Jeremiah 8
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1  At that time, saith Hashem, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Yehudah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the Kohanim, and the bones of the Neviim, and the bones of the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, out of their graves;

א  בָּעֵת הַהִיא נְאֻם יְהוָה ויציאו (יוֹצִיאוּ) אֶת עַצְמוֹת מַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה וְאֶת עַצְמוֹת שָׂרָיו וְאֶת עַצְמוֹת הַכֹּהֲנִים וְאֵת עַצְמוֹת הַנְּבִיאִים וְאֵת עַצְמוֹת יוֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִָם מִקִּבְרֵיהֶם.

2  and they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped; they shall not be gathered, nor be buried, they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.

ב  וּשְׁטָחוּם לַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְלַיָּרֵחַ וּלְכֹל צְבָא הַשָּׁמַיִם אֲשֶׁר אֲהֵבוּם וַאֲשֶׁר עֲבָדוּם וַאֲשֶׁר הָלְכוּ אַחֲרֵיהֶם וַאֲשֶׁר דְּרָשׁוּם וַאֲשֶׁר הִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לָהֶם לֹא יֵאָסְפוּ וְלֹא יִקָּבֵרוּ לְדֹמֶן עַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה יִהְיוּ.

3  And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue that remain of this evil family, that remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith Hashem of hosts.

ג  וְנִבְחַר מָוֶת מֵחַיִּים לְכֹל הַשְּׁאֵרִית הַנִּשְׁאָרִים מִן הַמִּשְׁפָּחָה הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת בְּכָל הַמְּקֹמוֹת הַנִּשְׁאָרִים אֲשֶׁר הִדַּחְתִּים שָׁם נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת.

4  Moreover thou shalt say unto them: Thus saith Hashem: do men fall, and not rise up again? Doth one turn away, and not return?

ד  וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הֲיִפְּלוּ וְלֹא יָקוּמוּ אִם יָשׁוּב וְלֹא יָשׁוּב.

5  Why then is this people of Yerushalayim slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.

ה  מַדּוּעַ שׁוֹבְבָה הָעָם הַזֶּה יְרוּשָׁלִַם מְשֻׁבָה נִצַּחַת הֶחֱזִיקוּ בַּתַּרְמִת מֵאֲנוּ לָשׁוּב.

6  I attended and listened, but they spoke not aright; no man repenteth him of his wickedness, saying: ‘What have I done?’ Every one turneth away in his course, as a horse that rusheth headlong in the battle.

ו  הִקְשַׁבְתִּי וָאֶשְׁמָע לוֹא כֵן יְדַבֵּרוּ אֵין אִישׁ נִחָם עַל רָעָתוֹ לֵאמֹר מֶה עָשִׂיתִי כֻּלֹּה שָׁב במרצותם (בִּמְרוּצָתָם) כְּסוּס שׁוֹטֵף בַּמִּלְחָמָה.

7  Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the swallow and the crane observe the time of their coming; but My people know not the ordinance of Hashem.

ז  גַּם חֲסִידָה בַשָּׁמַיִם יָדְעָה מוֹעֲדֶיהָ וְתֹר וסוס (וְסִיס) וְעָגוּר שָׁמְרוּ אֶת עֵת בֹּאָנָה וְעַמִּי לֹא יָדְעוּ אֵת מִשְׁפַּט יְהוָה.

8  How do ye say: ‘We are wise, and the Law of Hashem is with us’? Lo, certainly in vain hath wrought the vain pen of the scribes.

ח  אֵיכָה תֹאמְרוּ חֲכָמִים אֲנַחְנוּ וְתוֹרַת יְהוָה אִתָּנוּ אָכֵן הִנֵּה לַשֶּׁקֶר עָשָׂה עֵט שֶׁקֶר סֹפְרִים.

9  The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken; lo, they have rejected the word of Hashem; and what wisdom is in them?

ט  הֹבִשׁוּ חֲכָמִים חַתּוּ וַיִּלָּכֵדוּ הִנֵּה בִדְבַר יְהוָה מָאָסוּ וְחָכְמַת מֶה לָהֶם.

10  Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall possess them; for from the least even unto the greatest every one is greedy for gain, from the navi even unto the Kohen every one dealeth falsely.

י  לָכֵן אֶתֵּן אֶת נְשֵׁיהֶם לַאֲחֵרִים שְׂדוֹתֵיהֶם לְיוֹרְשִׁים כִּי מִקָּטֹן וְעַד גָּדוֹל כֻּלֹּה בֹּצֵעַ בָּצַע מִנָּבִיא וְעַד כֹּהֵן כֻּלֹּה עֹשֶׂה שָּׁקֶר.

11  And they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people lightly, saying: ‘Peace, peace’, when there is no peace.

יא  וַיְרַפּוּ אֶת שֶׁבֶר בַּת עַמִּי עַל נְקַלָּה לֵאמֹר שָׁלוֹם שָׁלוֹם וְאֵין שָׁלוֹם.

