Chapter 21

1Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying:   אוַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר:
2"Son of man, set your face southward and speak to the south and prophesy to the forest of the field in the south.   בבֶּן־אָדָ֗ם שִׂ֚ים פָּנֶ֙יךָ֙ דֶּ֣רֶךְ תֵּימָ֔נָה וְהַטֵּ֖ף אֶל־דָּר֑וֹם וְהִנָּבֵ֛א אֶל־יַ֥עַר הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה נֶֽגֶב:
southward: The land of Israel is south of Babylon.  
to the forest of the field in the south: To My Temple, which is destined to be like a forest and like a field, to be plowed in order to be overrun by foxes.  
3And you shall say to the forest of the south, Hearken to the word of the Lord God: Behold I kindle within you fire, and it will consume within you every moist tree and every dry tree; it shall not be quenched, yea a flaming flame, and all faces from the south to the north shall be scorched by it.   גוְאָֽמַרְתָּ֙ לְיַ֣עַר הַנֶּ֔גֶב שְׁמַ֖ע דְּבַר־יְהֹוָ֑ה כֹּֽה־אָמַ֣ר אֲדֹנָ֣י יֱהֹוִ֡ה הִנְנִ֣י מַצִּֽית־בְּךָ֣ | אֵ֡שׁ וְאָֽכְלָ֣ה בְךָ֣ כָל־עֵֽץ־לַח֩ וְכָל־עֵ֨ץ יָבֵ֚שׁ לֹֽא־תִכְבֶּה֙ לַהֶ֣בֶת שַׁלְהֶ֔בֶת וְנִצְרְבוּ־בָ֥הּ כָּל־פָּנִ֖ים מִנֶּ֥גֶב צָפֽוֹנָה:
shall be scorched: Heb. וְנִצְרְבוּ, an expression related to (Lev. 13:23): “a scar (צָרֶבֶת) from the boil” ; (Prov. 16:27), “and on his lips is a kind of searing (צָרֶבֶת) fire,” an expression of a burn.  
all faces from the south to the north: All the people south of Babylon, which is to the north. וְנִצְרְבוּ, shall be scorched, comes from צרב (as Lev. 13:2), retrere in Old French, to shrivel up.  
4And all flesh shall see that I am the Lord; I have kindled it, it shall not be quenched.   דוְרָאוּ֙ כָּל־בָּשָׂ֔ר כִּ֛י אֲנִ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה בִּֽעַרְתִּ֑יהָ לֹ֖א תִּכְבֶּֽה:
5Then said I, "Alas, O Lord God, they say of me, 'Is he not an inventor of parables?' "   הוָאֹמַ֕ר אֲהָ֖הּ אֲדֹנָ֣י יֱהֹוִ֑ה הֵמָּה אֹֽמְרִ֣ים לִ֔י הֲלֹ֛א מְמַשֵּׁ֥ל מְשָׁלִ֖ים הֽוּא:
‘Is he not an inventor of parables’: when I prophesy to them in language of parable and riddle, such as a forest and a fire consuming [trees] moist and dry.  
6Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:   ווַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר:
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Prophesy to them a clear prophecy. What I said to you, “Set your face southward,” I explain to you: “Set your face toward Jerusalem.”  
7"Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and prophesy about the sanctuaries and prophesy about the land of Israel.   זבֶּן־אָדָ֗ם שִׂ֚ים פָּנֶ֙יךָ֙ אֶל־יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וְהַטֵּ֖ף אֶל־מִקְדָּשִׁ֑ים וְהִנָּבֵ֖א אֶל־אַדְמַ֥ת יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
and prophesy: Heb. וְהַטֵף, and prophesy. Similarly (Micah 2:6): “Preach (תַטִיפוּ) not” ; (Amos 7:16), “and do not prophesy (תַטִיף) concerning the house of Isaac.”  
about the sanctuaries: That is the forest of the field. “Sanctuaries” denotes the two destructions.  
8And you shall say to the land of Israel; So said the Lord: Behold I am against you, and I shall draw my sword from its sheath, and I shall cut off from you righteous and wicked.   חוְאָֽמַרְתָּ֞ לְאַדְמַ֣ת יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל כֹּה אָמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֔ה הִֽנְנִ֣י אֵלַ֔יִךְ וְהֽוֹצֵאתִ֥י חַרְבִּ֖י מִתַּעְרָ֑הּ וְהִכְרַתִּ֥י מִמֵּ֖ךְ צַדִּ֥יק וְרָשָֽׁע:
righteous and wicked: That is “the moist and the dry.”  
