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Michah - Micah - Chapter 7

Michah - Micah - Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

1Woe is to me, for I am as the last of the figs, like the gleanings of the vintage; there is no cluster to eat; the first ripe fig my soul desires.   אאַ֣לְלַי לִ֗י כִּ֚י הָיִ֙יתִי֙ כְּאָסְפֵּי־קַ֔יִץ כְּעֹֽלְלֹ֖ת בָּצִ֑יר אֵֽין־אֶשְׁכּ֣וֹל לֶֽאֱכ֔וֹל בִּכּוּרָ֖ה אִוְּתָ֥ה נַפְשִֽׁי:
Woe is to me: The prophet laments over himself, “Woe is to me that I was appointed a prophet at this time, when there are no righteous people in the generation.”  
as the last of the figs: Heb. כְּאָסְפֵּי. This is vowelized with a “chataf kamatz” because it is not a verb in the present tense, like:, יוֹשֵב, sits, and אוֹמֵר, says; rather, it is a gerund, as in (Isa. 33:4): “The gathering of (אֹסֶף) the locusts”; like the gathering of קַיִץ. These are the last figs, which are inferior. And so did Jonathan render: as the late figs of the summer.  
as the gleanings of the vintage: As the gleanings after the vintage. [from Jonathan]  
there is no cluster to eat: As the Targum renders: There is no man who has good deeds.  
a first ripe fig my soul desires: A good fig, which ripens in its time, as the Targum renders: My soul desired the good ones.  
2The pious have perished from the land, and there is no upright among men; they all lurk for blood; each one hunts his brother with a net.   באָבַ֚ד חָסִיד֙ מִן־הָאָ֔רֶץ וְיָשָׁ֥ר בָּֽאָדָ֖ם אָ֑יִן כֻּלָּם֙ לְדָמִ֣ים יֶאֱרֹ֔בוּ אִ֥ישׁ אֶת־אָחִ֖יהוּ יָצ֥וּדוּ חֵֽרֶם:
and there is no upright among men: There is no upright man among men.  
each one hunts his brother with a net: They hunt with their net and with their trap.  
3[In return] for the evil of their hands, do they expect that He will benefit them? The prince asks, and the judge is in the payment, and the great man speaks what is in his heart-and they weave the web.   געַל־הָרַ֚ע כַּפַּ֙יִם֙ לְהֵיטִ֔יב הַשַּׂ֣ר שׁוֹאֵ֔ל וְהַשֹּׁפֵ֖ט בַּשִּׁלּ֑וּם וְהַגָּד֗וֹל דֹּבֵ֨ר הַוַּ֥ת נַפְשׁ֛וֹ ה֖וּא וַיְעַבְּתֽוּהָ:
[in return] for the evil of their hands, do they expect that He will benefit them?: Do you expect that He will benefit you as the reward for the evil of your hands?  
the prince asks: for a bribe.  
and the judge: who judges the case is also in the payment. When he is a robber and is liable according to law, he says to his fellow judge, “Do me a favor in this case, and I will vindicate you in another case.”  
and the great man speaks what is in his heart: The king or the prince states in the case what his heart desires.  
what is in his heart: Heb. הַוַּתנַפְשׁוֹ. He speaks what is (הוֹה) to his will and to his desire. Cf.(Jer. 15:1) “I have no desire for this people.” And so did Jonathan render: The desires of his heart.  
and they weave the web: They made it into a rope of sin amongst the three of them. As the cart ropes, so is the sin, for a rope is braided of three strands. So have I found in the Jerusalem Talmud (Taanith 2:1): We made it like a web of sins.  
4The best of them is like a brier, the most upright, [worse] than a thorn hedge. The day to which you look forward-your visitation-shall come; now will be their perplexity.   דטוֹבָ֣ם כְּחֵ֔דֶק יָשָׁ֖ר מִמְּסוּכָ֑ה י֚וֹם מְצַפֶּ֙יךָ֙ פְּקֻדָּֽתְךָ֣ בָ֔אָה עַתָּ֥ה תִֽהְיֶ֖ה מְבֽוּכָתָֽם:
The best of them is like a brier: The best among them - it is as hard to extricate oneself from his hand as from a brier (Targum Jonathan). It is as hard to extricate oneself from their hand as [it is to extricate] the briers that are entangled in wool.  
the most upright, [worse] than a thorn hedge: The most upright among them is worse than a thorn hedge.  
than a thorn hedge: Heb. מִמְּסוּכָה. Cf. (Isa. 5:5) “Remove its hedge (מְשׂוּכָּתוֹ).”  
the day to which you look forward: On the day to which you look forward for good, your visitation shall come.  
their perplexity: Heb. מְבוּכָתָם. [Jonathan renders:] עֲרָבוּלָהוֹן. Cf. (Ex. 14:3) “They are entangled (נְבֻכִים).” Their confusion.  
