Chapter 58

1For the conductor, al tashcheth; of David a michtam.   אלַֽמְנַצֵּ֥חַ אַל־תַּ֜שְׁחֵ֗ת לְדָוִ֥ד מִכְתָּֽם:
michtam: The name of the melody of a song.  
2Is it true that You were silent about the righteousness that You should have spoken, the equities [with which] You should have judged the children of men?   בהַֽאֻמְנָ֗ם אֵ֣לֶם צֶ֣דֶק תְּדַבֵּר֑וּן מֵֽישָׁרִ֥ים תִּ֜שְׁפְּט֗וּ בְּנֵ֣י אָדָֽם:
Is it true: Heb. האמנם. This is an expression of truth.  
Is it true that you were silent about the righteousness that you should have spoken, etc.: He recited this psalm concerning [the incident] when he entered the barricade where Saul was lying, took the spear and the jug, went away, and called, “Will you not answer, Abner?” (I Sam. 26:14). That is to say, “Shouldn’t you now prove to Saul and show him that he pursues me for no reason? For had I wished, I would have killed him.” And so did he say in his song: Is it true that the righteousness that you should have said and the equities with which you should have judged have been silenced from your mouth? The righteousness that you should have spoken.  
3Even in your heart, you plot injustice; in the earth, you weigh down the violence of your hands.   גאַ֥ף בְּלֵב֘ עוֹלֹ֪ת תִּפְעָ֫ל֥וּן בָּאָ֡רֶץ חֲמַ֖ס יְדֵיכֶ֣ם תְּפַלֵּסֽוּן:
Even in your heart, you plot injustice: And not only that, but in your heart you plot evil, to do injustice.  
injustice: lit. wrongs, like עַוָלוֹת as one says from שוֹר, שורים, and from עיר, עירים (Jud. 10:4): “and they had thirty cities (עירים),” which is an expression of עיר, a city.  
in the earth, you weigh down the violence of your hands: Inside the earth, you weigh down the violence of your hands until it is very heavy. תְפַלֵּסוּן is contrepesez or contrepezeres in Old French, you outweigh. (See Isa. 26:7.)  
4The wicked become estranged [even] from the womb; those who speak lies go astray from birth.   דזֹ֣רוּ רְשָׁעִ֣ים מֵרָ֑חֶם תָּע֥וּ מִבֶּ֗טֶן דֹּֽבְרֵ֥י כָזָֽב:
The wicked become estranged [even] from the womb: From their mother’s womb they become strange to the Holy One, blessed be He, in the way that Esau did (Gen. 25:22): “And the children moved violently against each other in her womb.”  
become estranged: Heb. זֹרו, like נזורוּ, the same construction as (Jer. 2:12): “O heavens (שֹמו) , be astonished” ; (Gen. 49:23), “they heaped bitter abuse upon him and became [his] opponents (ורֹבו) ” ; (Job 24:24), “They are taken away (רוֹמוּ) in a second.” All these are in the passive voice.  
5They have venom like the venom of a serpent, like a deaf cobra that closes its ear,   החֲמַת־לָ֗מוֹ כִּדְמ֥וּת חֲמַת־נָחָ֑שׁ כְּמוֹ־פֶ֥תֶן חֵ֜רֵ֗שׁ יַאְטֵ֥ם אָזְנֽוֹ:
They have venom: They have venom to kill people, like the venom of a serpent.  
like a deaf cobra that closes its ear: When the snake ages, it becomes deaf in one ear, and closes the other ear with dust so that it should not hear the incantation of the charmer, adjuring it not to cause injury.  
6Which will not hear the voice of charmers, the most cunning caster of spells.   ואֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־יִ֖שְׁמַע לְק֣וֹל מְלַֽחֲשִׁ֑ים חוֹבֵ֖ר חֲבָרִ֣ים מְחֻכָּֽם:
Which will not hear, etc.: This is connected to the preceding verse: “and it closes its ear in order not to hear the voice of charmers.”  
caster of spells: who knows how to charm snakes.  
7O God, smash their teeth in their mouth; break the molars of lions, O Lord.   זאֱלֹהִ֗ים הֲרָס־שִׁנֵּ֥ימוֹ בְּפִ֑ימוֹ מַלְתְּע֥וֹת כְּ֜פִירִ֗ים נְת֣וֹץ | יְהֹוָֽה:
molars: The inner teeth, called messelers in Old French, molars, grinders.  
8Let them be rejected; let them walk as [through] water; He will aim His arrows as though they are cut down.   חיִמָּֽאֲס֣וּ כְמוֹ־מַ֖יִם יִתְהַלְּכוּ־לָ֑מוֹ יִדְרֹ֥ךְ חִ֜צָּ֗יו (כתיב חִ֜צָּ֗ו) כְּמ֣וֹ יִתְמֹלָֽלוּ:
Let them be rejected: by themselves, that they will be rejected in their own eyes from worry, and as [if] in water let them walk. Similar to this is (Ezek. 7:17): “and all knees will go [as in] water,” from tears.  
He will aim His arrows: i.e., the Holy One, blessed be He, so that they will be cut off. יתמֹללוּ is soyent preciz, let them be cut off.  
9Like a snail, which continuously melts, a mole [and a] stillbirth, which did not see the sun.   טכְּמ֣וֹ שַׁ֖בְּלוּל תֶּ֣מֶס יַֽהֲלֹ֑ךְ נֵ֥פֶל אֵ֜֗שֶׁת בַּל־חָ֥זוּ שָֽׁמֶשׁ:
a snail: Heb. שבלול. Some interpret it as limace in Old French, a snail (as in Lev. 11:30). Others interpret it as שבֹּלת, a current of water (below 69:16). The “lammed” is doubled, as from (Job 18:16): “his branch will be cut off (ימל) ; (below 90:6),” will be cut off (ימולל) and will dry up."  
melts: it continuously melts. תֶּמֶס is a noun, the “mem” being the fundamental radical and the “tav” a defective radical, like the “tav” of (Lev. 20:12): “they committed a disgraceful act (תבל).”  
a mole: Heb. נפל אשת, talpe in Old French, which has no eyes. It is identified as תִּנְשֶׁמֶת (in Lev. 11:30), translated [by Onkelos] as אשותא. So did our Sages explain it (M.K. 6b). Others explain it as a stillbirth of a woman. אשת is like (Ezek. 23:44): “women of (אשת) lewdness.” There is a “tav” without the construct state, as (Prov. 4:9): “she will transmit to you, a crown of glory תפארת) (עטרת,” like “a stillbirth of a woman (אשה),” for the stillbirths born did not see the sun. According to the former explanation, it is like נפל ואשת, a stillbirth and a mole, as (Jer. 11:19): “And I was like a lamb a bull (ככבש אלוף),” which Menachem explained: like a lamb and a bull (ככבש ואלוף). That is, a bull; here too, a stillbirth and a mole נפל ואשת. It is proper to emend.  
10Before your tender briars develop into hardened thorns, with vigor, with wrath, He will drive them away as a storm wind.   יבְּטֶ֚רֶם יָבִ֣ינוּ סִירֹֽתֵיכֶ֣ם אָטָ֑ד כְּמוֹ־חַ֥י כְּמוֹ־חָ֜ר֗וֹן יִשְׂעָרֶֽנּוּ:
Before your tender briars develop into hardened thorns: lit. before your tender briars know hardened thorns. That before your tender briars know to be hardened thorns, i.e., before the children of the wicked grow up.  
with vigor, with wrath: i.e., with might, with strength, and with wrath will the Holy One, blessed be He, drive them away as [with] a storm wind.  
with vigor: חי is an expression of might.  
11The righteous man will rejoice because he saw revenge; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.   יאיִשְׂמַ֣ח צַ֖דִּיק כִּֽי־חָזָ֣ה נָקָ֑ם פְּעָמָ֥יו יִ֜רְחַ֗ץ בְּדַ֣ם הָרָשָֽׁע:
12And man will say, "Truly, the righteous man has reward; truly there is a God Who judges on earth."   יבוְיֹאמַ֣ר אָ֖דָם אַךְ־פְּרִ֣י לַצַּדִּ֑יק אַ֖ךְ יֵ֥שׁ אֱ֜לֹהִ֗ים שֹֽׁפְטִ֥ים בָּאָֽרֶץ:
And man will say, “Truly, the righteous man has reward”: Then people will say, “Surely there is reward and recompense in the deeds of the righteous, since the Holy One, blessed be He, avenged their wrongs.”  
there is a God: A Judge, Who judges the wicked on the earth.