9Since I cut off from you righteous and wicked, Therefore, My sword shall emerge from its sheath upon all flesh from south to north.   טיַ֛עַן אֲשֶׁר־הִכְרַ֥תִּי מִמֵּ֖ךְ צַדִּ֣יק וְרָשָׁ֑ע לָ֠כֵן תֵּצֵ֨א חַרְבִּ֧י מִתַּעְרָ֛הּ אֶל־כָּל־בָּשָׂ֖ר מִנֶּ֥גֶב צָפֽוֹן:
Since I cut off from you: and I knew that the nations would rejoice at your misfortune, I shall be wroth with them and incite Nebuchadnezzar against all of them, and that is what I wrote, “and all faces from the south will be scorched.”  
10And all flesh shall know that I am the Lord; I have taken My sword out of its sheath, it shall no longer return.   יוְיָֽדְעוּ֙ כָּל־בָּשָׂ֔ר כִּי אֲנִ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה הוֹצֵ֥אתִי חַרְבִּ֖י מִתַּעְרָ֑הּ לֹ֥א תָשׁ֖וּב עֽוֹד:
11And you, son of man, sigh; with the breaking of the loins and with bitterness, you shall sigh before their eyes.   יאוְאַתָּ֥ה בֶן־אָדָ֖ם הֵֽאָנַ֑ח בְּשִׁבְר֚וֹן מָתְנַ֙יִם֙ וּבִמְרִיר֔וּת תֵּֽאָנַ֖ח לְעֵֽינֵיהֶֽם:
12And it will come to pass that they will say to you, 'Concerning what are you sighing?' And you shall say, 'Because of news that is coming, and every heart will melt, all hands will become feeble, every spirit will grow faint and all knees will go like water. Behold it is coming and will happen,' " says the Lord God.   יבוְהָיָה֙ כִּֽי־יֹאמְר֣וּ אֵלֶ֔יךָ עַל־מָ֖ה אַתָּ֣ה נֶאְנָ֑ח וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֡ אֶל־שְׁמוּעָ֣ה כִֽי־בָאָ֡ה וְנָמֵ֣ס כָּל־לֵב֩ וְרָפ֨וּ כָל־יָדַ֜יִם וְכִֽהֲתָ֣ה כָל־ר֗וּחַ וְכָל־בִּרְכַּ֙יִם֙ תֵּלַ֣כְנָה מַּ֔יִם הִנֵּ֚ה בָאָה֙ וְנִֽהְיָ֔תָה נְאֻ֖ם אֲדֹנָ֥י יֱהֹוִֽה:
13Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:   יגוַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר:
14"Son of man, prophesy and say; So said the Lord: Say; A sword, a sword, it is sharpened and also furbished.   ידבֶּן־אָדָ֕ם הִנָּבֵא֙ וְאָ֣מַרְתָּ֔ כֹּ֖ה אָמַ֣ר יֱהֹוָה אֱמֹ֕ר חֶ֥רֶב חֶ֛רֶב הוּחַ֖דָּה וְגַם־מְרוּטָֽה:
A sword, a sword: Two swords: the sword of the king of Babylon first, and afterwards the sword of the children of Ammon in the hand of Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, who will slay Gedaliah and those gathered to him of the survivors of the sword, as is delineated in Jeremiah (41:1-10).  
furbished: Heb. מְרוּטָה, forbide in Old French, furbished, polished. Menachem (p. 120), however, associated it as an expression of drawing. Likewise (verse 16): “and He gave it to draw (לְמָרְטָה),” and so all of them.  
15In order to make a slaughter, it has been sharpened; in order that it may glitter, it is furbished. Shall we rejoice? the rod for My son disdains every stick.   טולְמַ֨עַן טְבֹ֚חַ טֶ֙בַח֙ הוּחַ֔דָּה לְמַ֛עַן־הֱיֵה־לָ֥הּ בָּ֖רָק מֹרָ֑טָּה א֣וֹ נָשִׂ֔ישׂ שֵׁ֥בֶט בְּנִ֖י מֹאֶ֥סֶת כָּל־עֵֽץ:
that it may glitter: Heb. בָּרָק, to have a glitter, a shine, flandours, a flash, flashing (as in Deut 32:41).  
