Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Come. Both Gentiles and Jews are admonished of the world’s end before judgment. (Worthington)
Ver. 4. Away. These strong expressions denote great misery, chap. xiii., and Joel ii. 10., and Ezechiel xxxii. 27. (Calmet) — Book. Hebrew, “roll.” (Haydock) — Some thence foolishly inferred that the destiny of every one might be read in the heavens. (Huet.; Eusebius, pręp. vi. 11.; Philoo. xxiii.; Pic. Astrol. viii. 5.) — The prophet only means that the heavens shall be devoid of beauty, (Calmet) and covered with darkness. (Haydock)
Ver. 5. Heaven. Casting down the rebel angels. (St. Jerome) — The resolution to destroy the Idumeans, for their cruelty to the Jews, has been taken long ago. All these expressions allude to the last judgment. (Calmet) — Idumea. Under the name of Idumea or Edom, a people that were enemies of the Jews, are here understood the wicked in general, the enemies of God and his Church. (Challoner) — Assaradon fell upon Edom two years after Sennacherib’s death. (Calmet) — No strong place like Bosra, shall rescue any from destruction at the last day. (Worthington)
Ver. 7. The unicorns. That is, the great and mighty. (Challoner)
Ver. 8. Recompenses. When the persecutors of Sion, that is, of the Church, shall receive their reward. (Challoner) — The Idumeans had frequently shown their ill-will towards the Jews, 2 Paralipomenon xxviii. 17., and Amos i. 11. (Calmet) — Sion shall perish as the wicked in hell shall be tormented. (Worthington)
Ver. 9. Pitch. The soil was sulphureous, and became neglected, (ver. 10.) like the territory of Sodom. The people are now no more, and only a few miserable Arabs pitch their tents there.
Ver. 11. Line. Intimating entire destruction, Lamentations ii. 8., and 4 Kings xi. 13. (Calmet) — Yet God will not punish more than people deserve. (Menochius)
Ver. 13. Dragons, Thannim, chap. xiii. 22. (Haydock) — Ostriches, or swans.
Ver. 14. Monsters. Literally, “Ass-centaurs.” (Haydock) — Hebrew, “fishermen shall find islands,” chap. xiii. 21. — Ones. Goats. — Lamia. Hebrew lilith. Chaldean, “owl,” the bird of Minerva, or the Moon, which the Arabs style Alilat. (Calmet) — Dicodorus (20) relates that Lamia was an African queen, who having last her children, was changed into a beast, and destroyed all the children she could catch; and the Jews deal still more in fables, (Calmet0 asserting that Lilith was the first wife of Adam, &c. (Buxtorf. Syn. 2.)
Ver. 15. Ericius. Hebrew, “kippoz, (Haydock) hath its nest.” It may denote the serpent, acontias. (Bochart) — All this shews the desolation of the country.
Ver. 16. Read what I have written. — The other. All these beasts will be there, (Calmet) or all these declarations will be verified. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The general judgment of the wicked.
1 Come near, ye Gentiles, and hear, and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein, the world, and every thing that cometh forth of it.
2 For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath killed them, and delivered them to slaughter.
3 Their slain shall be cast forth, and out of their carcasses shall rise a stink: the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
4 And all the host of the heavens shall pine away, and the heavens shall be folded together as a book: and all their host shall fall down as the leaf falleth from the vine, and from the fig-tree.
5 For my sword is inebriated in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my slaughter unto judgment.
6 The sword of the Lord is filled with blood; it is made thick with the blood of lambs and buck-goats, with the blood of rams full of marrow: for there is a victim of the Lord in Bosra, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
7 And the unicorns shall go down with them, and the bulls with the mighty: their land shall be soaked with blood, and their ground with the fat of fat ones.
8 For it is the day of the vengeance of the Lord, the year of recompenses of the judgment of Sion.
9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the ground thereof into brimstone: and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.
10 Night and day it shall not be quenched; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste, none shall pass through it for ever and ever.
11 The bittern and ericius shall possess it: and the ibis and the raven shall dwell in it: and a line shall be stretched out upon it, to bring it to nothing, and a plummet, unto desolation.
12 The nobles thereof shall not be there: they shall call rather upon the king, and all the princes thereof shall be nothing.
13 And thorns and nettles shall grow up in its houses, and the thistle in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be the habitation of dragons, and the pasture of ostriches.
14 And demons and monsters shall meet, and the hairy ones shall cry out one to another, there hath the lamia lain down, and found rest for herself.
15 There hath the ericius had its hole, and brought up its young ones, and hath dug round about, and cherished them in the shadow thereof: thither are the kites gathered together one to another.
16 Search ye diligently in the book of the Lord, and read: not one of them was wanting, one hath not sought for the other: for that which proceedeth out of my mouth, he hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.
17 And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it to them by line: they shall possess it for ever; from generation to generation they shall dwell therein.