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Chapter 12

Translation and Transliteration of 

1For the leader; on the sheminith. A psalm of David.

la-menat-TSE-akh al ha-sh'-mi-NEET miz-MOR l'-da-VID

אלַמְנַצֵּ֥חַ עַֽל־הַשְּׁמִינִ֗ית מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִֽד׃

2Help, Hashem! For the faithful are no more; the loyal have vanished from among men.

ho-SHI-a a-do-NAI ki-ga-MAR kha-SEED ki-pa-SU e-mu-NIM mi-b'-NAY a-DAM

בהוֹשִׁ֣יעָה יְ֭הֹוָה כִּֽי־גָמַ֣ר חָסִ֑יד כִּי־פַ֥סּוּ אֱ֝מוּנִ֗ים מִבְּנֵ֥י אָדָֽם׃

3Men speak lies to one another; their speech is smooth; they talk with duplicity.

SHAV y'-da-VE-ru ISH et re-E-hu, s'-FAT kha-LA-kot b'-LEV va-LEV y'-da-VE-ru

גשָׁ֤וְא ׀ יְֽדַבְּרוּ֮ אִ֤ישׁ אֶת־רֵ֫עֵ֥הוּ שְׂפַ֥ת חֲלָק֑וֹת בְּלֵ֖ב וָלֵ֣ב יְדַבֵּֽרוּ׃

4May Hashem cut off all flattering lips, every tongue that speaks arrogance.

yakh-RET a-do-NAI kol-sif-TEI kha-la-KOT la-SHON m'-da-BE-ret g'-do-LOT

דיַכְרֵ֣ת יְ֭הֹוָה כׇּל־שִׂפְתֵ֣י חֲלָק֑וֹת לָ֝שׁ֗וֹן מְדַבֶּ֥רֶת גְּדֹלֽוֹת׃

5They say, “By our tongues we shall prevail; with lips such as ours, who can be our master?”

a-SHER a-M'-RU l'-l'-sho-NAY-nu nagh-BEER s'-fa-TEY-nu i-TA-nu mee a-DON la-NU

האֲשֶׁ֤ר אָמְר֨וּ ׀ לִלְשֹׁנֵ֣נוּ נַ֭גְבִּיר שְׂפָתֵ֣ינוּ אִתָּ֑נוּ מִ֖י אָד֣וֹן לָֽנוּ׃

6“Because of the groans of the plundered poor and needy, I will now act,” says Hashem. “I will give help,” He affirms to him.

mi-SHOD a-nee-YEEM me-en-KAT ev-yo-NEEM a-TAH a-KUM yo-MAR a-do-NAI a-SHEET b'-ye-SHA ya-PEE-akh LO

ומִשֹּׁ֥ד עֲנִיִּים֮ מֵאֶנְקַ֢ת אֶבְי֫וֹנִ֥ים עַתָּ֣ה אָ֭קוּם יֹאמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֑ה אָשִׁ֥ית בְּ֝יֵ֗שַׁע יָפִ֥יחַֽ לֽוֹ׃

7The words of Hashem are pure words, silver purged in an earthen crucible, refined sevenfold.

im-ROT a-do-NAI a-ma-ROT t'-ho-ROT KE-sef tza-RUF ba-a-LEEL la-A-retz m'-zu-KAK shiv-a-TA-yim

זאִ֥מְר֣וֹת יְהֹוָה֮ אֲמָר֢וֹת טְהֹ֫ר֥וֹת כֶּ֣סֶף צָ֭רוּף בַּעֲלִ֣יל לָאָ֑רֶץ מְ֝זֻקָּ֗ק שִׁבְעָתָֽיִם׃

 12:7   Silver purged in an earthen crucible, refined sevenfold

Copper mines in Timna Valley

This psalm contrasts the language of the wicked, who speak duplicitously with a forked tongue, with the pure unadulterated words of God. To express the level of purity of Hashem’s words, the verse uses the metaphor of metal mined from the earth, which goes through seven stages of refinement in order to arrive at a level of purity worthy of a precious metal. It is not surprising that the psalmist would be aware of the process of metallurgy. Archaeology at Timna Park in southern Israel reveals evidence of copper mining going back thousands of years. In 1959, an archeo-metallurgical expedition under the leadership of Dr. Beno Othenberg began, and ultimately revealed over 10,000 copper mines in the southern Arava region of Israel. More contemporary discoveries date some of the mines to the eleventh to ninth centuries BCE, which coincides with the period of the Israelite kingdom.

8You, Hashem, will keep them, guarding each from this age evermore.

a-TAH a-do-NAI tish-m'-REM, ti-tz'-RE-nu min ha-DOR zu l'-o-LAM

חאַתָּֽה־יְהֹוָ֥ה תִּשְׁמְרֵ֑ם תִּצְּרֶ֓נּוּ ׀ מִן־הַדּ֖וֹר ז֣וּ לְעוֹלָֽם׃

9On every side the wicked roam when baseness is exalted among men.

sa-VIV r'-sha-EEM yit-ha-LA-khun, k'-RUM zu-LUT liv-NAY a-DAM. (Selah)

טסָבִ֗יב רְשָׁעִ֥ים יִתְהַלָּכ֑וּן כְּרֻ֥ם זֻ֝לּ֗וּת לִבְנֵ֥י אָדָֽם׃