Praecepta ad proximos
Precepts towards neighbors
4:25 Propter quod deponentes mendacium, loquimini veritatem unusquisque cum proximo suo: quoniam sumus invicem membra. [n. 248]
4:25 Wherefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, every man with his neighbor. For we are members one of another. [n. 248]
4:26 Irascimini, et nolite peccare: sol non occidat super iracundiam vestram. [n. 249]
4:26 Be angry: and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down upon your anger. [n. 249]
4:27 Nolite locum dare diabolo: [n. 252]
4:27 Do not give place to the devil. [n. 252]
247. Supra posita generali monitione, ut novitatem induerent, hic Apostolus ponit praecepta specialia.
247. Having set down above the general admonition to put on a newness of life, now the Apostle lays out the particular precepts.
Circa quod duo facit.
Concerning this he does two things:
Primo inhibet eis peccata interiora corrumpentia spiritum;
first, he restrains them from committing interior sins which corrupt the spirit;
secundo peccata exteriora, quae corrumpunt carnem, ibi fornicatio autem, et cetera.
second, he prohibits exterior sins which corrupt the flesh, at but fornication (Eph 5:3).
Prima in duas.
The first has two divisions:
Primo prohibet peccata, quae in deordinatione propria consistunt;
first, he forbids sins which consist in one’s personal disorder;
secundo peccata, quae consistunt in deordinatione alterius, ibi omnis sermo malus, et cetera.
second, he forbids sins which consist in the disorder of others, at let no evil speech (Eph 4:29).
Prima iterum in tres, quia
The first section again is divided into three parts since he forbids:
primo prohibet peccatum corrumpens rationalem;
first, sin corrupting man’s rational powers;
secundo peccatum deordinans irascibilem, ibi irascimini, et nolite peccare, etc.;
second, sin disordering his irascible emotions, at be angry: and do not sin;
tertio peccatum pertinens ad concupiscibilem, ibi qui furabatur, et cetera.
third, sin pertaining to the concupiscible emotions, at he that stole (Eph 4:28).
248. Circa primum tria facit. Primo quia unum istorum prohibet; secundo inducit ad aliud; tertio rationem assignat.
248. Regarding the first of these he does three things. First, he forbids one of them; then he urges its opposite; third, he gives his reason.
Prohibet ergo illud primo quod ad veterem hominem pertinet, ita ut ista littera sit expositiva huius, quod praedixerat: induite novum hominem, ad quem induendum primo prohibet mendacium, quia per hoc peccatum oris corrumpitur veritas rationis. Unde dicit propter quod, scilicet novum hominem induendum, sitis supple, deponentes mendacium, quia, ut dicitur in Ps. V, 7: perdes omnes qui loquuntur mendacium, scilicet perniciosum.
Hence, he first prohibits what is characteristic of the old man, thereby expounding what he said above: put on the new man (Eph 4:24). To accomplish this he first bans lying because through this sin of the tongue the truth of reason is corrupted. Wherefore to put on the new man you should be putting away lying, for you O Lord will destroy all that speak a lie (Ps 5:7) maliciously.
Et postea inducit ad novitatem, dicens Zac. c. VIII, 16: loquimini veritatem unusquisque cum proximo suo.
Then he urges them on to newness of life. Speak the truth, every man with his neighbor (Zech 8:16).
Et quare? Quoniam sumus invicem membra. Membra enim se invicem diligunt et se iuvant mutuo in veritate. Rom. XII, 5: unum corpus sumus in Christo, singuli autem alter alterius membra.
And why? For we are members one of another. For members are to love and mutually assist one another in truth. We, being many, are one body in Christ; and every one members one of another (Rom 12:5).
249. Sequitur irascimini, et cetera. Ubi prohibet peccatum, corrumpens irascibilem.
249. Next, at be angry: and do not sin, he forbids sins destructive of the order in the irascible emotions.
Circa quod tria facit.
Concerning this he makes three points:
Primo ponit monitionem;
first, he gives a warning;
secundo eam exponit, ibi sol non occidat, etc.;
second, he explains what he means, at do not let the sun go down;
tertio rationem reddit, ibi nolite locum, et cetera.
third, he gives the reason for his concern, at give no place.
