King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 34

God’s vengeance against the enemies of his church. (1-8) Their desolation. (9-17)

Isaiah 34 Audio:

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God’s vengeance against the enemies of his church

1 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it.

2 For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.

3 Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.

4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

5 For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.

6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.

7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

8 For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.

Their desolation

9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.

10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.

11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.

12 They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing.

13 And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.

14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.

15 There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.

16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.

17 And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Come. Both Gentiles and Jews are admonished of the world’s end before judgment. W.

Ver. 4. Away. These strong expressions denote great misery. C. xiii. Joel ii. 10. Ezec. xxxii. 27. C. — Book. Heb. “roll.” H. — Some thence foolishly inferred that the destiny of every one might be read in the heavens. Huet. Eus. præp. vi. 11. Philoo. xxiii. Pic. Astrol. viii. 5. — The prophet only means that the heavens shall be devoid of beauty, (C.) and covered with darkness. H.

Ver. 5. Heaven. Casting down the rebel angels. S. Jer. — The resolution to destroy the Idumeans, for their cruelty to the Jews, has been taken long ago. All these expressions allude to the last judgment. C. — Idumea. Under the name of Idumea or Edom, a people that were enemies of God and his Church. Ch. — Assaradon fell upon Edom two years after Sennacherib’s death. C. — No strong place like Bosra, shall rescue any from destruction at the last day. W.

Ver. 7. The unicorns. That is, the great and mighty. Ch.

Ver. 8. Recompenses. When the persecutors of Sion, that is, of the Church, shall receive their reward. Ch. — The Idumeans had frequently shown their ill-will towards the Jews. 2 Par. xxviii. 17. Amos i. 11. C. — Sion shall perish as the wicked in hell shall be tormented. W.

Ver. 9. Pitch. The soil was sulphureous, and became neglected, (v. 10.) like the territory of Sodom. The people are now no more, and only a few miserable Arabs pitch their tents there.

Ver. 11. Line. Intimating entire destruction. Lam. ii. 8. and 4 K. xi. 13. C. — Yet God will not punish more than people deserve. M.

Ver. 13. Dragons, Thannim. C. xiii. 22. H. — Ostriches, or swans.

Ver. 14. Monsters. Lit. “Ass-centaurs.” H. — Heb. “fishermen shall find islands.” C. xiii. 21. — Ones. Goats. — Lamia. Heb. lilith. Chal. “owl,” the bird of Minerva, or the Moon, which the Arabs style Alilat. C. — Dicodorus (20) relates that Lamia was an African queen, who having last her children, was changed into a beast, and destroyed all the children she could catch; and the Jews deal still more in fables, (C.) asserting that Lilith was the first wife of Adam, &c. Buxtorf. Syn. 2.

Ver. 15. Ericius. Heb. “kippoz, (H.) hath its nest.” It may denote the serpent, acontias. Bochart. — All this shews the desolation of the country.

Ver. 16. Read what I have written. — The other. All these beasts will be there, (C.) or all these declarations will be verified. H.