Jeremiah – Select a Chapter

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1:1  The words of Yirmiyahu son of Chilkiyahu, one of the Kohanim at Anatot in the territory of Binyamin.

א:א  דִּבְרֵי יִרְמְיָהוּ בֶּן־חִלְקִיָּהוּ מִן־הַכֹּהֲנִים אֲשֶׁר בַּעֲנָתוֹת בְּאֶרֶץ בִּנְיָמִן׃

2  The word of Hashem came to him in the days of King Yoshiyahu son of Amon of Yehuda, in the thirteenth year of his reign,

ב  אֲשֶׁר הָיָה דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֵלָיו בִּימֵי יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ בֶן־אָמוֹן מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה בִּשְׁלֹשׁ־עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה לְמָלְכוֹ׃

3  and throughout the days of King Yehoyakim son of Yoshiyahu of Yehuda, and until the end of the eleventh year of King Tzidkiyahu son of Yoshiyahu of Yehuda, when Yerushalayim went into exile in the fifth month.

ג  וַיְהִי בִּימֵי יְהוֹיָקִים בֶּן־יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה עַד־תֹּם עַשְׁתֵּי עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה לְצִדְקִיָּהוּ בֶן־יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה עַד־גְּלוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַחֲמִישִׁי׃

4  The word of Hashem came to me:

ד  וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃

5  Before I created you in the womb, I selected you; Before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a Navi concerning the nations.

ה  בְּטֶרֶם אצורך [אֶצָּרְךָ] בַבֶּטֶן יְדַעְתִּיךָ וּבְטֶרֶם תֵּצֵא מֵרֶחֶם הִקְדַּשְׁתִּיךָ נָבִיא לַגּוֹיִם נְתַתִּיךָ׃

6  I replied: Ah, Hashem! I don’t know how to speak, For I am still a boy.

ו  וָאֹמַר אֲהָהּ אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה הִנֵּה לֹא־יָדַעְתִּי דַּבֵּר כִּי־נַעַר אָנֹכִי׃

7  And Hashem said to me: Do not say, “I am still a boy,” But go wherever I send you And speak whatever I command you.

ז  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי אַל־תֹּאמַר נַעַר אָנֹכִי כִּי עַל־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר אֶשְׁלָחֲךָ תֵּלֵךְ וְאֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר אֲצַוְּךָ תְּדַבֵּר׃

8  Have no fear of them, For I am with you to deliver you —declares Hashem.

ח  אַל־תִּירָא מִפְּנֵיהֶם כִּי־אִתְּךָ אֲנִי לְהַצִּלֶךָ נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

9  Hashem put out His hand and touched my mouth, and Hashem said to me: Herewith I put My words into your mouth.

ט  וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהֹוָה אֶת־יָדוֹ וַיַּגַּע עַל־פִּי וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי דְבָרַי בְּפִיךָ׃

10  See, I appoint you this day Over nations and kingdoms: To uproot and to pull down, To destroy and to overthrow, To build and to plant.

י  רְאֵה הִפְקַדְתִּיךָ הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה עַל־הַגּוֹיִם וְעַל־הַמַּמְלָכוֹת לִנְתוֹשׁ וְלִנְתוֹץ וּלְהַאֲבִיד וְלַהֲרוֹס לִבְנוֹת וְלִנְטוֹעַ׃

11  The word of Hashem came to me: What do you see, Yirmiyahu? I replied: I see a branch of an almond tree.

vai-HEE d’-var a-do-NAI ay-LAI lay-MOR mah a-TAH ro-EH yir-m’-YA-hu va-o-MAR ma-KAYL sha-KAYD a-NEE ro-EH

יא  וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר מָה־אַתָּה רֹאֶה יִרְמְיָהוּ וָאֹמַר מַקֵּל שָׁקֵד אֲנִי רֹאֶה׃

 1:11   I see a branch of an almond-tree 

In his first vision, Yirmiyahu is shown an almond branch, makel shaked (מקל שקד) in Hebrew. Hashem explains that the branch symbolizes His watching over His word to perform it. The Hebrew word he chooses for ‘watch,’ shoked (שֹׁקֵד), also means ‘to hasten.’ Yirmiyahu deli­berately chose this word since it is similar to the word for ‘almond,’ shaked (שָׁקֵד). Commentators give two explanations for this wordplay. First, just as the almond tree blossoms quickly, so too Hashem will hasten to punish Israel. Furthermore, the almond tree is the first to blossom in Eretz Yisrael. When all else is dead, the almond trees awaken the countryside from its winter slumber. So too, although the people are spiritually dead, God’s word, like the almond blossoms, will awaken the nation.

Comment

12  Hashem said to me: You have seen right, For I am watchful to bring My word to pass.

יב  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי הֵיטַבְתָּ לִרְאוֹת כִּי־שֹׁקֵד אֲנִי עַל־דְּבָרִי לַעֲשֹׂתוֹ׃

13  And the word of Hashem came to me a second time: What do you see? I replied: I see a steaming pot, Tipped away from the north.

יג  וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֵלַי שֵׁנִית לֵאמֹר מָה אַתָּה רֹאֶה וָאֹמַר סִיר נָפוּחַ אֲנִי רֹאֶה וּפָנָיו מִפְּנֵי צָפוֹנָה׃

14  And Hashem said to me: From the north shall disaster break loose Upon all the inhabitants of the land!

יד  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלָי מִצָּפוֹן תִּפָּתַח הָרָעָה עַל כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ׃

15  For I am summoning all the peoples Of the kingdoms of the north—declares Hashem. They shall come, and shall each set up a throne Before the gates of Yerushalayim, Against its walls roundabout, And against all the towns of Yehuda.

טו  כִּי הִנְנִי קֹרֵא לְכָל־מִשְׁפְּחוֹת מַמְלְכוֹת צָפוֹנָה נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה וּבָאוּ וְנָתְנוּ אִישׁ כִּסְאוֹ פֶּתַח שַׁעֲרֵי יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם וְעַל כָּל־חוֹמֹתֶיהָ סָבִיב וְעַל כָּל־עָרֵי יְהוּדָה׃

16  And I will argue My case against them For all their wickedness: They have forsaken Me And sacrificed to other gods And worshiped the works of their hands.

טז  וְדִבַּרְתִּי מִשְׁפָּטַי אוֹתָם עַל כָּל־רָעָתָם אֲשֶׁר עֲזָבוּנִי וַיְקַטְּרוּ לֵאלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לְמַעֲשֵׂי יְדֵיהֶם׃

17  So you, gird up your loins, Arise and speak to them All that I command you. Do not break down before them, Lest I break you before them.

יז  וְאַתָּה תֶּאְזֹר מָתְנֶיךָ וְקַמְתָּ וְדִבַּרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי אֲצַוֶּךָּ אַל־תֵּחַת מִפְּנֵיהֶם פֶּן־אֲחִתְּךָ לִפְנֵיהֶם׃

18  I make you this day A fortified city, And an iron pillar, And bronze walls Against the whole land— Against Yehuda‘s kings and officers, And against its Kohanim and citizens.

יח  וַאֲנִי הִנֵּה נְתַתִּיךָ הַיּוֹם לְעִיר מִבְצָר וּלְעַמּוּד בַּרְזֶל וּלְחֹמוֹת נְחֹשֶׁת עַל־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ לְמַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה לְשָׂרֶיהָ לְכֹהֲנֶיהָ וּלְעַם הָאָרֶץ׃

19  They will attack you, But they shall not overcome you; For I am with you—declares Hashem—to save you.

יט  וְנִלְחֲמוּ אֵלֶיךָ וְלֹא־יוּכְלוּ לָךְ כִּי־אִתְּךָ אֲנִי נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה לְהַצִּילֶךָ׃

2:1  The word of Hashem came to me, saying,

ב:א  וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃

2  Go proclaim to Yerushalayim: Thus said Hashem: I accounted to your favor The devotion of your youth, Your love as a bride— How you followed Me in the wilderness, In a land not sown.

ב  הָלֹךְ וְקָרָאתָ בְאָזְנֵי יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה זָכַרְתִּי לָךְ חֶסֶד נְעוּרַיִךְ אַהֲבַת כְּלוּלֹתָיִךְ לֶכְתֵּךְ אַחֲרַי בַּמִּדְבָּר בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא זְרוּעָה׃

3  Yisrael was holy to Hashem, The first fruits of His harvest. All who ate of it were held guilty; Disaster befell them —declares Hashem.

ג  קֹדֶשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל לַיהֹוָה רֵאשִׁית תְּבוּאָתֹה כָּל־אֹכְלָיו יֶאְשָׁמוּ רָעָה תָּבֹא אֲלֵיהֶם נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

4  Hear the word of Hashem, O House of Yaakov, Every clan of the House of Yisrael!

ד  שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר־יְהֹוָה בֵּית יַעֲקֹב וְכָל־מִשְׁפְּחוֹת בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

5  Thus said Hashem: What wrong did your fathers find in Me That they abandoned Me And went after delusion and were deluded?

ה  כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה מַה־מָּצְאוּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם בִּי עָוֶל כִּי רָחֲקוּ מֵעָלָי וַיֵּלְכוּ אַחֲרֵי הַהֶבֶל וַיֶּהְבָּלוּ׃

6  They never asked themselves, “Where is Hashem, Who brought us up from the land of Egypt, Who led us through the wilderness, A land of deserts and pits, A land of drought and darkness, A land no man had traversed, Where no human being had dwelt?”

ו  וְלֹא אָמְרוּ אַיֵּה יְהֹוָה הַמַּעֲלֶה אֹתָנוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם הַמּוֹלִיךְ אֹתָנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר בְּאֶרֶץ עֲרָבָה וְשׁוּחָה בְּאֶרֶץ צִיָּה וְצַלְמָוֶת בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא־עָבַר בָּהּ אִישׁ וְלֹא־יָשַׁב אָדָם שָׁם׃

7  I brought you to this country of farm land To enjoy its fruit and its bounty; But you came and defiled My land, You made My possession abhorrent.

ז  וָאָבִיא אֶתְכֶם אֶל־אֶרֶץ הַכַּרְמֶל לֶאֱכֹל פִּרְיָהּ וְטוּבָהּ וַתָּבֹאוּ וַתְּטַמְּאוּ אֶת־אַרְצִי וְנַחֲלָתִי שַׂמְתֶּם לְתוֹעֵבָה׃

8  The Kohanim never asked themselves, “Where is Hashem?” The guardians of the Teaching ignored Me; The rulers rebelled against Me, And the Neviim prophesied by Baal And followed what can do no good.

