men will not believe thee to be absolute in power, and thou convincest the boldness of them that know thee not.

Wisdom 12:18 But thou being master of power, judgest with tranquillity, and with great favour disposest of us: for thy power is at hand when thou wilt.

Wisdom 12:19 But thou hast taught thy people by such works, that they must be just and humane, and hast made thy children to be of a good hope: because in judging, thou givest place for repentance for sins.

Hope. Under a God of such clemency, none should despair.
Wisdom 12:20 For if thou didst punish the enemies of thy servants, and that deserved to die, with so great deliberation, giving them time and place whereby they might be changed from their wickedness:

Wisdom 12:21 With what circumspection hast thou judged thy own children, to whose parents thou hast sworn, and made covenants of good promises?

Wisdom 12:22 Therefore whereas thou chastisest us, thou scourgest our enemies very many ways, to the end that when we judge we may think on thy goodness: and when we are judged, we may hope for thy mercy.

Wisdom 12:23 Wherefore thou hast also greatly tormented them, who, in their life, have lived foolishly and unjustly, by the same things which they worshipped.

Wisdom 12:24 *For they went astray for a long time in the ways of error, holding those things for gods which are the most worthless among beasts, living after the manner of children without understanding.

Wisdom 11:16.; Romans 1:23.
Wisdom 12:25 Therefore thou hast sent a judgment upon them, as senseless children, to mock them.

Wisdom 12:26 But they that were not amended by mockeries and reprehensions, experienced the worthy judgment of God.

Wisdom 12:27 For seeing, with indignation, that they suffered by those very things which they took for gods, when they were destroyed by the same, they acknowledged him the true God, whom in time past they denied that they knew: for which cause the end also of their condemnation came upon them.

God. Who destroyed their idols: yet they did not serve him, (Worthington) which was true of all the pagans, Romans 1:21. (Calmet)
Wisdom 13:0 Idolaters are inexcusable: and those most of all that worship for gods the works of the hands of men.

Wisdom 13:1 But *all men are vain, in whom there is not the knowledge of God: and who by these good things that are seen, could not understand him that is, neither by attending to the works have acknowledged who was the workman:

Romans 1:18.
Vain. Septuagint, "foolish by nature, who are ignorant of God." (Haydock) --- In this and the three following chapters, the miseries of idolatry are described, to shew the value of wisdom and piety. (Calmet) --- Without the knowledge of God, all is darkness, 1 Corinthians 2:2. (St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho) --- Is. He who is, must be the most proper name of God, Exodus 3:14. Philosophers could perceive that all creatures had a beginning, and that there must be some first cause or God, whom some confessed, but did not honour as they ought, Romans 1:(Worthington) --- Could not. Inasmuch as they were vain. (Haydock)
Wisdom 13:2 *But have imagined either the fire, or the wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the great water, or the sun and moon, to be the gods that rule the world.

Deuteronomy 4:19.; Deuteronomy 17:3.
Fire. The chief god of the Persians. --- Wind. Zephyrus, etc. --- Air. Which is perhaps the wind. Socrates was accused of adoring nothing, but heaven and the clouds, (Aristot.[Aristotle?] nub.) as the Jews were. Nil praeter nubes et Coeli numen adorant. (Juvenal 14:97.) --- Stars. The zodiac, or pleiads. This species of idolatry was most ancient and general. --- Water. The ocean, Neptune, etc. The Egyptians adored water above all, as the origin of other things. Hence they were punished first by it. (Philo, vit. Mor. 1.) --- Moon. These were mostly the objects of worship, under the names of Baal, Astarte, (Calmet) the Phoebus, or Dianae of the Romans. (Haydock)
Wisdom 13:3 With whose beauty, if they, being delighted, took them to be gods: let them know how much the Lord of them is more beautiful than they: for the first author of beauty made all those things.

Wisdom 13:4 Or if they admired their power, and their effects, let them understand by them, that he that made them, is mightier than they:

Wisdom 13:5 For by the greatness of the beauty, and of the creature, the creator of them may be seen, so as to be known thereby.

Thereby. God is announced by the heavens, and by all creatures, Psalm 18:1., and Romans 1:20. "Who can look up to heaven, and be so foolish as not to allow that there is a God?" (Cicero, Harusp.)
Wisdom 13:6 But yet as to these they are less to be blamed. For they perhaps err, seeking God, and desirous to find him.

Wisdom 13:7 *For being conversant among his works, they search: and they are persuaded that the things are good which are seen.

Romans 1:21.
Wisdom 13:8 But then again they are not to be pardoned.

Wisdom 13:9 For if they were able to know so much, as to make a judgment of the world: how did they not more easily find out the Lord thereof?

Wisdom 13:10 But unhappy are they, and their hope is among the dead, who have called gods the works of the hands of men, gold and silver, the inventions of art, and the resemblances of beasts, or an unprofitable stone the work of an ancient hand.

Of men. The pagans in general took the material statue to be the residence of a god. (St. Augustine, City of God Wisdom 7:6., and 8:13.) --- The more learned regarded the figures of the sun, etc., as his representations, while others supposed that Jupiter meant the heavens, Juno the air, Vulcan, fire, etc. --- Hand. This is to abuse antiquity. The idol of the Arabs was a rough stone. In more polished nations, the workmanship of Praxiteles, Phidias, etc., was more regarded. (Calmet) --- As no creature deserves to be esteemed a god, much less do the works of men's hands. (Worthington)
Wisdom 13:11 *Or if an artist, a carpenter, hath cut down a tree proper for his use, in the wood, and skillfully taken off all the bark thereof, and with his art, diligently formeth a vessel profitable for the common uses of life,

Isaias 44:12.; Jeremias 10:3.
Wisdom 13:12 And useth the chips of his work to dress his meat:

Wisdom 13:13 And taking what was left thereof, which is good for nothing, being a crooked piece of wood, and full of knots, carveth it diligently when he hath nothing else to do, and by the skill of his art fashioneth it, and maketh it like the image of a man:

Wisdom 13:14 Or the resemblance of some beast, laying it over with vermilion, and painting it red, and covering every spot that is in it:

Vermilion. The ancients greatly esteemed this colour, (Calmet) and painted with it the statues of their gods on festival days, and the bodies of those who had the honour of a triumph. (Pliny, [Natural History?] 33:6.)
Wisdom 13:15 And maketh a convenient dwelling-place for it, and setting it in a wall, and fastening it with iron,

Iron. Baruch 6:26. ridicules the same custom, and the other prophets intimate that the pagans took these statues to be really gods, otherwise their practice was no more blameable than that of the Jews, who fastened the cherubim to the ark with gold, and carried them. But the latter did not believe that the Deity resided personally in those images; no more than we do, that Christ is attached to his image on the cross. This distinguishes the behaviour of the faithful from that of pagans. (Calmet)
Wisdom 13:16 Providing for it, lest it should fall, knowing that it is unable to help itself: for it is an image, and hath need of help.

Wisdom 13:17 And then maketh prayer to it, enquiring concerning his substance, and his children, or his marriage. And he is not ashamed to speak to that which hath no life:

Wisdom 13:18 And for health he maketh supplication to the weak, and for life prayeth to that which is dead, and for help calleth upon that which is unprofitable:

Wisdom 13:19 And for a good journey he petitioneth him that cannot walk: and for getting, and for working, and for the event of all things he asketh him that is unable to do any thing.

Wisdom 14:0 The beginning of worshipping idols: and the effects thereof.

Wisdom 14:1 Again, another designing to sail, and beginning to make his voyage through the raging waves, calleth upon a piece of wood more frail than the wood that carrieth him.

Him. The folly of exposing one's life, without necessity, to such imminent danger at sea, is great; though much less than to confide in idols, (Calmet) which are commonly made of more corruptible wood than ships. (Worthington)
Wisdom 14:2 For this the desire of gain devised, and the workman built it by his skill.

Wisdom 14:3 But thy providence, O Father, governeth it: *for thou hast made a way even in the sea, and a most sure path among the waves,

Exodus 14:22.
Waves. Of the Red sea, (Vatable) through which the Israelites passed, (Worthington) or rather hast taught navigation to Noe[Noah], (ver. 6.) and enabled him to build the finest vessel that ever appeared.
Wisdom 14:4 Shewing that thou art able to save out of all things, yea, though a man went to sea without art.

Wisdom 14:5 But that the works of thy wisdom might not be idle: therefore men also trust their lives even to a little wood, and passing over the sea by ship, are saved.

Saved. Before the invention of the compass, long voyages were deemed the effects of rashness, or of great confidence in Providence. (Calmet)
Wisdom 14:6 *And from the beginning also, when the proud giants perished, the hope of the world fleeing to a vessel, which was governed by thy hand, left to the world seed of generation.

Genesis 6:4.; Genesis 7:7.
Wisdom 14:7 For blessed is the wood, by which justice cometh.

Cometh. By which Noe[Noah] was preserved, (Cornelius a Lapide) or criminals are executed. (Jansenius) --- The author foretells the redemption of mankind on the cross. (Worthington) (Galatians 3:13.) (St. Augustine, City of God Wisdom 15:26; St. Ambrose, Psalm cxviii. ser. 8.)
Wisdom 14:8 *But the idol that is made by hands, is cursed, as well it, as he that made it: he because he made it; and it because being frail it is called a god.

Psalm 113:4.; Baruch 6:3.
Wisdom 14:9 But to God the wicked and his wickedness are hateful alike.

Wisdom 14:10 For that which is made, together with him that made it, shall suffer torments.

Wisdom 14:11 Therefore there shall be no respect had even to the idols of the Gentiles: because the creatures of God are turned to an abomination, and a temptation to the souls of men, and a snare to the feet of the unwise.

Wisdom 14:12 For the beginning of fornication is the devising of idols: and the invention of them is the corruption of life.

Fornication. Invention of idols brought people to give way to spiritual fornication, and corruption of manners. (Worthington) --- They freely practised what was sanctioned by the example of their gods. (St. Augustine, City of God 2:7., and 3 Kings 14:24., and 4 Kings 23:7, 3.) (Calmet)
Wisdom 14:13 For neither were they from the beginning, neither shall they be for ever.

Beginning. Truth is always prior to falsehood. (Haydock) --- Josephus (Jewish Antiquities 1:4.) says, idolatry commenced in the 8th generation, and the Jews assert, under Enos. "Then began the name of God to be profaned," as the Chaldean, etc., translate, Genesis 4:26. (St. Jerome, q. Heb.) --- The corruption of morals was the natural consequence, ver. 12. --- Ever. Christ shall destroy them. (Calmet)
Wisdom 14:14 For by the vanity of men they came into the world: and therefore they shall be found to come shortly to an end.

Wisdom 14:15 For a father being afflicted with bitter grief, made to himself the image of his son, who was quickly taken away: and him who then had died as a man, he began now to worship as a god, and appointed him rites and sacrifices among his servants.

