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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Ovadiah - Obadiah - Chapter 1

Ovadiah - Obadiah - Chapter 1

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 1

1. The vision of Obadiah; So said the Lord God concerning Edom; We have heard tidings from the Lord, and a messenger has been sent among the nations, "Arise and let us rise up against them in war!"   א. חֲזוֹן עֹבַדְיָה כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה לֶאֱדוֹם שְׁמוּעָה שָׁמַעְנוּ מֵאֵת יְהֹוָה וְצִיר בַּגּוֹיִם שֻׁלָּח קוּמוּ וְנָקוּמָה עָלֶיהָ לַמִּלְחָמָה:
The vision of Obadiah: Why is Obadiah different that he was chosen to prophesy concerning Edom and did not prophesy any other prophecy? Our Sages of blessed memory stated: Obadiah was an Edomite proselyte. Said the Holy One, blessed be He: From them and in them will I bring upon them. Let Obadiah, who dwelt between two wicked people, Ahab and Jezebel, and did not learn from their deeds, come and impose retribution upon Esau, who dwelt between two righteous people, Isaac and Rebecca, and did not learn from their deeds. [from Sanhedrin 39b]  
2. Behold I have made you small among the nations; you are very despised.   ב. הִנֵּה קָטֹן נְתַתִּיךָ בַּגּוֹיִם בָּזוּי אַתָּה מְאֹד:
Behold I have made you small: In contrast with what his father called him, his big son, and his mother called him her big son, the Holy One, blessed be He, says: In My eyes, he is small (Pesikta d’Rav Kahana p. 56; Pesikta Rabbathi , ed. Meir Ish Shalom p. 79a; Pesikta Rabbathi ed. Warsaw p. 144; Gen. Rabbah 65:11). And our Sages (Avodah Zarah 10a) expounded: small for they have neither script nor language. [from Avodah Zarah 10a]  
despised: That they did not crown a king the son of a king.  
3. The wickedness of your heart enticed you, who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high, who says to himself, "Who will bring me down to the earth?"   ג. זְדוֹן לִבְּךָ הִשִּׁיאֶךָ שֹׁכְנִי בְחַגְוֵי סֶלַע מְרוֹם שִׁבְתּוֹ אֹמֵר בְּלִבּוֹ מִי יוֹרִידֵנִי אָרֶץ:
who dwell in the clefts of the rock: Who relies on the support of his ancestors, Abraham and Isaac, but they shall not avail him.  
the clefts: Heb. חַגְוֵי. Cf. (Isa. 19: 17) “And the land of Judah shall be to Egypt for a dread (ל ְחָגָּא) ,” frayteyne [or fraite] in O.F., a cleft of a rock. And do not wonder about the “vav” of (Gen. 21:16) “like a shot (כִּמְטַחֲוֵי) ;” in which there is no radical in the word but the “teth” and the “heth.”  
4. If you go up high like an eagle, and if you place your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down, says the Lord.   ד. אִם תַּגְבִּיהַּ כַּנֶּשֶׁר וְאִם בֵּין כּוֹכָבִים שִׂים קִנֶּךָ מִשָּׁם אוֹרִידְךָ נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
5. Did thieves come upon you, did plunderers of the night? How were you silent? Will they not steal till they have enough? If vintagers came upon you, would they not leave over some gleaning grapes?   ה. אִם גַּנָּבִים בָּאוּ לְךָ אִם שׁוֹדְדֵי לַיְלָה אֵיךְ נִדְמֵיתָה הֲלוֹא יִגְנְבוּ דַּיָּם אִם בֹּצְרִים בָּאוּ לָךְ הֲלוֹא יַשְׁאִירוּ עֹלֵלוֹת:
come upon you: Heb. בָּאוּ לְ, lit., came to you.  
How were you silent?: Why were you sleeping soundly and still until they stole all they desired?  
would (the vintagers) not leave over some gleaning grapes?: But these will not leave you anything, for they will search and reveal and seek out your hidden things.  
6. How Esau was searched out, how his hidden things were revealed!   ו. אֵיךְ נֶחְפְּשׂוּ עֵשָׂו נִבְעוּ מַצְפֻּנָיו:
were revealed: Heb. נִבְעוּ. Jonathan rendered: were revealed, and it is an Aramaic expression: נִבְעוּ means “sought out.” Cf. (Isa. 21: 12) “If you will request, request (א ִם תִּבְעָיוּן בְּעָיוּ).”  
7. Until the border all your allies escorted you; your friends enticed you, yea prevailed against you; your food they lay as a wound under you; there is no discernment in them.   ז. עַד הַגְּבוּל שִׁלְּחוּךָ כֹּל אַנְשֵׁי בְרִיתֶךָ הִשִּׁיאוּךָ יָכְלוּ לְךָ אַנְשֵׁי שְׁלֹמֶךָ לַחְמְךָ יָשִׂימוּ מָזוֹר תַּחְתֶּיךָ אֵין תְּבוּנָה בּוֹ:
Until the border… escorted you: Those who promised to aid you, came with you and escorted you to the border of your land, to the boundary, whence they came upon you in war, and with this they enticed you and succeeded.  
they prevailed against you: to entice you to leave, and they deserted you.  
your food they lay as a wound under you: Even your food your brother Jacob made for you as a wound, for he gave you bread and a pottage of lentils, and thereby you despised the birthright.  
wound: Heb. מָזוֹר.  
