Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. And. Notwithstanding the sins of his people, God will deliver them, that they may be his witnesses, ver. 10. (Calmet) — Name. As an intimate friend, (Haydock) or slave, chap. xlix. 1. (Calmet) — God grants grace without any preceding merit. (Worthington) — Forerius explains this mostly of the Gentile church, though it regards the converted Jews. (Houbigant)
Ver. 2. Waters. In every emergency, God will protect thee, (Calmet) as he did the three children. [Daniel iii.] (Haydock) — He will suffer none to perish, without their own fault. Hence the Church still continues pure. (Worthington)
Ver. 3. Ethiopia. Hebrew, “Chus,” the isle of Meroe, (Grotius) or the country bordering on the Red Sea, chap. xlv. 14. These were given to indemnify Cyrus. They obtained their liberty to return home, after 40 years, Ezechiel xxix. 11.
Ver. 4. Eyes, by a gratuitous choice. — Men. Chaldeans, &c.
Ver. 5. East. Babylon. — West. The islands beyond the Mediterranean.
Ver. 6. North. Assyria. — South. Egypt. The captives returned from these countries under Cyrus, Alexander the Great, &c., so that before the coming of Christ, Judea was as well peopled as ever. (Calmet)
Ver. 7. Calleth. Hebrew, “is called by my name.” (Protestants) (Haydock) — My people’s chastisements and liberation prove my divine perfections.
Ver. 8. Ears. Yet will not hear, (Calmet) or who are miraculously healed. (Haydock) — It seems rather to mean idolatrous nations, (ver. 9.; Calmet) or rebellious Jews. (Forerius) (Houbigant)
Ver. 9. Former. The pagans were little acquainted with antiquity. Such researches lead to the knowledge of the true religion. (Haydock) — Truth, if they can produce any true prophecy.
Ver. 10. Witnesses. The history of the Israelites was sufficient to shew who was God. (Calmet) — Thus the establishment of Christianity manifests its truth. (St. Augustine, City of God xxii. 6.) — Septuagint add, “and I am witness.” (Haydock)
Ver. 12. One idol, to announce what would happen.
Ver. 14. Bars. Septuagint, “fugitives.” Theodotion, “strong ones.” — Glorying. Septuagint, “shall be bound in ships,” to be sent beyond the Caspian Sea. (Calmet) — Cyrus was victorious for the sake of God’s people; for he will not neglect his Church. (Worthington)
Ver. 16. Waters of the Jordan and the Red Sea, in the latter of which Pharao perished, ver. 17.
Ver. 19. New. I shall work the like miracles as were seen in the wilderness.
Ver. 20. Chosen. We know not that rivers were found in Arabia. But the people were equally favoured. Christ facilitates the road to heaven by his example and graces, while the most savage tempers are changed in baptism.
Ver. 23. Incense. My kindness is gratuitous. In a strange land, thou couldst not offer sacrifice. See chap. xlviii. 9., and xlix. 1. (Calmet)
Ver. 24. Iniquities. Thou hast shewn the greatest ingratitude. (Haydock) — Yet I will save thee.
Ver. 26. Thyself. God condescends to act thus with men, chap. xli. 20., and Osee iv. 1.
Ver. 27. First father. Adam, (Lyranus) or rather Abraham sinned, by diffidence, (Genesis xv. 8.; St. Jerome) or was formerly an idolater, Josue xxiv. 2. (Genebrard, the year of the world 2049) (St. Augustine, City of God xvi. 12.) (Calmet) (Tirinus) — Teachers. Literally, “interpreters,” (Haydock) Moses and Aaron, Numbers xx. 9. (Calmet) — All the patriarchs and teachers sinned, till Christ, the immaculate lamb, appeared. Adam engaged all in guilt. (Worthington)
Ver. 28. Profaned, or declared such, (Haydock) Nadab, &c., (Leviticus x. 1.; Calmet) or Moses and Aaron. (Menochius) — Septuagint, “and the princes defiled my holy things.” (Haydock) — Slaughter. Hebrew, “anathema.” Yet I will re-establish all. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
God comforts his Church, promising to protect her for ever: he expostulates with the Jews for their ingratitude.
1 And now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and formed thee, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, and called thee by thy name: thou art mine.
2 When thou shalt pass through the waters, I will be with thee, and the rivers shall not cover thee: when thou shalt walk in the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, and the flames shall not burn in thee:
3 For I am the Lord thy God, the holy One of Israel, thy Saviour, I have given Egypt for thy atonement, Ethiopia, and Saba for thee.
4 Since thou becamest honourable in my eyes, thou art glorious: I have loved thee, and I will give men for thee, and people for thy life.
5 Fear not, for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west.
6 I will say to the north: Give up: and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.
7 And every one that calleth upon my name, I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, and made him.
8 Bring forth the people that are blind, and have eyes: that are deaf, and have ears.
9 All the nations are assembled together, and the tribes are gathered: who among you can declare this, and shall make us hear the former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, let them be justified, and hear, and say: It is truth.
10 You are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know, and believe me and understand that I myself am. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there shall be none.
11 *I am, I am the Lord: and there is no Saviour besides me.
12 I have declared, and have saved: I have made it heard, and there was no strange one among you. You are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and I am God.
13 And from the beginning I am the same, and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall turn it away?
14 Thus saith the Lord, your Redeemer, the holy One of Israel: For your sake I sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their bars, and the Chaldeans glorying in their ships.
15 I am the Lord, your holy One, the Creator of Israel, your king.
16 Thus saith the Lord, who made a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters.
17 Who brought forth the chariot and the horse, the army and the strong: they lay down to sleep together, and they shall not rise again: they are broken as flax, and are extinct.
18 Remember not former things, and look not on things of old.
19 *Behold, I do new things, and now they shall spring forth; verily you shall know them: I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
20 The beast of the field shall glorify me, the dragons and the ostriches: because I have given waters in the wilderness: rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, to my chosen.
21 This people have I formed for myself: they shall shew forth my praise.
22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob, neither hast thou laboured about me, O Israel.
23 Thou hast not offered me the ram of thy holocaust, nor hast thou glorified me with thy victims: I have not caused thee to serve with oblations, nor wearied thee with incense.
24 Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy victims. But thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thy iniquities.
25 I am, I am he that blot out thy iniquities for my own sake, and I will not remember thy sins.
26 Put me in remembrance, and let us plead together: tell, if thou hast any thing to justify thyself.
27 Thy first father sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me.
28 And I have profaned the holy princes, I have given Jacob to slaughter, and Israel to reproach.
11: Osee xiii. 4.
19: 2 Corinthians v. 17.; Apocalypse xxi. 5.