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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 15

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 15

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 15

1. And the Lord said to me; If Moses and Samuel stand before Me, I have no desire for this people, send [them] away from before My face and let them go forth.   א. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי אִם יַעֲמֹד מֹשֶׁה וּשְׁמוּאֵל לְפָנַי אֵין נַפְשִׁי אֶל הָעָם הַזֶּה שַׁלַּח מֵעַל פָּנַי וְיֵצֵאוּ:
Moses and Samuel: Both were needed to beg mercy for Israel, but first they induced them to repent, and afterwards they prayed on their behalf, but they had no idea of turning away My wrath until they had induced them to repent. Moses said (Exodus 32:27), “Let each man put his sword…” (v. 20) “and he scattered it on the surface of the water, etc.” And afterwards (v. 30), “I will ascend to the Lord, perhaps I will atone.” Samuel in Mizpah (I Samuel 7:4, 5) “And the children of Israel removed the Baalim,” and afterwards, “‘Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I shall pray to the Lord on your behalf (sic).’” But you cannot bring them back to Me, therefore do not pray for them.  
desire: Heb. נַפֹשִי lit., My soul.  
2. And it shall be if they say to you, "Where shall we go?" you shall say to them, "So said the Lord: Such as are for death, to death, and such as are for the sword, to the sword, and such as are for famine, to famine, and such as are for captivity, to captivity."   ב. וְהָיָה כִּי יֹאמְרוּ אֵלֶיךָ אָנָה נֵצֵא וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר לַמָּוֶת לַמָּוֶת וַאֲשֶׁר לַחֶרֶב לַחֶרֶב וַאֲשֶׁר לָרָעָב לָרָעָב וַאֲשֶּׁר לַשְּׁבִי לַשֶּׁבִי:
Such as are for death, to death: Each calamity mentioned later in this verse is harsher than the one preceding it. The sword is harsher than death. Death by the sword is defacing, whereas death in bed is not defacing. And so he says (Psalms 116:15): “Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His Saints.” Famine is harsher than the sword, for this one is agonizing whereas the other is not agonizing. And so Scripture states (Lam. 4:9): “Better are those who die from the sword than those who die from famine.” Captivity - all sorts of death are in it.  
3. And I will appoint over them four families, says the Lord, the sword to slay and the dogs to drag and the fowl of the heaven and the beasts of the earth to devour and to destroy.   ג. וּפָקַדְתִּי עֲלֵיהֶם אַרְבַּע מִשְׁפָּחוֹת נְאֻם יְהֹוָה אֶת הַחֶרֶב לַהֲרֹג וְאֶת הַכְּלָבִים לִסְחֹב וְאֶת עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת בֶּהֱמַת הָאָרֶץ לֶאֱכֹל וּלְהַשְׁחִית:
And I will appoint: an expression of appointment and designation.  
to drag: to drag. Cf. (infra. 49:20) “If the young of the sheep do not drag them (יִסְחָבוּם).”  
4. And I will make them a horror to all the kingdom of the earth because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for all that he did in Jerusalem.   ד. וּנְתַתִּים לְזַעֲוָה לְכֹל מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ בִּגְלַל מְנַשֶּׁה בֶן יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה עַל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה בִּירוּשָׁלִָם:
a horror: from the same root as (Esther 5:9), “And he neither rose nor quaked (זָע).” Similarly, גַּאֲוָה pride, from the root (Isa. 16: 6) “Have become very proud (גֵּא).”  
to all the kingdoms of the earth: Anyone who hears the evil that has befallen you will shudder.  
5. For, who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem, and who will lament over you, and who will turn aside to ask of your welfare?   ה. כִּי מִי יַחְמֹל עָלַיִךְ יְרוּשָׁלִַם וּמִי יָנוּד לָךְ וּמִי יָסוּר לִשְׁאֹל לְשָׁלֹם לָךְ:
will lament: Heb. יָנוּד.  
and who will turn aside: to you, to turn aside from his road to you, to ask of your welfare?  
