Zechariah - Chapter 10

1Ask Hashem for rain In the season of late rain. It is Hashem who causes storms; And He will provide rainstorms for them, Grass in the fields for everyone.

sha-a-LU may-a-do-NAI ma-TAR b'-AYT mal-KOSH a-do-NAI o-SEH kha-zee-ZEEM um-tar GE-shem yi-TAYN la-HEM l'-EESH AY-sev ba-sa-DEH

אשַׁאֲלוּ מֵיְהֹוָה מָטָר בְּעֵת מַלְקוֹשׁ יְהֹוָה עֹשֶׂה חֲזִיזִים וּמְטַר־גֶּשֶׁם יִתֵּן לָהֶם לְאִישׁ עֵשֶׂב בַּשָּׂדֶה׃

Nahal Arugot. Located in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Photo by Yehoshua Halevi.

 10:1  Ask Hashem for rain in the season of late rain

Zecharya begins this chapter by calling on the Children of Israel to pray for rain. Should they ask for rain, Hashem will gladly fulfill the request. It seems strange that the people are to pray for rain “in the season of late rain.” Since it is the rainy season, the request seems unnecessary. However, in Sefer Devarim (11:10-11) the Torah describes how the Land of Israel is different than Egypt, in that it is dependant on rainfall for its sustenance: “For the land that you are about to enter and possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come. There the grain you sowed had to be watered by your own labors, like a vegetable garden; but the land you are about to cross into and possess, a land of hills and valleys, soaks up its water from the rains of heaven.” However, because of the special nature of Eretz Yisrael, even in the winter the rains do not come naturally unless man turns to Hashem and prays for them. This reality strengthens the relationship between the God of Israel, the People of Israel and the Land of Israel.

2For the teraphim spoke delusion, The augurs predicted falsely; And dreamers speak lies And console with illusions. That is why My people have strayed like a Xock, They suffer for lack of a shepherd.

בכִּי הַתְּרָפִים דִּבְּרוּ־אָוֶן וְהַקּוֹסְמִים חָזוּ שֶׁקֶר וַחֲלֹמוֹת הַשָּׁוא יְדַבֵּרוּ הֶבֶל יְנַחֵמוּן עַל־כֵּן נָסְעוּ כְמוֹ־צֹאן יַעֲנוּ כִּי־אֵין רֹעֶה׃

3My anger is roused against the shepherds, And I will punish the he-goats. For the lord of Hosts has taken thought In behalf of His flock, the House of Yehuda; He will make them like majestic chargers in battle.

געַל־הָרֹעִים חָרָה אַפִּי וְעַל־הָעַתּוּדִים אֶפְקוֹד כִּי־פָקַד יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אֶת־עֶדְרוֹ אֶת־בֵּית יְהוּדָה וְשָׂם אוֹתָם כְּסוּס הוֹדוֹ בַּמִּלְחָמָה׃

4From them shall come cornerstones, From them tent pegs, From them bows of combat, And every captain shall also arise from them.

דמִמֶּנּוּ פִנָּה מִמֶּנּוּ יָתֵד מִמֶּנּוּ קֶשֶׁת מִלְחָמָה מִמֶּנּוּ יֵצֵא כָל־נוֹגֵשׂ יַחְדָּו׃

5And together they shall be like warriors in battle, Tramping in the dirt of the streets; They shall fight, for Hashem shall be with them, And they shall put horsemen to shame.

הוְהָיוּ כְגִבֹּרִים בּוֹסִים בְּטִיט חוּצוֹת בַּמִּלְחָמָה וְנִלְחֲמוּ כִּי יְהֹוָה עִמָּם וְהֹבִישׁוּ רֹכְבֵי סוּסִים׃

6I will give victory to the House of Yehuda, And triumph to the House of Yosef. I will restore them, for I have pardoned them, And they shall be as though I had never disowned them; For I Hashem am their God, And I will answer their prayers.

ווְגִבַּרְתִּי אֶת־בֵּית יְהוּדָה וְאֶת־בֵּית יוֹסֵף אוֹשִׁיעַ וְהוֹשְׁבוֹתִים כִּי רִחַמְתִּים וְהָיוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר לֹא־זְנַחְתִּים כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וְאֶעֱנֵם׃

7Efraim shall be like a warrior, And they shall exult as with wine; Their children shall see it and rejoice, They shall exult in Hashem.

זוְהָיוּ כְגִבּוֹר אֶפְרַיִם וְשָׂמַח לִבָּם כְּמוֹ־יָיִן וּבְנֵיהֶם יִרְאוּ וְשָׂמֵחוּ יָגֵל לִבָּם בַּיהֹוָה׃

8I will whistle to them and gather them, For I will redeem them; They shall increase and continue increasing.

חאֶשְׁרְקָה לָהֶם וַאֲקַבְּצֵם כִּי פְדִיתִים וְרָבוּ כְּמוֹ רָבוּ׃

9For though I sowed them among the nations, In the distant places they shall remember Me, They shall escape with their children and shall return.

טוְאֶזְרָעֵם בָּעַמִּים וּבַמֶּרְחַקִּים יִזְכְּרוּנִי וְחָיוּ אֶת־בְּנֵיהֶם וָשָׁבוּ׃

10I will bring them back from the land of Egypt And gather them from Assyria; And I will bring them to the lands of Gilad and Lebanon, And even they shall not suffice for them.

יוַהֲשִׁיבוֹתִים מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וּמֵאַשּׁוּר אֲקַבְּצֵם וְאֶל־אֶרֶץ גִּלְעָד וּלְבָנוֹן אֲבִיאֵם וְלֹא יִמָּצֵא לָהֶם׃

11A hemmed-in force shall pass over the sea And shall stir up waves in the sea; And all the deeps of the Nile shall dry up. Down shall come the pride of Assyria, And the scepter of Egypt shall pass away.

יאוְעָבַר בַּיָּם צָרָה וְהִכָּה בַיָּם גַּלִּים וְהֹבִישׁוּ כֹּל מְצוּלוֹת יְאֹר וְהוּרַד גְּאוֹן אַשּׁוּר וְשֵׁבֶט מִצְרַיִם יָסוּר׃

12But I will make them mighty through Hashem, And they shall march proudly in His name —declares Hashem.

יבוְגִבַּרְתִּים בַּיהֹוָה וּבִשְׁמוֹ יִתְהַלָּכוּ נְאֻם יְהֹוָה׃