Chapter 3

1For, behold, the Master, the Lord of Hosts removes from Jerusalem and from Judah a support and a stay, every support of bread and every support of water;   אכִּי֩ הִנֵּ֨ה הָֽאָד֜וֹן יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֗וֹת מֵסִ֚יר מִירֽוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ וּמִ֣יהוּדָ֔ה מַשְׁעֵ֖ן וּמַשְׁעֵנָ֑ה כֹּל מִשְׁעַן־לֶ֔חֶם וְכֹ֖ל מִשְׁעַ֖ן־מָֽיִם:
removes from Jerusalem…: This entire section is explained in Tractate Chagigah (14a): Isaiah cursed Israel [i.e., prophesied tribulations for them] with eighteen curses, yet he was not satisfied until he said, (verse 5) “The youth shall behave haughtily against the old, and the base against the honorable.”  
2Hero and warrior; judge and prophet and soothsayer and elder;   בגִּבּ֖וֹר וְאִ֣ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֑ה שׁוֹפֵ֥ט וְנָבִ֖יא וְקֹסֵ֥ם וְזָקֵֽן:
soothsayer: This denotes the king, as it is stated: (Prov. 16:10) “[Like] soothsaying on the lips of a king.”  
3Captain of fifty and man of esteem, and counsellor and skillful craftsman, and one who understands secrets.   גשַׂר־חֲמִשִּׁ֖ים וּנְשׂ֣וּא פָנִ֑ים וְיוֹעֵ֛ץ וַֽחֲכַ֥ם חֲרָשִׁ֖ים וּנְב֥וֹן לָֽחַשׁ:
counsellor: One who knows how to intercolate the years and fix the months.  
skillful craftsman: [explained by the Talmud as “wise of the deaf,” meaning that] when he commences [to speak of] words of Torah, all become as deaf [i. e., unable to refute his statement].  
one who understands secrets: [The Talmud separates this into two, explaining “understanding” as one capable of deducing a decision from an earlier premise. “Secret” is explained as] one fit to be entrusted with secrets of the Torah, given in whispers, such as the story of Creation and the account of the Celestial Chariot, related in Ezekiel 1.  
4And I will appoint youths as their princes, and scorners shall rule over them.   דוְנָתַתִּ֥י נְעָרִ֖ים שָֽׂרֵיהֶ֑ם וְתַֽעֲלוּלִ֖ים יִמְשְׁלוּ־בָֽם:
And I will appoint youths as their princes: These are people devoid of any observance of the commandments.  
and scorners will rule over them: Heb. וְתַעֲלוּלִים [related to the Aramaic תַּעֲלֵי] foxes, [i.e.,] weak people. But I say that according to the simple meaning, תַּעֲלוּלִים means scornful people, people who mock them, as (Job 16:15): “I soiled (וְעוֹלַלְתִּי) my radiance in the dust,” and (Exod. 10: 2): “how I mocked (הִתְעַלַּלְתִּי) the Egyptians.”  
5And the people shall be oppressed, man against man, and man against his fellow; they shall behave haughtily, the youth against the elder and the base against the honorable.   הוְנִגַּ֣שׂ הָעָ֔ם אִ֥ישׁ בְּאִ֖ישׁ וְאִ֣ישׁ בְּרֵעֵ֑הוּ יִרְהֲב֗וּ הַנַּ֙עַר֙ בַּזָּקֵ֔ן וְהַנִּקְלֶ֖ה בַּנִּכְבָּֽד:
And the people shall be oppressed: They shall be pressed and oppressing each other with competition and strife.  
they shall behave haughtily, the youth against the elder: The youth will raise himself over the elder.  
and the base against the honorable: [This is to be interpreted] according to its simple meaning. The exegetical meaning is as follows: Let one to whom grave interdicts seem light come and raise himself over one to whom light interdicts seem grave.  
