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Chapter 144

Translation and Transliteration of 

1Of David. Blessed is Hashem, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for warfare;

l'-da-VID, ba-ROOKH a-do-NAI, tzu-REE ha-m'-la-MAYD ya-DAI la-k'-RAV, etz-b'-O-tai la-mil-kha-MAH

אלְדָוִ֨ד ׀ בָּ֘ר֤וּךְ יְהֹוָ֨ה ׀ צוּרִ֗י הַֽמְלַמֵּ֣ד יָדַ֣י לַקְרָ֑ב אֶ֝צְבְּעוֹתַ֗י לַמִּלְחָמָֽה׃

2my faithful one, my fortress, my haven and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take shelter, who makes peoples subject to me.

khas-DEE u-m'-tzu-DA-tee, mis-GA-bee u-m'-fal-TEE-lee-lee, ma-GIN-nee u-VO kha-see-TEE, ha-ro-DEED a-MEE takh-TAI

בחַסְדִּ֥י וּמְצוּדָתִי֮ מִשְׂגַּבִּ֢י וּֽמְפַלְטִ֫י־לִ֥י מָ֭גִנִּי וּב֣וֹ חָסִ֑יתִי הָרוֹדֵ֖ד עַמִּ֣י תַחְתָּֽי׃

3Hashem, what is man that You should care about him, mortal man, that You should think of him?

a-do-NAI ma-a-DAHM va-tay-da-EY-hu ben e-NO-sh va-t'-kha-sh'-VAY-hu

גיְֽהֹוָ֗ה מָֽה־אָ֭דָם וַתֵּדָעֵ֑הוּ בֶּן־אֱ֝נ֗וֹשׁ וַתְּחַשְּׁבֵֽהוּ׃

4Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.

a-DAM la-HE-vel da-MA ya-MAV k'-TZEL o-VER

דאָ֭דָם לַהֶ֣בֶל דָּמָ֑ה יָ֝מָ֗יו כְּצֵ֣ל עוֹבֵֽר׃

5Hashem, bend Your sky and come down; touch the mountains and they will smoke.

a-do-NAI ha-TA sha-ME-kha v'-te-RED, GA b'-ha-REEM v'-ye-e-sha-NU

היְ֭הֹוָה הַט־שָׁמֶ֣יךָ וְתֵרֵ֑ד גַּ֖ע בֶּהָרִ֣ים וְֽיֶעֱשָֽׁנוּ׃

6Make lightning flash and scatter them; shoot Your arrows and rout them.

B'-ROK BARAK u-t'-FI-tzem, sh'-LAKH khit-SE-kha u-t'-hu-MEM.

ובְּר֣וֹק בָּ֭רָק וּתְפִיצֵ֑ם שְׁלַ֥ח חִ֝צֶּ֗יךָ וּתְהֻמֵּֽם׃

7Reach Your hand down from on high; rescue me, save me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners,

sh'-LAKH ya-DE-kha mi-ma-ROHM p'-TZE-nee v'-ha-tzee-LE-nee mi-MA-yim ra-BEEM mi-YAD b'-NAY n'-KAR

זשְׁלַ֥ח יָדֶ֗יךָ מִמָּ֫ר֥וֹם פְּצֵ֣נִי וְ֭הַצִּילֵנִי מִמַּ֣יִם רַבִּ֑ים מִ֝יַּ֗ד בְּנֵ֣י נֵכָֽר׃

8whose mouths speak lies, and whose oaths are false.

a-SHER pi-HEM di-BER sha-VU vi-yi-MI-nam ye-MIN sha-KER

חאֲשֶׁ֣ר פִּ֭יהֶם דִּבֶּר־שָׁ֑וְא וִ֝ימִינָ֗ם יְמִ֣ין שָֽׁקֶר׃

9O Hashem, I will sing You a new song, sing a hymn to You with a ten-stringed harp,

E-lo-HIM, sheer kha-DASH a-SHEE-ra LAKH, b'-NE-vel a-SOR a-za-m'-RAH-LAKH.

