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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 29

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 29

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 29

1. A song of David. Prepare for the Lord, [you] sons of the mighty; prepare for the Lord glory and might.   א. מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד הָבוּ לַיהֹוָה בְּנֵי אֵלִים הָבוּ לַיהֹוָה כָּבוֹד וָעֹז:
Prepare for the Lord: Heb. הבו. Prepare for the Lord and prepare for Him, you sons of the mighty of the land. From here we derive the ruling that [for the first blessing of the Amidah prayer] we should say the blessing אבות, the Patriarchs (Meg. 17b, R.H. 32b, Mid. Ps. 29: 2). But Menachem (p. 68) associated הבו as an expression of giving.  
mighty: Heb. אלים, princes.  
prepare for the Lord glory and might: From here we derive that [for the second blessing of the Amidah prayer] we should say the blessing of גבורות, mighty deeds.  
2. Prepare for the Lord the glory due His name; prostrate yourselves to the Lord in the place beautified with sanctity.   ב. הָבוּ לַיהֹוָה כְּבוֹד שְׁמוֹ הִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לַיהֹוָה בְּהַדְרַת קֹדֶשׁ:
the glory due His name: This is the blessing of the sanctity of the Name [the third blessing of the Amidah]. In this psalm, there are eighteen mentions of God’s name, and corresponding to them, they instituted eighteen blessings.  
3. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over the vast waters.   ג. קוֹל יְהֹוָה עַל הַמָּיִם אֵל הַכָּבוֹד הִרְעִים יְהֹוָה עַל מַיִם רַבִּים:
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: Upon the Sea of Reeds, “The Lord thundered from heaven” (above 18:14).  
thunders: Heb. הרעים, tormanta in Old French.  
4. The voice of the Lord is in strength; the voice of the Lord is in beauty.   ד. קוֹל יְהֹוָה בַּכֹּחַ קוֹל יְהֹוָה בֶּהָדָר:
The voice of the Lord is in strength: At the time of the giving of the Torah, He moderated His voice according to the strength of Israel, as it is said (Exod. 19:19): “and God would answer him with a voice,” with Moses’ voice.  
5. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, yea, the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.   ה. קוֹל יְהֹוָה שֹׁבֵר אֲרָזִים וַיְשַׁבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶת אַרְזֵי הַלְּבָנוֹן:
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars: The kings of the nations, as the matter that is written (in I Sam. 7:10): “and the Lord thundered with a loud noise etc. upon the Philistines” ; (in Isa. 30:31): “For from the Lord’s voice Assyria shall be broken.” And at the time of the giving of the Torah (Deut. 5:23): “For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speak out of the fire as we have and remained alive?” You heard and remained alive, but the nations of the world would hear it and die.  
6. He causes them to dance like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.   ו. וַיַּרְקִידֵם כְּמוֹ עֵגֶל לְבָנוֹן וְשִׂרְיוֹן כְּמוֹ בֶן רְאֵמִים:
He causes them to dance like a calf: The cedars and the mountains that came to hear the giving of the Torah.  
Lebanon and Sirion: The names of mountains.  
7. The voice of the Lord cleaves with flames of fire.   ז. קוֹל יְהֹוָה חֹצֵב לַהֲבוֹת אֵשׁ:
cleaves with flames of fire: taylont in Old French, to cut. Our Sages (Mechilta ibid.) explained that the utterance of the Decalogue emanated from His mouth with a flame of fire and was engraved on the tablets according to their form.  
8. The voice of the Lord causes the desert to quake; the Lord causes the desert of Kadesh to quake.   ח. קוֹל יְהֹוָה יָחִיל מִדְבָּר יָחִיל יְהֹוָה מִדְבַּר קָדֵשׁ:
causes the desert to quake: Heb. יחיל, an expression of (Jer. 6:24), “pain (חיל) as a woman in travail.”  
the Lord causes the desert of Kadesh to quake: That is the desert of Sinai, as our Sages said in Tractate Shabbath (89a): It was called by five names: the desert of Sinai, the desert of Zin, the desert of Kadesh, the desert of Kedemoth, the desert of Paran. [It was called] the desert of Kadesh because Israel was sanctified on its account.  
9. The voice of the Lord will frighten the hinds and strip the forests, and in His Temple everyone speaks of His glory.   ט. קוֹל יְהֹוָה | יְחוֹלֵל אַיָּלוֹת וַיֶּחֱשׂף יְעָרוֹת וּבְהֵיכָלוֹ כֻּלּוֹ אֹמֵר כָּבוֹד:
The voice of the Lord will frighten the hinds: In the future, it will frighten the nations of the world and cause [them] to quake, those who are now standing firmly like hinds, as the matter that is stated (above 18:34): “He makes my feet like hinds.” Said Rabbi Phinehas: It does not say, “like harts,” but “like hinds,” like the females, because the feet of the females stand straighter than those of the males (Mid. Ps. 22:1). Another explanation: יחולל is kria in Old French, to create, as (in Prov. 8: 25), “before the hills, I was created (חוללתי).”  
and strip the forests: Like (Gen. 30:37), “by uncovering (מחשף) the white.” He will strip the forest trees, i.e., he will strip the nations, compared to forest trees, of their glory, as is stated (in Amos 2:9): “whose height is as the height of the cedar trees.”  
and in His Temple: which will be built.  
everyone speaks of His glory: Everyone will praise Him there and say…  
10. The Lord sat [enthroned] at the flood; the Lord sat as King forever.   י. יְהֹוָה לַמַּבּוּל יָשָׁב וַיֵּשֶׁב יְהֹוָה מֶלֶךְ לְעוֹלָם:
The Lord sat [enthroned] at the flood: alone in His greatness, and now also, the Lord sits alone forever, “but the idols will completely pass away,” (as in Isa. 2:18), yet to His people He will give strength and a blessing of peace. Our Sages, however, expounded upon it in Midrash Psalms (29:2) that the nations became frightened and startled, and they came to Balaam and said to him, “What is the sound of the stirring that we heard? Is He going to bring a flood upon the world?” He replied to them, “He already swore that He would not bring a flood. Rather, the sound of the stirring that you heard is that the Holy One, blessed be He, is giving a Torah to His people.”  
11. The Lord shall grant strength to His people; the Lord shall bless His people with peace.   יא. יְהֹוָה עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן יְהֹוָה | יְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם:
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