Chapter 46

1Bel squats; Nebo soils himself; their idols were to the beasts and to the cattle; what you carry is made a load, a burden for the weary.   אכָּרַ֥ע בֵּל֙ קֹרֵ֣ס נְב֔וֹ הָיוּ֙ עֲצַבֵּיהֶ֔ם לַחַיָּ֖ה וְלַבְּהֵמָ֑ה נְשֻׂאֹֽתֵיכֶ֣ם עֲמוּס֔וֹת מַשָּׂ֖א לַֽעֲיֵפָֽה:
Bel squats; Nebo soils himself: The deities of Babylon squatted and soiled themselves. This is an expression of ridicule of the idols, like one who suffers from diarrhea and does not manage to sit down on the seat in the privy before he discharges with a splash.  
Bel squats; Nebo soils himself: Heb. כָּרַע בֵּל קֹרֵס נְבוֹ. Akropid sei Bel; konkiad sei Nebo. Bel squats; Nebo soils himself. So I heard in the name of Rabbenu Gershom, the Light of the Diaspora.  
their idols were: The images of the forms of Bel and Nebo were to the beasts and the cattle, compared to the beasts and the cattle, which soil and dirty themselves with their droppings.  
what you carry is made a load, a burden: The feces in their bowels are heavy to bear like a burden for a weary man. Therefore, they soiled themselves and squatted together, the soiling with the squatting.  
2They soiled themselves, yea they squatted together, they could not deliver the burden, and they themselves have gone into captivity.   בקָֽרְס֚וּ כָֽרְעוּ֙ יַחְדָּ֔ו לֹ֥א יָֽכְל֖וּ מַלֵּ֣ט מַשָּׂ֑א וְנַפְשָׁ֖ם בַּשְּׁבִ֥י הָלָֽכָה:
they could not deliver the burden: to discharge the feces in their bowels as others discharge, in the normal manner.  
deliver: Heb. מַלֵּט, an expression of discharging from an embedded place. Comp. (supra 34:15) “There, the owl has made its nest, and she has laid eggs (וַתְּמַלֵט) ,” he has discharged her egg. Comp. also (infra 66:7) “And she has been delivered (וְהִמְלִיטָה) of a male child.” Jonathan, however, did not render these verses in this manner.  
3Hearken to Me, the house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, who are borne from birth, carried from the womb.   גשִׁמְע֚וּ אֵלַי֙ בֵּ֣ית יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וְכָל־שְׁאֵרִ֖ית בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל הָֽעֲמֻסִים֙ מִנִּי־בֶ֔טֶן הַנְּשֻׂאִ֖ים מִנִּי־רָֽחַם:
who are borne from birth: Since you were born in the house of Laban the Aramean, I bore you on My arms, for since then, adversaries stand up against you in every generation and not like the idolaters (other nations [K’li Paz and mss.]) who are laden and carry their Gods, as is mentioned above, but you are laden and borne in My arms.  
4And until old age I am the same, and until you turn gray I will carry; I have made and I will bear and I will carry and deliver.   דוְעַד־זִקְנָה֙ אֲנִ֣י ה֔וּא וְעַד־שֵׂיבָ֖ה אֲנִ֣י אֶסְבֹּ֑ל אֲנִ֚י עָשִׂ֙יתִי֙ וַֽאֲנִ֣י אֶשָּׂ֔א וַֽאֲנִ֥י אֶסְבֹּ֖ל וַֽאֲמַלֵּֽט:
And until old age: that you have aged and your strength is depleted, that you have no merit, I am the same with My mercy and with My trait of goodness to save you and to bear you and to carry you and deliver you. Since he says regarding their deity, that it is carried and also that it cannot deliver its burden, he says, “But I bear others, and I will deliver My burden.”  
5To whom shall you liken Me and make Me equal and compare Me that we may be alike?   הלְמִ֥י תְדַמְּי֖וּנִי וְתַשְׁו֑וּ וְתַמְשִׁל֖וּנִי וְנִדְמֶֽה:
and compare Me: Heb. וְתַמְשִׁלֻנִי. Comp. (Job 30:19) “And I have become like (וָאֶתְמַשֵּׁל) dust and ashes.” An expression of comparison.  
that we may be alike: That I and he be alike, one to the other.  
6Those who let gold run from the purse and weigh silver with the balance; they hire a goldsmith and he makes it a god, they kneel, yea they prostrate themselves.   והַזָּלִ֚ים זָהָב֙ מִכִּ֔יס וְכֶ֖סֶף בַּקָּנֶ֣ה יִשְׁקֹ֑לוּ יִשְׂכְּר֚וּ צוֹרֵף֙ וְיַֽעֲשֵֹ֣הוּ אֵ֔ל יִסְגְּד֖וּ אַף־יִשְׁתַּֽחֲוֽוּ:
Those who let gold run from the purse: Heb. הַזָּלִים, an expression of (Ps. 146:18) “Water runs (יִזְּלוּ).”  
with the balance: Heb. קָנֶה, the bar of a scale, called flael in O.F.  
