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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 51

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 51

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 51

1. Hearken to Me, you pursuers of righteousness, you seekers of the Lord; look at the rock whence you were hewn and at the hole of the pit whence you were dug.   א. שִׁמְעוּ אֵלַי רֹדְפֵי צֶדֶק מְבַקְשֵׁי יְהֹוָה הַבִּיטוּ אֶל צוּר חֻצַּבְתֶּם וְאֶל מַקֶּבֶת בּוֹר נֻקַּרְתֶּם:
look at the rock whence you were hewn: from it.  
and at the hole of the pit: Heb. מַקֶּבֶת. With which they penetrate (נוֹקְבִין) and hew the pits.  
you were dug: with which you were dug.  
you were dug: Heb. נֻקַּרְתֶּם, an expression similar to (Ex. 33.22) “The cleft (נִקְרַת) of the rock” ; (Prov. 30:17) “The ravens of the brook shall pick it (יִקְּרוּהָ).” And who is the rock? He is Abraham your forefather. And who is the hole? She is Sarah who bore you. [תְּחוֹלֶלְכֶם means] ‘who bore you,’ an expression similar to (infra 66:8) “For Zion experienced pangs (חָלָה) and also bore.”  
2. Look at Abraham your father and at Sarah who bore you, for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him and made him many.   ב. הַבִּיטוּ אֶל אַבְרָהָם אֲבִיכֶם וְאֶל שָׂרָה תְּחוֹלֶלְכֶם כִּי אֶחָד קְרָאתִיו וַאֲבָרְכֵהוּ וְאַרְבֵּהוּ:
who bore you: Heb. תְּחוֹלֶלְכֶם [lit. shall bear you.]  
for when he was but one I called him: For he was one single person in the land of Canaan where I exiled him from his land and from his birthplace. I called him, meaning that I raised him and exalted him. An expression [similar to] (Num. 1:16) “Those called of (קְרִיאֵי) the congregation.” And just as he was a single person and I exalted him, so will I exalt you, who are singled out to Me.  
3. For the Lord shall console Zion, He shall console all its ruins, and He shall make its desert like a paradise and its wasteland like the garden of the Lord; joy and happiness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and a voice of song.   ג. כִּי נִחַם יְהֹוָה צִיּוֹן נִחַם כָּל חָרְבֹתֶיהָ וַיָּשֶׂם מִדְבָּרָהּ כְּעֵדֶן וְעַרְבָתָהּ כְּגַן יְהֹוָה שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה יִמָּצֵא בָהּ תּוֹדָה וְקוֹל זִמְרָה:
and its wasteland: Heb. וְעַרְבָתָהּ. This too is an expression of a desert. Comp. (Jer. 2: 6) “In a wasteland (עֲרָבָה) and a land of pits,” but the wasteland once had a settlement and it was destroyed.  
thanksgiving: A voice of thanks.  
4. Hearken to Me, My people, and My nation, bend your ears to Me, when Torah shall emanate from Me, and My judgment [shall be] for the light of the peoples, I will give [them] rest.   ד. הַקְשִׁיבוּ אֵלַי עַמִּי וּלְאוּמִּי אֵלַי הַאֲזִינוּ כִּי תוֹרָה מֵאִתִּי תֵצֵא וּמִשְׁפָּטִי לְאוֹר עַמִּים אַרְגִּיעַ:
When Torah shall emanate from Me: The words of the prophets are Torah, and the judgments shall eventually mean tranquility and rest for the peoples for whom I will turn a pure language to serve Me.  
I will give [them] rest: Heb. אַרְגִּיעַ, I will give them rest.  
5. My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, and My arms shall chasten peoples; islands shall wait for Me, and on My arm shall they trust.   ה. קָרוֹב צִדְקִי יָצָא יִשְׁעִי וּזְרֹעַי עַמִּים יִשְׁפֹּטוּ אֵלַי אִיִּים יְקַוּוּ וְאֶל זְרוֹעִי יְיַחֵלוּן:
shall chasten: Heb. יִשְׁפֹּטוּ, chasten, jostize in O.F.  
