King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 61

The Messiah, his character and office. (1-3) His promises of the future blessedness of the church. (4-9) The church praises God for these mercies. (10,11)

Isaiah 61 Audio:

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The Messiah, his character and office

1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

His promises of the future blessedness of the church

4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.

The church praises God for these mercies

10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Lord. Heb. adds, “God.” Adonai seems to have been inserted to prevent the pronunciation of Jehovah, (Kennicott) which alone occurs in the Sept. Arab. and in S. Luke, iv. 18. H. — Thus Elohim may have been substituted for Jehovah, Gen. xxii. 8. as v. 14, “Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah jireh, because he had said that day on the mount: Jehovah will provide” a victim, even Jesus Christ in the same place. Perhaps no part of the Bible is “so absurdly translated” as this, (Ken.) by Protestants. H. — S. Luke follows the Sept. in his quotation, only instead of to preach a, &c. he has an explanation, to set at liberty them that are bruised. Isaias may here speak of himself, (Chal.) yet only as a figure of Christ. The Jews admit that the Messias is meant. Christ had received the Holy Spirit at the Jordan. John i. 32. He performed these works, (Lu. vii. 22.) particularly addressing his discourse to the meek and poor. Soph. iii. 12. Zac. xi. 7. and 1 Cor. i. 26. C. — He was not anointed with oil, like Aaron, but with the Holy Ghost; so that of his fullness others must receive. Acts x. 39. &c. W.

Ver. 2. Year of Jubilee, (Jer. xxv. 11.) when the Jews should be delivered, as a figure of Christ’s redemption. — Vengeance, when the Chaldees, &c. should perish, (C.) and all obstinate sinners, at the day of judgment. H.

Ver. 3. Glorify. The rulers shall act with justice. C. lx. 17, 21.

Ver. 4. Ruins, as the Jews did. C. lviii. 12. The apostles preached to the Gentiles, who had been long neglected.

Ver. 5. Vines. Bishops were soon chosen from among the Gentiles. The Machabees subdued the neighbouring nations. 1 Mac. xv. 28.

Ver. 6. Priests. They were greatly honoured, (Ex. xix. 6.) so that the sons of David had the appellation. The Jews had still to labour as before. Christians become heirs to these promises, and are styled a royal priesthood. 1 Pet. ii. 9. Apoc. i. 6. They have received the Scriptures from the Jews, and employ human sciences for the advancement of religion. The wisest pagans yield to the force of truth.

Ver. 7. Part: God, or the land. Converts shall bless God for having withdrawn them from the crowd of infidels, and they will rejoice in suffering for his sake, (C.) preferring their lot before that of unbelievers. Before this change the apostles grieved. W.

Ver. 8. Holocaust. The pagans saw such things were improper victims. Eus. præp. iv. 14. — Sept. “hate unjust plunder.” H. — Therefore will I subject the strangers to you. v. 5. — Truth. I will grant a sure reward. — Covenant. These of Nehemias and the Machabees were soon forgotten: but Christ’s covenant shall abide for ever.

Ver. 9. Blessed. The Jews are visibly the reverse. The Church flourishes in spite of domestic and foreign enemies.

Ver. 10. Jewels. Apoc. xxi. 2. Jerusalem, or rather the Church, praises God.

Ver. 11. Nations, whose conversion is implicitly foretold. All behold the justice which God has treated both his people and their oppressors. C.