Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone
Contact Us
Visit us on Facebook
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 1

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 1

E-mail
Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 1

1. The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah.   א. חֲזוֹן יְשַׁעְיָהוּ בֶן אָמוֹץ אֲשֶׁר חָזָה עַל יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלִָם בִּימֵי עֻזִּיָּהוּ יוֹתָם אָחָז יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ מַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה:
the vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz: Said Rabbi Levi: We have a tradition from our ancestors that Amoz and Amaziah, king of Judah, were brothers.  
which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: Now, did he not prophesy concerning many nations, viz. the prophecy of Babylonia (ch. 13), the prophecy of Moab (ch. 15)? Thus you learn that this is not the beginning of the Book, and that the Book is not given its name for this prophecy. So we learned in the Baraitha of the Mechilta (Exod. 15:9,10): “In the year of King Uzziah’s death” (6:1) is the beginning of the Book, but there is no early and late in the order [i.e., the order of the chapters is no indication of the chronological order. (Others read: There is no early and late in the BookParshandatha.] The context proves this point, for, on the day of the earthquake (see Zech. 14:5), the day Uzziah became a metzora (see 2 Chron. 26:19), it was said: “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am; send me” (6:8). We learn that this was the beginning of his mission, and this prophecy was said afterwards. And concerning this alone, it is stated: which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, just as Scripture says concerning each nation, “the prophecy of such and such a nation.” Here too, Scripture writes: “which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.” Since they are harsh reproofs, he calls them “chazon,” which is the harshest of the ten expressions by which prophecy is called, as is stated in Gen. Rabbah (44:7), and proof of this is the verse (infra 21:2), “A harsh prophecy (חָזוּת) was told to me.”  
in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah.: These four kings he buried, [i.e. he outlived,] in his lifetime. On the day Uzziah became a metzora, the Shechinah rested upon him, and he prophesied all the days of these kings, until Manasseh arose and killed him. (And this prophecy was said in the days of Hezekiah after the ten tribes were exiled.)  
2. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord has spoken; Children I have raised and exalted, yet they have rebelled against Me.   ב. שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמַיִם וְהַאֲזִינִי אֶרֶץ כִּי יְהֹוָה דִּבֵּר בָּנִים גִּדַּלְתִּי וְרוֹמַמְתִּי וְהֵם פָּשְׁעוּ בִי:
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: And Moses said, “Give ear, O heavens,… and may the earth hear” (Deut. 32:1). Why did Isaiah change the wording? Our masters taught concerning this matter, [and] many midrashim [are] in the section entitled “Ha’azinu” in Sifrei, but the Sages disagreed with them and said: A matter is not so unless witnesses come and testify. If their words coincide, their testimony is fulfilled; if not, their testimony is not fulfilled. Had Isaiah not addressed the heavens with giving ear and the earth with hearing, the heavens would testify and say, ‘When we were called to this testimony in Moses’ time, when he said, (Deut. 30:19) “I call heaven and earth to witness against you,” we heard with an expression of giving ear,’ and the earth would testify, ‘I was called with an expression of hearing,’ hence their testimony would not coincide. [Therefore,] Isaiah came and reversed the matter. Consequently, both are found to testify with an expression of giving ear and with an expression of hearing.  
for the Lord has spoken: That you should be witnesses in this matter, when I warned them in Moses’ time. Therefore, come and hear what I reason with them, for they transgressed the warning, I did not sin against them, but I raised them and exalted them, yet they rebelled against me. [Another version reads:] That you should be witnesses in this matter. Now, where did He speak?“Give ear, O heavens and I will speak” (ibid. 32:1). [So this was taught] in Mechilta (Bo 12).  
