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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 59

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 59

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 59

1. Behold, the hand of the Lord is not too short to save, neither is His ear too heavy to hear.   א. הֵן לֹא קָצְרָה יַד יְהֹוָה מֵהוֹשִׁיעַ וְלֹא כָבְדָה אָזְנוֹ מִשְּׁמוֹעַ:
Behold, the hand of the Lord is not too short: Your failure to be delivered is not due to the shortness of My hand.  
2. But your iniquities were separating between you and between your God, and your sins have caused [Him] to hide [His] face from you that He not hear.   ב. כִּי אִם עֲו‍ֹנֹתֵיכֶם הָיוּ מַבְדִּלִים בֵּינֵכֶם לְבֵין אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וְחַטֹּאותֵיכֶם הִסְתִּירוּ פָנִים מִכֶּם מִשְּׁמוֹעַ:
have caused [Him] to hide [His] face: They caused for you that He hid His face from you.  
3. For your hands were defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters injustice.   ג. כִּי כַפֵּיכֶם נְגֹאֲלוּ בַדָּם וְאֶצְבְּעוֹתֵיכֶם בֶּעָו‍ֹן שִׂפְתוֹתֵיכֶם דִּבְּרוּ שֶׁקֶר לְשׁוֹנְכֶם עַוְלָה תֶהְגֶּה:
were defiled: Heb. נְגֹאֲלוּ, an expression of defilement. Comp. (Mal. 1:7) “polluted bread (מְגֹאָל).”  
4. No one calls sincerely, and no one is judged faithfully; trusting in vanity and speaking lies, conceiving injustice and begetting wickedness.   ד. אֵין קֹרֵא בְצֶדֶק וְאֵין נִשְׁפָּט בֶּאֱמוּנָה בָּטוֹחַ עַל תֹּהוּ וְדַבֶּר שָׁוְא הָרוֹ עָמָל וְהוֹלֵיד אָוֶן:
5. They hatched vipers' eggs, and they weave spider webs; whoever eats of their eggs shall die, and what hatches, emerges a viper.   ה. בֵּיצֵי צִפְעוֹנִי בִּקֵּעוּ וְקוּרֵי עַכָּבִישׁ יֶאֱרֹגוּ הָאֹכֵל מִבֵּיצֵיהֶם יָמוּת וְהַזּוּרֶה תִּבָּקַע אֶפְעֶה:
vipers: a species of harmful snake.  
hatched: Heb. בִּקְּעוּ, eskloterant in O.F. That is to say that they committed ugly deeds, from which they did not benefit.  
and… spider webs: Irajjne in O.F., spider, and קוּרֵי is ordiojjrs in O.F., warp. קוּרֵי are the implements of the weaver, those upon which the warp is mounted. Menahem (Machbereth Menahem p. 158) classifies it in the class of קוֹרוֹת, beams, since the spider mounts the warp of his weavings on beams.  
and what hatches: Heb. וְהַזּוּרֶה. Jonathan renders: וּמְשַׁחְנָן, an expression of warming, called in O.F. kover [couve], hatching when one warms them, it emerges from them when he cracks the shell. The original meaning of וְהַזּוּרֶה is an expression of pressing to extract what is absorbed within. Comp. (Jud. 6:38) “And pressed (וַיָּזַר) the fleece.” The pressing of this one is its hatching.  
viper: Heb. אֶפְעֶה, a species of snake that is harmful, so will nothing result from their deeds but evil.  
6. Their webs shall not become a garment, neither shall they cover themselves with their deeds; their deeds are works of wickedness, and there is a deed of violence in their hands.   ו. קוּרֵיהֶם לֹא יִהְיוּ לְבֶגֶד וְלֹא יִתְכַּסּוּ בְּמַעֲשֵׂיהֶם מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם מַעֲשֵׂי אָוֶן וּפֹעַל חָמָס בְּכַפֵּיהֶם:
7. Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of wickedness; robbery and ruin are in their paths.   ז. רַגְלֵיהֶם לָרַע יָרוּצוּ וִימַהֲרוּ לִשְׁפֹּךְ דָּם נָקִי מַחְשְׁבֹתֵיהֶם מַחְשְׁבוֹת אָוֶן שֹׁד וָשֶׁבֶר בִּמְסִלּוֹתָם:
8. The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever goes on it knows no peace.   ח. דֶּרֶךְ שָׁלוֹם לֹא יָדָעוּ וְאֵין מִשְׁפָּט בְּמַעְגְּלֹתָם נְתִיבוֹתֵיהֶם עִקְּשׁוּ לָהֶם כֹּל דֹּרֵךְ בָּהּ לֹא יָדַע שָׁלוֹם:
and there is no justice in their paths: That is to say that in their paths there is nothing judged truly according to its law.  
they have made themselves crooked paths: They made their road crooked for themselves.  
