Chapter 2

1And now, to you is this commandment, O priests.   אוְעַתָּ֗ה אֲלֵיכֶ֛ם הַמִּצְוָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את הַכֹּֽהֲנִֽים:
to you, etc., O priests: I charge you with this commandment, that you shall not sacrifice these on My altar.  
2If you do not heed, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My Name, says the Lord of Hosts, I will send the curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Indeed I have [already] cursed it, for you do not take it to heart.   באִם־לֹ֣א תִשְׁמְע֡וּ וְאִם־לֹא֩ תָשִׂ֨ימוּ עַל־לֵ֜ב לָתֵ֧ת כָּב֣וֹד לִשְׁמִ֗י אָמַר֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת וְשִׁלַּחְתִּ֚י בָכֶם֙ אֶת־הַמְּאֵרָ֔ה וְאָֽרוֹתִ֖י אֶת־בִּרְכֽוֹתֵיכֶ֑ם וְגַם֙ אָרוֹתִ֔יהָ כִּ֥י אֵֽינְכֶ֖ם שָׂמִ֥ים עַל־לֵֽב:
and I will curse: And I will curse your blessings; how I should bless the grain, the wine, and the oil for you.  
Indeed I have [already] cursed it: Indeed, it is unnecessary to have the matter depend on the condition upon which I made it depend: if they do not obey. For I know that you will not obey. Therefore, I have already cursed it - from now.  
3Behold! I rebuke the seed because of you, and I will scatter dung upon your face-the dung of your festive sacrifices, and it shall take you to itself.   גהִֽנְנִ֨י גֹעֵ֚ר לָכֶם֙ אֶת־הַזֶּ֔רַע וְזֵרִ֚יתִי פֶ֙רֶשׁ֙ עַל־פְּנֵיכֶ֔ם פֶּ֖רֶשׁ חַגֵּיכֶ֑ם וְנָשָׂ֥א אֶתְכֶ֖ם אֵלָֽיו:
and I will scatter dung: of the animals of your festive sacrifices; that is to say, you will not receive reward from Me, but [you will receive a curse] for harm and shame. And I will rebuke the seed of the field because of you.  
and it shall take you to itself: The dung of your sacrificial animals will take you to itself to [make you] cheap and despised, as it is.  
4And you shall know that I have sent you this commandment, that My covenant be with Levi, says the Lord of Hosts.   דוִֽידַעְתֶּ֕ם כִּי שִׁלַּ֣חְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶ֔ם אֵ֖ת הַמִּצְוָ֣ה הַזֹּ֑את לִֽהְי֚וֹת בְּרִיתִי֙ אֶת־לֵוִ֔י אָמַ֖ר יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת:
that My covenant be with Levi: for I wish that you will exist with Me with the covenant that I formed for the tribe of Levi.  
5My covenant was with him, life and peace, and I gave them to him [with] fear; and he feared Me, and because of My Name, he was over-awed.   הבְּרִיתִ֣י | הָֽיְתָ֣ה אִתּ֗וֹ הַֽחַיִּים֙ וְהַשָּׁל֔וֹם וָֽאֶתְּנֵם־ל֥וֹ מוֹרָ֖א וַיִּֽירָאֵ֑נִי וּמִפְּנֵ֥י שְׁמִ֖י נִחַ֥ת הֽוּא:
life and peace: As it was said to Phinehas (Num. 25:12): “My covenant of peace” ; and it was promised to him and to his seed after him, thus indicating that his seed will be alive.  
and I gave them to him: that he accept them with fear, and so he did, and he feared Me.  
he was over-awed: an expression of חִתַּת, fear; he was afraid.  
6True teaching was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. In peace and equity he went with Me, and he brought back many from iniquity.   ותּוֹרַ֚ת אֱמֶת֙ הָֽיְתָ֣ה בְּפִ֔יהוּ וְעַוְלָ֖ה לֹֽא־נִמְצָ֣א בִשְׂפָתָ֑יו בְּשָׁל֚וֹם וּבְמִישׁוֹר֙ הָלַ֣ךְ אִתִּ֔י וְרַבִּ֖ים הֵשִׁ֥יב מֵֽעָו‍ֹֽן:
In peace and equity he went with Me: Aaron, Eleazar, and Phinehas and so in the episode of the calf, they brought back all their tribe from iniquity, as it is said (Ex. 32:26), “all the children of Levi gathered to him.”  
7For a priest's lips shall guard knowledge, and teaching should be sought from his mouth, for he is a messenger of the Lord of Hosts.   זכִּֽי־שִׂפְתֵ֚י כֹהֵן֙ יִשְׁמְרוּ־דַ֔עַת וְתוֹרָ֖ה יְבַקְשׁ֣וּ מִפִּ֑יהוּ כִּ֛י מַלְאַ֥ךְ יְהֹוָֽה־צְבָא֖וֹת הֽוּא:
For a priest’s lips: It is incumbent upon them to guard knowledge. Why? Because…  
teaching should be sought from his mouth: This matter has already (Deut. 33:10) been delivered to them.“They shall teach Your judgments to Jacob.”  
for he is a messenger: the agent of the Holy One, blessed be He; like the ministering angels, to serve Him and to enter into His compartment. [I.e., into the place where God’s presence is manifest.]  
