Isaiah – Select a Chapter

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42:1  This is My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen one, in whom I delight. I have put My spirit upon him, He shall teach the true way to the nations.

מב:א  הֵן עַבְדִּי אֶתְמָךְ־בּוֹ בְּחִירִי רָצְתָה נַפְשִׁי נָתַתִּי רוּחִי עָלָיו מִשְׁפָּט לַגּוֹיִם יוֹצִיא׃

2  He shall not cry out or shout aloud, Or make his voice heard in the streets.

ב  לֹא יִצְעַק וְלֹא יִשָּׂא וְלֹא־יַשְׁמִיעַ בַּחוּץ קוֹלוֹ׃

3  He shall not break even a bruised reed, ,Or snuff out even a dim wick. He shall bring forth the true way.

ג  קָנֶה רָצוּץ לֹא יִשְׁבּוֹר וּפִשְׁתָּה כֵהָה לֹא יְכַבֶּנָּה לֶאֱמֶת יוֹצִיא מִשְׁפָּט׃

4  He shall not grow dim or be bruised Till he has established the true way on earth; And the coastlands shall await his teaching.

ד  לֹא יִכְהֶה וְלֹא יָרוּץ עַד־יָשִׂים בָּאָרֶץ מִשְׁפָּט וּלְתוֹרָתוֹ אִיִּים יְיַחֵילוּ׃

5  Thus said Hashem the lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and what it brings forth, Who gave breath to the people upon it And life to those who walk thereon:

ה  כֹּה־אָמַר הָאֵל יְהֹוָה בּוֹרֵא הַשָּׁמַיִם וְנוֹטֵיהֶם רֹקַע הָאָרֶץ וְצֶאֱצָאֶיהָ נֹתֵן נְשָׁמָה לָעָם עָלֶיהָ וְרוּחַ לַהֹלְכִים בָּהּ׃

6  I Hashem, in My grace, have summoned you, And I have grasped you by the hand. I created you, and appointed you A covenant people, a light of nations—

a-NEE a-do-NAI k’-ra-TEE-kha v’-TZE-dek v’-akh-ZAYK b’-ya-DE-kha v’-e-tzor-KHA v’-e-ten-KHA liv-REET AM l’-OR go-YIM

ו  אֲנִי יְהֹוָה קְרָאתִיךָ בְצֶדֶק וְאַחְזֵק בְּיָדֶךָ וְאֶצָּרְךָ וְאֶתֶּנְךָ לִבְרִית עָם לְאוֹר גּוֹיִם׃

 42:6   A light of nations

This famous phrase captures the mission statement of the People of Israel. For most of Jewish history, the role of “light unto the nations” has been understood primarily as a private call to have a positive influence on the world by living an ethical life and setting a personal example of righteous behavior. Rarely was anyone on the outside ever interested in what the Jews as a nation had to say, and so the concept of ‘ohr goyim’ was an ideal that individual Jews strived for. However, Yeshayahu is calling for so much more. The “light” in his stirring description is capable of opening the eyes of the blind and leading the imprisoned out of darkness. The establishment of the State of Israel and its role on the international stage calls for a transformation of the “light unto the nations” metaphor from a passive, individual candle, to a powerful blaze, firing up the nations and igniting the world with righteousness. The State of Israel represents the historic opportunity for the People of Israel to fulfil their religious destiny as a nation.Comment

7  Opening eyes deprived of light, Rescuing prisoners from confinement, From the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

ז  לִפְקֹחַ עֵינַיִם עִוְרוֹת לְהוֹצִיא מִמַּסְגֵּר אַסִּיר מִבֵּית כֶּלֶא יֹשְׁבֵי חֹשֶׁךְ׃

8  I am Hashem, that is My name; I will not yield My glory to another, Nor My renown to idols.

ח  אֲנִי יְהֹוָה הוּא שְׁמִי וּכְבוֹדִי לְאַחֵר לֹא־אֶתֵּן וּתְהִלָּתִי לַפְּסִילִים׃

9  See, the things once predicted have come, And now I foretell new things, Announce to you ere they sprout up.

ט  הָרִאשֹׁנוֹת הִנֵּה־בָאוּ וַחֲדָשׁוֹת אֲנִי מַגִּיד בְּטֶרֶם תִּצְמַחְנָה אַשְׁמִיע אֶתְכֶם׃

10  Sing to Hashem a new song, His praise from the ends of the earth— You who sail the sea and you creatures in it, You coastlands and their inhabitants!

