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Chapter 142

Translation and Transliteration of 

1A maskil of David, while he was in the cave. A prayer.

mas-KEEL l'-da-VID bih-yo-TO va-m'-a-RAH t'-fi-LAH

אמַשְׂכִּ֥יל לְדָוִ֑ד בִּֽהְיוֹת֖וֹ בַמְּעָרָ֣ה תְפִלָּֽה׃

Adulam nature reserve in central Israel.

142:1   While he was in the cave

As recorded in Sefer Shmuel I 22, David runs for his life, escaping to a cave in Adulam. There, instead of solitude and fear, he finds compatriots and begins to build an army. Perhaps this prayer spurs a new resolve within him, not to be depressed or paralyzed by fear. The Bible speaks of 400 men who gathered in front of David, each one bitter and depressed, each without will or direction (ibid., verse 2). Prayer can serve as a great unifier. It can give desperate people hope, help them focus on new goals and instill with them lofty ideals. The prayer leader, David, is inspired by this group and begins his path towards self-determination, and ultimately towards the monarchy itself. From a dark, dank, cave emerges a spark, a spirit, a king of Israel.

2I cry aloud to Hashem; I appeal to Hashem loudly for mercy.

KO-lee el a-do-NAI ez-AK, KO-lee el a-do-NAI et-cha-NAN

בק֭וֹלִי אֶל־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֶזְעָ֑ק ק֝וֹלִ֗י אֶל־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֶתְחַנָּֽן׃

3I pour out my complaint before Him; I lay my trouble before Him

esh-POKH l'-fa-NAV see-KHEE, tza-RA-tee l'-fa-NAV a-GID

גאֶשְׁפֹּ֣ךְ לְפָנָ֣יו שִׂיחִ֑י צָ֝רָתִ֗י לְפָנָ֥יו אַגִּֽיד׃

4when my spirit fails within me. You know my course; they have laid a trap in the path I walk.

b'-hit-a-TEF a-LAI ru-KHEE v'-a-TAH ya-DA-ta n'-tee-va-TEE b'-o-rakh-ZU a-ha-LEKH, ta-M'-NU fakh LEE

דבְּהִתְעַטֵּ֬ף עָלַ֨י ׀ רוּחִ֗י וְאַתָּה֮ יָדַ֢עְתָּ נְֽתִיבָ֫תִ֥י בְּאֹֽרַח־ז֥וּ אֲהַלֵּ֑ךְ טָמְנ֖וּ פַ֣ח לִֽי׃

5Look at my right and see— I have no friend; there is nowhere I can flee, no one cares about me.

ha-BEIT ya-MIN u-re-EH v'-EIN-li ma-KIR a-VAD ma-NOS mi-ME-ni, EIN DO-resh le-NAF-shi.

ההַבֵּ֤יט יָמִ֨ין ׀ וּרְאֵה֮ וְאֵֽין־לִ֢י מַ֫כִּ֥יר אָבַ֣ד מָנ֣וֹס מִמֶּ֑נִּי אֵ֖ין דּוֹרֵ֣שׁ לְנַפְשִֽׁי׃

6So I cry to You, Hashem; I say, “You are my refuge, all I have in the land of the living.”

za-AK-ti e-LE-kha a-do-NAI, a-mar-TEE a-TAH makh-SEE, khel-KEE b'-E-rets ha-kha-YEEM

וזָעַ֥קְתִּי אֵלֶ֗יךָ יְ֫הֹוָ֥ה אָ֭מַרְתִּי אַתָּ֣ה מַחְסִ֑י חֶ֝לְקִ֗י בְּאֶ֣רֶץ הַחַיִּֽים׃

7Listen to my cry, for I have been brought very low; save me from my pursuers, for they are too strong for me.

ha-k'-shi-VA el ri-NA-tee, kee-da-LO-tee-m'-OD ha-tsi-LE-nee may-ro-d'-FAI, kee a-M'-tsu mi-ME-nee

זהַקְשִׁ֤יבָה ׀ אֶֽל־רִנָּתִי֮ כִּֽי־דַלּ֢וֹתִ֫י־מְאֹ֥ד הַצִּילֵ֥נִי מֵרֹדְפַ֑י כִּ֖י אָמְצ֣וּ מִמֶּֽנִּי׃

8Free me from prison, that I may praise Your name. The righteous shall glory in me for Your gracious dealings with me.

ho-TZI-a mi-mas-GER naf-SHEE l'-ho-DOt et sh'-ME-kha bi yakh-ti-ru tza-DEE-keem, kee tig-MOL a-LAI.

חה֘וֹצִ֤יאָה מִמַּסְגֵּ֨ר ׀ נַפְשִׁי֮ לְהוֹד֢וֹת אֶת־שְׁ֫מֶ֥ךָ בִּ֭י יַכְתִּ֣רוּ צַדִּיקִ֑ים כִּ֖י תִגְמֹ֣ל עָלָֽי׃