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!
Contact Us
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Yeshayahu - Isaiah - Chapter 10

Yeshayahu - Isaiah - Chapter 10

 Email
Rashi's Commentary:
Show content in:

Chapter 10

1Woe to those who engrave engravings of injustice and missives of perverseness they write.   אהוֹי הַחֹקְקִים חִקְקֵי אָוֶן וּמְכַתְּבִים עָמָל כִּתֵּבוּ:
engravings of injustice: Notes of injustice, forged notes.  
letters: Heb. מְכַתְּבִים. This is Arabic, like מִכְתָּבִים in Hebrew.  
2To pervert the judgment of the impoverished and to rob the judgment of the poor of My people, so that the widows are their plunder, and they pillage the orphans.   בלְהַטּוֹת מִדִּין דַּלִּים וְלִגְזֹל מִשְׁפַּט עֲנִיֵּי עַמִּי לִהְיוֹת אַלְמָנוֹת שְׁלָלָם וְאֶת יְתוֹמִים יָבֹזּוּ:
To pervert: through the false notes, the poor from the legal rights due them.  
3And what will you do for the day of visitation, and for the destruction that shall come from afar? To whom will you flee for aid, and where will you leave your riches?   גוּמַה תַּעֲשׂוּ לְיוֹם פְּקֻדָּה וּלְשׁוֹאָה מִמֶּרְחָק תָּבוֹא עַל מִי תָּנוּסוּ לְעֶזְרָה וְאָנָה תַעַזְבוּ כְּבוֹדְכֶם:
for the day of visitation: when the Holy One, blessed be He, visits upon you your iniquities.  
and for the destruction: Heb. וּלְשׁוֹאָה, an expression of destruction.  
To whom will you flee for aid: The Holy One, blessed be He, will afford you no aid.  
and where will you leave: all the riches you are accumulating from robbery, when you go into exile?  
4Where he never knelt, in that place he will be a prisoner, and in that place they will fall slain; despite all this, His anger has not turned away, and His hand is still outstretched.   דבִּלְתִּי כָרַע תַּחַת אַסִּיר וְתַחַת הֲרוּגִים יִפֹּלוּ בְּכָל זֹאת לֹא שָׁב אַפּוֹ וְעוֹד יָדוֹ נְטוּיָה:
Where he never knelt: In the place where none of you ever knelt or lay down, where there was no kneeling to lie down, in that place you shall be prisoners, i.e., to say, outside of your land you shall be imprisoned, and so did Jonathan render: Outside of your land you shall be bound as prisoners.  
in that place: Heb. תַּחַת, a place. Comp. (Exodus 16: 29) “Let every man stay in his place (תַּחְתָּיו).”  
and in that place they will fall slain: Heb. וְתַחַתהֲרוּגִים יִפֹּלוּ, and in that place they will fall slain.  
5Woe that Assyria is the rod of My wrath, and My fury is a staff in their hand[s].   ההוֹי אַשּׁוּר שֵׁבֶט אַפִּי וּמַטֶּה הוּא בְיָדָם זַעְמִי:
Woe: that I made Assyria the rod of My wrath with which to chastise My people.  
and… a staff: is My fury in the hands of the people of Assyria.  
6Against a hypocritical nation I will incite them, and upon the people of My anger will I command them, to plunder and to spoil spoils, and to make it trodden down like the mud of the streets.   ובְּגוֹי חָנֵף אֲשַׁלְּחֶנּוּ וְעַל עַם עֶבְרָתִי אֲצַוֶּנּוּ לִשְׁלֹל שָׁלָל וְלָבֹז בַּז וּלְשׂוּמוֹ (כתיב וּלְשׂיּמוֹ) מִרְמַס כְּחֹמֶר חוּצוֹת:
Against a hypocritical nation: Israel.  
