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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 49

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 49

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 49

1. Hearken, you islands, to me, and listen closely, you nations, from afar; the Lord called me from the womb, from the innards of my mother He mentioned my name.   א. שִׁמְעוּ אִיִּים אֵלַי וְהַקְשִׁיבוּ לְאֻמִּים מֵרָחוֹק יְהֹוָה מִבֶּטֶן קְרָאָנִי מִמְּעֵי אִמִּי הִזְכִּיר שְׁמִי:
called me from the womb: When I was still in the womb, the thought came before Him that my name should be Isaiah (יְשַׁעְיָה) to prophesy salvations (יְשׁוּעוֹת) and consolations.  
2. And He made my mouth like a sharp sword, He concealed me in the shadow of His hand; and He made me into a polished arrow, He hid me in His quiver.   ב. וַיָּשֶׂם פִּי כְּחֶרֶב חַדָּה בְּצֵל יָדוֹ הֶחְבִּיאָנִי וַיְשִׂימֵנִי לְחֵץ בָּרוּר בְּאַשְׁפָּתוֹ הִסְתִּירָנִי:
And He made my mouth like a sharp sword: to castigate the wicked and to prophesy retribution upon them.  
He concealed me in the shadow of His hand: that they be unable to harm me.  
into a polished arrow: Heb. בָּרוּר, [lit. clear,] polished, kler in O.F.  
in His quiver: A receptacle used as a case for arrows, called koujjbre in O.F.  
3. And He said to me, "You are My servant, Israel, about whom I will boast."   ג. וַיֹּאמֶר לִי עַבְדִּי אָתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר בְּךָ אֶתְפָּאָר:
4. And I said, "I toiled in vain, I consumed my strength for nought and vanity." Yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my deed is with my God.   ד. וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי לְרִיק יָגַעְתִּי לְתֹהוּ וְהֶבֶל כֹּחִי כִלֵּיתִי אָכֵן מִשְׁפָּטִי אֶת יְהֹוָה וּפְעֻלָּתִי אֶת אֱלֹהָי:
And I said, I toiled in vain: when I saw that I admonish them and they do not obey.  
Yet surely my right is with the Lord: He knows that it is not from me but from them [i.e., He knows that their failure to obey is not due to my laziness, but to their obstinacy].  
5. And now, the Lord, Who formed me from the womb as a servant to Him, said to bring Jacob back to Him, and Israel shall be gathered to Him, and I will be honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God was my strength.   ה. וְעַתָּה | אָמַר יְהֹוָה יֹצְרִי מִבֶּטֶן לְעֶבֶד לוֹ לְשׁוֹבֵב יַעֲקֹב אֵלָיו וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לוֹ יֵאָסֵף וְאֶכָּבֵד בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וֵאלֹהַי הָיָה עֻזִּי:
shall be gathered to Him: To Him they shall return in repentance.  
6. And He said, "It is too light for you to be My servant, to establish the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the besieged of Israel, but I will make you a light of nations, so that My salvation shall be until the end of the earth."   ו. וַיֹּאמֶר נָקֵל מִהְיוֹתְךָ לִי עֶבֶד לְהָקִים אֶת שִׁבְטֵי יַעֲקֹב וּנְצוּרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהָשִׁיב וּנְתַתִּיךָ לְאוֹר גּוֹיִם לִהְיוֹת יְשׁוּעָתִי עַד קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ:
And He said, “It is too light for you to be, etc.”: In My eyes, it is too small a gift that you should have this alone, that you be My servant to establish Jacob and to bring back to Me the besieged of Israel, and behold I add more to you, “And I will make you a light for the nations,” to prophesy concerning the downfall of Babylon, which will be a joy for the whole world.  
and the besieged of Israel: Heb. וּנְצוּרֵי. Comp. (Prov. 7:10) “With a heart surrounded by evil thoughts (וּנְצֻרַת),” that their heart is surrounded by the inclination of sinful thoughts, like a city besieged by a bulwark of those who besiege it.  
