Proverbs 9:17

Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
Read Chapter 9

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
I came upon that brazen woman, empty of prudence, who, in Solomon’s obscure parable, sits on a seat at the door outside her house and says, “Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” This woman seduced me, because she found my soul outside its own door, dwelling externally in the eye of my flesh and ruminating within myself on such food as I had swallowed through my physical senses. .

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Bread is used in a good sense in “I am the living bread which came down from heaven,” but in a bad sense in “hidden bread is more pleasant.” Many other things are used in the same way. Those examples that I have mentioned create little doubt as to their meaning, for things ought not to be used as examples unless they are clear. There are, however, instances in which it is uncertain whether the signification is to be taken in a good sense or in an evil sense.

Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
Scripture sets down bread and water in clear reference simply to the heresies that use bread and water in their offertory contrary to the rules of the church. There are some who actually celebrate the Eucharist with plain water. “Jump up; do not linger in her place.” Scripture is using the ambiguous word place to designate the synagogue rather than the church. Then it adds, “In this way you will be crossing a foreign water,” regarding heretical baptism as foreign and improper, “and traversing a foreign river”—one which takes you astray and dumps you in the sea, where everyone who allows himself to be led away from the firm ground of the truth is deposited. ..

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Pleasant. Impure pleasures are more delightful (Calmet) to sensual men. (Haydock) The prohibition increases appetite. (Menochius)

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
What does water signify but human knowledge? This is in accord with Solomon’s words implying the voice of heretics: “Stolen waters are sweeter.” What does the Lamb’s raw flesh indicate but his humanity that has been thoughtlessly and irreverently disregarded? Everything which we think of profoundly we cook, as it were, in our minds. The flesh of the Lamb was not to be eaten raw or boiled in water, because our Redeemer is not to be judged merely a human being, nor are we to use human science to explain how God could have been made man.


AD 420
“The foolish and bold woman comes to want bread.” What bread? Surely that bread which comes down from heaven. And he immediately adds, “The earthborn perish in her house, rush into the depths of hell.” Who are the earthborn that perish in her house? They of course who follow the first Adam, who is of the earth, and not the second, who is from heaven.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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