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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Isaiah 40

Verse 1

Be. Septuagint, "comfort my people." Let them not be dejected. (Haydock) --- The end of the captivity, and still more the coming of the Messias, afford consolation, (Calmet) and to this the prophet chiefly alludes. (Worthington)

Verse 2

Evil. Hebrew and some Latin copies have, "warfare." --- Double. A rigorous chastisement, Apocalypse xviii. 6. (Calmet)

Verse 3

God, that he may conduct his people from Babylon. (Sanchez) --- Yet the prophet speaks chiefly of John the Baptist, (Matthew iii. 3.; Calmet) who is evidently foretold. (Worthington)

Verse 4

Plain. For the captives, or the conversion of the world, Baruch v. 6.

Verse 5

Glory. God will rescue his people. Christ will redeem mankind.

Verse 6

Field. On the downfall of the empire of Babylon, the Jews were liberated.

Verse 8


Verse 9

Thou, female. How beautiful are the feet of those who announce good tidings! (Romans x. 15.) (Haydock) --- Thus a feminine noun is applied to Solomon, Ecclesiastes i. Prophets make known to all the coming of the Saviour. (Calmet) --- Christ preaches from the mountain, and his apostles over the world. (Worthington)

Verse 10

Him. Christ will reward and punish, Jeremias xxxi. 16., and Luke ii. 34.

Verse 11

Young, or have lately had young lambs, f'9ctas. Jesus is the good shepherd, John x. 14.

Verse 12

Who. He now proceeds to shew the difference between God and idols. --- Fingers, is not expressed in Hebrew, which may denote the epha, Psalm lxxix. 6. (Calmet) --- God's power and goodness in the works of the creation, shew what he will do for man. (Worthington)

Verse 15

Dust. Hebrew caddak, (Haydock) "as dok fallen." (Symmachus) --- It may signify an atom. (St. Jerome) --- If all nations be only like a drop, what portion of it do I occupy? (Calmet; ver. 17.)

Verse 18

Image. Catholics never pretend to represent the Deity, when they depict the Father as a venerable old man, &c. The do not adore pictures, as our adversaries would insinuate. If we were disposed to cavil, we might bring the same charge against them. For a few weeks ago, "a beautiful altar-piece, painted and presented by the lady of major general Cheney, was put in Horn-sea church, representing Christ blessing the bread and wine." But Protestants can confine such things to their proper use, and Catholic must adore them. (Haydock) --- "Such things the Jew, Apella, may believe: not I." (Horace)

Verse 19

Silver. Is God like these idols? (Haydock) --- Who knows not that the workman is better than they are? (Wisdom xiii. 11.) (Calmet)

Verse 20

Wood. Hebrew hamsuccan, (Haydock) which Septuagint, Chaldean, and St. Jerome explain of a sort of wood used for idols. Moderns take it to be "a rich," or rather "a poor man. He who is mean in his offering, chooses wood that," &c. (Calmet) (Protestants)

Verse 21

Beginning, by the light of nature, and (Worthington) has not Moses declared that God alone created the world? (Haydock) --- His power and goodness herein convince us that he will not deny grace. (Worthington)

Verse 22

Locusts, compared with the greatest animals. --- Nothing. Hebrew, "a curtain." Septuagint, Syriac, "vault, (Calmet) or chamber," Greek: kamaran.

Verse 23

Searchers. Hebrew, "princes to nothing." (Protestants) --- Philosophers know nothing independently of God, nor can they subsist without him. (Worthington)

Verse 26

Host of heaven, the stars, &c., Genesis ii. 1., and Psalm cxlvi. 4.

Verse 27

Judgment, or conduct, (Genesis xl. 13.; Calmet) as if God minded not our affairs.

Verse 31

Eagles, who grow young, when they get new feathers, Psalm cii. 5. (St. Jerome) --- In this and the following 26 chapters the prophet chiefly comforts his people, as he had rebuked them for their crimes in the first part. (Worthington)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 40". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.