Chapter 9

1The prophecy of the word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach. And Damascus is His resting place, for man's eye shall be to the Lord and all the tribes of Israel.   אמַשָּׂ֚א דְבַר־יְהֹוָה֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ חַדְרָ֔ךְ וְדַמֶּ֖שֶׂק מְנֻֽחָת֑וֹ כִּ֚י לַֽיהֹוָה֙ עֵ֣ין אָדָ֔ם וְכֹ֖ל שִׁבְטֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
In the land of Hadrach: R’ Judah the son of Ilai expounded: This is the Messiah, who is sharp against the nations and soft to Israel. R’ Yose the son of a Damascene mother said to him [to Judah the son of Ilai]: “Judah, our master, how long will you pervert the verses for us? I call heaven and earth to testify for me, that I am from Damascus, and there is a place named Hadrach. [Rabbi Yose continued:] Now how do I explain: 'And Damascus is His resting place?’” That Jerusalem is destined to reach as far as Damascus. ‘His resting place’ means only Jerusalem, as it is said: (Psalms 132:14) “ This is My resting place to eternity.” He said to him [i.e. R’ Judah to R’ Yose]: “Now how do I explain (Jer. 30:18) 'And the city shall be built on its mound?’” He replied: “That it is not destined to move from its place.” So was the baraitha taught in Sifre (Deut. 1:1).  
for man’s eye shall be to the Lord: For on that day man will turn to his Maker, and his eyes will see the Holy One, blessed be He, as [the prophet] states above: Let us go with you. And they and their cities will join the cities of Israel.  
and all the tribes of Israel: They are regarded by God above all the nations. Similarly, Scripture states (I Kings 11:1): “King Solomon loved many foreign women and the daughter of Pharaoh.” Now, was the daughter of Pharaoh not included in the generalization? But the daughter of Pharaoh was as dear to him as all of them. Here, too, all the nations shall belong to the Holy One, blessed be He, and Israel is equal to all of them.  
2And also Hamath shall border thereon; [also] Tyre and Sidon, for it has become exceedingly wise.   בוְגַם־חֲמָ֖ת תִּגְבָּל־בָּ֑הּ צֹ֣ר וְצִיד֔וֹן כִּ֥י חָֽכְמָ֖ה מְאֹֽד:
And also Hamath shall border thereon: Its border shall reach the border of Jerusalem  
Tyre and Sidon: They, too, shall be its [Jerusalem’s] villages, although it has become exceedingly wise. She [Tyre] became exceedingly wise and thought to be forever a mistress with her wisdom.  
3And Tyre built a fortification for herself, and she gathered silver like dust and gold like the mire of the streets.   גוַתִּ֥בֶן צ֛וֹר מָצ֖וֹר לָ֑הּ וַתִּצְבָּר־כֶּ֙סֶף֙ כֶּֽעָפָ֔ר וְחָר֖וּץ כְּטִ֥יט חוּצֽוֹת:
And Tyre built a fortification for herself: and [Tyre] says, “Who will bring me down to earth?”  
and she gathered silver like dust: and boasts of her wealth.  
and gold: a certain appearance of gold.  
4Behold, the Lord shall impoverish her, and He shall smite her wealth in the sea, and she shall be consumed by fire.   דהִנֵּ֚ה אֲדֹנָי֙ יֽוֹרִשֶׁ֔נָּה וְהִכָּ֥ה בַיָּ֖ם חֵילָ֑הּ וְהִ֖יא בָּאֵ֥שׁ תֵּֽאָכֵֽל:
Behold, the Lord: Who is the ruler over all.  
shall impoverish her: an expression similar to (I Sam. 2:7) “impoverishes and makes rich.”  
He shall smite her wealth in the sea: And shall cause her wealth to be swallowed in the midst of the seas. He shall cause the sea to rise over it and sink it, as Ezekiel said (27).  
