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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Amos - Chapter 6

Amos - Chapter 6

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 6

1. Woe to those who are at ease in Zion and to those who are secure in the mountain of Samaria, those called the first of the nations, and the house of Israel has come to them.   א. הוֹי הַשַּׁאֲנַנִּים בְּצִיּוֹן וְהַבֹּטְחִים בְּהַר שֹׁמְרוֹן נְקֻבֵי רֵאשִׁית הַגּוֹיִם וּבָאוּ לָהֶם בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל:
those called the first of the nations: You were called the most praiseworthy of the nations.  
and the house of Israel has come to them: They chose the ordinances of the nations and came to be included among them.  
2. Proceed to Calneh and see, and go from there to the great Hamath, and go down to Gath of the Philistines-are they better than these kingdoms, or is their border greater than your border?   ב. עִבְרוּ כַלְנֵה וּרְאוּ וּלְכוּ מִשָּׁם חֲמַת רַבָּה וּרְדוּ גַת פְּלִשְׁתִּים הֲטוֹבִים מִן הַמַּמְלָכוֹת הָאֵלֶּה אִם רַב גְּבוּלָם מִגְּבֻלְכֶם:
Proceed to Calneh and see: Why have you rejected My Torah to cleave to the ordinances of the nations? Go over and see the prominent nations, whether they are better than these kingdoms which are in Samaria and in Jerusalem.  
or is their border greater than your border: So what wrong have you found in Me?  
Calneh: Babylon.  
Hamath: Antioch.  
Gath of the Philistines: The most prominent of their five lords, called Metheg- ammah, ox-goad, since it ruled over all of them, and that was the “mother” of the kingdom.  
3. You, who bring yourselves closer to the day of evil, and you bring near the dwelling amidst violence.   ג. הַמְנַדִּים לְיוֹם רָע וַתַּגִּישׁוּן שֶׁבֶת חָמָס:
You, who bring yourselves near to the day of evil: You who cause yourselves to move to the day of evil.  
and you bring near: You bring yourselves near to dwell in the exile of Esau your brother who robs you, as it is said: (Obadiah 1:10) “From the violence of your brother Jacob.” This is the midrash of Rabbi Simon of blessed memory. [Note that this is also found in Lev. Rabbah 5:3.] Another explanation.  
You who despise the day of evil: You who despise the prophecy of the days of evil, which the prophets prophesy to them.  
and you bring near a dwelling of violence: This is as Isaiah states: (5:8) “ Woe to those who join a house to a house.” You bring near dwelling in their midst one beside the other through violence.  
4. Those who lie on couches of ivory and stretch out on their beds, and eat lambs of the flock and calves out of the stall.   ד. הַשֹּׁכְבִים עַל מִטּוֹת שֵׁן וּסְרֻחִים עַל עַרְשֹׂתָם וְאֹכְלִים כָּרִים מִצֹּאן וַעֲגָלִים מִתּוֹךְ מַרְבֵּק:
and stretch out on their beds: Heb. וּסְרֻחִים. They spread themselves out and stretch themselves out on their beds. Our Sages, however, explained that they would exchange wives with one another and befoul their beds with semen that is not theirs. [from Shabbath 62b]  
lambs: Heb. כָּרִים Lambs.  
out of the stall: The place where the calves are gathered, and in O.F. kopled , a pen.  
5. Who sing according to the tone of the lute. They thought that their musical instruments were like [those of] David.   ה. הַפֹּרְטִים עַל פִּי הַנָּבֶל כְּדָוִיד חָשְׁבוּ לָהֶם כְּלֵי שִׁיר:
Who sing according to the tone of the lute: Menahem (Machbereth Menahem p. 145) classifies it with (Lev. 19:10) “And the single grapes (וּפֶרֶט) of your vineyard,” and I approve of his view, for the one who sings with a musical instrument separates the speech individually, everything according to the tone of the instrument, whether to raise [the note] or to lower [it].  
they thought their musical instruments were like [those of] David: They thought their musical instruments were like the musical instruments of your servant David, which were meant for the sake of Heaven, but these were for enjoyment.  
6. Who drink from basins of wine, and with the first oils they anoint themselves, and they feel no pain concerning the destruction of Joseph.   ו. הַשֹּׁתִים בְּמִזְרְקֵי יַיִן וְרֵאשִׁית שְׁמָנִים יִמְשָׁחוּ וְלֹא נֶחְלוּ עַל שֵׁבֶר יוֹסֵף:
Who drink from basins of wine: Heb. בְּמִזְרְקֵי. Some of our Sages state in Tractate Shabbath (62b) that they would throw their cups to each other, and some explain that this was the name of a vessel that had two mouths, and it was long, and one would drink from here and one from here, it would be cast from this one’s mouth to this one’s mouth.  
and with the first oils: The best of the oils, which is balsamum.  
and they feel no pain: Heb. וְלֹא נֶחְלוּ, an expression of illness.  
concerning the destruction of Joseph: For they heard from the prophet that it was destined to befall them.  
7. Therefore, now they shall go into exile at the head of the exiles, and the banquet of the haughty shall pass away.   ז. לָכֵן עַתָּה יִגְלוּ בְּרֹאשׁ גֹּלִים וְסָר מִרְזַח סְרוּחִים:
and the banquet of the haughty shall pass away: Heb. וְסָר מִרְזָח סְרוּחִים. And the banquets of the aggrandized and the haughty shall be abolished. מִרְזָח is an expression of banquets. In Sifre , in the section commencing: (Num. 25:1) “And Israel sojourned in Shittim,” I found: And they returned to make מִרְזָחִים for them, and they would invite them, and they would eat.  
8. The Lord God swore by Himself. The Lord God of Hosts says; I abhor the pride of Jacob, and I hate his palaces, and I will deliver the city and the fullness thereof.   ח. נִשְׁבַּע אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה בְּנַפְשׁוֹ נְאֻם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי צְבָאוֹת מְתָאֵב אָנֹכִי אֶת גְּאוֹן יַעֲקֹב וְאַרְמְנֹתָיו שָׂנֵאתִי וְהִסְגַּרְתִּי עִיר וּמְלֹאָהּ:
by Himself: With knowledge and intention.  
abhor: Heb. מְתָאֵב. Like מְתָעֵב And so did Jonathan render it: I abhor the Temple, the greatness of Jacob. For the Temple is called the pride of their strength, as is stated: (Ezekiel 24:21) “Behold I profane My Sanctuary, the pride of your strength.”  
the city and the fullness thereof: Jerusalem and its inhabitants.  
9. And it shall be, if ten men are left in one house, they shall die.   ט. וְהָיָה אִם יִוָּתְרוּ עֲשָׂרָה אֲנָשִׁים בְּבַיִת אֶחָד וָמֵתוּ:
if… are left: from the pestilence and the sword in one house, they shall die, for the enemies shall burn the house upon them when they take the city.  
10. And his kinsman and the one who saved him from burning shall carry him to take out bones from the house, and he shall say to [the one] who is in the end of the house, "Are there any more with you?" and he shall say, "There is none." And he shall say, "Take them out." [This is] for not mentioning the Name of the Lord.   י. וּנְשָׂאוֹ דּוֹדוֹ וּמְסָרְפוֹ לְהוֹצִיא עֲצָמִים מִן הַבַּיִת וְאָמַר לַאֲשֶׁר בְּיַרְכְּתֵי הַבַּיִת הַעוֹד עִמָּךְ וְאָמַר אָפֶס וְאָמַר הָס כִּי לֹא לְהַזְכִּיר בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה:
And his kinsman and the one who saved him from burning shall carry him: His kinsman and his friend who saved his bones from the fire. In this manner, Jonathan rendered it: And his kinsman shall carry him out of the fire.  
and he shall say: I.e, the one who takes [the bodies] out of the fire.  
to: [the one]  
who is in the end of the house: I.e, to his friend who went to search within the house.  
“Are there any more with you?”: Is there any living person besides you who escaped among the hidden ones?  
and he shall say, “There is none.”: There is no living one, only dead. And this one says to him, “Take out the corpses.” הָס, Cast out and eliminate everything. For this comes to them because they did not want to mention the Name of the Lord. In this manner, Jonathan rendered it.  
11. For behold, the Lord commands, and he shall smite the great house into splinters, and the small house into chips.   יא. כִּי הִנֵּה יְהֹוָה מְצַוֶּה וְהִכָּה הַבַּיִת הַגָּדוֹל רְסִיסִים וְהַבַּיִת הַקָּטֹן בְּקִעִים:
into splinters: That it shall be splintered into fine chips.  
chips: Larger than splinters. According to its prominence, shall be its destruction. In this manner did Jonathan render: And he shall smite the large kingdom with a mighty blow, and the small kingdom with a weak blow.  
12. Will horses run on the rock, or will one plow with cattle, for you have perverted justice to hemlock and the fruit of righteousness to wormwood?   יב. הַיְרֻצוּן בַּסֶּלַע סוּסִים אִם יַחֲרוֹשׁ בַּבְּקָרִים כִּי הֲפַכְתֶּם לְרֹאשׁ מִשְׁפָּט וּפְרִי צְדָקָה לְלַעֲנָה:
Will horses run on the rock: I.e, will they maintain their running when they change the order of the world?  
or will one plow: [I.e.] will a man [plow] with oxen on the rock, that you think to pervert the good way and survive and prosper?  
13. Those who rejoice over a thing of nought, who say, "With our strength we have taken horns for ourselves."   יג. הַשְּׂמֵחִים לְלֹא דָבָר הָאֹמְרִים הֲלֹא בְחָזְקֵנוּ לָקַחְנוּ לָנוּ קַרְנָיִם:
over a thing of naught: Over their greatness and their wealth, which is nought, since it will not endure.  
horns: Strength and might to gore the poor and needy with the horns.  
14. For, behold I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, says the Lord God of Hosts, and they shall oppress you from the approach to Hamath until the brook of the Arabah.   יד. כִּי הִנְנִי מֵקִים עֲלֵיכֶם בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל נְאֻם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי הַצְּבָאוֹת גּוֹי וְלָחֲצוּ אֶתְכֶם מִלְּבוֹא חֲמָת עַד נַחַל הָעֲרָבָה:
from the approach to Hamath: which is in the northwestern corner of Eretz Israel.  
until the brook of the Arabah: The brook of Egypt, which is in the southwestern corner.  
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