7But he does not deem it so, and his heart does not think so, but to destroy is in his heart, and to cut off nations, not a few.   זוְהוּא לֹא כֵן יְדַמֶּה וּלְבָבוֹ לֹא כֵן יַחְשֹׁב כִּי לְהַשְׁמִיד בִּלְבָבוֹ וּלְהַכְרִית גּוֹיִם לֹא מְעָט:
But he: Sennacherib.  
does not deem it so: that the decree is from Me, and that I am sending him. יְדַמֶּה koujjder in O.F. (  
and his heart does not think so: that I sent him concerning money, to take plunder and spoils.) but in his heart is the thought to destroy everything with his haughtiness.  
8For he says, "Are not my princes together kings?   חכִּי יֹאמַר הֲלֹא שָׂרַי יַחְדָּו מְלָכִים:
For he says: Therefore, his heart is haughty.  
9Is not Calno like Carchemish? Is it not like Arpad of Hamath? Will not Samaria be like Damascus?   טהֲלֹא כְּכַרְכְּמִישׁ כַּלְנוֹ אִם לֹא כְאַרְפַּד חֲמָת אִם לֹא כְדַמֶּשֶׂק שֹׁמְרוֹן:
Is not Calno like Carchemish: Just as the inhabitants of Carchemish are princes and governors, so are the inhabitants of Calno. Therefore, if not like Arpad, which is under the rule of Hamath, which I took from Aram, and if not like Damascus, that I took from Aram, so will I do to Samaria.“If not like Arpad of Hamath,” is the construct state, like Arpad of Hamath. Therefore, it is voweled with a ‘pattach’ [i.e., it reads אַרְפַּד rather than אַרְפָּד].  
10As my hand was able to [conquer] the pagan kingdoms, and their graven images were from Jerusalem and Samaria.   יכַּאֲשֶׁר מָצְאָה יָדִי לְמַמְלְכֹת הָאֱלִיל וּפְסִילֵיהֶם מִירוּשָׁלִַם וּמִשֹּׁמְרוֹן:
and their graven images: were from Jerusalem and from Samaria. From here we deduce that the wicked of Israel supplied all the nations with their images, and “since the worshippers of the graven images of Samaria and Jerusalem fell into my hands, and their graven images did not save them, so will Samaria and Jerusalem not be saved.”  
11Indeed, as I did to Samaria and to her idols, so will I do to Jerusalem and to her idols."   יאהֲלֹא כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי לְשֹׁמְרוֹן וְלֶאֱלִילֶיהָ כֵּן אֶעֱשֶׂה לִירוּשָׁלִַם וְלַעֲצַבֶּיהָ:
as I did to Samaria: He shall say this after he conquers Samaria.  
12And it shall be, when the Lord completes all His work on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, I will visit retribution upon the increase of the arrogance of the king of Assyria's heart and upon the boasting of the haughtiness of his eyes.   יבוְהָיָה כִּי יְבַצַּע אֲדֹנָי אֶת כָּל מַעֲשֵׂהוּ בְּהַר צִיּוֹן וּבִירוּשָׁלִָם אֶפְקֹד עַל פְּרִי גֹדֶל לְבַב מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר וְעַל תִּפְאֶרֶת רוּם עֵינָיו:
And it shall be, when the Lord completes…: But it did not come about as he thought, but, after the Holy One, blessed be He, completes all His work and His vengeance against Israel and against some of the cities of Judea, and because of that fear, the inhabitants of Zion and Jerusalem will be humbled to return to Me, I will let the king of Assyria know that not by his power was he victorious.  
I will visit retribution upon the increase of the arrogance of the king of Assyria’s heart: For that which he increased the arrogance of the king of Assyria’s heart, to boast of his power falsely. The fruit of the arrogance is craysement de grandeze in O.F., increase of arrogance, of Sennacherib’s heart.  
the boasting of the haughtiness of his eyes: Since he boasted with his haughtiness. Boasting is vantance in O.F.  
haughtiness of his eyes: Arrogance, as the matter is stated: (Psalms 101:5) “One who has proud eyes and a haughty heart.”  
