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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 14

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 14

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 14

1. For the Lord shall have mercy on Jacob and again choose Israel, and He shall place them on their soil, and the strangers shall accompany them and join the House of Jacob.   א. כִּי יְרַחֵם יְהֹוָה אֶת יַעֲקֹב וּבָחַר עוֹד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וְהִנִּיחָם עַל אַדְמָתָם וְנִלְוָה הַגֵּר עֲלֵיהֶם וְנִסְפְּחוּ עַל בֵּית יַעֲקֹב:
For the Lord shall have mercy on Jacob: to keep for them the promise of their redemption from Babylonia.  
and again choose Israel: in the future, He shall redeem them with a complete redemption.  
and join: And they shall be added on. Comp. (I Sam. 2: 36) “Take me now into… (סָפְחֵנִי) ” and also (ibid. 27:19) “From cleaving to the Lord’s heritage (מֵהִסְתַּפֵּחַ).”  
2. And peoples shall take them and bring them to their place, and the House of Israel shall inherit them on the soil of the Lord, for slaves and maidservants, and they shall be captors to their captors and rule over those who dominate over them.   ב. וּלְקָחוּם עַמִּים וֶהֱבִיאוּם אֶל מְקוֹמָם וְהִתְנַחֲלוּם בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל אַדְמַת יְהֹוָה לַעֲבָדִים וְלִשְׁפָחוֹת וְהָיוּ שֹׁבִים לְשֹׁבֵיהֶם וְרָדוּ בְּנֹגְשֵׂיהֶם:
shall inherit: they shall inherit from them, and similarly, “and you shall hold onto them as an inheritance” (Lev. 25:46).  
and rule: Heb. וְרָדוּ, an expression of ruling and dominating, as (Lev. 25:46): “You shall not rule over him (תִרְדֶה).”  
3. And it shall come to pass on the day the Lord allows you to rest from your sorrow and from your shuddering, and from the hard work that you were made to serve.   ג. וְהָיָה בְּיוֹם הָנִיחַ יְהֹוָה לְךָ מֵעָצְבְּךָ וּמִרָגְזֶךָ וּמִן הָעֲבֹדָה הַקָּשָׁה אֲשֶׁר עֻבַּד בָּךְ:
on the day the Lord allows you to rest: Scripture is addressing Israel.  
from your sorrow and from your shuddering: which the king of Babylon saddened you and caused you to shudder, and when you see his downfall, you will be eased, since you will go out free.  
4. And you shall bear this parable against the king of Babylon, and you shall say, "How has the dominator ceased, has ceased the haughty one!   ד. וְנָשָׂאתָ הַמָּשָׁל הַזֶּה עַל מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל וְאָמָרְתָּ אֵיךְ שָׁבַת נֹגֵשׂ שָׁבְתָה מַדְהֵבָה:
the haughty one: Heb. מַדְהֵבָה. An expression of an excess of haughtiness and a heavy burden. Our Rabbis, however, expound it as: Those who say, ‘Measure and bring.’  
5. The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the rod of the rulers.   ה. שָׁבַר יְהֹוָה מַטֵּה רְשָׁעִים שֵׁבֶט מֹשְׁלִים:
The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked: For he would smite peoples with wrath.  
6. Who would smite peoples with wrath, incessant blows, ruling nations with anger, pursued without relenting.   ו. מַכֶּה עַמִּים בְּעֶבְרָה מַכַּת בִּלְתִּי סָרָה רֹדֶה בָאַף גּוֹיִם מֻרְדָּף בְּלִי חָשָׂךְ:
pursued without relenting: Every nation was pursued by him without his relenting from pursuing and chasing each nation.  
7. 'All the land rested, became tranquil,' they opened [their mouth] in song.   ז. נָחָה שָׁקְטָה כָּל הָאָרֶץ פָּצְחוּ רִנָּה:
opened [their mouth] in song: This is the song they recited, “All the land rested, became tranquil.”  
8. Box trees, too, rejoiced at you, the cedars of the Lebanon; 'Since you were laid low, the cutter will not come upon us.'   ח. גַּם בְּרוֹשִׁים שָׂמְחוּ לְךָ אַרְזֵי לְבָנוֹן מֵאָז שָׁכַבְתָּ לֹא יַעֲלֶה הַכֹּרֵת עָלֵינוּ:
Box trees, too, rejoiced: Rulers, too, rejoiced [from Jonathan]; i.e., they rejoiced at your downfall.  
9. Gehinnom from beneath quaked for you, toward your arrival; it aroused for you the giants, all the chiefs of the earth; it caused all the kings of the nations to rise from their thrones.   ט. שְׁאוֹל מִתַּחַת רָגְזָה לְךָ לִקְרַאת בּוֹאֶךָ עוֹרֵר לְךָ רְפָאִים כָּל עַתּוּדֵי אָרֶץ הֵקִים מִכִּסְאוֹתָם כֹּל מַלְכֵי גוֹיִם:
toward your arrival: When you descend to Gehinnom, and what is the quaking? To arouse toward you…  
giants: Heb. רְפָאִים, the giants lying there.  
all the chiefs of the earth: [lit. the he-goats.] All the kings of the nations, the princes, and the princesses, are compared by Scripture, to bulls, to cows, and to he-goats. Comp. (Psalms 22:13) “Bulls surrounded me.” Also (Amos 4:1): “The cows of the Bashan that were on Mt. Shomron,” and here he compares them to he-goats.  
he caused to rise: he threw  
from their thrones: [i.e.,] the messenger of Gehinnom caused all the kings of the nations [to rise] from their thrones. [according to mss. and Shem Ephraim]  
10. All of them shall speak up and say to you, 'Have you too become weak like us? Have you become like us?'   י. כֻּלָּם יַעֲנוּ וְיֹאמְרוּ אֵלֶיךָ גַּם אַתָּה חֻלֵּיתָ כָמוֹנוּ אֵלֵינוּ נִמְשָׁלְתָּ:
Have you too become weak like us: We are amazed how the misfortune has fallen upon you, that you too have become weak, to be like us, to die.  
11. Your pride has been lowered into Gehinnom, the stirring of your psalteries. Maggots are spread under you, and worms cover you.   יא. הוּרַד שְׁאוֹל גְאוֹנֶךָ הֶמְיַת נְבָלֶיךָ תַּחְתֶּיךָ יֻצַּע רִמָּה וּמְכַסֶּיךָ תּוֹלֵעָה:
the stirring of your psalteries: The psalteries and harps that used to play before you. It is also possible to interpret, הֶמְיַתנְבָלֶי as, the stirring of the wanton ones, who commit wanton acts, of your armies, and it seems to me that in the great Masorah, this was combined with (Amos 5:21) “The song of your psalteries,” in the aleph-beth of two meanings.  
12. How have you fallen from heaven, the morning star? You have been cut down to earth, You who cast lots on nations.   יב. אֵיךְ נָפַלְתָּ מִשָּׁמַיִם הֵילֵל בֶּן שָּׁחַר נִגְדַּעְתָּ לָאָרֶץ חוֹלֵשׁ עַל גּוֹיִם:
the morning star: This is Venus, which gives light as the morning star, הֵילֵל being derived from יהל, to shed light. This is the lamentation over the heavenly prince of Babylon, who will fall from heaven.  
You have been cut down to earth: You, Nebuchadnezzar, who would cast lots on nations. You would cast lots on them, on the kings, who of them would serve you on such and such a day, and who on such and such a day. Our Rabbis, however, expounded this to mean that he would cast lots on the kings for purposes of pederasty.  
13. And you said to yourself, 'To the heavens will I ascend, above God's stars will I raise my throne, and I will sit on the mount of the assembly, in the farthest end of the north.   יג. וְאַתָּה אָמַרְתָּ בִּלְבָבְךָ הַשָּׁמַיִם אֶעֱלֶה מִמַּעַל לְכוֹכְבֵי אֵל אָרִים כִּסְאִי וְאֵשֵׁב בְּהַר מוֹעֵד בְּיַרְכְּתֵי צָפוֹן:
above the stars of God: Israel.  
on the mount of the assembly: The mount where all assemble, i.e., Mount Zion.  
in the farthest end of the north: In the forecourt, the chosen place, the north side, as the matter is stated (Lev. 1:11): “On the side of the altar to the north.”  
14. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will liken myself to the Most High.'   יד. אֶעֱלֶה עַל בָּמֳתֵי עָב אֶדַּמֶּה לְעֶלְיוֹן:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I am not fit to dwell with mortals. I will make myself a small cloud in the air and I will dwell there. Jonathan renders: I will ascend over all nations.  
15. But into the nether world shall you be brought down, to the bottom of the pit.   טו. אַךְ אֶל שְׁאוֹל תּוּרַד אֶל יַרְכְּתֵי בוֹר:
16. Those who see you shall look at you; shall gaze earnestly at you, 'Is this the man who caused the earth to quake, who wrought havoc among the kingdoms?   טז. רֹאֶיךָ אֵלֶיךָ יַשְׁגִּיחוּ אֵלֶיךָ יִתְבּוֹנָנוּ הֲזֶה הָאִישׁ מַרְגִּיז הָאָרֶץ מַרְעִישׁ מַמְלָכוֹת:
shall look at you: They will look through holes and cracks [aboater in O.F.].  
shall gaze earnestly: [Por panser in O.F.] To think of oneself.  
17. Who made the land like a desert, and his cities he demolished; for his prisoners he did not open the house.   יז. שָׂם תֵּבֵל כַּמִּדְבָּר וְעָרָיו הָרָס אֲסִירָיו לֹא פָתַח בָּיְתָה:
he did not open the house: Heb. בָּיְתָה. He did not open their house of imprisonment to release them all the days of their lives, to allow them to go to their home. Every word that requires a ‘lammed’ at the beginning Scripture placed a ‘heh’ to it at the end.  
18. All kings of nations, all of them, lay in honor, each in his house.   יח. כָּל מַלְכֵי גוֹיִם כֻּלָּם שָׁכְבוּ בְכָבוֹד אִישׁ בְּבֵיתוֹ:
each in his house: In his grave, and so did Jonathan render: In his eternal house.  
19. But you were cast from your grave like a discarded sapling, [in] the garb of the slain, of those pierced by the sword, who descend to the stones of the pit, like a trampled corpse.   יט. וְאַתָּה הָשְׁלַכְתָּ מִקִּבְרְךָ כְּנֵצֶר נִתְעָב לְבוּשׁ הֲרֻגִים מְטֹעֲנֵי חָרֶב יוֹרְדֵי אֶל אַבְנֵי בוֹר כְּפֶגֶר מוּבָס:
like a despised sapling: Like a sapling of a tree, which is despised by its owner, who digs it up and uproots it and takes it out. So were you cast out of your grave. The Sages stated (Lev. Rabbah 18:2): When he became an animal and a wild beast for seven years, the populace crowned Evil-Merodach, and when he was restored to his kingdom, he took him and imprisoned him in the dungeon until the day of his death. When he died, they took Evil-Merodach out of prison to crown him king, but he did not accept it upon himself. He said, If he returns to his kingdom, he will kill me. They said to him, He is dead and buried. But he did not believe them until they took him out of his grave and dragged him.  
[in] the garb of the slain: With filthy apparel, like that of the slain.  
of those pierced by the sword: Heb. מְטֹעֲנֵי, pierced by spears (sic).“Pierced” in Arabic is ‘mut’an.’  
who descend to the stones of the pit: to the depths of the pit, the place where stones sink there, you have descended.  
like a trampled corpse: Heb. מוּבָס. Jonathan renders: trampled, like (Ps. 44:6), “We will trample (נָבוּס) those who rise up against us” ; (infra verse 25) “And on my mountains I will trample him (אֲבוּסֶנוּ) ” ; (Ezekiel 16:6) “Trampled (מִתְבּוֹסֶסֶת) in your blood,” trampled like the mud of the streets.  
20. You shall not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land, you have slain your people; the seed of evil-doers shall not be named forever.   כ. לֹא תֵחַד אִתָּם בִּקְבוּרָה כִּי אַרְצְךָ שִׁחַתָּ עַמְּךָ הָרָגְתָּ לֹא יִקָּרֵא לְעוֹלָם זֶרַע מְרֵעִים:
You shall not join them in burial: You shall not be equal to other kings, to rest in your grave.  
for you have destroyed your land: with excessive labor, and you have slain your people groundlessly, as it is related in Daniel (2:12): “And he said to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.” Therefore, they hated you and treated you with contempt to throw you out of your grave.  
the seed of evil doers shall not be named forever: Even your children shall suffer for your iniquities, and they shall not endure long after you, for their enemies will unite against them and destroy them, and they shall say to each other.  
21. Prepare a slaughter for his sons because of the iniquity of their forefathers, lest they rise and inherit the land, and fill the surface of the earth with enemies."   כא. הָכִינוּ לְבָנָיו מַטְבֵּחַ בַּעֲו‍ֹן אֲבֹתָם בַּל יָקֻמוּ וְיָרְשׁוּ אָרֶץ וּמָלְאוּ פְנֵי תֵבֵל עָרִים:
Prepare a slaughter for his sons: lest they rise and inherit the land, and the land will be filled with enemies and oppressors. So did Jonathan render עָרִים, enemies. Comp. (I Sam. 28:16) “And has become your adversary (עָרֶ).” It can also be interpreted: And fill the surface of the earth with cities. In contrast with what he said before (verse 17): “Who made the land like a desert and demolished his cities,” he says further: His seed shall perish, and the inhabitants of the cities shall return to their place, and the surface of the earth shall be filled with cities.  
and a remnant: Heb. שְׁאָר, a remnant.  
and a son: Heb. וְנִין, a son ruling in the kingdom of his father.  
and a grandson: The son of the son. The son is Belshazzar, and the grandson [or granddaughter in this case] was Vashti.  
22. "And I will rise against them," says the Lord of Hosts, "and I will cut off from Babylon a name and a remnant, a son and a grandson," says the Lord.   כב. וְקַמְתִּי עֲלֵיהֶם נְאֻם יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת וְהִכְרַתִּי לְבָבֶל שֵׁם וּשְׁאָר וְנִין וָנֶכֶד נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
23. "And I will make it for a heritage of hedgehogs and pools of water, and I shall sweep it away with a broom of destruction," says the Lord of Hosts.   כג. וְשַׂמְתִּיהָ לְמוֹרַשׁ קִפֹּד וְאַגְמֵי מָיִם וְטֵאטֵאתִיהָ בְּמַטְאֲטֵא הַשְׁמֵד נְאֻם יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת:
hedgehog: Heb. קִפֹּד [hricon or hericon in O.F.] [In Modern French it is spelled herisson.]  
and I will sweep: Heb. וְטִאטֵאתִיהָ, an expression of sweeping [eskober in O.F.], as our Rabbis stated: The Rabbis did not know the meaning of בְּמַטְאֲטֵא הַשְׁמֵד וְטִאטֵאתִיהָ, until they heard [Rabbi’s (R. Judah Hanasi’s) maidservant say to her friend, “Take a broom (מַטְאֲטֵא) and sweep (וְטַאְטְאִי) the house.”]  
24. The Lord of Hosts swore saying, if not as I thought, so it was, and as I planned, so it shall remain.   כד. נִשְׁבַּע יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת לֵאמֹר אִם לֹא כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּמִּיתִי כֵּן הָיָתָה וְכַאֲשֶׁר יָעַצְתִּי הִיא תָקוּם:
as I thought: concerning Assyria, so it was. You, Nebuchadnezzar, saw that the words of the prophets of Israel about Sennacherib were fulfilled.  
25. To break Assyria in My land, and on My mountains will I trample him, and his yoke shall be removed from upon them, and his burden shall be removed from upon his shoulder.   כה. לִשְׁבֹּר אַשּׁוּר בְּאַרְצִי וְעַל הָרַי אֲבוּסֶנּוּ וְסָר מֵעֲלֵיהֶם עֻלּוֹ וְסֻבֳּלוֹ מֵעַל שִׁכְמוֹ יָסוּר:
To break Assyria in My land: And with this you shall know that what I planned about you will remain as well.  
“To break…”: is connected to “As I thought, so it was.”  
will I trample him: Heb. אֲבוּסֶנוּ, which I said to tread upon him and trample him.  
26. This is the plan that is planned over the entire land, and this is the outstretched hand over all the nations.   כו. זֹאת הָעֵצָה הַיְּעוּצָה עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ וְזֹאת הַיָּד הַנְּטוּיָה עַל כָּל הַגּוֹיִם:
over all the nations: Over Assyria in its time and over Babylon in its time.  
27. For the Lord of Hosts planned, and who will frustrate [it]? And it is His hand that is outstretched, and who will return it?   כז. כִּי יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת יָעָץ וּמִי יָפֵר וְיָדוֹ הַנְּטוּיָה וּמִי יְשִׁיבֶנָּה:
28. In the year of King Ahaz' death, was this harsh prophecy.   כח. בִּשְׁנַת מוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז הָיָה הַמַּשָּׂא הַזֶּה:
In the year of King Ahaz’s death: and his son Hezekiah reigned, was this harsh prophecy concerning the Philistines given.  