טאֱֽלֹהִ֗ים שִׁ֣יר חָ֭דָשׁ אָשִׁ֣ירָה לָּ֑ךְ בְּנֵ֥בֶל עָ֝שׂ֗וֹר אֲזַמְּרָה־לָּֽךְ׃

10to You who give victory to kings, who rescue His servant David from the deadly sword.

ha-NO-teyn t'-shu-AH la-m'-la-KHEEM ha-po-TZE et da-VID av-DO me-KHE-rev ra-AH

יהַנּוֹתֵ֥ן תְּשׁוּעָ֗ה לַמְּלָ֫כִ֥ים הַ֭פּוֹצֶה אֶת־דָּוִ֥ד עַבְדּ֗וֹ מֵחֶ֥רֶב רָעָֽה׃

11Rescue me, save me from the hands of foreigners, whose mouths speak lies, and whose oaths are false.

P'-tze-NI v'-ha-TZI-le-NI mi-YAD b'-NAY ne-KHAR a-SHER pi-HEM di-BER sha-V' vee-MI-nam ye-MEEN sha-KER

יאפְּצֵ֥נִי וְהַצִּילֵנִי֮ מִיַּ֢ד בְּֽנֵי־נֵ֫כָ֥ר אֲשֶׁ֣ר פִּ֭יהֶם דִּבֶּר־שָׁ֑וְא וִ֝ימִינָ֗ם יְמִ֣ין שָֽׁקֶר׃

12For our sons are like saplings, well-tended in their youth; our daughters are like cornerstones trimmed to give shape to a palace.

a-SHER ba-NEE-nu ki-n'-tee-IM m'-gu-da-LEEM bin-u-ray-HEM b'-no-tay-NU k'-za-vee-YOT m'-khu-ta-VOT tav-NEET hay-KHAL

יבאֲשֶׁ֤ר בָּנֵ֨ינוּ ׀ כִּנְטִעִים֮ מְגֻדָּלִ֢ים בִּֽנְעוּרֵ֫יהֶ֥ם בְּנוֹתֵ֥ינוּ כְזָוִיֹּ֑ת מְ֝חֻטָּב֗וֹת תַּבְנִ֥ית הֵיכָֽל׃

13Our storehouses are full, supplying produce of all kinds; our flocks number thousands, even myriads, in our fields;

m'-za-VEE-nu m'-le-EEM m'-fi-KEEM mi-ZAN el-ZAN tzo-AY-nay-NU ma-a-lee-FOT m'-ru-BA-vot b'-khu-tzo-TAY-nu

יגמְזָוֵ֣ינוּ מְלֵאִים֮ מְפִיקִ֥ים מִזַּ֗ן אֶ֫ל־זַ֥ן צֹאונֵ֣נוּ מַ֭אֲלִיפוֹת מְרֻבָּב֗וֹת בְּחוּצוֹתֵֽינוּ׃

14our cattle are well cared for There is no breaching and no sortie, and no wailing in our streets.

a-lu-FAY-nu m'-su-BA-leem AYN pe-RETZ v'-AYN yo-TZEYT v'-AYN t'-va-KHA bi-r'-kho-vo-TAY-nu

ידאַלּוּפֵ֗ינוּ מְֽסֻבָּ֫לִ֥ים אֵֽין־פֶּ֭רֶץ וְאֵ֣ין יוֹצֵ֑את וְאֵ֥ין צְ֝וָחָ֗ה בִּרְחֹבֹתֵֽינוּ׃

15Happy the people who have it so; happy the people whose God is Hashem.

ash-RAY ha-AM she-KA-khah LO ash-RAY ha-AM she-a-do-NAI e-lo-HAV

טואַשְׁרֵ֣י הָ֭עָם שֶׁכָּ֣כָה לּ֑וֹ אַֽשְׁרֵ֥י הָ֝עָ֗ם שֱׁיְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהָֽיו׃

144:15   Happy the people who have it so

The last five psalms of Sefer Tehillim represent a special unit of praise to Hashem, which some see a microcosm of all the psalms. If that is true, then Psalm 144, which immediately precedes the final summary unit, serves as a conclusion of sorts. The ending of this psalm forms a valuable and oft-used poetic tool called “inclusio,” referring to the use at the conclusion of a song, chapter or book of the very same words with which it started. Psalm 1 began with the Hebrew word ashrei, ‘happy,’ and this psalm concludes with a verse beginning with the same word, ashrei. The inaugural psalm praises the individual who veers from the wicked path and finds solace in God’s word. This psalm praises the nation who, having internalized the messages taught by David, conquers its land, establishes a just society and radiates Hashem’s spirit to the world. How fortunate is the reader of psalms, who traverses from the praise of the individual to the praise of the entire Nation of Israel as he progresses through Sefer Tehillim.