Chapter 24

1Behold the Lord empties the land and lays it waste, and He shall turn over its face and scatter its inhabitants.   אהִנֵּ֧ה יְהֹוָ֛ה בּוֹקֵ֥ק הָאָ֖רֶץ וּבֽוֹלְקָ֑הּ וְעִוָּ֣ה פָנֶ֔יהָ וְהֵפִ֖יץ יֹֽשְׁבֶֽיהָ:
Behold the Lord empties the land and lays it waste: This prophecy represents retribution for Israel. Since he prophesied for them this consolation, and they are destined to see great distress before it, he, therefore, said to them, “Not to you do I say that you will inherit it, for, behold, the Holy One, blessed be He, empties you out and lays you waste, but those of you who survive until the day of redemption, they shall raise their voice and sing;” this is the end of the passage (v. 14), and for them have I prophesied the favorable prophecy.  
empties: (בּוֹקֵק) empties.  
and lays it waste: (וּבוֹלְקָה) and lays is waste.  
and He shall turn over its face: And He shall confuse its esteemed men. עִוָּה is an expression related to (supra 21:3): “I have become confused (נַעֲוֵיתִי) from hearing.”  
2And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest, as with the slave, so with his master, as with the maidservant, so with her mistress, as with the buyer, so with the seller, as with the lender, so with the borrower, as with the creditor, so with the one who owes him.   בוְהָיָ֚ה כָעָם֙ כַּכֹּהֵ֔ן כַּעֶ֙בֶד֙ כַּֽאדֹנָ֔יו כַּשִּׁפְחָ֖ה כַּגְּבִרְתָּ֑הּ כַּקּוֹנֶה֙ כַּמּוֹכֵ֔ר כַּמַּלְוֶה֙ כַּלּוֶֹ֔ה כַּנֹּשֶׁ֕ה כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֖ר נֹשֶׁ֥א בֽוֹ:
[And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest: Not like other travelers, that the master is led by his slave, and the mistress is led by her maidservant; the master is esteemed and the slave is held in low esteem, the mistress is esteemed and the maidservant is held in low esteem, but when the captor leads the captives, all are equal before him.]  
as with the buyer, so with the seller: When the people lives in its land securely, the buyer is happy and the seller is unhappy, since he will not return to the land he sold, but when the captor leads them, the buyer will not rejoice and the seller will not mourn, and so, as with the lender, so with the borrower, both are equal, for the borrower has nothing to pay, and the lender, had he not lent to this one, the captor would have taken it. Likewise, as with the creditor, so with the one who owes him. The word לֹוֶה applies to money and נֹשֶה applies to other commodities, such as wine, oil, grain, and honey, as it is written (Deut. 24:10): “When you lend your brother anything as a loan.”]  
3The land shall be emptied and it shall be pillaged, for the Lord has spoken this thing.   גהִבּ֧וֹק | תִּבּ֛וֹק הָאָ֖רֶץ וְהִבּ֣וֹז | תִּבּ֑וֹז כִּ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה דִּבֶּ֖ר אֶת־הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה:
shall be emptied: (וְהִבּוֹק תִּבּוֹק) shall be emptied.  
and it shall be pillaged: (וְהִבּוֹז תִּבּוֹז) an expression of pillage and spoils.  
4The land has mourned, it has withered, the land has been humbled and withered, the highest of the people of the land have been humbled.   דאָֽבְלָ֚ה נָֽבְלָה֙ הָאָ֔רֶץ אֻמְלְלָ֥ה נָֽבְלָ֖ה תֵּבֵ֑ל אֻמְלָ֖לוּ מְר֥וֹם עַם־הָאָֽרֶץ:
it has withered: (נָבְלָה) Comp. (Jeremiah 8:13) “And the leaf has withered (נָבֵל).” An expression of withering and languishing.  
has been humbled: (אֻמְלְלָה) , an expression of humility. Comp. (Neh. 3:34) “humble Jews (אֻמְלָלִים).”  
The land: (תֵּבֵל) This is the land of Israel, which is spiced (מְתֻבֶּלֶת) with many commandments.  
the highest of the people of the land: the pride of the people of the land.  
