Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Just. But had not God declared the contrary, chap. xviii? The time was not yet arrived; or, he rescued the just from death, though he permitted them to experience the other common miseries. (Calmet) --- He preserved them from eternal death. (Estius) --- The just often means those who are so only in appearance, chap. xvi. 51. (Calmet) --- Temporal afflictions fall upon all; but the just derive benefit from them, while the wicked fall into eternal misery. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)
North, including all the country belonging to Israel.
Back, (ver. 30.) without doing execution, Jeremias l. 9. (Calmet)
Bitterness. Septuagint, "pains," like those of child-bearing, Isaias xxi. 3.
Melt. Literally, "decay," Josue vii., &c. --- Knee. Chap. vii. 17. (Haydock)
My son. He speaks, according to St. Jerome, to the sword of Nabuchodonosor; which was about to remove the sceptre of Israel, whom God here calls his son. (Challoner) --- This title belonged to all Israel, Exodus iv. 22. (Worthington) --- The Hebrew seems to be corrupt, and we may adhere to the Vulgate or to the Septuagint, (Calmet) which has, (9.) "Sword be sharp, and raging to slay victims; be sharp to shine, ready for destruction; cut, reduce to nothing, remove all wood." (Haydock) --- Syriac, "be ready to scatter the race of my son," &c. Hebrew, "Where shall we rejoice, sceptre of my son, thou sword which despisest every tree?" (Calmet) --- Protestants, "It contemneth the rod of my son as every tree?" (Haydock)
Slayer. He had conquered many nations before he attacked Israel. Let none boast of being the scourges of the Lord.
Fled, with Sedecias, by night. --- Thigh, in surprise and grief, ver. 17.
God. Perhaps you will say it is only a trial: but what will be your sentiments, when you behold the king and his people led away? (Calmet) --- Protestants, "Because it is a trial; and what if the sword contemn even the rod? it shall be no more, saith." (Haydock)
Tripled. Let the war be very bloody. Nabuchodonosor often invaded Judea. (Calmet) --- He raised the siege, but returned. (Vatable)
Ready. Literally, "covered," (amicti. Haydock) in the scabbard, and quite new and sharp.
Rabbath. They had formed a league with Sedecias, and Nabuchodonosor thought of punishing them first. (Haydock) --- But they joined his forces, Jeremias xii. 6., and xxvii. 3.
Shuffling. Hebrew, "polishing." Syriac, &c., "shooting an arrow upwards." He was undetermined which to attack first, and perhaps wrote Jerusalem on one and Rabbath on another arrow; (St. Jerome, &c.; Calmet) or which way the arrow fell the army followed. (Haydock) --- Many nations have adopted such superstitious practices. --- Idols. Hebrew Teraphim, Genesis xxxi. 19. (Calmet) --- Entrails. The Chaldeans taught the Lydians and they the Tuscans. (Grotius) --- At first this was done only to see if the victims were sound. (Cicero, Div.)
Right of one going by Thapsacus and Damascus, and not through the Desert Arabia, for thus Rabbath would have been to the right. God permitted this divination to succeed in his wrath. The devil pushed the Chaldeans forward, lest the Jews might be converted. (Calmet) --- I they had attacked Rabbath first, they would probably have succeeded, as they did five years after. But the time of vengeance was come for Jerusalem, (Haydock) and they were directed to assault it. (Worthington) --- Voice: the din of war, (Haydock) or of soldiers, trumpets, &c.
Vain. They shall think that Nabuchodonosor is wasting his time. --- Sabbaths. Hebrew, "they have people who swear to them;" false prophets, or the Egyptians, on whom they depend. Septuagint, "and counting the weeks," like Aman, Esther iii. 7. --- Iniquity, or perfidy of Sedecias, chap. xvii. 15. (Calmet)
Remembered. Hebrew, "caused....to be remembered," (Haydock) sinning publicly. (Calmet)
Thou profane, &c. He speaks to king Sedecias, who had broken his oath, and was otherwise a wicked prince. (Challoner) --- Hebrew, "Criminal, (sentenced to die) wicked," &c. (Calmet)
Diadem, (cidarim.) Some think this was th ornament of the high priest, (St. Jerome; Chaldean) denoting that he should perish as well as the king. (Haydock) --- This. The royal crown of Juda had exalted Sedecias from a private state and condition to the sovereign power, as the loss of it brought down Jechonias, &c. (Challoner) --- It shall be given go Godolias. (Chaldean) Hebrew, "it is not (Haydock) or shall be no more" the same, or for the posterity of Sedecias. None of the tribe of Juda was truly king after him, till the Messias. (Sanctius; Tirinus, &c.) (Genesis xlix. 10.) (Calmet)
Iniquity. Or, I will overturn it, viz., the crown of Juda, for the manifold iniquities of the kings: but it shall not be utterly removed till Christ come, whose right it is; and who shall reign in the spiritual house of Jacob (that is, in his Church,) for evermore. (Challoner) --- Hebrew also, "sideways." Thou shalt no more wear the tiara erect, (Haydock) like a king: (Hesychius) or rather, thy iniquity or punishment shall be most grievous. --- Him; Christ, or (Calmet) Nabuchodonosor. (Vatable) (Menochius)
Reproach, by which they had reproached and insulted over the Jews, at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. (Challoner) (chap. xxv. 6., and Sophonias ii. 8.) --- They were punished five years later (Calmet) by the same Babylonians whom they had encouraged. (Worthington)
Sheath. The sword of Babylon, after raging against many nations, was shortly to be judged and destroyed at home by the Medes and Persians. (Challoner) --- After Nabuchodonosor had chastised the nations around for 18 years, after the ruin of Jerusalem, he returned and died in peace. Yet he first became like a beast, ver. 31., and Daniel iv. 30. The rest of the prophecy regards his successors. Cyrus waged war upon them, and Baltassar was slain in a conspiracy. See Isaias xlvii., and Jeremias l. (Calmet) --- At last the sword fell upon Babylon itself. (Worthington)
Brutish, or devoid of sense. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "burning;" smiths. (Calmet)