Psalms 142
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1  Maschil of David, when he was in the cave; a Prayer.

mas-KEEL l’-da-VID bih-yo-TO va-m’-a-RAH t’-fi-LAH

א  מַשְׂכִּיל לְדָוִד בִּהְיוֹתוֹ בַמְּעָרָה תְפִלָּה.

142:1   When he was in the cave

David runs for his life to a cave in Adulam, as recorded in I Samuel 22. There, instead of solitude and fear, he finds compatriots and begins to build an army. Perhaps this prayer spurs a new resolve within not to be be depressed or paralyzed by fear. The Bible speaks of 400 men who gathered in front of David, each one bitter and depressed, each one without will and direction (ibid verse 2). Prayer can act as a great unifier. It can give desperate people hope, help them focus on new goals and instill with them lofty ideals. The prayer leader, David, is inspired from this group and begins his path towards self-determination, and ultimately towards the monarchy itself. From a dark, dank, cave emerges a spark, a spirit, a king of Israel!

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2  With my voice I cry unto Hashem; with my voice I make supplication unto Hashem.

ב  קוֹלִי אֶל יְהוָה אֶזְעָק קוֹלִי אֶל יְהוָה אֶתְחַנָּן.

3  I pour out my complaint before Him, I declare before Him my trouble;

ג  אֶשְׁפֹּךְ לְפָנָיו שִׂיחִי צָרָתִי לְפָנָיו אַגִּיד.

4  When my spirit fainteth within me–Thou knowest my path– in the way wherein I walk have they hidden a snare for me.

ד  בְּהִתְעַטֵּף עָלַי רוּחִי וְאַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ נְתִיבָתִי בְּאֹרַח זוּ אֲהַלֵּךְ טָמְנוּ פַח לִי.

5  Look on my right hand, and see, for there is no man that knoweth me; I have no way to flee; no man careth for my soul.

ה  הַבֵּיט יָמִין וּרְאֵה וְאֵין לִי מַכִּיר אָבַד מָנוֹס מִמֶּנִּי אֵין דּוֹרֵשׁ לְנַפְשִׁי.

6  I have cried unto Thee, O Hashem; I have said: ‘Thou art my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’

ו  זָעַקְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ יְהוָה אָמַרְתִּי אַתָּה מַחְסִי חֶלְקִי בְּאֶרֶץ הַחַיִּים.

7  Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors; for they are too strong for me.

ז  הַקְשִׁיבָה אֶל רִנָּתִי כִּי דַלּוֹתִי מְאֹד הַצִּילֵנִי מֵרֹדְפַי כִּי אָמְצוּ מִמֶּנִּי.

8  Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks unto Thy name; the righteous shall crown themselves because of me; for Thou wilt deal bountifully with me.

ח  הוֹצִיאָה מִמַּסְגֵּר נַפְשִׁי לְהוֹדוֹת אֶת שְׁמֶךָ בִּי יַכְתִּרוּ צַדִּיקִים כִּי תִגְמֹל עָלָי.

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Psalms 141
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Psalms 142