Chapter 5

1I will now sing for my beloved the song of my beloved about his vineyard; my beloved had a vineyard in a fertile corner.   אאָשִׁ֚ירָה נָּא֙ לִֽידִידִ֔י שִׁירַ֥ת דּוֹדִ֖י לְכַרְמ֑וֹ כֶּ֛רֶם הָיָ֥ה לִֽידִידִ֖י בְּקֶ֥רֶן בֶּן־שָֽׁמֶן:
I will now sing for my beloved: The prophet says: “I will now sing for my beloved and in his place and as his messenger. [The word לִידִידִי would usually mean, ‘to my beloved.’] Similar to (Exodus 14:4): ”The Lord will wage war for you (לָכֶם), for you [not ‘to you’]."  
the song of my beloved about his vineyard: This is the song of my beloved that he sang for his vineyard, about his vineyard, as (Genesis 26:7): “And the people of the place asked about his wife (לְאִשְׁתּוֹ), about his wife [not ‘to his wife’].”  
a vineyard in a fertile corner: in a corner that produces fat fruit, like good oil.  
fertile: Heb. בן-שמן [lit. the son of oil, i.e.,] a corner fit for oil, for olives to produce oil, [like] (I Samuel 20:31) בֶּן-מָוֶת, [lit. a son of death,] fit to die. This is a parable, and at the end of the section, he will explain it.  
2And he fenced it in, and he cleared it of stones, and he planted it with the choicest vines, and he built a tower in its midst, and also a vat he hewed therein; and he hoped to produce grapes, but it produced wild berries.   בוַיְעַזְּקֵ֣הוּ וַיְסַקְּלֵ֗הוּ וַיִּטָּעֵ֙הוּ֙ שֹׂרֵ֔ק וַיִּ֚בֶן מִגְדָּל֙ בְּתוֹכ֔וֹ וְגַם־יֶ֖קֶב חָצֵ֣ב בּ֑וֹ וַיְקַ֛ו לַֽעֲשׂ֥וֹת עֲנָבִ֖ים וַיַּ֥עַשׂ בְּאֻשִֽׁים:
And he fenced it in: Heb. וַיְעַזְּקֵהוּ. He fenced it and walled it around, surrounded like a sort of ring, translated into Aramaic as עִיזְקָא.  
and he cleared it of stones: Heb. וַיְסַקְלֵהוּ. He cleared it of the stones that are detrimental to the vines, comp. (infra 62:10) “Clear of stones (סַקְּלו ֹמֵאֶבֶן).”  
and he planted it with the choicest vines: They are the best of all branches for planting.  
and he built a tower in its midst: A press in which to press the grapes.  
and also a vat he hewed therein: Heb. יֶקֶב, the pit that is before the press, to receive the wine. Likewise, every יֶקֶב in Scripture is an expression denoting a pit. Likewise (Zechariah 14:4), עַד יִקְבֵי הַמֶלֶךְ, which Jonathan renders, “Until the King’s pits.” This is the depth of the ocean. Therefore, the expression of hewing applies, just like (Deut. 6:11): “and hewn pits.”  
and he hoped to produce grapes: And my beloved hoped that this vineyard would produce grapes for him.  
and it produced wild berries: Heb. בְּאֻשִׁים. Similar to grapes, and they are called lanbrojjses in O.F.  
3And now, dwellers of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge now between me and between my vineyard.   גוְעַתָּ֛ה יוֹשֵׁ֥ב יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֖ם וְאִ֣ישׁ יְהוּדָ֑ה שִׁפְטוּ־נָ֕א בֵּינִ֖י וּבֵ֥ין כַּרְמִֽי:
4What more could I have done for my vineyard that I did not do in it? Why did I hope to produce grapes and it produced wild berries?   דמַה־לַּֽעֲשׂ֥וֹת עוֹד֙ לְכַרְמִ֔י וְלֹ֥א עָשִׂ֖יתִי בּ֑וֹ מַדּ֧וּעַ קִוֵּ֛יתִי לַֽעֲשׂ֥וֹת עֲנָבִ֖ים וַיַּ֥עַשׂ בְּאֻשִֽׁים:
5And now, I will inform you what I am going to do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be eaten up; breach its walls, and it shall be trampled.   הוְעַתָּה֙ אוֹדִֽיעָה־נָּ֣א אֶתְכֶ֔ם אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר־אֲנִ֥י עֹשֶׂ֖ה לְכַרְמִ֑י הָסֵ֚ר מְשֹֽוּכָּתוֹ֙ וְהָיָ֣ה לְבָעֵ֔ר פָּרֹ֥ץ גְּדֵר֖וֹ וְהָיָ֥ה לְמִרְמָֽס:
I will remove its hedge: I will remove the fence that covers and protects it. מְשׂוּכָה is a fence of thorns; גָדֵר is a fence of stones.  
