Epistle of Saint Boniface

Ecclesiasticus 44:1-15

Let us now praise men of renown, and our fathers in their generation. The Lord hath wrought great glory through His magnificence from the beginning. Such as have borne rule in their dominions, men of great power and endued with their wisdom, showing forth in the prophets the dignity of prophets. And ruling over the present people, and by the strength of wisdom instructing the people in most holy words. Such as by their skill sought out musical tunes, and published canticles of the Scriptures. Rich men in virtues, lovers of beautifulness: living at peace in their houses. All these have gained glory in their generations, and were praised in their days. They that were born of them have left a name behind them, that their praises might be related. And there are some of whom there is no memorial; who are perished, as if they had never been, and are born as if they had never been born, and their children with them. But these were men of mercy, whose godly deeds have not failed. Good things continue with their seed. Their posterity are a holy inheritance, and their seed hath stood in the covenants. And their children for their sakes remain forever; their seed and their glory shall not be forsaken. Their bodies are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto generation and generation. Let the people show forth their wisdom, and the church declare their praise.


Verse 1. Gr. prefixes, “A Hymn of the Fathers.” The author here imitates the third work of Solomon. H. — He had given rules for all virtues; and he now sets before us those who had put them in practice. C. — It was the custom to sound forth the praises of these fathers in the temple and synagogues. v. 15. Grot.

Verse 2. Glory. Gr. adds, “in them.” He was the author of all their virtues, (H.) and has acquired much glory by their means, (C.) among men; though his essential glory can never increase.

Verse 3. In the. Gr. “futurity by their predictions.” Kings, judges, and prophets are praised. H. — The virtuous are justly styled kings. Gen. xxiii. W.

Verse 4. The present. Gr. “the people by counsels, and by the knowledge of the office of scribes of the people. Wise in speech by their instruction. (5.) Seeking out,” &c. H. — Prudence and eloquence ought to appear in a ruler.

Verse 5. Tunes. The Hebrews, and David in particular, were famous for music. C.

Verse 6. In. Gr. “established in power, living,” &c. (H.) like Abraham, Ezechias, &c. C.

Verse 7. Generations. Lit. “race of their nation.” But this is omitted in Greek.

Verse 8. Born. Gr. “some of them have left a name,” (H.) or posterity. Deut. xxv. 6.

Verse 9. Them. This may be understood of the wicked Israelites, or of the sons of Abraham by Agar, &c.

Verse 10. Mercy. Assideans, (1 Par. vi. 41. and 1 Mac. vii. 13.) or true Israelites.

Verse 14. Peace. The Jews were very solicitous about this. Gen. xxxv. 8. C.

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