6When a man shall seize his brother of the house of his father, [saying], "You have a garment, be an officer to us, and this obstacle shall be under your hand,"   וכִּֽי־יִתְפֹּ֨שׂ אִ֚ישׁ בְּאָחִיו֙ בֵּ֣ית אָבִ֔יו שִׂמְלָ֣ה לְכָ֔ה קָצִ֖ין תִּֽהְיֶה־לָּ֑נוּ וְהַמַּכְשֵׁלָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את תַּ֥חַת יָדֶֽךָ:
When a man shall seize his brother: When a man shall seize his brother in his father’s house, saying, “You are wealthy in Torah, and it is as white to you as a garment.”  
be an officer to us: and teach us.  
and this obstacle: upon which we are stumbling, in prohibition or permissibility, in defilement or in purity, shall be under your hand, for you know how to instruct us. Another explanation is: You have a garment to clothe the naked.  
and this obstacle: fajjlejjnca in O.F. [faibless in modern French]. My want, that I lack bread, is under your hand to supply me. Therefore, you shall be to us as an officer. He replies, In my house there is neither bread nor clothing. What then are my qualifications as an officer?  
7He shall swear on that day, saying, "I will not be a ruler, while in my house there is neither bread nor clothing; do not make me an officer over the people."   זיִשָּׂא֩ בַיּ֨וֹם הַה֚וּא | לֵאמֹר֙ לֹֽא־אֶהְיֶ֣ה חֹבֵ֔שׁ וּבְבֵיתִ֕י אֵ֥ין לֶ֖חֶם וְאֵ֣ין שִׂמְלָ֑ה לֹ֥א תְשִׂימֻ֖נִי קְצִ֥ין עָֽם:
He shall swear on that day: [lit. he will raise. The word יִשָּׂא] is only an expression of swearing; he will swear to them, I will not be a ‘Chovesh.’ I will not be one of those confined to the study hall, since, in my house there is neither bread nor clothing; I have understanding neither of the Mishnah nor of the Aggadah. Another explanation according to the simple meaning is: I will not be a confiner; I will not be a judge, who confines the convicts to prison.  
8For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, for their tongue and their deeds are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of His glory.   חכִּ֚י כָֽשְׁלָה֙ יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וִֽיהוּדָ֖ה נָפָ֑ל כִּֽי־לְשׁוֹנָ֚ם וּמַֽעַלְלֵיהֶם֙ אֶל־יְהֹוָ֔ה לַמְר֖וֹת עֵנֵ֥י כְבוֹדֽוֹ:
For Jerusalem stumbled: They are all faulty and falling, and no one assists the next one. Why? Because they refused to obey, and now, they all provoke.  
for their tongue and their deeds are against the Lord: [lit. to the Lord;] against Him to provoke Him.  
to provoke the eyes of His glory: to provoke before His glory. Another explanation is: to provoke the matters of His glory.  
9The recognition of their faces testified against them, and their sin, like Sodom they told, they did not deny; woe is to their soul, for they have paid themselves [with] evil.   טהַכָּרַ֚ת פְּנֵיהֶם֙ עָ֣נְתָה בָּ֔ם וְחַטָּאתָ֛ם כִּסְדֹ֥ם הִגִּ֖ידוּ לֹ֣א כִחֵ֑דוּ א֣וֹי לְנַפְשָׁ֔ם כִּֽי־גָֽמְל֥וּ לָהֶ֖ם רָעָֽה:
The recognition of their faces: The sin that they recognize faces [i.e., show favoritism] in judgment testified against them before Me. Another version is: The recognition of their facesThey are recognizable by the boldness of their faces.  
like Sodom they told, they did not deny: They committed [sins] publicly.  
10Praise the righteous man for he is good, for the fruit of their deeds they shall eat.   יאִמְר֥וּ צַדִּ֖יק כִּי־ט֑וֹב כִּֽי־פְרִ֥י מַֽעַלְלֵיהֶ֖ם יֹאכֵֽלוּ:
Praise the righteous man for he is good: Say to the righteous man that he did good.  