ח  הַכֹּהֲנִים לֹא אָמְרוּ אַיֵּה יְהֹוָה וְתֹפְשֵׂי הַתּוֹרָה לֹא יְדָעוּנִי וְהָרֹעִים פָּשְׁעוּ בִי וְהַנְּבִיאִים נִבְּאוּ בַבַּעַל וְאַחֲרֵי לֹא־יוֹעִלוּ הָלָכוּ׃

9  Oh, I will go on accusing you —declares Hashem— And I will accuse your children’s children!

ט  לָכֵן עֹד אָרִיב אִתְּכֶם נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה וְאֶת־בְּנֵי בְנֵיכֶם אָרִיב׃

10  Just cross over to the isles of the Kittim and look, Send to Kedar and observe carefully; See if aught like this has ever happened:

י  כִּי עִבְרוּ אִיֵּי כִתִּיִּים וּרְאוּ וְקֵדָר שִׁלְחוּ וְהִתְבּוֹנְנוּ מְאֹד וּרְאוּ הֵן הָיְתָה כָּזֹאת׃

11  Has any nation changed its gods Even though they are no-gods? But My people has exchanged its glory For what can do no good.

יא  הַהֵימִיר גּוֹי אֱלֹהִים וְהֵמָּה לֹא אֱלֹהִים וְעַמִּי הֵמִיר כְּבוֹדוֹ בְּלוֹא יוֹעִיל׃

12  Be appalled, O heavens, at this; Be horrified, utterly dazed! —says Hashem.

יב  שֹׁמּוּ שָׁמַיִם עַל־זֹאת וְשַׂעֲרוּ חָרְבוּ מְאֹד נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

13  For My people have done a twofold wrong:They have forsaken Me, the Fount of living waters, And hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, Which cannot even hold water.

kee sh’-TA-yim ra-OT a-SAH a-MEE o-TEE a-z’-VU m’-KOR MA-yim kha-YEEM lakh-TZOV la-HEM bo-ROT bo-ROT nish-ba-REEM a-SHER lo ya-KHI-lu ha-MA-yim

יג  כִּי־שְׁתַּיִם רָעוֹת עָשָׂה עַמִּי אֹתִי עָזְבוּ מְקוֹר מַיִם חַיִּים לַחְצֹב לָהֶם בֹּארוֹת בֹּארֹת נִשְׁבָּרִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָכִלוּ הַמָּיִם׃

2:13   They have forsaken Me, the Fount of living waters 

Water is a precious resource. While in some locations there were natural springs that provided water for the ancient Israelites, the people also carved out many cisterns in which to store rain water, to ensure they would have enough to drink. Although ancient workers developed a special kind of plaster that was used to line the inside of the cisterns to prevent the water from seeping out, cracks would often develop, causing the water to be lost. Yirmiyahu compares Hashem to a fountain of natural spring water, while the false gods are likened to cracked and broken cisterns. Though the fountains provide life-giving waters, the people foolishly choose to drink from cisterns which cannot contain their water, relying on meaningless idols rather than God, the true source of life.

Comment

14  Is Yisrael a bondman? Is he a home-born slave? Then why is he given over to plunder?

יד  הַעֶבֶד יִשְׂרָאֵל אִם־יְלִיד בַּיִת הוּא מַדּוּעַ הָיָה לָבַז׃

15  Lions have roared over him, Have raised their cries. They have made his land a waste, His cities desolate, without inhabitants.

טו  עָלָיו יִשְׁאֲגוּ כְפִרִים נָתְנוּ קוֹלָם וַיָּשִׁיתוּ אַרְצוֹ לְשַׁמָּה עָרָיו נצתה [נִצְּתוּ] מִבְּלִי יֹשֵׁב׃

16  Those, too, in Noph and Tahpanhes Will lay bare your head.

טז  גַּם־בְּנֵי־נֹף ותחפנס [וְתַחְפַּנְחֵס] יִרְעוּךְ קָדְקֹד׃

17  See, that is the price you have paid For forsaking Hashem your God While He led you in the way.

יז  הֲלוֹא־זֹאת תַּעֲשֶׂה־לָּךְ עָזְבֵךְ אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהַיִךְ בְּעֵת מוֹלִיכֵךְ בַּדָּרֶךְ׃

18  What, then, is the good of your going to Egypt To drink the waters of the Nile? And what is the good of your going to Assyria To drink the waters of the Euphrates?

יח  וְעַתָּה מַה־לָּךְ לְדֶרֶךְ מִצְרַיִם לִשְׁתּוֹת מֵי שִׁחוֹר וּמַה־לָּךְ לְדֶרֶךְ אַשּׁוּר לִשְׁתּוֹת מֵי נָהָר׃

19  Let your misfortune reprove you, Let your afflictions rebuke you; Mark well how bad and bitter it is That you forsake Hashem your God, That awe for Me is not in you —declares the lord God of Hosts.

יט  תְּיַסְּרֵךְ רָעָתֵךְ וּמְשֻׁבוֹתַיִךְ תּוֹכִחֻךְ וּדְעִי וּרְאִי כִּי־רַע וָמָר עָזְבֵךְ אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיִךְ וְלֹא פַחְדָּתִי אֵלַיִךְ נְאֻם־אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה צְבָאוֹת׃

20  For long ago you broke your yoke, Tore off your yoke-bands, And said, “I will not work!” On every high hill and under every verdant tree, You recline as a whore.

כ  כִּי מֵעוֹלָם שָׁבַרְתִּי עֻלֵּךְ נִתַּקְתִּי מוֹסְרֹתַיִךְ וַתֹּאמְרִי לֹא אעבד [אֶעֱבוֹר] כִּי עַל־כָּל־גִּבְעָה גְּבֹהָה וְתַחַת כָּל־עֵץ רַעֲנָן אַתְּ צֹעָה זֹנָה׃

21  I planted you with noble vines, All with choicest seed; Alas, I find you changed Into a base, an alien vine!

כא  וְאָנֹכִי נְטַעְתִּיךְ שֹׂרֵק כֻּלֹּה זֶרַע אֱמֶת וְאֵיךְ נֶהְפַּכְתְּ לִי סוּרֵי הַגֶּפֶן נָכְרִיָּה׃

22  Though you wash with natron And use much lye, Your guilt is ingrained before Me —declares Hashem.

כב  כִּי אִם־תְּכַבְּסִי בַּנֶּתֶר וְתַרְבִּי־לָךְ בֹּרִית נִכְתָּם עֲוׂנֵךְ לְפָנַי נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה׃

23  How can you say, “I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baalim”? Look at your deeds in the Valley, Consider what you have done! Like a lustful she-camel, Restlessly running about,

כג  אֵיךְ תֹּאמְרִי לֹא נִטְמֵאתִי אַחֲרֵי הַבְּעָלִים לֹא הָלַכְתִּי רְאִי דַרְכֵּךְ בַּגַּיְא דְּעִי מֶה עָשִׂית בִּכְרָה קַלָּה מְשָׂרֶכֶת דְּרָכֶיהָ׃

24  Or like a wild ass used to the desert, Snuffing the wind in her eagerness, Whose passion none can restrain, None that seek her need grow weary— In her season, they’ll find her!

כד  פֶּרֶה לִמֻּד מִדְבָּר בְּאַוַּת נפשו [נַפְשָׁהּ] שָׁאֲפָה רוּחַ תַּאֲנָתָהּ מִי יְשִׁיבֶנָּה כָּל־מְבַקְשֶׁיהָ לֹא יִיעָפוּ בְּחָדְשָׁהּ יִמְצָאוּנְהָ׃

25  Save your foot from going bare, And your throat from thirst. But you say, “It is no use. No, I love the strangers, And after them I must go.”

כה  מִנְעִי רַגְלֵךְ מִיָּחֵף וגורנך [וּגְרוֹנֵךְ] מִצִּמְאָה וַתֹּאמְרִי נוֹאָשׁ לוֹא כִּי־אָהַבְתִּי זָרִים וְאַחֲרֵיהֶם אֵלֵךְ׃

26  Like a thief chagrined when he is caught, So is the House of Yisrael chagrined— They, their kings, their officers, And their Kohanim and Neviim.

כו  כְּבֹשֶׁת גַּנָּב כִּי יִמָּצֵא כֵּן הֹבִישׁוּ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵמָּה מַלְכֵיהֶם שָׂרֵיהֶם וְכֹהֲנֵיהֶם וּנְבִיאֵיהֶם׃

27  They said to wood, “You are my father,” To stone, “You gave birth to me,” While to Me they turned their backs And not their faces. But in their hour of calamity they cry, “Arise and save us!”

כז  אֹמְרִים לָעֵץ אָבִי אַתָּה וְלָאֶבֶן אַתְּ ילדתני [יְלִדְתָּנוּ] כִּי־פָנוּ אֵלַי עֹרֶף וְלֹא פָנִים וּבְעֵת רָעָתָם יֹאמְרוּ קוּמָה וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ׃

28  And where are those gods You made for yourself? Let them arise and save you, if they can, In your hour of calamity. For your gods have become, O Yehuda, As many as your towns!

כח  וְאַיֵּה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתָ לָּךְ יָקוּמוּ אִם־יוֹשִׁיעוּךָ בְּעֵת רָעָתֶךָ כִּי מִסְפַּר עָרֶיךָ הָיוּ אֱלֹהֶיךָ יְהוּדָה׃

29  Why do you call Me to account? You have all rebelled against Me —declares Hashem.

כט  לָמָּה תָרִיבוּ אֵלָי כֻּלְּכֶם פְּשַׁעְתֶּם בִּי נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

30  To no purpose did I smite your children; They would not accept correction. Your sword has devoured your Neviim Like a ravening lion.

ל  לַשָּׁוְא הִכֵּיתִי אֶת־בְּנֵיכֶם מוּסָר לֹא לָקָחוּ אָכְלָה חַרְבְּכֶם נְבִיאֵיכֶם כְּאַרְיֵה מַשְׁחִית׃

31  O generation, behold the word of Hashem! Have I been like a desert to Yisrael, Or like a land of deep gloom? Then why do My people say, “We have broken loose, We will not come to You any more?”

לא  הַדּוֹר אַתֶּם רְאוּ דְבַר־יְהֹוָה הֲמִדְבָּר הָיִיתִי לְיִשְׂרָאֵל אִם אֶרֶץ מַאְפֵּלְיָה מַדּוּעַ אָמְרוּ עַמִּי רַדְנוּ לוֹא־נָבוֹא עוֹד אֵלֶיךָ׃

32  Can a maiden forget her jewels, A bride her adornments? Yet My people have forgotten Me— Days without number.

לב  הֲתִשְׁכַּח בְּתוּלָה עֶדְיָהּ כַּלָּה קִשֻּׁרֶיהָ וְעַמִּי שְׁכֵחוּנִי יָמִים אֵין מִסְפָּר׃

33  How skillfully you plan your way To seek out love! Why, you have even taught The worst of women your ways.

לג  מַה־תֵּיטִבִי דַּרְכֵּךְ לְבַקֵּשׁ אַהֲבָה לָכֵן גַּם אֶת־הָרָעוֹת למדתי [לִמַּדְתְּ] אֶת־דְּרָכָיִךְ׃

34  Moreover, on your garments is found The lifeblood of the innocent poor— You did not catch them breaking in. Yet, despite all these things,

לד  גַּם בִּכְנָפַיִךְ נִמְצְאוּ דַּם נַפְשׁוֹת אֶבְיוֹנִים נְקִיִּים לֹא־בַמַּחְתֶּרֶת מְצָאתִים כִּי עַל־כָּל־אֵלֶּה׃

35  You say, “I have been acquitted; Surely, His anger has turned away from me.” Lo, I will bring you to judgment For saying, “I have not sinned.”

לה  וַתֹּאמְרִי כִּי נִקֵּיתִי אַךְ שָׁב אַפּוֹ מִמֶּנִּי הִנְנִי נִשְׁפָּט אוֹתָךְ עַל־אָמְרֵךְ לֹא חָטָאתִי׃

36  How you cheapen yourself, By changing your course! You shall be put to shame through Egypt, Just as you were put to shame through Assyria.

לו  מַה־תֵּזְלִי מְאֹד לְשַׁנּוֹת אֶת־דַּרְכֵּךְ גַּם מִמִּצְרַיִם תֵּבוֹשִׁי כַּאֲשֶׁר־בֹּשְׁתְּ מֵאַשּׁוּר׃

37  From this way, too, you will come out With your hands on your head; For Hashem has rejected those you trust, You will not prosper with them.1

לז  גַּם מֵאֵת זֶה תֵּצְאִי וְיָדַיִךְ עַל־רֹאשֵׁךְ כִּי־מָאַס יְהֹוָה בְּמִבְטַחַיִךְ וְלֹא תַצְלִיחִי לָהֶם׃

3:1  [The word of Hashem came to me] as follows: If a man divorces his wife, and she leaves him and marries another man, can he ever go back to her? Would not such a land be defiled? Now you have whored with many lovers: can you return to Me?—says Hashem.

ג:א  לֵאמֹר הֵן יְשַׁלַּח אִישׁ אֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ וְהָלְכָה מֵאִתּוֹ וְהָיְתָה לְאִישׁ־אַחֵר הֲיָשׁוּב אֵלֶיהָ עוֹד הֲלוֹא חָנוֹף תֶּחֱנַף הָאָרֶץ הַהִיא וְאַתְּ זָנִית רֵעִים רַבִּים וְשׁוֹב אֵלַי נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

2  Look up to the bare heights, and see: Where have they not lain with you? You waited for them on the roadside Like a bandit in the wilderness. And you defiled the land With your whoring and your debauchery.

ב  שְׂאִי־עֵינַיִךְ עַל־שְׁפָיִם וּרְאִי אֵיפֹה לֹא שגלת [שֻׁכַּבְתְּ] עַל־דְּרָכִים יָשַׁבְתְּ לָהֶם כַּעֲרָבִי בַּמִּדְבָּר וַתַּחֲנִיפִי אֶרֶץ בִּזְנוּתַיִךְ וּבְרָעָתֵךְ׃

3  And when showers were withheld And the late rains did not come, You had the brazenness of a street woman, You refused to be ashamed.

ג  וַיִּמָּנְעוּ רְבִבִים וּמַלְקוֹשׁ לוֹא הָיָה וּמֵצַח אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה הָיָה לָךְ מֵאַנְתְּ הִכָּלֵם׃

4  Just now you called to Me, “Father! You are the Companion of my youth.

ד  הֲלוֹא מֵעַתָּה קראתי [קָרָאת] לִי אָבִי אַלּוּף נְעֻרַי אָתָּה׃

5  Does one hate for all time? Does one rage forever?” That is how you spoke; You did wrong, and had your way.

ה  הֲיִנְטֹר לְעוֹלָם אִם־יִשְׁמֹר לָנֶצַח הִנֵּה דברתי [דִבַּרְתְּ] וַתַּעֲשִׂי הָרָעוֹת וַתּוּכָל׃

6  Hashem said to me in the days of King Yoshiyahu: Have you seen what Rebel Yisrael did, going to every high mountain and under every leafy tree, and whoring there?

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי בִּימֵי יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ הַמֶּלֶךְ הֲ‍רָאִיתָ אֲשֶׁר עָשְׂתָה מְשֻׁבָה יִשְׂרָאֵל הֹלְכָה הִיא עַל־כָּל־הַר גָּבֹהַּ וְאֶל־תַּחַת כָּל־עֵץ רַעֲנָן וַתִּזְנִי־שָׁם׃

7  I thought: After she has done all these things, she will come back to Me. But she did not come back; and her sister, Faithless Yehuda, saw it.

ז  וָאֹמַר אַחֲרֵי עֲשׂוֹתָהּ אֶת־כָּל־אֵלֶּה אֵלַי תָּשׁוּב וְלֹא־שָׁבָה ותראה [וַתֵּרֶא] בָּגוֹדָה אֲחוֹתָהּ יְהוּדָה׃

8  I noted: Because Rebel Yisrael had committed adultery, I cast her off and handed her a bill of divorce; yet her sister, Faithless Yehuda, was not afraid—she too went and whored.

ח  וָאֵרֶא כִּי עַל־כָּל־אֹדוֹת אֲשֶׁר נִאֲפָה מְשֻׁבָה יִשְׂרָאֵל שִׁלַּחְתִּיהָ וָאֶתֵּן אֶת־סֵפֶר כְּרִיתֻתֶיהָ אֵלֶיהָ וְלֹא יָרְאָה בֹּגֵדָה יְהוּדָה אֲחוֹתָהּ וַתֵּלֶךְ וַתִּזֶן גַּם־הִיא׃

9  Indeed, the land was defiled by her casual immorality, as she committed adultery with stone and with wood.

ט  וְהָיָה מִקֹּל זְנוּתָהּ וַתֶּחֱנַף אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וַתִּנְאַף אֶת־הָאֶבֶן וְאֶת־הָעֵץ׃

10  And after all that, her sister, Faithless Yehuda, did not return to Me wholeheartedly, but insincerely—declares Hashem.

י  וְגַם־בְּכָל־זֹאת לֹא־שָׁבָה אֵלַי בָּגוֹדָה אֲחוֹתָהּ יְהוּדָה בְּכָל־לִבָּהּ כִּי אִם־בְּשֶׁקֶר נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

11  And Hashem said to me: Rebel Yisrael has shown herself more in the right than Faithless Yehuda.

יא  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי צִדְּקָה נַפְשָׁהּ מְשֻׁבָה יִשְׂרָאֵל מִבֹּגֵדָה יְהוּדָה׃

12  Go, make this proclamation toward the north, and say: Turn back, O Rebel Yisrael—declares Hashem. I will not look on you in anger, for I am compassionate—declares Hashem; I do not bear a grudge for all time.

יב  הָלֹךְ וְקָרָאתָ אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה צָפוֹנָה וְאָמַרְתָּ שׁוּבָה מְשֻׁבָה יִשְׂרָאֵל נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה לוֹא־אַפִּיל פָּנַי בָּכֶם כִּי־חָסִיד אֲנִי נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה לֹא אֶטּוֹר לְעוֹלָם׃

13  Only recognize your sin; for you have transgressed against Hashem your God, and scattered your favors among strangers under every leafy tree, and you have not heeded Me—declares Hashem.

יג  אַךְ דְּעִי עֲוׂנֵךְ כִּי בַּיהֹוָה אֱלֹהַיִךְ פָּשָׁעַתְּ וַתְּפַזְּרִי אֶת־דְּרָכַיִךְ לַזָּרִים תַּחַת כָּל־עֵץ רַעֲנָן וּבְקוֹלִי לֹא־שְׁמַעְתֶּם נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

14  Turn back, rebellious children—declares Hashem. Since I have espoused you, I will take you, one from a town and two from a clan, and bring you to Tzion.

יד  שׁוּבוּ בָנִים שׁוֹבָבִים נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה כִּי אָנֹכִי בָּעַלְתִּי בָכֶם וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם אֶחָד מֵעִיר וּשְׁנַיִם מִמִּשְׁפָּחָה וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם צִיּוֹן׃

15  And I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will pasture you with knowledge and skill.

טו  וְנָתַתִּי לָכֶם רֹעִים כְּלִבִּי וְרָעוּ אֶתְכֶם דֵּעָה וְהַשְׂכֵּיל׃

16  And when you increase and are fertile in the land, in those days—declares Hashem—men shall no longer speak of the Aron Brit Hashem, nor shall it come to mind. They shall not mention it, or miss it, or make another.

טז  וְהָיָה כִּי תִרְבּוּ וּפְרִיתֶם בָּאָרֶץ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵמָּה נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה לֹא־יֹאמְרוּ עוֹד אֲרוֹן בְּרִית־יְהֹוָה וְלֹא יַעֲלֶה עַל־לֵב וְלֹא יִזְכְּרוּ־בוֹ וְלֹא יִפְקֹדוּ וְלֹא יֵעָשֶׂה עוֹד׃

17  At that time, they shall call Yerushalayim “Throne of Hashem,” and all nations shall assemble there, in the name of Hashem, at Yerushalayim. They shall no longer follow the willfulness of their evil hearts.

יז  בָּעֵת הַהִיא יִקְרְאוּ לִירוּשָׁלַ ִם כִּסֵּא יְהֹוָה וְנִקְוּוּ אֵלֶיהָ כָל־הַגּוֹיִם לְשֵׁם יְהֹוָה לִירוּשָׁלִָם וְלֹא־יֵלְכוּ עוֹד אַחֲרֵי שְׁרִרוּת לִבָּם הָרָע׃

18  In those days, the House of Yehuda shall go with the House of Yisrael; they shall come together from the land of the north to the land I gave your fathers as a possession.

יח  בַּיָּמִים הָהֵמָּה יֵלְכוּ בֵית־יְהוּדָה עַל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיָבֹאוּ יַחְדָּו מֵאֶרֶץ צָפוֹן עַל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר הִנְחַלְתִּי אֶת־אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם׃

19  I had resolved to adopt you as My child, and I gave you a desirable land—the fairest heritage of all the nations; and I thought you would surely call Me “Father,” and never cease to be loyal to Me.

v’-a-no-KHEE a-MAR-tee AYKH a-shee-TAYKH ba-ba-NEEM v’-e-ten LAKH E-retz khem-DAH na-kha-LAT tz’-VEE tziv-OT go-YIM va-o-MAR a-VEE tik-r’-ee LEE u-may-a-kha-RAI LO ta-SHU-vee

יט  וְאָנֹכִי אָמַרְתִּי אֵיךְ אֲשִׁיתֵךְ בַּבָּנִים וְאֶתֶּן־לָךְ אֶרֶץ חֶמְדָּה נַחֲלַת צְבִי צִבְאוֹת גּוֹיִם וָאֹמַר אָבִי תקראו־[תִּקְרְאִי־] לִי וּמֵאַחֲרַי לֹא תשובו [תָשׁוּבִי׃]

 3:19   A desirable land—the fairest heritage of all the nations

Yirmiyahu describes the Land of Israel as eretz chemda (ארץ חמדה), ‘a desirable land.’ The commentator Radak explains that Yirmiyahu uses this description since Eretz Yisrael is desired by all the nations. Hashem’s holy presence is so palpable there, that everyone senses its holiness and wants it. One needs to look no further than the morning newspapers or the nightly news to appreciate the accuracy of the Radak’s words. Despite its small size, Israel is a “desired land” sought after by “all the nations.”1 comment

20  Instead, you have broken faith with Me, as a woman breaks faith with a paramour, O House of Yisrael—declares Hashem.

כ  אָכֵן בָּגְדָה אִשָּׁה מֵרֵעָהּ כֵּן בְּגַדְתֶּם בִּי בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

21  Hark! On the bare heights is heard The suppliant weeping of the people of Yisrael, For they have gone a crooked way, Ignoring Hashem their God.

כא  קוֹל עַל־שְׁפָיִים נִשְׁמָע בְּכִי תַחֲנוּנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי הֶעֱוּוּ אֶת־דַּרְכָּם שָׁכְחוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם׃

22  Turn back, O rebellious children, I will heal your afflictions! “Here we are, we come to You, For You, Hashem, are our God!

כב  שׁוּבוּ בָּנִים שׁוֹבָבִים אֶרְפָּה מְשׁוּבֹתֵיכֶם הִנְנוּ אָתָנוּ לָךְ כִּי אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ׃

23  Surely, futility comes from the hills, Confusion from the mountains. Only through Hashem our God Is there deliverance for Yisrael.

כג  אָכֵן לַשֶּׁקֶר מִגְּבָעוֹת הָמוֹן הָרִים אָכֵן בַּיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ תְּשׁוּעַת יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

24  But the Shameful Thing has consumed The possessions of our fathers ever since our youth— Their flocks and herds, Their sons and daughters.

כד  וְהַבֹּשֶׁת אָכְלָה אֶת־יְגִיעַ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ מִנְּעוּרֵינוּ אֶת־צֹאנָם וְאֶת־בְּקָרָם אֶת־בְּנֵיהֶם וְאֶת־בְּנוֹתֵיהֶם׃

25  Let us lie down in our shame, Let our disgrace cover us; For we have sinned against Hashem our God, We and our fathers from our youth to this day, And we have not heeded Hashem our God.”

כה  נִשְׁכְּבָה בְּבָשְׁתֵּנוּ וּתְכַסֵּנוּ כְּלִמָּתֵנוּ כִּי לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ חָטָאנוּ אֲנַחְנוּ וַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ מִנְּעוּרֵינוּ וְעַד־הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה וְלֹא שָׁמַעְנוּ בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ׃

4:1  If you return, O Yisrael —declares Hashem—If you return to Me, If you remove your abominations from My presence And do not waver,

ד:א  אִם־תָּשׁוּב יִשְׂרָאֵל נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה אֵלַי תָּשׁוּב וְאִם־תָּסִיר שִׁקּוּצֶיךָ מִפָּנַי וְלֹא תָנוּד׃

2  And swear, “As Hashem lives,” In sincerity, justice, and righteousness— Nations shall bless themselves by you And praise themselves by you.

ב  וְנִשְׁבַּעְתָּ חַי־יְהֹוָה בֶּאֱמֶת בְּמִשְׁפָּט וּבִצְדָקָה וְהִתְבָּרְכוּ בוֹ גּוֹיִם וּבוֹ יִתְהַלָּלוּ׃

3  For thus said Hashem to the men of Yehuda and to Yerushalayim: Break up the untilled ground, And do not sow among thorns.

ג  כִּי־כֹה אָמַר יְהֹוָה לְאִישׁ יְהוּדָה וְלִירוּשָׁלַ ִם נִירוּ לָכֶם נִיר וְאַל־תִּזְרְעוּ אֶל־קוֹצִים׃

4  Open your hearts to Hashem, Remove the thickening about your hearts— O men of Yehuda and inhabitants of Yerushalayim— Lest My wrath break forth like fire, And burn, with none to quench it, Because of your wicked acts.

ד  הִמֹּלוּ לַיהֹוָה וְהָסִרוּ עָרְלוֹת לְבַבְכֶם אִישׁ יְהוּדָה וְיֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם פֶּן־תֵּצֵא כָאֵשׁ חֲמָתִי וּבָעֲרָה וְאֵין מְכַבֶּה מִפְּנֵי רֹעַ מַעַלְלֵיכֶם׃

5  Proclaim in Yehuda, Announce in Yerushalayim, And say: “Blow the shofar in the land!” Shout aloud and say: “Assemble, and let us go Into the fortified cities!”

ה  הַגִּידוּ בִיהוּדָה וּבִירוּשָׁלַ ִם הַשְׁמִיעוּ וְאִמְרוּ ותקעו [תִּקְעוּ] שׁוֹפָר בָּאָרֶץ קִרְאוּ מַלְאוּ וְאִמְרוּ הֵאָסְפוּ וְנָבוֹאָה אֶל־עָרֵי הַמִּבְצָר׃

6  Set up a signpost: To Tzion. Take refuge, do not delay! For I bring evil from the north, And great disaster.

s’-u NAYS tzi-YO-nah ha-EE-zu al ta-a-MO-du KEE ra-AH a-no-KHEE may-VEE mi-tza-FON v’-SHE-ver ga-DOL

ו  שְׂאוּ־נֵס צִיּוֹנָה הָעִיזוּ אַל־תַּעֲמֹדוּ כִּי רָעָה אָנֹכִי מֵבִיא מִצָּפוֹן וְשֶׁבֶר גָּדוֹל׃

 4:6   Set up a signpost: To Tzion

After the sentry alerts the nation to the invaders from the north, the people flock to Yerushalayim for protection. To guide and direct them, signposts will be established on the roadways. The Hebrew term nes tziona (נס ציונה), ‘a signpost: To Tzion,’ became the name of one of the first towns established in Israel by returning Jews at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1891, a man by the name of Michael Halperin gathered a group of people in Central Israel and unfurled a blue and white flag emblazoned with the words nes tziona written in gold. This location became the modern-day city of Nes Tziona, and Halperin’s banner became the model for the future Israeli flag.Comment

7  The lion has come up from his thicket: The destroyer of nations has set out, Has departed from his place, To make your land a desolation; Your cities shall be ruined, Without inhabitants.

ז  עָלָה אַרְיֵה מִסֻּבְּכוֹ וּמַשְׁחִית גּוֹיִם נָסַע יָצָא מִמְּקֹמוֹ לָשׂוּם אַרְצֵךְ לְשַׁמָּה עָרַיִךְ תִּצֶּינָה מֵאֵין יוֹשֵׁב׃

8  For this, put on sackcloth, Mourn and wail; For the blazing anger of Hashem Has not turned away from us.

ח  עַל־זֹאת חִגְרוּ שַׂקִּים סִפְדוּ וְהֵילִילוּ כִּי לֹא־שָׁב חֲרוֹן אַף־יְהֹוָה מִמֶּנּוּ׃

9  And in that day —declares Hashem— The mind of the king And the mind of the nobles shall fail, The Kohanim shall be appalled, And the Neviim shall stand aghast.

ט  וְהָיָה בַיּוֹם־הַהוּא נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה יֹאבַד לֵב־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלֵב הַשָּׂרִים וְנָשַׁמּוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַנְּבִיאִים יִתְמָהוּ׃

10  And I said: Ah, Hashem! Surely You have deceived this people and Yerushalayim saying: It shall be well with you— Yet the sword threatens the very life!

י  וָאֹמַר אֲהָהּ אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אָכֵן הַשֵּׁא הִשֵּׁאתָ לָעָם הַזֶּה וְלִירוּשָׁלַ ִם לֵאמֹר שָׁלוֹם יִהְיֶה לָכֶם וְנָגְעָה חֶרֶב עַד־הַנָּפֶשׁ׃

11  At that time, it shall be said concerning this people and Yerushalayim: The conduct of My poor people is like searing wind From the bare heights of the desert— It will not serve to winnow or to fan.

יא  בָּעֵת הַהִיא יֵאָמֵר לָעָם־הַזֶּה וְלִירוּשָׁלַ ִם רוּחַ צַח שְׁפָיִים בַּמִּדְבָּר דֶּרֶךְ בַּת־עַמִּי לוֹא לִזְרוֹת וְלוֹא לְהָבַר׃

12  A full blast from them comes against Me: Now I in turn will bring charges against them.

יב  רוּחַ מָלֵא מֵאֵלֶּה יָבוֹא לִי עַתָּה גַּם־אֲנִי אֲדַבֵּר מִשְׁפָּטִים אוֹתָם׃

13  Lo, he ascends like clouds, His chariots are like a whirlwind, His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, we are ruined!

יג  הִנֵּה כַּעֲנָנִים יַעֲלֶה וְכַסּוּפָה מַרְכְּבוֹתָיו קַלּוּ מִנְּשָׁרִים סוּסָיו אוֹי לָנוּ כִּי שֻׁדָּדְנוּ׃

14  Wash your heart clean of wickedness, O Yerushalayim, that you may be rescued. How long will you harbor within you Your evil designs?

יד  כַּבְּסִי מֵרָעָה לִבֵּךְ יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם לְמַעַן תִּוָּשֵׁעִי עַד־מָתַי תָּלִין בְּקִרְבֵּךְ מַחְשְׁבוֹת אוֹנֵךְ׃

15  Hark, one proclaims from Dan And announces calamity from Mount Efraim!

טו  כִּי קוֹל מַגִּיד מִדָּן וּמַשְׁמִיעַ אָוֶן מֵהַר אֶפְרָיִם׃

16  Tell the nations: Here they are! Announce concerning Yerushalayim: Watchers are coming from a distant land, They raise their voices against the towns of Yehuda.

טז  הַזְכִּירוּ לַגּוֹיִם הִנֵּה הַשְׁמִיעוּ עַל־יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם נֹצְרִים בָּאִים מֵאֶרֶץ הַמֶּרְחָק וַיִּתְּנוּ עַל־עָרֵי יְהוּדָה קוֹלָם׃

17  Like guards of fields, they surround her on every side. For she has rebelled against Me —declares Hashem.

יז  כְּשֹׁמְרֵי שָׂדַי הָיוּ עָלֶיהָ מִסָּבִיב כִּי־אֹתִי מָרָתָה נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

18  Your conduct and your acts Have brought this upon you; This is your bitter punishment; It pierces your very heart.

יח  דַּרְכֵּךְ וּמַעֲלָלַיִךְ עָשׂוֹ אֵלֶּה לָךְ זֹאת רָעָתֵךְ כִּי מָר כִּי נָגַע עַד־לִבֵּךְ׃

19  Oh, my suffering, my suffering! How I writhe! Oh, the walls of my heart! My heart moans within me, I cannot be silent; For I hear the blare of shofarot, Alarms of war.

יט  מֵעַי מֵעַי אחולה [אוֹחִילָה] קִירוֹת לִבִּי הֹמֶה־לִּי לִבִּי לֹא אַחֲרִישׁ כִּי קוֹל שׁוֹפָר שמעתי [שָׁמַעַתְּ] נַפְשִׁי תְּרוּעַת מִלְחָמָה׃

20  Disaster overtakes disaster, For all the land has been ravaged. Suddenly my tents have been ravaged, In a moment, my tent cloths.

כ  שֶׁבֶר עַל־שֶׁבֶר נִקְרָא כִּי שֻׁדְּדָה כָּל־הָאָרֶץ פִּתְאֹם שֻׁדְּדוּ אֹהָלַי רֶגַע יְרִיעֹתָי׃

21  How long must I see standards And hear the blare of shofarot?

כא  עַד־מָתַי אֶרְאֶה־נֵּס אֶשְׁמְעָה קוֹל שׁוֹפָר׃

22  For My people are stupid, They give Me no heed; They are foolish children, They are not intelligent. They are clever at doing wrong, But unable to do right.

כב  כִּי אֱוִיל עַמִּי אוֹתִי לֹא יָדָעוּ בָּנִים סְכָלִים הֵמָּה וְלֹא נְבוֹנִים הֵמָּה חֲכָמִים הֵמָּה לְהָרַע וּלְהֵיטִיב לֹא יָדָעוּ׃

23  I look at the earth, It is unformed and void; At the skies, And their light is gone.

כג  רָאִיתִי אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וְהִנֵּה־תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ וְאֶל־הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵין אוֹרָם׃

24  I look at the mountains, They are quaking; And all the hills are rocking.

כד  רָאִיתִי הֶהָרִים וְהִנֵּה רֹעֲשִׁים וְכָל־הַגְּבָעוֹת הִתְקַלְקָלוּ׃

25  I look: no man is left, And all the birds of the sky have fled.

כה  רָאִיתִי וְהִנֵּה אֵין הָאָדָם וְכָל־עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם נָדָדוּ׃

26  I look: the farm land is desert, And all its towns are in ruin— Because of Hashem, Because of His blazing anger.

כו  רָאִיתִי וְהִנֵּה הַכַּרְמֶל הַמִּדְבָּר וְכָל־עָרָיו נִתְּצוּ מִפְּנֵי יְהֹוָה מִפְּנֵי חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ׃

27  For thus said Hashem: The whole land shall be desolate, But I will not make an end of it.)

כז  כִּי־כֹה אָמַר יְהֹוָה שְׁמָמָה תִהְיֶה כָּל־הָאָרֶץ וְכָלָה לֹא אֶעֱשֶׂה׃

28  For this the earth mourns, And skies are dark above— Because I have spoken, I have planned, And I will not relent or turn back from it.

כח  עַל־זֹאת תֶּאֱבַל הָאָרֶץ וְקָדְרוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם מִמָּעַל עַל כִּי־דִבַּרְתִּי זַמֹּתִי וְלֹא נִחַמְתִּי וְלֹא־אָשׁוּב מִמֶּנָּה׃

29  At the shout of horseman and bowman The whole city flees. They enter the thickets, They clamber up the rocks. The whole city is deserted, Not a man remains there.

כט  מִקּוֹל פָּרָשׁ וְרֹמֵה קֶשֶׁת בֹּרַחַת כָּל־הָעִיר בָּאוּ בֶּעָבִים וּבַכֵּפִים עָלוּ כָּל־הָעִיר עֲזוּבָה וְאֵין־יוֹשֵׁב בָּהֵן אִישׁ׃

30  And you, who are doomed to ruin, What do you accomplish by wearing crimson, By decking yourself in jewels of gold, By enlarging your eyes with kohl? You beautify yourself in vain: Lovers despise you, They seek your life!

ל  ואתי [וְאַתְּ] שָׁדוּד מַה־תַּעֲשִׂי כִּי־תִלְבְּשִׁי שָׁנִי כִּי־תַעְדִּי עֲדִי־זָהָב כִּי־תִקְרְעִי בַפּוּךְ עֵינַיִךְ לַשָּׁוְא תִּתְיַפִּי מָאֲסוּ־בָךְ עֹגְבִים נַפְשֵׁךְ יְבַקֵּשׁוּ׃

31  I hear a voice as of one in travail, Anguish as of a woman bearing her first child, The voice of Fair Tzion Panting, stretching out her hands: “Alas for me! I faint Before the killers!”

לא  כִּי קוֹל כְּחוֹלָה שָׁמַעְתִּי צָרָה כְּמַבְכִּירָה קוֹל בַּת־צִיּוֹן תִּתְיַפֵּחַ תְּפָרֵשׂ כַּפֶּיהָ אוֹי־נָא לִי כִּי־עָיְפָה נַפְשִׁי לְהֹרְגִים׃

5:1  Roam the streets of Yerushalayim, Search its squares, Look about and take note: You will not find a man, There is none who acts justly, Who seeks integrity— That I should pardon her.

ה:א  שׁוֹטְטוּ בְּחוּצוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם וּרְאוּ־נָא וּדְעוּ וּבַקְשׁוּ בִרְחוֹבוֹתֶיהָ אִם־תִּמְצְאוּ אִישׁ אִם־יֵשׁ עֹשֶׂה מִשְׁפָּט מְבַקֵּשׁ אֱמוּנָה וְאֶסְלַח לָהּ׃

2  Even when they say, “As Hashem lives,” They are sure to be swearing falsely.

ב  וְאִם חַי־יְהֹוָה יֹאמֵרוּ לָכֵן לַשֶּׁקֶר יִשָּׁבֵעוּ׃

3  Hashem, Your eyes look for integrity. You have struck them, but they sensed no pain; You have consumed them, but they would accept no discipline. They made their faces harder than rock, They refused to turn back.

ג  יְהֹוָה עֵינֶיךָ הֲלוֹא לֶאֱמוּנָה הִכִּיתָה אֹתָם וְלֹא־חָלוּ כִּלִּיתָם מֵאֲנוּ קַחַת מוּסָר חִזְּקוּ פְנֵיהֶם מִסֶּלַע מֵאֲנוּ לָשׁוּב׃

4  Then I thought: These are just poor folk; They act foolishly; For they do not know the way of Hashem, The rules of their God.

ד  וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי אַךְ־דַּלִּים הֵם נוֹאֲלוּ כִּי לֹא יָדְעוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְהֹוָה מִשְׁפַּט אֱלֹהֵיהֶם׃

5  So I will go to the wealthy And speak with them: Surely they know the way of Hashem, The rules of their God. But they as well had broken the yoke, Had snapped the bonds.

ה  אֵלֲכָה־לִּי אֶל־הַגְּדֹלִים וַאֲדַבְּרָה אוֹתָם כִּי הֵמָּה יָדְעוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְהֹוָה מִשְׁפַּט אֱלֹהֵיהֶם אַךְ הֵמָּה יַחְדָּו שָׁבְרוּ עֹל נִתְּקוּ מוֹסֵרוֹת׃

6  Therefore, The lion of the forest strikes them down, The wolf of the desert ravages them. A leopard lies in wait by their towns; Whoever leaves them will be torn in pieces. For their transgressions are many, Their rebellious acts unnumbered.

al KAYN hi-KAM ar-YAY mi-YA-ar z’-AYV a-ra-VOT y’-sho-d’-DAYM na-MAYR sho-KAYD al a-ray-HEM kol ha-yo-TZAY may-HAY-nah yi-ta-RAYF KEE ra-BU pish-ay-HEM a-tz’-MU m’-shu-vo-tay-HEM

ו  עַל־כֵּן הִכָּם אַרְיֵה מִיַּעַר זְאֵב עֲרָבוֹת יְשָׁדְדֵם נָמֵר שֹׁקֵד עַל־עָרֵיהֶם כָּל־הַיּוֹצֵא מֵהֵנָּה יִטָּרֵף כִּי רַבּוּ פִּשְׁעֵיהֶם עָצְמוּ משבותיהם [מְשׁוּבוֹתֵיהֶם׃]

5:6   The lion of the forest strikes them down

In ancient times, the Land of Israel was filled with a variety of animal species, including lions, wolves and leopards, some of which are still found in Israel today. When the Jewish people were obedient to Hashem, these animals would not pose a threat, as it says in Sefer Vayikra (26:6), “I will grant peace in the land … I will give the land respite from vicious beasts.” Should the people sin, however, the animals would become their enemy (Leviticus 26:22). Reflecting these verses, Yirmiyahu describes the dangers that await the besieged Israelites by comparing them to wild animals preparing to attack.Comment

7  Why should I forgive you? Your children have forsaken Me And sworn by no-gods. When I fed them their fill, They committed adultery And went trooping to the harlot’s house.

ז  אֵי לָזֹאת אסלוח־[אֶסְלַח־] לָךְ בָּנַיִךְ עֲזָבוּנִי וַיִּשָּׁבְעוּ בְּלֹא אֱלֹהִים וָאַשְׂבִּעַ אוֹתָם וַיִּנְאָפוּ וּבֵית זוֹנָה יִתְגֹּדָדוּ׃

8  They were well-fed, lusty stallions, Each neighing at another’s wife.

ח  סוּסִים מְיֻזָּנִים מַשְׁכִּים הָיוּ אִישׁ אֶל־אֵשֶׁת רֵעֵהוּ יִצְהָלוּ׃

9  Shall I not punish such deeds? —says Hashem— Shall I not bring retribution On a nation such as this?

ט  הַעַל־אֵלֶּה לוֹא־אֶפְקֹד נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה וְאִם בְּגוֹי אֲשֶׁר־כָּזֶה לֹא תִתְנַקֵּם נַפְשִׁי׃

10  Go up among her vines and destroy; Lop off her trailing branches, For they are not of Hashem. (But do not make an end.)

