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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Isaiah 45

Verse 1

Anointed, often implies one chosen for some great work. Cyrus was to ruin the empire of Babylon, and to set the nations at liberty. He was a proof of the Deity by executing his decrees. --- Cyrus. Some copies of the Septuagint seem to have read Greek: kurio, "to the Lord," incorrectly. (St. Jerome) --- Though Cyrus was not anointed, he is styled thus, in allusion to the custom of the Jewish kings. (Worthington)

Verse 2

Brass. Babylon had 100 such gates. (Herodotus i. 179.)

Verse 3

Treasures. See Pliny, [Natural History?] xxxiii. 3. He overcame the rich king of Lydia, &c.

Verse 4

Likeness of Christ. --- Known me. Before the Jews had shewn Cyrus the prophecies, he did not attribute his success to the Lord, and even afterwards he seems not to have left the superstitions of his country, as his sacrifices to idols are described. He resembled Nabuchodonosor and the philosophers, who did not glorify God according to their knowledge, Daniel ii. 47., and Romans i. 21. Cyrus even revoked the decree for building the temple, 1 Esdras iv. 5. (Calmet) --- He believed there was one God; (1 Esdras i.) yet he did not embrace the truth entirely. (Worthington)

Verse 7

Create evil, &c. The evils of afflictions and punishments, but not the evil of sin. (Challoner) --- I afflict and comfort my people.

Verse 8

Saviour. Thus the ancient saints thirsted for the coming of Christ. His figure is styled the just, chap. xli. 2, 25. --- Him. Christ, born of the virgin, in time, and of God from all eternity. I have appointed Cyrus to be his precursor, to set the captives free. (Calmet) --- He has been spoken of before. But now the prophet turns to Christ alone, who built his Church on a rock. (Worthington) --- Cyrus had not a right faith in God, and Zorobabel was himself set free, and was not king. (St. Jerome)

Verse 9

Earthen. Literally, "Samian." (Haydock) --- Samos was famous for its pottery. (Pliny, [Natural History?] xxxv. 12.) Hebrew, "Clay, disputest thou against the potters of the earth?" He shews the folly of idols, after having proved his own divinity. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth." (Haydock)

Verse 10

Forth. As such language would be improper to parents, so it is wrong to complain that God places us in any situation. (Menochius)

Verse 11

To me. Ask what will come to pass, or direct me how to act.

Verse 13

Justice. Cyrus shall punish the Chaldeans and restore the Jews. (Calmet) --- The prophet returns to him after having mentioned a greater Saviour, ver. 8. (Houbigant)

Verse 14

Stature: the people of Saba were the tallest and best proportioned in Arabia. (Agathar. v. 50.) --- Cyrus possessed all these countries. He sent the Egyptians home in the third year of his reign, at Babylon, the year of the world 3470, Ezechiel xxix. 11. They never became subject to the Jews; but embraced the religion of Christ, acknowledging him for God, ver. 15. (Calmet) --- Besides thee. Protestants, "Surely God is in thee, and there is none else, there is no God." Those whom we have hitherto adored, deserved not the name. Vulgate and Septuagint make the people address Christ, the God-man. (Haydock)

Verse 15

Saviour. We confess that thou hast delivered the Jews; or rather, we acknowledge that thou, O Christ, art true God under the veils of thy human nature, and Saviour of all. Cyrus was only a feeble representation of thee.

Verse 16

Confusion. Idolaters shall be confounded, when they shall behold the glory of the elect.

Verse 18

In vain. Hebrew, "to be a chaos," Genesis viii. 2.

Verse 19

Earth. The pagan oracles were given chiefly in mountains, where the impostures of the priests might escape detection. They were also generally ambiguous, or mere guesses. The declarations of the true prophets were quite the reverse. --- In vain; without reward. (Calmet)

Verse 20

Gentiles: converts, (Haydock) or Jews, returning from Babylon.

Verse 21

Me. He transports his auditors to the times succeeding the captivity, when the completion of the prophecies will be evident.

Verses 23-24

Myself, having none greater, Hebrews vi. 13. --- Justice: sure. --- To me. All that are born belong to me. The Jewish women had seldom recourse to midwives, (Exodus i. 19., and 1 Kings iv. 19.; Calmet) no more than the Ethiopians. (Ludolf. i. 14.) --- Swear, by the true God. (Haydock) --- Oaths on proper occasions, honour him, Deuteronomy vi. 13. Nothing could be spoken more plainly of the Gentiles' conversion.

Verse 25

Empire. Cyrus shall make this confession, (1 Esdras i. 2.) and all who embrace the religion of Christ, shall attribute all their virtue to him.

Verse 28


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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 45". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.