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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 72

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 72

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 72

1. Concerning Solomon. O God, give Your judgments to a king and Your righteousness to a king's son.   א. לִשְׁלֹמֹה | אֱלֹהִים מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ לְמֶלֶךְ תֵּן וְצִדְקָתְךָ לְבֶן מֶלֶךְ:
Concerning Solomon: He prayed this prayer on behalf of his son Solomon, for he foresaw with the holy spirit that he [Solomon] was destined to request of the Holy One, blessed be He, “a heart to understand, to hear judgment.”  
Your judgments: the wisdom of Your laws, which You commanded in the Torah.  
and Your righteousness: to judge justly.  
to a king, etc., to a king’s son: Both refer to Solomon. Another explanation:  
Give Your judgments to a king: The chastisements should end with me, and the charity You should bestow upon my son; viz. that there be peace in his days.  
2. May he judge Your people justly, and Your poor people with justice.   ב. יָדִין עַמְּךָ בְצֶדֶק וַעֲנִיֶּיךָ בְמִשְׁפָּט:
3. May the mountains bear peace for the people, and the hills-through righteousness.   ג. יִשְׂאוּ הָרִים שָׁלוֹם לָעָם וּגְבָעוֹת בִּצְדָקָה:
May the mountains bear: peace for the people in his days. Now what is the peace that the mountains bear? When they produce fruit, people will not be jealous, and “each man will call his neighbor [to come] under [his] vine and under [his] fig tree.”  
and the hillsthrough righteousness: And the hills will bear peace for them through the righteousness that they will perform.  
4. May he judge the poor of the people; may he save the children of the needy and crush the oppressor.   ד. יִשְׁפֹּט | עֲנִיֵּי עָם יוֹשִׁיעַ לִבְנֵי אֶבְיוֹן וִידַכֵּא עוֹשֵׁק:
5. May they fear You in the presence of the sun and before the moon for generations upon generations.   ה. יִירָאוּךָ עִם שָׁמֶשׁ וְלִפְנֵי יָרֵחַ דּוֹר דּוֹרִים:
May they fear You in the presence of the sun: All Israel will learn from him to fear You all the days of the sun and moon, generations upon generations.  
and before the moon: As long as the moon exists for generations, when they are before it [i.e., during its existence]. There are many such expressions in the language of the Mishnah. Before the Temple and not before the Temple [i.e., when the Temple existed and when it no longer exists].  
6. May it descend as rain upon cut vegetation, as raindrops that drip upon the earth.   ו. יֵרֵד כְּמָטָר עַל גֵּז כִּרְבִיבִים זַרְזִיף אָרֶץ:
May it descend as rain upon cut vegetation: May his word descend into the midst of Your people and into their heart as the rain that falls on the cut vegetation, which requires rain after being cut. As the matter is stated (Amos 7:1): “and behold the latter growth after the king’s mowings.”  
that drip upon the earth: Heb. זרזיף, an expression of drops. In Aramaic, in Tractate Yoma (87a): “Drops (זרזיפי) of water hit him.”  
7. May the righteous flourish in his days, and much peace until there is no moon.   ז. יִפְרַח בְּיָמָיו צַדִּיק וְרֹב שָׁלוֹם עַד בְּלִי יָרֵחַ:
May the righteous flourish in his days: Israel.  
and much peace: will flourish in his days, and this peace will last forever. Now all this prayer was fulfilled except this thing, because Solomon sinned. Therefore his kingdom did not endure, for the kingship was given to David on this condition (I Kings 2:4): “If your children take heed to their way,” but Israel sinned in his days. As it is said (ibid. 4:20): “Judah and Israel [were] many, as the sand, etc.” And Israel flourished in his days, as it is said… And there was much peace, as it is said (ibid. 5:5): “And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, etc., all the days of Solomon.”  
8. And may he reign from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the land.   ח. וְיֵרְדְּ מִיָּם עַד יָם וּמִנָּהָר עַד אַפְסֵי אָרֶץ:
And may he reign from sea to sea: All of the land of Israel is from the Sea of Reeds to the Sea of the Philistines [the Mediterranean].  
and from the river to the ends of the land: (I Kings 5:4): “For he had dominion over all [the inhabitants of] this side of the river, etc.”  
9. May nobles kneel before him, and may his enemies lick the dust.   ט. לְפָנָיו יִכְרְעוּ צִיִּים וְאֹיְבָיו עָפָר יְלַחֵכוּ:
nobles: Heb. ציים, companies of nobles, as (Num. 24:24): “and nobles (וצים) from the Kittites,” which the Targum renders: And companies will come around from the Romans.  
10. May the kings of Tarshish and the isles return tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba approach with a gift.   י. מַלְכֵי תַרְשִׁישׁ וְאִיִּים מִנְחָה יָשִׁיבוּ מַלְכֵי שְׁבָא וּסְבָא אֶשְׁכָּר יַקְרִיבוּ:
May the kings of Tarshish and the isles return tribute: (I Kings 10:23): “For the king had at sea, ships of Tarshish with Aliram’s ships; once every three years the ships of Tarshish would come, etc.”  
the kings of Sheba: The queen of Sheba.  
