King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 55

An invitation to receive freely the blessings of the Saviour. (1-5) Gracious offers of pardon and peace. (6-13)

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An invitation to receive freely the blessings of the Saviour

1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

Gracious offers of pardon and peace

6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Waters, which in that country are very scarce. — Milk. Sept. “fat.” C. — In the western Churches, wine and honey were given to the new baptized. C. vii. 15. S. Jer. — Christ invites all to come to him. John iv. 14,. and vii. 37. The establishment of the Church is described under the figure of the return from Babylon. C. — Grace is offered to all. But only those are justified who thirst, and do their best. Mat. v. 6. W.

Ver. 3. David. I will be equally faithful to you. Ps. lxxxviii. 29. Sept. “the holy things of David faithful.“ Acts xiii. 34. The resurrection of Christ fully accomplished the promise made to David.

Ver. 4. Him. David, who continually proclaimed the divine mercies, (Ps. xvii. 1.) or rather Christ; though Grotius alone would refer it to Jeremias. C.

Ver. 5. Not with approbation. H. — The Gentiles are converted.

Ver. 6. Near. He will shortly (C.) turn to the Gentiles. John xii. 35. Acts xiii. 46. H.

Ver. 7. Way. This is a necessary preliminary to God’s service. W.

Ver. 8. My ways. I am not vindictive, but require a sincere conversion. C. — We cannot serve both God and the world. We must therefore adhere to the former. W.

Ver. 11. Sent it. I will assuredly bring you from Babylon; and the rain shall sooner return upwards than I will break my promise.

Ver. 12. Peace, by strangers. C. xlix. 22. — Hands, for joy. C. — Ipsa sonant arbusta Deus Deus ille, Menacla. Virg. Ec. v.

Ver. 13. Myrtle-tree. Instead of the wicked, the just shall be seen. Chal. — Away. The conversion and sanctity of the Gentiles shall be a trophy to the Lord. M.