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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 38

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 38

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 38

1. And Shephatiah the son of Mattan and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur and Jucal the son of Shelemiah and Pashhur the son of Malkiah heard the words that Jeremiah was speaking to all the people, saying:   א. וַיִּשְׁמַע שְׁפַטְיָה בֶן מַתָּן וּגְדַלְיָהוּ בֶּן פַּשְׁחוּר וְיוּכַל בֶּן שֶׁלֶמְיָהוּ וּפַשְׁחוּר בֶּן מַלְכִּיָּה אֶת הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר יִרְמְיָהוּ מְדַבֵּר אֶל כָּל הָעָם לֵאמֹר:
2. So said the Lord: Whoever stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, or by pestilence, and whoever goes out to the Chaldeans shall live, and he shall have his life as a prey, and live.   ב. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הַיֹּשֵׁב בָּעִיר הַזֹּאת יָמוּת בַּחֶרֶב בָּרָעָב וּבַדָּבֶר וְהַיֹּצֵא אֶל הַכַּשְׂדִּים וְחָיָה וְהָיְתָה לּוֹ נַפְשׁוֹ לְשָׁלָל וָחָי:
and he shall have his life as prey: His life shall be saved, as if had “plundered” his soul; just as a man profits from plundering booty, so this person will profit [by saving] his life.  
3. So said the Lord: This city shall surely be given into the hand[s] of the army of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it.   ג. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הִנָּתֹן תִּנָּתֵן הָעִיר הַזֹּאת בְּיַד חֵיל מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל וּלְכָדָהּ:
4. And the officers said to the king, "This man should be put to death now, since he weakens the hands of the men of war remaining in this city and the hands of all the people, to speak to them such words, for this man does not seek the welfare of this people but the harm."   ד. וַיֹּאמְרוּ הַשָּׂרִים אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ יוּמַת נָא אֶת הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה כִּי עַל כֵּן הוּא מְרַפֵּא אֶת יְדֵי אַנְשֵׁי הַמִּלְחָמָה הַנִּשְׁאָרִים | בָּעִיר הַזֹּאת וְאֵת יְדֵי כָל הָעָם לְדַבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם כַּדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה כִּי | הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה אֵינֶנּוּ דֹרֵשׁ לְשָׁלוֹם לָעָם הַזֶּה כִּי אִם לְרָעָה:
since he weakens: (a lacher in O.F.), an expression of weakness.  
5. And King Zedekiah said, "Here he is in your hand[s], for the king cannot [reply] anything to you."   ה. וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ צִדְקִיָּהוּ הִנֵּה הוּא בְּיֶדְכֶם כִּי אֵין הַמֶּלֶךְ יוּכַל אֶתְכֶם דָּבָר:
cannot: Heb. יוּכַל, like יָכוֹל, since he is weakening the hands of, etc.  
6. And they took Jeremiah and cast him into the pit of Malchiah the king's son, that is in the prison yard, and they let Jeremiah down with ropes, and in the pit there was no water but mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud.   ו. וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת יִרְמְיָהוּ וַיַּשְׁלִכוּ אֹתוֹ אֶל הַבּוֹר | מַלְכִּיָּהוּ בֶן הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר בַּחֲצַר הַמַּטָּרָה וַיְשַׁלְּחוּ אֶת יִרְמְיָהוּ בַּחֲבָלִים וּבַבּוֹר אֵין מַיִם כִּי אִם טִיט וַיִּטְבַּע יִרְמְיָהוּ בַּטִּיט:
the pit of Malchiah: lit. the pit Malchiah.  
