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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yechezkel - Ezekiel - Chapter 17

Yechezkel - Ezekiel - Chapter 17

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 17

1. Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,   א. וַיְהִי דְבַר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר:
2. "Son of man, propound a riddle and speak a parable to the house of Israel.   ב. בֶּן אָדָם חוּד חִידָה וּמְשֹׁל מָשָׁל אֶל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל:
propound a riddle: The prophecy in this chapter is expressed as a riddle, [in] which he compares Nebuchadnezzar to an eagle and the kings of Judah to the lofty top of cedars.  
3. And you shall say; So said the Lord God: The great eagle with great wings and long pinions, full of feathers, who had diverse colors, came to the Lebanon and took the lofty top of the cedar.   ג. וְאָמַרְתָּ כֹּה אָמַר | אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה הַנֶּשֶׁר הַגָּדוֹל גְּדוֹל הַכְּנָפַיִם אֶרֶךְ הָאֵבֶר מָלֵא הַנּוֹצָה אֲשֶׁר לוֹ הָרִקְמָה בָּא אֶל הַלְּבָנוֹן וַיִּקַּח אֶת צַמֶּרֶת הָאָרֶז:
long pinions: Heb. אֵבֶר like כָּנָף, wing, aile in French. Another explanation: as its apparent meaning, an expression of actual limbs.  
diverse colors: Heb. קָרְמָה [lit. embroidered]. Its feathers are beautiful and ornate.  
the lofty top of the cedar: Heb. צַמֶרֶת, all the foliage of the tree, cime in French. This is a parable representing Jehoiakim and his mighty men.  
4. He plucked the top of its branches and brought it to a land of merchants; in a city of traffickers he placed it.   ד. אֵת רֹאשׁ יְנִיקוֹתָיו קָטָף וַיְבִיאֵהוּ אֶל אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן בְּעִיר רֹכְלִים שָׂמוֹ:
He plucked the top of its branches: Heb. יְנִיקוֹתָיו. He humbled his [Jehoiakim’s] greatness and his monarchy. יְנִיקוֹתָיו is like עַנָפָיו, its branches.  
and brought to a land of merchants: Heb. כְּנַעַן, to a land of merchants; that is Babylon.  
5. Then he took of the seed of the land and placed it in a fertile field; it took [root] beside abundant waters; a mountain willow he made it.   ה. וַיִּקַּח מִזֶּרַע הָאָרֶץ וַיִּתְּנֵהוּ בִּשְׂדֵה זָרַע קָח עַל מַיִם רַבִּים צַפְצָפָה שָׂמוֹ:
Then he took of the seed of the land: Zedekiah his son.  
in a fertile field: [lit. in a field of seed.] In Jerusalem, in the capital city.  
it took [root] beside abundant waters: Heb. קַח, it took. It became rooted beside abundant waters, i.e., he gave him greatness and dominion over his surroundings.  
a mountain willow he made it: Heb. צַפְצָפָה, a species of willow tree which has many branches, saice in Old French, a willow.  
6. And it grew and became a spreading vine of low stature, to turn its tendrils to him, and its roots were under him, and it became a vine and it sprouted branches and sent forth boughs.   ו. וַיִּצְמַח וַיְהִי לְגֶפֶן סֹרַחַת שִׁפְלַת קוֹמָה לִפְנוֹת דָּלִיּוֹתָיו אֵלָיו וְשָׁרָשָׁיו תַּחְתָּיו יִהְיוּ וַתְּהִי לְגֶפֶן וַתַּעַשׂ בַּדִּים וַתְּשַׁלַּח פֹּארוֹת:
spreading: Heb. סוֹרַחַת, like (Exod. 26: 12): “And the overhanging length (וְסֶרַח),” large.  
of low stature: to serve the king of Babylon.  
its tendrils: Heb. דָּלִיוֹתָיו, its branches.  
to him: to the king of Babylon.  
under him: under the king of Babylon  
branches: Heb. בַּדִים,staves.  
and sent forth: It grew.  
boughs: many leaves.  
