Isaiah 17


מַשָּׂא דַּמָּשֶׂק הִנֵּה דַמֶּשֶׂק מוּסָר מֵעִיר וְהָיְתָה מְעִי מַפָּלָה׃   17:1

Isai. 17:1   The  burden of Damascus:

                            Behold, Damascus is being removed from being a city,

                    and it will become a heap of ruins.

עֲזֻבוֹת עָרֵי עֲרֹעֵר לַעֲדָרִים תִּהְיֶינָה וְרָבְצוּ וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד׃   17:2

Isai. 17:2   Forsaken shall be the cities of Aroer.

                            They shall be for flocks that will lie down,

                    and there will be none who make afraid.

Aroar is another name for Moab.

וְנִשְׁבַּת מִבְצָר מֵאֶפְרַיִם וּמַמְלָכָה מִדַּמֶּשֶׂק וּשְׁאָר אֲרָם כִּכְבוֹד בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל יִהְיוּ נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת׃   17:3

Isai. 17:3   “And the fortress shall be put away from Ephraim,

                            and the kingdom from Damascus.

                    And the remnant of Aram

                            shall be like the glory of the children of Israel,”

                    declares the Lord of hosts.

Aram was a region in what is now Syria, not far from Damascus.

וְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִדַּל כְּבוֹד יַעֲקֹב וּמִשְׁמַן בְּשָׂרוֹ יֵרָזֶה׃   17:4

Isai. 17:4   “And it shall be on that day,

                             the glory of Jacob shall be made thin,

                    and the fat of its flesh shall become lean.”

וְהָיָה כֶּאֱסֹף קָצִיר קָמָה וּזְרֹעוֹ שִׁבֳּלִים יִקְצוֹר וְהָיָה כִּמְלַקֵּט שִׁבֳּלִים בְּעֵמֶק רְפָאִים׃   17:5

Isai. 17:5   “And it shall be like the harvester gathering standing corn,

                            with his arm he reaps the ears,

                    and it shall be like the gleaning of ears

                             in the valley of Rephaim.”

וְנִשְׁאַר־בּוֹ עוֹלֵלֹת כְּנֹקֶף זַיִת שְׁנַיִם שְׁלֹשָׁה גַּרְגְּרִים בְּרֹאשׁ אָמִיר אַרְבָּעָה חֲמִשָּׁה בִּסְעִפֶיהָ פֹּרִיָּה   17:6 נְאֻם־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

Isai. 17:6   “So there shall be left of the gleanings in it,

                             like the shaking of an olive tree,

                     two, three berries on the highest branch,

                             four, five on the branches of a fruitful tree,”

                     declares the Lord, God of Israel.

בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִשְׁעֶה הָאָדָם עַל־עֹשֵׂהוּ וְעֵינָיו אֶל־קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל תִּרְאֶינָה׃   17:7

Isai. 17:7   On that day humankind shall gaze upon its Maker,

                             and its eyes shall look to the Holy One of Israel.

וְלֹא יִשְׁעֶה אֶל־הַמִּזְבְּחוֹת מַעֲשֵׂה יָדָיו וַאֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ אֶצְבְּעֹתָיו לֹא יִרְאֶה וְהָאֲשֵׁרִים וְהָחַמָּנִים׃   17:8

Isai. 17:8   And it shall not look to the altars,

                             the work of its hands,

                    and it will not see what its fingers fashioned,

                             or the Asherim or the sun images.

בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִהְיוּ עָרֵי מָעֻזּוֹ כַּעֲזוּבַת הַחֹרֶשׁ וְהָאָמִיר אֲשֶׁר עָזְבוּ מִפְּנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהָיְתָה שְׁמָמָה׃   17:9

Isai. 17:9   On that day the cities of its strength

                            shall be like the most forsaken of forests,

                     and boughs that were forlorn from before the children of Israel,

                             and it shall be desolate.

כִּי שָׁכַחַתְּ אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעֵךְ וְצוּר מָעֻזֵּךְ לֹא זָכָרְתְּ עַל־כֵּן תִּטְּעִי נִטְעֵי נַעֲמָנִים וּזְמֹרַת זָר תִּזְרָעֶנּוּ׃   17:10

Isai. 17:10   For you have forgotten the God of your salvation,

                              and you have not remembered the Rock of your strength.

                      Therefore you may plant pleasant plants,

                              but alien fruit shall be its yield.

בְּיוֹם נִטְעֵךְ תְּשַׂגְשֵׂגִי וּבַבֹּקֶר זַרְעֵךְ תַּפְרִיחִי נֵד קָצִיר בְּיוֹם נַחֲלָה וּכְאֵב אָנוּשׁ׃   17:11

Isai. 17:11   On the day of your planting,

                              you shall make grow,

                      and in the morning,

                              of your seed you will make,

                      a heap of boughs spring forth,

                              on a day of suffering and intense pain.

הוֹי הֲמוֹן עַמִּים רַבִּים כַּהֲמוֹת יַמִּים יֶהֱמָיוּן וּשְׁאוֹן לְאֻמִּים כִּשְׁאוֹן מַיִם כַּבִּירִים יִשָּׁאוּן׃   17:12

Isai. 17:12   Alas, an uproar of many peoples,

                              like the roaring of the seas,

                      shall make a noise,

                              and a tumult of nations,

                       like the tumult of mighty waters, shall rush.

לְאֻמִּים כִּשְׁאוֹן מַיִם רַבִּים יִשָּׁאוּן וְגָעַר בּוֹ וְנָס מִמֶּרְחָק וְרֻדַּף כְּמֹץ הָרִים לִפְנֵי־רוּחַ וּכְגַלְגַּל לִפְנֵי   17:13 סוּפָה׃

Isai. 17:13   Nations, like the rushing of much water

                              shall be desolate, and He will rebuke it,

                      and it will flee from far places

                              and be put to flight,

                       like chaff of the mountains before a wind

                              and like dust before a storm.

The change from plural (nations and water) in v. 17:12 to singular (rebuke it and it will flee) in this verse is a bit strange, but not unlike a style of Isaiah (as well as other biblical prophets).  I guess that Isaiah shifts from a broad look --  nations -- to a narrow look at a particular nation.  It’s sometimes difficult to understand his motive for this, other than as a ploy of  poetry.  But in this case, I believe he is returning to the subject that starts this chapter, Damascus.

לְעֵת עֶרֶב וְהִנֵּה בַלָּהָה בְּטֶרֶם בֹּקֶר אֵינֶנּוּ זֶה חֵלֶק שׁוֹסֵינוּ וְגוֹרָל לְבֹזְזֵינוּ׃   17:14

Isai. 17:14   It is the time of evening,

                             so let it behold terror.

                     Before morning it shall not be.

                             This is the portion of our spoilers

                      and the lot for our robbers.


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