For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tents of bribery.
Read Chapter 15
George Leo Haydock
Congregation, or family.
Bribes. Literally, "presents "which (Haydock) frequently were not given freely, but extorted as a real tribute. (Calmet)
Septuagint, "for the death of the wicked is a martyrdom "or proof of his impiety. "But fire shall consume the houses of the present (or bribe) receivers."
61. For the good things he has begun he would not lose, if he had not been a hypocrite. Now hypocrites gather together good works, but their gathering itself is barren, in that in the things they do they never make it their object to receive fruit in the eternal recompensing. They look fruitful and green to the eyes of their fellow-creatures, but in the sight of the hidden Judge they appear unfruitful and blasted. But oftentimes, being inflamed with the fever of avarice, they display greater works of their own before the eyes of men, in proportion as they desire to have larger rewards offered them by their fellow-creatures. Hence it is yet further added;
And fire shall consume the tabernacles of those who are ready to take rewards.
62. For as the body dwells in a tabernacle, so the mind dwells in thought. But the ‘fire consumes the tabernacles,’ when the heat of avarice wastes the thoughts. And it very commonly happens that the hypocrite scorns to receive gold, or the several ...