TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Isaiah 59

1No, Hashem's arm is not too short to save, Or His ear too dull to hear;

אהֵן לֹא־קָצְרָה יַד־יְהֹוָה מֵהוֹשִׁיעַ וְלֹא־כָבְדָה אָזְנוֹ מִשְּׁמוֹעַ׃

2But your iniquities have been a barrier Between you and your God, Your sins have made Him turn His face away And refuse to hear you.

בכִּי אִם־עֲוׂנֹתֵיכֶם הָיוּ מַבְדִּלִים בֵּינֵכֶם לְבֵין אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וְחַטֹּאותֵיכֶם הִסְתִּירוּ פָנִים מִכֶּם מִשְּׁמוֹעַ׃

3For your hands are defiled with crime And your fingers with iniquity. Your lips speak falsehood, Your tongue utters treachery.

גכִּי כַפֵּיכֶם נְגֹאֲלוּ בַדָּם וְאֶצְבְּעוֹתֵיכֶם בֶּעָוׂן שִׂפְתוֹתֵיכֶם דִּבְּרוּ־שֶׁקֶר לְשׁוֹנְכֶם עַוְלָה תֶהְגֶּה׃

4No one sues justly Or pleads honestly; They rely on emptiness and speak falsehood, Conceiving wrong and begetting evil.

דאֵין־קֹרֵא בְצֶדֶק וְאֵין נִשְׁפָּט בֶּאֱמוּנָה בָּטוֹחַ עַל־תֹּהוּ וְדַבֶּר־שָׁוְא הָרוֹ עָמָל וְהוֹלֵיד אָוֶן׃

5They hatch adder's eggs And weave spider webs; He who eats of those eggs will die, And if one is crushed, it hatches out a viper.

הבֵּיצֵי צִפְעוֹנִי בִּקֵּעוּ וְקוּרֵי עַכָּבִישׁ יֶאֱרֹגוּ הָאֹכֵל מִבֵּיצֵיהֶם יָמוּת וְהַזּוּרֶה תִּבָּקַע אֶפְעֶה׃

6Their webs will not serve as a garment, What they make cannot serve as clothing; Their deeds are deeds of mischief, Their hands commit lawless acts,

וקוּרֵיהֶם לֹא־יִהְיוּ לְבֶגֶד וְלֹא יִתְכַּסּוּ בְּמַעֲשֵׂיהֶם מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם מַעֲשֵׂי־אָוֶן וּפֹעַל חָמָס בְּכַפֵּיהֶם׃

7Their feet run after evil, They hasten to shed the blood of the innocent. Their plans are plans of mischief, Destructiveness and injury are on their roads.

זרַגְלֵיהֶם לָרַע יָרֻצוּ וִימַהֲרוּ לִשְׁפֹּךְ דָּם נָקִי מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵיהֶם מַחְשְׁבוֹת אָוֶן שֹׁד וָשֶׁבֶר בִּמְסִלּוֹתָם׃

8They do not care for the way of integrity, There is no justice on their paths. They make their courses crooked, No one who walks in them cares for integrity.

חדֶּרֶךְ שָׁלוֹם לֹא יָדָעוּ וְאֵין מִשְׁפָּט בְּמַעְגְּלוֹתָם נְתִיבוֹתֵיהֶם עִקְּשׁוּ לָהֶם כֹּל דֹּרֵךְ בָּהּ לֹא יָדַע שָׁלוֹם׃

9“That is why redress is far from us, And vindication does not reach us. We hope for light, and lo! there is darkness; For a gleam, and we must walk in gloom.

טעַל־כֵּן רָחַק מִשְׁפָּט מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא תַשִּׂיגֵנוּ צְדָקָה נְקַוֶּה לָאוֹר וְהִנֵּה־חֹשֶׁךְ לִנְגֹהוֹת בָּאֲפֵלוֹת נְהַלֵּךְ׃

10We grope, like blind men along a wall; Like those without eyes we grope. We stumble at noon, as if in darkness; Among the sturdy, we are like the dead.

ינְגַשְׁשָׁה כַעִוְרִים קִיר וּכְאֵין עֵינַיִם נְגַשֵּׁשָׁה כָּשַׁלְנוּ בַצָּהֳרַיִם כַּנֶּשֶׁף בָּאַשְׁמַנִּים כַּמֵּתִים׃

11We all growl like bears And moan like doves. We hope for redress, and there is none; For victory, and it is far from us.

יאנֶהֱמֶה כַדֻּבִּים כֻּלָּנוּ וְכַיּוֹנִים הָגֹה נֶהְגֶּה נְקַוֶּה לַמִּשְׁפָּט וָאַיִן לִישׁוּעָה רָחֲקָה מִמֶּנּוּ׃

12For our many sins are before You, Our guilt testifies against us. We are aware of our sins, And we know well our iniquities:

יבכִּי־רַבּוּ פְשָׁעֵינוּ נֶגְדֶּךָ וְחַטֹּאותֵינוּ עָנְתָה בָּנוּ כִּי־פְשָׁעֵינוּ אִתָּנוּ וַעֲוׂנֹתֵינוּ יְדַעֲנוּם׃

13Rebellion, faithlessness to Hashem, And turning away from our God, Planning fraud and treachery, Conceiving lies and uttering them with the throat.

