King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 48

The Jews reproved for their idolatry. (1-8) Yet deliverance is promised them. (9-15) Solemn warnings of judgment upon those who persisted in evil. (16-22)

Isaiah 48 Audio:

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The Jews reproved for their idolatry

1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness.

2 For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is his name.

3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.

4 Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

5 I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.

6 Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.

7 They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them.

8 Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.

Yet deliverance is promised them

9 For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.

10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

14 All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans.

15 I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.

Solemn warnings of judgment upon those who persisted in evil

16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

17 Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:

19 Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.

20 Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob.

21 And they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out.

22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Waters; people, (Apoc. xvii. 15. H.) or from the stock of Juda. Prov. v. 15. C. — He claimed the sovereign power, but had not the fortitude or wisdom for Israel. W.

Ver. 2. City: citizens of Jerusalem. Dan. iii. 28. Mat. iv. 5.

Ver. 3. Suddenly, when there was no human appearance of the event, as when I foretold the exploits of Cyrus and the ruin of Babylon so long before.

Ver. 4. Brass; unblushing. Jer. iii. 3. C. — Os tuum ferreum. Cic. c. Piso.

Ver. 6. Them. Could you have believed them? — Knowest not. He upbraids their ignorance and indocility.

Ver. 7. Knew. Therefore I did not speak of the liberation from Egypt, but from Babylon, which is represented as just taking place. C.

Ver. 8. Opened; docile, (Theod.) or acquainted with these things. Isaias first made known the captivity of Babylon, and its end; and he insists so much, that people may discern the truth of his predictions, and of religion. No atheist can, with a good conscience, hold out against his arguments. C. xl. &c.

Ver. 9. Bridle thee, like a headstrong beast, (C.) running to its own ruin. H. — God pardons freely, that people may be saved if they will. W.

Ver. 10. Poverty, at Babylon. I have not treated thee with the utmost rigour, nor attempted to render thee free from every imperfection. C. — Sept. “Lo, I have sold thee, but not for silver; I have snatched thee from the,” &c. H.

Ver. 14. Things, as I have done respecting Cyrus? (S. Cyr. &c.) who was a figure of Christ. v. 15.

Ver. 16. Spirit. The Fathers here find the three Persons of the blessed Trinity specified. Isaias was not from the beginning, though the text may also speak of him C. as the spoke long before the event, by divine inspiration. Chal. S. Jer.

Ver. 19. Name. The Jews were not forgotten, till they had rejected the Messias.

Ver. 21. Out. Their return was facilitated. This may easily be applied (C.) to the conversion of the Gentiles. S. Jer.

Ver. 22. Peace. Sept. “rejoicing,” or prosperity for the Chaldees or wicked Jews. v. 18. C. — It is promised only to the penitent. W.