« AnteriorContinuar »
13 forms, but guilty of gross immoralities in secret. [There
is a generation, o how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up; their pride discovers itself in their
countenance, and they disdain to look on their inferiors; de 14 not learn their haughty, fenfeless manners. [There is] a
generation, whose teeth [are as] swords, and their jaw teeth (as) knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from (among] men; tyrannical, arbitrary people, who opprefs and grind the poor; have ng connection with such men as these. The next question is,
What is most insatiable ? 15 The horseleach hath two daughters, a forked tongue,
which greedily seeketh blood, [crying,] Give, give. There are three (things that] are never satisfied, [yea,] four
[things] say not, [It is] enough; are as insatiable : 16 The grave, that swallows every succeeding generation;
and the barren womb, that is eagerly desirous of children; the earth, particularly in hot countries, [that] - is not filled with water; and the fire [that] faith not, [It is] enough, but devours all that is thrown into it. He then adds the doon of the disobedient children mentioned in the
eleventh verse. 17 The eye [that] mocketh at (his] father for his infir
mities, and despiseth to obey (his) mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles fhall eat it; his body shall be exposed as a malefactor, or he Shall die in fome-defolate place; the vengeance of God all find him abroad, tho' the tenderness of his abused parents may spare him at home.
To the next question, What is most obscure and unaccount18 able ? he answers, There be three [things which are
too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: 19 The way of an eagle in the air, that flies high and strong ;
the way of a serpent upon a rock, that without feet climbs up rocks; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, that sometimes links and sometimes rises, and moves very swiftly along; and the way of a man with a maid,
the artifices of a man to gain the woman he is courting. 20 Such [is] the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and faith, I have done no
wicked. wickedness: this is a modeft way of expressing a detestable aElion ; she puts on an artful appearance, behaves outwardly like an honest woman and a kind wife. We have then an
answer to the question, What things are most intolerable 21 For three (things] the earth is disquieted, and for four 22 (which] it cannot bear : For a servant when he reign.
eth, when he gets into power and authority; and a fool
when he is filled with meat, a petulant, rude fellow when 23 he is drunk; For an odious (woman,] that is, a cross,
ill: tempered woman, when she is married, a happiness too
In answar to the query, What things are small and con. 24 temptible in themselves and yet wife, he replies, There be
four (things which are] little upon the earth, but they 25 (are] exceeding wise : The ants Care] a people not
trong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer, and 26 thus teach us to prepare against a time of adversity;, The
conies, or Arabian mice, sare but) a feeble folk, yet make
they their houses in the rocks, and thus teach us caution 27. in avoiding those dangers we cannot refift; The locusts
have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands,
and their numbers make them terrible, which should teach us 28 union in prosecuting good designs; The spider taketh hold
with her hands, and is in kings' palaces; and by inde.
fatigable diligence repairs her web; which should teach us . perseverance, and not to be discouraged. The question then
is, What things are most stately and majestick?
greyhound, or horse prepared for the battle; an he goat
happy, he adds the two laft verses, upon a supposition that ; they should say or do any foolish things.
32 If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if
thou hast thought evil, [lay] thine hand upon thy mouth; humbly acknowledge that thou hast done wrong, and
make a proper apology, rather than, from an infolent temper, 33 defend what is wrong because thou hast done it. Surely the
churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood : fo the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife; the one is not more natural than the other. He that would live peaceably and happily, and be esteemed among men, should, behave himself with modefty and humility; for he that lifteth up himself, tho' he may think himself a wise man, does very foolishly, and all about him will defpise him.
CHA P. XXXI. .I T HE words of king Lemuel,m the prophecy that 2 1 his mother taught him. What, my fon? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? An abrupt and beautiful form of speech; as if he had said, What instruction shall I give thee, how all I express my love to thee, thou son of my womb, thou son of my vows, whom I have prayed for, and devoted to God beo 3 fore thou wast born? Give not thy strength unto women,
nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings; do not waste the vigour of your years in effeminate, sinful pleasures like other eastern princes ; by which their constitutions are broken,
and their reigns dishonoured. Happy had it been for him had 4 he taken this advice. It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
[it is) not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes
6 Give m I take it for granted, with the generality of commentators, that Lemuel is Solomon, a name which signifies one belonging to God; it is nearly of the same import with Jedediah. These are the divine lessons- his mother Bathsheba taught him to com: mit to memory.
6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish,
and wine to those that be of heavy hearts; when persons
are in deep distress, they need, and can bear cordials to sup7 port their spirits. Let him drink, and forget his pover8 ty, and remember his misery no more. Open thy
mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are ap
pointed to destruction; who are in danger of suffering 9 considerable damage either in body, credit, or estate. Open
thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of
the poor and needy; pronounce a bold and just sentence. 10 Who can find a virtuous woman, prudent, good na
tured, and religious: for her price [is] far above rubies; above all things advising him to take heed in the choice of a
wife; or rather, it may refer to the charaEter of a good wife II in general. The heart of her husband doth safely trust
in her, in her chastity, prudence, and fidelity; he has no jealousy, nor uneasy apprehensions; so that he shall have no need of spoil; he shall have no need of Spoiling others to
enrich himself, and no fear of being plundered, as some are 12 by their wives. She fhall do him good and not evil all
the days of her life; she will take the greatest care to ena i gage and keep his affe&tions, study to oblige and please him ; . and this, not only in sudden fits of good humour, but all her 13 days. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh wil.
lingly with her hands; he provides employment for her 14 fervants, and sets them a good example. She is like the
merchants' ships; the bringeth her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, before break of day,
and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her
maidens; she giveth food to those that go abroad to work, i and to her maidens at home : The rises early to attend to her 16 domestick cares. She confidereth a field, and buyeth it:
with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard; by.
the commodities spun and woven in the family me buys land in . . 17 and plants vineyards. She girdeth her loins with strength,
and strengtheneth her arms; she does not make little dif. . 18 ficulties an excuse for indolence, but afts refolutely. She
• perceiveth that her merchandize [is] good: her candle . : goeth not out by night; fe takes as much of the night as
19 can conveniently be spared from necessary sleep. She layeth
her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. Ladies of the highest quality in the east were thus employed, as we find from many passages in Homer, and other heather
writers; and a much better employment it was than most 20 modern ones. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor ;
yea, the reacheth forth her hands to the needy; she is
not such a housewife as to lay up every thing, but relieves er the poor. She is not afraid of the snow for her house.
hold: for all her household [are] clothed with scarlet, 22 or double garments. She maketh herself coverings of
tapestry; her clothing [is] filk and purple; the more %. 23 glorious because her own work. Her husband is known
in the gates, when he fitteth among the elders of the land, who congratulate him upon his happiness in having so
prudent a wife; and her wise conversation increaseth his 24 wisdom, and makes him more fit to advise others. She
maketh fine linen, and felleth fit;] and delivereth 25 girdles unto the merchant, Strength and honour (are]
her clothing; she has a great deal of courage and resolution, and laughs at those difficulties by which others are discourag
ed; and she shall rejoice in time to come; maintain a 26 cheerful spirit even in old age and death. She openeth her
mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [is] the law of kindness; she discourses prudently and judiciously on the most serious and important subjects; avoids a pettish way of speaking; there is kindness, softness, and tenderness in every
thing be fays, which is obliging, like a law; one of the most 27 essential qualifications of a good wife. She looketh well to
the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness; me examines the conduet of her fervants, and how they perform their duty: je neither suffers them to gad abroad, or to be idle at home; she sees that her children be well educated and behave themselves aright, and sets them
all an example of diligence: and in consequence of this, 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her hus
band (also,) and he praiseth her: they set themselves to 29 commend her, and say, Many daughters have done vir30 tuously, but thou surely excellest them all. Favour [is]
deceitful, and beauty [is] vain; a graceful behaviour and beautiful features are trifling in themselves, have often H 2 playing