250. Monitionem autem ponit, cum dicit irascimini, et cetera. Quod potest exponi dupliciter, quia duplex est species irae, quaedam bona, quaedam mala. Mala quidem quando inordinate tendit in vindictam, scilicet contra iustitiam; bona vero quando in vindictam debitam, quando scilicet quis irascitur quando oportet, cum quibus, et quantum oportet. Et de utraque potest exponi.
250. He gives his warning when he says be angry: and do not sin. This is susceptible of two interpretations; for there are two types of anger, a good one and an evil one. Anger is evil when, contrary to justice, it strives inordinately for revenge. It is good when it seeks a just vindication, namely, when the person is vexed at the time, with whom, and to the degree that, he should be. The above warning is applicable to both.
Si de mala, sic est sensus: non praecipit, sed permittit; quasi dicat: si sic est, quod motus irae insurgat, quod humanum est, nolite peccare, id est nolite perducere ad effectum per consensum. I Cor. X, 13: tentatio vos non apprehendat nisi humana. Quia certe, qui aliter irascitur fratri suo, reus erit iudicio, ut dicitur Matth. V, 22. De hac ira monebat Ioseph fratres suos Gen. XLV, 24: ne irascimini in via.
If it concerns evil anger, the sense is that he does not command it but permits it. As though he said: should it happen that anger wells up within you—which is human—do not sin. You must not be led on to act upon it. Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human (1 Cor 10:13). For, without doubt, whoever is angered against his brother in any other way shall be in danger of the judgment (Matt 5:22). Joseph counseled his brothers against such anger: be not angry on the way (Gen 45:24).
Si autem exponatur de bona, sic tenetur non solum permissive, ut primo, sed imperative, irascimini, scilicet contra peccata vestra, quoniam duplex est vindicta, quam homo appetit. Una de seipso peccante, et sic poenitentia est quaedam vindicta, quam homo facit et capit de seipso. Et haec est bona ira, et de hac dicitur imperative irascimini, scilicet contra peccata vestra, et nolite peccare, scilicet de caetero, nec talia committere, contra quae iterum oporteat irasci.
If it is interpreted concerning righteous anger it is not simply permitted, like the first, but imperative. Be angry against your sins, for man desires a twofold vindication. One regarding himself when he sins, so that penance becomes a certain type of vindication which man inflicts and receives in himself. Such a wrath is good, and with respect to it the imperative is used: be angry against your sins, and do not sin any more, nor commit those types of sin by which you would again have to be angered.
Modo credunt aliqui quod homo secure possit sibi ipsi irasci propter peccata sua, sed non proximo suo propter sua; sed non est ita: sicut enim contra seipsum quis irascitur propter peccata propria, ita proximo suo propter sua; ergo irascimini contra vitia aliena, et hoc cum zelo. Num. XXV, 11: Phinees avertit iram meam a filiis Israel, quia zelo meo commotus est contra eos. Sic Helias III Reg. XIX, 10: zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum, quia dereliquerunt pactum Domini filii Israel, et cetera. Et nolite peccare praeveniendo rationem, sed potius sequendo. Iac. I, 19: sit autem omnis homo velox ad audiendum, tardus autem ad loquendum, et tardus ad iram, et cetera.
Now, some are doubtless of the opinion that a man can be mad at himself for his own sins safely, but that this does not hold true concerning his neighbors and their sins. This is false; a man can be mad at himself for his own sins, and at his fellow man because of his sins. Therefore, zealously be angry at other people’s offenses. Phinees has turned away my wrath from the children of Israel because he was moved with my zeal against them (Num 25:11). And Elias said: with zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant (1 Kgs 19:10). By following the dictates of reason, rather than acting before them, you do not sin. Let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger (Jas 1:19).
251. Sequitur sol non occidat, et cetera. Ubi exponit quod dixerat, et, secundum tres praedictas expositiones, potest tripliciter exponi, quia si de mala ira, tunc sic: sol, etc., id est: non persistatis in ira concepta sed ante solis occasum deponatis, quia licet permittatur motus, propter fragilitatem, non permittitur mora.
