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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 63

Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 63

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 63

1. Who is this coming from Edom, with soiled garments, from Bozrah, this one [Who was] stately in His apparel, girded with the greatness of His strength? "I speak with righteousness, great to save."   א. מִי זֶה | בָּא מֵאֱדוֹם חֲמוּץ בְּגָדִים מִבָּצְרָה זֶה הָדוּר בִּלְבוּשׁוֹ צֹעֶה בְּרֹב כֹּחוֹ אֲנִי מְדַבֵּר בִּצְדָקָה רַב לְהוֹשִׁיעַ:
Who is this coming from Edom: The prophet prophesies concerning what the Holy One, blessed be He, said that He is destined to wreak vengeance upon Edom, and He, personally, will slay their heavenly prince, like the matter that is said (supra 34: 5), “For My sword has become sated in the heaven.” And afterward, (ibid.) “it shall descend upon Edom,” and it is recognizable by the wrath of His face that He has slain [them with] a great massacre, and the prophet is speaking in the expression of the wars of human beings, dressed in clothes, and when they slay a slaying, the blood spatters on their garments, for so is the custom of Scripture; it speaks of the Shechinah anthropomorphically, to convey to the ear what it can hear. Comp. (Ezek. 43:2) “His voice is like the voice of many waters.” The prophet compares His mighty voice to the voice of many waters to convey to the ear according to what it is possible to hear, for one cannot understand and hearken to the magnitude of the mighty of our God to let us hear it as it is.  
Who is this coming from Edom: Israel says, “Who is this, etc.?” And He is coming with soiled garments, colored with blood, and anything repugnant because of its smell and its appearance fits to the expression of חִמּוּץ, soiling.  
from Bozrah: Our Rabbis said (see Makkoth 12a): “The heavenly prince of Edom is destined to commit two errors. He thinks that Bozrah is identical with Bezer in the desert, which was a refuge city. He will also err insofar as it affords refuge only for inadvertent murder, but he killed Israel intentionally.” There is also an Aggadic midrash (see above 34:6) that because Bozrah supplied a king for Edom when its first king died, as in Gen. (36:33), “And Jobab the son of Zerah from Bozrah reigned in his stead,” and Bozrah is of Moab, according to the matter that is stated (Jer. 48:24): “Upon Kerioth and upon Bozrah.”  
this one: who was stately in His attire, צֹעֶה, and girded with the greatness of His strength. And the Holy One, blessed be He, replies to him, ‘It is I, upon Whom the time has come to speak of the righteousness of the Patriarchs, and of the righteousness of the generation of religious persecution, and My righteousness, too, is with them, and I have revealed Myself as being great to save.’ And they say, ‘Why is your clothing red? Why are your garments red?’  
2. Why is Your clothing red, and your attire like [that of] one who trod in a wine press?   ב. מַדּוּעַ אָדֹם לִלְבוּשֶׁךָ וּבְגָדֶיךָ כְּדֹרֵךְ בְּגַת:
3. "A wine press I trod alone, and from the peoples, none was with Me; and I trod them with My wrath, and I trampled them with My fury, and their life blood sprinkled on My garments, and all My clothing I soiled.   ג. פּוּרָה | דָּרַכְתִּי לְבַדִּי וּמֵעַמִּים אֵין אִישׁ אִתִּי וְאֶדְרְכֵם בְּאַפִּי וְאֶרְמְסֵם בַּחֲמָתִי וְיֵז נִצְחָם עַל בְּגָדַי וְכָל מַלְבּוּשַׁי אֶגְאָלְתִּי:
and from the peoples, none was with Me: standing before Me to wage war.  
and their lifeblood sprinkled: Heb. נִצְחָם, Their blood, which is the strength and victory (נִצָּחוֹן) of a man.  
I soiled: Heb. אֶגְאָלְתִּי. Comp. (Lam. 4:14) “They were defiled (נִגֹּאֲלוּ) with blood.”  
4. For a day of vengeance was in My heart, and the year of My redemption has arrived.   ד. כִּי יוֹם נָקָם בְּלִבִּי וּשְׁנַת גְּאוּלַי בָּאָה:
5. And I looked and there was no one helping, and I was astounded and there was no one supporting, and My arm saved for Me, and My fury-that supported Me.   ה. וְאַבִּיט וְאֵין עֹזֵר וְאֶשְׁתּוֹמֵם וְאֵין סוֹמֵךְ וַתּוֹשַׁע לִי זְרֹעִי וַחֲמָתִי הִיא סְמָכָתְנִי:
And I looked, and there was no one helping: Israel.  
and I was astounded: An expression of keeping silent, and I have already explained it above (57:16): “And He was astounded for there was no intercessor.”  
and My fury that supported Me: My fury that I have against the heathens (the nations [mss. and K’li Paz]), for I was a little wrath with My people, and they helped to harm them. That strengthened My hand and aroused My heart to mete recompense upon them although Israel is not fit and worthy of redemption.  
