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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 23

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 23

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 23

1. Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the flocks of My pasture! says the Lord.   א. הוֹי רֹעִים מְאַבְּדִים וּמְפִצִים אֶת צֹאן מַרְעִיתִי נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
Woe to the shepherds: The kings of Judah.  
2. Therefore, so says the Lord God of Israel concerning the shepherds: You who pasture My people, you have scattered My flocks and have driven them away and have not taken care of them; behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your deeds, says the Lord.   ב. לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל הָרֹעִים הָרֹעִים אֶת עַמִּי אַתֶּם הֲפִצֹתֶם אֶת צֹאנִי וַתַּדִּחוּם וְלֹא פְקַדְתֶּם אֹתָם הִנְנִי פֹקֵד עֲלֵיכֶם אֶת רֹעַ מַעַלְלֵיכֶם נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
and have not taken care of them: You were not careful to watch them.  
3. And I will gather the remnant of My flocks from all the lands where I have driven them, and I will restore them to their dwellings and they shall be fruitful and multiply.   ג. וַאֲנִי אֲקַבֵּץ אֶת שְׁאֵרִית צֹאנִי מִכֹּל הָאֲרָצוֹת אֲשֶׁר הִדַּחְתִּי אֹתָם שָׁם וַהֲשִׁבֹתִי אֶתְהֶן עַל נְוֵהֶן וּפָרוּ וְרָבוּ:
4. And I will set up shepherds over them and they shall pasture them, and they shall no longer fear nor shall they be dismayed, nor shall [any of them] be missing, says the Lord.   ד. וַהֲקִמֹתִי עֲלֵיהֶם רֹעִים וְרָעוּם וְלֹא יִירְאוּ עוֹד וְלֹא יֵחַתּוּ וְלֹא יִפָּקֵדוּ נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
nor shall [any of them] be missing: and they shall not be missing. (Cf. Num. 31:49) “And no one of us was missing (נפקד).”  
5. Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will set up of David a righteous shoot, and he shall reign a king and prosper, and he shall perform judgment and righteousness in the land.   ה. הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וַהֲקִמֹתִי לְדָוִד צֶמַח צַדִּיק וּמָלַךְ מֶלֶךְ וְהִשְׂכִּיל וְעָשָׂה מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה בָּאָרֶץ:
and prosper: Heb. והשכּיל.  
6. In his days, Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely, and this is his name that he shall be called, The Lord is our righteousness.   ו. בְּיָמָיו תִּוָּשַׁע יְהוּדָה וְיִשְׂרָאֵל יִשְׁכֹּן לָבֶטַח וְזֶה שְּׁמוֹ אֲשֶׁר יִקְרְאוֹ יְהֹוָה | צִדְקֵנוּ:
The Lord is our righteousness: The Lord will vindicate us during this one’s days.  
7. Therefore, behold days are coming, says the Lord, when they shall no longer say, "As the Lord lives, Who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,"   ז. לָכֵן הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וְלֹא יֹאמְרוּ עוֹד חַי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלָה אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם:
8. But, "As the Lord lives, Who brought up and Who brought the seed of the house of Israel from the northland and from all the lands where I have driven them, and they shall dwell on their land."   ח. כִּי אִם חַי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלָה וַאֲשֶׁר הֵבִיא אֶת זֶרַע בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ צָפוֹנָה וּמִכֹּל הָאֲרָצוֹת אֲשֶׁר הִדַּחְתִּים שָׁם וְיָשְׁבוּ עַל אַדְמָתָם:
9. Because of the prophets my heart is broken within me, my bones shake, I was like a drunken man and like a man whom wine has overcome, because of the Lord and because of His holy words.   ט. לַנְּבִאִים נִשְׁבַּר לִבִּי בְקִרְבִּי רָחֲפוּ כָּל עַצְמוֹתַי הָיִיתִי כְּאִישׁ שִׁכּוֹר וּכְגֶבֶר עֲבָרוֹ יָיִן מִפְּנֵי יְהֹוָה וּמִפְּנֵי דִּבְרֵי קָדְשׁוֹ:
Because of the prophets my heart is broken within me: Because of the words of the prophets who say, “You shall have peace,” my heart is broken.  
shake: sway like the wings of a bird who hovers over his nest, (trenblent in O.F.) tremble.  
because of the Lord: For I heard from Him this evil decree.  
10. For the land is full of adulterers, for because of oaths the land mourns, the dwellings in the wilderness are dried out, and their eagerness was evil and their power not right.   י. כִּי מְנָאֲפִים מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ כִּי מִפְּנֵי אָלָה אָבְלָה הָאָרֶץ יָבְשׁוּ נְאוֹת מִדְבָּר וַתְּהִי מְרוּצָתָם רָעָה וּגְבוּרָתָם לֹא כֵן:
because of oaths: False oaths.  
mourns: i.e., is destroyed.  
their eagerness: (course in French,) their course, their running. But Jonathan renders it as an expression of desire.  
not right: Not according to the law.  
11. For both prophet and priest are false; even in My house have I found their evil, says the Lord.   יא. כִּי גַם נָבִיא גַם כֹּהֵן חָנֵפוּ גַּם בְּבֵיתִי מָצָאתִי רָעָתָם נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
both prophet and priest: Even these, from whom everyone learns.  
even in My house have I found their evil: For they placed an image in the Temple.  
12. Therefore, their way shall be for them like slippery places in the dark; let them be thrust and fall therein, for I will bring evil upon them, the year of their visitation, says the Lord.   יב. לָכֵן יִהְיֶה דַרְכָּם לָהֶם כַּחֲלַקְלַקּוֹת בָּאֲפֵלָה יִדַּחוּ וְנָפְלוּ בָהּ כִּי אָבִיא עֲלֵיהֶם רָעָה שְׁנַת פְּקֻדָּתָם נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
like slippery places: Smooth ground upon which the foot slips and the person falls.  
like slippery places in the dark: Stumbling upon stumbling. On slippery places in the light there is stumbling. In the dark without slippery places, there is stumbling.  
13. And in the prophets of Samaria I saw unseemliness; they prophesied by Baal and misled My people Israel.   יג. וּבִנְבִיאֵי שֹׁמְרוֹן רָאִיתִי תִפְלָה הִנַּבְּאוּ בַבַּעַל וַיַּתְעוּ אֶת עַמִּי אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל:
And in the prophets of Samaria I saw unseemliness: before they were exiled.  
14. And in the prophets of Jerusalem I saw a horrible thing, committing adultery and going with falseness, and they encouraged evil-doers, that none returns from his evil; all of them were to Me as Sodom and her inhabitants as Gomorrah.   יד. וּבִנְבִאֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם רָאִיתִי שַׁעֲרוּרָה נָאוֹף וְהָלֹךְ בַּשֶּׁקֶר וְחִזְּקוּ יְדֵי מְרֵעִים לְבִלְתִּי שָׁבוּ אִישׁ מֵרָעָתוֹ הָיוּ לִי כֻלָּם כִּסְדֹם וְיֹשְׁבֶיהָ כַּעֲמֹרָה:
And in the prophets of Jerusalem: I now see.  
a horrible thing: a shameful thing.  
and they encouraged evil doers: They say to the wicked, “You shall have peace.”  
that none returns: So that the evildoers would not return each one from his evil.  
15. Therefore, so said the Lord of Hosts concerning the prophets: Behold I will feed them wormwood and give them poisonous water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem has falseness emanated to the whole land.   טו. לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת עַל הַנְּבִאִים הִנְנִי מַאֲכִיל אוֹתָם לַעֲנָה וְהִשְׁקִתִים מֵי רֹאשׁ כִּי מֵאֵת נְבִיאֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם יָצְאָה חֲנֻפָּה לְכָל הָאָרֶץ:
16. So said the Lord of Hosts: Do not hearken to the words of the prophets who prophesy for you; they mislead you. The vision of their heart they speak, not from the mouth of the Lord.   טז. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אַל תִּשְׁמְעוּ עַל דִּבְרֵי הַנְּבִאִים הַנִּבְּאִים לָכֶם מַהְבִּלִים הֵמָּה אֶתְכֶם חֲזוֹן לִבָּם יְדַבֵּרוּ לֹא מִפִּי יְהֹוָה:
17. They say to those who despise Me, "The Lord has spoken, 'You shall have peace, ' " and [to] everyone who follows the view of his heart they say, "No evil shall befall you."   יז. אֹמְרִים אָמוֹר לִמְנַאֲצַי דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה שָׁלוֹם יִהְיֶה לָכֶם וְכֹל הֹלֵךְ בִּשְׁרִרוּת לִבּוֹ אָמְרוּ לֹא תָבוֹא עֲלֵיכֶם רָעָה:
and everyone who follows the view of his heart: And to everyone who follows the view of his heart, etc.  
