Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Blasphemy. The enemy insults over us (Calmet) and over God. (Haydock) --- Birth. Hebrew, "the mouth of the womb." (Vatable) --- This comparison shews the utmost distress to which the people of Jerusalem were reduced. Any great anguish is denoted by a woman in travail, Deuteronomy ii. 25., and Psalm xlvii. 7. Homer (Iliad A) thus describes the uneasiness of Agamemnon. (Calmet) --- Ezechias found himself unable to contend with the Assyrian, though he wished to do it. (Menochius) --- Without courage, all hope of escaping is lost. (Du Hamel)
It may. Literally, "if perhaps the Lord hear." (Haydock) --- Found. After such devastation has been made in the country, particularly by carrying away the ten tribes, (Calmet) Ezechias recommends the kingdom to the prayers of the prophet; as we are exhorted to have recourse to the intercession of the saints. (Haydock)
Upon him, so that he shall be eager enough to return, (Calmet) being filled with consternation at the approach of Tharaca, (Menochius) and at the destruction of his men by an angel, ver. 35. (Haydock) --- Lachis and Lobna were both in the mountains of Juda, to the south of Jerusalem, Josue x. 31. (Calmet)
When he, Sennacherib, though it would seem to refer to Rabsaces. (Haydock) --- Tharaca, called by Thearchon by Strabo, (i., and xv. p. 653.) extended his conquests as far as the pillars of Hercules. (Megasthenes) --- The Egyptians seem to have called him Sethon, and assert that the god (Vulcan) appeared to him on the approach of Sennacherib, assuring him of his protection. He encamped near Pelusium, where the enemy's army on its arrival was infested with rats, which destroyed their armour, and made them an easy prey. (Herodotus ii. 141.) It is probable that Taphnes, near Pelusium, was the capital city of Tharaca, Isaias xviii., and xxx. 4. He does not appear to have joined battle with Sennacherib, whose army was destroyed on its march (Isaias x. 24.) the very night that the prophet promised Ezechias a deliverance.
Gozan, in Less Armenia; Haran and Reseph in Palmerene Syria. Thelassar, or Syria. They were nations not very remote. See chap. xviii. 34. (Calmet)
Before the Lord, to move him to revenge his own cause, (Haydock) and to shew that he looked upon the Lord, as a father, with the utmost confidence (Menochius) and resignation. He spreads the blasphemous letter (Haydock) before the ark, which was the special place for prayer. (Worthington)
Earth. He attempts to make some reparation for the blasphemies which had been uttered (Calmet) and written. (Haydock)
Unto us is not in Hebrew or Septuagint. (Du Hamel) --- God, as if he were not able to deliver us. (Menochius)
Virgin. The few who adhere to the Lord despise all idols and their votaries. (Worthington) --- Of Sion and of Jerusalem may denote those places. Towns and provinces are often represented as women: the daughter of Babylon, the daughter of the sea, mean Babylon and a maritime town. Perhaps this comparison is used through tenderness and affection for a place. (Calmet) --- Even the most timid female would shortly despise the fallen tyrant. (Haydock) --- Wagged, out of contempt, or in a threatening manner, Psalm xxi. 8., and Matthew xxvii. 39. (Menochius)
Of Israel. This title is often found in Isaias; xlv. 11., and xlvii. 4., &c.
Carmel. A pleasant fruitful hill in the forest. These expressions are figurative, signifying, under the names of mountains and forests, the kings and provinces whom the Assyrians had triumphed over. (Challoner) --- He must have passed by Libanus, and might boast of this exploit. Other proud words to the same purpose are mentioned [in] Isaias x. 9., and xxxiii. 9. He had made himself master of Mount Carmel, as well as of Libanus. (Calmet)
Strange waters, which did not run in my original dominions, (Haydock) or which were found by opening springs before unknown. --- Shut-up, with mounds of earth, or in the banks of rivers. The army of Xerxes is said to have drunk whole rivers dry. We might also translate, "I have dried up the waters, which served as ramparts for cities." Thus Cyrus diverted the streams of the Gnidus, and of the Euphrates. Hebrew also, perhaps most literally, "I will dry up the rivulets of Egypt." See Isaias xix. 6., and xxxvii. 25. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "all the rivers of besieged places." (Haydock)
I have formed it, &c. All thy exploits, in which thou takest pride, are no more than what I have decreed; and are not to be ascribed to thy wisdom or strength, but to my will and ordinance: who have give to thee to take and destroy so many fenced cities, and to carry terror wherever thou comest. --- Ruins. Literally, "ruin of hills." (Challoner) --- Protestants, "Now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities into ruinous heaps." (Haydock)
Of hand. Hebrew, "short, (Calmet) or contracted in hand," or power. This does not add to the glory of Sennacherib; and if the enemy had been less valiant, the victory was still to be attributed to God. (Haydock) --- The Assyrian found but little resistance, chap. xviii. 13.
