Isaiah Chapter 43

21This people I formed for Myself; they shall recite My praise.   כאעַם־זוּ֙ יָצַ֣רְתִּי לִ֔י תְּהִלָּתִ֖י יְסַפֵּֽרוּ:
This people I formed for Myself: so that they recite My praise.  
22But you did not call Me, O Jacob, for you wearied of Me, O Israel.   כבוְלֹֽא־אֹתִ֥י קָרָ֖אתָ יַֽעֲקֹ֑ב כִּֽי־יָגַ֥עְתָּ בִּ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
But you did not call Me: But you did not call Me in your turning after idolatry.  
for you wearied of Me: You quickly wearied of My worship.  
23You did not bring Me the lambs of your burnt offerings, nor did you honor Me with your sacrifices; neither did I overwork you with meal-offerings nor did I weary you with frankincense.   כגלֹֽא־הֵבֵ֚יאתָ לִּי֙ שֵׂ֣ה עֹֽלֹתֶ֔יךָ וּזְבָחֶ֖יךָ לֹ֣א כִבַּדְתָּ֑נִי לֹ֚א הֶעֱבַדְתִּ֙יךָ֙ בְּמִנְחָ֔ה וְלֹ֥א הֽוֹגַעְתִּ֖יךָ בִּלְבוֹנָֽה:
You did not bring Me the lambs of your burnt offerings: but to idolatry.  
neither did I overwork you: Cause you to do much work with the meal offering; merely a handful would be offered to the Most High, and even that I did not ordain upon you to sacrifice as an obligation but as a free-will offering.  
24Neither did you purchase cane for Me with money, nor have you sated Me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened Me with your sins; you have wearied Me with your iniquities.   כדלֹֽא־קָנִ֨יתָ לִּ֚י בַכֶּ֙סֶף֙ קָנֶ֔ה וְחֵ֥לֶב זְבָחֶ֖יךָ לֹ֣א הִרְוִיתָ֑נִי אַ֗ךְ הֶֽעֱבַדְתַּ֙נִי֙ בְּחַטֹּאותֶ֔יךָ הֽוֹגַעְתַּ֖נִי בַּֽעֲו‍ֹנֹתֶֽיךָ:
Neither did you purchase cane for Me with money: for incense. You did not have to purchase it with money, for it was very common in your land. Said Rabbi Abba: Cinnamon grew in the Land of Israel, and goats and deer would eat of it. In Midrash Eichah (Proem X). ([Some manuscripts read:]  
Neither did you purchase cane for Me with money: for incense, for you failed to offer to Me what you should have, and you were attracted to idolatry.)  
But you have burdened Me: [lit. you have overworked Me.] You have caused Me to be an attendant to pagans, as Ezekiel envisioned (1:4): “And behold a tempest was coming from the north.” For the chariot of the Shechinah was returning from Babylon, where it had gone to conquer the whole world under the domination of Nebuchadnezzar, lest they say that He delivered His children into the hands of an inferior nation, as is found in Hagigah (13b).  
25I, yea I erase your transgressions for My sake, and your sins I will not remember.   כהאָנֹכִ֨י אָנֹכִ֥י ה֛וּא מֹחֶ֥ה פְשָׁעֶ֖יךָ לְמַֽעֲנִ֑י וְחַטֹּאתֶ֖יךָ לֹ֥א אֶזְכֹּֽר:
I, yea I: I am He Who erased them from time immemorial [lit. from then], and I erase them even now.  
for My sake: Neither in your merit nor in the merit of your forefathers.  
26Remind Me, let us stand in judgment; you tell, in order that you be accounted just.   כוהַזְכִּירֵ֕נִי נִשָּֽׁפְטָ֖ה יָ֑חַד סַפֵּ֥ר אַתָּ֖ה לְמַ֥עַן תִּצְדָּֽק:
Remind Me: all the reward I owe you and your forefathers.  
let us stand in judgment: [lit. let us be judged together.] Let us come to judgment.  
27Your first father sinned, and your intercessors transgressed against Me.   כזאָבִ֥יךָ הָֽרִאשׁ֖וֹן חָטָ֑א וּמְלִיצֶ֖יךָ פָּ֥שְׁעוּ בִֽי:
Your first father sinned: by saying (Gen. 15:8), “How will I know…?”  
and your intercessors transgressed against Me: You have none among all the intercessors upon whose merit you rely, in whom I have not found transgression. Isaac loved My enemy [Esau].  