Shall we rejoice?: This is a rhetorical question. Do we have anything more to be happy about?  
The rod for My son disdains every stick: The rod with which I strike My son to chastise him is the hardest of all rods, and it disdains the blow of every staff and every stick, for they are like nothing to it.  
16Then He had it furbished to grasp in the hand; that is the sword that was sharpened, and it was furbished to place into the hand of a slayer.   טזוַיִּתֵּ֥ן אֹתָ֛הּ לְמָרְטָ֖ה לִתְפֹּ֣שׂ בַּכָּ֑ף הִ֣יא הוּחַ֚דָּה חֶ֙רֶב֙ וְהִ֣יא מֹרָ֔טָּה לָתֵ֥ת אוֹתָ֖הּ בְּיַד־הוֹרֵֽג:
Then he had it: the rod.  
furbished to grasp in the hand: To furbish it so that it be easy and fit to grasp with the hand.  
that is the sword that was sharpened: That is the rod; it is a sharp and furbished sword, to give it into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar to slay with it.  
17Cry and wail, O son of man, for it will be upon My people, it is upon all the princes of Israel; those gathered to the sword, they were with My people; therefore, clap upon your thigh.   יזזְעַ֚ק וְהֵילֵל֙ בֶּן־אָדָ֔ם כִּי־הִיא֙ הָֽיְתָ֣ה בְעַמִּ֔י הִ֖יא בְּכָל־נְשִׂיאֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל מְגוּרֵ֚י אֶל־חֶ֙רֶב֙ הָי֣וּ אֶת־עַמִּ֔י לָכֵ֖ן סְפֹ֥ק אֶל־יָרֵֽךְ:
and wail: Heb. וְהֵילֵל, a term for wailing (יְלָלָה).  
for it: The sword will be upon My people and upon their princes and officers.  
those gathered to the sword: Heb. מְגוּרֵי, a gathering of nations coming to the sword were around My people. So did Jonathan render מְגוּרֵי, related to the word in (Prov. 10:5): “An intelligent son gathers (אוֹגֵר) in the summer” ; (ibid. 6:8), “She gathers (אָגְרָה) her food in the harvest” ; (Joel 1:17), “garners (מַמְּגֻרוֹת) are demolished” ; (Haggai 2:19), “The seed is still in the granary (בַּמְגוּרָה). ” Menachem, however, connected it to the word for fear, like (Num. 22:3): “And Moab became terrified (וַיָגָר).”  
therefore, clap upon your thigh: as a wailing and a lament.  
18For a test-and what of it, if there be also a rod that disdains-He will not be, says the Lord God.   יחכִּ֣י בֹ֔חַן וּמָ֕ה אִם־גַּם־שֵׁ֥בֶט מֹאֶ֖סֶת לֹ֣א יִֽהְיֶ֑ה נְאֻ֖ם אֲדֹנָ֥י יֱהֹוִֽה:
For a test: For a great test, with torments in many other forms of retribution, they were tested: the rod, pestilence, famine, and wild beasts.  
and what of it, if there be also a rod that disdainsHe will not be: And what more will be on My son if also this disdainful rod comes upon him with the rest of the test?  
He will not be: My son will no longer be in the world. Jonathan also rendered it “they will not exist,” but the rest of the verse he did not render in this [i. e., Rashi’s] way, but so it appears to me. I heard many explanations for it, and I saw [others] in books of interpretations, but they did not appear correct to me, and the ‘payat’ who composed for Chanukah [for the morning of the first Sabbath]: “That which disdained all wood stabbed the adulterer,” supports me, for he called the sword “that which disdained all wood.” Jonathan rendered in this manner: (verse 15) או ֹנָשִׂישׂ. because the tribe of the house of Judah and Benjamin rejoiced at the tribes of Israel when they were exiled for worshipping idols, and they returned to stray after wooden images. He, too, explains או ֹנָשִׂישׂ as a rhetorical question.  
For a test: and what if also a rod that disdains He will not be [Jonathan renders:] “For the prophets prophesied about them but they did not repent.” That is to say, the matter is already determined that they will not repent. And what will be their end?  
if also a disdainful rod? He will not be: He [Jonathan] says: “And also the tribes of the house of Judah and Benjamin will be exiled, and with their evil deeds, they not [continue to] exist.” The kingdom of the tribe that disdained its fellow and scorned them and the evil that befell themshe too will not be and will not endure. I shall further interpret it in another manner:  
Or shall we rejoice, etc.: Or perhaps we should rejoice, for you say to Me that the tribe of My son disdains all wood: The kings of Judah disdain idolatry, as we find with Abijah, who said (II Chron. 13:8): “and with you are the golden calves,” and Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah, who abolished all the idolatry in the world that was under their control, and these [the remaining tribes] too will repent.  