5And the land has deceived because of its inhabitants, for they transgressed instructions, infracted statutes, broke the everlasting covenant.   הוְהָאָ֥רֶץ חָֽנְפָ֖ה תַּ֣חַת יֹֽשְׁבֶ֑יהָ כִּֽי־עָֽבְר֚וּ תוֹרֹת֙ חָ֣לְפוּ חֹ֔ק הֵפֵ֖רוּ בְּרִ֥ית עוֹלָֽם:
And the land has deceived: This is a sort of deceit; it produces grass but does not produce growing grain; it shows growing grain, but there are no wheat kernels in its stalks (lit., in its straws).  
because of its inhabitants: (תַּחַתיוֹשְׁבֶיהָ) lit., under its inhabitants; because of its inhabitants.  
the everlasting covenant: That is the Torah that they received with a covenant.  
6Therefore, an oath has consumed the land, and the inhabitants thereof were wasted; therefore, the inhabitants of the land were dried up, and few people remained.   ועַל־כֵּ֗ן אָלָה֙ אָ֣כְלָה אֶ֔רֶץ וַיֶּאְשְׁמ֖וּ י֣שְׁבֵי בָ֑הּ עַל־כֵּ֗ן חָרוּ֙ י֣שְׁבֵי אֶ֔רֶץ וְנִשְׁאַ֥ר אֱנ֖וֹשׁ מִזְעָֽר:
Therefore, an oath: For the sin of vain oaths. ([Manuscripts read:] Because of the sin of false oaths.)  
were dried up: (חָרוּ) an expression of dryness and thirst through the heat of dryness. Comp. (Jer. 6:29) “The bellows are dried (נִחַר).”  
7Wine mourns, the vine is humbled, all joyful hearted sigh.   זאָבַ֥ל תִּיר֖וֹשׁ אֻמְלְלָה־גָ֑פֶן נֶֽאֶנְח֖וּ כָּל־שִׂמְחֵי־לֵֽב:
8The joy of the drums has stopped, the stirring of merrymakers has ceased, the joy of the harp has stopped.   חשָׁבַת֙ מְשׂ֣וֹשׂ תֻּפִּ֔ים חָדַ֖ל שְׁא֣וֹן עַלִּיזִ֑ים שָׁבַ֖ת מְשׂ֥וֹשׂ כִּנּֽוֹר:
The joy of the drums: that you said (supra 22:13), “And behold, joy and happiness.”  
9In song they shall not drink wine; strong drink shall become bitter to those who drink it.   טבַּשִּׁ֖יר לֹ֣א יִשְׁתּוּ־יָ֑יִן יֵמַ֥ר שֵׁכָ֖ר לְשֹׁתָֽיו:
10The wasted city is broken; every house is closed from entering.   ינִשְׁבְּרָ֖ה קִרְיַת־תֹּ֑הוּ סֻגַּ֥ר כָּל־בַּ֖יִת מִבּֽוֹא:
The wasted city is broken: When it is broken, it will be called the wasted city.  
from entering: for anyone to enter.  
11A cry for wine is in the streets; all joy is darkened; the joy of the land is exiled.   יאצְוָחָ֥ה עַל־הַיַּ֖יִן בַּֽחוּצ֑וֹת עָֽרְבָה֙ כָּל־שִׂמְחָ֔ה גָּלָ֖ה מְשׂ֥וֹשׂ הָאָֽרֶץ:
is darkened: (עָרְבָה), is darkened.  
the joy of the land: That is Jerusalem.  
12In the city there remains ruin; through desolation the gate is battered.   יבנִשְׁאָ֥ר בָּעִ֖יר שַׁמָּ֑ה וּשְׁאִיָּ֖ה יֻכַּת־שָֽׁעַר:
Through desolation, the gate is battered: Through the desolation of loneliness, that the houses are desolate, without an occupant, the gates shall become battered by demons and destructive creatures.  
13For so shall it be in the midst of the land among the peoples, like the cutting of the olive tree, like the gleanings when the vintage is over.   יגכִּי־כֹ֥ה יִֽהְיֶ֛ה בְּקֶ֥רֶב הָאָ֖רֶץ בְּת֣וֹךְ הָֽעַמִּ֑ים כְּנֹ֣קֶף זַ֔יִת כְּעֹֽלֵלֹ֖ת אִם־כָּלָ֥ה בָצִֽיר:
For so: shall Israel remain in the midst of the peoples, one in a city and two in a family.  
like the cutting of the olive tree: that leaves over berries at the tip of the uppermost bough.  