י  שִׁירוּ לַיהֹוָה שִׁיר חָדָשׁ תְּהִלָּתוֹ מִקְצֵה הָאָרֶץ יוֹרְדֵי הַיָּם וּמְלֹאוֹ אִיִּים וְיֹשְׁבֵיהֶם׃

11  Let the desert and its towns cry aloud, The villages where Kedar dwells; Let Sela’s inhabitants shout, Call out from the peaks of the mountains.

יא  יִשְׂאוּ מִדְבָּר וְעָרָיו חֲצֵרִים תֵּשֵׁב קֵדָר יָרֹנּוּ יֹשְׁבֵי סֶלַע מֵרֹאשׁ הָרִים יִצְוָחוּ׃

12  Let them do honor to Hashem, And tell His glory in the coastlands.

יב  יָשִׂימוּ לַיהֹוָה כָּבוֹד וּתְהִלָּתוֹ בָּאִיִּים יַגִּידוּ׃

13  Hashem goes forth like a warrior, Like a fighter He whips up His rage. He yells, He roars aloud, He charges upon His enemies.

יג  יְהֹוָה כַּגִּבּוֹר יֵצֵא כְּאִישׁ מִלְחָמוֹת יָעִיר קִנְאָה יָרִיעַ אַף־יַצְרִיחַ עַל־אֹיְבָיו יִתְגַּבָּר׃

14  “I have kept silent far too long, Kept still and restrained Myself; Now I will scream like a woman in labor, I will pant and I will gasp.

יד  הֶחֱשֵׁיתִי מֵעוֹלָם אַחֲרִישׁ אֶתְאַפָּק כַּיּוֹלֵדָה אֶפְעֶה אֶשֹּׁם וְאֶשְׁאַף יָחַד׃

15  Hills and heights will I scorch, Cause all their green to wither; I will turn rivers into isles, And dry the marshes up.

טו  אַחֲרִיב הָרִים וּגְבָעוֹת וְכָל־עֶשְׂבָּם אוֹבִישׁ וְשַׂמְתִּי נְהָרוֹת לָאִיִּים וַאֲגַמִּים אוֹבִישׁ׃

16  I will lead the blind By a road they did not know, And I will make them walk By paths they never knew. I will turn darkness before them to light, Rough places into level ground. These are the promises— I will keep them without fail.

טז  וְהוֹלַכְתִּי עִוְרִים בְּדֶרֶךְ לֹא יָדָעוּ בִּנְתִיבוֹת לֹא־יָדְעוּ אַדְרִיכֵם אָשִׂים מַחְשָׁךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם לָאוֹר וּמַעֲקַשִּׁים לְמִישׁוֹר אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים עֲשִׂיתִם וְלֹא עֲזַבְתִּים׃

17  Driven back and utterly shamed Shall be those who trust in an image, Those who say to idols, ‘You are our gods!’”

יז  נָסֹגוּ אָחוֹר יֵבֹשׁוּ בֹשֶׁת הַבֹּטְחִים בַּפָּסֶל הָאֹמְרִים לְמַסֵּכָה אַתֶּם אֱלֹהֵינוּ׃

18  Listen, you who are deaf; You blind ones, look up and see!

יח  הַחֵרְשִׁים שְׁמָעוּ וְהַעִוְרִים הַבִּיטוּ לִרְאוֹת׃

19  Who is so blind as My servant, So deaf as the messenger I send? Who is so blind as the chosen one, So blind as the servant of Hashem?

יט  מִי עִוֵּר כִּי אִם־עַבְדִּי וְחֵרֵשׁ כְּמַלְאָכִי אֶשְׁלָח מִי עִוֵּר כִּמְשֻׁלָּם וְעִוֵּר כְּעֶבֶד יְהֹוָה׃

20  Seeing many things, he gives no heed; With ears open, he hears nothing.

כ  ראית [רָאוֹת] רַבּוֹת וְלֹא תִשְׁמֹר פָּקוֹחַ אָזְנַיִם וְלֹא יִשְׁמָע׃

21  Hashem desires His [servant’s] vindication, That he may magnify and glorify [His] Teaching.

כא  יְהֹוָה חָפֵץ לְמַעַן צִדְקוֹ יַגְדִּיל תּוֹרָה וְיַאְדִּיר׃

22  Yet it is a people plundered and despoiled: All of them are trapped in holes, Imprisoned in dungeons. They are given over to plunder, with none to rescue them; To despoilment, with none to say “Give back!”