5Ashkelon shall see and fear, and Gaza-and she shall quake violently-and Ekron, for the one to whom she looked was ashamed. And a king was lost from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.   התֵּרֶ֨א אַשְׁקְל֜וֹן וְתִירָ֗א וְעַזָּה֙ וְתָחִ֣יל מְאֹ֔ד וְעֶקְר֖וֹן כִּֽי־הוֹבִ֣ישׁ מֶבָּטָ֑הּ וְאָ֚בַד מֶ֙לֶךְ֙ מֵֽעַזָּ֔ה וְאַשְׁקְל֖וֹן לֹ֥א תֵשֵֽׁב:
Ashkelon shall see: the downfall of Tyre and fear.  
and Ekron: too, shall fear.  
for the one to whom she looked was ashamed: For [Ashkelon] relied on Tyre, which was the head of the sons of Esau, and Ekron, too, belonged to Edom, as our Sages said in tractate Megillah (6a): “Ekron shall be uprooted (Zeph. 2:4).” This is Caesarea, which belongs to Edom, and it originally belonged to the Philistines.  
6And the strangers shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.   ווְיָשַׁ֥ב מַמְזֵ֖ר בְּאַשְׁדּ֑וֹד וְהִכְרַתִּ֖י גְּא֥וֹן פְּלִשְׁתִּֽים:
And the strangers shall dwell in Ashdod: And a strange people shall dwell in Ashdod. Those are the Israelites, who were strange in it.  
7And I will remove his blood from his mouth, and his detestable things from between his teeth. And it, too, shall remain to our God: and it shall be like a studyhall in Judah; and Ekron, like Jebusi.   זוַֽהֲסִֽרֹתִ֨י דָמָ֜יו מִפִּ֗יו וְשִׁקֻּצָיו֙ מִבֵּ֣ין שִׁנָּ֔יו וְנִשְׁאַ֥ר גַּם־ה֖וּא לֵֽאלֹהֵ֑ינוּ וְהָיָה֙ כְּאַלֻּ֣ף בִּֽיהוּדָ֔ה וְעֶקְר֖וֹן כִּֽיבוּסִֽי:
And I will remove his blood from his mouth: From the mouth of Esau. This is their house of Bamia [one of Edom’s principal deities (Rashi to Megillah 6a)], where they would sprinkle the blood of their sacrifices. Others interpret this to mean the bloodshed, that the [Edomites] would shed the blood of Israel.  
and it, too, shall remain to our God: These are the synagogues and the studyhalls in our exile.  
and it shall be like a study hall in Judah: These are their theaters and circuses, where the princes of Judah are destined to teach Torah in public.  
and it shall be like a study hall: an expression of study and learning.  
and Ekron: shall be to Israel.  
like Jebusi: Jerusalem.  
8And I will encamp beside My house against a garrison of those passing by and of those returning. And no oppressor shall pass by them, for now I have seen with My eyes.   חוְחָנִ֨יתִי לְבֵיתִ֚י מִצָּבָה֙ מֵֽעֹבֵ֣ר וּמִשָּׁ֔ב וְלֹֽא־יַֽעֲבֹ֧ר עֲלֵיהֶ֛ם ע֖וֹד נֹגֵ֑ש כִּֽי־עַתָּ֥ה רָאִ֖יתִי בְּעֵינָֽי:
And I will encamp beside My house against a garrison: I will encamp beside My house to protect it from those who set up a garrison and raiders, that they should not set these up against it. A similar word is used in (Isa. 29:7) “and all those stationed around her, and those who trap her.” It is also possible to interpret מִצָבָה as מִצָבָא, with an ‘alef’ [meaning against a host].  
for now I have seen with My eyes: Now I have seen their distress with My eyes, although until now I have hidden My countenance from them.  
