"מְהָרְסַיִךְ וּמַחֲרִיבַיִךְ מִמֵּךְ יֵצֵאוּ"

Introduction

Out of Context

In modern Hebrew, the phrase "מְהָרְסַיִךְ וּמַחֲרִיבַיִךְ מִמֵּךְ יֵצֵאוּ" is frequently used to express the idea that one's worst enemies often come from within.  Those that ultimately destroy a people are not necessarily external foes, but members of the nation who have turned on it, acting as a fifth column.  Is this, though, what the phrase means in its original context as well?

In Context

The verse comes from Yeshayahu 49, and is part of a larger prophecy of consolation which focuses on the ingathering of exiles. The prophecy opens with the nation accusing Hashem of having abandoned them. Hashem responds that He has not forsaken Tziyon, pointing out that a mother can never forget her child. Hashem then promises:

EN/HEע/E
(יז) מִהֲרוּ בָּנָיִךְ מְהָרְסַיִךְ וּמַחֲרִיבַיִךְ מִמֵּךְ יֵצֵאוּ. (יח) שְׂאִי סָבִיב עֵינַיִךְ וּרְאִי כֻּלָּם נִקְבְּצוּ בָאוּ לָךְ חַי אָנִי נְאֻם י"י כִּי כֻלָּם כָּעֲדִי תִלְבָּשִׁי וּתְקַשְּׁרִים כַּכַּלָּה. (יט) כִּי חׇרְבֹתַיִךְ וְשֹׁמְמֹתַיִךְ וְאֶרֶץ הֲרִסֻתֵךְ כִּי עַתָּה תֵּצְרִי מִיּוֹשֵׁב וְרָחֲקוּ מְבַלְּעָיִךְ.
(17) Thy children make haste; Thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth from thee. (18) Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: All these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, Thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all as with an ornament, And gird thyself with them, like a bride. (19) For thy waste and thy desolate places And thy land that hath been destroyed— Surely now shalt thou be too strait for the inhabitants, And they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.

The verses raise several questions:

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