Chapter 3

1A psalm of David when he fled from his son Avshalom.

miz-MOR l'-da-VID b'-vor-KHO mi-p'-NAY av-sha-LOM b'-NO

אמִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד בְּבָרְחוֹ מִפְּנֵי אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּנוֹ׃

3:1   When he fled from his son Avshalom

Mount of Olives

David writes his psalms, expressing both his darkest fears and his greatest expressions of gratitude to God, during the tumultuous times in his life. As punishment for sinning with Batsheva, David is warned that Hashem will “make a calamity rise against you from within your own house” (II Samuel 12:11). A few years later, David finds himself driven out of his capital city by his son Avshalom. As he ascends the Mount of Olives crying and downtrodden (II Samuel 15:30), he turns to Hashem in pain and suffering and calls out with this psalm. The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge adjacent to the Old City of Yerushalayim. After the destruction of the second Beit Hamikdash, a custom emerged to make a pilgrimage to the Mount of Olives on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, the day which commemorates the destruction of the Temple, in order to gaze upon Har HaBayit and cry. In the modern State of Israel, while we still mourn the loss of the Beit Hamikdash, we are privileged to be able to rejoice over the return to Jerusalem and its surrounding mountains.

2Hashem, my foes are so many! Many are those who attack me;

ביְהֹוָה מָה־רַבּוּ צָרָי רַבִּים קָמִים עָלָי׃

3many say of me, “There is no deliverance for him through Hashem.” Selah.

גרַבִּים אֹמְרִים לְנַפְשִׁי אֵין יְשׁוּעָתָה לּוֹ בֵאלֹהִים סֶלָה׃

4But You, Hashem, are a shield about me, my glory, He who holds my head high.

דוְאַתָּה יְהֹוָה מָגֵן בַּעֲדִי כְּבוֹדִי וּמֵרִים רֹאשִׁי׃

5I cry aloud to Hashem, and He answers me from His holy mountain. Selah.

הקוֹלִי אֶל־יְהֹוָה אֶקְרָא וַיַּעֲנֵנִי מֵהַר קָדְשׁוֹ סֶלָה׃

6I lie down and sleep and wake again, for Hashem sustains me.

ואֲנִי שָׁכַבְתִּי וָאִישָׁנָה הֱקִיצוֹתִי כִּי יְהֹוָה יִסְמְכֵנִי׃

7I have no fear of the myriad forces arrayed against me on every side.

זלֹא־אִירָא מֵרִבְבוֹת עָם אֲשֶׁר סָבִיב שָׁתוּ עָלָי׃

8Rise, Hashem! Deliver me, O my God! For You slap all my enemies in the face; You break the teeth of the wicked.

חקוּמָה יְהֹוָה הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי אֱלֹהַי כִּי־הִכִּיתָ אֶת־כָּל־אֹיְבַי לֶחִי שִׁנֵּי רְשָׁעִים שִׁבַּרְתָּ׃

9Deliverance is Hashem's; Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah.

טלַיהֹוָה הַיְשׁוּעָה עַל־עַמְּךָ בִרְכָתֶךָ סֶּלָה׃