3. An ox knows his owner and a donkey his master's crib; Israel does not know, my people does not consider.   ג. יָדַע שׁוֹר קֹנֵהוּ וַחֲמוֹר אֵבוּס בְּעָלָיו יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא יָדַע עַמִּי לֹא הִתְבּוֹנָן:
his owner: Heb. קֹנֵהוּ [is] like מְתַקְּנוֹ, the one who affixes him to the plowshare for plowing by day, and since he has accustomed him to this, he knows him. The dull donkey, however, does not recognize his master until he feeds him. Israel was not intelligent like the ox, to know, when I called him and said, “Israel will be your name” (Gen. 35:10), and I informed them of several of My statutes, yet they deserted Me, as is related in Ezekiel (20:39): “Let each one go and worship his idols.” Even after I took them out of Egypt and fed them the manna and called them, “My people, the children of Israel,” they did not consider even as a donkey. Another explanation is:  
An ox knows its owner: An ox recognizes his owner so that his fear is upon him. He did not deviate from what I decreed upon him, by saying, I will not plow today. Neither did a donkey say to his owner, I will not bear burdens today. Now, these [creatures,] who were created to serve you, and are not destined to receive reward if they merit, or to be punished if they sin, did not change their manner, which I decreed upon them. Israel, however, who, if they merit receive reward, and if they sin are punished.  
does not know: i.e., did not want to know; they knew but trod with their heels, and my people did not take heart to consider.  
4. Woe to a sinful nation, a people heavy with iniquity, evildoing seed, corrupt children. They forsook the Lord; they provoked the Holy One of Israel; they drew backwards.   ד. הוֹי | גּוֹי חֹטֵא עַם כֶּבֶד עָו‍ֹן זֶרַע מְרֵעִים בָּנִים מַשְׁחִיתִים עָזְבוּ אֶת יְהֹוָה נִאֲצוּ אֶת קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל נָזֹרוּ אָחוֹר:
Woe: Every instance of הוֹי in Scripture is an expression of complaining and lamenting, like a person who sighs from his heart and cries, “Alas!” There are, however, several, which are an expression of a cry, the vocative voice, e.g., “Ho, ho, flee from the land of the north” (Zech. 2:10), which the Targum renders, אַכְלוּ, an expression of announcing.  
Woe: There is a reason to cry about a holy nation that turned into a sinful nation, and a people referred to by the expression, “for you are a holy people” (Deut. 7:6), turned into a people with iniquity.  
a people heavy with iniquity: The heaviness of iniquity. The word denotes a person who is heavy, pesant in French, ponderous. The word כֶבֶד is a substantive of heaviness, pesantoma in French, and is in the construct state, and is connected with the word עָוֹן, iniquity.  
evildoing seed: And they were seed whom the Lord blessed (Isa. 61: 9). Similarly, they were children of the Holy One, blessed be He, and they became corrupt.  
they provoked: Heb. נִאֲצוּ, they angered.  
they drew backwards: [The root נְזִירָה,] wherever it appears, is only an expression of separation. Similarly, Scripture states: “And they shall separate (וְיִנָּזְרוּ) from the holy things of the children of Israel” (Lev. 22:2), “the one separated (נְזִיר) from his brothers” (Gen. 49:26). Here too, they drew away from being near the Omnipresent.  
5. Why are you beaten when you still continue to rebel? Every head is [afflicted] with illness and every heart with malaise.   ה. עַל מֶה תֻכּוּ עוֹד תּוֹסִיפוּ סָרָה כָּל רֹאשׁ לָחֳלִי וְכָל לֵבָב דַּוָּי:
Why are you beaten…: A person who was punished (lit. beaten) and repeats his sinhis friend admonishes him and says to him, For this you have been punished, yet you do not take heart to say, ‘For this I have been punished. I will not repeat it again.’ Here too, why are you beaten since you continue disobedience, to turn away from following the Omnipresent? Is not every head afflicted with illness and every heart with malaise? Why then do you not understand?  
