Chapter 38

1A song of David, to make remembrance.   אמִזְמ֖וֹר לְדָוִ֣ד לְהַזְכִּֽיר:
A song of David, to make remembrance: To recite it in time of distress, to make remembrance of the distress of Israel before the Holy One, blessed be He, and he recited it as relating to all Israel.  
2O Lord, do not reprove me with Your anger, nor chastise me with Your wrath.   ביְהֹוָ֗ה אַל־בְּקֶצְפְּךָ֥ תֽוֹכִיחֵ֑נִי וּבַֽחֲמָֽתְךָ֥ תְיַסְּרֵֽנִי:
3For Your arrows have been shot into me, and Your hand has come down upon me.   גכִּֽי־חִצֶּ֥יךָ נִֽחֲתוּ־בִ֑י וַתִּנְחַ֖ת עָלַ֣י יָדֶֽךָ:
have been shot: Heb. נחתו, have been cast. The expression of נחת applies to the bending of a bow, and since the arrows are shot by bending the bow, he wrote נחתו בי [literally] “were bent in me.” Similarly, (in Exod. 15:9): “I will unsheath my sword חרבי) (אריק,” [lit. I emptied my sword.] The Torah should have written: אריק תערי, I will empty my sheath, but because when they draw the sword from its sheath, the sheath is emptied of it, he therefore relates the emptying to the sword. Similarly, (above 18:35): “a copper bow was bent (ונחתה).” The “nun” is not a radical, because, if it were a radical, it would have to be ננחתו, but the “nun” of נחתו, and so ותנחת, is not a radical but is sometimes dropped, like the “nun” of נגף, to smite; נשך, to bite; נדר, to vow; נקם, to avenge. And when it is passive we say: נִגַּף, smitten; נִשַׁ, bitten; נִדַּר, vowed; נִקַּם, avenged, like נִנְקַם, נִנְדַּר, נִנְשַׁ, נִנְגַּף. The “dagesh” in the word replaces the “nun.” Similarly (in Lev. 26:36), a rattling (נִדַף) leaf, “ (in Lam. 3:49),” My eyes stream (נִגְרָה), “ like נִנְגְּרָה. So does he say נִחֲתוּ like נִנְחֲתוּ, and so (above 18:35): ” and a copper bow was bent (וְנִּחֲתָה), “ like וְנִנְחֲתָה. It was customary for the ” cheth “ to be treated like the letters that do accept a ” dagesh “ in most places, e.g. (in I Kings 13:18): ” He lied (כִּחֶשׁ) to him, “ in the form that is punctuated by a” dagesh, “ [i.e., the pi’el conjugation,] like דִבֶּר spoke, from the same conjugation as וַיְדַבֶּר, כִּחֶשׁ from the same conjugation as (Gen. 18: 15): ” And Sarah lied (וַתְּכַחֵשׁ), “ and we do not say כֵּחַשׁ as we say from הַמְבָרֵ, בֵּרַ and we do not say בִּרֵ as we say דִּבֵּר, because the power of the ” dagesh “ ; is not recognizable in the ” resh, “ but in the ” cheth “ the power of the ” dagesh “ is recognizable, and so (in Deut. 32:5): ” Have they injured (שִׁחֵת) Him?“ like כִּפֵר, atoned, דִּבֵּר, spoke. Here, too, he says, נִחֲתוּ like נִגְּשׁוּ they approached, נִתְּנוּ, they were given, from the roots נחת, נגש, נתן, the ” nun “ being a defective radical, replaced by a ” dagesh “ in the passive voice. So is (I Sam. 2:4): ” The bows of the mighty are broken (חתים), “ from the root נחת and חתת as you say from נסב, סבב, from נשם, שמם; (Lev. 26: 22),” and your ways shall become desolate (וְנָשַׁמוּ) , “ (ibid. verse 32),” shall wonder (וְשָׁמְמוּ) over it.“ Similarly, בָּלַל, נָבֹל, (Gen. 11: 9)” for there the Lord confused בָּלַל “ (ibid. verse 7)” and let us confuse (וְנָבְלָה) their language there." So does he say נחת and חתת in the active voice.  
and Your hand has come down upon me: This is the explanation of “Your arrows have been shot into me.” And this is its interpretation: What bent the bow to shoot the arrows? Your hand has come down upon the bow to shoot arrows at me. ותנחת is an expression of ותרד, it came down, and in this the “nun” is a radical. Similarly (18:35), “and a copper bow was broken (ונחתה) ,” in which the “nun” is not a radical.  
4There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your fury; there is no peace in my bones because of my sin.   דאֵין־מְתֹ֣ם בִּ֖בְשָׂרִי מִפְּנֵ֣י זַעְמֶ֑ךָ אֵין־שָׁל֥וֹם בַּֽ֜עֲצָמַ֗י מִפְּנֵ֥י חַטָּאתִֽי:
soundness: Perfection, anterin in Old French, wholeness.  
5For my iniquities passed over my head; as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.   הכִּֽי־עֲ֖ו‍ֹֽנֹתַי עָֽבְר֣וּ רֹאשִׁ֑י כְּמַשָּׂ֥א כָ֜בֵ֗ד יִכְבְּד֥וּ מִמֶּֽנִּי:
are too heavy: Heb. יכבדו, are heavy.  
6My boils are putrid; they fester because of my folly.   והִבְאִ֣ישׁוּ נָ֖מַקּוּ חַבּֽוּרֹתָ֑י מִ֜פְּנֵ֗י אִוַּלְתִּֽי:
7I am very much stunned and bowed; all day I go around in gloom.   זנַֽעֲוֵ֣יתִי שַׁחֹ֣תִי עַד־מְאֹ֑ד כָּל־הַ֜יּ֗וֹם קֹדֵ֥ר הִלָּֽכְתִּי:
I am… stunned: Heb. נעויתי an expression of (Chullin 60b): “Convulsions (עוית) seize him.” Etourdissant in French, stunning.  
8For my loins are full of self-effacement; there is no soundness in my flesh.   חכִּֽי־כְ֖סָלַי מָֽלְא֣וּ נִקְלֶ֑ה וְאֵ֥ין מְ֜תֹ֗ם בִּבְשָׂרִֽי:
For my loins are full of self-effacement: In my thoughts, I am insignificant in my own eyes.  
9I passed out and was very crushed; I moaned from the turmoil in my heart.   טנְפוּגֹ֣תִי וְנִדְכֵּ֣יתִי עַד־מְאֹ֑ד שָׁ֜אַ֗גְתִּי מִנַּֽ֗הֲמַ֥ת לִבִּֽי:
I passed out: Heb. נפוגתי, I passed out, an expression of (Gen. 45:26), “and his heart fainted (ויפג).” (Lam. 3:49), “without respite (הפגת).”  
10O Lord, all my desire is before You, and my sigh is not hidden from You.   יאֲדֹנָ֗י נֶגְדְּךָ֥ כָל־תַּֽאֲוָתִ֑י וְ֜אַנְחָתִ֗י מִמְּךָ֥ לֹֽא־נִסְתָּֽרָה:
all my desire: You know my needs.  
11My heart is engulfed; my strength has left me, and the light of my eyes- they too are not with me.   יאלִבִּ֣י סְ֖חַרְחַר עֲזָבַ֣נִי כֹחִ֑י וְֽא֖וֹר עֵינַ֥י גַּם־הֵ֜֗ם אֵ֣ין אִתִּֽי:
engulfed: Heb. סחרחר, surrounded by grief. This is one of the double words, like (Lev. 13:49), “dark green (ירקרק), dark red (אדמדם) ,” (Ned. 66b) “round (סגלגל)” (Lam. 1:20), “my spirits are troubled (חמר מרו).”  
12My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my affliction, and those close to me stood afar.   יבאֹֽהֲבַ֨י | וְרֵעַ֗י מִנֶּ֣גֶד נִגְעִ֣י יַֽעֲמֹ֑דוּ וּ֜קְרוֹבַ֗י מֵֽרָחֹ֥ק עָמָֽדוּ:
stand aloof from my affliction: Those who appear to me as lovers in time of their pleasure, and when they see that the affliction comes upon me, they do not stand up for me in the time of my strait, but stand aloof and do not aid me.  
and those close to me: who showed themselves to be close to me.  
