David composed this psalm for Solomon, praying that he be granted the wisdom to provide justice for the poor.
1. For Solomon. O God, impart Your justice to the king, and Your righteousness to the son of the king.
2. May he judge Your people with righteousness, Your poor with justice.
3. May the mountains bear peace to the nation, also the hills, in [reward for their] righteousness.
4. May he judge the nation's poor, save the children of the destitute, and crush the oppressor,
5. so that they will fear You as long as the sun [shines] and the moon endures, generation after generation.
6. May [his words] descend like rain upon cut grass, like raindrops that water the earth.
7. In his days may the righteous flourish, with much peace until the moon is no more.
8. And may he rule from sea to sea, and from the river until the ends of the earth.
9. May nobles kneel before him, and may his enemies lick the dust.
10. The kings of Tarshish and the islands will return tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts.
11. All kings will bow to him, all nations will serve him;
12. for he rescues the needy one who cries out, the poor one who has no one to help him.
13. He pities the impoverished and needy, and saves the souls of the destitute.
14. He redeems their soul from deception and violence, and their blood is precious in his eyes.
15. He revives [the poor], and gives him of the gold of Sheba; and so [the poor] pray for him always, and bless him all day.
16. May there be abundant grain in the land, upon the mountaintops; may its fruit rustle like the [cedars of] Lebanon, and may [people] blossom from the city like the grass of the earth.
17. May his name endure forever; may his name be magnified as long as the sun [shines]. And all nations will bless themselves by him, they will praise him.
18. Blessed is the Lord God, the God of Israel, Who alone performs wonders.
19. Blessed is His glorious Name forever, and may the whole earth be filled with His glory, Amen and Amen.
20. The prayers of David, son of Jesse, are concluded
This psalm addresses the question of why the righteous suffer while the wicked prosper, and prays for an end to our long exile. Read, and you will find repose for your soul.
1. A psalm by Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, to the pure of heart.
2. But as for me, my feet nearly strayed; in an instant my steps would have been swept aside.
3. For I envied the revelers when I saw the tranquility of the wicked.
4. For there are no bonds to their death, and their health is sound.
5. They have no part in the toil of men, nor are they afflicted like other mortals;
6. therefore they wear pride as a necklace; their bodies are enwrapped in violence.
7. Their eyes bulge from fat; they surpassed the fantasies of their heart.
8. They consume [others], and talk wickedly of oppression-from on high do they speak.
9. They set their mouths against Heaven, while their tongues walk upon the earth.
10. Therefore His people return here, and suck the full [cup of bitter] waters.
11. And they say, "How can it be that God knows? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12. Behold these are the wicked, and they are ever tranquil, they have gained much wealth.
13. Surely in vain have I purified my heart, and washed my hands in cleanliness;
14. for I was afflicted all day, and my rebuke came each morning.
15. Were I to say, "I shall tell it like it is," behold I would turn the generation of Your children to rebels.
16. And when I pondered to understand this, it was unjust in my eyes;
17. until I came to the sanctuaries of God, and perceived their end.
18. Only on slippery places do You set them, You cast them into darkness.
19. How they have become desolate in an instant! They came to an end, they were consumed by terrors,
20. like a dream upon awakening. O my Lord, disgrace their image in the city.
21. When my heart was in ferment, and my mind was sharpened,
22. I was a boor and did not understand, like an animal was I with You.
23. Yet I was always with You; You held my right hand.
24. Guide me with Your counsel, and afterward, receive me with honor.
25. Whom do I have in heaven [besides You]? And when I am with You I desire nothing on earth.
26. My flesh and my heart yearn; God is the rock of my heart and my portion forever.
27. For behold, all those who are far from You perish, You cut down all who stray from You.
28. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have put my trust in my Lord, God, that I may recount all Your works.
The psalmist mourns and weeps over all the synagogues and study halls that have been burned: the Philistines destroyed the Tabernacle of Shiloh; Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the first Temple. We have been in exile for so long, without seeing any signs of redemption! When will the redemption come? Read, and you will find lamentation and consolation.
1. A maskil by Asaph. Why, O God, have You abandoned us forever, does Your wrath fume against the sheep of Your pasture?
2. Remember Your congregation which You acquired long ago, the tribe of Your inheritance whom You redeemed [and brought to] Mount Zion, where You rested Your Presence.
3. Lift Your steps to inflict eternal ruin, because of all the evil done by the enemy in the Sanctuary.
4. Your foes roared in the midst of Your meeting place; they considered their omens to be [genuine] signs.
5. The axes in the thicket of trees were reckoned as bringing [an offering] to the Above.
6. And now, all her ornaments together are smashed by hammer and hatchet.
7. They set Your Sanctuary on fire; they desecrated the Abode of Your Name to the ground.
8. Their rulers thought together in their hearts; they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
9. We have not seen our signs; there is no longer a prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long.
10. How long, O God, will the adversary disgrace, will the enemy blaspheme Your Name forever!
11. Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? Cast it out from within Your bosom!
12. For God is my King from long ago, working salvations in the midst of the earth.
13. In Your might, You divided the sea; You shattered the heads of the sea-monsters on the waters.
14. You crushed the heads of the Leviathan, leaving him as food for the nation [wandering in] the wilderness.
15. You split [the rock, bringing forth] fountain and brook; You dried up mighty streams.
16. Yours is the day, the night is also Yours; You established the moon and the sun.
17. You set all the boundaries of the earth; summer and winter-You created them.
18. Remember this, how the enemy reviled the Lord, and the vile nation blasphemed Your Name.
19. Do not give the soul of Your turtledove to the wild beast; do not forget the life of Your poor forever.
20. Look to the covenant, for the dark places of the earth are filled with dens of violence.
21. Do not turn back the oppressed in disgrace; [then] the poor and needy will praise Your Name.
22. Arise, O God, champion Your cause; remember Your insults from the perverse all day long.
23. Forget not the voice of Your adversaries; the tumult of Your opponents ascends always.
How great is Israel! During their holidays they do not engage in frivolity, but in song and praise, and the study of the holiday's laws. Also, when they proclaimed (at the giving of the Torah), "We will do and we will hear!" they allowed the world to remain in existence. This psalm also admonishes those who indulge in worldly pleasures and attribute their prosperity to their own efforts.
1. For the Conductor, a plea not to be destroyed. A psalm by Asaph, a song.
2. We gave thanks to You, O God, we gave thanks; and Your Name was near [when] they told of Your wonders.
3. When I choose the appointed time, I will judge with fairness.
4. When the earth and all its inhabitants were melting, I established its pillars forever.
5. I said to the perverse, "Do not pervert [Israel]," and to the wicked, "Do not raise your pride.”
6. Do not raise your pride heavenward, nor speak with an arrogant neck
7. For not from the east or the west, nor from the desert does greatness come.
8. For God is Judge; He humbles one, and elevates the other.
9. For there is a cup [of punishment] in the hand of the Lord, with strong wine of full mixture; He pours from this, and all the wicked of the earth will drink, draining even its dregs.
10. But as for me, I will tell of it forever; I will sing to the God of Jacob.
11. I will cut off all glory of the wicked, but the glory of the righteous will be raised up.
This psalm contains the prophecy of when the vast army of Sennacherib was seized with a deep slumber that rendered the hands of the soldiers powerless to raise their weapons; thus did they all fall in battle.
1. For the Conductor, with instrumental music, a psalm by Asaph, a song.
2. God is known in Judah, His Name is great in Israel.
3. His Tabernacle was in Shalem, and His dwelling place in Zion.
4. There He broke the flying arrows of the bow, the shield, the sword and battle-forever.
5. You are illumination, mightier than the mountains of prey.
6. The stout-hearted were without sense, they slept their sleep, and all the warriors were unable to find their strength.
7. At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob, chariot and horse were stunned.
8. You, awesome are You! Who can stand before You once You are enraged.
9. From heaven You let the verdict be heard; the earth feared and was still,
10. when God rose to pass judgement, to save all the humble of the earth forever.
11. The anger of man will cause us to thank You; You will restrain the residue of wrath.
12. Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them; all who surround Him will bring tribute to the Awesome One.
13. He cuts down the spirit of nobles; He is awesome to the kings of the earth.
© 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