6. You have forsaken Me, says the Lord. You shall go backwards, and I have stretched out My hand over you and destroyed you. I am weary of repenting.   ו. אַתְּ נָטַשְׁתְּ אֹתִי נְאֻם יְהֹוָה אָחוֹר תֵּלֵכִי וָאַט אֶת יָדִי עָלַיִךְ וָאַשְׁחִיתֵךְ נִלְאֵיתִי הִנָּחֵם:
I am weary of repenting: Many times I planned to destroy but repented of the evil. Now I am weary of repenting. הִנָחֵם (Dporpnser in O.F.)  
7. And I winnowed them with a sieve in the cities of the earth; I bereft, I destroyed My people; they have not returned from their ways.   ז. וָאֶזְרֵם בְּמִזְרֶה בְּשַׁעֲרֵי הָאָרֶץ שִׁכַּלְתִּי אִבַּדְתִּי אֶת עַמִּי מִדַּרְכֵיהֶם לוֹא שָׁבוּ:
with a sieve: A sieve called (van in French), like one who winnows barley, so that they should not all be exiled to one place.  
8. His widows are to Me more numerous than the sand of the seas; I have brought to them upon the mother a chosen one who will rob them at midday; I have cast upon her suddenly a city and terrors.   ח. עָצְמוּ לִי אַלְמְנוֹתָיו מֵחוֹל יַמִּים הֵבֵאתִי לָהֶם עַל אֵם בָּחוּר שֹׁדֵד בַּצָּהֳרָיִם הִפַּלְתִּי עָלֶיהָ פִּתְאֹם עִיר וּבֶהָלוֹת:
are to Me more numerous: His widows are more to Me.  
upon a mother: Upon Jerusalem, which is a city and a mother in Israel.  
at midday: Everything will be exposed before him, all their hidden treasures.  
I have cast upon her suddenly a city: I caused the troops of a city and many terrors to rest upon her. Some interpret עִיר as ‘an enemy.’ Cf. (I Sam. 28:16), “And has become [the supporter of] your adversary (עָרֶ) ” (see also Dan. 4:16).  
9. She who bore seven has been cut off, her soul grieves, her sun sets when it is still day. She is ashamed and confounded. And her remnant I shall deliver to the sword before their enemies, says the Lord.   ט. אֻמְלְלָה יֹלֶדֶת הַשִּׁבְעָה נָפְחָה נַפְשָׁהּ בָּא שִׁמְשָׁהּ בְּעֹד יוֹמָם בּוֹשָׁה וְחָפֵרָה וּשְׁאֵרִיתָם לַחֶרֶב אֶתֵּן לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֵיהֶם נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
She who bore seven: Samaria and the nation of the Ten Tribes, from whom rose seven dynasties of wicked kings, has already been cut off and exiled.  
and their remnant: These are Judah and part of Benjamin, who remained in Israel. I shall deliver them to the sword. These are the seven dynasties: Jeroboam son of Nebat and his dynasty, Baasha and his dynasty, Omri and his dynasty, Jehu and his dynasty, Menahem and his dynasty, Pekah and his dynasty, Hoshea and his dynasty.  
her soul grieves: an expression of ‘her soul grieves.’ We translate (Deut. 28:65) “And grieving of the soul (וְדַאֲבוֹן נֶפֹש)” as וּמַפְּחַן נְפֹש.  
when it is still day: Before its time, they hastened to fall. In this manner it is expounded in Tractate Gittin. [See Gittin 88a]. And in the Midrash of Rabbi Tanhuma (Tanhuma Buber, Vayetze p. 153) it is expounded as referring to Jerusalem, and he counts seven wicked men: Jehoram, Jehoash, Ahaz, Manasseh, Amon, Jehoiakim, and Zedekiah. But there are yet to count Rehoboam, Abijah, Amaziah, and Ahaziah.  
and confounded: an expression of shame.  
10. Woe is to me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of quarrel and a man of contention to the whole land. I have not lent, nor have they lent to me. Yet, they all curse me.   י. אוֹי לִי אִמִּי כִּי יְלִדְתִּנִי אִישׁ רִיב וְאִישׁ מָדוֹן לְכָל הָאָרֶץ לֹא נָשִׁיתִי וְלֹא נָשׁוּ בִי כֻּלֹּה מְקַלְלָוְנִי:
Woe is to me, my mother: Jeremiah was complaining about himself, that his townsmen hated him because of his castigations.  
and a man of contention: a man of quarrel, Cf. (Gen. 6:3) “Let My spirit not contend (יָדוֹן).”  