and it shall be: [i.e.,] the vineyard.  
eaten up: For cattle and wild beasts will graze there.  
6And I will make it a desolation; it shall neither be pruned nor hoed, and the shamir and desolation will come up [over it]; and I will command the clouds not to rain upon it.   ווַֽאֲשִׁיתֵ֣הוּ בָתָ֗ה לֹ֚א יִזָּמֵר֙ וְלֹ֣א יֵֽעָדֵ֔ר וְעָלָ֥ה שָׁמִ֖יר וָשָׁ֑יִת וְעַ֚ל הֶֽעָבִים֙ אֲצַוֶּ֔ה מֵֽהַמְטִ֥יר עָלָ֖יו מָטָֽר:
And I will make it a desolation: Heb. בָתָה, an expression of desolation and emptiness. Compare (infra 7:19): “in the desolate valleys (הַבַּתּוֹת).”  
nor hoed: Heb. יֵעָדֵר; this is an expression of digging in a vineyard.  
the shamir and desolation will come up: Heb. שָׁמִיר וָשָׁיִת. Menahem ben Seruk interprets them as kinds of thorns (Machbereth Menahem p. 176), but I say that “shamir” is a word denoting a strong worm that splits stones, with which Solomon built the Temple, like the matter that is written (Ezekiel 3:19), “Like a shamir, stronger than rock.”  
desolation: Heb. שַׁיִת, an expression similar to (Lamentations 3:47), “desolation (הַשְׁאֵת) and breach,” an expression similar to (infra 6:11), “shall be made desolate (תִּשָּׁאֶה) [as a wilderness;” i.e., it will be] empty with no one seeking it to enter it, and thereby worms will overrun it.  
7For the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the House of Israel, and the people of Judah are the plant of His joy; and He hoped for justice, and, behold, there was injustice; for righteousness, and behold, an outcry.   זכִּ֣י כֶ֜רֶם יְהֹוָ֚ה צְבָאוֹת֙ בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאִ֣ישׁ יְהוּדָ֔ה נְטַ֖ע שַֽׁעֲשׁוּעָ֑יו וַיְקַ֚ו לְמִשְׁפָּט֙ וְהִנֵּ֣ה מִשְׂפָּ֔ח לִצְדָקָ֖ה וְהִנֵּ֥ה צְעָקָֽה:
For the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the House of Israel: To this vineyard are you compared, O House of Israel, for all that He did for this vineyard, He did for Israel. The vineyard represents Adam, for we find in Midrash Aggadah, in many places in Tanhuma, and in Genesis Rabbah [that] these passages are expounded concerning him, e.g., Adam was not expelled from Paradise until he reviled and blasphemed, as it is said: And He hoped to produce grapes… (Gen. Rabbah 19:12). And in another place we find: He appointed guards over him that he should not eat from the Tree of Life, as it is said (verse 6): “And I will command the clouds…” (ibid. 21:8). And in this manner, [the following verses] can be expounded concerning him:  
(1) My beloved had a vineyard. A vineyard: This [alludes to] Adam.  
My beloved: This is the Holy One, blessed be He.  
In a fertile corner: in the Garden of Eden.  
(2) And he fenced it in: with the ten canopies mentioned in Ezekiel (28), in the section dealing with Hiram, king of Tyre.  
And He cleared it of stones: Of temptation, until he ate from the tree, and temptation gained entry into him.  
And He planted it with the choicest vines: The beginning of his formation was from the place of the altar.  
