Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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ISAIAS - Chapter 9

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Isaias ix.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Loaded. Theglathphalassar took away whole tribes, (2 Paralipomenon v. 26.) the year after this. Yet these people were the first enlightened with the rays of the gospel, (Matthew iv. 13.) though so much despised, John vii. 52. (Calmet) --- Here Christ preached first. But after his passion, few Jews believed in him. (Worthington)

Ver. 2. Risen. The kingdom of Juda hoped for redress, when they saw the people of Israel humbled, (Haydock) or rather after the defeat of Sennacherib. (Calmet)

Ver. 3. And hast. Parkhurst says it should be, "(whom) thou hast not brought up (the Gentiles) with joy they," &c. (Symmachus) (Haydock) --- The numerous forces of the Assyrians could not save them from the angel. Under Ezechias the people increased. Was not his reign a figure of the Church persecuted and increasing: but on that account, in danger from a relaxation of discipline? (Luke v. 7.) --- Spoils. They shall return thanks to God for the unexpected liberation.

Ver. 4. Oppressor. Who levied taxes for Assyria, 4 Kings xviii. 7. Sennacherib made war, because Ezechias refused to pay them any longer, and his troops fell upon each other, (Calmet) as the Madianites had done, Judges vii. (Haydock)

Ver. 5. Fire. Being cut and useless. See Diss. on the defeat of Sennacherib. (Calmet)

Ver. 6. Child. The Messias, whom the son of Isaias prefigured. --- Shoulder. Where the badges of royalty were worn. (Calmet) --- Christ bore his cross. (Tertullian, &c.) --- Wonderful. In his birth, &c. --- Counsellor. From whom all good advice proceeds. Grotius falsely translates, "the consulter of the strong God," meaning Ezechias. Though he deemed the Socinians unworthy of the Christian name, (Ep. ad Valleum.) he too often sides with them. Johets always means one who "gives counsel," chap. xl. 13. Ezechias was at this time ten years old, and he did not always take advice, nor was his reign peaceful, &c. --- God. The three Greek versions maliciously render El "the strong," though it be uncertain that it ever has that meaning, as it certainly has not when joined with gibbor, "mighty." Why should two terms of the same import be used? The Septuagint copies vary much. Some read only, "he shall be called the angel of the great council, for I will bring peace upon the princes and his health." St. Jerome thinks they were afraid to style the child God. But this reason falls to the ground, as other copies have, (Calmet) after council, "Wonderful, Counsellor, God, the Mighty, the Potent, exousiaszes, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the world to come, for, &c., (7.) His." Grabe (de Vitiis lxx. p. 29.) asserts that the former is the genuine version, and that the inserted titles are a secondary one; so that there must have been two version before the days of Aquila, as the text is thus quoted at large by Clement and St. Iræneus, the year of the Lord 180; Kennicott adds also by St. Ignatius, the year of the Lord 110. (Haydock) --- The omnipotent God became a little child, and without violence subdued the world, which he still governs. (Worthington)

Ver. 7. Peace. Christ gives it, and propagates his Church, Hebrews xii. 2.

Ver. 8. Word. Septuagint, "death." This also agrees with the Hebrew term, and with the context.

Ver. 9. Cedars. They speak in a proverbial way, that they will shortly repair the injuries done by the Assyrians depending on king Osee.

Ver. 11. Him. Israel. Salmanasar came to ruin the kingdom. (Calmet)

Ver. 12. Still. God punishes the impenitent throughout eternity, ver. 12., and chap. x. 4. (Worthington)

Ver. 14. Him. Hebrew, "the branch and the rush." (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "the great and the small."

Ver. 16. Headlong. If the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch, Matthew xv. 14. (Haydock)

Ver. 17. Folly. Sin. They are all guilty. He will shew no compassion.

Ver. 18. High. All shall witness the fall of Israel, (Calmet) like a forest on fire. (Haydock)

Ver. 19. Brother. Civil wars shall rage, 4 Kings xv. Josephus (Jewish Wars vii.) perhaps alluded to this passage, when he said, that an ancient prophecy announced ruin to the Jews, when they should turn their arms against each other. (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

What joy shall come after afflictions by the birth and kingdom of Christ; which shall flourish for ever. Judgments upon Israel for their sins.

1 At *the first time the land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthali was lightly touched: and at the last the way of the sea beyond the Jordan of the Galilee of the Gentiles was heavily loaded.

2 The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen.

3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and hast not increased the joy. They shall rejoice before thee, as they that rejoice in the harvest, as conquerors rejoice after taking a prey, when they divide the spoils.

4 For the yoke of their burden, and the rod of their shoulder, and the sceptre of their oppressor thou hast overcome, *as in the day of Madian.

5 For every violent taking of spoils, with tumult, and garment mingled with blood, shall be burnt, and be fuel for the fire.

6 For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.

7 His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace: he shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom: to establish it, and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.

9 And all the people of Ephraim shall know, and the inhabitants of Samaria, that say in the pride and haughtiness of their heart:

10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with square stones: they have cut down the sycamores, but we will change them for cedars.

11 And the Lord shall set up the enemies of Rasin over him, *and shall bring on his enemies in a crowd:

12 The Syrians from the east, and the Philistines from the west: and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his indignation is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

13 And the people are not returned to him who hath struck them, and have not sought after the Lord of hosts.

14 And the Lord shall destroy out of Israel the head and the tail, him that bendeth down, and him that holdeth back, in one day.

15 The aged and honourable, he is the head: and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

16 And they that call this people blessed, shall cause them to err: and they that are called blessed, shall be thrown down headlong.

17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men: neither shall he have mercy on their fatherless, and widows: for every one is a hypocrite and wicked, and every mouth hath spoken folly. For all this his indignation is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

18 For wickedness is kindled as a fire, it shall devour the brier and the thorn: and shall kindle in the thicket of the forest, and it shall be wrapped up in smoke, ascending on high.

19 By the wrath of the Lord of hosts the land is troubled, and the people shall be as fuel for the fire: no man shall spare his brother.

20 And he shall turn to the right hand, and shall be hungry: and shall eat on the left hand, and shall not be filled: every one shall eat the flesh of his own arm: Manasses Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasses, and they together shall be against Juda.

21 After all these things his indignation is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.



1: Matthew iv. 15.

4: Judges vii. 12.

11: 4 Kings xvi. 9.