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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 18

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 18

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 18

1. The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying:   א. הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר הָיָה אֶל יִרְמְיָהוּ מֵאֵת יְהֹוָה לֵאמֹר:
2. Rise and go down to the house of the potter, and there I will let you hear My words.   ב. קוּם וְיָרַדְתָּ בֵּית הַיּוֹצֵר וְשָׁמָּה אַשְׁמִיעֲךָ אֶת דְּבָרָי:
3. So I went to the house of the potter, and behold, he was doing work on the wheels.   ג. וָאֵרֵד בֵּית הַיּוֹצֵר וְהִנֵּה הוּא עֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה עַל הָאָבְנָיִם:
on the wheels: Jonathan renders: on the wheel. (Formes in French.)  
4. And the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he made it again another vessel, as it had pleased the potter to make.   ד. וְנִשְׁחַת הַכְּלִי אֲשֶׁר הוּא עֹשֶׂה בַּחֹמֶר בְּיַד הַיּוֹצֵר וְשָׁב וַיַּעֲשֵׂהוּ כְּלִי אַחֵר כַּאֲשֶׁר יָשַׁר בְּעֵינֵי הַיּוֹצֵר לַעֲשׂוֹת:
that he was making of clay: That he was making of the clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand while it was still wet, and this is an inverted verse.  
5. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:   ה. וַיְהִי דְבַר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמוֹר:
6. As this potter can I not do to you, O house of Israel? says the Lord. Behold, as clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.   ו. הֲכַיּוֹצֵר הַזֶּה לֹא אוּכַל לַעֲשׂוֹת לָכֶם בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל נְאֻם יְהֹוָה הִנֵּה כַחֹמֶר בְּיַד הַיּוֹצֵר כֵּן אַתֶּם בְּיָדִי בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל:
7. One instant I may speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to uproot and to demolish and to destroy.   ז. רֶגַע אֲדַבֵּר עַל גּוֹי וְעַל מַמְלָכָה לִנְתוֹשׁ וְלִנְתוֹץ וּלְהַאֲבִיד:
8. And when that nation repents of its evil for which I spoke concerning it, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to it.   ח. וְשָׁב הַגּוֹי הַהוּא מֵרָעָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתִּי עָלָיו וְנִחַמְתִּי עַל הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר חָשַׁבְתִּי לַעֲשׂוֹת לוֹ:
of its evil for which I spoke concerning it: Of its sins for which I spoke concerning it.  
to uproot and to demolish: (depayser [?] in French).  
I will repent: And I will think another thought.  
9. And at one instant I may speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant,   ט. וְרֶגַע אֲדַבֵּר עַל גּוֹי וְעַל מַמְלָכָה לִבְנוֹת וְלִנְטוֹעַ:
10. And it will do what is evil in My eyes, not to hearken to My voice, I will repent of the good I said to benefit it.   י. וְעָשָׂה הָרַע בְּעֵינַי לְבִלְתִּי שְׁמֹעַ בְּקוֹלִי וְנִחַמְתִּי עַל הַטּוֹבָה אֲשֶׁר אָמַרְתִּי לְהֵיטִיב אוֹתוֹ:
11. And now, say now to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, So said the Lord: Behold I am devising evil upon you, and I am laying plans against you. Return now, each one from his evil way and improve your ways and your deeds.   יא. וְעַתָּה אֱמָר נָא אֶל אִישׁ יְהוּדָה וְעַל יוֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי יוֹצֵר עֲלֵיכֶם רָעָה וְחֹשֵׁב עֲלֵיכֶם מַחֲשָׁבָה שׁוּבוּ נָא אִישׁ מִדַּרְכּוֹ הָרָעָה וְהֵיטִיבוּ דַרְכֵיכֶם וּמַעַלְלֵיכֶם:
12. But they shall say, "We despair, but after our thoughts we will go, and we will do each one the view of his evil heart.   יב. וְאָמְרוּ נוֹאָשׁ כִּי אַחֲרֵי מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵינוּ נֵלֵךְ וְאִישׁ שְׁרִרוּת לִבּוֹ הָרָע נַעֲשֶׂה:
But they shall say, We despair: I know that they will say to you regarding your words that they do not heed them.  
