Chapter 27

1On that day, the Lord shall visit with His hard and great and strong sword on leviathan the barlike serpent, and upon leviathan the crooked serpent, and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.   אבַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֡וּא יִפְקֹ֣ד יְהֹוָה֩ בְּחַרְבּ֨וֹ הַקָּשָׁ֜ה וְהַגְּדוֹלָ֣ה וְהַֽחֲזָקָ֗ה עַ֚ל לִוְיָתָן֙ נָחָ֣שׁ בָּרִ֔חַ וְעַל֙ לִוְיָתָ֔ן נָחָ֖שׁ עֲקַלָּת֑וֹן וְהָרַ֥ג אֶת־הַתַּנִּ֖ין אֲשֶׁ֥ר בַּיָּֽם:
on leviathan the barlike serpent: Jonathan renders: On the king who aggrandized himself like Pharaoh the first king, and upon a king who was as haughty as Sennacherib the second king. בָּרִיחַ is an expression of ‘straight’ like a bar, since he is the first. (The matter of simplicity is related to oneness. Since Pharaoh was the first great king, he is referred to as ‘the barlike serpent,’ a straight, penetrating serpent, that does not coil.)  
crooked: An expression of ‘double,’ since he is the second one. (I.e. the bend in the serpent indicates duality, thus the number two.) And I say that these are three important nations: Egypt, Assyria, and Edom. He, therefore, stated concerning these as he said at the end of the section (v. 13), “And those lost in the land of Assyria shall come, as well as those lost in the land of Egypt,” and since the nations are likened to serpents that bite.  
leviathan the barlike serpent: That is Egypt.  
leviathan the crooked serpent: That is Assyria.  
and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea: That is Tzor that is the head of the children of Esau, and it is situated in the heart of the seas, and so Kittim are called the islands of the sea, and they are the Romans [according to certain manuscripts]. ([Some editions read:] They are the Greeks.)  
2On that day, "A vineyard producing wine," sing to it.   בבַּיּ֖וֹם הַה֑וּא כֶּ֥רֶם חֶ֖מֶר עַנּוּ־לָֽהּ:
On that day: At the time of the redemption, they shall sing to Israel, “This is a wine producing vineyard. It has yielded its good wine.” חֶמֶר vinos in O.F., winish.  
3I, the Lord, guard it, every moment I water it; lest He visit upon it, night and day I guard it.   גאֲנִ֚י יְהֹוָה֙ נֹֽצְרָ֔הּ לִרְגָעִ֖ים אַשְׁקֶ֑נָּה פֶּן יִפְקֹ֣ד עָלֶ֔יהָ לַ֥יְלָה וָי֖וֹם אֶצֳּרֶֽנָּה:
I, the Lord, guard it: in the time of exile.  
every moment I water it: Little by little I water it with the cup of retribution that comes upon it, lest I visit upon it at once and I destroy it. Therefore, night and day I ponder about it. Jonathan renders: Were it not that I visit upon them the iniquities that they are accustomed to commit before Me, I would guard it day and night.  
4I have no wrath; would that I were thorns and brier against the [objects of My] war! I would tread upon it and ignite it together.   דחֵמָ֖ה אֵ֣ין לִ֑י מִֽי־יִתְּנֵ֜נִי שָׁמִ֥יר שַׁ֙יִת֙ בַּמִּלְחָמָ֔ה אֶפְשֳׂעָ֥ה בָ֖הּ אֲצִיתֶ֥נָּה יָּֽחַד:
I have no wrath: I have no mouth (var. excuse) to arouse My wrath on the nations, for Israel sins as well, and the standard of justice accuses.  
would that I were thorns and briers against [the objects of My] war: Against those with whom I wage war, namely Ishmael (ms. Esau). Would that I could visit upon them and the standard of justice would not be able to protest, i.e., that Israel would repent, and that would give Me thorns and briers against the enemies! I would tread upon the standard of justice and I would visit upon them even more and additional punishment over their iniquity, and I would ignite them together. Jonathan rendered it in this manner, as referring to the nations. Our Sages of blessed memory explained it concerning Israel, and it refers back to the vineyard, as follows:  
I have no wrath: Despite all the angers with which this vineyard has provoked Me, I cannot pour out My wrath to destroy it because of the oath I swore to their forefathers. If only it were like days long past! Were it not for the oath, I would be thorns and briers and I would tread upon the vineyard, and I would ignite it together.  
