Part 37 out of 74
7:16. These things also I saw in the days of my vanity: A just man
perisheth in his justice, and a wicked man liveth a long time in his
7:17. Be not over just: and be not more wise than is necessary, lest
thou become stupid.
Over just. . .Viz., By an excessive rigour in censuring the ways of God
in bearing with the wicked.
7:18. Be not overmuch wicked: and be not foolish, lest thou die before
Be not overmuch wicked. . .That is, lest by the greatness of your sin
you leave no room for mercy.
7:19. It is good that thou shouldst hold up the just, yea and from him
withdraw not thy hand: for he that feareth God, neglecteth nothing.
7:20. Wisdom hath strengthened the wise more than ten princes of the
7:21. For there is no just man upon earth, that doth good, and sinneth
7:22. But do not apply thy heart to all words that are spoken: lest
perhaps thou hear thy servant reviling thee.
7:23. For thy conscience knoweth that thou also hast often spoken evil
7:24. I have tried all things in wisdom. I have said: I will be wise:
and it departed farther from me,
7:25. Much more than it was: it is a great depth, who shall find it
7:26. I have surveyed all things with my mind, to know, and consider,
and seek out wisdom and reason: and to know the wickedness of the fool,
and the error of the imprudent:
7:27. And I have found a woman more bitter than death, who is the
hunter's snare, and her heart is a net, and her hands are bands. He
that pleaseth God shall escape from her: but he that is a sinner, shall
be caught by her.
7:28. Lo this have I found, said Ecclesiastes, weighing one thing after
another, that I might find out the account,
7:29. Which yet my soul seeketh, and I have not found it. One man among
a thousand I have found, a woman among them all I have not found.
7:30. Only this I have found, that God made man right, and he hath
entangled himself with an infinity of questions. Who is as the wise
man? and who hath known the resolution of the word?
Of the word. . .That is, of this obscure and difficult matter.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 8
True wisdom is to observe God's commandments. The ways of God are
8:1. The wisdom of a man shineth in his countenance, and the most
mighty will change his face.
8:2. I observe the mouth of the king, and the commandments of the oath
8:3. Be not hasty to depart from his face, and do not continue in an
evil work: for he will do all that pleaseth him:
8:4. And his word is full of power: neither can any man say to him: Why
dost thou so?
8:5. He that keepeth the commandment, shall find no evil. The heart of
a wiser man understandeth time and answer.
8:6. There is a time and opportunity for every business, and great
affliction for man:
8:7. Because he is ignorant of things past, and things to come he
cannot know by any messenger.
8:8. It is not in man's power to stop the spirit, neither hath he power
in the day of death, neither is he suffered to rest when war is at
hand, neither shall wickedness save the wicked.
8:9. All these things I have considered, and applied my heart to all
the works that are done under the sun. Sometimes one man ruleth over
another to his own hurt.
8:10. I saw the wicked buried: who also when they were yet living were
in the holy place, and were praised in the city as men of just works:
but this also is vanity.
8:11. For because sentence is not speedily pronounced against the evil,
the children of men commit evils without any fear.
8:12. But though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and by patience be
borne withal, I know from thence that it shall be well with them that
fear God, who dread his face.
8:13. But let it not be well with the wicked, neither let his days be
prolonged, but as a shadow let them pass away that fear not the face of
8:14. There is also another vanity, which is done upon the earth. There
are just men to whom evils happen, as though they had done the works of
the wicked: and there are wicked men, who are as secure as though they
had the deeds of the just: but this also I judge most vain.
8:15. Therefore I commended mirth, because there was no good for a man
under the sun, but to eat, and drink, and be merry, and that he should
take nothing else with him of his labour in the days of his life, which
God hath given him under the sun.
No good for a man, etc. . .Some commentators think the wise man here
speaks in the person of the libertine: representing the objections of
these men against divine providence, and the inferences they draw from
thence, which he takes care afterwards to refute. But it may also be
said, that his meaning is to commend the moderate use of the goods of
this world, preferably to the cares and solicitudes of worldlings,
their attachment to vanity and curiosity, and presumptuously diving
into the unsearchable ways of divine providence.
8:16. And I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to understand the
distraction that is upon earth: for there are some that day and night
take no sleep with their eyes.
8:17. And I understood that man can find no reason of all those works
of God that are done under the sun: and the more he shall labour to
seek, so much the less shall he find: yea, though the wise man shall
say, that he knoweth it, he shall not be able to find it.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 9
Man knows not certainty that he is in God's grace. After death no more
work or merit.
9:1. All these things have I considered in my heart, that I might
carefully understand them: there are just men and wise men, and their
works are in the hand of God: and yet man knoweth not whether he be
worthy of love, or hatred:
9:2. But all things are kept uncertain for the time to come, because
all things equally happen to the just and to the wicked, to the good
and to the evil, to the clean and to the unclean, to him that offereth
victims, and to him that despiseth sacrifices. As the good is, so also
is the sinner: as the perjured, so he also that sweareth truth.
9:3. This is a very great evil among all things that are done under the
sun, that the same things happen to all men: whereby also the hearts of
the children of men are filled with evil, and with contempt while they
live, and afterwards they shall be brought down to hell.
9:4. There is no man that liveth always, or that hopeth for this: a
living dog is better than a dead lion.
9:5. For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know nothing
more, neither have they a reward any more: for the memory of them is
Know nothing more. . .Viz., as to the transactions of this world, in
which they have now no part, unless it be revealed to them; neither
have they any knowledge or power now of doing any thing to secure their
eternal state, (if they have not taken care of it in their lifetime:)
nor can they now procure themselves any good, as the living always may
do, by the grace of God.
9:6. Their love also, and their hatred, and their envy are all
perished, neither have they any part in this world, and in the work
that is done under the sun.
9:7. Go then, and eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with
gladness: because thy works please God.
9:8. At all times let thy garments be white, and let not oil depart
from thy head.
9:9. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest, all the days of thy
unsteady life, which are given to thee under the sun, all the time of
thy vanity: for this is thy portion in life, and in thy labour
wherewith thou labourest under the sun.
9:10. Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, do it earnestly: for neither
work, nor reason, nor wisdom, nor knowledge shall be in hell, whither
thou art hastening.
9:11. I turned me to another thing, and I saw that under the sun, the
race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to
the wise, nor riches to the learned, nor favour to the skilful: but
time and chance in all.
9:12. Man knoweth not his own end: but as fishes are taken with the
hook, and as birds are caught with the snare, so men are taken in the
evil time, when it shall suddenly come upon them.
9:13. This wisdom also I have seen under the sun, and it seemed to me
to be very great:
9:14. A little city, and few men in it: there came against it a great
king, and invested it, and built bulwarks round about it, and the siege
9:15. Now there was found in it a man poor and wise, and he delivered
the city by his wisdom, and no man afterward remembered that poor man.
9:16. And I said that wisdom is better than strength: how then is the
wisdom of the poor man slighted, and his words not heard?
9:17. The words of the wise are heard in silence, more than the cry of
a prince among fools.
9:18. Better is wisdom, than weapons of war: and he that shall offend
in one, shall lose many good things.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 10
Observations on wisdom and folly, ambition and detraction.
10:1. Dying flies spoil the sweetness of the ointment. Wisdom and glory
is more precious than a small and shortlived folly.
10:2. The heart of a wise man is in his right hand, and the heart of a
fool is in his left hand.
10:3. Yea, and the fool when he walketh in the way, whereas he himself
is a fool, esteemeth all men fools.
10:4. If the spirit of him that hath power, ascend upon thee, leave not
thy place: because care will make the greatest sins to cease.
10:5. There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were by an
error proceeding from the face of the prince:
10:6. A fool set in high dignity, and the rich sitting beneath.
10:7. I have seen servants upon horses: and princes walking on the
ground as servants.
10:8. He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it: and he that breaketh a
hedge, a serpent shall bite him.
10:9. He that removeth stones, shall be hurt by them: and he that
cutteth trees, shall be wounded by them.
10:10. If the iron be blunt, and be not as before, but be made blunt,
with much labour it shall be sharpened: and after industry shall follow
10:11. If a serpent bite in silence, he is nothing better that
10:12. The words of the mouth of a wise man are grace: but the lips of
a fool shall throw him down headlong.
10:13. The beginning of his words is folly, and the end of his talk is
a mischievous error.
10:14. A fool multiplieth words. A man cannot tell what hath been
before him: and what shall be after him, who can tell him?
10:15. The labour of fools shall afflict them that know not how to go
to the city.
10:16. Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and when the
princes eat in the morning.
10:17. Blessed is the land, whose king is noble, and whose princes eat
in due season for refreshment, and not for riotousness.
10:18. By slothfulness a building shall be brought down, and through
the weakness of hands, the house shall drop through.
10:19. For laughter they make bread, and wine that the living may
feast: and all things obey money.
10:20. Detract not the king, no not in thy thought; and speak not evil
of the rich man in thy private chamber: because even the birds of the
air will carry thy voice, and he that hath wings will tell what thou
Ecclesiastes Chapter 11
Exhortation to works of mercy, while we have time, to diligence in
good, and to the remembrance of death and judgment.
11:1. Cast thy bread upon the running waters: for after a long time
thou shalt find it again.
11:2. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight: for thou knowest not
what evil shall be upon the earth.
11:3. If the clouds be full, they will pour out rain upon the earth. If
the tree fall to the south, or to the north, in what place soever it
shall fall, there shall it be.
If the tree fall, etc. . .The state of the soul is unchangeable when
once she comes to heaven or hell: and a soul that departs this life in
the state of grace, shall never fall from grace: as on the other side,
a soul that dies out of the state of grace, shall never come to it. But
this does not exclude a place of temporal punishments for such souls as
die in the state of grace: yet not so as to be entirely pure: and
therefore they shall be saved, indeed, yet so as by fire. 1 Cor. 3.13,
11:4. He that observeth the wind, shall not sow: and he that
considereth the clouds, shall never reap.
11:5. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the
bones are joined together in the womb of her that is with child: so
thou knowest not the works of God, who is the maker of all.
11:6. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening let not thy hand
cease: for thou knowest not which may rather spring up, this or that:
and if both together, it shall be the better.
11:7. The light is sweet, and it is delightful for the eyes to see the
11:8. If a man live many years, and have rejoiced in them all, he must
remember the darksome time, and the many days: which when they shall
come, the things past shall be accused of vanity.
11:9. Rejoice therefore, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart
be in that which is good in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways
of thy heart, and in the sight of thy eyes: and know that for all these
God will bring thee into judgment.
11:10. Remove anger from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh.
For youth and pleasure are vain.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 12
The Creator is to be remembered in the days of our youth: all worldly
things are vain: we should fear God and keep his commandments.
12:1. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the time of
affliction come, and the years draw nigh of which thou shalt say: They
please me not:
12:2. Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars be
darkened, and the clouds return after the rain:
Before the sun, etc. . .That is, before old age: the effects of which
upon all the senses and faculties are described in the following
verses, under a variety of figures.
12:3. When the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men
shall stagger, and the grinders shall be idle in a small number, and
they that look through the holes shall be darkened:
12:4. And they shall shut the doors in the street, when the grinder's
voice shall be low, and they shall rise up at the voice of the bird,
and all the daughters of music shall grow deaf.