28And I profane the holy princes, and I deliver Jacob to destruction and Israel to revilings.   כחוַֽאֲחַלֵּ֖ל שָׂ֣רֵי קֹ֑דֶשׁ וְאֶתְּנָ֚ה לַחֵ֙רֶם֙ יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לְגִדּוּפִֽים:
And I profane the holy princes: because of your iniquities.  

Isaiah Chapter 44

1And now, hearken, Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen.   אוְעַתָּ֥ה שְׁמַ֖ע יַֽעֲקֹ֣ב עַבְדִּ֑י וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בָּחַ֥רְתִּי בֽוֹ:
And now, hearken: to return to My Torah, Jacob My servant.  
2So said the Lord your Maker, and He Who formed you from the womb shall aid you. Fear not, My servant Jacob, and Jeshurun whom I have chosen.   בכֹּֽה־אָמַ֨ר יְהֹוָ֥ה עֹשֶׂ֛ךָ וְיֹֽצֶרְךָ֥ מִבֶּ֖טֶן יַעְזְרֶ֑ךָּ אַל־תִּירָא֙ עַבְדִּ֣י יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וִֽישֻׁר֖וּן בָּחַ֥רְתִּי בֽוֹ:
3As I will pour water on the thirsty and running water on dry land, I will pour My spirit on your seed and My blessing on your offspring.   גכִּ֚י אֶצָּק־מַ֙יִם֙ עַל־צָמֵ֔א וְנֽוֹזְלִ֖ים עַל־יַבָּשָׁ֑ה אֶצֹּ֚ק רוּחִי֙ עַל־זַרְעֶ֔ךָ וּבִרְכָתִ֖י עַל־צֶֽאֱצָאֶֽיךָ:
As I will pour water on the thirsty: Just as I pour water on the thirsty, so will I pour My spirit on your seed.  
4And they shall sprout among the grass like willows on rivulets of water.   דוְצָֽמְח֖וּ בְּבֵ֣ין חָצִ֑יר כַּֽעֲרָבִ֖ים עַל־יִבְלֵי־מָֽיִם:
And they shall sprout among the grass: among Esau (mss. and K’li Paz). [The Jewish nation will grow] through the proselytes who will join them. [The expression,] “among the grass” refers to Esau, for it is stated concerning Edom (supra 34:13): “And it shall be the habitat of jackals, an abode (חָצִיר) for ostriches.” (Editions reading, “Amalek,” are erroneous cf. reference.)  
5This one shall say, "I am the Lord's," and this one shall call himself by the name of Jacob, and this one shall write [with] his hand, "To the Lord," and adopt the name Israel.   הזֶ֚ה יֹאמַר֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֣ה אָ֔נִי וְזֶ֖ה יִקְרָ֣א בְשֵׁם־יַֽעֲקֹ֑ב וְזֶ֗ה יִכְתֹּ֚ב יָדוֹ֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה וּבְשֵׁ֥ם יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל יְכַנֶּֽה:
This one shall say, “I am the Lord’s.”: These are the perfectly righteous.  
and this one shall call himself by the name of Jacob.: These are the children, the sons of the wicked.  
and this one shall write [with] his hand, “To the Lord,”: These are the repentant.  
and adopt the name Israel: These are the proselytes. So it was taught in Avoth d’Rabbi Nathan (36:1).  
6So said the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer the Lord of Hosts, "I am first and I am last, and besides Me there is no God.   וכֹּֽה־אָמַ֨ר יְהֹוָ֧ה מֶֽלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל וְגֹֽאֲל֖וֹ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת אֲנִ֚י רִאשׁוֹן֙ וַֽאֲנִ֣י אַֽחֲר֔וֹן וּמִבַּלְעָדַ֖י אֵ֥ין אֱלֹהִֽים:
7And who will call [that he is] like Me and will tell it and arrange it for Me, since My placing the ancient people, and the signs and those that will come, let them tell for themselves.   זוּמִֽי־כָמ֣וֹנִי יִקְרָ֗א וְיַגִּידֶ֚הָ וְיַעְרְכֶ֙הָ֙ לִ֔י מִשּׂוּמִ֖י עַם־עוֹלָ֑ם וְאֽוֹתִיּ֛וֹת וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר תָּבֹ֖אנָה יַגִּ֥ידוּ לָֽמוֹ:
And who will call [that he is] like Me: And who will call that he is like Me and tell and arrange for me all that transpired since I placed the ancient people and until now?  
the ancient people: All the creatures.  
and the signs: Marvelous things.  
and those that will come: And those destined to come, let them tell, as I do now, for the Temple has not yet been destroyed, and you have not been exiled, and neither has Cyrus been born, but I am reporting it to you.  
