Chapter 17

1My spirit has been destroyed, my days flicker; graves are ready for me,   ארוּחִ֣י חֻ֖בָּלָה יָמַ֥י נִזְעָ֗כוּ קְבָרִ֥ים לִֽי:
flicker: Heb. נזעכו have sprung away, like (above 6:17) “they jump (נדעכו).”  
graves are ready for me: I am ready for the grave.  
2even if there were no mockers with me, and in their provocation my eye [did not] abide.   באִם־לֹ֣א הֲ֖תֻלִים עִמָּדִ֑י וּבְ֜הַמְּרוֹתָ֗ם תָּלַ֥ן עֵינִֽי:
even if there were no: [Even if] this had not befallen me, that scornful people had gathered with me in my consolations to mock me.  
in their provocation: Heb. ובהמרותם, like (Ezek. 20:8, 13, 21), “And they provoked (וימרו) me” ; (Deut. 9:7), “you have been provoking (ממרים).” [This is] an expression meaning: in their provocation.  
my eye… abide: My eye, my heart, and my thought abide in them.  
3Pay heed now, give me surety with You, for who is it who will shake hands with me?   גשִֽׂימָה־נָּ֖א עָרְבֵ֣נִי עִמָּ֑ךְ מִי ה֜֗וּא לְיָדִ֥י יִתָּקֵֽעַ:
Pay heed now: O Creator.  
give me surety: by shaking the hands to debate together, for who is it of these who will shake my hand that it should be good for me?  
4For You have hidden their hearts from understanding; therefore, You will not be exalted.   דכִּֽי־לִ֖בָּם צָפַ֣נְתָּ מִשָּׂ֑כֶל עַל־כֵּ֜֗ן לֹ֣א תְרוֹמֵֽם:
For: Behold.  
You have hidden their hearts from understanding: Therefore, Your glory will not be exalted through them.  
5He who speaks to his friends with flattery-his children's eyes will fail.   הלְחֵלֶק יַגִּ֣יד רֵעִ֑ים וְעֵינֵ֖י בָנָ֣יו תִּכְלֶֽנָה:
flattery: Heb. לְחֵלֶק, flattery (חלקלקות).  
speaks: Each one of them [speaks] to his friend, and this will come to them: their children’s eyes will fail.  
6And it set me up as a byword for peoples, and I will be [like] a drum before them.   ווְֽהִצִּיגַנִי לִמְשֹׁ֣ל עַמִּ֑ים וְתֹ֖פֶת לְפָנִ֣ים אֶֽהְיֶֽה:
and… a drum: Heb. תפת, like תּוֹף, a drum.  
before them: lit. to the face; [i. e., to the face] of the people, I am [a drum].  
7And my eye is dimmed from anger, and my limbs are all like a shadow.   זוַתֵּ֣כַהּ מִכַּ֣עַשׂ עֵינִ֑י וִֽיצֻרַ֖י כַּצֵּ֣ל כֻּלָּֽם:
and my limbs: namely, the limbs with which I was formed.  
8The upright will be appalled by this, and an innocent one will be aroused against a hypocrite.   חיָשֹׁ֣מּוּ יְשָׁרִ֣ים עַל־זֹ֑את וְ֜נָקִ֗י עַל־חָנֵ֥ף יִתְעֹרָֽר:
will be appalled: they will wonder.  
and an innocent one: If there is a righteous [man] who hears the mockery of these hypocrites.  
will be aroused: to quarrel with you.  
9Yet the righteous holds on his way, and the one whose hands are clean grows stronger and stronger.   טוְיֹאחֵ֣ז צַדִּ֣יק דַּרְכּ֑וֹ וּֽטְהָר־יָ֜דַ֗יִם יֹסִ֥יף אֹֽמֶץ:
Yet the righteous holds on his way: i.e., every righteous man holds on his way to stand up against the company of the hypocrites.  
10But all of them, [I say] you shall return and come now, and I will not find any wise man among you.   יוְֽאוּלָ֗ם כֻּלָּ֣ם תָּ֖שׁוּבוּ וּבֹ֣אוּ נָ֑א וְלֹֽא־אֶמְצָ֖א בָכֶ֣ם חָכָ֣ם:
But all of them: I say to you, “Return now and come now.”  
and I will not find any wise man among you: insofar as you mock my lamentation.  
11My days have passed, yea my purposes; the thoughts of my heart have been broken off.   יאיָמַ֣י עָֽ֖בְרוּ זִמּוֹתַ֣י נִתְּק֑וּ מֽוֹרָשֵׁ֣י לְבָבִֽי:
My days etc.: Behold, the days of my prosperity, to which I became accustomed, have passed.  
my purposes: Which I had expected to last with prosperity.  
the thoughts of my heart have been broken off: Heb. מורשי, lit. the inheritances of. The thoughts which my heart gave me to possess, for my heart said that I would inherit good because of my [righteous] way.  
12They turn night into day; the light is short because of the darkness.   יבלַיְלָה לְי֣וֹם יָשִׂ֑ימוּ א֜֗וֹר קָר֥וֹב מִפְּנֵי־חֹֽשֶׁךְ:
They turn night into day: These mockers turn night into day for me, for I cannot sleep at night because of the trouble of the mockings.  
the light is short: lit. קרוב, near, and short for me because of the trouble of the darkness of the night. The light is short; when the sun sets, it appears to me as though a short time ago the day dawned, was shortened, and left. This is like (Gen. 19: 20), “this city is recent (קרובה) ” it was newly settled recently and like (below 20:5), “That the triumph of the wicked is short (מקרוב) ,” and like (Deut. 32:17), “new ones that came up of late (מקרוב).”  
13Since I hope for the grave as my house, in the darkness I have spread out my couch.   יגאִם־אֲ֖קַוֶּה שְׁא֣וֹל בֵּיתִ֑י בַּ֜חֹ֗שֶׁךְ רִפַּ֥דְתִּי יְצוּעָֽי:
Since I hope for the grave: Heb. אם, like (above 14:5), “If (אם) his days are limited” [See Rashi ad loc.], i.e., since I hope for the grave as my house.  
in the darkness I have spread out my couch: I have spread out my couch in the grave.  
14To the pit I have called, 'You are my father'; 'My mother,' and 'My sister,' to the worms.   ידלַשַּׁ֣חַת קָ֖רָאתִי אָ֣בִי אָ֑תָּה אִמִּ֥י וַֽ֜אֲחֹתִ֗י לָֽרִמָּֽה:
To the pit I have called, ‘You are my father,’: to lodge there many days as though it was my father, since this is my hope.  
15Where then is my hope? And as for my hope, who shall see it?   טווְאַיֵּה אֵפ֣וֹ תִקְוָתִ֑י וְ֜תִקְוָתִ֗י מִ֣י יְשׁוּרֶֽנָּה:
Where then is my hope: [Where then is] this [my hope]? Why is it deferred, and who will see it to hasten it to me?  
16The limbs of the grave shall descend, even together they rest on the dust."   טזבַּדֵּ֣י שְׁא֣וֹל תֵּרַ֑דְנָה אִם־יַ֖חַד עַל־עָפָ֣ר נָֽחַת:
The limbs of the grave shall descend: Those limbs [of my body] that will ultimately descend to the grave, for indeed they will all rest on the dust.  
they rest on the dust: Heb. נחת, will lodge, an expression of (Num. 11:26), “the spirit rested (ותנח) upon them.”