Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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SOPHONIAS - Chapter 2

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Sophonias ii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Together, in love. (St. Jerome) --- Hebrew, "gather" the wood or chaff, (Calmet) your wicked deeds, lest they prove the fuel of fire, chap. i. 18. (Haydock) --- He addresses the Jews and all their neighbours. (Calmet) --- Though you deserve no love, God will receive the penitent. (Worthington)

Ver. 2. The day. Hebrew, "to-day." (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "before you become as a passing flower." Protestants, "before the day pass as the chaff." (Haydock)

Ver. 3. Just. Hebrew, "justice." (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "righteousness, and answer the same." (Haydock) --- Scarcely the innocent will escape. (Menochius) --- The prophet does not specify the crimes of the Philistines, as Ezechiel (xxv. 15.) does. (Calmet)

Ver. 4. Shall be, or "is." The prophets often represent future things as past, to shew the certainty of the event. The destruction of other cities by the Chaldeans, gave the Jews to understand what they had to expect, as all sin must be punished sooner or later. (Worthington) --- Psammetichus, and his son, Nachao, probably fell upon these cities. (Calmet) --- The former besieged Azotus for twenty-nine years. (Herodotus ii. 157.) --- Afterwards Nabuchodonosor reduced the country, beginning with the house of God, Jeremias xlvii. 4., and Ezechiel xxv. 15, &c. (Calmet)

Ver. 5. Coast. Literally, "line," (Haydock) with which land was measured. (Calmet) --- Reprobates. Hebrew cerethim, (Haydock) or Cerethi, of whom David's guards were formed. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "people sprung the Cretans," whence some (Theodoret) of the Philistines came, perhaps rather than from Cyprus, as was conjectured, Genesis x. 14. --- Chanaan. So the Philistines are styled contemptuously. They adored the same idols, Wisdom xii. 23.

Ver. 6. Shepherds. Merchants shall come no longer, the country being subdued by Nabuchodonosor, and by the Machabees, ver. 7. --- Alexander ruined Gaza. (Curt. iv.)

Ver. 8. Borders, helping the Chaldeans. This brought on their ruin. (St. Jerome) --- They were always disposed to seize the country.

Ver. 9. Dryness. Septuagint, "Damascus shall be abandoned as a heap on the barn-floor, and disappearing for an age." (Haydock) --- This city is threatened with the rest, Isaias xvii. 1. (Calmet) --- Ever. Septuagint refer this to Damascus, others to Ammon, &c. (Haydock) --- The latter nations were in desolation for a long time; but had re-established themselves, when the Machabees reduced them again, Jeremias xlviii., and 1 Machabees v. 6.

Ver. 11. Own place. The Jewish religion could be practised only at Jerusalem, so that this is one of the most striking predictions of the conversion of the world. The Jews in vain attempt to restrain it to the captives returning. See St. Jerome. (Calmet) --- They shall inform many of the truth, and be the means of their conversion. (Haydock) --- But God shall be adored in every place. (Menochius)

Ver. 12. Ethiopians. Hebrew Cushim, denotes also the Arabs, &c., who fell a prey to the Chaldeans. (Calmet)

Ver. 13. The beautiful city. Ninive, which was destroyed soon after this, viz., in the sixteenth year of the reign of Josias. (Challoner) (Year of the world 3378.) --- Hebrew, "he shall make Ninive desolate." (Haydock) --- This famous and potent city was at last destroyed. (Worthington) See Jonas iii. 4. (Calmet)

Ver. 14. Bittern and the urchin. Hebrew kaath and kippod, are terms to us (Haydock) unknown. --- Threshold. Hebrew, "the pomegranates," supposed to be an ornament of the doors. --- Raven. Septuagint also read rb better than choreb, "the desolation or the sword." See Isaias xxxiv. 11. (Calmet) --- Chereb has both meanings, "a raven, or sword." (St. Jerome) --- I will. Hebrew, "he has uncovered her cedar," (Calmet) her fine palaces and apartments. Septuagint, "for the cedar is its height, (or pride) this is the city given to evils, that," &c. (Haydock)

Ver. 15. Beside, or equal. This was true, Jonas i. 2. (Calmet) --- The founder intended that no city should ever equal it. (Diod. ii.) St. Jerome applies what is here said of Ninive to the Church in the times of antichrist, (Rondet.) or to a fallen soul. Any nation may abandon the faith: but the whole Church cannot fail. [Matthew 16:18] (Haydock)


Bible Text & Cross-references:

An exhortation to repentance. The judgment of the Philistines, of the Moabites, and the Ammonites; of the Ethiopians, and the Assyrians.

1 Assemble yourselves together, be gathered together, O nation not worthy to be loved:

2 Before the decree bring forth the day as dust passing away, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's indignation come upon you.

3 Seek the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, you that have wrought his judgment: seek the just, seek the meek: if by any means you may be hid in the day of the Lord's indignation.

4 For Gaza shall be destroyed, and Ascalon shall be a desert, they shall cast out Azotus at noon-day, and Accaron shall be rooted up.

5 Wo to you that inhabit the sea coast, O nation of reprobates: the word of the Lord upon you, O Chanaan, the land of the Philistines, and I will destroy thee, so that there shall not be an inhabitant.

6 And the sea coast shall be the resting-place of shepherds, and folds for cattle:

7 And it shall be the portion of him that shall remain of the house of Juda, there they shall feed: in the houses of Ascalon they shall rest in the evening: because the Lord their God will visit them, and bring back their captivity.

8 I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the blasphemies of the children of Ammon, with which they reproached my people, and have magnified themselves upon their borders.

9 Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrha, the dryness of thorns, and heaps of salt, and a desert even for ever: the remnant of my people shall make a spoil of them, and the residue of my nation shall possess them.

10 This shall befall them for their pride: because they have blasphemed, and have been magnified against the people of the Lord of hosts.

11 The Lord shall be terrible upon them, and shall consume all the gods of the earth: and they shall adore him every man from his own place, all the islands of the Gentiles.

12 You Ethiopians also shall be slain with my sword.

13 And he will stretch out his hand upon the north, and will destroy Assyria: and he will make the beautiful city a wilderness, and as a place not passable, and as a desert.

14 *And flocks shall lie down in the midst thereof, all the beasts of the nations: and the bittern, and the urchin shall lodge in the threshold thereof: the voice of the singing bird in the window, the raven on the upper post, for I will consume her strength.

15 This is the glorious city that dwelt in security: that said in her heart: I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desert, a place for beasts to lie down in? every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.

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14: Isaias xxxiv. 11.