Be not overly wicked, neither be foolish: why should you die before your time?
Read Chapter 7
Ambrose of Milan
One is victorious who hopes for the grace of God, not he who presumes upon his own strength. For why do you not rely upon grace, since you have a merciful Judge in the contest? “For the Lord is merciful and just, and our God shows mercy.” Mercy is mentioned twice, but justice once. Justice is in the middle, enclosed by a double wall of mercy. Sins superabound. Therefore let mercy superabound. With the Lord there is an abundance of all powers, for he is the Lord of hosts. Yet there is neither justice without mercy, nor without the exercise of mercy is there justice, for it is written, “Be not overjust.” What is above measure, you cannot endure, even if it is good. Preserve measure, that you may receive according to the measure.
He who endeavors to amend the faults of human weakness ought to bear this very weakness on his own shoulders, let it weigh upon himself, not cast it off. For we read that the Shepherd in the Gospel carried the weary sheep and did not cast it off. And Solomon says, “Be not overmuch righteous,” for restraint should temper righteousness. For how shall he offer himself to you for healing whom you despise, who thinks that he will be an object of contempt, not of compassion, to his physician? Concerning Repentance.
And as God promises to them that serve him truly, “I will fulfill the number of your days,” Abraham dies “full of days,” and David called on God, saying, “Take me not away in the midst of my days.” And Eliphaz, one of the friends of Job, being assured of this truth, said, “You shall come to your grave … like as a shock of corn comes in its season.” And Solomon confirming his words, says, “The souls of the unrighteous are taken away untimely.” And therefore he exhorts in the book of Ecclesiastes, saying, “Be not overmuch wicked, neither be hard: why should you die before your time?” Defense of His Flight
Over just, viz., By an excessive rigour in censuring the ways of God in bearing with the wicked. (Challoner)
Give not way to scruples, (St. Bernard) nor to self-conceit. (Alcuin.)
Become. Hebrew, "perish "being oppressed with majesty. (Lorin.) (Tirinus) (Calmet)