8. Shall I not in that day-says the Lord-destroy wise men from Edom and discernment from the mountain of Esau?   ח. הֲלוֹא בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וְהַאֲבַדְתִּי חֲכָמִים מֵאֱדוֹם וּתְבוּנָה מֵהַר עֵשָׂו:
9. And your mighty men shall be dismayed, O dwellers of the southland, in order that every man be cut off from the mountain of Esau by slaughter.   ט. וְחַתּוּ גִבּוֹרֶיךָ תֵּימָן לְמַעַן יִכָּרֶת אִישׁ מֵהַר עֵשָׂו מִקָּטֶל:
And your mighty men shall be dismayed: They shall be dismayed and frightened to flee to the land of Israel [Malbim : to the land of Edom]. And Jonathan rendered: And your mighty men shall be dismayed, dwellers of the southland.  
in order that every man be cut off: I.e, every mighty man. [from Targum Jonathan]  
from the mountain of Esau by slaughter: By the great slaughter that will come upon them.  
10. Because of the violence of your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever.   י. מֵחֲמַס אָחִיךָ יַעֲקֹב תְּכַסְּךָ בוּשָׁה וְנִכְרַתָּ לְעוֹלָם:
Because of the violence of your brother Jacob: Because of the violence you inflicted upon Jacob.  
11. On that day you stood from afar, on the day strangers captured his possessions, and foreigners came into his cities, and on Jerusalem they cast lots; you, too, are like one of them.   יא. בְּיוֹם עֲמָדְךָ מִנֶּגֶד בְּיוֹם שְׁבוֹת זָרִים חֵילוֹ וְנָכְרִים בָּאוּ שְׁעָרָיו וְעַל יְרוּשָׁלִַם יַדּוּ גוֹרָל גַּם אַתָּה כְּאַחַד מֵהֶם:
On the day you stood from afar: that you did not come to aid him.  
you, too, are like one of them: I account it for you as though you were one of their attackers.  
12. And you should not have looked on the day of your brother on the day of his being delivered, and you should not have rejoiced about the children of Judah on the day of their destruction, and you should not have spoken proudly on the day of distress.   יב. וְאַל תֵּרֶא בְיוֹם אָחִיךָ בְּיוֹם נָכְרוֹ וְאַל תִּשְׂמַח לִבְנֵי יְהוּדָה בְּיוֹם אָבְדָם וְאַל תַּגְדֵּל פִּיךָ בְּיוֹם צָרָה:
And you should not have looked on the day of your brother: You should not have looked and stood from afar.  
on the day of his being delivered: Heb. נָכְרוֹ. On the day of his being delivered into the hands of the heathens. And so does Scripture state concerning Saul: (I Sam. 23:7) “ נִכַּר אֹתו ֹאֱלֹהִים בְּיָדְי”, “He has delivered him into my hand.”  
13. You should not have come into the gate of My people on the day of their misfortune; you too should not have looked at their affliction on the day of their misfortune, and you should not have stretched out [your hand] upon their possessions on the day of their misfortune.   יג. אַל תָּבוֹא בְשַׁעַר עַמִּי בְּיוֹם אֵידָם אַל תֵּרֶא גַם אַתָּה בְּרָעָתוֹ בְּיוֹם אֵידוֹ וְאַל תִּשְׁלַחְנָה בְחֵילוֹ בְּיוֹם אֵידוֹ:
and you should not have stretched out upon their possessions: You should not have stretched out your hand upon their possessions. So did Jonathan render. And this is an ellipsis, to which we must add: “your hands.”  
14. And you should not have stood by the gap to cut off their fugitives, neither should you have delivered their survivors on the day of distress.   יד. וְאַל תַּעֲמֹד עַל הַפֶּרֶק לְהַכְרִית אֶת פְּלִיטָיו וְאַל תַּסְגֵּר שְׂרִידָיו בְּיוֹם צָרָה:
And you should not have stood by the gap: Heb. הַפֶּרֶק. The place through which the escapees emerge to escape, and in French they call it “trou.”  
