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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 9

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 9

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 9

1. O that I had in the desert a wayfarers' lodging-place, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers, a company of traitors!   א. מִי יִתְּנֵנִי בַמִּדְבָּר מְלוֹן אֹרְחִים וְאֶעֶזְבָה אֶת עַמִּי וְאֵלְכָה מֵאִתָּם כִּי כֻלָּם מְנָאֲפִים עֲצֶרֶת בֹּגְדִים:
a company of traitors: Companies of traitors.  
2. They have directed their tongue treacherously (as) their bows, and they have grown strong in the land not for the sake of truth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me, says the Lord.   ב. וַיַּדְרְכוּ אֶת לְשׁוֹנָם קַשְׁתָּם שֶׁקֶר וְלֹא לֶאֱמוּנָה גָּבְרוּ בָאָרֶץ כִּי מֵרָעָה אֶל רָעָה | יָצָאוּ וְאֹתִי לֹא יָדָעוּ נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
They have directed: Lit. trodden. This expression is appropriate for the preparation of the bow to shoot an arrow, and a bow (קשת) is (arbalete in French), and they tread it with their feet. Therefore, he calls it treading, and the prophet compared their tongue to a treacherous bow, for they directed their tongue like a treacherous bow.  
from evil to evil: From sin to sin.  
3. Let each one beware of his neighbor, and do not trust any brother; for each brother forges plans, and every neighbor spreads slander.   ג. אִישׁ מֵרֵעֵהוּ הִשָּׁמֵרוּ וְעַל כָּל אָח אַל תִּבְטָחוּ כִּי כָל אָח עָקוֹב יַעְקֹב וְכָל רֵעַ רָכִיל יַהֲלֹךְ:
forges plans: He lays traps.  
4. Indeed, they deceive one another and do not speak the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies, they commit iniquity (until) they are weary.   ד. וְאִישׁ בְּרֵעֵהוּ יְהָתֵלּוּ וֶאֱמֶת לֹא יְדַבֵּרוּ לִמְּדוּ לְשׁוֹנָם דַּבֶּר שֶׁקֶר הַעֲוֵה נִלְאוּ:
they commit iniquity [until] they are weary: They wearied themselves and toiled to pervert their way. העוה is like (Exod. 8: 11) “and making heavy (והכבּד) his heart,” to commit iniquity.  
5. Your habitation is in the midst of deceit; because of deceit they refuse to know Me, says the Lord.   ה. שִׁבְתְּךָ בְּתוֹךְ מִרְמָה בְּמִרְמָה מֵאֲנוּ דַעַת אוֹתִי נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
Your habitation is in the midst of deceit: When they sit, they devise plans of deceit, and with deceit they have exchanged fear of Me and refused to know Me.  
because of deceit: Heb. בּמרמה.  
6. Therefore, thus says the Lord of Hosts, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do because of (the wickedness of) the daughter of My people?   ו. לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת הִנְנִי צוֹרְפָם וּבְחַנְתִּים כִּי אֵיךְ אֶעֱשֶׂה מִפְּנֵי בַּת עַמִּי:
I will refine them: with torments.  
because of the daughter of My people: Because of the sins of the congregation of Israel.  
7. Their tongue is a deadly arrow, it speaks deceit; each one speaks peaceably with his mouth to his neighbor, but in his heart he lays a trap for him.   ז. חֵץ שָׁחוּט לְשׁוֹנָם מִרְמָה דִבֵּר בְּפִיו שָׁלוֹם אֶת רֵעֵהוּ יְדַבֵּר וּבְקִרְבּוֹ יָשִׂים אָרְבּוֹ:
Their tongue is a deadly arrow: Heb. שחוט, drawn. Comp. (I Kings 10: 16) “malleable gold” (שחוט). Also, (Hos. 5:2) “And the extent of their turning away (ושחטה),” (tirer in French), pulling. Another explanation is that it is actually an expression of slaughter (tranchant in French, cutting). In this manner Menahem classified it (Machbereth Menahem p. 172), and in this manner Jonathan rendered it: כּגיר די מחרף, like a sharpened arrow.  
but in his heart: lit. in his midst. Jonathan renders: in his innards.  
