Ecclesiasticus xlviii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Torch. He was animated with a burning zeal, (Menochius) like John the Baptist, admonishing kings, &c., John v. 35., and Luke i. 17. (Calmet)

Ver. 2. And they. Greek, “and by his zeal he diminished them. By,” &c. (Haydock) — He slew the priests of Baal, and many perished by famine, 4 Kings xviii. (Grotius) (Calmet)

Ver. 3. Heaven. That it should not rain for three years and a-half, 3 Kings xvii. 1. — Thrice. First upon his sacrifice, and twice to destroy fifty soldiers, Ibid.[3 Kings xvii.] 38., and 4 Kings i. 10. (Calmet) (Worthington)

Ver. 5. Man. The son of the widow of Sarepta.

Ver. 6. Destruction. The prophets are said to perform what they foretell; to indicate the certainty of the event. Elias denounced death to Achab, Jezabel, Ochozias, and the two Jorams, 4 Kings ix. 12., and 2 Paralipomenon xxi. 12., &c. (Calmet) — Brokest. Greek, “those in honour from,” &c., alluding to (Haydock) Ochozias and Joram, 4 Kings i. 16., and 1 Paralipomenon xxi. 15. (Calmet)

Ver. 7. Judgment. Greek, “the reprimand of the Lord,” for betraying fear, (3 Kings xix. 3, 9, 12.; Haydock) or the reprimand regarded Israel. (Calmet)

Ver. 8. Penance. Greek, “reward,” (Haydock) or punish the guilty. Hazael and Jehu were anointed by Eliseus, though by order of Elias. — Thee. Eliseus was called from the plough, and adhered to his master, who governed the sons of the prophets in large communities.

Ver. 10. Jacob. Protestants reject the authority of this book, partly (Haydock) on account of this (Worthington) ancient tradition. Enoch and Elias will appear in the days of antichrist, to convert many. The Jews will then agree with the Patriarchs, and embrace the religion of Christ. (Calmet) — Elias came in the person of John the Baptist, at the first coming of our Saviour, but he will come in person before his second appearance. (Haydock) — The application which Christ makes of the prediction of Malachy (Malachias iv. 6.) to John the Baptist, does not exclude this more distant accomplishment. Elias is still alive in some part of the world, as well as Enoch, whom St. Augustine styles “the first-born (primogenitor) of our resurrection.” (City of God xv. 19.) (4 Kings ii. 11.)

Ver. 11. Friendship. Like Eliseus, or the disciples of both. (Calmet) — Greek, “who slept in love, for we also shall live indeed; (13.) Elias,” &c. (Haydock) — When we shall witness thy return, if we prove faithful, we may expect an immortal name, and not otherwise. (Calmet) — He speaks in the person of those who shall live at that time. (Haydock)

Ver. 13. Eliseus. Who received his double spirit, with his garment, 4 Kings ii. 15. — Prince. Joram, 4 Kings iii. 14., and vi. 32.

Ver. 14. Overcome. Or “escape.” (Greek; Syriac) He knew what Giezi and the Syrians were doing, at a distance, 4 Kings v. 26., and vi. 12. — Prophesied. Or raised the dead to life, 4 Kings xiii. 21. (Calmet) — On his death-bed (ver. 15.) he also foretold the victory of Joas, ibid. 14.[4 Kings xiii. 14.?] (Vatable, &c.) — The miracle wrought by his relics (Haydock) shewed that he was a true prophet. (Worthington)

Ver. 19. Thereof. From Gehon, a fountain on the west, 2 Paralipomenon xxxii. 30. (Calmet)

Ver. 20. Lifted. Greek, “removed from Lachis, and, “&c., 4 Kings xviii., &c.

Ver. 23. He was. Greek, “and he purified (Haydock; or redeemed, Calmet) them by the hand (ministry) of Isaias. (24.) He,” &c. (Haydock) — Prayer prevailed when troops were insufficient, 4 Kings xix. (Worthington)

Ver. 25. Sight. Greek, “vision.” All his predictions were verified. (Calmet)

Ver. 26. Life. Fifteen years, Isaias xxxviii., and 4 Kings xl. 11. (Haydock)

Ver. 27. At last. After the captivity, (Isaias ii. 2.; Calmet) or in the days of the Messias. (Menochius)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The praise of Elias, of Eliseus, of Ezechias, and of Isaias.

1 And *Elias, the prophet, stood up, as a fire, and his word burnt like a torch.

2 He brought a famine upon them, and they that provoked him in their envy, were reduced to a small number, for they could not endure the commandments of the Lord.

3 *By the word of the Lord he shut up the heaven, and he brought down fire from heaven thrice.

4 Thus was Elias magnified in his wondrous works. And who can glory like to thee?

5 *Who raisedst up a dead man from below, from the lot of death, by the word of the Lord God.

6 Who broughtest down kings to destruction, and brokest easily their power in pieces, and the glorious from their bed.

7 Who hearest judgment in Sina, and in Horeb the judgments of vengeance.

8 Who anointedst kings to penance, and madest prophets successors after thee.

9 *Who wast taken up in a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot of fiery horses.

10 Who art registered in the judgments of times to appease the wrath of the Lord, *to reconcile the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob.

11 Blessed are they that saw thee, and were honoured with thy friendship.

12 For we live only in our life, but after death our name shall not be such.

13 *Elias was indeed covered with the whirlwind, and his spirit was filled up in Eliseus: in his days he feared not the prince, and no man was more powerful than he.

14 No word could overcome him, *and after death his body prophesied.

15 In his life he did great wonders, and in death he wrought miracles.

16 For all this the people repented not, neither did they depart from their sins, till they were cast out of their land, and were scattered through all the earth.

17 And there was left but a small people, and a prince in the house of David.

18 Some of these did that which pleased God: but others committed many sins.

19 Ezechias fortified his city, and brought in water into the midst thereof, and he digged a rock with iron, and made a well for water.

20 *In his days Sennacherib came up, and sent Rabsaces, and lifted up his hand against them, and he stretched out his hand against Sion, and became proud through his power.

21 Then their hearts and hands trembled: and they were in pain as women in travail.

22 And they called upon the Lord, who is merciful, and spreading their hands, they lifted them up to heaven: and the holy Lord God quickly heard their voice.

23 He was not mindful of their sins, neither did he deliver them up to their enemies, but he purified them by the hand of Isaias, the holy prophet.

24 *He overthrew the army of the Assyrians, and the angel of the Lord destroyed them.

25 For Ezechias did that which pleased God, and walked valiantly in the way of David, his father, which Isaias, the great prophet, and faithful in the sight of God, had commanded him.

26 *In his days the sun went backward, and he lengthened the king’s life.

27 With a great spirit he saw the things that are to come to pass at last, and comforted the mourners in Sion.

28 He shewed what should come to pass for ever, and secret things before they came.



1: 3 Kings xvii. 1.

3: 3 Kings xvii. 1.; 4 Kings i. 10. and 12.

5: 3 Kings xvii. 22.

9: 4 Kings ii. 11.

10: Malachias iv. 6.

13: 4 Kings ii. 12.

14: 4 Kings xiii. 21.

20: 4 Kings xviii. 13.

24: 4 Kings xix. 35.; Tobias i. 21.; Isaias xxxvii. 36.; 1 Machabees vii. 41.; 2 Machabees viii. 19.

26: 4 Kings xx. 11.; Isaias xxxviii. 8.