9Be exceedingly happy, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold! Your king shall come to you. He is just and victorious; humble, and riding a donkey and a foal, the offspring of [one of] she-donkeys.   טגִּילִ֨י מְאֹ֜ד בַּת־צִיּ֗וֹן הָרִ֙יעִי֙ בַּ֣ת יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֔ם הִנֵּ֚ה מַלְכֵּךְ֙ יָ֣בוֹא לָ֔ךְ צַדִּ֥יק וְנוֹשָׁ֖ע ה֑וּא עָנִי֙ וְרֹכֵ֣ב עַל־חֲמ֔וֹר וְעַל־עַ֖יִר בֶּן־אֲתֹנֽוֹת:
Behold! Your king shall come to you: It is impossible to interpret this except as referring to the King Messiah, as it is stated: “and his rule shall be from sea to sea.” We do not find that Israel had such a ruler during the days of the Second Temple.  
just and victorious: saved by the Lord.  
and riding a donkey: This is a symbol of humility.  
and a foal of she-donkeys: as in (Gen. 32:16)"and ten foals.  
10And I will cut off the chariots from Ephraim, and the horses from Jerusalem; and the bow of war shall be cut off. And he shall speak peace to the nations, and his rule shall be from the sea to the west and from the river to the ends of the earth.   יוְהִכְרַתִּי־רֶ֣כֶב מֵֽאֶפְרַ֗יִם וְסוּס֙ מִיר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וְנִכְרְתָה֙ קֶ֣שֶׁת מִלְחָמָ֔ה וְדִבֶּ֥ר שָׁל֖וֹם לַגּוֹיִ֑ם וּמָשְׁלוֹ֙ מִיָּ֣ם עַד־יָ֔ם וּמִנָּהָ֖ר עַד־אַפְסֵי־אָֽרֶץ:
And I will cut off the chariots: for they will not need them.  
and his rule: וּמָשְׁלוֹ  
from the sea to the west: From its sea to the west, to the end of the world.  
and from the river: The Euphrates.  
11You, too-with the blood of your covenant I have freed your prisoners from a pit in which there was no water.   יאגַּם־אַ֣תְּ בְּדַם־בְּרִיתֵ֗ךְ שִׁלַּ֚חְתִּי אֲסִירַ֙יִךְ֙ מִבּ֔וֹר אֵ֥ין מַ֖יִם בּֽוֹ:
You, too: shall be saved with him, as he is just and victorious. For with the blood of your covenant, I prophesied for you for the future; and for now, too, from the Babylonian exile in which you are now found.  
with the blood of your covenant: With the merit of the blood of the covenant that was sprinkled upon you at Sinai, as it is written (Exod. 24:8): “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made.”  
I have freed your prisoners: from the exile.  
12Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Also today, I will restore to you a double promise.   יבשׁוּבוּ לְבִצָּר֔וֹן אֲסִירֵ֖י הַתִּקְוָ֑ה גַּם־הַיּ֕וֹם מַגִּ֥יד מִשְׁנֶ֖ה אָשִׁ֥יב לָֽךְ:
Return to the stronghold: To your strength and to your glory, even though you are now under the rule of the kings of Persia.  
you prisoners of hope: who hoped for Me until now that My words [would] be fulfilled at the end of seventy years.  
Also today, I will restore to you a double promise: Today I will yet tell you second tidings, besides those of the building. And what is the second narrative that I am returning to repeat to you?  
13For I bend Judah for Me like a bow; I filled [the hand of] Ephraim, and I will arouse your children, O Zion, upon your children, O Javan; and I will make you as the sword of a mighty man.   יגכִּֽי־דָרַ֨כְתִּי לִ֜י יְהוּדָ֗ה קֶשֶׁת מִלֵּ֣אתִי אֶפְרַ֔יִם וְעֽוֹרַרְתִּ֚י בָנַ֙יִךְ֙ צִיּ֔וֹן עַל־בָּנַ֖יִךְ יָוָ֑ן וְשַׂמְתִּ֖יךְ כְּחֶ֥רֶב גִּבּֽוֹר:
For I bend Judah for Me: Eventually, the Greeks will wrest the kingdom from the Persian kings and inflict harm upon you, and I will bend Judah to be a war bow for me; and Judah will wage war against the Greeks in the days of the Hasmoneans.  
a bow; I filled [the hand of] Ephraim: This is an elliptical verse: Like a bow, I filled the hand of Ephraim; as (II Kings 9:24), “And Jehu put all his strength into his bow.” Ephraim shall be as a quiver full of arrows to Me.  
and I will arouse your children, O Zion: The children of Zion on the children of Javan.  
