Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Prolonged. Babylon was taken one hundred and seventy-two years after. (Calmet) — Yet this time is counted short, compared with the monarchy, which had lasted a thousand years. (Worthington) — Ground. Cyrus restored the Jews; yet all did not return at that time. — Stranger. Converts, Esther viii. 17. All Idumea received circumcision under Hyrcan.
Ver. 2. Place. Cyrus probably granted an escort, as Artaxerxes did, 2 Esdras ii. 7. — Servants. They had purchased many slaves, (1 Esdras ii. 65.) as some were very rich in captivity, and were treated like other subjects. — Oppressors. Stragglers of the army of Cambyses, &c., though this was chiefly verified under the Machabees, Jeremias xxv. 14., and xxx. 16. (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Parable. Septuagint, threnon. “Lamentation.” (Haydock) — Or mournful canticle.
Ver. 6. Persecuted. The Jews read incorrectly, “is persecuted.”
Ver. 7. Earth. Subject to, or bordering upon the Assyrian empire. Under Darius the Mede, (the Cyaxares of Xenophon) and Cyrus, the people were little molested. (Calmet) — The neighbouring princes (fir-trees, &c., ver. 8.) were also at rest. (Haydock)
Ver. 9. Hell is personified, deriding the Chaldean monarch, Baltassar, who perished the very night after he had profaned the sacred vessels, Daniel v. 3. He probably received only the burial of an ass, ver. 11, 19. (Calmet)
Ver. 12. O Lucifer. O day-star. All this, according to the letter, is spoken of the king of Babylon. It may also be applied, in a spiritual sense, to Lucifer, the prince of devils, who was created a bright angel, but fell by pride and rebellion against God. (Challoner) (Luke x. 18.) (Calmet) — He fell by pride, as Nabuchodonosor did. (Worthington) — Homer (Iliad xix.) represents the demon of discord hurled down by Jupiter to the miserable region of mortals.
Ver. 13. North. And be adored as God in the temple of Jerusalem, Psalm xlvii. 3. The Assyrian and Persian monarchs claimed divine honours, 4 Kings xviii. 33., and Judith iii. 13.
Ver. 15. Depth. Hebrew, “sides,” (ver. 13.) or holes dug out of a cavern. (Calmet)
Ver. 16. Turn. From their respective holes in the monument.
Ver. 19. Grave. Strangers seized the crown of Baltassar, and neglected his sepulchre: or if we explain it of Nabuchodonosor, his tomb was probably plundered, (Calmet) as the Persians did not spare that of Belus. In the reign of Alexander, the tombs of the kings were covered with water, and filled with serpents. (Arrian. vii.)
Ver. 20. Thy. Septuagint, “my.” Thou hast been a murderer instead of a shepherd. — Ever. The children and monarchy of Nabuchodonosor presently perished. Evilmerodac and Baltassar reigned but a short time, and left no issue to inherit the throne.
Ver. 22. Name. It shall lose all its splendour, and be mentioned only with abhorrence, 1 Peter v. 13.
Ver. 23. Besom. Reducing it to a heap of rubbish, (chap. xiii. 21.; Calmet) as the event shewed. (Watson)
Ver. 25. Assyrian. 4 Kings xix. (Worthington) — Sennacherib, (St. Jerome) Cambyses, or Holofernes. The sight of their chastisement would be an earnest of the fall of Babylon. (Calmet) — The allies of Assyria, (Menochius) or the enemies of God’s people, will also be punished, chap. xv. (Haydock)
Ver. 28. Achaz. When Ezechias was just seated on the throne. The preceding and subsequent predictions were then delivered, chap. xiii. 20.
