Chapter 9

1The people who walked in darkness, have seen a great light; those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, light shone upon them.   אהָעָם֙ הַהֹֽלְכִ֣ים בַּחֹ֔שֶׁךְ רָא֖וּ א֣וֹר גָּד֑וֹל יֹֽשְׁבֵי֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ צַלְמָ֔וֶת א֖וֹר נָגַ֥הּ עֲלֵיהֶֽם:
The people who walked in darkness: The inhabitants of Jerusalem, who were darkened by their concern [of falling into the hands] of Sennacherib. Comp. with what Hezekiah said (infra 7:3), “This day is a day of distress, debate, and blasphemy.”  
have seen a great light: with Sennacherib’s downfall.  
2You have aggrandized this nation; you have magnified the joy for them; they have rejoiced over You like the joy of harvest, as they rejoice when they divide spoils.   בהִרְבִּ֣יתָ הַגּ֔וֹי ל֖וֹ (כתיב לֹ֖א) הִגְדַּ֣לְתָּ הַשִּׂמְחָ֑ה שָֹֽמְח֚וּ לְפָנֶ֙יךָ֙ כְּשִׂמְחַ֣ת בַּקָּצִ֔יר כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר יָגִ֖ילוּ בְּחַלְּקָ֥ם שָׁלָֽל:
You have aggrandized this nation: They have become aggrandized to all who hear of them, when the nations heard the miracles that were performed for them.  
You have magnified the joy for them: Heb. לוֹ, [lit. for him.] And not for his enemies. It is written לֹא, [spelled ‘lammed aleph,’ meaning ‘not,’] since Hezekiah’s joy was incomplete, because, at that time it was said to him (infra 39:6), everything in your palace… will be carried off to Babylonia."  
like the joy of harvest: Jonathan renders: like the joy of the victors of a battle, which is similar to the harvest; those who slay men cut throats. Scripture deviated from being explicit [lit. changed its language] to expound that the miracle took place on the night of the harvest of the omer.  
as they rejoice when they divide spoils: of Egypt in Moses’ time, for here, too, they divided the spoils of Cush and Egypt and the coveted treasures of all the nations, for, when he returned from Tirhakah, king of Cush, he came to Jerusalem with all the treasures of Cush and Egypt, as it is stated (infra 45:14): “The toil of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush and the Sebaites…” And all this Hezekiah and his people plundered.  
3For, the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of the one who oppressed him have You broken, as on the day of Midian.   גכִּ֣י | אֶת־עֹ֣ל סֻבֳּל֗וֹ וְאֵת֙ מַטֵּ֣ה שִׁכְמ֔וֹ שֵׁ֖בֶט הַנֹּגֵ֣שׂ בּ֑וֹ הַחִתֹּ֖תָ כְּי֥וֹם מִדְיָֽן:
For the yoke of his burden: The yoke which was a burden to Hezekiah, and that he bent his shoulder for this heavy burden to pay harsh tribute, and the rod with which he had oppressed Hezekiah.  
have You broken: You broke them together in one night.  
like the day of Midian: in Gideon’s time, for they, too, fell together in one night, and on the night of the harvest of the Omer, as it is said (Judges 7:13): “And behold, a roasted cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian.”  