8Fear not and be not dismayed; did I not let you hear it from then, and I told [it] and you are My witnesses; is there a God besides Me? And there is no rock I did not know.   חאַל־תִּפְחֲדוּ֙ וְאַל־תִּרְה֔וּ הֲלֹ֥א מֵאָ֛ז הִשְׁמַעְתִּ֥יךָ וְהִגַּ֖דְתִּי וְאַתֶּ֣ם עֵדָ֑י הֲיֵ֚שׁ אֱל֙וֹהַּ֙ מִבַּלְעָדַ֔י וְאֵ֥ין צ֖וּר בַּל־יָדָֽעְתִּי:
and be not dismayed: Heb. תִּרְהוּ. There is no similar word, and its interpretation according to its context is like תֵּחַתּוּ, be not dismayed from making My name known among the heathens (nations [K’li Paz and mss.]).  
let you hear: from Mount Sinai, and I told you there that there is no God besides Me.  
and you are My witnesses: that I opened for you seven heavens and showed you that there is no other, and you are My witnesses to this thing that there is no God besides Me.  
and there is no rock I did not know: Jonathan renders: And there is no strong one unless he is given strength by Me.  
I did not know: Heb. יָדַעְתִּי. An expression similar to (Exodus 33:17) “And I knew you by name (וָאֵדָעֲךָ);” (Deut. 2:7) “He knew (יָדַע) your going;” (Hosea 13:5) “I knew you (יְדַעְתִּיךָ) in the desert.”  
9Those who form idols are all of them vanity, and their treasures are of no avail, and they are their witnesses; they neither see nor hear, nor do they know, so that they be ashamed.   טיֹֽצְרֵי־פֶ֚סֶל כֻּלָּם֙ תֹּ֔הוּ וַֽחֲמֽוּדֵיהֶ֖ם בַּל־יוֹעִ֑ילוּ וְעֵֽדֵיהֶ֣ם הֵ֗מָּה בַּל־יִרְא֛וּ וּבַל־יֵֽדְע֖וּ לְמַ֥עַן יֵבֹֽשׁוּ:
and they are their witnesses: The idols are witnesses of the shame of their worshipers, for we see that they neither see nor know, yet they were worshiping them.  
so that they be ashamed: Those who worship them.  
10Who formed a god or molded an image, being of no avail?   ימִֽי־יָצַ֥ר אֵ֖ל וּפֶ֣סֶל נָסָ֑ךְ לְבִלְתִּ֖י הוֹעִֽיל:
molded: Heb. נָסָךְ, an expression of pouring and a molten image (מַסֵּכָה). The ‘nun’ in the word is a radical sometimes omitted, e.g., the ‘nun’ of נשך, biting, and of נגף, plaguing.  
11Behold, all his colleagues shall be ashamed, and they are smiths-of man. Let all of them gather, let them stand, they shall fear, they shall be ashamed together.   יאהֵ֚ן כָּל־חֲבֵרָיו֙ יֵבֹ֔שׁוּ וְחָֽרָשִׁ֥ים הֵ֖מָּה מֵֽאָדָ֑ם יִתְקַבְּצ֚וּ כֻלָּם֙ יַֽעֲמֹ֔דוּ יִפְחֲד֖וּ יֵבֹ֥שׁוּ יָֽחַד:
Behold, all his colleagues: of that fashioner and molder of graven images, who join him to worship his creation and his molten image, shall be ashamed.  
and they are smiths: those fashioners and molders, and they are of men, surely their creation is vanity.  
12The ironsmith [makes] an axe, and he works with coal, and with sledge hammers he fashions it; and he made it with his strong arm; yea he is hungry, and he has no strength, he did not drink water and he becomes faint.   יבחָרַ֚שׁ בַּרְזֶל֙ מַֽעֲצָ֔ד וּפָעַל֙ בַּפֶּחָ֔ם וּבַמַּקָּב֖וֹת יִצְּרֵ֑הוּ וַיִּפְעָלֵ֙הוּ֙ בִּזְר֣וֹעַ כֹּח֔וֹ גַּם־רָעֵב֙ וְאֵ֣ין כֹּ֔חַ לֹא־שָׁ֥תָה מַ֖יִם וַיִּעָֽף:
The ironsmith: a smith of iron.  
an axe: Heb. מַעֲצָד. That is one of the tools of the blacksmiths.  
and he works: the image.  
with coal: Heb. פֶּחָם, charbon in French.  
and with sledge hammers: Heb. מַקָּבוֹת, marteau in French.  
he fashions it: Heb. יִצְּרֵהוּ, an expression of fashioning.  
and he made it with his strong arm; yea he is hungry etc.: Even he, the fashioner, lacks strength and is weak, for if he becomes hungry he has no strength, or if he does not drink water, he becomes faint immediately. Surely his product has no power to help.  