13For he said, "With the strength of my hand I accomplished it, and with my wisdom, for I am clever, and I remove the boundaries of peoples, and their positions have I plundered, and I lowered many inhabitants.   יגכִּי אָמַר בְּכֹחַ יָדִי עָשִׂיתִי וּבְחָכְמָתִי כִּי נְבֻנוֹתִי וְאָסִיר | גְּבוּלֹת עַמִּים וַעֲתוּדוֹתֵיהֶם (כתיב וַעֲתיּדֹתֵיהֶם) שׁוֹשֵׂתִי וְאוֹרִיד כַּבִּיר (כתיב כַּאבִּיר) יוֹשְׁבִים:
For he said, With the strength of my hand I accomplished this: None of my might is from the Holy One, blessed be He.  
I am clever: [More exactly,] I have become clever.  
and their positions: Heb. וַעֲתוּדֹתֵיהֶם, their stand and their position.  
and I lowered: I lowered them from their greatness.  
many inhabitants: Heb. כַּאבִּיר יוֹשְׁבִים, plousors in O.F., several.  
14And my hand found the wealth of the peoples like a nest, and as one gathers abandoned eggs, I gathered the entire world, and no one moved a wing, or opened his mouth, or chirped."   ידוַתִּמְצָא כַקֵּן | יָדִי לְחֵיל הָעַמִּים וְכֶאֱסֹף בֵּיצִים עֲזֻבוֹת כָּל הָאָרֶץ אֲנִי אָסָפְתִּי וְלֹא הָיָה נֹדֵד כָּנָף וּפֹצֶה פֶה וּמְצַפְצֵף:
like a nest: like nests of ownerless birds.  
and as one gathers abandoned eggs: And as one gathers abandoned eggs which their mother abandoned, and no one protests against him by covering them.  
and no one moved a wing, or opened his mouth or chirped: This entire expression is apropos to birds; since he compared those exiles to a bird’s nest and to abandoned eggs, he used this expression, saying that neither the father nor the mother chirped about them.  
15Shall the axe boast over the one who hews with it, or shall the saw hold itself greater than he who wields it? It is as though the rod wields those who raise it. When the staff is raised, it is not the wood.   טוהֲיִתְפָּאֵר הַגַּרְזֶן עַל הַחֹצֵב בּוֹ אִם יִתְגַּדֵּל הַמַּשּׂוֹר עַל מְנִיפוֹ כְּהָנִיף שֵׁבֶט אֶת מְרִימָיו כְּהָרִים מַטֶּה לֹא עֵץ:
Shall the axe boast: The Holy One, blessed be He, says: You should not have boasted about this, since you are merely like My axe, and I am hewing with you; I visit retribution upon My enemies. You are the saw, and I am He Who wields it. Now is it customary for the saw to boast over the one who wields it? מַשּׂוֹר is dolodojjre in O.F., a small axe.  
It is as though the rod wields those who raise it: It is as though the rod was raising [itself and] the hand of him who was raising it. Is it not so that the rod does not wield itself but the man?  
When the staff is raised, it is not the wood: It is not the wood that raises it, but it is the man who raises it.  
16Therefore, the Master, the Lord of Hosts shall send leanness into his fat ones, and in the place of honor, a burning shall burn like the burning of fire.   טזלָכֵן יְשַׁלַּח הָאָדוֹן יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת בְּמִשְׁמַנָּיו רָזוֹן וְתַחַת כְּבֹדוֹ יֵקַד יְקֹד כִּיקוֹד אֵשׁ:
and in the place of his honor: Under their clothing they shall be burnt. The garments [are referred to as “his honor” since] they command respect for the man.  
a burning shall burn: A burning shall burn like the burning of fire. The Midrash Aggadah [states]: Here He repaid the children of Shem for the respect Shem showed for his father, when he covered the nakedness of Noah his father, as it is said (Gen. 9:23): “And Shem and Japeth took the garment…”  
17And the light of Israel shall become fire, and his holy one shall become a flame, and it shall consume his thorns and his worms in one day.   יזוְהָיָה אוֹר יִשְׂרָאֵל לְאֵשׁ וּקְדוֹשׁוֹ לְלֶהָבָה וּבָעֲרָה וְאָכְלָה שִׁיתוֹ וּשְׁמִירוֹ בְּיוֹם אֶחָד:
the light of Israel: The Torah in which Hezekiah engages shall become fire for Sennacherib.  
and his holy one: The Holy One, blessed be He. Alternatively, “And his holy one,” refers to the righteous of the generation.  
his thorns and his worms: [They symbolize] his nobles and his heroes.  
