Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. House. This is a prophecy that the temple should be cast off. (Challoner) — Isaias alludes to the return of the captives, as to a figure of the Church. They had flattered themselves with the idea of building a magnificent temple. God regards it not, as long as they follow their own wills and cherish pride. (Calmet) — He is pleased with the piety of his servants, which may be exhibited any where, though the temple is the most proper place. See Acts vii., and xiv. After the gospel, the sacrifices of the law became unlawful. (Worthington)
Ver. 3. He. Septuagint, “the wicked who.” (Haydock) — Ox. This is a prophecy, that the sacrifices which were offered in the old law, should be abolished in the new; and that the offering of them should be a crime. (Challoner) — Without the proper dispositions, sacrifice only displeases God. (Calmet) — Brain, or slay. (Haydock) — Incense. To offer it in the way of a sacrifice; (Challoner) or to remind God of his people. The expression is popular, but energetic, Leviticus ii. 2, 9., and vi. 15. — Ways, to please themselves, and to bind me. But I will not have a divided heart, chap. i. 11., and lviii. 3. (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Mockeries. I will turn their mockeries upon themselves; and will cause them to be mocked by their enemies. (Challoner)
Ver. 5. Brethren, the Idumeans, &c., or the Jews, who would not believe in Christ.
Ver. 6. Lord, who is about to quit the temple, and to abandon the Jews to their internal dissensions, and to the arms of the Romans. Many prodigies announced this judgment. (Calmet) — One Jesus cried for seven years and five months, “Woe to the temple,” &c. At last he cried, “Woe to myself;” when he was shot dead. (Josephus, Jewish Wars vii. 12.) (Tacitus, Hist. v.) — Angels were heard crying in the temple, “Let us go hence.” (Josephus) — There was contradiction in the city, Psalm liv. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)
Ver. 7. Before, &c. This relates to the conversion of the Gentiles, who were born as it were all on a sudden to the Church of God. (Challoner) — Sion furnished the first preachers of the Gospel. (Haydock)
Ver. 8. Day. Shall a whole nation be born at once? Twelve fishermen effect the most surprising change in the manners of the world.
Ver. 9. God. His grace converts the nations. (Calmet)
Ver. 10. For her. Ye shall be comforted, (Haydock) when the captives return, and the gospel is propagated.
Ver. 12. You. St. Paul fed the weak with milk, 1 Corinthians iii. 2., and Hebrews v. 12., and 1 Peter ii. 2.
Ver. 14. Herb, in baptism and the resurrection. — Enemies, the Chaldeans, infidel Jews, and all the reprobate, ver 15. How many miracles were wrought by Christian preachers! Persecutors have come to an untimely end. (Calmet) — Before judgment, the world shall be consumed. (Worthington)
Ver. 16. Many. Few are chosen. (Haydock) — All the wicked shall perish eternally. (Menochius)
Ver. 17. Within the court, or gardens, where they purified themselves, foolishly supposing that this would remove their crimes, as the pagans did. (St. Jerome) (Tertullian, Bapt. v.) — Instead of gate, St. Jerome wrote unam, “one,” moon or Hecate, which is obviously derived from Hebrew Achat, chap. lvii. 8., and lxv. 11. Chaldean, Syriac, &c., “gardens, one after another with those who eat,” &c. — Mouse, or “field-rat,” (Bochart) all declared unclean; (Leviticus xi. 7, 29.; Calmet) or, “the dor-mouse,” (St. Jerome) which was looked upon as a delicacy by the Romans. (Varro iii. 15.; Pliny, [Natural History?] xxxvi. 1.)
Ver. 18. Gather them, thoughts, &c. All is personified in poetry. The Gentiles shall witness my judgments. (Calmet)
Ver. 19. Sign; the cross, which Christ left to enlighten us, (Ezechiel ix.; St. Jerome; Worthington) or the gospel, with the power of working miracles. Some Jews shall be saved, and shall preach to others, as God’s servants. — Sea. Hebrew, “Tharsis, to Phul in Thebais, Lud, (Ethiopians.; Bochart) who were expert archers.” Septuagint, “Mosoch.” — Italy. Hebrew, “Thubal;” denoting Italy, Spain, Iberia, &c. — Greece. Hebrew, “Javan;” who peopled Ionia and the Archipelago. Islands, near Asia, (Calmet) and all distant places. (Parkhurst, p. 4.) (Haydock) — Men of all nations shall be converted, and brought by angels to the Church. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)
Ver. 20. Brethren, as the converts may justly be styled. (Calmet) — Coaches, (carrucis.) Hebrew circaroth, (Haydock) “dromedaries,” (Bochart) “with songs of praise.” (Chaldean, &c.) The precise import is unknown. Truth shall shew its sweet force. — Offering; the first-fruits, brought by all with great solemnity, Deuteronomy xxvi. 4., and 2 Thessalonians ii. 12. (Calmet)
Ver. 21. Of them, Gentiles; (ver. 19.) some of whom alone will be properly priests, though all enjoy the title in a figurative sense, 1 Peter ii. 9. The Jews strive in vain to elude this text. (Calmet) — Under the law, one family alone enjoyed this honour: but Christ chooses the most deserving pastors. (Worthington)
Ver. 22. Name. The faith and morals of Christianity shall subsist for ever, like the gospel, which is termed the new heavens, chap. lxv. 17., and Matthew xvi. 18.