I have not lent: Cf. (Exodus 22:24) “You shall not be to him as a creditor (כְּנֹשֶה).”  
they curse me: I do not quarrel with them concerning matters of money that I claim from them, neither have they made any claim on me, yet all the people curse me.  
11. Said the Lord: Verily, I will leave you over for good; verily I will cause [them] to beg you in time of famine and in time of distress, with the enemy.   יא. אָמַר יְהֹוָה אִם לֹא שֵׁרִיתִיךָ לְטוֹב אִם לוֹא | הִפְגַּעְתִּי בְךָ בְּעֵת רָעָה וּבְעֵת צָרָה אֶת הָאֹיֵב:
1 leave you over: I leave you over, an expression of a remnant. In this manner, Menahem (Machbereth p. 181) interpreted it, but Dunash (Teshuvoth Dunash p. 36) interpreted it as an expression of release. And שֵרִיתִי is like (Dan. 5:12) “And untying (וּמֹשָרֵא) knots,” and the interpretation of שֵרִיתִי is so, as it is stated (below 40:4): “Behold I have released you from the chains that are on your hand.” That is to say, on that day that the Lord fulfilled His word, it was said to him, “And now, behold I have released you today from the chains that are on your hand, if it pleases you to come with me to Babylon.” And also, Israel begged him to pray for them, as it was said to him (below 42: 4): “Pray on our behalf to the Lord our Cod, for we remain few from many.”  
Verily I will: lit., if not, an expression of an oath.  
I will cause [them] to beg you in time of evil: with the enemy. When evil befalls them, they will beg you to supplicate God for mercy upon them, for example, Zedekiah said to him, (below 21:2) “Beseech God now on our behalf, etc.” Another explanation. Nebuzaradan will beg you (below 40:4), “If it pleases you to come with me to Babylon.”  
12. Will iron break iron from the north and copper?   יב. הֲיָרֹעַ בַּרְזֶל | בַּרְזֶל מִצָּפוֹן וּנְחֹשֶׁת:
Will iron break iron from the north: I say that iron that comes from the north is harder than other iron, and this is its interpretation: They were compared to iron (above 6:28), “Going tale bearing like copper and iron.” And concerning Jeremiah it is stated (above 1:18): “I have made you… into an iron pillar and into copper walls,” and his is stronger than theirs, for Nebuchadnezzar will come upon them according to his words.  
Will…5break: Will their iron break yours? Another explanation: Will Pharaoh who comes in your aid, who is as hard as iron, break Nebuchadnezzar, who is iron that comes from the north and copper? Targum Jonathan is inclined toward this direction.  
13. Your riches and your treasures I will give for plunder, not for a price, and for all your sins and throughout all your boundaries.   יג. חֵילְךָ וְאוֹצְרֹתֶיךָ לָבַז אֶתֵּן לֹא בִמְחִיר וּבְכָל חַטֹּאותֶיךָ וּבְכָל גְּבוּלֶיךָ:
Your wealth: An expression of money.  
and your treasures: He is addressing Israel.  
and for all your sins: And because of all your sins, this will befall you.  
and throughout all your boundaries: For you erected idols in all of them.  
14. And I will cause [you] to pass over to your enemies in a land that you do not know, for a fire burns in My nostril; it shall be kindled against you.   יד. וְהַעֲבַרְתִּי אֶת אֹיְבֶיךָ בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא יָדָעְתָּ כִּי אֵשׁ קָדְחָה בְאַפִּי עֲלֵיכֶם תּוּקָד:
15. You know, O Lord, remember me and think of me, and avenge me of my pursuers. Take me not to Your long suffering, know, I bore disgrace for Your sake.   טו. אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ יְהֹוָה זָכְרֵנִי וּפָקְדֵנִי וְהִנָּקֶם לִי מֵרֹדְפַי אַל לְאֶרֶךְ אַפְּךָ תִּקָּחֵנִי דַּע שְׂאֵתִי עָלֶיךָ חֶרְפָּה:
Take me not to Your long suffering: Jonathan renders. Do not grant a reprieve for my humiliation. Do not take my cause to leave it for Your long suffering, but hasten and avenge me.  