8. Shall I not punish them for these things, says the Lord, shall I not avenge Myself on a nation such as this?   ח. הַעַל אֵלֶּה לֹא אֶפְקָד בָּם נְאֻם יְהֹוָה אִם בְּגוֹי אֲשֶׁר כָּזֶה לֹא תִתְנַקֵּם נַפְשִׁי:
9. I will take up weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for the dwellings of the wilderness, because they are withered and without any one passing through, and the lowing of the cattle is not heard; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast have fled and are gone.   ט. עַל הֶהָרִים אֶשָּׂא בְכִי וָנֶהִי וְעַל נְאוֹת מִדְבָּר קִינָה כִּי נִצְּתוּ מִבְּלִי אִישׁ עוֹבֵר וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ קוֹל מִקְנֶה מֵעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וְעַד בְּהֵמָה נָדְדוּ הָלָכוּ:
for the mountains: i.e., for the destruction of the mountains.  
for the dwellings of the wilderness: The dwelling of the shepherds in the wilderness. נאות is an expression of a dwelling. Comp. (Psalms 83: 13) “the dwellings (נאות) of God,” also (ibid. 93:5) “to Your house, the dwelling (נאוה) of sanctity.”  
they are withered: Heb. נצתו. An expression of aridness. Comp. (v. 11) “withered (נצתה).”  
have fled and are gone: i.e., they are destined to go. For fifty- two years no one passed through Judah; from the exile of Zedekiah until the order of Cyrus, king of Persia, were fifty-two years. An allusion to the matter [is that the numerical value for] “and the beast” (בּהמה) amounts to fifty-two, and the computation is exact, in Tractate Megillah [should read: Yoma 54a].  
10. And I will make Jerusalem heaps (of ruin), a lair of jackals; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.   י. וְנָתַתִּי אֶת יְרוּשָׁלִַם לְגַלִּים מְעוֹן תַּנִּים וְאֶת עָרֵי יְהוּדָה אֶתֵּן שְׁמָמָה מִבְּלִי יוֹשֵׁב:
heaps: Heb. דגורין heaps.  
11. Who is the man so wise that he can understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined (and) withered like a wilderness, without anyone passing through?   יא. מִי הָאִישׁ הֶחָכָם וְיָבֵן אֶת זֹאת וַאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר פִּי יְהֹוָה אֵלָיו וְיַגִּדָהּ עַל מָה אָבְדָה הָאָרֶץ נִצְּתָה כַמִּדְבָּר מִבְּלִי עֹבֵר:
Who is the man so wise: Who will understand this, and who is the prophet to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it? And who will declare why the land is ruined and all this retribution has come?  
12. And the Lord said: (It is) because they have forsaken My Law, which I set before them, and have not hearkened to My voice, nor walked by it.   יב. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה עַל עָזְבָם אֶת תּוֹרָתִי אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לִפְנֵיהֶם וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ בְקוֹלִי וְלֹא הָלְכוּ בָהּ:
13. But they have followed the view of their own heart, and after the Baalim, which their fathers taught them (to worship).   יג. וַיֵּלְכוּ אַחֲרֵי שְׁרִרוּת לִבָּם וְאַחֲרֵי הַבְּעָלִים אֲשֶׁר לִמְּדוּם אֲבוֹתָם:
14. Therefore, so thus said the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them-this people-with wormwood, and will give them poisonous water to drink.   יד. לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הִנְנִי מַאֲכִילָם אֶת הָעָם הַזֶּה לַעֲנָה וְהִשְׁקִיתִים מֵי רֹאשׁ:
with wormwood: Bitter grass.  
poisonous water: Snake venom.  
15. I will scatter them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them.   טו. וַהֲפִצוֹתִים בַּגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדְעוּ הֵמָּה וַאֲבוֹתָם וְשִׁלַּחְתִּי אַחֲרֵיהֶם אֶת הַחֶרֶב עַד כַּלּוֹתִי אוֹתָם:
16. Thus said the Lord of Hosts: Consider and call for the (hired) women mourners that they may come; and send for the skillful women, and let them come.   טז. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת הִתְבּוֹנְנוּ וְקִרְאוּ לַמְקוֹנְנוֹת וּתְבוֹאֶינָה וְאֶל הַחֲכָמוֹת שִׁלְחוּ וְתָבוֹאנָה:
17. O let them make haste and raise a wailing over us, so that our eyes may shed tears, and our eyelids gush with water.   יז. וּתְמַהֵרְנָה וְתִשֶּׂנָה עָלֵינוּ נֶהִי וְתֵרַדְנָה עֵינֵינוּ דִּמְעָה וְעַפְעַפֵּינוּ יִזְּלוּ מָיִם:
18. For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion: 'O how we are ruined! We are very much ashamed, because we have left the land, because they have cast down our dwellings!'   יח. כִּי קוֹל נְהִי נִשְׁמַע מִצִּיּוֹן אֵיךְ שֻׁדָּדְנוּ בֹּשְׁנוּ מְאֹד כִּי עָזַבְנוּ אָרֶץ כִּי הִשְׁלִיכוּ מִשְׁכְּנוֹתֵינוּ:
they have cast down our dwellings: Heb. השליכו משכנותינו, [our dwellings] have cast out their inhabitants. We can also explain: For the enemies have cast our dwellings to the ground.  