And He built a tower in its midst: And He breathed into his nostrils the spirit of life, from the heavenly beings.  
And also a vat He hewed therein: A spring flowing, the fountain of wisdom.  
And He hoped to produce grapes: that he would thank Him and praise Him.  
And it produced wild berries: putrid things; he reviled and blasphemed.  
(3) Judge now: Since the end of the parable comes to say that they too did like him, he asks them the judgment.  
(5) I will inform you: what I decided to do to him and I did.  
I removed its hedge: I expelled him from amidst his canopies.  
And it shall be eaten up: His end will be to die and to be ruled over by wild beasts.  
Breach its wall: I expelled from the enclosure of Paradise.  
(6) And I made it a desolation: I made him dwell in desolation, for I did not give the Torah in his days.  
It shall neither be pruned nor hoed: They will learn from him neither merit nor good deeds.  
The shamir and desolation will come up: Temptation ruled over him and his posterity, to perform corrupt deeds.  
And I commanded the clouds: I appointed guards over him to guard the way of the Tree of Life.  
(7) For the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the House of Israel: For the House of Israel is to Me like that vineyard; The ten tribes were to Me like a vineyard producing wine, like an olive orchard, in a fat corner, in a fat land, [producing anointing] oil for the priesthood, [anointing] oil for the kingdom, oil for the Menorah, oil for the meal offerings. I fenced them in first with the encirclement of the clouds of glory in the desert and I cleared them of stones, i.e., I cleansed them of the transgressors of the generation. I planted them with the choicest vines (שׂוֹרֵק) six hundred and six commandments, like the numerical value of שׂוֹרֵק, I added for them to the seven commandments that the children of Noah were commanded. I built a tower in their midst, My Tabernacle and My Temple, and also a vat, the altar and the pits [the pits by the side of the altar into which the remainder of the libations was poured.]  
(2) And it produced wild berries: They corrupted their deeds.  
(3) And now, dwellers of Jerusalem and men of Judah: who have not yet been exiled, please judge between me and between them concerning the evil that I brought on them; who sinned against whom?  
What more could I have done: beneficial deeds  
for My vineyard, and I have not done: for it?  
(5) Now I will inform you: Even you who anger Me, what is fitting in My eyes to do to My vineyard, according to all that I did to Adam, viz.  
to remove its hedge: I will remove My Shechinah from them, the Shechinah that covers them, as it is said (infra 22:8), “And He bared the covert of Judah.”  
Breach its wall: I will demolish its walls.  
(6) And I will make it a desolation: And I will make them forsaken [from Targum Jonathan].  
It will neither be pruned nor hoed: They will not be visited nor will they be supported. [from Targum Jonathan].  
And the shamir and desolation will come up: And they will be wandering and forsaken, represented by the שָׁמִיר וָשָׁיִת [desolation] of the vineyard, and regarding the vineyard itself in another place, it is rendered הֲבָאִי וּבוּר, desolate and fallow.  
And I will command the clouds: And I will command the prophets not to prophesy on your behalf [Jonathan]. Prophecy is analogous to rain, which the clouds receive from heaven; so do the prophets receive the divine prophecy.  
The plant of His joy: Comp. נָטָע (Job 14:9), but since it is in the construct state, it is vowelized with a patach, like (Num. 7: 88) בְּקַר זֶבַח הַשְּׁלָמִים, “the cattle of the peace offerings.”  
and He hoped: that they would perform justice, and behold, there was מִשְׂפָּח, an accumulation of sin upon sin, like (I Sam. 26: 19), “From cleaving (מֵהִסְתַּפֵּחַ),” also (ibid. 2:36), “Take me now into (סְפָחֵנִי).” Another explanation is that it is an expression of a lesion, and since it is a similar expression, for, in pronunciation, מִשְׂפָּח resembles מִשְׁפָּט, and so, זְעָקָה resembles צְדָקָה, it fell through divine inspiration into the prophet’s mouth.  
