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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 118

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 118

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 118

1. Give thanks to the Lord because He is good, for His kindness is eternal.   א. הוֹדוּ לַיהֹוָה כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
Give thanks to the Lord, etc.:  
2. Israel shall now say, "For His kindness is eternal."   ב. יֹאמַר נָא יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
Israel shall now say: because His kindness is eternal.  
3. The house of Aaron shall now say, "For His kindness is eternal."   ג. יֹאמְרוּ נָא בֵּית אַהֲרֹן כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
4. Those who fear the Lord shall now say, "For His kindness is eternal."   ד. יֹאמְרוּ נָא יִרְאֵי יְהֹוָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
Those who fear the Lord: These are the Levites, about whom it is written (Exod. 32:26): “Whoever is the Lord’s, let him come to me! And all the sons of Levi gathered around him,” in the episode of the [Golden] Calf, and they fought with Israel when they said (Num. 14:4), “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.”  
5. From the straits I called God; God answered me with a vast expanse.   ה. מִן הַמֵּצַר קָרָאתִי יָּהּ עָנָנִי בַּמֶּרְחָב יָהּ:
6. The Lord is for me; I shall not fear. What can man do to me?   ו. יְהֹוָה לִי לֹא אִירָא מַה יַּעֲשֶׂה לִי אָדָם:
7. The Lord is for me with my helpers, and I shall see [revenge] in my enemies.   ז. יְהֹוָה לִי בְּעֹזְרָי וַאֲנִי אֶרְאֶה בְשֹׂנְאָי:
8. It is better to take shelter in the Lord than to trust in man.   ח. טוֹב לַחֲסוֹת בַּיהֹוָה מִבְּטֹחַ בָּאָדָם:
It is better to take shelter in the Lord: Heb. לחסות. This shelter (חסיון) is only an expression of the shelter of a shadow, a small thing. Trust (מבטח) is a stout and strong support. Nevertheless, to take shelter in the Lord is better than the promises of human beings.  
9. It is better to take shelter in the Lord than to trust in princes.   ט. טוֹב לַחֲסוֹת בַּיהֹוָה מִבְּטֹחַ בִּנְדִיבִים:
10. All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord that I shall cut them off.   י. כָּל גּוֹיִם סְבָבוּנִי בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה כִּי אֲמִילַם:
All nations surrounded me: This speaks about the war of Gog and Magog, when all the nations will be there, as it is said (Zech. 14:2): “And I shall gather all the nations to Jerusalem to wage war.”  
I shall cut them off: Heb. אמלים, I shall cut them off, an expression of (above 90:6): “it is cut off (ימולל) and withers.”  
11. They encircled me, yea they surrounded me; in the name of the Lord that I shall cut them off.   יא. סַבּוּנִי גַם סְבָבוּנִי בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה כִּי אֲמִילַם:
12. They encircled me like bees; they were extinguished like a thorn fire; in the name of the Lord that I shall cut them off.   יב. סַבּוּנִי כִדְבֹרִים דֹּעֲכוּ כְּאֵשׁ קוֹצִים בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה כִּי אֲמִילַם:
they were extinguished like a thorn fire: Every expression of דעיכה coincides with an expression of springing and skipping. It hastens to spring and skip from its place. Therefore, it fits with an expression of fire or with an expression of water, like (Job 6:17): “they jump (נדעכו) from their place.” Similarly (Job 17:1), “my days flicker (נדעכו) ” ; similarly (Job 18:6), “and his candle that is over him shall go out (ידעך),” in the way that the flame springs from the wick and ascends upward when it is extinguished.  
13. You pushed me to fall, but the Lord helped me.   יג. דָּחֹה דְחִיתַנִי לִנְפֹּל וַיהֹוָה עֲזָרָנִי:
You pushed me to fall: You, my enemy.  
14. The might and the cutting power of God was my salvation.   יד. עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ וַיְהִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה:
The might and the cutting power of God was my salvation: Heb. עזי וזמרת, the might of the Holy One, blessed be He, was my salvation. עזי has a superfluous “yud” because we do not [usually] find עזי vowelized with a short “kamatz” instead of a “shuruk,” except in three places, where it is next to וזמרת, and perforce is attached to the word denoting the name of God. You cannot explain it as “my praise.” Do not wonder about ויהי לי, that he did not say היה לי לישועה, for there are many like these in Scripture, [e.g.] (Exod. 9:21): “And whoever did not pay attention… left (ויעזב) his slaves, etc.” He should have written עַזָב.  
15. A voice of singing praises and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; the right hand of the Lord deals valiantly.   טו. קוֹל | רִנָּה וִישׁוּעָה בְּאָהֳלֵי צַדִּיקִים יְמִין יְהֹוָה עֹשָׂה חָיִל:
A voice of singing praises and salvation: will in the future be in the tents of the righteous, and what is that voice of singing praises? “The right hand of the Lord deals valiantly.” They will sing, “The right hand of the Lord is exalted, etc.”  
16. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord deals valiantly.   טז. יְמִין יְהֹוָה רוֹמֵמָה יְמִין יְהֹוָה עֹשָׂה חָיִל:
The right hand of the Lord is exalted: The Midrash Aggadah states: The Holy One, blessed be He, created the celestial beings with His right hand; therefore, death has no power over them; as it says (Isa. 48:13): “Even my hand laid the foundation of the earth.” This is the left hand. “And My right hand measured the heavens with handbreadths.” This is the right hand. Similarly, the Psalmist says: “The right hand of the Lord is exalted,” that created those [that are] in the heights of the world. That is the right hand of the Lord that will make armies of righteous men in the future, and also with it [the right hand] He will resurrect them and they will live forever. And then, I shall not die, but I shall live forever.  
17. I shall not die but I shall live and tell the deeds of God.   יז. לֹא אָמוּת כִּי אֶחְיֶה וַאֲסַפֵּר מַעֲשֵׂי יָהּ:
I shall not die: I, the congregation of Israel, [shall not die] like the other peoples an eternal death, but I shall live, etc.  
18. God has chastised me, but He has not delivered me to death.   יח. יַסֹּר יִסְּרַנִּי יָּהּ וְלַמָּוֶת לֹא נְתָנָנִי:
God has chastised me: in exile, and there all my iniquities were expiated, and You did not deliver me to death.  
19. Open for me the gates of righteousness; I shall enter them and thank God.   יט. פִּתְחוּ לִי שַׁעֲרֵי צֶדֶק אָבֹא בָם אוֹדֶה יָהּ:
Open for me the gates of righteousness: And these are the gates of righteousness.  
20. This is the Lord's gate; the righteous will enter therein.   כ. זֶה הַשַּׁעַר לַיהֹוָה צַדִּיקִים יָבֹאוּ בוֹ:
This is the… gate: of the Temple, which is the Lord’s, and the righteous will enter therein and there…  
21. I shall thank You because You answered me, and You were my salvation.   כא. אוֹדְךָ כִּי עֲנִיתָנִי וַתְּהִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה:
I shall thank You because You answered me: from the exile.  
22. The stone that the builders rejected became a cornerstone.   כב. אֶבֶן מָאֲסוּ הַבּוֹנִים הָיְתָה לְרֹאשׁ פִּנָּה:
The stone that the builders rejected: A people that was humble among the peoples.  
23. This was from the Lord; it is wondrous in our eyes.   כג. מֵאֵת יְהֹוָה הָיְתָה זֹּאת הִיא נִפְלָאת בְּעֵינֵינוּ:
This was from the Lord: So will everyone say.  
24. This is the day that the Lord made; we shall exult and rejoice thereon.   כד. זֶה הַיּוֹם עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בוֹ:
25. Please, O Lord, save now! Please, O Lord, make prosperous now!   כה. אָנָּא יְהֹוָה הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא אָנָּא יְהֹוָה הַצְלִיחָה נָּא:
26. Blessed be he who has come in the name of the Lord; we have blessed you in the name of the Lord.   כו. בָּרוּךְ הַבָּא בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה בֵּרַכְנוּכֶם מִבֵּית יְהֹוָה:
Blessed be he who has come in the name of the Lord: They will say to those who bring the first fruits and to those who perform the pilgrimages.  
we have blessed you: we have blessed you.  
27. The Lord is God, and He gave us light. Bind the sacrifice with ropes until [it is brought to] the corners of the altar.   כז. אֵל | יְהֹוָה וַיָּאֶר לָנוּ אִסְרוּ חַג בַּעֲבֹתִים עַד קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ:
Bind the sacrifice with ropes: The sacrifices and the festival offerings, which were clean and examined for a blemish, they would bind to the feet of their beds until they brought them to the Temple court at the corners of the altar. It is also possible to interpret the entire end of this psalm from (verse 17), “I shall not die but I shall live,” as referring to David himself: [18]  
God has chastised me: For the episode of Bath sheba with torments, e.g. (II Sam. 12:6): “And the ewe-lamb he shall repay fourfold.” David was stricken with zaraath for six months.  
but He has not delivered me to death: (II Sam. 13) “Also the Lord has removed your sin; you shall not die.” [19]  
Open for me the gates of righteousness: And these are the gates of righteousnessthose gates of synagogues and study halls, which are the Lord’sand the righteous enter through them. [21]  
I shall thank You because You have answered me: From here on, David, Samuel, Jesse, and David’s brothers recited this, as is delineated in [the chapter entitled] “The eves of Passovers,” (Pes. 119a). He who said this did not say the other.  
28. You are my God and I shall thank You; the God of my father, and I shall exalt You.   כח. אֵלִי אַתָּה וְאוֹדֶךָּ אֱלֹהַי אֲרוֹמְמֶךָּ:
29. Give thanks to the Lord because He is good, for His kindness is eternal.   כט. הוֹדוּ לַיהֹוָה כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
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