Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Edom. Edom and Bosra (a strong city of Edom) are here taken in a mystical sense for the enemies of Christ and his Church. (Challoner) — St. Jerome with reason finds it difficult to explain it of Christ, as it regards the Machabees. (Houbigant) — The first six verses are applied to our Saviour’s ascension, which excites the admiration of angels, Psalm xxiii. 7. Judas, the Machabee, the glorious figure of Christ, is introduced speaking in this and the following chapter. He conquered Idumea, (1 Machabees v. 3., and 2 Machabees x. 10.) and fought to save the people, 1 Machabees ix. 21. (Calmet) — The highest order of angels asks this question, admiring the beauty of Christ, though imbrued in blood after his victory. (St. Dionysius, Hierar. vii.) (Worthington)
Ver. 3. Press. Christ suffered, (St. Cyril) and punished his enemies, Apocalypse xiv. 19. Judas received God’s sword from Jeremias, (2 Machabees xv. 15.) and liberated his people.
Ver. 5. Me. I depended on the goodness of my cause, and on God’s aid, chap. lix. 15. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Drunk with the wine of my fury, Psalm lxxiv. 9., and Ezechiel xxiii. 31. (Haydock)
Ver. 7. I, Isaias; or rather the hero mentions what induced him to rise up, 1 Machabees xvi. 10. (Calmet) — The Jews confess God’s mercies. (St. Jerome)
Ver. 8. Deny, or prove degenerate. (Calmet) — God approves the conduct of the Machabees. (Haydock)
Ver. 9. Presence, in high authority, Exodus xxxiii. 20. (Calmet) — The angel guardian of the Church. Particular guardians also see God’s face, Matthew xviii. (Worthington)
Ver. 10. One; Moses, Numbers xiv. 29., and xx. 3, 12.
Ver. 11. Flock. Psalm lxxvi. 21. — One. Moses inspired by God. (Calmet)
Ver. 13. Not, the road was so plain, Wisdom xix. 7. (Haydock)
Ver. 15. Back. This is spoken by the prophet in the person of the Jews, at the time when for their sins they were given up to their enemies. (Challoner) — Judas uses the same language at Maspha, 1 Machabees iii. 50. (Calmet)
Ver. 16. Abraham, &c. That is, Abraham will not now acknowledge us for his children, by reason of our degeneracy; but thou, O Lord, art our true father and our redeemer, and no other can be called our parent in comparison with thee. (Challoner) — Abraham is not able to save us. (Calmet) — The patriarchs may justly disregard us, as degenerate children; yet we hope in God’s mercies. Thus St. Jerome, &c., explain the passage, which does not favour the errors of Vigilantius and of Luther, who maintain that the saints departed do not know what passes in this world. St. Augustine (Cura xv.) shews the contrary, from the example of Lazarus, Luke xvi. They know each other, though they had not lived together, (St. Gregory, Dial. iv. 33.) and behold in the light of God what regards their clients. (St. Augustine, City of God xxii. 29.) We cannot decide how the martyrs do help those whom it is certain they assist. (St. Augustine, cura xvi., and contra Faust. xx. 21.; St. Jerome, contra Vigil.; St. Gregory, 3 ep. 30., and 7 ep. 126., &c.) (Worthington)
Ver. 17. Hardened, &c. The meaning is, that God, in punishment of their great and manifold crimes, and their long abuse of his mercy and grace, had withdrawn his graces from them, and so given them up to error and hardness of heart. (Challoner) — They had abused his patience, to sin the more. (Theodoret) — The Jews are accustomed to attribute all to God, though they agree with us in reality God might prevent any sin. (Calmet) — But he chooses to leave man to the free exercise of his liberty. He hardens (Haydock) “not by infusing malice, but by not shewing mercy; and those to whom he shews it not, are undeserving.” (St. Augustine, ep. ad Sixt. cxciv. 14.) — God is never the author of error. Man takes occasion from his indulgence to become obdurate. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)
Ver. 18. Nothing; holding them in the greatest contempt. Epiphanes thought he should make them easily change their religion. His persecution lasted only three years and a half. — Sanctuary. 1 Machabees i. 23, 49, 57., and iii. 45.
Ver. 19. Name. We seem to have no distinction, temple, &c. (Calmet) — Protestants, “We are thine. Thou never bearest rule over them. They were,” &c. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Christ’s victory over his enemies: his mercies to his people: their complaint.
1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra, this beautiful one in his robe, walking in the greatness of his strength. I, that speak justice, and am a defender to save.
2 *Why then is thy apparel red, and thy garments like theirs that tread in the wine-press?
3 I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the Gentiles there is not a man with me: I have trampled on them in my indignation, and have trodden them down in my wrath, and their blood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my apparel.
4 *For the day of vengeance is in my heart, the year of my redemption is come.
5 I looked about, and there was none to help: I sought, and there was none to give aid: and my own arm hath saved for me, and my indignation itself hath helped me.
6 And I have trodden down the people in my wrath, and have made them drunk in my indignation, and have brought down their strength to the earth.
7 I will remember the tender mercies of the Lord, the praise of the Lord for all the things that the Lord hath bestowed upon us, and for the multitude of his good things to the house of Israel, which he hath given them according to his kindness, and according to the multitude of his mercies.
8 And he said: Surely, they are my people, children that will not deny: so he became their Saviour.
9 In all their affliction he was not troubled, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love, and in his mercy he redeemed them, and he carried them and lifted them up all the days of old.
10 But they provoked to wrath, and afflicted the spirit of his holy One: and he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.
11 And he remembered the days of old of Moses, and of his people: *Where is he that brought them up out of the sea, with the shepherds of his flock? where is he that put in the midst of them the spirit of his holy One?
12 He that brought out Moses by the right hand, by the arm of his majesty: that divided the waters before them, to make himself an everlasting name.
13 He that led them out through the deep, as a horse in the wilderness that stumbleth not.
14 As a beast that goeth down in the field, the spirit of the Lord was their leader: so didst thou lead thy people to make thyself a glorious name.
15 *Look down from heaven, and behold from thy holy habitation and the place of thy glory: where is thy zeal, and thy strength, the multitude of thy bowels, and of thy mercies: they have held back themselves from me.
16 For thou art our father, and Abraham hath not known us, and Israel hath been ignorant of us: thou, O Lord, art our Father, our Redeemer, from everlasting is thy name.
17 Why hast thou made us to err, O Lord, from thy ways: why hast thou hardened our heart, that we should not fear thee? return, for the sake of thy servants, the tribes of thy inheritance.
18 They have possessed thy holy people as nothing: our enemies have trodden down thy sanctuary.
19 We are become as in the beginning, when thou didst not rule over us, and when we were not called by thy name.
2: Apocalypse xix. 13.
4: Isaias xxxiv. 8.
11: Exodus xiv. 29.
15: Deuteronomy xxvi. 45.; Baruch ii. 16.