I bore: like סָבַלְתִּי bore.  
for Your sake: for You.  
16. Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word was to me a joy and a rejoicing of my heart, for Your name was called upon me, O Lord God of Hosts.   טז. נִמְצְאוּ דְבָרֶיךָ וָאֹכְלֵם וַיְהִי דְבָרְךָ לִי לְשָׂשׂוֹן וּלְשִׂמְחַת לְבָבִי כִּי נִקְרָא שִׁמְךָ עָלַי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי צְבָאוֹת:
Your words were found and I ate them: eagerly at the beginning, and they were a joy for me, for I thought that now they would listen to me.  
17. I did not sit in the council of merrymakers, nor did I rejoice; because of Your hand I sat in seclusion, for You filled me with fury.   יז. לֹא יָשַׁבְתִּי בְסוֹד מְשַׂחֲקִים וָאֶעְלֹז מִפְּנֵי יָדְךָ בָּדָד יָשַׁבְתִּי כִּי זַעַם מִלֵּאתָנִי:
because of Your hand: Because of the prophecy that came to me from You.  
I sat: alone and bewildered by mourning, for You filled me with a prophecy of fury concerning the destruction of Your House.  
18. Why was my pain perpetual, and my wound grievous? It has refused to heal; you are to me as a failing spring, water that is not faithful.   יח. לָמָּה הָיָה כְאֵבִי נֶצַח וּמַכָּתִי אֲנוּשָׁה מֵאֲנָה הֵרָפֵא הָיוֹ תִהְיֶה לִי כְּמוֹ אַכְזָב מַיִם לֹא נֶאֱמָנוּ:
grievous: sick. Comp. (II Sam. 12:15) “And he became mortally ill (וַיֵּאָנֹש).” mentioned concerning Bath-sheba’s son.  
You are to me: Heb. הָיו ֹתִהְיֶה.  
as a failing spring: Like a man whose trust has been cut off from him, for you allow me to suffer at their hands. אַכְזָב is a spring that stops (faylayne in O.F:), failing.  
water that is not faithful: to rely upon it.  
19. Therefore, so said the Lord: If you return, I will return you, you will stand before Me, and if you take the precious out of the vile, you shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, but you shall not return to them.   יט. לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה אִם תָּשׁוּב וַאֲשִׁיבְךָ לְפָנַי תַּעֲמֹד וְאִם תּוֹצִיא יָקָר מִזּוֹלֵל כְּפִי תִהְיֶה יָשֻׁבוּ הֵמָּה אֵלֶיךָ וְאַתָּה לֹא תָשׁוּב אֲלֵיהֶם:
Therefore: Because I suffer from these troubles.  
so said the Lord: to me.  
If you return: You, Israel, through me, and I will return you to Him, He said to Me, “You will stand before Me.”  
and if you take precious out of the vile: If you take a pious man from a wicked man, i.e., if you bring him to repentance.  
You shall be as my mouth: For I make a decree and you annul it.  
Let them return to you, but you shall not return to them: Let them return to your word, but you shall not return to stray after them.  
20. And I will make you for this nation into a fortified copper wall, and they shall fight against you but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you to redeem you and to save you, says the Lord.   כ. וּנְתַתִּיךָ לָעָם הַזֶּה לְחוֹמַת נְחשֶׁת בְּצוּרָה וְנִלְחֲמוּ אֵלֶיךָ וְלֹא יוּכְלוּ לָךְ כִּי אִתְּךָ אֲנִי לְהוֹשִׁיעֲךָ וּלְהַצִּילֶךָ נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
21. And I will save you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the hand of the terrible.   כא. וְהִצַּלְתִּיךָ מִיַּד רָעִים וּפְדִתִיךָ מִכַּף עָרִצִים:
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