כב  וְהוּא עַם־בָּזוּז וְשָׁסוּי הָפֵחַ בַּחוּרִים כֻּלָּם וּבְבָתֵּי כְלָאִים הָחְבָּאוּ הָיוּ לָבַז וְאֵין מַצִּיל מְשִׁסָּה וְאֵין־אֹמֵר הָשַׁב׃

23  If only you would listen to this, Attend and give heed from now on!

כג  מִי בָכֶם יַאֲזִין זֹאת יַקְשִׁב וְיִשְׁמַע לְאָחוֹר׃

24  Who was it gave Yaakov over to despoilment And Yisrael to plunderers? Surely, Hashem against whom they sinned In whose ways they would not walk And whose Teaching they would not obey.

כד  מִי־נָתַן למשוסה [לִמְשִׁסָּה] יַעֲקֹב וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְבֹזְזִים הֲלוֹא יְהֹוָה זוּ חָטָאנוּ לוֹ וְלֹא־אָבוּ בִדְרָכָיו הָלוֹךְ וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ בְּתוֹרָתוֹ׃

25  So He poured out wrath upon them, His anger and the fury of war. It blazed upon them all about, but they heeded not; It burned among them, but they gave it no thought.

כה  וַיִּשְׁפֹּךְ עָלָיו חֵמָה אַפּוֹ וֶעֱזוּז מִלְחָמָה וַתְּלַהֲטֵהוּ מִסָּבִיב וְלֹא יָדָע וַתִּבְעַר־בּוֹ וְלֹא־יָשִׂים עַל־לֵב׃

49:1  Listen, O coastlands, to me, And give heed, O nations afar: Hashem appointed me before I was born, He named me while I was in my mother’s womb.

מט:א  שִׁמְעוּ אִיִּים אֵלַי וְהַקְשִׁיבוּ לְאֻמִּים מֵרָחוֹק יְהֹוָה מִבֶּטֶן קְרָאָנִי מִמְּעֵי אִמִּי הִזְכִּיר שְׁמִי׃

2  He made my mouth like a sharpened blade, He hid me in the shadow of His hand, And He made me like a polished arrow; He concealed me in His quiver.

ב  וַיָּשֶׂם פִּי כְּחֶרֶב חַדָּה בְּצֵל יָדוֹ הֶחְבִּיאָנִי וַיְשִׂימֵנִי לְחֵץ בָּרוּר בְּאַשְׁפָּתוֹ הִסְתִּירָנִי׃

3  And He said to me, “You are My servant, Yisrael in whom I glory.”

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר לִי עַבְדִּי־אָתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר־בְּךָ אֶתְפָּאָר׃

4  I thought, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for empty breath.” But my case rested with Hashem, My recompense was in the hands of my God.

ד  וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי לְרִיק יָגַעְתִּי לְתֹהוּ וְהֶבֶל כֹּחִי כִלֵּיתִי אָכֵן מִשְׁפָּטִי אֶת־יְהֹוָה וּפְעֻלָּתִי אֶת־אֱלֹהָי׃

5  And now Hashem has resolved— He who formed me in the womb to be His servant— To bring back Yaakov to Himself, That Yisrael may be restored to Him. ,And I have been honored in the sight of Hashem, My Hashem has been my strength.

ה  וְעַתָּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה יֹצְרִי מִבֶּטֶן לְעֶבֶד לוֹ לְשׁוֹבֵב יַעֲקֹב אֵלָיו וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לא [לוֹ] יֵאָסֵף וְאֶכָּבֵד בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וֵאלֹהַי הָיָה עֻזִּי׃

6  For He has said: “It is too little that you should be My servant In that I raise up the tribes of Yaakov And restore the survivors of Yisrael: I will also make you a light of nations, That My salvation may reach the ends of the earth.”

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר נָקֵל מִהְיוֹתְךָ לִי עֶבֶד לְהָקִים אֶת־שִׁבְטֵי יַעֲקֹב ונצירי [וּנְצוּרֵי] יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהָשִׁיב וּנְתַתִּיךָ לְאוֹר גּוֹיִם לִהְיוֹת יְשׁוּעָתִי עַד־קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ׃

7  Thus said Hashem, The Redeemer of Yisrael, his Holy One, To the despised one, To the abhorred nations, To the slave of rulers: Kings shall see and stand up; Nobles, and they shall prostrate themselves— To the honor of Hashem, who is faithful, To the Holy One of Yisrael who chose you.

ז  כֹּה אָמַר־יְהֹוָה גֹּאֵל יִשְׂרָאֵל קְדוֹשׁוֹ לִבְזֹה־נֶפֶשׁ לִמְתָעֵב גּוֹי לְעֶבֶד מֹשְׁלִים מְלָכִים יִרְאוּ וָקָמוּ שָׂרִים וְיִשְׁתַּחֲוּוּ לְמַעַן יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר נֶאֱמָן קְדֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּבְחָרֶךָּ׃

8  Thus said Hashem: In an hour of favor I answer you, And on a day of salvation I help you— I created you and appointed you a covenant people— Restoring the land, Allotting anew the desolate holdings,

ח  כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה בְּעֵת רָצוֹן עֲנִיתִיךָ וּבְיוֹם יְשׁוּעָה עֲזַרְתִּיךָ וְאֶצָּרְךָ וְאֶתֶּנְךָ לִבְרִית עָם לְהָקִים אֶרֶץ לְהַנְחִיל נְחָלוֹת שֹׁמֵמוֹת׃

9  Saying to the prisoners, “Go free,” To those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.” They shall pasture along the roads, On every bare height shall be their pasture.

ט  לֵאמֹר לַאֲסוּרִים צֵאוּ לַאֲשֶׁר בַּחֹשֶׁךְ הִגָּלוּ עַל־דְּרָכִים יִרְעוּ וּבְכָל־שְׁפָיִים מַרְעִיתָם׃

10  They shall not hunger or thirst, Hot wind and sun shall not strike them; For He who loves them will lead them, He will guide them to springs of water.

י  לֹא יִרְעָבוּ וְלֹא יִצְמָאוּ וְלֹא־יַכֵּם שָׁרָב וָשָׁמֶשׁ כִּי־מְרַחֲמָם יְנַהֲגֵם וְעַל־מַבּוּעֵי מַיִם יְנַהֲלֵם׃

11  I will make all My mountains a road, And My highways shall be built up.

יא  וְשַׂמְתִּי כָל־הָרַי לַדָּרֶךְ וּמְסִלֹּתַי יְרֻמוּן׃

12  Look! These are coming from afar, These from the north and the west, And these from the land of Sinim.

יב  הִנֵּה־אֵלֶּה מֵרָחוֹק יָבֹאוּ וְהִנֵּה־אֵלֶּה מִצָּפוֹן וּמִיָּם וְאֵלֶּה מֵאֶרֶץ סִינִים׃

13  Shout, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth! Break into shouting, O hills! For Hashem has comforted His people, And has taken back His afflicted ones in love.

יג  רָנּוּ שָׁמַיִם וְגִילִי אָרֶץ יפצחו [וּפִצְחוּ] הָרִים רִנָּה כִּי־נִחַם יְהֹוָה עַמּוֹ וַעֲנִיָּו יְרַחֵם׃

14  Tzion says, “Hashem has forsaken me, My Lord has forgotten me.”

יד  וַתֹּאמֶר צִיּוֹן עֲזָבַנִי יְהֹוָה וַאדֹנָי שְׁכֵחָנִי׃

15  Can a woman forget her baby, Or disown the child of her womb? Though she might forget, I never could forget you.

ha-tish-KAKH i-SHAH u-LAH may-ra-KHAYM ben bit-NAH gam AY-leh tish-KAKH-nah v’-a-no-KHEE lo esh-ka-KHAYKH

טו  הֲתִשְׁכַּח אִשָּׁה עוּלָהּ מֵרַחֵם בֶּן־בִּטְנָהּ גַּם־אֵלֶּה תִשְׁכַּחְנָה וְאָנֹכִי לֹא אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ׃

49:15   I never could forget you

The relationship between Hashem and the Children of Israel is often compared to that of a husband and wife. There is, however, an additional element to the relationship; that of a parent and a child. While husbands and wives can fall out of love and the relationship can be formally ended, the mother who carries and gives birth to a child will always be that child’s mother. In verse 14, Israel expresses its feelings of being abandoned and forgotten by Hashem. God responds in this verse by saying that His love for the Children of Israel is even deeper than a mother’s love for her child, and promises that He could never forget His people.Comment

16  See, I have engraved you On the palms of My hands, Your walls are ever before Me.

טז  הֵן עַל־כַּפַּיִם חַקֹּתִיךְ חוֹמֹתַיִךְ נֶגְדִּי תָּמִיד׃

17  Swiftly your children are coming; Those who ravaged and ruined you shall leave you.

יז  מִהֲרוּ בָּנָיִךְ מְהָרְסַיִךְ וּמַחֲרִבַיִךְ מִמֵּךְ יֵצֵאוּ׃

18  Look up all around you and see: They are all assembled, are come to you! As I live —declares Hashem— You shall don them all like jewels, Deck yourself with them like a bride.

יח  שְׂאִי־סָבִיב עֵינַיִךְ וּרְאִי כֻּלָּם נִקְבְּצוּ בָאוּ־לָךְ חַי־אָנִי נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה כִּי כֻלָּם כָּעֲדִי תִלְבָּשִׁי וּתְקַשְּׁרִים כַּכַּלָּה׃

19  As for your ruins and desolate places And your land laid waste— You shall soon be crowded with settlers, While destroyers stay far from you.

יט  כִּי חָרְבֹתַיִךְ וְשֹׁמְמֹתַיִךְ וְאֶרֶץ הֲרִסֻתֵיךְ כִּי עַתָּה תֵּצְרִי מִיּוֹשֵׁב וְרָחֲקוּ מְבַלְּעָיִךְ׃

20  The children you thought you had lost Shall yet say in your hearing, “The place is too crowded for me; Make room for me to settle.”

כ  עוֹד יֹאמְרוּ בְאָזְנַיִךְ בְּנֵי שִׁכֻּלָיִךְ צַר־לִי הַמָּקוֹם גְּשָׁה־לִּי וְאֵשֵׁבָה׃

21  And you will say to yourself, “Who bore these for me When I was bereaved and barren, Exiled and disdained— By whom, then, were these reared? I was left all alone— And where have these been?”

כא  וְאָמַרְתְּ בִּלְבָבֵךְ מִי יָלַד־לִי אֶת־אֵלֶּה וַאֲנִי שְׁכוּלָה וְגַלְמוּדָה גֹּלָה וְסוּרָה וְאֵלֶּה מִי גִדֵּל הֵן אֲנִי נִשְׁאַרְתִּי לְבַדִּי אֵלֶּה אֵיפֹה הֵם׃

22  Thus said Hashem: I will raise My hand to nations And lift up My ensign to peoples; And they shall bring your sons in their bosoms, And carry your daughters on their backs.

koh a-MAR a-do-NAI e-lo-HEEM hi-NAY e-SA el go-YIM ya-DEE v’-el a-MEEM a-REEM ni-SEE v’-hay-VEE-u va-NA-yikh b’-KHO-tzen uv-no-TA-yikh al ka-TAYF ti-na-SE-na

כב  כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנֵּה אֶשָּׂא אֶל־גּוֹיִם יָדִי וְאֶל־עַמִּים אָרִים נִסִּי וְהֵבִיאוּ בָנַיִךְ בְּחֹצֶן וּבְנֹתַיִךְ עַל־כָּתֵף תִּנָּשֶׂאנָה׃

 49:22   And they shall bring your sons in their bosoms

Yeshayahu describes the great con­tributions that the nations and individual non-Jews will play in the resettlement of Eretz Yisrael. In modern times, this prophecy is being fulfilled by the unprece­dented number of non-Jews who visit, support and pray for Israel. Great individual Christian warriors for Tzion have also emerged to fulfill Yeshayahu’s prophecy. For example, Major-General Orde Charles Wingate (1903-1944) was a British officer in Palestine during the Mandate, and trained many of the future leaders of the Israeli army. He drew on his love and knowledge of the Bible, and distilled strategies from the battles of Yehoshua, Gidon and King David. Known throughout Israel as “ha-yedid” (הידיד) or, ‘the friend,’ the Jewish people remember Orde Wingate and all the righteous non-Jews whose love for the Bible drove them to stand with Israel in her moment of need.

Comment

23  Kings shall tend your children, Their queens shall serve you as nurses. They shall bow to you, face to the ground, And lick the dust of your feet. And you shall know that I am Hashem— Those who trust in Me shall not be shamed.

כג  וְהָיוּ מְלָכִים אֹמְנַיִךְ וְשָׂרוֹתֵיהֶם מֵינִיקֹתַיִךְ אַפַּיִם אֶרֶץ יִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לָךְ וַעֲפַר רַגְלַיִךְ יְלַחֵכוּ וְיָדַעַתְּ כִּי־אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יֵבֹשׁוּ קוָֹי׃

24  Can spoil be taken from a warrior, Or captives retrieved from a victor?

כד  הֲיֻקַּח מִגִּבּוֹר מַלְקוֹחַ וְאִם־שְׁבִי צַדִּיק יִמָּלֵט׃

25  Yet thus said Hashem: Captives shall be taken from a warrior And spoil shall be retrieved from a tyrant; For I will contend with your adversaries, And I will deliver your children.

כה  כִּי־כֹה אָמַר יְהֹוָה גַּם־שְׁבִי גִבּוֹר יֻקָּח וּמַלְקוֹחַ עָרִיץ יִמָּלֵט וְאֶת־יְרִיבֵךְ אָנֹכִי אָרִיב וְאֶת־בָּנַיִךְ אָנֹכִי אוֹשִׁיעַ׃

26  I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, They shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine. And all mankind shall know That I Hashem am your Savior, The Mighty One of Yaakov, your Redeemer.

כו  וְהַאֲכַלְתִּי אֶת־מוֹנַיִךְ אֶת־בְּשָׂרָם וְכֶעָסִיס דָּמָם יִשְׁכָּרוּן וְיָדְעוּ כָל־בָּשָׂר כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה מוֹשִׁיעֵךְ וְגֹאֲלֵךְ אֲבִיר יַעֲקֹב׃

50:1  Thus said Hashem: Where is the bill of divorce Of your mother whom I dismissed? And which of My creditors was it To whom I sold you off? You were only sold off for your sins, And your mother dismissed for your crimes.

KOH a-MAR a-do-NAI AY ZEH SAY-fer k’-ree-TUT i-m’-KHEM a-SHER shi-lakh-TEE-ha O MEE mi-no-SHAI a-sher ma-KHAR-tee et-KHEM LO HAYN ba-a-vo-no-tay-KHEM nim-kar-TEM uv-fish-ay-KHEM shu-l’-KHAH i-m’-KHEM

נ:א  כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֵי זֶה סֵפֶר כְּרִיתוּת אִמְּכֶם אֲשֶׁר שִׁלַּחְתִּיהָ אוֹ מִי מִנּוֹשַׁי אֲשֶׁר־מָכַרְתִּי אֶתְכֶם לוֹ הֵן בַּעֲוׂנֹתֵיכֶם נִמְכַּרְתֶּם וּבְפִשְׁעֵיכֶם שֻׁלְּחָה אִמְּכֶם׃

 50:1   Where is the bill of divorce of your mother whom I dismissed?

The prophets traditionally compare the relationship between Hashem and the Jewish people to that of a marriage, and to that of a parent and child. Having been exiled, Israel has good reason to fear that they have been divorced from God, or sold (see Psalms 44:13). However, Hashem assures His people that he has not written them a bill of divorce, nor has He sold them for any price. Despite everything, the People of Israel are still Hashem’s children and the objects of His affection. The bond between God and Israel is eternal, and their claim to Eretz Yisrael, which He gave them, will never be uprooted.Comment

2  Why, when I came, was no one there, Why, when I called, would none respond? Is my arm, then, too short to rescue, Have I not the power to save? With a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, And turn rivers into desert. Their fish stink from lack of water; They lie dead of thirst.

ב  מַדּוּעַ בָּאתִי וְאֵין אִישׁ קָרָאתִי וְאֵין עוֹנֶה הֲקָצוֹר קָצְרָה יָדִי מִפְּדוּת וְאִם־אֵין־בִּי כֹחַ לְהַצִּיל הֵן בְּגַעֲרָתִי אַחֲרִיב יָם אָשִׂים נְהָרוֹת מִדְבָּר תִּבְאַשׁ דְּגָתָם מֵאֵין מַיִם וְתָמֹת בַּצָּמָא׃

3  I clothe the skies in blackness And make their raiment sackcloth.

ג  אַלְבִּישׁ שָׁמַיִם קַדְרוּת וְשַׂק אָשִׂים כְּסוּתָם׃

4  Hashem gave me a skilled tongue, To know how to speak timely words to the weary. Morning by morning, He rouses, He rouses my ear To give heed like disciples.

ד  אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה נָתַן לִי לְשׁוֹן לִמּוּדִים לָדַעַת לָעוּת אֶת־יָעֵף דָּבָר יָעִיר בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר יָעִיר לִי אֹזֶן לִשְׁמֹעַ כַּלִּמּוּדִים׃

5  Hashem opened my ears And I did not disobey, I did not run away.

ה  אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה פָּתַח־לִי אֹזֶן וְאָנֹכִי לֹא מָרִיתִי אָחוֹר לֹא נְסוּגֹתִי׃

6  I offered my back to the floggers, And my cheeks to those who tore out my hair. I did not hide my face From insult and spittle.

ו  גֵּוִי נָתַתִּי לְמַכִּים וּלְחָיַי לְמֹרְטִים פָּנַי לֹא הִסְתַּרְתִּי מִכְּלִמּוֹת וָרֹק׃

7  But Hashem will help me— Therefore I feel no disgrace; Therefore I have set my face like flint, And I know I shall not be shamed.

ז  וַאדֹנָי יְהוִה יַעֲזָר־לִי עַל־כֵּן לֹא נִכְלָמְתִּי עַל־כֵּן שַׂמְתִּי פָנַי כַּחַלָּמִישׁ וָאֵדַע כִּי־לֹא אֵבוֹשׁ׃

8  My Vindicator is at hand— Who dares contend with me? Let us stand up together! Who would be my opponent? Let him approach me!

ח  קָרוֹב מַצְדִּיקִי מִי־יָרִיב אִתִּי נַעַמְדָה יָּחַד מִי־בַעַל מִשְׁפָּטִי יִגַּשׁ אֵלָי׃

9  Lo, Hashem will help me— Who can get a verdict against me? They shall all wear out like a garment, The moth shall consume them.

ט  הֵן אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה יַעֲזָר־לִי מִי־הוּא יַרְשִׁיעֵנִי הֵן כֻּלָּם כַּבֶּגֶד יִבְלוּ עָשׁ יֹאכְלֵם׃

10  Who among you reveres Hashem And heeds the voice of His servant?— Though he walk in darkness And have no light, Let him trust in the name of Hashem And rely upon his God.

י  מִי בָכֶם יְרֵא יְהֹוָה שֹׁמֵעַ בְּקוֹל עַבְדּוֹ אֲשֶׁר הָלַךְ חֲשֵׁכִים וְאֵין נֹגַהּ לוֹ יִבְטַח בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה וְיִשָּׁעֵן בֵּאלֹהָיו׃

11  But you are all kindlers of fire, Girding on firebrands. Walk by the blaze of your fire, By the brands that you have lit! This has come to you from My hand: You shall lie down in pain.

יא  הֵן כֻּלְּכֶם קֹדְחֵי אֵשׁ מְאַזְּרֵי זִיקוֹת לְכוּ בְּאוּר אֶשְׁכֶם וּבְזִיקוֹת בִּעַרְתֶּם מִיָּדִי הָיְתָה־זֹּאת לָכֶם לְמַעֲצֵבָה תִּשְׁכָּבוּן׃

53:1  “Who can believe what we have heard? Upon whom has the arm of Hashem– been revealed?

נג:א  מִי הֶאֱמִין לִשְׁמֻעָתֵנוּ וּזְרוֹעַ יְהֹוָה עַל־מִי נִגְלָתָה׃

2  For he has grown, by His favor, like a tree crown, Like a tree trunk out of arid ground. He had no form or beauty, that we should look at him: No charm, that we should find him pleasing.

ב  וַיַּעַל כַּיּוֹנֵק לְפָנָיו וְכַשֹּׁרֶשׁ מֵאֶרֶץ צִיָּה לֹא־תֹאַר לוֹ וְלֹא הָדָר וְנִרְאֵהוּ וְלֹא־מַרְאֶה וְנֶחְמְדֵהוּ׃

3  He was despised, shunned by men, A man of suffering, familiar with disease. As one who hid his face from us, He was despised, we held him of no account.

ג  נִבְזֶה וַחֲדַל אִישִׁים אִישׁ מַכְאֹבוֹת וִידוּעַ חֹלִי וּכְמַסְתֵּר פָּנִים מִמֶּנּוּ נִבְזֶה וְלֹא חֲשַׁבְנֻהוּ׃

4  Yet it was our sickness that he was bearing, Our suffering that he endured. We accounted him plagued, Smitten and afflicted by Hashem;

ד  אָכֵן חֳלָיֵנוּ הוּא נָשָׂא וּמַכְאֹבֵינוּ סְבָלָם וַאֲנַחְנוּ חֲשַׁבְנֻהוּ נָגוּעַ מֻכֵּה אֱלֹהִים וּמְעֻנֶּה׃

5  But he was wounded because of our sins, Crushed because of our iniquities. He bore the chastisement that made us whole, And by his bruises we were healed.