6. Raise your eyes to heaven and look at the earth from beneath, for the heavens shall vanish like smoke, and the earth shall rot away like a garment, and its inhabitants shall likewise die, and My salvation shall be forever, and My righteousness shall not be abolished.   ו. שְׂאוּ לַשָּׁמַיִם עֵינֵיכֶם וְהַבִּיטוּ אֶל הָאָרֶץ מִתַּחַת כִּי שָׁמַיִם כֶּעָשָׁן נִמְלָחוּ וְהָאָרֶץ כַּבֶּגֶד תִּבְלֶה וְיֹשְׁבֶיהָ כְּמוֹ כֵן יְמוּתוּן וִישׁוּעָתִי לְעוֹלָם תִּהְיֶה וְצִדְקָתִי לֹא תֵחָת:
the heavens shall vanish like smoke: The princes of the hosts of the heathens who are in heaven.  
shall vanish: Heb. נִמְלָחוּ, shall rot away. Comp. (Jer. 38:12) “Rags and decayed clothing הַסְּחָבוֹת) (בְּלוֹאֵי,” a decayed garment. Another explanation of נִמְלָחוּ is: shall be stirred. This is an expression similar to “the sailors of (מַלָּחֵי) the sea,” who stir the water with the oars that guide the ship. Comp. also (Ex. 30:35) “Stirred (מְמֻלָּח) , pure, and holy.”  
and the earth: the rulers of the earth.  
and its inhabitants: the rest of the people.  
and My salvation: for My people shall be forever. Another explanation is: [It refers] actually [to] the heavens and the earth, and this is its explanation: Raise your eyes and look at the heaven and at the earth, and see how strong and sturdy they are, yet they shall rot away, but My righteousness and My salvation shall be forever. Hence, My righteousness is sturdier and stronger than they.  
7. Hearken to Me, you who know righteousness, a people that has My Torah in their heart, fear not reproach of man, and from their revilings be not dismayed.   ז. שִׁמְעוּ אֵלַי יֹדְעֵי צֶדֶק עַם תּוֹרָתִי בְלִבָּם אַל תִּירְאוּ חֶרְפַּת אֱנוֹשׁ וּמִגִּדֻּפֹתָם אַל תֵּחָתּוּ:
8. For, like a garment, the moth shall consume them, and like wool, the worm shall consume them, but My righteousness shall be forever, and My salvation to all generations.   ח. כִּי כַבֶּגֶד יֹאכְלֵם עָשׁ וְכַצֶּמֶר יֹאכְלֵם סָס וְצִדְקָתִי לְעוֹלָם תִּהְיֶה וִישׁוּעָתִי לְדוֹר דּוֹרִים:
the moth… the worm: They are species of worms.  
9. Awaken, awaken, dress yourself with strength, O arm of the Lord, awaken, awaken like days of old, generations of yore; are you not the one that hewed Rahab and slew the sea monster?   ט. עוּרִי עוּרִי לִבְשִׁי עֹז זְרוֹעַ יְהֹוָה עוּרִי כִּימֵי קֶדֶם דּוֹרוֹת עוֹלָמִים הֲלוֹא אַתְּ הִיא הַמַּחְצֶבֶת רַהַב מְחוֹלֶלֶת תַּנִּין:
Awaken, awaken: This is the prophet’s prayer.  
Rahab: [lit. pride.] Egypt, about whom it is written (supra 30:7): “They are haughty (רַהַב), idlers.”  
slew: Heb. מְחוֹלֶלֶת, an expression of slaying, related to חָלָל.  
the sea monster: Pharaoh.  
10. Are you not the one who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep? Who made the depths of the sea a road for the redeemed ones to pass?   י. הֲלוֹא אַתְּ הִיא הַמַּחֲרֶבֶת יָם מֵי תְּהוֹם רַבָּה הַשָּׂמָה מַעֲמַקֵּי יָם דֶּרֶךְ לַעֲבֹר גְּאוּלִים:
11. And the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and they shall come to Zion with song, and [with] everlasting joy on their heads; gladness and joy shall overtake them; sorrow and sighing shall flee.   יא. וּפְדוּיֵי יְהֹוָה יְשׁוּבוּן וּבָאוּ צִיּוֹן בְּרִנָּה וְשִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם עַל רֹאשָׁם שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה יַשִּׂיגוּן נָסוּ יָגוֹן וַאֲנָחָה:
And the redeemed of the Lord shall return: This is an expression of prayer, and it is connected to “Awaken, awaken.”  
12. I, yea I am He Who consoles you; who are you that you fear man who will die and the son of man, who shall be made [as] grass?   יב. אָנֹכִי אָנֹכִי הוּא מְנַחֶמְכֶם מִי אַתְּ וַתִּירְאִי מֵאֱנוֹשׁ יָמוּת וּמִבֶּן אָדָם חָצִיר יִנָּתֵן:
who are you: the daughter of the righteous like you and full of merits, why should you fear man, whose end is to die?  
13. And you forgot the Lord your Maker, Who spread out the heavens and founded the earth, and you fear constantly the whole day because of the wrath of the oppressor when he prepared to destroy. Now where is the wrath of the oppressor?   יג. וַתִּשְׁכַּח יְהֹוָה עֹשֶׂךָ נוֹטֶה שָׁמַיִם וְיֹסֵד אָרֶץ וַתְּפַחֵד תָּמִיד כָּל הַיּוֹם מִפְּנֵי חֲמַת הַמֵּצִיק כַּאֲשֶׁר כּוֹנֵן לְהַשְׁחִית וְאַיֵּה חֲמַת הַמֵּצִיק:
And you forgot the Lord your Maker: and you did not rely on Him.  
the oppressor: The rulers of the heathens (the nations of the world [Parshandatha, K’li Paz]) who subjugate you.  
when he prepared: Prepared himself.  
Now where is the wrath of the oppressor: Tomorrow comes and he is not here.  
14. What must be poured out hastened to be opened, and he shall not die of destruction, and his bread shall not be wanting.   יד. מִהַר צֹעֶה לְהִפָּתֵחַ וְלֹא יָמוּת לַשַּׁחַת וְלֹא יֶחְסַר לַחְמוֹ:
What must be poured out hastened to be opened: Heb. מִהַר צֹעֶה לְהִפָּתֵחַ. Even if his stools are hard, and he must be opened by walking in order to move the bowels in order that he not die by destruction, and once he hastens to open up, he requires much food, for, if his bread is lacking, even he will die. צֹעֶה An expression of a thing prepared to be poured, as he says concerning Moab, whom the prophet compared to wine (Jer. 48:11): “Who rests on his dregs and was not poured from vessel to vessel.” And he says there (v. 12), “And I will send pourers (צֹעִים) upon him and they shall pour him out (וְצֵעֻהוּ), and they shall empty his vessels.” [This is an illustration of the weakness of man. Consequently, there is no need to fear him.] Another explanation is: מִהַר צֹעֶה That enemy who oppresses you, who is now with girded loins, girded with strength, shall hasten to be opened up and to become weak. צֹעֶה Girded. Comp. (infra 63: 1) “Girded (צֹעֶה) with the greatness of His strength.”  
and he shall not die: i.e., the one delivered into his hand [shall not die] of destruction. But the first interpretation is a Midrash Aggadah in Pesikta Rabbathi (34:5).  
15. I am the Lord your God, Who wrinkles the sea and its waves stir; the Lord of Hosts is His name.   טו. וְאָנֹכִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ רֹגַע הַיָּם וַיֶּהֱמוּ גַּלָּיו יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ:
Who wrinkles the sea: Heb. רֹגַע, an expression similar to (Job 7:5) “My skin was wrinkled (רָגַע).” Froncir in O.F. [froncer in Modern French, to wrinkle, gather, pucker].  
to plant the heavens: to preserve the people about whom it was said that they shall be as many as the stars of the heavens [from Jonathan].  
and to found the earth: And to found the congregation about whom it is said that they shall be as many as the dust of the earth [from Jonathan].  
16. And I placed My words into your mouth, and with the shadow of My hand I covered you, to plant the heavens and to found the earth and to say to Zion [that] you are My people.   טז. וָאָשִׂים דְּבָרַי בְּפִיךָ וּבְצֵל יָדִי כִּסִּיתִיךָ לִנְטֹעַ שָׁמַיִם וְלִיסֹד אָרֶץ וְלֵאמֹר לְצִיּוֹן עַמִּי אָתָּה:
17. Awaken, awaken, arise, Jerusalem, for you have drunk from the hand of the Lord the cup of His wrath; the dregs of the cup of weakness you have drained.   יז. הִתְעוֹרְרִי הִתְעוֹרְרִי קוּמִי יְרוּשָׁלִַם אֲשֶׁר שָׁתִית מִיַּד יְהֹוָה אֶת כּוֹס חֲמָתוֹ אֶת קֻבַּעַת כּוֹס הַתַּרְעֵלָה שָׁתִית מָצִית:
dregs: Heb. קֻבַּעַת. Jonathan renders: פַּיְלֵי, which is the name of a cup [phiala in Latin]. But it appears to me that קֻבַּעַת, these are the dregs fixed (קְבוּעִים) to the bottom of the vessel, and the word מָצִית, “you have drained,” indicates it, as it is said (Ps. 75:9): “… shall drain (יִמְצוּ) its dregs.”  
weakness: Heb. תַּרְעֵלָה. That is a drink that clogs and weakens the strength of a person, like one bound, tied, and enwrapped. Comp. (Nahum 2:4) “And the cypress trees were enwrapped (הָרְעָלוּ).” Also (supra 3:19), “And the bracelets and the veils (רְעָלוֹת) ,” which is an expression of enwrapping, and in Tractate Shabbath (6:6): “Median women (sic) may go out veiled (רְעוּלוֹת),” a kind of beautiful veil in which to enwrap oneself. תַּרְעֵלָה is entoumissant in O.F., (stiffening, weakening, paralyzing).  
you have drained: Heb. מָצִית, egoutter in French, [to drain, exhaust].  
18. She has no guide out of all the sons she bore, and she has no one who takes her by the hand out of all the sons she raised.   יח. אֵין מְנַהֵל לָהּ מִכָּל בָּנִים יָלָדָה וְאֵין מַחֲזִיק בְּיָדָהּ מִכָּל בָּנִים גִּדֵּלָה:
19. These two things have befallen you; who will lament for you? Plunder and destruction, and famine and sword. [With] whom will I console you?   יט. שְׁתַּיִם הֵנָּה קֹרְאֹתַיִךְ מִי יָנוּד לָךְ הַשֹּׁד וְהַשֶּׁבֶר וְהָרָעָב וְהַחֶרֶב מִי אֲנַחֲמֵךְ:
These two things have befallen you: Twofold calamities, two by two.  
[With] whom will I console you?: Whom will I bring to you to console you and to say that also that certain nation suffered in the same manner as you?  
20. Your sons have fainted, they lie at the entrance of all streets like a wild ox in a net, full of the wrath of the Lord, the rebuke of your God.   כ. בָּנַיִךְ עֻלְּפוּ שָׁכְבוּ בְּרֹאשׁ כָּל חוּצוֹת כְּתוֹא מִכְמָר הַמְלֵאִים חֲמַת יְהֹוָה גַּעֲרַת אֱלֹהָיִךְ:
fainted: Heb. עֻלְּפוּ. An expression of faintness. Comp. (Amos 8:13) “The… virgins shall faint (תִּתְעַלַּפְנָה) from thirst.” Pasmer in O.F., (pamer in Modern French).  
like a wild ox in a net: Abandoned like this wild ox that falls into a net. Comp. (Deut. 14:5) “And the wild ox (וּתְאוֹ) and the giraffe.”  
21. Therefore, hearken now to this, you poor one, and who is drunk but not from wine.   כא. לָכֵן שִׁמְעִי נָא זֹאת עֲנִיָּה וּשְׁכֻרַת וְלֹא מִיָּיִן:
and who is drunk but not from wine: Drunk from something else other than wine.  
22. So said your Master, the Lord, and your God Who shall judge His people, "Behold, I took from you the cup of weakness; the dregs of the cup of My wrath-you shall no longer continue to drink it.   כב. כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנַיִךְ יְהֹוָה וֵאלֹהַיִךְ יָרִיב עַמּוֹ הִנֵּה לָקַחְתִּי מִיָּדֵךְ אֶת כּוֹס הַתַּרְעֵלָה אֶת קֻבַּעַת כּוֹס חֲמָתִי לֹא תוֹסִיפִי לִשְׁתּוֹתָהּ עוֹד:
Who shall judge His people: Who shall judge the case of His people.  
23. And I will place it into the hand of those who cause you to wander, who said to your soul, 'Bend down and let us cross,' and you made your body like the earth and like the street for those who cross."   כג. וְשַׂמְתִּיהָ בְּיַד מוֹגַיִךְ אֲשֶׁר אָמְרוּ לְנַפְשֵׁךְ שְׁחִי וְנַעֲבֹרָה וַתָּשִׂימִי כָאָרֶץ גֵּוֵךְ וְכַחוּץ לַעֹבְרִים:
those who cause you to wander: Heb. מוֹגַיִ. Those who cause you to wander and those who cause you to move. Comp. (I Sam. 14:16) “And the multitude was wandering (נָמוֹג),” krosler in O.F.  
Bend down and let us cross: on your back.  
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