Chapter 94

1God of retribution, Hashem, God of retribution, appear!

אאֵל־נְקָמוֹת יְהֹוָה אֵל נְקָמוֹת הוֹפִיַע׃

2Rise up, judge of the earth, give the arrogant their deserts!

בהִנָּשֵׂא שֹׁפֵט הָאָרֶץ הָשֵׁב גְּמוּל עַל־גֵּאִים׃

3How long shall the wicked, Hashem, how long shall the wicked exult,

געַד־מָתַי רְשָׁעִים יְהֹוָה עַד־מָתַי רְשָׁעִים יַעֲלֹזוּ׃

4shall they utter insolent speech, shall all evildoers vaunt themselves?

דיַבִּיעוּ יְדַבְּרוּ עָתָק יִתְאַמְּרוּ כָּל־פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן׃

5They crush Your people, Hashem, they afflict Your very own;

העַמְּךָ יְהֹוָה יְדַכְּאוּ וְנַחֲלָתְךָ יְעַנּוּ׃

6they kill the widow and the stranger; they murder the fatherless,

ואַלְמָנָה וְגֵר יַהֲרֹגוּ וִיתוֹמִים יְרַצֵּחוּ׃

7thinking, “Hashem does not see it, the God of Yaakov does not pay heed.”

זוַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹא יִרְאֶה־יָּהּ וְלֹא־יָבִין אֱלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב׃

8Take heed, you most brutish people; fools, when will you get wisdom?

חבִּינוּ בֹּעֲרִים בָּעָם וּכְסִילִים מָתַי תַּשְׂכִּילוּ׃

9Shall He who implants the ear not hear, He who forms the eye not see?

טהֲנֹטַע אֹזֶן הֲלֹא יִשְׁמָע אִם־יֹצֵר עַיִן הֲלֹא יַבִּיט׃

10Shall He who disciplines nations not punish, He who instructs men in knowledge?

יהֲיֹסֵר גּוֹיִם הֲלֹא יוֹכִיחַ הַמְלַמֵּד אָדָם דָּעַת׃

11Hashem knows the designs of men to be futile.

יאיְהֹוָה יֹדֵעַ מַחְשְׁבוֹת אָדָם כִּי־הֵמָּה הָבֶל׃

12Happy is the man whom You discipline, Hashem, the man You instruct in Your teaching,

ash-RAY ha-GE-ver a-sher t'-ya-s'-RE-nu YAH u-mi-to-ra-t'-KHA t'-la-m'-DE-nu

יבאַשְׁרֵי הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר־תְּיַסְּרֶנּוּ יָּהּ וּמִתּוֹרָתְךָ תְלַמְּדֶנּוּ׃

 94:12   The man You instruct

Psalm 94 is about seeking vengeance. The psalmist is in great pain. He calls out to the Lord, but hears no response. He lashes out at the evildoers, but they ignore him. Finally, he turns inward to himself and realizes that sometimes suffering is really a gift. Suffering reminds a person that Hashem cares enough about him to “discipline” him, and trusts in his ability to prevail. Rabbi Simeon Bar Yochai famously states in the Talmud (Berachot 5a): “Three gifts were given by God through suffering: Torah, the Land of Israel and the world to come.” One must fight, endure and suffer in order to maintain the greatest of all gifts, Eretz Yisrael. Even though the Jews have returned to their land after two thousand years and assumed their rightful place among the nations, securing Eretz Yisrael is still fraught with bloodshed and pain. Only the righteous are able to perceive that this suffering paves the way to one of the greatest gifts of God to His people.

13to give him tranquillity in times of misfortune, until a pit be dug for the wicked.

יגלְהַשְׁקִיט לוֹ מִימֵי רָע עַד יִכָּרֶה לָרָשָׁע שָׁחַת׃

14For Hashem will not forsake His people; He will not abandon His very own.

ידכִּי לֹא־יִטֹּשׁ יְהֹוָה עַמּוֹ וְנַחֲלָתוֹ לֹא יַעֲזֹב׃

15Judgment shall again accord with justice and all the upright shall rally to it.

טוכִּי־עַד־צֶדֶק יָשׁוּב מִשְׁפָּט וְאַחֲרָיו כָּל־יִשְׁרֵי־לֵב׃

16Who will take my part against evil men? Who will stand up for me against wrongdoers?

טזמִי־יָקוּם לִי עִם־מְרֵעִים מִי־יִתְיַצֵּב לִי עִם־פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן׃

17Were not Hashem my help, I should soon dwell in silence.

יזלוּלֵי יְהֹוָה עֶזְרָתָה לִּי כִּמְעַט שָׁכְנָה דוּמָה נַפְשִׁי׃

18When I think my foot has given way, Your faithfulness, Hashem, supports me.

יחאִם־אָמַרְתִּי מָטָה רַגְלִי חַסְדְּךָ יְהֹוָה יִסְעָדֵנִי׃

19When I am filled with cares, Your assurance soothes my soul.

יטבְּרֹב שַׂרְעַפַּי בְּקִרְבִּי תַּנְחוּמֶיךָ יְשַׁעַשְׁעוּ נַפְשִׁי׃

20Shall the seat of injustice be Your partner, that frames mischief by statute?

כהַיְחָבְרְךָ כִּסֵּא הַוּוֹת יֹצֵר עָמָל עֲלֵי־חֹק׃

21They band together to do away with the righteous; they condemn the innocent to death.

כאיָגוֹדּוּ עַל־נֶפֶשׁ צַדִּיק וְדָם נָקִי יַרְשִׁיעוּ׃

22But Hashem is my haven; my God is my sheltering rock.

כבוַיְהִי יְהֹוָה לִי לְמִשְׂגָּב וֵאלֹהַי לְצוּר מַחְסִי׃

23He will make their evil recoil upon them, annihilate them through their own wickedness; Hashem our God will annihilate them.

כגוַיָּשֶׁב עֲלֵיהֶם אֶת־אוֹנָם וּבְרָעָתָם יַצְמִיתֵם יַצְמִיתֵם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ׃