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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 28

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 28

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 28

1. Woe is to the crown of the pride of the drunkards of Ephraim and the young fruit of an inferior fig is the position of his glory, which is at the end of a valley of fatness, crushed by wine.   א. הוֹי עֲטֶרֶת גֵּאוּת שִׁכֹּרֵי אֶפְרַיִם וְצִיץ נֹבֵל צְבִי תִפְאַרְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עַל רֹאשׁ גֵּיא שְׁמָנִים הֲלוּמֵי יָיִן:
the drunkards of Ephraim: who would become intoxicated with the wine of the state of Prugitha, as (the Rabbis) stated (Shabbath 147b): The water of Damascus and the wine of Prugitha robbed away the ten tribes.  
and the young fruit of an inferior fig is the position of his glory: And the position of the planting of his glory - the young fruit of his blossom shall be  
inferior figs: (נֹבֵל) They are the spoiled figs, as we learned in Berachoth (40b): For noveloth. And our Sages explained: Burned by the heat.  
young fruit: (צִיץ) synonymous with נֵץ, as the Targum renders: (Num. 27:13) וַיָּצֵץצִיץ, “and it produced young fruit,” as וְאָנֵץנֵץ.  
which is: planted.  
at the head of a valley of fatness: That is Kinnereth, whose fruits are sweet, and there they crush themselves with wine.  
crushed with wine: הֲלוּמֵי יַיִן. This may also be interpreted as follows: תפארתו אשר על ראש וכו׳ צבי, (his glorious beauty, which is, etc.): His glorious beauty, which is on the head of the ten tribes, anointed with pride with the best oils, as it is said (Amos 6:6): “With the best oils they anoint themselves.” גֵּיא is an expression of pride, as (supra 16:6): “Moab, they have become very proud.” (And that blossom will be like a wilting blossom) crushed by wine. So he calls them because of their drunkenness, and it is said concerning them (Amos 6:6): “Those who drink with basins of wine.”  
2. Behold God [has] a strong and powerful [wind], like a downpour of hail, a storm of destruction, like a stream of powerful, flooding water, He lays it on the land with [His] hand.   ב. הִנֵּה חָזָק וְאַמִּץ לַאדֹנָי כְּזֶרֶם בָּרָד שַׂעַר קָטֶב כְּזֶרֶם מַיִם כַּבִּירִים שֹׁטְפִים הִנִּיחַ לָאָרֶץ בְּיָד:
Behold: The Lord has a strong and powerful wind, which is like a downpour of hail and a storm of קֶטֶב מְרִירִי, bitter destruction.  
He lays it on the land with [His] hand: He shall place it on their land with His strong hand and cast down the inferior figs from fig trees.  
3. With the feet, they shall be trampled, the crown of the pride of the drunkards of Ephraim.   ג. בְּרַגְלַיִם תֵּרָמַסְנָה עֲטֶרֶת גֵּאוּת שִׁכּוֹרֵי אֶפְרָיִם:
4. And his glorious beauty shall be the young fruit of an inferior fig, which is on the head of the valley of fatness; as a fig that ripens before the summer, which, if the seer sees it, he will swallow it while it is still in his hand.   ד. וְהָיְתָה צִיצַת נֹבֵל צְבִי תִפְאַרְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עַל רֹאשׁ גֵּיא שְׁמָנִים כְּבִכּוּרָהּ בְּטֶרֶם קַיִץ אֲשֶׁר יִרְאֶה הָרֹאֶה אוֹתָהּ בְּעוֹדָהּ בְּכַפּוֹ יִבְלָעֶנָּה:
as a fig that ripens before the summer: like the ripening of the young fruits of an inferior fig.  
before the summer: the time of the ripening of other figs, which, because of its early ripening, he pounces on it and swallows it while it is still in his hand. So (Dan. 9:14), “He hastened the evil and brought it upon us.”  
5. On that day, the Lord of Hosts shall be for a crown of beauty and for a diadem of glory, for the rest of His people.   ה. בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִהְיֶה יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת לַעֲטֶרֶת צְבִי וְלִצְפִירַת תִּפְאָרָה לִשְׁאָר עַמּוֹ:
On that day: When the transgressors are destroyed.  
for a crown of beauty: for the remaining righteous men among them.  
