Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Fountain. In the New Testament Christ is made an open fountain by his incarnation, John iv. 13. (St. Gregory, xx. in Ezechiel i. 6. ep. 186.) (Worthington) — His baptism and other sacraments have the most surprising effects, to which the prophet refers more than to those waters which were brought by pipes into the temple to cleanse the victims, Ezechiel xlvii. 1. (Calmet) — The washing. Septuagint, “change and sprinkling.” Grabe substitutes chorismon, “separation,” and marks the verse with an asterisk. The legal impurities shall be effaced. (Haydock)
Ver. 2. No more. After the Machabees, the people were free from idolatry, and magical arts were repressed, Osee ii. 16., and Ezechiel xxxvii. 22. (Calmet) — “Idolatry and heresy are punishable by death, in the law of Christ.” (Worthington) — To judge in these matters belongs only to the Church. (Haydock)
Ver. 3. Not live. The law condemned those prophets to death, who attempted to lead the people into idolatry, Deuteronomy xiii. 1. People shall be so zealous for God’s honour, that the parents of the seducer shall themselves (Calmet) bring him to judgment. (Haydock) — Through, or make some mark upon him, as fugitive slaves, &c., were stigmatized. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “shall shackle.” (Haydock) — They before interpreted dakar, danced, or insulted. The others have in both places, “pierced.” (St. Jerome) — The person was not slain, ver. 6.
Ver. 4. Vision. They shall have no appearance of truth. — Sackcloth. Hebrew, “hairy skin;” adereth. Such were used by kings, Jonas iii. 6. The people shall not be deceived by such appearances, so that these garments will not be used. The Jews have always been ready to receive impostors, Matthew vii. 15. Yet they shall not be so frequent, or dangerous. The prophets used coarse hairy garments, 4 Kings i. 8.
Ver. 5. Husbandman. Worldly occupations were incompatible with the office of prophets, 3 Kings xix 20., and Amos vii. 15., and Matthew iv. 20. The (Calmet) false (Haydock) prophets will become so odious, that people will excuse themselves from taking up the calling. — Example. I am condemned like him to labour, Genesis iii. 17. Septuagint, “a man begot me.” Hebrew, “taught, or bought me, (Calmet) or caused me to work.” (De Dieu)
Ver. 6. Loved me. My parents marked me thus, ver. 3. (Calmet) — Some have understood this of Jesus Christ. (Rupert) (St. Thomas Aquinas) — But the context excludes this interpretation, which would be injurious to him. (Calmet) — The false prophet is reformed by his parents’ correction, so that he applies to agriculture, and owns that he had been justly punished. (St. Jerome) (Haydock)
Ver. 7. Sword. This address rouses attention. (Calmet) — The sword implies all the torments which Christ endured. (Worthington) — He explains this of himself; only instead of strike, he says I will strike, (Matthew xxvi. 31.) as the sword was directed by God. (Haydock) — Patris voluntate percussus est. (St. Jerome) — Cleaveth. Hebrew hamithi, “my amiable one;” (Haydock) “of the same tribe with me;” (Aquila) “of my people.” (Symmachus) St. Jerome observes, that Septuagint and Theodotion have read v for the last i, and render “his neighbour,” or citizen. Yet some editions of the Septuagint retain “my fellow-citizen.” (Haydock) — Little ones. Septuagint, Arabic, &c., “shepherds,” (Calmet) which “many ill apply to the Jewish princes.” (St. Jerome) — Tsoharim means also “the little,” Micheas v. 2. Christ takes care of his little flock, (Luke xii. 32.; Haydock) and is always one with the Father, John viii. 29., and x. 30. (Calmet) — He recalled the flying apostles, and gave them courage. (Worthington)
Ver. 8. Third. The greatest part of mankind will be lost. (Haydock) — The few Jews who embrace the faith will be absorbed in the Gentile converts, and suffered to live, though proved by persecutions, while the rest shall be exterminated. Both shall lose their name, and be styled Christians. (Calmet) — Those who adhere to Judaism, or to paganism, cannot be saved. This is the privilege only of Christian Catholics, who live piously, and are selected by God’s grace. (Worthington)
Ver. 9. Fire. The Church was persecuted during the first centuries; but always became more pure, and the blood of martyrs increased her numbers. (Calmet) — She faithfully adhered to God. (Haydock) — The Jews say this will not take place at last: “but we assert that it is already accomplished.” (St. Jerome)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The fountain of Christ. Idols and false prophets shall be extripated. Christ shall suffer: his people shall be tried by fire.
1 In that day there shall be a fountain open to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem: for the washing of the sinner, and of the unclean woman.
2 *And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will destroy the names of idols out of the earth, and they shall be remembered no more: and I will take away the false prophets, and the unclean spirit out of the earth.
3 And it shall come to pass, that when any man shall prophesy any more, his father and his mother that brought him into the world, shall say to him: Thou shalt not live: because thou hast spoken a lie in the name of the Lord. And his father, and his mother, his parents, shall thrust him through, when he shall prophesy.
4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be confounded, every one by his own vision, when he shall prophesy, neither shall they be clad with a garment of sackcloth, to deceive:
5 But he shall say: I am no prophet, I am a husbandman: for Adam is my example from my youth.
6 And they shall say to him: What are these wounds in the midst of thy hands? And he shall say: With these I was wounded in the house of them that loved me.
7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that cleaveth to me, saith the Lord of hosts: strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand to the little ones.
8 And there shall be in all the earth, saith the Lord, two parts in it shall be scattered, and shall perish: but the third part shall be left therein.
9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined: and I will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on my name, and I will hear them. I will say: Thou art my people: and they shall say: The Lord is my God.
2: Ezechiel xxx. 13.