יגפָּשֹׁעַ וְכַחֵשׁ בַּיהֹוָה וְנָסוֹג מֵאַחַר אֱלֹהֵינוּ דַּבֶּר־עֹשֶׁק וְסָרָה הֹרוֹ וְהֹגוֹ מִלֵּב דִּבְרֵי־שָׁקֶר׃

14And so redress is turned back And vindication stays afar, Because honesty stumbles in the public square And uprightness cannot enter.

ידוְהֻסַּג אָחוֹר מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה מֵרָחוֹק תַּעֲמֹד כִּי־כָשְׁלָה בָרְחוֹב אֱמֶת וּנְכֹחָה לֹא־תוּכַל לָבוֹא׃

15Honesty has been lacking, He who turns away from evil is despoiled.” Hashem saw and was displeased That there was no redress.

טווַתְּהִי הָאֱמֶת נֶעְדֶּרֶת וְסָר מֵרָע מִשְׁתּוֹלֵל וַיַּרְא יְהֹוָה וַיֵּרַע בְּעֵינָיו כִּי־אֵין מִשְׁפָּט׃

16He saw that there was no man, He gazed long, but no one intervened. Then His own arm won Him triumph, His victorious right hand supported Him.

טזוַיַּרְא כִּי־אֵין אִישׁ וַיִּשְׁתּוֹמֵם כִּי אֵין מַפְגִּיעַ וַתּוֹשַׁע לוֹ זְרֹעוֹ וְצִדְקָתוֹ הִיא סְמָכָתְהוּ׃

17He donned victory like a coat of mail, With a helmet of triumph on His head; He clothed Himself with garments of retribution, Wrapped himself in zeal as in a robe.

יזוַיִּלְבַּשׁ צְדָקָה כַּשִּׁרְיָן וְכוֹבַע יְשׁוּעָה בְּרֹאשׁוֹ וַיִּלְבַּשׁ בִּגְדֵי נָקָם תִּלְבֹּשֶׁת וַיַּעַט כַּמְעִיל קִנְאָה׃

18According to their deserts, So shall He repay fury to His foes; He shall make requital to His enemies, Requital to the distant lands.

יחכְּעַל גְּמֻלוֹת כְּעַל יְשַׁלֵּם חֵמָה לְצָרָיו גְּמוּל לְאֹיְבָיו לָאִיִּים גְּמוּל יְשַׁלֵּם׃

19From the west, they shall revere the name of Hashem, And from the east, His Presence. For He shall come like a hemmed-in stream Which the wind of Hashem drives on;

יטוְיִירְאוּ מִמַּעֲרָב אֶת־שֵׁם יְהֹוָה וּמִמִּזְרַח־שֶׁמֶשׁ אֶת־כְּבוֹדוֹ כִּי־יָבוֹא כַנָּהָר צָר רוּחַ יְהֹוָה נֹסְסָה בוֹ׃

20He shall come as redeemer to Tzion, To those in Yaakov who turn back from sin —declares Hashem.

u-VA l'-tzi-YON go-AYL ul-sha-VAY FE-sha b'-ya-a-KOV n'-UM a-do-NAI

כוּבָא לְצִיּוֹן גּוֹאֵל וּלְשָׁבֵי פֶשַׁע בְּיַעֲקֹב נְאֻם יְהֹוָה׃

 59:20   He shall come as redeemer to Tzion

Ancient ruins in Caesarea.

After the climactic battle described above, Yesha­yahu promises that a redeemer will come to Tzion. Rashi observes, “As long as Tzion is in ruins, the redeemer has not yet come.” On a simple level, Rashi is saying that once the redeemer comes, Tzion will be rebuilt. Hence, if Tzion remains in ruins then surely he has not yet come. On a deeper level, perhaps he is implying that for the redeemer to come, Tzion cannot be in a state of disrepair; instead, the city of Yeru­shalayim and the Land of Israel must first be built by the returnees to the land. Only then will God’s spirit enter the people. Indeed, as the returnees of modern times have begun to rebuild and Eretz Yisrael flourishes, our generation eagerly awaits the redeemer to come.

21And this shall be My covenant with them, said Hashem: My spirit which is upon you, and the words which I have placed in your mouth, shall not be absent from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your children, nor from the mouth of your children's children—said Hashem—from now on, for all time.

כאוַאֲנִי זֹאת בְּרִיתִי אוֹתָם אָמַר יְהֹוָה רוּחִי אֲשֶׁר עָלֶיךָ וּדְבָרַי אֲשֶׁר־שַׂמְתִּי בְּפִיךָ לֹא־יָמוּשׁוּ מִפִּיךָ וּמִפִּי זַרְעֲךָ וּמִפִּי זֶרַע זַרְעֲךָ אָמַר יְהֹוָה מֵעַתָּה וְעַד־עוֹלָם׃