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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 6

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 6

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Chapter 6

1Gather the sons of Benjamin from the midst of Jerusalem, and in Tekoa sound the shofar, and over Beth-hakerem raise a standard, for evil is visible from the north and a great calamity.   אהָעִזוּ | בְּנֵי בִנְיָמִן מִקֶּרֶב יְרוּשָׁלִַם וּבִתְקוֹעַ תִּקְעוּ שׁוֹפָר וְעַל בֵּית הַכֶּרֶם שְׂאוּ מַשְׂאֵת כִּי רָעָה נִשְׁקְפָה מִצָּפוֹן וְשֶׁבֶר גָּדוֹל:
Gather the sons of Benjamin: to go to their cities to guard their fortifications.  
Beth-hakerem: That is a place name.  
raise a standard: a standard to gather and fight for your lives.  
2The comely and the delicate one have I destroyed, O daughter of Zion.   בהַנָּוָה וְהַמְּעֻנָּגָה דָּמִיתִי בַּת צִיּוֹן:
The comely and the delicate one have I destroyed: Heb. דמיתי. Jonathan renders it as an expression related to (25:37) “And the dwellings of peace shall be destroyed (ונדמוּ).” Also (47: 5), “Ashkelon has been destroyed (נדמתה).”  
3Shepherds and their flocks shall come to her, they have pitched tents around her, they feed bare, each one in his place.   גאֵלֶיהָ יָבֹאוּ רֹעִים וְעֶדְרֵיהֶם תָּקְעוּ עָלֶיהָ אֹהָלִים סָבִיב רָעוּ אִישׁ אֶת יָדוֹ:
Shepherds and their flocks: Figurative of kings and their armies.  
they feed bare: Heb. רעו, they eat.  
his place: Heb. ידו [lit. his hand.] His place around him.  
4Prepare war against her, arise and let us go up at noontime; woe is to us for the day has passed, for the shadows of evening are stretched out.   דקַדְּשׁוּ עָלֶיהָ מִלְחָמָה קוּמוּ וְנַעֲלֶה בַצָּהֳרָיִם אוֹי לָנוּ כִּי פָנָה הַיּוֹם כִּי יִנָּטוּ צִלְלֵי עָרֶב:
Prepare: Heb. קדשו.  
woe is to us: at the time the day declines.  
for the day has declined: When it declined to eventide, they ignited the Temple.  
5Arise and let us go up at night and let us destroy her palaces.   הקוּמוּ וְנַעֲלֶה בַלָּיְלָה וְנַשְׁחִיתָה אַרְמְנוֹתֶיהָ:
6For so says the Lord of Hosts: Cut the trees and cast on Jerusalem a siege mound; that is the city whose sins have been visited upon her, everywhere there is oppression in its midst.   וכִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת כִּרְתוּ עֵצָה וְשִׁפְכוּ עַל יְרוּשָׁלִַם סֹלְלָה הִיא הָעִיר הָפְקַד כֻּלָּהּ עֹשֶׁק בְּקִרְבָּהּ:
Cut the trees: Heb. עצה. This is not a ‘mappiq heh,’ yet it is an expression of a tree (עץ), for the expression of cutting is not appropriate for advice, (עצה), and עצה mentioned here is an expression of many trees, as דגה is an expression of many fish.  
the city whose sins have been visited upon her: Heb. הפקד, whose visitation has come.  
7As a well lets its water flow, so has she let her evil flow; violence and spoil is heard therein before Me continually; sickness and wounds.   זכְּהָקִיר בַּיִר (כתיב בַּוִר) מֵימֶיהָ כֵּן הֵקֵרָה רָעָתָהּ חָמָס וָשֹׁד יִשָּׁמַע בָּהּ עַל פָּנַי תָּמִיד חֳלִי וּמַכָּה:
As… lets… flow: Heb. כהקיר, an expression of a spring.  
a well: Heb. בַּיִר, equivalent to בְּאֵר.  
so has she let her evil flow: So does their evil flow, constantly increasing and renewing.  
sickness and wounds: Therefore, I brought upon her sickness and wounds.  
8Be corrected, O Jerusalem, lest My soul be alienated from you; lest I make you a desolation, a land uninhabited.   חהִוָּסְרִי יְרוּשָׁלִַם פֶּן תֵּקַע נַפְשִׁי מִמֵּךְ פֶּן אֲשִׂימֵךְ שְׁמָמָה אֶרֶץ לוֹא נוֹשָׁבָה:
Be corrected: Heb. הוסרי. Accept correction.  
lest… be alienated: Heb. תקע, lest it be pulled away. יקע is an expression of joining. Comp.“and hang them up (והוקע)” (Num. 25:4), and it is sometimes an expression of detaching. There are many words that are used in such a manner.  
9So says the Lord of Hosts: They shall thoroughly glean like a vine the remnant of Israel; return your hand as a vintager over the branches.   טכֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת עוֹלֵל יְעוֹלְלוּ כַגֶּפֶן שְׁאֵרִית יִשְׂרָאֵל הָשֵׁב יָדְךָ כְּבוֹצֵר עַל סַלְסִלּוֹת:
thoroughly glean: (grappiller in French). After the vineyard has been gathered, and gleanings are left, and the poor come and glean them, so will they spoil and return and spoil.  
return your hand: You, the enemy, return your hand to spoil a second time, like a vintager who returns his hand for the search, who looks and searches for the gleanings. And so it was when he exiled Jehoiakim and slew him, and crowned Jeconiah, he returned three months later and exiled him. He returned eleven years later and exiled Zedekiah.  
the branches: Heb. סלסלות (reverchedures in O.F). Comp. (Prov. 4:8) “Search for it (סלסלה) and it will exalt you.” So did Dunash (Teshuvoth Dunash p. 21) explain it. Menahem (Machbereth p. 126), however, explains it as an expression of a basket (סל) (paniers in O. F. baskets).  
10To whom shall I speak and warn that they shall hearken? Behold, their ear is clogged, and they cannot listen; behold, the word of the Lord was a disgrace to them, they desire it not.   יעַל מִי אֲדַבְּרָה וְאָעִידָה וְיִשְׁמָעוּ הִנֵּה עֲרֵלָה אָזְנָם וְלֹא יוּכְלוּ לְהַקְשִׁיב הִנֵּה דְבַר יְהֹוָה הָיָה לָהֶם לְחֶרְפָּה לֹא יַחְפְּצוּ בוֹ:
and warn: Heb. ואעידה, an expression of warning.  
clogged: Heb. ערלה, clogged, and so is every expression of ערלה.  
a disgrace: They deride it.  
11Therefore, I am full of the fury of the Lord, I am weary of containing it, to pour it out upon the babes in the street and upon the assembly of young men together, for a man with a woman shall be seized, an old man with one full of days.   יאוְאֵת חֲמַת יְהֹוָה | מָלֵאתִי נִלְאֵיתִי הָכִיל שְׁפֹךְ עַל עוֹלָל בַּחוּץ וְעַל סוֹד בַּחוּרִים יַחְדָּו כִּי גַם אִישׁ עִם אִשָּׁה יִלָּכֵדוּ זָקֵן עִם מְלֵא יָמִים:
Therefore, I am full of the fury of the Lord: My heart is full of the prophecy of the coming of the fury of the Lord upon them.  
containing: Heb. הכיל, like להכיל, to contain ([a] souffrir in O.F.), to tolerate.  
to pour it out upon the babes: to pour it upon the sucklings.  
in the street: in the market.  
one full of days: i.e., one close to death, older than ‘an old man.’  
12And their houses shall be turned over to others, fields and wives together, for I will stretch out My hand over the inhabitants of the land, says the Lord.   יבוְנָסַבּוּ בָתֵּיהֶם לַאֲחֵרִים שָׂדוֹת וְנָשִׁים יַחְדָּו כִּי אַטֶּה אֶת יָדִי עַל יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
fields and wives together: shall be turned over to others.  
13For, from their smallest to their greatest, they all commit robbery, and from prophet to priest they all deal falsely.   יגכִּי מִקְּטַנָּם וְעַד גְּדוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ בּוֹצֵעַ בָּצַע וּמִנָּבִיא וְעַד כֹּהֵן כֻּלּוֹ עֹשֶׂה שָׁקֶר:
commit robbery: rob money.  
14And they healed the breach of My people easily, saying, "Peace, peace," but there is no peace.   ידוַיְרַפְּאוּ אֶת שֶׁבֶר עַמִּי עַל נְקַלָּה לֵאמֹר שָׁלוֹם | שָׁלוֹם וְאֵין שָׁלוֹם:
easily: It is easy for the false prophets to pronounce with their mouths and to say, “You shall have peace,” and with this thing they heal with their speech the breach destined to come upon them.  
15They shall be put to shame since they have committed abomination. Neither are they ashamed nor do they know to feel disgrace. They will, therefore, fall among the slain; at the time I have visited upon them, they will stumble, says the Lord.   טוהֹבִישׁוּ כִּי תוֹעֵבָה עָשׂוּ גַּם בּוֹשׁ לֹא יֵבוֹשׁוּ גַּם הַכְלִים לֹא יָדָעוּ לָכֵן יִפְּלוּ בַנֹּפְלִים בְּעֵת פְּקַדְתִּים יִכָּשְׁלוּ אָמַר יְהֹוָה:
They should be ashamed: Heb. הובישו, they should be ashamed [from Jonathan].  
to feel disgrace: Heb. הכלים, like להכלים.  
Neither are they ashamed: They are not ashamed of their evil deeds.  
16So says the Lord: stand on the roads and see, and ask of the paths of old, which is the good way, and go on it, and find rest for your soul, and they said, "We will not go."   טזכֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה עִמְדוּ עַל דְּרָכִים וּרְאוּ וְשַׁאֲלוּ | לִנְתִבוֹת עוֹלָם אֵי זֶה דֶרֶךְ הַטּוֹב וּלְכוּ בָהּ וּמִצְאוּ מַרְגּוֹעַ לְנַפְשְׁכֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹא נֵלֵךְ:
rest: Heb. מרגוע.  
17And I have stationed lookouts over you. Hearken to the sound of the shofar, and they said, "We will not hearken."   יזוַהֲקִימֹתִי עֲלֵיכֶם צֹפִים הַקְשִׁיבוּ לְקוֹל שׁוֹפָר וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹא נַקְשִׁיב:
And I have stationed lookouts over you: That is that they station men on the towers at the time of strife. A man looks and sees. If a troop is approaching the city he sounds a shophar and warns the people to arm and to come on the wall. I too appointed prophets who inform you about the impending retribution to alert yourselves and to mend your ways so that you be saved and that is like the shophar sounded by the lookout. Hearken to the sound of this shophar and arm yourselves.  
And I have stationed: Heb. והקמותי. This means: I have already stationed for them. And so did Jonathan render: ואקימית, and I stationed.  
lookouts: (Badetes in O.F.).  
18Therefore, hearken, O nations, and know, O congregation, what is within them.   יחלָכֵן שִׁמְעוּ הַגּוֹיִם וּדְעִי עֵדָה אֶת אֲשֶׁר בָּם:
what is within them: i.e., the evil that is in their hands.  
19Hearken, O earth, behold, I bring evil to this people, the fruit of their thoughts, for they did not hearken to My words, and they rejected My instruction.   יטשִׁמְעִי הָאָרֶץ הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מֵבִיא רָעָה אֶל הָעָם הַזֶּה פְּרִי מַחְשְׁבֹתָם כִּי עַל דְּבָרַי לֹא הִקְשִׁיבוּ וְתוֹרָתִי וַיִּמְאֲסוּ בָהּ:
the fruit of their thoughts: the retribution for their thoughts.  
and they rejected My instruction: Heb. וימאסו בה ותורתי. This follows the pattern of (Exodus 15:2) “The strength and destruction of God was my salvation (ויהי לי לישועה),” for he should have said: והיה לי לישועה. So too, here it should have said, ותורתי מאסו בה, but it is the style of Scripture to speak in this manner.  
20Why do I need the frankincense that comes from Sheba, and the good cane from a distant country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, and your sacrifices are not pleasant to Me.   כלָמָּה זֶּה לִי לְבוֹנָה מִשְּׁבָא תָבוֹא וְקָנֶה הַטּוֹב מֵאֶרֶץ מֶרְחָק עֹלוֹתֵיכֶם לֹא לְרָצוֹן וְזִבְחֵיכֶם לֹא עָרְבוּ לִי:
Why do I need frankincense: that you offer up to Me, that comes from Sheba?  
are not pleasant: Heb. ערבוּ.  
21Therefore, so says the Lord: Behold, I give this people stumblingblocks, and both fathers and sons together shall stumble upon them, a neighbor and his companion, and they shall perish.   כאלָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הִנְנִי נֹתֵן אֶל הָעָם הַזֶּה מִכְשֹׁלִים וְכָשְׁלוּ בָם אָבוֹת וּבָנִים יַחְדָּו שָׁכֵן וְרֵעוֹ וְאָבָדוּ (כתיב יְאָבָדוּ) :
22So says the Lord: Behold, a people is coming from the northland, and a great nation will be aroused from the ends of the earth.   כבכֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הִנֵּה עַם בָּא מֵאֶרֶץ צָפוֹן וְגוֹי גָּדוֹל יֵעוֹר מִיַּרְכְּתֵי אָרֶץ:
23They will grasp bow and spear, they are cruel and have no compassion; their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, equipped like a man for war, upon you, O daughter of Zion.   כגקֶשֶׁת וְכִידוֹן יַחֲזִיקוּ אַכְזָרִי הוּא וְלֹא יְרַחֵמוּ קוֹלָם כַּיָּם יֶהֱמֶה וְעַל סוּסִים יִרְכָּבוּ עָרוּךְ כְּאִישׁ לַמִּלְחָמָה עָלַיִךְ בַּת צִיּוֹן:
They will grasp: Heb. יחזיקו, they will take. Comp. (Exodus 4:4) “And he stretched out his hand and took it (ויחזק).” Comp. also (infra verse 24) “trouble grasped us (החזיקתנוּ) held us.”  
24We have heard his report, our hands have become feeble, trouble has grasped us, and pain, as a woman in travail.   כדשָׁמַעְנוּ אֶת שָׁמְעוֹ רָפוּ יָדֵינוּ צָרָה הֶחֱזִיקַתְנוּ חִיל כַּיּוֹלֵדָה:
25Go not forth into the field, and on the road do not go, for the enemy has a sword; there is fear all around.   כהאַל תֵּצְאוּ (כתיב תֵּצְאיּ) הַשָּׂדֶה וּבַדֶּרֶךְ אַל תֵּלֵכוּ (כתיב תֵּלֵכיּ) כִּי חֶרֶב לְאֹיֵב מָגוֹר מִסָּבִיב:
there is fear: Heb. מגור. Another explanation: An expression of gathering. Comp. (Ezekiel 21:17) “Gathered (מגורי) to the sword.” And in this manner Jonathan renders it.  
26O daughter of My people, gird yourself with sackcloth and roll in ashes; make yourself a mourning [as] for an only child, a bitter lamentation, for suddenly the plunderer will come upon us.   כובַּת עַמִּי חִגְרִי שָׂק וְהִתְפַּלְּשִׁי בָאֵפֶר אֵבֶל יָחִיד עֲשִׂי לָךְ מִסְפַּד תַּמְרוּרִים כִּי פִתְאֹם יָבֹא הַשֹּׁדֵד עָלֵינוּ:
and roll: Heb. והתפלשי.  
a mourning [as] for an only child: A mourning for an only son; one who has only one son and he dies.  
a bitter lamentation: Heb. תמרורים מספד. Since it is the construct state, it is vowelized מספד with a ‘pattah,’ and it is not vowelized מספד with a ‘tzere.’  
upon us: So to speak, upon Me and upon you.  
27I have made you the strong one and the fortress of My people, and you shall know and test their way.   כזבָּחוֹן נְתַתִּיךָ בְעַמִּי מִבְצָר וְתֵדַע וּבָחַנְתָּ אֶת דַּרְכָּם:
I have made you the strong one: This was said to Jeremiah. I have made you the strong one in their midst, and you shall know and test their way, that he tested them and they will not heed. בחון is an expression of strength. Comp. (Isa. 32:14) “rampart and tower (בחן) ,” also (ibid. 23: 13) “they erected its towers (בחוניו).”  
28They are all extremely perverse, going tale bearing [like] copper and iron; they are all destructive.   כחכֻּלָּם סָרֵי סוֹרְרִים הֹלְכֵי רָכִיל נְחשֶׁת וּבַרְזֶל כֻּלָּם מַשְׁחִיתִם הֵמָּה:
extremely perverse: Turning away from the road.  
going tale bearing: between copper and iron. They introduce hatred between two princes who have the power to provoke one another. That is what I heard. But I say, they are tale bearers, and they are as strong as copper and iron to maintain their falsehood. Jonathan, however, renders this word רכיל as an expression of guile (נוכל). They go with guile as one mixes copper with iron. נוכל is an expression of plot. Comp. (Gen. 37:18) “And they plotted (ויתנכלו) against him to slay him.”  
29The bellows is heated from the fire, the lead is consumed; in vain does the founder refine, and the wicked ones have not been separated.   כטנָחַר מַפֻּחַ מֵאֵשׁ תַּם (כתיב מֵאֵשׁתַּם) עֹפָרֶת לַשָּׁוְא צָרַף צָרוֹף וְרָעִים לֹא נִתָּקוּ:
The bellows is heated: This is an allegory. When they refine silver, they blow with a bellows, and they always put lead into the crucible, which helps for the refining. But youI have come to refine you. The bellows is heated and parched because of the fire, and the lead is completely consumed. נחר is an expression related to (Job 42:7) “My wrath has been kindled (חרה) ” ; (ibid. 30: 30) “And my bones are burned (חרה) with heat,” (esrast in O.F.).  
in vain: In vain does the founder refine, for it is of no avail  
and the wicked ones have not been separated: from their evil way. That is to say that the prophets toiled to reprove, but it did not avail them.  
Separated: Heb. נתקו, (furent de… in O.F.). (Another version:) and the wicked ones. This is like רשעים.  
30Refuse silver have men called them, for the Lord has rejected them.   לכֶּסֶף נִמְאָס קָרְאוּ לָהֶם כִּי מָאַס יְהֹוָה בָּהֶם:
Refuse silver: which cannot be refined with any toil.  
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