Chapter 144

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

אלְדָוִד בָּרוּךְ יְהֹוָה צוּרִי הַמְלַמֵּד יָדַי לַקְרָב אֶצְבְּעוֹתַי לַמִּלְחָמָה׃

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

בחַסְדִּי וּמְצוּדָתִי מִשְׂגַּבִּי וּמְפַלְטִי לִי מָגִנִּי וּבוֹ חָסִיתִי הָרוֹדֵד עַמִּי תַחְתָּי׃

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

גיְהֹוָה מָה־אָדָם וַתֵּדָעֵהוּ בֶּן־אֱנוֹשׁ וַתְּחַשְּׁבֵהוּ׃

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

דאָדָם לַהֶבֶל דָּמָה יָמָיו כְּצֵל עוֹבֵר׃

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

היְהֹוָה הַט־שָׁמֶיךָ וְתֵרֵד גַּע בֶּהָרִים וְיֶעֱשָׁנוּ׃

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

ובְּרוֹק בָּרָק וּתְפִיצֵם שְׁלַח חִצֶּיךָ וּתְהֻמֵּם׃

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

זשְׁלַח יָדֶיךָ מִמָּרוֹם פְּצֵנִי וְהַצִּילֵנִי מִמַּיִם רַבִּים מִיַּד בְּנֵי נֵכָר׃

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

חאֲשֶׁר פִּיהֶם דִּבֶּר־שָׁוְא וִימִינָם יְמִין שָׁקֶר׃

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

טאֱ‍לֹהִים שִׁיר חָדָשׁ אָשִׁירָה לָּךְ בְּנֵבֶל עָשׂוֹר אֲזַמְּרָה־לָּךְ׃

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

יהַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה לַמְּלָכִים הַפּוֹצֶה אֶת־דָּוִד עַבְדּוֹ מֵחֶרֶב רָעָה׃

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

יאפְּצֵנִי וְהַצִּילֵנִי מִיַּד בְּנֵי־נֵכָר אֲשֶׁר פִּיהֶם דִּבֶּר־שָׁוְא וִימִינָם יְמִין שָׁקֶר׃

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

יבאֲשֶׁר בָּנֵינוּ כִּנְטִעִים מְגֻדָּלִים בִּנְעוּרֵיהֶם בְּנוֹתֵינוּ כְזָוִיֹּת מְחֻטָּבוֹת תַּבְנִית הֵיכָל׃

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

יגמְזָוֵינוּ מְלֵאִים מְפִיקִים מִזַּן אֶל־זַן צֹאונֵנוּ מַאֲלִיפוֹת מְרֻבָּבוֹת בְּחוּצוֹתֵינוּ׃

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

ידאַלּוּפֵינוּ מְסֻבָּלִים אֵין־פֶּרֶץ וְאֵין יוֹצֵאת וְאֵין צְוָחָה בִּרְחֹבֹתֵינוּ׃

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

טואַשְׁרֵי הָעָם שֶׁכָּכָה לּוֹ אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם שֶׁיֲהוָה אֱלֹהָיו׃

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.