Wednesday, June 19, 2013
This psalm tells of when Joab, David's general, came to Aram Naharayim for war and was asked by the people: "Are you not from the children of Jacob? What of the pact he made with Laban?" Not knowing what to answer, Joab asked the Sanhedrin. The psalm includes David's prayer for success in this war.
1. For the Conductor, on the shushan eidut. A michtam by David, to instruct, 2. when he battled with Aram Naharayim and Aram Tzovah, and Joab returned and smote Edom in the Valley of Salt, twelve thousand [men]. 3. O God, You forsook us, You have breached us! You grew furious-restore us! 4. You made the earth quake, You split it apart-heal its fragments, for it totters! 5. You showed Your nation harshness, You gave us benumbing wine to drink. 6. [Now] give those who fear You a banner to raise themselves, for the sake of truth, Selah. 7. That Your beloved ones may be delivered, help with Your right hand and answer me. 8. God said with His Holy [Spirit] that I would exult; I would divide Shechem, and measure out the Valley of Succot. 9. Mine is Gilead, mine is Menasseh, and Ephraim is the stronghold of my head; Judah is my prince. 10. Moab is my washbasin, and upon Edom I will cast my shoe; for me, Philistia will sound a blast [of coronation]. 11. Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will lead me unto Edom? 12. Is it not You, God, Who has [until now] forsaken us, and did not go forth with our legions? 13. Grant us relief from the oppressor; futile is the salvation of man. 14. With God we will do valiantly, and He will trample our oppressors, Chapter 61
David composed this prayer while fleeing from Saul. The object of all his thoughts and his entreaty is that God grant him long life-not for the sake of pursuing the pleasures of the world, but rather to serve God in awe, all of his days.
1. For the Conductor, on the neginat, by David. 2. Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer. 3. From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is faint [with trouble]: Lead me upon the rock that surpasses me! 4. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength in the face of the enemy. 5. I will dwell in Your tent forever; I will take refuge in the shelter of Your wings, Selah. 6. For You, God, heard my vows; You granted the inheritance of those who fear Your Name. 7. Add days to the days of the king; may his years equal those of every generation. 8. May he sit always before God; appoint kindness and truth to preserve him. 9. Thus will I sing the praise of Your Name forever, as I fulfill my vows each day.
David prays for the downfall of his enemies. He also exhorts his generation that their faith should not rest in riches, telling them that the accumulation of wealth is utter futility.
1. For the Conductor, on the yedutun,1 a psalm by David. 2. To God alone does my soul hope; my salvation is from Him. 3. He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I shall not falter greatly. 4. Until when will you plot disaster for man? May you all be killed-like a leaning wall, a toppled fence. 5. Out of their arrogance alone they scheme to topple me, they favor falsehood; with their mouths they bless, and in their hearts they curse, Selah. 6. To God alone does my soul hope, for my hope is from Him. 7. He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I shall not falter. 8. My salvation and honor is upon God; the rock of my strength-my refuge is in God. 9. Trust in Him at all times, O nation, pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us forever. 10. Men are but vanity; people [but] transients. Were they to be raised upon the scale, they would be lighter than vanity. 11. Put not your trust in exploitation, nor place futile hope in robbery. If [corrupt] wealth flourishes, pay it no heed. 12. God spoke one thing, from which I perceived two: That strength belongs to God; 13. and that Yours, my Lord, is kindness. For You repay each man according to his deeds.
Hiding from Saul, and yearning to approach the place of the Holy Ark like one thirsting for water, David composed this prayer on his behalf and against his enemy.
1. A psalm by David, when he was in the Judean desert. 2. O God, You are my Almighty, I seek You! My soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You; [like one] in a desolate and dry land, without water, 3. so [I thirst] to see You in the Sanctuary, to behold Your might and glory. 4. For Your kindness is better than life; my lips shall praise You. 5. Thus will I bless you all my life, in Your Name I will raise my hands [in prayer]. 6. As with fat and abundance my soul is sated, when my mouth offers praise with expressions of joy. 7. Indeed, I remember You upon my bed; during the watches of the night I meditate upon You. 8. For You were a help for me; I sing in the shadow of Your wings. 9. My soul cleaved to You; Your right hand supported me. 10. But they seek desolation for my soul; they will enter the depths of the earth. 11. They will drag them by the sword; they will be the portion of foxes. 12. And the king will rejoice in God, and all who swear by Him will take pride, when the mouths of liars are blocked up.
The masters of homiletics interpret this psalm as alluding to Daniel, who was thrown into the lion's den. With divine inspiration, David foresaw the event and prayed for him. Daniel was a descendant of David, as can be inferred from God's statement to Hezekiah (himself of Davidic lineage), "And from your children, who will issue forth from you, they will take, and they (referring to, amongst others, Daniel) will be minesters in the palace of the king of Babylon."
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David. 2. Hear my voice, O God, as I recount [my woes]; preserve my life from the terror of the enemy. 3. Shelter me from the schemes of the wicked, from the conspiracy of evildoers, 4. who have sharpened their tongue like the sword, aimed their arrow-a bitter word- 5. to shoot at the innocent from hidden places; suddenly they shoot at him, they are not afraid. 6. They encourage themselves in an evil thing, they speak of laying traps; they say: "Who will see them?” 7. They sought pretexts; [and when] they completed a diligent search, each man [kept the plot] inside, deep in the heart. 8. But God shot at them; [like] a sudden arrow were their blows. 9. Their own tongues caused them to stumble; all who see them shake their heads [derisively]. 10. Then all men feared, and recounted the work of God; they perceived His deed. 11. Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in Him, and let them take pride-all upright of heart.
This psalm contains awe-inspiring and glorious praises to God, as well as entreaties and prayers concerning our sins. It declares it impossible to recount God's greatness, for who can recount His mighty acts? Hence, silence is His praise.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David, a song. 2. Silence is praise for You, O God [Who dwells in] Zion; and to You vows will be paid. 3. O Heeder of prayer, to You does all flesh come. 4. Matters of sin overwhelm me; You will pardon our transgressions. 5. Fortunate is [the nation] whom You choose and draw near, to dwell in Your courtyards; may we be sated with the goodness of Your House, with the holiness of Your Sanctuary. 6. Answer us with awesome deeds as befits Your righteousness, O God of our salvation, the security of all [who inhabit] the ends of the earth and distant seas. 7. With His strength He prepares [rain for] the mountains; He is girded with might. 8. He quiets the roar of the seas, the roar of their waves and the tumult of nations. 9. Those who inhabit the ends [of the earth] fear [You] because of Your signs; the emergences of morning and evening cause [man] to sing praise. 10. You remember the earth and water it, you enrich it abundantly [from] God's stream filled with water. You prepare their grain, for so do You prepare it. 11. You saturate its furrows, gratifying its legions; with showers You soften it and bless its growth. 12. You crown the year of Your goodness [with rain], and Your clouds drip abundance. 13. They drip on pastures of wilderness, and the hills gird themselves with joy. 14. The meadows don sheep, and the valleys cloak themselves with grain; they sound blasts, indeed they sing.