11Woe to the wicked [who does] evil, for the recompense of his hands shall be done to him.   יאא֖וֹי לְרָשָׁ֣ע רָ֑ע כִּֽי־גְמ֥וּל יָדָ֖יו יֵעָ֥שֶׂה לּֽוֹ:
Woe to the wicked [who does] evil: For he is bad to himself and to others; he brings about harm to himself and to others. [This is found] in Tanchuma (Emor 5). This verse refers back to: Say to the righteous that he is good and woe is to the wicked [who does evil].  
12As for My people, their rulers are mockers, and women govern them; O My people! Your leaders lead you astray, and the way of your paths they have destroyed.   יבעַמִּי֙ נֹֽגְשָׂ֣יו מְעוֹלֵ֔ל וְנָשִׁ֖ים מָ֣שְׁלוּ ב֑וֹ עַמִּי֙ מְאַשְּׁרֶ֣יךָ מַתְעִ֔ים וְדֶ֥רֶךְ אֹֽרְחֹתֶ֖יךָ בִּלֵּֽעוּ:
their rulers are mockers: Heb. מְעוֹלֵל נֹגְשָׂיו, they are mockers.  
and women govern them: Heb. נָשִׁים. Adulterous women govern them, as he states below (verse 16): “Since the daughters of Zion were haughty,” and they turned their hearts to evil; therefore, all weaklings governed them. Jonathan renders it as an expression of creditors (נוֹשִׁים) [rendering: and as creditors they govern them].  
Your leaders: Heb. מְאַשְּׁרֶי. Your leaders, who should have led you on the good way, lead you astray.  
they have destroyed: Spoiled.  
13The Lord stands to plead, and He stands to judge the peoples.   יגנִצָּ֥ב לָרִ֖יב יְהֹוָ֑ה וְעֹמֵ֖ד לָדִ֥ין עַמִּֽים:
stands to plead: [i.e., to judge the case] of Israel standing, so to speak, so as not to be strict in their judgment.  
and stands to judge the nations: Heb. ועמד. He delays and dwells on their judgment. This expression of standing means delay.  
14The Lord will enter into judgment with the elders of His people and their officers. And you have ravaged the vineyard; the spoils of the poor are in your houses.   ידיְהֹוָה֙ בְּמִשְׁפָּ֣ט יָב֔וֹא עִם־זִקְנֵ֥י עַמּ֖וֹ וְשָׂרָ֑יו וְאַתֶּם֙ בִּעַרְתֶּ֣ם הַכֶּ֔רֶם גְּזֵלַ֥ת הֶֽעָנִ֖י בְּבָתֵּיכֶֽם:
The Lord will enter into judgment with the elders of His people: For they should have protested (Shabbath 55a), and to the nations He says, And you have ravaged My vineyard. I became slightly incensed [against them,] and you helped to do harm.  
the spoils of the poor: [Of] a poor generation, for they were poor in good deeds. All this is in the Midrash Aggadah, but according to its simple meaning, the entire section deals with Israel, and “stands to judge the peoples,” refers to the tribes.  
and you have ravaged the vineyard: The elders and the officers ‘ate up’ the rest of the people.  
15What do you mean that you crush My people and the faces of the poor you grind? says the Lord God of Hosts.   טומַה לָּכֶם֙ (כתיב מַלָּכֶם֙) תְּדַכְּא֣וּ עַמִּ֔י וּפְנֵ֥י עֲנִיִּ֖ים תִּטְחָ֑נוּ נְאֻם־אֲדֹנָ֥י יֱהֹוִ֖ה צְבָאֽוֹת:
What to you mean: Heb. מַלָּכֶם, like מַה לָכֶם, what do you mean? [lit. What is to you?]  
you grind: Crush and degrade to disgrace them in their lawsuit.  