Cry and wail: and do not rejoice over this, for it will be upon My people. And why?  
Because it is tested: The matter is already tested and determined before Me that they will not repent properly.  
And what if even they disdain wood, it will not be: And what if I wait longer? Even if they came to repent and to disdain idolatry, the matter would not last with them because they would hasten to revert to their wickedness. That is what is said in Jeremiah (8:4): “if he repents, will he not return?”  
19And you, son of man, prophesy and clap your hands one upon the other, and a third sword shall be doubled, a sword of the slain; that is the sword of the great slaughter, which penetrates to them.   יטוְאַתָּ֣ה בֶן־אָדָ֔ם הִנָּבֵ֕א וְהַ֖ךְ כַּ֣ף אֶל־כָּ֑ף וְתִכָּפֵ֞ל חֶ֚רֶב שְׁלִישִׁ֙תָה֙ חֶ֣רֶב חֲלָלִ֔ים הִ֗יא חֶרֶב חָלָ֣ל הַגָּד֔וֹל הַֽחֹדֶ֖רֶת לָהֶֽם:
prophesy and clap your hands one upon the other: in the manner of those who lament, and what is the prophecy?  
and a third sword shall be doubled: I said, “A sword, a sword” ; Nebuchadnezzar’s sword to destroy Jerusalem and the sword of the children of Ammon upon Gedaliah. There is yet a third sword, doubled as much as these two, and it shall be a sword of the slain; that is the sword of the great slaughter, which causes many slain to fall.  
which penetrates to them: Wherever you go out, it will pursue you into the innermost chambers. Behold, Johanan the son of Kareah and the generals of the armies will go to Egypt; there the sword will overtake them, and so in all the place from which they will flee, to the fortified cities, as it is stated in this piece: “by all your cities I gave the scream of the sword.”  
20In order to melt the heart and to increase the stumbling blocks; by all your cities, I gave the scream of the sword. Woe, it is made to glitter, enwrapped for the slaughter.   כלְמַ֣עַן | לָמ֣וּג לֵ֗ב וְהַרְבֵּה֙ הַמִּכְשֹׁלִ֔ים עַל כָּל־שַׁ֣עֲרֵיהֶ֔ם נָתַ֖תִּי אִבְחַת־חָ֑רֶב אָ֛ח עֲשׂוּיָ֥ה לְבָרָ֖ק מְעֻטָּ֥ה לְטָֽבַח:
In order to melt: Heb. לָמוּג, an expression of moving. Another explanation: an expression of something melting.  
and to increase the stumbling blocks: Heb. וְהַרְבֵּה, and to increase the stumbling blocks, and so every הַרְבֵּה in Scripture is an expression of increasing, an infinitive.  
the scream of the sword: Heb. אִבְחֳת. Some interpret [this as] טִבְחַת, the slaughter of, the ‘teth’ in place of the ‘aleph,’ by the code of א -ט ב ח [whereby ‘aleph’ is interchangeable with ‘teth,’ ‘beth’ with ‘cheth,’ etc.] [This appears to be Jonathan’s interpretation.] Others interpret it as אִבְעַת an expression of בְּעָתָה [fright], but this cannot be because the ‘tav’ in אִבְחֳת is not part of the radical, and it comes only for the construct state, whereas the ‘tav’ in בְּעָתָה is a radical. Therefore, I say that אִבְחֳתחֶרֶב means the sounding of the voice of those slain by the sword, an expression of barking (נְבִיחָה) glapissement in French, yelping, for the ‘nun’ in נְבִיחָה is a defective radical, like the ‘nun’ in נְשִּׁיכָה biting, and the ‘aleph’ comes in its place, like (Job 13:17): “and… my speech (אַחְוָתִי) in your ears” ; (II Kings 4: 2), “except a jug (אָסוּ) of oil.” Menachem (p. 12) explained it as fear of the sword. It has no counterpart, but is interpreted according to the context.  