5If they would grasp My fortress, they would make peace for Me, they would make peace for Me.   האוֹ יַֽחֲזֵ֣ק בְּמָֽעֻזִּ֔י יַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה שָׁל֖וֹם לִ֑י שָׁל֖וֹם יַֽעֲשֶׂה־לִּֽי:
If they would grasp My fortress: (אוֹ) , lit., or they would grasp My fortress,) an expression of ‘if.’ Comp.“(Ex. 21:36) If (אוֹ) it was known that he was a goring ox.” If My people grasp My fortress, i.e., My Torah, that they seek no other fortress but My fortress, then they shall grant Me peace, to calm My thoughts and My ire which trouble Me because I do not avenge Myself upon My adversaries, and I will, indeed, take revenge from them.  
they would make peace for Me: from the standard of justice, so that it will be unable to accuse and to say, “Why are these different from those?” (I.e., Why are the Jews different from the other nations?)  
6Those who came, whom Jacob caused to take root, Israel flourished and blossomed and they filled the face of the world with fruitage.   והַבָּאִים֙ יַשְׁרֵ֣שׁ יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב יָצִ֥יץ וּפָרַ֖ח יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וּמָֽלְא֥וּ פְנֵֽי־תֵבֵ֖ל תְּנוּבָֽה:
Those who came, whom Jacob caused to take root: Do you not know what I did at first? Those who came to Egypt which Jacob caused to take root, flourished and blossomed there until they filled the face of the world with fruitage.  
7Like the smiting who smote him did He smite him: like the slaying of his slain ones, was he slain?   זהַכְּמַכַּ֥ת מַכֵּ֖הוּ הִכָּ֑הוּ אִם־כְּהֶ֥רֶג הֲרֻגָ֖יו הֹרָֽג:
Like the smiting of him who smote him did He smite him: Have you seen My might, that like the smiting of the one who smote Jacob, I smote him. They drowned them in the water, and I drowned them in the water. There are some other rhetorical questions that warrant an affirmative answer, e.g. (I Sam. 2:27), “Did I appear to the house of your father?” Also (Ezek. 8: 6), “Do you see what they are doing?”  
like the slaying of: Israel, who were the slain ones of Pharaoh, were Pharaoh and his people slain?  
8In that measure, when they sent them out, it strove with it; He spoke with His harsh wind on the day of the east wind.   חבְּסַאסְּאָ֖ה בְּשַׁלְחָ֣הּ תְּרִיבֶ֑נָּה הָגָ֛ה בְּרוּח֥וֹ הַקָּשָׁ֖ה בְּי֥וֹם קָדִֽים:
In that measure: (בְּסַאסְּאָה) in that measure.  
when they sent them out, it strove with it: When Egypt sent Israel out, it strove with it, the seah of the measure with its seah.  
He spoke with His harsh wind: (הָגָה) He spoke with His harsh speech.  
on the day of the east wind: On the day (concerning which Scripture states) (Ex. 14:21): “And the Lord led the sea with a strong east wind.”  
9Therefore, with this shall Jacob's iniquity be atoned for, and this is all the fruit of removing his sin; by making all the altar stones like crushed chalkstones; asherim and sun-images shall not rise.   טלָכֵ֗ן בְּזֹאת֙ יְכֻפַּ֣ר עֲו‍ֹֽן־יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וְזֶ֕ה כָּל־פְּרִ֖י הָסִ֣ר חַטָּאת֑וֹ בְּשׂוּמ֣וֹ | כָּל־אַבְנֵ֣י מִזְבֵּ֗חַ כְּאַבְנֵי־גִר֙ מְנֻפָּצ֔וֹת לֹֽא־יָקֻ֥מוּ אֲשֵׁרִ֖ים וְחַמָּנִֽים:
Therefore: Now, too, with this, Jacob’s iniquity would be atoned for, to merit to be redeemed as then.  
and this is all the fruit: that is best for Me to remove his sin, if he makes all the altar stones of his high places, like crushed chalk-stones. מְנֻפָּצוֹת means crushed. Comp. (Ps. 137:9) “And crushes (וְנִפֵּץ) your babies.” Comp. (Jer. 13:14) “And I will crush them (וְנִפַּצְתִּים) one against the other.” גִּיר is a kind of dye.  
asherim and sun images shall not rise: So that they shall not retain their idolatry.  
10For a fortified city is solitary, a dwelling is forsaken and abandoned like a pasture; there a calf shall graze, and there he shall lie and consume its branches.   יכִּ֣י עִ֚יר בְּצוּרָה֙ בָּדָ֔ד נָוֶ֕ה מְשֻׁלָּ֥ח וְנֶעֱזָ֖ב כַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר שָׁ֣ם יִרְעֶ֥ה עֵ֛גֶל וְשָׁ֥ם יִרְבָּ֖ץ וְכִלָּ֥ה סְעִפֶֽיהָ:
For a fortified city is solitary: For, when they do this, a fortified city of Ishmael (ms. Esau) will be solitary and the dwelling will be forsaken by its inhabitants and abandoned like a pasture.  
there a calf shall graze: Ephraim shall inherit it, for he is called a calf, as it is said (Jer. 31:17): “Like an untamed calf.”  
and shall consume its branches: (סְעִיפֶיהָ) its branches.  