16And the Lord said: Because the daughters of Zion are so haughty; and they walk with neck stretched forth, and winking eyes; walking and raising themselves they walk; and with their feet they spout "venom."   טזוַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהֹוָ֗ה יַעַן כִּ֚י גָֽבְהוּ֙ בְּנ֣וֹת צִיּ֔וֹן וַתֵּלַ֙כְנָה֙ נְטוּי֣וֹת (כתיב נְטוּו‍ֹ֣ת) גָּר֔וֹן וּמְשַׂקְּר֖וֹת עֵינָ֑יִם הָל֚וֹךְ וְטָפוֹף֙ תֵּלַ֔כְנָה וּבְרַגְלֵיהֶ֖ם תְּעַכַּֽסְנָה:
And the Lord said: Concerning the women who governed My people, “Since the daughters of Zion are so haughty…”  
and winking eyes: Heb. וּמְשַׂקְּרוֹת, an expression of looking. Another explanation is: They paint their eyes with vermilion or with blue eye shade.  
walking and raising themselves they walk: Heb. ותפוף. This is an expression of something floating on another, as (Deut. 11:4): “over whom He caused… to flow (הֵצִיף),” which the Targum renders as אַטֵיף. Thus, a tall one would walk between two short ones, in order to appear to be floating over them (Shabbath 62b). Jonathan, however, renders: and with wigs they surround themselves. They would tie wigs, braids of cut-off hair. They would twist together with their braids so that they would appear thick and broad.  
and with their feet they spout venom: When they would pass in the street near Jewish youths, they would stamp their feet and hint to them of the affection of the adulteresses, in order to arouse their temptation, like the venom of a serpent. עֶכֶס is the venom of a serpent.  
17And the Lord shall smite with zaraath the crown of the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord shall pour out their "vessels."   יזוְשִׂפַּ֣ח אֲדֹנָ֔י קָדְקֹ֖ד בְּנ֣וֹת צִיּ֑וֹן וַֽיהֹוָ֖ה פָּתְהֵ֥ן יְעָרֶֽה:
And the Lord shall smite with zaaraath: Heb. וְשִׂפַּח. This is an expression of zaraath [believed to be a form of leprosy, see Commentary Digest II Kings 5:1], as (in Leviticus 13:6): “It is a mispachath (מִסְפַּחַת).” But since it is written with a ‘sin,’ our Sages expounded about it that they would become enslaved maidservants (שְׁפָחוֹת), and some expounded it to mean that He smote them with many families (מִשְׁפָּחוֹת) of lice.  
shall pour out their “vessels”: Heb. פָּתְהֵן יְעָרֶה. Their vessels He shall pour out. This is the Aramaic language, like “a black vessel” פַּתְיָא אוּכְמָא [in] (Pesachim 88a). They would say, Let Him hurry and hasten His deed, to bring on the invaders. An officer will see me and take me. When the retribution came, Nebuchadnezzar’s officers took them for wives because of their beauty. Thereupon, the Holy One, blessed be He, signaled to their ‘fountains,’ and blood of an issue flowed from them profusely, as a person pours from one vessel to another. They became loathsome to them, and they cast them to the ground from upon their chariots (Lamentations Rabbah 4:15). Jonathan, however, rendered: He will remove their glory. פתהן means wideness or greatness.  
18On that day, the Lord shall remove the glory of the shoes and the embroidered headdresses and the hairnets.   יחבַּיּ֨וֹם הַה֜וּא יָסִ֣יר אֲדֹנָ֗י אֵ֣ת תִּפְאֶ֧רֶת הָֽעֲכָסִ֛ים וְהַשְּׁבִיסִ֖ים וְהַשַּֽׂהֲרֹנִֽים:
On that day: In the future, when the Holy One, blessed be He, will come to restore Israel to Him, the Lord shall remove from them the glory of the shoes, that they will not depend for their glory on the beauty of women’s jewelry and objects of vanity.  
the shoes: The shoes that were on their feet with which they spouted venom.  
and the embroidered headdresses: Heb. והשביסים. Types of headdresses for the ornaments of the head. Many [instances of this word] are found in the language of the Mishnah: the embroidered headdress (שביס) of the hair net (Kelim 28:10).  
and the hair nets: Heb. וְהַשַׂהַרֹנִים. Jonathan renders: the hair nets.  