14They shall raise their voice, they shall sing; of the pride of Lord they shall shout for joy more than [by the] sea.   ידהֵ֛מָּה יִשְׂא֥וּ קוֹלָ֖ם יָרֹ֑נּוּ בִּגְא֣וֹן יְהֹוָ֔ה צָֽהֲל֖וּ מִיָּֽם:
They shall raise their voice: For those few survivors shall come the good that I prophesied above.  
they shall shout for joy more than [by the] sea: (Lit., they shall shout for joy from the sea.) More than they shouted for joy by the sea during the redemption from Egypt.  
15Therefore, for the lights honor the Lord; in the islands of the sea, the Name of the Lord God of Israel.   טועַל־כֵּ֥ן בָּֽאֻרִ֖ים כַּבְּד֣וּ יְהֹוָ֑ה בְּאִיֵּ֣י הַיָּ֔ם שֵׁ֥ם יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
Therefore, for the lights: (בָּאֻרִים). Jonathan paraphrases: When lights come to the righteous, concerning the two good tidings, both that of the redemption from Babylon and that of Edom. ([Most manuscripts read:] Jonathan paraphrases: When lights come to the righteous, concerning the two lights, etc.) And Menachem stated (Machbereth, p. 32) that אֻרִים is an expression of holes and crevices where they were fleeing, and so (Gen. 11:28): “ אוּר, the valley of the Chaldees,” and so (supra 11:8): “And on the hole (מְאוּרַת) of an adder,” the hole of its dwelling.  
16From the end of the earth we heard songs, "The righteous shall be upraised." And I said, "I have my secret; woe is to me! the treacherous have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous have dealt very treacherously."   טזמִכְּנַ֨ף הָאָ֜רֶץ זְמִרֹ֚ת שָׁמַ֙עְנוּ֙ צְבִ֣י לַצַּדִּ֔יק וָאֹמַ֛ר רָֽזִי־לִ֥י רָֽזִי־לִ֖י א֣וֹי לִ֑י בֹּֽגְדִ֣ים בָּגָ֔דוּ וּבֶ֥גֶד בּֽוֹגְדִ֖ים בָּגָֽדוּ:
From the end of the earth: Jonathan paraphrases: From the Temple, which is at the edge of the land of Israel in the east, as we learned: (Maaser Sheni 5:2) [According to Lev. 19:23 25, the produce of the vineyards produced during the first three years of its growth may neither be eaten nor may any benefit be derived therefrom. The produce of the fourth year must be taken to Jerusalem and eaten there. If this is inconvenient, the owner may redeem the produce and take the redemption money to Jerusalem, where he must buy food to eat with the sanctity of כֶּרֶם רְבָעִי, the fourth year vineyard. The Rabbis decreed, however, that within a day’s journey from Jerusalem, all produce must be brought to Jerusalem, and the owner has no option to redeem it. The following Mishnah delineates the boundaries of this area.] Lod from the west, and the Jordan from the east. It is found that from Jerusalem to the Jordan is a day’s journey. But I say according to the simple meaning, that we heard from behind the heavenly curtain that they are destined to raise their voices in song from the edge of the earth. Now what are the songs? “The righteous shall be upraised.” There shall be a position and an upraising for the righteous.  
And I said, I have my secret; I have my secret; woe is to me!: Woe is to me that these two secrets have been revealed to me, the secret of retribution and the secret of salvation, for the salvation will be far off until enemies come, plunderers after plunderers, and marauders after marauders (San. 94a). Five instances of treachery are stated here, corresponding to Babylon, Media, Persia, Greece, and Edom, who will enslave Israel before their redemption, and after these plunderings.  
17Fright and a pit and a trap [shall come] upon you, inhabitant of the land.   יזפַּ֥חַד וָפַ֖חַת וָפָ֑ח עָלֶ֖יךָ יוֹשֵׁ֥ב הָאָֽרֶץ:
Fright and a pit and a trap [shall come] upon you: upon the peoples dwelling in the land.  
a pit: a hole in which to fall, as he goes on to state.  
18And it shall come to pass, that he who flees from the sound of the fright shall fall into the pit, and he who ascends from within the pit shall be snared in the trap, for windows from above have been opened and the foundations of the earth have trembled.   יחוְֽ֠הָיָה הַנָּ֞ס מִקּ֚וֹל הַפַּ֙חַד֙ יִפֹּ֣ל אֶל־הַפַּ֔חַת וְהָֽעוֹלֶה֙ מִתּ֣וֹךְ הַפַּ֔חַת יִלָּכֵ֖ד בַּפָּ֑ח כִּֽי־אֲרֻבּ֚וֹת מִמָּרוֹם֙ נִפְתָּ֔חוּ וַֽיִּרְעֲשׁ֖וּ מ֥וֹסְדֵי אָֽרֶץ:
he who flees from the sound of the fright shall fall into the pit. etc.: Whoever escapes the sword of the Messiah the son of Joseph shall fall into the sword of the Messiah the son of David, and whoever escapes from there shall be snared in the trap of the wars of Gog.  
19The earth has broken; the earth has crumbled; the earth totters.   יטרֹ֥עָה הִתְרֹֽעֲעָ֖ה הָאָ֑רֶץ פּ֚וֹר הִתְפּֽוֹרְרָה֙ אֶ֔רֶץ מ֥וֹט הִתְמֽוֹטְטָ֖ה אָֽרֶץ:
The earth has broken: הִתְרֹעֲעָה) (רֹעָה an expression of breaking. Comp. (Ps. 2:9): “You shall break them (תְּרֹעֵם) with an iron rod.”  
has crumbled: הִתְפּוֹרְרָה) (פּוֹר, an expression of crumbs.  
20The earth sways like a drunken man, and it sways like a lodge, and its transgression shall weigh down upon it, and it shall fall and not continue to rise.   כנ֣וֹעַ תָּנ֚וּעַ אֶ֙רֶץ֙ כַּשִּׁכּ֔וֹר וְהִֽתְנוֹדְדָ֖ה כַּמְּלוּנָ֑ה וְכָבַ֚ד עָלֶ֙יהָ֙ פִּשְׁעָ֔הּ וְנָֽפְלָ֖ה וְלֹֽא־תֹסִ֥יף קֽוּם:
like a lodge: a booth of the watchmen at the top of a tree.  
21And it shall come to pass on that day, that the Lord shall visit punishment upon the host of heaven on high and upon the kings of the earth on the earth.   כאוְהָיָה֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא יִפְקֹ֧ד יְהֹוָ֛ה עַל־צְבָ֥א הַמָּר֖וֹם בַּמָּר֑וֹם וְעַל־מַלְכֵ֥י הָֽאֲדָמָ֖ה עַל־הָֽאֲדָמָֽה:
the host of heaven: He shall cast down the heavenly princes of the nations first.  
22And they shall be gathered a gathering [as] prisoners into a dungeon, and they shall be shut up in the prison, and [sins] of many days shall be visited [upon them].   כבוְאֻסְּפ֨וּ אֲסֵפָ֚ה אַסִּיר֙ עַל־בּ֔וֹר וְסֻגְּר֖וּ עַל־מַסְגֵּ֑ר וּמֵרֹ֥ב יָמִ֖ים יִפָּקֵֽדוּ:
And they shall be gathered: a gathering that is to their detriment, i.e., to bring a prisoner into a dungeon prepared for him, those sentenced to Gehinnom to be brought into Gehinnom.  
and they shall be shut up in the prison: They are the seven compartments of Gehinnom.  
and [sins] of many days shall be visited [upon them]: Sins of many days shall be visited upon them. This is what the Kalir (R. Eleazar son of R. Kalir in his final liturgical poem for Parshath Zachor) established: “From many days to be counted, to reckon their reckonings.”  
23And the moon shall be ashamed and the sun shall be abashed, for the Lord of Hosts has reigned in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before His elders will be glory.   כגוְחָֽפְרָה֙ הַלְּבָנָ֔ה וּבוֹשָׁ֖ה הַֽחַמָּ֑ה כִּֽי־מָלַ֞ךְ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֗וֹת בְּהַ֚ר צִיּוֹן֙ וּבִיר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וְנֶ֥גֶד זְקֵנָ֖יו כָּבֽוֹד:
And the moon shall be ashamed, etc.: Jonathan paraphrases: And the worshippers of the moon shall be ashamed, and the worshippers of the sun shall be humbled.