5Believe not a friend; trust not a prince; from her who lies in your bosom guard the openings of your mouth.   האַל־תַּֽאֲמִ֣ינוּ בְרֵ֔עַ אַֽל־תִּבְטְח֖וּ בְּאַלּ֑וּף מִשֹּׁכֶ֣בֶת חֵיקֶ֔ךָ שְׁמֹ֖ר פִּתְחֵי־פִֽיךָ:
Believe not a friend: [This is to be understood] according to its apparent meaning. But our Sages explained it as referring to the Most High. Do not sin and say that the Holy One, blessed be He, is our Friend, and He will forgive us. [from Hagiga 16a]  
from her who lies in your bosom: Your soul will testify against you.  
the openings of your mouth: Heb. פִּתְחֵי. The words of your mouth, the openings of your mouth.  
6For a son disgraces his father; a daughter rises up against her mother; a daughter-in-law, against her mother- in-law; a man's enemies are the members of his household.   וכִּי־בֵן֙ מְנַבֵּ֣ל אָ֔ב בַּת קָמָ֣ה בְאִמָּ֔הּ כַּלָּ֖ה בַּֽחֲמֹתָ֑הּ אֹֽיְבֵ֥י אִ֖ישׁ אַנְשֵׁ֥י בֵיתֽוֹ:
7But I will hope in the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God shall hearken to me.   זוַֽאֲנִי֙ בַּֽיהֹוָ֣ה אֲצַפֶּ֔ה אוֹחִ֖ילָה לֵֽאלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׁעִ֑י יִשְׁמָעֵ֖נִי אֱלֹהָֽי:
But I will hope in the Lord: The prophet is saying so.  
8Rejoice not against me, my enemy; although I have fallen, I will rise; although I will sit in darkness, the Lord is a light to me.   חאַֽל־תִּשְׂמְחִ֚י אֹיַ֙בְתִּי֙ לִ֔י כִּ֥י נָפַ֖לְתִּי קָ֑מְתִּי כִּֽי־אֵשֵׁ֣ב בַּחֹ֔שֶׁךְ יְהֹוָ֖ה א֥וֹר לִֽי:
Rejoice not… my enemy: Babylon and the wicked city of Rome.  
9I will bear the fury of the Lord-for I have sinned against Him-until He pleads my cause and executes justice for me. He shall take me out into the light; I will see His righteousness.   טזַ֚עַף יְהֹוָה֙ אֶשָּׂ֔א כִּ֥י חָטָ֖אתִי ל֑וֹ עַד֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יָרִ֚יב רִיבִי֙ וְעָשָׂ֣ה מִשְׁפָּטִ֔י יֽוֹצִיאֵ֣נִי לָא֔וֹר אֶרְאֶ֖ה בְּצִדְקָתֽוֹ:
10And my enemy shall see, and shame shall cover her who says to me, "Where is the Lord your God?" My eyes shall gaze upon her: now she shall become trodden as the mire of the streets.   יוְתֵרֶ֚א אֹיַ֙בְתִּי֙ וּתְכַסֶּ֣הָ בוּשָׁ֔ה הָאֹֽמְרָ֣ה אֵלַ֔י אַיּ֖וֹ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֑יִךְ עֵינַי֙ תִּרְאֶ֣ינָּה בָּ֔הּ עַתָּ֛ה תִּֽהְיֶ֥ה לְמִרְמָ֖ס כְּטִ֥יט חוּצֽוֹת:
11"The day to build your walls-that day-its time is way off."   יאי֖וֹם לִבְנ֣וֹת גְּדֵרָ֑יִךְ י֥וֹם הַה֖וּא יִרְחַק־חֹֽק:
“The day to build your walls”: This refers back to “who says to me” : And she further says to me, “The day to build your walls, which you anticipate - that day…”  
“its time is way off”: Heb. יִרְחַק-חֹק. Its time will be extended, and it will never come.  
12It is a day, and he shall come up to you: those from Assyria and the fortified cities, and from the fortress up to the river and the sea from the west, and the dwellers of the mountain.   יבי֥וֹם הוּא֙ וְעָדֶ֣יךָ יָב֔וֹא לְמִנִּ֥י אַשּׁ֖וּר וְעָרֵ֣י מָצ֑וֹר וּלְמִנִּ֚י מָצוֹר֙ וְעַד־נָהָ֔ר וְיָ֥ם מִיָּ֖ם וְהַ֥ר הָהָֽר:
It is a day, and he shall come up to you: The prophet says: That day that you deride, saying that it has been nullified and gone away - that day is guarded and preserved, and has not become nullified. The enemy shall come up to you to destroy you.  
from Assyria: which is the first of those who harmed us.  
and the fortified cities: I.e., and until the fortified cities. And Jonathan renders (as follows): the great dark mountains.  
and the sea from the west: And those dwelling near the Mediterranean Sea, which is in the west.  
and the dwellers of the mountain: Heb. וְהַר הָהָר, like יושְׁב ֵי הָהָר. But Jonathan did not translate in that manner.  
[11] The day to build your walls: The prophet informs Israel that there is a day preserved and prepared [for them] to build the walls of their ruins.  
on that day the decree shall distance itself: And the statute of the decrees of the nations shall be nullified from upon you.  
[12] It is a day, and shall come up to you: At that time, the exiles of Israel shall be gathered in from Assyria.  
