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Dedicated in memory of Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz zt’”l- “A once in a millennium scholar”

Isaiah 54:11-55:5

In this third of the seven haftarot of consolation (Aramaic: שבע דנחמתא), God speaks to Jerusalem, promising to rebuild her in splendor, peace, and righteousness; to bring peace to her inhabitants; and, to protect her from all future destruction. God then turns to the Jewish people, promising them spiritual renewal, and the return of the Davidic monarchy. Additionally, other nations will seek out God through the Jewish people.

Haftarah Breakdown

Verses 54:11-12: Jerusalem is afflicted, but God will restore her physical splendor...

Isaiah 54:11

O afflicted, storm-tossed one who is not comforted - Behold! I will set your stones with turquoise , and I will lay your foundations with sapphires.

עֲנִיָּ֥ה סֹעֲרָ֖ה לֹ֣א נֻחָ֑מָה הִנֵּ֨ה אָנֹכִ֜י מַרְבִּ֤יץ בַּפּוּךְ֙ אֲבָנַ֔יִךְ וִיסַדְתִּ֖יךְ בַּסַּפִּירִֽים׃

Verses 54:13-14: ...and promises that her inhabitants will be righteous, have peace, and know God.

Isaiah 54:13

And all your children shall be disciples of the Lord, and your children’s peace shall be great.

וְכָל־בָּנַ֖יִךְ לִמּוּדֵ֣י ה' וְרַ֖ב שְׁל֥וֹם בָּנָֽיִךְ׃

Verses 54:15-17: God will prevent evil from occurring to Jerusalem, due to her righteousness.

Isaiah 54:17

Any weapon forged against you shall not succeed, and any tongue that contends with you in judgment, you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their due reward from Me, says the Lord.

כָּל־כְּלִ֞י יוּצַ֤ר עָלַ֙יִךְ֙ לֹ֣א יִצְלָ֔ח וְכָל־לָשׁ֛וֹן תָּֽקוּם־אִתָּ֥ךְ לַמִּשְׁפָּ֖ט תַּרְשִׁ֑יעִי זֹ֡את נַחֲלַת֩ עַבְדֵ֨י ה' וְצִדְקָתָ֛ם מֵאִתִּ֖י נְאֻם־ה

Verses 55:1-2: Heed God’s word to find spiritual satiety.

Isaiah 55:2

Why weigh out silver for what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to Me and eat what is good, and your soul shall delight in fatness.

לָ֤מָּה תִשְׁקְלוּ־כֶ֙סֶף֙ בְּֽלוֹא־לֶ֔חֶם וִיגִיעֲכֶ֖ם בְּל֣וֹא לְשָׂבְעָ֑ה שִׁמְע֨וּ שָׁמ֤וֹעַ אֵלַי֙ וְאִכְלוּ־ט֔וֹב וְתִתְעַנַּ֥ג בַּדֶּ֖שֶׁן נַפְשְׁכֶֽם׃

Verses 55:3-4: The Davidic monarchy will be restored...

Isaiah 55:3

Incline your ear and come to Me; hearken and your soul shall live. I will make for you an everlasting covenant, the enduring love [promised to] David.

הַטּ֤וּ אָזְנְכֶם֙ וּלְכ֣וּ אֵלַ֔י שִׁמְע֖וּ וּתְחִ֣י נַפְשְׁכֶ֑ם וְאֶכְרְתָ֤ה לָכֶם֙ בְּרִ֣ית עוֹלָ֔ם חַֽסְדֵ֥י דָוִ֖ד הַנֶּאֱמָנִֽים׃

Verse 55:5: … and other nations will come to the people of Israel in order to find God.

Isaiah 55:5

Behold, a nation you do not know you shall call, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, for the sake of the Lord your God and for the Holy One of Israel, for He glorified you.

הֵ֣ן גּ֤וֹי לֹֽא־תֵדַע֙ תִּקְרָ֔א וְג֥וֹי לֹֽא־יְדָע֖וּךָ אֵלֶ֣יךָ יָר֑וּצוּ לְמַ֙עַן֙ ה' אֱלֹקיךָ וְלִקְד֥וֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל כִּ֥י פֵאֲרָֽךְ׃

Important Themes

Exalted Splendor: God promises Jerusalem and the Jewish people unprecedented status. See verses 54:11-15, 55:3-5.

Connection with God: The Jewish people will achieve peace and righteousness, particularly via knowledge of God. Additionally, others will seek God through them. See verses 54:13-14, 55:1-5.

Other Connections

The conclusion of Masechet Brachot, which appears several times in the siddur, is derived from 54:13.

Berakhot 64a

Rabbi Elazar said that Rabbi Ḥanina said: “Torah scholars increase peace in the world, as it is said: ‘And all your children [banayikh] shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children’ (Isaiah 54:13). [Interpret this verse homiletically:] Do not pronounce this as ‘your children [banayikh],’ but as ‘your builders [bonayikh].’ As it is stated: ‘Those who love Your Torah have great peace; there is no stumbling block for them” (Psalms 119:165); ...“May the Lord give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace” (Psalms 29:11).

אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אָמַר רַבִּי חֲנִינָא: תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים מַרְבִּים שָׁלוֹם בָּעוֹלָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וְכׇל בָּנַיִךְ לִמּוּדֵי ה׳ וְרַב שְׁלוֹם בָּנָיִךְ״. אַל תִּקְרֵי ״בָּנָיִךְ״ אֶלָּא ״בּוֹנָיִךְ״. ״שָׁלוֹם רָב לְאֹהֲבֵי תוֹרָתֶךָ וְאֵין לָמוֹ מִכְשׁוֹל״...״ה׳ עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן ה׳ יְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם״.

This Haftarah is also the source of the well-known comparison between water and the Torah.

Bava Kamma 17a

Water refers only to [the study of] Torah, as Scripture states: “Ho, all who are thirsty, go to water.” (Isaiah 55:1)

ואין מים אלא תורה שנאמר (ישעיהו נה, א) הוי כל צמא לכו למים

With emendations, biblical translations are by Rabbi A. J. Rosenberg and other translations are from To dedicate, comment, or subscribe, email