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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 43

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 43

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 43

1. And now, so said the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and the One Who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, and I called by your name, you are Mine.   א. וְעַתָּה כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה בֹּרַאֲךָ יַעֲקֹב וְיֹצֶרְךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל אַל תִּירָא כִּי גְאַלְתִּיךָ קָרָאתִי בְשִׁמְךָ לִי אָתָּה:
And now: despite all this, so said the Lord, “… do not fear.”  
2. When you pass through water, I am with you, and in rivers, they shall not overflow you; when you go amidst fire, you shall not be burnt, neither shall a flame burn amongst you.   ב. כִּי תַעֲבֹר בַּמַּיִם אִתְּךָ אָנִי וּבַנְּהָרוֹת לֹא יִשְׁטְפוּךָ כִּי תֵלֵךְ בְּמוֹ אֵשׁ לֹא תִכָּוֶה וְלֶהָבָה לֹא תִבְעַר בָּךְ:
When you pass through water: When you passed through the Reed Sea, I was with you.  
and in rivers, they shall not overflow you: You dwelt among the Egyptians and the heathens (peoples [: mss.]) numerous as the waters of a river, and they could not prevail against you to destroy you.  
when you go amidst fire: In the future, “For behold, a sun is coming, burning like an oven” (Malachi 3:19), for I will cause the sun to burn upon the wicked, “and the coming sun shall burn them.” There, too, you shall not be burnt.  
a flame: which shall burn the heathens ([mss.:] the nations), as it is said (supra 33:12): “And the peoples shall be as the burnings of lime.” That too shall not burn amidst you.  
3. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.   ג. כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל מוֹשִׁיעֶךָ נָתַתִּי כָפְרְךָ מִצְרַיִם כּוּשׁ וּסְבָא תַּחְתֶּיךָ:
I have given Egypt as your ransom: And they were your ransom, for their firstborn died, and you, My firstborn son, although you were deserving of destruction, as it is said in Ezekiel (20:8): “And I thought to pour out My fury upon them… in the land of Egypt.”  
4. Since you are dear in My eyes, you were honored and I loved you, and I give men in your stead and nations instead of your life.   ד. מֵאֲשֶׁר יָקַרְתָּ בְעֵינַי נִכְבַּדְתָּ וַאֲנִי אֲהַבְתִּיךָ וְאֶתֵּן אָדָם תַּחְתֶּיךָ וּלְאֻמִּים תַּחַת נַפְשֶׁךָ:
and I give: I am always accustomed to this.  
5. Fear not for I am with you; from the east I will bring your seed, and from the west I will gather you.   ה. אַל תִּירָא כִּי אִתְּךָ אָנִי מִמִּזְרָח אָבִיא זַרְעֶךָ וּמִמַּעֲרָב אֲקַבְּצֶךָּ:
6. I will say to the north, "Give," and to the south, "Do not refrain"; bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the end of the earth."   ו. אֹמַר לַצָּפוֹן תֵּנִי וּלְתֵימָן אַל תִּכְלָאִי הָבִיאִי בָנַי מֵרָחוֹק וּבְנוֹתַי מִקְצֵה הָאָרֶץ:
I will say: to the north wind, “Give the exiles who are in the north.”  
and to the south: which is a strong wind, “Do not refrain from blowing strongly to bring My exiles.” Similarly (Song 4:16), “Awaken, O north wind, and come, O south wind.” Since the north wind is weak, it needs strengthening. Therefore, it is written, “Awaken”, “Give.” But concerning the south wind which does not need straightening, it is written, “Come,” as it is, and so, “Do not refrain.”  
7. Everyone that is called by My name, and whom I created for My glory, I formed him, yea I made him.   ז. כֹּל הַנִּקְרָא בִשְׁמִי וְלִכְבוֹדִי בְּרָאתִיו יְצַרְתִּיו אַף עֲשִׂיתִיו:
Everyone that is called by My name, and whom I created for My glory: All the righteous, who are called by My name and everyone who was made for My glory, I formed him, yea, I made him. fixed him with all that is necessary for him, and I prepared everything. That is to say, that although they experienced exile and trouble, I prepared for them all the necessities of their redemption.  
8. To bring out a blind people, who have eyes, and deaf ones who have ears.   ח. הוֹצִיא עַם עִוֵּר וְעֵינַיִם יֵשׁ וְחֵרְשִׁים וְאָזְנַיִם לָמוֹ:
To bring out a blind people: Heb. הוֹצִיא, like לְהוֹצִיא to bring out of the exile those who were exiled because they became like blind; although they had eyes, they did not see.  
9. Were all the nations gathered together, and kingdoms assembled, who of them would tell this or let us know of the first events? Let them present their witnesses, and they shall be deemed just, and let them hear and say, "True."   ט. כָּל הַגּוֹיִם נִקְבְּצוּ יַחְדָּו וְיֵאָסְפוּ לְאֻמִּים מִי בָהֶם יַגִּיד זֹאת וְרִאשֹׁנוֹת יַשְׁמִיעֻנוּ יִתְּנוּ עֵדֵיהֶם וְיִצְדָּקוּ וְיִשְׁמְעוּ וְיֹאמְרוּ אֱמֶת:
Were all the nations gathered: If all the nations (of the peoples [Lublin;]) (of the heathens [Warsaw]; absent in all mss. and in K’li Paz) would gather together, who of them and of their prophets would tell the future, or the like, quoting their pagan Gods, or the first events, that have already passed, would they let us know, saying “We foretold them before they came about” ?  
Let them present their witnesses: who heard that they prophesied concerning them prior to their occurrence, and they shall be deemed just. But I have witnesses, for you are My witnesses that I told Abraham your forefather about the exiles, and they came about.  
10. "You are My witnesses," says the Lord, "and My servant whom I chose," in order that you know and believe Me, and understand that I am He; before Me no god was formed and after Me none shall be.   י. אַתֶּם עֵדַי נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וְעַבְדִּי אֲשֶׁר בָּחָרְתִּי לְמַעַן תֵּדְעוּ וְתַאֲמִינוּ לִי וְתָבִינוּ כִּי אֲנִי הוּא לְפָנַי לֹא נוֹצַר אֵל וְאַחֲרַי לֹא יִהְיֶה:
and My servant: Jacob.  
whom I chose.: He, too, shall testify that I promised him when he went to Mesopotamia, and I kept My promise.  
in order that you know: I did all this in order that you put your heart to know Me.  
11. I, I am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Savior.   יא. אָנֹכִי אָנֹכִי יְהֹוָה וְאֵין מִבַּלְעָדַי מוֹשִׁיעַ:
12. I told and I saved, and I made heard and there was no stranger among you, and you are My witnesses," says the Lord, "and I am God.   יב. אָנֹכִי הִגַּדְתִּי וְהוֹשַׁעְתִּי וְהִשְׁמַעְתִּי וְאֵין בָּכֶם זָר וְאַתֶּם עֵדַי נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וַאֲנִי אֵל:
I told: of the exiles to Abraham.  
and I saved: to fulfill the word at the time [designated for its] end.  
and I made heard: to you the first events.  
and there was no stranger among you: In those days, when I did all these, there did not appear among all of you, among the heathens (the children of the nations [mss., K’li Paz]) a strange God, to show his greatness and his Godliness. ([Other manuscripts read:] And I made My Torah heard to you, and none among you estranged himself from accepting.)  
and you are My witnesses: that I opened seven heavens for you, and you saw no image.  
13. Even before the day I am He, and there is no saving from My hand; I do, and who retracts it?"   יג. גַּם מִיּוֹם אֲנִי הוּא וְאֵין מִיָּדִי מַצִּיל אֶפְעַל וּמִי יְשִׁיבֶנָּה:
Even before the day I am He: Not only that day was I alone, but even before it became day I am He alone.  
I do: If I came to do, no one can retract.  
