Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. O Jerusalem, is not in Hebrew or St. Jerome, but in the Septuagint. Some few things may refer to the terrestrial Jerusalem, though the prophet speaks chiefly of the celestial and of the Church. — Lord, very great. Christ came to save us. (Calmet) — God prevents by his grace, but man must co-operate to be justified. (Worthington)
Ver. 2. People. Babylon shall suffer, while thou art relieved. (Calmet) — The Gentiles continue in darkness till they embrace the faith, ver. 3. (Haydock) — Only those who are in the Church receive the light of truth. (Worthington)
Ver. 3. Rising. The three wise men were the first. [Matthew ii.]
Ver. 4. Rise up. St. Jerome, “suck,” as the Hebrew may imply. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “shall be carried on the shoulders.” (Haydock) — This may refer to the captives and to the Church.
Ver. 5. Wonder. Hebrew and Septuagint in St. Jerome, “fear.” This sensation is often mixed with joy, Matthew xxviii. 8. — Thee. No such nations joined the Jews, as they did the Church.
Ver. 6. Epha. Abraham’s grandson, who dwelt near his father, Madian, in Arabia, which was famous for camels. (Calmet) — Saba. India mittit ebur, molles sua thura Sabæi? (Geor. i.) — The Arabians embraced the gospel, but never brought their treasures to Jerusalem. (Calmet) — The three kings came on swift beasts to adore Christ, and fulfilled his prophecy, Matthew ii. (Worthington)
Ver. 7. Cedar and Nabaioth sprung from Ismael, and dwelt in desert Arabia, under tents, feeding flocks. (St. Jerome) (Ezechiel xxvii. 21.) — They also were converted to Christ.
Ver. 8. Clouds. They are thy children, accompanied by strangers.
Ver. 9. Afar. All nations shall receive the gospel. Many made presents to the temple, after the return of the Jews. (Calmet) — The islands, Great Britain, &c., embrace the faith. (Tertullian; Origen; Ven. Bede; St. Chrysostom, &c.) (Worthington)
Ver. 10. To thee. The Persian monarchs (Calmet) were mostly favourable to the Jews. (Haydock) — The Gentiles help to form the Church, which rejects no one, ver. 11.
Ver. 12. Desolation. Though the Machabees conquered several nations, this can only be verified in the Church of Christ, to which God has subjected all; so that out of his faith none can be saved, Hebrews ii. 8.
Ver. 13. Glory; cedar, which was chiefly used in building the temple, 1 Esdras iii. 7. (Calmet) — This must be explained of the saints, who founded the Church, &c. (St. Jerome) — Emperors became Christians, with the most potent nations. (Worthington)
Ver. 14. Feet. Protestants, “shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet.” This posture is not then essentially idolatrous. (Haydock) — Jerusalem shall be rebuilt by those who destroyed it, chap. xlix. 17. It is not easy to prove this of the earthly city: but the pagans, who persecuted the Church, have embraced her communion, and begged to receive baptism.
Ver. 16. Kings. Thou shalt be treated like royal babes, chap. xlix. 23. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “and thou shalt eat the riches of kings.” (Haydock)
Ver. 17. Visitation. Septuagint, “give thy chiefs in peace, and thy bishops in justice.” St. Clement of Rome (ad Corinthians) reads, “I will appoint their bishops in justice, and their deacons in faith.” (Calmet) — The Scripture thus specifies the name and duties of the pastors of the Church (St. Jerome)
Ver. 18. Gates. Jerusalem was not less corrupt after the captivity than before, if we except idolatry. (Calmet) — Heaven alone enjoys a perfect peace and freedom from sin, (St. Cyril, &c.) though the Church is always holy. (Haydock)
Ver. 19. Thou shalt, &c. In this latter part of the chapter, the prophet passes from the illustrious promises made to the Church militant on earth, to the glory of the Church triumphant in heaven. (Challoner) — Glory. St. John seems to have copied this, Apocalypse xviii., &c.
Ver. 22. The least of the apostles shall bring many converts, (Calmet) or shall be spiritual (Haydock) governor of a great city, (Micheas v. 2.) in the Church militant. (Calmet) — A small shoot, or family, in the Church, shall produce many others. (Menochius)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The light of true faith shall shine forth in the Church of Christ, and shall be spread through all nations, and continue for all ages.
1 Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
2 For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3 And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising.
4 *Lift up thy eyes round about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side.
5 Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee.
6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord.
7 All the flocks of Cedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nabaioth shall minister to thee: they shall be offered upon my acceptable altar, and I will glorify the house of my majesty.
8 Who are these, that fly as clouds, and as doves to their windows?
9 For the islands wait for me, and the ships of the sea in the beginning: that I may bring thy sons from afar: their silver, and their gold with them, to the name of the Lord thy God, and to the holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
10 And the children of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister to thee: for in my wrath have I struck thee, and in my reconciliation have I had mercy upon thee.
11 *And thy gates shall be open continually: they shall not be shut day nor night, that the strength of the Gentiles may be brought to thee, and their kings may be brought.
12 For the nation and the kingdom that will not serve thee, shall perish: and the Gentiles shall be wasted with desolation.
13 The glory of Libanus shall come to thee, the fir-tree, and the box-tree, and the pine-tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary: and I will glorify the place of my feet.
14 And the children of them that afflicted thee, shall come bowing down to thee, and all that slandered thee shall worship the steps of thy feet, and shall call thee the city of the Lord, the Sion of the holy One of Israel.
15 Because thou wast forsaken, and hated, and there was none that passed through thee, I will make thee to be an everlasting glory, a joy unto generation and generation:
16 And thou shalt suck the milk of the Gentiles, and thou shalt be nursed with the breasts of kings: and thou shalt know that I am the Lord, thy Saviour, and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
17 For brass, I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver: and for wood, brass, and for stones, iron: and I will make thy visitation peace, and thy overseers justice.
18 Iniquity shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting or destruction in thy borders, and salvation shall possess thy walls, and praise thy gates.
19 *Thou shalt no more have the sun for thy light by day, neither shall the brightness of the moon enlighten thee; but the Lord shall be unto thee for an everlasting light, and thy God for thy glory.
20 Thy sun shall go down no more, and thy moon shall not decrease: for the Lord shall be unto thee for an everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
21 And thy people shall be all just, they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hand to glorify me.
22 The least shall become a thousand, and a little one a most strong nation: I, the Lord, will suddenly do this thing in its time.
4: Isaias xlix. 18.
11: Apocalypse xxi. 25.
19: Apocalypse xxi. 23. and xxii. 5.