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Chapter 63

Translation and Transliteration of 

1A psalm of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Yehuda.

miz-MOR l'-da-VID bih-yo-TO b'-mid-BAR y'-hu-DAH

אמִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִ֑ד בִּ֝הְיוֹת֗וֹ בְּמִדְבַּ֥ר יְהוּדָֽה׃

 63:1   Wilderness of Yehuda

The beautiful colors of the Judean desert.

Fleeing from Shaul, David goes south to the wilderness of Yehuda, where he quickly needs to contend with a scarcity of water. The Judean desert is unique due to its proximity to the Jerusalem mountains which receive ample rainfall; within a few kilometers, the amount of rain decreases dramatically as a result of a geological phenomenon called a “rain shadow desert.” The clouds drifting westward across Eretz Yisrael from the Mediterranean Sea rise and cool, bringing rain over the Judean Hills and Yerushalayim. Then, as they continue east over the Judean desert, the clouds dissipate due to the extreme drop of almost a thousand meters within a short distance, condensing again and beginning to give significant rain only when they reach the mountains of Jordan. This psalm, therefore, begins with a focus on thirst. He experiences physical desire for water in “a parched and thirsty land,” but more significantly, a spiritual yearning for Hashem’s presence, which he describes with the phrase, “my soul thirsts for You” (verse 2). David recognizes the threat of scarcity of water, but says it pales in comparison to the absence of God’s presence.

2Hashem, You are my God; I search for You, my soul thirsts for You, my body yearns for You, as a parched and thirsty land that has no water.

E-lo-HIM, e-LI a-TAH a-sha-cha-RE-kha tza-M'AH l'-KHA, naf-SHI ka-MAH l'-KHA v'-sa-REE, b'-E-retz-tzi-YAH v'-a-YEF b'-li-ma-YIM.

באֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ אֵלִ֥י אַתָּ֗ה אֲֽשַׁ֫חֲרֶ֥ךָּ צָמְאָ֬ה לְךָ֨ ׀ נַפְשִׁ֗י כָּמַ֣הּ לְךָ֣ בְשָׂרִ֑י בְּאֶֽרֶץ־צִיָּ֖ה וְעָיֵ֣ף בְּלִי־מָֽיִם׃

3I shall behold You in the sanctuary, and see Your might and glory,

KEN ba-KO-desh cha-ZEE-t'-KHA lir-OT u-Z'-KHA u-k'-vo-DEKHA

גכֵּ֭ן בַּקֹּ֣דֶשׁ חֲזִיתִ֑ךָ לִרְא֥וֹת עֻ֝זְּךָ֗ וּכְבוֹדֶֽךָ׃

4Truly Your faithfulness is better than life; my lips declare Your praise.

ki-Tov chas-DE-kha me-cha-YIM se-fa-TAI ye-sha-BE-chu-NE-kha

דכִּי־ט֣וֹב חַ֭סְדְּךָ מֵחַיִּ֗ים שְׂפָתַ֥י יְשַׁבְּחֽוּנְךָ׃

5I bless You all my life; I lift up my hands, invoking Your name.

KEN a-va-REKH-kha v'-kha-YAI b'-shim-KHA e-SA kha-PAI

הכֵּ֣ן אֲבָרֶכְךָ֣ בְחַיָּ֑י בְּ֝שִׁמְךָ֗ אֶשָּׂ֥א כַפָּֽי׃

6I am sated as with a rich feast, I sing praises with joyful lips

k'-MO khe-LEV va-DE-shen tis-BA naf-SHE, v'-sif-TAY re-NA-not y'-ha-LEL-PI

וכְּמ֤וֹ חֵ֣לֶב וָ֭דֶשֶׁן תִּשְׂבַּ֣ע נַפְשִׁ֑י וְשִׂפְתֵ֥י רְ֝נָנ֗וֹת יְהַלֶּל־פִּֽי׃

7when I call You to mind upon my bed, when I think of You in the watches of the night;

im-ze-khar-TI-kha al-y'-tzu-AI b'-ash-mu-ROT e-h'-GEH-ba-KH

זאִם־זְכַרְתִּ֥יךָ עַל־יְצוּעָ֑י בְּ֝אַשְׁמֻר֗וֹת אֶהְגֶּה־בָּֽךְ׃

8for You are my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I shout for joy.

ki-ha-YI-ta ez-ra-TAH li u-v'-TZEL k'-na-FE-kha a-ra-NEN

חכִּֽי־הָיִ֣יתָ עֶזְרָ֣תָה לִּ֑י וּבְצֵ֖ל כְּנָפֶ֣יךָ אֲרַנֵּֽן׃

9My soul is attached to You; Your right hand supports me.

dov-KAH naf-SHEE a-cha-RE-kha, bee TAM-khah ye-mee-NE-kha

טדָּבְקָ֣ה נַפְשִׁ֣י אַחֲרֶ֑יךָ בִּ֝֗י תָּמְכָ֥ה יְמִינֶֽךָ׃

10May those who seek to destroy my life enter the depths of the earth.

v'-he-Ma l'-sho-AH ye-va-K'-shu naf-SHEE, ya-VO-u b'-ta-ch'-ti-YOT ha-A-retz

יוְהֵ֗מָּה לְ֭שׁוֹאָה יְבַקְשׁ֣וּ נַפְשִׁ֑י יָ֝בֹ֗אוּ בְּֽתַחְתִּיּ֥וֹת הָאָֽרֶץ׃

11May they be gutted by the sword; may they be prey to jackals.

ya-gi-ru-HU al y'-day-kha-REV m'-NAT shu-a-LEEM yi-h'-YU

יאיַגִּירֻ֥הוּ עַל־יְדֵי־חָ֑רֶב מְנָ֖ת שֻׁעָלִ֣ים יִהְיֽוּ׃

12But the king shall rejoice in Hashem; all who swear by Him shall exult, when the mouth of liars is stopped.

v'-ha-ME-lekh yis-MAKH b'-e-lo-HIM yit-ha-LEL kol-ha-nish-BA bO, ki yi-SA-kher pi do-v'-REI sha-KER.

יבוְהַמֶּלֶךְ֮ יִשְׂמַ֢ח בֵּאלֹ֫הִ֥ים יִ֭תְהַלֵּל כׇּל־הַנִּשְׁבָּ֣ע בּ֑וֹ כִּ֥י יִ֝סָּכֵ֗ר פִּ֣י דוֹבְרֵי־שָֽׁקֶר׃