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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 26

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 26

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 26

1. On that day, this song shall be sung in the land of Judah: "The city that was our strength-salvation shall He place [for] walls and a bulwark.   א. בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יוּשַׁר הַשִּׁיר הַזֶּה בְּאֶרֶץ יְהוּדָה עִיר עָז לָנוּ יְשׁוּעָה יָשִׁית חוֹמוֹת וָחֵל:
The city that was our strength, salvation shall He place: The city of Jerusalem, which was always our strength from time immemorial, the Savior shall place salvation for its walls and its bulwark.  
and a bulwark: a low wall before the high wall.  
2. Open the gates, so that a righteous nation, awaiting the realization [of God's promise], may enter.   ב. פִּתְחוּ שְׁעָרִים וְיָבֹא גוֹי צַדִּיק שֹׁמֵר אֱמֻנִים:
Open the gates: I.e., open her gates, and let a righteous nation, awaiting, that waited and longed in its exile many days for the faith of the Holy One, blessed be He, that He fulfill His promise through His prophets, to redeem them.  
awaiting: (שֹׁמֵר) waiting. Comp. (Gen. 37:11) “And his father awaited (שָׁמַר) the matter.” Similarly (Deut. 7:12), “And the Lord, your God, shall await (וְשָׁמַר) the covenant for you.”  
3. The creature that relied, You shall guard, [that there be] peace, peace, for they trusted in You.   ג. יֵצֶר סָמוּךְ תִּצֹּר שָׁלוֹם | שָׁלוֹם כִּי בְךָ בָּטוּחַ:
The creature: that relied on the Holy One, blessed be He, and depended on Him steadfastly, that did not deviate from his faith because of any fear or torture.  
You shall guard: that there be peace, for he trusted in You. It is, therefore, fitting for You to guard him.  
4. Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah the Lord, is the Rock of eternity.   ד. בִּטְחוּ בַיהֹוָה עֲדֵי עַד כִּי בְּיָהּ יְהֹוָה צוּר עוֹלָמִים:
for in Yah, the Lord: For we must rely on Him for He is the fear of God, the rock and everlasting shelter.  
5. For He humbled the inhabitants of the high places, the fortified city; He brings it low, he brings it low even to the earth, he makes it reach even to the dust.   ה. כִּי הֵשַׁח יֹשְׁבֵי מָרוֹם קִרְיָה נִשְׂגָּבָה יַשְׁפִּילֶנָּה יַשְׁפִּילָהּ עַד אֶרֶץ יַגִּיעֶנָּה עַד עָפָר:
the inhabitants of the high places: Tyre and other lands. ([Manuscripts yield:] Tyre and Rome and Italy. [Parshandatha])  
6. A foot shall trample it, the feet of a poor man, the soles of the impoverished.   ו. תִּרְמְסֶנָּה רָגֶל רַגְלֵי עָנִי פַּעֲמֵי דַלִּים:
the feet of a poor man: The King Messiah, who is referred to as a poor man riding on a donkey (Zech. 9:9).  
the soles of the impoverished: Israel, who were heretofore impoverished.  
7. The way of the righteous that is straight-O Upright One, the path of the righteous, You shall weigh.   ז. אֹרַח לַצַּדִּיק מֵישָׁרִים יָשָׁר מַעְגַּל צַדִּיק תְּפַלֵּס:
The way of the righteous that is straight: A way that is straight for the reception of the reward of the righteous You, O God, Who are an upright God, shall weigh the path of the righteous man, to lead him in that way, that he receive his reward. The righteous man is Jacob and his descendants. We must render in this manner: the straight way for the righteous man. ([Printed editions read:] The way for the righteous man to receive the reward for the upright deeds he performed.)  
O Upright One: You, the Holy One, blessed be He, the path of the feet of the righteous man, You shall weigh that way for him. This weighing is an expression of kontrepajjs in O.F., You counterbalance, equalize. Like a king who sits and thinks and weighs in his mind, which way is better, this one or that one. So, judge with equity to lead him in the way of receiving the reward for performing his deeds before You with propriety.  
