Chapter 6

1For the leader; with instrumental music on the sheminith. A psalm of David.

אלַמְנַצֵּחַ בִּנְגִינוֹת עַל־הַשְּׁמִינִית מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד׃

2Hashem, do not punish me in anger, do not chastise me in fury.

ביְהֹוָה אַל־בְּאַפְּךָ תוֹכִיחֵנִי וְאַל־בַּחֲמָתְךָ תְיַסְּרֵנִי׃

3Have mercy on me, Hashem, for I languish; heal me, Hashem, for my bones shake with terror.

גחָנֵּנִי יְהֹוָה כִּי אֻמְלַל אָנִי רְפָאֵנִי יְהֹוָה כִּי נִבְהֲלוּ עֲצָמָי׃

4My whole being is stricken with terror, while You, Hashem—O, how long!

v'-naf-SHEE niv-ha-LAH m'-OD v'-a-TAH a-do-NAI ad ma-TAI

דוְנַפְשִׁי נִבְהֲלָה מְאֹד ואת [וְאַתָּה] יְהֹוָה עַד־מָתָי׃

 6:4   My whole being is stricken with terror

David mentions the idea of behala (בהלה) meaning ‘terror’ or ‘fear’, three times in this short, sad psalm. The first two times, he laments being in this melancholy state. The third time, he wishes it upon his enemies. The same term appears in the Torah as the first punishment for the Children of Israel when they begin to sin in the Land of Israel. In Vayikra (26:16), God begins His list of punishments for not listening to the Lord and abandoning His commandments by saying, “I will wreak misery upon you,” using the same Hebrew word behala. Yet, despite the long list of punishments delineated in that section, it ends with a divine promise to remember the covenant made with the forefathers and Eretz Yisrael: “Then will I remember My covenant with Yaakov; also My covenant with Yitzchak, and also My covenant with Avraham I will remember; and I will remember the land” (Leviticus 26:42).

5Hashem, turn! Rescue me! Deliver me as befits Your faithfulness.

השׁוּבָה יְהֹוָה חַלְּצָה נַפְשִׁי הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי לְמַעַן חַסְדֶּךָ׃

6For there is no praise of You among the dead; in Sheol, who can acclaim You?

וכִּי אֵין בַּמָּוֶת זִכְרֶךָ בִּשְׁאוֹל מִי יוֹדֶה־לָּךְ׃

7I am weary with groaning; every night I drench my bed, I melt my couch in tears.

זיָגַעְתִּי בְּאַנְחָתִי אַשְׂחֶה בְכָל־לַיְלָה מִטָּתִי בְּדִמְעָתִי עַרְשִׂי אַמְסֶה׃

8My eyes are wasted by vexation, worn out because of all my foes.

חעָשְׁשָׁה מִכַּעַס עֵינִי עָתְקָה בְּכָל־צוֹרְרָי׃

9Away from me, all you evildoers, for Hashem heeds the sound of my weeping.

טסוּרוּ מִמֶּנִּי כָּל־פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן כִּי־שָׁמַע יְהֹוָה קוֹל בִּכְיִי׃

10Hashem heeds my plea, Hashem accepts my prayer.

ישָׁמַע יְהֹוָה תְּחִנָּתִי יְהֹוָה תְּפִלָּתִי יִקָּח׃

11All my enemies will be frustrated and stricken with terror; they will turn back in an instant, frustrated.

יאיֵבֹשׁוּ וְיִבָּהֲלוּ מְאֹד כָּל־אֹיְבָי יָשֻׁבוּ יֵבֹשׁוּ רָגַע׃