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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 44

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 44

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 44

1. And now, hearken, Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen.   א. וְעַתָּה שְׁמַע יַעֲקֹב עַבְדִּי וְיִשְׂרָאֵל בָּחַרְתִּי בוֹ:
And now, hearken: to return to My Torah, Jacob My servant.  
2. So said the Lord your Maker, and He Who formed you from the womb shall aid you. Fear not, My servant Jacob, and Jeshurun whom I have chosen.   ב. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה עֹשֶׂךָ וְיֹצֶרְךָ מִבֶּטֶן יַעְזְרֶךָּ אַל תִּירָא עַבְדִּי יַעֲקֹב וִישֻׁרוּן בָּחַרְתִּי בוֹ:
3. As I will pour water on the thirsty and running water on dry land, I will pour My spirit on your seed and My blessing on your offspring.   ג. כִּי אֶצָּק מַיִם עַל צָמֵא וְנוֹזְלִים עַל יַבָּשָׁה אֶצֹּק רוּחִי עַל זַרְעֶךָ וּבִרְכָתִי עַל צֶאֱצָאֶיךָ:
As I will pour water on the thirsty: Just as I pour water on the thirsty, so will I pour My spirit on your seed.  
4. And they shall sprout among the grass like willows on rivulets of water.   ד. וְצָמְחוּ בְּבֵין חָצִיר כַּעֲרָבִים עַל יִבְלֵי מָיִם:
And they shall sprout among the grass: among Esau (mss. and K’li Paz). [The Jewish nation will grow] through the proselytes who will join them. [The expression,] “among the grass” refers to Esau, for it is stated concerning Edom (supra 34:13): “And it shall be the habitat of jackals, an abode (חָצִיר) for ostriches.” (Editions reading, “Amalek,” are erroneous cf. reference.)  
5. This one shall say, "I am the Lord's," and this one shall call himself by the name of Jacob, and this one shall write [with] his hand, "To the Lord," and adopt the name Israel.   ה. זֶה יֹאמַר לַיהֹוָה אָנִי וְזֶה יִקְרָא בְשֵׁם יַעֲקֹב וְזֶה יִכְתֹּב יָדוֹ לַיהֹוָה וּבְשֵׁם יִשְׂרָאֵל יְכַנֶּה:
This one shall say, “I am the Lord’s.”: These are the perfectly righteous.  
and this one shall call himself by the name of Jacob.: These are the children, the sons of the wicked.  
and this one shall write [with] his hand, “To the Lord,”: These are the repentant.  
and adopt the name Israel: These are the proselytes. So it was taught in Avoth d’Rabbi Nathan (36:1).  
6. So said the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer the Lord of Hosts, "I am first and I am last, and besides Me there is no God.   ו. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגֹאֲלוֹ יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אֲנִי רִאשׁוֹן וַאֲנִי אַחֲרוֹן וּמִבַּלְעָדַי אֵין אֱלֹהִים:
7. And who will call [that he is] like Me and will tell it and arrange it for Me, since My placing the ancient people, and the signs and those that will come, let them tell for themselves.   ז. וּמִי כָמוֹנִי יִקְרָא וְיַגִּידֶהָ וְיַעְרְכֶהָ לִי מִשּׂוּמִי עַם עוֹלָם וְאוֹתִיּוֹת וַאֲשֶׁר תָּבֹאנָה יַגִּידוּ לָמוֹ:
And who will call [that he is] like Me: And who will call that he is like Me and tell and arrange for me all that transpired since I placed the ancient people and until now?  
the ancient people: All the creatures.  
and the signs: Marvelous things.  
and those that will come: And those destined to come, let them tell, as I do now, for the Temple has not yet been destroyed, and you have not been exiled, and neither has Cyrus been born, but I am reporting it to you.  
8. Fear not and be not dismayed; did I not let you hear it from then, and I told [it] and you are My witnesses; is there a God besides Me? And there is no rock I did not know.   ח. אַל תִּפְחֲדוּ וְאַל תִּרְהוּ הֲלֹא מֵאָז הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ וְהִגַּדְתִּי וְאַתֶּם עֵדָי הֲיֵשׁ אֱלוֹהַּ מִבַּלְעָדַי וְאֵין צוּר בַּל יָדָעְתִּי:
and be not dismayed: Heb. תִּרְהוּ. There is no similar word, and its interpretation according to its context is like תֵּחַתּוּ, be not dismayed from making My name known among the heathens (nations [K’li Paz and mss.]).  
let you hear: from Mount Sinai, and I told you there that there is no God besides Me.  
and you are My witnesses: that I opened for you seven heavens and showed you that there is no other, and you are My witnesses to this thing that there is no God besides Me.  
and there is no rock I did not know: Jonathan renders: And there is no strong one unless he is given strength by Me.  