8Woe to those who join a house to a house; a field to a field they draw near; until there is no place, and you will be settled alone in the midst of the land.   חה֗וֹי מַגִּיעֵ֥י בַ֙יִת֙ בְּבַ֔יִת שָׂדֶ֥ה בְשָׂדֶ֖ה יַקְרִ֑יבוּ עַד אֶ֣פֶס מָק֔וֹם וְהֽוּשַׁבְתֶּ֥ם לְבַדְּכֶ֖ם בְּקֶ֥רֶב הָאָֽרֶץ:
Woe to those who join a house to a house: Twenty-two instances of אַשְׁרֵי, fortunate, were said in the Book of Psalms concerning those who fulfill [the tenets of] the Torah, and Isaiah said twenty-two times, “ הוֹי,” woe, concerning the wicked.  
Woe: An expression of a cry of a sigh concerning the impending retribution.  
those who join a house to a house: They draw their houses one to the other, thereby taking the land of the weak poor man between the two houses, and so  
a field to a field they draw near until there is no place: No place for the poor man to live.  
and you will be settled alone in the midst of the land: You think that neither the Holy One, blessed be He, nor the poor, have a share in the land. His share of the tithes you are stealing, and the poor, [you are robbing] of their land, so that you alone will occupy it.  
9In my ears [spoke] the Lord of Hosts, "Truly, great houses shall become desolate, yea, large ones and good ones, without inhabitants.   טבְּאָזְנָ֖י יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת אִם־לֹ֞א בָּתִּ֚ים רַבִּים֙ לְשַׁמָּ֣ה יִֽהְי֔וּ גְּדֹלִ֥ים וְטוֹבִ֖ים מֵאֵ֥ין יוֹשֵֽׁב:
In my ears [spoke] the Lord of Hosts: Said the prophet, Both my ears heard when the decree was decreed upon them by the Lord, and with an oath, “Truly, because of this thing, great houses will become desolate, yea, large ones and good ones, without inhabitants.”  
10For ten acres of vineyard will produce one bath, and the seed of a homer shall produce an ephah.   יכִּ֗י עֲשֶׂ֙רֶת֙ צִמְדֵּי־כֶ֔רֶם יַֽעֲשׂ֖וּ בַּ֣ת אֶחָ֑ת וְזֶ֥רַע חֹ֖מֶר יַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה אֵיפָֽה:
For ten acres of vineyard: And, because of the famine, the inhabitants of the house will be exiled, leaving no one dwelling in them. This, too, will be for your payment in kind for bringing one field near to the other field, for you have stolen the share of the Omnipresent in the tithe of the land.  
ten acres of vineyard: arpent in French, and I say that the amount of land requiring the work of one day with a yoke of oxen is called צֶמֶד, a yoke.  
will produce one bath: One measure of wine. A bath is three se’ah.  
and the seed of a homer: A place where a kur, which is thirty se’ah of grain, is usually produced, will produce an ephahthree se’ah.  
11Woe to those who rise early in the morning; they pursue strong wine. They sit until late in the evening; wine inflames them.   יאה֛וֹי מַשְׁכִּימֵ֥י בַבֹּ֖קֶר שֵׁכָ֣ר יִרְדֹּ֑פוּ מְאַֽחֲרֵ֣י בַנֶּ֔שֶׁף יַ֖יִן יַדְלִיקֵֽם:
They sit until late in the evening: to drink wine at night.  
wine inflames them: It burns in them.  
12And there are harp and lute, tambourine and flute, and wine at their drinking feasts; and the work of the Lord they do not regard, and the deed of His hands they have not seen.   יבוְהָיָ֨ה כִנּ֜וֹר וָנֶ֗בֶל תֹּ֧ף וְחָלִ֛יל וָיַ֖יִן מִשְׁתֵּיהֶ֑ם וְאֵ֨ת פֹּ֚עַל יְהֹוָה֙ לֹ֣א יַבִּ֔יטוּ וּמַֽעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָדָ֖יו לֹ֥א רָאֽוּ:
harp and lute: A lute has more strings than a harp. [Perhaps Rashi explains נֵבֶל as a lyre, which may have more strings than a harp.] Now why is it called נֵבֶל? Because it disgraces (מְנַבֵּל) all kinds of musical instruments. In Midrash Tehillim (81:3).  
tamborine: That was made of skin.  
a flute: A flute of reed, chalemel in O.F.  
and the work of the Lord they do not regard: And in the Torah of the Lord they did not look [from Jonathan].  
and the deed of His hands they have not seen: They pretended that they did not see His mighty deeds. Another explanation is: They did not praise Him in the morning by reciting, “He Who forms light,” nor in the evening, by reciting, “He Who brings on the evenings.”  
