Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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ISAIAS - Chapter 5

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Isaias v.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. My cousin. So the prophet calls Christ, as being of his family and kindred, by descending from the house of David. (Challoner) (Menochius) --- Hebrew and Septuagint, "beloved." Dod may also mean a near relation. (Calmet) --- Isaias being of the same tribe, sets before us the lamentations of Christ over Jerusalem, Luke xix. 41. (Worthington) --- The Hebrews had canticles of sorrow, as well as of joy. The prophet thus endeavours to impress more deeply on the minds of the people what he had been saying. The master of the vineyard is God himself, ver. 7. (Calmet) --- Hill. Literally, in the horn, the son of oil. (Challoner) --- The best vines grew among olive and fig trees. (Doubdan 21.) --- Septuagint, "in a horn, (mountain) in a fat soil." (Haydock)

Ver. 2. Stones. They burn and starve in different seasons, Colossians xii. 3. --- Choicest. Hebrew sorek. (Haydock) --- There was a famous valley of this name, Judges xvi. 4. The angels guarded the vineyard, in which Abraham, Moses, &c., were found. --- Tower. To keep the wine, &c., Matthew xxi. 33. It denotes the temple, (Calmet) Scriptures, &c. (Menochius) --- Wild. Sour, Deuteronomy xxxii. 32.

Ver. 3. Judge. God condescends to have his conduct scrutinized, chap. xli. 1.

Ver. 4. Was it. "Why has it produced wild grapes, while I looked?" &c.

Ver. 5. Down. By the Chaldeans, and after the death of Christ. (Calmet) --- When God withdraws his aid, man is unable to stand. Yet he falls by his own fault, which God only permits. (Worthington)

Ver. 6. It. During the whole of the captivity, the land might keep its sabbaths, Leviticus xxvi. 34. (Calmet) --- The people shall be deprived of saving doctrine. (Menochius)

Ver. 7. Israel. This comparison is very common, Psalm lxxix. 9., and Matthew xx. 1. (Calmet) --- The preceding parable is explained. (Menochius) --- Cry. For vengeance, Jeremias xii. 8., and Genesis iv. 10., and xviii. 20. (Calmet)

Ver. 8. Even. Septuagint, "to take from your neighbour: shall," &c. (Haydock)

Ver. 9. Things. Unjust practices. --- Inhabitant. What will your avarice avail, (Haydock) since you must abandon all? (Calmet)

Ver. 10. Measure. Hebrew, "both." --- Thirty. Hebrew, "a chomer shall yield an epha."

Ver. 11. To follow. Hebrew, "for shecar," (Calmet) palm wine, (Theodoret) or any inebriating liquor. (St. Jerome in chap. xxviii.) Our version is conformable to Aquila and Symmachus. (Haydock) --- Numbers vi. 3., and Ecclesiastes x. 16.

Ver. 12. Work. Chastisement, ver. 19., and chap. xxviii. 21. (Calmet) --- They are admonished to observe the festivals of the Lord, and not to indulge in riotousness. (Worthington)

Ver. 14. Hell. Or the grave, which never says enough, Proverbs xxx. 15. Isaias alludes to what should happen under Nabuchodonosor, as if it were past. (G.[Calmet?])

Ver. 16. Justice. All will be taught to adore him. (Haydock)

Ver. 17. Strangers. Ammonites, &c., (Calmet) shall occupy part of the land. (Haydock)

Ver. 18. Cart. Fatiguing themselves with iniquity, (Wisdom v. 7.; Calmet) and delaying your conversion. (St. Isidore) (Menochius)

Ver. 19. It. The Jews were often guilty of the like insolence, Jeremias xvii. 15.

Ver. 21. Conceits. Blind guides, Matthew xv. 14.

Ver. 22. Drink. Hebrew, "mix shecar." People generally mixed wine and water. They also strove who could drink most, and the Greeks had a feast for this purpose, (Calmet) which they styled Choas, for the measure which was to be swallowed down. (Aristophanes, Acharn. act. iv. 4. and 5. ultra) --- Cyrus the younger boasted to the Greek ambassadors, that "he could drink and bear more wine than his brother." (Plut.[Plutarch?] in Artax.)