18And the glory of his forest and his stately forest, both soul and flesh shall it destroy, and it shall be as a tree eaten to powder by the worms.   יחוּכְבוֹד יַעְרוֹ וְכַרְמִלּוֹ מִנֶּפֶשׁ וְעַד בָּשָׂר יְכַלֶּה וְהָיָה כִּמְסֹס נֹסֵס:
And the glory of his forest and his stately forest: They are his numerous armies. כַּרְמֶל is a tall forest.  
as a tree eaten to powder by the worms: Since he compared them to forest trees, he compared their retribution to the worm that saws with his mouth and grinds the tree. He called him סָס, as (infra 51:8): “Like wool, the worm (סָס) shall devour them.”  
as a tree eaten to powder by the worms: As the grinder grinds.  
as a tree eaten to powder by the worms: Heb. כִּמְסֹס נֹסֵס, [lit.] as that which is sawed by the sawyer, which is pulverized very finely, which the worm grinds. So fine were the ashes of their burnt bodies. מְסֹס is that which is ground and falls off because of the worm. נֹסֵס is the worm.  
19And the remaining trees of his forest shall be few, and a lad shall write them.   יטוּשְׁאָר עֵץ יַעְרוֹ מִסְפָּר יִהְיוּ וְנַעַר יִכְתְּבֵם:
And the remaining trees of his forest: The survivors of his armies.  
shall be few: [lit. a number, i.e.,] easy to count, for they will be few, and a lad will be able to write them, and our Rabbis said that ten remained of them, for there is no small child who cannot write a small ‘yud.’  
20And it shall come to pass that on that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob shall not continue to lean on him that smote them; but he shall lean on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.   כוְהָיָה | בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֹא יוֹסִיף עוֹד שְׁאָר יִשְׂרָאֵל וּפְלֵיטַת בֵּית יַעֲקֹב לְהִשָּׁעֵן עַל מַכֵּהוּ וְנִשְׁעַן עַל יְהֹוָה קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל בֶּאֱמֶת:
to lean on him that smote them: [i.e.,] to lean on the kings of Egypt, who were the first to oppress them.  
21The remnant shall return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.   כאשְׁאָר יָשׁוּב שְׁאָר יַעֲקֹב אֶל אֵל גִּבּוֹר:
A remnant shall return: The remnant of them shall return to the Holy One, blessed be He.  
the mighty God: Who demonstrated His might against Sennacherib.  
22For if your people Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, the remnant of them that shall return, shall wash away with righteousness the decreed destruction.   כבכִּי אִם יִהְיֶה עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּחוֹל הַיָּם שְׁאָר יָשׁוּב בּוֹ כִּלָּיוֹן חָרוּץ שׁוֹטֵף צְדָקָה:
For if your people: The prophet says to Hezekiah, If your people are like the sand of the sea, the remnant of them that return to do good, will wash away the destruction sentenced to come upon them, and prevent it from coming, through the righteousness with which they will behave.  
23For destruction and annihilation the Lord God of Hosts performs in the midst of all the land.   כגכִּי כָלָה וְנֶחֱרָצָה אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה צְבָאוֹת עֹשֶׂה בְּקֶרֶב כָּל הָאָרֶץ:
For destruction and annihilation: you shall see that the Holy One, blessed be He, executes upon the wicked, and you shall humble yourselves and return to Him.  
