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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Zechariah - Chapter 9

Zechariah - Chapter 9

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 9

1. The prophecy of the word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach. And Damascus is His resting place, for man's eye shall be to the Lord and all the tribes of Israel.   א. מַשָּׂא דְבַר יְהֹוָה בְּאֶרֶץ חַדְרָךְ וְדַמֶּשֶׂק מְנֻחָתוֹ כִּי לַיהֹוָה עֵין אָדָם וְכֹל שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
In the land of Hadrach: R’ Judah the son of Ilai expounded: This is the Messiah, who is sharp against the nations and soft to Israel. R’ Yose the son of a Damascene mother said to him [to Judah the son of Ilai]: “Judah, our master, how long will you pervert the verses for us? I call heaven and earth to testify for me, that I am from Damascus, and there is a place named Hadrach. [Rabbi Yose continued:] Now how do I explain: 'And Damascus is His resting place?’” That Jerusalem is destined to reach as far as Damascus. ‘His resting place’ means only Jerusalem, as it is said: (Psalms 132:14) “ This is My resting place to eternity.” He said to him [i.e. R’ Judah to R’ Yose]: “Now how do I explain (Jer. 30:18) 'And the city shall be built on its mound?’” He replied: “That it is not destined to move from its place.” So was the baraitha taught in Sifre (Deut. 1:1).  
for man’s eye shall be to the Lord: For on that day man will turn to his Maker, and his eyes will see the Holy One, blessed be He, as [the prophet] states above: Let us go with you. And they and their cities will join the cities of Israel.  
and all the tribes of Israel: They are regarded by God above all the nations. Similarly, Scripture states (I Kings 11:1): “King Solomon loved many foreign women and the daughter of Pharaoh.” Now, was the daughter of Pharaoh not included in the generalization? But the daughter of Pharaoh was as dear to him as all of them. Here, too, all the nations shall belong to the Holy One, blessed be He, and Israel is equal to all of them.  
2. And also Hamath shall border thereon; [also] Tyre and Sidon, for it has become exceedingly wise.   ב. וְגַם חֲמָת תִּגְבָּל בָּהּ צֹר וְצִידוֹן כִּי חָכְמָה מְאֹד:
And also Hamath shall border thereon: Its border shall reach the border of Jerusalem  
Tyre and Sidon: They, too, shall be its [Jerusalem’s] villages, although it has become exceedingly wise. She [Tyre] became exceedingly wise and thought to be forever a mistress with her wisdom.  
3. And Tyre built a fortification for herself, and she gathered silver like dust and gold like the mire of the streets.   ג. וַתִּבֶן צוֹר מָצוֹר לָהּ וַתִּצְבָּר כֶּסֶף כֶּעָפָר וְחָרוּץ כְּטִיט חוּצוֹת:
And Tyre built a fortification for herself: and [Tyre] says, “Who will bring me down to earth?”  
and she gathered silver like dust: and boasts of her wealth.  
and gold: a certain appearance of gold.  
4. Behold, the Lord shall impoverish her, and He shall smite her wealth in the sea, and she shall be consumed by fire.   ד. הִנֵּה אֲדֹנָי יוֹרִשֶׁנָּה וְהִכָּה בַיָּם חֵילָהּ וְהִיא בָּאֵשׁ תֵּאָכֵל:
Behold, the Lord: Who is the ruler over all.  
shall impoverish her: an expression similar to (I Sam. 2:7) “impoverishes and makes rich.”  
He shall smite her wealth in the sea: And shall cause her wealth to be swallowed in the midst of the seas. He shall cause the sea to rise over it and sink it, as Ezekiel said (27).  
5. Ashkelon shall see and fear, and Gaza-and she shall quake violently-and Ekron, for the one to whom she looked was ashamed. And a king was lost from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.   ה. תֵּרֶא אַשְׁקְלוֹן וְתִירָא וְעַזָּה וְתָחִיל מְאֹד וְעֶקְרוֹן כִּי הוֹבִישׁ מֶבָּטָהּ וְאָבַד מֶלֶךְ מֵעַזָּה וְאַשְׁקְלוֹן לֹא תֵשֵׁב:
Ashkelon shall see: the downfall of Tyre and fear.  
and Ekron: too, shall fear.  
for the one to whom she looked was ashamed: For [Ashkelon] relied on Tyre, which was the head of the sons of Esau, and Ekron, too, belonged to Edom, as our Sages said in tractate Megillah (6a): “Ekron shall be uprooted (Zeph. 2:4).” This is Caesarea, which belongs to Edom, and it originally belonged to the Philistines.  
