Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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ISAIAS - Chapter 20

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Isaias xx.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Year. Eighteen after the preceding predictions. (Calmet) --- Sargon. Sennacherib, (St. Jerome) Salmanasar, (Sanctius) or Assaradon, who intended to revenge Sennacherib, and sent his "collector of taxes" to take Azotus from Ezechias, and then to proceed farther. (Calmet) --- Psammitichus having obtained the sole dominion of Egypt, besieged Azotus for 29 years. (Herodotus ii. 157.) (Amos i. 8.)

Ver. 2. Sackcloth. The prophets lived in poverty, Zacharias xiii. 4. Their persons were prophetic. It is not agreed whether Isaias went quite naked, or only without his upper garment. The former supposition would represent better the condition of slaves, (ver. 4.) and is adopted by St. Jerome, &c. (Calmet) --- People are said to be naked when they are almost so, 2 Kings vi., and John xxi. (Haydock) --- Yet "nothing is more honest than to obey God." (St. Jerome) (Worthington)

Ver. 3. Years. Isaias went so long, or perhaps only three days undressed, Numbers xiv. 34., and Ezechiel iv. 5. Egypt and the Arabian Ethiopia were to be abandoned to the Assyrians, in or during three years.

Ver. 4. Shame. Thus captives were generally exposed to sale, chap. xlvii. 2., and Nahum iii. 5.

Ver. 5. Glory. The alliance of these nations shall not avail the Jews, who are said to inhabit an island, because they neglected God's service no less than the most distant and abandoned nations. (Calmet) --- The changes in empires must convince us to depend only on God, since Damascus and Egypt could not save the Hebrews, nor even themselves. (Worthington)

Bible Text & Cross-references:
The ignominious captivity of the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians.

1 In *the year that Tharthan entered into Azotus, when Sargon, the king of the Assyrians, had sent him, and he had fought against Azotus, and had taken it:

2 At that same time the Lord spoke by the hand of Isaias, the son of Amos, saying: *Go, and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and take off thy shoes from thy feet. And he did so, and went naked, and barefoot.

3 And the Lord said: As my servant, Isaias, hath walked naked and barefoot, it shall be a sign and a wonder of three years upon Egypt, and upon Ethiopia,

4 So shall the king of the Assyrians lead away the prisoners of Egypt, and the captivity of Ethiopia, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.

5 And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia, their hope, and of Egypt, their glory.

6 And the inhabitants of this isle shall say in that day: Lo, this was our hope, to whom we fled for help, to deliver up from the face of the king of the Assyrians: and how shall we be able to escape?



1: Year of the World 3291, Year before Christ 713.

2: Zacharias xiii. 4.; Matthew iii. 4.