7They bear it, on the shoulder they carry it, and they put it in its place and it stands, from its place it does not move; yea he cries to it and it does not answer; from his distress it does not save him.   זיִ֠שָּׂאֻהוּ עַל־כָּתֵ֨ף יִסְבְּלֻ֜הוּ וְיַנִּיחֻ֚הוּ תַחְתָּיו֙ וְיַֽעֲמֹ֔ד מִמְּקוֹמ֖וֹ לֹ֣א יָמִ֑ישׁ אַף־יִצְעַ֚ק אֵלָיו֙ וְלֹ֣א יַֽעֲנֶ֔ה מִצָּֽרָת֖וֹ לֹ֥א יֽוֹשִׁיעֶֽנּוּ:
8Remember this and strengthen yourselves, take to heart, you transgressors.   חזִכְרוּ־זֹ֖את וְהִֽתְאֹשָׁ֑שׁוּ הָשִׁ֥יבוּ פֽוֹשְׁעִ֖ים עַל־לֵֽב:
Remember this: what I wish to say.  
and strengthen yourselves: Heb. וְהִתְאשָׁשׁוּ. Comp. (supra 16:7) “For the walls (לַאֲשִׁישֵׁי) of Kir-hareseth.”  
take to heart, you transgressors: And what do I say to you to remember and to take to heart?  
9Remember the first things of old, that I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like Me.   טזִכְר֥וּ רִֽאשֹׁנ֖וֹת מֵֽעוֹלָ֑ם כִּ֣י אָֽנֹכִ֥י אֵל֙ וְאֵ֣ין ע֔וֹד אֱלֹהִ֖ים וְאֶ֥פֶס כָּמֽוֹנִי:
Remember the first things of old: that you have seen that I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like Me.  
10[I] tell the end from the beginning, and from before, what was not done; [I] say, 'My counsel shall stand, and all My desire I will do.'   ימַגִּ֚יד מֵֽרֵאשִׁית֙ אַֽחֲרִ֔ית וּמִקֶּ֖דֶם אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹא־נַֽעֲשׂ֑וּ אֹמֵר֙ עֲצָתִ֣י תָק֔וּם וְכָל־חֶפְצִ֖י אֶֽעֱשֶֽׂה:
[I] tell the end from the beginning: The Egyptian exile and its redemption I announced in the Covenant between the Segments, before they came about.  
11[I] call from the east a swift bird, from a distant land the man of My counsel; yea I spoke, I will also bring it; I formed it, I will also do it.   יאקֹרֵ֚א מִמִּזְרָח֙ עַ֔יִט מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מֶרְחָ֖ק אִ֣ישׁ עֲצָתִ֑י (כתיב עֲצָתִ֑ו) אַף־דִּבַּ֙רְתִּי֙ אַף־אֲבִיאֶ֔נָּה יָצַ֖רְתִּי אַ֥ף אֶֽעֱשֶֽׂנָּה:
[I] call from the east a swift bird: Heb. עַיִט. From the land of Aram, which is in the east, I called Abraham to Me to take counsel with Me. עַיִט Comp. (Dan. 2:14) “Answered with counsel (עֵיטָא) and discretion” ; (ibid. 6:8) “All the presidents of the kingdom have taken counsel (אִתְיָעֲטוּ).” Alternatively, it can be interpreted as an expression of a bird. I called him to hasten after Me like a bird that flies and wanders from its place.  
from a distant land: I called My man of counsel, and with him I took counsel between the parts concerning the four exiles, as it is explained in Gen. Rabbah (44:17) “And behold, a fear, great darkness was falling upon him.” [“Fear” refers to Babylon… “Darkness” refers to Media, who darkened the eyes of Israel with fasting. “Great” refers to Greece…“Was falling upon him” refers to Edom…, etc.]  
yea I spoke: with him concerning the exiles and their redemption; I will also bring it.  
12Hearken to Me, you stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness.   יבשִׁמְע֥וּ אֵלַ֖י אַבִּ֣ירֵי לֵ֑ב הָֽרְחוֹקִ֖ים מִצְּדָקָֽה:
stout-hearted: You who have strengthened your heart among the heathens (the nations [Parshandatha, K’li Paz]) and have clung to Me.  
that are far from righteousness: For it has been a long time for you, and I have not demonstrated to you My righteousness to redeem you.  
13I have brought near My righteousness, it shall not go far, and My salvation shall not delay, and I will give salvation in Zion, to Israel, My glory.   יגקֵרַ֚בְתִּי צִדְקָתִי֙ לֹ֣א תִרְחָ֔ק וּתְשֽׁוּעָתִ֖י לֹ֣א תְאַחֵ֑ר וְנָתַתִּ֚י בְצִיּוֹן֙ תְּשׁוּעָ֔ה לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל תִּפְאַרְתִּֽי:
I have brought near My righteousness: from now on, and it will not be far off.