Chapter 2

1Behold on the mountains the feet of a herald announcing peace. O Judah, keep your feasts, pay your vows-for the wicked one shall no longer continue to pass through you; he has been completely cut off.   אהִנֵּ֨ה עַל־הֶֽהָרִ֜ים רַגְלֵ֚י מְבַשֵּׂר֙ מַשְׁמִ֣יעַ שָׁל֔וֹם חָגִּ֧י יְהוּדָ֛ה חַגַּ֖יִךְ שַׁלְּמִ֣י נְדָרָ֑יִךְ כִּי֩ לֹ֨א יוֹסִ֥יף ע֛וֹד לַֽעֲבָר־ (כתיב לַֽעֲבָור) בָּ֥ךְ בְּלִיַּ֖עַל כֻּלֹּ֥ה נִכְרָֽת:
pay your vows: that you vowed to the Holy One, blessed be He, if He would save you from the hand of Sennacherib, king of Assyria - for now you are saved.  
for… shall no longer continue to pass through you: that wicked one.  
he has been completely cut off: he and his descendants.  
2The scatterer who came up before you is besieged by a siege. Watch the way! Strengthen your loins! Fortify your power mightily.   בעָלָ֥ה מֵפִ֛יץ עַל־פָּנַ֖יִךְ נָצ֣וֹר מְצוּרָ֑ה צַפֵּה־דֶ֙רֶךְ֙ חַזֵּ֣ק מָתְנַ֔יִם אַמֵּ֥ץ כֹּ֖חַ מְאֹֽד:
The scatterer who came up before you is besieged by a siege: The scatterer, who came up upon the land of Judah before you during the time of Hezekiah, is now besieged by the siege of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who has besieged him.  
Watch the way: You men of Judah, watch the crossroads and see those going to besiege him [Sennacherib] and strengthen your loins and fortify your power mightily.  
3For the Lord has restored the pride of Jacob as the pride of Israel, for the emptiers have emptied them out and destroyed their branches.   גכִּ֣י שָׁ֚ב יְהֹוָה֙ אֶת־גְּא֣וֹן יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב כִּגְא֖וֹן יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל כִּ֚י בְקָקוּם֙ בֹּֽקְקִ֔ים וּזְמֹרֵיהֶ֖ם שִׁחֵֽתוּ:
as the pride of Israel: As it was already.  
the emptiers have emptied them out: They have plundered them and emptied them. The expression of בְּקִיקָה is appropriate for a vine.  
4The shields of his mighty men are dyed red; the men of the army are in crimson; the chariots are in the fire of torches on the day of his preparation, and the cypresses are enwrapped.   דמָגֵ֨ן גִּבֹּרֵ֜יהוּ מְאָדָּ֗ם אַנְשֵׁי־חַ֙יִל֙ מְתֻלָּעִ֔ים בְּאֵֽשׁ־פְּלָדֹ֥ת הָרֶ֖כֶב בְּי֣וֹם הֲכִינ֑וֹ וְהַבְּרוֹשִׁ֖ים הָרְעָֽלוּ:
The shields of his mighty men: The mighty of Nebuchadnezzar, who lay siege to Assyria.  
are dyed red: They are dyed red, and the men of their army are in crimson, dressed in crimson.  
the chariots are in the fire of torches on the day of his preparation: Heb. פְּלָדֹת. On the day that he [Nebuchadnezzar] is prepared to go out in the army, he polishes his iron chariots, but I do not know what פְּלָדֹת means. I say that it is a material that polishes iron well. And some interpret פְּלָדֹת as an expression of a fiery torch (לַפִּיד), by transposing the letters.  
and the cypresses are enwrapped: Jonathan renders: And the heads of the [Babylonian] camps are enwrapped in colored garments.  
are enwrapped: Heb. הַרְעָלוּ, enwrapped. Similar is (Isa. 3:19) “The necklaces and the bracelets and the shawls (הָרְעָלוֹת).” In the language of the Mishnah we learned “shawled (רְעוּלוֹת) Arabian women” in tractate Shabbath (65a).  
