Chapter 31

1To the conductor, a song of David.   אלַֽ֜מְנַצֵּ֗חַ מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִֽד:
2I took refuge in You, O Lord; let me not be shamed forever; rescue me with Your righteousness.   בבְּךָ֖ יְהֹוָ֣ה חָ֖סִיתִי אַל־אֵב֣וֹשָׁה לְעוֹלָ֑ם בְּצִדְקָֽתְךָ֥ פַלְּטֵֽנִי:
3Incline Your ear to me, quickly rescue me; be a rock of strength to me, a stronghold to save me.   גהַטֵּ֚ה אֵלַ֨י | אָזְנְךָ֘ מְהֵרָ֪ה הַצִּ֫ילֵ֥נִי הֱיֵ֚ה לִ֨י | לְצ֣וּר מָ֖עוֹז לְבֵ֥ית מְצוּד֗וֹת לְהֽוֹשִׁיעֵֽנִי:
a stronghold: Pleysiz in Old French, a fortress.  
4For You are my Rock and my Stronghold, and for Your name's sake, You shall lead me and guide me.   דכִּֽי־סַלְעִ֣י וּמְצֽוּדָתִ֣י אָ֑תָּה וּלְמַ֥עַן שִׁ֜מְךָ֗ תַּנְחֵ֥נִי וּתְנַֽהֲלֵֽנִי:
You shall lead me: Heb. תנחני, mene moi in French, lead me, as (in Exod. 32: 34): “go lead (נחה) the people.”  
5You shall free me from this net which they have hidden for me, for You are my stronghold.   התּֽוֹצִיאֵ֗נִי מֵרֶ֣שֶׁת ז֖וּ טָ֥מְנוּ לִ֑י כִּ֥י אַ֜תָּה מָֽעֻזִּֽי:
6In Your hand I entrust my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth.   ובְּיָֽדְךָ֘ אַפְקִ֪יד ר֫וּחִ֥י פָּדִ֖יתָה אוֹתִ֥י יְ֜הֹוָ֗ה אֵ֣ל אֱמֶֽת:
I entrust: Heb. אפקיד, komondere in Old French, I will entrust. I always entrust my spirit because You redeemed me from trouble.  
7I hated those who await worthless vanities, but I hoped for the Lord.   זשָׂנֵ֗אתִי הַשֹּׁמְרִ֥ים הַבְלֵי־שָׁ֑וְא וַֽ֜אֲנִ֗י אֶל־יְהֹוָ֥ה בָּטָֽחְתִּי:
those who await worthless vanities: Who await the salvation of pagan deities.  
8I will exult and rejoice in Your kindness, for You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul.   חאָגִ֥ילָה וְאֶשְׂמְחָ֗ה בְּחַ֫סְדֶּ֥ךָ אֲשֶׁ֣ר רָ֖אִיתָ אֶת־עָנְיִ֑י יָ֜דַ֗עְתָּ בְּצָר֥וֹת נַפְשִֽׁי:
9And you did not deliver me into the hands of an enemy; You have placed my feet in a broad place.   טוְלֹ֣א הִ֖סְגַּרְתַּנִי בְּיַד־אוֹיֵ֑ב הֶֽעֱמַ֖דְתָּ בַמֶּרְחָ֣ב רַגְלָֽי:
deliver me: Heb. הסגרתני, livras moi in French, but Menachem (p. 125) associated it as an expression of closing, and likewise every expression of סגר.  
10Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is dimmed from anger, my soul and my belly.   יחָנֵּ֥נִי יְהֹוָה֘ כִּ֪י צַ֫ר לִ֥י עָֽשְׁשָׁ֖ה בְכַ֣עַס עֵינִ֑י נַ֜פְשִׁ֗י וּבִטְנִֽי:
is dimmed: Heb. עששה, an expression of a lantern, עששית. If a person puts glass in front of his eyes to see something on the other side of the glass, the appearance (of that thing) is unclear.  
11For my life is spent in grief and my years in sighing; my strength has failed because of my iniquity, and my bones have decayed.   יאכִּ֚י כָל֪וּ בְיָג֡וֹן חַיַּ֘י וּשְׁנוֹתַ֪י בַּֽאֲנָ֫חָ֥ה כָּשַׁ֣ל בַּֽעֲו‍ֹנִ֣י כֹחִ֑י וַֽעֲצָמַ֥י עָשֵֽׁשׁוּ:
and my bones have decayed: Heb. עששו, an expression of decay, as though a moth (עש) had eaten them.  
12From all my tormentors I have become a reproach-and very much so to my neighbors-and fright to my acquaintances; those who see me outside avoid me.   יבמִכָּל־צֹרְרַ֨י הָיִ֪יתִי חֶרְפָּ֡ה וְלִֽשְׁכֵנַ֨י | מְאֹד֘ וּפַ֪חַד לִֽמְיֻדָּ֫עָ֥י רֹאַ֥י בַּח֑וּץ נָֽדְד֥וּ מִמֶּֽנִּי:
From all my tormentors: From all my tormentors [not because of my tormentors].  
I have become a reproach: Heb. חרפה, a reproach.  
to my neighbors: I am very much a reproach.  
and fright to my acquaintances: A mes connaissances in French, to my acquaintances. They are frightened by what happens to me.  
13I was forgotten like a dead person, out of mind; I was like a lost utensil.   יגנִשְׁכַּחְתִּי כְּמֵ֣ת מִלֵּ֑ב הָ֜יִ֗יתִי כִּכְלִ֥י אֹבֵֽד:
like a lost utensil: Which is in the process of becoming lost. Any expression of אבדה, loss, does not refer to the owner of the lost article, saying that he lost it, but that the lost article is lost from him, as is stated (in Deut. 22:3): “which will be lost from him” ; (in Ezek. 34:4), “the lost one you did not seek.”  
14For I heard the gossip of many, terror from all sides when they take counsel together against me; they plotted to take my soul.   ידכִּ֚י שָׁמַ֨עְתִּי | דִּבַּ֥ת רַבִּים֘ מָג֪וֹר מִסָּ֫בִ֥יב בְּהִוָּֽסְדָ֣ם יַ֣חַד עָלַ֑י לָקַ֖חַת נַפְשִׁ֣י זָמָֽמוּ:
the gossip of many: Heb. דבת, the counsel of many. דבת is an expression of (Song 7:10): “making the lips of the sleeping speak (דבב).” Likewise, every דבת in Scripture, parledic in Old French, gossip (so Gen. 37:2, Num. 14:36, Ezek. 36:3).  
terror from all sides: that they scare and frighten me.  
when they take counsel: Heb. בהוסדם, when they take counsel.  
they plotted: Heb. זממו, an expression of thought.  
15But I trusted in You, O Lord; I said, "You are my God."   טווַֽאֲנִ֚י | עָלֶ֣יךָ בָטַ֣חְתִּי יְהֹוָ֑ה אָ֜מַ֗רְתִּי אֱלֹהַ֥י אָֽתָּה:
16My times are in Your hands; rescue me from the hands of my enemies and from my pursuers.   טזבְּיָֽדְךָ֥ עִתֹּתָ֑י הַצִּילֵ֥נִי מִיַּד־אֽ֜וֹיְבַ֗י וּמֵרֹֽדְפָֽי:
My times are in Your hands: The times that pass over me are through Your orders and by Your decrees.  
17Cause Your countenance to shine upon Your servant; save me with Your kindness.   יזהָאִ֣ירָה פָ֖נֶיךָ עַל־עַבְדֶּ֑ךָ ה֖וֹשִׁיעֵ֣נִי בְחַסְדֶּֽךָ:
18O Lord, let me not be shamed because I called out to You; let the wicked be shamed, let them be silenced to the grave.   יחיְהֹוָ֗ה אַל־אֵ֖בוֹשָׁה כִּ֥י קְרָאתִ֑יךָ יֵבֹ֥שׁוּ רְ֜שָׁעִ֗ים יִדְּמ֥וּ לִשְׁאֽוֹל:
let me not be shamed because I called out to You: Since I called You, it is not fitting that I should be shamed.  
let them be silenced to the grave: Heb. ידמו, let them be silenced and made dumb to die.  
19Let lying lips become mute, those that speak against a righteous man falsely, with haughtiness and disdain.   יטתֵּֽאָלַ֗מְנָה שִׂפְתֵ֫י שָׁ֥קֶר הַדֹּֽבְר֖וֹת עַל־צַדִּ֥יק עָ֜תָ֗ק בְּגַֽאֲוָ֥ה וָבֽוּז:
that speak against a righteous man falsely: That say to Saul concerning me, “David seeks to harm you.”  
falsely: Heb. עתק, untruth, something unfounded, as (Gen. 12:8): “And he moved (ויעתק) from there” [i.e., something removed from the truth]. Dunash (pp. 17f.) however, interpreted it as an expression of a great and strong thing, as (in Job 21:7): “grow strong (עתקו) and powerfully rich” ; (Prov. 8:18), “powerful (עתק) wealth” ; (Isa. 23: 18), “and for stately (עתקו) clothing.”  
