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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 139

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 139

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 139

1. For the conductor. Of David, a song. O Lord, You have searched me out and You know.   א. לַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר יְהֹוָה חֲקַרְתַּנִי וַתֵּדָע:
2. You know my sitting and my rising; You understand how to attach me from afar.   ב. אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ שִׁבְתִּי וְקוּמִי בַּנְתָּה לְרֵעִי מֵרָחוֹק:
You understand how to attach me from afar: You understand from afar [how] to attract me to Your friendship and to Your love.  
to attach me: Heb. לרעי, to attach me to You.  
3. My going about and my lying down You encompassed, and You are accustomed to all my ways.   ג. אָרְחִי וְרִבְעִי זֵרִיתָ וְכָל דְּרָכַי הִסְכַּנְתָּה:
My going about and my lying down You encompassed: My way, my lying down, and my dwelling You have encompassed with a wall, for I can do nothing without Your knowledge.  
You encompassed: heb. זרית, an expression of (Exod. 25:24): “a gold crown (זר).” Menachem associated it in this manner (p. 82). Our Sages, however, interpreted it (Nid. 31a, Mid. Ps. 139:3) as referring to the droplet of [semen, transmitted in] sexual intercourse, from whose choicest part the fetus is formed, and the meaning of זֵרִיתָ (זורה) is an expression of winnowing the grain to purify it of the refuse it contains.  
You are accustomed: Heb. הִסכנתה, you are accustomed.  
4. For there is no word on my tongue; behold, O Lord, You know it all.   ד. כִּי אֵין מִלָּה בִלְשׁוֹנִי הֵן יְהֹוָה יָדַעְתָּ כֻלָּהּ:
5. From the rear and the front You encompassed me, and You placed Your pressure upon me.   ה. אָחוֹר וָקֶדֶם צַרְתָּנִי וַתָּשֶׁת עָלַי כַּפֶּכָה:
From the rear and the front: My face and my back.  
Your pressure: your coercion and your ruling, destroit in Old French.  
6. Knowledge is hidden from me; it is hard, I cannot attain it.   ו. פְּלִיאָה דַעַת מִמֶּנִּי נִשְׂגְּבָה לֹא אוּכַל לָהּ:
Knowledge is hidden from me, etc.: A place to escape from You is covered up and hidden from me. (I found this.)  
7. Where shall I go from Your spirit, and where shall I flee from Your presence?   ז. אָנָה אֵלֵךְ מֵרוּחֶךָ וְאָנָה מִפָּנֶיךָ אֶבְרָח:
8. If I ascend to the heavens, there You are, and if I make my bed in the grave, behold, You are there.   ח. אִם אֶסַּק שָׁמַיִם שָׁם אָתָּה וְאַצִּיעָה שְּׁאוֹל הִנֶּךָּ:
and if I make my bed: Heb. ואציעה, an expression of a spread (מצע) and a bed.  
9. [If] I take up the wings of dawn, [if] I dwell at the end of the west,   ט. אֶשָּׂא כַנְפֵי שָׁחַר אֶשְׁכְּנָה בְּאַחֲרִית יָם:
[If] I take up the wings of dawn: If I take up for myself the wings of dawn, which shine at once from one end of the world to the other, so will I fly swiftly until I dwell at the end of the sea.  
10. There too, Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will grasp me.   י. גַּם שָׁם יָדְךָ תַנְחֵנִי וְתֹאחֲזֵנִי יְמִינֶךָ:
11. I said, "Darkness will darken me, and the night will be as light about me."   יא. וָאֹמַר אַךְ חֹשֶׁךְ יְשׁוּפֵנִי וְלַיְלָה אוֹר בַּעֲדֵנִי:
I said, “Darkness will darken me”: If I said, “I will be hidden in the darkness, and the darkness will envelop me so that You will not see me.” יְשׁוּפֵנִי is an expression of נֶשֶׁף, evening.  
“and the night will be dark about me”: Heb. אור, lit. light. And the night will darken before me. This אוֹר is an expression of darkness, like (Job 37: 11): “he spreads his clouds of darkness (אור) ” ; similarly (below 148:3), “all stars of the night (אור) ” ; similarly (Exod. 14:20), “and it darkened (ויאר) the night.”  
12. Even darkness will not obscure [anything] from You, and the night will light up like day; as darkness so is the light.   יב. גַּם חֹשֶׁךְ לֹא יַחְשִׁיךְ מִמֶּךָּ וְלַיְלָה כַּיּוֹם יָאִיר כַּחֲשֵׁיכָה כָּאוֹרָה:
Even: there I have no asylum, for no darkness will obscure [anything] from You.  
as darkness, so is the light: Both are the same to You.  
13. For You created my reins, You covered me in my mother's womb.   יג. כִּי אַתָּה קָנִיתָ כִלְיֹתָי תְּסֻכֵּנִי בְּבֶטֶן אִמִּי:
For You created my reins: which think all my thoughts.  
You covered me: Heb. תסכני, [equivalent to] תסוֹככני.  
14. I shall thank You for in an awesome, wondrous way I was fashioned; Your works are wondrous, and my soul knows it very well.   יד. אוֹדְךָ עַל כִּי נוֹרָאוֹת נִפְלֵיתִי נִפְלָאִים מַעֲשֶׂיךָ וְנַפְשִׁי יֹדַעַת מְאֹד:
15. My essence was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, I was formed in the lowest parts of the earth.   טו. לֹא נִכְחַד עָצְמִי מִמֶּךָּ אֲשֶׁר עֻשֵּׂיתִי בַסֵּתֶר רֻקַּמְתִּי בְּתַחְתִּיּוֹת אָרֶץ:
I was made in secret: In sexual intercourse.  
in the lowest parts of the earth: In the lowest compartment in my mother’s womb.  
16. Your eyes saw my unformed body, and on Your book they were all written; days have been formed and one of them is His.   טז. גָּלְמִי | רָאוּ עֵינֶיךָ וְעַל סִפְרְךָ כֻּלָּם יִכָּתֵבוּ יָמִים יֻצָּרוּ וְלוֹ אֶחָד בָּהֶם:
Your eyes saw my unformed body: From the time that You created the world, Your eyes saw all the forms of the coming generations.  
My unformed body: Heb. גלמי. My splendor and the pattern of my form, before I was born and before I came into the world, Your eyes saw.  
and on Your book they were all written: And all the creatures of the world, like me, like them, even all of them, before they were created, were together revealed before You.  
days have been formed and one of them: All man’s deeds and the end of the days are revealed before You as if they were already formed, although not one of them was in existence, and not one was yet in the world. These are the wonders of God’s works and the way of His might, that future events are revealed to Him before they come. And so, Scripture says (Jer. 1:5): “When I had not yet formed you in the womb, etc.”  
and on Your book, they were all written: The book of the generations of man, which You showed to Adam.  
written: lit. all of them will be written, like נכתבוּ.  
days were formed without one of them: Ultimately, many days were destined to be created, but not one of them was yet created. According to the masoretic text, in which לא is written, this is its explanation. And according to the readingfor it is read לו this is its explanation: days have been formedHe showed the days that were destined to be created, and for His share, He chose one of them, viz. the Sabbath day. Another explanation: This is the Day of Atonement, for forgiveness.  
17. And to me, how dear are Your friends, O Lord! How great is their sum!   יז. וְלִי מַה יָּקְרוּ רֵעֶיךָ אֵל מֶה עָצְמוּ רָאשֵׁיהֶם:
And to me, how dear are Your friends: The congregation of Israel says, “How esteemed in my eyes are the righteous in every generation!”  
How great is their sum!: The calculation of their counting, an expression of (Exod. 30:12): “When you take the sum (ראש) of the children of Israel.”  
18. I shall count them; they are more numerous than sand; I have come to the end, and I am still with You.   יח. אֶסְפְּרֵם מֵחוֹל יִרְבּוּן הֱקִיצֹתִי וְעוֹדִי עִמָּךְ:
I shall count them… than sand: If I came to count the good of their deeds, they would be more numerous than sand.  
I have come to the end, and I am still with You: Behold I have now come to the end of the generations that You allotted from then until today, and this generation is still with You and in fear of You, and I have not turned away from following You.  
19. If only You would slay the wicked, O God, and men of blood, "Turn away from me."   יט. אִם תִּקְטֹל אֱלוֹהַּ | רָשָׁע וְאַנְשֵׁי דָמִים סוּרוּ מֶנִּי:
If only You would slay the wicked: If only You would slay the wicked.  
20. Who mention You with wicked thought; Your enemies took it up in vain.   כ. אֲשֶׁר יֹמְרוּךָ לִמְזִמָּה נָשׂוּא לַשָּׁוְא עָרֶיךָ:
Who mention You with wicked thought: They mention Your name regarding all the thoughts of their evil and call their deities with Your name.  
took it up: Heb. נשוא, like נשאו, they took up.  
Your enemies… in vain: Your enemies took up Your name in vain.  
21. Did I not hate Your enemies, O Lord? With those who rise up against You, I quarrel.   כא. הֲלוֹא מְשַׂנְאֶיךָ יְהֹוָה | אֶשְׂנָא וּבִתְקוֹמְמֶיךָ אֶתְקוֹטָט:
22. I hate them with utmost hatred; they have become my enemies.   כב. תַּכְלִית שִׂנְאָה שְׂנֵאתִים לְאֹיְבִים הָיוּ לִי:
23. Search me out, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.   כג. חָקְרֵנִי אֵל וְדַע לְבָבִי בְּחָנֵנִי וְדַע שַׂרְעַפָּי:
24. And see whether there is any vexatious way about me, and lead me in the way of the world.   כד. וּרְאֵה אִם דֶּרֶךְ עֹצֶב בִּי וּנְחֵנִי בְּדֶרֶךְ עוֹלָם:
whether there is any vexatious way about me: Whether there is a way of vexation and deterioration in me.  
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