Chapter 40

1"Console, console My people," says your God.   אנַֽחֲמ֥וּ נַֽחֲמ֖וּ עַמִּ֑י יֹאמַ֖ר אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶֽם:
Console, console My people: He returns to his future prophecies; since from here to the end of the Book are words of consolations, this section separated them from the prophecies of retribution. Console, you, My prophets, console My people.  
2Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her, for she has become full [from] her host, for her iniquity has been appeased, for she has taken from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins.   בדַּבְּר֞וּ עַל־לֵ֚ב יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ וְקִרְא֣וּ אֵלֶ֔יהָ כִּ֚י מָֽלְאָה֙ צְבָאָ֔הּ כִּ֥י נִרְצָ֖ה עֲו‍ֹנָ֑הּ כִּ֚י לָֽקְחָה֙ מִיַּ֣ד יְהֹוָ֔ה כִּפְלַ֖יִם בְּכָל־חַטֹּאתֶֽיהָ:
for she has become full [from] her host: Jonathan renders: She is destined to become full from the people of the exiles, as though it would say, “She has become full from her host.” Others interpret צְבָאָה like (Job 7:1), “Is there not a time (צָבָא) for man on the earth?”  
has been appeased: Heb. נִרְצָה, has been appeased.  
for she has taken etc.: [Jonathan paraphrases:] For she has received a cup of consolation from before the Lord as though she has been punished doubly for all her sins. According to its simple meaning, it is possible to explain, ‘for she received double punishment.’ Now if you ask, how is it the standard of the Holy One, blessed be He, to pay back a person double his sin, I will tell you that we find an explicit verse (Jer. 16:18): “And I will pay first the doubling of their iniquity and their sin.”  
3A voice calls, "In the desert, clear the way of the Lord, straighten out in the wilderness, a highway for our God."   גק֣וֹל קוֹרֵ֔א בַּמִּדְבָּ֕ר פַּנּ֖וּ דֶּ֣רֶךְ יְהֹוָ֑ה יַשְּׁרוּ֙ בָּֽעֲרָבָ֔ה מְסִלָּ֖ה לֵֽאלֹהֵֽינוּ:
A voice: The Holy Spirit calls, “In the desert, the way to Jerusalem.”  
clear the way of the Lord: for her exiles to return to her midst. [The Warsaw edition yields:]  
Clear the way of the Lord: The way of Jerusalem for her exiles to return to her midst.  
4Every valley shall be raised, and every mountain and hill shall be lowered, and the crooked terrain shall become a plain and the close mountains a champaign.   דכָּל־גֶּיא֙ יִנָּשֵׂ֔א וְכָל־הַ֥ר וְגִבְעָ֖ה יִשְׁפָּ֑לוּ וְהָיָ֚ה הֶֽעָקֹב֙ לְמִישׁ֔וֹר וְהָֽרְכָסִ֖ים לְבִקְעָֽה:
Every valley shall be raised: and the mountain shall be lowered, thus resulting in a smooth, even, and easily traversed road.  
and the close mountains: Heb. רְכָסִים, mountains close to each other, and because of their proximity, the descent between them is steep and it is not slanted, that it should be easy to descend and ascend. ([The word] רְכָסִים is translated by Jonathan as ‘banks,’ an expression of height like the banks of a river.)  
close mountains: Heb. רְכָסִים. Comp. (Ex. 28:28) “And they shall fasten (וְיִרְכְּסוּ) the breastplate.”  
a champaign: Canpayne in O.F., a smooth and even terrain.  
