Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone
Contact Us
Visit us on Facebook
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 49

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 49

E-mail
Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 49

1. For the conductor, by the sons of Korah, a song.   א. לַמְנַצֵּחַ | לִבְנֵי קֹרַח מִזְמוֹר:
2. Hear this, all you peoples; hearken, all You inhabitants of the earth.   ב. שִׁמְעוּ זֹאת כָּל הָעַמִּים הַאֲזִינוּ כָּל ישְׁבֵי חָלֶד:
Hear this, all you peoples: Because this psalm is based on people who rely on their riches, he says, “all you peoples,” for they all require admonition.  
earth: Heb. חלוד. That [term] is [used to describe] the earth because it is old and rusty (חלודה), rodile in Old French, rust, rouille in modern French. But our Sages explained that it is because of the weasel (חֻלְדָה) , which frequents the dry land but is not found in the sea, for the Rabbis taught (Hul. 127a): Whatever is on the dry land is found in the sea, except the weasel.  
3. Both the sons of "adam," and the sons of "ish," together rich and poor.   ג. גַּם בְּנֵי אָדָם גַּם בְּנֵי אִישׁ יַחַד עָשִׁיר וְאֶבְיוֹן:
Both the sons of “adam”: The sons of Abraham, who was called (Josh. 14:15): “the greatest man (האדם) among the giants” ; the sons of Ishmael and the sons of Keturah.  
and the sons of “ish”: The sons of Noah, who was called (Gen. 6:9): “a righteous man צדיק) (איש.”  
4. My mouth shall speak wisdoms and the thoughts of my heart are understanding.   ד. פִּי יְדַבֵּר חָכְמוֹת וְהָגוּת לִבִּי תְבוּנוֹת:
and the thoughts of my heart are understanding: The thoughts of my heart are understanding.  
5. I will bend my ear to a parable; with a lyre, I will solve my riddle.   ה. אַטֶּה לְמָשָׁל אָזְנִי אֶפְתַּח בְּכִנּוֹר חִידָתִי:
I will bend my ear to a parable: To the words of Torah, which is called (I Sam. 24: 13), “the parable of the Ancient One.”  
I will solve: this my riddle for you with a lyre. And this is the riddle: Why must I fear in days of misfortune, on the day of the visitation for iniquity? Because the iniquity of my heels surrounds me. The iniquities that I tread with my heels, that I treat lightly, that I view as minor sinsthey condemn me in judgment, and surely the wealthy.  
6. Why should I fear in days of misfortune? The iniquity of my heels surrounds me.   ו. לָמָּה אִירָא בִּימֵי רָע עֲו‍ֹן עֲקֵבַי יְסוּבֵּנִי:
7. Those who rely on their possessions and boast of their great wealth,   ז. הַבֹּטְחִים עַל חֵילָם וּבְרֹב עָשְׁרָם יִתְהַלָּלוּ:
Those who rely on their possessions: Of what use is their money? Is it not so that…  
8. -a brother cannot redeem a man, he cannot give his ransom to God.   ח. אָח לֹא פָדֹה יִפְדֶּה אִישׁ לֹא יִתֵּן לֵאלֹהִים כָּפְרוֹ:
A brother: cannot ransom his brother with money because the ransom of their soul is dearer than any possession. Therefore, perforce, his redemption is forever unattainable.  
9. The redemption of their soul will be too dear, and unattainable forever.   ט. וְיֵקַר פִּדְיוֹן נַפְשָׁם וְחָדַל לְעוֹלָם:
will be too dear: that he will live forever and not see the Pit. Menachem (p. 158) associated it as an expression of withholding, as (Isa. 13:12): “I will make mortal man dearer (אוקיר) than fine gold” ; (Lev. 26:21), “I will go with them with wrath of withdrawal (קיר)” i.e., the ransom of their soul will be withheld.  
10. Will he live yet forever and not see the Pit?   י. וִיחִי עוֹד לָנֶצַח לֹא יִרְאֶה הַשָּׁחַת:
11. For he sees that wise men die, together a fool and a boorish man perish, and leave over their possessions to others.   יא. כִּי יִרְאֶה | חֲכָמִים יָמוּתוּ יַחַד כְּסִיל וָבַעַר יֹאבֵדוּ וְעָזְבוּ לַאֲחֵרִים חֵילָם:
For he sees that wise men die: and are not saved from death. So, perforce, he stops wearying himself and toiling for his brother’s ransom.  
their possessions: Heb. חילם, their money. Death is mentioned in reference to the wise men, because in this world they die only in the body, whereas concerning the fool and the boorish man, perishing is mentioned, because both body and soul perish.  
12. In their heart, their houses are forever, their dwellings are for every generation; they call by their names on plots of land.   יב. קִרְבָּם בָּתֵּימוֹ | לְעוֹלָם מִשְׁכְּנֹתָם לְדוֹר וָדֹר קָרְאוּ בִשְׁמוֹתָם עֲלֵי אֲדָמוֹת:
In their heart, their houses are forever: Their thoughts are to build for themselves houses that will exist forever.  
they call by their names: their houses that they build so that they will have a memorial. (Gen. 4:17): “and named the city after his son Enoch.” Antiochus built Antioch; Seleucus built Seleucia.  
13. But man does not repose in his glory; he is compared to the silenced animals.   יג. וְאָדָם בִּיקָר בַּל יָלִין נִמְשַׁל כַּבְּהֵמוֹת נִדְמוּ:
in his glory: Heb. ביקר, an expression of glory and majesty.  
he is compared: Heb. נמשל, an expression of a parable (משל).  
silenced: Heb. נדמו, an expression of silence.  
14. This is their way; folly is theirs, and after them they will tell with their mouth forever.   יד. זֶה דַרְכָּם כֶּסֶל לָמוֹ וְאַחֲרֵיהֶם | בְּפִיהֶם יִרְצוּ סֶלָה:
folly: Heb. כסל, madness.  
and after them they will tell with their mouth forever: And those who come after them will speak of them and tell with their mouth what happened to the earlier ones.  
will tell: Heb. ירצו, an expression of narration, retreyront in Old French, But our Sages (Shab. 32b) explained: This is the way of the wicked: they perish in the end but כֶסֶל is theirs. They have fat on their flanks (כסליהם), which covers their kidneys, and they [their kidneys] do not advise them to repent of their evil. Perhaps you will say that it is forgetfulness, that they have forgotten that ultimately they will die? Scripture therefore states: and their end they tell with their mouth; i.e., the day of their end is constantly in their mouth and they are not afraid of it.  
15. Like sheep, they are destined to the grave; death will devour them, and the upright will rule over them in the morning, and their form will outlast the grave as his dwelling place.   טו. כַּצֹּאן | לִשְׁאוֹל שַׁתּוּ מָוֶת יִרְעֵם וַיִּרְדּוּ בָם יְשָׁרִים | לַבֹּקֶר וְצוּרָם לְבַלּוֹת שְׁאוֹל מִזְּבֻל לוֹ:
Like sheep, they are destined to the grave: Like sheep that are gathered to the shed, so are they into the grave.  
they are destined: Heb. שתו. The “tav” is punctuated with a “dagesh,” in place of the second “tav.” שּׁוֹתתוּ into the midst of the foundations (שתותיה) of the nether world, to the lowest level. Likewise (above 73:9): “They have set their mouth against heaven,” is also an expression of foundations; they set their mouth in heaven; their slander.  
death will devour them: Heb. ירעם. The angel of death will devour them. Do not wonder about this expression of eating because we find elsewhere (Job 18:13): “the prince of death shall devour his branches.” Another explanation: [It is] an expression of breaking, as (Jer. 15:12): “Will iron break (הירע) ?”  
and the upright will rule over them in the morning: On the day of the redemption, when the morning of Israel shines, they will rule over them, as it is stated (Malachi 3:21): “And You shall crush the wicked, etc.”  
and their form will outlast the grave: The form of the wicked will outlast the grave. Gehinnom will end, but they will not end.  
as his dwelling place: From being a dwelling place for them. And the Holy One, blessed be He, takes the sun out of its case, and it will burn them up, as it is stated (Mal. 3:19, Ned. 8b). Our Sages, however, explained מִזְבֻל לוֹ to mean that because they stretched out their hand on His dwelling place, they destroyed the Temple (Mid. Ps. 49:3).  
16. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for He shall take me forever.   טז. אַךְ אֱלֹהִים יִפְדֶּה נַפְשִׁי מִיַּד שְׁאוֹל כִּי יִקָּחֵנִי סֶלָה:
But God will redeem my soul: But I, who have bent my ear to the parableGod will redeem my soul so that I do not go to the grave, because He will take me in my lifetime to go in His ways.  
17. Fear not when a man becomes rich, when the honor of his house increases,   יז. אַל תִּירָא כִּי יַעֲשִׁר אִישׁ כִּי יִרְבֶּה כְּבוֹד בֵּיתוֹ:
18. For he will not take anything in his death; his glory will not ascend after him.   יח. כִּי לֹא בְמוֹתוֹ יִקַּח הַכֹּל לֹא יֵרֵד אַחֲרָיו כְּבוֹדוֹ:
19. Because in his lifetime he blesses himself, but [all] will praise you, for you will benefit yourself.   יט. כִּי נַפְשׁוֹ בְּחַיָּיו יְבָרֵךְ וְיוֹדֻךָ כִּי תֵיטִיב לָךְ:
Because in his lifetime he blesses himself: The wicked man blesses himself during his lifetime and says, “All will be well with you, my soul. No harm will befall you.” But others do not say so about him.  
but [all] will praise you, for you will benefit yourself: But you, if you hearken to my words, all will praise you, for you will benefit your soul by straightening your way.  
20. You shall come to the generation of his forefathers; to eternity they will not see light.   כ. תָּבֹא עַד דּוֹר אֲבוֹתָיו עַד נֵצַח לֹא יִרְאוּ אוֹר:
You shall come to the generation of his forefathers: When you complete your days and die, you will come and see the generation of the wicked man being judged in Gehinnom, so that they will not see light to eternity.  
21. Man is in his glory but he does not understand; he is compared to the silenced animals.   כא. אָדָם בִּיקָר וְלֹא יָבִין נִמְשַׁל כַּבְּהֵמוֹת נִדְמוּ:
Man is in his glory but he does not understand: The way of life is placed before him; if he follows it, he will be honored, but he does not understand the good [resulting therefrom].  
E-mail
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
FEATURED ON CHABAD.ORG