7. And Ebed-melech the Cushite, an officer who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the pit, and the king was sitting in the Benjamin gate.   ז. וַיִּשְׁמַע עֶבֶד מֶלֶךְ הַכּוּשִׁי אִישׁ סָרִיס וְהוּא בְּבֵית הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי נָתְנוּ אֶת יִרְמְיָהוּ אֶל הַבּוֹר וְהַמֶּלֶךְ יוֹשֵׁב בְּשַׁעַר בִּנְיָמִן:
Ebed-melech: Baruch the son of Neriah.  
the Cushite: Zedekiah. Just as a Cushite is different in his skin, so was Zedekiah different in his righteousness, from all his generation (Moed Katan 16b). And there is a Midrash that expounds “the Cushite,” as referring to Baruch (Sifrei ibid.).  
an officer: Heb. סריס, a great man.  
8. And Ebed-melech went out of the king's house and spoke to the king, saying,   ח. וַיֵּצֵא עֶבֶד מֶלֶךְ מִבֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיְדַבֵּר אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ לֵאמֹר:
9. "My lord the king, these men have done harm with all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, [let alone] that they cast [him] into the pit. He would have died in his place because of the famine, for there is no more bread in the city."   ט. אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ הֵרֵעוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה אֵת כָּל אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ לְיִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁלִיכוּ אֶל הַבּוֹר וַיָּמָת תַּחְתָּיו מִפְּנֵי הָרָעָב כִּי אֵין הַלֶּחֶם עוֹד בָּעִיר:
He would have died in his place, etc.: If they had left him in his place, he would have died by himself in the famine, but they have done harm to bring his death closer.  
10. And the king commanded Ebed-melech the Cushite, saying, "Take in your charge thirty men from here, and bring Jeremiah the prophet up from the pit while he has not yet died."   י. וַיְצַוֶּה הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵת עֶבֶד מֶלֶךְ הַכּוּשִׁי לֵאמֹר קַח בְּיָדְךָ מִזֶּה שְׁלֹשִׁים אֲנָשִׁים וְהַעֲלִיתָ אֶת יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא מִן הַבּוֹר בְּטֶרֶם יָמוּת:
thirty men: Since they were weakened by the famine, all of them were required.  
11. And Ebed-melech took the men in his charge and came to the king's house, under the treasury, and he took from there worn clouts and worn rags, and he let them down to Jeremiah into the pit with ropes.   יא. וַיִּקַּח | עֶבֶד מֶלֶךְ אֶת הָאֲנָשִׁים בְּיָדוֹ וַיָּבֹא בֵית הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל תַּחַת הָאוֹצָר וַיִּקַּח מִשָּׁם בְּלוֹיֵ סְחָבוֹת וּבְלוֹיֵ מְלָחִים וַיְשַׁלְּחֵם אֶל יִרְמְיָהוּ אֶל הַבּוֹר בַּחֲבָלִים:
worn clouts: Heb. בלוי סחבות, worn out garments, that are dragged.  
12. And Ebed- melech the Cushite said to Jeremiah, "Now put the clouts and the rags under your armpits under the ropes," and Jeremiah did so.   יב. וַיֹּאמֶר עֶבֶד מֶלֶךְ הַכּוּשִׁי אֶל יִרְמְיָהוּ שִׂים נָא בְּלוֹאֵי הַסְּחָבוֹת וְהַמְּלָחִים תַּחַת אַצִּילוֹת יָדֶיךָ מִתַּחַת לַחֲבָלִים וַיַּעַשׂ יִרְמְיָהוּ כֵּן:
and the rags: Heb. והמלחים, an expression of decay. Cf.“shall vanish (נמלחוּ) like smoke” (Isa. 51: 6).  
under your armpits: So that the ropes should not harm you.  
armpits: Heb. אצילות, aisseles in French.  