8. Even [for] the way of Your judgments, O Lord, have we hoped for You; for Your Name and for Your remembrance was the desire of [our] soul.   ח. אַף אֹרַח מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ יְהֹוָה קִוִּינוּךָ לְשִׁמְךָ וּלְזִכְרְךָ תַּאֲוַת נָפֶשׁ:
Even [for] the way of Your judgments, O Lord, have we hoped for You: When we looked forward to receiving benefit from You, likewise we hoped that You would show us the way of the judgments of Your revenge upon the wicked. ([Manuscripts read:] Upon the wicked Esau.)  
for Your Name and Your remembrance was the desire of [our] soul: Our soul longed to see the name You will gain from them, by wreaking vengeance upon Your adversaries.  
9. [With] my soul I longed for you at night; even [with] my spirit within me I beseeched You, for when Your judgments [come] to the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn justification.   ט. נַפְשִׁי אִוִּיתִךָ בַּלַּיְלָה אַף רוּחִי בְקִרְבִּי אֲשַׁחֲרֶךָּ כִּי כַּאֲשֶׁר מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ לָאָרֶץ צֶדֶק לָמְדוּ יֹשְׁבֵי תֵבֵל:
[With] my soul I longed for You: in my exile, which resembles night, to perform these.  
even [with] my spirit within me I beseeched you: I beseeched You for all this. Why? Because, when Your judgments come to the earth, when you execute justice upon the wicked.  
the inhabitants of the world learn justification: They learn to justify Your judgment and to acknowledge Your standards for they see the sinner punished and the righteous receiving a good reward.  
10. Shall the wicked be favored-who did not learn righteousness? In the land of uprightness he deals unjustly, and he does not see the pride of the Lord.   י. יֻחַן רָשָׁע בַּל לָמַד צֶדֶק בְּאֶרֶץ נְכֹחוֹת יְעַוֵּל וּבַל יִרְאֶה גֵּאוּת יְהֹוָה:
Shall the wicked be favored who did not learn righteousness: Should you favor the wicked Esau, who lived between two righteous men and did not learn righteousness?  
in the land of uprightness: Jerusalem and the Temple, he will deal unjustly, to pillage and spoil and to destroy.  
and he does not see the pride of the Lord: He did not regard Your pride and greatness. The expression, וּבַל יִרְאֶה, (lit., he shall not see,) is an expression of a habitual act, meaning: he did not see, he did not regard. Comp. (Job 1:5) “In this manner, Job was wont to do (יַעֲשֶׂה).”  
11. O Lord, Your hand has been taken away that they not see; let them see and be ashamed. The envy of a people, even the fire that shall consume Your enemies.   יא. יְהֹוָה רָמָה יָדְךָ בַּל יֶחֱזָיוּן יֶחֱזוּ וְיֵבֹשׁוּ קִנְאַת עָם אַף אֵשׁ צָרֶיךָ תֹאכְלֵם:
O Lord, Your hand has been taken away: I have seen many Aggadic Midrashim on the verses of the above section and the following, but they are not appropriate, either because of the grammatical forms of the language or because of the context of the verses. I had to explain it according to its order. There is an Aggadic Midrash that states that the prophet begs that the nations not see the bounty of the Holy One, blessed be He, when He lavishes good upon Israel. The Holy One, blessed be He, replied, “It is better that they see and be ashamed,” (Eliyahu Zuta ch. 21). (The Midrash explains the verse as follows: O Lord, take away Your hand, so that they see not. I.e., the prophet begs that God conceal His might from the nations that they see it not. Thereupon, God replies, “Let them see and be ashamed…”) This does not fit with the language, however, since it does not say, “Raise Your hand.” Moreover, this word differs from all similar words. Every יָד רָמָה is accented on the final syllable, whereas this one is accented on the first syllable. Comp. (Gen. 37:7) “Behold, my sheaf rose (קָמָה).” Comp. also (Ruth 1:9) “Behold your sister in law has returned (שָׁבָה).” All of these are in the past tense. This too is to be explained: The hand of Your might has been taken away from upon Your enemies so that they see not Your might for they have seen that their way has prospered. I beg of You, let them see and be ashamed.  
the envy of a people: Let them see the bounty that You shall lavish upon Your people, Even they themselves shall see the judgment of Your vengeance, that the fire (of envy) shall consume them.  
