Chapter 74

1A maskil of Asaph. Why, O God, have You forsaken forever? [Why] is Your wrath kindled against the flock of Your pasture?   אמַשְׂכִּ֗יל לְאָ֫סָ֣ף לָמָ֣ה אֱ֖לֹהִים זָנַ֣חְתָּ לָנֶ֑צַח יֶעְשַּׁ֥ן אַ֜פְּךָ֗ בְּצֹ֣אן מַרְעִיתֶֽךָ:
is Your wrath kindled: lit. do Your nostrils smoke. Whenever one is angry, the nostrils emit smoke.  
2Remember Your congregation, which You acquired from time immemorial; You redeemed the tribe of Your heritage, Mount Zion on which You dwelt.   בזְכֹ֚ר עֲדָֽתְךָ֨ | קָ֘נִ֚יתָ קֶּ֗דֶם גָּ֖אַלְתָּ שֵׁ֣בֶט נַֽחֲלָתֶ֑ךָ הַר־צִ֜יּ֗וֹן זֶ֚ה | שָׁכַ֬נְתָּ בּֽוֹ:
which You acquired from time immemorial: Before the creation of the world, as it is said (below 90: 1,2): “You were a dwelling place for us, etc., before mountains were formed.”  
on which You dwelt: Heb. זה שכנתבו, this upon which You dwelt. This is an improvement of the language, as (Isa. 42:24): “against whom (זו) we sinned.” It is like אשר שכנתבו, on which You dwelt.  
3Raise Your blows to inflict eternal ruin, for all the evil that the enemy did in the Sanctuary.   גהָרִ֣ימָה פְ֖עָמֶיךָ לְמַשֻּׁא֣וֹת נֶ֑צַח כָּל־הֵרַ֖ע אוֹיֵ֣ב בַּקֹּֽדֶשׁ:
Raise Your blows to inflict eternal ruin: Raise Your blows and Your terrors that Your enemies will experience as eternal ruin for every evil thing that the enemy did in the Temple. In this manner, Menachem (p. 144) associates it with (Gen. 41:8): “that his spirit was troubled (ותפעם).”  
to… ruin: Heb. למשאות, an expression of destruction, as (Isa. 24: 12): “through desolation (שאיה) ” ; (Isa. 6:11), “and the ground lies waste (למשאות) and desolate.”  
4Your adversaries roared in the midst of Your meeting place; they made their signs for signs.   דשָֽׁאֲג֣וּ צֹֽ֖רְרֶיךָ בְּקֶ֣רֶב מֽוֹעֲדֶ֑ךָ שָׂ֖מוּ אוֹתֹתָ֣ם אֹתֽוֹת:
Your meeting place: That is the Temple about which it is said (Exod. 25:22): וְנוֹעַדְתִּי לְ שָׁם, “There I will meet with you at appointed times.”  
they made their signs for signs: When they became powerful enough to destroy it, then they themselves accepted that the signs of their divination were true signs. Now what were their divinations?“He shook the arrows, he consulted the terafim.”  
5May he be known as though bringing [their blows] on high; the hatchets were in the thicket of the trees.   היִוָּדַע כְּמֵבִ֣יא לְמָ֑עְלָה בִּסְבָךְ־עֵ֜֗ץ קַרְדֻּמּֽוֹת:
May he be known as though bringing on high; the hatchets were in the thicket of the trees: The enemy knows that when he strikes the gates of the entrances of the Sanctuary, it was as though he was bringing his blows on high, even into the sky. Now how did he know it? For he would see that the trees would entangle, grasp, and swallow up the hatchets, as our Rabbis said (Sanh. 96b): One gate of Jerusalem swallowed them all up.  
the hatchets were in the thicket of the trees: Heb. בסבך-עץ, an expression of (Gen. 22:13): “caught in the thicket (בסבך).” The tree entangles them, and they become entangled in it.  
6And now, its entrances together, with hatchets and hammers they strike.   ו֖וְעַתָּה (כתיב וְעַתָּ) פִּתּוּחֶ֣יהָ יָ֑חַד בְּכַשִּׁ֥יל וְ֜כֵֽילַפּ֗וֹת יַֽהֲלֹמֽוּן:
And now: although he saw that this troubled the Holy One, blessed be He, he did not refrain from striking all its entrances and all its gates together.  
with hatchets and hammers: They are tools of destruction used by carpenters (Jer. 46:22): “and will come against her with axes (ובקרדמות).” Jonathan renders: בּכשיליא. כֵּילַפּוֹת is Arabic. This is how Dunash (p. 34) explained it, and it is one of the carpenters’ tools.  
they strike: The enemies [strike].  