11When its branches dry out, they shall be broken; women shall come and ignite it, for it is not a people of understanding; therefore, its Maker shall not have compassion on it, and He Who formed it shall not grant it favor.   יאבִּיבֹ֚שׁ קְצִירָהּ֙ תִּשָּׁבַ֔רְנָה נָשִׁ֕ים בָּא֖וֹת מְאִיר֣וֹת אוֹתָ֑הּ כִּ֣י לֹ֚א עַם־בִּינוֹת֙ ה֔וּא עַל־כֵּן֙ לֹֽא־יְרַֽחֲמֶ֣נּוּ עֹשֵׂ֔הוּ וְיֹֽצְר֖וֹ לֹ֥א יְחֻנֶּֽנּוּ:
When its branches dry out: The branches of its roots. Comp. (Ps. 80:12) “It sent forth its branches (קְצִירֶיהָ).” Also (Job 14:9): “And produce branches (קָצִיר).” I.e., when the little merit that Edom has for honoring his father, is depleted, then its branches shall be broken.  
women shall come and ignite it: A people weak as women shall ignite them. Jonathan renders in this manner. מְאִירוֹת means ‘ignite.’ Comp. (Mal. 1:10) “And you shall not light (תָּאִירוּ) My altar in vain.” Dunash too interpreted it in this manner, for since the wood will be dry, it will be easy to ignite. Menahem, however, interpreted it to mean ‘gather.’ Comp. (Song 5:1) “I gathered (אָרִיתִי) my myrrh.” Also (Ps. 80:13): “All passersby gathered from it (וְאָרוּהָ).” (Machbereth Menahem p. 32) Dunash replied, “Does it not say, ‘When its branches dry out’? And with dry grapes, no one gathers fruit.” (Teshuvoth Dunash p. 45)] Likewise, our Sages, who prohibited accepting charity from them because of this reason, for they stated in Baba Bathra ch. 1, (10b,) “Does he not believe, ‘When its branches dry out, they shall be broken?’”  
12And it shall come to pass on that day, that the Lord shall gather from the flood of the river to the stream of Egypt, and you shall be gathered one by one, O children of Israel.   יבוְהָיָה֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא יַחְבֹּ֧ט יְהֹוָ֛ה מִשִּׁבֹּ֥לֶת הַנָּהָ֖ר עַד־נַ֣חַל מִצְרָ֑יִם וְאַתֶּ֧ם תְּלֻקְּט֛וּ לְאַחַ֥ד אֶחָ֖ד בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
that the Lord shall gather: יַחְבֹּט, lit., shall beat. Jonathan renders: shall fall dead. I.e., the nations from the banks of the Euphrates to the stream of Egypt. I say, however, that these two expressions, (viz.) beating and gathering, coincide with one another, like one who bears his olive trees and goes back and gathers them and (ms. or) others gather them from the ground, so will the Holy One, blessed be He, commence the gathering, as it is said: A great shofar shall be sounded.  
from the flood of the river: These are those lost in the land of Assyria.  
to the stream of Egypt: Those are the ones exiled in the land of Egypt.  
the river: Euphrates. They are those in Assyria who live by the Euphrates.  
to the stream of Egypt: These are those who live in Egypt, He shall gather them like one who gathers olives.  
and you shall be gathered: from the exiles.  
one and one: Whoever finds one of you will bring him as an offering.  
13And it shall come to pass on that day, that a great shofar shall be sounded, and those lost in the land of Assyria and those exiled in the land of Egypt shall come and they shall prostrate themselves before the Lord on the holy mount in Jerusalem.   יגוְהָיָ֣ה | בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא יִתָּקַע֘ בְּשׁוֹפָ֣ר גָּדוֹל֒ וּבָ֗אוּ הָאֹֽבְדִים֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ אַשּׁ֔וּר וְהַנִּדָּחִ֖ים בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וְהִשְׁתַּֽחֲו֧וּ לַֽיהֹוָ֛ה בְּהַ֥ר הַקֹּ֖דֶשׁ בִּירֽוּשָׁלִָֽם:
those lost in the land of Assyria: Since they were scattered in a distant land, within the Sambatyon River, he calls them, ‘lost.’