Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 49-54

Classes on Tehillim - Psalms
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Chapter 49
This psalm is a strong message and inspiration for all, rich and poor alike, rebuking man for transgressions which, owing to habit, he no longer considers sinful; yet, these sins incriminate man on the Day of Judgement. The psalm speaks specifically to the wealthy, who rely not on God but on their wealth.
1. For the Conductor, by the sons of Korach, a psalm.
2. Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all you inhabitants of the world;
3. sons of common folk and sons of nobility, rich and poor alike.
4. My mouth speaks wisdom, and the thoughts of my heart are understanding.
5. I incline my ear to the parable; I will unravel my riddle upon the harp.
6. Why am I afraid in times of trouble? [Because] the sins I trod upon surround me.
7. There are those who rely on their wealth, who boast of their great riches.
8. Yet a man cannot redeem his brother, nor pay his ransom to God.
9. The redemption of their soul is too costly, and forever unattainable.
10. Can one live forever, never to see the grave?
11. Though he sees that wise men die, that the fool and the senseless both perish, leaving their wealth to others-
12. [nevertheless,] in their inner thoughts their houses will last forever, their dwellings for generation after generation; they have proclaimed their names throughout the lands.
13. But man will not repose in glory; he is likened to the silenced animals.
14. This is their way-their folly remains with them, and their descendants approve of their talk, Selah.
15. Like sheep, they are destined for the grave; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright will dominate them at morning; their form will rot in the grave, away from its abode.
16. But God will redeem my soul from the hands of the grave, for He will take me, Selah.
17. Do not fear when a man grows rich, when the glory of his house is increased;
18. for when he dies he will take nothing, his glory will not descend after him.
19. For he [alone] praises himself in his lifetime; but [all] will praise you if you better yourself.
20. He will come to the generation of his forefathers; they shall not see light for all eternity.
21. Man [can live] in glory but does not understand; he is likened to the silenced animals.

Chapter 50
This psalm speaks of many ethics and morals. The psalmist rebukes those who fail to repent humbly and modestly. He also admonishes those who do not practice that which they study, and merely appear to be righteous; they sin and cause others to sin.
1. A psalm by Asaph. Almighty God, the Lord, spoke and called to the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2. Out of Zion, the place of perfect beauty, God appeared.
3. Our God will come and not be silent; a fire will consume before Him, His surroundings are furiously turbulent.
4. He will call to the heavens above, and to the earth, to avenge His people:
5. "Gather to Me My pious ones, those who made a covenant with Me over a sacrifice.”
6. Then the heavens declared His righteousness, for God is Judge forever.
7. Listen, My people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against you-I am God your God.
8. Not for [the lack of] your sacrifices will I rebuke you, nor for [the lack of] your burnt offerings which ought to be continually before Me.
9. I do not take oxen from your house, nor goats from your pens;
10. for every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle of a thousand mountains.
11. I know every bird of the mountains, and the crawling creatures of the field are in My possession.
12. Were I hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and everything in it is Mine.
13. Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
14. Offer confession as a sacrifice to God, and fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15. and call to Me on the day of distress; I will free you, and you will honor Me.
16. But to the wicked, God said, "What does it help you to discuss My laws, and bear My covenant upon your lips?
17. For you hate discipline, and throw My words behind you.
18. When you see a thief you run with him, and your lot is with adulterers.
19. You sent forth your mouth for evil, and attach your tongue to deceit.
20. You sit down to talk against your brother; your mother's son you defame.
21. You have done these things and I kept silent, so you imagine that I am like you-[but] I will rebuke you and lay it clearly before your eyes.
22. Understand this now, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart and there be none to save you.
23. He who offers a sacrifice of confession honors Me; and to him who sets right his way, I will show the deliverance of God."