12  They shall be put to shame because they have committed abomination; yea, they are not at all ashamed, neither know they how to blush; therefore shall they fall among them that fall, in the time of their visitation they shall stumble, saith Hashem.

יב  הֹבִשׁוּ כִּי תוֹעֵבָה עָשׂוּ גַּם בּוֹשׁ לֹא יֵבֹשׁוּ וְהִכָּלֵם לֹא יָדָעוּ לָכֵן יִפְּלוּ בַנֹּפְלִים בְּעֵת פְּקֻדָּתָם יִכָּשְׁלוּ אָמַר יְהוָה.

13  I will utterly consume them, saith Hashem; there are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig-tree, and the leaf is faded; and I gave them that which they transgress.

יג  אָסֹף אֲסִיפֵם נְאֻם יְהוָה אֵין עֲנָבִים בַּגֶּפֶן וְאֵין תְּאֵנִים בַּתְּאֵנָה וְהֶעָלֶה נָבֵל וָאֶתֵּן לָהֶם יַעַבְרוּם.

14  ‘Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the fortified cities, and let us be cut off there; for Hashem our God hath cut us off, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against Hashem.

יד  עַל מָה אֲנַחְנוּ יֹשְׁבִים הֵאָסְפוּ וְנָבוֹא אֶל עָרֵי הַמִּבְצָר וְנִדְּמָה שָּׁם כִּי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ הֲדִמָּנוּ וַיַּשְׁקֵנוּ מֵי רֹאשׁ כִּי חָטָאנוּ לַיהוָה.

15  We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of healing, and behold terror!’

טו  קַוֵּה לְשָׁלוֹם וְאֵין טוֹב לְעֵת מַרְפֵּה וְהִנֵּה בְעָתָה.

16  The snorting of his horses is heard from Dan; at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones the whole land trembleth; for they are come, and have devoured the land and all that is in it, the city and those that dwell therein.

טז  מִדָּן נִשְׁמַע נַחְרַת סוּסָיו מִקּוֹל מִצְהֲלוֹת אַבִּירָיו רָעֲשָׁה כָּל הָאָרֶץ וַיָּבוֹאוּ וַיֹּאכְלוּ אֶרֶץ וּמְלוֹאָהּ עִיר וְיֹשְׁבֵי בָהּ.

17  For, behold, I will send serpents, basilisks, among you, which will not be charmed; and they shall bite you, saith Hashem.

יז  כִּי הִנְנִי מְשַׁלֵּחַ בָּכֶם נְחָשִׁים צִפְעֹנִים אֲשֶׁר אֵין לָהֶם לָחַשׁ וְנִשְּׁכוּ אֶתְכֶם נְאֻם יְהוָה.

18  Though I would take comfort against sorrow, my heart is faint within me.

יח  מַבְלִיגִיתִי עֲלֵי יָגוֹן עָלַי לִבִּי דַוָּי.

19  Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people from a land far off: ‘Is not Hashem in Tzion? Is not her King in her?’–‘Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, and with strange vanities?’–

יט  הִנֵּה קוֹל שַׁוְעַת בַּת עַמִּי מֵאֶרֶץ מַרְחַקִּים הַיהוָה אֵין בְּצִיּוֹן אִם מַלְכָּהּ אֵין בָּהּ מַדּוּעַ הִכְעִסוּנִי בִּפְסִלֵיהֶם בְּהַבְלֵי נֵכָר.

20  ‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.’

כ  עָבַר קָצִיר כָּלָה קָיִץ וַאֲנַחְנוּ לוֹא נוֹשָׁעְנוּ.

21  For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I seized with anguish; I am black, appalment hath taken hold on me.

כא  עַל שֶׁבֶר בַּת עַמִּי הָשְׁבָּרְתִּי קָדַרְתִּי שַׁמָּה הֶחֱזִקָתְנִי.

22  Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?

ha-tzo-REE ayn b’-gil-AD im ro-FAY ayn sham kee ma-DU-a lo a-l’-TAH a-ru-KHAT bat a-MEE

כב  הַצֳּרִי אֵין בְּגִלְעָד אִם רֹפֵא אֵין שָׁם כִּי מַדּוּעַ לֹא עָלְתָה אֲרֻכַת בַּת עַמִּי.

8:22   Is there no balm in Gilead

 Jeremiah laments the people’s suffering. Despite condemning their immorality, impudence and hypocrisy, he still identifies with their pains. Wistfully, he calls out, “Is there no balm in Gilead?” Gilead is located on the plains of Jordan, across the Jordan river from Jerusalem, and was famous for its medicines. The commentators understand this balm as a metaphor – righteousness and good deeds could have healed the people, but they were too distant.

Comment

23  Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!

כג  מִי יִתֵּן רֹאשִׁי מַיִם וְעֵינִי מְקוֹר דִּמְעָה וְאֶבְכֶּה יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה אֵת חַלְלֵי בַת עַמִּי.

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Jeremiah 8