13Therefore, My people shall go into exile because of lack of knowledge, and its esteemed ones shall die of hunger, and its multitude shall be parched from thirst.   יגלָכֵ֛ן גָּלָ֥ה עַמִּ֖י מִבְּלִי־דָ֑עַת וּכְבוֹדוֹ֙ מְתֵ֣י רָעָ֔ב וַֽהֲמוֹנ֖וֹ צִחֵ֥ה צָמָֽא:
because of lack of knowledge: because their heart was without knowledge.  
and its esteemed ones shall die of hunger: Heb. וכבודו מתי רעב [lit. and its honor dead ones of hunger.] [Some editions add:] Payment in kind, corresponding to the satiety.  
shall be parched from thirst: Thirst corresponds to their elaborate drinking feasts. Heb. צחה Aramaic for thirst.  
14Therefore, the nether-world has expanded itself and opened its mouth without measure, and her splendor and her populace and multitudes, shall descend and those who rejoice therein.   ידלָכֵ֗ן הִרְחִ֚יבָה שְּׁאוֹל֙ נַפְשָׁ֔הּ וּפָֽעֲרָ֥ה פִ֖יהָ לִבְלִי־חֹ֑ק וְיָרַ֨ד הֲדָרָ֧הּ וַֽהֲמוֹנָ֛הּ וּשְׁאוֹנָ֖הּ וְעָלֵ֥ז בָּֽהּ:
Therefore, the nether-world has expanded: Retribution corresponding to deed; they expanded themselves to swallow much food and drink, and they opened their mouth to swallow, so will the nether world expand itself to swallow.  
and opened: Heb. פָּעֲרָה.  
without measure: Without end; and why [did the grave open] without measure? Because these people had no measure or limit to their enjoyments.  
shall descend: There the splendor of Jerusalem.  
And those who rejoice therein: Heb. בה ועלז. [I.e., those who rejoiced in Jerusalem, or in all the Land of Israel, with the plenty they had there, will fall into Sheol, i.e., they will die.]  
15And man shall be humbled, and man shall be brought low, and the eyes of the haughty shall be brought low.   טווַיִּשַּׁ֥ח אָדָ֖ם וַיִּשְׁפַּל־אִ֑ישׁ וְעֵינֵ֥י גְבֹהִ֖ים תִּשְׁפַּֽלְנָה:
And man shall be humbled…: and the strong of men shall be weakened. [after Jonathan]. According to the Midrashic interpretation (Sotah 48a), this is the Holy One, blessed be He. They caused Him to appear as a man who is stunned. [The expression originates in Jeremiah 14:9]. And so Scripture states (Deut. 32:18): “The Rock that begot you, you have weakened (תֶּשִׁי),” [interpreting the word as originating from תָּשׁ, weak,] and Scripture states [further] (Ecclesiastes 10:18): “Through slothfulness, the One Who frames His upper chambers will become impoverished.”  
16And the Lord of Hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the Holy God shall be hallowed with equity.   טזוַיִּגְבַּ֛הּ יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֑ט וְהָאֵל֙ הַקָּד֔וֹשׁ נִקְדָּ֖שׁ בִּצְדָקָֽה:
And the Lord of Hosts shall be exalted through judgment: When He executes judgment upon them, His Name shall be exalted in the world.  
through judgment: Jostise [justice] in O.F.  
and the holy God: shall be hallowed among the righteous remaining of you.  
17And lambs shall graze at their wont, and sojourners shall eat the ruins of the fat ones.   יזוְרָע֥וּ כְבָשִׂ֖ים כְּדָבְרָ֑ם וְחָרְב֥וֹת מֵחִ֖ים גָּרִ֥ים יֹֽאכֵֽלוּ:
And lambs shall graze as their wont: The righteous who are compared to a flock of ewes.  
as their wont: Heb. כדברם. According to their habit, with equity and with a measure, guiding their affairs with justice, like these lambs. [Variant reading: According to their habit, with equity and of their own, for there will no longer be wicked people in the world, who will rob them.] Our Rabbis expounded כְּדָבְרָם to mean: According to all that was spoken regarding them, [i.e.,] the consolations spoken for them.  
and… the ruins of the fat ones: the houses of the wicked, who are fat.  
sojourners shall eat: The righteous, who are like sojourners, shall eat them.  
fat: Heb. מֵחִים, meaning “fat,” as (Psalms 66:15): “Burnt offerings of fatlings will I offer up.”  
18Woe to those who draw the iniquity with ropes of nothingness, and like cart ropes is the sin.   יחה֛וֹי מֹשְׁכֵ֥י הֶֽעָו‍ֹ֖ן בְּחַבְלֵ֣י הַשָּׁ֑וְא וְכַֽעֲב֥וֹת הָֽעֲגָלָ֖ה חַטָּאָֽה:
Woe to those who draw the iniquity: They draw the evil inclination upon themselves little by little; at first with ropes of nothingness, like the thread of a spider web. And since it provokes them, it continuously gains strength until it becomes like cart ropes, with which they tie a wagon in order to pull it.  
nothingness: Heb. שָׁוְא, a thing that has no tangibility.  
sin: Heb. חַטָּאָה, sin.  
19Those who say, "Let Him hurry; let Him hasten His deed, so that we may see; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel approach and come."   יטהָאֹֽמְרִ֗ים יְמַהֵ֧ר | יָחִ֛ישָׁה מַֽעֲשֵׂ֖הוּ לְמַ֣עַן נִרְאֶ֑ה וְתִקְרַ֣ב וְתָב֗וֹאָה עֲצַ֛ת קְד֥וֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וְנֵדָֽעָה:
Let Him hurry; let Him hasten His deed: [i.e.,] the retribution He says He will bring.  
so that we may see: whose word will stand up.  
20Woe to those who say of the evil that it is good and of the good that it is evil; who present darkness as light and light as darkness, who present bitter as sweet and sweet as bitter.   כה֗וֹי הָאֹֽמְרִ֥ים לָרַ֛ע ט֖וֹב וְלַטּ֣וֹב רָ֑ע שָׂמִ֨ים חֹ֚שֶׁךְ לְאוֹר֙ וְא֣וֹר לְחֹ֔שֶׁךְ שָׂמִ֥ים מַ֛ר לְמָת֖וֹק וּמָת֥וֹק לְמָֽר:
Those who say of the evil that it is good: They praise idolators [var. idolatry], but they consider it evil to worship the Holy One, blessed be He, Who is good.  
who present darkness as light: A thing which is destined to bring darkness upon them, they say, will bring light to them.  
who present bitter as sweet: Iniquity, [var. idolatry] which is destined to bring upon them bitter retribution, they say, will be sweet for them.  
and sweet as bitter: The sweet worship of the Holy One, blessed be He, they say, is bitter.  
21Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and in their own estimation, of profound understanding.   כאה֖וֹי חֲכָמִ֣ים בְּעֵֽינֵיהֶ֑ם וְנֶ֥גֶד פְּנֵיהֶ֖ם נְבוֹנִֽים:
22Woe to the heroes to drink wine and valiant men to mix strong wine.   כבה֕וֹי גִּבּוֹרִ֖ים לִשְׁתּ֣וֹת יָ֑יִן וְאַנְשֵׁי־חַ֖יִל לִמְסֹ֥ךְ שֵׁכָֽר:
to mix strong wine: Heb. לִמְסֹךְ. To mix (לִמְזֹג) strong wine. Preparation [of the beverage] is called מֶסֶךְ.  
23Those who exonerate the guilty one for reward of a bribe, and the innocence of the innocent they take away from him.   כגמַצְדִּיקֵ֥י רָשָׁ֖ע עֵ֣קֶב שֹׁ֑חַד וְצִדְקַ֥ת צַדִּיקִ֖ים יָסִ֥ירוּ מִמֶּֽנּוּ:
and the innocence of the innocent: who are fit to be exonerated in court, they take away from him, and find him guilty in his suit, and rob him of his money.  