Woe, it is made to glitter: Alas and alack! For it is made into a furbished and polished blade.  
enwrapped for the slaughter: And enwrapped in a cloth until it would be grasped in the hand for slaughter on the day of war. Some interpret מְעֻטָה as a form of the word for diminishing (מִעוּט), for it diminishes when they sharpen it, but it is an error that they have made, for the absence of the ‘vav’ and the ‘dagesh’ in the ‘teth’ indicate about it that the ‘mem’ is not a radical, [but,] like the ‘mem’ of מְעֻנָה, afflicted, מְעֻטָה, enwrapped, and (Songs 5:14) מְעֻלֶפֶת, “overlaid with sapphires.” Menachem (p. 132) associated it as an expression of thought, like (Dan. 2:14): “answered with counsel (עֵטָא) and discretion.” Dunash, however, interprets it (p. 78) like (Ps. 104: 2): “[You] enwrap (עֹטֶה) Yourself with light like a garment.”  
21Get yourself to one side to the right, or direct yourself to the left; where is your face directed?   כאהִתְאַֽחֲדִ֥י הֵימִ֖ינִי הָשִׂ֣ימִי הַשְׂמִ֑ילִי אָ֖נָה פָּנַ֥יִךְ מֻעָדֽוֹת:
Get yourself to one side: To one place, either to the right or to the left.  
directed: Heb. מֻעָדוֹת, prepared.  
22I, too, shall clap My hands, one upon the other, and I shall put My fury to rest; I, the Lord, have spoken."   כבוְגַם־אֲנִ֗י אַכֶּ֚ה כַפִּי֙ אֶל־כַּפִּ֔י וַֽהֲנִֽחֹתִ֖י חֲמָתִ֑י אֲנִ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה דִּבַּֽרְתִּי:
I, too, shall clap My hands: I say to you, “Clap your hands one upon the other,” and “I, too,” like you, lament over them, and I “shall clap My hands” one upon the other, but My fury burns within Me, “and I shall give it rest.”  
23Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:   כגוַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר:
24"Now you, son of man, make for yourself two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to come; from one land both of them will emanate, and clear a place; at the head of the road to the city clear [it].   כדוְאַתָּ֨ה בֶן־אָדָ֜ם שִׂים־לְ֣ךָ | שְׁנַ֣יִם דְּרָכִ֗ים לָבוֹא֙ חֶ֣רֶב מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֔ל מֵאֶ֥רֶץ אֶחָ֖ד יֵצְא֣וּ שְׁנֵיהֶ֑ם וְיָ֣ד בָּרֵ֔א בְּרֹֽאשׁ־דֶּ֥רֶךְ עִ֖יר בָּרֵֽא:
make for yourself two roads: as He concludes the [next] verse.  
and clear a place; at the head of the road to the city: Clear for yourself a place at the head of the road you are on, and make for yourself a sort of road opening into the crossroads, one facing right and one facing left.  
both of them will emanate: The two roads.  
and clear a place: A place cleared of the thorns and the thistles; [בָּרִא is like] essarter in French, to clear. A word similar to it appears in the Book of Joshua (17:15): “then go up to the forest, and clear it (וּבֵרֵאתָ) for yourself there.” Again (ibid. verse 18): “But the mountain shall be yours, for it is a forest, and you shall cut it down (וּבֵרֵאתוֹ).” Menachem connected them all (p. 48) as an expression of choosing, like (I Sam. 17:8): “Choose (בְּרוּ) for yourselves a man”; בָּרֵא meaning lisant in Old French, choosing, appointing.  
25You shall make a road for the coming of the sword to Rabbah of the children of Ammon and to Judah in Jerusalem the fortified.   כהדֶּ֣רֶךְ תָּשִׂ֔ים לָב֣וֹא חֶ֔רֶב אֵ֖ת רַבַּ֣ת בְּנֵֽי־עַמּ֑וֹן וְאֶת־יְהוּדָ֥ה בִירֽוּשָׁלִַ֖ם בְּצוּרָֽה:
You shall make a road for the coming, etc.: These two roads symbolize the king of Babylon, who is leaving his country with the intention of going either to Jerusalem or to Rabbah of the children of Ammon. To whichever of the two of them the lot will fall for him by his divinations, he will march, as is delineated (verse 26): “For the king of Babylon stood, etc.”  