6. From the sole of the foot until the head there is no soundness-wounds and contusions and lacerated sores; they have not sprinkled, neither have they been bandaged, nor was it softened with oil.   ו. מִכַּף רֶגֶל וְעַד רֹאשׁ אֵין בּוֹ מְתֹם פֶּצַע וְחַבּוּרָה וּמַכָּה טְרִיָּה לֹא זֹרוּ וְלֹא חֻבָּשׁוּ וְלֹא רֻכְּכָה בַּשָּׁמֶן:
soundness: An expression of perfection, sound without pain.  
wounds: Heb. פֶּצַע, i.e., a wound of a sword.  
contusions: Heb. חַבּוּרָה, an expression of a bruise. [Some editions read:] Other bruises.  
and lacerated sores: Jonathan renders: מְרַסְסָא, lacerated and crushed.  
and lacerated sores: demarcejjre, in O.F., and in the language of the Talmud, we find, “he bumped (טַרְיֵה) his head” (Chullin 45b). Menahem explained it as an expression of moisture, i.e., moist and wet, always oozing [muyte in O.F.].  
they have not been sprinkled: These lesions were not sprinkled with medicinal powders by physicians. This is an expression of: (Job 18:15) “Sulphur shall be sprinkled (יְזֹרֶה) on his dwelling.” Menahem explained it as an expression of healing, as in (Jeremiah 30:13): “No one pronounced your judgment for healing (לְמָזוֹר).”  
neither was it softened with oil: Their wound was not softened with oil, as is customary with other wounds. It would be inappropriate to say here, “They were not softened with oil,” for they soften only the place of the sore, not the wound and the contusion but the sprinkling and the bandaging applies to all three, [i.e., the wound, the contusion, and the lacerated sore.] Therefore, the plural number applies to them; the lesions were not sprinkled and not bandaged. Jonathan interprets the entire verse figuratively, referring to the fact that they were soiled and afflicted with iniquity. Accordingly, he rendered, “From the sole of the foot until the head,” from the smallest to the greatest, there is no soundness. There is none good among them, wounds and contusions, rebellious deeds, iniquities, and inadvertent sins.  
they have not been sprinkled…: i.e., they have not been healed by repenting wholeheartedly, nor has it been softened with oil, not even a trace of repentant thought has entered their heart.  
7. Your land is desolate; your cities burnt with fire. Your land-in your presence, strangers devour it; and it is desolate as that turned over to strangers.   ז. אַרְצְכֶם שְׁמָמָה עָרֵיכֶם שְׂרֻפוֹת אֵשׁ אַדְמַתְכֶם לְנֶגְדְּכֶם זָרִים אֹכְלִים אֹתָהּ וּשְׁמָמָה כְּמַהְפֵּכַת זָרִים:
in your presence, strangers devour it: Before your eyes, your enemies will devour it.  
and desolate: of you as a heritage turned over to strangers, which is desolate of its owners. Jonathan renders in this manner.  
8. And the daughter of Zion shall be left like a hut in a vineyard, like a lodge in a cucumber field, like a besieged city.   ח. וְנוֹתְרָה בַת צִיּוֹן כְּסֻכָּה בְכָרֶם כִּמְלוּנָה בְמִקְשָׁה כְּעִיר נְצוּרָה:
And the daughter of Zion shall be left: devoid of its inhabitants, for they will be exiled from its midst, as a hut in a vineyard, made by a watchman, and when the produce of the vineyard is gathered, he leaves his hut and goes away, after they gather it.  
like a lodge in a cucumber field: As the lodge, which the watchman made at the end of a cucumber field, to watch its cucumber, is left, for after it is gathered, he leaves it and goes away; the one in the vineyard is called a hut since he lives in it day and night; by day, he guards it from the birds and by night from the thieves, b ut cucumbers are hard, and there is no fear of the birds, and one need not watch them by day. It is, therefore, called a lodge since it is a place of lodging at night. Jonathan renders: Like a bed in a lodge (again repeated in Hebrew), [in] a cucumber field, in a cucumber field after it has been picked (בָּתַר דְאַבְעָיוּהִי) , after it has been picked. [This is the expression of the Mishnah] (Peah 4: 5): “There are three gatherings (אַבְעָיוֹת) a day.”  
like a besieged city: Like a city which was besieged, and they make huts around it to hide the troops, and when they give up the siege [lit., when they go away from it], they leave them and go away. All this is Jonathan’s translation.  
9. "Had not the Lord of Hosts left us a remnant, we would soon be like Sodom; we would resemble Gomorrah."   ט. לוּלֵי יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת הוֹתִיר לָנוּ שָׂרִיד כִּמְעָט כִּסְדֹם הָיִינוּ לַעֲמֹרָה דָּמִינוּ:
Had not the Lord of Hosts left us a remnant: by His own volition and with His mercy, not because of our merits.  
we would soon be like Sodom: All of us would be destroyed.  
10. Hear the word of the Lord, O rulers of Sodom; give ear to the law of our God, O people of Gomorrah!   י. שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר יְהֹוָה קְצִינֵי סְדֹם הַאֲזִינוּ תּוֹרַת אֱלֹהֵינוּ עַם עֲמֹרָה:
rulers of Sodom: Princes whose deeds are like those of Sodom. From here, [the Rabbis] deduced that a person should not open his mouth to Satan.  
11. Of what use are your many sacrifices to Me? says the Lord. I am sated with the burnt-offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle; and the blood of bulls and sheep and hegoats I do not want.   יא. לָמָּה לִּי רֹב זִבְחֵיכֶם יֹאמַר יְהֹוָה שָׂבַעְתִּי עֹלוֹת אֵילִים וְחֵלֶב מְרִיאִים וְדַם פָּרִים וּכְבָשִׂים וְעַתּוּדִים לֹא חָפָצְתִּי:
I am sated with the burnt-offerings of rams: This is similar to: “Lest he have too much of you and hate you,” (Proverbs 25:18).  
fattened cattle: Fattened cattle and sheep.  
I do not want: Since you transgress My Torah, the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination [from Prov. 21:27].  
12. When you come to appear before Me, who requested this of you, to trample My courts?   יב. כִּי תָבֹאוּ לֵרָאוֹת פָּנָי מִי בִקֵּשׁ זֹאת מִיֶּדְכֶם רְמֹס חֲצֵרָי:
who requested this of you, to trample My courts: to trample [the preposition is absent in the Hebrew] My courts, since your heart is not whole with Me.  
13. You shall no longer bring vain meal-offerings, it is smoke of abomination to Me; New Moons and Sabbaths, calling convocations, I cannot [bear] iniquity with assembly.   יג. לֹא תוֹסִיפוּ הָבִיא מִנְחַת שָׁוְא קְטֹרֶת תּוֹעֵבָה הִיא לִי חֹדֶשׁ וְשַׁבָּת קְרֹא מִקְרָא לֹא אוּכַל אָוֶן וַעֲצָרָה:
You shall bring no more vain meal-offerings: I warn you, you shall not bring Me your vain meal-offering, for the smoke that rises from it is smoke of abomination to Me, and not for My satisfaction.  
New moons and Sabbaths, calling, convocations, I cannot…: and [sic, does not appear in Parshandatha] to call convocations, i.e., New Moons and Sabbaths when you gather to call a convocation and an assembly on them, I cannot bear the iniquity in your hearts that is inclined to paganism, and the convocation with it, for these two things are incompatible: to call a convocation to gather before Me, and the iniquity that is in your hearts for paganism, and you do not take it out of your hearts.  