5And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see that the mouth of the Lord spoke.   הוְנִגְלָ֖ה כְּב֣וֹד יְהֹוָ֑ה וְרָא֚וּ כָל־בָּשָׂר֙ יַחְדָּ֔ו כִּ֛י פִּ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה דִּבֵּֽר:
6A voice says, "Call!" and it says, "What shall I call?" "All flesh is grass, and all its kindness is like the blossom of the field.   וקוֹל אֹמֵ֣ר קְרָ֔א וְאָמַ֖ר מָ֣ה אֶקְרָ֑א כָּל־הַבָּשָׂר֙ חָצִ֔יר וְכָל־חַסְדּ֖וֹ כְּצִ֥יץ הַשָּׂדֶֽה:
A voice: from the Holy One, blessed be He, says to me, “Call!”  
and it says: My spirit says to Him, “What shall I call?” And the voice answers him, "Call this, all flesh is grass. All those who are haughty their greatness shall be turned over and become like grass. ([Manuscripts yield:] All the princes of the kingdom their greatness shall be turned over and shall wither away [lit. shall end] like grass.)  
and all its kindness is like the blossom of the field: For “the kindness of the nations is sin” (Prov. 14:34). [Ed. note: We have inverted the order of Rashi and followed the order of K’li Paz and Parshandatha, to connect the second part of the verse with the first. Rashi’s explanation of the second part follows his first explanation of the first part. In the Lublin edition, the second explanation of the first part of the verse interrupts the sequence.] (Another explanation is: All flesh is grass.) A person’s end is to die; therefore, if he says to do kindness, he is like the blossom of the field, that is cut off and dries, and one must not rely on him, for he has no power to fulfill his promise, perhaps he will die, for, just as the grass dries out and the blossom wilts, so is it that when a man dies, his promise is null, but the word of our God shall last for He is living and existing, and He has the power to fulfill. Therefore, “Upon a lofty mountain ascend and herald, O herald of Zion, for the promise of the tidings emanates from the mouth of Him Who lives forever.”  
7The grass shall dry out, the blossom shall wilt, for a wind from the Lord has blown upon it; behold the people is grass.   זיָבֵ֚שׁ חָצִיר֙ נָ֣בֵֽל צִ֔יץ כִּ֛י ר֥וּחַ יְהֹוָ֖ה נָ֣שְׁבָה בּ֑וֹ אָכֵ֥ן חָצִ֖יר הָעָֽם:
shall wilt: Heb. נָבֵל, wilt.  
8The grass shall dry out, the blossom shall wilt, but the word of our God shall last forever.   חיָבֵ֥שׁ חָצִ֖יר נָ֣בֵֽל צִ֑יץ וּדְבַ֥ר אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יָק֥וּם לְעוֹלָֽם:
9Upon a lofty mountain ascend, O herald of Zion, raise your voice with strength, O herald of Jerusalem; raise [your voice], fear not; say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!"   טעַ֣ל הַר־גָּבֹ֚הַ עֲלִי־לָךְ֙ מְבַשֶּׂ֣רֶת צִיּ֔וֹן הָרִ֚ימִי בַכֹּ֙חַ֙ קוֹלֵ֔ךְ מְבַשֶּׂ֖רֶת יְרֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם הָרִ֙ימִי֙ אַל־תִּירָ֔אִי אִמְרִי֙ לְעָרֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֔ה הִנֵּ֖ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶֽם:
O herald of Zion: Heb. מְבַשֶּׂרֶת. The prophets who herald Zion. [This is the feminine form.] Elsewhere (infra 52:7), he says, “the feet of the herald (מְבַשֵּׂר).” [This is the masculine form.] This denotes that if they are worthy, he will be as swift as a male. If they are not worthy, he will be as weak as a female and will delay his steps until the end.  
10Behold the Lord God shall come with a strong [hand], and His arm rules for Him; behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense is before Him.   יהִנֵּ֨ה אֲדֹנָ֚י יֱהֹוִה֙ בְּחָזָ֣ק יָב֔וֹא וּזְרֹע֖וֹ מֹ֣שְׁלָה ל֑וֹ הִנֵּ֚ה שְׂכָרוֹ֙ אִתּ֔וֹ וּפְעֻלָּת֖וֹ לְפָנָֽיו:
shall come with a strong [hand]: to mete out retribution upon the heathens. ([Mss. read:] Upon the nations.)  
behold His reward is with Him: It is prepared with Him for the righteous.  
and His recompense: [lit. His deed,] the recompense for the deed, which He is obliged to give them.  