24Therefore, so said the Lord God of Hosts, "Fear not, my people who dwell in Zion, Assyria; with a rod may he smite you, and his staff may he bear over you in the way of Egypt."   כדלָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה צְבָאוֹת אַל תִּירָא עַמִּי יֹשֵׁב צִיּוֹן מֵאַשּׁוּר בַּשֵּׁבֶט יַכֶּכָּה וּמַטֵּהוּ יִשָּׂא עָלֶיךָ בְּדֶרֶךְ מִצְרָיִם:
Therefore: Since I know that Hezekiah and his company will return to Him. [Aternatively, לָכֵן is an expression of an oath. לָכֵן indeed.]  
so said the Lord… Fear not,… Assyria; with a rod may he smite you: With the “rod” of his mouth will he insult and deride you through Rabshakeh.  
and his staff may he bear over you: to frighten you, the way he did to Egypt. It may alternatively be explained: With a rod does he smite you[i.e.,] who has smitten you until now with a rod and has become accustomed to bearing his staff and his fright over you as the Egyptians did. Rabbi Joseph told me this in the name of Rabbi Menahem.  
25For [in] yet a very little [while] the fury shall be over, and My wrath, because of their blasphemy.   כהכִּי עוֹד מְעַט מִזְעָר וְכָלָה זַעַם וְאַפִּי עַל תַּבְלִיתָם:
For [in] yet: very few days…  
the fury shall be over: My fury, which was given as a staff into the hand of Assyria, as he said above, “And My fury is a staff in his hands” (v. 5).  
and My wrath: that became a rod, shall return.  
because of their blasphemy: Heb. (עַל-תַּבְלִיתָם). Comp. (Lev. 20: 12) “they have committed a disgrace (תֶּבֶל) ,” i.e., because of the insults and blasphemies which the servants of the king of Assyria blasphemed Me.  
26And the Lord of Hosts shall stir up a scourge against him, like the smiting of Midian at the Rock of Oreb, and His staff on the sea, and He shall carry him off after the manner of Egypt.   כווְעוֹרֵר עָלָיו יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת שׁוֹט כְּמַכַּת מִדְיָן בְּצוּר עוֹרֵב וּמַטֵּהוּ עַל הַיָּם וּנְשָׂאוֹ בְּדֶרֶךְ מִצְרָיִם:
And… shall stir up against him: And to stir up.  
a scourge: A tortuous blow.  
like the smiting of Midian: who were slain in one night, and as for the kings who fled from them and escaped, Oreb was slain at the Rock of Oreb, and is related in the Book of Judges (7:25). This one, too, after he returns to his land, will die there by the sword.  
and his staff on the sea: And furthermore, He shall stir up against him, His staff, which was on the sea against Pharaoh and his army.  
and He shall carry him off: And He shall carry him away from the world after the manner that He carried off Egypt.  
27And it shall come to pass on that day, that his burden shall be removed from upon your shoulder, and his yoke from upon your neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of oil.   כזוְהָיָה | בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יָסוּר סֻבֳּלוֹ מֵעַל שִׁכְמֶךָ וְעֻלּוֹ מֵעַל צַוָּארֶךָ וְחֻבַּל עֹל מִפְּנֵי שָׁמֶן:
and the yoke shall be destroyed: The yoke of Sennacherib shall be destroyed because of Hezekiah, who was mild to his generation, as oil. Our Rabbis, however, explained [that Sennacherib’s yoke would be destroyed] because of Hezekiah’s oil which burnt in the synagogues and in the study- halls, for he persuaded them to engage in Torah, after the matter that is written (Proverbs 25:1): “Which the men of Hezekiah strengthened.”  
28He came upon Aiath; he passed through Migron; at Michmas he deposits his luggage.   כחבָּא עַל עַיָּת עָבַר בְּמִגְרוֹן לְמִכְמָשׁ יַפְקִיד כֵּלָיו:
He came upon Aiath: He goes on to enumerate the travels which Sennacherib traveled when he came upon the cities of Judah, to come to Jerusalem, on the day of his downfall: Aiath, Migron, Michmas, Ramah, Gib’ath Saul, Bath-galim, Laishah, Anathoth, Madmenah, and Gebim. They are all places.  
29They crossed the ford; at Geba they lodged; Ramah quaked; Gib'ath Saul fled.   כטעָבְרוּ מַעְבָּרָה גֶּבַע מָלוֹן לָנוּ חָרְדָה הָרָמָה גִּבְעַת שָׁאוּל נָסָה:
they lodged: Heb. לָנוּ, an expression of lodging.  
Gib’ath Saul fled: Fled, they all fled because of his armies.  