19The necklaces and the bracelets and the veils,   יטהַנְּטִפ֥וֹת וְהַשֵּׁר֖וֹת וְהָֽרְעָלֽוֹת:
The necklaces: [Jonathan renders:] עַנְקַיָא, necklaces, an expression similar to (Proverbs 1:9): “And necklaces (עֲנָקִים) for your throat.” They are called נְטָפוֹת, meaning “to drip,” because they hang on the neck and drip onto the breast, and they are a sort of pierced pearls, strung on a string, mostnecs in O. F.  
and the bracelets: Heb. וְהַשֵּׁרוֹת, bracelets for the arm, translated וְשִׁירַיָא.  
and the veils: Heb. וְהָרְעָלוֹת. A veil with which they envelop their entire countenance except the eyeball, so that a man will desire to satisfy himself by gazing at the cheeks. Another explanation is that they are types of pretty shawls, with which to enwrap themselves, and in the language of the Mishnah, there is an instance: “Shawled (רְעוּלוֹת) Arabian women,” in Tractate Shabbath (65a).  
20The tiaras and the foot chains and the hair ribbons and the clasps and the earrings.   כהַפְּאֵרִ֚ים וְהַצְּעָדוֹת֙ וְהַקִּשֻּׁרִ֔ים וּבָתֵּ֥י הַנֶּ֖פֶשׁ וְהַלְּחָשִֽׁים:
The tiaras: Heb. פְּאֵרִים. The Targum renders: tiaras. This resembles (Exodus 39:28): “the beautiful hats (פַּאֲרֵי הַמִּגְבָּעוֹת).”  
and the foot chains: Heb. וְהַצְּעָדוֹת, circlets for the legs.  
and the hair ribbons: [Lit. ties,] as the name implies, short ties with which they tie their hair, and some make them gilded, fres in O.F.  
and the clasps: Heb. וּבָתֵּי הַנֶּפֶשׁ, [the houses of the soul] opposite the heart, nosche in O.F.  
and the earrings: Heb. לְחָשִׁים, rings for the ear, the place into which people whisper (לוֹחֲשִׁים).  
21The finger-rings and the nose-rings.   כאהַטַּבָּע֖וֹת וְנִזְמֵ֥י הָאָֽף:
22The tunics and the bedspreads and the tablecloths and the purses.   כבהַמַּֽחֲלָצוֹת֙ וְהַמַּ֣עֲטָפ֔וֹת וְהַמִּטְפָּח֖וֹת וְהַֽחֲרִיטִֽים:
The tunics: Heb. הַמַּחֲלָצוֹת. [Jonathan renders:] כִּתּוּנַיָּא as in Samuel (2 2:21): and take to yourself his clothing (חֲלִיצָתוֹ), for the body is clothed with them, and when they are removed, they are removed from the body (חוֹלְצִין).  
and the bedspreads: Heb. וְהַמַּעֲטָפוֹת, bedspreads, according to the Targum, who renders שׁוֹשִׁיפַיָא.  
and the tablecloths: Heb. וְהַמִּטְפָחוֹת, tablecloths.  
and the purses: Heb. וְהַחֲרִיטִים. [Jonathan] translates it as מַחְכַּיָּא, [an ornament] bearing the shape of the woman’s private parts, as we translate כּוּמָז (Ex. 35:22) as מָחוֹ.  
23The mirrors and the turbans and the clasps.   כגהַגִּלְיֹנִים֙ וְהַסְּדִינִ֔ים וְהַצְּנִיפ֖וֹת וְהָֽרְדִידִֽים:
The mirrors: Heb. גִּלְיוֹנִים. These are mirrors, as the Targum renders: מַחְזְיָתָא, miradojjr in O.F., and because they reveal (מְגַלּוֹת) the form of the face, they are called גִּלְיוֹנִים, or perhaps their mirrors were rolled (נִגְלָלוֹת).  
and the sheets: of linen with which they would enwrap themselves.  
and the turbans: Heb. וְהַצְּנִיפוֹת, molekin in O.F.  
and the clasps: Heb. וְהַרְדִידִים, Fermalc in O.F., and they are of gold with which the shawl is closed when the woman enwraps herself therein.  