18. For who stood in the council of the Lord and will see and hear His word? He who hearkened to His word and listened.   יח. כִּי מִי עָמַד בְּסוֹד יְהֹוָה וְיֵרֶא וְיִשְׁמַע אֶת דְּבָרוֹ מִי הִקְשִׁיב דְּבָרוֹ וַיִּשְׁמָע:
For who stood in the council of the Lord: and will hear what is decreed by Him? He who hearkened to the word of His Torah and listened to His commandments, but not these wicked men. The first expression of ֹשְמִיעָה in the verse is actual hearing; the latter expression of ֹשְמִיעָה is an expression of acceptance.  
19. Behold a storm from the Lord has gone forth [with] fury, yea, a whirling storm, on the heads of the wicked it shall rest.   יט. הִנֵּה | סַעֲרַת יְהֹוָה חֵמָה יָצְאָה וְסַעַר מִתְחוֹלֵל עַל רֹאשׁ רְשָׁעִים יָחוּל:
a whirling: A resting storm, a storm which seeks to rest, and it shall rest on the heads of the wicked.  
20. The Lord's anger shall not return until He executes it and until He fulfills the plans of His heart. At the end of days, you shall consider it perfectly.   כ. לֹא יָשׁוּב אַף יְהֹוָה עַד עֲשֹׂתוֹ וְעַד הֲקִימוֹ מְזִמּוֹת לִבּוֹ בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים תִּתְבּוֹנְנוּ בָהּ בִּינָה:
the plans of: an expression of thought.  
21. I did not send the prophets yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.   כא. לֹא שָׁלַחְתִּי אֶת הַנְּבִאִים וְהֵם רָצוּ לֹא דִבַּרְתִּי אֲלֵיהֶם וְהֵם נִבָּאוּ:
22. And if they stood in My council, they should have let My people hear My words, so that they bring them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.   כב. וְאִם עָמְדוּ בְּסוֹדִי וְיַשְׁמִעוּ דְבָרַי אֶת עַמִּי וִישִׁבוּם מִדַּרְכָּם הָרָע וּמֵרֹעַ מַעַלְלֵיהֶם:
And if they stood in My council, they should have let My people hear My word, etc.: They should have let My people hear My words and My Torah, rather than cause them to stray away from Me.  
23. Am I a God from near, says the Lord, and not a God from afar?   כג. הַאֱלֹהֵי מִקָּרֹב אָנִי נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וְלֹא אֱלֹהֵי מֵרָחֹק:
Am I a God from near: that I do not see but what is close to Me and have I no power to judge the lower creatures that are far from Me and do I not know of their deeds?  
24. Can a man hide in secret places that I should not see him? says the Lord. Do I not fill the heavens and the earth? says the Lord.   כד. אִם יִסָּתֵר אִישׁ בַּמִּסְתָּרִים וַאֲנִי לֹא אֶרְאֶנּוּ נְאֻם יְהֹוָה הֲלוֹא אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ אֲנִי מָלֵא נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
Can a man hide in secret places: This is a repetition of the question, ‘Am I a God from near,’ according to the manner of all double questions.  
25. I heard what the prophets said, those who prophesy in My name falsely, saying, "I have dreamed, I have dreamed."   כה. שָׁמַעְתִּי אֵת אֲשֶׁר אָמְרוּ הַנְּבִאִים הַנִּבְּאִים בִּשְׁמִי שֶׁקֶר לֵאמֹר חָלַמְתִּי חָלָמְתִּי:
26. How long [will this be]? Is it in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? But they are prophets of the deceit of their hearts,   כו. עַד מָתַי הֲיֵשׁ בְּלֵב הַנְּבִאִים נִבְּאֵי הַשָּׁקֶר וּנְבִיאֵי תַּרְמִת לִבָּם:
How long [will this be]?: That they will prophesy falsely? Do these prophets who prophesy falsely have in their heart to execute their thoughts that they are thinking to cause My people to forget My name, etc.?  
deceit: an expression of מִרְמָה, deceit.  