Ver. 29. Rod. Achaz. — Bird. Ezechias will openly attack thee, 4 Kings xviii. 8. (Calmet) — Protestants, “shall be a fiery flying serpent,” (Haydock) like that erected by Moses, Numbers xxi. 9. Sennacherib and Assaraddon shall lay waste Philistia, ver. 31., and chap. xx. 1. (Calmet) — Though Achaz be dead, Ezechias and Ozias will destroy more of that nation, 4 Kings xviii. 8., and 2 Paralipomenon xxvi. (Worthington)
Ver. 32. Nations. Surprised that Ezechias should escape, while the power of the Philistines was overturned so easily; or when the king sent ambassadors to his allies, to announce the defeat of Sennacherib by the angel. All confessed that this was an effect of the divine protection towards Sion. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:The restoration of Israel after their captivity. The parable or song insulting over the king of Babylon. A prophecy against the Philistines.
1 Her time is near at hand, and her days shall not be prolonged. For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose out of Israel, and will make them rest upon their own ground: and the stranger shall be joined with them, and shall adhere to the house of Jacob.
2 And the people shall take them, and bring them into their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall make them captives that had taken them, and shall subdue their oppressors.
3 And it shall come to pass in that day, that when God shall give thee rest from thy labour, and from thy vexation, and from the hard bondage wherewith thou didst serve before,
4 Thou shalt take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and shalt say: How is the oppressor come to nothing, the tribute hath ceased?
5 The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, the rod of the rulers,
6 That struck the people in wrath with an incurable wound, that brought nations under in fury, that persecuted in a cruel manner.
7 The whole earth is quiet and still; it is glad, and hath rejoiced.
8 The fir-trees also have rejoiced over thee, and the cedars of Libanus, saying: Since thou hast slept, there hath none come up to cut us down.
9 Hell below was in an uproar to meet thee at thy coming, it stirred up the giants for thee. All the princes of the earth are risen up from their thrones, all the princes of nations.
10 All shall answer, and say to thee: Thou also art wounded, as well as we, thou art become like unto us.
11 Thy pride is brought down to hell, thy carcass is fallen down: under thee shall the moth be strewed, and worms shall be thy covering.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? how art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations?
13 And thou saidst in thy heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north.
14 I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.
15 But yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, into the depth of the pit.
16 They that shall see thee, shall turn toward thee, and behold thee: Is this the man that troubled the earth, that shook kingdoms,
17 That made the world a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, that opened not the prison to his prisoners?
18 All the kings of the nations have all of them slept in glory, every one in his own house.
19 But thou art cast out of thy grave, as an unprofitable branch defiled, and wrapped up among them that were slain by the sword, and art gone down to the bottom of the pit as a rotten carcass.
20 Thou shalt not keep company with them, even in burial: for thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people: the seed of the wicked shall not be named for ever.
21 Prepare his children for slaughter, for the iniquity of their fathers: they shall not rise up, nor inherit the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
22 And I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts: and I will destroy the name of Babylon, and the remains, and the bud, and the offspring, saith the Lord.
23 And I will make it a possession for the ericius and pools of waters, and I will sweep it, and wear it out with a besom, saith the Lord of hosts.
24 The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying: Surely as I have thought, so shall it be: and as I have purposed,
25 So shall it fall out: That I will destroy the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: and his yoke shall be taken away from them, and his burden shall be taken off their shoulder.
26 This is the counsel, that I have purposed upon all the earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all nations.
27 For the Lord of hosts hath decreed, and who can disannul it? and his hand is stretched out: and who shall turn it away?
28 In the *year that king Achaz died, was this burden:
29 Rejoice not thou, whole Philistia, that the rod of him that struck thee is broken in pieces: for out of the root of the serpent shall come forth a basilisk, and his seed shall swallow the bird.
30 And the first-born of the poor shall be fed, and the poor shall rest with confidence: and I will make thy root perish with famine, and I will kill thy remnant.
31 Howl, O gate, cry, O city: all Philistia is thrown down: for a smoke shall come from the north, and there is none that shall escape his troop.
32 And what shall be answered to the messengers of the nations? That the Lord hath founded Sion, and the poor of his people shall hope in him.
28: Year of the World 3277, Year before Christ 727.