13The carpenter stretched out a line, he beautifies it with a saw; he fixes it with planes, and with a compass he rounds it, and he made it in the likeness of a man, like the beauty of man to sit [in] the house.   יגחָרַ֣שׁ עֵצִים֘ נָ֣טָה קָו֒ יְתָֽאֲרֵ֣הוּ בַשֶּׂ֔רֶד יַֽעֲשֵׂ֙הוּ֙ בַּמַּקְצֻע֔וֹת וּבַמְּחוּגָ֖ה יְתָֽאֳרֵ֑הוּ וַֽיַּֽעֲשֵׂ֙הוּ֙ כְּתַבְנִ֣ית אִ֔ישׁ כְּתִפְאֶ֥רֶת אָדָ֖ם לָשֶׁ֥בֶת בָּֽיִת:
The carpenter: And if he comes to make it of wood, and he is a carpenter, the following is his method.  
stretched out a line: as is the custom of the carpenters, and according to the line, יְתָאֲרֵהוּ בַשֶּׂרֶד, he straightens it with a saw, which they call doloire in French.  
he beautifies it: Heb. יְתָאֲרֵהוּ, he beautifies it.  
he fixes it with planes: Heb. מַקְצֻעוֹת. He smoothes it with a plane and a blade. Jonathan renders מַקְצֻעוֹת as אִיזְמֵלַיָּא, knives or blades.  
and with a compass he rounds it: Heb. יְתָאֳרֵהוּ, an expression similar to (Josh. 15:9): “And the border circled (וְתָאַר).” If he comes to make circular drawings, he draws around it with a compass, compas in French.  
like the beauty of a man: That is a woman, who is the beauty of her husband.  
14To hew for himself cedars, and he took an ilex and an oak and he reenforced it with forest trees; he planted a sapling, and rain makes it grow.   ידלִכְרָת־ל֣וֹ אֲרָזִ֔ים וַיִּקַּ֚ח תִּרְזָה֙ וְאַלּ֔וֹן וַיְאַמֶּץ־ל֖וֹ בַּֽעֲצֵי־יָ֑עַר נָטַ֥ע אֹ֖רֶן וְגֶ֥שֶׁם יְגַדֵּֽל:
ilex and an oak: kinds of non-fruit-producing trees.  
and he reinforced it with forest trees: He makes for it types of reinforcements, either for strength or for beauty, with types of trees, one different from the other in their appearance.  
he planted a sapling: When he finds a branch or a sapling that is fit for that, he plants it for that and the rain makes it grow.  
a sapling: Heb. אֹרֶן, a young sapling, ploncon in O.F.  
15And it was for man to ignite, and he took from them and warmed himself; he even heated [the oven] and baked bread; he even made a god and prostrated himself, he made a graven image and bowed to them.   טווְהָיָ֚ה לְאָדָם֙ לְבָעֵ֔ר וַיִּקַּ֚ח מֵהֶם֙ וַיָּ֔חָם אַף־יַשִּׂ֖יק וְאָ֣פָה לָ֑חֶם אַ֚ף־יִפְעַל־אֵל֙ וַיִּשְׁתָּ֔חוּ עָשָׂ֥הוּ פֶ֖סֶל וַיִּסְגָּד־לָֽמוֹ:
And it was for man to ignite: And part of that very tree was for man’s necessities, [viz.] to ignite.  
and he took: from the trees.  
and he warmed: his body opposite them.  
he even heated: an oven with them and baked bread.  
he even made a God: from what was left over.  