29. Rejoice not, Philistia, all of you, that the rod that smote you has been broken, for, from the root of a snake shall emanate a venomous serpent, and his offspring is a fiery flying serpent.   כט. אַל תִּשְׂמְחִי פְלֶשֶׁת כֻּלֵּךְ כִּי נִשְׁבַּר שֵׁבֶט מַכֵּךְ כִּי מִשֹּׁרֶשׁ נָחָשׁ יֵצֵא צֶפַע וּפִרְיוֹ שָׂרָף מְעוֹפֵף:
Rejoice not, Philistia, all of you: for you have lifted your head during the days of Ahaz, who was wicked, whose wickedness brought about that he was delivered into your hands, as the matter is stated in II Chron. 28:18: “And the Philistines raided the cities of the lowlands…”  
that the rod that smote you has been broken: that the kingdom of the House of David, which was wont to smite you, has been weakened and humbled, as we find concerning David, and so, concerning Uzziah, king of Judah, who smote you, as the matter is stated (II Chron. 26:6): “And he went out and fought against the Philistines and breached the wall of Gath.”  
for, from the root of a snake: From the root of that snake, shall emanate a venomous serpent, which is more formidable than a snake. Now who was this? This was Hezekiah, concerning whom it is stated (II Kings 18:8): “He slew the Philistines up to Gaza and its boundaries, from watchtower to fortified city.”  
and his offspring is a fiery flying serpent: Jonathan renders: And his deeds against you will be like flying snakes.  
30. And the firstborn of the poor shall graze, and the paupers shall lie in safety, and I will put your root to death through hunger, and he shall slay your remnant.   ל. וְרָעוּ בְּכוֹרֵי דַלִּים וְאֶבְיוֹנִים לָבֶטַח יִרְבָּצוּ וְהֵמַתִּי בָרָעָב שָׁרְשֵׁךְ וּשְׁאֵרִיתֵךְ יַהֲרֹג:
And the first born of the poor shall graze: In his days, the princes of Israel, who are now poor because of you, shall graze. “Firstborn,” is an expression of princes. Comp. (Ps. 89: 28) “Also, I will appoint him My firstborn.”  
31. Howl [for the] gate, cry out [for the city]; Philistia has melted, all of you, for from the North smoke has come, and there is no straggler in his ranks.   לא. הֵילִילִי שַׁעַר זַעֲקִי עִיר נָמוֹג פְּלֶשֶׁת כֻּלֵּךְ כִּי מִצָּפוֹן עָשָׁן בָּא וְאֵין בּוֹדֵד בְּמוֹעָדָיו:
for from the North smoke has come: Retribution harsh as smoke shall come upon them from the north. Gaza and its boundaries, which Hezekiah smote, were in the south of Eretz Israel in the southwestern corner. Eretz Israel is found to be north of it. And so we find in Sifrei in Ha’azinu 322: They attempted to flee through the south, and they turned them over, as it is stated (Amos 1:6): “For three transgressions of Gaza… [because of their exiling a complete exile to deliver to Edom.]” Hence, we learn that Gaza is on the south.  
and there is no straggler in his ranks: Jonathan renders: And there is no straggler among his appointed ones, i.e., in his ranks whom he appointed to come upon them, and no one delays his steps to be secluded and to come in seclusion alone, but all of them shall come as one, with strength.  
32. Now what shall the messenger of a nation announce? That the Lord has founded Zion, and therein shall the poor of His people shelter themselves.   לב. וּמַה יַּעֲנֶה מַלְאֲכֵי גוֹי כִּי יְהֹוָה יִסַּד צִיּוֹן וּבָהּ יֶחֱסוּ עֲנִיֵּי עַמּוֹ:
And what shall the messengers of a nation announce: What shall the messengers of Israel, who go to bring news, announce in the days of Hezekiah? This is what they shall announce: The Lord has founded in Zion; He has set up therein a fitting and powerful king; the Lord is with him.  
and therein shall the poor of His people shelter themselves: Even from the ten tribes they would come there, as is related in II Chron. (30:6),"Hezekiah sent messengers throughout the border of Israel, to return to the Holy One, blessed be He.  
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