7They set Your Sanctuary afire; to the ground they profaned the dwelling place of Your name.   זשִׁלְח֣וּ בָ֖אֵשׁ מִקְדָּשֶׁ֑ךָ לָ֜אָ֗רֶץ חִלְּל֥וּ מִֽשְׁכַּן־שְׁמֶֽךָ:
8They said in their heart, their rulers together; they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.   חאָֽמְר֣וּ בְ֖לִבָּם נִינָ֣ם יָ֑חַד שָֽׂרְפ֖וּ כָל־מֽוֹעֲדֵי־אֵ֣ל בָּאָֽרֶץ:
They said in their heart, their rulers together: Heb. נינם, their rulers, and similarly (above 72:17): “his name will be magnified (ינון) ; (Prov. 29:21),” he will ultimately be a ruler (מנון)." All their rulers devise one plot, the first as the last: namely, to get at the protector of Israel first and afterwards they would get at them [Israel], You should know this by the fact that they burned all the meeting places of God in the land, all His meeting houses. The Philistines destroyed Shiloh; Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the First Temple; Titus destroyed the Second Temple.  
9We have not seen our signs; there is no longer a prophet, and no one with us knows how long.   טאֹֽתוֹתֵ֗ינוּ לֹֽא־רָ֫אִ֥ינוּ אֵֽין־ע֥וֹד נָבִ֑יא וְלֹֽא־אִ֜תָּ֗נוּ יוֹדֵ֥עַ עַד־מָֽה:
our signs: which You promised us through Your prophetswe have not seen them in the many days that we have been in exile. Asaph prophesied concerning the days of the (last) exile.  
how long: How long we will be in this trouble.  
10How long, O God, will the adversary blaspheme? Will the enemy disgrace Your name forever?   יעַד־מָתַ֣י אֱ֖לֹהִים יְחָרֵ֣ף צָ֑ר יְנָ֘אֵ֚ץ אוֹיֵ֖ב שִׁמְךָ֣ לָנֶֽצַח:
11Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? Draw it out from within Your bosom.   יאלָ֚מָּה תָשִׁ֣יב יָֽ֖דְךָ וִֽימִינֶ֑ךָ מִקֶּ֖רֶב חֵֽיקְךָ֣ (כתיב חֵֽוקְךָ֣) כַלֵּֽה:
Draw it out from within Your bosom: Cast it and draw it out from within Your bosom and wage battle with Your enemies. כַּלֵה is an expression of driving out, as (Exod. 11:1): “he will drive you out completely (כלה).”  
12But God is my King from time immemorial, Who works salvations in the midst of the earth.   יבוֵֽאלֹהִים מַלְכִּ֣י מִקֶּ֑דֶם פֹּעֵ֥ל יְ֜שׁוּע֗וֹת בְּקֶ֣רֶב הָאָֽרֶץ:
But God is my King from time immemorial: Behold, You were our salvation from time immemorial.  
13You crumbled the sea with Your might; You shattered the heads of the sea monsters on the water.   יגאַתָּ֚ה פוֹרַ֣רְתָּ בְעָזְּךָ֣ יָ֑ם שִׁבַּ֖רְתָּ רָאשֵׁ֥י תַ֜נִּינִ֗ים עַל־הַמָּֽיִם:
the beads of the sea monsters: They are the Egyptians, who are called sea monsters, as it is said (Ezek. 29: 3): “the great sea monster, etc.”  
14You crushed the heads of Leviathan; You give it as food to the people in companies.   ידאַתָּ֣ה רִ֖צַּצְתָּ רָאשֵׁ֣י לִוְיָתָ֑ן תִּתְּנֶ֥נּוּ מַֽ֜אֲכָ֗ל לְעַ֣ם לְצִיִּֽים:
the heads of Leviathan: Pharaoh is called [by] this [name], as it is said (Isa. 27:1): “the Lord will visit with His hard… sword on leviathan, etc.”  
You give it as food to the people in companies: You gave his money to the people of Israel to consume.  
in companies: Heb. לציים. To the companies and hosts that You took out. ציים are companies, as (Num. 24:24): “And companies from the Kittites,” which is translated as וסיען, and companies.  
15You split fountain and stream; You dried up mighty rivers.   טואַתָּ֣ה בָ֖קַעְתָּ מַעְיָ֣ן וָנָ֑חַל אַתָּ֥ה ה֜וֹבַ֗שְׁתָּ נַֽהֲר֥וֹת אֵיתָֽן:
You split: for Israel fountains from the rock.  
You dried up: the Jordan, which is a mighty river.  
16Day is Yours, even night is Yours; You established the luminary and the sun.   טזלְךָ֣ י֖וֹם אַף־לְךָ֣ לָ֑יְלָה אַתָּ֥ה הֲ֜כִינ֗וֹתָ מָא֥וֹר וָשָֽׁמֶשׁ:
Day is Yours: The redemption of Israel.  
even night is Yours: And they were with You in the darkness of the night.  
You established the luminary and the sun: You established the light of the Torah for them.  
17You set all the boundaries of the earth; summer and winter-You formed them.   יזאַתָּ֣ה הִ֖צַּבְתָּ כָּל־גְּבוּל֣וֹת אָ֑רֶץ קַ֥יִץ וָ֜חֹ֗רֶף אַתָּ֥ה יְצַרְתָּֽם:
You set: for them all the boundaries of their land with all good.  
summer and winterYou formed them: This is similar to (Jer. 5:24): “the weeks of the laws of harvest He keeps for us.” You did not alter for us the order of the years.  
18Remember how the enemy reviled the Lord and a villainous people blasphemed Your name.   יחזְכָר־זֹ֗את א֖וֹיֵב חֵרֵ֥ף | יְהֹוָ֑ה וְעַם־נָ֜בָ֗ל נִֽאֲצ֥וּ שְׁמֶֽךָ:
Remember how the enemy, etc.: And since all our salvation is through You, remember how the enemy reviled You by destroying us.  
19Do not deliver to the company the soul of Your turtledove; the soul of Your poor ones do not ever forget.   יטאַל־תִּתֵּ֣ן לְ֖חַיַּת נֶ֣פֶשׁ תּוֹרֶ֑ךָ חַיַּ֥ת עֲ֜נִיֶּ֗יךָ אַל־תִּשְׁכַּ֥ח לָנֶֽצַח:
Do not deliver to the company: To the companies of the nations, as (II Sam. 23:11): “Now the Philistines were gathered together into a troop (לחיה).”  
the soul of Your turtledove: Heb. תורך, Your turtledove. And Jonathan rendered this as (sic) an expression of turtledoves and young pigeons. This turtledoveas soon as the male recognizes its mate, it does not mate with another. So have Israel not exchanged You for another god, although You have distanced Yourself from them and they were like a widow.  
the soul of Your poor ones: Heb. חיתענייך, the soul of Your poor ones.  
20Look to the covenant, for the dark places of the earth are filled with dwellings of violence.   כהַבֵּ֥ט לַבְּרִ֑ית כִּי־מָֽלְא֥וּ מַֽחֲשַׁכֵּי־אֶ֜֗רֶץ נְא֣וֹת חָמָֽס:
Look to the covenant: which You formed with our forefathers.  
with dwellings of violence: Heb. נאותחמס, a dwelling of violence, an expression of a dwelling place.  
21Let not the poor turn back in disgrace; the poor and needy will praise Your name.   כאאַל־יָשֹׁ֣ב דַּ֣ךְ נִכְלָ֑ם עָנִ֥י וְ֜אֶבְי֗וֹן יְהַֽלְל֥וּ שְׁמֶֽךָ:
Let not the poor turn back in disgrace: Let the poor not turn back from before You disgraced in his prayer.  
22Arise, O God, plead Your own cause; remember Your disgrace from a villainous man all the days.   כבקוּמָ֣ה אֱ֖לֹהִים רִיבָ֣ה רִיבֶ֑ךָ זְכֹ֖ר חֶרְפָּֽתְךָ֥ מִנִּי־נָ֜בָ֗ל כָּל־הַיּֽוֹם:
Your disgrace: Your blasphemies, as (verse 18): “Remember how the enemy reviled.”  
23Do not forget the voice of Your adversaries, the tumult of those who rise up against You, which constantly ascends.   כגאַל־ תִּ֖שְׁכַּח ק֣וֹל צֹֽרְרֶ֑יךָ שְׁא֥וֹן קָ֜מֶ֗יךָ עֹלֶ֥ה תָמִֽיד: