King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 66

God looks at the heart, and vengeance is threatened for guilt. (1-4) The increase of the church, when Jew and Gentile shall be gathered to the Redeemer. (5-14) Every enemy of the church shall be destroyed, and the final ruin of ungodly men shall be seen. (15-24)

Isaiah 66 Audio:

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God looks at the heart, and vengeance is threatened for guilt

1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.

4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

The increase of the church, when Jew and Gentile shall be gathered to the Redeemer

5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

6 A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies.

7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.

8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:

11 That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.

12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.

13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.

Every enemy of the church shall be destroyed, and the final ruin of ungodly men shall be seen

15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.

16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.

18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.

19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.

20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.

21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD.

22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. House. This is a prophecy that the temple should be cast off. Ch. — Isaias alludes to the return of the captives, as to a figure of the Church. They had flattered themselves with the idea of building a magnificent temple. God regards it not, as long as they follow their own wills and cherish pride. C. — He is pleased with the piety of his servants, which may be exhibited any where, though the temple is the most proper place. See Acts vii. and xiv. After the gospel, the sacrifices of the law became unlawful. W.

Ver. 3. He. Sept. “the wicked who.” H. — Ox. This is a prophecy, that the sacrifices which were offered in the old law, should be abolished in the new; and that he offering of them should be a crime. Ch. — Without the proper dispositions, sacrifice only displeases God. C. — Brain, or slay. H. — Incense. To offer it in the way of a sacrifice; (Ch.) or to remind God of his people. The expression is popular, but energetic. Lev. ii. 2, 9. and vi. 15. — Ways, to please themselves, and to bind me. But I will not have a divided heart. C. i. 11. and lviii. 3. C.

Ver. 4. Mockeries. I will turn their mockeries upon themselves; and will cause them to be mocked by their enemies. Ch.

Ver. 5. Brethren, the Idumeans, &c. or the Jews, who would not believe in Christ.

Ver. 6. Lord, who is about to quit the temple, and to abandon the Jews to their internal dissensions, and to the arms of the Romans. Many prodigies announced this judgment. C. — One Jesus cried for seven years and five months, “Woe to the temple,” &c. At last he cried, “Woe to myself;” when he was shot dead. Jos. Bel. vii. 12. Tacit. Hist. v. — Angels were heard crying in the temple, “Let us go hence.” Jos. — There was contradiction in the city. Ps. liv. S. Jer. W.

Ver. 7. Before, &c. This relates to the conversion of the Gentiles, who were born as it were all on a sudden to the Church of God. Ch. — Sion furnished the first preachers of the Gospel. H.

Ver. 8. Day. Shall a whole nation be born at once? Twelve fishermen effect the most surprising change in the manners of the world.

Ver. 9. God. His grace converts the nations. C.

Ver. 10. For her. Ye shall be comforted, (H.) when the captives return, and the gospel is propagated.

Ver. 12. You. S. Paul fed the weak with milk. 1 Cor. iii. 2. Heb. v. 12. and 1 Pet. ii. 2.

Ver. 14. Herb, in baptism and the resurrection. — Enemies, the Chaldees, infidel Jews, and all the reprobate. v. 15. How many miracles were wrought by Christian preachers! Persecutors have come to an untimely end. C. — Before judgment, the world shall be consumed. W.

Ver. 16. Many. Few are chosen. H. — All the wicked shall perish eternally. M.

Ver. 17. Within the court, or gardens, where they purified themselves, foolishly supposing that this would remove their crimes, as the pagans did. S. Jer. Tert. Bapt. v. — Instead of gate, S. Jerom wrote unam, “one,” moon or Hecate, which is obviously derived from Heb. Achat. C. lvii. 8. and lxv. 11. Chal. Syr. &c. “gardens, one after another with those who eat,” &c. — Mouse, or “field-rat,” (Bochart) all declared unclean; (Lev. xi. 7. 29. C.) or, “the dor-mouse,” (S. Jer.) which was looked upon as a delicacy by the Romans. Varro iii. 15. Pliny xxxvi. 1.

Ver. 18. Gather them, thoughts, &c. All is personified in poetry. The Gentiles shall witness my judgments. C.

Ver. 19. Sign; the cross, which Christ left to enlighten us, (Ezec. ix. S. Jer. W.) or the gospel, with the power of working miracles. Some Jews shall be saved, and shall preach to others, as God’s servants. — Sea. Heb. “Tharsis, to Phul in Thebais, Lud, (Ethiopians. Bochart) who were expert archers.” Sept. “Mosoch.” — Italy. Heb. “Thubal;” denoting Italy, Spain, Iberia, &c. — Greece. Heb. “Javan;” who peopled Ionia and the Archipelago. Islands, near Asia, (C.) and all distant places. Parkhurst, p. 4. H. — Men of all nations shall be converted, and brought by angels to the Church. S. Jer. W.

Ver. 20. Brethren, as the converts may justly be styled. C. — Coaches, (carrucis.) Heb. circaroth, (H.) “dromedaries,” (Bochart) “with songs of praise.” Chal. &c. The precise import is unknown. Truth shall shew its sweet force. — Offering; the first-fruits, brought by all with great solemnity. Deut. xxvi. 4. and 2 Thes. ii. 12. C.

Ver. 21. Of them, Gentiles; (v. 19.) some of whom alone will be properly priests, though all enjoy the title in a figurative sense. 1 Pet. ii. 9. The Jews strive in vain to elude this text. C. — Under the law, one family alone enjoyed this honour: but Christ chooses the most deserving pastors. W.

Ver. 22. Name. The faith and morals of Christianity shall subsist for ever, like the gospel, which is termed the new heavens. C. lxv. 17. Mat. xvi. 18.

Ver. 23. Sabbath. Grotius explains this of the Gentiles, who should come to Jerusalem. But this was never realized before the propagation of the gospel. The Jews came thrice a-year. Christians shall attend the sacred mysteries every week. Ex. xiii. 14. Mal. i. 11.

Ver. 24. Men; rebellious Jews and persecutors, who perish miserably. — Flesh. Josephus (Bel. vi. 16.) describes the horrors of the last siege of Jerusalem. The prophet may allude to the fires kept up in the vale of Hinnon; (C. xxx. 33.) and our Saviour applies this text to the damned. Mark ix. 43. All shall condemn them. C.