12:5. And they shall fear high things, and they shall be afraid in the
way, the almond tree shall flourish, the locust shall be made fat, and
the caper tree shall be destroyed: because man shall go into the house
of his eternity, and the mourners shall go round about in the street.
12:6. Before the silver cord be broken, and the golden fillet shrink
back, and the pitcher be crushed at the fountain, and the wheel be
broken upon the cistern,
12:7. And the dust return into its earth, from whence it was, and the
spirit return to God, who gave it.
12:8. Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes, and all things are vanity.
12:9. And whereas Ecclesiastes was very wise, he taught the people, and
declared the things that he had done: and seeking out, he set forth
12:10. He sought profitable words, and wrote words most right, and full
12:11. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails deeply fastened
in, which by the counsel of masters are given from one shepherd.
12:12. More than these, my son, require not. Of making many books there
is no end: and much study is an affliction of the flesh.
12:13. Let us all hear together the conclusion of the discourse. Fear
God, and keep his commandments: for this is all man:
All man. . .The whole business and duty of man.
12:14. And all things that are done, God will bring into judgment for
every error, whether it be good or evil.
Error. . .Or, hidden and secret thing.
SOLOMON'S CANTICLE OF CANTICLES
This Book is called the Canticle of Canticles, that is to say, the most
excellent of all canticles: because it is full of high mysteries,
relating to the happy union of Christ and his spouse: which is here
begun by love; and is to be eternal in heaven. The spouse of Christ is
the church: more especially as to the happiest part of it, viz.,
perfect souls, every one of which is his beloved, but, above all
others, the immaculate and ever blessed virgin mother.
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 1
The spouse aspires to an union with Christ, their mutual love for one
1:1. Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth: for thy breasts are
better than wine,
Let him kiss me. . .The church, the spouse of Christ, prays that he may
love and have peace with her, which the spouse prefers to every thing
delicious: and therefore expresses (ver. 2) that young maidens, that is
the souls of the faithful, have loved thee.
1:2. Smelling sweet of the best ointments. Thy name is as oil poured
out: therefore young maidens have loved thee.
1:3. Draw me: we will run after thee to the odour of thy ointments. The
king hath brought me into his storerooms: we will be glad and rejoice
in thee, remembering thy breasts more than wine: the rightous love
Draw me. . .That is, with thy grace: otherwise I should not be able to
come to thee. This metaphor shews that we cannot of ourselves come to
Christ our Lord, unless he draws us by his grace, which is laid up in
his storerooms: that is, in the mysteries of Faith, which God in his
goodness and love for mankind hath revealed, first by his servant Moses
in the Old Law in figure only, and afterwards in reality by his only
begotten Son Jesus Christ.
1:4. I am black but beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the
tents of Cedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
I am black but beautiful. . .That is, the church of Christ founded in
humility appearing outwardly afflicted, and as it were black and
contemptible; but inwardly, that is, in its doctrine and morality, fair
1:5. Do not consider me that I am brown, because the sun hath altered
my colour: the sons of my mother have fought against me, they have made
me the keeper in the vineyards: my vineyard I have not kept.
1:6. Shew me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where
thou liest in the midday, lest I begin to wander after the flocks of
1:7. If thou know not thyself, O fairest among women, go forth, and
follow after the steps of the flocks, and feed thy kids beside the
tents of the shepherds.
If thou know not thyself, etc. . .Christ encourages his spouse to follow
and watch her flock: and though she know not entirely the power at hand
to assist her, he tells her, ver. 8, my company of horsemen, that is,
his angels, are always watching and protecting her. And in the
following verses he reminds her of the virtues and gifts with which he
has endowed her.
1:8. To my company of horsemen, in Pharao's chariots, have I likened
thee, O my love.
1:9. Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtledove's, thy neck as jewels.
1:10. We will make thee chains of gold, inlaid with silver.
1:11. While the king was at his repose, my spikenard sent forth the
1:12. A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, he shall abide between my
1:13. A cluster of cypress my love is to me, in the vineyards of
1:14. Behold thou are fair, O my love, behold thou are fair, thy eyes
are as those of doves.
1:15. Behold thou art fair, my beloved, and comely. Our bed is
1:16. The beams of our houses are of cedar, our rafters of cypress
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 2
Christ caresses his spouse: he invites her to him.
2:1. I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys.
I am the flower of the field. . .Christ professes himself the flower of
mankind, yea, the Lord of all creatures: and, ver. 2, declares the
excellence of his spouse, the true church above all other societies,
which are to be considered as thorns.
2:2. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
2:3. As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved
among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his
fruit was sweet to my palate.
2:4. He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in
2:5. Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I
languish with love.
2:6. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace
2:7. I adjure you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and the
harts of the field, that you stir not up, nor make the beloved to
awake, till she please.
2:8. The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the
mountains, skipping over the hills.
The voice of my beloved: that is, the preaching of the gospel
surmounting difficulties figuratively here expressed by mountains and
2:9. My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth
behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the
2:10. Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my
dove, my beautiful one, and come.
2:11. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone.
2:12. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is
come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land:
2:13. The fig tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower
yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come:
2:14. My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the
wall, shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice
is sweet, and thy face comely.
2:15. Catch us the little foxes that destroy the vines: for our
vineyard hath flourished.
Catch us the little foxes. . .Christ commands his pastors to catch false
teachers, by holding forth their fallacy and erroneous doctrine, which
like foxes would bite and destroy the vines.
2:16. My beloved to me, and I to him who feedeth among the lilies,
2:17. Till the day break, and the shadows retire. Return: be like, my
beloved, to a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 3
The spouse seeks Christ. The glory of his humanity.
3:1. In my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him,
and found him not.
In my bed by night, etc. . .The Gentiles as in the dark, and seeking in
heathen delusion what they could not find, the true God, until Christ
revealed his doctrine to them by his watchmen, (ver. 3,) that is, by
the apostles, and teachers by whom they were converted to the true
faith; and holding that faith firmly, the spouse (the Catholic Church)
declares, ver. 4, That she will not let him go, till she bring him into
her mother's house, etc., that is, till at last, the Jews also shall
3:2. I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the
broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I
found him not.
3:3. The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him, whom
my soul loveth?
3:4. When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul
loveth: I held him: and I will not let him go, till I bring him into my
mother's house, and into the chamber of her that bore me.
3:5. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and the harts
of the fields, that you stir not up, nor awake my beloved, till she
3:6. Who is she that goeth up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of
aromatical spices, of myrrh, and frankincense, and of all the powders
of the perfumer?
3:7. Behold threescore valiant ones of the most valiant of Israel,
surrounded the bed of Solomon?
3:8. All holding swords, and most expert in war: every man's sword upon
his thigh, because of fears in the night.
3:9. King Solomon hath made him a litter of the wood of Libanus:
3:10. The pillars thereof he made of silver, the seat of gold, the
going up of purple: the midst he covered with charity for the daughters
3:11. Go forth, ye daughters of Sion, and see king Solomon in the
diadem, wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of the joy of his
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 4
Christ sets forth the graces of his spouse: and declares his love for
4:1. How beautiful art thou, my love, how beautiful art thou! thy eyes
are doves' eyes, besides what is hid within. Thy hair is as flocks of
goats, which come up from mount Galaad.
How beautiful art thou. . .Christ again praises the beauties of his
church, which through the whole of this chapter are exemplified by a
variety of metaphors, setting forth her purity, her simplicity, and her
4:2. Thy teeth as flocks of sheep, that are shorn, which come up from
the washing, all with twins, and there is none barren among them.
4:3. Thy lips are as a scarlet lace: and thy speech sweet. Thy cheeks
are as a piece of a pomegranate, besides that which lieth hid within.
4:4. Thy neck, is as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks:
a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of valiant men.
4:5. Thy two breasts like two young roes that are twins, which feed
among the lilies.
Thy two breasts, etc. . .Mystically to be understood: the love of God
and the love of our neighbour, which are so united as twins which feed
among the lilies: that is, the love of God and our neighbour, feeds on
the divine mysteries and the holy sacraments, left by Christ to his
spouse to feed and nourish her children.
4:6. Till the day break, and the shadows retire, I will go to the
mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.
4:7. Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee.
4:8. Come from Libanus, my spouse, come from Libanus, come: thou shalt
be crowned from the top of Amana, from the top of Sanir and Hermon,
from the dens of the lions, from the mountains of the leopards.
4:9. Thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast
wounded my heart with one of thy eyes, and with one hair of thy neck.
4:10. How beautiful are thy breasts, my sister, my spouse! thy breasts
are more beautiful than wine, and the sweet smell of thy ointments
above all aromatical spices.
4:11. Thy lips, my spouse, are as a dropping honeycomb, honey and milk
are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments, as the smell of
4:12. My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a
fountain sealed up.
My sister, etc., a garden enclosed. . .Figuratively the church is
enclosed, containing only the faithful. A fountain sealed up. . .That
none can drink of its waters, that is, the graces and spiritual
benefits of the holy sacraments, but those who are within its walls.
4:13. Thy plants are a paradise of pomegranates with the fruits of the
orchard. Cypress with spikenard.
4:14. Spikenard and saffron, sweet cane and cinnamon, with all the
trees of Libanus, myrrh and aloes with all the chief perfumes.
4:15. The fountain of gardens: the well of living waters, which run
with a strong stream from Libanus.
4:16. Arise, O north wind, and come, O south wind, blow through my
garden, and let the aromatical spices thereof flow.
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 5
Christ calls his spouse: she languishes with love: and describes him by
5:1. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat the fruit of his
apple trees. I am come into my garden, O my sister, my spouse, I have
gathered my myrrh, with my aromatical spices: I have eaten the
honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O
friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved.
Let my beloved come into his garden, etc. . .Garden, mystically the
church of Christ, abounding with fruit, that is, the good works of the
5:2. I sleep, and my heart watcheth: the voice of my beloved knocking:
Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is
full of dew, and my locks of the drops of the nights.
5:3. I have put off my garment, how shall I put it on? I have washed my
feet, how shall I defile them?
5:4. My beloved put his hand through the key hole, and my bowels were
moved at his touch.
My beloved put his hand through the key hole, etc. . .The spouse of
Christ, his church, at times as it were penned up by its persecutors,
and in fears, expecting the divine assistance, here signified by his
hand: and ver. 6, but he had turned aside and was gone, that is, Christ
permitting a further trial of suffering: and again, ver. 7, the
keepers, etc., signifying the violent and cruel persecutors of the
church taking her veil, despoiling the church of its places of worship
and ornaments for the divine service.
5:5. I arose up to open to my beloved: my hands dropped with myrrh, and
my fingers were full of the choicest myrrh.
5:6. I opened the bolt of my door to my beloved: but he had turned
aside, and was gone. My soul melted when he spoke: I sought him, and
found him not: I called, and he did not answer me.
5:7. The keepers that go about the city found me: they struck me: and
wounded me: the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.
5:8. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved,
that you tell him that I languish with love.
5:9. What manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, O thou most
beautiful among women? what manner of one is thy beloved of the
beloved, that thou hast so adjured us?
5:10. My beloved is white and ruddy, chosen out of thousands.
My beloved, etc. . .In this and the following verses, the church
mystically describes Christ to those who know him not, that is, to
infidels in order to convert them to the true faith.
5:11. His head is as the finest gold: his locks as branches of palm
trees, black as a raven.
5:12. His eyes as doves upon brooks of waters, which are washed with
milk, and sit beside the plentiful streams.
5:13. His cheeks are as beds of aromatical spices set by the perfumers.
His lips are as lilies dropping choice myrrh.
5:14. His hands are turned and as of gold, full of hyacinths. His belly
as of ivory, set with sapphires.
5:15. His legs as pillars of marble, that are set upon bases of gold.
His form as of Libanus, excellent as the cedars.
5:16. His throat most sweet, and he is all lovely: such is my beloved,
and he is my friend, O ye daughters of Jerusalem.
5:17. Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou most beautiful among women?
whither is thy beloved turned aside, and we will seek him with thee?
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 6
The spouse of Christ is but one: she is fair and terrible.
6:1. My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the bed of aromatical
spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
My beloved is gone down into his garden. . .Christ, pleased with the
good works of his holy and devout servants labouring in his garden, is
always present with them: but the words is gone down, are to be
understood, that after trying his Church by permitting persecution, he
comes to her assistance and she rejoices at his coming.
6:2. I to my beloved, and my beloved to me, who feedeth among the
6:3. Thou art beautiful, O my love, sweet and comely as Jerusalem
terrible as an army set in array.
6:4. Turn away thy eyes from me, for they have made me flee away. Thy
hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from Galaad.
6:5. Thy teeth as a flock of sheep, which come up from the washing, all
with twins, and there is none barren among them.
6:6. Thy cheeks are as the bark of a pomegranate, beside what is hidden
6:7. There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and young
maidens without number.
6:8. One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of
her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and
declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised
One is my dove, etc. . .That is, my church is one, and she only is
perfect and blessed.
6:9. Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the
moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?
Who is she, etc. . .Here is a beautiful metaphor describing the church
from the beginning. As, the morning rising, signifying the church
before the written law; fair as the moon, shewing her under the light
of the gospel: and terrible as an army, the power of Christ's church
against its enemies.
6:10. I went down into the garden of nuts, to see the fruits of the
valleys, and to look if the vineyard had flourished, and the
6:11. I knew not: my soul troubled me for the chariots of Aminadab.
6:12. Return, return, O Sulamitess: return, return that we may behold
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 7
A further description of the graces of the church the spouse of Christ.
7:1. What shalt thou see in the Sulamitess but the companies of camps?
How beautiful are thy steps in shoes, O prince's daughter! The joints
of thy thighs are like jewels, that are made by the hand of a skilful
How beautiful are thy steps, etc. . .By these metaphors are signified
the power and mission of the church in propagating the true faith.
7:2. Thy navel is like a round bowl never wanting cups. Thy belly is
like a heap of wheat, set about with lilies.
7:3. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.
7:4. Thy neck as a tower of ivory. Thy eyes like the fishpools in
Hesebon, which are in the gate of the daughter of the multitude. Thy
nose is as the tower of Libanus, that looketh toward Damascus.
7:5. Thy head is like Carmel: and the hairs of thy head as the purple
of the king bound in the channels.
Thy head is like Carmel. . .Christ, the invisible head of his church, is
7:6. How beautiful art thou, and how comely, my dearest, in delights!
7:7. Thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of
7:8. I said: I will go up into the palm tree, and will take hold of the
fruit thereof: and thy breasts shall be as the clusters of the vine:
and the odour of thy mouth like apples.
7:9. Thy throat like the best wine, worthy for my beloved to drink, and
for his lips and his teeth to ruminate.
7:10. I to my beloved, and his turning is towards me.
7:11. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field, let us abide in
7:12. Let us get up early to the vineyards, let us see if the vineyard
flourish, if the flowers be ready to bring forth fruits, if the
pomegranates flourish: there will I give thee my breasts.
7:13. The mandrakes give a smell. In our gates are all fruits: the new
and the old, my beloved, I have kept for thee.
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 8
The love of the church to Christ: his love to her.
8:1. Who shall give thee to me for my brother, sucking the breasts of
my mother, that I may find thee without, and kiss thee, and now no man
may despise me?
8:2. I will take hold of thee, and bring thee into my mother's house:
there thou shalt teach me, and I will give thee a cup of spiced wine
and new wine of my pomegranates.
8:3. His left hand under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me.
His left hand, etc. . .Words of the church to Christ. His left hand,
signifying the Old Testament, and his right hand, the New.
8:4. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you stir not up, nor
awake my love till she please.
8:5. Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights,
leaning upon her beloved? Under the apple tree I raised thee up: there
thy mother was corrupted, there she was defloured that bore thee.
Who is this, etc. . .The angels with admiration behold the Gentiles
converted to the faith: coming up from the desert, that is, coming from
heathenism and false worship: flowing with delights, that is, abounding
with good works which are pleasing to God: leaning on her beloved, on
the promise of Christ to his Church, that the gates of hell should not
prevail against it; and supported by his grace conferred by the
sacraments. Under the apple tree I raised thee up; that is, that Christ
redeemed the Gentiles at the foot of the cross, where the synagogue of
the Jews (the mother church) was corrupted by their denying him, and
8:6. Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love
is strong as death, jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are
fire and flames.
8:7. Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown
it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he
shall despise it as nothing.
8:8. Our sister is little, and hath no breasts. What shall we do to our
sister in the day when she is to be spoken to?
Our sister is little, etc. . .Mystically signifies the Jews, who are to
be spoken to: that is, converted towards the end of the world: and then
shall become a wall, that is, a part of the building, the church of
8:9. If she be a wall: let us build upon it bulwarks of silver: if she
be a door, let us join it together with boards of cedar.
8:10. I am a wall: and my breasts are as a tower since I am become in
his presence as one finding peace.
8:11. The peaceable had a vineyard, in that which hath people: he let
out the same to keepers, every man bringeth for the fruit thereof a
thousand pieces of silver.
8:12. My vineyard is before me. A thousand are for thee, the peaceable,
and two hundred for them that keep the fruit thereof.
8:13. Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the friends hearken: make me
hear thy voice.
8:14. Flee away, O my beloved, and be like to the roe, and to the young
hart upon the mountains of aromatical spices.
THE BOOK OF WISDOM
This Book is so called, because it treats of the excellence of WISDOM,
the means to obtain it, and the happy fruits it produces. It is written
in the person of Solomon, and contains his sentiments. But it is
uncertain who was the writer. It abounds with instructions and
exhortations to kings and all magistrates to minister justice in the
commonwealth, teaching all kinds of virtues under the general names of
justice and wisdom. It contains also many prophecies of Christ's
coming, passion, resurrection, and other Christian mysteries. The whole
may be divided into three parts. In the first six chapters, the author
admonishes all superiors to love and exercise justice and wisdom. In
the next three, he teacheth that wisdom proceedeth only from God, and
is procured by prayer and a good life. In the other ten chapters, he
sheweth the excellent effects and utility of wisdom and justice.
Wisdom Chapter 1
An exhortation to seek God sincerely, who cannot be deceived, and
desireth not our death.
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:
1:2. For he is found by them that tempt him not: and he sheweth himself
to them that have faith in him.
1:3. For perverse thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is
tried, reproveth the unwise:
1:4. For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a
body subject to sins.
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.
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.
1:7. For the Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world: and that
which containeth all things, hath knowledge of the voice.
1:8. Therefore he that speaketh unjust things, cannot be hid, neither
shall the chastising judgment pass him by.
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
1:10. For the ear of jealousy heareth all things, and the tumult of
murmuring shall not be hid.
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.
1:12. Seek not death in the error of your life, neither procure ye
destruction by the works of your hands.
1:13. For God made not death, neither hath he pleasure in the
destruction of the living.
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.
1:15. For justice is perpetual and immortal.
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.
Wisdom Chapter 2
The vain reasonings of the wicked: their persecuting the just,
especially the Son of God.
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:
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,
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:
2:4. And our name in time shall be forgotten, and no man shall have any
remembrance of our works.
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:
2:6. Come, therefore, and let us enjoy the good things that are
present, and let us speedily use the creatures as in youth.
2:7. Let us fill ourselves with costly wine, and ointments: and let not
the flower of the time pass by us.
2:8. Let us crown ourselves with roses, before they be withered: let no
meadow escape our riot.
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.
2:10. Let us oppress the poor just man, and not spare the widow, nor
honour the ancient grey hairs of the aged.
2:11. But let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is
feeble is found to be nothing worth.
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
2:13. He boasteth that he hath the knowledge of God, and calleth
himself the son of God.
2:14. He is become a censurer of our thoughts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2:19. Let us examine him by outrages and tortures, that we may know his
meekness, and try his patience.
2:20. Let us condemn him to a most shameful death: for there shall be
respect had unto him by his words.
2:21. These things they thought, and were deceived: for their own
malice blinded them.
2:22. And they knew not the secrets of God, nor hoped for the wages of
justice, nor esteemed the honour of holy souls.
2:23. For God created man incorruptible, and to the image of his own
likeness he made him.
2:24. But by the envy of the devil, death came into the world:
2:25. And they follow him that are of his side.
Wisdom Chapter 3
The happiness of the just: and the unhappiness of the wicked.
3:1. But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment
of death shall not touch them.
3:2. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure
was taken for misery:
3:3. And their going away from us, for utter destruction: but they are
3:4. And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope
is full of immortality.
3:5. Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded:
because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of himself.
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.
3:7. The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among
3:8. They shall judge nations, and rule over people, and their Lord
shall reign for ever.
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
3:10. But the wicked shall be punished according to their own devices:
who have neglected the just, and have revolted from the Lord.
3:11. For he that rejecteth wisdom, and discipline, is unhappy: and
their hope is vain, and their labours without fruit, and their works
3:12. Their wives are foolish, and their children wicked.
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.
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.
3:15. For the fruit of good labours is glorious, and the root of wisdom
3:16. But the children of adulterers shall not come to perfection, and
the seed of the unlawful bed shall be rooted out.
3:17. And if they live long, they shall be nothing regarded, and their
last old age shall be without honour.
3:18. And if they die quickly, they shall have no hope, nor speech of
comfort in the day of trial.
3:19. For dreadful are the ends of a wicked race.
Wisdom Chapter 4
The difference between the chaste and the adulterous generations: and
between the death of the just and the wicked.
4:1. How beautiful is the chaste generation with glory: for the memory
thereof is immortal: because it is known both with God and with men.
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.
4:3. But the multiplied brood of the wicked shall not thrive, and
bastard slips shall not take deep root, nor any fast foundation.
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.
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.
4:6. For the children that are born of unlawful beds, are witnesses of
wickedness against their parents in their trial.
4:7. But the just man, if he be prevented with death, shall be in rest.
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.
4:9. And a spotless life is old age.
4:10. He pleased God, and was beloved, and living among sinners, he was
4:11. He was taken away, lest wickedness should alter his
understanding, or deceit beguile his soul.
4:12. For the bewitching of vanity obscureth good things, and the
wandering of concupiscence overturneth the innocent mind.
4:13. Being made perfect in a short space, he fulfilled a long time.
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:
4:15. That the grace of God, and his mercy is with his saints, and that
he hath respect to his chosen.
4:16. But the just that is dead, condemneth the wicked that are living,
and youth soon ended, the long life of the unjust.
4:17. For they shall see the end of the wise man, and it shall not
understand what God hath designed for him, and why the Lord hath set
him in safety.
4:18. They shall see him, and shall despise him: but the Lord shall
laugh them to scorn.
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
4:20. They shall come with fear at the thought of their sins, and their
iniquities shall stand against them to convict them.
Wisdom Chapter 5
The fruitless repentance of the wicked in another world: the reward of
5:1. Then shall the just stand with great constancy against those that
have afflicted them, and taken away their labours.
5:2. These seeing it, shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall
be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation,
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.
5:4. We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without
5:5. Behold, how they are numbered among the children of God, and their
lot is among the saints.
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.
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
5:8. What hath pride profited us? or what advantage hath the boasting
of riches brought us?
5:9. All those things are passed away like a shadow, and like a post
that runneth on,
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
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
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:
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.
5:14. Such things as these the sinners said in hell:
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.
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.
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.
5:18. And his zeal will take armour, and he will arm the creature for
the revenge of his enemies.
5:19. He will put on justice as a breastplate, and will take true
judgment instead of a helmet:
5:20. He will take equity for an invincible shield:
5:21. And he will sharpen his severe wrath for a spear, and the whole
world shall fight with him against the unwise.
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
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.
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 Chapter 6
An address to princes to seek after wisdom: she is easily found by
those that seek her.
6:1. Wisdom is better than strength: and a wise man is better than a
6:2. Hear, therefore, ye kings, and understand, learn ye that are
judges of the ends of the earth.
6:3. Give ear, you that rule the people, and that please yourselves in
multitudes of nations:
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:
6:6. Because being ministers of his kingdom, you have not judged
rightly, nor kept the law of justice, nor walked according to the will
6:6. Horribly and speedily will he appear to you: for a most severe
judgment shall be for them that bear rule.
6:7. For to him that is little, mercy is granted: but the mighty shall
be mightily tormented.
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.
6:9. But a greater punishment is ready for the more mighty.
6:10. To you, therefore, O kings, are these my words, that you may
learn wisdom, and not fall from it.
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.
6:12. Covet ye, therefore, my words, and love them, and you shall have
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.
6:14. She preventeth them that covet her, so that she first sheweth
herself unto them.
6:15. He that awaketh early to seek her, shall not labour: for he shall
find her sitting at his door.
6:16. To think, therefore, upon her, is perfect understanding: and he
that watcheth for her, shall quickly be secure.
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
6:18. For the beginning of her is the most true desire of discipline.
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
6:20. And incorruption bringeth near to God.
6:21. Therefore the desire of wisdom bringeth to the everlasting
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.
6:23. Love the light of wisdom, all ye that bear rule over peoples.
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:
6:25. Neither will I go with consuming envy: for such a man shall not
be partaker of 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.
6:27. Receive, therefore, instruction by my words, and it shall be
profitable to you.
Wisdom Chapter 7
The excellence of wisdom: how she is to be found.
7:1. I myself 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.
7:2. In the time of ten months I was compacted in blood, of the seed of
man, and the pleasure of sleep concurring.
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.
7:4. I was nursed in swaddling clothes, and with great cares.
7:5. For none of the kings had any other beginning of birth.
7:6. For all men have one entrance into life, and the like going out.
7:7. Wherefore I wished, and understanding was given me: and I called
upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came upon me:
7:8. And I preferred her before kingdoms and thrones, and esteemed
riches nothing in comparison of her.
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.
7:10. I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her
instead of light: for her light cannot be put out.
7:11. Now all good things came to me together with her, and innumerable
riches through her hands,
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.
7:13. Which I have learned without guile, and communicate without envy,
and her riches I hide not.
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.
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:
7:16. For in his hand are both we, and our words, and all wisdom, and
the knowledge and skill of works.
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
7:18. The beginning, and ending, and midst of the times, the
alterations of their courses, and the changes of seasons,
7:19. The revolutions of the year, and the dispositions of the stars,
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,
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.
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,
7:23. Gentle, kind, steadfast, assured, secure, having all power,
overseeing all things, and containing all spirits: intelligible, pure,
7:24. For wisdom is more active than all active things; and reacheth
everywhere, by reason of her purity.
7:25. For she is a vapour of the power of God, and a certain pure
emmanation of the glory of the Almighty God: and therefore no defiled
thing cometh into her.
7:26. For she is the brightness of eternal light, and the unspotted
mirror of God's majesty, and the image of his goodness.
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
7:28. For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with 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.
7:30. For after this cometh night, but no evil can overcome wisdom.
Wisdom Chapter 8
Further praises of wisdom: and her fruits.
8:1. She reacheth, therefore, from end to end mightily, and ordereth
all things sweetly.
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.
8:3. She glorifieth her nobility by being conversant with God: yea, and
the Lord of all things hath loved her.
8:4. For it is she that teacheth the knowledge of God and is the
chooser of his works.
8:5. And if riches be desired in life, what is richer than wisdom,
which maketh all things?
8:6. And if sense do work: who is a more artful worker than she of
those things that are?
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.
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.
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.
8:10. For her sake I shall have glory among the multitude, and honour
with the ancients, though I be young:
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.
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
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.
8:14. I shall set the people in order: and nations shall be subject to
8:15. Terrible kings hearing, shall be afraid of me: among the
multitude I shall be found good, and valiant in war.
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.
8:17. Thinking these things with myself, and pondering them in my
heart, that to be allied to wisdom is immortality,
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.
8:19. And I was a witty child, and had received a good soul.
8:20. And whereas I was more good, I came to a body undefiled.
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
Wisdom Chapter 9
Solomon's prayer for wisdom.
9:1. God of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things
with thy word,
9:2. And by thy wisdom hast appointed man, that he should have dominion
over the creature that was made by thee,
9:3. That he should order the world according to equity and justice,
and execute justice with an upright heart:
9:4. Give me wisdom, that sitteth by thy throne, and cast me not off
from among thy children:
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
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.
9:7. Thou hast chosen me to be king of thy people, and a judge of thy
sons and daughters:
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:
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.
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:
9:11. For she knoweth and understandeth all things, and shall lead me
soberly in my works, and shall preserve me by her power.
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.
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?
9:14. For the thoughts of mortal men are fearful, and our counsels
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.
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?
9:17. And who shall know thy thought, except thou give wisdom, and send
thy holy Spirit from above:
9:18. And so the ways of them that are upon earth may be corrected, and
men may learn the things that please thee?
9:19. For by wisdom they were healed, whosoever have pleased thee, O
Lord, from the beginning.
Wisdom Chapter 10
What wisdom did for Adam, Noe, Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Joseph, and the
people of Israel.
10:1. She preserved him, that was first formed by God, the father of
the world, when he was created alone,
10:2. And she brought him out of his sin, and gave him power to govern
10:3. But when the unjust went away from her in his anger, he perished
by the fury wherewith he murdered his brother.
The unjust. . .Cain.
10:4. For whose cause, when water destroyed the earth, wisdom healed it
again, directing the course of the just by contemptible wood.
For whose cause. . .Viz., for the wickedness of the race of Cain.--Ibid.
The just. . .Noe.
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.
She knew the just. . .She found out and approved Abraham. Ibid.
And kept him strong, etc. . .Gave him strength to stand firm against
the efforts of his natural tenderness, when he was ordered to sacrifice
10:6. She delivered the just man, who fled from the wicked that were
perishing, when the fire came down upon Pentapolis:
The just man. . .Lot.--Ibid. Pentapolis. . .The land of the five cities,
Sodom, Gomorrha, etc.
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.
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.
10:9. But wisdom hath delivered from sorrow them that attend upon her.
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.
The just. . .Jacob.
10:11. In the deceit of them that overreached him, she stood by him,
and made him honourable.
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.
Conflict. . .Viz., with the angel.
10:13. She forsook not the just when he was sold, but delivered him
from sinners: she went down with him into the pit.
The just when he was sold. . .Viz., Joseph.
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.
10:15. She delivered the just people, and blameless seed, from the
nations that oppressed them.
10:16. She entered into the soul of the servant of God and stood
against dreadful kings in wonders and signs.
The servant of God. . .Viz., Moses.
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:
10:18. And she brought them through the Red Sea, and carried them over
through a great water.
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
10:20. And they sung to thy holy name, O Lord, and they praised with
one accord thy victorious hand.
10:21. For wisdom opened the mouth of the dumb, and made the tongues of
Wisdom Chapter 11
Other benefits of wisdom to the people of God.
11:1. She prospered their works in the hands of the holy prophet.
The holy prophet. . .Moses.
11:2. They went through wildernesses that were not inhabited, and in
desert places they pitched their tents.
11:3. They stood against their enemies, and revenged themselves of
Their enemies. . .The Amalecites.
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
11:5. For by what things their enemies were punished, when their drink
failed them, while the children of Israel abounded therewith, and
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.
11:6. By the same things they in their need were benefited.
11:7. For instead of a fountain of an ever running river, thou gavest
human blood to the unjust.
11:8. And whilst they were diminished for a manifest reproof of their
murdering the infants, thou gavest to thine abundant water unlooked
11:9. Shewing by the thirst that was then, how thou didst exalt thine,
and didst kill their adversaries.
11:10. For when they were tried, and chastised with mercy, they knew
how the wicked were judged with wrath, and tormented.
11:11. For thou didst admonish and try them as a father: but the
others, as a severe king, thou didst examine and condemn.
11:12. For whether absent or present, they were tormented alike.
11:13. For a double affliction came upon them, and a groaning for the
remembrance of things past.
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
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
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:
Dumb beasts. . .Viz., frogs, sciniphs, flies, and locusts.
11:17. That they might know that by what things a man sinneth, by the
same also he is tormented.
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
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:
11:20. Whereof not only the hurt might be able to destroy them, but
also the very sight might kill them through fear.
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
11:22. For great power always belonged to thee alone: and who shall
resist the strength of thy arm?
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 tho
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.
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.
11:26. And how could any thing endure, if thou wouldst not? or be
preserved, if not called by thee?
11:27. But thou sparest all: because they are thine, O Lord, who lovest
Wisdom Chapter 12
God's wisdom and mercy in his proceedings with the Chanaanites.
12:1. O how good and sweet is thy Spirit, O Lord, in all things!
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.
12:3. For those ancient inhabitants of thy holy land, whom thou didst
12:4. Because they did works hateful to thee by their sorceries, and
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
From the midst of thy consecration. . .Literally, sacrament. That is,
the land sacred to thee, in which thy temple was to be established, and
man's redemption to be wrought.
12:6. And those parents sacrificing with their own hands helpless
souls, it was thy will to destroy by the hands of our parents,
12:7. That the land which of all is most dear to thee, might receive a
worthy colony of the children of God.
12:8. Yet even those thou sparedst as men, and didst send wasps
forerunners of thy host, to destroy them by little and little.
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
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
12:11. For it was a cursed seed from the beginning: neither didst thou
for fear of any one give pardon to their sins.
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 ?
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.
12:14. Neither shall king, nor tyrant, in thy sight inquire about them
whom thou hast destroyed.
12:15. For so much then, as thou art just, thou orderest all things
justly: thinking it not agreeable to the power, to condemn him who
deserveth not to be punished.
12:16. For thy power is the beginning of justice: and because thou art
Lord of all, thou makest thyself gracious to all.
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