26For the king of Babylon stood at the crossroads, at the head of the two roads, to divine; he furbished the arrows, he inquired of the teraphim, looked into the liver.   כוכִּֽי־עָמַ֨ד מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֜ל אֶל־אֵ֣ם הַדֶּ֗רֶךְ בְּרֹ֛אשׁ שְׁנֵ֥י הַדְּרָכִ֖ים לִקְסָם־קָ֑סֶם קִלְקַ֚ל בַּֽחִצִּים֙ שָׁאַ֣ל בַּתְּרָפִ֔ים רָאָ֖ה בַּכָּבֵֽד:
the crossroads: Heb. אֵם הַדֶרֶ, carrefour in French, crossroads.  
he furbished the arrows: Heb. קִלְקַל, he furbished the arrows with a glitter. He shot an arrow upward, and it turns by itself right or left, and to the place it turnsthat is the lot.  
he flashed with the arrows: Menachem (p. 155), connected it with (above 1:7): “burnished (קָלָל) copper” ; (Ecc. 10:10): “and he did not sharpen (קִלְקֵל) the edge.” It may also be explained as an expression of deterioration, as in (Jer. 4:24): “and all the hills deteriorated (הִתְקַלְקָלוּ).” Some translate קִלְקַל into French, as trait, he shot, and Jonathan as well renders קִלְקַל בֲּחִצִים as קְשֲּׁתבְּגִרְרֲיָא.  
he inquired of the teraphim: An image that talks through magic, and there is a set time, that if one makes it at that time, it possesses speech forever.  
looked into the liver: There are some experts who divine with liver.  
27At his right was the divination to Jerusalem, to appoint officers, to open his mouth with murder, to raise their voice with a shout, to station officers over the gates, to pour a siege mound, to build a tower.   כזבִּֽימִינ֞וֹ הָיָ֣ה | הַקֶּ֣סֶם יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֗ם לָשׂ֚וּם כָּרִים֙ לִפְתֹּ֚חַ פֶּה֙ בְּרֶ֔צַח לְהָרִ֥ים ק֖וֹל בִּתְרוּעָ֑ה לָשׂ֚וּם כָּרִים֙ עַל־שְׁעָרִ֔ים לִשְׁפֹּ֥ךְ סֹֽלְלָ֖ה לִבְנ֥וֹת דָּיֵֽק:
At his right was the divination to Jerusalem: All his lots gave divinistic indication to come to Jerusalem.  
to appoint officers: Heb. כָּרִים, appointed officers, heads of troops.  
to station officers over the gates: You and your troop, take position by such-and-such a gate.  
to pour a siege mound: They pour earth and tread it down and pile up a high mound and press it down, in a fashion similar to the way they press down the mound of the towers, to stand on it and to wage war against the people of the city.  
28And it was to them like a false divination in their eyes; seven sevens were upon them, and he brings iniquity to be remembered in order that they be seized.   כחוְהָיָ֨ה לָהֶ֚ם כִּקְסָם־ (כתיב כִּקְסָום) שָׁוְא֙ בְּעֵ֣ינֵיהֶ֔ם שְׁבֻעֵ֥י שְׁבֻע֖וֹת לָהֶ֑ם וְהֽוּא־מַזְכִּ֥יר עָו‍ֹ֖ן לְהִתָּפֵֽשׂ:
And it was to them: To Israelwhat Nebuchadnezzar did.  
like a false divination: and they will not believe that he would succeed, but indeed, they had seven sevens. Nebuchadnezzar divined forty-nine times, and all the divinations coincided exactly.  
and he brings iniquity to be remembered in order that they be seized: And Nebuchadnezzar, in his divinations, would cause the iniquities that Israel committed to be remembered, for Ammon and Moab, their neighbors, would make them known to him because they would hear the reproofs of the prophets.  
in order that they be seized: [lit. to be seized.] That Israel be seized in his hand.  
29Therefore, so said the Lord God: Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are revealed so that your sins appear in all your deeds; because of your being remembered, you shall be seized in the hand.   כטלָכֵ֗ן כֹּֽה־אָמַר֘ אֲדֹנָ֣י יֱהֹוִה֒ יַ֗עַן הַזְכַּרְכֶם֙ עֲו‍ֹ֣נְכֶ֔ם בְּהִגָּל֣וֹת פִּשְׁעֵיכֶ֗ם לְהֵֽרָאוֹת֙ חַטֹּ֣אותֵיכֶ֔ם בְּכֹ֖ל עֲלִילֽוֹתֵיכֶ֑ם יַעַן הִזָּ֣כֶרְכֶ֔ם בַּכַּ֖ף תִּתָּפֵֽשׂוּ:
Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered: For you commit new transgressions daily, and your earlier iniquities are remembered through them.  
in that your transgressions are revealed: [i.e.,] the new ones.  
so that your sins appear: [i.e.,] the old ones.  
because of your being remembered: before Me for evil, therefore…  
you shall be seized in the hand: You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.  
