Contact Us


Chapter 124

Translation and Transliteration of 

1A song of ascents. Of David. Were it not for Hashem, who was on our side, let Yisrael now declare,

SHIR ha-ma-a-LOT l'-DA-VID, lu-LAY a-do-NAI she-HA-ya LA-nu, yo-MAR-na YIS-ra-AYL.

אשִׁ֥יר הַֽמַּעֲל֗וֹת לְדָ֫וִ֥ד לוּלֵ֣י יְ֭הֹוָה שֶׁהָ֣יָה לָ֑נוּ יֹאמַר־נָ֝֗א יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

2were it not for Hashem, who was on our side when men assailed us,

lu-LEI a-do-NAI she-ha-YA la-NU b'-KUM a-LE-nu a-DAM

בלוּלֵ֣י יְ֭הֹוָה שֶׁהָ֣יָה לָ֑נוּ בְּק֖וּם עָלֵ֣ינוּ אָדָֽם׃

3they would have swallowed us alive in their burning rage against us;

a-ZAI cha-YIM b'-la-U-nu ba-cha-ROT a-PA-ma BA-nu

גאֲ֭זַי חַיִּ֣ים בְּלָע֑וּנוּ בַּחֲר֖וֹת אַפָּ֣ם בָּֽנוּ׃

4the waters would have carried us off, the torrent would have swept over us;

a-ZAI ha-MA-yim sh'-ta-FU-nu, na-KHA-la a-VAR al-naf-SHE-nu.

דאֲ֭זַי הַמַּ֣יִם שְׁטָפ֑וּנוּ נַ֝֗חְלָה עָבַ֥ר עַל־נַפְשֵֽׁנוּ׃

5over us would have swept the seething waters.

a-ZAI a-VA-ar al-naf-SHE-nu, ha-MA-yim ha-ze-do-NEEM

האֲ֭זַי עָבַ֣ר עַל־נַפְשֵׁ֑נוּ הַ֝מַּ֗יִם הַזֵּידוֹנִֽים׃

6Blessed is Hashem, who did not let us be ripped apart by their teeth.

ba-RUKH a-do-NAI, she-LO ne-ta-NA-nu TE-ref l'-shi-NE-hem

ובָּר֥וּךְ יְהֹוָ֑ה שֶׁלֹּ֥א נְתָנָ֥נוּ טֶ֝֗רֶף לְשִׁנֵּיהֶֽם׃

7We are like a bird escaped from the fowler's trap; the trap broke and we escaped.

naf-SHAY-nu k'-tzi-POR nim-l'-TAH mi-PAKH yo-k'-SHEEM ha-PAKH nish-BAR va-a-NAKH-nu nim-LAT-nu

זנַפְשֵׁ֗נוּ כְּצִפּ֥וֹר נִמְלְטָה֮ מִפַּ֢ח י֫וֹקְשִׁ֥ים הַפַּ֥ח נִשְׁבָּ֗ר וַאֲנַ֥חְנוּ נִמְלָֽטְנוּ׃

 124:7   We are like a bird escaped from the fowler’s trap

The Jerusalem Prism

In Psalm 124, the psalmist thanks God for saving him from imminent destruction: “Were it not for Hashem, who was on our side when men assailed us” (verse 2). The metaphor of a bird escaping a trap is interesting in light of an archaeological discovery called the Jerusalem Prism, housed today in the Israel Museum. It contains the annals of the Assyrian king Sennacherib. In it, he makes reference to the conquest of northern Israel and the exile of its inhabitants, and describes his conquest of many of the cities in the southern kingdom of Yehuda. When depicting the siege of Yerushalayim in the time of Chizkiyahu, he says that he confined Chizkiyahu “as a caged bird,” employing language similar to this verse. Ultimately, though, a miracle took place and the Assyrian army mysteriously died, allowing King Chizkiyahu and Yerushalayim to be freed from the Assyrian snare (II Kings 18-19).

8Our help is the name of Hashem, maker of heaven and earth.

e-Z'-RE-nu b'-SHEM a-do-NAI o-SEH sha-MA-yim va-A-retz.

חעֶ֭זְרֵנוּ בְּשֵׁ֣ם יְהֹוָ֑ה עֹ֝שֵׂ֗ה שָׁמַ֥יִם וָאָֽרֶץ׃