14. Your New Moons and your appointed seasons My soul hates, they are a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing [them].   יד. חָדְשֵׁיכֶם וּמוֹעֲדֵיכֶם שָֹנְאָה נַפְשִׁי הָיוּ עָלַי לָטֹרַח נִלְאֵיתִי נְשׂא:
15. And when you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you, even when you pray at length, I do not hear; your hands are full of blood.   טו. וּבְפָרִשְׂכֶם כַּפֵּיכֶם אַעְלִּים עֵינַי מִכֶּם גַּם כִּי תַרְבּוּ תְפִלָּה אֵינֶנִּי שֹׁמֵעַ יְדֵיכֶם דָּמִים מָלֵאוּ:
And when you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you: because your hands are full of blood.  
blood: Murder.  
16. Wash, cleanse yourselves, remove the evil of your deeds from before My eyes, cease to do evil.   טז. רַחֲצוּ הִזַּכּוּ הָסִירוּ רֹעַ מַעַלְלֵיכֶם מִנֶּגֶד עֵינָי חִדְלוּ הָרֵעַ:
Wash, cleanse yourselves: Voweled with a ‘patach,’ the imperative form, since it is derived from רְחַץ, but רָחֲצוּ, [in the past tense, is voweled with a ‘kamatz’ because it is derived from רָחַץ].  
Wash, cleanse yourselves, remove, learn, seek, strengthen, perform justice, plead, go: Ten exhortations of the expression of repentance are [listed] here, corresponding to the Ten Days of Penitence and to the ten verses of Kingship, Remembrances, and Shofaroth [in the musaf service of Rosh Hashanah].  
cease to do evil: Desist from your evil deeds.  
to do evil: Heb. הרע, like לְהָרֵעַ, to do evil. [Rashi explains this because the preposition is absent in Hebrew.] Scripture does not have to write מֵהָרֵעַ, desist from doing evil, for so does the Biblical language treat the expression of חֲדָלָה, stopping, [e.g.,] “and he failed to make (לַעֲשׂוֹת) the Pesach” (Num. 9:13);“until he stopped counting (לִסְפֹּר)” (Gen. 41:49). That is to say, the counting stopped, the making failed, here too, stop the evildoing.  
17. Learn to do good, seek justice, strengthen the robbed, perform justice for the orphan, plead the case of the widow.   יז. לִמְדוּ הֵיטֵב דִּרְשׁוּ מִשְׁפָּט אַשְּׁרוּ חָמוֹץ שִׁפְטוּ יָתוֹם רִיבוּ אַלְמָנָה:
Learn: It is punctuated ‘raphe,’ weak, without a dagesh. This is from the form לָמֹד, learn to do good. One who teaches himself is of the ‘kal’ form. Therefore, its imperative plural is voweled with a ‘chirik’ like אִמְרוּ, שִׁמְעוּ, but one who teaches others is of the form of the ‘heavy conjugation’ (pi’el) with a ‘dagesh,’ and if one comes to command a number of people, the word is voweled לַמְּדוּ. And so, דִּרְשׁוּ, from the form דְרשׁ, but אַשְּׁרוּ in which the ‘shin’ has a ‘dagesh,’ is from the ‘heavy conjugation,’ and from the form אַשֵּׁר; therefore, the imperative plural is voweled with a ‘patach’ like בַּשְּׂרוּ, סַפְּרוּ, דַּבְּרוּ.  
strengthen the robbed: Heb. אַשְּׁרוּ חָמוֹץ. This is a Mishnaic term, אֲשַׁרְנוּהִי, “we have verified it” (Ketuboth 21a);“if I had strength (אֲיַשֵּׁר) ” (Gittin 30b);“May your strength be strengthened (יִישַׁר) ” (Shabbath 87a). Another explanation is: Lead him in the path of truth to acquire what rightfully belongs to him. An expression of: (Job 23:11) “My foot held its path (בֲּאֲשׁוּרוֹ)” ; (Prov. 23:19) “And go (וְאַשֵׁר) in the way of your heart.” (  
perform justice: So-and-so is innocent and so-and-so is guilty.  
plead the case of the widow: Endeavor in their quarrel to plead for her, for she cannot go out to pursue her opponents.)  
the robbed: Heb. חָמוֹץ, similar to (Ps. 71:4) “from the hand of the unrighteous and the robber (וּמְחַמֵּץ).”  