5The chariots shall dash about madly in the streets; they shall clatter in the city squares; their appearance is like torches; like lightning, they shatter.   הבַּֽחוּצוֹת֙ יִתְהֽוֹלְל֣וּ הָרֶ֔כֶב יִשְׁתַּקְשְׁק֖וּן בָּֽרְחֹב֑וֹת מַרְאֵיהֶן֙ כַּלַּפִּידִ֔ים כַּבְּרָקִ֖ים יְרוֹצֵֽצוּ:
shall dash about madly: They shall behave madly.  
they shall clatter: Heb. יִשְׁתַּקְשְׁקוּן. Jonathan renders: The sound of the clattering of their weapons is heard. And that is from the expression (Joel 2:24) “And the vats shall roar (וְהֵשִׁיקוּ) ,” and (Isa. 33:4) “Like the roaring (כְּמַשַק) of the cisterns.” It is an expression of making a sound heard.  
they shatter: They shatter their listeners like these lightnings, which agitate the creatures. So did Jonathan render it.  
6He shall remember his mighty men; they shall stumble in their walk; they shall hasten to its wall, and the protector is armed.   ויִזְכֹּר֙ אַדִּירָ֔יו יִכָּֽשְׁל֖וּ בַּֽהֲלִֽכָתָ֑ם (כתיב בַּֽהֲלִֽכָותָ֑ם) יְמַֽהֲרוּ֙ חֽוֹמָתָ֔הּ וְהֻכַ֖ן הַסֹּכֵֽךְ:
He shall remember: The king of Assyria shall remember his mighty men and his heroes, and he shall contemplate going forth and waging war, but [he and his men] shall stumble in their walk.  
they shall hasten to its wall: to flee to run to the wall of the city. Any word requiring a “lammed” in its beginning has a “hey” at its end.  
and the protector is armed: Heb. הַסֹּכֵ. Jonathan renders: They shall build towers. We can also explain וְהֻכַן הַסֹּכֵ : and the king shall be armed with his weapons, as in (Ezek.28:14) “who shelters over a great distance (מִמְשַׁח הַסֹּכֵ),” an expression of ruling.  
7The gates of the rivers have opened, and the palace has dissolved.   זשַֽׁעֲרֵ֥י הַנְּהָר֖וֹת נִפְתָּ֑חוּ וְהַֽהֵיכָ֖ל נָמֽוֹג:
The gates of the river: The gates of the cities, which are on the sides of the rivers.  
and the palace has dissolved: It has quaked and trembled because of the stones of the catapult hurled against its walls, called bombe.  
8And the queen has been exposed and taken away, and her maidens moan, like the voice of doves beating their breasts.   חוְהֻצַּ֖ב גֻּלְּתָ֣ה הֹֽעֲלָ֑תָה וְאַמְהֹתֶ֗יהָ מְנַֽהֲגוֹת֙ כְּק֣וֹל יוֹנִ֔ים מְתֹֽפְפ֖וֹת עַל־לִֽבְבֵהֶֽן:
And the queen: Heb. וְהֻצַּב. She is the queen who stands to the right of the king, as is stated (Ps. 45:10): “The queen stands to your right.”  
has been exposed and taken away: In the open, she has gone into captivity and has been taken away from the city.  
moan like the voice of doves: They moan with a lamentation like the voice of lamenting doves.  
moan: Heb. מְנַהֲגוֹת, gemissant in French.  
beating their breasts: Striking their hand on their heart like the beating of a drum.  
9And Nineveh is like a pool of water-it is since days of yore-and they flee. Halt! Halt! But no one pays attention.   טוְנִֽינְוֵ֥ה כִבְרֵֽכַת־מַ֖יִם מִ֣ימֵי הִ֑יא וְהֵ֣מָּה נָסִ֔ים עִמְד֥וּ עֲמֹ֖דוּ וְאֵ֥ין מַפְנֶֽה:
And Nineveh is like a pool of water - it is since days of yore: Since the day it was founded, it has been sitting tranquilly with no one disturbing it, like a pool of gathered water that does not move from its place.  
and they: Now, out of their stress, they have learned to flee and are fleeing.  
Halt! Halt!: They say to them, but no one turns his heart to listen and halt.  
10Plunder silver! Plunder gold! And there is no end to the treasures-to sweep out [Nineveh] of all precious vessels.   יבֹּ֥זּוּ כֶ֖סֶף בֹּ֣זּוּ זָהָ֑ב וְאֵ֥ין קֵ֙צֶה֙ לַתְּכוּנָ֔ה כָּבֹ֕ד מִכֹּ֖ל כְּלִ֥י חֶמְדָּֽה:
Plunder silver! Plunder gold!: You who come upon Nineveh.  
