Chapter 55

1For the conductor, on neginoth, a maskil of David.   אלַֽמְנַצֵּ֥חַ בִּ֜נְגִינֹ֗ת מַשְׂכִּ֥יל לְדָוִֽד:
2Incline Your ear, O God, to my prayer and do not disregard my supplication.   בהַֽאֲזִ֣ינָה אֱ֖לֹהִים תְּפִלָּתִ֑י וְאַל־תִּ֜תְעַלַּ֗ם מִתְּחִנָּתִֽי:
3Hearken to me and answer me; I lament in my speech and I moan,   גהַקְשִׁ֣יבָה לִּ֖י וַֽעֲנֵ֑נִי אָרִ֖יד בְּשִׂיחִ֣י וְאָהִֽימָה:
I lament in my speech: Heb. אריד, I will lament of my pain, as (Lam. 3:19): “Remember my affliction and my misery (ומרודי).” Also (Jud. 11:37): “and wail (וירדתי) upon the mountains.” Menachem (p. 162) interpreted אריד as an expression of ruling, as (Gen. 1:28): “and rule (ורדו) over the fish of the sea.” שּׂיחי is an expression of speech (Prov. 23:29): “He who talks too much (שיח).”  
4From the voice of the enemy, because of the distress of the wicked; for they accuse me of iniquity and they hate me with a vengeance.   דמִקּ֚וֹל אוֹיֵ֗ב מִ֖פְּנֵי עָקַ֣ת רָשָׁ֑ע כִּֽי־יָמִ֖יטוּ עָלַ֥י אָ֜֗וֶן וּבְאַ֥ף יִשְׂטְמֽוּנִי:
the distress: Heb. עקת, an expression of distress.  
for they accuse me of iniquity: Doeg and Ahithophel accuse me of iniquities that overweigh [the scale] to demonstrate that I am liable to death, and they sanction [the shedding of] my blood.  
5My heart shudders within me, and terrors of death have fallen upon me.   הלִבִּי יָחִ֣יל בְּקִרְבִּ֑י וְאֵימ֥וֹת מָ֜֗וֶת נָֽפְל֥וּ עָלָֽי:
shudders: Heb. יחיל, worries.  
6Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overcomes me.   ויִרְאָ֣ה וָ֖רַעַד יָבֹ֣א בִ֑י וַ֜תְּכַסֵּ֗נִי פַּלָּצֽוּת:
7And I said, "If only I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.   זוָֽאֹמַ֗ר מִֽי־יִתֶּן־לִּ֣י אֵ֣בֶר כַּיּוֹנָ֑ה אָע֥וּפָה וְאֶשְׁכֹּֽנָה:
8Behold I would wander far away; I would lodge in the desert forever.   חהִנֵּה אַרְחִ֣יק נְדֹ֑ד אָלִ֖ין בַּמִּדְבָּ֣ר סֶֽלָה:
Behold I would wander far away…: and…  
9I would quickly find myself a refuge from a sweeping wind, from a tempest."   טאָחִ֣ישָׁה מִפְלָ֣ט לִ֑י מֵר֖וּחַ סֹעָ֣ה מִסָּֽעַר:
I would quickly find myself a refuge: If I had wings, I would wander far away and hasten to save my soul from their hands, for they are like a sweeping wind, a storm wind, which uproots trees, as (Job 19:10): “He has uprooted (ויסע) like a tree.” But Menachem (p. 127) associated it with (Exod.12:37): "And the children of Israel traveled (ויסעו).  
10Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongue, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.   יבַּלַּ֣ע אֲ֖דֹנָי פַּלַּ֣ג לְשׁוֹנָ֑ם כִּֽי־רָאִ֨יתִי חָמָ֖ס וְרִ֣יב בָּעִֽיר:
divide their tongue: Divide it so that no one should pay them heed. And Menachem (p. 142) interpreted פלג as an expression of division.  
Destroy: (Defey or defay in Old French, destroy, defais in modern French,) like (Lam. 2: 8): “He did not restrain his hand from destroying (מבלע).” So did Menachem interpret it [p. 46].  
for I have seen violence and strife in the city: through them.  
11Day and night they surround it on its walls, and iniquity and sin are in its midst.   יאיוֹמָ֚ם וָלַ֗יְלָה יְסֽוֹבְבֻ֥הָ עַל־חֽוֹמֹתֶ֑יהָ וְאָ֖וֶן וְעָמָ֣ל בְּקִרְבָּֽהּ:
they surround it: i.e., the violence and the strife.  