4For every victory shout sounds with clamor, and garments wallow in blood, but this shall be burnt, consumed by fire.   דכִּ֚י כָל־סְאוֹן֙ סֹאֵ֣ן בְּרַ֔עַשׁ וְשִׂמְלָ֖ה מְגֽוֹלָלָ֣ה בְדָמִ֑ים וְהָֽיְתָ֥ה לִשְׂרֵפָ֖ה מַֽאֲכֹ֥לֶת אֵֽשׁ:
For, every victory shout sounds with clamor: Heb. כִּי כָל-סְאוֹן סֹאֵן בְרַעַשׁ. Some (Machbereth Menachem, p. 125, who claims that the root is סא interpret this as an expression of a ‘seah’ and a measure, as our Rabbis expounded it (Sotah 8b, Tosefta 3:1, Mid. Psalms 91:2, [where the Rabbis interpret this passage to mean that a person is rewarded with the same measure he metes out to others]), but, according to the simple interpretation of the language of the Scriptures, it is impossible to explain it as an expression [of a ‘seah,’] since the ‘vav’ and the ‘nun’ are not radicals but like שָׁאוֹן from שׁוֹאֶה, and הָמוֹן from הוֹמֶה, and חָרוֹן from חָרָה, this root will not assume a verb form with a ‘nun’ to say סוֹאֵן, but סוֹאֶה, just as from הָמוֹן, we say הוֹמֶה, and from שָׁאוֹן, שׁוֹאֶה, but one does not say: שׁוֹאֵן, הוֹמֵן, חוֹרֵן. I [therefore,] say that its interpretation is according to the context, and that it is hapax legomenon in Scripture. Its interpretation is an expression of a shout of victory in battle. [We, therefore, explain the words: סְאוֹן סֹאֵן בְרַעַשׁ כִּי כָל- as follows:] The sound of [var. every] victory of any victor in war, is with clamor; it is the galloping of horses and the striking of shields against each other. And the garments of those killed in battle wallowing in blood. But in this victory there is no clamor, and there is no blood.  
but this shall be burnt: He shall be burnt, consumed by fire.  
5For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, "the prince of peace."   הכִּי־יֶ֣לֶד יֻלַּד־לָ֗נוּ בֵּן נִתַּן־לָ֔נוּ וַתְּהִ֥י הַמִּשְׂרָ֖ה עַל־שִׁכְמ֑וֹ וַיִּקְרָ֨א שְׁמ֜וֹ פֶּ֠לֶא יוֹעֵץ֙ אֵ֣ל גִּבּ֔וֹר אֲבִי־עַ֖ד שַׂר־שָׁלֽוֹם:
For a child has been born to us: Although Ahaz is wicked, his son who was born to him many years ago [nine years prior to his assuming the throne] to be our king in his stead, shall be a righteous man, and the authority of the Holy One, blessed be He, and His yoke shall be on his shoulder, for he shall engage in the Torah and observe the commandments, and he shall bend his shoulder to bear the burden of the Holy One, blessed be He.  
and… called his name: The Holy One, blessed be He, Who gives wondrous counsel, is a mighty God and an everlasting Father, called Hezekiah’s name, “the prince of peace,” since peace and truth will be in his days.  
6To him who increases the authority, and for peace without end, on David's throne and on his kingdom, to establish it and to support it with justice and with righteousness; from now and to eternity, the zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall accomplish this.   ולְמַרְבֵּ֨ה (כתיב לְםַרְבֵּ֨ה) הַמִּשְׂרָ֜ה וּלְשָׁל֣וֹם אֵֽין־קֵ֗ץ עַל־כִּסֵּ֚א דָוִד֙ וְעַל־מַמְלַכְתּ֔וֹ לְהָכִ֚ין אֹתָהּ֙ וּֽלְסַֽעֲדָ֔הּ בְּמִשְׁפָּ֖ט וּבִצְדָקָ֑ה מֵֽעַתָּה֙ וְעַד־עוֹלָ֔ם קִנְאַ֛ת יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת תַּֽעֲשֶׂה־זֹּֽאת:
To him who increased the authority: To whom will He call this name? To the king who increases the authority of the Holy One, blessed be He, upon himself, to fear Him.  
authority: an expression of government. [This is to refute those who disagree with us [the Christians]. But it is possible to say that “Prince of Peace,” too, is one of the names of the Holy One, blessed be He, and this calling of a name is not actually a name but an expression of (var. for the purpose of) greatness and authority. Comp. (Ruth 4:11) “And be famous (וּקְרָא שֵׁם) in Bethlehem. Also (II Sam. 7:9, I Chron. 17:8): ” And I shall make for you a name.“ Here too, Scripture means, ” And He gave him a name and authority."]  
and for peace: which is given to him, there will be no end, for he had peace on all his sides, and this “end” is not an expression of an end to eternity, but there will be no boundaries. On the throne of the kingdom of David shall this peace be justice and righteousness that Hezekiah performed.  
and for peace: Heb. וּלְשָׁלוֹם. This ‘vav’ is to rectify the word, thus: He [Hezekiah] increased the authority upon his shoulder, and what reward will He [God] pay him? Behold, his peace shall have no end or any limit.  
from now and to eternity: The eternity of Hezekiah, viz. all his days. And so we find that Hannah said concerning Samuel (I Sam. 1:22): “and abide there forever.” And, in order to refute those who disagree [i.e., the Christians, who claim that this (Prince of Peace) is their deity], we can refute them [by asking], What is the meaning of: “from now” ? Is it not so that the “deity” did not come until after five hundred years and more?  
the zeal of the Lord of Hosts: Who was zealous for Zion concerning what Aram and Pekah planned about it.  
shall accomplish this: but Ahaz does not deserve it, moreover, the merit of the Patriarchs has terminated. [Addendum: And our Rabbis said: The Holy One, blessed be He, wished to make Hezekiah the Messiah and Sennacherib, Gog and Magog. Said the ministering angels before the Holy One, blessed be He, Should the one who stripped the doors of the Temple and sent them to the king of Assyria, be made Messiah? Immediately, Scripture closed it up.]  
7The Lord has sent a word against Jacob, and it has fallen in Israel.   זדָּבָ֛ר שָׁלַ֥ח אֲדֹנָ֖י בְּיַֽעֲקֹ֑ב וְנָפַ֖ל בְּיִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
The Lord has sent a word against Jacob: [i.e.,] the prophecy that he prophesied concerning the punishment of Pekah son of Remaliah.  
and it has fallen in Israel: From now, it will be fulfilled concerning them.  
8And the entire people shall know-Ephraim and the dwellers of Samaria-[the fallacy of what they spoke] with haughtiness and with arrogance, saying,   חוְיָֽדְעוּ֙ הָעָ֣ם כֻּלּ֔וֹ אֶפְרַ֖יִם וְיוֹשֵׁ֣ב שֹֽׁמְר֑וֹן בְּגַֽאֲוָ֛ה וּבְגֹ֥דֶל לֵבָ֖ב לֵאמֹֽר:
with haughtiness and arrogance, saying: What they were saying with haughtiness and arrogance.  
9"Bricks have fallen, and hewn stones we will build; sycamores have been cut down, and we will replace them with cedars."   טלְבֵנִ֥ים נָפָ֖לוּ וְגָזִ֣ית נִבְנֶ֑ה שִׁקְמִ֣ים גֻּדָּ֔עוּ וַֽאֲרָזִ֖ים נַֽחֲלִֽיף:
Bricks have fallen, and hewn stones we will build: The kings we had before Pekah reigned, e.g., Jehoahaz son of Jehu, in whose days we were diminished, like the matter stated (II Kings 13:7): “For the king of Aram had destroyed them,” were inferior, and they went away like a weak brick building that falls, but this one who is [king] now, is like a building of hewn stones, and similarly, cedars are superior to sycamores for construction.  
10And the Lord strengthened the adversaries of Rezin over him, and his enemies He shall incite.   יוַיְשַׂגֵּ֧ב יְהֹוָ֛ה אֶת־צָרֵ֥י רְצִ֖ין עָלָ֑יו וְאֶת־אֹֽיְבָ֖יו יְסַכְסֵֽךְ:
And the Lord strengthened the adversaries of Rezin over him: They trust in their dependence on Rezin, king of Aram, and the Holy One, blessed be He, shall strengthen the king of Assyria over him and stir him up to incite him to come upon him. So I heard from my teachers, but I say that “His enemies” is said in reference to the Shechinah. The Holy One, blessed be He, shall incite His enemies [to war] with one another, one nation with another nation, Aram and the Philistines with Israel, and Israel among themselves, as it is stated below in this matter: “Manasseh with Ephraim…”  
11Aram from the east and the Philistines from the west, and they devoured Israel with every mouth; despite all this, His anger has not turned away, and His hand is still outstretched.   יאאֲרָ֣ם מִקֶּ֗דֶם וּפְלִשְׁתִּים֙ מֵֽאָח֔וֹר וַיֹּֽאכְל֥וּ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בְּכָל־פֶּ֑ה בְּכָל־זֹאת֙ לֹא־שָׁ֣ב אַפּ֔וֹ וְע֖וֹד יָד֥וֹ נְטוּיָֽה:
Aram from the east: Aram harmed them from the east in the days of Jehoahaz and Joash, and the Philistines harmed them from the west, for the Philistines are west of them.  