27. Who think to cause My people to forget My name with their dreams that they tell, one to another, as their forefathers forgot My name through Baal.   כז. הַחֹשְׁבִים לְהַשְׁכִּיחַ אֶת עַמִּי שְׁמִי בַּחֲלוֹמֹתָם אֲשֶׁר יְסַפְּרוּ אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר שָׁכְחוּ אֲבוֹתָם אֶת שְׁמִי בַּבָּעַל:
28. The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream, and who has My word, let him tell My word as truth. What has the straw to do with the wheat? says the Lord.   כח. הַנָּבִיא אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ חֲלוֹם יְסַפֵּר חֲלוֹם וַאֲשֶׁר דְּבָרִי אִתּוֹ יְדַבֵּר דְּבָרִי אֱמֶת מַה לַתֶּבֶן אֶת הַבָּר נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
let him tell a dream: Let him tell it as vain talk like other dreams, and let him not presume it as words of prophecy.  
What has the straw to do with the wheat?: What has falsehood to do with truth?  
with the wheat: like עִם-הַבָּר.  
29. Is not My word so like fire? says the Lord, and like a hammer that shatters a rock?   כט. הֲלוֹא כֹה דְבָרִי כָּאֵשׁ נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וּכְפַטִּישׁ יְפֹצֵץ סָלַע:
Is not My word so like fire?: They should not have erred to compare their dreams to say that they are prophecy, for the prophetic word, when it comes to a prophet, it comes into him with force like a burning fire, as the matter is stated (supra 20:9): “And it was in my heart like a burning fire,” and (Ezekiel 3:14): “And the hand of the Lord became strong upon me.”  
and as a hammer: (pic in French), a pick. And some say (marteau in French), a hammer.  
30. Therefore, behold I am against the prophets, says the Lord, those who steal My words from one another.   ל. לָכֵן הִנְנִי עַל הַנְּבִאִים נְאֻם יְהֹוָה מְגַנְּבֵי דְבָרַי אִישׁ מֵאֵת רֵעֵהוּ:
those who steal My wards from one another: They have spies who spy upon the true prophets, who listen to their expression with which they prophesy and say false prophecies with that same expression, as Hananiah son of Azzur did. He heard Jeremiah prophesying in the upper marketplace, “Behold I break the bow of Elam,” and he prophesied in the lower marketplace, “I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon” (28:2), as our Rabbis wrote in Sanhedrin 89a.  
31. Behold I am against the prophets, says the Lord, those who train their tongues and say, "He says,"   לא. הִנְנִי עַל הַנְּבִאִם נְאֻם יְהֹוָה הַלֹּקְחִים לְשׁוֹנָם וַיִּנְאֲמוּ נְאֻם:
those who train their tongues: who teach their tongues to say their falsehoods with the expression, “Says the Lord,” like the true prophets, so that they should believe them.  
32. Behold I am against those who prophesy with false dreams, says the Lord, and they tell them and mislead My people with their falsehoods and with their bewilderment, but I neither sent them nor commanded them, and they have not availed this people, says the Lord.   לב. הִנְנִי עַל נִבְּאֵי חֲלֹמוֹת שֶׁקֶר נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וַיְסַפְּרוּם וַיַּתְעוּ אֶת עַמִּי בְּשִׁקְרֵיהֶם וּבְפַחֲזוּתָם וְאָנֹכִי לֹא שְׁלַחְתִּים וְלֹא צִוִּיתִים וְהוֹעֵיל לֹא יוֹעִילוּ לָעָם הַזֶּה נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
with their bewilderment: an expression of wonder (estordisoun in O. F.).  
33. Now if this people or the prophet or priest asks you, saying, "What is the burden of the Lord?" And you shall say to them, "What burden? And I will forsake you, says the Lord."   לג. וְכִי יִשְׁאָלְךָ הָעָם הַזֶּה אוֹ הַנָּבִיא אוֹ כֹהֵן לֵאמֹר מַה מַשָּׂא יְהֹוָה וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם אֶת מַה מַשָּׂא וְנָטַשְׁתִּי אֶתְכֶם נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
“What is the burden of the Lord?”: This is an expression of derision, for his prophecy is a burden to them.  
you shall say to them, “What burden? And I will forsake you, etc.”: They say to you (sic), “What is the burden?” You are the burden of the Holy One, blessed be He, and He says that He will forsake you and cast you off His arms from heaven to earth. So I heard.  
and I will forsake: Heb. וְעָזַבְתִּי.  