י  עֲלוּ בְשָׁרוֹתֶיהָ וְשַׁחֵתוּ וְכָלָה אַל־תַּעֲשׂוּ הָסִירוּ נְטִישׁוֹתֶיהָ כִּי לוֹא לַיהֹוָה הֵמָּה׃

11  For the House of Yisrael and the House of Yehuda Have betrayed Me —declares Hashem.

יא  כִּי בָגוֹד בָּגְדוּ בִּי בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבֵית יְהוּדָה נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

12  They have been false to Hashem And said: “It is not so! No trouble shall come upon us, We shall not see sword or famine.

יב  כִּחֲשׁוּ בַּיהֹוָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹא־הוּא וְלֹא־תָבוֹא עָלֵינוּ רָעָה וְחֶרֶב וְרָעָב לוֹא נִרְאֶה׃

13  The Neviim shall prove mere wind For the Word is not in them; Thus-and-thus shall be done to them!”

יג  וְהַנְּבִיאִים יִהְיוּ לְרוּחַ וְהַדִּבֵּר אֵין בָּהֶם כֹּה יֵעָשֶׂה לָהֶם׃

14  Assuredly, thus said Hashem, The God of Hosts: Because they said that, I am putting My words into your mouth as fire, And this people shall be firewood, Which it will consume.

יד  לָכֵן כֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי צְבָאוֹת יַעַן דַּבֶּרְכֶם אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה הִנְנִי נֹתֵן דְּבָרַי בְּפִיךָ לְאֵשׁ וְהָעָם הַזֶּה עֵצִים וַאֲכָלָתַם׃

15  Lo, I am bringing against you, O House of Yisrael, A nation from afar —declares Hashem; It is an enduring nation, It is an ancient nation; A nation whose language you do not know— You will not understand what they say.

טו  הִנְנִי מֵבִיא עֲלֵיכֶם גּוֹי מִמֶּרְחָק בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה גּוֹי אֵיתָן הוּא גּוֹי מֵעוֹלָם הוּא גּוֹי לֹא־תֵדַע לְשֹׁנוֹ וְלֹא תִשְׁמַע מַה־יְדַבֵּר׃

16  Their quivers are like a yawning grave— They are all mighty men.

טז  אַשְׁפָּתוֹ כְּקֶבֶר פָּתוּחַ כֻּלָּם גִּבּוֹרִים׃

17  They will devour your harvest and food, They will devour your sons and daughters, They will devour your flocks and herds, They will devour your vines and fig trees. They will batter down with the sword The fortified towns on which you rely.

יז  וְאָכַל קְצִירְךָ וְלַחְמֶךָ יֹאכְלוּ בָּנֶיךָ וּבְנוֹתֶיךָ יֹאכַל צֹאנְךָ וּבְקָרֶךָ יֹאכַל גַּפְנְךָ וּתְאֵנָתֶךָ יְרֹשֵׁשׁ עָרֵי מִבְצָרֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בּוֹטֵחַ בָּהֵנָּה בֶּחָרֶב׃

18  But even in those days—declares Hashem—I will not make an end of you.

יח  וְגַם בַּיָּמִים הָהֵמָּה נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה לֹא־אֶעֱשֶׂה אִתְּכֶם כָּלָה׃

19  And when they ask, “Because of what did Hashem our God do all these things?” you shall answer them, “Because you forsook Me and served alien gods on your own land, you will have to serve foreigners in a land not your own.”

יט  וְהָיָה כִּי תֹאמְרוּ תַּחַת מֶה עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ לָנוּ אֶת־כָּל־אֵלֶּה וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר עֲזַבְתֶּם אוֹתִי וַתַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהֵי נֵכָר בְּאַרְצְכֶם כֵּן תַּעַבְדוּ זָרִים בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא לָכֶם׃

20  Proclaim this to the House of Yaakov And announce it in Yehuda:

כ  הַגִּידוּ זֹאת בְּבֵית יַעֲקֹב וְהַשְׁמִיעוּהָ בִיהוּדָה לֵאמֹר׃

21  Hear this, O foolish people, Devoid of intelligence, That have eyes but can’t see, That have ears but can’t hear!

כא  שִׁמְעוּ־נָא זֹאת עַם סָכָל וְאֵין לֵב עֵינַיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִרְאוּ אָזְנַיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִשְׁמָעוּ׃

22  Should you not revere Me —says Hashem— Should you not tremble before Me, Who set the sand as a boundary to the sea, As a limit for all time, not to be transgressed? Though its waves toss, they cannot prevail; Though they roar, they cannot pass it.

כב  הַאוֹתִי לֹא־תִירָאוּ נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה אִם מִפָּנַי לֹא תָחִילוּ אֲשֶׁר־שַׂמְתִּי חוֹל גְּבוּל לַיָּם חָק־עוֹלָם וְלֹא יַעַבְרֶנְהוּ וַיִּתְגָּעֲשׁוּ וְלֹא יוּכָלוּ וְהָמוּ גַלָּיו וְלֹא יַעַבְרֻנְהוּ׃

23  Yet this people has a wayward and defiant heart; They have turned aside and gone their way.

כג  וְלָעָם הַזֶּה הָיָה לֵב סוֹרֵר וּמוֹרֶה סָרוּ וַיֵּלֵכוּ׃

24  They have not said to themselves, “Let us revere Hashem our God, Who gives the rain, The early and late rain in season, Who keeps for our benefit The weeks appointed for harvest.”

כד  וְלֹא־אָמְרוּ בִלְבָבָם נִירָא נָא אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ הַנֹּתֵן גֶּשֶׁם וירה [יוֹרֶה] וּמַלְקוֹשׁ בְּעִתּוֹ שְׁבֻעוֹת חֻקּוֹת קָצִיר יִשְׁמָר־לָנוּ׃

25  It is your iniquities that have diverted these things, Your sins that have withheld the bounty from you.

כה  עֲוׂנוֹתֵיכֶם הִטּוּ־אֵלֶּה וְחַטֹּאותֵיכֶם מָנְעוּ הַטּוֹב מִכֶּם׃

26  For among My people are found wicked men, Who lurk, like fowlers lying in wait; They set up a trap to catch men.

כו  כִּי־נִמְצְאוּ בְעַמִּי רְשָׁעִים יָשׁוּר כְּשַׁךְ יְקוּשִׁים הִצִּיבוּ מַשְׁחִית אֲנָשִׁים יִלְכֹּדוּ׃

27  As a cage is full of birds, So their houses are full of guile; That is why they have grown so wealthy.

כז  כִּכְלוּב מָלֵא עוֹף כֵּן בָּתֵּיהֶם מְלֵאִים מִרְמָה עַל־כֵּן גָּדְלוּ וַיַּעֲשִׁירוּ׃

28  They have become fat and sleek; They pass beyond the bounds of wickedness, And they prosper. They will not judge the case of the orphan, Nor give a hearing to the plea of the needy.

כח  שָׁמְנוּ עָשְׁתוּ גַּם עָבְרוּ דִבְרֵי־רָע דִּין לֹא־דָנוּ דִּין יָתוֹם וְיַצְלִיחוּ וּמִשְׁפַּט אֶבְיוֹנִים לֹא שָׁפָטוּ׃

29  Shall I not punish such deeds —says Hashem— Shall I not bring retribution On a nation such as this?

כט  הַעַל־אֵלֶּה לֹא־אֶפְקֹד נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה אִם בְּגוֹי אֲשֶׁר־כָּזֶה לֹא תִתְנַקֵּם נַפְשִׁי׃

30  An appalling, horrible thing Has happened in the land:

ל  שַׁמָּה וְשַׁעֲרוּרָה נִהְיְתָה בָּאָרֶץ׃

31  The Neviim prophesy falsely, And the Kohanim rule accordingly; And My people like it so. But what will you do at the end of it?

לא  הַנְּבִיאִים נִבְּאוּ־בַשֶּׁקֶר וְהַכֹּהֲנִים יִרְדּוּ עַל־יְדֵיהֶם וְעַמִּי אָהֲבוּ כֵן וּמַה־תַּעֲשׂוּ לְאַחֲרִיתָהּ׃

6:1  Flee for refuge, O people of Binyamin, Out of the midst of Yerushalayim! Blow the shofar in Tekoa, Set up a signal at Beth-haccerem! For evil is appearing from the north, And great disaster.

ו:א  הָעִזוּ בְּנֵי בִניָמִן מִקֶּרֶב יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם וּבִתְקוֹעַ תִּקְעוּ שׁוֹפָר וְעַל־בֵּית הַכֶּרֶם שְׂאוּ מַשְׂאֵת כִּי רָעָה נִשְׁקְפָה מִצָּפוֹן וְשֶׁבֶר גָּדוֹל׃

2  Fair Tzion, the lovely and delicate, I will destroy.

ha-na-VAH v’-ha-m’-u-na-GAH da-MEE-tee bat tzi-YON

ב  הַנָּוָה וְהַמְּעֻנָּגָה דָּמִיתִי בַּת־צִיּוֹן׃

 6:2   The lovely and delicate

In describing the coming invasion, Yirmiyahu describes Tzion as “lovely and delicate.” Some commentators suggest that this is a mocking reference to the women of Yerushalayim, whose extravagant tastes and styles contrast with the simple and honest manners of the country dwellers. Rashi, however, understands the phrase “lovely and delicate” as a description of the Land of Israel itself. Her gentle green hills and rolling pastures provided perfect grounds for shepherds to graze their flocks, as described in the next verse.Comment

3  Against her come shepherds with their flocks, They pitch tents all around her; Each grazes the sheep under his care.

ג  אֵלֶיהָ יָבֹאוּ רֹעִים וְעֶדְרֵיהֶם תָּקְעוּ עָלֶיהָ אֹהָלִים סָבִיב רָעוּ אִישׁ אֶת־יָדוֹ׃

4  Prepare for battle against her: “Up! we will attack at noon.” “Alas for us! for day is declining, The shadows of evening grow long.”

ד  קַדְּשׁוּ עָלֶיהָ מִלְחָמָה קוּמוּ וְנַעֲלֶה בַצָּהֳרָיִם אוֹי לָנוּ כִּי־פָנָה הַיּוֹם כִּי יִנָּטוּ צִלְלֵי־עָרֶב׃

5  “Up! let us attack by night, And wreck her fortresses.”

