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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Amos - Chapter 5

Amos - Chapter 5

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 5

1. Hearken to this word which I take up for a lamentation over you, O house of Israel.   א. שִׁמְעוּ אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי נֹשֵׂא עֲלֵיכֶם קִינָה בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל:
2. The virgin of Israel has fallen and shall not continue to rise; she is spread out on her soil, there is none to raise her up.   ב. נָפְלָה לֹא תוֹסִף קוּם בְּתוּלַת יִשְׂרָאֵל נִטְּשָׁה עַל אַדְמָתָהּ אֵין מְקִימָהּ:
The virgin of Israel: When they are exiled in the days of Hoshea son of Elah (II Kings 17:1-6), a king will never again rise from the ten tribes.  
she is spread out on her soil: Heb. נִטְּשָׁה. Anything that is cast, lying, and spread out upon the field is called נְטִישָה.  
3. For so said the Lord God: The city that gives forth a thousand shall remain with a hundred, and the one that gives forth a hundred shall remain with ten, of the house of Israel.   ג. כִּי כֹה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה הָעִיר הַיֹּצֵאת אֶלֶף תַּשְׁאִיר מֵאָה וְהַיּוֹצֵאת מֵאָה תַּשְׁאִיר עֲשָׂרָה לְבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל:
that gives forth a thousand: Heb. הַיֹּצֵאת, that gives forth a thousand men.  
4. For so said the Lord to the house of Israel; Seek Me and live.   ד. כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהֹוָה לְבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל דִּרְשׁוּנִי וִחְיוּ:
Seek Me and live: Perform the pilgrimage to pay your vows in Jerusalem.  
5. But seek not Bethel, neither come to Gilgal, nor pass Beersheba, for Gilgal shall be exiled, and Bethel shall become nought.   ה. וְאַל תִּדְרְשׁוּ בֵּית אֵל וְהַגִּלְגָּל לֹא תָבֹאוּ וּבְאֵר שֶׁבַע לֹא תַעֲבֹרוּ כִּי הַגִּלְגָּל גָּלֹה יִגְלֶה וּבֵית אֵל יִהְיֶה לְאָוֶן:
But seek not Bethel etc. nor pass Beersheba: Here it does not say, “You shall not come,” or “You shall not seek,” but, “You shall not pass.” This teaches us that there was no idol worship there, but as long as one of the members of the ten tribes would go out to seek and did not yet pass Beersheba, he could still turn to the Temple, to Jerusalem, and once he passed Beersheba, that is the way to the calf in Bethel or to the calf in Dan. And so Scripture states: (infra 8:14) “As your god, O Dan, lives, and as the way of Beersheba lives.” And you should know [that this is so], for Scripture pronounced decrees of retribution on Gilgal and Bethel, and did not decree upon Beersheba.  
for Gilgal shall be exiled: According to its name is its curse. And, similarly, there is a city near Bethel named Beth-aven in the Book of Joshua (7:2).  
shall become nought: Heb. לְאָוֶן. [Jonathan renders:] לִלְמָא, which is the Aramaic translation of הֶבֶל, vanity, and this is a similarity to (Hosea 12: 12) “If Gilead is nought, it is because they are but futility.”  
6. Seek the Lord and live, lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it consume with none to quench it for Bethel.   ו. דִּרְשׁוּ אֶת יְהֹוָה וִחְיוּ פֶּן יִצְלַח כָּאֵשׁ בֵּית יוֹסֵף וְאָכְלָה וְאֵין מְכַבֶּה לְבֵית אֵל:
lest He break out like fire: Heb. יִצְלַח. Lest His anger ascend as fire to the house of Joseph.  
the house of Joseph: Like לְבֵית יוֹסֵף, to the house of Joseph.  
7. Those who turn justice to wormwood, and who leave righteousness on the ground.   ז. הַהֹפְכִים לְלַעֲנָה מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה לָאָרֶץ הִנִּיחוּ:
Those who turn justice to wormwood: and they do not remember My conversions, that I turn etc.  