7. Now there was one great eagle with great wings and many feathers, and behold, this vine gathered its roots upon him, and its tendrils it sent forth to him, to water it from the furrows of its planting.   ז. וַיְהִי נֶשֶׁר אֶחָד גָּדוֹל גְּדֹל כְּנָפַיִם וְרַב נוֹצָה וְהִנֵּה הַגֶּפֶן הַזֹּאת כָּפְנָה שָׁרָשֶׁיהָ עָלָיו וְדָלִיּוֹתָיו שִׁלְחָה לּוֹ לְהַשְׁקוֹת אוֹתָהּ מֵעֲרֻגוֹת מַטָּעָהּ:
Now there was one… eagle: The king of Egypt.  
gathered its roots: Heb. כָּפְנָה, an expression of hunger, like (Job 5: 22): “plunder and famine (וּלְכָפָן).” The roots of this vine hungered and longed for that eagle. [Addendum: Some explain כָּפְנָה like אָסְפָה, gathered, the letters [of כָּפְנָה] being transposed. In the words of our Sages there is something similar to it, for they call a public gathering כְּנוּפְיָא. כָּפְנָה is like כָּנְפָה, amassa in French, brought in, gathered.]  
and its tendrils it sent forth to him: And her emissaries she sent to him, to come to her and water her.  
from the furrows of its planting: From the water ditches that the first eagle had made for it.  
8. In a good field, beside abundant waters it is planted, to sprout branches and to bear fruit, to become a sturdy vine.   ח. אֶל שָׂדֶה טּוֹב אֶל מַיִם רַבִּים הִיא שְׁתוּלָה לַעֲשׂוֹת עָנָף וְלָשֵׂאת פֶּרִי לִהְיוֹת לְגֶפֶן אַדָּרֶת:
In a good field, etc.: i.e., she did this for no purpose, because she had been planted in a good field.  
a sturdy vine: Heb. אַדָרֶת, a sturdy vine.  
9. Say; So said the Lord God: Will it prosper? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit so that it will wither? All the leaves of its plant will dry up, and not with great power and many people [will he come] against those who rip it out by its roots.   ט. אֱמֹר כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה תִּצְלָח הֲלוֹא אֶת שָׁרָשֶׁיהָ יְנַתֵּק וְאֶת פִּרְיָהּ | יְקוֹסֵס וְיָבֵשׁ כָּל טַרְפֵּי צִמְחָהּ תִּיבָשׁ וְלֹא בִזְרוֹעַ גְּדוֹלָה וּבְעַם רָב לְמַשְּׂאוֹת אוֹתָהּ מִשָּׁרָשֶׁיהָ:
Say: The entire Hebrew alphabet is found in this verse, and I am puzzled that it is not listed in the Masorah.  
[Will he not] pull up its roots: The first eagle.  
and cut off its fruits: Heb. יְקוֹסֵס, like יְקוֹצֵץ, will cut off. They are Zedekiah’s sons, whom he slaughtered before his eyes.  
the leaves of: Heb. טַרְפֵי, leaves, feuilles in French.  
And not with great power and many people: will the second eagle come to their assistance.  
against those who rip it out by its roots: Against those who uproot and pull it out by its roots.  
10. And behold it is planted-will it prosper? when the east wind touches it, will it not wither? By the furrows of its planting it will wither."   י. וְהִנֵּה שְׁתוּלָה הֲתִצְלָח הֲלֹא כְּגַעַת בָּהּ רוּחַ הַקָּדִים תִּיבַשׁ יָבֹשׁ עַל עֲרֻגֹת צִמְחָהּ תִּיבָשׁ:
And behold: now it is planted as they wished.  
will it prosper: Is it possible that it will prosper, this one that betrayed the one who planted it originally?  
11. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:   יא. וַיְהִי דְבַר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר:
12. "Say now to the rebellious house: Do you not know what these are? Say; Behold the King of Babylon came to Jerusalem, took its king and its princes, and brought them to him to Babylon.   יב. אֱמָר נָא לְבֵית הַמֶּרִי הֲלֹא יְדַעְתֶּם מָה אֵלֶּה אֱמֹר הִנֵּה בָא מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל יְרוּשָׁלִַם וַיִּקַּח אֶת מַלְכָּהּ וְאֶת שָׂרֶיהָ וַיָּבֵא אוֹתָם אֵלָיו בָּבֶלָה:
what these are: What this riddle is, and he explained it to them.  
took away its king and its princes: They are the “lofty top of the cedar,” Jehoiakim and his princes.  
to Babylon: That is the “city of traffickers.”  
13. And he took of the royal seed and formed a covenant with him, and he brought him into an oath and the mighty of the land he took away.   יג. וַיִּקַּח מִזֶּרַע הַמְּלוּכָה וַיִּכְרֹת אִתּוֹ בְּרִית וַיָּבֵא אֹתוֹ בְּאָלָה וְאֶת אֵילֵי הָאָרֶץ לָקָח:
of the royal seed: Zedekiah.  
the mighty of the land: The princes of the land.  
14. To be a lowly kingdom, that it might not elevate itself, to keep his covenant that it might stand.   יד. לִהְיוֹת מַמְלָכָה שְׁפָלָה לְבִלְתִּי הִתְנַשֵּׂא לִשְׁמֹר אֶת בְּרִיתוֹ לְעָמְדָהּ:
that it might stand: That it might endure.  
15. But he rebelled against him by sending his emissaries to Egypt to give him horses and many men. Will he prosper? Will one who does these escape? Can one violate a covenant and escape?   טו. וַיִּמְרָד בּוֹ לִשְׁלֹחַ מַלְאָכָיו מִצְרַיִם לָתֶת לוֹ סוּסִים וְעַם רָב הֲיִצְלָח הֲיִמָּלֵט הָעֹשֵׂה אֵלֶּה וְהֵפֵר בְּרִית וְנִמְלָט:
16. As I live, says the Lord God, surely in the locality of the king who crowned him, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he violated, with him in the midst of Babylon, he shall die.   טז. חַי אָנִי נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה אִם לֹא בִּמְקוֹם הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמַּמְלִיךְ אֹתוֹ אֲשֶׁר בָּזָה אֶת אָלָתוֹ וַאֲשֶׁר הֵפֵר אֶת בְּרִיתוֹ אִתּוֹ בְתוֹךְ בָּבֶל יָמוּת:
17. And not with a great army and a great multitude will Pharaoh aid him in the war, when he casts up mounds and builds forts, to cut off many souls.   יז. וְלֹא בְחַיִל גָּדוֹל וּבְקָהָל רָב יַעֲשֶׂה אוֹתוֹ פַרְעֹה בַּמִּלְחָמָה בִּשְׁפֹּךְ סֹלְלָה וּבִבְנוֹת דָּיֵק לְהַכְרִית נְפָשׁוֹת רַבּוֹת:
when he cast up mounds: When Nebuchadnezzar comes and casts up mounds against Jerusalem.  
to cut off many souls: To slay the people of the city.  
18. Seeing that he disparaged the oath to break the covenant, and behold he gave his hand, yet he did all these! He shall not escape.   יח. וּבָזָה אָלָה לְהָפֵר בְּרִית וְהִנֵּה נָתַן יָדוֹ וְכָל אֵלֶּה עָשָׂה לֹא יִמָּלֵט:
he gave his hand: He promised in good faith and raised his hand in a covenant.  
19. Therefore, so said the Lord God: As I live, surely My oath that he disparaged and My covenant that he broke, I will bring it upon his head.   יט. לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה חַי אָנִי אִם לֹא אָלָתִי אֲשֶׁר בָּזָה וּבְרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר הֵפִיר וּנְתַתִּיו בְּרֹאשׁוֹ:
I will bring it upon his head: [lit. put it in his head.] That is the blinding of his eyes.  