18. Come now, let us debate, says the Lord. If your sins prove to be like crimson, they will become white as snow; if they prove to be as red as crimson dye, they shall become as wool.   יח. לְכוּ נָא וְנִוָּכְחָה יֹאמַר יְהֹוָה אִם יִהְיוּ חֲטָאֵיכֶם כַּשָּׁנִים כַּשֶּׁלֶג יַלְבִּינוּ אִם יַאְדִּימוּ כַתּוֹלָע כַּצֶּמֶר יִהְיוּ:
Come now, let us debate: together, I and you, and we will know who offended whom, and if you offended Me, I still give you hope to repent.  
If your sins prove to be like crimson: Stained before Me like crimson red, I will make them as white as snow.  
says the Lord: [The verb is in the future form to denote that] He always says this to you, like: (Num. 9: 20) “By the word of the Lord they would camp (יַחֲנוּ) ,” also a future form. Another explanation is: Come now, let us debate. What is written above this? “Cease to do evil; learn to do good.” And after you return to Me, come now, and let us debate together, to notify Me, “We have done what is incumbent upon us; You do what is incumbent upon You;” and I say, “If your sins prove to be like crimson, they will become white as snow…”  
as crimson dye: Heb. תּוֹלָע, lit. a worm. Dye with which they dye fabrics red. They are kernels, each one of which has a worm inside it. Hence the name תּוֹלָע.  
19. If you be willing and obey, you shall eat the best of the land.   יט. אִם תֹּאבוּ וּשְׁמַעְתֶּם טוּב הָאָרֶץ תֹּאכֵלוּ:
20. But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword, for the mouth of the Lord spoke.   כ. וְאִם תְּמָאֲנוּ וּמְרִיתֶם חֶרֶב תְּאֻכְּלוּ כִּי פִּי יְהֹוָה דִּבֵּר:
for the mouth of the Lord spoke: Where did He speak? (Lev. 26:25) “And I will bring upon you a sword.”  
21. How has she become a harlot, a faithful city; full of justice, in which righteousness would lodge, but now murderers.   כא. אֵיכָה הָיְתָה לְזוֹנָה קִרְיָה נֶאֱמָנָה מְלֵאֲתִי מִשְׁפָּט צֶדֶק יָלִין בָּהּ וְעַתָּה מְרַצְּחִים:
a harlot: Astray from her God.  
city: which was faithful and full of justice, and righteousness would lodge therein, but now murderers.  
full of justice: Heb. מְלֵאֲתִי מִשְׁפָּט [equivalent to מְלֵאַתמִשְׁפָּט, the ‘yud’ being superfluous,] as in (Lamentations 1: 1) רַבָּתִי עָם, “great in population” [equivalent to רַבַּתעָם].  
in which righteousness would lodge: The daily dawn sacrifice would atone for the sins [committed] at night, and the daily afternoon [sacrifice] would atone for those of the day. Another explanation is that they would allow capital cases to rest overnight when they could find no merit for him, [i.e., for the defendant;] they would not conclude his verdict until the morrow, perhaps they would find a merit for him, and now they have become murderers. [We find in] Pesikta [d’Rav Kahana p. 121a]: Rabbi Menahem bar Oshia [according to Parshandatha,] Rabbi Phinehas in the name of Rabbi Oshia said: Four hundred eighty-one synagogues were in Jerusalem, corresponding to the numerical value of מְלֵאֲתִי.  
and now murderers: They killed Uriah; they killed Zechariah.  
22. Your silver has become dross; your wine is diluted with water.   כב. כַּסְפֵּךְ הָיָה לְסִיגִים סָבְאֵךְ מָהוּל בַּמָּיִם:
Your silver has become dross: They would make copper coins and plate them with silver, in order to cheat with them.  
your wine is diluted with water: Your drinks are mixed with water, as is stated in Pesikta (122b). [The word] means ‘mixed,’ although there is no similar word in Scripture to prove it, but the Midrash Aggadah explains (Ecc. 2:2): “Of laughter I said, it makes one mad (מְהוֹלָל)” to mean that it is confused, or mixed up.  
23. Your princes are rebellious and companions of thieves; everyone loves bribes and runs after payments; the orphan they do not judge, and the quarrel of the widow does not come to them.   כג. שָׂרַיִךְ סוֹרְרִים וְחַבְרֵי גַּנָּבִים כֻּלּוֹ אֹהֵב שֹׁחַד וְרֹדֵף שַׁלְמֹנִים יָתוֹם לֹא יִשְׁפֹּטוּ וְרִיב אַלְמָנָה לֹא יָבוֹא אֲלֵיהֶם:
rebellious: Deviating from the straight path.  
and runs after payments: This word is similar to the Talmudic תַּשְׁלוּמִין. Jonathan paraphrases: One man says to another, Do me a favor in my case, and I will repay you in your case. This refers to a judge who was a robber, and the robbery victim complains about him before another judge. This one says to him, Declare me innocent today, and I will repay you when they complain about you before me. This is the meaning of running after payments.  
and the quarrel of the widow does not come to them: The widow comes to complain, and the orphan is coming out, when this one meets him and asks him, What did you accomplish in your case? He replies, All day long I toiled at work, but I did not accomplish anything. And this one turns around and says, If this one, who is a man, did not accomplish anything, surely I will not. This is the meaning of, “the orphan they do not judge, and the quarrel of the widow does not come to them” at all.  
24. "Therefore," says the Master, the Lord of Hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, "Oh, I will console Myself from My adversaries, and I will avenge Myself of My foes.   כד. לָכֵן נְאֻם הָאָדוֹן יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אֲבִיר יִשְׂרָאֵל הוֹי אֶנָּחֵם מִצָּרַי וְאִנָּקְמָה מֵאוֹיְבָי:
says the Master: Who possesses everything, and in Whose power it is to uproot you from your land and to settle others in it.  
the Mighty One of Israel: the strength of Israel.  
Oh: Heb. הוי. An expression of preparation and announcement, and similar to this is (Zech. 2: 10): “Ho, ho, (הוי הוי) flee from the land of the north.” And let all know that I will console Myself of My adversaries, who angered Me with their deeds.  
25. And I will return My hand upon you and purge away your dross as with lye, and remove all your tin.   כה. וְאָשִׁיבָה יָדִי עָלַיִךְ וְאֶצְרֹף כַּבֹּר סִיגָיִךְ וְאָסִירָה כָּל בְּדִילָיִךְ:
And I will return My hand upon you: One blow after another, until the transgressors have been completely destroyed.  
as with lye: This is an expression meaning soap [sbon in O.F., savon (in modern French)]. Its deviation is an expression of cleanliness, similar to (Ps. 24:4): “and pure (בַּר) of heart,” since it cleanses the garment of its stains.  
your dross: mentioned above, as: “Your silver has become dross”; a mixture of silver with copper is called dross. Here too, a mixture of the wicked with the righteous. I will destroy the transgressors, who are all dross.  
all your tin: The tin mixed with silver, that is to say, the wicked among you. בְדִיל is called estejjn [etain] in O.F. [tin].  
26. And I will restore your judges as at first and your counsellors as in the beginning; afterwards you shall be called City of Righteousness, Faithful City.   כו. וְאָשִׁיבָה שֹׁפְטַיִךְ כְּבָרִאשֹׁנָה וְיֹעֲצַיִךְ כְּבַתְּחִלָּה אַחֲרֵי כֵן יִקָּרֵא לָךְ עִיר הַצֶּדֶק קִרְיָה נֶאֱמָּנָה:
as at first: I will appoint for you pious judges.  
City of Righteousness: As in the beginning, righteousness will lodge therein.  