In. All thy actions. (Menochius) --- I knew, or disposed of, for wise purposes. Nothing shews more forcibly the dominion of God, even over the most impious. They cannot frustrate the divine decrees.
Ring, or hook, like that with which fishes are taken. (Calmet) --- Bit. Protestants, "bridle," (Haydock) or a sort of muzzle. (Menochius) --- I will treat thee like a furious beast. --- Camest, without having effected what thou hadst designed. (Haydock)
O Ezechias is not in Hebrew or Septuagint; but they shew the sense. (Haydock) --- Second, which was a sabbatical year. (Usher) (Tirinus) --- We elsewhere find signs given as a proof of past events, and that they were from God, who enabled his prophet to foretell both, Exodus iii. 12., and Isaias viii. 4. Thus three things are proved. 1. That the prophet is truly animated with the divine spirit. 2. That God is the author of the miracle. 3. As also of the sign which follows it, particularly if the sign be likewise miraculous. It was of the utmost importance that the people should be convinced that all proceeded from the hand of Providence, in the overthrow of Sennacherib. (Calmet) --- Such things. Isaias (xxxvii. 30.) specifies apples, as they also supplied the people with food. (Menochius)
Upward, like a fruitful tree. (Haydock)
Sion. These shall repeople the land. In a higher sense, the Christian Church was propagated by the few Jews who believed. (Calmet) --- Zeal, or ardent love. (Menochius) --- Of hosts, is added in the Protestant version, as being deficient in the Hebrew. (Haydock) --- It is found in several manuscripts. (Kennicott)
About it, as was then the custom in besieging cities. Josephus and others suppose that Sennacherib's army was destroyed before Jerusalem. But it seems more probable it fell on the road to Egypt, ver. 7. The camp, which is still shewn, might be that of Rabsaces, chap. xviii. 17. (Calmet)
Return. Sennacherib's life was spared for a time, that he might be covered with ignominy the longer, and suffer a more disgraceful death. (Haydock)
Own sake, who have chosen this city for my sanctuary. (Menochius) --- David. Here again we behold the influence of the saints with God. (Haydock)
Night following the prediction of Isaias, (Calmet) or that memorable night which would be so terrible to the Assyrians after three years, ver. 29. Thus we read, in that day, &c., Isaias xxvii. (Menochius) --- The exterminating angel, (Exodus xi. 4.; Calmet) an evil spirit, (Psalm lxxvii. 49.) or the guardian of the synagogue. (Abulensis) --- When he, Sennacherib. Hebrew, &c., "when they," his few attendants who were spared to announce this judgment; (Isaias xxxvii. 36.; Calmet) or when the inhabitants of Jerusalem arose. (Haydock) It seems the carnage was effected without much noise, (Calmet) by fire (Rabbins) or by pestilence. (Josephus) (Menochius)
Nesroch. Jospehus calls both the idol and the temple Araskes. Sennacherib persecuted the Israelites for 45 (Greek 55) days. (Tobias i. 21.) --- Sons, as the Jews suppose they were destined for victims by their father, and got beforehand with him. (St. Jerome, in Isaias x.) (Calmet) --- Armenia. So the Protestant translate Ararath, (Haydock) where Noe's[Noah’s] ark rested. This nation has been esteemed very warlike, and has always asserted its liberty. --- Asarhaddon. His two elder brothers were excluded, on account of their parricide. (Josephus) --- This prince is called Sargon in Isaias xx. 1., and Achirdon in Tobias i. 24.