King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 46

The idols could not save themselves, but God saves his people. (1-4) The folly of worshipping idols. (5-13)

Isaiah 46 Audio:

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The idols could not save themselves, but God saves his people

1 Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast.

2 They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.

3 Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb:

4 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

The folly of worshipping idols

5 To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?

6 They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship.

7 They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.

8 Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors.

9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

12 Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:

13 I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Bel; perhaps Nimrod, (C.) or Saturn, to whom they sacrificed their children. W. — Nabo, “the oracle” of Belus. The Chaldees adored statues and beasts. But the Persians worshipped the elements. C. — Xerxes destroyed the tomb of Belus, after his expedition into Greece. Arrian vii.) He had there demolished the temples, (Herod. viii. 109.) pretending (H.) that “the world is the house of the gods.” Cic. Leg. ii. — Weariness. The priests affected to be weighed down, as if the god were present. Bar. vi. 25. S. Cyr.

Ver. 2. They. Lit. “their soul.” H. — The pagans must have supposed they had one. C. — Captivity. “There are as many triumphs over the gods as over men.” Tert. — The former shared the fate of their adorers. Their statues were plundered.

Ver. 3. By my. Vulg. may have read a me ab, (C.) instead of a meo. Heb. and Sept. “taken from the womb,” (H.) and treated with the utmost tenderness. C.

Ver. 8. Ashamed. Sept. “groan.” Prot. “shew yourselves men.” H.

Ver. 11. Bird; Cyrus, whose rapid conquests are thus denoted. C. — He chose a golden eagle, with wings expanded, for his standard. Xen. vii. — Christ came from heaven to redeem the world. Ps. xviii. 6. Mal. iv. 2. C. — He was the orient, adored by the eastern sages, to whom the prophet refers. S. Jer. W.

Ver. 12. Israel. It shall no longer be a reproach. Cyrus shall restore my people to their own country. But Christ more full accomplished what is here declared respecting the establishment of his Church. C.