ה  וְהוּא מְחֹלָל מִפְּשָׁעֵנוּ מְדֻכָּא מֵעֲוׂנֹתֵינוּ מוּסַר שְׁלוֹמֵנוּ עָלָיו וּבַחֲבֻרָתוֹ נִרְפָּא־לָנוּ׃

6  We all went astray like sheep, Each going his own way; And Hashem visited upon him The guilt of all of us.”

ו  כֻּלָּנוּ כַּצֹּאן תָּעִינוּ אִישׁ לְדַרְכּוֹ פָּנִינוּ וַיהֹוָה הִפְגִּיעַ בּוֹ אֵת עֲוׂן כֻּלָּנוּ׃

7  He was maltreated, yet he was submissive, He did not open his mouth; Like a sheep being led to slaughter, Like a ewe, dumb before those who shear her, He did not open his mouth.

ז  נִגַּשׂ וְהוּא נַעֲנֶה וְלֹא יִפְתַּח־פִּיו כַּשֶּׂה לַטֶּבַח יוּבָל וּכְרָחֵל לִפְנֵי גֹזְזֶיהָ נֶאֱלָמָה וְלֹא יִפְתַּח פִּיו׃

8  By oppressive judgment he was taken away, Who could describe his abode? For he was cut off from the land of the living Through the sin of my people, who deserved the punishment.

ח  מֵעֹצֶר וּמִמִּשְׁפָּט לֻקָּח וְאֶת־דּוֹרוֹ מִי יְשׂוֹחֵחַ כִּי נִגְזַר מֵאֶרֶץ חַיִּים מִפֶּשַׁע עַמִּי נֶגַע לָמוֹ׃

9  And his grave was set among the wicked, And with the rich, in his death— Though he had done no injustice And had spoken no falsehood.

ט  וַיִּתֵּן אֶת־רְשָׁעִים קִבְרוֹ וְאֶת־עָשִׁיר בְּמֹתָיו עַל לֹא־חָמָס עָשָׂה וְלֹא מִרְמָה בְּפִיו׃

10  But Hashem chose to crush him by disease, That, if he made himself an offering for guilt, He might see offspring and have long life, And that through him Hashem‘s purpose might prosper.

י  וַיהֹוָה חָפֵץ דַּכְּאוֹ הֶחֱלִי אִם־תָּשִׂים אָשָׁם נַפְשׁוֹ יִרְאֶה זֶרַע יַאֲרִיךְ יָמִים וְחֵפֶץ יְהֹוָה בְּיָדוֹ יִצְלָח׃

11  Out of his anguish he shall see it; He shall enjoy it to the full through his devotion. “My righteous servant makes the many righteous, It is their punishment that he bears;

יא  מֵעֲמַל נַפְשׁוֹ יִרְאֶה יִשְׂבָּע בְּדַעְתּוֹ יַצְדִּיק צַדִּיק עַבְדִּי לָרַבִּים וַעֲוׂנֹתָם הוּא יִסְבֹּל׃

12  Assuredly, I will give him the many as his portion, He shall receive the multitude as his spoil. For he exposed himself to death And was numbered among the sinners, Whereas he bore the guilt of the many And made intercession for sinners.”

la-KHAYN a-kha-lek LO va-ra-BEEM v’-et a-tzu-MEEM y’-kha-LAYK sha-LAL TA-khat a-SHER he-e-RAH la-MA-vet naf-SHO v’-et po-sh’-EEM nim-NAH v’-HU khayt ra-BEEM na-SA v’-la-po-sh’-EEM yaf-GEE-a

יב  לָכֵן אֲחַלֶּק־לוֹ בָרַבִּים וְאֶת־עֲצוּמִים יְחַלֵּק שָׁלָל תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱרָה לַמָּוֶת נַפְשׁוֹ וְאֶת־פֹּשְׁעִים נִמְנָה וְהוּא חֵטְא־רַבִּים נָשָׂא וְלַפֹּשְׁעִים יַפְגִּיעַ׃

 53:12   Assuredly, I will give him the many as his portion

Chapter 53 begins with a description of the suffering that Israel experiences. In this verse, however, Yeshayahu articulates the reward that awaits the nation. Because Israel, despite its suffering, placed the welfare of others above its own, it is promised that one day it too will be counted among the mighty, and that its portion, Eretz Yisrael, will be considered great. Today, the State of Israel is among the world’s leaders in science, technology and medicine, and stands out in the region. In 2015, for example, the U.S. Patent Office reported 3,804 patents from Israel, as compared with 364 from Saudi Arabia, 56 from the United Arab Emirates, and 30 from Egypt. Truly, Yeshayahu’s blessing is being realized and Israel’s “portion” is growing.

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