Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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ISAIAS - Introduction

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We come now to another division of the Bible, specified by our Saviour: All things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me, Luke xxiv. 44. He more frequently comprises all the Scriptures under the titles of Moses, or the Law and the Prophets; (Luke xxiv. 27) as in effect, all the sacred writings refer ultimately to him, who is the end of the law; (Romans x. 4.) and the Jews comprise under the name of the first prophets, the histories of Josue, &c. (Haydock) --- God has kept up a succession of prophets from the beginning, who either by word of mouth or by writing, established the true religion. Their predictions are the most convincing proof of its divine origin, Isaias xli. 23. They contain many things clear, and others obscure: having, for the most part, a literal, and a mystical sense. (Calmet) --- Yet some relate solely to Christ, while others must not be applied to him. (Bossuet) --- The Fathers, in imitation of the ancient Jews, and of the apostles, discover frequently a spiritual sense, concealed under the letter, as Christ himself declared that Jonas, in the whale's belly, prefigured his burial and resurrection on the third day. See Matthew xii. 39., Mark ix. 11., and Galatians iv. 24. When the figurative sense is thus authorized, it may serve to prove articles of faith; and such arguments must be more cogent in disputes with the Jews, than what can be drawn from their authors. They must confess that the New Testament contains a true history, or they cannot require that we should pay greater deference to the Old. Tertullian (Pręs.) well observes, that heretics have no right to the Scriptures: But if they will quote them, they must receive them all, and adopt the sense given to them by the Church. (Calmet) --- The providence of God, in giving prophets, and other guides to direct his people, was ever an object of admiration and gratitude. The prophets were enabled, by a supernatural light, superior to that of faith, though beneath that of glory, to announce the secrets of futurity, as eye-witnesses; whence their predictions are styled visions, as such witnesses deserve the utmost credit. We have the writings of the four great, and the twelve less prophets. In these, many things are hard to be understood, which must not be interpreted by the private spirit, 2 Peter i. A large commentary would be requisite to explain these to the bottom, and we must refer the curious to the works of the Fathers, &c., as the subsequent notes will be rather briefer than usual. (Worthington) --- The Septuagint varies much from the original in Isaias. But we cannot specify every particular. (Calmet) --- St. Jerome has frequently given a double version in his learned comments on the prophets, as he would not peremptorily decide which exhibited the sense of God's word more accurately. (Haydock)




This inspired writer is called by the Holy Ghost, (Ecclesiasticus xlviii. 25.) the great prophet; from the greatness of his prophetic spirit, by which he hath foretold, so long before, and in so clear a manner, the coming of Christ, the mysteries of our redemption, the calling of the Gentiles, and the glorious establishment, and perpetual flourishing of the Church of Christ: insomuch that he seems to have been rather an evangelist than a prophet. His very name is not without mystery: for Isaias in Hebrew signifies the salvation of the Lord, or, Jesus is the Lord. He was, according to the tradition of the Hebrews, of the blood royal of the kings of Juda; and after a most holy life, ended his days by a glorious martyrdom; being sawed in two, at the command of his wicked son-in-law, king Manasses, for reproving his evil ways. (Challoner) --- He began to prophesy ten years before the foundation of Rome, and the ruin of Ninive. His style is suitable to his high birth. He may be called the prophet of the mercies of the Lord. Under the figure of the return from captivity, he foretells the redemption of mankind (Calmet) with such perspicuity, that he might seem to be an evangelist. (St. Jerome)