6. And I trod peoples with My wrath, and I intoxicated them with My fury, and I brought their power down to the earth."   ו. וְאָבוּס עַמִּים בְּאַפִּי וַאֲשַׁכְּרֵם בַּחֲמָתִי וְאוֹרִיד לָאָרֶץ נִצְחָם:
And I trod: Heb. וְאָבוּס. An expression of wallowing in blood and treading with the feet. Comp. (Ezekiel 16:6) “wallowing (מִתְבּוֹסֶסֶת) in your blood.” Comp. also (Jer. 12: 10): “They trod (בֹּסְסוּ) My field.”  
their power: Heb. נִצְחָם, the might of their victory.  
7. The kind acts of the Lord I will mention, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord bestowed upon us, and much good to the house of Israel, which He bestowed upon them according to His mercies and according to His many kind acts.   ז. חַסְדֵּי יְהֹוָה | אַזְכִּיר תְּהִלּוֹת יְהֹוָה כְּעַל כֹּל אֲשֶׁר גְּמָלָנוּ יְהֹוָה וְרַב טוּב לְבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר גְּמָלָם כְּרַחֲמָיו וּכְרֹב חֲסָדָיו:
The kind acts of the Lord I will mention: The prophet says, I will remind Israel of the kind acts of the Lord.  
and much good: I will remind Israel of what He bestowed upon the house of Israel with His mercies.  
8. And He said, "They are but My people, children who will not deal falsely." And He became their Savior.   ח. וַיֹּאמֶר אַךְ עַמִּי הֵמָּה בָּנִים לֹא יְשַׁקֵּרוּ וַיְהִי לָהֶם לְמוֹשִׁיעַ:
They are but My people: Although it is revealed before Me that they would betray Me, they are, nevertheless, My people, and they are to Me like children who will not deal falsely.  
9. In all their trouble, He did not trouble [them], and the angel of His presence saved them; with His love and with His pity He redeemed them, and He bore them, and He carried them all the days of old.   ט. בְּכָל צָרָתָם | לוֹ צָר וּמַלְאַךְ פָּנָיו הוֹשִׁיעָם בְּאַהֲבָתוֹ וּבְחֶמְלָתוֹ הוּא גְאָלָם וַיְנַטְּלֵם וַיְנַשְּׂאֵם כָּל יְמֵי עוֹלָם:
In all their trouble: that He would bring upon them.  
He did not trouble [them]: He did not trouble them according to their deeds, that they deserved to suffer, for the angel of His presencei.e., Michael the prince of the Presence, of those who minister before Him saved them always as an agent of the Omnipresent.  
10. But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit, and He was turned to be their enemy; He fought with them.   י. וְהֵמָּה מָרוּ וְעִצְּבוּ אֶת רוּחַ קָדְשׁוֹ וַיֵּהָפֵךְ לָהֶם לְאוֹיֵב הוּא נִלְחַם בָּם:
But they rebelled: Heb. מָרוּ. They angered. Comp. (Deut. 9:7) “You were rebellious (מַמְרִים).”  
11. And His people remembered the days of old, [the days of] Moses; where is he who drew them up from the sea, [like] a shepherd His flock; where is he who placed within them His Holy Spirit?   יא. וַיִּזְכֹּר יְמֵי עוֹלָם מֹשֶׁה עַמּוֹ אַיֵּה | הַמַּעֲלֵם מִיָּם אֵת רֹעֵה צֹאנוֹ אַיֵּה הַשָּׂם בְּקִרְבּוֹ אֶת רוּחַ קָדְשׁוֹ:
And His people remembered the days of old, [the days of] Moses: The prophet laments and says in an expression of supplication, Today in exile, His people remembers the days of old, the days of Moses, and in its trouble, it says, Where is Moses our shepherd, who drew us up from the Reed Sea?  
[like] a shepherd his flock: Compared to a shepherd who brings up his flock. Where is he who placed within Israel the Holy Spirit of the Holy One, blessed be He, and taught us statutes and ordinances?  
12. He led at Moses' right the arm of His glory, splitting the water before them to make for Himself an everlasting name.   יב. מוֹלִיךְ לִימִין מֹשֶׁה זְרוֹעַ תִּפְאַרְתּוֹ בּוֹקֵעַ מַיִם מִפְּנֵיהֶם לַעֲשׂוֹת לוֹ שֵׁם עוֹלָם:
He led at Moses’ right the arm of His glory: The Holy One, blessed be He, led at Moses’ right the arm of His might. Every time he required the aid of the Holy One, blessed be He, His arm was ready at his right.  