8But you have turned aside from the way. You caused many to stumble in the Torah. You corrupted the covenant of the Levites, said the Lord of Hosts.   חוְאַתֶּם֙ סַרְתֶּ֣ם מִן־הַדֶּ֔רֶךְ הִכְשַׁלְתֶּ֥ם רַבִּ֖ים בַּתּוֹרָ֑ה שִֽׁחַתֶּם֙ בְּרִ֣ית הַלֵּוִ֔י אָמַ֖ר יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת:
9And now I, too, have made you contemptible and low to the entire people according to how you do not keep My ways and [how] you show favoritism in the Torah.   טוְגַם־אֲנִ֞י נָתַ֧תִּי אֶתְכֶ֛ם נִבְזִ֥ים וּשְׁפָלִ֖ים לְכָל־הָעָ֑ם כְּפִ֗י אֲשֶׁ֚ר אֵֽינְכֶם֙ שֹׁמְרִ֣ים אֶת־דְּרָכַ֔י וְנֹֽשְׂאִ֥ים פָּנִ֖ים בַּתּוֹרָֽה:
10Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why should we betray, each one his brother, to profane the convenant of our forefathers?   יהֲל֨וֹא אָ֚ב אֶחָד֙ לְכֻלָּ֔נוּ הֲל֛וֹא אֵ֥ל אֶֽחָ֖ד בְּרָאָ֑נוּ מַדּ֗וּעַ נִבְגַּד֙ אִ֣ישׁ בְּאָחִ֔יו לְחַלֵּ֖ל בְּרִ֥ית אֲבֹתֵֽינוּ:
to profane the covenant of our forefathers: The covenant that the Holy One, blessed be He, formed with our forefathers at Sinai.  
11Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the holy one of the Lord [in] that he loved and married the daughter of a foreign god.   יאבָּֽגְדָ֣ה יְהוּדָ֔ה וְתֽוֹעֵבָ֛ה נֶֽעֶשְׂתָ֥ה בְיִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל וּבִירֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם כִּ֣י | חִלֵּ֣ל יְהוּדָ֗ה קֹ֚דֶשׁ יְהֹוָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָהֵ֔ב וּבָעַ֖ל בַּת־אֵ֥ל נֵכָֽר:
for Judah has profaned: himself, who was the holy one of the Lord, the first of His grain.  
and married the daughter of a foreign god: that they married gentile women in Babylon, and even the priests, as is delineated in the Book of Ezra (chap. 9 and 10). Our Sages said that Malachi is Ezra.  
12From the man who commits it, the Lord shall cut off one of acuity or erudition from the tents of Jacob and one who offers up an offering to the Lord of Hosts.   יביַכְרֵ֨ת יְהֹוָ֜ה לָאִ֨ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֚ר יַֽעֲשֶׂ֙נָּה֙ עֵ֣ר וְעֹנֶ֔ה מֵאָֽהֳלֵ֖י יַֽעֲקֹ֑ב וּמַגִּ֣ישׁ מִנְחָ֔ה לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה צְבָאֽוֹת:
one of acuity or erudition: An ingenious one among the students, and one who can answer among the sages. עֵר An expression of an ingenious person.  
and one who offers up an offering: And if he is a priest, he will not have a son who offers up an offering.  
13And this second thing you do, to cover the altar of the Lord with tears, weeping, and sighing-such that He will no longer turn to the offering, nor will He take anything willingly from your hand.   יגוְזֹאת֙ שֵׁנִ֣ית תַּֽעֲשׂ֔וּ כַּסּ֚וֹת דִּמְעָה֙ אֶת־מִזְבַּ֣ח יְהֹוָ֔ה בְּכִ֖י וַֽאֲנָקָ֑ה מֵאֵ֣ין ע֗וֹד פְּנוֹת֙ אֶל־הַמִּנְחָ֔ה וְלָקַ֥חַת רָצ֖וֹן מִיֶּדְכֶֽם:
And this second thing you do: The first matter concerning which I reproved you is, indeed, very grave, for one to have married a gentile woman even if he was unmarried; but this second matter is graver, for those [who were] married to Israelite women and married gentile women in addition to them. [The men did this] because the Israelite women became black from hunger and from exile, and became repugnant to them. [Such a man] would, therefore, sit her [his Israelite wife] in his house, bound in living widowhood, and the gentile wife would be the chief wife.  
to cover the altar of the Lord with tears: For the [Israelite wives] would come before the altar of the Lord and weep before it, saying, “ What have we sinned? And what wrong have our husbands found in us? Behold! We are before the altar to be tested as suspected adulteresses.”  
such that he will no longer turn, etc.: So that you are not fit for Me to turn to your offering or take any thing willingly from your hand.  
and sighing: an expression of sighing, that a person feels pain in his heart; demonisement in Old French, groaning. The source of all of them is (Ezek. 24: 17), “Be silent in groaning” But if אֳנָקָה is an expression of a cry, where is the silence? The Targum of this word is דִמְדַנְקִין, and so did Jonathan translate (ibid. 30:43) “And you shall sigh before yourselves ותְדַנְקוּן.” [This is] an expression of a person who roars and feels pain within himself.  