13. And they pulled Jeremiah with the ropes, and they drew him up from the pit, and Jeremiah stayed in the prison yard.   יג. וַיִּמְשְׁכוּ אֶת יִרְמְיָהוּ בַּחֲבָלִים וַיַּעֲלוּ אֹתוֹ מִן הַבּוֹר וַיֵּשֶׁב יִרְמְיָהוּ בַּחֲצַר הַמַּטָּרָה:
14. And King Zedekiah sent and took Jeremiah the prophet to him, to the third entrance, that was in the house of the Lord, and the king said to Jeremiah, "I ask you a word; do not conceal a word from me."   יד. וַיִּשְׁלַח הַמֶּלֶךְ צִדְקִיָּהוּ וַיִּקַּח אֶת יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא אֵלָיו אֶל מָבוֹא הַשְּׁלִישִׁי אֲשֶׁר בְּבֵית יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל יִרְמְיָהוּ שֹׁאֵל אֲנִי אֹתְךָ דָּבָר אַל תְּכַחֵד מִמֶּנִּי דָּבָר:
the third entrance: I do not know where it is. Perhaps it is in the Israelites’ Court. The appellation “third” is to say that the hel [the wall surrounding the Temple Court], and the Women’s Court are before it.  
15. And Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, "If I tell you, will you not put me to death? And if I advise you, you will not listen to me."   טו. וַיֹּאמֶר יִרְמְיָהוּ אֶל צִדְקִיָּהוּ כִּי אַגִּיד לְךָ הֲלוֹא הָמֵת תְּמִיתֵנִי וְכִי אִיעָצְךָ לֹא תִשְׁמַע אֵלָי:
16. And King Zedekiah swore to Jeremiah secretly, saying, "As the Lord lives who made for us this soul, I will neither put you to death nor will I deliver you into the hand[s] of these men who seek your life."   טז. וַיִּשָּׁבַע הַמֶּלֶךְ צִדְקִיָּהוּ אֶל יִרְמְיָהוּ בַּסֵּתֶר לֵאמֹר חַי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לָנוּ אֶת הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַזֹּאת אִם אֲמִיתֶךָ וְאִם אֶתֶּנְךָ בְּיַד הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר מְבַקְשִׁים אֶת נַפְשֶׁךָ:
17. And Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, "So said the Lord God of Hosts, the God of Israel; If you go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, your soul shall live, and this city shall not be burnt with fire, and you and your household shall live.   יז. וַיֹּאמֶר יִרְמְיָהוּ אֶל צִדְקִיָּהוּ כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִם יָצֹא תֵצֵא אֶל שָׂרֵי מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל וְחָיְתָה נַפְשֶׁךָ וְהָעִיר הַזֹּאת לֹא תִשָּׂרֵף בָּאֵשׁ וְחָיִתָה אַתָּה וּבֵיתֶךָ:
18. But if you do not go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city shall be delivered into the hand[s] of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand[s]."   יח. וְאִם לֹא תֵצֵא אֶל שָׂרֵי מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל וְנִתְּנָה הָעִיר הַזֹּאת בְּיַד הַכַּשְׂדִּים וּשְׂרָפוּהָ בָּאֵשׁ וְאַתָּה לֹא תִמָּלֵט מִיָּדָם:
19. And King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, "I fear the Jews who have defected to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hands and mock me."   יט. וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ צִדְקִיָּהוּ אֶל יִרְמְיָהוּ אֲנִי דֹאֵג אֶת הַיְּהוּדִים אֲשֶׁר נָפְלוּ אֶל הַכַּשְׂדִּים פֶּן יִתְּנוּ אֹתִי בְּיָדָם וְהִתְעַלְּלוּ בִי:
“I fear”: Heb. דֹאֵג.  
lest they deliver me: [Lest] the Chaldeans [deliver me] into the hands of the Jews, saying, Your king shall be your slave since you have made peace with us first.  
and mock me: [i.e.,] the Jews [will mock me] (engregier in O.F.), complain.  