a gift: Heb. אֶשְׁכָּר, a gift.  
11. And all kings will prostrate themselves to him; may all nations serve him.   יא. וְיִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לוֹ כָל מְלָכִים כָּל גּוֹיִם יַעַבְדוּהוּ:
may all nations serve him: (I Kings 10:24f.): “And all the [inhabitants of] the earth sought Solomon’s presence etc. And each one would bring his gift.”  
12. For he will save a needy one who cries out, and a poor one who has no helper.   יב. כִּי יַצִּיל אֶבְיוֹן מְשַׁוֵּעַ וְעָנִי וְאֵין עֹזֵר לוֹ:
13. He will have pity on the poor and needy, and he will save the souls of the needy.   יג. יָחֹס עַל דַּל וְאֶבְיוֹן וְנַפְשׁוֹת אֶבְיוֹנִים יוֹשִׁיעַ:
14. From blows and from robbery he will redeem their soul, and their blood will be dear in his eyes.   יד. מִתּוֹךְ וּמֵחָמָס יִגְאַל נַפְשָׁם וְיֵיקַר דָּמָם בְּעֵינָיו:
From blows and from robbery: Heb. מתוך ומחמס, from blows and from robbery. I found [the following]: מִתּוֹ is an expression of “his innermost midst (תּוֹ) ,” men of plots, who plot iniquity, as (Prov. 29:13): “a man of deep thoughts (תככים).”  
he will redeem their soul: through the justice and righteousness that he will perform for them.  
15. And may he live, and He will give him of the gold of Sheba, and may He pray for him constantly; all the days may He bless him.   טו. וִיחִי וְיִתֶּן לוֹ מִזְּהַב שְׁבָא וְיִתְפַּלֵּל בַּעֲדוֹ תָמִיד כָּל הַיּוֹם יְבָרֲכֶנְהוּ:
And may he live: Solomon.  
and He will give him: The Holy One, blessed be He.  
of the gold of Sheba: And so it was (I Kings 3:13): “both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings like you.”  
and may He pray for him constantly, etc.: The prayer and the blessing are identical. When the Holy One, blessed be He, says to a man, “You shall be blessed,” it is an expression of prayer.  
16. May there be an abundance of grain in the land, on the mountain peaks; may its fruit rustle like Lebanon, and they will blossom forth from the city like the grass of the earth.   טז. יְהִי פִסַּת בַּר | בָּאָרֶץ בְּרֹאשׁ הָרִים יִרְעַשׁ כַּלְּבָנוֹן פִּרְיוֹ וְיָצִיצוּ מֵעִיר כְּעֵשֶׂב הָאָרֶץ:
May there be an abundance of grain: Heb. פסת, an expression of spreading (פסיון), increase and abundance. Our Sages, however, explained this as an expression of loaves of white bread during the messianic era (Keth. 111b, Shab. 30b), and the entire psalm as referring to the messianic era. Another explanation: פִּסַת is an expression of good will, like פִּיוּס, placating; the people are appeased and accepted by the Holy One, blessed be He, when He gives plenty in the world.  
may its fruit rustle like Lebanon: May the wheat kernels be as thick as the kidneys of a large ox, as happened in the days of Shimon ben Shatach.  
and they will blossom forth: Israel.  
from the city: From the midst of Jerusalem like the grass of the earth.  
17. May his name be forever; before the sun, his name will be magnified, and [people] will bless themselves with him; all nations will praise him.   יז. יְהִי שְׁמוֹ | לְעוֹלָם לִפְנֵי שֶׁמֶשׁ יִנּוֹן שְׁמוֹ וְיִתְבָּרְכוּ בוֹ כָּל גּוֹיִם יְאַשְּׁרֻהוּ:
May his name: [May] Solomon’s name be remembered forever for his riches and his wisdom.  
before the sun, his name will be magnified: All the days of the sun, his name will be magnified.  
will be magnified: Heb. ינון, an expression of kingdom and dominion, as (Prov. 29:21): “he will ultimately be a ruler (מנון) ; (Gen. 21:23),” and to my son (ולניני) , “ who rules over my property after me; (below 74:8),” They said in their heart, their rulers (נינם) together" ; their kings together.  
will bless themselves with him: A person will say to his son, “May you be wise and rich like Solomon.”  
18. Blessed is the Lord God, the God of Israel, Who performs wonders alone.   יח. בָּרוּךְ | יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עֹשֵׂה נִפְלָאוֹת לְבַדּוֹ:
Blessed is the Lord, etc., Who performs wonders alone: When the fire descended from the heavens through Solomon, his son.  
19. And blessed is His glorious name forever, and His glory will fill the entire earth. Amen and amen.   יט. וּבָרוּךְ | שֵׁם כְּבוֹדוֹ לְעוֹלָם וְיִמָּלֵא כְבוֹדוֹ אֶת כָּל הָאָרֶץ אָמֵן | וְאָמֵן:
20. The prayers of David the son of Jesse are completed.   כ. כָּלּוּ תְפִלּוֹת דָּוִד בֶּן יִשָׁי:
The prayers of David… are completed: Heb. כלו. Our sages expounded on כָּלוּ to mean כָּל אֵלוּ, all these are the prayers of David son of Jesse, to include the entire Book on David’s nameeven what the sons of Korah and the ten elders said because he was known as (II Sam. 23:1) “the sweet singer of Israel.” כָּלוּ may also be interpreted as “were completed.” The construction of כָּלוּ is like (Job 24:24): “They are taken away (רֹמוּ) in a second” ; (Jer. 2:12), “O heavens, be astonished (שֹׁמוּ).” If this is so, this psalm was not written in its place, and there is no chronological order in the Book. The [subject] matter indicates that he said this in his old age, when he enthroned Solomon.  
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