14And you will say, "Why?"-Because the Lord testified between you and the wife of your youth, that you dealt treacherously with her, and she is your companion and the wife of your covenant.   ידוַֽאֲמַרְתֶּ֖ם עַל־מָ֑ה עַ֡ל כִּֽי־יְהֹוָה֩ הֵעִ֨יד בֵּֽינְךָ֜ וּבֵ֣ין | אֵ֣שֶׁת נְעוּרֶ֗יךָ אֲשֶׁ֚ר אַתָּה֙ בָּגַ֣דְתָּה בָּ֔הּ וְהִ֥יא חֲבֶרְתְּךָ֖ וְאֵ֥שֶׁת בְּרִיתֶֽךָ:
15Now did He not make one who had the rest of the spirits? Now what does the one seek of the seed of God? Now you shall beware of your spirit, that it shall not deal treacherously with the wife of your youth.   טווְלֹֽא־אֶחָ֣ד עָשָׂ֗ה וּשְׁאָ֥ר ר֙וּחַ֙ ל֔וֹ וּמָה֙ הָֽאֶחָ֔ד מְבַקֵּ֖שׁ זֶ֣רַע אֱלֹהִ֑ים וְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּם֙ בְּר֣וּחֲכֶ֔ם וּבְאֵ֥שֶׁת נְעוּרֶ֖יךָ אַל־יִבְגֹּֽד:
Now did He not make one: The Holy One, blessed be He, made Adam and Eve first.  
the rest of the spirits: The spirits and the souls.  
had: Lit., to him were. They all came our from the first man.  
Now what does the one seek: Now what does the one member of the couple seek to find accusations against his wife, who is his mate, who is the seed of God? What does he claim of her that he disgraces her? This is the wording of Jonathan’s translation, except that Jonathan renders: Now what does the one seek except seed of God? The explanation is correct except for the fact that the word הָאֶחָד is pointed with “zakef” mark, and the mark of the “zakef” separates the word מְבַקֵּש from joining וּמָה הָאֶחָד. It connects it to זֶרַע א-ֱלֹהִים.  
He had a different spirit: His intention was not like your intention. He did not cast his eye upon her. He had a different intention. They said to him,  
“Now what did the one seek?”: What was his intention? He said to them: To have seed of the Lord. Jonathan’s translation appeals to me, because neither in Scripture nor in the Mishnah do we find שְׁאָר being used as an expression of “other” - except where a person can explain it as an expression of residue, as in (Dan. 7: 19), “which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet.” In the language of the Mishnah (Sanh. 8b), “And others liable to death” - outside of those delineated. But in the expression for which אַחֵר is used, שְׁאָר is not used.  
and you shall beware of your spirit, that it shall not deal treacherously with the wife of your youth: Your spirit shall not deal treacherously.  
16If you hate [her], send [her] away, says the Lord God of Israel. For injustice shall cover his garment, said the Lord of Hosts, but you shall beware of your spirit, and do not deal treacherously.   טזכִּֽי־שָׂנֵ֣א שַׁלַּ֗ח אָמַ֚ר יְהֹוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְכִסָּ֚ה חָמָס֙ עַל־לְבוּשׁ֔וֹ אָמַ֖ר יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת וְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּ֥ם בְּרֽוּחֲכֶ֖ם וְלֹ֥א תִבְגֹּֽדוּ:
If you hate [her], send [her] away: Our Sages differ concerning it in tractate Gittin (90b). Some of them say: If you hate her, send her away with a bill of divorcement, so that she can marry someone else.  
For injustice shall cover his garment: But this - is it proper to do, that you spread your cloak over her to keep her for you as your wife, and you provoke her and torment her constantly?  
17You have wearied the Lord with your words, and you say, "How have we wearied [Him]?"-By your saying, "Every evildoer is good in the Lord's sight, and He desires them," or, "Where is the God of judgment?"   יזהֽוֹגַעְתֶּ֚ם יְהֹוָה֙ בְּדִבְרֵיכֶ֔ם וַֽאֲמַרְתֶּ֖ם בַּמָּ֣ה הוֹגָ֑עְנוּ בֶּֽאֱמָרְכֶ֗ם כָּל־עֹ֨שֵׂה רָ֜ע ט֣וֹב | בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֗ה וּבָהֶם֙ ה֣וּא חָפֵ֔ץ א֥וֹ אַיֵּ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י הַמִּשְׁפָּֽט:
By your saying, “Every evildoer, etc., or Where is the God of judgment?”: Since you see that the way of the wicked prospers, and the righteous are afflicted and stumble, you say to yourselves,"One of these two ways is true: Either every evildoer is good in His sight, or [else] there is no judgment or judge to requite him. And so is the interpretation of the language of the verse: Every evildoer is good in His sight; therefore, He causes them to prosper. Or, if this is not so, where is the God of judgment, for He does not requite them.