11Like a shepherd [who] tends his flock, with his arm he gathers lambs, and in his bosom he carries [them], the nursing ones he leads.   יאכְּרֹעֶה֙ עֶדְר֣וֹ יִרְעֶ֔ה בִּזְרֹעוֹ֙ יְקַבֵּ֣ץ טְלָאִ֔ים וּבְחֵיק֖וֹ יִשָּׂ֑א עָל֖וֹת יְנַהֵֽל:
Like a shepherd [who] tends his flock: Like a shepherd who tends his flock; with his arm he gathers lambs, and he carries them in his bosom.  
the nursing ones he leads: [Jonathan renders:] The nursing ones he leads gently, the nursing sheep.  
he leads: Heb. יְנַהֵל, lit. he shall lead, like מְנַהֵל, he leads.  
12Who measured water with his gait, and measured the heavens with his span, and measured by thirds the dust of the earth, and weighed mountains with a scale and hills with a balance?   יבמִֽי־מָדַ֨ד בְּשָֽׁעֳל֜וֹ מַ֗יִם וְשָׁמַ֙יִם֙ בַּזֶּ֣רֶת תִּכֵּ֔ן וְכָ֥ל בַּשָּׁלִ֖שׁ עֲפַ֣ר הָאָ֑רֶץ וְשָׁקַ֚ל בַּפֶּ֙לֶס֙ הָרִ֔ים וּגְבָע֖וֹת בְּמֹֽאזְנָֽיִם:
Who measured etc.: He had the power to do all this, and surely He has the power to keep these promises.  
with his gait: Heb. בְּשָׁעֳלוֹ, with his walking, as it is said (Habakkuk 3:15): “You trod with Your horses in the sea.” Comp. (Num. 22:24) “In the path (בְּמִשְׁעוֹל) of the vineyards, a path (for walking).” Another explanation is that שַׁעַל is the name of a receptacle. Comp. (Ezekiel 13:19) “For measures (בְּשַׁעֲלוֹ) of barley.”  
measured: Amolad in O.F., an expression of measure and number. Comp. (Ex. 5:18) “And the number (וְתֹכֶן) of bricks you shall give.”  
and measured by thirds: Heb. בַּשָּׁלִשׁ, and measured by thirds, one third wilderness, one third civilization, and one third seas and rivers. Another interpretation: בַּשָּׁלִשׁ, from the thumb to the middle finger, the third of the fingers. Menahem explains it as the name of a vessel. Comp. (Ps. 80:6) “And You gave them to drink tears with a vessel (שָׁלִישׁ).”  
and weighed mountains with a scale: Everything according to the earth, a heavy mountain He inserted into hard earth, and the light ones into soft earth.  
13Who meted the spirit of the Lord, and His adviser who informs Him?   יגמִֽי־תִכֵּ֥ן אֶת־ר֖וּחַ יְהֹוָ֑ה וְאִ֥ישׁ עֲצָת֖וֹ יֽוֹדִיעֶֽנּוּ:
Who meted: the Holy Spirit in the mouth of the prophets? The Lord prepared it, and He is worthy of belief.  
and His adviser who informs Him: [and the one with whom He takes counsel He informs] of His spirit. So did Jonathan render it. [Who meted out the spirit? The Lord, and the one with whom He takes counsel He informs him, i.e., the righteous in whom God confides, He informs of His plans for the future.] But, according to its context, עֲצָתו ֹוְאִישׁ refers back to the beginning of the verse. Who meted out His spirit and who is His adviser who informs the Holy One, blessed be He, of counsel?  
