Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Lord. He speaks of the redemption of mankind, under the allegory of the return from captivity.
Ver. 2. Alone, and gave him children when he was grown old, and Sara barren. I can surely save you likewise. (Calmet) — The example of these great progenitors is set before the Jews. Thus St. Paul says: Remember your prelates, Hebrews xiii. (Worthington)
Ver. 4. Nations. This was verified when the Bible was translated into Greek, and still more by the preaching of the gospel.
Ver. 5. Just. Christ, prefigured by Cyrus, whose empire was very mild, chap. xliv. 28.
Ver. 6. Fail. Matthew xxiv. 35. The prosperity of the Jews was not of long duration. But the Church will remain till the end of time.
Ver. 9. Proud. Hebrew, “Rahab,” Pharao, king of Egypt, Job xxvi. 12., and Ezechiel xxix. 3. (Calmet) — God drowned in the water, which had retired for Israel. He will thus destroy the devil. (Worthington)
Ver. 13. Oppressor. If thou hadst not abandoned God, thou wouldst have had no reason to fear Nabuchodonosor; and his power is now gone.
Ver. 14. Fail. Cyrus shall quickly restore the Jews to their country. He shall not lay waste the provinces, like many conquerors.
Ver. 16. People. This may refer to Isaias, Cyrus, &c., as figures of Christ, chap. xlix. 1. He has bestowed greater favours on Christians than Cyrus did on the Jews, opening the kingdom of heaven to true believers, &c., Ephesians ii. 19.
Ver. 17. Dregs. Take courage: Babylon’s turn is come, ver. 23. (Calmet)
Ver. 19. Two. War and famine cause desolation and destruction. (Worthington) — Jerusalem was reduced to the greatest misery in the last siege under Nabuchodonosor, Lamentations iv. 3. (Calmet)
Ver. 20. Ox, oryx. Hebrew Thua, Deuteronomy xiv. 5. (Haydock) — Many accounts respecting it are fabulous. Some understand a sort of wolf, mentioned by Pliny, [Natural History?] viii. 34. Septuagint, “like beet half boiled.”
Ver. 23. Over. This inhumanity was not uncommon, Josue x. 24., and Psalm cix. 1.
Bible Text & Cross-references:
An exhortation to trust in Christ. He shall protect the children of his Church.
1 Give ear to me, you that follow that which is just, and you that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence you are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you are dug out.
2 Look unto Abraham, your father, and to Sara, that bore you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and multiplied him.
3 The Lord therefore will comfort Sion, and will comfort all the ruins thereof: and he will make her desert as a place of pleasure, and her wilderness as the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of praise.
4 Hearken unto me, O my people, and give ear to me, O my tribes: *for a law shall go forth from me, and my judgment shall rest to be a light of the nations.
5 My just one is near at hand, my Saviour is gone forth, and my arms shall judge the people: the islands shall look for me, and shall patiently wait for my arm.
6 Lift up your eyes to heaven, and look down to the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish like smoke, and the earth shall be worn away like a garment, and the inhabitants thereof shall perish in like manner: *but my salvation shall be for ever, and my justice shall not fail.
7 Hearken to me, you that know what is just, my people who have my law in your heart: fear ye not the reproach of men, and be not afraid of their blasphemies.
8 For the worm shall eat them up as a garment: and the moth shall consume them as wool: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my justice from generation to generation.
9 Arise, arise, put on strength, O thou arm of the Lord: arise as in the days of old, in the ancient generations. Hast not thou struck the proud one, and wounded the dragon?
10 *Hast not thou dried up the sea, the water of the mighty deep, who madest the depth of the sea a way, that the delivered might pass over?
11 And now they that are redeemed by the Lord, shall return, and shall come into Sion singing praises, and joy everlasting shall be upon their heads, they shall obtain joy, and gladness, sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
12 I, I myself will comfort you: who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a mortal man, and of the son of man, who shall wither away like grass?
13 And thou hast forgotten the Lord, thy Maker, who stretched out the heavens, and founded the earth: and thou hast been afraid continually, all the day, at the presence of his fury who afflicted thee, and had prepared himself to destroy thee: where is now the fury of the oppressor?
14 He shall quickly come that is going to open unto you, and he shall not kill unto utter destruction, neither shall his bread fail.
15 But I am the Lord thy God, who trouble the sea, and the waves thereof swell: the Lord of hosts is my name.
16 *I have put my words in thy mouth, and have protected thee in the shadow of my hand, that thou mightest plant the heavens, and found the earth: and mightest say to Sion: Thou art my people.
17 Arise, arise, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his wrath: thou hast drunk even to the bottom of the cup of dead sleep, and thou hast drunk even to the dregs.
18 There is none that can uphold her among all the children that she hath brought forth: and there is none that taketh her by the hand among all the children that she hath brought up.
19 *There are two things that have happened to thee? who shall be sorry for thee? desolation and destruction, and the famine, and the sword, who shall comfort thee?
20 Thy children are cast forth, they have slept at the head of all the ways, as the wild ox that is snared: full of the indignation of the Lord, of the rebuke of thy God.
21 Therefore hear this, thou poor little one, and thou that art drunk, but no with wine.
22 Thus saith thy Sovereign, the Lord, and thy God, who will fight for his people: Behold, I have taken out of thy hand the cup of dead sleep, the dregs of the cup of my indignation, thou shalt not drink it again any more.
23 And I will put it in the hand of them that have oppressed thee, and have said to thy soul: Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as a way to them that went over.
4: Isaias ii. 3.
6: Psalm xxxvi. 31.
10: Exodus xiv. 21.
16: Isaias xlix. 2.
19: Isaias xlvii. 9.