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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 17

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 17

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 17

1. The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, with a diamond point, engraved on the tablet of their heart and on the horns of your altars.   א. חַטַּאת יְהוּדָה כְּתוּבָה בְּעֵט בַּרְזֶל בְּצִפֹּרֶן שָׁמִיר חֲרוּשָׁה עַל לוּחַ לִבָּם וּלְקַרְנוֹת מִזְבְּחוֹתֵיכֶם:
with a pen of iron: This is an allegory. That is to say that it is deeply engraved, and cannot be erased. And the Midrash Aggadah explains: with a pen of iron, with a diamond point, preserved by Jeremiah, called ‘an iron wall,’ and by Ezekiel, to whom it was said (3:9): “As a diamond, harder than flint have I made your forehead.”  
engraved: Engraved like one who plows deeply.  
on the tablet of their heart: that they do not forget their idolatry.  
2. As they remember their children, [so do they remember] their altars, and their asherim by the green trees upon the high hillocks.   ב. כִּזְכֹּר בְּנֵיהֶם מִזְבְּחוֹתָם וַאֲשֵׁרֵיהֶם עַל עֵץ רַעֲנָן עַל גְּבָעוֹת הַגְּבֹהוֹת:
As they remember their children, [so do they remember] their altars: Like the remembrance of their children, so was the remembrance of their altars to them, like a man who longs for his son.  
and their asherim: which are by the green trees.  
by… trees: like אֵצֶּל, by. And Jonathan renders in this manner. under every green tree.  
3. You, who sit upon the mountain in the field, I will give your substance, all your treasures for a spoil! Your high places are made for sin within all your borders.   ג. הֲרָרִי בַּשָּׂדֶה חֵילְךָ כָל אוֹצְרוֹתֶיךָ לָבַז אֶתֵּן בָּמֹתֶיךָ בְּחַטָּאת בְּכָל גְּבוּלֶיךָ:
You, who sit upon the mountain in the field: Jerusalem that is situated on the mountain of the plain. All around the city is a fielded plain. The structure of הֲרָרִי is like עֲרָבִי, called so because he dwells in the plain (עֲרָבָה) (montanyers in O.F), mountain dwellers (other versions: a mountain dweller).  
your substance: like מָמוֹנְ, your money.  
Your high places are made for sin: Your high places are made in sin for the purpose of idolatry within all your borders.  
4. And you shall release, and [I will avenge Myself] of you because of your heritage that I gave you, and I will make you serve your enemies in the land that you did not know, for you have kindled fire in My nostrils that shall burn forever.   ד. וְשָׁמַטְתָּה וּבְךָ מִנַּחֲלָתְךָ אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לָךְ וְהַעֲבַדְתִּיךָ אֶת אֹיְבֶיךָ בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדָעְתָּ כִּי אֵשׁ קְדַחְתֶּם בְּאַפִּי עַד עוֹלָם תּוּקָד:
And you shall release: Perforce you will release your land for the time that it did not rest on your Sabbaths, which I said to you (Lev. 25:2), “And the land shall rest a Sabbath for the Lord.”  
of you: I will avenge Myself of you because of your heritage that I gave you, that you did not perform My will to release it. Another explanation: even of you, from your heritage; I will avenge Myself of you from your heritage, that I will exile you from it.  
for you have kindled fire in My nostrils: Heb. קְדַכְתֶּם.  
5. So says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart turns away from the Lord.   ה. כֹּה | אָמַר יְהֹוָה אָרוּר הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בָּאָדָם וְשָׂם בָּשָׂר זְרֹעוֹ וּמִן יְהֹוָה יָסוּר לִבּוֹ:
who trusts in man: In his plowing and his harvest, saying, “I will sow during the seventh year and I will eat.”  
his arm: Like ‘his help,’ and so did Jonathan render: his trust.  
and whose heart turns away from the Lord: Who promised him (Lev. 25:21), “And I will command My blessing to you.” This is what I heard.  