14. So said the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "Because of you, I sent [you] to Babylon, and I lowered, them all with oars, and Chaldees in the ships of their rejoicing.   יד. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה גֹּאַלְכֶם קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמַעַנְכֶם שִׁלַּחְתִּי בָבֶלָה וְהוֹרַדְתִּי בָרִיחִים כֻּלָּם וְכַשְׂדִּים בָּאֳנִיּוֹת רִנָּתָם:
Because of you, I sent [you] to Babylon: Jonathan paraphrases: Because of your sins I exiled you to Babylon.  
and I lowered them all with oars: Heb. בָרִיחִים וְהוֹרַדְתִּי. Jonathan renders: And I lowered with oars (בִּמְשׁוֹטִין), all of them. מְשׁוֹטִין denotes the wood that guides the ship and straightens it out.  
and Chaldees: led you in the ships of their rejoicing. This may also be explained as regards the news of the redemption, as follows:  
Because of you, I sent: I will send the kings of Media to Babylon, and I will lower the Chaldees in ships and oars into exile to the land of Media. And the Chaldees I will lower in ships which their rejoicing was [i.e., the Chaldees would be taken into captivity with the very boats in which they had previously rejoiced].  
15. I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.   טו. אֲנִי יְהֹוָה קְדוֹשְׁכֶם בּוֹרֵא יִשְׂרָאֵל מַלְכְּכֶם:
16. So said the Lord, who made a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters.   טז. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הַנּוֹתֵן בַּיָּם דָּרֶךְ וּבְמַיִם עַזִּים נְתִיבָה:
Who made a way in the sea: in the Sea of Reeds, and there I drew the Egyptians out to pursue you, with chariots and horses, and an army and power, and all of them lay together dead on the seashore, not to rise.  
17. Who drew out chariots and horses, army and power; they lay together, they did not rise; they were extinguished, like a flaxen wick they were quenched.   יז. הַמּוֹצִיא רֶכֶב וָסוּס חַיִל וְעִזּוּז יַחְדָּו יִשְׁכְּבוּ בַּל יָקוּמוּ דָּעֲכוּ כַּפִּשְׁתָּה כָבוּ:
they were quenched: Jonathan renders: Like flax they dimmed, they were quenched.  
18. Remember not the first events, and do not meditate over early ones.   יח. אַל תִּזְכְּרוּ רִאשֹׁנוֹת וְקַדְמֹנִיּוֹת אַל תִּתְבֹּנָנוּ:
Remember not the first events: These miracles that I mention to you, that I performed in Egypt do not remember them from now on, for you shall be engaged in this redemption, to thank and to praise.  
do not meditate: Do not ponder about them; do not pay attention to them.  
19. Behold I am making a new thing, now it will sprout, now you shall know it; yea I will make a road in the desert, rivers in the wasteland.   יט. הִנְנִי עֹשֶׂה חֲדָשָׁה עַתָּה תִצְמָח הֲלוֹא תֵּדָעוּהָ אַף אָשִׂים בַּמִּדְבָּר דֶּרֶךְ בִּישִׁמוֹן נְהָרוֹת:
20. The beasts of the field shall honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I gave water in the desert, rivers in the wasteland, to give My chosen people drink.   כ. תְּכַבְּדֵנִי חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה תַּנִּים וּבְנוֹת יַעֲנָה כִּי נָתַתִּי בַמִּדְבָּר מַיִם נְהָרוֹת בִּישִׁימֹן לְהַשְׁקוֹת עַמִּי בְחִירִי:
The beasts of the field shall honor Me: The place that is desolate and a habitat of the beasts of the field, for the jackals and for the ostriches.  
for I gave water in the desert: i.e., in a desolate land I will place a settlement.  
21. This people I formed for Myself; they shall recite My praise.   כא. עַם זוּ יָצַרְתִּי לִי תְּהִלָּתִי יְסַפֵּרוּ:
This people I formed for Myself: so that they recite My praise.  
22. But you did not call Me, O Jacob, for you wearied of Me, O Israel.   כב. וְלֹא אֹתִי קָרָאתָ יַעֲקֹב כִּי יָגַעְתָּ בִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
But you did not call Me: But you did not call Me in your turning after idolatry.  
for you wearied of Me: You quickly wearied of My worship.  
23. You did not bring Me the lambs of your burnt offerings, nor did you honor Me with your sacrifices; neither did I overwork you with meal-offerings nor did I weary you with frankincense.   כג. לֹא הֵבֵיאתָ לִּי שֵׂה עֹלֹתֶיךָ וּזְבָחֶיךָ לֹא כִבַּדְתָּנִי לֹא הֶעֱבַדְתִּיךָ בְּמִנְחָה וְלֹא הוֹגַעְתִּיךָ בִּלְבוֹנָה:
You did not bring Me the lambs of your burnt offerings: but to idolatry.  
neither did I overwork you: Cause you to do much work with the meal offering; merely a handful would be offered to the Most High, and even that I did not ordain upon you to sacrifice as an obligation but as a free-will offering.  
24. Neither did you purchase cane for Me with money, nor have you sated Me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened Me with your sins; you have wearied Me with your iniquities.   כד. לֹא קָנִיתָ לִּי בַכֶּסֶף קָנֶה וְחֵלֶב זְבָחֶיךָ לֹא הִרְוִיתָנִי אַךְ הֶעֱבַדְתַּנִי בְּחַטֹּאותֶיךָ הוֹגַעְתַּנִי בַּעֲו‍ֹנֹתֶיךָ:
Neither did you purchase cane for Me with money: for incense. You did not have to purchase it with money, for it was very common in your land. Said Rabbi Abba: Cinnamon grew in the Land of Israel, and goats and deer would eat of it. In Midrash Eichah (Proem X). ([Some manuscripts read:]  
Neither did you purchase cane for Me with money: for incense, for you failed to offer to Me what you should have, and you were attracted to idolatry.)  
But you have burdened Me: [lit. you have overworked Me.] You have caused Me to be an attendant to pagans, as Ezekiel envisioned (1:4): “And behold a tempest was coming from the north.” For the chariot of the Shechinah was returning from Babylon, where it had gone to conquer the whole world under the domination of Nebuchadnezzar, lest they say that He delivered His children into the hands of an inferior nation, as is found in Hagigah (13b).  
25. I, yea I erase your transgressions for My sake, and your sins I will not remember.   כה. אָנֹכִי אָנֹכִי הוּא מֹחֶה פְשָׁעֶיךָ לְמַעֲנִי וְחַטֹּאתֶיךָ לֹא אֶזְכֹּר:
I, yea I: I am He Who erased them from time immemorial [lit. from then], and I erase them even now.  
for My sake: Neither in your merit nor in the merit of your forefathers.  
26. Remind Me, let us stand in judgment; you tell, in order that you be accounted just.   כו. הַזְכִּירֵנִי נִשָּׁפְטָה יָחַד סַפֵּר אַתָּה לְמַעַן תִּצְדָּק:
Remind Me: all the reward I owe you and your forefathers.  
let us stand in judgment: [lit. let us be judged together.] Let us come to judgment.  
27. Your first father sinned, and your intercessors transgressed against Me.   כז. אָבִיךָ הָרִאשׁוֹן חָטָא וּמְלִיצֶיךָ פָּשְׁעוּ בִי:
Your first father sinned: by saying (Gen. 15: 8), “How will I know…?”  
and your intercessors transgressed against Me: You have none among all the intercessors upon whose merit you rely, in whom I have not found transgression. Isaac loved My enemy [Esau].  
28. And I profane the holy princes, and I deliver Jacob to destruction and Israel to revilings.   כח. וַאֲחַלֵּל שָׂרֵי קֹדֶשׁ וְאֶתְּנָה לַחֵרֶם יַעֲקֹב וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְגִדּוּפִים:
And I profane the holy princes: because of your iniquities.  
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