Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Riddle. Thus the prophets and Christ often delivered their doctrine. (Calmet)
A large eagle. Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon. (Challoner) --- The multitude of his subjects, and his rapid and cruel conquests, are designated. (Calmet) --- He spoils the vineyard of Jerusalem, notwithstanding the Jews had applied to another eagle, the king of Egypt, ver. 12. (Worthington) --- Libanus. That is, Jerusalem; (Challoner) or invaded the country, (Calmet) entering by Libanus. (Haydock) --- Cedar. King Jechonias (Challoner) and his nobles, (4 Kings xxiv. 11.) with the most precious effects.
Twigs. The young king and his officers, who had scarcely got established. (Calmet) --- Chanaan. This name, which signifies traffic, is not taken here for Palestine, but for Chaldea; and the city of merchants here mentioned is Babylon. (Challoner) --- It was so corrupt as to deserve this appellation, as Rome was afterwards styled Babylon. Its situation was very favourable to traffic, and its dominions were very extensive. (Calmet)
Land. Sedecias, whom he made king. (Challoner) --- He was brother of the dethroned king, and have every prospect of reigning long, if he had proved faithful. (Calmet)
Towards him. Nabuchodonosor, to whom Sedecias swore allegiance. (Challoner) --- Literally, "to it," eam, the eagle. (Haydock) --- The dominions of Sedecias were extensive, but weak, and dependant on a foreign king.
Eagle. The king of Egypt, (Challoner) Vaphres, who came at the request of Sedecias, to oppose the Chaldeans, but was routed; and they returned to the siege of Jerusalem, Jeremias xxxvii. 4. --- Plantation, as the waters of the Nile were conducted to different parts by ditches, Deuteronomy xi. 10.
Prosper. Will God countenance perfidy? (Calmet) --- "Faith must be kept even with enemies." (St. Jerome) --- Arm. The conquest did not cost the Chaldeans much. Sedecias fled by night, but was soon taken, 4 Kings xxv. 6. (Calmet)
Shall, or, "hath taken," &c., (Challoner) as also (ver. 13.) Sedecias was seized five years after, chap. viii. 1. Jechonias, the princes, mighty warriors, (ver. 13.) and expert artists, had been taken away six years before, with the prophet. Protestants, "is come,...and hath taken," &c. (Haydock)
Die. He had sworn fidelity, and was justly punished, dying blind, and in prison, chap. xii. (Worthington)
Souls. Some refer this to Pharao; others to the enemy. The former did not attempt to surround the besiegers, but after losing a battle retired, chap. xxx. 21. (Calmet)
Hand. Swearing perhaps to both (Haydock) the Egyptian and to the Chaldean monarch.
Net. Chap. xii. 13. (Calmet) --- Judge, punish. (Haydock) --- His sentence was pronounced at Reblatha, 4 Kings xxv. 7. (Calmet)
Cedar. Of the Royal stock of David. --- Twig. Jesus Christ, whom God hath planted in Mount Sion, that is, the high mountain of his Church, to which all nations flow. (Challoner) --- The Jews in vain apply this to Zorobabel or to the Machabees. Their power was never great enough to verify these expressions. (Calmet) --- But Christ has united in his Church all the birds, or those who have strength enough to raise themselves above earthly things. (St. Jerome) (Theodoret, &c.) --- The kingdom of Sedecias and that of Nabuchodonosor prospered not, or was soon at an end: Christ remains for ever. (Worthington)
High and green denote Sedecias; low and dry Jechonias, who was exalted at Babylon, while his rival was hurled down from his present high estate. The prophets speak of that as past, which God has decreed. See Jeremias xxii. 30. (Calmet)