24And it shall come to pass, that, in the place of perfume, will be decay, and in the place of a girdle, laceration, and in the place of the deed, a wound that causes baldness, and in the place of the organ of levity, a sack-cloth girdle, for this is instead of beauty.   כדוְהָיָה֩ תַ֨חַת בֹּ֜שֶׂם מַ֣ק יִֽהְיֶ֗ה וְתַ֨חַת חֲגוֹרָ֚ה נִקְפָּה֙ וְתַ֨חַת מַֽעֲשֶׂ֚ה מִקְשֶׁה֙ קָרְחָ֔ה וְתַ֥חַת פְּתִיגִ֖יל מַֽחֲגֹ֣רֶת שָׂ֑ק כִּי־תַ֖חַת יֹֽפִי:
And it shall come to pass, that, instead of perfume, there will be decay: The place where they would perfume themselves will be decayed.  
and in the place of a girdle, laceration: Heb. נקפה. The place where she girded herself, there will be lacerated, cut with wounds and signs of blows, as (Job: 19:26): “And after my skin is cut to pieces (נִקְּפוּ) ” ; (infra 10:34) “and the thickets of forest shall be cut down (וְנִקַּף).”  
and in the place of the deed, a wound: Heb. (מַעֲשֶׂה מִקְשֶׁה). [The place where they would do the deed mentioned above: “walking and raising themselves they walk,” and that is at the height of the head, there will be] מִקְשֶׁה קָרְחָה, a wound that makes the head bald. מִקְשֶׁה is an expression similar to (Daniel 5: 6): “knocked one against the other (נַקְשָׁן).” I would explain it as follows: The place where they would put the plates of gold made by hammering batdec in O.F.but it is vowelized in the Masorah among the ten words vowelized with a ‘pattach’ [i.e., a ‘segol,’ and none of them is connected to the following word, and every [instance of the word] that is in the construct state is vowelized with a ‘kamatz’ [i.e., a ‘tzeireh’].  
and in the place of the organ of levity: Heb. וְתַחַתפְּתִיגִיל. This is like two words: פְּתִי גִיל, a vessel [or organ] that brings levity; the secret parts about which is mentioned above: shall pour out their ‘vessels.’ Instead of that levity, a girdle of sackcloth will be on all loins.  
for this is instead of beauty: For this is fitting for them to have instead of the beauty with which they acted haughtily.  
25Your men shall fall by the sword and your heroism in war.   כהמְתַ֖יִךְ בַּחֶ֣רֶב יִפֹּ֑לוּ וּגְבֽוּרָתֵ֖ךְ בַּמִּלְחָמָֽה:
Your men: Your heroes, your men of war, who go out in the army with a number.  
26And her gates shall lament and mourn, and she shall be emptied out; she shall sit on the ground.   כווְאָנ֥וּ וְאָֽבְל֖וּ פְּתָחֶ֑יהָ וְנִקָּ֖תָה לָאָ֥רֶץ תֵּשֵֽׁב:
shall lament: Heb. וְאָנוּ, an expression of lamentations.  
her gates: The gates of the towns and houses. In all their gates will be lamentation.  
and she shall be emptied out: Heb. ונקתה, lit., and she shall be cleansed, meaning: and she shall be emptied of everything, like (Amos 4:6): “And behold, I have given you cleanness of teeth שִׁנַּיִם) (נִקְיוֹן,” [meaning hunger,] and in the language of the Mishnah;“So- and-so was cleaned out (נקי) of his belongings” (Baba Kamma 41a).  
she shall sit on the ground: [This denotes figuratively that they will be reduced] from a high station to a low one. (Lam. 2: 10) “… shall sit on the ground and remain silent,” on the Ninth of Av.