Chapter 51
This psalm speaks of when Nathan the prophet went to David's palace, and rebuked him for his sin with Bathsheba. David then secluded himself with God, offering awe-inspiring prayers and begging forgiveness. Every person should recite this psalm for his sins and transgressions.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David,
2. when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba.
3. Be gracious to me, O God, in keeping with Your kindness; in accordance with Your abounding compassion, erase my transgressions.
4. Cleanse me thoroughly of my wrongdoing, and purify me of my sin.
5. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
6. Against You alone have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Your eyes; [forgive me] so that You will be justified in Your verdict, vindicated in Your judgment.
7. Indeed, I was begotten in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
8. Indeed, You desire truth in the innermost parts; teach me the wisdom of concealed things.
9. Purge me with hyssop and I shall be pure; cleanse me and I shall be whiter than snow.
10. Let me hear [tidings of] joy and gladness; then the bones which You have shattered will rejoice.
11. Hide Your face from my sins, and erase all my trespasses.
12. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew within me an upright spirit.
13. Do not cast me out of Your presence, and do not take Your Spirit of Holiness away from me.
14. Restore to me the joy of Your deliverance, and uphold me with a spirit of magnanimity.
15. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to You.
16. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, God of my deliverance; my tongue will sing Your righteousness.
17. My Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Your praise.
18. For You do not desire that I bring sacrifices, nor do You wish burnt offerings.
19. The offering [desirable] to God is a contrite spirit; a contrite and broken heart, God, You do not disdain.
20. In Your goodwill, bestow goodness upon Zion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
21. Then will You desire sacrifices [offered in] righteousness, olah and other burnt offerings; then they will offer bullocks upon Your altar.

Chapter 52
David laments his suffering at the hands of Doeg, and speaks of Doeg's boasts about the evil he committed. David asks, "What does he think? Does he consider the doing of evil a mark of strength?" David also curses Doeg and those like him.
1. For the Conductor, a maskil by David,
2. when Doeg the Edomite came and informed Saul, saying to him, "David has come to the house of Achimelech.”
3. Why do you boast with evil, O mighty one? God's kindness is all day long.
4. Your tongue devises treachery; like a sharpened razor it works deceit.
5. You love evil more than good, falsehood more than speaking righteousness, Selah.
6. You love all devouring words, a deceitful tongue.
7. God will likewise shatter you forever; He will excise and pluck you from the tent, and uproot you from the land of the living forever.
8. The righteous will see it and be awed, and they will laugh at him:
9. "Here is the man who did not make God his stronghold, but trusted in his great wealth, and drew strength from his treachery.”
10. But I am like a fresh olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God's kindness forever and ever.
11. I will thank You forever for what You have done; I will hope in Your Name, for You are good to Your pious ones.

Chapter 53
This psalm speaks of when Titus pierced the curtain of the Holy of Holies with his sword, and thought he had killed "himself" (a euphemism for God).
1. For the Conductor, on the machalat,1 a mas-kil2 by David.
2. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God!" They have acted corruptly and committed abominable deeds; not one does good.
3. God looked down from heaven upon mankind, to see if there was any man of intelligence who searches for God.
4. But they all regressed together; they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
5. Indeed, the evildoers who devour My people as they devour bread, who do not call upon God, will come to realize.
6. There they will be seized with fright, a fright such as never was; for God scatters the bones of those encamped against you. You shamed them, for God rejected them.
7. O that out of Zion would come Israel's deliverance! When God returns the captivity of His people, Jacob will exult, Israel will rejoice.


A musical instrument (Rashi).


A psalm intended to enlighten and impart knowledge(Metzudot).

Chapter 54
A prayer to God asking that in His might He save all who hope for His kindness. Read, and you will discover an awe-inspiring and wondrous prayer that should be said by all in the appropriate time.
1. For the Conductor, with instrumental music, a maskil by David,
2. when the Ziphites came and said to Saul, "Behold, David is hiding among us!”
3. O God, deliver me by Your Name, and vindicate me by Your might.
4. God, hear my prayer, listen to the words of my mouth.
5. For strangers have risen against me, and ruthless men have sought my soul; they are not mindful of God, Selah.
6. Behold, God is my helper; my Lord is with those who support my soul.
7. He will repay the evil of my watchful enemies; destroy them by Your truth.
8. With a free-will offering I will sacrifice to You; I will offer thanks to Your Name, O Lord, for it is good.
9. For He has saved me from every trouble, and my eye has seen [the downfall of] my enemy.

Tehillim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
G-d says of the prideful one, "He and I cannot dwell together in the world"
  –Talmud, Sotah 5a
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