Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Or the curse. The sequel shews that this would prove their portion, and that they would have to do penance among all the nations. (Haydock)
Before. The Jews are still in expectation of this deliverance, as they say this prediction does not relate to the captivity at Babylon. But Nehemias understood it in this sense, (2 Esdras i. 8,) though it will not have its perfect accomplishment till the latter days, when the Israelites will embrace the true faith, Romans xi. 25.
Poles. The arctic and antarctic, the northern and southern poles; that is, into the most distant regions. (Menochius) --- Hebrew, "the end of heaven," where it seems to rest upon the earth. (Calmet)
Fathers. Some sinners have risen to greater eminence by sincere repentance, than others who have offended less. (Worthington) See Luke vii. 47.
Circumcise. Septuagint, "purify." Chaldean, "take away the folly from." After the captivity, idolatry was never very prevalent among the Jews. (Haydock) --- But this prediction will not be fulfilled till the Jews acknowledge the Messias. (Calmet) --- Those whose hearts are circumcised, as God here promises, are enabled to love him above all things; and no doubt he will fulfil what he has thus engaged to do, with regard to some. (Worthington) (St. Augustine, q. 53.)
Fathers. He will again take a pleasure in bestowing favours upon thee, (Calmet) of a spiritual and more lasting nature. Hence the Jews may understand that they have not yet repented, as they ought to do; since they have been under the wrath of God for above 1500 years. (Salien) (Haydock)
Above. Hebrew, "separated, unknown," &c. Septuagint, "too heavy." St. Paul (Romans x. 6,) adapts this to the Christian law, which is the perfection of that given by Moses. The precepts of Jesus Christ are well known, and easily accomplished (Calmet) by the sincere lover of justice, (Haydock) assisted by powerful grace. (St. Augustine, q. 54.) St. Peter (Acts xv.) insinuates, that it was very difficult under the old law, to comply with all the regulations, at a time when the sacraments did not convey such great graces. (Du Hamel)
Work. There is no need of studying the mysteries of astrology, as the Magi do, to understand the will of God. (Grotius) --- St. Paul adds, (ver. 7,) or who shall descend into the deep? which is not in [the] Hebrew. (Calmet) --- But he probably alludes to the following verse, as the sea is often styled the deep. It was not necessary for the Jews, or for Christians, (Haydock) to undertake long voyages, to discover the true God, as the ancient philosophers were obliged to do; and after they had obtained some idea of the truth, they were afraid to declare it, on account of the prejudices of the people. (Calmet) --- But the most illiterate among us, may easily obtain sufficient knowledge to regulate his life. (Haydock)
Heart. Septuagint add, "and in thy hands." Thou art often obliged to talk about the law, and to learn it by heart. Nothing hinders thee, with the grace of God, from putting it in practice. (Calmet) --- No teacher could more plainly inculcate the liberty of the human will. (Theodoret, q. 38.; St. Augustine, de Nat. 69.; St. Ambrose; &c.) (Worthington)
Evil. Obedience will insure eternal life: but if thou give the preference to evil, the second death must be thy portion, ver. 19. (Haydock) (Ecclesiasticus xv. 17.) (Menochius) --- It may also refer to the goods and evils of the present life, of which Moses has been speaking. (Calmet)
I call. He begins his canticle in the same emphatical manner, (chap. xxii.) as Isaias does his prophecy. (Haydock)
He is. From God all advantages are derived. We may render the Hebrew, with the Septuagint, "Because this is thy life (Calmet)....to dwell," &c. By observing the law of God, long life and possession of the promised land can be alone attained. (Haydock)