7. So said the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, about him who is despised of men, about him whom the nation abhors, about a slave of rulers, "Kings shall see and rise, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves, for the sake of the Lord Who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, and He chose you."   ז. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה גֹּאֵל יִשְׂרָאֵל קְדוֹשׁוֹ לִבְזֹה נֶפֶשׁ לִמְתָעֵב גּוֹי לְעֶבֶד מֹשְׁלִים מְלָכִים יִרְאוּ וָקָמוּ שָׂרִים וְיִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לְמַעַן יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר נֶאֱמָן קְדֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּבְחָרֶךָּ:
about him who is despised of men: Heb. לִבְזֹה נֶפֶשׁ, a despised soul, about Israel, who are despised.  
about him whom the nation abhors: About him whom the nation abhors, and he is a slave to those who rule over him.  
Kings shall see: him and rise.  
Who is faithful: to keep His promise that He promised Abraham concerning the kingdoms, as the matter is stated (Gen. 15: 17): “And behold a smoking stove, etc.”  
the Holy One of Israel: is He, and He chose you.  
8. So said the Lord, "In a time of favor I answered you, and on a day of salvation I helped you; and I will watch you, and I will make you for a people of a covenant, to establish a land, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.   ח. כֹּה | אָמַר יְהֹוָה בְּעֵת רָצוֹן עֲנִיתִיךָ וּבְיוֹם יְשׁוּעָה עֲזַרְתִּיךָ וְאֶצָּרְךָ וְאֶתֶּנְךָ לִבְרִית עָם לְהָקִים אֶרֶץ לְהַנְחִיל נְחָלוֹת שֹׁמֵמוֹת:
In a time of favor: In the time of prayer, when you seek My favor and appease Me.  
and on a day of salvation: When you need salvation.  
and I will watch you: Heb. וְאֶצָּרְךָ, and I will watch you.  
for a people of a covenant: to be a people of a covenant to Me.  
to establish a land: The land of Israel, chosen by Me from all lands.  
9. To say to the prisoners, "Go out!" and to the darkness, "Show yourselves!" By the roads they shall graze, and by all rivers is their pasture.   ט. לֵאמֹר לַאֲסוּרִים צֵאוּ לַאֲשֶׁר בַּחֹשֶׁךְ הִגָּלוּ עַל דְּרָכִים יִרְעוּ וּבְכָל שְׁפָיִים מַרְעִיתָם:
To say to the prisoners, “Go out!”: At the time I will say to the prisoners of the exile, “Go out!”  
rivers: Jonathan renders: נַגְדִּין, streams of water.  
10. They shall neither hunger nor thirst, nor shall the heat and the sun smite them, for He Who has mercy on them shall lead them, and by the springs of water He shall guide them.   י. לֹא יִרְעָבוּ וְלֹא יִצְמָאוּ וְלֹא יַכֵּם שָׁרָב וָשָׁמֶשׁ כִּי מְרַחֲמָם יְנַהֲגֵם וְעַל מַבּוּעֵי מַיִם יְנַהֲלֵם:
heat: Heb. שָׁרָב, heat.  
11. And I will make all My mountains into a road, and My highways shall be raised.   יא. וְשַׂמְתִּי כָל הָרַי לַדָּרֶךְ וּמְסִלֹּתַי יְרֻמוּן:
And I will make all My mountains into a road: In contrast to what he said concerning the days of its ruin (supra 33: 8) “The wayfarer has stopped,” now the wayfarers shall return and go therein.  
and My highways shall be raised: In contrast to what he said (ibid.): “Highways have become desolate,” deteriorated with no one to repair them, now My highways shall be raised, they shall repair the deterioration of the roads and raise them as is customary, with smooth pebbles and earth.  
12. Behold, these shall come from afar, and behold these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim.   יב. הִנֵּה אֵלֶּה מֵרָחוֹק יָבֹאוּ וְהִנֵּה אֵלֶּה מִצָּפוֹן וּמִיָּם וְאֵלֶּה מֵאֶרֶץ סִינִים:
from the land of Sinim: [Jonathan renders:] from the southland.  
13. Sing, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth, and mountains burst out in song, for the Lord has consoled His people, and He shall have mercy on His poor.   יג. רָנּוּ שָׁמַיִם וְגִילִי אָרֶץ וּפִצְחוּ הָרִים רִנָּה כִּי נִחַם יְהֹוָה עַמּוֹ וַעֲנִיָּו יְרַחֵם:
for the Lord has consoled: His people.  
14. And Zion said, "The Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me."   יד. וַתֹּאמֶר צִיּוֹן עֲזָבַנִי יְהֹוָה וַאדֹנָי שְׁכֵחָנִי:
And Zion said: She thought that I had forgotten her.  
15. Shall a woman forget her sucking child, from having mercy on the child of her womb? These too shall forget, but I will not forget you.   טו. הֲתִשְׁכַּח אִשָּׁה עוּלָהּ מֵרַחֵם בֶּן בִּטְנָהּ גַּם אֵלֶּה תִשְׁכַּחְנָה וְאָנֹכִי לֹא אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ:
Shall a woman forget her sucking child: Heb. עוּלָהּ, similar to עוֹלֵל.  
from having mercy on the child of her womb: Heb. מֵרֶחֶם בֶּן-בִּטְנָהּ.  
These too shall forget: Even if these forget, I will not forget you.  
16. Behold on [My] hands have I engraved you; your walls are before Me always.   טז. הֵן עַל כַּפַּיִם חַקֹּתִיךְ חוֹמֹתַיִךְ נֶגְדִּי תָּמִיד:
Behold on [My] hands: Heb. כַּפַּיִם עַל- [lit. on hands]. I see you as though you are engraved on My hands, to see you and always to remember you. Another explanation is: עַל-כַּפַּיִם “from upon the clouds of glory.” Comp. (Job 36:32) “On the clouds (כַּפַּיִם) He covered the rain.”  
17. Your sons have hastened; those who destroy you and those who lay you waste shall go forth from you.   יז. מִהֲרוּ בָּנָיִךְ מְהָרְסַיִךְ וּמַחֲרִיבַיִךְ מִמֵּךְ יֵצֵאוּ:
Your sons have hastened: to return.  
18. Lift your eyes around and see, all of them have gathered, have come to you; as I live, says the Lord, that you shall wear all of them as jewelry, and you shall tie them as a bride.   יח. שְׂאִי סָבִיב עֵינַיִךְ וּרְאִי כֻּלָּם נִקְבְּצוּ בָאוּ לָךְ חַי אָנִי נְאֻם יְהֹוָה כִּי כֻלָּם כַּעֲדִי תִלְבָּשִׁי וּתְקַשְּׁרִים כַּכַּלָּה:
19. For your ruins and your desolate places and your land that has been destroyed, for now you shall be crowded by the inhabitants, and those who would destroy you shall be far away.   יט. כִּי חָרְבֹתַיִךְ וְשֹׁמְמֹתַיִךְ וְאֶרֶץ הֲרִסֻתֵךְ כִּי עַתָּה תֵּצְרִי מִיּוֹשֵׁב וְרָחֲקוּ מְבַלְּעָיִךְ:
you shall be crowded by the inhabitants: You shall be crowded by the multitude of inhabitants that shall come into your midst. The place shall be too narrow for them to build houses for themselves.  
20. Your children of whom you were bereaved shall yet say in your ears, "The place is too narrow for me; move over for me so that I will dwell."   כ. עוֹד יֹאמְרוּ בְאָזְנַיִךְ בְּנֵי שִׁכֻּלָיִךְ צַר לִי הַמָּקוֹם גְּשָׁה לִּי וְאֵשֵׁבָה:
Your children of whom you were bereaved: [lit. the children of your bereavements.] The children of whom you were bereaved.  
move over for me: [lit. approach for me.] Draw closer to another side for me, and I will dwell.  
21. And you shall say to yourself, "Who begot these for me, seeing that I am bereaved and solitary, exiled and rejected, and who raised these? Behold I was left alone; these-[from] where are they?"   כא. וְאָמַרְתְּ בִּלְבָבֵךְ מִי יָלַד לִי אֶת אֵלֶּה וַאֲנִי שְׁכוּלָה וְגַלְמוּדָה גֹּלָה | וְסוּרָה וְאֵלֶּה מִי גִדֵּל הֵן אֲנִי נִשְׁאַרְתִּי לְבַדִּי אֵלֶּה אֵיפֹה הֵם:
and solitary: solede in O.F.  
rejected: Rejected by everyone. All say about me, “Turn away from her.”  
22. So said the Lord God, "Behold I will raise My hand to the nations, and to the peoples will I raise My standard, and they shall bring your sons in their armpits, and your daughters shall be borne on their shoulder[s].   כב. כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה הִנֵּה אֶשָּׂא אֶל גּוֹיִם יָדִי וְאֶל עַמִּים אָרִים נִסִּי וְהֵבִיאוּ בָנַיִךְ בְּחֹצֶן וּבְנֹתַיִךְ עַל כָּתֵף תִּנָּשֶׂאנָה:
My hand… My standard: A signal to bring the exiles.  
a standard: Perka in O. F., [perche in modern French,] a pole. Comp. (supra 30:17) “And like a flagpole (וְכַנֵּס) on a hill.” It is a signal for gathering, and they place a cloth [a flag] on the end of it.  
in their armpits: Ajjsela [aisela] in O.F., [aisselle in modern French]. Comp. Ezra (Neh. 5: 13): “Also I shook out my armpit (חָצְנִי).”  
23. And kings shall be your nursing fathers and their princesses your wet nurses; they shall prostrate themselves to you with their face on the ground, and they shall lick the dust of your feet, and you shall know that I am the Lord, for those who wait for Me shall not be ashamed.   כג. וְהָיוּ מְלָכִים אֹמְנַיִךְ וְשָׂרוֹתֵיהֶם מֵינִיקֹתַיִךְ אַפַּיִם אֶרֶץ יִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לָךְ וַעֲפַר רַגְלַיִךְ יְלַחֵכוּ וְיָדַעַתְּ כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא יֵבֹשׁוּ קוָֹי:
24. Shall prey be taken from a mighty warrior, or shall the captives of the righteous escape?"   כד. הֲיֻקַּח מִגִּבּוֹר מַלְקוֹחַ וְאִם שְׁבִי צַדִּיק יִמָּלֵט:
Shall prey be taken from a mighty warrior: You think that it is impossible to take from Esau those captured from Jacob the righteous one.  
25. For so said the Lord, "Even the captives of a mighty warrior can be taken and the prey of a tyrant shall escape, and with your contender will I contend, and your sons I will save.   כה. כִּי כֹה | אָמַר יְהֹוָה גַּם שְׁבִי גִבּוֹר יֻקָּח וּמַלְקוֹחַ עָרִיץ יִמָּלֵט וְאֶת יְרִיבֵךְ אָנֹכִי אָרִיב וְאֶת בָּנַיִךְ אָנֹכִי אוֹשִׁיעַ:
and with your contender: Heb. יְרִיבֵ. And with your contender I will contend.  
26. And those who taunt you-I will feed their flesh, and as with sweet wine they shall become drunk [from] their blood; and all flesh shall know that I am the Lord Who saves you, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.   כו. וְהַאֲכַלְתִּי אֶת מוֹנַיִךְ אֶת בְּשָׂרָם וְכֶעָסִיס דָּמָם יִשְׁכָּרוּן וְיָדְעוּ כָל בָּשָׂר כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה מוֹשִׁיעֵךְ וְגֹאֲלֵךְ אֲבִיר יַעֲקֹב:
And those who taunt you I will feed: their flesh to the beasts of the field. The word מוֹנַיִ is an expression akin to (Lev. 25:14) “You shall not taunt (אַל תּוֹנוּ).” This denotes taunting with words, those who anger you with their revilings.  
and as with sweet wine: Heb. וְכֶעָסִיס. The sweetness of wine.  
they shall become drunk [from] their blood: So shall those accustomed to drink blood become drunk from their blood. Now who are they? These are the fowl of the heavens. So did Jonathan render this.  
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