6. He shall be like a lone tree in the plain, and will not see when good comes, and will dwell on parched land in the desert, on salt-sodden soil that is not habitable.   ו. וְהָיָה כְּעַרְעָר בָּעֲרָבָה וְלֹא יִרְאֶה כִּי יָבוֹא טוֹב וְשָׁכַן חֲרֵרִים בַּמִּדְבָּר אֶרֶץ מְלֵחָה וְלֹא תֵשֵׁב:
like a lonely tree: like a lonely tree, an expression of (Gen. 15:2) “Childless (עֲרִירִי) ,” and some say (degat in O.F) laid waste, and Menahem (Machbereth Menahem p. 137) explained: The name of a tree of the forest trees, and its name is ar’ar, and this is the explanation of (infra 48. 6) “Like an ‘aroer’ in the desert,” one of the trees of the forest.  
in the plain: an expression of a plain.  
parched land: aridness. Comp. (Job 30:30) “Became dry (חָרָה) from heat.”  
salt-sodden soil: Land that is salty and will not be settled.  
7. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord; the Lord shall be his trust.   ז. בָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בַּיהֹוָה וְהָיָה יְהֹוָה מִבְטַחוֹ:
8. For he shall be like a tree planted by the water, and by a rivulet spreads its roots, and will not see when heat comes, and its leaves shall be green, and in the year of drought will not be anxious, neither shall it cease from bearing fruit.   ח. וְהָיָה כְּעֵץ | שָׁתוּל עַל מַיִם וְעַל יוּבַל יְשַׁלַּח שָׁרָשָׁיו וְלֹא יִרְאֶה כִּי יָבֹא חֹם וְהָיָה עָלֵהוּ רַעֲנָן וּבִשְׁנַת בַּצֹּרֶת לֹא יִדְאָג וְלֹא יָמִישׁ מֵעֲשׂוֹת פֶּרִי:
and will not see: The tree will not see when heat comes.  
drought: an expression of hunger, (famine in French). Another interpretation: בַּצֹרֶת is an expression of fortification (מִבְצָר) , and in this manner, Menahem (Machbereth Menahem p. 47) classified it.  
will not be anxious: will not be afraid.  
9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and when it is sick, who will recognize it?   ט. עָקֹב הַלֵּב מִכֹּל וְאָנֻשׁ הוּא מִי יֵדָעֶנּוּ:
The heart is deceitful: Full of pretext and deceit of all evil.  
and when it is sick: an expression of sickness, and this is its sickness.  
who recognizes it?: He thinks, “Who recognizes it?” I, the Lord, search it.  
10. I, the Lord, search the heart, test the kidneys, to give everyone according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.   י. אֲנִי יְהֹוָה חֹקֵר לֵב בֹּחֵן כְּלָיוֹת וְלָתֵת לְאִישׁ כִּדְרָכָיו כִּפְרִי מַעֲלָלָיו:
11. The cuckoo calls but has not laid, so it is he who gathers riches but not by right; he shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end he stands dishonored.   יא. קֹרֵא דָגָר וְלֹא יָלָד עֹשֶׂה עֹשֶׁר וְלֹא בְמִשְׁפָּט בַּחֲצִי יָמָיו יַעַזְבֶנּוּ וּבְאַחֲרִיתוֹ יִהְיֶה נָבָל:
The cuckoo calls: (Coucou glousse in French).  
but has not laid: This cuckoo draws after it chicks that it did not lay. דָגָר - This is the chirping which the bird chirps with its voice to draw the chicks after it, but those whom the cuckoo called will not follow it when they grow up for they are not of its kind. So is one who gathers riches but not by right.  
he stands dishonored: He is called wicked.  