Servants. This was at first done privately, and made the way for public idolatry. Calvin attempts to refute this assertion, maintaining that Laban's idols were more ancient, and not images. But this argument is nugatory, as theraphim may be rendered either images, (Protestants, 1552.) or idols. (Protestants, 1603.) The latter version is preferable, as Laban called them his gods, and the Greek and Latin have idols. It is also certain, that Ninus set up the image of his father, Jupiter Belus, to be honoured by the people, before Abraham's time; and the fathers agree, that the making of images in memory of the dead, was the first occasion of idolatry. (St. Chrysostom, hom. 87. in Matthew; St. Jerome in Osee ii., etc.) (Worthington) --- Nimrod ordered divine honours to be paid to his deceased son. (Gul. Paris. Leg.) --- Yet this fact is not certain. Diophante, the Lacedemonian, assigns the same origin to idolatry as is here given. (Grotius)
Wisdom 14:16 Then, in process of time, wicked custom prevailing, this error was kept as a law, and statues were worshipped by the commandment of tyrants.

Wisdom 14:17 And those whom men could not honour in presence, because they dwelt far off, they brought their resemblance from afar, and made an express image of the king, whom they had a mind to honour: that by this their diligence, they might honour as present, him that was absent.

Wisdom 14:18 And to the worshipping of these, the singular diligence also of the artificer helped to set forward the ignorant.

Ignorant. The arts of sculpture and painting may be prejudicial, (Calmet) and were therefore banished by Moses from his republic, (Philo) as the Jews were so prone to idolatry, Wisdom 15:4. The case is different with us. (Haydock)
Wisdom 14:19 For he being willing to please him that employed him, laboured with all his art to make the resemblance in the best manner.

Wisdom 14:20 And the multitude of men, carried away by the beauty of the work, took him now for a god, that a little before was but honoured as a man.

Wisdom 14:21 And this was the occasion of deceiving human life: for men serving either their affection, or their kings, gave the incommunicable name to stones and wood.

Name. It cannot with propriety be given to any but God. (Worthington) --- The Jews explain this of the name Jehovah, which they will never pronounce. (Calmet)
Wisdom 14:22 And it was not enough for them to err about the knowledge of God, but whereas they lived in a great war of ignorance, they call so many and so great evils peace.

Wisdom 14:23 *For either they sacrifice their own children, or use hidden sacrifices, or keep watches full of madness,

Deuteronomy 18:10.; Jeremias 7:6.
Children. This was done by the Chanaanites, Hebrews, etc., Wisdom 12:23., and Isaias 57:5. --- Hidden. The sacrifices of Ceres, Bacchus, etc., were performed in the dark, and horrible impurities were committed, Ephesians 5:12. --- Madness. Before they be initiated in the mysteries of Ceres, or prostitute themselves in honour of the deities of impurity, (Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 18:4.) in the very temples. Quo non prostrat femina templo? (Juvenal ix.) (Calmet) --- Many crimes proceed from idolatry. (Worthington)
Wisdom 14:24 So that now they neither keep life, nor marriage undefiled, but one killeth another through envy, or grieveth him by adultery:

Wisdom 14:25 And all things are mingled together, blood, murder, theft, and dissimulation, corruption and unfaithfulness, tumults and perjury, disquieting of the good,

Wisdom 14:26 Forgetfulness of God, defiling of souls, changing of nature, disorder in marriage, and the irregularity of adultery and uncleanness.

Wisdom 14:27 For the worship of abominable idols is the cause, and the beginning and end of all evil.

Wisdom 14:28 For either they are mad when they are merry: or they prophecy lies, or they live unjustly, or easily forswear themselves.

Mad. Like the Bacchanalian women, running crowned with serpents, and eating raw flesh. --- Lies. The delusions of the devil, or the fraud of priests. --- Easily. Those who believe not in religion, or in the power of him by whom they swear, can give no security by an oath. They fear no harm, ver. 29. Yet they are perjured if they believe Jupiter, for example, to be a god, (St. Augustine, ep. 54. ad Pub.) and if they do not, they are impious; abusing an oath, which is in itself sacred. (Calmet)
Wisdom 14:29 For whilst they trust in idols, which are without life, though they swear amiss, they look not to be hurt.

Wisdom 14:30 But for both these things they shall be justly punished, because they have thought not well of God, giving heed to idols, and have sworn unjustly, in guile despising justice.

Wisdom 14:31 For it is not the power of them, by whom they swear, but the just vengeance of sinners always punisheth the transgression of the unjust.

Just. Literally, "the punishment of sinners always walketh about," etc. (Haydock) --- "The stone does not hear thee speaking, but God punishes the deceiver." (St. Augustine) --- The pagans supposed that their idols sometimes punished perjury. (Juvenal, Sat. viii.) --- It is God who does it. (Calmet)
Wisdom 15:0 The servants of God praise him who hath delivered them from idolatry; condemning both the makers and the worshippers of idols.

Wisdom 15:1 But thou, our God, art gracious and true, patient, and ordering all things in mercy.

Mercy. The pagans have no real respect for their gods: they fear them not. (Calmet) --- But we know that Thou governest all, (Haydock) and will punish us, if we transgress. (Calmet)
Wisdom 15:2 For if we sin, we are thine, knowing thy greatness: and if we sin not, we know that we are counted with thee.

Wisdom 15:3 For to know thee is perfect justice: and to know thy justice, and thy power, is the root of immortality

Wisdom 15:4 For the invention of mischievous men hath not deceived us, nor the shadow of a picture, a fruitless labour, a graven figure with divers colours,

Us. He wrote after the captivity, when the Jews abhorred idolatry, (Calmet) as they might also do at the beginning of Solomon's reign. (Haydock) --- Picture. It is not certain that the art was known in the days of Moses, or that he expressly forbade it. Pliny says it was discovered at Corinth, by making the outlines of a man's shadow on the wall. Afterwards one colour was used, till a variety was found to represent things more perfectly, (L. 35:3, 4.) so as to deceive the senses, for which reason it is styled a fruitless labour. (Calmet)
Wisdom 15:5 The sight whereof enticeth the fool to lust after it, and he loveth the lifeless figure of a dead image.

Wisdom 15:6 The lovers of evil things deserve to have no better things to trust in, both they that make them, and they that love them, and they that worship them.

Wisdom 15:7 *The potter also tempering soft earth, with labour fashioneth every vessel for our service, and of the same clay he maketh both vessels that are for clean uses, and likewise such as serve to the contrary: but what is the use of these vessels, the potter is the judge.

Romans 9:21.
Wisdom 15:8 And of the same clay by a vain labour he maketh a god: he who a little before was made of earth himself, and a little after returneth to the same out of which he was taken, when his life, which was lent him, shall be called for again.

Wisdom 15:9 But his care is, not that he shall labour, nor that his life is short, but he striveth with the goldsmiths and silversmiths: and he endeavoureth to do like the workers in brass, and counteth it a glory to make vain things.

Wisdom 15:10 For his heart is ashes, and his hope vain earth, and his life more base than clay:

Clay. In death, those who have trusted in creatures, shall be abandoned by all.
Wisdom 15:11 Forasmuch as he knew not his maker, and him that inspired into him the soul that worketh, and that breathed into him a living spirit.

Worketh. God gives life, and also the rational soul, Genesis 2:7.
Wisdom 15:12 Yea, and they have counted our life a pastime, and the business of life to be gain, and that we must be getting every way, even out of evil.

Evil. This is the maxim of worldlings. (Calmet) --- Virtus post nummos. (Horace, 1:ep. 1.) --- Our occupations are like those of children. They presently perish, or we must quit them. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xlvii. ad Pop.) --- We must strive to act our part well. Libertines deem this life a comedy, and represent religion as an imposition. (Calmet) --- They are like atheists, as they leave the true God, who seek gain by idols. (Worthington)
Wisdom 15:13 For that man knoweth that he offendeth above all others, who of earthly matter maketh brittle vessels, and graven gods.

Wisdom 15:14 But all the enemies of thy people that hold them in subjection, are foolish, and unhappy, and proud beyond measure:

In their pride, they threaten more than they can perform, (Isaias 16:6.) or they take images to be gods, which infants only imagine are men, as Lactantius observes, quoting Lucilius,--- Ut pueri infantes credunt signa omnia ahena Vivere et esse homines. ----- (Haydock) --- Measure. They become insolent, and despise and persecute the servants of God. (Worthington)
Wisdom 15:15 *For they have esteemed all the idols of the heathens for gods, which neither have the use of eyes to see, nor noses to draw breath, nor ears to hear, nor fingers of hands to handle, and as for their feet, they are slow to walk.

Psalm 113:5(13). and 134:16.
Wisdom 15:16 For man made them: and he that borroweth his own breath, fashioned them. For no man can make a god like to himself.

Wisdom 15:17 For being mortal himself, he formeth a dead thing with his wicked hands. For he is better than they whom he worshippeth, because he indeed hath lived, though he were mortal, but they never.

Wisdom 15:18 Moreover, they worship also the vilest creatures: but things without sense, compared to these, are worse than they.

Wisdom 15:19 Yea, neither by sight can any man see good of these beasts. But they have fled from the praise of God, and from his blessing.

Beasts. They are deformed, (Haydock) and seem to have been cursed by God, like the serpent, Genesis 3:14. (Calmet) --- Fled from. Or "have banished" (Lorin.) God's praise, claiming it for themselves. (Menochius)
Wisdom 16:0 God's different dealings with the Egyptians, and with his own people.

Wisdom 16:1 For these things, and by the like things to these, they were worthily punished, and were destroyed by a multitude of beasts.

Things. Septuagint, "therefore by similar things they," etc. (Haydock) --- The Egyptians were punished for their idolatry by beasts, though they worshipped them, (Haydock) being infested with insects, frogs, locusts, etc., (chap. 12:23., and Exodus viii., and x.; Calmet) and seeing their first-born perish for their cruelty. (Worthington)
Wisdom 16:2 Instead of which punishment, dealing well with thy people, *thou gavest them their desire of delicious food, of a new taste, preparing for them quails for their meat:

Numbers 11:31.
Meat. The second time, God gave them in his anger: but still he dealt favourably with his people, (Exodus 16:13., and Numbers 11:7.; Calmet) punishing them as a father, for their amendment. (Worthington)
Wisdom 16:3 To the end, that they indeed desiring food, by means of those things that were shewn and sent among them, might loathe even that which was necessary to satisfy their desire. But these, after suffering want for a short time, tasted a new meat.

They indeed desiring food, etc. He means the Egyptians; who were restrained even from that food which was necessary, by the frogs and the flies that were sent amongst them, and spoiled all their meats. (Challoner) --- Exodus 8:3. (Calmet) --- These. The Israelites. (Challoner) --- New meat. Quails. (Menochius)
Wisdom 16:4 For it was requisite that inevitable destruction should come upon them that exercised tyranny: but to these it should only be shewn how their enemies were destroyed.

Wisdom 16:5 *For when the fierce rage of beasts came upon these, they were destroyed with the bitings of crooked serpents.

Numbers 21:6.
Wisdom 16:6 But thy wrath endured not for ever, but they were troubled for a short time for their correction, having a sign of salvation, to put them in remembrance of the commandment of thy law.

Sign of salvation. The brazen serpent, an emblem of Christ our Saviour; (Challoner) and of the obedience which they should shew to God's commands. (Calmet) --- The sign could have no inherent value; but, as a token of God's favour, was the means of curing the people. (Worthington)
Wisdom 16:7 For he that turned to it, was not healed by that which he saw, but by thee, the Saviour of all.

Wisdom 16:8 And in this thou didst shew to our enemies, that thou art he who deliverest from all evil.

Wisdom 16:9 *For the bitings of locusts, and of flies, killed them, and there was found no remedy for their life: because they were worthy to be destroyed by such things.

Exodus 8:24.; Exodus 10:4.; Apocalypse 9:7.
Wisdom 16:10 But not even the teeth of venomous serpents overcame thy children: for thy mercy came and healed them.

Wisdom 16:11 For they were examined for the remembrance of thy words, and were quickly healed, lest falling into deep forgetfulness, they might not be able to use thy help.

Wisdom 16:12 For it was neither herb, nor mollifying plaster, that healed them, but thy word, O Lord, which healeth all things.

Plaster, malagma. The remedy ordained by God was not naturally efficacious. (Calmet) --- "Every wound of the soul has its medicine in the Scriptures." (St. Augustine, Psalm xxxvi.)
Wisdom 16:13 *For it is thou, O Lord, that hast power of life and death, and leadest down to the gates of death, and bringest back again:

Deuteronomy 32:39.; 1 Kings 2:6.; Tobias 13:2.
Wisdom 16:14 A man indeed killeth through malice, and when the spirit is gone forth, it shall not return, neither shall he call back the soul that is received:

Wisdom 16:15 But it is impossible to escape thy hand:

Wisdom 16:16 *For the wicked that denied to know thee, were scourged by the strength of thy arm, being persecuted by strange waters, and hail, and rain, and consumed by fire.

Exodus 9:23.
Wisdom 16:17 And which was wonderful, in water, which extinguisheth all things, the fire had more force: for the world fighteth for the just.

The fire had more force. Viz., When the fire and hail mingled together laid waste the land of Egypt, Exodus ix. (Challoner) --- This destroyed the useful cattle, but not such as infested the Egyptians. (Worthington) --- The water seemed to nourish the flames, 3 Kings 18:39.
Wisdom 16:18 For at one time, the fire was mitigated, that the beasts which were sent against the wicked might not be burnt, but that they might see, and perceive that they were persecuted by the judgment of God.

Mitigated. The Egyptians could not banish the insects with fire and smoke, (Jansenius) or the storm sent by God, did not exterminate the sciniphs, which had caused the magicians to acknowledge a miracle, Exodus 8:18. The frogs and flies were already gone, Ibid.[Exodus viii.?] 11., and 31. (Calmet)
Wisdom 16:19 And at another time the fire, above its own power, burnt in the midst of water, to destroy the fruits of a wicked land.

Wisdom 16:20 *Instead of which things, thou didst feed thy people with the food of angels, and gavest them bread from heaven, prepared without labour; having in it all that is delicious, and the sweetness of every taste.

Exodus 16:14.; Numbers 11:7.; Psalm 77:25.; John 6:31.
Angels. See Exodus xvi. (Worthington) --- If angels stood in need of food, they could have nothing more delicious. So water is styled honey, to denote its excellence, Psalm 77:25., Leviticus 20:24., and Joel 3:18. --- Taste. These expressions are figurative. (Calmet)
Wisdom 16:21 For thy sustenance shewed thy sweetness to thy children, and serving every man's will, it was turned to what every man liked.

Sustenance. Literally, "substance," which some explain (Calmet) of God himself preparing this delicious food. (Naz. or. xlix.) --- Liked. So that if a person wished to eat an egg, etc., the manna became one, without altering its appearance, which is the case in the blessed Eucharist. (Valentia, 4 disp. 6., etc.) --- But this opinion supposes a continued miracle, which seems not necessary, and it is generally believed that the taste alone was changed, which St. Augustine and others restrain to God's faithful servants, otherwise the Hebrews could not have been disgusted with manna, Numbers 11:6., and 21:5. To these it was therefore simply manna. But the others found in it whatever they could desire. (St. Gregory, Mor. 6:9.) --- Yet according to others, (Haydock) both enjoyed the same privilege. (Menochius) --- We cannot account for men's fancies.
Wisdom 16:22 *But snow and ice endured the force of fire, and melted not: that they might know that fire, burning in the hail, and flashing in the rain, destroyed the fruits of the enemies.

Exodus 9:24.
Wisdom 16:23 But this same again, that the just might be nourished, did even forget its own strength.

Wisdom 16:24 For the creature serving thee, the Creator, is made fierce against the unjust for their punishment; and abateth its strength for the benefit of them that trust in thee.

Wisdom 16:25 Therefore even then it was transformed into all things, and was obedient to thy grace, that nourisheth all, according to the will of them that desired it of thee:

Wisdom 16:26 That thy children, O Lord, *whom thou lovedst, might know that it is not the growing of fruits that nourisheth men, but thy word preserveth them that believe in thee:

Deuteronomy 8:3.; Matthew 4:4.
Word. Deuteronomy 8:3., and Matthew 4:4. Fruits, of themselves, could not support man. (Calmet)
Wisdom 16:27 For that which could not be destroyed by fire, being warmed with a little sunbeam, presently melted away:

Wisdom 16:28 That it might be known to all, that we ought to prevent the sun to bless thee, and adore thee at the dawning of the light.

Light. Those who desire to receive any favour must seek it with diligence, as the manna was to be gathered before sun-rise. (Clarius.) (Calmet)
Wisdom 16:29 For the hope of the unthankful shall melt away as the winter's ice, and shall run off as unprofitable water.

Water. The ungrateful and negligent shall find their hopes frustrated, (Calmet) as well as the wicked, who expect salvation (Worthington) without a change of manners. (Haydock) --- Ingratitude stops the fountain of grace. (Menochius)
Wisdom 17:0 The Egyptian darkness.

Wisdom 17:1 For thy judgments, O Lord, are great, and thy words cannot be expressed: therefore undisciplined souls have erred.

Souls. The Egyptians, who were punished with horrible darkness, as they had followed an unjust, dark, and cruel policy against the Hebrews.
Wisdom 17:2 *For while the wicked thought to be able to have dominion over the holy nation, they themselves being fettered with the bonds of darkness, and a long night, shut up in their houses, lay there exiled from the eternal providence.