30Raise your voice, Bath-gallim; hearken, Laishah, Aniah Anathoth.   לצַהֲלִי קוֹלֵךְ בַּת גַּלִּים הַקְשִׁיבִי לַיְשָׁה עֲנִיָּה עֲנָתוֹת:
Raise your voice: to warn the people.  
Hearken, Laishah: to the sound of the shofar and flee, and so, Aniah Anathoth.  
31Madmenah wandered; the inhabitants of Gebim gathered.   לאנָדְדָה מַדְמֵנָה יֹשְׁבֵי הַגֵּבִים הֵעִיזוּ:
gathered: Assembled to flee. Our Rabbis, however, expounded, “Raise your voice, Bath- Gallim,” and the entire verse in a different manner in the Aggadah of “Chelek,” and they set the number of travels at ten. But, Jonathan rendered them all as names of places.  
32Still today, [he intends] to stand in Nob; he waves his hand toward the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.   לבעוֹד הַיּוֹם בְּנֹב לַעֲמֹד יְנֹפֵף יָדוֹ הַר בַּת (כתיב בַּית ) צִיּוֹן גִּבְעַת יְרוּשָׁלִָם:
Still today, [he intends] to stand in Nob: All this way he hastened, in order to stand in Nob while it is still day, since his stargazers told him, If you attack it today, you will conquer it. And, when he stood in Nob and saw that Jerusalem was small, he did not heed the words of his stargazers and began to wave his hand arrogantly: For a city like this have I mustered all these armies? Stay here overnight, and tomorrow, each one will cast his stone upon it.  
33Behold the Master, the Lord of Hosts lops off the branches with a saw, and those of lofty height are hewn down, and the tall one shall be humbled.   לגהִנֵּה הָאָדוֹן יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת מְסָעֵף פֻּארָה בְּמַעֲרָצָה וְרָמֵי הַקּוֹמָה גְּדֻעִים וְהַגְּבֹהִים יִשְׁפָּלוּ:
Behold the Master: on that night.  
lops off the branches with a saw: Shall lop off its branches, the root of the branches of his trees. ([Mss. read:] Uproots the branches of his trees.) ([Other mss. read:] Cuts off the branches of his trees.)  
with a saw: Heb. בְּמַעֲרָצָה, with a saw that cuts the boughs. This [word פֻּארָה] is not an expression denoting a winepress, for it is not spelled with a ‘vav,’ like (infra 63:3) “A winepress (פּוּרָה) I trod,” and like (Haggai 2:16) “To draw off fifty measures from the winepress (פּוּרָה) ,” but with an ‘aleph,’ like (Ezekiel 31:5) “And its boughs became long (פֹּארֹתָיו).” מְסָעֵף is an expression of cutting off branches [esbranchier in O.F.], like (infra 27:10) “And he will destroy its branches (סְעִיפֶיהָ) , and (infra 17: 6)” On its branches (בִּסְעִיפֶיהָ) the fruitful one."  
with a saw: Heb. בְּמַעֲרָצָה, with an implement of destruction, which breaks them.  
and those of lofty height: [This alludes to] the heroes.  
are hewn down: The expression of hewing is apropos only to trees and hard things.  
34And the thickets of the forests shall be cut off with iron, and the Lebanon shall fall through a mighty one.   לדוְנִקַּף סִבְכֵי הַיַּעַר בַּבַּרְזֶל וְהַלְּבָנוֹן בְּאַדִּיר יִפּוֹל:
And… shall be cut off: Heb. וְנִקַּף. This, too, is an expression of cutting, as (ibid.) “Like one who cuts off olives (כְּנֹקֶף).” ואךדרְנִקַּף is in the passive voice.  
the thickets of the forests: The prominent branches, symbolizing the heroes.  
and the Lebanon: The thickness of his forest and his stately forest. They are the multitudes of his armies.  
shall fall through a mighty one: Through an angel they shall fall. Alternatively, through a mighty one, in the merit of Hezekiah who is the mighty one and the rulers of Israel, as it is said (Jer. 30:21): “And their leader shall be of themselves.”  
 Email
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.