20. And Jeremiah said, "They shall not deliver [you]; hearken now to the voice of the Lord, that I speak to you, and it shall be good for you, and your soul shall live.   כ. וַיֹּאמֶר יִרְמְיָהוּ לֹא יִתֵּנוּ שְׁמַע נָא | בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה לַאֲשֶׁר אֲנִי דֹּבֵר אֵלֶיךָ וְיִיטַב לְךָ וּתְחִי נַפְשֶׁךָ:
21. But if you refuse to go out, this is the thing that the Lord has shown me.   כא. וְאִם מָאֵן אַתָּה לָצֵאת זֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר הִרְאַנִי יְהֹוָה:
22. Behold, all the women who remained in the house of the king of Judah shall be taken out to the officers of the king of Babylon, and they shall say, 'Your cohorts have enticed you and prevailed over you. Your feet have sunk into the mire; they have turned back.'   כב. וְהִנֵּה כָל הַנָּשִׁים אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁאֲרוּ בְּבֵית מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה מוּצָאוֹת אֶל שָׂרֵי מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל וְהֵנָּה אֹמְרֹת הִסִּיתוּךָ וְיָכְלוּ לְךָ אַנְשֵׁי שְׁלֹמֶךָ הָטְבְּעוּ בַבֹּץ רַגְלֶךָ נָסֹגוּ אָחוֹר:
“Your cohorts”: [lit. the men of your peace,] the false prophets, who told you that you would not be caught.  
into the mire: Heb. בבץ, mire, an expression as in (Job 8:11): “Can the rush shoot up without mire (בצה) ?”  
23. And all your wives and your sons shall be brought out to the Chaldeans, and you shall not escape from their hand[s], for you shall be seized by the hand of the king of Babylon, and this city you shall burn with fire."   כג. וְאֶת כָּל נָשֶׁיךָ וְאֶת בָּנֶיךָ מוֹצִאִים אֶל הַכַּשְׂדִּים וְאַתָּה לֹא תִמָּלֵט מִיָּדָם כִּי בְיַד מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל תִּתָּפֵשׂ וְאֶת הָעִיר הַזֹּאת תִּשְׂרֹף בָּאֵשׁ:
and this city you shall burn with fire: It is as though you are burning it with your hands for you are causing it.  
24. And Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, "Let no man know of these words, and you shall not die.   כד. וַיֹּאמֶר צִדְקִיָּהוּ אֶל יִרְמְיָהוּ אִישׁ אַל יֵדַע בַּדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְלֹא תָמוּת:
25. And when the officers hear that I spoke with you, and they come to you and say to you. 'Tell us now what you spoke to the king, do not conceal from us and we will not put you to death, and what did the king speak to you?'   כה. וְכִי יִשְׁמְעוּ הַשָּׂרִים כִּי דִבַּרְתִּי אִתָּךְ וּבָאוּ אֵלֶיךָ וְאָמְרוּ אֵלֶיךָ הַגִּידָה נָּא לָנוּ מַה דִּבַּרְתָּ אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ אַל תְּכַחֵד מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא נְמִיתֶךָ וּמַה דִּבֶּר אֵלֶיךָ הַמֶּלֶךְ:
26. You shall say to them, 'I presented my supplication before the king that he return me not to the house of Jonathan to die there.' "   כו. וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם מַפִּיל אֲנִי תְחִנָּתִי לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ לְבִלְתִּי הֲשִׁיבֵנִי בֵּית יְהוֹנָתָן לָמוּת שָׁם:
27. And all the officers came to Jeremiah and asked him, and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded, and they left off speaking with him, for the matter was not reported.   כז. וַיָּבֹאוּ כָל הַשָּׂרִים אֶל יִרְמְיָהוּ וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ אֹתוֹ וַיַּגֵּד לָהֶם כְּכָל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיַּחֲרִשׁוּ מִמֶּנּוּ כִּי לֹא נִשְׁמַע הַדָּבָר:
28. And Jeremiah stayed in the prison yard until the day that Jerusalem was taken, and he was [there] when Jerusalem was taken.   כח. וַיֵּשֶׁב יִרְמְיָהוּ בַּחֲצַר הַמַּטָּרָה עַד יוֹם אֲשֶׁר נִלְכְּדָה יְרוּשָׁלִָם ס וְהָיָה כַּאֲשֶׁר נִלְכְּדָה יְרוּשָׁלִָם:
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