And you should not have stood by me gap: From here [we learn] that one may not interrupt between one paragraph and another in reading the “Shma.” [Haggadah of Rabbi Akiva]  
15. For the day of the Lord over all the nations is close; as you have done shall be done to you; your recompense shall be returned upon your head.   טו. כִּי קָרוֹב יוֹם יְהֹוָה עַל כָּל הַגּוֹיִם כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתָ יֵעָשֶׂה לָּךְ גְּמֻלְךָ יָשׁוּב בְּרֹאשֶׁךָ:
16. For, as you drank on My Holy Mount, shall all the nations drink constantly, and they shall drink and be stunned, and they shall be as though they were not.   טז. כִּי כַּאֲשֶׁר שְׁתִיתֶם עַל הַר קָדְשִׁי יִשְׁתּוּ כָל הַגּוֹיִם תָּמִיד וְשָׁתוּ וְלָעוּ וְהָיוּ כְּלוֹא הָיוּ:
For, as you drank on My Holy Mount: Just as you rejoiced concerning the destruction of My Holy Mount. [from Jonathan]  
and be stunned: Heb. יְלָעוּ. As the Targum renders: וְיִסְתַּלְעֲמוּן, an expression of confusion, amazement, and benumbing the mind; etourdissant in French -stunning.  
17. And on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant, and it shall be holy, and the house of Jacob shall inherit those who inherited them.   יז. וּבְהַר צִיּוֹן תִּהְיֶה פְלֵיטָה וְהָיָה קֹדֶשׁ וְיָרְשׁוּ בֵּית יַעֲקֹב אֵת מוֹרָשֵׁיהֶם:
those who inherited them: The possessions of the people who inherited them. [from Targum Jonathan]  
18. And the house of Jacob shall be fire and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau shall become stubble, and they shall ignite them and consume them, and the house of Esau shall have no survivors, for the Lord has spoken.   יח. וְהָיָה בֵית יַעֲקֹב אֵשׁ וּבֵית יוֹסֵף לֶהָבָה וּבֵית עֵשָׂו לְקַשׁ וְדָלְקוּ בָהֶם וַאֲכָלוּם וְלֹא יִהְיֶה שָׂרִיד לְבֵית עֵשָׂו כִּי יְהֹוָה דִּבֵּר:
for the Lord has spoken: Now where did He speak? (Num. 24:19) “Out of Jacob shall come a ruler, and he shall destroy him that remains in the city.” [from Mechilta Bo 12:16, Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer ch.37]  
19. And [the inhabitants of] the southland shall inherit the mountain of Esau, and [the inhabitants of] the plain, the Philistines, and they shall inherit the field of Ephraim and the field of Samaria, and Benjamin [with the inhabitants of] Gilead.   יט. וְיָרְשׁוּ הַנֶּגֶב אֶת הַר עֵשָׂו וְהַשְּׁפֵלָה אֶת פְּלִשְׁתִּים וְיָרְשׁוּ אֶת שְׂדֵה אֶפְרַיִם וְאֵת שְׂדֵה שֹׁמְרוֹן וּבִנְיָמִן אֶת הַגִּלְעָד:
And [the inhabitants of] the southland shall inherit: Israel, who were dwelling in the south of Eretz Israel, shall inherit the mountain of Esau, which is at the southern boundary; and the people of the plain shall inherit the land of the Philistines and Mt. Ephraim and Mt. Shomeron.  
and Benjamin with [the inhabitants of] Gilead: And the children of Manasseh, whose territory was the land of Gilead, shall spread beyond the borders of Eretz Israel on the east.  
20. And this exiled host of the children of Israel who are [with] the Canaanites as far as Zarephath and the exile of Jerusalem which is in Sepharad shall inherit the cities of the southland.   כ. וְגָלֻת הַחֵל הַזֶּה לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר כְּנַעֲנִים עַד צָרְפַת וְגָלֻת יְרוּשָׁלִַם אֲשֶׁר בִּסְפָרַד יִרְשׁוּ אֵת עָרֵי הַנֶּגֶב:
And this exiled host: Heb. הַחֵל. Jonathan renders: This people. הַחֵל, An expression of a host. Cf. (Isa. 36:2) “And he came (sic) to Jerusalem with an army (חֵיל) of a great multitude,” which deals with Rabshakeh, only that this one is missing a “yud.” It is also possible to explain גָלֻת הַחֵל as “the exile of this valley.”  
who are [with] the Canaanites as far as Zarephath: The exile which is of the children of Israel who were exiled from the ten tribes to the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath  
and the exile of Jerusalem which is in Sepharad: who are of the people of Judah who were exiled to Sepharad - they shall inherit the cities of the southland, which are in the southern part of Eretz Israel. The exegetes claim that Zarephath is the kingdom called France in French.  
Sepharad: Jonathan renders: Spain.  
21. And saviors shall ascend Mt. Zion to judge the mountain of Esau, and the Lord shall have the kingdom.   כא. וְעָלוּ מוֹשִׁעִים בְּהַר צִיּוֹן לִשְׁפֹּט אֶת הַר עֵשָׂו וְהָיְתָה לַיהֹוָה הַמְּלוּכָה:
shall ascend: Princes of Israel as saviors on Mt. Zion.  
to judge the mountain of Esau: to exact retribution from the mountain of Esau for what they did to Israel.  
to judge: Heb. לִשְׁפֹּט. joustiser in O.F.  
the mountain of Esau: Jonathan renders: the great city of Esau.  
and the Lord shall have the kingdom: This teaches you that His kingdom will not be complete until He exacts retribution from Amalek.  
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