Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Died. Either a natural (Calmet) or a civil death, by means of the leprosy. (Chaldean) (Tostat. 7.) — This and the former chapters relate to the commencement of Joathan’s reign, whether before or after the death of Ozias. (Calmet) — Many think that this was the first prediction of Isaias. (Origen) (St. Jerome, ad Dam.) — I saw. By a prophetic vision, as if I had been present at the dedication of the temple, 3 Kings viii. 10. (Calmet) — Lord. Not the Father, as some have asserted, but the Son, John xii. 40. (St. Jerome, ad Dam.) (Calmet) — Neither Moses nor any other saw the substance of God; but only a shadow. Yet Manasses hence took a pretext to have Isaias slain. (Origen) (St. Jerome, Trad.) (Paralipomenon) (Worthington)
Ver. 2. The two Seraphims “burning.” They are supposed to constitute the highest order of angels, Numbers xxi. 6. — His. God’s or their own face. Hebrew and Septuagint are ambiguous. Out of respect, (Calmet) they looked not at the divine majesty. (Menochius)
Ver. 3. Glory. By no means of the Incarnation. The unity and Trinity are insinuated. (St. Jerome; St. Gregory, Mor. xxix. 16.)
Ver. 4. Of him. Septuagint, “them,” (Haydock) the Seraphim signifying that the veil was removed by the death of Christ, (Theodoret) or that the people should be led into captivity, as a Jew explained it to St. Jerome.
Ver. 5. Peace. It is proper for sinners to do so, Ecclesiasticus xv. 9. The prophet was grieved that he was unworthy to join in the acclamation of the Seraphim, and had reason to fear death, Genesis xvi. 13., and Exodus xxxiii. 20. He finds himself less able to speak than before, like Moses, Exodus iv. 10., and vi. 12.
Ver. 6. Coal. “Carbuncle,” (Septuagint) the word of God, (St. Basil) spirit of prophecy, (St. Jerome, 142. ad Dam., &c.)
Ver. 7. Sin. Impediment in speech. All defects were attributed to some sin, (John ix. 2.) as Job’s friends maintained.
Ver. 8. For us. Hence arises a proof of the plurality of persons. (Calmet) — Send me. Thus Isaias was an evangelical and apostolical prophet. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)
Ver. 10. Blind. The prophets are said to do what they denounce. (St. Thomas Aquinas, 1. q. xxiv. 3.) (Sanctius) — Septuagint, “heavy or gross is the heart,” &c. The authors of the New Testament quote it thus less harshly. — Them. Is God unwilling to heal? Why then does he send his prophet? (Calmet) — He intimates that all the graces offered would be rendered useless by the hardened Jews. (St. Isidore. Pelus 2. ep. 270.) — Hebrew may be, “surely they will not see,” &c. (Calmet)
Ver. 11. Desolate. By means of Nabuchodonosor, (St. Chrysostom) and the Romans, (Eusebius, &c.) or even till the end of the world, their obstinacy will continue.
Ver. 12. Earth. After the captivity, the people shall be more docile. But this was more fully verified by the preaching of the gospel.
Ver. 13. Tithing. The land shall produce its fruits, and people shall bring their tithes, Ezechiel xx. 40. There shall be some left; (chap. i. 9., and iv. 3.; Calmet) though only a tenth part will embrace Christianity. (St. Basil) — Made. Septuagint, “ravaged.” They shall be exposed to many persecutions under Epiphanes, and few shall escape the arms of the Romans, (Calmet) those particularly (Haydock) who shall be a holy seed. (Calmet) — The apostles were of Jewish extraction, (Haydock) and spread the gospel throughout the world. (Menochius)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
A glorious vision, in which the prophet’s lips are cleansed: he foretelleth the obstinacy of the Jews.
1 In the year that king Ozias died, *I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and elevated: and his train filled the temple.
2 Upon it stood the Seraphims: the one had six wings, and the other had six wings: with two they covered his face, and with two they covered his feet, and with two they flew.
3 And they cried one to another, and said: *Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God of hosts, all the earth is full of his glory.
4 And the lintels of the doors were moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 And I said: Woe is me, because I have held my peace; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people that hath unclean lips, and I have seen with my eyes the King, the Lord of hosts.
6 And one of the Seraphims flew to me, and in his hand was a live coal, which he had taken with the tongs off the altar.
7 And he touched my mouth, *and said: Behold this hath touched thy lips, and thy iniquities shall be taken away, and thy sin shall be cleansed.
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send? and who shall go for us? And I said: Lo, here am I, send me.
9 And he said: Go, and thou shalt say to this people: *Hearing, hear, and understand not: and see the vision, and know it not.
10 Blind the heart of this people, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes: lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I heal them.
11 And I said: How long, O Lord? And he said: Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land shall be left desolate.
12 And the Lord shall remove men far away, and she shall be multiplied that was left in the midst of the earth.
13 And there shall be still a tithing therein, and she shall turn, and shall be made a shew as a turpentine-tree, and as an oak that spreadeth its branches: that which shall stand therein, shall be a holy seed.
1: Year of the World 3246, Year before Christ 758.
3: Apocalypse iv. 8.
7: Jeremias i. 9.
9: Matthew xiii. 14.; Mark iv. 12.; Luke viii. 10.; John xii. 40.; Acts xxviii. 26.; Romans xi. 8.