This psalm inspires man to study Torah and avoid sin. One who follows this path is assured of success in all his deeds, whereas the plight of the wicked is the reverse.
1. Fortunate is the man that has not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor stood in the path of sinners, nor sat in the company of scoffers.
2. Rather, his desire is in the Torah of the Lord, and in His Torah he meditates day and night.
3. He shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither; and all that he does shall prosper.
4. Not so the wicked; rather, they are like the chaff that the wind drives away.
5. Therefore the wicked will not endure in judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6. For the Lord minds the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
This psalm warns against trying to outwit the ways of God. It also instructs one who has reason to rejoice, to tremble—lest his sins cause his joy to be overturned.
1. Why do nations gather, and peoples speak futility?
2. The kings of the earth rise up, and rulers conspire together, against the Lord and against His anointed:
3. “Let us sever their cords, and cast their ropes from upon us!”
4. He Who sits in heaven laughs, my Master mocks them.
5. Then He speaks to them in His anger, and terrifies them in His wrath:
6. “It is I Who have anointed My king, upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
7. I am obliged to declare: The Lord said to me, “You are my son, I have this day begotten you.
8. Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, and the ends of the earth your possession.
9. Smash them with a rod of iron, shatter them like a potter’s vessel.”
10. Now be wise, you kings; be disciplined, you rulers of the earth.
11. Serve the Lord with awe, and rejoice with trembling.
12. Yearn for purity—lest He become angry and your path be doomed, if his anger flares for even a moment. Fortunate are all who put their trust in Him
When punishment befalls man, let him not be upset by his chastisement, for perhaps--considering his sins—he is deserving of worse, and God is in fact dealing kindly with him.
1. A psalm by David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
2. Lord, how numerous are my oppressors; many rise up against me!
3. Many say of my soul, “There is no salvation for him from God—ever!”
4. But You, Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, the One Who raises my head.
5. With my voice I call to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain, Selah.
6. I lie down and sleep; I awake, for the Lord sustains me.
7. I do not fear the myriads of people that have aligned themselves all around me.
8. Arise, O Lord, deliver me, my God. For You struck all my enemies on the cheek, You smashed the teeth of the wicked.
9. Deliverance is the Lord’s; may Your blessing be upon Your people forever
This psalm exhorts man not to shame his fellow, and to neither speak nor listen to gossip and slander. Envy not the prosperity of the wicked in this world, rather rejoice and say: “If it is so for those who anger Him . . . [how much better it will be for those who serve Him!”]
1. For the Conductor, with instrumental music, a psalm by David.
2. Answer me when I call, O God [Who knows] my righteousness. You have relieved me in my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
3. Sons of men, how long will you turn my honor to shame, will you love vanity, and endlessly seek falsehood?
4. Know that the Lord has set apart His devout one; the Lord will hear when I call to Him.
5. Tremble and do not sin; reflect in your hearts upon your beds, and be silent forever.
6. Offer sacrifices in righteousness, and trust in the Lord.
7. Many say: “Who will show us good?” Raise the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord.
8. You put joy in my heart, greater than [their joy] when their grain and wine abound.
9. In peace and harmony I will lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, will make me dwell alone, in security.
A prayer for every individual, requesting that the wicked perish for their deeds, and the righteous rejoice for their good deeds.
1. For the Conductor, on the nechilot, a psalm by David.
2. Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my thoughts.
3. Listen to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I pray.
4. Lord, hear my voice in the morning; in the morning I set [my prayers] before you and hope.
5. For You are not a God Who desires wickedness; evil does not abide with You.
6. The boastful cannot stand before Your eyes; You hate all evildoers.
7. You destroy the speakers of falsehood; the Lord despises the man of blood and deceit.
8. And I, through Your abundant kindness, come into Your house; I bow toward Your holy Sanctuary, in awe of You.
9. Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness, because of my watchful enemies; straighten Your path before me.
10. For there is no sincerity in their mouths, their heart is treacherous; their throat is an open grave, [though] their tongue flatters.
11. Find them guilty, O God, let them fall by their schemes; banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against You.
12. But all who trust in You will rejoice, they will sing joyously forever; You will shelter them, and those who love Your Name will exult in You.
13. For You, Lord, will bless the righteous one; You will envelop him with favor as with a shield.
This is an awe-inspiring prayer for one who is ill, to pray that God heal him, body and soul. An ailing person who offers this prayer devoutly and with a broken heart is assured that God will accept his prayer.
1. For the Conductor, with instrumental music for the eight-stringed harp, a psalm by David.
2. Lord, do not punish me in Your anger, nor chastise me in Your wrath.
3. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I languish away; heal me, O Lord, for my bones tremble in fear.
4. My soul is panic-stricken; and You, O Lord, how long [before You help]?
5. Relent, O Lord, deliver my soul; save me for the sake of Your kindness.
6. For there is no remembrance of You in death; who will praise You in the grave?
7. I am weary from sighing; each night I drench my bed, I melt my couch with my tears.
8. My eye has grown dim from vexation, worn out by all my oppressors.
9. Depart from me, all you evildoers, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
10. The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord accepts my prayer.
11. All my enemies will be shamed and utterly terrified; they will then repent and be shamed for a moment.
Do not rejoice if God causes your enemy to suffer—just as the suffering of the righteous is not pleasant. David, therefore, defends himself intensely before God, maintaining that he did not actively harm Saul. In fact, Saul precipitated his own harm, while David’s intentions were only for the good.
1. A shigayon by David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Kush the Benjaminite.
2. I put my trust in You, Lord, my God; deliver me from all my pursuers and save me.
3. Lest he tear my soul like a lion, crushing me with none to rescue.
4. Lord, my God, if I have done this, if there is wrongdoing in my hands;
5. if I have rewarded my friends with evil or oppressed those who hate me without reason—
6. then let the enemy pursue and overtake my soul, let him trample my life to the ground, and lay my glory in the dust forever.
7. Arise, O Lord, in Your anger, lift Yourself up in fury against my foes. Stir me [to mete out] the retribution which You commanded.
8. When the assembly of nations surrounds You, remove Yourself from it and return to the heavens.
9. The Lord will mete out retribution upon the nations; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity.
10. Let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous—O righteous God, Searcher of hearts and minds.
11. [I rely] on God to be my shield, He Who saves the upright of heart.
12. God is the righteous judge, and the Almighty is angered every day.
13. Because he does not repent, He sharpens His sword, bends His bow and makes it ready.
14. He has prepared instruments of death for him; His arrows will be used on the pursuers.
15. Indeed, he conceives iniquity, is pregnant with evil schemes, and gives birth to falsehood.
16. He digs a pit, digs it deep, only to fall into the trap he laid.
17. His mischief will return upon his own head, his violence will come down upon his own skull.
18. I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and sing to the Name of the Lord Most High
This psalm is a glorious praise to God for His kindness to the lowly and mortal human in giving the Torah to the inhabitants of the lower worlds, arousing the envy of the celestial angels. This idea is expressed in the Yom Kippur prayer, “Though Your mighty strength is in the angels above, You desire praise from those formed of lowly matter.”
1. For the Conductor, on the gittit, a psalm by David.
2. Lord, our Master, how mighty is Your Name throughout the earth, You Who has set Your majesty upon the heavens!
3. Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings You have established might, to counter Your enemies, to silence foe and avenger.
4. When I behold Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in place—
5. what is man that You should remember him, son of man that You should be mindful of him?
6. Yet, You have made him but a little less than the angels, and crowned him with honor and glory.
7. You made him ruler over Your handiwork, You placed everything under his feet.
8. Sheep and cattle—all of them, also the beasts of the field;
9. the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea; all that traverses the paths of the seas.
10. Lord, our Master, how mighty is Your Name throughout the earth.
One should praise God for saving him from the hand of the enemy who stands over and agonizes him, and for His judging each person according to his deeds: the righteous according to their righteousness, and the wicked according to their wickedness.
1. For the Conductor, upon the death of Labben, a psalm by David.
2. I will thank the Lord with all my heart; I will recount all Your wonders.
3. I will rejoice and exult in You; I will sing to Your Name, O Most High.
4. When my enemies retreat, they will stumble and perish from before You.
5. You have rendered my judgement and [defended] my cause; You sat on the throne, O righteous Judge.
6. You destroyed nations, doomed the wicked, erased their name for all eternity.
7. O enemy, your ruins are gone forever, and the cities you have uprooted—their very remembrance is lost.
8. But the Lord is enthroned forever, He established His throne for judgement.
9. And He will judge the world with justice, He will render judgement to the nations with righteousness.
10. The Lord will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
11. Those who know Your Name put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not abandoned those who seek You.
12. Sing to the Lord Who dwells in Zion, recount His deeds among the nations.
13. For the Avenger of bloodshed is mindful of them; He does not forget the cry of the downtrodden.
14. Be gracious to me, O Lord; behold my affliction at the hands of my enemies, You Who raises me from the gates of death,
15. so that I may relate all Your praises in the gates of the daughter of Zion, that I may exult in Your deliverance.
16. The nations sank into the pit that they made; in the net they concealed their foot was caught.
17. The Lord became known through the judgement He executed; the wicked one is snared in the work of his own hands; reflect on this always.
18. The wicked will return to the grave, all the nations that forget God.
19. For not for eternity will the needy be forgotten, nor will the hope of the poor perish forever.
20. Arise, O Lord, let not man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your presence.
21. Set Your mastery over them, O Lord; let the nations know that they are but frail men, Selah.
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