19. Indeed hear, O women, the word of the Lord, and let your ear receive the word of His mouth; teach your daughters a lamentation, and each to her neighbor a dirge.   יט. כִּי שְׁמַעְנָה נָשִׁים דְּבַר יְהֹוָה וְתִקַּח אָזְנְכֶם דְּבַר פִּיו וְלַמֵּדְנָה בְנוֹתֵיכֶם נֶהִי וְאִשָּׁה רְעוּתָהּ קִינָה:
20. For death has penetrated our windows, it has entered our palaces; to cut off the infants from the streets, and the young men from the squares.   כ. כִּי עָלָה מָוֶת בְּחַלּוֹנֵינוּ בָּא בְּאַרְמְנוֹתֵינוּ לְהַכְרִית עוֹלָל מִחוּץ בַּחוּרִים מֵרְחֹבוֹת:
from the streets: Heb. מחוץ, from the street. Comp. (I Kings 20:34) “And you shall make yourself streets in Damascus.”  
21. Speak; Thus says the Lord: Indeed, the carcasses of men shall fall like dung on the open field, and like sheaves after the reaper, with none to gather them!   כא. דַּבֵּר כֹּה נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וְנָפְלָה נִבְלַת הָאָדָם כְּדֹמֶן עַל פְּנֵי הַשָּׂדֶה וּכְעָמִיר מֵאַחֲרֵי הַקּוֹצֵר וְאֵין מְאַסֵּף:
22. Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom, nor the strong man boast of his strength, nor the rich man boast of his riches.   כב. כֹּה | אָמַר יְהֹוָה אַל יִתְהַלֵּל חָכָם בְּחָכְמָתוֹ וְאַל יִתְהַלֵּל הַגִּבּוֹר בִּגְבוּרָתוֹ אַל יִתְהַלֵּל עָשִׁיר בְּעָשְׁרוֹ:
Let not the wise man boast: Do not boast, saying, “We are wise.” Behold, you have rejected My words, so what wisdom do you have? If you understand and know Me, then you can boast of your wisdom.  
23. But let him that boasts exult in this, that he understands and knows me, for I am the Lord Who practices kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth; for in these things I delight, says the Lord.   כג. כִּי אִם בְּזֹאת יִתְהַלֵּל הַמִּתְהַלֵּל הַשְׂכֵּל וְיָדֹעַ אוֹתִי כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה עֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה בָּאָרֶץ כִּי בְאֵלֶּה חָפַצְתִּי נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
that he understands: Heb. השכיל, like (Exod. 8:11) “making heavy (הכבד)” (Enteliant in O. F.).  
24. Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will punish every circumcised one with his uncircumcision.   כד. הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וּפָקַדְתִּי עַל כָּל מוּל בְּעָרְלָה:
every circumcised one for his uncircumcision: Every circumcised one who has a foreskin, even an uncircumcised heart, and surely I will punish the heathens.  
25. Egypt, Judah, Edom, the children of Ammon, Moab, and all those cast off to the corners, who dwell in the desert, for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are of uncircumcised hearts.   כה. עַל מִצְרַיִם וְעַל יְהוּדָה וְעַל אֱדוֹם וְעַל בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן וְעַל מוֹאָב וְעַל כָּל קְצוּצֵי פֵאָה הַיֹּשְׁבִים בַּמִּדְבָּר כִּי כָל הַגּוֹיִם עֲרֵלִים וְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל עַרְלֵי לֵב:
Egypt etc.: These were the neighbors of Eretz Israel, and they were punished shortly after her, as it is written in Ezekiel (29), and explained in Seder Olam (ch. 26).  
cast off to the corners: Heb. פאה, an expression of an end, those cast off to the corner of the desert.  
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