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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Divrei Hayamim II - II Chronicles - Chapter 19

Divrei Hayamim II - II Chronicles - Chapter 19

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Chapter 19

1And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned home in peace to Jerusalem.   אוַיָּשָׁב יְהוֹשָׁפָט מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה אֶל בֵּיתוֹ בְּשָׁלוֹם לִירוּשָׁלִָם:
2And Jehu the son of Hanani, the seer, came out before him, and said to King Jehoshaphat, "[Did you go] to aid the wicked, and do you love those who hate the Lord? Now because of this there is wrath upon you from before the Lord.   בוַיֵּצֵא אֶל פָּנָיו יֵהוּא בֶן חֲנָנִי הַחֹזֶה וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ יְהוֹשָׁפָט הֲלָרָשָׁע לַעְזֹר וּלְשׂנְאֵי יְהֹוָה תֶּאֱהָב וּבָזֹאת עָלֶיךָ קֶּצֶף מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה:
3Nevertheless there are good things found in you, for you have abolished the asheroth from the land, and you set your heart to seek God."   גאֲבָל דְּבָרִים טוֹבִים נִמְצְאוּ עִמָּךְ כִּי בִעַרְתָּ הָאֲשֵׁרוֹת מִן הָאָרֶץ וַהֲכִינוֹתָ לְבָבְךָ לִדְרֹשׁ הָאֱלֹהִים:
for you have abolished the asheroth: as above (17:6), “and he removed the high places [and the asherim], etc.”  
to seek God: as above (17:4): “but he inquired of the God of his father, etc.”  
4And Jehoshaphat dwelt in Jerusalem, and he returned and went forth among the people from Beersheba to Mount Ephraim, and he brought them back to the Lord, the God of their forefathers.   דוַיֵּשֶׁב יְהוֹשָׁפָט בִּירוּשָׁלִָם וַיָּשָׁב וַיֵּצֵא בָעָם מִבְּאֵר שֶׁבַע עַד הַר אֶפְרַיִם וַיְשִׁיבֵם אֶל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם:
5And he appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, for every city.   הוַיַּעֲמֵד שֹׁפְטִים בָּאָרֶץ בְּכָל עָרֵי יְהוּדָה הַבְּצֻרוֹת לְעִיר וָעִיר:
And he appointed judges: When the seer told him, “good things were found in you, for you abolished the asheroth,” he approached the Sepher Torah [to see] whether he had abolished them properly. He first saw that it was written (Deut. 12:2f.): “You shall utterly destroy… and you shall burn their asherim with fire and cut down the images of their gods,” and he remembered that it is written in תִשָׂא כִּי (Exod. 34:13): “And you shall break down their monuments, etc.” He wondered why he had pleased the Lord by abolishing the asherim, the Jewish asherim, for [the Torah] only warned about their asherim. He went back to [the Torah portion] (Deut. 16: 18): “Judges and law enforcing agents,” and found written (verse 21): “You shall not plant an asherah.” Then he rejoiced that he had abolished them. He also saw written there: “Judges and law enforcing agents you shall appoint for yourself,” and immediately “he appointed judges,” strong ones.  
in all the fortified cities of Judah, for every city: He first appointed strong [judges] in all the fortified cities of Judah to coerce them [the people] and compel them to [accept] judgment. He later appointed judges who were not as strong for the cities that were not fortified, for they [the inhabitants] were more afraid to rebel than those who dwelt in the fortified cities, for they felt secure in their fortified cities.  
6And he said to the judges, "See what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord, and [He] is with you in the matter of the judgment.   ווַיֹּאמֶר אֶל הַשֹּׁפְטִים רְאוּ מָה אַתֶּם עֹשִׂים כִּי לֹא לְאָדָם תִּשְׁפְּטוּ כִּי לַיהֹוָה וְעִמָּכֶם בִּדְבַר מִשְׁפָּט:
for you do not judge for man: The meaning is: Do not think in your heart: What difference does it make if we pervert the law to declare our friends innocent and pervert the rights of the poor and favor the rich? Is it not so that the judgment is not for the Lord? Therefore, it says, “for the Lord.” It is for Him. If you convict the innocent, it is as though you take from your Creator’s property and pervert the law of Heaven, by bestowing a distorted verdict. Therefore, “see what you are doing,” and may your heart be in every judgment, as if the Holy One, blessed be He, is standing before you in judgment, and this is the meaning of: “and [He] is with you in the matter of the judgment.” In Sanhedrin (6b) it is stated “What are you doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord.” This is explained [as follows]: Perhaps the judge will say, “How does this problem concern me?” Therefore, Scripture states: “and it is with you concerning the matter of the judgment,” i.e., it is incumbent upon you to rule justly. And the judge must deal only with that which he sees with his own eyes.  