13. Therefore, so said the Lord: Ask now among the nations, who heard of anything like these? The virgin of Israel committed a very disgraceful thing.   יג. לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה שַׁאֲלוּ נָא בַּגּוֹיִם מִי שָׁמַע כָּאֵלֶּה שַׁעֲרֻרִת עָשְׂתָה מְאֹד בְּתוּלַת יִשְׂרָאֵל:
disgraceful thing: Heb. שַעֲרֻרִת.  
14. Shall one abandon [water flowing] from rocks of the field [that comes from] the snow of Lebanon? Shall strange cold flowing water be abandoned?   יד. הֲיַעֲזֹב מִצּוּר שָׂדַי שֶׁלֶג לְבָנוֹן אִם יִנָּתְשׁוּ מַיִם זָרִים קָרִים נוֹזְלִים:
Shall one abandon from rocks of the field the snow of Lebanon: Shall a man who needs to drink abandon water that flows from the rock in the fields that comes from the snow of the Lebanon, which is clean?  
Shall strange cold… water be abandoned?: Or shall flowing spring water, which was strange to all people until now, and it is cold, be abandoned? זָרִים means flowing, and this proves it (2 Kings 19: 24): “I dug and drank strange water (זָרִים).” Menahem, however, classified with (Isaiah 1:6) “they have not been sprinkled (זֹרוּ), neither have they been bandaged,” an expression of curative water, and he gave a reason for his statement, and he said that if he wished to speak with an expression of זֶרֶם, a stream, he would double the ‘mem,’ and he would add ‘yud’ ‘mem,’ and he would say זְרוּמִים because of the plural number of מַיִם water, and because they are streams (זְרָמִים).  
the field: like שָדֶה, a field  
cold: (froids in French).  
flowing: (courants in French). And we can also interpret it: “Shall it be abandoned to be strange rejected water, the water that is cold running water?”  
Heb.: צרים According to the first interpretation, it is an expression of a stream [זֶרֶם]. According to the second interpretation, it is an expression of strangeness, i.e., rejected water.)  
15. For My people have forgotten Me; they burn incense to vanity; and the ancient paths caused them to stumble in their ways, to walk [in] paths, [on] a way that is not trodden.   טו. כִּי שְׁכֵחֻנִי עַמִּי לַשָּׁוְא יְקַטֵּרוּ וַיַּכְשִׁלוּם בְּדַרְכֵיהֶם שְׁבִילֵי עוֹלָם לָלֶכֶת נְתִיבוֹת דֶּרֶךְ לֹא סְלוּלָה:
For: so have My people done, that they have forgotten Me and burnt incense to vanity.  
ancient paths: The proper paths they said that they are a stumbling block, in order to go…  
[on] a way that is not trodden down: Heb. סְלוּלָה.  
16. To make their land waste, a perpetual hissing, everyone who passes it will be astonished and shake his head.   טז. לָשׂוּם אַרְצָם לְשַׁמָּה שְׁרִיקוֹת עוֹלָם כֹּל עוֹבֵר עָלֶיהָ יִשֹּׁם וְיָנִיד בְּרֹאשׁוֹ:
hissing: One who passes by ruins that he already saw with good buildings is accustomed to whistle.  
will be astonished: will wonder.  
17. Like an east wind I will scatter them before the enemy; I will look upon their back and not their face on the day of their misfortune.   יז. כְּרוּחַ קָדִים אֲפִיצֵם לִפְנֵי אוֹיֵב עֹרֶף וְלֹא פָנִים אֶרְאֵם בְּיוֹם אֵידָם:
upon their back and not their face: when they flee from before the enemy, I will look upon them and I will not save them.  
I will look: but I will not save them.  
