Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Snows. Protestants, “Bright clouds,” or “lightnings.” (Haydock) — God will presently grant your requests, after the persecution of Epiphanes. (Calmet) — The latter season is when fruit ripens, the acceptable time to sue for grace. (Worthington)
Ver. 2. Vanity. Jason prevailed on many to imitate the Gentiles, 1 Machabees i. 12.
Ver. 3. Goats; the leaders of the people, Jeremias l. 8. (Calmet) — Vir gregis ipse caper. (Virgil, Ec. vii.) — Jason died in exile, Lysimachus was slain in the temple, Alcimus perished miserably, and Menelaus was hurled among ashes, 2 Machabees v. 5., and iv. 39., and xiii. 4., and 1 Machabees ix. 54. — Battle. The apostates have suffered: God will not abandon his flock, but raises up Mathathias, &c.
Ver. 4. Corner, to connect the building. The Machabees were not of the tribe of Juda; but it was the chief, and gave name to the rest. Judas was also a figure of Christ, the chief corner-stone, and he should be born of that tribe. — Pin, to fasten down the tent, or to hang things upon. These comparisons were not deemed mean, 1 Esdras ix. 8., and Isaias xxii. 23. — Exactor. The term may have a good as well as a bad sense. Taxes must be paid for the support of lawful governments. Judas forced other nations to pay tribute. (Calmet) — The same term in Ethiopia, means “a king.” (De Dieu)
Ver. 5. Riders. The Syrians, with (Haydock) all their cavalry, were routed by a few ill-armed infantry. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Joseph. All the tribes shall embrace the gospel at last. (Worthington) — Back, from the caverns to which they had fled.
Ver. 7. Valiant. Ephraim was a powerful and valiant tribe, Deuteronomy xxxiii. 17. (Calmet)
Ver. 8. Whistle. Christians are sweetly drawn by inspirations, without clamorous words. (St. Cyril) (Worthington) — This expression shews the sovereign dominion of God. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “I will give them a sign.” (Haydock)
Ver. 9. Me. The Jews were spread throughout the world, and adhered to their own customs. (Philo) See Acts ii. 8. — While they enjoyed the greatest prosperity, they kept together in a small territory. It is wonderful how they have since increased.
Ver. 10. For them. They returned from the places to which they had been dispersed during former wars, when Judas had liberated his country. (Calmet)
Ver. 11. Sea. The Jews pretend that the Bosphorus’ straits were dried up, to afford them a passage. (St. Jerome) — But they must produce some stronger text to prove such a miracle. No obstacles shall be able to retard God’s people, Isaias xi. 16. — Assyria. After Epiphanes, the kingdom subsisted only about seventy years. — Egypt. The Ptolemies excluded the natural princes, who have never regained the throne. They who had so often disturbed the Jews, were deprived of their power over them by the Syrians, and never could prevail there again after the Machabees. (Calmet) — When the faithful are confirmed in their religion, the enemy cannot hurt them. (Worthington)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
God is to be sought to, and not idols. The victories of his Church, which shall arise originally from the Jewish nation.
1 Ask ye of the Lord rain in the latter season, and the Lord will make snows, and will give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
2 For the idols have spoken what was unprofitable, and the diviners have seen a lie, and the dreamers have spoken vanity; they comforted in vain; therefore they were led away as a flock: they shall be afflicted, because they have no shepherd.
3 My wrath is kindled against the shepherds, and I will visit upon the buck-goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited his flock, the house of Juda, and hath made them as the horse of his glory in the battle.
4 Out of him shall come forth the corner, out of him the pin, out of him the bow of battle, out of him every exactor together.
5 And they shall be as mighty men, treading under foot the mire of the ways in battle; and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them; and the riders of horses shall be confounded.
6 And I will strengthen the house of Juda, and save the house of Joseph: and I will bring them back again, because I will have mercy on them: and they shall be as they were when I had not cast them off, for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them.
7 And they shall be as the valiant men of Ephraim, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine; and their children shall see, and shall rejoice, and their heart shall be joyful in the Lord.
8 I will whistle for them, and I will gather them together, because I have redeemed them: and I will multiply them as they were multiplied before.
9 And I will sow them among peoples: and from afar they shall remember me: and they shall live with their children, and shall return.
10 And I will bring them back out of the land of Egypt, and will gather them from among the Assyrians; and will bring them to the land of Galaad, and Libanus, and place shall not be found for them.
11 And he shall pass over the strait of the sea, and shall strike the waves in the sea, and all the depths of the river shall be confounded, *and the pride of Assyria shall be humbled, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart.
12 I will strengthen them in the Lord, and they shall walk in his name, saith the Lord.
11: Apocalypse xvi. 12.; Isaias xi. 15.