12. O Lord, You shall prepare peace for us, for also the recompense for all our deeds have You dealt to us.   יב. יְהֹוָה תִּשְׁפֹּת שָׁלוֹם לָנוּ כִּי גַּם כָּל מַעֲשֵׂינוּ פָּעַלְתָּ לָּנוּ:
You shall prepare: (תִּשְׁפֹּת) you shall prepare. Comp. (II Kings 4:38) “Prepare (שְׁפוֹת) the… pot.” Also (Ps. 22:16), “And for the dust of death You have prepared me (תִּשְׁפְּתֵנִי).” (All) these can (likewise) be interpreted as an expression of placing, (or establishing). You shall establish peace for us.  
for also the recompense of all our deeds: (our) evil (deeds).  
have You dealt to us: commensurate punishment for them we have received from Your hand for all our sins.  
13. O Lord, our God, masters other than You have possessed us. Only concerning You will we mention Your name.   יג. יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּעָלוּנוּ אֲדֹנִים זוּלָתֶךָ לְבַד בְּךָ נַזְכִּיר שְׁמֶךָ:
have possessed us: They have become our masters and have oppressed us.  
other than You: In a matter contrary to Your will, to seek other Gods, to transgress Your Torah, but we - only concerning You have we mentioned Godliness, and we will not ascribe the name of His Godliness to another God, only to Him alone.  
Your name: The name of Your Godliness we will mention, saying that our God alone is God.  
14. The dead shall not live, slackers shall not rise; therefore, You visited [upon them] and You destroyed them; You have put an end to any memory of them.   יד. מֵתִים בַּל יִחְיוּ רְפָאִים בַּל יָקֻמוּ לָכֵן פָּקַדְתָּ וַתַּשְׁמִידֵם וַתְּאַבֵּד כָּל זֵכֶר לָמוֹ:
The dead shall not live: May it be Your will that these wicked men shall not live in the World to Come, and that these slackers who slackened their hands from Your commandments shall not have restoration.  
therefore, You visited [upon them] and You destroyed them: Have You not already visited upon them and destroyed them with the words of Your mouth, like the matter that is stated (Exodus 17:14): “For I will surely erase the memory of Amalek.”  
15. You have added to the nation, O Lord; You have added to the nation and have been honored; You have rejected all the ends of the earth.   טו. יָסַפְתָּ לַגּוֹי יְהֹוָה יָסַפְתָּ לַגּוֹי נִכְבָּדְתָּ רִחַקְתָּ כָּל קַצְוֵי אָרֶץ:
You have added to the nation: to Israel (Tan. Pinchas 16) You added to them Torah and greatness and honor, and the more that You added to them, the more You were honored, for they thank You and praise You for all the bounty, unlike the custom of the heathens (var. of Esau). Therefore, You rejected from before You all other ends of the earth, i.e., all distant nations. Behold, in their bounty, in this manner the Israelites bestow praise and honor upon You, and in their straits.  
16. O Lord, in their straits they remembered You; they pour out prayer when Your chastening is upon them.   טז. יְהֹוָה בַּצַּר פְּקָדוּךָ צָקוּן לַחַשׁ מוּסָרְךָ לָמוֹ:
O Lord, in their straits they remembered You: They do not question Your retributions.  
they pour out prayer: the pouring of speech and prayer.  
when Your chastening is upon them: When they are chastened, when Your chastening comes upon them; and so is their prayer.  
17. As a pregnant woman comes near to give birth, she shudders, she screams in her pangs, so were we because of You, O Lord.   יז. כְּמוֹ הָרָה תַּקְרִיב לָלֶדֶת תָּחִיל תִּזְעַק בַּחֲבָלֶיהָ כֵּן הָיִינוּ מִפָּנֶיךָ יְהֹוָה:
As a pregnant woman comes near to give birth, etc.: So were we because of You; we see troubles being renewed, and we think that they are sorts of indications of salvation and redemption, for we are promised to be redeemed out of straits, as a woman giving birth.  
because of You: Because of Your decrees.  