14With whom did He take counsel give him to understand, and teach him in the way of justice, and teach him knowledge, and the way of understandings did He let him know?   ידאֶת־מִ֚י נוֹעַץ֙ וַיְבִינֵ֔הוּ וַֽיְלַמְּדֵ֖הוּ בְּאֹ֣רַח מִשְׁפָּ֑ט וַֽיְלַמְּדֵ֣הוּ דַ֔עַת וְדֶ֥רֶךְ תְּבוּנ֖וֹת יֽודִיעֶֽנּוּ:
With whom did He take counsel and give him to understand: With which of the heathens ([mss., K’li Paz:] nations) did He take counsel, as He took counsel with the prophets, as it is said concerning Abraham (Gen. 18:17): “Do I conceal from Abraham…?”  
and give him to understand, and teach him in the way of justice: With which one of the heathens ([mss., K’li Paz:] nations) did He do so, that He taught him wisdom as He did to Abraham, to whom He gave a heart to recognize Him by himself and to understand the Torah, as it is said (ibid. 26:5): “And he kept My charge,” and Scripture states further (ibid. 18:19), “For he commands etc.” And his kidneys would pour forth wisdom to him, as it is said (Ps. 16:7): “Even at night my kidneys chastised me.” (  
With whom did He take counsel and who gave Him to understand: [With which man did He take counsel and which] man gave the Holy One, blessed be He, [to understand?] Behold all the nations are like a drop in a bucket, and how could they teach Him?)  
15Behold the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and like dust on a balance are they counted; behold the islands are like fine [dust] that blows away.   טוהֵ֚ן גּוֹיִם֙ כְּמַ֣ר מִדְּלִ֔י וּכְשַׁ֥חַק מֹֽאזְנַ֖יִם נֶחְשָׁ֑בוּ הֵ֥ן אִיִּ֖ים כַּדַּ֥ק יִטּֽוֹל:
Behold the nations are like a drop from a bucket: And are not worthy to Him to appoint some of them as prophets to reveal His secret.  
like a drop from a bucket: Heb. כְּמַר, like a bitter drop that drips from the bottom of the bucket, bitter from the putrid water that is embedded in the bucket and the decay of the wood, limonede in O.F.  
and like the dust of a balance: for the copper corrodes and wears off.  
like fine: fine dust.  
that blows away: [lit. that will be taken.] Like dust that is picked up and goes up through the wind, like fine dust that is carried away.  
16And the Lebanon-there is not enough to burn, and its beasts-there is not enough for burnt offerings.   טזוּלְבָנ֕וֹן אֵ֥ין דֵּ֖י בָּעֵ֑ר וְחַ֨יָּת֔וֹ אֵ֥ין דֵּ֖י עוֹלָֽה:
there is not enough to burn: on His altar.  
and its beasts: (the beasts] of the Lebanon-there is not enough for burnt offerings. Another explanation is:  
And the Lebanon etc.: to expiate the iniquity of the heathens.  
17All the nations are as nought before Him; as things of nought and vanity are they regarded by Him.   יזכָּל־הַגּוֹיִ֖ם כְּאַ֣יִן נֶגְדּ֑וֹ מֵאֶ֥פֶס וָתֹ֖הוּ נֶחְשְׁבוּ־לֽוֹ:
All the nations are as naught before Him: In His eyes they are as naught, and are not regarded by Him.  
18And to whom do you compare God, and what likeness do you arrange for Him?   יחוְאֶל־מִ֖י תְּדַמְּי֣וּן אֵ֑ל וּמַה־דְּמ֖וּת תַּֽעַרְכוּ־לֽוֹ:
19The graven image, the craftsman has melted, and the smith plates it with gold, and chains of silver he attaches.   יטהַפֶּ֙סֶל֙ נָסַ֣ךְ חָרָ֔שׁ וְצֹרֵ֖ף בַּזָּהָ֣ב יְרַקְּעֶ֑נּוּ וּרְתֻקּ֥וֹת כֶּ֖סֶף צוֹרֵֽף:
melted: Heb. נָסַךְ, an expression of melting (מַסֵּכָה).  
the craftsman has melted: The ironsmith has cast it from iron or from copper, and then the goldsmith plates it with plates of gold and covers it from above.  
and chains: Heb. וּרְתֻקוֹת, and chains.  
