Isaiah 40
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1  Comfort, oh comfort My people, Says your God.

na-kha-MU na-kha-MU a-MEE yo-MAR e-lo-hay-KHEM

א  נַחֲמוּ נַחֲמוּ עַמִּי יֹאמַר אֱלֹהֵיכֶם׃

40:1   Comfort, oh comfort My people

The Torah is always very careful to use words sparingly and not to repeat even a single word unnecessarily.  If so, why is the word “comfort” repeated twice in this verse? The prophecy considers the future destructions of both the first and the second Beit Hamikdash.  The loss of both Temples would constitute a double calamity for the Jewish people, and Hashem consequently promises that His consolation will also be double.   This chapter is read annually on the Shabbat following the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, the national day of mourning for the destruction of the Temples.  Each year, these words bring renewed hope that we will witness the double consolation promised in these verses, speedily in our days.  May His comforting blessings be showered upon us all.Comment

2  Speak tenderly to Yerushalayim, And declare to her That her term of service is over, That her iniquity is expiated; For she has received at the hand of Hashem Double for all her sins.

ב  דַּבְּרוּ עַל־לֵב יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְקִרְאוּ אֵלֶיהָ כִּי מָלְאָה צְבָאָהּ כִּי נִרְצָה עֲוֺנָהּ כִּי לָקְחָה מִיַּד יְהוָה כִּפְלַיִם בְּכָל־חַטֹּאתֶיהָ׃

3  A voice rings out: “Clear in the desert A road for Hashem! Level in the wilderness A highway for our God!

ג  קוֹל קוֹרֵא בַּמִּדְבָּר פַּנּוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְהוָה יַשְּׁרוּ בָּעֲרָבָה מְסִלָּה לֵאלֹהֵינוּ׃

4  Let every valley be raised, Every hill and mount made low. Let the rugged ground become level And the ridges become a plain.

ד  כָּל־גֶּיא יִנָּשֵׂא וְכָל־הַר וְגִבְעָה יִשְׁפָּלוּ וְהָיָה הֶעָקֹב לְמִישׁוֹר וְהָרְכָסִים לְבִקְעָה׃

5  The Presence of Hashem shall appear And all flesh, as one, shall behold— For Hashem Himself has spoken.”

ה  וְנִגְלָה כְּבוֹד יְהוָה וְרָאוּ כָל־בָּשָׂר יַחְדָּו כִּי פִּי יְהוָה דִּבֵּר׃

6  A voice rings out: “Proclaim!” Another asks, “What shall I proclaim?” “All flesh is grass, All its goodness like flowers of the field:

ו  קוֹל אֹמֵר קְרָא וְאָמַר מָה אֶקְרָא כָּל־הַבָּשָׂר חָצִיר וְכָל־חַסְדּוֹ כְּצִיץ הַשָּׂדֶה׃

7  Grass withers, flowers fade When the breath of Hashem blows on them. Indeed, man is but grass:

ז  יָבֵשׁ חָצִיר נָבֵל צִיץ כִּי רוּחַ יְהוָה נָשְׁבָה בּוֹ אָכֵן חָצִיר הָעָם׃

8  Grass withers, flowers fade— But the word of our God is always fulfilled!”

ח  יָבֵשׁ חָצִיר נָבֵל צִיץ וּדְבַר־אֱלֹהֵינוּ יָקוּם לְעוֹלָם׃

9  Ascend a lofty mountain, O herald of joy to Tzion; Raise your voice with power, O herald of joy to Yerushalayim— Raise it, have no fear; Announce to the cities of Yehuda: Behold your God!

ט  עַל הַר־גָּבֹהַ עֲלִי־לָךְ מְבַשֶּׂרֶת צִיּוֹן הָרִימִי בַכֹּחַ קוֹלֵךְ מְבַשֶּׂרֶת יְרוּשָׁלִָם הָרִימִי אַל־תִּירָאִי אִמְרִי לְעָרֵי יְהוּדָה הִנֵּה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם׃

10  Behold, Hashem comes in might, And His arm wins triumph for Him; See, His reward is with Him, His recompense before Him.

י  הִנֵּה אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה בְּחָזָק יָבוֹא וּזְרֹעוֹ מֹשְׁלָה לוֹ הִנֵּה שְׂכָרוֹ אִתּוֹ וּפְעֻלָּתוֹ לְפָנָיו׃

11  Like a shepherd He pastures His flock: He gathers the lambs in His arms And carries them in His bosom; Gently He drives the mother sheep.

יא  כְּרֹעֶה עֶדְרוֹ יִרְעֶה בִּזְרֹעוֹ יְקַבֵּץ טְלָאִים וּבְחֵיקוֹ יִשָּׂא עָלוֹת יְנַהֵל׃

12  Who measured the waters with the hollow of His hand, And gauged the skies with a zeret, And meted earth’s dust with a measure, And weighed the mountains with a scale And the hills with a balance?

יב  מִי־מָדַד בְּשָׁעֳלוֹ מַיִם וְשָׁמַיִם בַּזֶּרֶת תִּכֵּן וְכָל בַּשָּׁלִשׁ עֲפַר הָאָרֶץ וְשָׁקַל בַּפֶּלֶס הָרִים וּגְבָעוֹת בְּמֹאזְנָיִם׃

13  Who has plumbed the mind of Hashem, What man could tell Him His plan?

יג  מִי־תִכֵּן אֶת־רוּחַ יְהוָה וְאִישׁ עֲצָתוֹ יוֹדִיעֶנּוּ׃

14  Whom did He consult, and who taught Him, Guided Him in the way of right? Who guided Him in knowledge And showed Him the path of wisdom?

יד  אֶת־מִי נוֹעָץ וַיְבִינֵהוּ וַיְלַמְּדֵהוּ בְּאֹרַח מִשְׁפָּט וַיְלַמְּדֵהוּ דַעַת וְדֶרֶךְ תְּבוּנוֹת יוֹדִיעֶנּוּ׃

15  The nations are but a drop in a bucket, Reckoned as dust on a balance; The very coastlands He lifts like motes.

טו  הֵן גּוֹיִם כְּמַר מִדְּלִי וּכְשַׁחַק מֹאזְנַיִם נֶחְשָׁבוּ הֵן אִיִּים כַּדַּק יִטּוֹל׃

16  Lebanon is not fuel enough, Nor its beasts enough for sacrifice.

טז  וּלְבָנוֹן אֵין דֵּי בָּעֵר וְחַיָּתוֹ אֵין דֵּי עוֹלָה׃

17  All nations are as naught in His sight; He accounts them as less than nothing.

יז  כָּל־הַגּוֹיִם כְּאַיִן נֶגְדּוֹ מֵאֶפֶס וָתֹהוּ נֶחְשְׁבוּ־לוֹ׃

18  To whom, then, can you liken Hashem, What form compare to Him?

יח  וְאֶל־מִי תְּדַמְּיוּן אֵל וּמַה־דְּמוּת תַּעַרְכוּ לוֹ׃

19  The idol? A woodworker shaped it, And a smith overlaid it with gold, Forging links of silver.

יט  הַפֶּסֶל נָסַךְ חָרָשׁ וְצֹרֵף בַּזָּהָב יְרַקְּעֶנּוּ וּרְתֻקוֹת כֶּסֶף צוֹרֵף׃

20  As a gift, he chooses the mulberry— A wood that does not rot— Then seeks a skillful woodworker To make a firm idol, That will not topple.

כ  הַמְסֻכָּן תְּרוּמָה עֵץ לֹא־יִרְקַב יִבְחָר חָרָשׁ חָכָם יְבַקֶּשׁ־לוֹ לְהָכִין פֶּסֶל לֹא יִמּוֹט׃

21  Do you not know? Have you not heard? Have you not been told From the very first? Have you not discerned How the earth was founded?