27. Zion shall be redeemed through justice and her penitent through righteousness.   כז. צִיּוֹן בְּמִשְׁפָּט תִּפָּדֶה וְשָׁבֶיהָ בִּצְדָקָה:
shall be redeemed through justice: Since there will be in it people who practice justice.  
shall be redeemed: from her iniquities.  
and her penitent: those penitent among them. (  
through righteousness: through those who make themselves righteousthrough justice and through righteousnessthat are in her midst [or,] among them.)  
28. And destruction shall come over rebels and sinners together, and those who forsake the Lord shall perish.   כח. וְשֶׁבֶר פֹּשְׁעִים וְחַטָּאִים יַחְדָּו וְעֹזְבֵי יְהֹוָה יִכְלוּ:
And destruction shall come upon rebels…: For with all these expressions he reproved them above: and they rebelled against Me (verse 2), sinful nation; they forsook the Lord (verse 4).  
rebels: Rebels and sectarians and those who worship idols.  
and sinners: Apostates guilty of other sins.  
29. For they shall be ashamed of the elms that you desired, and you shall be humiliated because of the gardens that you chose.   כט. כִּי יֵבֹשׁוּ מֵאֵילִים אֲשֶׁר חֲמַדְתֶּם וְתַחְפְּרוּ מֵהַגַּנּוֹת אֲשֶׁר בְּחַרְתֶּם:
of the elms: Heb. מֵאֵלִים, an expression derived from אֵלָה, a species of tree called olme in O.F. [orme in modern French, an elm].  
that you desired: to worship idols under them, similar to what is stated (Hosea 4:13): “Under the oak and the aspen, and the elm, for its shade is good.”  
because of the gardens: There they would worship idols, as it is stated (infra 66:17): “Those who prepare themselves and purify themselves for the gardens.”  
30. For you shall be like an elm whose leaves are wilting, and like a garden that has no water.   ל. כִּי תִהְיוּ כְּאֵלָה נֹבֶלֶת עָלֶהָ וּכְגַנָּה אֲשֶׁר מַיִם אֵין לָהּ:
whose leaves wilt: Its leaf ([Other editions read:] whose leaf) wilts, becomes wilted [flatisant in O.F.]. When heat or cold comes upon it, it wilts and its moisture is lost and destroyed. [The word] נבל is not an expression of decay like בלה, for no ‘nun’ is found in that expression, but נבל [is an expression of something that becomes fatigued and its strength is curtailed, from the root of] נָבֹל תִּבֹּל (Exod. 18:18), which Onkelos renders: You will surely be exhausted.  
that has no water: to water its seeds; to the thing with which they sin, he compares their punishment.  
31. And the[ir] strength shall become as tow, and its perpetrator as a spark, and both of them shall burn together, with no one to extinguish [the fire].   לא. וְהָיָה הֶחָסֹן לִנְעֹרֶת וּפֹעֲלוֹ לְנִיצוֹץ וּבָעֲרוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם יַחְדָּו וְאֵין מְכַבֶּה:
the[ir] strength: with which they take from the poor by force and rob them and strengthen themselves with the money. That money will become as tow, which is shaken out of the flax, which is light and easily ignited.  
and its perpetrator: The one who amasses this power will become as a spark of fire, and they will burn, one with the other.  
as a spark: Heb. וּפֹעֲלו ֹלְנִיצוֹץ, estencele in O.F. [etincelle in modern French], a spark. Jonathan renders וְעוֹבַד יְדֵיהוֹן, and the work of their hands. This does not follow the Hebrew, however, for, were it so, it would have to be voweled וּפָעֳלוּ with a ‘kamatz-chatuf,’ a hurried ‘kamatz,’ and it would be explained as an expression of work. Now, that it is voweled with a ‘cholam,’ it is an expression of a worker, or perpetrator.  
with no one to extinguish: Jonathan renders: And no one will pity them.  
E-mail
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
FEATURED ON CHABAD.ORG