כִּֽי־יָדִ֤ין יְהֹוָה֙ עַמּ֔וֹ וְעַל־עֲבָדָ֖יו יִתְנֶחָ֑ם כִּ֤י יִרְאֶה֙ כִּי־אָ֣זְלַת יָ֔ד וְאֶ֖פֶס עָצ֥וּר וְעָזֽוּב
When the L-rd will judge His people, and will reconsider His servants, when He sees that the power is increasing, and none is controlled or strengthened.
This is a common translation. Alternative meanings are explored in this Section.
This verse is from the Song of Haazinu (האזינו), found close to the end of the Torah.
The verse speaks of the End of Days,
When the status of the Jewish People will be at its lowest point (Abarbanel),
After having been terribly oppressed (Rosh on Torah),
With no one to help and evoke mercy over them (Rashi, Sifri) --
At-which-point the Redemption will come (Abarbanel).
The Four Signs
Talmud Sanhedrin 97a
With reference to the above verse, our Sages teach that Moshiach will not come until the following four signs occur:
1. Informers will increase
Jews handing over fellow Jews to foreign authorities, either their lives or their possessions. Such informers are called "Moserot" in Hebrew (מוסרות).
Informing is one of the worst sins: An informer looses his portion in the Next World (Talmud Rosh Hashanah 17a, Rambam Laws of damages 8:9).
Before Moshiach comes, such informers will succeed in their endeavors and their influence will intensify (Rashi).
2. Scholars will decrease
Torah scholars / students (Talmidim / תלמידים) strengthen Israel, but they will become fewer (Rashi).
3. Wallets will become empty of coins
People will be empty-handed, with no funds available at their disposal (Rashi).
4. People will give up on the Redemption
The People will be very lowly and claim that G-d is neither helping nor supporting Israel (Rashi).
Maharal of Prague
Commentary (Netzach Yisrael 36:3)
There's nothing worse than these four signs.
They are four integrated levels of attack that can be understood with
A Parable to a Tree
1) Strong winds are smashing its branches.
Those are the informers who set to destroy the Jewish Nation.
2) Roots are decaying.
Those are the scholars who are meant to keep the nation alive but they just keep reducing in number.
3) Soil is being de-fertilized.
That's the depletion of funds which are meant to sustain the scholars (roots).
4) Age is really showing. Just very very old.
That's the length of Exile which is dragging on for too long, causing people to give up on the promised Redemption.
Looks extremely gloomy, doesn't it?
There'll be nothing left of the tree!?
How these four signs have been fulfilled in recent history
What will happen to our dear tree?
Positive insights into these four signs