9. Therefore, justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light and behold there is darkness, for brightness, but we walk in gloom.   ט. עַל כֵּן רָחַק מִשְׁפָּט מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא תַשִּׂיגֵנוּ צְדָקָה נְקַוֶּה לָאוֹר וְהִנֵּה חֹשֶׁךְ לִנְגֹהוֹת בַּאֲפֵלוֹת נְהַלֵּךְ:
justice is far from us: For we were crying that we were robbed by our enemies, yet the Holy One, blessed be He, does not judge to avenge us.  
and righteousness does not overtake us: The good consolations that He promised us are not coming to overtake us.  
for brightness: we hope, but we walk in gloom.  
10. We tap a wall like blind men, and like those who have no eyes we tap; we have stumbled at midday like in the darkness of night; [we are] in dark places like the dead.   י. נְגַשְׁשָׁה כַעִוְרִים קִיר וּכְאֵין עֵינַיִם נְגַשֵּׁשָׁה כָּשַׁלְנוּ בַצָּהֳרַיִם כַּנֶּשֶׁף בָּאַשְׁמַנִּים כַּמֵּתִים:
in dark places: Heb. בָּאַשְׁמַנִּים. Menahem (Machbereth, p. 35) interpreted it as an expression of dark places, and most exegetes concur with him. Dunash, however, (Tesuhvoth Dunash, p. 93) interprets it as an expression of fat (שׁוּמָן), with the ‘alef’ prefixed to it like the ‘alef’ that is in (Job 13:17) אַחְוָתִי, “my narrative,” [derived from חוה]; and that is in (Jer. 15:18) אַכְזָב, “a failure,” (derived from כזב; and (Num. 21:1) “the way of the spies (הָאֲתָרִים),” [derived from תור]. Here, too, among the שְׁמֵנִים, among the lusty living, we are like dead. And Jonathan rendered it as an expression of locking: It is locked before us as the graves are locked before the dead.  
11. We all growl like bears, and like doves we moan; we hope for justice but there is none, for salvation [but] it has distanced itself from us.   יא. נֶהֱמֶה כַדֻּבִּים כֻּלָּנוּ וְכַיּוֹנִים הָגֹה נֶהְגֶּה נְקַוֶּה לַמִּשְׁפָּט וָאַיִן לִישׁוּעָה רָחֲקָה מִמֶּנּוּ:
we moan: Heb. הָגֹה נֶהְגֶה, an expression of wailing.  
12. For our transgressions against You are many, and our sins have testified against us, for our transgressions are with us, and our iniquities-we know them.   יב. כִּי רַבּוּ פְשָׁעֵינוּ נֶגְדֶּךָ וְחַטֹּאותֵינוּ עָנְתָה בָּנוּ כִּי פְשָׁעֵינוּ אִתָּנוּ וַעֲו‍ֹנֹתֵינוּ יְדַעֲנוּם:
13. Rebelling and denying the Lord, and drawing away from following our God, speaking oppression and perverseness, sprouting and giving forth from the heart words of falsehood.   יג. פָּשֹׁעַ וְכַחֵשׁ בַּיהֹוָה וְנָסוֹג מֵאַחַר אֱלֹהֵינוּ דַּבֶּר עֹשֶׁק וְסָרָה הֹרוֹ וְהֹגוֹ מִלֵּב דִּבְרֵי שָׁקֶר:
speaking oppression: Like: to speak oppression.  
sprouting and giving forth: Heb. הֹרו ֹוְהֹגוֹ to shoot and to give forth. הֹרוֹ is an expression of (Ex. 15:4) “He shot (יָרָה) into the sea.” (Another explanation: הֹרוֹ means: the teacher and the disciple, a gerund.) הֹגוֹ is an expression of (II Sam. 20:13) “When he was removed (הֹגָה) from the highway” ; (Prov. 25:4) “Take away (הָגוֹ) the dross from the silver.”  
14. And justice has turned away backward, and righteousness stands from afar, for truth has stumbled in the street, and straightforwardness cannot come.   יד. וְהֻסַּג אָחוֹר מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה מֵרָחוֹק תַּעֲמֹד כִּי כָשְׁלָה בָרְחוֹב אֱמֶת וּנְכֹחָה לֹא תוּכַל לָבוֹא:
And justice has turned away backwards: Our revenge from our enemies, which depends upon the Holy One, blessed be He, and His righteousness stands from afar. Why? For truth has stumbled in our streets, [and since truth has stumbled from the earth, even from heaven righteousness and justice do not come.]  
15. And truth is lacking, and he who turns away from evil is considered mad, and the Lord saw and was displeased for there is no justice.   טו. וַתְּהִי הָאֱמֶת נֶעְדֶּרֶת וְסָר מֵרָע מִשְׁתּוֹלֵל וַיַּרְא יְהֹוָה וַיֵּרַע בְּעֵינָיו כִּי אֵין מִשְׁפָּט:
is considered mad: Heb. מִשְׁתּוֹלֵל, considered mad by the people. Comp. (Micah 1:8) “I will go as a mad man (שׁוֹלָל).” This is equivalent to שׁוֹגֵג, inadvertent, which the Targum renders: שָׁלוּ. Likewise (II Sam. 6:7), “For his error (הַשַּׁל).”  
and was displeased for there is no justice: Therefore, He brought retribution upon them.  
