Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:
1For the leader; with instrumental music. A maskil of David.
אלַמְנַצֵּחַ בִּנְגִינֹת מַשְׂכִּיל לְדָוִד׃
2Give ear, O Hashem, to my prayer; do not ignore my plea;
בהַאֲזִינָה אֱלֹהִים תְּפִלָּתִי וְאַל־תִּתְעַלַּם מִתְּחִנָּתִי׃
3pay heed to me and answer me. I am tossed about, complaining and moaning
גהַקְשִׁיבָה לִּי וַעֲנֵנִי אָרִיד בְּשִׂיחִי וְאָהִימָה׃
4at the clamor of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked; for they bring evil upon me and furiously harass me.
דמִקּוֹל אוֹיֵב מִפְּנֵי עָקַת רָשָׁע כִּי־יָמִיטוּ עָלַי אָוֶן וּבְאַף יִשְׂטְמוּנִי׃
5My heart is convulsed within me; terrors of death assail me.
הלִבִּי יָחִיל בְּקִרְבִּי וְאֵימוֹת מָוֶת נָפְלוּ עָלָי׃
6Fear and trembling invade me; I am clothed with horror.
ויִרְאָה וָרַעַד יָבֹא בִי וַתְּכַסֵּנִי פַּלָּצוּת׃
7I said, “O that I had the wings of a dove I would fly away and find rest;
זוָאֹמַר מִי־יִתֶּן־לִּי אֵבֶר כַּיּוֹנָה אָעוּפָה וְאֶשְׁכֹּנָה׃
8surely, I would flee far off; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
hi-NAY ar-KHEEK n'-DOD a-LEEN ba-mid-BAR SE-lah
חהִנֵּה אַרְחִיק נְדֹד אָלִין בַּמִּדְבָּר סֶלָה׃
55:8 Lodge in the wilderness
In times of great danger, David yearns to escape to the wilderness. At the end of Shmuel I chapter 23, having almost met his demise at the hands of Shaul, David flees to a fortresses in the hills above Ein Gedi, located in the Judean desert. The desert is a place of solitude and shelter. Shaul will have great difficulty finding David among the cliffs and caves of the Judean desert. Five hundred years later, Yirmiyahu yearns for a respite from rebuking the Nation of Israel in Yerushalayim and he also desires to escape to the desert (Jeremiah 9:1). Over a thousand years later, Simon Bar Kokhba flees to the same mountains, and from there he plans his rebellion against the Roman regime controlling the Land of Israel. In ancient times, the wilderness was a place in which to disappear. Today, as a result of Hashem’s blessings, it is filled with life.
9I would soon find me a refuge from the sweeping wind, from the tempest.”
טאָחִישָׁה מִפְלָט לִי מֵרוּחַ סֹעָה מִסָּעַר׃
10O Hashem, confound their speech, confuse it! For I see lawlessness and strife in the city;
יבַּלַּע אֲדֹנָי פַּלַּג לְשׁוֹנָם כִּי־רָאִיתִי חָמָס וְרִיב בָּעִיר׃
11day and night they make their rounds on its walls; evil and mischief are inside it.
יאיוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה יְסוֹבְבֻהָ עַל־חוֹמֹתֶיהָ וְאָוֶן וְעָמָל בְּקִרְבָּהּ׃
12Malice is within it; fraud and deceit never leave its square.
יבהַוּוֹת בְּקִרְבָּהּ וְלֹא־יָמִישׁ מֵרְחֹבָהּ תֹּךְ וּמִרְמָה׃
13It is not an enemy who reviles me —I could bear that; it is not my foe who vaunts himself against me —I could hide from him
יגכִּי לֹא־אוֹיֵב יְחָרְפֵנִי וְאֶשָּׂא לֹא־מְשַׂנְאִי עָלַי הִגְדִּיל וְאֶסָּתֵר מִמֶּנּוּ׃
14but it is you, my equal, my companion, my friend;
ידוְאַתָּה אֱנוֹשׁ כְּעֶרְכִּי אַלּוּפִי וּמְיֻדָּעִי׃
15sweet was our fellowship; we walked together in Hashem's house.
טואֲשֶׁר יַחְדָּו נַמְתִּיק סוֹד בְּבֵית אֱלֹהִים נְהַלֵּךְ בְּרָגֶשׁ׃
16Let Him incite death against them; may they go down alive into Sheol! For where they dwell, there evil is.
טזישימות [יַשִּׁי] [מָוֶת ] עָלֵימוֹ יֵרְדוּ שְׁאוֹל חַיִּים כִּי־רָעוֹת בִּמְגוּרָם בְּקִרְבָּם׃
17As for me, I call to Hashem; Hashem will deliver me.
יזאֲנִי אֶל־אֱלֹהִים אֶקְרָא וַיהֹוָה יוֹשִׁיעֵנִי׃
18Evening, morning, and noon, I complain and moan, and He hears my voice.
יחעֶרֶב וָבֹקֶר וְצָהֳרַיִם אָשִׂיחָה וְאֶהֱמֶה וַיִּשְׁמַע קוֹלִי׃
19He redeems me unharmed from the battle against me; it is as though many are on my side.
יטפָּדָה בְשָׁלוֹם נַפְשִׁי מִקֲּרָב־לִי כִּי־בְרַבִּים הָיוּ עִמָּדִי׃
20Hashem who has reigned from the first, who will have no successor, hears and humbles those who have no fear of Hashem. Selah.
כיִשְׁמַע אֵל וְיַעֲנֵם וְיֹשֵׁב קֶדֶם סֶלָה אֲשֶׁר אֵין חֲלִיפוֹת לָמוֹ וְלֹא יָרְאוּ אֱלֹהִים׃
21He harmed his ally, he broke his pact;
כאשָׁלַח יָדָיו בִּשְׁלֹמָיו חִלֵּל בְּרִיתוֹ׃
22his talk was smoother than butter, yet his mind was on war; his words were more soothing than oil, yet they were drawn swords.
כבחָלְקוּ מַחְמָאֹת פִּיו וּקֲרָב־לִבּוֹ רַכּוּ דְבָרָיו מִשֶּׁמֶן וְהֵמָּה פְתִחוֹת׃
23Cast your burden on Hashem and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous man collapse.
כגהַשְׁלֵךְ עַל־יְהֹוָה יְהָבְךָ וְהוּא יְכַלְכְּלֶךָ לֹא־יִתֵּן לְעוֹלָם מוֹט לַצַּדִּיק׃
24For You, O Hashem, will bring them down to the nethermost Pit— those murderous, treacherous men; they shall not live out half their days; but I trust in You.
כדוְאַתָּה אֱלֹהִים תּוֹרִדֵם לִבְאֵר שַׁחַת אַנְשֵׁי דָמִים וּמִרְמָה לֹא־יֶחֱצוּ יְמֵיהֶם וַאֲנִי אֶבְטַח־בָּךְ׃