And there is no end: There is no count.  
to the treasures: Heb. לְתְּכוּנָה, to their treasures. [It is called תְּכוּנָה] because the silver and gold placed in the treasury is placed there with a count, as you say (II Kings 12:12): “The counted (הַמְתֻכּן) money.” [following Jonathan]  
to sweep out [Nineveh] of all precious vessels: Heb. כָּבֹד, an expression of sweeping, as in (below, 3:15) “You shall be swept out (הִתְכַּבְדִי) like the nibbling locust,” an expression of sweeping the house; escovant, to sweep them out of all their precious vessels. And so did Jonathan render it: All precious vessels have ended. כָּבֹד is like זָכוֹר, to remember, and שָמוֹר, to observe.  
11Empty, yea, emptied out and breached; and the heart melts, the knees stumble, and there is trembling in all loins; and the faces of all of them have gathered blackness.   יאבּוּקָ֥ה וּמְבוּקָ֖ה וּמְבֻלָּקָ֑ה וְלֵ֨ב נָמֵ֜ס וּפִ֣ק בִּרְכַּ֗יִם וְחַלְחָלָה֙ בְּכָל־מָתְנַ֔יִם וּפְנֵ֥י כֻלָּ֖ם קִבְּצ֥וּ פָארֽוּר:
Empty: Heb. בּוּקָה.  
yea, emptied out: Heb. וּמְבוּקָה, and emptied out through emptiers.  
and breached: Heb. וּמְבֻלָּקָה, breached in its walls: espartide in O.F.  
the knees stumble: Heb. פִק וּ, the stumbling of the knees, as, in (I Sam. 25:31) “As a stumbling block and a remorse.”  
have gathered blackness: Heb. פָארוּר, blackness like a pot.  
12Where is the lions' den? And it is pasture for young lions, where the grown lion and the old lion went, and the lion's whelp-and none made them afraid.   יבאַיֵּה֙ מְע֣וֹן אֲרָי֔וֹת וּמִרְעֶ֥ה ה֖וּא לַכְּפִרִ֑ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָלַךְ֩ אַרְיֵ֨ה לָבִ֥יא שָׁ֛ם גּ֥וּר אַרְיֵ֖ה וְאֵ֥ין מַֽחֲרִֽיד:
Where is the lions’ den?: This is a lamentation over Nineveh, which was the dwellings of kings, hard and strong as lions.  
where the grown lion and the old lion went: The place where the kings would go and leave their children there, like a lion that dwelt securely.  
13The grown lion tore enough for his whelps and strangled for his lionesses, and he filled his caves with prey and his dens with prey.   יגאַרְיֵ֚ה טֹרֵף֙ בְּדֵ֣י גֹֽרוֹתָ֔יו וּמְחַנֵּ֖ק לְלִבְאֹתָ֑יו וַיְמַלֵּא־טֶ֣רֶף חֹרָ֔יו וּמְעֽוֹנֹתָ֖יו טְרֵפָֽה:
The grown lion tore enough for his whelps: As Jonathan renders it: The kings would bring much plunder, until there was enough for the members of their households.  
and strangled: beasts, for the necessity of his lionesses; i.e., he would increase his treasures for his children (sic).  
for his lionesses: for his wives.  
and he filled his caves with prey: And they filled their treasuries with plunder.  
14Behold! I am against you, says the Lord of Hosts, and I will ignite her chariots with smoke; and the sword shall consume your young lions, and I will cut off your prey from the land; and the voice of your ambassadors shall no longer be heard.   ידהִֽנְנִ֣י אֵלַ֗יִךְ נְאֻם֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת וְהִבְעַרְתִּ֚י בֶֽעָשָׁן֙ רִכְבָּ֔הּ וּכְפִירַ֖יִךְ תֹּ֣אכַל חָ֑רֶב וְהִכְרַתִּ֚י מֵאֶ֙רֶץ֙ טַרְפֵּ֔ךְ וְלֹֽא־יִשָּׁמַ֥ע ע֖וֹד ק֥וֹל מַלְאָכֵֽכֵה:
her chariots: The multiplicity of the chariots therein; caraijedic in O.F. -army of chariots. The additional “hey” converts the language to mean many chariots. Simliarly, there is (Ezek 24:6) “The pot in which there is filth (חֶלְאָתָה),” much filth.  
the voice of your ambassadors: Heb. מַלְאָכֵכֵה. The voice of your ambassadors, as Rabshakeh and his colleagues, the ambassadors of Assyria, had already done, “And called in a loud voice in Judean” (Isa. 36: 13).