Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, May 30th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 19

Haydock's Catholic Bible CommentaryHaydock's Catholic Commentary

Verse 1

Egypt. Many refer this to the coming of Christ, (Calmet) at whose presence the idols fell down, and many saints adorned the country. (Worthington) --- But the prophet may also literally refer to the wars of the Assyrians against Egypt. Sabacon having retired, after reigning fifty years, Anysis, and afterwards the priest of Sethon, succeeded to the throne. The latter was attacked by Sennacherib. After his death, twelve kingdoms were formed, but Psammitichus reunited them, and had Nechao for his successor. (Herodotus ii. 141, 158.) --- Behold. The prophet speaks fourteen years before the attack of Sennacherib. --- Cloud. Psalm xvii. 11. Some Fathers explain it of the blessed Virgin [Mary]. (Calmet) --- Moved. Plundered by the Assyrians. (Menochius)

Verse 2

Kingdom. Under the twelve kings. (Calmet)

Verse 3

Egypt. Septuagint, "of the Egyptians shall be troubled within them." (Haydock) --- Soothsayers. Feeble but too common resource of superstitious people!

Verse 4

Masters. Twelve kings. Psammitichus, one of them, shall gain the ascendancy.

Verse 5

Dry. The lakes and the Nile shall not afford sufficient moisture. (Calmet) --- If the Nile rose less than twelve or more than sixteen cubits famine ensued. (Pliny, [Natural History?] xviii. 18.)

Verse 7


Fountain. The Nile rises in Ethiopia. But the canals alone were left dry. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "the achi, every green herb along the river, and every," &c. (Haydock)

Verse 8

Fishers. The lake Mœris produced a talent every day for the revenue, and so great was the abundance of fish, that they could hardly be salted. The Nile was also well supplied with fish.

Verse 9

Linen. Greek, "silk." Ezechiel xvi. 10. (Calmet)

Verse 10

All they. Septuagint, "and all who make strong drink (secer) shall be in sorrow, and shall afflict their souls." (Haydock) --- This version is perhaps the best, as the Egyptians used much ale or wine distilled from barley. (Calmet)

Verse 11

Tanis. Or of the twelve kings, ver. 1. They are disconcerted at the approach of Psammitichus, (Calmet) or at the want of water. (Haydock)

Verse 13

Memphis. The seat of many kings, and a very ancient city. Hebrew, "Hoph." --- Stay. Literally, "angle," denoting the chiefs, or all the land, Judges xx. 2.

Verse 15

Back. King and subject are equally confused, chap. ix. 14. (Calmet)

Verse 17

Terror. Hebrew also, "a rejoicing," (St. Jerome) on account of Sennacherib’s defeat there, chap. xviii. 7.

Verse 18

Chanaan. Hebrew. The Israelites had a connection with Egypt, which the prophets often blame, chap. xxx. 2. Ezechias trusted in their aid, when he refused to pay tribute to the Assyrians. Many at that time, or afterwards, retired thither, and served God unmolested, chap. xi. 2., and Jeremias xlii. More established themselves in the country under Alexander [the Great] and the Ptolemies. (3 Machabees viii.) But this prediction was more fully accomplished by the propagation of the Christian religion. Grace no where shone forth more brightly than in this country, once the seat of superstition. --- Sun. Hebrew, "of desolation." But the copies have varied. It is supposed to denote the city On, Genesis xli. 45. (Calmet) --- Prideaux (p. 2. b. 4.) accuses the Jews of willfully corrupting this text in the Septuagint. (Kennicott)

Verse 19

Altar. If the Jews were forbidden to have any other than the one at Jerusalem, how can the prophet announce this as a blessing? Onias being excluded from the high priesthood, retired into Egypt, and obtained leave to build the temple Onion, in the Nome, though not in the city of Helipolis, above Bubaste, on the Nile, alleging that Isaias had foretold this event, and that one was already built at Leontopolis. (Josephus, Antiquities xii. 15., and xiii. 6.) --- But we must allow with the fathers and Jews in the days of St. Jerome, that this prediction regarded the Messias, when altars might be lawfully erected in every nation. See Misna, tr. Moneuth, xiii. 10. --- Monument. The cross is set up wherever Christ is adored. (Calmet) --- The Egyptians shall embrace Christianity, and St. Anthony of Thebes, &c., shall live a holy (Worthington) and austere life. (Haydock)

Verse 20

Them. The Jews were miraculously rescued from the hands of Philopater, (Josephus, contra Apion ii.) or rather Christians are delivered from sin and Satan.

Verse 21

Egypt. The kings often caused sacrifices to be offered for them; but they were not acceptable, as long as they continued idolaters. The country was converted to Christianity, (Calmet) and the Anchorets performed their vows and penitential exercises, to the admiration of all. (Haydock)

Verse 22

Scourge. By means of Sennacherib, Cambyses, and Ochus. Afterwards the country was quietly subject to the kings of Persia, Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies, and the Romans. (Calmet)

Verse 24

Land. The apostles, who were true Israelites, (Haydock) procured the blessing of faith for these nations, (Calmet) to serve God with concord. (Haydock)

Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 19". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hcc/isaiah-19.html. 1859.
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