Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Ephraim. That is, the kingdom of the ten tribes. (Challoner) --- Flower. The pride of the kingdom shall thus decay. (Menochius) --- Head. Samaria, situated on a hill, having under it a most fertile valley. (Challoner) --- See Amos ii. 6., and iv. 2. Samaria was taken in the sixth year of Ezechias.
The Lord. By his instrument, Salmanasar. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "behold the strong one, and the mighty to the Lord, as," &c. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "behold the Lord's fury....as," &c. (Haydock)
Up. Theglathphalassar was captivated with the beauty of the country, and made it tributary. But Salmanasar, fearing a revolt, destroyed it, 4 Kings xvii. 4.
People, who returned to the service of God; or it refer to the kingdom of Juda.
Gate. Ezechias reunited the divided kingdoms, and inspired his troops with courage, bringing them back victorious, 2 Paralipomenon xxx. 1., and 4 Kings xviii. 7. (Calmet)
These also. The kingdom of Juda. (Challoner) --- Ezechias could not correct every abuse; though what is here specified, regards rather the reigns of his successors.
Place. All was defiled: they gloried in their shame.
Breasts? St. Paul seems to allude to this text, 1 Corinthians iii. 2. (Calmet) --- The abandoned Jews ask contemptuously, if they be to be taught like children? (Haydock)
Command, &c. This is said in the person of the Jews, resisting the repeated commands of God, and still putting him off. (Challoner) --- They deride the prophets, speaking words of no meaning, as if their predictions were no better. (St. Jerome) --- Think they that we have to learn the first elements, or to join syllables together? (Calmet) --- Hebrew Tsau latsau, &c. (Haydock) --- The Nicholaites abused these words. (St. Epiphanius 25.) --- Why do they not speak plain? Sometimes terrible things are denounced, God will lead them into a country where they shall indeed have to learn the language, like children, chap. xxix. 11. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "for precept must be upon precept....line upon line....here a little, and there a little. For with stammering lips," &c. (Haydock)
Hear. To leave off their wicked practices, and cruelty. The Jews would not understand: therefore Christ spoke to them in parables, chap. vi. 9., and Matthew xiii. 14., &c.
Taken. God will make his prophets speak, notwithstanding your repugnance; or he will reduce you to the necessity of learning an unknown language. (Calmet)
Men, who make a parade of your knowledge, (Haydock) to turn the most sacred things into ridicule.
Protected. Their conduct spoke this language. They would not fail to make alliances with Egypt, and to trust in idols, whatever the prophets might say to dissuade them. (Calmet)
Stone. Christ. (Challoner) --- The Jews and Grotius would apply it to Ezechias. But he was already on the throne, and never could realize these glorious promises. The people were not to believe in him, &c. (Calmet) --- Hasten. Let him expect his coming with patience. (Challoner) --- It would be delayed some time. Hebrew may also signify "stagger;" (Calmet) in which sense the Septuagint and the authors of the New Testament seem to have taken it. "Whosoever believeth in him, shall not be confounded." See Romans ix. 33. (Haydock) --- Isaias promises a Redeemer, though these people were unworthy; and then returns to his own times. (Menochius)
Measure. In the days of the Redeemer, they shall lead a virtuous life, (Calmet) or the scorners shall be treated with rigour. --- Protection. The wall, (Menochius) or lies, (ver. 15.; Calmet) on which you depend, shall turn to your confusion. (Haydock)
Hear. Under the last kings of Juda, the misery was continual. Captivity opened the eyes of the people, and they were afterwards more docile. The murder of Christ, and the subsequent evils which befell the nation, seem to have had a quite different effect. They will at last submit to his yoke. (Calmet)
Straitened. It is too narrow to hold two: God will have the bed of our heart all to himself. (Challoner) (1 Corinthians x. 20., and 2 Corinthians vi. 14.) (St. Jerome, &c.) --- The Jews explain it of the utmost distress, to which the people would be reduced, so that they would not be able to assist a friend, Amos iii. 12. (Forcr.[Forerius?]) (Calmet)
As in, &c. As the Lord fought against the Philistines in Baal Pharisim, (2 Kings v.) and against the Chanaanites, in the valley of Gabaon, Josue x. (Challoner) --- Strange. He punished unwillingly. (Calmet) --- "It is not God's work to ruin what he has created." (St. Jerome) --- He will punish in an extraordinary manner those scoffers, ver. 15., and Numbers xvi. 29. (Piscator)
Earth. Nabuchodonosor will take a complete and speedy vengeance, chap. x. 22.
Sow. The works of the husbandman vary, so will God's punishments be inflicted with measure, according to each one's deserts, ver. 27., and Wisdom vi. 7. (Calmet)
Gith. Heberw ketsach. Septuagint, Greek: melanthion. (Haydock) (Pliny, [Natural History?] xx. 17.) (Menochius) --- Septuagint have not expressed all the terms of the original, (Haydock) being perhaps ignorant of their meaning. (St. Jerome)\
God. From him proceeds every useful invention. The pagans attributed the discovery of corn, &c., to their idols.
Saws, or heavy instruments. It would be thus crushed too much. (Calmet)
But. Septuagint, "it shall be eaten with bread. For I will not be angry with you for ever, nor shall the sounds of my bitter wrath trample upon you." (Haydock)
This also, &c. Such also is the proceeding of the Lord with his land, and the diverse seeds he sows therein. (Challoner)