Isaiah 50
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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

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׃

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Isaiah 49
Isaiah 51

Comments ( 2 )

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  • Verse 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.

    Ignorance of HaShem and His ways (Tanakh illiteracy) leads mankind into religious exercises of one kind or another. As Shlomo might say, “pursuit of wind”.
    PERSONAL NOTE: When I first discovered (at age forty-two) that life was not about me—a real shock!—that it was about HaShem, I began to pour what He had to say regarding Himself, me, and life in general (the Bible) into myself as if my life depended on it (I still do, because it still does!). I wouldn’t read books about HaShem or about the Bible, I read HaShem’s Book, His words. My life still depends on every word He says about everything—not what some “spiritual leader” may say about Him or some quaint interpretation of what He said! Psalms 119:165 reads: Those who love Your teaching enjoy wellbeing; they encounter no adversity. And to paraphrase Isaiah 54:17, “No adversity formed against me shall succeed”.
    Creation of something to help us in our day-to-day living that leaves HaShem out of the equation is naked insanity! He allows it (from My hand) when we begin to think that we know best. He loves us so much, but His love will not violate the sovereignty of our free will. He will, on occasion, aid us in our devolution into stupid, just so we can see our need for Him—that our ways don’t work, that His ways do.
    Religion, in and of itself, is never the answer—a relationship with HaShem always is.

  • Verses 5-7: HaShem opened my ears and I did not disobey, I did not run away. 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. 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. My Vindicator is at hand—who dares contend with me? Let us stand up together! Who would be my opponent? Let him approach me! 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.

    This is the “servant” referred to in verse 10 and mentioned again in chapter 52:13-15. “Indeed, My servant shall prosper, be exalted and raised to great heights. Just as the many were appalled at him—so marred was his appearance, unlike that of man, form, beyond human semblance—just so he shall startle many nations. Kings shall be silenced because of him, for they shall see what has not been told them, shall behold what they never have heard.”

    BUT! The “Vindicator” is always at hand for the obedient servant. Regardless of how his situation may appear to the world, his faithfulness will always be a source of reward from HaShem. Always! Depend on it!

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Isaiah 50

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