16. And He saw that there was no man, and He was astounded for there was no intercessor, and His armsaved for Him, and His righteousness, that supported Him.   טז. וַיַּרְא כִּי אֵין אִישׁ וַיִּשְׁתּוֹמֵם כִּי אֵין מַפְגִּיעַ וַתּוֹשַׁע לוֹ זְרֹעוֹ וְצִדְקָתוֹ הִיא סְמָכָתְהוּ:
And He saw that there was no man: And now, when He repents of the evil to His people, He sees that there is no righteous man to stand in the breach.  
and He was astounded: He was silent to see whether there was an intercessor, and there was no intercessor. וַיִּשְׁתּוֹמֵם is an expression of a man who stands and wonders and remains silent in his wonder, and the ‘tav’ of וַיִּשְׁתּוֹמֵם is like the ‘tav’ of מִשְׁתּוֹלֵל, and both of them serve here as the reflexive, and this is the procedure of the word whose first radical is a ‘shin’ or a ‘samech,’ that when it is converted into the form of מִתְפָּעֵל, the present reflexive, נִתְפָּעֵל, the past reflexive, or יִתְפָּעֵל, the future reflexive, the ‘tav’ comes in the middle of the letters of the radical. The result is that וַיִּשְׁתּוֹמֵם is an expression from the same root as (Jer. 2:12) “Be admonished (שֹׁמּוּ) , O ye heavens” ; (Ezekiel 3:15) “appalled (מַשְׁמִים) among them” ; (Job 18:20) “the later ones will be astonished (נָשַׁמּוּ),” an expression of wonder.  
and His arm saved for Him: and He will take revenge from His enemies.  
and His righteousness, that supported Him: to entice Him and to strengthen His hands in His revenge, although we are not worthy of being saved.  
17. And He donned righteousness like a coat of mail, and a helmet of salvation is upon His head, and He donned garments of vengeance as His attire, and He was clad with zeal as a cloak.   יז. וַיִּלְבַּשׁ צְדָקָה כַּשִּׁרְיָן וְכוֹבַע יְשׁוּעָה בְּרֹאשׁוֹ וַיִּלְבַּשׁ בִּגְדֵי נָקָם תִּלְבֹּשֶׁת וַיַּעַט כַּמְעִיל קִנְאָה:
zeal: enprenmant in O.F., to be zealous for His great name.  
18. According to their deeds, accordingly He shall repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the islands He shall pay recompense.   יח. כְּעַל גְּמֻלוֹת כְּעַל יְשַׁלֵּם חֵמָה לְצָרָיו גְּמוּל לְאֹיְבָיו לָאִיִּים גְּמוּל יְשַׁלֵּם:
According to their deeds: As is fitting to recompense for what the enemies dealt to them.  
accordingly He shall repay: As is fitting to repay them He shall repay.  
19. And from the west they shall fear the name of the Lord, and from the rising of the sun, His glory, for distress shall come like a river; the spirit of the Lord is wondrous in it.   יט. וְיִירְאוּ מִמַּעֲרָב אֶת שֵׁם יְהֹוָה וּמִמִּזְרַח שֶׁמֶשׁ אֶת כְּבוֹדוֹ כִּי יָבוֹא כַנָּהָר צָר רוּחַ יְהֹוָה נֹסְסָה בוֹ:
For… shall come like a river: distress upon His enemies.  
is wondrous in it: Heb. נֹסְסָה, is wondrous in it, an expression of a miracle (נֵס). Another explanation: נֹסְסָה [means:] eats into him like a worm in wood. Comp. (supra 10:18) “And it shall be as a tree eaten to powder by the worms.”  
20. And a redeemer shall come to Zion, and to those who repent of transgression in Jacob, says the Lord.   כ. וּבָא לְצִיּוֹן גּוֹאֵל וּלְשָׁבֵי פֶשַׁע בְּיַעֲקֹב נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
And a redeemer shall come to Zion: As long as Zion is in ruins, the redeemer has not yet come.  
21. "As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the Lord. "My spirit, which is upon you and My words that I have placed in your mouth, shall not move from your mouth or from the mouth of your seed and from the mouth of your seed's seed," said the Lord, "from now and to eternity."   כא. וַאֲנִי זֹאת בְּרִיתִי אוֹתָם אָמַר יְהֹוָה רוּחִי אֲשֶׁר עָלֶיךָ וּדְבָרַי אֲשֶׁר שַׂמְתִּי בְּפִיךָ לֹא יָמוּשׁוּ מִפִּיךָ וּמִפִּי זַרְעֲךָ וּמִפִּי זֶרַע זַרְעֲךָ אָמַר יְהֹוָה מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם:
As for Me, this is My covenant with them: In this matter, I made a covenant with them, and I will fulfill it, for even in their exile, My Torah shall not be forgotten from them.  
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