6. And the strangers shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.   ו. וְיָשַׁב מַמְזֵר בְּאַשְׁדּוֹד וְהִכְרַתִּי גְּאוֹן פְּלִשְׁתִּים:
And the strangers shall dwell in Ashdod: And a strange people shall dwell in Ashdod. Those are the Israelites, who were strange in it.  
7. And I will remove his blood from his mouth, and his detestable things from between his teeth. And it, too, shall remain to our God: and it shall be like a studyhall in Judah; and Ekron, like Jebusi.   ז. וַהֲסִרֹתִי דָמָיו מִפִּיו וְשִׁקֻּצָיו מִבֵּין שִׁנָּיו וְנִשְׁאַר גַּם הוּא לֵאלֹהֵינוּ וְהָיָה כְּאַלֻּף בִּיהוּדָה וְעֶקְרוֹן כִּיבוּסִי:
And I will remove his blood from his mouth: From the mouth of Esau. This is their house of Bamia [one of Edom’s principal deities (Rashi to Megillah 6a)], where they would sprinkle the blood of their sacrifices. Others interpret this to mean the bloodshed, that the [Edomites] would shed the blood of Israel.  
and it, too, shall remain to our God: These are the synagogues and the studyhalls in our exile.  
and it shall be like a study hall in Judah: These are their theaters and circuses, where the princes of Judah are destined to teach Torah in public.  
and it shall be like a study hall: an expression of study and learning.  
and Ekron: shall be to Israel.  
like Jebusi: Jerusalem.  
8. And I will encamp beside My house against a garrison of those passing by and of those returning. And no oppressor shall pass by them, for now I have seen with My eyes.   ח. וְחָנִיתִי לְבֵיתִי מִצָּבָה מֵעֹבֵר וּמִשָּׁב וְלֹא יַעֲבֹר עֲלֵיהֶם עוֹד נֹגֵש כִּי עַתָּה רָאִיתִי בְּעֵינָי:
And I will encamp beside My house against a garrison: I will encamp beside My house to protect it from those who set up a garrison and raiders, that they should not set these up against it. A similar word is used in (Isa. 29:7) “and all those stationed around her, and those who trap her.” It is also possible to interpret מִצָבָה as מִצָבָא, with an ‘alef’ [meaning against a host].  
for now I have seen with My eyes: Now I have seen their distress with My eyes, although until now I have hidden My countenance from them.  
9. Be exceedingly happy, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold! Your king shall come to you. He is just and victorious; humble, and riding a donkey and a foal, the offspring of [one of] she-donkeys.   ט. גִּילִי מְאֹד בַּת צִיּוֹן הָרִיעִי בַּת יְרוּשָׁלִַם הִנֵּה מַלְכֵּךְ יָבוֹא לָךְ צַדִּיק וְנוֹשָׁע הוּא עָנִי וְרֹכֵב עַל חֲמוֹר וְעַל עַיִר בֶּן אֲתֹנוֹת:
Behold! Your king shall come to you: It is impossible to interpret this except as referring to the King Messiah, as it is stated: “and his rule shall be from sea to sea.” We do not find that Israel had such a ruler during the days of the Second Temple.  
just and victorious: saved by the Lord.  
and riding a donkey: This is a symbol of humility.  
and a foal of she-donkeys: as in (Gen. 32:16)"and ten foals.  
10. And I will cut off the chariots from Ephraim, and the horses from Jerusalem; and the bow of war shall be cut off. And he shall speak peace to the nations, and his rule shall be from the sea to the west and from the river to the ends of the earth.   י. וְהִכְרַתִּי רֶכֶב מֵאֶפְרַיִם וְסוּס מִירוּשָׁלִַם וְנִכְרְתָה קֶשֶׁת מִלְחָמָה וְדִבֶּר שָׁלוֹם לַגּוֹיִם וּמָשְׁלוֹ מִיָּם עַד יָם וּמִנָּהָר עַד אַפְסֵי אָרֶץ:
And I will cut off the chariots: for they will not need them.  
and his rule: וּמָשְׁלוֹ  
from the sea to the west: From its sea to the west, to the end of the world.  
and from the river: The Euphrates.  
11. You, too-with the blood of your covenant I have freed your prisoners from a pit in which there was no water.   יא. גַּם אַתְּ בְּדַם בְּרִיתֵךְ שִׁלַּחְתִּי אֲסִירַיִךְ מִבּוֹר אֵין מַיִם בּוֹ:
You, too: shall be saved with him, as he is just and victorious. For with the blood of your covenant, I prophesied for you for the future; and for now, too, from the Babylonian exile in which you are now found.  
with the blood of your covenant: With the merit of the blood of the covenant that was sprinkled upon you at Sinai, as it is written (Exod. 24:8): “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made.”  
I have freed your prisoners: from the exile.  
12. Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Also today, I will restore to you a double promise.   יב. שׁוּבוּ לְבִצָּרוֹן אֲסִירֵי הַתִּקְוָה גַּם הַיּוֹם מַגִּיד מִשְׁנֶה אָשִׁיב לָךְ:
Return to the stronghold: To your strength and to your glory, even though you are now under the rule of the kings of Persia.  
you prisoners of hope: who hoped for Me until now that My words [would] be fulfilled at the end of seventy years.  
Also today, I will restore to you a double promise: Today I will yet tell you second tidings, besides those of the building. And what is the second narrative that I am returning to repeat to you?  
13. For I bend Judah for Me like a bow; I filled [the hand of] Ephraim, and I will arouse your children, O Zion, upon your children, O Javan; and I will make you as the sword of a mighty man.   יג. כִּי דָרַכְתִּי לִי יְהוּדָה קֶשֶׁת מִלֵּאתִי אֶפְרַיִם וְעוֹרַרְתִּי בָנַיִךְ צִיּוֹן עַל בָּנַיִךְ יָוָן וְשַׂמְתִּיךְ כְּחֶרֶב גִּבּוֹר:
For I bend Judah for Me: Eventually, the Greeks will wrest the kingdom from the Persian kings and inflict harm upon you, and I will bend Judah to be a war bow for me; and Judah will wage war against the Greeks in the days of the Hasmoneans.  
a bow; I filled [the hand of] Ephraim: This is an elliptical verse: Like a bow, I filled the hand of Ephraim; as (II Kings 9:24), “And Jehu put all his strength into his bow.” Ephraim shall be as a quiver full of arrows to Me.  
and I will arouse your children, O Zion: The children of Zion on the children of Javan.  
14. And the Lord shall appear over them, and his arrows shall go forth like lightning. And the Lord God shall sound the shofar, and He shall go with the whirlwinds of the south.   יד. וַיהֹוָה עֲלֵיהֶם יֵרָאֶה וְיָצָא כַבָּרָק חִצּוֹ וַאדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה בַּשּׁוֹפָר יִתְקָע וְהָלַךְ בְּסַעֲרוֹת תֵּימָן:
And the Lord shall appear over them: In the book of Josippon (chap. 18), we find that at that time a sign appeared to the people of Jerusalem.  
shall sound the shofar: He shall thunder.  
and He shall go with the whirlwinds of the south: To storm the people of the south; they are the Greeks. And some of our Sages interpreted [the phrase] as referring to Edom in the future.  
15. The Lord of Hosts shall protect them, and they shall devour. And they shall tread the sling-stones, and they shall drink. They shall make a noise like [those who drink] wine, and they shall become full like the basin, like the corners of the altar.   טו. יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת יָגֵן עֲלֵיהֶם וְאָכְלוּ וְכָבְשׁוּ אַבְנֵי קֶלַע וְשָׁתוּ הָמוּ כְּמוֹ יָיִן וּמָלְאוּ כַּמִּזְרָק כְּזָוִיּוֹת מִזְבֵּחַ:
and they shall devour: the spoils of their enemies.  
and they shall tread: under them.  
sling-stones: They are the Greeks, who are trained to use the bow and to sling stones.  
They shall make a noise like [those who drink] wine: They shall make noise with a voice of joy and happiness, as those who have drunk much wine make noise.  
and they shall become full: Their souls shall become full of all good.  
like the basin: that is full of blood. before the altar.  
like the corners of the altar: where wine is libated. The wine would flow upon it, as we learned in tractate Sukkah (49b). This is an expression of satiety, an expression of drunkenness.  
16. And the Lord their God shall save them on that day like the flocks of His people, for crown stones are exalted on His land.   טז. וְהוֹשִׁיעָם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כְּצֹאן עַמּוֹ כִּי אַבְנֵי נֵזֶר מִתְנוֹסְסוֹת עַל אַדְמָתוֹ:
like the flocks of His people: Like the flocks that He caused to travel from Egypt to become His people.  
for crown stones are exalted on His land: For the priests, the sons of the Hasmoneans, who boast of the crown stones in the rows of the breast-plate and the ephod, will be exalted with miracles on their land.  
17. For how [great] is their goodness and how [great] is their beauty! Corn [will give strength to] young men, and new wine will cause maids to speak.   יז. כִּי מַה טּוּבוֹ וּמַה יָפְיוֹ דָּגָן בַּחוּרִים וְתִירוֹשׁ יְנוֹבֵב בְּתֻלוֹת:
For how: How great is the goodness laid out for that generation.  
Corn… young men: Whch gives strength to young men.  
and new wine: Which causes maids to speak in song and joy. Others interpret יְנוֹבֵב [as that] which will be fruitful and grow in virgin soil, which is superior wine.  
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