12. As a Throne of Glory, exalted from the beginning, so is the place of our Sanctuary.   יב. כִּסֵּא כָבוֹד מָרוֹם מֵרִאשׁוֹן מְקוֹם מִקְדָּשֵׁנוּ:
As a Throne of Glory: Since he wishes to state: All that forsake You shall be shamed, he commences with the praise of the Omnipresent, and says before Him, “You, Whose Throne of Glory is exalted from the beginning of the Creation of the world and is directed opposite our Sanctuary.”  
13. The Lord who is the source of the hopes of Israel, all that forsake You shall be shamed, and they who turn away from me shall be marked out on the earth that they have forsaken the source of living waters, the Lord.   יג. מִקְוֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהֹוָה כָּל עֹזְבֶיךָ יֵבֹשׁוּ וְסוּרַי בָּאָרֶץ יִכָּתֵבוּ כִּי עָזְבוּ מְקוֹר מַיִם חַיִּים אֶת יְהֹוָה:
The Lord Who is the source of the hopes of Israel: sits upon it. Therefore, all that forsake You shall be shamed.  
and they that turn away from me shall be marked on the earth: Those who turn away from my words, who do not hearken to my message, will be marked out in the nether graves of the earth.  
14. Heal me, O Lord, then shall I be healed; help me, then I shall be helped, for You are my praise!   יד. רְפָאֵנִי יְהֹוָה וְאֵרָפֵא הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי וְאִוָּשֵׁעָה כִּי תְהִלָּתִי אָתָּה:
for You are my praise: I praise myself and boast with You, saying that You are my Savior (vantance in O.F.), boast.  
15. Behold, they say to me, "Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come now."   טו. הִנֵּה הֵמָּה אֹמְרִים אֵלָי אַיֵּה דְבַר יְהֹוָה יָבוֹא נָא:
"Where is the word of the Lord?: The retribution which you prophesy.  
16. But I did not hasten since I was a shepherd after You, and I did not desire the woeful day, You know it. What came out of my lips was before Your face.   טז. וַאֲנִי לֹא אַצְתִּי | מֵרֹעֶה אַחֲרֶיךָ וְיוֹם אָנוּשׁ לֹא הִתְאַוֵּיתִי אַתָּה יָדָעְתָּ מוֹצָא שְׂפָתַי נֹכַח פָּנֶיךָ הָיָה:
But I did not hasten: I did not hasten to urge You to bring them because I am a good shepherd, who goes after You to beg mercy for them.  
and… the woeful day: The illness of their retribution I did not desire. Jonathan renders: And I did not hamper Your word from prophesying concerning them to return them to fear You. According to the Targum, אַצְתִּי is an expression of hampering. That is to say, I did not hesitate from telling them Your message and to return them to you if they would hearken to me.  
What came out of my lips was before Your face: to return Your wrath from them.  
17. Let it not be to me for a ruin; You are my shelter on a day of evil.   יז. אַל תִּהְיֵה לִי לִמְחִתָּה מַחֲסִי אַתָּה בְּיוֹם רָעָה:
Let it not be to me for a ruin: Let not Your mission be to me for a ruin.  
18. May my pursuers be shamed, but let me not be shamed; may they be broken, but let me not be broken; bring upon them a day of evil, and with a second destruction destroy them.   יח. יֵבֹשׁוּ רֹדְפַי וְאַל אֵבֹשָׁה אָנִי יֵחַתּוּ הֵמָּה וְאַל אֵחַתָּה אָנִי הָבִיא עֲלֵיהֶם יוֹם רָעָה וּמִשְׁנֶה שִׁבָּרוֹן שָׁבְרֵם:
May my pursuers be shamed: i.e., the men of Anathoth alone.  