8. He Who made the Pleiades and Orion and turns darkness into morning, and day He darkens as night; He Who calls the water of the sea and pours it out on the face of the earth, the Lord is His Name.   ח. עֹשֵׂה כִימָה וּכְסִיל וְהֹפֵךְ לַבֹּקֶר צַלְמָוֶת וְיוֹם לַיְלָה הֶחְשִׁיךְ הַקּוֹרֵא לְמֵי הַיָּם וַיִּשְׁפְּכֵם עַל פְּנֵי הָאָרֶץ יְהֹוָה שְׁמוֹ:
and turns darkness into morning: There are some who live now in darkness, for whom I made it light.  
and day He darkens as night: There is one for whom the time is favorable as the light of day, and I darken it as the night.  
He Who calls the water of the sea: Jonathan renders: He Who said to gather camps as numerous as the water of the sea, and scatter them upon the face of the earth. And our Sages explained it as a reference to the generation of Enosh, when He caused the water of the ocean to inundate them. [from Mid. Psalms 88:2, Gen. Rabbah 23:7]  
the Lord is His Name: They should have worshipped Him, and He would have given them power over their enemies.  
9. Who strengthens the robbed upon the strong, and the robbed shall come upon a fortress.   ט. הַמַּבְלִיג שֹׁד עַל עָז וְשֹׁד עַל מִבְצָר יָבוֹא:
Who strengthens: Heb. הַמַּבְלִיג, Who strengthens. Like (Job 10:20) “And I will gain strength (וְאַבְלִיגָה) a little while” ; (Jer. 8:18) “Were I to suppress (מַבְלִיגִיתִי) my grief.”  
the robbed: Heb. וְשֹׁד. A person who was robbed and weak [Jonathan renders:] Who strengthens the weak over the strong, and the robbed He gives rule over strong walled cities.  
10. They hated him who reproves them in the gate, and they despise him who speaks uprightly.   י. שָׂנְאוּ בַשַּׁעַר מוֹכִיחַ וְדֹבֵר תָּמִים יְתָעֵבוּ:
They hated him who reproves them in the gate: You do not fear Him or His prophets, and you hated those who reprove you in the gates of the courts.  
11. Therefore, because you have trodden on poor, and the burden of grain you take from him, houses of hewn stone you have built but you shall not dwell therein, precious vineyards you have planted, but you shall not drink their wine.   יא. לָכֵן יַעַן בּוֹשַׁסְכֶם עַל דָּל וּמַשְׂאַת בַּר תִּקְחוּ מִמֶּנּוּ בָּתֵּי גָזִית בְּנִיתֶם וְלֹא תֵשְׁבוּ בָם כַּרְמֵי חֶמֶד נְטַעְתֶּם וְלֹא תִשְׁתּוּ אֶת יֵינָם:
you have trodden: Heb. בּוֹשַׁסְכֶם, like בּוֹסַסְכֶם, you have trodden on the poor, that you trample and tread on his head. Like (Jer. 12:10) “They have trampled (בּוֹסְסוּ) My field.”  
and the burden of grain you take: The settling of the balance as a loan, that you raised the market price for them immediately to sell them grain with interest, in order to take their estate from them. Therefore, houses and vineyards that you have built and planted on those estates shall not remain in your hands.  
and the burden: Heb. מַשְׂאֵת, an expression of מַשָּׂא, a burden, which they make heavy upon them.  
precious vineyards: Heb. חֶמֶד כַּרְמֵי.  
12. For I know that your transgressions are many, and your sins are mighty; you who oppress the just, taking ransom, and turning aside the needy in the gate.   יב. כִּי יָדַעְתִּי רַבִּים פִּשְׁעֵיכֶם וַעֲצֻמִים חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם צֹרְרֵי צַדִּיק לֹקְחֵי כֹפֶר וְאֶבְיוֹנִים בַּשַּׁעַר הִטּוּ:
you who oppress the just: [Jonathan renders:] who oppress the innocent.  
turning aside… in the gate: In the gates of your courts, they turned aside the judgment of the needy.  
