Chapter 64

1For the leader. A psalm of David.

אלַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד׃

2Hear my voice, O Hashem, when I plead; guard my life from the enemy's terror.

בשְׁמַע־אֱלֹהִים קוֹלִי בְשִׂיחִי מִפַּחַד אוֹיֵב תִּצֹּר חַיָּי׃

3Hide me from a band of evil men, from a crowd of evildoers,

גתַּסְתִּירֵנִי מִסּוֹד מְרֵעִים מֵרִגְשַׁת פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן׃

4who whet their tongues like swords; they aim their arrows—cruel words—

a-SHER sha-n'-NU kha-KHE-rev l'-sho-NAM da-r'-KHU khi-TZAM da-VAR MAR

דאֲשֶׁר שָׁנְנוּ כַחֶרֶב לְשׁוֹנָם דָּרְכוּ חִצָּם דָּבָר מָר׃

64:4   Cruel words

King David’s enemies attack him in different ways; sometimes physically, sometimes verbally. From this psalm it appears that the verbal assaults affected him more than any other. When David is defamed and maligned, he lashes out using a metaphor of swords and arrows. David is no stranger to battle. The throngs of voices singing “Shaul hath slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (I Samuel 21:12) attest to his prowess with the sword, the sling and the arrow. And yet, in his time of darkness when all his friends and confidants have disappeared, the arrow of his enemies is filled with poisoned words, slicing through his armor and penetrating his soul.

5to shoot from hiding at the blameless man; they shoot him suddenly and without fear.

הלִירוֹת בַּמִּסְתָּרִים תָּם פִּתְאֹם יֹרֻהוּ וְלֹא יִירָאוּ׃

6They arm themselves with an evil word; when they speak, it is to conceal traps; they think, “Who will see them?”

ויְחַזְּקוּ־לָמוֹ דָּבָר רָע יְסַפְּרוּ לִטְמוֹן מוֹקְשִׁים אָמְרוּ מִי יִרְאֶה־לָּמוֹ׃

7Let the wrongdoings they have concealed, each one inside him, his secret thoughts, be wholly exposed.

זיַחְפְּשׂוּ־עוֹלֹת תַּמְנוּ חֵפֶשׂ מְחֻפָּשׂ וְקֶרֶב אִישׁ וְלֵב עָמֹק׃

8Hashem shall shoot them with arrows; they shall be struck down suddenly.

חוַיֹּרֵם אֱלֹהִים חֵץ פִּתְאוֹם הָיוּ מַכּוֹתָם׃

9Their tongue shall be their downfall; all who see them shall recoil in horror;

טוַיַּכְשִׁילוּהוּ עָלֵימוֹ לְשׁוֹנָם יִתְנֹדֲדוּ כָּל־רֹאֵה בָם׃

10all men shall stand in awe; they shall proclaim the work of Hashem and His deed which they perceived.

יוַיִּירְאוּ כָּל־אָדָם וַיַּגִּידוּ פֹּעַל אֱלֹהִים וּמַעֲשֵׂהוּ הִשְׂכִּילוּ׃

11The righteous shall rejoice in Hashem, and take refuge in Him; all the upright shall exult.

יאיִשְׂמַח צַדִּיק בַּיהֹוָה וְחָסָה בוֹ וְיִתְהַלְלוּ כָּל־יִשְׁרֵי־לֵב׃