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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 48

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 48

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 48

1. Hearken to this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and who emanated from the waters of Judah, who swear by the name of the Lord and make mention of God of Israel, neither in truth nor in righteousness.   א. שִׁמְעוּ זֹאת בֵּית יַעֲקֹב הַנִּקְרָאִים בְּשֵׁם יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִמֵּי יְהוּדָה יָצָאוּ הַנִּשְׁבָּעִים | בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה וּבֵאלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יַזְכִּירוּ לֹא בֶאֱמֶת וְלֹא בִצְדָקָה:
Hearken to this: The two tribes destined to go in exile to Babylon.  
O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel: That is the tribe of Benjamin, who are not called by the tribe of Judah, but by the general name of the tribes of Israel.  
and who emanated from the waters of Judah: And the tribe of Judah who emanated and ran from the waters of Judah’s pail, as Scripture states (Num. 24:7): “Water shall run out of his pails.”  
neither in truth: As Jeremiah said, (5:2) “And if they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’ surely they swear falsely,” i.e., you were unworthy of being redeemed, but since they were called [as being] from the Holy City, and that caused them not to be exiled with the ten tribes in the time of Sennacherib, to Halah and Habor, for they have no redemption.  
2. For they are called [as being] from the Holy City, and they leaned on the God of Israel; the Lord of Hosts is His name.   ב. כִּי מֵעִיר הַקֹּדֶשׁ נִקְרָאוּ וְעַל אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל נִסְמָכוּ יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ:
and they leaned on the God of Israel: in the days of Hezekiah, about whom it is written (2 Kings 18:5): “He trusted in the Lord God of Israel.” That caused them not to be exiled except in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, who exiled them to Babylon, and they had a redemption through Cyrus.  
3. The first things I told from then, and they emanated from My mouth and I let [you] hear them; suddenly I did [them] and they came to pass.   ג. הָרִאשֹׁנוֹת מֵאָז הִגַּדְתִּי וּמִפִּי יָצְאוּ וְאַשְׁמִיעֵם פִּתְאֹם עָשִׂיתִי וַתָּבֹאנָה:
The first things: that passed, [viz.] the redemption from Egypt and Hezekiah’s salvation from the hand of Sennacherib.  
I told from then: When they had not yet come about, and suddenly I did it.  
and they came to pass: as I told before through My prophets.  
4. Because of My knowledge that you are obstinate, and your nape is a sinew of iron, and your forehead is brazen.   ד. מִדַּעְתִּי כִּי קָשֶׁה אָתָּה וְגִיד בַּרְזֶל עָרְפֶּךָ וּמִצְחֲךָ נְחוּשָׁה:
Because of My knowledge that you are obstinate.: Heb. מִדַּעְתִּי. Because I knew you, that you are obstinate, and if the miracle would come and I had not told of it before, you would say, “My idol performed them, and they were not from the Holy One, blessed be He.” Therefore, I told you from then; when it had not yet come to pass etc. מִדַּעְתִּי [although usually translated ‘from My knowledge,’ in this case,] ; the ‘mem’ denotes the giving of a reason, like ‘Because I knew.’ A similar form [is found in Deut. 7:8:], “For, because of the Lord’s love (מֵאַהֲבַת) for you, and because of His observing (וּמִשָּׁמְרוֹ) the oath.”  
5. And I told you from then; when it had not yet come to pass I let you hear it; lest you say, "My idol performed them, and my graven image and my molten image ordained them."   ה. וָאַגִּיד לְךָ מֵאָז בְּטֶרֶם תָּבוֹא הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ פֶּן תֹּאמַר עָצְבִּי עָשָׂם וּפִסְלִי וְנִסְכִּי צִוָּם:
6. You have heard, see all of it; and you, will you not tell? I let you hear new things from now, and hidden things that you did not know.   ו. שָׁמַעְתָּ חֲזֵה כֻּלָּהּ וְאַתֶּם הֲלוֹא תַגִּידוּ הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ חֲדָשׁוֹת מֵעַתָּה וּנְצֻרוֹת וְלֹא יְדַעְתָּם:
You have heard, see all of it: You have heard the first ones that I told; see that all of them have come about.  
and you, will you not tell: and testify for Me that nothing failed?  
I let you hear new things from now: Now I come back and let you hear new things that are new to you, but to Me they are revealed from time immemorial.  
and hidden things: and things guarded in My treasure houses, and you did not know them.  
7. Now they have been created and not from then, and before the day, and you did not hear them, lest you say, "I knew them."   ז. עַתָּה נִבְרְאוּ וְלֹא מֵאָז וְלִפְנֵי יוֹם וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתָּם פֶּן תֹּאמַר הִנֵּה יְדַעְתִּין:
Now they have been created and not from then: are they.  
and before the day: that they take place I let you hear of them.  
and you did not hear them: until this day. The words, “and before the day,” refer back to “I let you hear,” as stated above.  
8. Neither did you hearken, neither did you know, nor was your ear opened from then, for I knew that you would deal treacherously, and you were called transgressor from the womb.   ח. גַּם לֹא שָׁמַעְתָּ גַּם לֹא יָדַעְתָּ גַּם מֵאָז לֹא פִתְּחָה אָזְנֶךָ כִּי יָדַעְתִּי בָּגוֹד תִּבְגּוֹד וּפֹשֵׁעַ מִבֶּטֶן קֹרָא לָךְ:
Neither did you hearken: Jonathan renders: Neither did you hearken to the words of the prophets, neither did you accept the teaching of the Torah, nor did you bend your ear to the words of the blessings and the curses of My covenant that I established with you at Horeb.  
for I knew that you would deal treacherously: When I came down to save you from the hands of the Egyptians, it was revealed to Me that you would eventually deal treacherously. Nevertheless, I kept the oath of the Patriarchs. This is what is stated (Ex. 3:7): “I saw the affliction of My people.” [The Hebrew expression for “I saw,” is רָאֹה רָאִיתִי, a double verb form, which denotes] two seeings. I see that they will eventually deal treacherously, but, nevertheless, I saw the affliction of My people. Rabbi Tanhuma expounded it in this manner.  
and… transgressor from the womb: Since you were in Egypt, as it is related in Ezekiel (20:5): “And I made Myself known in the land of Egypt, etc. (v. 7) and I said to them, [Cast away, each man the abominations of his eyes, and do not contaminate yourselves with the idols of Egypt].”  
9. For the sake of My name I defer My anger, and My praise is that I restrain My wrath for you, not to cut you off.   ט. לְמַעַן שְׁמִי אַאֲרִיךְ אַפִּי וּתְהִלָּתִי אֶחֱטָם לָךְ לְבִלְתִּי הַכְרִיתֶךָ:
I defer My anger: Heb. (אַאֲרִי אַפִּי). Despite the future form, it is an expression of the present.  
and My praise is that I restrain My wrath: Heb. אֶחֱטָם. And this is My praise, that I restrain My wrath for you. אֶחֱטָם is an expression of חֹטֶם, a nose. I will close My nose not to allow the smoke of My nostrils to go out and not to be angry with you, for, when one is angry, smoke comes out of his nostrils, as Scripture states (Ps. 18:9): “Smoke rose in His nose.” Likewise, every expression of ‘kindling of anger’ אַף) (חֲרוֹן is an expression of the heating of the nose, (Job. 42:7) “My anger was kindled (חָרָה אַפִּי).” Comp. also (ibid. 30:30) “And my bones were burnt (חָרָה) from heat.” My nose was heated (נִחַר) from much heat."  
10. Behold I have refined you, but not as silver; I have chosen for you the crucible of poverty.   י. הִנֵּה צְרַפְתִּיךָ וְלֹא בְכָסֶף בְּחַרְתִּיךָ בְּכוּר עֹנִי:
but not as silver: [lit. but not with silver.] Not with the fire of Gehinnom, as silver is refined through fire.  
I have chosen for you: Heb. בְּחַרְתִּי. I have chosen for you the crucible of poverty as opposed to the crucible of fire. A crucible (כּוּר) is a vessel in which they melt silver and gold.  
11. For My sake, for My sake I will do, for how shall it be profaned? And My honor I will not give to another.   יא. לְמַעֲנִי לְמַעֲנִי אֶעֱשֶׂה כִּי אֵיךְ יֵחָל וּכְבוֹדִי לְאַחֵר לֹא אֶתֵּן:
For My sake: For the sake of My holy name.  
for how shall it be profaned: How shall My name be profaned when I utterly destroy you?  
And My honor I will not give to another: That your enemies shall say that their God is powerful.  
12. Hearken to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, who was called by Me, I am He, I am first, yea I am last.   יב. שְׁמַע אֵלַי יַעֲקֹב וְיִשְׂרָאֵל מְקֹרָאִי אֲנִי הוּא אֲנִי רִאשׁוֹן אַף אֲנִי אַחֲרוֹן:
Hearken to Me, O Jacob: The name that your father called you.  
and Israel, who was called by Me: You were called Israel by Me (Gen. 32:29). Jonathan renders: Israel, My summoned one.  
13. Even My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand measured the heavens with handbreadths; I call them, they stand together.   יג. אַף יָדִי יָסְדָה אֶרֶץ וִימִינִי טִפְּחָה שָׁמָיִם קֹרֵא אֲנִי אֲלֵיהֶם יַעַמְדוּ יַחְדָּו:
14. All of you, gather and hearken, who of them told these? The Lord loves him, who shall do His work in Babylon and [show] His arm [upon the] Chaldeans.   יד. הִקָּבְצוּ כֻלְּכֶם וּשְׁמָעוּ מִי בָהֶם הִגִּיד אֶת אֵלֶּה יְהֹוָה אֲהֵבוֹ יַעֲשֶׂה חֶפְצוֹ בְּבָבֶל וּזְרֹעוֹ כַּשְׂדִּים:
The Lord loves him: He who will perform the will of the Holy One, blessed be He, upon Babylon.  
and [show] His arm: He will show in the land of the Chaldees, and concerning Cyrus he states this.  
15. I, yea I spoke, I even called him, I brought him, and his way prospered.   טו. אֲנִי אֲנִי דִּבַּרְתִּי אַף קְרָאתִיו הֲבִיאֹתִיו וְהִצְלִיחַ דַּרְכּוֹ:
I: redeemed Israel from Egypt, and I will redeem all Israel from the last exile and from the four corners of the earth.  
I even called him: [i.e., I called] Cyrus. Others say: The Lord loves Israel. I even called him, [i.e.,] Abraham. This calling is an expression of exaltation, to be My called one. Comp. (Num. 1: 16), “These are the called ones of the congregation.”  
16. Draw near to Me, hearken to this; in the beginning I did not speak in secret, from the time it was, there was I, and now, the Lord God has sent me, and His spirit.   טז. קִרְבוּ אֵלַי שִׁמְעוּ זֹאת לֹא מֵרֹאשׁ בַּסֵּתֶר דִּבַּרְתִּי מֵעֵת הֱיוֹתָהּ שָׁם אָנִי וְעַתָּה אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה שְׁלָחַנִי וְרוּחוֹ:
from the time it was, there was I: [Jonathan paraphrases:] From the time the nations ceased fearing Me, there I brought Abraham your father near to My service.  
and now, the Lord God has sent me, and His spirit: [Jonathan paraphrases:] Said the prophet, “And now, the Lord God has sent me, and His word.” This is an intermingling of words. The one who said this did not say that [i.e., the first part of the verse was said by God, and the second part by the prophet]. And the Aggadic Midrash of Rabbi Tanhuma (Yithro 21) explains: Hearken to thisThis alludes to Moses’ Torah, referred to as “This is the Torah.” In the beginning, I did not speak in secretat Sinai. And the prophet says, “From the time that thing was that, He says, I was there.” And we learned from here that all the prophets stood at Sinai. And now He sent me to prophesy to them. Even in this version there is an intermingling of words. “In the beginning I did not speak in secret,” was said by the Shechinah.“From the time it was, there was I,” was said by the prophet. It is possible to interpret it so that there should not be intermingling of words [as follows:] Draw near to me, hearken to this what I prophesy to you regarding the downfall of Babylon and your redemption. In the beginning I did not speak that in secret. From the time it was, that the Holy One, blessed be He, decreed to bring it, there I was. This teaches that from the time of the decree, the Holy One, blessed be He, appoints the prophet who is destined to prophesy regarding the matter in the council of the heavenly household, although it has not yet been created.  
17. So said the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you for your profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.   יז. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה גֹּאַלְךָ קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מְלַמֶּדְךָ לְהוֹעִיל מַדְרִיכְךָ בְּדֶרֶךְ תֵּלֵךְ:
18. Had you hearkened to My commandments, your peace would be as a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.   יח. לוּא הִקְשַׁבְתָּ לְמִצְו‍ֹתָי וַיְהִי כַנָּהָר שְׁלוֹמֶךָ וְצִדְקָתְךָ כְּגַלֵּי הַיָּם:
19. And your seed would be like the sand and those emanating from your innards [would be] like its innards; his name shall neither be cut off nor destroyed from before Me.   יט. וַיְהִי כַחוֹל זַרְעֶךָ וְצֶאֱצָאֵי מֵעֶיךָ כִּמְעוֹתָיו לֹא יִכָּרֵת וְלֹא יִשָּׁמֵד שְׁמוֹ מִלְּפָנָי:
like its innards: of the sea, like the fish of the sea for multitude.  
20. Leave Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans; with a voice of singing declare, tell this, publicize it to the end of the earth; say, "The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob."   כ. צְאוּ מִבָּבֶל בִּרְחוּ מִכַּשְׂדִּים בְּקוֹל רִנָּה הַגִּידוּ הַשְׁמִיעוּ זֹאת הוֹצִיאוּהָ עַד קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ אִמְרוּ גָּאַל יְהֹוָה עַבְדּוֹ יַעֲקֹב:
21. And they did not thirst when He led them in the wastelands, He made water run from a rock for them; He split a rock and water flowed.   כא. וְלֹא צָמְאוּ בָּחֳרָבוֹת הוֹלִיכָם מַיִם מִצּוּר הִזִּיל לָמוֹ וַיִּבְקַע צוּר וַיָּזֻבוּ מָיִם:
22. "There is no peace," said the Lord. "for the wicked."   כב. אֵין שָׁלוֹם אָמַר יְהֹוָה לָרְשָׁעִים:
for the wicked: For Nebuchadnezzar and his seed.  
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