19. So said the Lord to me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, in which the kings of Judah come, and out of which they go, and in all the gates of Jerusalem.   יט. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי הָלֹךְ וְעָמַדְתָּ בְּשַׁעַר בְּנֵי הָעָם אֲשֶׁר יָבֹאוּ בוֹ מַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה וַאֲשֶׁר יֵצְאוּ בוֹ וּבְכֹל שַׁעֲרֵי יְרוּשָׁלִָם:
20. And you shall say to them: Hearken to the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and all of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who come into these gates.   כ. וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר יְהֹוָה מַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה וְכָל יְהוּדָה וְכֹל יֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִָם הַבָּאִים בַּשְּׁעָרִים הָאֵלֶּה:
21. So said the Lord: Beware for your souls and carry no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring into the gates of Jerusalem.   כא. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הִשָּׁמְרוּ בְּנַפְשׁוֹתֵיכֶם וְאַל תִּשְׂאוּ מַשָּׂא בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וַהֲבֵאתֶם בְּשַׁעֲרֵי יְרוּשָׁלִָם:
22. Neither shall you take a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day nor shall you perform any labor, and you shall hallow the Sabbath day as I commanded your forefathers.   כב. וְלֹא תוֹצִיאוּ מַשָּׂא מִבָּתֵּיכֶם בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וְכָל מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ וְקִדַּשְׁתֶּם אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אֶת אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם:
23. But they did not hearken, neither did they bend their ear[s], and they hardened their nape not to hearken and not to receive instruction.   כג. וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ וְלֹא הִטּוּ אֶת אָזְנָם וַיַּקְשׁוּ אֶת עָרְפָּם לְבִלְתִּי שְׁמוֹעַ וּלְבִלְתִּי קַחַת מוּסָר:
But they did not hearken: i.e., your forefathers did not hearken to what I commanded them.  
24. And it shall be if you hearken to Me, says the Lord, not to bring any burden into the gates of this city on the Sabbath day and to hallow the Sabbath day not to perform any labor thereon,   כד. וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּן אֵלַי נְאֻם יְהֹוָה לְבִלְתִּי | הָבִיא מַשָּׂא בְּשַׁעֲרֵי הָעִיר הַזֹּאת בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וּלְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְבִלְתִּי עֲשׂוֹת בּוֹ כָּל מְלָאכָה:
25. Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on David's throne, riding in chariots and with horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and this city shall be inhabited forever.   כה. וּבָאוּ בְשַׁעֲרֵי הָעִיר הַזֹּאת מְלָכִים | וְשָׂרִים יֹשְׁבִים עַל כִּסֵּא דָוִד רֹכְבִים | בָּרֶכֶב וּבַסּוּסִים הֵמָּה וְשָׂרֵיהֶם אִישׁ יְהוּדָה וְיֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִָם וְיָשְׁבָה הָעִיר הַזֹּאת לְעוֹלָם:
26. And they shall come from the cities of Judah and from the environs of Jerusalem and from the land of Benjamin and from the lowland and from the mountain and from the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices and meal-offerings and frankincense, and those bringing thanksgiving offerings to the house of the Lord.   כו. וּבָאוּ מֵעָרֵי יְהוּדָה וּמִסְּבִיבוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַם וּמֵאֶרֶץ בִּנְיָמִן וּמִן הַשְּׁפֵלָה וּמִן הָהָר וּמִן הַנֶּגֶב מְבִאִים עֹלָה וְזֶבַח וּמִנְחָה וּלְבוֹנָה וּמְבִאֵי תוֹדָה בֵּית יְהֹוָה:
27. And if you will not hearken to Me to hallow the Sabbath day and not to carry burdens and to come into the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath, I will kindle a fire in her gates, and it will consume the palaces of Jerusalem, and it will not be quenched.   כז. וְאִם לֹא תִשְׁמְעוּ אֵלַי לְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וּלְבִלְתִּי | שְׂאֵת מַשָּׂא וּבֹא בְּשַׁעֲרֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וְהִצַּתִּי אֵשׁ בִּשְׁעָרֶיהָ וְאָכְלָה אַרְמְנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְלֹא תִכְבֶּה:
and to come: like וְלָבֹא.  
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