Chapter 9

1Rejoice not, O Israel, on joyous occasions, like the peoples, for you have strayed from your God: you love a harlot's hire on all threshingfloors of corn.   אאַל־תִּשְׂמַ֨ח יִשְׂרָאֵ֚ל | אֶל־גִּיל֙ כָּֽעַמִּ֔ים כִּ֥י זָנִ֖יתָ מֵעַ֣ל אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ אָהַ֣בְתָּ אֶתְנָ֔ן עַ֖ל כָּל־גָּרְנ֥וֹת דָּגָֽן:
Rejoice not, O Israel: like the other peoples, for they did not receive a Torah, and they did not come to My lot, but you strayed from Me and lost many benefits.  
you love: to be like a harlot, to receive a harlot’s hire.  
on all threshing floors of corn: In the manner of the harlot to whom they give corn on the threshing floor for her hire. [after Gen. Rabbah 57:4]  
2The threshingfloor and the wine cellar shall not feed them, and fresh wine shall fail her.   בגֹּ֥רֶן וָיֶ֖קֶב לֹ֣א יִרְעֵ֑ם וְתִיר֖וֹשׁ יְכַ֥חֶשׁ בָּֽהּ:
3They shall not stay in the land of the Lord, but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and in Assyria they shall eat unclean [food].   גלֹ֥א יֵֽשְׁב֖וּ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ יְהֹוָ֑ה וְשָׁ֚ב אֶפְרַ֙יִם֙ מִצְרַ֔יִם וּבְאַשּׁ֖וּר טָמֵ֥א יֹאכֵֽלוּ:
They shall not stay in the land of the Lord: Heb. יֵשְׁבוּ, they shall not stay in their land.  
4They shall not pour libations of wine to the Lord, they will not please Him; their sacrifices are like bread of mourners to them, all those who partake thereof become contaminated, for their bread is for themselves, it should not come into the house of the Lord.   דלֹֽא־יִסְּכ֨וּ לַיהֹוָ֥ה | יַיִן֘ וְלֹ֣א יֶֽעֶרְבוּ־לו‍ֹ֒ זִבְחֵיהֶ֗ם כְּלֶ֚חֶם אוֹנִים֙ לָהֶ֔ם כָּל־אֹֽכְלָ֖יו יִטַּמָּ֑אוּ כִּֽי־לַחְמָ֣ם לְנַפְשָׁ֔ם לֹ֥א יָב֖וֹא בֵּ֥ית יְהֹוָֽה:
They shall not pour libations: Heb. יִסְּכוּ, an expression of נֶסֶ, libation.  
they will not please Him: Their offering will not be pleasant to Him.  
like bread of mourners: Heb. אוֹנִים, like bread of robbery that comes through strength and might.  
for their bread is for themselves: It is fit for them for food, but not to come into the house of the Lord. Another explanation is: אוֹנִים, like bread of mourners, which is contaminated, and the end of the verse proves it: all those who partake thereof become contaminated.  
5What will you do for the appointed day and for the day of the Lord's massacre?   המַה־תַּֽעֲשׂ֖וּ לְי֣וֹם מוֹעֵ֑ד וּלְי֖וֹם חַג־יְהֹוָֽה:
for the appointed day: For the day of the set time for the enemy to be appointed to come upon you.  
the Lord’s massacre: Heb. חַג, a slaughter, the killing which I have in you.  
6For behold, they have gone away because of plunder, Egypt shall gather them, Moph shall bury them; the treasurehouses for their silver-thistles shall inherit them, briers in their dwellings.   וכִּֽי־הִנֵּ֚ה הָֽלְכוּ֙ מִשֹּׁ֔ד מִצְרַ֥יִם תְּקַבְּצֵ֖ם מֹ֣ף תְּקַבְּרֵ֑ם מַחְמַ֣ד לְכַסְפָּ֗ם קִמוֹשׁ֙ יִֽירָשֵׁ֔ם ח֖וֹחַ בְּאָֽהֳלֵיהֶֽם:
For behold, they have gone away: from their place because of the many plunderers who will come upon them with Nebuchadnezzar.  
Moph shall bury them: It is of the land of Egypt.  
the treasurehouses for their silver: The houses of the precious treasures of their silver.  
thistles etc. briers: Heb. קִימוֹשׁ חוֹחַ. Jonathan renders these terms as species of beasts.  
