Contact Us
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 55

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 55

 Email
Rashi's Commentary:
Show content in:

Chapter 55

1For the conductor, on neginoth, a maskil of David.   אלַמְנַצֵּחַ בִּנְגִינֹת מַשְׂכִּיל לְדָוִד:
2Incline Your ear, O God, to my prayer and do not disregard my supplication.   בהַאֲזִינָה אֱלֹהִים תְּפִלָּתִי וְאַל תִּתְעַלַּם מִתְּחִנָּתִי:
3Hearken to me and answer me; I lament in my speech and I moan,   גהַקְשִׁיבָה לִּי וַעֲנֵנִי אָרִיד בְּשִׂיחִי וְאָהִימָה:
I lament in my speech: Heb. אריד, I will lament of my pain, as (Lam. 3:19): “Remember my affliction and my misery (ומרודי).” Also (Jud. 11:37): “and wail (וירדתי) upon the mountains.” Menachem (p. 162) interpreted אריד as an expression of ruling, as (Gen. 1:28): “and rule (ורדו) over the fish of the sea.” שּׂיחי is an expression of speech (Prov. 23:29): “He who talks too much (שיח).”  
4From the voice of the enemy, because of the distress of the wicked; for they accuse me of iniquity and they hate me with a vengeance.   דמִקּוֹל אוֹיֵב מִפְּנֵי עָקַת רָשָׁע כִּי יָמִיטוּ עָלַי אָוֶן וּבְאַף יִשְׂטְמוּנִי:
the distress: Heb. עקת, an expression of distress.  
for they accuse me of iniquity: Doeg and Ahithophel accuse me of iniquities that overweigh [the scale] to demonstrate that I am liable to death, and they sanction [the shedding of] my blood.  
5My heart shudders within me, and terrors of death have fallen upon me.   הלִבִּי יָחִיל בְּקִרְבִּי וְאֵימוֹת מָוֶת נָפְלוּ עָלָי:
shudders: Heb. יחיל, worries.  
6Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overcomes me.   ויִרְאָה וָרַעַד יָבֹא בִי וַתְּכַסֵּנִי פַּלָּצוּת:
7And I said, "If only I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.   זוָאֹמַר מִי יִתֶּן לִּי אֵבֶר כַּיּוֹנָה אָעוּפָה וְאֶשְׁכֹּנָה:
8Behold I would wander far away; I would lodge in the desert forever.   חהִנֵּה אַרְחִיק נְדֹד אָלִין בַּמִּדְבָּר סֶלָה:
Behold I would wander far away…: and…  
9I would quickly find myself a refuge from a sweeping wind, from a tempest."   טאָחִישָׁה מִפְלָט לִי מֵרוּחַ סֹעָה מִסָּעַר:
I would quickly find myself a refuge: If I had wings, I would wander far away and hasten to save my soul from their hands, for they are like a sweeping wind, a storm wind, which uproots trees, as (Job 19:10): “He has uprooted (ויסע) like a tree.” But Menachem (p. 127) associated it with (Exod.12:37): "And the children of Israel traveled (ויסעו).  
10Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongue, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.   יבַּלַּע אֲדֹנָי פַּלַּג לְשׁוֹנָם כִּי רָאִיתִי חָמָס וְרִיב בָּעִיר:
divide their tongue: Divide it so that no one should pay them heed. And Menachem (p. 142) interpreted פלג as an expression of division.  
Destroy: (Defey or defay in Old French, destroy, defais in modern French,) like (Lam. 2: 8): “He did not restrain his hand from destroying (מבלע).” So did Menachem interpret it [p. 46].  
for I have seen violence and strife in the city: through them.  
11Day and night they surround it on its walls, and iniquity and sin are in its midst.   יאיוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה יְסוֹבְבֻהָ עַל חוֹמֹתֶיהָ וְאָוֶן וְעָמָל בְּקִרְבָּהּ:
they surround it: i.e., the violence and the strife.  
12Destruction is within it, and blows and deceit do not move out of its square.   יבהַוּוֹת בְּקִרְבָּהּ וְלֹא יָמִישׁ מֵרְחֹבָהּ תּוֹךְ וּמִרְמָה:
Destruction: Heb. הוות.  
blows: Heb. תוֹ.  
13For no enemy reviled me that I should bear it; my enemy did not open his mouth wide against me, that I should hide from him.   יגכִּי לֹא אוֹיֵב יְחָרְפֵנִי וְאֶשָּׂא לֹא מְשַׂנְאִי עָלַי הִגְדִּיל וְאֶסָּתֵר מִמֶּנּוּ:
For no enemy reviled me: all my life that I should bear my vilification, but I rose up against him and slew him.  
my enemy did not open his mouth: that I should flee and hide from him, but now I bear the abuse with which you reviled me because you are a man who is great in Torah.  
14And you are a man of my equal, my prince and my esteemed one.   ידוְאַתָּה אֱנוֹשׁ כְּעֶרְכִּי אַלּוּפִי וּמְיֻדָּעִי:
a man of my equal: A man as important as I.  
and my esteemed one: Heb. ומידעי, like אלוּפי, my prince, an expression of (Exod. 33: 17): “and I recognized you (ואדעך),” which is translated וְרַבִּיתָ “and I made you great.” Menachem (p. 94), however, explained that “For no enemy would revile me that I should bear” is connected to (verse 7): “If only I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” If I could raise my wings, I would fly away and wander on account of the distress of the wicked [inflicted upon me], for when I would leave the midst of the assembly of the profligate to lodge in the desert forever, then no enemy would revile me; I would not [have to] bear my disgrace and my shame, and I would not hide from him as I hid from them when I was among them. However, this interpretation is impossible, because of the verses following it, namely: And you are a man of my equal, my prince, and my esteemed one (verse 14); that together we would devise counsel; in the house of God we would walk with a multitude (verse 15). Therefore, Dunash (p. 94) interprets it in another manner, and this is its interpretation: For it is not an enemy who reviles me that I should bear my abuse, and it is not my enemy who opens his mouth wide against me, but my prince and my esteemed one, that together we would take counsel; in the house of God we would walk with a multitude. This thing is known, that the abuse of a friend is harder for a person [to bear] than the abuse of an enemy. Moreover, one can hide from his enemy, but one cannot hide from his friend when he tells him all that is in his heart. The context corroborates this [interpretation].  
15That together we would devise counsel; in the house of God we would walk with a multitude.   טואֲשֶׁר יַחְדָּו נַמְתִּיק סוֹד בְּבֵית אֱלֹהִים נְהַלֵּךְ בְּרָגֶשׁ:
That together: we used to devise counsel in the Torah and in the house of God we would walk בְרָגֶשּׁ, with a multitude.  
in the house of God: In the study-halls.  
16May He incite Death upon them; may they descend to the grave alive, for there are evils in their dwelling, in their midst.   טזיַשִּׁי מָוֶת | (כתיב יַשִּׁימָוֶת) עָלֵימוֹ יֵרְדוּ שְׁאוֹל חַיִּים כִּי רָעוֹת בִּמְגוּרָם בְּקִרְבָּם:
May He incite Death upon them: May the Holy One, blessed be He, incite the Angel of Death upon them. Heb. יַשִּׁיא, incite and entice, an expression of (Gen. 3:13): “The serpent enticed me and I ate.” Menachem (p. 101) interpreted יַשִּׁיא, as an expression of יש, there is, as (Gen. 24:49): “If you wish (ישכם) to do kindness” ; (Deut. 29:14), “who is (ישנו) here.”  
in their dwelling: במגורם, in their lodging.  
17I shall call to God, and the Lord will save me.   יזאֲנִי אֶל אֱלֹהִים אֶקְרָא וַיהֹוָה יוֹשִׁיעֵנִי:
18Evening, morning, and noontime, I speak and moan, and He hearkened to my voice.   יחעֶרֶב וָבֹקֶר וְצָהֳרַיִם אָשִׂיחָה וְאֶהֱמֶה וַיִּשְׁמַע קוֹלִי:
Evening, morning, and noontime: The evening prayer, the morning prayer, and the afternoon prayer, three prayers.  
19He redeemed my soul with peace from the battle that came upon me, because of the many [people who] were with me.   יטפָּדָה בְשָׁלוֹם נַפְשִׁי מִקְּרָב לִי כִּי בְרַבִּים הָיוּ עִמָּדִי:
from the battle that came upon me: from the war that came upon me.  
because of the many [people who] were with me: For He did this because of the many people who came to my aid to pray on my behalf, as it is stated (I Sam. 18:16): “And all Israel and Judah loved David.”  
20May God hear and answer them, and the One who dwells from time immemorial forever, for there is no passing for them, and they did not fear God.   כיִשְׁמַע אֵל | וְיַעֲנֵם וְיֹשֵׁב קֶדֶם סֶלָה אֲשֶׁר אֵין חֲלִיפוֹת לָמוֹ וְלֹא יָרְאוּ אֱלֹהִים:
May God hear: the prayer of those many people.  
and answer them: the King, Who dwells from time immemorial.  
for there is no passing for them: For those wicked men who pursue me. They do not pay heed to the day of their passing, and they do not quake from the day of death.  
21He stretched forth his hands against him who was at peace with him; he profaned his covenant.   כאשָׁלַח יָדָיו בִּשְׁלֹמָיו חִלֵּל בְּרִיתוֹ:
He stretched forth his hands: This refers to Ahithophel the wicked.  
He stretched forth: Heb. שלח, tandit or tondet in Old French, stretched forth, tendait in modern French.  
against him who was at peace with him: Heb. בשלמיו, against him who was tranquil and at peace with him.  
22Smooth were the buttery words of his mouth but his heart was set on war; his words were softer than oil, but they are curses.   כבחָלְקוּ | מַחֲמָאֹת פִּיו וּקְרַב לִבּוֹ רַכּוּ דְבָרָיו מִשֶּׁמֶן וְהֵמָּה פְתִחוֹת:
Smooth were: Heb. חלקו, an expression of (above 35:6): “and slippery (וחלקלקות).”  
the buttery words of his mouth: Heb. מחמאת, an expression of חמאה butter. The first “mem” is a defective radical in the word, like the “mem” of מעשה and the “mem” of מאמר.  
but his heart was set on war: Heb. וקרב, to war.  
but they are curses: Heb. פתחות. Menachem (p. 147) interpreted it as an expression of swords, as (Micah 5:5): “and the land of Nimrod with its swords (בפתחיה),” with the edges of the sword. I say, however, that it is an expression of curse in Aramaic, as the Talmud (R.H. 31b) states: Amemar wrote a pethicha on her, which is a warrant decreeing excommunication.  
23Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will bear you; He shall never allow a righteous man to falter.   כגהַשְׁלֵךְ עַל יְהֹוָה | יְהָבְךָ וְהוּא יְכַלְכְּלֶךָ לֹא יִתֵּן לְעוֹלָם מוֹט לַצַּדִּיק:
your burden: Heb. יהבך, your burden. The Holy Spirit answers him thus.  
and He will bear you: Heb. יכלכלך. He will bear your burden, as (I Kings 8: 27): "the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You (יכלכלוך). The expression of כלכול is rendered מסובר, bearing, in Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel.  
to falter: Heb. מוט, the faltering of the foot.  
24But You, O God, shall lower them to the Pit of Destruction; men of blood and deceit shall not live half their days, but I will trust in You.   כדוְאַתָּה אֱלֹהִים | תּוֹרִדֵם לִבְאֵר שַׁחַת אַנְשֵׁי דָמִים וּמִרְמָה לֹא יֶחֱצוּ יְמֵיהֶם וַאֲנִי אֶבְטַח בָּךְ:
 Email
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.