16Half of it he burnt with fire, on half of it he ate meat, he roasted a roast and became sated; he even warmed himself and said, "Aha, I am warm, I see fire."   טזחֶצְיוֹ֙ שָׂרַ֣ף בְּמוֹ־אֵ֔שׁ עַל־חֶצְיוֹ֙ בָּשָׂ֣ר יֹאכֵ֔ל יִצְלֶ֥ה צָלִ֖י וְיִשְׂבָּ֑ע אַף־יָחֹם֙ וְיֹאמַ֣ר הֶאָ֔ח חַמּוֹתִ֖י רָאִ֥יתִי אֽוּר:
17And what is left over from it he made for a god, for his graven image; he kneels to it and prostrates himself and prays to it, and he says, "Save me, for you are my god."   יזוּשְׁאֵ֣רִית֔וֹ לְאֵ֥ל עָשָׂ֖ה לְפִסְל֑וֹ יִסְגָּד־ (כתיב יִסְגָּוד־) ל֚וֹ וְיִשְׁתַּ֙חוּ֙ וְיִתְפַּלֵּ֣ל אֵלָ֔יו וְיֹאמַר֙ הַצִּילֵ֔נִי כִּ֥י אֵלִ֖י אָֽתָּה:
18Neither do they know nor do they understand, for their eyes are bedaubed from seeing, their hearts from understanding.   יחלֹ֥א יָֽדְע֖וּ וְלֹ֣א יָבִ֑ינוּ כִּ֣י טַ֚ח מֵֽרְאוֹת֙ עֵֽינֵיהֶ֔ם מֵֽהַשְׂכִּ֖יל לִבֹּתָֽם:
19And he does not give it thought, and he has neither knowledge nor understanding to say, "Half of it I burnt with fire, and I even baked bread on its coals, I roasted meat and ate. And what was left over from it, shall I make for an abomination, shall I bow to rotten wood?"   יטוְלֹֽא־יָשִׁ֣יב אֶל־לִבּ֗וֹ וְלֹ֨א דַ֥עַת וְלֹֽא־תְבוּנָה֘ לֵאמֹר֒ חֶצְי֞וֹ שָׂרַ֣פְתִּי בְמוֹ־אֵ֗שׁ וְ֠אַף אָפִ֚יתִי עַל־גֶּֽחָלָיו֙ לֶ֔חֶם אֶצְלֶ֥ה בָשָׂ֖ר וְאֹכֵ֑ל וְיִתְרוֹ֙ לְתֽוֹעֵבָ֣ה אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֔ה לְב֥וּל עֵ֖ץ אֶסְגּֽוֹד:
And he does not give it thought: [lit. and he does not return to his heart.] Half of it I burnt with fire.  
and he has neither knowledge nor understanding: [lit. and there is neither knowledge nor understanding] in him to say this.  
to rotten wood: Heb. לְבוּל עֵץ, to decay of wood.  
20[To] a provider [made] of ashes, a deceived heart has perverted him, and he shall not save his soul, and he shall not say, "Is there not falsehood in my right hand?"   כרֹעֶ֣ה אֵ֔פֶר לֵ֥ב הוּתַ֖ל הִטָּ֑הוּ וְלֹֽא־יַצִּ֚יל אֶת־נַפְשׁוֹ֙ וְלֹ֣א יֹאמַ֔ר הֲל֥וֹא שֶׁ֖קֶר בִּֽימִינִֽי:
[To] a provider [made] of ashes, a deceived heart has perverted him: His heart, which was deceived, turned him aside to make for himself a provider of ashes. The image, half of which was burned and made into ashes, this fool says that it is his provider and patron. Another explanation: אֵפֶר רוֹעֶה is an expression of companionship. One who worships idols associates himself with the idol, which is ash.  
and he shall not save: [i.e.,] the misled one shall not save his soul, saying, “Is there not falsehood in my right hand?” and separate from it.  
21Remember these, O Jacob; and Israel, for you are My servant; I formed you that you be a servant to Me, Israel, do not forget Me.   כאזְכָר־אֵ֣לֶּה יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל כִּ֣י עַבְדִּי־אָ֑תָּה יְצַרְתִּ֚יךָ עֶֽבֶד־לִי֙ אַ֔תָּה יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֹ֥א תִנָּשֵֽׁנִי:
do not forget Me: Do not forget My fear.  
22I erased your transgressions like a thick cloud, and like a cloud have I erased your sins; return to Me for I have redeemed you.   כבמָחִ֚יתִי כָעָב֙ פְּשָׁעֶ֔יךָ וְכֶֽעָנָ֖ן חַטֹּאתֶ֑יךָ שׁוּבָ֥ה אֵלַ֖י כִּ֥י גְאַלְתִּֽיךָ:
I erased your transgressions like a thick cloud: in Egypt and in the desert. Now too, return to Me.  
23Sing, ye heavens, for the Lord has done [this], shout, ye lowest parts of the earth; ye mountains, burst out in song, the forest and all trees therein; for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and with Israel shall He be glorified.   כגרָנּ֨וּ שָׁמַ֜יִם כִּֽי־עָשָׂ֣ה יְהֹוָ֗ה הָרִ֙יעוּ֙ תַּחְתִּיּ֣וֹת אָ֔רֶץ פִּצְח֚וּ הָרִים֙ רִנָּ֔ה יַ֖עַר וְכָל־עֵ֣ץ בּ֑וֹ כִּֽי־גָאַ֚ל יְהֹוָה֙ יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וּבְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל יִתְפָּאָֽר:
burst out: An expression of opening the mouth.