7The days of the visitation have arrived; the days of recompense have arrived, let Israel know; the prophet shall be a fool, the man of the spirit mad; [this is] because of your great iniquity, and the hatred is great.   זבָּ֣אוּ | יְמֵ֣י הַפְּקֻדָּ֗ה בָּאוּ יְמֵ֣י הַשִּׁלֻּ֔ם יֵֽדְע֖וּ יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל אֱוִ֣יל הַנָּבִ֗יא מְשֻׁגָּע֙ אִ֣ישׁ הָר֔וּחַ עַל רֹ֣ב עֲו‍ֹֽנְךָ֔ וְרַבָּ֖ה מַשְׂטֵמָֽה:
the visitation: When your sins will be visited.  
recompense: the payment of sins.  
the prophet shall be a fool: Even some of their true prophets will be fools, e.g. Hananiah son of Azzur, who was originally a true prophet.  
and the hatred is great: which the Holy One, blessed be He, hates your deeds.  
8Ephraim is a prophet with my God, [for the] prophet [they lay] a fowler's snare on all his ways, [causing] hatred in the house of his God.   חצוֹפֶ֥ה אֶפְרַ֖יִם עִם־אֱלֹהָ֑י נָבִ֞יא פַּ֚ח יָקוֹשׁ֙ עַל־כָּל־דְּרָכָ֔יו מַשְׂטֵמָ֖ה בְּבֵ֥ית אֱלֹהָֽיו:
Ephraim is a prophet with my God: They set up for themselves their prophets, who attract them toward their idolatry.  
[for the] prophet [they lay] a fowler’s snare on all his ways: And for the true prophet they conceal snares to trap them.  
[causing] hatred in the house of his God: In the Temple they assassinated Zechariah (II Chron. 24:21), and they sought to assassinate Jeremiah, according to the matter that is stated: (Jer. 26: 11) “This man is liable to death etc.”  
9They have deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah; He shall remember their iniquity, He shall visit their sins.   טהֶעְמִ֥יקוּ שִׁחֵ֖תוּ כִּימֵ֣י הַגִּבְעָ֑ה יִזְכּ֣וֹר עֲו‍ֹנָ֔ם יִפְק֖וֹד חַטֹּאתָֽם:
as in the days of Gibeah: Some say that this is Gibeah of Benjamin in the case of the concubine (Jud. 19), and some say that this is Gibeah of Saul, where they asked for a king and rebelled against the words of the prophet (I Sam. 15).  
10Like grapes in the desert I found Israel, like a ripe fig on a fig tree, in its beginning, I saw your forefathers; they came to Baal-peor, and they separated themselves to a shameful thing, and they became detestable when they loved..   יכַּֽעֲנָבִ֣ים בַּמִּדְבָּ֗ר מָצָ֙אתִי֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל כְּבִכּוּרָ֚ה בִתְאֵנָה֙ בְּרֵ֣אשִׁיתָ֔הּ רָאִ֖יתִי אֲבֽוֹתֵיכֶ֑ם הֵ֜מָּה בָּ֣אוּ בַֽעַל־פְּע֗וֹר וַיִּנָּֽזְרוּ֙ לַבֹּ֔שֶׁת וַיִּהְי֥וּ שִׁקּוּצִ֖ים כְּאָֽהֳבָֽם:
Like grapes in the desert: Like grapes, which are precious in the desert, so did I love Israel.  
like a ripe fig: Heb. כְּבִכּוּרָה, like a ripe fig.  
on a fig tree: Heb. בִתְאֵנָהּ.  
in its beginning: In the beginning of the ripening of the figs.  
I saw your forefathers: So did your forefathers appear in My eyes to love them.  
and they separated themselves: Heb. וַיִנָּזְרוּ. Nowhere is נְזִירָה anything but an expression of separation.  
to a shameful thing: To the deity, Baal-peor, which is their shame.  
and they became detestable: before Me.  
when they loved: the daughters of Moab.  
11As for Ephraim-their honor shall fly away like a bird; from birth, from the womb, or from conception.   יאאֶפְרַ֕יִם כָּע֖וֹף יִתְעוֹפֵ֣ף כְּבוֹדָ֑ם מִלֵּדָ֥ה וּמִבֶּ֖טֶן וּמֵהֵֽרָיֽוֹן:
As for Ephraimtheir honor shall fly away like a bird etc.: Said the prophet: If only they would be like a bird that wanders from its nest and ceases to multiply, so should they be bereft of their seed, either at the time of birth, or that it should disintegrate and they should miscarry, or at the time of conception that they should not conceive, for what use is it that they raise their children, since, if they raise them, I will bereave them before they become men.  
12For, if they raise their children, I will bereave them before they become men, for woe to them also when I turn away from them.   יבכִּ֚י אִם־יְגַדְּלוּ֙ אֶת־בְּנֵיהֶ֔ם וְשִׁכַּלְתִּ֖ים מֵֽאָדָ֑ם כִּֽי־גַם־א֥וֹי לָהֶ֖ם בְּשׂוּרִ֥י מֵהֶֽם:
for woe… also: Woe to the fathers.  
when I turn away from them: Heb. בְּשוּרִי, like בְּסוּרִי, when I turn away from them. This is one of the words listed in the Masorah, which are spelled with a “sin” but read with a “sammech.” Another explanation:  
their honor shall fly away like a bird etc.: Like this bird which flies away and is no more, so will their honor fly away and flee, all that they toiled with their children in birth, [in the womb,] and in conception.  
From birth: This refers to the birth pangs.  
and from the womb: This refers to the days of pregnancy.  
and from conception: At the time of coitus. All this toil of theirs will end. How so? For, when they raise their children, I will bereave them.  
13Ephraim, as I saw Tyre, is planted in a dwelling place, but Ephraim is busy taking his children out to the slayer.   יגאֶפְרַ֛יִם כַּֽאֲשֶׁר־רָאִ֥יתִי לְצ֖וֹר שְׁתוּלָ֣ה בְנָוֶ֑ה וְאֶפְרַ֕יִם לְהוֹצִ֥יא אֶל־הוֹרֵ֖ג בָּנָֽיו:
Ephraim, as I saw Tyre: in its tranquility, enjoying royalty and wealth more than all the provinces, so did I see Ephraim, planted in a dwelling place. But Ephraimwhat recompense did he recompense Me? He occupied himself with taking his children out to the slayer, to slaughter them in worship of the idols. So did Jonathan translate.  
14Give them, O Lord, what you will give; give them a bereaving womb and dry breasts.   ידתֵּֽן־לָהֶ֥ם יְהֹוָ֖ה מַה־תִּתֵּ֑ן תֵּֽן־לָהֶם֙ רֶ֣חֶם מַשְׁכִּ֔יל וְשָׁדַ֖יִם צֹֽמְקִֽים:
Give them, O Lord, what You will give: The prophet prays that they should die when young, for the mourning for a child is not as bad as the mourning for an adult. Therefore, if it is impossible that they die from birth, from the womb, or from conception, for it was already decreed from the Creation of the world, (Gen. 3: l6) “And to your husband shall be your longing,” give them quickly in their childhood what you say to give to them after a time, for You said, “For, if they raise their children. I will bereave them.” [from Pesikta Rabbathi 45:3]  
give them a bereaving womb: When they emerge into the world (lit. the air of the world), let them die or let their mother’s breasts dry up so that they will have no milk to nurse them.  
15All their evil is in Gilgal, for there I hated them; for the evil of their deeds, I will drive them from My house; I will not continue to love them, all their princes are rebellious.   טוכָּל־רָֽעָתָ֚ם בַּגִּלְגָּל֙ כִּֽי־שָׁ֣ם שְׂנֵאתִ֔ים עַל רֹ֣עַ מַֽעַלְלֵיהֶ֔ם מִבֵּיתִ֖י אֲגָֽרְשֵׁ֑ם לֹ֚א אוֹסֵף֙ אַֽהֲבָתָ֔ם כָּל־שָֽׂרֵיהֶ֖ם סֽוֹרְרִֽים:
All their evil is in Gilgal: There they worshipped idols to a great extent (on high placesabsent in mss.). Since the mishkan was there first, the prophets of Baal would tell them that was a choice site, and it belonged to the kings of Israel.  
I will not continue to love them: Heb. לֹא אוֹסֵף אַהֲבָתָם, lit. I will not continue their love.  
16Ephraim has been smitten, their root is dry, they shall not produce fruit; even when they give birth, I will slay the precious ones of their womb.   טזהֻכָּ֣ה אֶפְרַ֔יִם שָׁרְשָׁ֥ם יָבֵ֖שׁ פְּרִ֣י בַל־ (כתיב בַלי) יַֽעֲשׂ֑וּן גַּם כִּ֣י יֵֽלֵד֔וּן וְהֵֽמַתִּ֖י מַֽחֲמַדֵּ֥י בִטְנָֽם:
they shall not produce fruit: It is not good for them to multiply, for, even if they bear children, I will slay the precious ones of their womb.  
17My God shall reject them because they did not obey Him, and they shall be wandering among the nations.   יזיִמְאָסֵ֣ם אֱלֹהַ֔י כִּ֛י לֹ֥א שָֽׁמְע֖וּ ל֑וֹ וְיִֽהְי֥וּ נֹֽדְדִ֖ים בַּגּוֹיִֽם:
My God shall reject them: This is not a curse but a report. He is destined to reject them.