20How great is Your goodness that You have laid away for those who fear You, that You have worked for those who take refuge in You, in the presence of the sons of men!   כמָ֚ה רַ֥ב טֽוּבְךָ֘ אֲשֶׁר־צָפַ֪נְתָּ לִּֽירֵ֫אֶ֥יךָ פָּ֖עַלְתָּ לַחוֹסִ֣ים בָּ֑ךְ נֶ֜֗גֶד בְּנֵ֣י אָדָֽם:
How great is Your goodness: I knew that those who fear You have good reward in the world to come, nevertheless, in this world, because the wicked surround them, I pray for them that You hide them in the secrecy of Your countenance.  
21You shall hide them in the secrecy of Your countenance, from bands of men; protect them in a shelter from the strife of tongues.   כאתַּסְתִּירֵ֚ם בְּסֵ֥תֶר פָּנֶיךָ֘ מֵֽרֻכְסֵ֪֫י אִ֥ישׁ תִּצְפְּנֵ֥ם בְּ֜סֻכָּ֗ה מֵרִ֥יב לְשֹׁנֽוֹת:
from bands of men: Heb. מרכסי, from the groups of wicked men who group together to harm them.  
22Blessed is the Lord for He has been wondrously kind to me in a besieged city.   כבבָּר֥וּךְ יְהֹוָ֑ה כִּֽי־הִפְלִיא חַסְדּ֥וֹ לִ֜֗י בְּעִ֣יר מָצֽוֹר:
for He has been wondrously kind to me in a beseiged city: In Keilah, when Saul said concerning me (I Sam. 23:7): “for he has been shut in by coming into a city with doors and bars.”  
23But I said in my haste, "I have been cut off from before Your eyes," but You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried out to You.   כגוַֽאֲנִ֚י | אָ֘מַ֚רְתִּי בְחָפְזִ֗י נִגְרַזְתִּי֘ מִנֶּ֪גֶד עֵ֫ינֶ֥יךָ אָכֵ֗ן שָׁ֖מַעְתָּ ק֥וֹל תַּֽ֜חֲנוּנַ֗י בְּשַׁוְּעִ֥י אֵלֶֽיךָ:
But I said in my haste: When I left Keilah and came to the desert of Maon, I was hastening to leave because Saul and his men were surrounding me and my men, to seize us.  
I said: in my heart.  
I have been cut off: Heb. נגרזתי, I have been cut off, an expression of an ax (גרזן) which cuts the tree. Because of its cutting (גרזתו), it is called גרזן, an ax. This is how Dunash explained it (p. 57). (Menachem, however, defined it like נגרשתי, I have driven out, but it has no parallel in the Torah. (p. 59).  
24Love the Lord, all His pious ones. The Lord guards those who believe [in Him] and He pays with a bowstring him who works with haughtiness.   כדאֶֽהֱב֥וּ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֗ה כָּל־חֲסִ֫ידָ֥יו אֱ֖מוּנִים נֹצֵ֣ר יְהֹוָ֑ה וּמְשַׁלֵּ֥ם עַל־יֶ֜֗תֶר עֹשֵׂ֥ה גַֽאֲוָֽה:
The Lord guards those who believe: in His salvation and rely on Him.  
with a bowstring: Heb. יתר (with measure for measure and with exactitude, like an arrow on a bowstring. Not in all editions.) Or, יתר can be interpreted as a rope for a rope, a line for a line. Another interpretation: יתר is an expression of haughtiness, as (in Isa. 15:7): “Because of the haughtiness (יתרה) with which they acted.”  
25Strengthen yourselves, and He will give your heart courage, all who hope to the Lord.   כהחִזְקוּ וְיַֽאֲמֵ֣ץ לְבַבְכֶ֑ם כָּל־הַֽ֜מְיַֽחֲלִ֗ים לַֽיהֹוָֽה:
Strengthen yourselves, and He will give your heart courage: as you see that He did for me, to save me because I hoped for Him.