12Destruction is within it, and blows and deceit do not move out of its square.   יבהַוּ֥וֹת בְּקִרְבָּ֑הּ וְלֹֽא־יָמִ֥ישׁ מֵֽ֜רְחֹבָ֗הּ תּ֣וֹךְ וּמִרְמָֽה:
Destruction: Heb. הוות.  
blows: Heb. תוֹ.  
13For no enemy reviled me that I should bear it; my enemy did not open his mouth wide against me, that I should hide from him.   יגכִּ֚י לֹֽא־אוֹיֵ֥ב יְחָֽרְפֵ֗נִי וְאֶ֫שָּׂ֥א לֹֽא־מְשַׂנְאִ֣י עָלַ֣י הִגְדִּ֑יל וְאֶסָּתֵ֥ר מִמֶּֽנּוּ:
For no enemy reviled me: all my life that I should bear my vilification, but I rose up against him and slew him.  
my enemy did not open his mouth: that I should flee and hide from him, but now I bear the abuse with which you reviled me because you are a man who is great in Torah.  
14And you are a man of my equal, my prince and my esteemed one.   ידוְאַתָּ֣ה אֱנ֣וֹשׁ כְּעֶרְכִּ֑י אַ֜לּוּפִ֗י וּמְיֻדָּעִֽי:
a man of my equal: A man as important as I.  
and my esteemed one: Heb. ומידעי, like אלוּפי, my prince, an expression of (Exod. 33: 17): “and I recognized you (ואדעך),” which is translated וְרַבִּיתָ “and I made you great.” Menachem (p. 94), however, explained that “For no enemy would revile me that I should bear” is connected to (verse 7): “If only I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” If I could raise my wings, I would fly away and wander on account of the distress of the wicked [inflicted upon me], for when I would leave the midst of the assembly of the profligate to lodge in the desert forever, then no enemy would revile me; I would not [have to] bear my disgrace and my shame, and I would not hide from him as I hid from them when I was among them. However, this interpretation is impossible, because of the verses following it, namely: And you are a man of my equal, my prince, and my esteemed one (verse 14); that together we would devise counsel; in the house of God we would walk with a multitude (verse 15). Therefore, Dunash (p. 94) interprets it in another manner, and this is its interpretation: For it is not an enemy who reviles me that I should bear my abuse, and it is not my enemy who opens his mouth wide against me, but my prince and my esteemed one, that together we would take counsel; in the house of God we would walk with a multitude. This thing is known, that the abuse of a friend is harder for a person [to bear] than the abuse of an enemy. Moreover, one can hide from his enemy, but one cannot hide from his friend when he tells him all that is in his heart. The context corroborates this [interpretation].  
15That together we would devise counsel; in the house of God we would walk with a multitude.   טואֲשֶׁ֣ר יַ֖חְדָּו נַמְתִּ֣יק ס֑וֹד בְּבֵ֥ית אֱ֜לֹהִ֗ים נְהַלֵּ֥ךְ בְּרָֽגֶשׁ:
That together: we used to devise counsel in the Torah and in the house of God we would walk בְרָגֶשּׁ, with a multitude.  
in the house of God: In the study-halls.  
16May He incite Death upon them; may they descend to the grave alive, for there are evils in their dwelling, in their midst.   טזיַשִּׁ֚י מָ֨וֶת | (כתיב יַשִּׁ֚ימָ֨וֶת) עָלֵ֗ימוֹ יֵֽרְד֣וּ שְׁא֣וֹל חַיִּ֑ים כִּֽי־רָע֖וֹת בִּמְגוּרָ֣ם בְּקִרְבָּֽם:
May He incite Death upon them: May the Holy One, blessed be He, incite the Angel of Death upon them. Heb. יַשִּׁיא, incite and entice, an expression of (Gen. 3:13): “The serpent enticed me and I ate.” Menachem (p. 101) interpreted יַשִּׁיא, as an expression of יש, there is, as (Gen. 24:49): “If you wish (ישכם) to do kindness” ; (Deut. 29:14), “who is (ישנו) here.”  
in their dwelling: במגורם, in their lodging.  
17I shall call to God, and the Lord will save me.   יזאֲנִי אֶל־אֱלֹהִ֣ים אֶקְרָ֑א וַֽ֜יהֹוָ֗ה יֽוֹשִׁיעֵֽנִי:
18Evening, morning, and noontime, I speak and moan, and He hearkened to my voice.   יחעֶ֚רֶב וָבֹ֣קֶר וְ֖צָֽהֳרַיִם אָשִׂ֣יחָה וְאֶֽהֱמֶ֑ה וַיִּשְׁמַ֥ע קוֹלִֽי:
Evening, morning, and noontime: The evening prayer, the morning prayer, and the afternoon prayer, three prayers.  
19He redeemed my soul with peace from the battle that came upon me, because of the many [people who] were with me.   יטפָּ֘דָ֚ה בְשָׁל֣וֹם נַ֖פְשִׁי מִקְּרָב־לִ֑י כִּֽי־בְ֜רַבִּ֗ים הָי֥וּ עִמָּדִֽי:
from the battle that came upon me: from the war that came upon me.  
because of the many [people who] were with me: For He did this because of the many people who came to my aid to pray on my behalf, as it is stated (I Sam. 18:16): “And all Israel and Judah loved David.”  
20May God hear and answer them, and the One who dwells from time immemorial forever, for there is no passing for them, and they did not fear God.   כיִשְׁמַ֚ע אֵ֨ל | וְיַֽעֲנֵם֘ וְיֹ֚שֵׁ֥ב קֶ֗דֶם סֶ֥֫לָה אֲשֶׁ֚ר אֵ֣ין חֲלִיפ֣וֹת לָ֑מוֹ וְלֹ֖א יָֽרְא֣וּ אֱלֹהִֽים:
May God hear: the prayer of those many people.  
and answer them: the King, Who dwells from time immemorial.  
for there is no passing for them: For those wicked men who pursue me. They do not pay heed to the day of their passing, and they do not quake from the day of death.  
21He stretched forth his hands against him who was at peace with him; he profaned his covenant.   כאשָׁלַ֣ח יָ֖דָיו בִּשְׁלֹמָ֗יו חִלֵּ֥ל בְּרִיתֽוֹ:
He stretched forth his hands: This refers to Ahithophel the wicked.  
He stretched forth: Heb. שלח, tandit or tondet in Old French, stretched forth, tendait in modern French.  
against him who was at peace with him: Heb. בשלמיו, against him who was tranquil and at peace with him.  
22Smooth were the buttery words of his mouth but his heart was set on war; his words were softer than oil, but they are curses.   כבחָֽלְק֚וּ | מַֽחֲמָאֹ֣ת פִּיו֘ וּֽקְרַ֪ב לִ֫בּ֥וֹ רַכּ֖וּ דְבָרָ֥יו מִשֶּׁ֗מֶן וְהֵ֣מָּה פְתִחֽוֹת:
Smooth were: Heb. חלקו, an expression of (above 35:6): “and slippery (וחלקלקות).”  
the buttery words of his mouth: Heb. מחמאת, an expression of חמאה butter. The first “mem” is a defective radical in the word, like the “mem” of מעשה and the “mem” of מאמר.  
but his heart was set on war: Heb. וקרב, to war.  
but they are curses: Heb. פתחות. Menachem (p. 147) interpreted it as an expression of swords, as (Micah 5:5): “and the land of Nimrod with its swords (בפתחיה),” with the edges of the sword. I say, however, that it is an expression of curse in Aramaic, as the Talmud (R.H. 31b) states: Amemar wrote a pethicha on her, which is a warrant decreeing excommunication.  
23Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will bear you; He shall never allow a righteous man to falter.   כגהַשְׁלֵ֚ךְ עַל־יְהֹוָ֨ה | יְהָֽבְךָ֘ וְה֪וּא יְכַ֫לְכְּלֶ֥ךָ לֹֽא־יִתֵּ֖ן לְעוֹלָ֥ם מ֗וֹט לַצַּדִּֽיק:
your burden: Heb. יהבך, your burden. The Holy Spirit answers him thus.  
and He will bear you: Heb. יכלכלך. He will bear your burden, as (I Kings 8: 27): "the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You (יכלכלוך). The expression of כלכול is rendered מסובר, bearing, in Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel.  
to falter: Heb. מוט, the faltering of the foot.  
24But You, O God, shall lower them to the Pit of Destruction; men of blood and deceit shall not live half their days, but I will trust in You.   כדוְאַתָּ֚ה אֱלֹהִ֨ים | תּֽוֹרִ֘דֵ֚ם לִבְאֵ֬ר שַׁ֗חַת אַנְשֵׁ֚י דָמִ֣ים וּ֖מִרְמָה לֹא־יֶֽחֱצ֣וּ יְמֵיהֶ֑ם וַֽ֜אֲנִ֗י אֶבְטַח־בָּֽךְ: