Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Take. Before (chap. iii. 17.) God made the choice, (Calmet) as he does here, ver. 7. He confirms the authority of those who are appointed to govern. --- Meanest. Literally, "last," (Haydock) which seems to denote such as are chosen without regard to their dignity or obscurity in life, Genesis xlvii. 2., and 3 Kings xii. 31. (Calmet) --- Pastors are not excused from admonishing the people for fear of danger or despair of reclaiming them, as each one is bound to do his duty. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)
Iniquity, not regarding the admonitions of his pastor; (chap. iii. 18.; Calmet) or rather of conscience, when the guide proves faithless and silent, as in this instance. (Haydock) --- The people were persuaded that none suffered except for some fault, ver. 10.; Jeremias xxxi. 30., Daniel xiii. 52., and Genesis xliv. 16. The author of the Book of Job takes great pains to remove this mistake. God sometimes sends crosses for a trial, (Calmet) and to increase the merit of his servants; though it be very true, (Haydock) "no one is miserable except he deserve it." (St. Augustine)
Surely die a temporal, (Theodoret) or rather an eternal death. (St. Jerome)
Live? They suppose their case to be desperate, as their fathers had sinned, chap. xviii. The prophet shews that none are punished except for their own faults, (Calmet) and that "each one has free-will to be saved or to be lost." (St. Jerome)
Desire. The sinner's damnation is not an object of God's pleasure, chap. xviii. 23. (Calmet) --- He has an antecedent will to save all. He knocks at the door of our heart, (Apocalypse iii. 20.) and if man do what depends on him, nothing will be wanting on the part of God. (St. Thomas Aquinas, [Summa Theologiae] i. 2. q. 109. and 112.) (Worthington)
Hurt him. God effaces all past crimes: yet a relapse makes them as it were revive, and is pardoned with more difficulty, Matthew xviii. 35. Some read, "In what day the converted sinner groans, he shall be saved," as if they had taken in part of Isaias xxx. 15.
Equitable; as we are much more inclined to vice than to virtue. This argumentation is inconclusive, as God owes nothing to man; and what good the latter does, is an effect of His grace. The propensity to evil is no excuse, as man is still free. He is judged according to the dispositions in which he is found at the hour of death; yet we must not infer, that those who have spent their lives in sinning will be no worse treated than the person who dies guilty of a single crime.
Twelfth. Roman Septuagint, "tenth." Syriac, "eleventh year,...in the twelfth month;" which Theodoret thinks more probable, as the city was taken in the ninth of the fourth month of that year. Yet even so, it is strange that the news should not arrive before. Some think (Calmet) that the messenger came also to announce what happened after the death of Godolias. (Sanctius) --- Captivity. Here it is evident that the prophet dates from that event, chap. i., &c. (Haydock) --- As he prophesied on the very day when the city was besieged, (chap. xxiv. 2.) so ([chap. xxiv.] ver. 26.) he foretold that one should come three years after to inform him of the capture. (Worthington) --- Then the people would believe him, (ibid.[chap. xxiv.] ver. 27.; Calmet) and he would open his mouth boldly, ver. 22. (Haydock)
Places. He has answered those who despaired, ver. 10. Now he turns to the presumptuous, who expected to be treated like Abraham, though they did not imitate his virtues. (Calmet) --- They perhaps entertained these sentiments before the death of Godolias, thinking to establish themselves in the land. Afterwards the prophet Jeremias could not prevail on them to remain, though God promised them security.
To them. Grabe marks to ver. 27., Thus saith, &c., as wanting in the Septuagint, though not in the Alexandrian copy. St. Jerome reckons eight verses or lines omitted. (Haydock) --- The Complutensian and Theodoret read them with some variations. --- The blood. It must be carefully extracted, Genesis ix. 4., and Leviticus vii. 26. --- Uncleannesses; idols, in which you trust.
Swords, thinking to live thereby, (Genesis xxvii. 40.) and to be secure. But I will disarm you. The pestilence shall find out those in the rocks, ver. 27.
Walls, the resort of idle people. (Calmet)
In to a religious meeting. (Chaldean) Perhaps they came on the sabbath to his house. Yet they made a just and song of his instructions. (Calmet) --- They heard them with pleasure, but did not reform their lives. (Haydock)
Coming. The desolation of Jerusalem, (Haydock) and what I have foretold, hath already taken place; or, the news will presently arrive: as it did the following morning, ver. 21. (Calmet)