7And now, may the fear of the Lord be upon you; observe and do, for with the Lord your God there is neither injustice, favoritism, nor bribe-taking."   זוְעַתָּה יְהִי פַחַד יְהֹוָה עֲלֵיכֶם שִׁמְרוּ וַעֲשׂוּ כִּי אֵין עִם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ עַוְלָה וּמַשָּׂא פָנִים וּמִקַּח שֹׁחַד:
for with the Lord your God there is neither injustice, favoritism, nor bribe-taking: and He is with you in judgment; therefore, He does not wish you to commit injustice in judgment.  
8And also in Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat set up judges of the Levites and the priests and of the chiefs of the fathers' [houses] of Israel, for the judgment of the Lord and for quarrels, and they returned to Jerusalem.   חוְגַם בִּירוּשָׁלִַם הֶעֱמִיד יְהוֹשָׁפָט מִן הַלְוִיִּם וְהַכֹּהֲנִים וּמֵרָאשֵׁי הָאָבוֹת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְמִשְׁפַּט יְהֹוָה וְלָרִיב וַיָּשֻׁבוּ יְרוּשָׁלִָם:
And also in Jerusalem… set up judges: even though he himself was in Jerusalem.  
for the judgment of the Lord and for quarrels: It is appropriate to use the term “judgment” (לְמִשְׁפַּט) concerning money matters, an example being (Num. 27:11) “and it shall be for the Children of Israel as a legal norm (לְחֻקַּת מִשְׁפָּט).” “And for quarrels” (וְלָרִיב) refers to capital cases and bodily injuries, an example being (Exod. 21:18) “And if men quarrel, etc.” (יְרִיבוּן).  
9And he commanded them, saying, "So shall you do in fear of the Lord, in faith, and with a perfect heart.   טוַיְצַו עֲלֵיהֶם לֵאמֹר כֹּה תַעֲשׂוּן בְּיִרְאַת יְהֹוָה בֶּאֱמוּנָה וּבְלֵבָב שָׁלֵם:
So shall you do: Because of alacrity, caution, and encouragement, he added a “nun,” like (Gen. 32:5): “So shall you say (תאמְרוּן) ,” and like (Ruth 2:8f.): “and here you shall stay (תִדְבָּקִין) with my maidens. Your eyes shall be on the field that they reap (יִקְצרוּן) ,” and like (ibid. 3:18): “until you know (תֵּדְעִין) how the matter will be resolved, for the man will not rest, etc.”  
10And whenever any quarrel comes to you from your brethren who dwell in their cities, between blood[shed] and blood[shed], between instruction of the commandments, the statutes, and the ordinances, you shall admonish them, so that they should not be guilty before the Lord, and there be wrath upon you and upon your brethren; so shall you do, and you will not be guilty.   יוְכָל רִיב אֲשֶׁר יָבוֹא עֲלֵיכֶם מֵאֲחֵיכֶם| הַיֹּשְׁבִים בְּעָרֵיהֶם בֵּין דָּם| לְדָם בֵּין תּוֹרָה לְמִצְוָה לְחֻקִּים וּלְמִשְׁפָּטִים וְהִזְהַרְתֶּם אֹתָם וְלֹא יֶאְשְׁמוּ לַיהֹוָה וְהָיָה קֶצֶף עֲלֵיכֶם וְעַל אֲחֵיכֶם כֹּה תַעֲשׂוּן וְלֹא תֶאְשָׁמוּ:
between blood[shed] and blood[shed]: between the bloodshed of an unintentional murder and an intentional one.  
you shall admonish them: your brethren.  
and there be wrath upon you and upon your brethren: Therefore  
so shall you do: You shall admonish your brethren.  
and you will not be guilty: In any case, you [will not be guilty], for if you accept the admonition, there will be no wrath upon you, and there will also be no guilt upon you in anything since you performed the duty which was incumbent upon you to perform.  
11And behold, Amariah the head priest is over you for every matter of the Lord, and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael is the leader of the house of Judah for every matter of the king, and the Levite law-enforcers are before you; be strong and do, and may the Lord be with the good."   יאוְהִנֵּה אֲמַרְיָהוּ כֹהֵן הָרֹאשׁ עֲלֵיכֶם לְכֹל דְּבַר יְהֹוָה וּזְבַדְיָהוּ בֶן יִשְׁמָעֵאל הַנָּגִיד לְבֵית יְהוּדָה לְכֹל דְּבַר הַמֶּלֶךְ וְשֹׁטְרִים הַלְוִיִּם לִפְנֵיכֶם חִזְקוּ וַעֲשׂוּ וִיהִי יְהֹוָה עִם הַטּוֹב:
and may the Lord be with the good: with the one who performs that which is good and upright.  
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