Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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ISAIAS - Chapter 8

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Isaias viii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Book. This mystery would require a large explanation. (Worthington) --- Pen. Literally, "style." (Haydock) --- Write intelligibly. Here all is plain. (Calmet) --- Take. Protestants, "concerning Mahershalalchashbaz." Marginal note, "in making speed to the spoil, he hasteneth the prey." (Haydock) --- Chashbaz, the son of Isaias, was a sign that Syria and Israel should soon be rendered desolate; and in a more elevated sense, he shewed that Christ should overturn the powers of hell. (Calmet) --- The virgin's son [Jesus Christ] took the prey from the devil, who before possessed almost all the world. (Worthington) --- Urias. Probably the high priest, who afterwards weakly complied with the king's idolatrous order, 4 Kings xvi. 10. (Calmet) --- Yet at this time, he was a credible witness. (Haydock) --- Zacharias. A person to us unknown. (Calmet)

Ver. 3. Prophetess. The blessed Virgin [Mary], (St. Chrysostom, &c.) or to his wife. He gives his son a different name from Emmanuel, (chap. vii. 14.) that they might not be confounded. --- Hasten. Hebrew Mahershalalchashbaz, ver. 1. (Haydock)

Ver. 4. Assyrians. Theglathphalassar, the next year, took the Damascenes to Kir, and Nephthali, Reuben, Gad, and Manasses into captivity. Yet the kingdom continued some time longer. Never was prediction more explicit. Can the pagans produce any thing similar?

Ver. 6. Silence. Being willing to receive Tabeel, instead of their lawful prince. Achaz was then terrified, and chose to become tributary, rather than to lose his crown. Herein both offended God, in whom they ought to have trusted; and the auxiliary king looked upon himself as master of the country, 2 Paralipomenon xxviii. 20. (Calmet) --- Israel had joined with the Syrian; but was reduced to the state of captivity, while Jerusalem was preserved. (Worthington)

Ver. 7. River. Euphrates, (Calmet) with the overflowing of which the Assyrian is compared. (Haydock)

Ver. 8. Wings. Or troops. --- Emmanuel. Christ was born in the country, and Lord of it: though it might be said to belong to the son of Isaias, as being his figure. (Calmet)

Ver. 9. Overcome. The defeat of Sennacherib, of the Idumeans, &c., under Ezechias, is intimated, 4 Kings xviii. 8., and xix. 35.

Ver. 10. God. Hebrew, "Emmanuel." We have a pledge of God's protection.

Ver. 12. Conspiracy. In despair, they wish to submit to the enemy, ver. 6. Isaias exhorts them to have recourse rather to the Lord. (Calmet)

Ver. 14. Two. The wicked of both kingdoms, (Haydock) who choose to revolt from God. Many of Israel were led into captivity, and the territory of Juda was laid waste. (Calmet)

Ver. 16. Disciples. Let some faithful witnesses keep this prophecy, (Haydock) that when it is verified, all may be convinced.

Ver. 17. Jacob. Having resolved on their ruin. (Calmet)

Ver. 18. I and my two children. Chap. vii. 3., and viii. 4. (Haydock) --- The actions of some were prophetical, chap. xx. 2., and Osee xii. 10. (Calmet) --- God announces what will happen, by the names of my children, (Haydock) and by their age, as well as by my mouth. (Calmet)

Ver. 19. Seek of pythons. That is, people pretending to tell future things by a prophesying spirit. --- Should not the people seek of their God, for the living of the dead? Here is signified, that it is to God we should pray to be directed, and not to seek of the dead, (that is, of fortune-tellers dead in sin) for the health of the living. (Challoner) --- Mutter. Literally, "use a shrill note," strident. (Haydock) --- So Horace, (1 Sat. viii.) says: Umbrę cum sagana resonarent triste et acutum. --- Should. Make this reply: Should, &c.

Ver. 20. Law. Sealed, (ver. 16.) or to the law of Moses, Ecclesiasticus xxxiv. 28. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "why do they consult the dead concerning the living? For he gave the law to assist us." (Haydock) --- Light. They shall die or be miserable. (Calmet)

Ver. 21. By it. The word of God. (Haydock) --- God. Elohim means also princes or idols. (Calmet) --- Whether they seek God unwillingly, or the aid of men, (ver. 22.) they shall perish. (Worthington)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The name of the child that is to be born: many evils shall come upon the Jews for their sins.

1 And the Lord said to me: Take thee a great book, and write in it with a man's pen. Take away the spoils with speed, quickly take the prey.

2 And I took unto me faithful witnesses, Urias, the priest, and Zacharias, the son of Barachias.

3 And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived, and bore a son. And the Lord said to me: Call his name, Hasten to take away the spoils: Make haste to take away the prey.

4 For before the child know to call his father and his mother, the strength of Damascus, and the spoils of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of the Assyrians.

5 And the Lord spoke to me again, saying:

6 Forasmuch as this people hath cast away the waters of Siloe, that go with silence, and hath rather taken Rasin, and the son of Romelia:

7 Therefore, behold the Lord will bring upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, the king of the Assyrians, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and shall overflow all his banks,

8 And shall pass through Juda, overflowing, and going over, shall reach even to the neck. And the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Emmanuel.

9 Gather yourselves together, O ye people, and be overcome, and give ear, all ye lands afar off: strengthen yourselves, and be overcome, gird yourselves, and be overcome.

10 Take counsel together, and it shall be defeated: speak a word, and it shall not be done: because God is with us.

11 For thus saith the Lord to me: As he hath taught me, with a strong arm, that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying:

12 Say ye not: A conspiracy: for all that this people speaketh, is a conspiracy: neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

13 Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself: and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

14 And he shall be a sanctification to you. *But for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offence to the two houses of Israel, for a snare and a ruin to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

15 And very many of them shall stumble and fall, and shall be broken in pieces, and shall be snared, and taken.

16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

17 And I will wait for the Lord, who hath hid his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.

18 Behold I and my children, whom the Lord hath given me for a sign, and for a wonder in Israel, from the Lord of hosts, who dwelleth in Mount Sion.

19 And when they shall say to you: Seek of pythons, and of diviners, who mutter in their enchantments: should not the people seek of their God, for the living of the dead?

20 To the law rather, and to the testimony. And if they speak not according to this word, they shall not have the morning light.

21 And they shall pass by it, they shall fall, and be hungry: and when they shall be hungry, they will be angry, and curse their king, and their God, and look upwards.

22 And they shall look to the earth, and behold trouble and darkness, weakness and distress, and a mist following them, and they cannot fly away from their distress.



14: Luke ii. 34.; Romans ix. 32.; 1 Peter iv. 6.