13And the land shall become desolate [together] with its inhabitants because of the fruit of their deeds.   יגוְהָֽיְתָ֥ה הָאָ֛רֶץ לִשְׁמָמָ֖ה עַל־יֹֽשְׁבֶ֑יהָ מִפְּרִ֖י מַֽעַלְלֵיהֶֽם:
And the land shall become: The land of the nations.  
14Lead Your people with Your rod-the flock of Your inheritance who dwell alone, a forest in the midst of a fruitful field-and they shall graze in Bashan and Gilead as in days of yore.   ידרְעֵ֧ה עַמְּךָ֣ בְשִׁבְטֶ֗ךָ צֹאן נַֽחֲלָתֶ֔ךָ שֹֽׁכְנִ֣י לְבָדָ֔ד יַ֖עַר בְּת֣וֹךְ כַּרְמֶ֑ל יִרְע֥וּ בָשָׁ֛ן וְגִלְעָ֖ד כִּימֵ֥י עוֹלָֽם:
who dwell alone: That they should dwell alone, in security.  
a forest in the midst of a fruitful field: Jonathan renders: Those who were desolate in a forest shall settle in the “karmel” ; those who were desolate in the forests shall dwell alone in the midst of the “karmel,” which is a settled place. It is also possible to explain:  
who dwell alone: In the forests will not fear the wild beasts as [they would not] in the midst of a fruitful field.  
15As in the days of your exodus from the land of Egypt, I will show him wonders.   טוכִּימֵ֥י צֵֽאתְךָ֖ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם אַרְאֶ֖נּוּ נִפְלָאֽוֹת:
16Nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might-they shall place a hand upon their mouth; their ears shall become deaf.   טזיִרְא֚וּ גוֹיִם֙ וְיֵבֹ֔שׁוּ מִכֹּ֖ל גְּבֽוּרָתָ֑ם יָשִׂ֚ימוּ יָד֙ עַל־פֶּ֔ה אָזְנֵיהֶ֖ם תֶּֽחֱרַֽשְׁנָה:
17They shall lick the dust as a snake, as those who crawl on the earth. They shall quake from their imprisonment; they shall fear the Lord, our God, and they shall fear you.   יזיְלַֽחֲכ֚וּ עָפָר֙ כַּנָּחָ֔שׁ כְּזֹֽחֲלֵ֣י אֶ֔רֶץ יִרְגְּז֖וּ מִמִּסְגְּרֹֽתֵיהֶ֑ם אֶל־יְהֹוָ֚ה אֱלֹהֵ֙ינוּ֙ יִפְחָ֔דוּ וְיִֽרְא֖וּ מִמֶּֽךָּ:
as those who crawl on the earth: They are snakes, which crawl on their bellies on the dust of the earth.  
They shall quake from their imprisonment: They shall quake because of the extreme narrowness of their imprisonment and the confinement of their captivity.  
18Who is a God like You, Who forgives iniquity and passes over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not maintain His anger forever, for He desires loving-kindness.   יחמִי־אֵ֣ל כָּמ֗וֹךָ נֹשֵׂ֚א עָו‍ֹן֙ וְעֹבֵ֣ר עַל־פֶּ֔שַׁע לִשְׁאֵרִ֖ית נַֽחֲלָת֑וֹ לֹֽא־הֶֽחֱזִ֚יק לָעַד֙ אַפּ֔וֹ כִּֽי־חָפֵ֥ץ חֶ֖סֶד הֽוּא:
19He shall return and grant us compassion; He shall hide our iniquities, and You shall cast into the depths of the sea all their sins.   יטיָשׁ֣וּב יְרַֽחֲמֵ֔נוּ יִכְבֹּ֖שׁ עֲו‍ֹֽנֹתֵ֑ינוּ וְתַשְׁלִ֛יךְ בִּמְצֻל֥וֹת יָ֖ם כָּל־חַטֹּאתָֽם:
20You shall give the truth of Jacob, the loving-kindness of Abraham, which You swore to our forefathers from days of yore.   כתִּתֵּ֚ן אֱמֶת֙ לְיַֽעֲקֹ֔ב חֶ֖סֶד לְאַבְרָהָ֑ם אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֥עְתָּ לַֽאֲבֹתֵ֖ינוּ מִ֥ימֵי קֶֽדֶם:
You shall give the truth of Jacob: Jonathan paraphrases: You shall give the truth of Jacob to his sons, as You swore to him in Bethel; the loving-kindness of Abraham to his seed after him, as you swore to him ‘between the parts.’ You shall remember for us the binding of Isaac, etc. Give us the truth that You promised Jacob. Cause to come true Your word that You promised Jacob (Gen. 28:15): “For I will not forsake you.”  
the loving-kindness of Abraham: The reward for the loving-kindness of Abraham, [out of] which he commanded his sons to keep the way of the Lord: to perform righteousness and justice. Therefore, it does not say, “And the loving-kindness,” but “the loving- kindness.” The truth - that you will make come true the promise to Jacob - that will be the payment of the reward for Abraham’s loving-kindness.  
which you swore: at the binding of Isaac, (Gen 22:16) “I swore by Myself, says the Lord, that because you did this thing, etc.”  
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