[It is] not good to eat much honey
That is too much otherwise it is good to eat, ( Proverbs 24:13 ) ; but too much is hurtful, it surfeits the stomach increases choler F5 and creates loathing; and indeed, too much of anything is bad F6; so [for men] to search their own glory [is not] glory:
to set forth their own excellencies, to sound forth their own praises to seek honour of men, to use all methods to gain popular applause; this is not glorious and praiseworthy, but dishonourable; or it may be rendered as it literally lies in the original, "but to search out", or "the searching out of their glory [is] glory" F7; either the glory of righteous men, as Aben Ezra interprets it, such as stand and do not fall before the wicked; to search out their excellencies and virtues, and follow their example, is glorious and honourable: or to search the glory of the knowledge of divine things, comparable to honey, is commendable and glorious; for though a man may eat too much honey, yet he cannot have too much knowledge of divine and spiritual things, or be satiated and overfilled with them; to which the Septuagint version agrees, "but we ought to honour glorious words": the glorious truths of the word of God ought to be had in great esteem, and to search out the glory of them is honourable; our Lord directs to a search of the Scriptures, because they testify of him, ( John 5:39 ) ; and we can never know too much of him, or of the precious doctrines of the Gospel; unless this is to be understood of such things as should not be curiously inquired into; men should not be wise above what is written nor search into those things which God has concealed; as his own nature and perfections, the mode of subsisting of the three Persons in the Godhead, his secret purposes and decrees, and unsearchable judgments. To which sense agrees the Vulgate Latin version,
``so he who is the searcher of majesty shall be oppressed by glory;''he shall be bore down by it, and not able to bear the glory of it: and the Targum is,
``to eat much honey is not good, nor to search glorious words.''Jarchi takes the words in this sense; and illustrates them by the work of creation, Ezekiel's vision of the wheels, the decrees of God, and the reasons of them.
F5 Suidas in voce (mouli) .
F6 "Vitiosum est ubique quod nimium est", Seneca de Tranquilitate, c. 9.
F7 (dwbk Mdbk rqx) "investigatio gloriae illorum (est) gloria", Pagninus, Montanus, Michaelis; "scrutatio gloriae ipsorum est gloria", Cocceius.