18. We conceived, we shuddered, as though we bore wind; we wreak no salvations [in] the land, neither do the inhabitants of the world fall.   יח. הָרִינוּ חַלְנוּ כְּמוֹ יָלַדְנוּ רוּחַ יְשׁוּעֹת בַּל נַעֲשֶׂה אֶרֶץ וּבַל יִפְּלוּ יֹשְׁבֵי תֵבֵל:
We conceived, we shuddered: a shudder like a woman giving birth, as though we had given birth, as though we were close to being redeemed, yet it was wind and no salvation.  
we wreak no salvation [in] the land: We have suffered everything, and our troubles (sic) we do not understand for ourselves a salvation. [Rashi in Nach Lublin] ([Warsaw edition reads:] With all our suffering and our trouble, we do not prepare salvation for ourselves.) ([K’li Paz reads:] with all our pains and our troubles, we do not bring salvation for ourselves.) ([Some manuscripts read:] Throughout our troubles we do not see any salvation.) ([Others read:] We do not recognize any salvation.) ([Others read:] We cannot prepare for ourselves any salvation.)  
neither do the inhabitants of the world fall: The nations (var. the children of Esau), who are the inhabitants of the world, since they conquered and filled the earth, do not fall. And Jonathan rendered יִפְּלוּ as an expression related to (Ex. 33:16): “And wonders shall be wrought (וְנִפְלִינוּ) for me and Your people.” The inhabitants of the world cannot perform a wonder.  
19. May Your dead live, 'My corpses shall rise; awaken and sing, you who dwell in the dust, for a dew of lights is your dew, and [to the] earth You shall cast the slackers.   יט. יִחְיוּ מֵתֶיךָ נְבֵלָתִי יְקוּמוּן הָקִיצוּ וְרַנְּנוּ שֹׁכְנֵי עָפָר כִּי טַל אוֹרֹת טַלֶּךָ וָאָרֶץ רְפָאִים תַּפִּיל:
May Your dead live: Above (v. 14) he prayed that the wicked should not live, and here he prayed that the righteous should live. I beseech You that those who were slain for Your sake come to life. May a royal edict emanate from You saying, “My corpses shall rise.” The corpses of My people who made themselves corpses for My sake, they shall be raised up. This is the opposite of what is written above (v. 14): “Slackers shall not rise.” These, however, shall rise.  
awaken and sing: All this the Holy One, blessed be He, shall say to them. “Awaken and sing,” is an imperative form.  
for a dew of lights is Your dew: For it is fitting for You to do so, that the dew of Your Torah and Your commandments shall be to them dew of light.  
and [to the] earth You shall cast the slackers: And to the earth and to the dust You shall cast the land of (sic) the slackers who slackened their hands from Your Torah.  
You shall cast the slackers: Since he stated (v. 18) “Neither do the inhabitants of the world fall,” he repeats, “You cast them down, for our merits do not suffice to cast them down.”  
20. Go, My people, come into your chambers and close your door about you; hide for but a moment, until the wrath passes.   כ. לֵךְ עַמִּי בֹּא בַחֲדָרֶיךָ וּסְגֹר דְּלָתְךָ בַּעֲדֶךָ חֲבִי כִמְעַט רֶגַע עַד יַעֲבָר זָעַם:
Go, My people, come into your chambers: This reply they replied to the prophet, “Go, My people, come into your chambers,” into the synagogues and the study houses. Alternatively, think about your deeds, in the chambers of your heart. In this manner Rabbi Tanhuma expounded it.  
close your door about you: Jonathan renders: Do good deeds that will protect you. Rabbi Tanhuma, however, expounded: Close the doors of your mouth so as not to question the divine standard of justice.  
hide: Hide a little until the wrath passes, for indeed I will visit upon your enemies.  
21. For behold the Lord comes forth from His place to visit the iniquity of the dweller of the land upon him: and the land shall reveal its blood and it shall no longer conceal its slain ones.   כא. כִּי הִנֵּה יְהֹוָה יֹצֵא מִמְּקוֹמוֹ לִפְקֹד עֲו‍ֹן ישֵׁב הָאָרֶץ עָלָיו וְגִלְּתָה הָאָרֶץ אֶת דָּמֶיהָ וְלֹא תְכַסֶּה עוֹד עַל הֲרוּגֶיהָ:
For behold the Lord comes forth: from the divine standard of mercy to the divine standard of justice.  
the dweller of the land: That is Mount Seir. ([Some manuscripts read:] That is Esau and Mount Seir.) ([Others read:] That is Esau on Mount Seir.)  
its slain ones: that they slew of Israel.  
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