6. And for a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and for might for those who bring back the war to the gate.   ו. וּלְרוּחַ מִשְׁפָּט לַיּוֹשֵׁב עַל הַמִּשְׁפָּט וְלִגְבוּרָה מְשִׁיבֵי מִלְחָמָה שָׁעְרָה:
And for a spirit of justice: will the Holy One, blessed be He, be, i.e., to teach justice, to him who sits in judgment.  
and for might: will He be for those who bring back the war, the war of Torah.  
7. These, too, erred because of wine and strayed because of strong wine; priest and prophet erred because of strong wine, they became corrupt because of wine; they went astray because of strong wine, they erred against the seer, they caused justice to stumble.   ז. וְגַם אֵלֶּה בַּיַּיִן שָׁגוּ וּבַשֵּׁכָר תָּעוּ כֹּהֵן וְנָבִיא שָׁגוּ בַשֵּׁכָר נִבְלְעוּ מִן הַיַּיִן תָּעוּ מִן הַשֵּׁכָר שָׁגוּ בָּרֹאֶה פָּקוּ פְּלִילִיָּה:
These too: who sit in judgment and return the war in this generation, i.e., the best and most esteemed among them, erred because of wine, for now there is no good in them.  
they erred against the seer: They mocked the words of the prophets. Jonathan renders: with eating delicacies, which they saw as a pleasure to them.  
they caused justice to stumble: (פָּקוּ פְּלִילֶיהָ), they caused justice to stumble. פָּקוּ is an expression similar to (Nahum 2: 11), “The stumbling (פִּיק) of knees” ; (I Sam. 25:31) “A stumbling block (פּוּקָה).”  
8. For all tables were filled with vomit and ordure, without place.   ח. כִּי כָּל שֻׁלְחָנוֹת מָלְאוּ קִיא צֹאָה בְּלִי מָקוֹם:
For all tables: I.e., all their tables are of sacrifices for the dead, i.e., the pagan deities, which are like vomit and ordure.  
without a place: (I.e.) the mind cannot tolerate them.  
9. Whom shall he teach knowledge and to whom shall he explain the message? To those weaned from milk, removed from breasts?   ט. אֶת מִי יוֹרֶה דֵעָה וְאֶת מִי יָבִין שְׁמוּעָה גְּמוּלֵי מֵחָלָב עַתִּיקֵי מִשָּׁדָיִם:
Whom shall he teach knowledge: Perhaps to babes who know not to understand, since the adults have turned to an evil way?  
those weaned from milk: separated from milk.  
removed from breasts: (עַתִּיקֵי) an expression similar to (Gen. 12:8), “And he removed (וַיַּעְתֵּק) from there.” Alternatively, separated from the Torah, which is called milk, and removed from breasts, removed from before Torah scholars.  
10. For a precept for a precept, a precept for a precept, a line for a line, a line for a line, a little there, a little there.   י. כִּי צַו לָצָו צַו לָצָו קַו לָקָו קַו לָקָו זְעֵיר שָׁם זְעֵיר שָׁם:
For a precept for a precept, a precept for a precept: The prophet commands them from the Holy One, blessed be He, but they - they have a precept of the idols, equal to this precept, and the prophet repeatedly admonishes them, and they always say, “We have a precept for the precept.” Ours is superior to yours.  
a line for a line: They have a plumb-line of wicked judgments equal to the plumb-line of justice.  
a little there, a little there: The prophet says to them, “In a short time evil will come upon you,” and they say, “A little there, let Him hurry, let Him hasten His deeds in a short time.”  
11. For with distorted speech and in another language, does he speak to this people.   יא. כִּי בְּלַעֲגֵי שָׂפָה וּבְלָשׁוֹן אַחֶרֶת יְדַבֵּר אֶל הָעָם הַזֶּה:
With distorted speech: שָׂפָה) (בְּלַעֲגֵי Similarly, לְעָגִים and (infra 32:4), עִלְּגִים, are both expressions of distorted speech, which is not readily grasped.  
he speaks to this people: Everyone who speaks to them words of prophecy or admonition is to them like a distorted language, which they cannot understand.  