ה  קוּמוּ וְנַעֲלֶה בַלָּיְלָה וְנַשְׁחִיתָה אַרְמְנוֹתֶיהָ׃

6  For thus said the lord of Hosts: Hew down her trees, And raise a siegemound against Yerushalayim. She is the city destined for punishment; Only fraud is found in her midst.

ו  כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת כִּרְתוּ עֵצָה וְשִׁפְכוּ עַל־יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם סֹלְלָה הִיא הָעִיר הָפְקַד כֻּלָּהּ עֹשֶׁק בְּקִרְבָּהּ׃

7  As a well flows with water, So she flows with wickedness. Lawlessness and rapine are heard in her; Before Me constantly are sickness and wounds.

ז  כְּהָקִיר בור [בַּיִר] מֵימֶיהָ כֵּן הֵקֵרָה רָעָתָהּ חָמָס וָשֹׁד יִשָּׁמַע בָּהּ עַל־פָּנַי תָּמִיד חֳלִי וּמַכָּה׃

8  Accept rebuke, O Yerushalayim, Lest I come to loathe you, Lest I make you a desolation, An uninhabited land.

ח  הִוָּסְרִי יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם פֶּן־תֵּקַע נַפְשִׁי מִמֵּךְ פֶּן־אֲשִׂימֵךְ שְׁמָמָה אֶרֶץ לוֹא נוֹשָׁבָה׃

9  Thus said the lord of Hosts: Let them glean over and over, as a vine, The remnant of Yisrael. Pass your hand again, Like a vintager, Over its branches.

ט  כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת עוֹלֵל יְעוֹלְלוּ כַגֶּפֶן שְׁאֵרִית יִשְׂרָאֵל הָשֵׁב יָדְךָ כְּבוֹצֵר עַל־סַלְסִלּוֹת׃

10  To whom shall I speak, Give warning that they may hear? Their ears are blocked And they cannot listen. See, the word of Hashem has become for them An object of scorn; they will have none of it.

י  עַל־מִי אֲדַבְּרָה וְאָעִידָה וְיִשְׁמָעוּ הִנֵּה עֲרֵלָה אָזְנָם וְלֹא יוּכְלוּ לְהַקְשִׁיב הִנֵּה דְבַר־יְהֹוָה הָיָה לָהֶם לְחֶרְפָּה לֹא יַחְפְּצוּ־בוֹ׃

11  But I am filled with the wrath of Hashem, I cannot hold it in. Pour it on the infant in the street, And on the company of youths gathered together! Yes, men and women alike shall be captured, Elders and those of advanced years.

יא  וְאֵת חֲמַת יְהֹוָה מָלֵאתִי נִלְאֵיתִי הָכִיל שְׁפֹךְ עַל־עוֹלָל בַּחוּץ וְעַל סוֹד בַּחוּרִים יַחְדָּו כִּי־גַם־אִישׁ עִם־אִשָּׁה יִלָּכֵדוּ זָקֵן עִם־מְלֵא יָמִים׃

12  Their houses shall pass to others, Fields and wives as well, For I will stretch out My arm Against the inhabitants of the country —declares Hashem.

יב  וְנָסַבּוּ בָתֵּיהֶם לַאֲחֵרִים שָׂדוֹת וְנָשִׁים יַחְדָּו כִּי־אַטֶּה אֶת־יָדִי עַל־יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

13  For from the smallest to the greatest, They are all greedy for gain; Kohen and Navi alike, They all act falsely.

יג  כִּי מִקְּטַנָּם וְעַד־גְּדוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ בּוֹצֵעַ בָּצַע וּמִנָּבִיא וְעַד־כֹּהֵן כֻּלּוֹ עֹשֶׂה שָּׁקֶר׃

14  They offer healing offhand For the wounds of My people, Saying, “All is well, all is well,” When nothing is well.

יד  וַיְרַפְּאוּ אֶת־שֶׁבֶר עַמִּי עַל־נְקַלָּה לֵאמֹר שָׁלוֹם שָׁלוֹם וְאֵין שָׁלוֹם׃

15  They have acted shamefully; They have done abhorrent things— Yet they do not feel shame, And they cannot be made to blush. Assuredly, they shall fall among the falling, They shall stumble at the time when I punish them —said Hashem.

טו  הֹבִישׁוּ כִּי תוֹעֵבָה עָשׂוּ גַּם־בּוֹשׁ לֹא־יֵבוֹשׁוּ גַּם־הַכְלִים לֹא יָדָעוּ לָכֵן יִפְּלוּ בַנֹּפְלִים בְּעֵת־פְּקַדְתִּים יִכָּשְׁלוּ אָמַר יְהֹוָה׃

16  Thus said Hashem: Stand by the roads and consider, Inquire about ancient paths: Which is the road to happiness? Travel it, and find tranquillity for yourselves. But they said, “We will not.”

טז  כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה עִמְדוּ עַל־דְּרָכִים וּרְאוּ וְשַׁאֲלוּ לִנְתִבוֹת עוֹלָם אֵי־זֶה דֶרֶךְ הַטּוֹב וּלְכוּ־בָהּ וּמִצְאוּ מַרְגּוֹעַ לְנַפְשְׁכֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹא נֵלֵךְ׃

17  And I raised up watchmen for you: “Hearken to the sound of the shofar!” But they said, “We will not.”

יז  וַהֲקִמֹתִי עֲלֵיכֶם צֹפִים הַקְשִׁיבוּ לְקוֹל שׁוֹפָר וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹא נַקְשִׁיב׃

18  Hear well, O nations, And know, O community, what is in store for them.

יח  לָכֵן שִׁמְעוּ הַגּוֹיִם וּדְעִי עֵדָה אֶת־אֲשֶׁר־בָּם׃

19  Hear, O earth! I am going to bring disaster upon this people, The outcome of their own schemes; For they would not hearken to My words, And they rejected My Instruction.

יט  שִׁמְעִי הָאָרֶץ הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מֵבִיא רָעָה אֶל־הָעָם הַזֶּה פְּרִי מַחְשְׁבוֹתָם כִּי עַל־דְּבָרַי לֹא הִקְשִׁיבוּ וְתוֹרָתִי וַיִּמְאֲסוּ־בָהּ׃

20  What need have I of frankincense That comes from Sheba, Or fragrant cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me.

כ  לָמָּה־זֶּה לִי לְבוֹנָה מִשְּׁבָא תָבוֹא וְקָנֶה הַטּוֹב מֵאֶרֶץ מֶרְחָק עֹלוֹתֵיכֶם לֹא לְרָצוֹן וְזִבְחֵיכֶם לֹא־עָרְבוּ לִי׃

21  Assuredly, thus said Hashem: I shall put before this people stumbling blocks Over which they shall stumble— Fathers and children alike, Neighbor and friend shall perish.

כא  לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הִנְנִי נֹתֵן אֶל־הָעָם הַזֶּה מִכְשֹׁלִים וְכָשְׁלוּ בָם אָבוֹת וּבָנִים יַחְדָּו שָׁכֵן וְרֵעוֹ יאבדו [וְאָבָדוּ׃]

22  Thus said Hashem: See, a people comes from the northland, A great nation is roused From the remotest parts of the earth.

כב  כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הִנֵּה עַם בָּא מֵאֶרֶץ צָפוֹן וְגוֹי גָּדוֹל יֵעוֹר מִיַּרְכְּתֵי־אָרֶץ׃

23  They grasp the bow and javelin; They are cruel, they show no mercy; The sound of them is like the roaring sea. They ride upon horses, Accoutered like a man for battle, Against you, O Fair Tzion!

כג  קֶשֶׁת וְכִידוֹן יַחֲזִיקוּ אַכְזָרִי הוּא וְלֹא יְרַחֵמוּ קוֹלָם כַּיָּם יֶהֱמֶה וְעַל־סוּסִים יִרְכָּבוּ עָרוּךְ כְּאִישׁ לַמִּלְחָמָה עָלַיִךְ בַּת־צִיּוֹן׃

24  “We have heard the report of them, Our hands fail; Pain seizes us, Agony like a woman in childbirth.

כד  שָׁמַעְנוּ אֶת־שָׁמְעוֹ רָפוּ יָדֵינוּ צָרָה הֶחֱזִיקַתְנוּ חִיל כַּיּוֹלֵדָה׃

25  Do not go out into the country, Do not walk the roads! For the sword of the enemy is there, Terror on every side.”

כה  אַל־תצאי [תֵּצְאוּ] הַשָּׂדֶה וּבַדֶּרֶךְ אַל־תלכי [תֵּלֵכוּ] כִּי חֶרֶב לְאֹיֵב מָגוֹר מִסָּבִיב׃

26  My poor people, Put on sackcloth And strew dust on yourselves! Mourn, as for an only child; Wail bitterly, For suddenly the destroyer Is coming upon us.

כו  בַּת־עַמִּי חִגְרִי־שָׂק וְהִתְפַּלְּשִׁי בָאֵפֶר אֵבֶל יָחִיד עֲשִׂי לָךְ מִסְפַּד תַּמְרוּרִים כִּי פִתְאֹם יָבֹא הַשֹּׁדֵד עָלֵינוּ׃

27  I have made you an assayer of My people —A refiner— You are to note and assay their ways.

כז  בָּחוֹן נְתַתִּיךָ בְעַמִּי מִבְצָר וְתֵדַע וּבָחַנְתָּ אֶת־דַּרְכָּם׃

28  They are copper and iron: They are all stubbornly defiant; They deal basely All of them act corruptly.

כח  כֻּלָּם סָרֵי סוֹרְרִים הֹלְכֵי רָכִיל נְחֹשֶׁת וּבַרְזֶל כֻּלָּם מַשְׁחִיתִים הֵמָּה׃

29  The bellows puff; The lead is consumed by fire. Yet the smelter smelts to no purpose— The dross is not separated out.

כט  נָחַר מַפֻּחַ מאשתם [מֵאֵשׁ] [תַּם] עֹפָרֶת לַשָּׁוְא צָרַף צָרוֹף וְרָעִים לֹא נִתָּקוּ׃

30  They are called “rejected silver,” For Hashem has rejected them.

ל  כֶּסֶף נִמְאָס קָרְאוּ לָהֶם כִּי־מָאַס יְהֹוָה בָּהֶם׃

7:1  The word which came to Yirmiyahu from Hashem:

ז:א  הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר הָיָה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ מֵאֵת יְהֹוָה לֵאמֹר׃

2  Stand at the gate of the House of Hashem, and there proclaim this word: Hear the word of Hashem, all you of Yehuda who enter these gates to worship Hashem!

ב  עֲמֹד בְּשַׁעַר בֵּית יְהֹוָה וְקָרָאתָ שָּׁם אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וְאָמַרְתָּ שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר־יְהֹוָה כָּל־יְהוּדָה הַבָּאִים בַּשְּׁעָרִים הָאֵלֶּה לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוׂת לַיהֹוָה׃

3  Thus said the lord of Hosts, the God of Yisrael: Mend your ways and your actions, and I will let you dwell in this place.

ג  כֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵיטִיבוּ דַרְכֵיכֶם וּמַעַלְלֵיכֶם וַאֲשַׁכְּנָה אֶתְכֶם בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה׃

4  Don’t put your trust in illusions and say, “The Temple of Hashem, the Temple of Hashem, the Temple of Hashem are these [buildings].”

al tiv-t’-KHU la-KHEM el div-RAY ha-SHE-ker lay-MOR hay-KHAL a-do-NAI hay-KHAL a-do-NAI hay-KHAL a-do-NAI HAY-mah

ד  אַל־תִּבְטְחוּ לָכֶם אֶל־דִּבְרֵי הַשֶּׁקֶר לֵאמֹר הֵיכַל יְהֹוָה הֵיכַל יְהֹוָה הֵיכַל יְהֹוָה הֵמָּה׃

 7:4   The Temple of Hashem 

One of Yirmiyahu’s most famous outcries is uttered in the Temple courtyard. Surrounded by people who came to offer sacrifices, he assails their false sense of security and their belief that as long as the Beit Hamikdash stands, Yerushalayim can never be overrun. Yirmiyahu criticizes their false piety and emphasis on ritual matters while ignoring the needs of others, crying out “the Temple of Hashem” three times. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch suggests that the following verses are a continuation of this one, and the meaning is: What is the real “Temple of Hashem”? Repentance, justice and charity.Comment

5  No, if you really mend your ways and your actions; if you execute justice between one man and another;

ה  כִּי אִם־הֵיטֵיב תֵּיטִיבוּ אֶת־דַּרְכֵיכֶם וְאֶת־מַעַלְלֵיכֶם אִם־עָשׂוֹ תַעֲשׂוּ מִשְׁפָּט בֵּין אִישׁ וּבֵין רֵעֵהוּ׃

6  if you do not oppress the stranger, the orphan, and the widow; if you do not shed the blood of the innocent in this place; if you do not follow other gods, to your own hurt—

ו  גֵּר יָתוֹם וְאַלְמָנָה לֹא תַעֲשֹׁקוּ וְדָם נָקִי אַל־תִּשְׁפְּכוּ בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וְאַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים לֹא תֵלְכוּ לְרַע לָכֶם׃

7  then only will I let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers for all time.

ז  וְשִׁכַּנְתִּי אֶתְכֶם בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לַאֲבוֹתֵיכֶם לְמִן־עוֹלָם וְעַד־עוֹלָם׃

8  See, you are relying on illusions that are of no avail.

ח  הִנֵּה אַתֶּם בֹּטְחִים לָכֶם עַל־דִּבְרֵי הַשָּׁקֶר לְבִלְתִּי הוֹעִיל׃

9  Will you steal and murder and commit adultery and swear falsely, and sacrifice to Baal, and follow other gods whom you have not experienced,

ט  הֲגָנֹב רָצֹחַ וְנָאֹף וְהִשָּׁבֵעַ לַשֶּׁקֶר וְקַטֵּר לַבָּעַל וְהָלֹךְ אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יְדַעְתֶּם׃

10  and then come and stand before Me in this House which bears My name and say, “We are safe”?—[Safe] to do all these abhorrent things!

י  וּבָאתֶם וַעֲמַדְתֶּם לְפָנַי בַּבַּיִת הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר נִקְרָא־שְׁמִי עָלָיו וַאֲמַרְתֶּם נִצַּלְנוּ לְמַעַן עֲשׂוֹת אֵת כָּל־הַתּוֹעֵבוֹת הָאֵלֶּה׃

11  Do you consider this House, which bears My name, to be a den of thieves? As for Me, I have been watching—declares Hashem.

יא  הַמְעָרַת פָּרִצִים הָיָה הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר־נִקְרָא־שְׁמִי עָלָיו בְּעֵינֵיכֶם גַּם אָנֹכִי הִנֵּה רָאִיתִי נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

12  Just go to My place at Shilo, where I had established My name formerly, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Yisrael.

יב  כִּי לְכוּ־נָא אֶל־מְקוֹמִי אֲשֶׁר בְּשִׁילוֹ אֲשֶׁר שִׁכַּנְתִּי שְׁמִי שָׁם בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה וּרְאוּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂיתִי לוֹ מִפְּנֵי רָעַת עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

13  And now, because you do all these things—declares Hashem—and though I spoke to you persistently, you would not listen; and though I called to you, you would not respond—

יג  וְעַתָּה יַעַן עֲשׂוֹתְכֶם אֶת־כָּל־הַמַּעֲשִׂים הָאֵלֶּה נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה וָאֲדַבֵּר אֲלֵיכֶם הַשְׁכֵּם וְדַבֵּר וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתֶּם וָאֶקְרָא אֶתְכֶם וְלֹא עֲנִיתֶם׃

14  therefore I will do to the House which bears My name, on which you rely, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, just what I did to Shilo.

יד  וְעָשִׂיתִי לַבַּיִת אֲשֶׁר נִקְרָא־שְׁמִי עָלָיו אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בֹּטְחִים בּוֹ וְלַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־נָתַתִּי לָכֶם וְלַאֲבוֹתֵיכֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי לְשִׁלוֹ׃

15  And I will cast you out of My presence as I cast out your brothers, the whole brood of Efraim.

טו  וְהִשְׁלַכְתִּי אֶתְכֶם מֵעַל פָּנָי כַּאֲשֶׁר הִשְׁלַכְתִּי אֶת־כָּל־אֲחֵיכֶם אֵת כָּל־זֶרַע אֶפְרָיִם׃

16  As for you, do not pray for this people, do not raise a cry of prayer on their behalf, do not plead with Me; for I will not listen to you.

טז  וְאַתָּה אַל־תִּתְפַּלֵּל בְּעַד־הָעָם הַזֶּה וְאַל־תִּשָּׂא בַעֲדָם רִנָּה וּתְפִלָּה וְאַל־תִּפְגַּע־בִּי כִּי־אֵינֶנִּי שֹׁמֵעַ אֹתָךְ׃

17  Don’t you see what they are doing in the towns of Yehuda and in the streets of Yerushalayim?

יז  הַאֵינְךָ רֹאֶה מָה הֵמָּה עֹשִׂים בְּעָרֵי יְהוּדָה וּבְחֻצוֹת יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם׃

18  The children gather sticks, the fathers build the fire, and the mothers knead dough, to make cakes for the Queen of Heaven, and they pour libations to other gods, to vex Me.

יח  הַבָּנִים מְלַקְּטִים עֵצִים וְהָאָבוֹת מְבַעֲרִים אֶת־הָאֵשׁ וְהַנָּשִׁים לָשׁוֹת בָּצֵק לַעֲשׂוֹת כַּוָּנִים לִמְלֶכֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהַסֵּךְ נְסָכִים לֵאלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים לְמַעַן הַכְעִסֵנִי׃

19  Is it Me they are vexing?—says Hashem. It is rather themselves, to their own disgrace.

יט  הַאֹתִי הֵם מַכְעִסִים נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה הֲלוֹא אֹתָם לְמַעַן בֹּשֶׁת פְּנֵיהֶם׃

20  Assuredly, thus said Hashem: My wrath and My fury will be poured out upon this place, on man and on beast, on the trees of the field and the fruit of the soil. It shall burn, with none to quench it.

כ  לָכֵן כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה הִנֵּה אַפִּי וַחֲמָתִי נִתֶּכֶת אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה עַל־הָאָדָם וְעַל־הַבְּהֵמָה וְעַל־עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה וְעַל־פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה וּבָעֲרָה וְלֹא תִכְבֶּה׃

21  Thus said the lord of Hosts, the God of Yisrael: Add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat!

כא  כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עֹלוֹתֵיכֶם סְפוּ עַל־זִבְחֵיכֶם וְאִכְלוּ בָשָׂר׃

22  For when I freed your fathers from the land of Egypt, I did not speak with them or command them concerning burnt offerings or sacrifice.

כב  כִּי לֹא־דִבַּרְתִּי אֶת־אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם וְלֹא צִוִּיתִים בְּיוֹם הוציא [הוֹצִיאִי] אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם עַל־דִּבְרֵי עוֹלָה וָזָבַח׃

23  But this is what I commanded them: Do My bidding, that I may be your God and you may be My people; walk only in the way that I enjoin upon you, that it may go well with you.

כג  כִּי אִם־אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה צִוִּיתִי אוֹתָם לֵאמֹר שִׁמְעוּ בְקוֹלִי וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ־לִי לְעָם וַהֲלַכְתֶּם בְּכָל־הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר אֲצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם לְמַעַן יִיטַב לָכֶם׃

24  Yet they did not listen or give ear; they followed their own counsels, the willfulness of their evil hearts. They have gone backward, not forward,

כד  וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ וְלֹא־הִטּוּ אֶת־אָזְנָם וַיֵּלְכוּ בְּמֹעֵצוֹת בִּשְׁרִרוּת לִבָּם הָרָע וַיִּהְיוּ לְאָחוֹר וְלֹא לְפָנִים׃

25  from the day your fathers left the land of Egypt until today. And though I kept sending all My servants, the Neviim, to them daily and persistently,

כה  לְמִן־הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר יָצְאוּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה וָאֶשְׁלַח אֲלֵיכֶם אֶת־כָּל־עֲבָדַי הַנְּבִיאִים יוֹם הַשְׁכֵּם וְשָׁלֹחַ׃

26  they would not listen to Me or give ear. They stiffened their necks, they acted worse than their fathers.

כו  וְלוֹא שָׁמְעוּ אֵלַי וְלֹא הִטּוּ אֶת־אָזְנָם וַיַּקְשׁוּ אֶת־עָרְפָּם הֵרֵעוּ מֵאֲבוֹתָם׃

27  You shall say all these things to them, but they will not listen to you; you shall call to them, but they will not respond to you.

כז  וְדִבַּרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם אֶת־כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְלֹא יִשְׁמְעוּ אֵלֶיךָ וְקָרָאתָ אֲלֵיהֶם וְלֹא יַעֲנוּכָה׃

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