13. He led them in the depths like a horse in the desert; they did not stumble.   יג. מוֹלִיכָם בַּתְּהֹמוֹת כַּסּוּס בַּמִּדְבָּר לֹא יִכָּשֵׁלוּ:
like a horse in the desert: which does not stumble since it is smooth land, so they did not stumble in the deep.  
14. As animals spread out in a valley, the spirit of the Lord guided them, so You guided Your people to make You a glorious name.   יד. כַּבְּהֵמָה בַּבִּקְעָה תֵרֵד רוּחַ יְהֹוָה תְּנִיחֶנּוּ כֶּן נִהַגְתָּ עַמְּךָ לַעֲשׂוֹת לְךָ שֵׁם תִּפְאָרֶת:
As animals: that spread in the valley, and a valley is a smooth land, where there is no obstacle, campagne in French, open country.  
spread out: Heb. תֵרֵד, spread out. Comp. (supra 45:1) “to flatten (לְרַד) nations before him.” So did the spirit of the Lord guide them to the deep and make therein a paved road.  
so You guided Your people: So was everything as we said; You guided Your people.  
15. Look from heaven and see, the dwelling of Your holiness and Your glory; where are Your zeal and Your mighty deeds? The yearning of Your heart and Your mercy are restrained to me.   טו. הַבֵּט מִשָּׁמַיִם וּרְאֵה מִזְבוּל קָדְשְׁךָ וְתִפְאַרְתֶּךָ אַיֵּה קִנְאָתְךָ וּגְבוּרֹתֶיךָ הֲמוֹן מֵעֶיךָ וְרַחֲמֶיךָ אֵלַי הִתְאַפָּקוּ:
where are Your zeal: Your early zeal.  
the yearning of Your heart: [Lit. the stirring of Your innards,] that were wont to stir concerning us, like the matter that was stated (Jer. 31:19), “Therefore, My heart yearns for him.” And the stirring of your first mercies toward us have been restrained now. They have been restrained from stirring over us as from then.  
are restrained: Heb. הִתְאַפָּקוּ. Comp. (Gen. 43:31) “And he restrained himself and said, Put down food.” He restrained himself, and they did not recognize that his mercies were stirred toward his brother.  
16. For You are our father, for Abraham did not know us, neither did Israel recognize us; You, O Lord, are our father; our redeemer of old is your name.   טז. כִּי אַתָּה אָבִינוּ כִּי אַבְרָהָם לֹא יְדָעָנוּ וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא יַכִּירָנוּ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אָבִינוּ גֹּאֲלֵנוּ מֵעוֹלָם שְׁמֶךָ:
For You are our father: and it is incumbent upon You to look and see our troubles.  
for Abraham did not know us: in the trouble of Egypt.  
neither did Israel recognize us: in the desert, for they had already passed away from the world.  
but You, O Lord, are our father: In all of them, You became our father. And our Rabbis expounded this as they expounded in Tractate Shabbath (89b).  
17. Why do You lead us astray O Lord, from Your ways, You harden our heart from Your fear? Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage.   יז. לָמָּה תַתְעֵנוּ יְהֹוָה מִדְּרָכֶיךָ תַּקְשִׁיחַ לִבֵּנוּ מִיִּרְאָתֶךָ שׁוּב לְמַעַן עֲבָדֶיךָ שִׁבְטֵי נַחֲלָתֶךָ:
Why do You lead us astray: Since You have the power to remove the evil inclination, as it is said (Jer. 18:6): “Like clay in the potter’s hand.” Scripture states elsewhere (Ezekiel 36: 26): “And I will remove the heart of stone, etc.”  
You harden: Heb. תַּקְשִׁיחַ, an expression of hardening the heart.  
18. For [but] a short time Your holy people inherited; our adversaries trampled Your sanctuary.   יח. לַמִּצְעָר יָרְשׁוּ עַם קָדְשֶׁךָ צָרֵינוּ בּוֹסְסוּ מִקְדָּשֶׁךָ:
For [but] a short time, Your holy people inherited: They had their greatness and their inheritance for a short time.  
trampled: [The term בוססו denotes] trampled underfoot.  
19. We were [like those] over whom You never ruled, over whom Your name was not called; had You rent the heavens, had You descended, mountains would have dripped from before You.   יט. הָיִינוּ מֵעוֹלָם לֹא מָשַׁלְתָּ בָּם לֹא נִקְרָא שִׁמְךָ עֲלֵיהֶם לוּא קָרַעְתָּ שָׁמַיִם יָרַדְתָּ מִפָּנֶיךָ הָרִים נָזֹלּוּ:
We were: now like a people whom You did not choose ever to rule over them, and it is as though Your name was not called upon them.  
had You rent the heavens: and descended to save us now as You descended to save us from the hand of the Egyptians, then, mountains would drip from before You with fear and quaking.  
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