This psalm tells of the wicked one’s prosperity and his boasting of it, until he says: “There is neither law nor judge. God pays no attention to the actions of mere mortals.”
1. Why, O Lord, do You stand afar, do You hide Yourself in times of distress?
2. The wicked man in his arrogance pursues the poor; they are caught by the schemes they have contrived.
3. For the wicked man glories in the desire of his heart, and the robber boasts that he has scorned the Lord.
4. The wicked one in his insolence [thinks], “He does not avenge”; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
5. His ways always succeed; Your retribution is far removed from before him; he puffs at all his foes.
6. He says in his heart, “I shall not falter; for all generations no evil will befall me.”
7. His mouth is full of oaths, deceit and malice; mischief and iniquity are under his tongue.
8. He sits in ambush near open cities; in hidden places he murders the innocent; his eyes stealthily watch for the helpless.
9. He lurks in hiding like a lion in his lair; he lurks to seize the poor, then seizes the poor when he draws his net.
10. He crouches and stoops, then the helpless fall prey to his might.
11. He says in his heart, “God has forgotten, He conceals His countenance, He will never see.”
12. Arise, O Lord! O God, lift Your hand! Do not forget the lowly.
13. Why does the wicked man scorn God? Because he says in his heart, “You do not avenge.”
14. Indeed, You do see! For You behold the mischief and vexation. To recompense is in Your power; the helpless place their trust in You; You have [always] helped the orphan.
15. Break the strength of the wicked; then search for the wickedness of the evil one and You will not find it.
16. The Lord reigns for all eternity; the nations have vanished from His land.
17. Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; direct their hearts, let Your ear listen,
18. to bring justice to the orphan and the downtrodden, so that [the wicked] shall no longer crush the frail of the earth.
This psalm declares that the suffering of the righteous one is for his own benefit, to cleanse him of his sins; whereas the wicked one is granted prosperity in this world-similar to the verse, "Wealth remains with its owner, to his detriment."
1. For the Conductor, by David. I have placed my trust in the Lord; [thus] how can you say of my soul, your mountain, that it flees like a bird?
2. For behold, the wicked bend the bow, they have readied their arrow upon the bowstring, to shoot in darkness at the upright of heart.
3. They destroyed the foundations; what [wrong] has the righteous man done?
4. The Lord is in His holy Sanctuary, the Lord's throne is in heaven, [yet] His eyes behold, His pupils probe [the deeds of] mankind.
5. The Lord tests the righteous, but He hates the wicked and the lover of violence.
6. He will rain down upon the wicked fiery coals and brimstone; a scorching wind will be their allotted portion.
7. For the Lord is righteous, He loves [the man of] righteous deeds; the upright will behold His countenance.
This psalm admonishes informers, slanderers, and flatterers.
1. For the Conductor, upon the eight-stringed instrument, a psalm by David.
2. Help us, Lord, for the pious are no more; for the faithful have vanished from among men.
3. Men speak falsehood to one another; with flattering lips, with a duplicitous heart do they speak.
4. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that speaks boastfully-
5. those who have said, "With our tongues we shall prevail, our lips are with us, who is master over us!”
6. Because of the plundering of the poor, because of the moaning of the needy, the Lord says, "Now I will arise!" "I will grant deliverance," He says to him.
7. The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in the finest earthen crucible, purified seven times.
8. May You, O Lord, watch over them; may You forever guard them from this generation,
9. [in which] the wicked walk on every side; when they are exalted it is a disgrace to mankind.
A prayer for an end to the long exile. One in distress should offer this prayer for his troubles and for the length of the exile.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David.
2. How long, O Lord, will You forget me, forever? How long will You hide Your countenance from me?
3. How long must I seek counsel within my soul, [to escape] the grief in my heart all day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
4. Look! Answer me, O Lord, my God; give light to my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.
5. Lest my enemy say, "I have overcome him," [and] my oppressors rejoice when I falter.
6. I have placed my trust in Your kindness, my heart will rejoice in Your deliverance. I will sing to the Lord, for He has dealt kindly with me.
This psalm speaks of the destruction of the two Holy Temples-the first by Nebuchadnezzar, and the second by Titus.
1. For the Conductor, by David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God!" [Man's] deeds have become corrupt and abominable, no one does good.
2. The Lord looked down from heaven upon mankind, to see if there was any wise man who searches for God.
3. They have all gone astray together, they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
4. Indeed, all the evildoers, who devour My people as they devour bread, who do not call upon the Lord, will [ultimately] come to know [the consequences of their actions].
5. There they will be seized with fright, for God is with the righteous generation.
6. You scorn the counsel of the lowly, that he puts his trust in the Lord.
7. O that out of Zion would come Israel's deliverance! When the Lord returns the captivity of His people, Jacob will exult, Israel will rejoice.
This psalm speaks of several virtues and attributes with which one should conduct oneself. He is then assured that his soul will rest in Gan Eden.
1. A psalm by David. Who may abide in Your tent, O Lord? Who may dwell on Your holy Mountain?
2. He who walks blamelessly, acts justly, and speaks truth in his heart;
3. who has no slander on his tongue, who has done his fellowman no evil, and who has brought no disgrace upon his relative;
4. in whose eyes a despicable person is abhorrent, but who honors those who are God-fearing; who does not change his oath even if it is to his own detriment;
5. who does not lend his money at interest, nor accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never falter.
When one is in need, he should not implore God in his own merit, for he must leave his merits for his children.
1. A michtam, by David. Watch over me, O God, for I have put my trust in You.
2. You, [my soul,] have said to God, "You are my Master; You are not obligated to benefit me.”
3. For the sake of the holy ones who lie in the earth, and for the mighty-all my desires are fulfilled in their merit.
4. Those who hasten after other [gods], their sorrows shall increase; I will not offer their libations of blood, nor take their names upon my lips.
5. The Lord is my allotted portion and my share; You guide my destiny.
6. Portions have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, a beautiful inheritance is mine.
7. I bless the Lord Who has advised me; even in the nights my intellect admonishes me.
8. I have set the Lord before me at all times; because He is at my right hand, I shall not falter.
9. Therefore my heart rejoices and my soul exults; my flesh, too, rests secure.
10. For You will not abandon my soul to the grave, You will not allow Your pious one to see purgatory.
11. Make known to me the path of life, that I may be satiated with the joy of Your presence, with the bliss of Your right hand forever.
A loftily person should not ask God to test him with some sinful matter, or other things. If one has sinned, he should see to reform himself, and to save many others from sin.
1. A prayer by David. Hear my sincere [plea], O Lord; listen to my cry; give ear to my prayer, expressed by guileless lips.
2. Let my verdict come forth from before You; let Your eyes behold uprightness.
3. You have probed my heart, examined it in the night, tested me and found nothing; no evil thought crossed my mind; as are my words so are my thoughts.
4. So that [my] human deeds conform with the words of Your lips, I guard myself from the paths of the lawbreakers.
5. Support my steps in Your paths, so that my feet shall not falter.
6. I have called upon You, for You, O Lord, will answer me; incline Your ear to me, hear what I say.
7. Withhold Your kindness-O You who delivers with Your right hand those who put their trust in You-from those who rise up against [You].
8. Guard me like the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings
9. from the wicked who despoil me, [from] my mortal enemies who surround me.
10. Their fat has closed [their hearts]; their mouths speak arrogantly.
11. They encircle our footsteps; they set their eyes to make us stray from the earth.
12. His appearance is like a lion longing to devour, like a young lion lurking in hiding.
13. Arise, O Lord! Confront him, bring him to his knees; rescue my soul from the wicked [who serves as] Your sword.
14. Let me be among those whose death is by Your hand, O Lord, among those who die of old age, whose portion is eternal life and whose innards are filled with Your concealed goodness; who are sated with sons and leave their abundance to their offspring.
15. Because of my righteousness, I shall behold Your countenance; in the time of resurrection, I will be sated by Your image.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy