King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 29

Judgements on Jerusalem and on its enemies. (1-8) The senselessness and hypocrisy of the Jews. (9-16) The conversion of the Gentiles, and future blessings for the Jews. (17-24)

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Judgements on Jerusalem and on its enemies

1 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.

2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel.

3 And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.

4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.

5 Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.

6 Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.

7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.

8 It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.

The senselessness and hypocrisy of the Jews

9 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.

10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:

12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

The conversion of the Gentiles, and future blessings for the Jews

17 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?

18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:

21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.

22 Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.

23 But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.

24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Ariel. This word signifies the lion of God, and here is taken for the strong city of Jerusalem. Ch. — It was destroyed by the Chaldees, (4 K. xxv.) and still more by the Romans, 40 years after. C. W. — Ezechiel (xliii. 15.) styles the altar of holocausts Ariel.Took. Sept. The Heb. means also “inhabited.” H. — Sion was called the city of David. C. — The invasion (H.) of Sennacherib is here foretold (Forcr.) two years before. C. xxxi. 10.

Ver. 2. Trench. Sennacherib did not besiege the city. C. xxxvii. 33. But he made preparations for it, and his sentiments are expressed, (C.) together with the fatal consequences which he felt, when his army was offered up (H.) as a victim on the altar of holocausts. v. 1.

Ver. 3. Circle. Thus provisions were cut off. C.

Ver. 4. The Python. The diviner by a spirit. Ch. — Jerusalem shall hardly dare to make a noise. C.

Ver. 5. Away. The numbers, and speedy downfall of the Assyrians, are described. H.

Ver. 6. Thunder. Ps. lxxv. 7. Tharaca was coming to assist Ezechias. C. xxxvii. 36. C.

Ver. 7. It, in their dreams.

Ver. 9. Be, &c. Though God spared the city, for the sake of the good, He will not fail to punish scoffers, in due time, as He now declares. H. — Drunkenness. You shall suffer for your crimes, (C. xxviii. 7.) or be affrighted.

Ver. 10. Sleep, or compunction, (Rom. xi. 8. C.) denoting their obstinacy. S. Chrys. — Visions. Prot. “the seers.” H. — The Jews perceived but very imperfectly the meaning of the prophets, when they spoke of a future Redeemer, God and man. They are now more infatuated, (C.) having a veil on their hearts. 1 Cor. iv. 3. Both learned and ignorant refuse to believe, excusing themselves. v. 12. H. — The more they read the Scriptures, the less do they understand. C.

Ver. 13. Men. Our Saviour applies this to the Jews. The evangelists follow the Sept. Mat. xv. 8. Mark vii. 6. C. — “This people approacheth to me, (Grabe adds, with its mouth and with) their lips they honour me, but their heart is far from me. Yet in vain do they honour me, teaching the commands of men and doctrines.” H. — They still continue to corrupt God’s word by their false interpretations.

Ver. 14. Hid. At the approach of Sennacherib, the politicians were confounded. But the obstinate blindness of the Jews in the midst of such a blaze of predictions, which are evidently accomplished in Jesus Christ, excites admiration. That their ancestors should have found them obscure, is not so wonderful. The prophets foretold this event; and the reprobation of the synagogue, which had been so highly favoured, is a proof of the truth of the Christian religion. 1 Cor. i. 18. C.

Ver. 16. Not. So it is in vain to think that your hypocrisy or excuses will deceive God. C. xxviii. 15. H.

Ver. 17. Charmel. This word signifies a fruitful field. Ch. — Shall Carmel be presently a forest or barren mountain? No. But I will work a greater miracle. v. 18. Jerusalem shall rejoice, and Sennacherib shall be filled with dismay.

Ver. 19. Rejoice. Our Saviour alludes to this text, (Lu. vii. 22.) which, under the figure of the deliverance from captivity, points out the vocation of the Gentiles. C. xxxv. 5. and xlii. 7. 19.

Ver. 20. Prevail. Wicked princes, scoffers, &c. (v. 10. C. xxviii. 7.) shall be exterminated. Ezechias promoted piety with greater zeal after his deliverance.

Ver. 21. Gate. False prophets rose up against those who spoke the truth, and condemned them unjustly. C. — The just, Christ. M.

Ver. 23. Israel. They shall serve God with fidelity and gratitude. C. xxx. 22. C.

Ver. 24. Murmured. Magicians, (Grot.) or false sages. C. xxviii. 9. C.