12. For he said to them, "This is the rest; give rest to the weary, and this is the tranquility," but they would not listen.   יב. אֲשֶׁר | אָמַר אֲלֵיהֶם זֹאת הַמְּנוּחָה הָנִיחוּ לֶעָיֵף וְזֹאת הַמַּרְגֵּעָה וְלֹא אָבוּא שְׁמוֹעַ:
For he said: The prophet said to them, “This is the rest,” that you should have rest, “give rest to the weary,” that you shall not rob him, “and this” shall be “tranquility” for them (var. for you).  
13. And the word of the Lord shall be for them a precept for a precept, a precept for a precept, a line for a line, a line for a line, a little there, a little there, in order that they go and stumble backwards and be broken, and be trapped and caught.   יג. וְהָיָה לָהֶם דְּבַר יְהֹוָה צַו לָצָו צַו לָצָו קַו לָקָו קַו לָקָו זְעֵיר שָׁם זְעֵיר שָׁם לְמַעַן יֵלְכוּ וְכָשְׁלוּ אָחוֹר וְנִשְׁבָּרוּ וְנוֹקְשׁוּ וְנִלְכָּדוּ:
And the word of the Lord shall be, etc.: According to their measure, He shall mete out to them; He shall decree upon them with His word upon them, a precept of the nations that enslave them, upon a precept, a command upon a command, labor upon labor; a line of retribution commensurate with the line of sins that they committed (lit., in their hand); קַו לָקָו, derived from קוה, a hope instead of a hope; they will hope for light, and behold, there will be darkness.  
a little there, a little there: In a short time, it shall come upon them, and they shall become few there in the land of their enemies.  
14. Therefore, listen to the word of the Lord, men of scorn, allegorists of this people who are in Jerusalem.   יד. לָכֵן שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר יְהֹוָה אַנְשֵׁי לָצוֹן מֹשְׁלֵי הָעָם הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר בִּירוּשָׁלִָם:
the allegorists of this people: who express their scorn as an allegory, such as:  
15. For you said, "We have made a treaty with death, and with the grave we have set a limit; when an overflowing scourge passes, it shall not come upon us, for we have made lies our shelter and in falsehood have we hidden ourselves.   טו. כִּי אֲמַרְתֶּם כָּרַתְנוּ בְרִית אֶת מָוֶת וְעִם שְׁאוֹל עָשִׂינוּ חֹזֶה שׁוֹט שׁוֹטֵף כִּי יַעֲבֹר לֹא יְבוֹאֵנוּ כִּי שַׂמְנוּ כָזָב מַחְסֵנוּ וּבַשֶּׁקֶר נִסְתָּרְנוּ:
We made a treaty with death: that it come not upon us.  
we have made a limit: a boundary that it should not cross. Comp. (Ps. 117:30) “the boundary (מְחוֹז) of their desire,” similarly (I Kings 7:4),"An edge opposite an edge (מֶחֱזָה אֶל מֶחֱזָה). They are all an expression of a boundary and an extremity of a thing, asomajjl in O.F.  
an overflowing scourge: a scourge that travels throughout the land.  
it shall not come upon us: (יְבוֹאֵנוּ), the usual form for a transitive verb with a direct object. It shall not come upon us.  
we have made lies: We have made idolatry.  
our shelter: (מַחְסֵנוּ) our shelter.  
and in falsehood have we hidden ourselves: We have hoped in idols to conceal us.  
16. Therefore, so has the Lord God said: "Behold, I have laid as a foundation a stone in Zion, a fortress stone, a costly cornerstone, a foundation well founded; the believer shall not hasten.   טז. לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה הִנְנִי יִסַּד בְּצִיּוֹן אָבֶן אֶבֶן בֹּחַן פִּנַּת יִקְרַת מוּסָד מוּסָּד הַמַּאֲמִין לֹא יָחִישׁ:
Behold, I have laid a foundation: This is the past tense. Comp. (Esther 1:8) “For so had the king established (יִסַּד).” And so must it be interpreted: Behold, I am He Who has already laid [a stone in Zion. Already] a decree has been decreed before Me, and I have set up the King Messiah, who shall be in Zion as an אֶבֶן בּוֹחֵן, a fortress stone, an expression of a fortress and strength. Comp. (infra 32:14) “A tower and a fortress (וּבֹחֵן).” Comp. also (supra 23:13) “They erected its towers (בַּחוּנָיו).”  
a foundation well founded: (מוּסַד מוּסָּד). The first one is voweled with a pattah because it is in the construct state, a foundation of a foundation, which is a solid foundation.  
the believer shall not hasten: Whoever believes this word shall not hasten it. He shall not say, “If it is true, let it come quickly.”  
17. And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plummet, and hail shall sweep away the shelter of lies, and water shall flood the hidingplace.   יז. וְשַׂמְתִּי מִשְׁפָּט לְקָו וּצְדָקָה לְמִשְׁקָלֶת וְיָעָה בָרָד מַחְסֵה כָזָב וְסֵתֶר מַיִם יִשְׁטֹפוּ:
And I will make justice the line: Before the advent of that king, I will bring decrees upon you to end the transgressors among you, and I will make the judgment of chastening to the line; i.e., I will make the line the standard of chastening (var. the line of My standard, chastening), to bring upon you, and righteousness I will make that it should be the plummet that straightens the building of walls, i.e. that righteousness shall go before them and straighten their ways, that the transgressors shall be destroyed and the righteous shall remain.  
and hail shall sweep away the shelter of lies: That covering that you said, “For we have made lies our shelter,” I will bring hail and it shall sweep it away. (וְיָעָה) is an expression of sweeping. Comp. (I Kings 7:40) “the shovels (הַיָּעִים)” with which they scoop up the ashes from the stoves.  
the hiding place: concerning which you said, “And in falsehood have we hidden ourselves,” the water shall flood it, i.e. I will bring a multitude of nations that will break your monuments and your graven images. The expression of מִשְׁפָּט mentioned here is jostise (justice) in O.F.  
18. And your treaty with death shall be nullified, and your limit with the grave shall not endure; when an overflowing scourge passes, you shall be trampled by it.   יח. וְכֻפַּר בְּרִיתְכֶם אֶת מָוֶת וְחָזוּתְכֶם אֶת שְׁאוֹל לֹא תָקוּם שׁוֹט שׁוֹטֵף כִּי יַעֲבֹר וִהְיִיתֶם לוֹ לְמִרְמָס:
And your treaty with death shall be nullified: The treaty about which you said, “We have made a treaty with death,” shall be nullified. Every expression of כַּפָּרָה, atonement, is really an expression of wiping or removing something. Compare (Gen. 32:21): “I shall appease (אֲכַפְּרָה) his anger,” (lit., I will wipe away his anger.)  
and your limit: which you said, “With the grave we set a limit.”  
an overflowing scourge: which you said, “will not come upon us,” you shall be trampled by it.  
19. When it passes, it shall take you, for every morning it shall pass, by day and by night, and it shall be only terror to understand the message.   יט. מִדֵּי עָבְרוֹ יִקַּח אֶתְכֶם כִּי בַבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר יַעֲבֹר בַּיּוֹם וּבַלָּיְלָה וְהָיָה רַק זְוָעָה הָבִין שְׁמוּעָה:
every morning: I.e., I will always bring decrees upon you.  
and it shall be sheer terror to understand the message: Terror for all those who hear, to understand the messages of the harsh retributions that I will bring upon you. All who hear shall quake.  
20. For the bed is too short for one to stretch, and the ruler-it shall be narrow when he enters.   כ. כִּי קָצַר הַמַּצָּע מֵהִשְׂתָּרֵעַ וְהַמַּסֵּכָה צָרָה כְּהִתְכַּנֵּס:
For the bed is too short for one to stretch: When I bring the enemy upon you, he shall press you so that you will not be able to supply his work. When he spreads out his bed upon you, it will be too short for the one who lies on it to stretch.  
to stretch: (מֵהִשְׂתָּרֵעַ) to lengthen one’s limbs, estandejlejjr in O.F.  
and the ruler it shall be narrow: (וְהַמַּסֵּכָה) The prince who will rule over you - your place will be cramped for him when he enters it. Our Rabbis, however, expounded it as referring to the idol that Manasseh brought into the heichal, (the Temple proper) (II Chron. 33:7). This bed is too short מֵהִשְׂתָּרֵעַ, for two friends to rule over it. I explained it according to its simple meaning, and in this manner Jonathan rendered it. The Midrashic interpretation of our Rabbis, however, can be reconciled with the context. I.e., why do I bring this retribution upon you? Because the bed is too narrow for Me alone to stretch out on it, as it is said (I Kings 8:27): “Behold the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You.” Surely, when you bring in a molten image with Me, so to speak, the place is too narrow for us.  
21. For like the mountain of breaches shall the Lord arise, like the valley in Gibeon He shall be incensed; to perform His deed, strange is His deed, and to perform His work, strange is His work.   כא. כִּי כְהַר פְּרָצִים יָקוּם יְהֹוָה כְּעֵמֶק בְּגִבְעוֹן יִרְגָּז לַעֲשׂוֹת מַעֲשֵׂהוּ זָר מַעֲשֵׂהוּ וְלַעֲבֹד עֲבֹדָתוֹ נָכְרִיָּה עֲבֹדָתוֹ:
For like the mountain of breaches: Jonathan paraphrases: For, just as the mountains quaked when the glory of the Lord was revealed on the day of King Uzziah, (supra. 6:4,) and as the miracles He performed for Joshua in the valley of Gibeon (Jos. 10:12f) (to punish the wicked who transgressed His word,) so shall He be revealed to punish those who perform (strange deeds, strange are their deeds, and those who worship pagan deities, strange is their worship).  
strange is His deed: He will seem to you as a stranger, for He will bring upon them ([all other editions:] upon you) harsh retribution.  
and to perform His work: (וְלַעֲבֹד עֲבֹדָתוֹ) like work of the soil, ‘laborer’ in O.F.  
22. And now, do not scorn, lest your pains become strong, for a complete destruction have I heard from the Lord God of Hosts upon the entire land.   כב. וְעַתָּה אַל תִּתְלוֹצָצוּ פֶּן יֶחְזְקוּ מוֹסְרֵיכֶם כִּי כָלָה וְנֶחֱרָצָה שָׁמַעְתִּי מֵאֵת אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה צְבָאוֹת עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ:
And now, do not scorn: saying, “We have made a treaty with death.”  
your pains: (מוֹסְרֵיכֶם) your pains.  
23. Give ear and listen to my voice; hearken and listen to my saying.   כג. הַאֲזִינוּ וְשִׁמְעוּ קוֹלִי הַקְשִׁיבוּ וְשִׁמְעוּ אִמְרָתִי:
24. Shall the plowman plow all day to sow? Shall he open and harrow his soil?   כד. הֲכֹל הַיּוֹם יַחֲרֹשׁ הַחֹרֵשׁ לִזְרֹעַ יְפַתַּח וִישַׂדֵּד אַדְמָתוֹ:
all day: This is the interrogative. Therefore, it is voweled with a hataf pattah.  
shall… plow: One who plows to sow - does the one who plows to sow plow forever? If so, what does he accomplish? Similarly, the prophets admonish you to bring you back to do good deeds. Shall they admonish forever and not accomplish?  
Shall he open and harrow his soil?: Shall he never sow but always open the soil with plowshares and plowing implements? יְשַׂדֵּד is an expression of work of the field. Shall he open and harrow? First he makes wide furrows and later he makes small furrows. This we learned in the Midrash of Rabbi Tanhuma.  
25. Is it not so? When he smooths its surface, he scatters the black cumin and casts the cumin, and he places the prominent wheat, and the barley for a sign, and the spelt on its border.   כה. הֲלוֹא אִם שִׁוָּה פָנֶיהָ וְהֵפִיץ קֶצַח וְכַמֹּן יִזְרֹק וְשָׂם חִטָּה שׂוֹרָה וּשְׂעֹרָה נִסְמָן וְכֻסֶּמֶת גְּבֻלָתוֹ:
Is it not: so that the plowman, as soon as he plows, smooths the surface of the soil and afterwards sows.  
he scatters the black cumin: If he comes to sow black cumin, he sows it by scattering it, and if he comes to sow cumin, he sows it by casting it. קצח is a kind of food.  
and he places the prominent wheat, and the barley for a sign, and the spelt on its borders: And if he comes to sow grain, this is his custom. He sows the wheat in the middle of the furrow, and the barley he sows around it for a sign, and the spelt he sows on the borders of the field [and its boundaries]. שׂוֹרָה is an expression of ruling (שְׂרָרָה). He sows it in the center, and it appears ([printed editions] is found) to rule over the barley and the spelt.  
26. And He shall chasten him justly, he whose God directs him.   כו. וְיִסְּרוֹ לַמִּשְׁפָּט אֱלֹהָיו יוֹרֶנּוּ:
And He shall chasten him justly: Likewise, he whose God directs him, He shall not send prophets forever to admonish him. Since he does not heed admonition, He shall chasten him with judgments of chastening in order that the toil of His admonition will help, like the one who smoothes the surface of the earth to sow, in order that the toil of his plowing that he plowed shall succeed.  
27. For not with a grooved [implement] is black cumin threshed, [neither] does a wagon wheel turn around on cumin, but black cumin is beaten with a staff and cumin with a rod.   כז. כִּי לֹא בֶחָרוּץ יוּדַשׁ קֶצַח וְאוֹפַן עֲגָלָה עַל כַּמֹּן יוּסָּב כִּי בַמַּטֶּה יֵחָבֶט קֶצַח וְכַמֹּן בַּשָּׁבֶט:
with a grooved [implement]: That is a wooden implement, made with grooves, and its name is מוֹרַג, a threshing-board, and one cuts the straw with it to be straw fodder.  
For not with a grooved [implement]: do they thresh the black cumin, for its seed is easily extracted from within its straw, and, likewise, on cumin they do not turn the wheel of a wagon to thresh it, because the black cumin is easily beaten with a staff and the cumin with a rod.  
28. Bread grain is crushed but it is not threshed forever, and the wheel of his wagon shall break, and its separators, he does not crush it.   כח. לֶחֶם יוּדָק כִּי לֹא לָנֶצַח אָדוֹשׁ יְדוּשֶׁנּוּ וְהָמַם גִּלְגַּל עֶגְלָתוֹ וּפָרָשָׁיו לֹא יְדֻקֶּנּוּ:
Bread grain is crushed: And whom (sic) do they crush with harsh implements? The bread of grain (sic), because it is not easily beaten.  
but it is not threshed forever: This כִּי is used in the sense of ‘but.’ But they do not crush it forever, [because they will not crush the seed kernels forever for them to be threshed to be crushed through the threshing- board and the wagon wheel].  
and the wheel of his wagon shall break and its separators: And when they turn the wagon wheels over to crush it and thresh it, even the wheel breaks, and the remaining implements of the wagon with it, that separate the grain from its straw, he will not crush it, and the wheat is not crushed to be ground.  
be threshed (: אָדוֹשׁ יְדוּשֶׁנּוּ. The repetition is peculiar.) Comp. (Ezekiel 31:11) “He will deal (עָשׂה יַעֲשֶׂה) ,” also (supra 22: 18): “He shall wind you around (צָנוֹף יִצְנָפְ).” And this ‘alef’ comes instead of a ‘heh’. Comp. (II Chron. 20:35) “And afterwards Jehoshaphat joined (אִתְחַבֵּר),” like הִתְחַבֵּר. Here too, אָדוֹשׁ is like] הִדּוֹשׁ, and Menahem classified it in this manner (Machbereth p. 68).  
29. This too comes forth from the Lord of Hosts: He gave marvelous counsel, made great wisdom.   כט. גַּם זֹאת מֵעִם יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת יָצָאָה הִפְלִא עֵצָה הִגְדִּיל תּוּשִׁיָּה:
This too, etc.: This too, like the custom of threshers of grain and those who flail black cumin and cumin, comes forth from the Holy One, blessed be He.  
He gave marvelous counsel: to show you hints in the manner of riddles and with an allegory, marvelous and obscure, for, just as with the cumin and the black cumin, with which they do not deal harshly by overthreshing them because they are easily flailed, so, if you would hasten to accept reproof, He would not bear heavily upon you with decrees, but since you are hard to accept reproof, like the grain that is hard to thresh, therefore, He will mete out heavy punishment upon you ([printed editions] - He will make it very heavy for you), but He will not strive and smite forever, ([certain editions] He will not strive and crush forever to destroy) just as one does not thresh forever, and His arrows and His blows shall terminate but you shall not terminate, in the manner that the wagon wheel breaks, but the wheat is not crushed. [If, however, you were easily destroyed, he would not test you with harsh afflictions, like the flax merchant, when he knows that his flax is of high quality, he beats it.]  
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