13. Therefore, the prudent at that time shall keep silent, for it is a time of evil.   יג. לָכֵן הַמַּשְׂכִּיל בָּעֵת הַהִיא יִדֹּם כִּי עֵת רָעָה הִיא:
the prudent: Whoever is wise shall keep silent when the evil comes, and he shall not criticize the Divine standard of justice, for they did all these.  
for it is a time of evil: [I.e.] a time destined [for them] to receive their evil.  
14. Seek good and not evil in order that you live, and so the Lord God of Hosts shall be with you, as you said.   יד. דִּרְשׁוּ טוֹב וְאַל רָע לְמַעַן תִּחְיוּ וִיהִי כֵן יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי צְבָאוֹת אִתְּכֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר אֲמַרְתֶּם:
and so… shall be etc.: If you do this, the Omnipresent shall be with you as you said in your heart, that you will keep your greatness.  
15. Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; perhaps the Lord God of Hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.   טו. שִׂנְאוּ רָע וְאֶהֱבוּ טוֹב וְהַצִּיגוּ בַשַּׁעַר מִשְׁפָּט אוּלַי יֶחֱנַן יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי צְבָאוֹת שְׁאֵרִית יוֹסֵף:
the remnant of Joseph: All Israel are called by his name because he sustained them.  
16. Therefore, so said the Lord God of Hosts, the Lord: In all the city squares lamentation, and in all streets they shall say, "Alas! Alas!" and they shall meet the plowman with mourning and lamentation with those who know to wail.   טז. לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי צְבָאוֹת אֲדֹנָי בְּכָל רְחֹבוֹת מִסְפֵּד וּבְכָל חוּצוֹת יֹאמְרוּ הוֹ הוֹ וְקָרְאוּ אִכָּר אֶל אֵבֶל וּמִסְפֵּד אֶל יוֹדְעֵי נֶהִי:
Alas! Alas!: Heb. הו ֹהוֹ, an expression of a cry.  
and they shall meet the plowman with mourning: Heb. וְקָרְאוּ. They shall meet companies of plowmen, plowing in the fields, with the voice of the lamentation of the mourners crying in the streets.  
and lamentation with those who know to wail: [Jonathan renders:] And the one who makes a lamentation shall meet one who makes a wailing. And this is only a repetitious expression. Cf. (Ps. 9:5) “My right and my cause (מִשְׁפָּטִי וְדִינִי).”  
17. And in all vineyards [there shall be] lamentation, for I will pass in your midst, said the Lord.   יז. וּבְכָל כְּרָמִים מִסְפֵּד כִּי אֶעֱבֹר בְּקִרְבְּךָ אָמַר יְהֹוָה:
18. Woe to those who desire the day of the Lord. Why would you have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light.   יח. הוֹי הַמִּתְאַוִּים אֶת יוֹם יְהֹוָה לָמָּה זֶּה לָכֶם יוֹם יְהֹוָה הוּא חֹשֶׁךְ וְלֹא אוֹר:
Woe to those who desire etc.: “Those who say, ‘Let Him hurry; let Him hasten His deed.’” (Isa. 5:19)  
Why would you have etc.: There is a parable concerning a rooster and a bat that were awaiting the dawn, as appears in the chapter entitled “ Chelek.”  