30And you, wicked man, sentenced to be slain, O prince of Israel, whose day has come at the time of the final iniquity.   לוְאַתָּה֙ חָלָ֣ל רָשָׁ֔ע נְשִׂ֖יא יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֣א יוֹמ֔וֹ בְּעֵ֖ת עֲו‍ֹ֥ן קֵֽץ:
wicked man, sentenced to be slain: Liable to be slain for your wickedness.  
prince of Israel: Zedekiah.  
at the time of the final iniquity: At the time the measure has become filled and the final iniquity, which fills the measure, has arrived.  
31So said the Lord God: I shall remove the turban and lift off the crown; neither this nor that [will remain]; the humble will be uplifted, and the high will be humbled.   לאכֹּ֚ה אָמַר֙ אֲדֹנָ֣י יֱהֹוִ֔ה הָסִיר֙ הַמִּצְנֶ֔פֶת וְהָרִ֖ים הָֽעֲטָרָ֑ה זֹ֣את לֹא־זֹ֔את הַשָּׁפָ֣לָה הַגְבֵּ֔הַּ וְהַגָּבֹ֖הַּ הַשְׁפִּֽיל:
I shall remove the turban and lift off the crown, etc.: This is to be explained as the Targum renders: I shall remove the turban from Seraiah the High Priest, and I shall abolish the crown from King Zedekiah. He said: Neither this nor that will remain in its place.  
the humble will be uplifted: Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, to whom it did not belong, will take it, and Zedekiah, to whom it did belongit will be taken from him.  
32A ruin, a ruin, a ruin I will make it; this too will not be, until he who has the judgment will come, and I will deliver him.   לבעַוָּ֥ה עַוָּ֖ה עַוָּ֣ה אֲשִׂימֶ֑נָּה גַּם־זֹאת֙ לֹ֣א הָיָ֔ה עַד־בֹּ֛א אֲשֶׁר־ל֥וֹ הַמִּשְׁפָּ֖ט וּנְתַתִּֽיו:
A ruin, a ruin: Heb. עַוָה, an expression of (Micah 1:6): “a heap (עִי) in the field,” an expression of ruin after ruin, two and three times, I shall make it: It was already taken from Jeconiah and given to Zedekiah, and from Zedekiah it will be given to Gedaliah; this makes twice. Menachem (p. 131) connected עַוָה with (Esther 1:16): “has Vashti the queen done wrong (עָוְתָה) ?” ; (Ps. 106:5), “we have committed iniquity (הֶעֱוִינוּ) and wickedness.”  
this too will not be: Also, to Gedaliah it will not remain, [only] until Ishmael the son of Nethaniah [the assassin] comes.  
until he who has the judgment: Upon whom I placed [the mission] to exact My vengeance and My judgment.  
and I will deliver him: into his hands.  
33And you, son of man, prophesy and say; So said the Lord God concerning the children of Ammon and concerning their blasphemy, and you shall say; A sword, a drawn sword, furbished for slaughter, to consume in order to glitter.   לגוְאַתָּ֣ה בֶן־אָדָ֗ם הִנָּבֵ֚א וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֙ כֹּ֚ה אָמַר֙ אֲדֹנָ֣י יֱהֹוִ֔ה אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י עַמּ֖וֹן וְאֶל־חֶרְפָּתָ֑ם וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֗ חֶ֣רֶב חֶ֚רֶב פְּתוּחָה֙ לְטֶ֣בַח מְרוּטָ֔ה לְהָכִ֖יל לְמַ֥עַן בָּרָֽק:
concerning the children of Ammon and concerning their blasphemy,: [in] that they rejoiced when Nebuchadnezzar’s lot in his divinations fell out to come upon Jerusalem, and they blasphemed Me and My people, saying that their deity was triumphant.  
to consume: Heb. לְהָכִיל, to cause many slain to fall.  
in order to glitter: In order that its shiny appearance should not be darkened by its slain ones.  