18. And they said, "Come, let us devise plots against Jeremiah, for the Torah shall not be lost from the priest, neither counsel from the wise man, nor speech from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not listen to all his words."   יח. וַיֹּאמְרוּ לְכוּ וְנַחְשְׁבָה עַל יִרְמְיָהוּ מַחֲשָׁבוֹת כִּי לֹא תֹאבַד תּוֹרָה מִכֹּהֵן וְעֵצָה מֵחָכָם וְדָבָר מִנָּבִיא לְכוּ וְנַכֵּהוּ בַלָּשׁוֹן וְאַל נַקְשִׁיבָה אֶל כָּל דְּבָרָיו:
And they said, “Come, etc.”: Jeremiah was complaining about the men of Anathoth and saying that they say this.  
Torah… from the priest: For it is incumbent upon the priests to teach the Torah, as it is stated (Deut. 33:10): “They shall teach Your ordinances to Jacob.”  
not speech from the prophet: I. e., words of prophecy.  
Come, let us strike him with the tongue: Let us testify falsely against him.  
19. Hearken, O Lord, to me, and hear the voice of those who quarrel with me.   יט. הַקְשִׁיבָה יְהֹוָה אֵלָי וּשְׁמַע לְקוֹל יְרִיבָי:
20. Shall evil be paid instead of good, for they have dug a pit for my life. Remember when I stood before You to speak good for them, to bring back Your wrath from them.   כ. הַיְשֻׁלַּם תַּחַת טוֹבָה רָעָה כִּי כָרוּ שׁוּחָה לְנַפְשִׁי זְכֹר | עָמְדִי לְפָנֶיךָ לְדַבֵּר עֲלֵיהֶם טוֹבָה לְהָשִׁיב אֶת חֲמָתְךָ מֵהֶם:
21. Therefore, deliver their children to the famine and spill their blood by the sword, and let their wives be bereaved and widows, and their husbands slain by death, their youths struck by the sword in battle.   כא. לָכֵן תֵּן אֶת בְּנֵיהֶם לָרָעָב וְהַגִּרֵם עַל יְדֵי חֶרֶב וְתִהְיֶנָה נְשֵׁיהֶם שַׁכֻּלוֹת וְאַלְמָנוֹת וְאַנְשֵׁיהֶם יִהְיוּ הֲרֻגֵי מָוֶת בַּחוּרֵיהֶם מֻכֵּי חֶרֶב בַּמִּלְחָמָה:
and spill their blood: (Bring them down by the sword,) an expression of (Lam. 3:49) “My eye runs (נִגְרָה) ” ; (Micah 1:4) “Like water that runs (מֻגָרִים).”  
by the sword: by troops.  
and their husbands: i.e., the husbands of the widows shall be slain by the angel of death.  
22. May an outcry be heard from their houses, for You shall bring a troop upon them suddenly, for they dug a pit to seize me and they hid snares at my feet to trap me.   כב. תִּשָּׁמַע זְעָקָה מִבָּתֵּיהֶם כִּי תָבִיא עֲלֵיהֶם גְּדוּד פִּתְאֹם כִּי כָרוּ שׁוּחָה לְלָכְדֵנִי וּפַחִים טָמְנוּ לְרַגְלָי:
for they dug a pit to seize me: that they suspected him of intimacy with a married woman, as it is stated (Prov. 23:27): “For a harlot is a deep pit (ֹשוּחָה).”  
23. And You, O Lord, know all their plan against me for death; do not atone for their iniquity, and let not their sin be erased from before You, and let them be made to stumble before You; at the time of Your anger do it to them.   כג. וְאַתָּה יְהֹוָה יָדַעְתָּ אֶת כָּל עֲצָתָם עָלַי לַמָּוֶת אַל תְּכַפֵּר עַל עֲו‍ֹנָם וְחַטָּאתָם מִלְּפָנֶיךָ אַל תֶּמְחִי וְיִהְיוּ מֻכְשָׁלִים לְפָנֶיךָ בְּעֵת אַפְּךָ עֲשֵׂה בָהֶם:
let not be erased: let it not be erased. And because it is a feminine gender, he placed a ‘yud’ therein. This too is superfluous, as the ‘yud’ of (Ezekiel 16:17) “And you played the harlot (וַתִּזְנִי) with them.”  
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