כא  הֲלוֹא תֵדְעוּ הֲלוֹא תִשְׁמָעוּ הֲלוֹא הֻגַּד מֵרֹאשׁ לָכֶם הֲלוֹא הֲבִינֹתֶם מוֹסְדוֹת הָאָרֶץ׃

22  It is He who is enthroned above the vault of the earth, So that its inhabitants seem as grasshoppers; Who spread out the skies like gauze, Stretched them out like a tent to dwell in.

כב  הַיֹּשֵׁב עַל־חוּג הָאָרֶץ וְיֹשְׁבֶיהָ כַּחֲגָבִים הַנּוֹטֶה כַדֹּק שָׁמַיִם וַיִּמְתָּחֵם כָּאֹהֶל לָשָׁבֶת׃

23  He brings potentates to naught, Makes rulers of the earth as nothing.

כג  הַנּוֹתֵן רוֹזְנִים לְאָיִן שֹׁפְטֵי אֶרֶץ כַּתֹּהוּ עָשָׂה׃

24  Hardly are they planted, Hardly are they sown, Hardly has their stem Taken root in earth, When He blows upon them and they dry up, And the storm bears them off like straw.

כד  אַף בַּל־נִטָּעוּ אַף בַּל־זֹרָעוּ אַף בַּל־שֹׁרֵשׁ בָּאָרֶץ גִּזְעָם וְגַם־נָשַׁף בָּהֶם וַיִּבָשׁוּ וּסְעָרָה כַּקַּשׁ תִּשָּׂאֵם׃

25  To whom, then, can you liken Me, To whom can I be compared? —says the Holy One.

כה  וְאֶל־מִי תְדַמְּיוּנִי וְאֶשְׁוֶה יֹאמַר קָדוֹשׁ׃

26  Lift high your eyes and see: Who created these? He who sends out their host by count, Who calls them each by name: Because of His great might and vast power, Not one fails to appear.

כו  שְׂאוּ־מָרוֹם עֵינֵיכֶם וּרְאוּ מִי־בָרָא אֵלֶּה הַמּוֹצִיא בְמִסְפָּר צְבָאָם לְכֻלָּם בְּשֵׁם יִקְרָא מֵרֹב אוֹנִים וְאַמִּיץ כֹּחַ אִישׁ לֹא נֶעְדָּר׃

27  Why do you say, O Yaakov, Why declare, O Yisrael, “My way is hid from Hashem, My cause is ignored by my God”?

כז  לָמָּה תֹאמַר יַעֲקֹב וּתְדַבֵּר יִשְׂרָאֵל נִסְתְּרָה דַרְכִּי מֵיְהוָה וּמֵאֱלֹהַי מִשְׁפָּטִי יַעֲבוֹר׃

28  Do you not know? Have you not heard? Hashem is Hashem from of old, Creator of the earth from end to end He never grows faint or weary, His wisdom cannot be fathomed.

כח  הֲלוֹא יָדַעְתָּ אִם־לֹא שָׁמַעְתָּ אֱלֹהֵי עוֹלָם יְהוָה בּוֹרֵא קְצוֹת הָאָרֶץ לֹא יִיעַף וְלֹא יִיגָע אֵין חֵקֶר לִתְבוּנָתוֹ׃

29  He gives strength to the weary, Fresh vigor to the spent.

כט  נֹתֵן לַיָּעֵף כֹּחַ וּלְאֵין אוֹנִים עָצְמָה יַרְבֶּה׃

30  Youths may grow faint and weary, And young men stumble and fall;

ל  וְיִעֲפוּ נְעָרִים וְיִגָעוּ וּבַחוּרִים כָּשׁוֹל יִכָּשֵׁלוּ׃

31  But they who trust in Hashem shall renew their strength As eagles grow new plumes: They shall run and not grow weary, They shall march and not grow faint.

 

לא  וְקוֹיֵ יְהוָה יַחֲלִיפוּ כֹחַ יַעֲלוּ אֵבֶר כַּנְּשָׁרִים יָרוּצוּ וְלֹא יִיגָעוּ יֵלְכוּ וְלֹא יִיעָפוּ׃

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Isaiah 39
Isaiah 41

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Isaiah 40

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