13And those who seek my life lay traps, and those who seek my harm speak treachery, and all day long they think of deceits.   יגוַיְנַקְשׁ֨וּ | מְבַקְשֵׁ֬י נַפְשִׁ֗י וְדֹֽרְשֵׁ֣י רָֽ֖עָתִי דִּבְּר֣וּ הַוּ֑וֹת וּ֜מִרְמ֗וֹת כָּל־הַיּ֥וֹם יֶהְגּֽוּ:
And those who seek my life lay traps: They seek traps for me.  
14But I am as a deaf person, I do not hear, and like a mute, who does not open his mouth.   ידוַֽאֲנִ֣י כְ֖חֵרֵֽשׁ לֹ֣א אֶשְׁמָ֑ע וּ֜כְאִלֵּ֗ם לֹ֣א יִפְתַּח־פִּֽיו:
But I am as a deaf person: Israel hears their reproach from the nations but does not respond. Why? Because I hoped for You, O Lord, that You would redeem me and save me from them.  
15And I was as a man who does not understand and in whose mouth are no arguments.   טווָֽאֱהִ֗י כְּ֖אִישׁ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־שֹׁמֵ֑עַ וְאֵ֥ין בְּ֜פִ֗יו תּֽוֹכָחֽוֹת:
16Because I hoped for You, O Lord; You shall answer, O Lord, my God.   טזכִּי־לְךָ֣ יְהֹוָ֣ה הוֹחָ֑לְתִּי אַתָּ֥ה תַֽ֜עֲנֶ֗ה אֲדֹנָ֥י אֱלֹהָֽי:
17For I said, "Lest they rejoice over me; when my foot faltered, they magnified themselves over me."   יזכִּֽי־אָ֖מַרְתִּי פֶּן־יִשְׂמְחוּ־לִ֑י בְּמ֥וֹט רַ֜גְלִ֗י עָלַ֥י הִגְדִּֽילוּ:
For I said, “Lest they rejoice over me”: For this reason we remain silent, because we say to ourselves, “If we answer them brazenly, they may witness our downfall and rejoice over us when our feet falter, and they will magnify themselves over us saying, ‘Weren’t you boasting of your salvation?’”  
18For I am ready for disaster, and my pain is always before me.   יחכִּ֣י אֲ֖נִי לְצֶ֣לַע נָכ֑וֹן וּמַ֜כְאוֹבִ֗י נֶגְדִּ֥י תָמִֽיד:
For I am ready for disaster: For this reason, we are concerned lest they rejoice over us, because we are accustomed to blows and are always ready and prepared for disaster.  
and my pain is always before me: It is always prepared to come before me.  
19For I relate my iniquity; I worry about my sin.   יטכִּֽי־עֲו‍ֹנִ֥י אַגִּ֑יד אֶ֜דְאַ֗ג מֵֽחַטָּאתִֽי:
For I relate my iniquity: My heart tells me my iniquity. Therefore, I worry, and fear my sin, lest it cause me disaster and pain.  
20But my enemies are in the vigor of life, and those who hate me for false reasons have become great.   כוְֽאֹיְבַי חַיִּ֣ים עָצֵ֑מוּ וְרַ֜בּוּ שֹֽׂנְאַ֥י שָֽׁקֶר:
are in the vigor of life: They are in the vigor of life with tranquility and goodness.  
have become great: And those who hate me because of false words have become exalted.  
21And they repay evil for good; they hate me for my pursuit of goodness.   כאוּמְשַׁלְּמֵ֣י רָ֖עָה תַּ֣חַת טוֹבָ֑ה יִ֜שְׂטְנ֗וּנִי תַּ֣חַת רָֽדְפִי־ (כתיב רָֽדְופִי) טֽוֹב:
for my pursuit of goodness: Because we cleave to the Holy One, blessed be He, and to His commandments.  
22Do not forsake me, O Lord, my God; do not distance Yourself from me.   כבאַל־תַּֽעַזְבֵ֥נִי יְהֹוָ֑ה אֱ֜לֹהַ֗י אַל־תִּרְחַ֥ק מִמֶּֽנִּי:
23Hasten to my aid, O Lord, my salvation.   כגח֥וּשָׁה לְעֶזְרָתִ֑י אֲ֜דֹנָ֗י תְּשֽׁוּעָתִֽי: