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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Yeshayahu - Isaiah - Chapter 34

Yeshayahu - Isaiah - Chapter 34

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Rashi's Commentary:
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Chapter 34

1Nations, come near to hear, and kingdoms, hearken. The earth and the fullness thereof, the world and all its offspring.   אקִרְבוּ גוֹיִם לִשְׁמֹעַ וּלְאֻמִּים הַקְשִׁיבוּ תִּשְׁמַע הָאָרֶץ וּמְלֹאָהּ תֵּבֵל וְכָל צֶאֱצָאֶיהָ:
2For the Lord has indignation against all the nations and wrath against all their host. He has destroyed them; He has given them to the slaughter.   בכִּי קֶצֶף לַיהֹוָה עַל כָּל הַגּוֹיִם וְחֵמָה עַל כָּל צְבָאָם הֶחֱרִימָם נְתָנָם לַטָּבַח:
3And their slain ones shall be thrown, and their corpses-their stench shall rise, and mountains shall melt from their blood.   גוְחַלְלֵיהֶם יֻשְׁלָכוּ וּפִגְרֵיהֶם יַעֲלֶה בָאְשָׁם וְנָמַסּוּ הָרִים מִדָּמָם:
4And all the host of heaven shall melt, and the heavens shall be rolled like a scroll, and all their host shall wither as a leaf withers from a vine, and as a withered [fig] from a fig tree.   דוְנָמַקּוּ כָּל צְבָא הַשָּׁמַיִם וְנָגֹלּוּ כַסֵּפֶר הַשָּׁמָיִם וְכָל צְבָאָם יִבּוֹל כִּנְבֹל עָלֶה מִגֶּפֶן וּכְנֹבֶלֶת מִתְּאֵנָה:
And all the host of heaven shall melt: They shall be frightened when I cast down the princes of the heathens.([Mss. yield:] the princes of the nations.) ([Warsaw edition:] of Assyria and Babylon.)  
shall be rolled: (וְנָגֹלּוּ) an expression of rolling. And the heavens shall be rolled like a scroll. Jonathan renders: And they shall be erased from beneath the heavens, as it is stated about them in the Book. But I explain it according to the context, for now, the kingdoms of the Ishmaelites (the nations [ms.]) (the wicked [Warsaw ed.]) have fortune and light. When they are erased and destroyed, it will be as though the world has darkened for them, as though the sun and the light are rolled up like the rolling of a scroll.  
withers: (יִבּוֹל) withers.  
and as a withered [fig] from a fig tree: The withered fruit of a tree is called נוֹבְלוֹת. This is what our Rabbis (Ber. 40b) explained: What are ‘noveloth’? Fruit ripened in the heater, that become ripe in the heater. After they are picked, he gathers them and they become heated and ripen.  
5For My sword has become sated in the heaven. Behold, it shall descend upon Edom, and upon the nation with whom I contend, for judgment.   הכִּי רִוְּתָה בַשָּׁמַיִם חַרְבִּי הִנֵּה עַל אֱדוֹם תֵּרֵד וְעַל עַם חֶרְמִי לְמִשְׁפָּט:
For My sword has become sated in the heaven: To slay the heavenly princes, and afterward it shall descend on the nation Ishmael ([mss. and Kli Paz:] Edom) ([Warsaw ed.:] Babylonians) below, for no nation suffers until its prince suffers in heaven.  
the nation with whom I contend: (עַם חֶרמִי), the nation with whom I battle. This is a Mishnaic expression: (Keth. 17b) They taught this in connection with time of strife (חֵרוּם). Comp. (I Kings 20:42) “The man with whom I contend (אִישׁ חֶרְמִי) ,” referring to Ahab.  
6The Lord's sword has become full of blood, made fat with fatness, from the blood of lambs and goats, from the fat of the kidneys of rams, for the Lord has a slaughter in Bozrah and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.   וחֶרֶב לַיהֹוָה מָלְאָה דָם הֻדַּשְׁנָה מֵחֶלֶב מִדַּם כָּרִים וְעַתּוּדִים מֵחֶלֶב כִּלְיוֹת אֵילִים כִּי זֶבַח לַיהֹוָה בְּבָצְרָה וְטֶבַח גָּדוֹל בְּאֶרֶץ אֱדוֹם:
lambs and goats: princes and governors.  
in Bozrah: It is from the land of Moab, but since it supplied a king for Edom, as it is stated (Gen. 36:33): “And Jobab son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead,” it will, therefore, suffer with them. This is found in Pesikta.  
7And wild oxen shall go down with them, and bulls with fat bulls, and their land shall be sated from blood, and their dust shall become saturated from fat.   זוְיָרְדוּ רְאֵמִים עִמָּם וּפָרִים עִם אַבִּירִים וְרִוְּתָה אַרְצָם מִדָּם וַעֲפָרָם מֵחֵלֶב יְדֻשָּׁן:
wild oxen with them: Kings with governors, wild oxen with the goats mentioned above.  
fat bulls: (אַבִּירִים) fat and large bulls, as it is stated (Ps. 22:13): “Fat bulls (אַבִּירֵי) of Bashan surrounded me.”  
8For it is a day of vengeance for the Lord, a year of retribution for the plea of Zion.   חכִּי יוֹם נָקָם לַיהֹוָה שְׁנַת שִׁלּוּמִים לְרִיב צִיּוֹן:
retribution for the plea of Zion: That He will mete out punishment (lit., pay a reward) for the plea of Zion, who cries before Him to judge her from those who harm her.  
9And its streams shall turn into pitch and its dust into sulfur, and its land shall become burning pitch.   טוְנֶהֶפְכוּ נְחָלֶיהָ לְזֶפֶת וַעֲפָרָהּ לְגָפְרִית וְהָיְתָה אַרְצָהּ לְזֶפֶת בֹּעֵרָה:
And its streams shall turn: (I.e., the streams) of the heathens. ([Mss. yield:] of Edom.)  
10By night and by day, it shall not be extinguished; its smoke shall ascend forever and ever; from generation to generation it shall be waste, to eternity, no one passing through it.   ילַיְלָה וְיוֹמָם לֹא תִכְבֶּה לְעוֹלָם יַעֲלֶה עֲשָׁנָהּ מִדּוֹר לָדוֹר תֶּחֱרָב לְנֵצַח נְצָחִים אֵין עֹבֵר בָּהּ:
from generation to generation: From that generation until the last generation. Another explanation is that this is Moses’ curse (Ex. 17:16): “The Lord has a war against Amalek from generation to generation.” From Moses’ generation to Saul’s generation, and from there to Mordecai’s generation, and from there to the generation of the King Messiah.  
11Pelican and owl shall inherit it, and night owl and raven shall dwell therein, and He shall stretch over it a line of waste, and weights of destruction.   יאוִירֵשׁוּהָ קָאַת וְקִפּוֹד וְיַנְשׁוֹף וְעֹרֵב יִשְׁכְּנוּ בָהּ וְנָטָה עָלֶיהָ קַו תֹהוּ וְאַבְנֵי בֹהוּ:
owl: (קִפֹּד) a bird that flies at night (chouette in French), an owl.  
a line of waste: A judgment of desolation.  
and weights of destruction: Weights of the judgment of destruction. (אַבְנֵי, lit., stones.) Comp. (Deut. 25: 15) “a whole weight (אֶבֶן).”  
12As for its nobles, there are none who proclaim the kingdom, and all its princes shall be nothing.   יבחֹרֶיהָ וְאֵין שָׁם מְלוּכָה יִקְרָאוּ וְכָל שָׂרֶיהָ יִהְיוּ אָפֶס:
As for its nobles, there are none who proclaim the kingdom: Its princes stand, and none of them calls upon himself the name of ruling and kingdom.  
nothing: Destruction.  
13And its palaces shall grow thorns, thistles and briers in its fortresses, and it shall be the habitat of jackals, an abode for ostriches.   יגוְעָלְתָה אַרְמְנֹתֶיהָ סִירִים קִמּוֹשׂ וָחוֹחַ בְּמִבְצָרֶיהָ וְהָיְתָה נְוֵה תַנִּים חָצִיר לִבְנוֹת יַעֲנָה:
And its palaces shall grow thorns: So is the nature of ruins to grow thorns and briers, and that is ‘kimosh’ and that is ‘choach’; they are all types of thorns, e.g., ortias, (nettles,) and the like.  
the habitat of jackals: (תַּנִּים) That is a desert, which is usually frequented by ‘tannim,’ which is a species of wild animal.  
14And martens shall meet cats, and a satyr shall call his friend, but there the lilith rests and has found for herself a resting place.   ידוּפָגְשׁוּ צִיִּים אֶת אִיִּים וְשָׂעִיר עַל רֵעֵהוּ יִקְרָא אַךְ שָׁם הִרְגִּיעָה לִּילִית וּמָצְאָה לָהּ מָנוֹחַ:
And martens shall meet cats: And martens shall meet with cats. In this matter Jonathan rendered it. תַּמְוָן is נִמִּיּוֹת (martrines in O. F.), martens.  
and a satyr: A demon.  
rests: (הִרְגִּיעָה) an expression related to מַרְגּוֹעַ, rest.  
lilith: The name of a female demon.  
15There the owl has made its nest, and she has laid eggs and hatched them, and gathered its young under its shadow, but there have the vultures gathered, each one to her friend.   טושָׁמָּה קִנְּנָה קִפּוֹז וַתְּמַלֵּט וּבָקְעָה וְדָגְרָה בְצִלָּהּ אַךְ שָׁם נִקְבְּצוּ דַיּוֹת אִשָּׁה רְעוּתָהּ:
has made its nest: (קִנְּנָה) an expression related to ‘a bird’s nest’ (קַן) (Deut. 22:6).  
owl: (קִפּוֹז) that is the owl (קִפֹּד).  
and she has laid: She laid eggs.  
and hatched: This is the emerging of the chicks from the egg. Comp. (below 59:5) The eggs of the viper have hatched.  
and gathered: This is the call that the bird calls with its throat to draw the chicks after it, gloussera in French. Comp. (Jer. 17:11) “A cuckoo gathers (דָגָר) what it did not lay.”  
vultures: (דַיּוֹת) voltojjrs in O.F.  
each one to her friend: (lit., each one her friend,) like to her friend.  
16Seek out of the Book of the Lord and read; not one of them is missing, one did not miss her friend, for My mouth it has commanded, and its breath it has gathered them.   טזדִּרְשׁוּ מֵעַל סֵפֶר יְהֹוָה וּקְרָאוּ אַחַת מֵהֵנָּה לֹא נֶעְדָּרָה אִשָּׁה רְעוּתָהּ לֹא פָקָדוּ כִּי פִי הוּא צִוָּה וְרוּחוֹ הוּא קִבְּצָן:
Seek out of the Book of the Lord: Read out of the Book of Genesis; when He brought the Flood, He decreed that all the creatures gather in the Ark, male and female, and none of them was missing. How much more will this be so when He decrees this upon them, to gather to drink blood and to eat flesh and fat!  
did not miss: (פָקָדוּ) Comp. (Num. 31:49) “Not a man was missing (נִפְקַד) of us.”  
for My mouth it has commanded: that they come, and the breath of My mouth it gathered them. The antecedent of ‘its breath’ is ‘My mouth.’ Comp. (Ps. 33:6) “And with the breath of His mouth all their host.” Here too, the breath of My mouth it gathered them.  
17And He cast lots for them, and His hand distributed it to them with a line; forever they shall inherit it, to every generation they shall inhabit it.   יזוְהוּא הִפִּיל לָהֶן גּוֹרָל וְיָדוֹ חִלְּקַתָּה לָהֶם בַּקָּו עַד עוֹלָם יִירָשׁוּהָ לְדוֹר וָדוֹר יִשְׁכְּנוּ בָהּ:
And He cast… for them: Now the prophet says concerning the Holy One, blessed be He, “And He cast lots for them,” for all those beasts and fowl, that these shall fall to their share.  
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