19. As if a man flees from the lion and the bear meets him, and he comes to the house and leans his hand on the wall, and a serpent bites him.   יט. כַּאֲשֶׁר יָנוּס אִישׁ מִפְּנֵי הָאֲרִי וּפְגָעוֹ הַדֹּב וּבָא הַבַּיִת וְסָמַךְ יָדוֹ עַל הַקִּיר וּנְשָׁכוֹ הַנָּחָשׁ:
20. Is not the day of the Lord darkness and not light, even very dark, with no brightness in it.   כ. הֲלֹא חשֶׁךְ יוֹם יְהֹוָה וְלֹא אוֹר וְאָפֵל וְלֹא נֹגַהּ לוֹ:
21. I hate, I reject your festivals, and I will not smell [the sacrifices of] your assemblies.   כא. שָׂנֵאתִי מָאַסְתִּי חַגֵּיכֶם וְלֹא אָרִיחַ בְּעַצְּרֹתֵיכֶם:
[the sacrifices of] your assemblies: [Jonathan renders:] The sacrifice of your assemblies; i.e, when you call an assembly.  
22. For if you offer up to Me burnt- offerings and your meal-offerings, I will not accept [them], and the peace offerings of your fattened cattle I will not regard.   כב. כִּי אִם תַּעֲלוּ לִי עֹלוֹת וּמִנְחֹתֵיכֶם לֹא אֶרְצֶה וְשֶׁלֶם מְרִיאֵיכֶם לֹא אַבִּיט:
and the peace offerings of your fattened cattle: Heb. שֶׁלֶם מְרִיאֵיכֶם, the peace offerings of your fatlings, i.e, fattened cattle.  
23. Take away from Me the din of your songs, and the music of your lutes I will not hear.   כג. הָסֵר מֵעָלַי הֲמוֹן שִׁרֶיךָ וְזִמְרַת נְבָלֶיךָ לֹא אֶשְׁמָע:
Take away from Me the din of your songs: that the Levites sing on the platform, since you are robbers and perverters of justice.  
24. And justice shall be revealed like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.   כד. וְיִגַּל כַּמַּיִם מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה כְּנַחַל אֵיתָן:
And justice shall be revealed like water: Heb. וְיִגַּל. And you shall do this, and I will accept you. The justice that you have hidden and concealed shall be revealed and stream among you like water. [after Jonathan]  
and righteousness: shall be revealed like a mighty stream. [after Jonathan]  
25. Did you offer Me sacrifices and meal-offerings in the desert forty years, O house of Israel?   כה. הַזְּבָחִים וּמִנְחָה הִגַּשְׁתֶּם לִי בַמִּדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל:
Did… sacrifices and meal offerings: Is My desire for sacrifices and meal offerings? Is it not so that in the desert I did not speak with your forefathers to offer up sacrifices to Me? I said: (Lev. 1:2) “Should a man sacrifice,” when he wishes to sacrifice. And Scripture states: (Num. 9:2) “And the children of Israel shall make the Passover sacrifice in its time.” This tells us that Israel made only that Passover sacrifice. [based on Sifre to Num. 9:2]  
26. And you shall carry Siccuth your king and Chiun your images, Kochav your god, which you have made for yourselves.   כו. וּנְשָׂאתֶם אֵת סִכּוּת מַלְכְּכֶם וְאֵת כִּיּוּן צַלְמֵיכֶם כּוֹכַב אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם לָכֶם:
And you shall carry Siccuth your king: He returns to the matter of the retribution [mentioned] above. The day of the Lord is darkness for you, and not light, and you shall carry your idols into exile with you. The enemies shall load them on your necks to carry them with you into exile.  
Siccuth… Chiun… Kochav -They are names of pagan deities. 27:  
And I will exile you beyond Damascus: I.e, you shall not be exiled to your neighbors as heretofore, that you were delivered into the hands of the kings of Aram [In Nach Lublin- Edom, an obvious error] and they did not take you in captivity to a distant place, but to Damascus. From now on, I will deliver you into the hands of Sennacherib, and he shall exile you far away.  
27. And I will exile you beyond Damascus, said He Whose Name is the Lord God of Hosts.   כז. וְהִגְלֵתִי אֶתְכֶם מֵהָלְאָה לְדַמָּשֶׂק אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ:
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