1 For the leader. Of David. The benighted man thinks, “Hashem does not care.” Man’s deeds are corrupt and loathsome; no one does good.
lam-na-TZAY-akh l’-da-VID a-MAR na-VAL b’-li-BO AYN e-lo-HEEM hish-KHEE-tu hit-EE-vu a-lee-LAH AYN o-SAY TOV
א לַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד אָמַר נָבָל בְּלִבּוֹ אֵין אֱלֹהִים הִשְׁחִיתוּ הִתְעִיבוּ עֲלִילָה אֵין עֹשֵׂה־טוֹב׃
14:1 The benighted man thinks
The psalmist paints a dim picture of humanity with corruption in command and desire reigning. Hashem peers from the heavens and wonders if any people still contemplate and seek the Creator. The Hebrew word for ‘benighted’ used in this verse is naval (נבל), which means ‘foolish’ or ‘senseless.’ It is also the name of the infamous wicked man described in Sefer Shmuel I 25. David encounters Naval, who lives only to please his desires and spares nobody his evil plans. He is indeed a fool, corrupt, immoral and unjust, and is ultimately condemned by his own hubris. His wife Avigail, however, acts with kindness and love. David sees redemption in Avigail and eventually, after Naval’s death, makes her his wife. The psalm concludes with the hope of the ultimate redemption, as the salvation of Israel will come when the nation of God returns to the land. Then, Yaakov will rejoice, Israel will be happy (verse 7).