Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Ashes. Some think that he alludes to 4 Kings iii. 27., or rather to some war, the ashes of the dead were disturbed. (Calmet) — Both these acts of inhumanity deserved severe punishment. (Worthington)
Ver. 2. Fire: war under Ozias. (Calmet) — Carioth. Septuagint, “the cities.” Carioth has this meaning, but is was also the name of a great city, Jeremias xlviii. 24. (Haydock)
Ver. 3. Judge, ruler, or head, shall be no more.
Ver. 4. Walked. After Solomon, scarcely a good prince appeared, till the days of Amos. Juda imitated the idolatry of Israel, hoping thus to find assistance. (Calmet) — His crime was the more grievous, as they had the law. (Worthington)
Ver. 5. Fire. Under Joathan, Rasin, &c., invaded the country. Achaz increased the misery, by applying to the Assyrians. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Just man. Joseph, (Rupert) or our Saviour, (Sanctius) or any other. The expression is proverbial, Ezechiel xiii. 19. (Calmet) — Israel contemned the law, and adopted the abominations of all. (Worthington)
Ver. 7. Humble, provoking him to anger. — Name. Such incests caused infidels to blaspheme, Leviticus xviii. 8. (Calmet) — They must be punished with severity. (Worthington)
Ver. 8. Altar. Herein they offended doubly, (Exodus xxii. 26.) as they used the garments of others to hide their shameful actions, 4 Kings xxiii. 7. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “and tying up their garments with cords, they made veils touching the altar, and drank wine procured by calumnies,” (Haydock) or “rapine,” &c. (Chaldean) — Condemned by them unjustly, though some think that a very delicious and intoxicating wine is meant, such as was given to people in grief, Proverbs xxxi. 6., and Mark xv. 23. Helena learnt in Egypt how to compose such wine. (Homer, Odyssey iv.) — Feasting in temples on carpets was an ancient custom.
Ver. 9. Beneath. The Israelites seemed like locusts in comparison, Numbers xiii. 34.
Ver. 11. Nazarites. Some went secretly to Jerusalem for this purpose; or perhaps they performed these rites illegally at Bethel: for many parts of the law were observed, though not perfectly, chap iv. 4. The Nazarites were in high estimation, Lamentations iv. 7. But the dissolute Israelites (Calmet) derided them as well as the prophets, (Haydock) and attempted to make them transgress. (Calmet)
Ver. 13. I will screek. Unable to bear any longer the enormous load of your sins, &c. The Spirit of God, as St. Jerome takes notice, accommodates itself to the education of the prophet, and inspires him with encouragements taken from country affairs. (Challoner) — Septuagint, “I am overturned.” Hebrew, “pressed.” (Calmet)
Ver. 14. Swift. Jeroboam I. Other kings are described afterwards. (St. Jerome) — In the latter times all was in confusion. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The judgments with which God threatens Moab, Juda, and Israel for their sins, and their ingratitude.
1 Thus saith the Lord: For three crimes of Moab, and for four, I will not convert him: because he hath burnt the bones of the king of Edom even to ashes.
2 And I will send a fire into Moab, and it shall devour the houses of Carioth: and Moab shall die with a noise, with the sound of the trumpet:
3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all his princes with him, saith the Lord.
4 Thus saith the Lord: For three crimes of Juda, and for four, I will not convert him: because he hath cast away the law of the Lord, and hath not kept his commandments: for their idols have caused them to err, after which their fathers have walked.
5 And I will send a fire into Juda, and it shall devour the houses of Jerusalem.
6 Thus saith the Lord: For three crimes of Israel, and for four, I will not convert him: because he hath sold the just man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of shoes.
7 They bruise the heads of the poor upon the dust of the earth, and turn aside the way of the humble: and the son and his father have gone to the same young woman, to profane my holy name.
8 And they sat down upon garments laid to pledge by every altar: and drank the wine of the condemned in the house of their God.
9 *Yet I cast out the Amorrhite before their face: whose height was like the height of cedars, and who was strong as an oak: and I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots beneath.
10 *It is I that brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and I led you forty years through the wilderness, that you might possess the land of the Amorrhite.
11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not so, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord?
12 And you will present wine to the Nazarites: and command the prophets, saying: Prophesy not.
13 Behold, I will screek under you, as a wain screeketh that is laden with hay.
14 And flight shall perish from the swift, and the valiant shall not possess his strength, neither shall the strong save his life.
15 And he that holdeth the bow shall not stand, and the swift of foot shall not escape, neither shall the rider of the horse save his life.
16 And the stout of heart among the valiant shall flee away naked in that day, saith the Lord.
9: Numbers xxi. 24.; Deuteronomy ii. 24.
10: Exodus xiv. 22.; Deuteronomy viii. 24.