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Ver. 1. Hand. Agreements were made by shaking hands, Isaias lxii. 8. (Xenophon, Anab. iii.) --- Stranger. Septuagint, "enemy." He will presently be such, or thy friend's creditor will soon lay hold on thee. By standing surety for another, we expose ourselves to be ruined by his negligence. (Calmet) --- The Persians had a horror chiefly of lying and debts. (Herodotus i. 138.) --- All sureties are not condemned, but only such as are inconsiderate. (Menochius) --- A diligent compliance with engagements is commended. (Worthington)
Ver. 3.Make. Hebrew, "humble thyself, and made sure thy friend," (Protestant) entreating (Haydock) and forcing him to pay his debts. The Fathers apply this to pastors, who have undertaken to direct others. Their soul is at stake. (St. Gregory) (Calmet)
Ver. 8.Harvest. The economy and diligence of this littel republic is admirable. (Pliny, [Natural History?] xxx. 11.) --- Some copies of the Septuagint add with St. Ambrose, (Hex. v. 1., &c.; Calmet) "or go to the bee, and behold what a worker it is, and how beautiful is its work; whose labours kings and private people use for health. But it is desirable and glorious to all; and though it be weak in strength, by the love of wisdom it has got forward" (Haydock) in esteem. (Calmet) --- Nature has given the form of a monarchy in bees, and of a democracy in the regulations of the ant. (Tournemine)
Ver. 11.A traveller. Septuagint add, "wicked," and Hebrew gives the idea of a robber. (Menochius) --- But, &c. This is not in Hebrew, Complutensian, or St. Jerome. (Calmet)
Ver. 12.Apostate. Hebrew, "of Belial,["] without restraint of religion and law. (Calmet) --- Deuteronomy xiii. 13. (Menochius) --- Every one who sins through malice and particularly heretics, employ all their members to pervert others. (Worthington) --- Mouth. No reliance can be had on his promises. (Calmet)
Ver. 13.Finger. These signs imply haughtiness, &c., Psalm xxxiv. 19., and Isaias lviii. 9. The posture indicates the interior sentiments, (St. Ambrose, off. i. 18.) insomuch, that St. Ambrose would not receive among the clergy one whose gestures were too light. The Persians still speak by signs. (Calmet)
Ver. 16.Detesteth. This expression does not always mean that the last is worse than the former. (Menochius) --- All the six sins are damnable, but the seventh is here, most so, being against charity and unity, and the devil's sin. (Worthington) --- Lying seems to be reprobated by three different terms. (Calmet)
Ver. 23.Instruction. Given for our improvement, (Haydock) with charity. See Deuteronomy vi. 6., and Psalm xviii. 9.
Ver. 24.Stranger. This is often inculcated, because nothing is more dangerous in youth, nor more contrary to the study of wisdom.
Ver. 26.Woman. Who is married, exposes her lover to the danger of death. She chooses the most accomplished men, while the harlot receives the first comer. (Calmet)
Ver. 27.Burn. No one can deal with an adulteress without guilt. (Menochius) --- All probable occasions of sin must be shunned. (Worthington)
Ver. 29.Clean. Or be left unpunished. No crime disturbs the order of society so much, nor is pardoned with more difficulty.
Ver. 30.The fault is not so great, &c. The sin of theft is not so great, as to be compared with adultery: especially when a person pressed with hunger (which is the case here spoken of) steals to satisfy nature. Moreover the damage done by theft may much more easily be repaired, then the wrong done by adultery. But this does not hinder but that theft also is a mortal sin, forbidden by one of the ten commandments. (Challoner) --- Hebrew, "they will not despise a thief, when he hath stolen to fill his soul, when he is hunger." (Mont.[Montanus?]) (Haydock) --- This was commonly supposed to be his motive, and he was only condemned to make restitution, without any further disgrace, chap. xix. 24., and Exodus xxii. 1. But what necessity could the adulterer plead? Both he and the woman must suffer death, Leviticus xx. 10.
Ver. 31.Seven-fold. Or as much as may be required. The law never subjected the thief to restore above five-fold. If he had not enough, his person might be sold. (Calmet)
Ver. 32.Folly. Literally, "want," inopiam. Hebrew, "is faint-hearted, corrupting his own soul, he will do that." (Haydock)
Ver. 35.Gifts. "A husband would rather hear that his wife had been slain, than that she had been defiled." (St. Jerome in Amos vi.)