34. And the prophet and the priest and the people who will say, "The burden of the Lord," I will visit retribution upon that man and upon his household.   לד. וְהַנָּבִיא וְהַכֹּהֵן וְהָעָם אֲשֶׁר יֹאמַר מַשָּׂא יְהֹוָה וּפָקַדְתִּי עַל הָאִישׁ הַהוּא וְעַל בֵּיתוֹ:
35. So shall you say each one to his friend and each one to his brother, "What did the Lord reply?" or "What did the Lord speak?"   לה. כֹּה תֹאמְרוּ אִישׁ עַל רֵעֵהוּ וְאִישׁ אֶל אָחִיו מֶה עָנָה יְהֹוָה וּמַה דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה:
36. And "the burden of the Lord" you shall no longer mention, for the burden shall be to the man of His word although you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of Hosts, our God.   לו. וּמַשָּׂא יְהֹוָה לֹא תִזְכְּרוּ עוֹד כִּי הַמַּשָּׂא יִהְיֶה לְאִישׁ דְּבָרוֹ וַהֲפַכְתֶּם אֶת דִּבְרֵי אֱלֹהִים חַיִּים יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵינוּ:
For the burden shall be to the man of His word: Although you pervert the massa into a pejorative, the prophecy (משא) of the word of the Lord shall be to the man of His word, and to the man of His counsel He reveals it, but you pervert it to an expression of a burden. This interpretation I did not hear, but it is the main interpretation. But this is how I heard it, namely that the burden shall be a burden of retribution for the one who says it, who asks, “What is the burden?” Another interpretation: משא is an expression of prophecy, and the false prophet would ask the true prophet to tell him the word of the Holy One, blessed be He, in the language in which the expression came to him, and the expression did not explain the speech adequately. Therefore, the false prophet would pervert it to another meaning and would speak after the fashion of the true prophet in order that they should believe him. And so did Hananiah son of Azzur do. Therefore, he says, “Do not ask the prophecy of the Lord,” the language of the expression, but “What did He speak?” or “What did He reply?” The explanation of the words you shall ask the true prophet to tell you what the Holy One, blessed be He, says, and to what His words are inclined.  
for the prophecy shall be for the man of His word: The unexplained expression the Holy One, blessed be He, said unexplained to the man of His counsel, who is not suspected of perverting it, but you ask it in order to pervert it, and you pervert the words of the Holy One, blessed be He, and that is what is stated above (v. 30): “those who steal My words from one another.” This too is a correct explanation.  
37. So shall you say to the prophet, "What has the Lord replied to you?" Or "What has the Lord spoken? "   לז. כֹּה תֹאמַר אֶל הַנָּבִיא מֶה עָנָךְ יְהֹוָה וּמַה דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה:
So shall you say to the prophet: when you come to ask My words of the prophet.  
38. But if you say, "The burden of the Lord," therefore, so says the Lord, since you have said this thing, "the burden of the Lord," and I sent to you saying, "You shall not say, 'the burden of the Lord,' "   לח. וְאִם מַשָּׂא יְהֹוָה תֹּאמֵרוּ לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה יַעַן אֲמָרְכֶם אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה מַשָּׂא יְהֹוָה וָאֶשְׁלַח אֲלֵיכֶם לֵאמֹר לֹא תֹאמְרוּ מַשָּׂא יְהֹוָה:
39. Therefore, here I am, and I will exile you, and I will forsake you and the city that I gave you and your forefathers from before My presence.   לט. לָכֵן הִנְנִי וְנָשִׁיתִי אֶתְכֶם נָשֹׁא וְנָטַשְׁתִּי אֶתְכֶם וְאֶת הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לָכֶם וְלַאֲבֹתֵיכֶם מֵעַל פָּנָי:
and I will exile: an expression of “the sinew that was dislocated (גִיד הַנֹּשֶה) ” (Gen. 32:33), and an expression of “their might has failed (נֹשְתָה),” it jumps and moves from place to place.  
40. And I will place upon you everlasting shame and everlasting embarrassment that shall not be forgotten.   מ. וְנָתַתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם חֶרְפַּת עוֹלָם וּכְלִמּוּת עוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר לֹא תִשָּׁכֵחַ:
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