Chapter 149

1Hallelujah. Sing to Hashem a new song, His praises in the congregation of the faithful.

אהַלְלוּ יָהּ שִׁירוּ לַיהֹוָה שִׁיר חָדָשׁ תְּהִלָּתוֹ בִּקְהַל חֲסִידִים׃

2Let Yisrael rejoice in its maker; let the children of Tzion exult in their king.

ביִשְׂמַח יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּעֹשָׂיו בְּנֵי־צִיּוֹן יָגִילוּ בְמַלְכָּם׃

3Let them praise His name in dance; with timbrel and lyre let them chant His praises.

גיְהַלְלוּ שְׁמוֹ בְמָחוֹל בְּתֹף וְכִנּוֹר יְזַמְּרוּ־לוֹ׃

4For Hashem delights in His people; He adorns the lowly with victory.

דכִּי־רוֹצֶה יְהֹוָה בְּעַמּוֹ יְפָאֵר עֲנָוִים בִּישׁוּעָה׃

5Let the faithful exult in glory; let them shout for joy upon their couches,

היַעְלְזוּ חֲסִידִים בְּכָבוֹד יְרַנְּנוּ עַל־מִשְׁכְּבוֹתָם׃

6with paeans to Hashem in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands,

ro-m'-MOT AYL big-ro-NAM v'-KHE-rev pee-fi-YOT b'-ya-DAM

ורוֹמְמוֹת אֵל בִּגְרוֹנָם וְחֶרֶב פִּיפִיּוֹת בְּיָדָם׃

149:6   And two-edged swords in their hands

Israel wants to live in peace in the Promised Land, but sometimes they are threatened by nations attempting to destroy them and their country. Israel can respond with might or with spirit, and it must do both, because each response is insufficient on its own. Psalm 149 emphasizes the true synthesis of power and prayer. This verse reminds us of the judge, Ehud the son of Gera, who, after killing the king of Moab with a double edged sword, rallied the People of Israel to fight, shouting “Follow me closely, for Hashem has delivered your enemies, the Moabites, into your hands” (Judges 3:28). The men Ehud rallied sought to elevate God’s name in the world, eradicate evil and bring justice to the land. This is the message of the penultimate chapter in the book of Psalms.

7to impose retribution upon the nations, punishment upon the peoples,

זלַעֲשׂוֹת נְקָמָה בַּגּוֹיִם תּוֹכֵחֹת בַּל־אֻמִּים׃

8binding their kings with shackles, their nobles with chains of iron,

חלֶאְסֹר מַלְכֵיהֶם בְּזִקִּים וְנִכְבְּדֵיהֶם בְּכַבְלֵי בַרְזֶל׃

9executing the doom decreed against them. This is the glory of all His faithful. Hallelujah.

טלַעֲשׂוֹת בָּהֶם מִשְׁפָּט כָּתוּב הָדָר הוּא לְכָל־חֲסִידָיו הַלְלוּ־יָהּ׃