Ver. 23. Justice. Declaring the righteous guilty, ver. 20. (Haydock)

Ver. 25. Still. After the ruin of Jerusalem, the people were led away. (Calmet) --- Grievous sins must be severely punished, as was that of the murderers of Christ. (Worthington)

Ver. 26. Off. Like a king, leading all his subjects to battle. (Calmet) --- Whistle. He alludes to the custom of leading forth bees by music, chap. vii. 18. (St. Cyprian) --- Earth. The Chaldeans, (chap. xli. 9., and Jeremias vi. 22.) and not the Romans, as some would suppose. --- Swiftly. Like an eagle, Daniel vii. 4., and Jeremias xlviii. 40.

Ver. 27. Broken. They shall march incessantly, Ezechiel xxvi. 7., and xxx. 11.

Ver. 28. Hoofs. They were hardened, but not shod. (Xenophon) (Amos vi. 13.)

Ver. 29. Lion. Nabuchodonosor is compared to one, ver. 26., and Jeremias iv. 7.

Ver. 30. Mist. Denoting calamity. Hebrew, "ruin." Septuagint, "indigence." (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The reprobation of the Jews is foreshewn under the parable of a vineyard. A woe is pronounced against sinners: the army God shall send against them.

1 I will *sing to my beloved the canticle of my cousin concerning his vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard on a hill in a fruitful place.

2 And he fenced it in, and picked the stones out of it, and planted it with the choicest vines, and built a tower in the midst thereof, and set up a wine-press therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

3 And now, O ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and ye men of Juda, judge between me and my vineyard.

4 What is there that I ought to do more to my vineyard, that I have not done to it? was it that I looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it hath brought forth wild grapes?

5 And now I will shew you what I will do to my vineyard. I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be wasted: I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down.

6 And I will make it desolate: it shall not be pruned, and it shall not be digged: but briers and thorns shall come up: and I will command the clouds to rain no rain upon it.

7: For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel: and the man of Juda, his pleasant plant: and I looked that he should do judgment, and behold iniquity: and do justice, and behold a cry.

8 Woe to you that join house to house, and lay field to field, even to the end of the place: shall you alone dwell in the midst of the earth?

9 These things are in my ears, saith the Lord of hosts: unless many great and fair houses shall become desolate, without an inhabitant.

10 For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one little measure, and thirty bushels of seed shall yield three bushels.

11 Woe to you that rise up early in the morning to follow drunkenness, and to drink till the evening, to be inflamed with wine.

12 The harp, and the lyre, and the timbrel, and the pipe, and wine, are in your feasts: and the work of the Lord you regard not, nor do you consider the works of his hands.*

13 Therefore is my people led away captive, because they had not knowledge, and their nobles have perished with famine, and their multitude were dried up with thirst.

14 Therefore hath hell enlarged her soul, and opened her mouth without any bounds, and their strong ones, and their people, and their high and glorious ones shall go down into it.

15 And man shall be brought down, and man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be brought low.

16 And the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and the holy God shall be sanctified in justice.

17 And the lambs shall feed according to their order, and strangers shall eat the deserts turned into fruitfulness.

18 Woe to you that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as the rope of a cart.

19 That say: Let him make haste, and let his work come quickly, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the holy one of Israel come, that we may know it.

20 Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.

21 *Woe to you that are wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own conceits.

22 Woe to you that are mighty to drink wine, and stout men at drunkenness.

23 That justify the wicked for gifts, and take away the justice of the just from him.

24 Therefore, as the tongue of the fire devoureth the stubble, and the heat of the flame consumeth it; so shall their root be as ashes, and their bud shall go up as dust: for they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and have blasphemed the word of the holy one of Israel.

25 Therefore is the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched out his hand upon them, and struck them: and the mountains were troubled, and their carcasses became as dung in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

26 And he will lift up a sign to the nations afar off, and will whistle to them from the ends of the earth: and behold they shall come with speed swiftly.

27 There is none that shall faint, nor labour among them: they shall not slumber, nor sleep, neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken.

28 Their arrows are sharp, and all their bows are bent. The hoofs of their horses shall be like the flint, and their wheels like the violence of a tempest.

29 Their roaring like that of a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and take hold of the prey, and they shall keep fast hold of it, and there shall be none to deliver it.

30 And they shall make a noise against them that day, like the roaring of the sea: we shall look towards the land, and behold darkness of tribulation, and the light is darkened with the mist thereof.



1: Jeremias ii. 21.; Matthew xxi. 33.

12: Amos vi. 6.

21: Proverbs iii. 7.; Romans xii. 16.