20He who is accustomed to select, chooses a tree that does not rot; he seeks for himself a skilled craftsman, to prepare a graven image, which will not move.   כהַֽמְסֻכָּ֣ן תְּרוּמָ֔ה עֵ֥ץ לֹֽא־יִרְקַ֖ב יִבְחָ֑ר חָרָ֚שׁ חָכָם֙ יְבַקֶּשׁ־ל֔וֹ לְהָכִ֥ין פֶּ֖סֶל לֹ֥א יִמּֽוֹט:
He who is accustomed to select: הַמְסֻכָּן תְּרוּמָה. Or, if he comes to make it of wood, one who is accustomed to discern between a durable tree and other trees, chooses a tree that does not decay quickly.  
He who is accustomed: Heb. הַמְסֻכָּן. Comp. (Num. 22:30) “Have I been accustomed (הַהַסְכֵּן הִסְכַּנְתִּי)?”  
to select: Heb. תְּרוּמָה, separation, selection of the trees.  
21Do you not know, have you not heard has it not been told to you from the beginning? Do you not understand the foundations of the earth?   כאהֲל֚וֹא תֵֽדְעוּ֙ הֲל֣וֹא תִשְׁמָ֔עוּ הֲל֛וֹא הֻגַּ֥ד מֵרֹ֖אשׁ לָכֶ֑ם הֲלוֹא֙ הֲבִ֣ינוֹתֶ֔ם מֽוֹסְד֖וֹת הָאָֽרֶץ:
Do you not know… the foundations of the earth: Who founded it, and you should have worshipped Him.  
22It is He Who sits above the circle of the earth, and whose inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heaven like a curtain, and He spread them out like a tent to dwell.   כבהַיּשֵׁב֙ עַל־ח֣וּג הָאָ֔רֶץ וְיֹֽשְׁבֶ֖יהָ כַּֽחֲגָבִ֑ים הַנּוֹטֶ֚ה כַדֹּק֙ שָׁמַ֔יִם וַיִּמְתָּחֵ֥ם כָּאֹ֖הֶל לָשָֽׁבֶת:
the circle: Heb. חוּג, an expression similar to (infra 44:13) “And with a compass (וּבַמְּחוּגָה),” a circle (compas in O.F.).  
and whose inhabitants: are to Him [lit. before Him] like grasshoppers.  
like a curtain: Heb. כַדֹּק, a curtain, toile in French.  
23Who brings princes to nought, judges of the land He made like a thing of nought.   כגהַנּוֹתֵ֥ן רֽוֹזְנִ֖ים לְאָ֑יִן שֹׁ֥פְטֵי אֶ֖רֶץ כַּתֹּ֥הוּ עָשָֽׂה:
24Even [as though] they were not planted, even [as though] they were not sown, even [as though] their trunk was not rooted in the earth; and also He blew on them, and they dried up, and a tempest shall carry them away like straw.   כדאַ֣ף בַּל־נִטָּ֗עוּ אַף בַּל־זֹרָ֔עוּ אַ֛ף בַּל־שֹׁרֵ֥שׁ בָּאָ֖רֶץ גִּזְעָ֑ם וְגַם־נָשַׁ֚ף בָּהֶם֙ וַיִּבָ֔שׁוּ וּסְעָרָ֖ה כַּקַּ֥שׁ תִּשָּׂאֵֽם:
Even [as though] they were not planted: They are even as though they were not planted.  
even [as though] they were not sown: And still more than this, that they shall be uprooted and plucked out, as if they were not sown. Sowing is less than planting.  
their trunk is not rooted in the earth: When they will be plucked out, the trunk will not take root in the ground that it will grow up anew. Every שֹׁרֶשׁ, root, in Scripture is accented on the first letter, and the ‘reish’ is vowelized with a ‘pattah’ [segol]. This one, however, is accented on the latter syllable and it is vowelized with a ‘kamatz katan’ [tzeireh] because it is a verb, present tense, [enracinant in French] being rooted.  