20. And I will spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare, and I will bring him to Babylon and contend with him there for his treachery that he committed against Me.   כ. וּפָרַשְׂתִּי עָלָיו רִשְׁתִּי וְנִתְפַּשׂ בִּמְצוּדָתִי וַהֲבִיאוֹתִיהוּ בָבֶלָה וְנִשְׁפַּטְתִּי אִתּוֹ שָׁם מַעֲלוֹ אֲשֶׁר מָעַל בִּי:
And I will spread My net over him: as I explained above at the beginning of the Book (12:13): that He set up a deer to walk on the roof of the cave.  
and contend: And I will debate with him.  
21. And all his fugitives with all his wings shall fall by the sword, and the survivors will disperse in every direction and you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken.   כא. וְאֵת כָּל מִבְרָחָיו בְּכָל אֲגַפָּיו בַּחֶרֶב יִפֹּלוּ וְהַנִּשְׁאָרִים לְכָל רוּחַ יִפָּרֵשׂוּ וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה דִּבַּרְתִּי:
And all his fugitives: Heb. מִבְרָחָיו. According to Targum, and all his mighty men. But Menachem (p. 48) associated it with (Song 8:10): “Flee (בְּרַח) my beloved,” and this is its interpretation: and all those who fled.  
with all his wings: Heb. אַגַפָּיו with all their wings, i.e., with all their strength they will fall by the sword.  
will disperse: Seront repandus, will be scattered.  
22. So says the Lord God: And I Myself will take from the lofty top of the cedar, and I will place [it]; I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I Myself will plant it upon a high and lofty mountain.   כב. כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה וְלָקַחְתִּי אָנִי מִצַּמֶּרֶת הָאֶרֶז הָרָמָה וְנָתָתִּי מֵרֹאשׁ יֹנְקוֹתָיו רַךְ אֶקְטֹף וְשָׁתַלְתִּי אָנִי עַל הַר גָּבֹהַּ וְתָלוּל:
And I Myself will take: And I will take the King Messiah.  
and I will place [it]: As the Targum renders: and I will establish him.  
a tender one: It is customary to graft only from the tender [sprigs] that grew the previous year, called grayfe in Old French, a shoot, graft.  
and lofty: Heb. וְתָלוּל, from the word mound, תֵּל, for a mound is usually high and lofty; amonceler in French, to heap up.  
23. In the mountain of the height of Israel I will plant it, and it will bear boughs and bring forth fruit and become a sturdy cedar, and under it shall dwell all birds of every feather; in the shade of the branches thereof shall they dwell.   כג. בְּהַר מְרוֹם יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶשְׁתֳּלֶנּוּ וְנָשָׂא עָנָף וְעָשָׂה פֶרִי וְהָיָה לְאֶרֶז אַדִּיר וְשָׁכְנוּ תַחְתָּיו כֹּל צִפּוֹר כָּל כָּנָף בְּצֵל דָּלִיּוֹתָיו תִּשְׁכֹּנָּה:
shall they dwell: Heb. תִּשְּׁכֹּנָה. The ‘dagesh’ in the ‘nun’ serves instead of a second ‘nun,’ as though it were written תִּשּׁכֹּנְנָה.  
24. And all the trees of the field will recognize that I, the Lord, have lowered the high tree, have raised aloft the low tree; that I have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree blossom. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will accomplish it."   כד. וְיָדְעוּ כָּל עֲצֵי הַשָּׂדֶה כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה הִשְׁפַּלְתִּי | עֵץ גָּבֹהַּ הִגְבַּהְתִּי עֵץ שָׁפָל הוֹבַשְׁתִּי עֵץ לָח וְהִפְרַחְתִּי עֵץ יָבֵשׁ אֲנִי יְהֹוָה דִּבַּרְתִּי וְעָשִׂיתִי:
I… have lowered the high tree: The nations that were ruling over Israel.  
I have dried up the green tree: Zedekiah and his seed.  
and have made the dry tree blossom: Jehoiachin, who was exiled without children, will beget Zerubbabel in Babylon, and he will be the governor of Judea, [appointed] to rule.  
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