I did not know: Heb. יָדַעְתִּי. An expression similar to (Exodus 33:17) “And I knew you by name (וָאֵדָעֲ) ” ; (Deut. 2:7) “He knew (יָדַע) your going” ; (Hosea 13:5) “I knew you (יְדַעְתִּי) in the desert.”  
9. Those who form idols are all of them vanity, and their treasures are of no avail, and they are their witnesses; they neither see nor hear, nor do they know, so that they be ashamed.   ט. יֹצְרֵי פֶסֶל כֻּלָּם תֹּהוּ וַחֲמוּדֵיהֶם בַּל יוֹעִילוּ וְעֵדֵיהֶם הֵמָּה בַּל יִרְאוּ וּבַל יֵדְעוּ לְמַעַן יֵבֹשׁוּ:
and they are their witnesses: The idols are witnesses of the shame of their worshipers, for we see that they neither see nor know, yet they were worshiping them.  
so that they be ashamed: Those who worship them.  
10. Who formed a god or molded an image, being of no avail?   י. מִי יָצַר אֵל וּפֶסֶל נָסָךְ לְבִלְתִּי הוֹעִיל:
molded: Heb. נָסָ, an expression of pouring and a molten image (מַסֵּכָה). The ‘nun’ in the word is a radical sometimes omitted, e.g., the ‘nun’ of נשך, biting, and of נגף, plaguing.  
11. Behold, all his colleagues shall be ashamed, and they are smiths-of man. Let all of them gather, let them stand, they shall fear, they shall be ashamed together.   יא. הֵן כָּל חֲבֵרָיו יֵבֹשׁוּ וְחָרָשִׁים הֵמָּה מֵאָדָם יִתְקַבְּצוּ כֻלָּם יַעֲמֹדוּ יִפְחֲדוּ יֵבֹשׁוּ יָחַד:
Behold, all his colleagues: of that fashioner and molder of graven images, who join him to worship his creation and his molten image, shall be ashamed.  
and they are smiths: those fashioners and molders, and they are of men, surely their creation is vanity.  
12. The ironsmith [makes] an axe, and he works with coal, and with sledge hammers he fashions it; and he made it with his strong arm; yea he is hungry, and he has no strength, he did not drink water and he becomes faint.   יב. חָרַשׁ בַּרְזֶל מַעֲצָד וּפָעַל בַּפֶּחָם וּבַמַּקָּבוֹת יִצְּרֵהוּ וַיִּפְעָלֵהוּ בִּזְרוֹעַ כֹּחוֹ גַּם רָעֵב וְאֵין כֹּחַ לֹא שָׁתָה מַיִם וַיִּעָף:
The ironsmith: a smith of iron.  
an axe: Heb. מַעֲצָד. That is one of the tools of the blacksmiths.  
and he works: the image.  
with coal: Heb. פֶּחָם, charbon in French.  
and with sledge hammers: Heb. מַקָּבוֹת, marteau in French.  
he fashions it: Heb. יִצְּרֵהוּ, an expression of fashioning.  
and he made it with his strong arm; yea he is hungry etc.: Even he, the fashioner, lacks strength and is weak, for if he becomes hungry he has no strength, or if he does not drink water, he becomes faint immediately. Surely his product has no power to help.  
13. The carpenter stretched out a line, he beautifies it with a saw; he fixes it with planes, and with a compass he rounds it, and he made it in the likeness of a man, like the beauty of man to sit [in] the house.   יג. חָרַשׁ עֵצִים נָטָה קָו יְתָאֲרֵהוּ בַשֶּׂרֶד יַעֲשֵׂהוּ בַּמַּקְצֻעוֹת וּבַמְּחוּגָה יְתָאֳרֵהוּ וַיַּעֲשֵׂהוּ כְּתַבְנִית אִישׁ כְּתִפְאֶרֶת אָדָם לָשֶׁבֶת בָּיִת:
The carpenter: And if he comes to make it of wood, and he is a carpenter, the following is his method.  
stretched out a line: as is the custom of the carpenters, and according to the line, יְתָאֲרֵהוּ בַשֶּׂרֶד, he straightens it with a saw, which they call doloire in French.  
he beautifies it: Heb. יְתָאֲרֵהוּ, he beautifies it.  
he fixes it with planes: Heb. מַקְצֻעוֹת. He smoothes it with a plane and a blade. Jonathan renders מַקְצֻעוֹת as אִיזְמֵלַיָּא, knives or blades.  
and with a compass he rounds it: Heb. יְתָאֳרֵהוּ, an expression similar to (Josh. 15:9): “And the border circled (וְתָאַר).” If he comes to make circular drawings, he draws around it with a compass, compas in French.  
like the beauty of a man: That is a woman, who is the beauty of her husband.  
14. To hew for himself cedars, and he took an ilex and an oak and he reenforced it with forest trees; he planted a sapling, and rain makes it grow.   יד. לִכְרָת לוֹ אֲרָזִים וַיִּקַּח תִּרְזָה וְאַלּוֹן וַיְאַמֶּץ לוֹ בַּעֲצֵי יָעַר נָטַע אֹרֶן וְגֶשֶׁם יְגַדֵּל:
ilex and an oak: kinds of non-fruit-producing trees.  
and he reinforced it with forest trees: He makes for it types of reinforcements, either for strength or for beauty, with types of trees, one different from the other in their appearance.  
he planted a sapling: When he finds a branch or a sapling that is fit for that, he plants it for that and the rain makes it grow.  
a sapling: Heb. אֹרֶן, a young sapling, ploncon in O.F.  
15. And it was for man to ignite, and he took from them and warmed himself; he even heated [the oven] and baked bread; he even made a god and prostrated himself, he made a graven image and bowed to them.   טו. וְהָיָה לְאָדָם לְבָעֵר וַיִּקַּח מֵהֶם וַיָּחָם אַף יַשִּׂיק וְאָפָה לָחֶם אַף יִפְעַל אֵל וַיִּשְׁתָּחוּ עָשָׂהוּ פֶסֶל וַיִּסְגָּד לָמוֹ:
And it was for man to ignite: And part of that very tree was for man’s necessities, [viz.] to ignite.  
and he took: from the trees.  
and he warmed: his body opposite them.  
he even heated: an oven with them and baked bread.  
he even made a God: from what was left over.  
16. Half of it he burnt with fire, on half of it he ate meat, he roasted a roast and became sated; he even warmed himself and said, "Aha, I am warm, I see fire."   טז. חֶצְיוֹ שָׂרַף בְּמוֹ אֵשׁ עַל חֶצְיוֹ בָּשָׂר יֹאכֵל יִצְלֶה צָלִי וְיִשְׂבָּע אַף יָחֹם וְיֹאמַר הֶאָח חַמּוֹתִי רָאִיתִי אוּר:
17. And what is left over from it he made for a god, for his graven image; he kneels to it and prostrates himself and prays to it, and he says, "Save me, for you are my god."   יז. וּשְׁאֵרִיתוֹ לְאֵל עָשָׂה לְפִסְלוֹ יִסְגָּד לוֹ וְיִשְׁתַּחוּ וְיִתְפַּלֵּל אֵלָיו וְיֹאמַר הַצִּילֵנִי כִּי אֵלִי אָתָּה:
18. Neither do they know nor do they understand, for their eyes are bedaubed from seeing, their hearts from understanding.   יח. לֹא יָדְעוּ וְלֹא יָבִינוּ כִּי טַח מֵרְאוֹת עֵינֵיהֶם מֵהַשְׂכִּיל לִבֹּתָם:
19. And he does not give it thought, and he has neither knowledge nor understanding to say, "Half of it I burnt with fire, and I even baked bread on its coals, I roasted meat and ate. And what was left over from it, shall I make for an abomination, shall I bow to rotten wood?"   יט. וְלֹא יָשִׁיב אֶל לִבּוֹ וְלֹא דַעַת וְלֹא תְבוּנָה לֵאמֹר חֶצְיוֹ שָׂרַפְתִּי בְמוֹ אֵשׁ וְאַף אָפִיתִי עַל גֶּחָלָיו לֶחֶם אֶצְלֶה בָשָׂר וְאֹכֵל וְיִתְרוֹ לְתוֹעֵבָה אֶעֱשֶׂה לְבוּל עֵץ אֶסְגּוֹד:
And he does not give it thought: [lit. and he does not return to his heart.] Half of it I burnt with fire.  
and he has neither knowledge nor understanding: [lit. and there is neither knowledge nor understanding] in him to say this.  
to rotten wood: Heb. לְבוּל עֵץ, to decay of wood.  
20. [To] a provider [made] of ashes, a deceived heart has perverted him, and he shall not save his soul, and he shall not say, "Is there not falsehood in my right hand?"   כ. רֹעֶה אֵפֶר לֵב הוּתַל הִטָּהוּ וְלֹא יַצִּיל אֶת נַפְשׁוֹ וְלֹא יֹאמַר הֲלוֹא שֶׁקֶר בִּימִינִי:
[To] a provider [made] of ashes, a deceived heart has perverted him: His heart, which was deceived, turned him aside to make for himself a provider of ashes. The image, half of which was burned and made into ashes, this fool says that it is his provider and patron. Another explanation: אֵפֶר רוֹעֶה is an expression of companionship. One who worships idols associates himself with the idol, which is ash.  
and he shall not save: [i.e.,] the misled one shall not save his soul, saying, “Is there not falsehood in my right hand?” and separate from it.  
21. Remember these, O Jacob; and Israel, for you are My servant; I formed you that you be a servant to Me, Israel, do not forget Me.   כא. זְכָר אֵלֶּה יַעֲקֹב וְיִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי עַבְדִּי אָתָּה יְצַרְתִּיךָ עֶבֶד לִי אַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא תִנָּשֵׁנִי:
do not forget Me: Do not forget My fear.  
22. I erased your transgressions like a thick cloud, and like a cloud have I erased your sins; return to Me for I have redeemed you.   כב. מָחִיתִי כָעָב פְּשָׁעֶיךָ וְכֶעָנָן חַטֹּאתֶיךָ שׁוּבָה אֵלַי כִּי גְאַלְתִּיךָ:
I erased your transgressions like a thick cloud: in Egypt and in the desert. Now too, return to Me.  
23. Sing, ye heavens, for the Lord has done [this], shout, ye lowest parts of the earth; ye mountains, burst out in song, the forest and all trees therein; for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and with Israel shall He be glorified.   כג. רָנּוּ שָׁמַיִם כִּי עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה הָרִיעוּ תַּחְתִּיּוֹת אָרֶץ פִּצְחוּ הָרִים רִנָּה יַעַר וְכָל עֵץ בּוֹ כִּי גָאַל יְהֹוָה יַעֲקֹב וּבְיִשְׂרָאֵל יִתְפָּאָר:
burst out: An expression of opening the mouth.  
24. So said the Lord, your Redeemer, and the One Who formed you from the womb, "I am the Lord Who makes everything, Who stretched forth the heavens alone, Who spread out the earth from My power.   כד. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה גֹּאֲלֶךָ וְיֹצֶרְךָ מִבָּטֶן אָנֹכִי יְהֹוָה עֹשֶׂה כֹּל נֹטֶה שָׁמַיִם לְבַדִּי רֹקַע הָאָרֶץ מֵי מֵאִתִּי:
and the One Who formed you from the womb: From the time that (Gen. 25:22) “the children struggled within her,” I was your help and I chose you.  
25. Who frustrates the signs of imposters, and diviners He makes mad; He turns the wise backwards, and makes their knowledge foolish.   כה. מֵפֵר אֹתוֹת בַּדִּים וְקֹסְמִים יְהוֹלֵל מֵשִׁיב חֲכָמִים אָחוֹר וְדַעְתָּם יְסַכֵּל:
Who stretched forth the heavens alone… Who frustrates the signs of imposters: Since I stretched forth the heavens, I can, therefore, frustrate their signs.  
imposters: Heb. בַּדִּים. They are stargazers, who predict the future through signs of the heavens, and since many times they lie, they are called בַּדִּים, imposters, for I change the heavenly princes, and these who ask of them err, and since the astrologers of Babylon were stargazers, as Scripture states (infra 47:13), “Let them stand now, and let the gazers into the heavens save you.” He, therefore, states that He will frustrate the signs of their imposters, for I am He Who frustrated the signs of the imposters of Egypt.  
26. He fulfills the word of His servant, and the counsel of His messenger He completes; Who says of Jerusalem, "It shall be settled," and of the cities of Judah, "They shall be built, and its ruins I will erect."   כו. מֵקִים דְּבַר עַבְדּוֹ וַעֲצַת מַלְאָכָיו יַשְׁלִים הָאֹמֵר לִירוּשָׁלִַם תּוּשָׁב וּלְעָרֵי יְהוּדָה תִּבָּנֶינָה וְחָרְבוֹתֶיהָ אֲקוֹמֵם:
He fulfills the word of His servant: Moses.  
and the counsel of His messengers: One angel said to Jacob (Gen. 32:27), “Israel shall be your name,” and I fulfilled his words. Here too, I will fulfill the counsel of My prophets who say concerning Jerusalem, “It shall be settled.”  
27. Who says to the deep, "Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers."   כז. הָאֹמֵר לַצּוּלָה חֳרָבִי וְנַהֲרֹתַיִךְ אוֹבִישׁ:
Who says to the deep, “Be dry”: Who says to Babylon, “Be dry.”  
and I will dry up your rivers: Since it is situated on rivers, he compares the slaying of its population to the drying up of rivers.  
28. Who says of Cyrus, "He is My shepherd, and all My desire he shall fulfill," and to say of Jerusalem, "It shall be built, and the Temple shall be founded."   כח. הָאֹמֵר לְכוֹרֶשׁ רֹעִי וְכָל חֶפְצִי יַשְׁלִם וְלֵאמֹר לִירוּשָׁלִַם תִּבָּנֶה וְהֵיכָל תִּוָּסֵד:
My shepherd: My king.  
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