Exodus 10:23.
Providence, and day-light, like incorrigible slaves, in prison. (Calmet) --- The Egyptians were three days in darkness, (Exodus 10:22.) and the Gentiles continued without faith in God, till after Christ's resurrection. (Worthington) --- Only few served him, before that glorious event.
Wisdom 17:3 And while they thought to lie hid in their obscure sins, they were scattered under a dark veil of forgetfulness, being horribly afraid, and troubled with exceeding great astonishment.

Sins. This interior darkness was punished with the exterior one. (Calmet) --- Forgetfulness. Of each other, being concerned only for themselves, (Haydock) or they seemed to be forgotten by Providence, or buried in Lethean, most dismal obscurity. The interpreter thus mentions Cocytus, without sanctioning poetical fables, Job 21:33. (Menochius) --- Exceeding. Greek, "spectres." (Calmet)
Wisdom 17:4 For neither did the den that held them, keep them from fear: for noises coming down troubled them, and sad visions appearing to them, affrighted them.

Wisdom 17:5 And no power of fire could give them light, neither could the bright flames of the stars enlighten that horrible night.

Wisdom 17:6 But there appeared to them a sudden fire, very dreadful: and being struck with the fear of that face, which was not seen, they thought the things which they saw to be worse:

Fire. Like lightning, which would not allow them leisure to distinguish objects. (Calmet)
Wisdom 17:7 *And the delusions of their magic art were put down, and their boasting of wisdom was reproachfully rebuked.

Exodus 7:22.; Exodus 8:7.
Rebuked. Or chastised. (Haydock) --- The magicians could not imitate this miracle, nor secure themselves from its horrors. (Calmet)
Wisdom 17:8 For they who promised to drive away fears and troubles from a sick soul, were sick themselves of a fear worthy to be laughed at.

Wisdom 17:9 For though no terrible thing disturbed them: yet being scared with the passing by of beasts, and hissing of serpents, they died for fear: and denying that they saw the air, which could by no means be avoided.

Fear. the Egyptians kept serpents in their houses, and fed them. But now, neglecting to shew this attention, they were affrighted with their hissing. --- Air. Or could live. They seemed to wish for death, (Calmet) like the damned, but it fled from them. (Haydock)
Wisdom 17:10 For whereas wickedness is fearful, it beareth witness of its condemnation: for a troubled conscience always forecasteth grievous things.

Things. The wicked are most cowardly. (Calmet) --- "Crimes may be safe; they cannot be secure." (Seneca, ep. xcvii.)
Wisdom 17:11 For fear is nothing else but a yielding up of the succours from thought.

Thought. And giving way to despair, when it is extreme.
Wisdom 17:12 And while there is less expectation from within, the greater doth it count the ignorance of that cause which bringeth the torment.

Expectation. Or fear. Such an one is filled with a mortal anxiety.
Wisdom 17:13 But they that during that night, in which nothing could be done, and which came upon them from the lowest and deepest hell, slept the same sleep,

Wisdom 17:14 Were sometimes molested with the fear of monsters, sometimes fainted away, their soul failing them: for a sudden and unlooked-for fear was come upon them.

Them. From the sight of spectres, and remorse of conscience.
Wisdom 17:15 Moreover, if any of them had fallen down, he was kept shut up in prison without irons.

Irons. Darkness forced them to stay where they were. (Calmet)
Wisdom 17:16 For if any one were a husbandman, or a shepherd, or a labourer in the field, and was suddenly overtaken, he endured a necessity from which he could not fly.

Wisdom 17:17 For they were all bound together with one chain of darkness. Whether it were a whistling wind, or the melodious voice of birds, among the spreading branches of trees, or a fall of water running down with violence,

Birds. Nothing can afford comfort to the affrighted. (Menochius)
Wisdom 17:18 Or the mighty noise of stones tumbling down, or the running that could not be seen of beasts playing together, or the roaring voice of wild beasts, or a rebounding echo from the highest mountains: these things made them to swoon for fear.

Wisdom 17:19 For the whole world was enlightened, with a clear light, and none were hindered in their labours.

Wisdom 17:20 But over them only was spread a heavy night, an image of that darkness which was to come upon them. But they were to themselves more grievous than the darkness.

Wisdom 18:0 The slaughter of the first-born in Egypt: the efficacy of Aaron's intercession, in the sedition on occasion of Core.

Wisdom 18:1 But *thy saints had a very great light, and they heard their voice indeed, but did not see their shape. And because they also did not suffer the same things, they glorified thee:

Exodus 10:23.
Their. The Hebrews' (Menochius) or rather the Egyptians' voice. The land of Gossen was preserved from these horrors, (Calmet) though such Egyptians as might be found there, were exposed to them; and their dismal lamentations made the people of God appreciate their own happiness. They are styled saints, (Haydock) as the Church is holy, and has always some saints in her society. Out of it there is no sanctity. (Worthington)
Wisdom 18:2 And they that before had been wronged, gave thanks, because they were not hurt now: and asked this gift, that there might be a difference.

Wisdom 18:3 *Therefore they received a burning pillar of fire for a guide of the way which they knew not, and thou gavest them a harmless sun of a good entertainment.

Exodus 14:24.; Psalm 77:14.; Psalm 104:39.
Therefore. "Instead of those things, " (Greek) darkness and complaints, (Haydock) God led away his people in triumph. (Habacuc 3:3.) --- A harmless sun. A light that should not hurt or molest them; but that should be an agreeable guest to them; (Challoner) or the desert should receive them, where they should be provided with food. (Menochius)
Wisdom 18:4 The others indeed were worthy to be deprived of light, and imprisoned in darkness, who kept thy children shut up, by whom the pure light of the law was to be given to the world.