despite all this… and His hand is still outstretched: until He brings Sennacherib upon them. Alternatively: Aram from the east and the Philistines from the west were wreaking destruction in Judah in the days of Ahaz, as is explained in Chronicles (II 28:18), and over Israel and Judah as well, Isaiah was lamenting because of these misfortunes.  
12And the people has not returned to the One Who smites it, and the Lord of Hosts they have not sought.   יבוְהָעָ֥ם לֹֽא־שָׁ֖ב עַד־הַמַּכֵּ֑הוּ וְאֶת־יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת לֹ֥א דָרָֽשׁוּ:
to the One Who smites it: To the Holy One, blessed be He, Who brings these afflictions upon them.  
13And the Lord cut off from Israel a head and a tail, a large arch and a small arch in one day.   יגוַיַּכְרֵ֨ת יְהֹוָ֜ה מִיִּשְׂרָאֵ֗ל רֹ֧אשׁ וְזָנָ֛ב כִּפָּ֥ה וְאַגְמ֖וֹן י֥וֹם אֶחָֽד:
a large arch and a small arch: An expression denoting kings and sultans. כִּפָּה, arcum voltum, arvolt in O.F. [an arch] i.e., those who hover over them like an arch.  
a small arch: Heb. (אַגְמוֹן). This too is a small arch, and since it is bent over like a rush, (אַגְמוֹן), Scripture calls it אַגְמוֹן. And in the Baraitha of Samuel we find that there are constellations in the heavens, appointed to [influence the world], and these are their names. Here the prophet states that all their savants who prophesy for them and gaze at the stars, the Lord will cut off from them.  
14An elder and a man of esteem is the head, and a misleading prophet is the tail.   ידזָקֵ֥ן וּנְשֽׂוּא־פָנִ֖ים ה֣וּא הָרֹ֑אשׁ וְנָבִ֥יא מֽוֹרֶה־שֶׁ֖קֶר ה֥וּא הַזָּנָֽב:
15And the leaders of this people mislead, and those led by them are misled.   טווַיִּֽהְי֛וּ מְאַשְּׁרֵ֥י הָֽעָם־הַזֶּ֖ה מַתְעִ֑ים וּמְאֻשָּׁרָ֖יו מְבֻלָּעִֽים:
the leaders: Heb. מְאַשְׁרֵי, leaders. Comp. (Job 23:11) “On His steps (בַּאֲשֻׁרוֹ), my foot has held fast.”  
and those led by them (lit. him): those who learned the ways of the false leaders. [Others read:] Those led in the way of the misleaders who lead them in these ways, confusing and perplexing ways, from which there is no way to emerge. The expression of מְבֻלָּעִים, misled or corrupt, applies to “ways,” in the manner it is stated elsewhere (supra 3:12): “O my people! Your leaders lead you astray, and the way of your paths they have corrupted.”  
16Therefore, over his youths, the Lord shall not rejoice, and on his orphans and his widows He shall not have mercy, for all of them are hypocrites and evil doers, and every mouth speaks obscene language; despite all this, His anger has not turned away, and His hand is still outstretched.   טזעַל־כֵּ֨ן עַל־בַּֽחוּרָ֜יו לֹֽא־יִשְׂמַ֣ח | אֲדֹנָ֗י וְאֶת־יְתֹמָ֚יו וְאֶת־אַלְמְנֹתָיו֙ לֹ֣א יְרַחֵ֔ם כִּ֚י כֻלּוֹ֙ חָנֵ֣ף וּמֵרָ֔ע וְכָל־פֶּ֖ה דֹּבֵ֣ר נְבָלָ֑ה בְּכָל־זֹאת֙ לֹא־שָׁ֣ב אַפּ֔וֹ וְע֖וֹד יָד֥וֹ נְטוּיָֽה:
and evildoers: Wicked. Comp. (1: 4) “Evildoing seed.”  
17For wickedness has burnt like fire, and thorns shall consume them, and it kindled in the thickets of the forest, and they have become entangled by the thickening smoke.   יזכִּֽי־בָֽעֲרָ֚ה כָאֵשׁ֙ רִשְׁעָ֔ה שָׁמִ֥יר וָשַׁ֖יִת תֹּאכֵ֑ל וַתִּצַּת֙ בְּסִֽבְכֵ֣י הַיַּ֔עַר וַיִּֽתְאַבְּכ֖וּ גֵּא֥וּת עָשָֽׁן:
For wickedness has burnt like fire: Their wickedness shall burn them and consume them like fire.  
worms and thorns: [i.e.,] their [worms and thorns] shall consume their rebels and their transgressors.  
and it kindled in the thickets of the forest: in the impoverished segment of the population.“Thicket” refers to the branches.  
and they have become entangled by the thickening smoke.: They shall become entangled and hemmed in by the strength of the conflagration. Every expression of entanglement has only בך as its radical. Comp. (Job 28:11) “From the recesses (מִבְּכִי) of the rivers” ; (Psalms 94: 7) “The valley of entanglement (הַבָּכָא).” And the ‘nun’ appears in it sometimes, and here an ‘aleph’ appears in place of the ‘nun,’ like the ‘aleph’ of אִבְחַת, “the howling of the sword” (Ezekiel 21:20), and the ‘aleph’ of וְאַחְוָתִי, “And my speech in your ears” (Job 13: 17).  
18By the wrath of the Lord of Hosts, the smoke has reached the earth, and the people has become like a conflagration of fire; no one has pity on his fellow-man.   יחבְּעֶבְרַ֛ת יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת נֶעְתַּ֣ם אָ֑רֶץ וַיְהִ֚י הָעָם֙ כְּמַֽאֲכֹ֣לֶת אֵ֔שׁ אִ֥ישׁ אֶל־אָחִ֖יו לֹ֥א יַחְמֹֽלוּ:
the smoke has reached: Heb. נֶעְתַּם. Jonathan translates: The earth has become scorched. But I find it difficult to explain it in that manner, for it should state נֶעֶתְמָה [since אֶרֶץ is a feminine noun,] and since it is hapax legomenon in Scripture, appearing neither in the sense of the Targum nor any other sense, I explain it according to its context: By the wrath of the Holy One, blessed be He, this smoke reached the earth, and it is an expression that it was ‘decreed’ upon the earth or an expression of ‘reaching’ the earth.  
19And he snatched on the right and is still hungry, and he ate on the left and they are not sated; each one eats the flesh of his arm.   יטוַיִּגְזֹ֚ר עַל־יָמִין֙ וְרָעֵ֔ב וַיֹּ֥אכַל עַל־שְׂמֹ֖אל וְלֹ֣א שָׂבֵ֑עוּ אִ֥ישׁ בְּשַׂר־זְרֹע֖וֹ יֹאכֵֽלוּ:
And he snatched on the right: They will pillage and plunder one another on the right or on the left and it will not suffice them.  
each one… the flesh of his arm: Jonathan renders: each one plunders the possessions of his relative.  
20Manasseh with Ephraim, and Ephraim with Manasseh, together they shall [unite] against Judah; despite all this, His anger has not turned away, and His hand is still outstretched.   כמְנַשֶּׁ֣ה אֶת־אֶפְרַ֗יִם וְאֶפְרַ֙יִם֙ אֶת־מְנַשֶּׁ֔ה יַחְדָּ֥ו הֵ֖מָּה עַל־יְהוּדָ֑ה בְּכָל־זֹאת֙ לֹא־שָׁ֣ב אַפּ֔וֹ וְע֖וֹד יָד֥וֹ נְטוּיָֽה:
Manasseh with Ephraim: Manasseh will join Ephraim.  
and Ephraim with Manasseh: With Manasseh, and together they will unite against Judah.