25"Now, to whom will you compare Me that I should be equal?" says the Holy One.   כהוְאֶל־מִ֥י תְדַמְּי֖וּנִי וְאֶשְׁוֶ֑ה יֹאמַ֖ר קָדֽוֹשׁ:
26Lift up your eyes on high and see, who created these, who takes out their host by number; all of them He calls by name; because of His great might and because He is strong in power, no one is missing.   כושְׂאוּ־מָר֨וֹם עֵינֵיכֶ֚ם וּרְאוּ֙ מִֽי־בָרָ֣א אֵ֔לֶּה הַמּוֹצִ֥יא בְמִסְפָּ֖ר צְבָאָ֑ם לְכֻלָּם֙ בְּשֵׁ֣ם יִקְרָ֔א מֵרֹ֚ב אוֹנִים֙ וְאַמִּ֣יץ כֹּ֔חַ אִ֖ישׁ לֹ֥א נֶעְדָּֽר:
who created these: All the host that you will see on high.  
because of His great might: that He has, and that He is strong in power, no one of His host is missing, that He does not call by name.  
27Why should you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way has been hidden from the Lord, and from my God, my judgment passes"?   כזלָ֚מָּה תֹאמַר֙ יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וּתְדַבֵּ֖ר יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל נִסְתְּרָ֚ה דַרְכִּי֙ מֵֽיְהֹוָ֔ה וּמֵֽאֱלֹהַ֖י מִשְׁפָּטִ֥י יַֽעֲבֽוֹר:
Why should you say: My people ([K’li Paz, mss.:] the people of) Jacob, and speak in exile.  
My way has been hidden from the Lord: He hid from before His eyes all that we served Him, and gave those who did not know Him, dominion over us.  
and from my God, my judgment passes?: He ignores the judgment of the good reward He should have paid our forefathers and us.  
28Do you not know-if you have not heard-an everlasting God is the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth; He neither tires nor wearies; there is no fathoming His understanding.   כחהֲל֨וֹא יָדַ֜עְתָּ אִם־לֹ֣א שָׁמַ֗עְתָּ אֱלֹהֵ֨י עוֹלָ֚ם | יְהֹוָה֙ בּוֹרֵא֙ קְצ֣וֹת הָאָ֔רֶץ לֹ֥א יִיעַ֖ף וְלֹ֣א יִיגָ֑ע אֵ֥ין חֵ֖קֶר לִתְבֽוּנָתֽוֹ:
the Creator of the ends of the earth… there is no fathoming His understanding: And One who has such strength and such wisdom. He knows the thoughts. Why does He delay your benefit, only to terminate the transgression and to expiate the sin through afflictions.  
29Who gives the tired strength, and to him who has no strength, He increases strength.   כטנֹתֵ֥ן לַיָּעֵ֖ף כֹּ֑חַ וּלְאֵ֥ין אוֹנִ֖ים עָצְמָ֥ה יַרְבֶּֽה:
Who gives the tired strength: And who will eventually renew strength for your tiredness.  
30Now youths shall become tired and weary, and young men shall stumble.   לוְיִֽעֲפ֥וּ נְעָרִ֖ים וְיִגָ֑עוּ וּבַֽחוּרִ֖ים כָּשׁ֥וֹל יִכָּשֵֽׁלוּ:
Now youths shall become tired: Heb. נְעָרִים. The might of your enemies who are devoid (מְנֹעָרִים) of commandments, shall become faint.  
and young men shall stumble: Those who are now mighty and strong, shall stumble, but you, who put your hope in the Lord shall gain new strength and power.  
31But those who put their hope in the Lord shall renew [their] vigor, they shall raise wings as eagles; they shall run and not weary, they shall walk and not tire.   לאוְקוֵֹ֚י יְהֹוָה֙ יַֽחֲלִ֣יפוּ כֹ֔חַ יַֽעֲל֥וּ אֵ֖בֶר כַּנְּשָׁרִ֑ים יָר֙וּצוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א יִיגָ֔עוּ יֵֽלְכ֖וּ וְלֹ֥א יִיעָֽפוּ:
wings: [The Hebrew אבר means] a wing.