Was. Literally, "began." (Haydock) --- In Egypt, the Hebrews themselves were unacquainted with the law, which was given at their arrival at Sinai, and by means of the Greek version, and the propagation of the gospel, it was more divulged. (Calmet) --- The unwritten law was, however, better preserved in that nation, than in any other: and the Jews were selected, in order that they might communicate the treasure to all. (Haydock)
Wisdom 18:5 *And whereas they thought to kill the babes of the just, one child being cast forth, and saved to reprove them, thou tookest away a multitude of their children, **and destroyedst them altogether in a mighty water.

Exodus 1:16.; Exodus 2:3.; Exodus 14:27.
One child. Viz., Moses. (Challoner) --- He was preserved to be the leader of the Hebrews, when the Egyptians were drowned (Worthington) in the Red Sea. (Menochius)
Wisdom 18:6 For that night was known before by our fathers, that assuredly knowing what oaths they had trusted to, they might be of better courage.

Fathers. God had assured the patriarchs, that he would visit his people, and Moses had told them what would take place, during the night of their deliverance, Exodus 4:22., and 11:4. (Calmet)
Wisdom 18:7 So thy people received the salvation of the just, and destruction of the unjust.

Wisdom 18:8 For as thou didst punish the adversaries: so thou didst also encourage and glorify us.

Wisdom 18:9 For the just children of good men were offering sacrifice secretly, and they unanimously ordered a law of justice: that the just should receive both good and evil alike, singing now the praises of the fathers.

Men. The patriarchs. Their children, the Israelites, offered in private the sacrifice of the paschal lamb; and were regulating what they were to do in their journey, when that last and most dreadful plague was coming upon their enemies. (Challoner) --- Alike. The feast was a bond of union with God and their neighbour, (Calmet) and the Hebrews resolved to be always true to one another both in prosperity and adversity. (Haydock) --- Fathers. Abraham, etc. Songs usually accompanied feasts, and the promises made to the patriarchs filled the Hebrews with confidence that they would shortly take possession of Chanaan. (Calmet)
Wisdom 18:10 But on the other side there sounded an ill-according cry of the enemies, and a lamentable mourning was heard for the children that were bewailed.

Wisdom 18:11 *And the servant suffered the same punishment as the master, and a common man suffered in like manner as the king.

Exodus 12:29.
Wisdom 18:12 So all alike had innumerable dead, with one kind of death. Neither were the living sufficient to bury them: for in one moment the noblest offspring of them was destroyed.

Noblest. The first-born (Challoner) of Pharao, and those of slaves and cattle, were slain, Exodus xii. (Calmet)
Wisdom 18:13 For whereas they would not believe any thing before by reason of the enchantments, then first upon the destruction of the first-born, they acknowledged the people to be of God

Wisdom 18:14 For while all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course,

Course. This description of the decree, or angel of the Lord, is most magnificent. The Church applies it to Christ's nativity, who is thought to have been born at midnight. (Calmet) --- It insinuated his coming, when the world should enjoy a profound peace, though buried in the darkness of ignorance. (Worthington)
Wisdom 18:15 Thy Almighty word leapt down from heaven from thy royal throne, as a fierce conqueror into the midst of the land of destruction,

Wisdom 18:16 With a sharp sword carrying thy unfeigned commandment, and he stood and filled all things with death, and standing on the earth, reached even to heaven.

Wisdom 18:17 Then suddenly visions of evil dreams troubled them, and fears unlooked for came upon them.

Visions. These informed the Egyptians, that their miseries were not to be attributed to any natural cause. The dying proclaimed the same, as Moses had done, Exodus 11:4.
Wisdom 18:18 And one thrown here, another there, half dead, shewed the cause of his death.

Wisdom 18:19 For the visions that troubled them foreshewed these things, lest they should perish, and not know why they suffered these evils.

Wisdom 18:20 But the just also were afterwards touched by an assault of death, and there was a disturbance of the multitude in the wilderness: but thy wrath did not long continue.

Wisdom 18:21 *For a blameless man made haste to pray for the people, bringing forth the shield of his ministry, prayer, and by incense making supplication, withstood the wrath, and put an end to the calamity, shewing that he was thy servant.

Numbers 16:46.
Wisdom 18:22 And he overcame the disturbance, not by strength of body nor with force of arms, but with a word he subdued him that punished them, alleging the oaths and covenant made with the fathers.

Wisdom 18:23 For when they were now fallen down dead by heaps one upon another, he stood between and stayed the assault, and cut off the way to the living.

Living. Whom the angel was prevented from attacking, Numbers 16:47. (Calmet)
Wisdom 18:24 *For in the priestly robe which he wore, was the whole world: and in the four rows of the stones, the glory of the fathers was graven, and thy Majesty was written upon the diadem of his head.

Exodus 28:6.
Priestly. Literally, robe of the poderis, (Haydock) "reaching down to the feet," and made of sky-blue linen, with pomegranates and bells at the bottom. (Calmet) --- The colours represented the four elements. (Haydock) --- See St. Jerome, ep. cxxviii.; Josephus, [Jewish Antiquities?] 3:8. --- Fathers. The twelve descendants of Jacob, whose names appeared in the stones of the breast-plate, Exodus 28:17. --- Majesty. On a golden plate worn by the high priest on his forehead, was inscribed "Holiness to the Lord." (Ibid.[Exodus?] xxxvi.) (Calmet) --- Sanctitas Jehova. (Menochius)
Wisdom 18:25 And to these the destroyer gave place, and was afraid of them: for the proof only of wrath was enough.