34When you prophesy vanity for yourself, when you divine lies for yourself, to place you with the necks of the slain of the wicked, whose day has come at the time of the final iniquity.   לדבַּֽחֲז֥וֹת לָךְ֙ שָׁ֔וְא בִּקְסָם־לָ֖ךְ כָּזָ֑ב לָתֵ֣ת אוֹתָ֗ךְ אֶל־צַוְּארֵי֙ חַלְלֵ֣י רְשָׁעִ֔ים אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֣א יוֹמָ֔ם בְּעֵ֖ת עֲו‍ֹ֥ן קֵֽץ:
When you prophesy vanity for yourself: The diviners of Ammon prophesied vanity for themselves, saying, “Nothing more will come upon us.”  
to place you with the necks of the slain of the wicked: To mislead you and to place your neck like the necks of the slain of the wicked of Israel.  
whose day has come, etc.: Heb. יוֹמָם, their day.  
35It has been returned to its sheath; in the place you were created, in the land of your dwelling, I shall judge you.   לההָשַׁ֖ב אֶל־תַּעְרָ֑הּ בִּמְק֧וֹם אֲשֶׁר־נִבְרֵ֛את בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מְכֻֽרוֹתַ֖יִךְ אֶשְׁפֹּ֥ט אֹתָֽךְ:
It has been returned: Heb. הָשֵּׁב, like שָּׁבָה, it has returned, because the ‘shin’ has no ‘dagesh.’ [The missing ‘dagesh’ indicates that no letter is missing; hence, the root is שוּב, return, rather than ישב, sit or dwell.] Wait until the sword that is upon Israel returns into its sheath, and afterward, when he has finished His revenge upon Israel, He will return upon you, and in the place you were created, etc.  
36I shall pour out My fury upon you; with the fire of My wrath I shall blow upon you and deliver you into the hand of brutish men, craftsmen of destruction.   לווְשָֽׁפַכְתִּ֚י עָלַ֙יִךְ֙ זַעְמִ֔י בְּאֵ֥שׁ עֶבְרָתִ֖י אָפִ֣יחַ עָלָ֑יִךְ וּנְתַתִּ֗יךְ בְּיַד֙ אֲנָשִׁ֣ים בֹּֽעֲרִ֔ים חָֽרָשֵׁ֖י מַשְׁחִֽית:
I shall blow upon you: Heb. אָפִּיחָ, an expression for blowing fire with a bellows.  
brutish men: Who behave madly to ruin and to destroy.  
craftsmen of destruction: Artisans of murder. (Already many days [have passed] since I explained this chapter as it is written above. Now I see from the peculiarities of its wording that the prophet is talking only about the sword.) “To place you upon the necks of the slain of the wicked”, “It has been returned to its sheath, etc.” “I shall blow upon you.” This wording is appropriate only for metal, and so “craftsmen of destruction.” It seems to me that this prophecy was stated about Nebuchadnezzar, and so it appears [from]: “prophesy and say: So said the Lord God concerning the children of Ammon and concerning their taunts.” That is to say, [their taunts] over Nebuchadnezzar [because of Nebuchadnezzar], for the children of Ammon were taunting Israel because Nebuchadnezzar destroyed them. [33]  
Sword, drawn sword: The sword of Nebuchadnezzar, which is double, to go out on the two waysagainst Jerusalem and against the children of Ammon, as is delineated in the above chapterthus the retribution on the children of Ammon. [34]  
When you prophesy for yourself, when you divine lies for yourself: You think that through your divinations of vanity, futility, and lies, you will prosper, for your sword is placed upon the necks of the slain of the wicked, whose day has come by decree from before Me at the time of the payment at the time of their end. [35]  
It has been returned to its sheath: That is to say, the time will come that the sword will return to its sheath, and the sword will receive its own retribution, at the hands of the kings of Media, and then I shall blow upon you with the fire of My wrath, and you shall be delivered into the hands of mad blacksmiths, who are craftsmen of destruction, who will come to sharpen and to furbish it as of yore, and they will destroy you.  
37You shall be fuel for the fire; your blood shall be in the midst of the land; you shall not be remembered, for I, the Lord, have spoken."   לזלָאֵ֚שׁ תִּֽהְיֶה֙ לְאָכְלָ֔ה דָּמֵ֥ךְ יִֽהְיֶ֖ה בְּת֣וֹךְ הָאָ֑רֶץ לֹ֣א תִזָּכֵ֔רִי כִּ֛י אֲנִ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה דִּבַּֽרְתִּי: