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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 40

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 40

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 40

1. For the conductor, of David a song.   א. לַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר:
2. I have greatly hoped for the Lord, and He extended [His ear] to me and heard my cry.   ב. קַוֹּה קִוִּיתִי יְהֹוָה וַיֵּט אֵלַי וַיִּשְׁמַע שַׁוְעָתִי:
I have greatly hoped for the Lord: in Egypt, and this psalm is meant for all Israel.  
and He extended to me: His ear.  
3. And He drew me up out of the roaring pit, from the thick mire, and He set my feet upon a rock, He established my steps.   ג. וַיַּעֲלֵנִי | מִבּוֹר שָׁאוֹן מִטִּיט הַיָּוֵן וַיָּקֶם עַל סֶלַע רַגְלָי כּוֹנֵן אֲשֻׁרָי:
out of the roaring pit: From the imprisonment of Egypt and from the roaring of their tumult.  
from the thick mire: From the sea. היון is an expression of mud, fanyas in Old French (fange in modern French), slime.  
He established: Heb. כונן, He prepared my steps.  
4. He put a new song into my mouth, a praise to our God, so that many may see and fear, and trust in the Lord.   ד. וַיִּתֵּן בְּפִי | שִׁיר חָדָשׁ תְּהִלָּה לֵאלֹהֵינוּ יִרְאוּ רַבִּים וְיִירָאוּ וְיִבְטְחוּ בַּיהֹוָה:
a new song: The song of the sea.  
5. Praiseworthy is the man who made the Lord his trust, and did not turn to the haughty and those who turn to falsehood.   ה. אַשְׁרֵי הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר שָׂם יְהֹוָה מִבְטַחוֹ וְלֹא פָנָה אֶל רְהָבִים וְשָׂטֵי כָזָב:
the haughty: Heb. רהבים, an expression of haughtiness, as (in Isa. 3:5): “they shall behave haughtily (ירהבו) , the youth” ; (Song 6:5) “for they have made me haughty (הרהבותי).”  
and those who turn to falsehood: Those who turn from the straight way to follow the falsehood of pagan deities; e tornons in Old French, and those who turn away; in modern French, et se tournant.  
6. You have done great things, You, O Lord my God. Your wonders and Your thoughts are for us. There is none to equal You; were I to tell and speak, they would be too many to tell.   ו. רַבּוֹת עָשִׂיתָ | אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהַי נִפְלְאֹתֶיךָ וּמַחְשְׁבֹתֶיךָ אֵלֵינוּ אֵין | עֲרֹךְ אֵלֶיךָ אַגִּידָה וַאֲדַבֵּרָה עָצְמוּ מִסַּפֵּר:
Your wonders and Your thoughts are for us: You created Your world for us; You split the sea for us, and You thought for us to benefit us in our end [by keeping us] in the desert for forty years because of the Amorites, who cut down the trees and made their land desolate when they heard that Israel was coming out to go to inherit their land.  
There is none to equal You: We cannot compare any king or savior to You. The expression ערך is like (Lev. 27:12): “valuation (כערכך) ,” a prizjjr in Old French, to estimate, [a priser, in modern French].  
were I to tell and speak: Were I to come and tell and speak, they would be too many to tell.  
7. You desired neither sacrifice nor meal offering; You dug ears for me; a burnt offering or a sin offering You did not request.   ז. זֶבַח וּמִנְחָה | לֹא חָפַצְתָּ אָזְנַיִם כָּרִיתָ לִּי עוֹלָה וַחֲטָאָה לֹא שָׁאָלְתָּ:
You desired neither sacrifice nor meal offering: on the day of the giving of the Torah, as the matter that is stated (in Exod. 19: 5): “And now, if you will earnestly hearken to My voice, etc.,” and likewise (in Jer. 7:22) Scripture states: “For neither did I speak with your forefathers nor did I command them, etc., concerning a burnt offering or a sacrifice.” I said, (Lev. 1:2) “If… from among you,” but I did not require it as an obligation to burden you. The daily sacrifices and the additional sacrifices are only to bring Me pleasure, that I ordained and My will was performed, but it is a small matter.  
You dug ears for me: saying, “Hearken to My voice.”  
You dug: You made them hollow [enabling me] to hear.  
8. Then I said, "Behold I have come," with a scroll of a book written for me.   ח. אָז אָמַרְתִּי הִנֵּה בָאתִי בִּמְגִלַּת סֵפֶר כָּתוּב עָלָי:
Then: at the time of the giving of the Torah, behold I came to You to be bound in Your covenant. (Exod. 24:7): “We will do and hear,” and this matter is written as testimony concerning me in the scroll of the book, i.e., in the Law of Moses.  
9. O God, I desired to do Your will and [to have] Your law within my innards.   ט. לַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹנְךָ אֱלֹהַי חָפָצְתִּי וְתוֹרָתְךָ בְּתוֹךְ מֵעָי:
and [to have] Your law within my innards: Even my food is according to Your law; I ate neither unclean beasts nor untithed produce.  
10. I brought tidings of righteousness in a great assembly. Behold, I will not withhold my lips, O Lord, You know.   י. בִּשַּׂרְתִּי צֶדֶק | בְּקָהָל רָב הִנֵּה שְׂפָתַי לֹא אֶכְלָא יְהֹוָה אַתָּה יָדָעְתָּ:
I brought tidings of righteousness: The song by the sea, the song by the well (Num. 21:17-20), and the song of Deborah (Jud. 5).  
I will not withhold: Heb. אכלא, I will not withhold, an expression of (Gen. 8: 2): “And the rain was restrained (ויכלא).”  
11. I did not conceal Your charity within my heart; I stated Your faith and Your salvation-I did not withhold Your kindness and truth-to a great assembly.   יא. צִדְקָתְךָ לֹא כִסִּיתִי | בְּתוֹךְ לִבִּי אֱמוּנָתְךָ וּתְשׁוּעָתְךָ אָמָרְתִּי לֹא כִחַדְתִּי חַסְדְּךָ וַאֲמִתְּךָ לְקָהָל רָב:
12. You, O Lord, do not withhold Your mercies from me; may Your kindness and Your truth always watch me.   יב. אַתָּה יְהֹוָה לֹא תִכְלָא רַחֲמֶיךָ מִמֶּנִּי חַסְדְּךָ וַאֲמִתְּךָ תָּמִיד יִצְּרוּנִי:
do not withhold Your mercies: Heb. לא תכלא, do not withhold.  
watch me: Heb. יצרוני, watch me.  
13. For countless evils have encompassed me; my iniquities have overtaken me and I could not see [them because] they are more numerous than the hairs of my head, and my heart has forsaken me.   יג. כִּי אָפְפוּ עָלַי רָעוֹת עַד אֵין מִסְפָּר הִשִּׂיגוּנִי עֲו‍ֹנֹתַי וְלֹא יָכֹלְתִּי לִרְאוֹת עָצְמוּ מִשַּׂעֲרוֹת רֹאשִׁי וְלִבִּי עֲזָבָנִי:
have encompassed: Heb. אפפו, have surrounded.  
14. O Lord, be willing to save me; O Lord, hasten to my help.   יד. רְצֵה יְהֹוָה לְהַצִּילֵנִי יְהֹוָה לְעֶזְרָתִי חוּשָׁה:
15. May those who seek my soul to destroy it be shamed and embarrassed together; may those who seek to harm me retreat and be humiliated.   טו. יֵבֹשׁוּ וְיַחְפְּרוּ | יַחַד מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשִׁי לִסְפּוֹתָהּ יִסֹּגוּ אָחוֹר וְיִכָּלְמוּ חֲפֵצֵי רָעָתִי:
to destroy it: Heb. לספותה, to destroy it, as we translate (in Deut. 2:14): "until the entire generation… had vanished, דרא עד דסף כל-.  
16. May they be bewildered afterwards because of their shame, those who say about me, "Aha! Aha!"   טז. יָשֹׁמּוּ עַל עֵקֶב בָּשְׁתָּם הָאֹמְרִים לִי הֶאָח | הֶאָח:
may they be bewildered: [as translated,] may they be bewildered.  
afterwards because of their shame: Heb. על-עקב. When they receive their shame in the wake of everything [they have done], in the measure that they measured out and in the way they walked against Me. עקב is like (below 77:20): “and your steps (ועקבותיך) were not known” ; (Song 1:8), “go your way in the footsteps of (בעקבי) the flocks.” They are all an expression of footsteps, in French traces, footprints on the heel.  
those who say about me, “Aha! Aha!”: Those who say about me and for me, “Aha!” When trouble comes, they pray for our misfortune.  
17. All who seek You shall exult and rejoice; those who love Your salvation shall constantly say, "May the Lord be magnified."   יז. יָשִׂישׂוּ וְיִשְׂמְחוּ | בְּךָ כָּל מְבַקְשֶׁיךָ יֹאמְרוּ תָמִיד יִגְדַּל יְהֹוָה אֹהֲבֵי תְּשׁוּעָתֶךָ:
18. But I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my rescuer, my God; do not delay.   יח. וַאֲנִי | עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן אֲדֹנָי יַחֲשָׁב לִי עֶזְרָתִי וּמְפַלְטִי אַתָּה אֱלֹהַי אַל תְּאַחַר:
poor: Every expression of poor and needy in Psalms refers only to Israel.  
may… think of me: Heb יחשב. May He pay heed to me to think of my poverty and neediness, to save me. Pensa in French, to think.  
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