24Therefore, as a flame of fire consumes stubble, and a flame shrivels straw, their root shall be like rot, and their blossom shall go up like dust, for they have rejected the law of the Lord of Hosts and the word of the Holy One of Israel they have despised.   כדלָכֵן֩ כֶּֽאֱכֹ֨ל קַ֜שׁ לְשׁ֣וֹן אֵ֗שׁ וַֽחֲשַׁ֚שׁ לֶֽהָבָה֙ יִרְפֶּ֔ה שָׁרְשָׁם֙ כַּמָּ֣ק יִֽהְיֶ֔ה וּפִרְחָ֖ם כָּֽאָבָ֣ק יַֽעֲלֶ֑ה כִּ֣י מָֽאֲס֗וּ אֵת תּוֹרַת֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת וְאֵ֛ת אִמְרַ֥ת קְדֽוֹשׁ־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל נִאֵֽצוּ:
Therefore: this thing shall be to them…  
as a flame of fire consumes stubble: [lit.] as consuming the stubble a flame of fire.  
and straw: Jonathan renders: chaff, the straw of ears of grain; and like straw that the flame shrivels and turns to ashes.  
like rot: Like something that melts.  
and their blossom: Their greatness; just as the dust that is raised before the wind and goes away, so will it go away.  
25Therefore, the Lord has become wroth with His people, and He has stretched forth His hand upon them and has struck them, and the mountains have quaked, and their corpses were like spittle in the midst of the streets; with all this, His anger has not turned back, and His hand is still outstretched.   כהעַל־כֵּ֡ן חָרָה֩ אַף־יְהֹוָ֨ה בְּעַמּ֜וֹ וַיֵּ֥ט יָד֧וֹ עָלָ֣יו וַיַּכֵּ֗הוּ וַֽיִּרְגְּזוּ֙ הֶֽהָרִ֔ים וַתְּהִ֧י נִבְלָתָ֛ם כַּסּוּחָ֖ה בְּקֶ֣רֶב חֻצ֑וֹת בְּכָל־זֹאת֙ לֹֽא־שָׁ֣ב אַפּ֔וֹ וְע֖וֹד יָד֥וֹ נְטוּיָֽה:
therefore: [i.e.,] because of these deeds of theirs.  
and the mountains have quaked: [This is symbolic of] their kings and their princes.  
like spittle: Heb. כַּסּוּחָה, like spittle and vomit, which is expelled (נִיסָח) from a person’s body, which is repugnant. In the language of the Rabbis, it is called סְחִי and so (Lamentations 3:45): “Loathsome and rejected.”  
in the midst of the streets: So they will be loathsome among the nations.  
with all this: that has come upon them.  
His anger has not turned back: They have not been rectified with their deeds to cause His anger to turn back.  
and His hand is still outstretched: to harm them.  
26And He shall raise an ensign to the nations from afar, and He shall whistle to him from the end of the earth, and behold, quickly, swiftly he shall come.   כווְנָֽשָׂא־נֵ֚ס לַגּוֹיִם֙ מֵֽרָח֔וֹק וְשָׁ֥רַק ל֖וֹ מִקְצֵ֣ה הָאָ֑רֶץ וְהִנֵּ֥ה מְהֵרָ֖ה קַ֥ל יָבֽוֹא:
And He shall raise: i.e., the Holy One, blessed be He.  
an ensign to the nations: and signal to them to gather and to come upon them. Raising an ensign (נֵס) is like a long pole (כְּלוּנָס), at the end of which they attach a cloth, [i.e., a flag,] and they climb to the top of a lofty mountain and see it from afar; and that is the sign for people to gather. Comp. (infra 49:22) “And to peoples I will raise My ensign (נִסִּי);” comp. also (Numbers 21:8), “And set it upon a pole (נֵס),” meaning a pole (כְּלוּנָס), perche in French, but since it is for a sign, it is called נֵס.  
And He will whistle: sibler in O.F. This too is a sign for gathering.  
from the end of the earth: that they should come from afar to besiege Israel.  
swiftly he will come: The enemy [will come] upon them [swiftly,] as Scripture proceeds to explain.  
27None is weary or stumbles among them, he shall neither slumber nor sleep; the belt around his waist shall not open up, nor shall a thong of his shoes be torn.   כזאֵֽין־עָיֵ֚ף וְאֵין־כּוֹשֵׁל֙ בּ֔וֹ לֹ֥א יָנ֖וּם וְלֹ֣א יִישָׁ֑ן וְלֹ֚א נִפְתַּח֙ אֵז֣וֹר חֲלָצָ֔יו וְלֹ֥א נִתַּ֖ק שְׂר֥וֹךְ נְעָלָֽיו:
None is weary or stumbles among them: No one will be weary and no one will stumble in his running, to fulfill (supra v. 19), “Let Him hurry, let Him hasten,” that they say before Him.  
open up: Heb. נִפְתַּח, an expression of untying, as (Genesis 24:32): “And he untied (וַיְפַתַּח) the camels.”  
nor will… be torn: And they will not see any omen of defeat, because of which to fear to come.  
28One whose arrows are sharpened, and all his bows are bent, the hoofs of his horses are regarded like flint, and his wheels like the tempest.   כחאֲשֶׁ֚ר חִצָּיו֙ שְׁנוּנִ֔ים וְכָל־קַשְׁתֹּתָ֖יו דְּרֻכ֑וֹת פַּרְס֚וֹת סוּסָיו֙ כַּצַּ֣ר נֶחְשָׁ֔בוּ וְגַלְגִּלָּ֖יו כַּסּוּפָֽה:
like flint: Jonathan renders: like a rock, similar to צור.  
and his wheels: the wheels of his chariots.  
29He has a roar like a lion; he will roar like the lion cubs, and he will growl and lay hold of prey, and he will retrieve it, and no one will save it.   כטשְׁאָגָ֥ה ל֖וֹ כַּלָּבִ֑יא יִשְׁאַ֨ג (כתיב וִשְׁאַ֨ג) כַּכְּפִירִ֚ים וְיִנְהֹם֙ וְיֹאחֵ֣ז טֶ֔רֶף וְיַפְלִ֖יט וְאֵ֥ין מַצִּֽיל:
He has a roar like a lion: His fear will be upon you like a lion.  
and he will retrieve: He will save it from all those who try to save it. יַפְלִיט is esmoucer in O.F. [to seize].  
30And he shall growl over it on that day like the growling of the sea, and he shall look to the land and behold darkness; the distressed one and the light shall darken in its eclipse.   לוְיִנְהֹ֥ם עָלָ֛יו בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא כְּנַֽהֲמַת־יָ֑ם וְנִבַּ֚ט לָאָ֙רֶץ֙ וְהִנֵּה־חֹ֔שֶׁךְ צַ֣ר וָא֔וֹר חָשַׁ֖ךְ בַּֽעֲרִיפֶֽיהָ:
And he will growl: That enemy [will growl] at the people of the Lord, mentioned above.  
like the growling of the sea: whose waves roar, so will he come with roaring armies.  
and he will look to the land: Heb. וְנִבַּט, an expression of looking. Israel will look and hope that the kings of the land, upon whom they rely, will assist them, like the matter that is stated (infra 31:1): “Those who go down to Egypt for aid.”  
and behold darkness: for they will have no support. וְנִבַּט is in the passive voice (נִפְעַל) like וְלֹא נִפְתַּח, will not open up, וְלֹא נִתַּק, will not be torn, and the ‘vav’ causes the tense to be reversed to the future. Ediert esvuardeyd in O.F.  
the distressed one and the light shall darken: Comp. (infra 31:3) “And the helper shall stumble and the one who is helped shall fall.” He who is distressed, upon whom the trouble has come, as well as he who comes to bring light to him, both of them will darken. Some interpret צַר as the moon, whose light was diminished, צַר [meaning narrow,] and אוֹר as the sun, [meaning light].  
in its eclipse: Heb. בַּעֲרִיפֶיהָ. When its darkening comes. An expression similar to (Deut. 32:2): “Shall drip (יַעֲרֹף) like rain,” for so is the nature that when rain falls, the light darkens.