Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Perfumer. The Scripture reproaches this king alone with no fault. (Calmet)
Ver. 3. Directed. Greek, “prosperous in converting the people,” 4 Kings xxii., and 2 Paralipomenon xxxiv. (Haydock) — He began when he was only eight years old: but set to work more effectually ten years afterwards. The prophets complain of the disorders which prevailed before that period. (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Sinners. Or “sins,” when iniquity was become fashionable. He consulted no false policy, (Haydock) but boldly exerted himself in God’s service, and even invited the Israelites out of his dominions to come and celebrate the passover, 2 Paralipomenon xxxiv. 6. (Calmet) — They belonged, in effect to him, as the twelve tribes were all promised to David’s family, and the kingdom of Jeroboam was only a rebellion, chap. xlvii. 23. (Haydock)
Ver. 5. Sin. The two former effaced their sins by repentance, and never tolerated idolatry, which even Josaphat and Asa did, (3 Kings xxii. 43., &c.; Calmet) not destroying the high places. Many others yielded not to idol worship. (Worthington)
Ver. 6. Despised. Greek, “they failed,” and lost the crown.
Ver. 7. They gave. Achaz called in to his assistance the king of Assyria, who afterwards claimed the kingdom as tributary to him, 4 Kings xviii. 7, 14. Greek, “He (God, Calmet; Alexandrian copy has They) gave their horn,” &c. (Haydock)
Ver. 8. Holiness. Jerusalem, which was styled holy, in the sicles of Simon. — Desolate. No one came to the festivals, Lamentations i. 4.
Ver. 9. Renew. To foretell the destruction and establishment of kingdoms, Jeremias i. 5, 10.
Ver. 10. Cherubims. Ezechiel i. 4., and viii. 1., and x. 1.
Ver. 11. Rain. Denoting great misery, Ezechiel xiii. 11., and xxxviii. 22. (Calmet) — And of. Literally, “to do good,” (Haydock) or to announce the liberation of the penitent captives, Ezechiel xviii. 21., and xxiii. 16., &c.
Ver. 12. Place. Chap. xlv. 15. The Pharisees adorned the tombs of the prophets, Matthew xxiii. 29. Daniel is not mentioned among them, because he lived at court.
Ver. 13. Hand. Most precious, Jeremias xxii. 24., and Canticle of Canticles viii. 6.
Ver. 14. Josedec. He was a noble figure of Christ, and helped to build the temple, Aggeus i. 2., and ii. 3., and Zacharias iii. 1., and vi. 11.
Ver. 15. Houses. He laboured much for the people’s welfare, 2 Esdras v.
Ver. 16. Henoch. Before the deluge. (Menochius) — He stood up for the Lord, amid the most corrupt people, and was translated, chap. xliv. 16. He and Joseph have many advantages over the rest. (Calmet)
Ver. 17. Joseph. He has not been named, but designated, chap. xliv. 27. (Calmet) — Who. Greek, the “ruler,” &c. (Haydock)
Ver. 18. They prophesied. That is, by their being carried out of Egypt, they verified the prophetic prediction of Joseph, Genesis l. (Challoner) (Carriers.) — This sentence is omitted in Greek. (Haydock) — See chap. xlviii. 14. — Joseph had intimated that the Israelites should leave Egypt. (Worthington)
Ver. 19. Men. The former was the father of the faithful, before the deluge; the latter after. (Calmet) — Beginning. Greek, “in the creation” was appointed to rule. (Haydock) — He alone among men was innocent, coming from the hands of God, and he might glory that he had no other father. (Calmet) — Eve enjoyed the like privileges. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The praise of Josias, of Jeremias, Ezechiel, and the twelve prophets. Also of Zorobabel, Jesus, the son of Josedech, Nehemias, Enoch, Joseph, Seth, Sem, and Adam.
1 The *memory of Josias is like the composition of a sweet smell made by the art of a perfumer:
2 His remembrance shall be sweet as honey in every mouth, and as music at a banquet of wine.
3 He was directed by God unto the repentance of the nation, and he took away the abominations of wickedness.
4 And he directed his heart towards the Lord, and in the days of sinners he strengthened godliness.
5 Except David, and Ezechias, and Josias, all committed sin.
6 For the kings of Juda forsook the law of the Most High, and despised the fear of God.
7 So they gave their kingdom to others, and their glory to a strange nation.
8 *They burnt the chosen city of holiness, and made the streets thereof desolate, according to the prediction of Jeremias.
9 For they treated him evil, who was consecrated a prophet from his mother’s womb, to overthrow, and pluck up, and destroy, and to build again, and renew.
10 *It was Ezechiel that saw the glorious vision, which was shewn him upon the chariot of cherubims.
11 For he made mention of the enemies under the figure of rain, and of doing good to them that shewed right ways.
12 And may the bones of the twelve prophets spring up out of their place: for they strengthened Jacob, and redeemed themselves by strong faith.
13 *How shall we magnify Zorobabel? for he was as a signet on the right hand:
14 *In like manner Jesus, the son of Josedec? who in their days built the house, and set up a holy temple to the Lord, prepared for everlasting glory.
15 And let Nehemias be a long time remembered, who raised up for us our walls that were cast down, and set up the gates and the bars, who rebuilt our houses.
16 No man was born upon earth like Henoch: for he also was taken up from the earth.
17 *Nor as Joseph, who was a man born prince of his brethren, the support of his family, the ruler of his brethren, the stay of the people:
18 And his bones were visited, and after death they prophesied.
19 *Seth, and Sem, obtained glory among men: and above every soul Adam in the beginning.
1: 4 Kings xxii. 1.
8: 4 Kings xxv. 9.
10: Ezechiel i. 4.
13: 1 Esdras iii. 2.; Aggeus i. 14. and ii. and iii. 5.[?] and xxii. 24.[?]
14: Zacharias iii. 1.
17: Genesis xli. 40. and xlii. 3. and xlv. 5. and l. 20.
19: Genesis iv. 25.