14And the Lord shall appear over them, and his arrows shall go forth like lightning. And the Lord God shall sound the shofar, and He shall go with the whirlwinds of the south.   ידוַֽיהֹוָה֙ עֲלֵיהֶ֣ם יֵֽרָאֶ֔ה וְיָצָ֥א כַבָּרָ֖ק חִצּ֑וֹ וַֽאדֹנָ֚י יֱהֹוִה֙ בַּשּׁוֹפָ֣ר יִתְקָ֔ע וְהָלַ֖ךְ בְּסַֽעֲר֥וֹת תֵּימָֽן:
And the Lord shall appear over them: In the book of Josippon (chap. 18), we find that at that time a sign appeared to the people of Jerusalem.  
shall sound the shofar: He shall thunder.  
and He shall go with the whirlwinds of the south: To storm the people of the south; they are the Greeks. And some of our Sages interpreted [the phrase] as referring to Edom in the future.  
15The Lord of Hosts shall protect them, and they shall devour. And they shall tread the sling-stones, and they shall drink. They shall make a noise like [those who drink] wine, and they shall become full like the basin, like the corners of the altar.   טויְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָאוֹת֘ יָגֵ֣ן עֲלֵיהֶם֒ וְאָֽכְל֗וּ וְכָֽבְשׁוּ֙ אַבְנֵי־קֶ֔לַע וְשָׁת֥וּ הָמ֖וּ כְּמוֹ־יָ֑יִן וּמָֽלְאוּ֙ כַּמִּזְרָ֔ק כְּזָוִיּ֖וֹת מִזְבֵּֽחַ:
and they shall devour: the spoils of their enemies.  
and they shall tread: under them.  
sling-stones: They are the Greeks, who are trained to use the bow and to sling stones.  
They shall make a noise like [those who drink] wine: They shall make noise with a voice of joy and happiness, as those who have drunk much wine make noise.  
and they shall become full: Their souls shall become full of all good.  
like the basin: that is full of blood. before the altar.  
like the corners of the altar: where wine is libated. The wine would flow upon it, as we learned in tractate Sukkah (49b). This is an expression of satiety, an expression of drunkenness.  
16And the Lord their God shall save them on that day like the flocks of His people, for crown stones are exalted on His land.   טזוְֽהוֹשִׁיעָ֞ם יְהֹוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵיהֶ֛ם בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא כְּצֹ֣אן עַמּ֑וֹ כִּי אַבְנֵי־נֵ֔זֶר מִתְנֽוֹסְס֖וֹת עַל־אַדְמָתֽוֹ:
like the flocks of His people: Like the flocks that He caused to travel from Egypt to become His people.  
for crown stones are exalted on His land: For the priests, the sons of the Hasmoneans, who boast of the crown stones in the rows of the breast-plate and the ephod, will be exalted with miracles on their land.  
17For how [great] is their goodness and how [great] is their beauty! Corn [will give strength to] young men, and new wine will cause maids to speak.   יזכִּ֥י מַה־טּוּב֖וֹ וּמַה־יָפְי֑וֹ דָּגָן֙ בַּֽחוּרִ֔ים וְתִיר֖וֹשׁ יְנוֹבֵ֥ב בְּתֻלֽוֹת:
For how: How great is the goodness laid out for that generation.  
Corn… young men: Whch gives strength to young men.  
and new wine: Which causes maids to speak in song and joy. Others interpret יְנוֹבֵב [as that] which will be fruitful and grow in virgin soil, which is superior wine.