Afraid. Or shewed a regard for them. (Haydock) --- Great is the power of a saint, of holy vestments, and of prayer. (Menochius) --- Enough. God did not intend to exterminate his people, as he had done the first-born of Egypt. (Calmet)
Wisdom 19:0 Why God shewed no mercy to the Egyptians. His favour to the Israelites. All creatures obey God's orders for the service of the good, and the punishment of the wicked.

Wisdom 19:1 But as to the wicked, even to the end there came upon them wrath without mercy. For he knew before also what they would do:

Knew. God foresaw the malice of the Egyptians against his people, but as not the author of it. (Worthington)
Wisdom 19:2 For when they had given them leave to depart, and had sent them away with great care, they repented, and pursued after them.

Care. Literally, "solicitude," (Haydock) so that they would not allow them time to prepare victuals.
Wisdom 19:3 *For whilst they were yet mourning, and lamenting at the graves of the dead, they took up another foolish device: and pursued them as fugitives whom they had pressed to be gone:

Exodus 14:5.
Wisdom 19:4 For a necessity, of which they were worthy, brought them to this end: and they lost the remembrance of those things which had happened, that their punishment might fill up what was wanting to their torments:

Necessity. God permitted them to be blinded by their own obstinacy. (Calmet) --- They rushed headlong into the channel of the Red Sea. (Haydock)
Wisdom 19:5 And that thy people might wonderfully pass through, but they might find a new death.

Wisdom 19:6 For every creature, according to its kind, was fashioned again as from the beginning, obeying thy commandments, that thy children might be kept without hurt.

Beginning. It seemed susceptible of any form; and the elements appeared to be of another nature. The fire burnt in water, the sea retired, etc., Wisdom 5:21., and 16:24.
Wisdom 19:7 For a cloud overshadowed their camp, and where water was before, dry land appeared, and in the Red Sea a way without hinderance, and out of the great deep a springing field:

Field. Like a meadow, (Calmet) germinans, "growing grass." (Septuagint) (Haydock) --- Pliny ([Natural History?] 13:25.) attests, that "the Red Sea, and all the eastern ocean, are full of wood." The Hebrews passed with as much ease as in a desert, (Psalm 105:9., and Isaias 63:13.) or place of pasture, while the sea seemed to be in quest of other channels. (Calmet) (Genesis 1:9.) (Haydock)
Wisdom 19:8 Through which all the nation passed which was protected with thy hand, seeing thy miracles and wonders.

Wisdom 19:9 For they fed on their food like horses, and they skipped like lambs, praising thee, O Lord, who hadst delivered them.

Wisdom 19:10 For they were yet mindful of those things which had been done in the time of their sojourning, how the ground brought forth flies instead of cattle, and how the river cast up a multitude of frogs instead of fishes.

Wisdom 19:11 *And at length they saw a new generation of birds, when being led by their appetite, they asked for delicate meats.

Exodus 16:13.; Numbers 11:31.; Wisdom 16:2.
Wisdom 19:12 For to satisfy their desire, the quail came up to them from the sea: and punishments came upon the sinners, not without foregoing signs by the force of thunders: for they suffered justly according to their own wickedness.

Thunders. Which took place at the destruction of Sodom, for their warning. (Calmet)
Wisdom 19:13 For they exercised a more detestable inhospitality than any: others indeed received not strangers unknown to them, but these brought their guests into bondage that had deserved well of them.

Wisdom 19:14 And not only so, but in another respect also they were worse: for the others, against their will, received the strangers.

In another. Literally, "but there was another respect (or punishment) of them, because unwillingly they received strangers," Genesis 19:1. (Haydock) --- The Amorrhites would not admit the Israelites, Numbers 21:21. (Worthington)
Wisdom 19:15 But these grievously afflicted them whom they had received with joy, and who lived under the same laws.

Laws. Or "rights," justitiis. The Hebrews acknowledged the civil authority (Menochius) of Pharao, though they adopted not his religion, Wisdom 18:4. (Haydock)
Wisdom 19:16 But they were struck with blindness: *as those others were at the doors of the just man, when they were covered with sudden darkness, and every one sought the passage of his own door.

Genesis 19:11.
Wisdom 19:17 For while the elements are changed in themselves, as in an instrument the sound of the quality is changed, yet all keep their sound: which may clearly be perceived by the very sight.

Changed. The meaning is, that whatever changes God wrought in the elements by miracles in favour of his people, they still kept their harmony by obeying his will. (Challoner) --- He answers the objection of philosophers, who argued against the possibility of miracles, as being against the established laws of nature. But they induce no more confusion than the various strings of a harp, when they are touched with skill, though they have each their respective name and sound. The ancients frequently compared the harmony of the universe to a musical instrument. See plut.[Plutarch?] Macrobius, som. 2:--- Sight. Septuagint add, "of what happened" (Haydock) in those miraculous changes.
Wisdom 19:18 For the things of the land were turned into things of the water: and the things that before swam in the water passed upon the land.

Water. Men, etc., passed through the Red Sea, while frogs got into houses.
Wisdom 19:19 The fire had power in water above its own virtue, and the water forgot its quenching nature.

Wisdom 19:20 On the other side, the flames wasted not the flesh of corruptible animals walking therein, neither did they melt that good food, which was apt to melt as ice. For in all things thou didst magnify thy people, O Lord, and didst honour them, and didst not despise them, but didst assist them at all times, and in every place.

Therein. For the punishment of the Egyptians, Wisdom 16:18. (Calmet) --- Food. Manna. (Challoner) --- Septuagint, "immortal food," ambrosia. (Haydock) --- Place. This conclusion agrees very well with the preceding observations. But it seems some thing should be said respecting the original petition for wisdom; whence we conclude, with Grotius, that the work is imperfect: (Calmet) though this is by no means clear, as the prayer is sufficiently expressed in the nine first chapters, if not in the whole book, and God answers it, 3 Kings ix. (Haydock)