Ver. 23. Sabbath. Grotius explains this of the Gentiles, who should come to Jerusalem. But this was never realized before the propagation of the gospel. The Jews came thrice a-year. Christians shall attend the sacred mysteries every week, Exodus xiii. 14., and Malachias i. 11.
Ver. 24. Men; rebellious Jews and persecutors, who perish miserably. — Flesh. Josephus (Jewish Wars vi. 16.) describes the horrors of the last siege of Jerusalem. The prophet may allude to the fires kept up in the vale of Hinnon; (chap. xxx. 33.) and our Saviour applies this text to the damned, Mark ix. 43. All shall condemn them. (Calmet)
Accedat lacrymis odium, dignusque puteris
Ut mala cum tuleris plurima, plura feras. (Ovid in Ibin.)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
More of the reprobation of the Jews, and of the call of the Gentiles.
1 Thus *saith the Lord: Heaven is my throne, and the earth my foot-stool: what is this house that you will build to me? and what is this place of my rest?
2 My hand made all these things, and all these things were made, saith the Lord. But to whom shall I have respect, but to him that is poor and little, and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my words?
3 He that sacrificeth an ox, is as if he slew a man: he that killeth a sheep in sacrifice, as if he should brain a dog: he that offereth an oblation, as if he should offer swine’s blood: he that remembereth incense, as if he should bless an idol. All these things have they chosen in their ways, and their soul is delighted in their abominations.
4 Wherefore I also will choose their mockeries: and will bring upon them the things they feared: *because I called, and there was none that would answer: I have spoken, and they heard not: and they have done evil in my eyes, and have chosen the things that displease me.
5 Hear the word of the Lord, you that tremble at his word: Your brethren that hate you, and cast you out for my name’s sake, have said: Let the Lord be glorified, and we shall see in your joy: but they shall be confounded.
6 A voice of the people from the city, a voice from the temple, the voice of the Lord, that rendereth recompense to his enemies.
7 Before she was in labour, she brought forth; before her time came to be delivered she brought forth a man-child.
8 Who hath ever heard such a thing? and who hath seen the like to this? shall the earth bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be brought forth at once, because Sion hath been in labour, and hath brought forth her children?
9 Shall not I, that make others to bring forth children, myself bring forth, saith the Lord? shall I, that give generation to others, be barren, saith the Lord thy God?
10 Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all you that mourn for her.
11 That you may suck, and be filled with the breasts of her consolations: that you may milk out, and flow with delights from the abundance of her glory.
12 For thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will bring upon her, as it were, a river of peace, and as an overflowing torrent, the glory of the Gentiles, which you shall suck: you shall be carried at the breasts, and upon the knees they shall caress you.
13 As one whom the mother caresseth, so will I comfort you, and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice, *and your bones shall flourish like an herb; and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants, and he shall be angry with his enemies.
15 For behold the Lord will come with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind, to render his wrath in indignation, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For the Lord shall judge by fire, and by his sword unto all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many.
17 They that were sanctified, and thought themselves clean in the gardens behind the gate within, they that did eat swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse: they shall be consumed together, saith the Lord.
18 But I know their works, and their thoughts: I come that I may gather them together with all nations and tongues: and they shall come and shall see my glory.
19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send of them, that shall be saved, to the Gentiles into the sea, into Africa, and Lydia them that draw the bow: into Italy, and Greece, to the islands afar off, to them that have not heard of me, and have not seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory to the Gentiles:
20 And they shall bring all your brethren out of all nations, for a gift to the Lord, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and in coaches, to my holy mountain, Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as if the children of Israel should bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.
21 And I will take of them to be priests, and Levites, saith the Lord.
22 *For as the new heavens, and the new earth, which I make to stand before me, saith the Lord: so shall your seed stand, and your name.
23 And there shall be month after month, and sabbath after sabbath: and all flesh shall come to adore before my face, saith the Lord.
24 And they shall go out, and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: *their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched: and they shall be a loathsome sight to all flesh.
1: Acts vii. 49. and xvii. 24.
4: Proverbs i. 24.; Isaias lxv. 12.; Jeremias vii. 13.
14: Ezechiel xxxvii.
22: Apocalypse xxi. 1.
24: Mark ix. 45.