251. In do not let the sun go down upon your anger he explains what he had said, and the explanation can be interpreted according to the three above expositions. If it concerns evil anger, then he would be saying: do not persist in anger, but cast it off before sunset; for although the first impulses of temper are excusable, due to human frailty, it is illicit to dwell on them.
Si de bona, et hoc contra peccata propria, tunc sic: sol, id est Christus, Mal. IV, 2: orietur vobis timentibus nomen meum sol iustitiae, etc., non occidat super iracundiam vestram, id est super peccata vestra, pro quibus iterum oporteat vos irasci, et vosmetipsos punire.
In reference to good anger, as it is directed against one’s personal sins, the sun is Christ. Unto you that fear my name the sun of justice shall arise (Mal 4:2). Do not let the sun go down upon your anger, that is, on your sins, on account of which you must be angered again and punish yourselves.
Si contra peccata aliena, sic accipitur sol, scilicet rationis. Eccle. XII, 1: memento Creatoris tui in diebus iuventutis tuae, antequam veniat tempus afflictionis, et appropinquent anni, de quibus dicas: non mihi placent, antequam tenebrescat sol, et cetera. Sol non occidat super iracundiam vestram, id est non obtenebretur dictamen rationis. Iob V, 2: virum stultum interficit iracundia.
When the sins of others are in question the sun refers to reason. Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the time of affliction come, and the years draw nigh of which you shall say: they please me not; before the sun . . . is darkened (Eccl 12:1). Do not let the sun go down upon your anger, that is, the dictates of reason must not be clouded over. Anger indeed kills the foolish (Job 5:2).
252. Sequitur nolite locum dare diabolo, ubi assignat rationem monitionis. Diabolus enim habet locum in nobis per peccatum, vel per consensum. Io. XIII, 2: cum diabolus iam misisset in cor, ut traderet eum Iudas, et cetera. Et sequitur ibid., quod post buccellam introivit in eum Satanas.
252. The reason for the warning is indicated in do not give place to the devil. The devil gains entrance to us either through sin or consent to it. The devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him (John 13:2), after which it says: after the morsel, Satan entered into him (John 13:27).
Nunc autem huiusmodi passiones multum inclinant ad consensum et maxime quando pervertunt iudicium rationis, et hoc specialiter facit ira, quae consistit in accensione sanguinis, quae quidem ratione velocitatis sui motus praecedit iudicium rationis. Et quia, sic nobis perturbatis, diabolus incipit locum habere in nobis, ideo dicit nolite locum dare diabolo, quasi dicat: non perseveretis in ira, quia per hoc datis locum diabolo, quia totus diabolus iracundus est. Ps. XVII, 48: liberator meus de inimicis meis iracundis. Intrat autem hominem cum furore et ira. Apoc. XII, 12: descendit diabolus ad vos, habens iram magnam. Hoc autem non potest facere saltem in anima, quamdiu homo iustus est. Haec autem iustitia per iram amittitur, quia ira viri iustitiam Dei non operatur, ut dicitur Iac. I, 20. Si ergo non vultis locum dare diabolo, saltem in anima, sol non occidat super iracundiam vestram. Eccle. XI, 10: aufer iram a corde tuo.
Passions of this kind easily induce one’s consent, especially when they have biased the judgment of reason. Anger particularly does this since it involves the rapid raising of blood, the speed of whose movement precedes any rational judgment. When we are excited like this, the devil wins a foothold within us; thus he says do not give place to the devil. You ought not to persist, he seems to say, in your ill temper, for you will only invite the demon who is himself continually angered. God is my deliverer from my infuriated enemies (Ps 18:48). The devil enters into man with rage and fury: the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath (Rev 12:12). He cannot accomplish this, at least not in the soul of a just man. But this justice is forfeited through anger: for the anger of man does not work the justice of God (Jas 1:20). If you do not want to give Satan a place, at least not in your soul, do not let the sun go down upon your anger. Remove anger from your heart (Eccl 11:10).
Furtum et Sermo
Theft and speech