Psalms 17
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  A prayer of David. Hear, Hashem, what is just; heed my cry, give ear to my prayer, uttered without guile.

א  תְּפִלָּה לְדָוִד שִׁמְעָה יְהוָה צֶדֶק הַקְשִׁיבָה רִנָּתִי הַאֲזִינָה תְפִלָּתִי בְּלֹא שִׂפְתֵי מִרְמָה׃

2  My vindication will come from You; Your eyes will behold what is right.

ב  מִלְּפָנֶיךָ מִשְׁפָּטִי יֵצֵא עֵינֶיךָ תֶּחֱזֶינָה מֵישָׁרִים׃

3  You have visited me at night, probed my mind, You have tested me and found nothing amiss; I determined that my mouth should not transgress.

ג  בָּחַנְתָּ לִבִּי פָּקַדְתָּ לַּיְלָה צְרַפְתַּנִי בַל־תִּמְצָא זַמֹּתִי בַּל־יַעֲבָר־פִּי׃

4  As for man’s dealings, in accord with the command of Your lips, I have kept in view the fate of the lawless.

ד  לִפְעֻלּוֹת אָדָם בִּדְבַר שְׂפָתֶיךָ אֲנִי שָׁמַרְתִּי אָרְחוֹת פָּרִיץ׃

5  My feet have held to Your paths; my legs have not given way.

ה  תָּמֹךְ אֲשֻׁרַי בְּמַעְגְּלוֹתֶיךָ בַּל־נָמוֹטּוּ פְעָמָי׃

6  I call on You; You will answer me, Hashem; turn Your ear to me, hear what I say.

ו  אֲנִי־קְרָאתִיךָ כִי־תַעֲנֵנִי אֵל הַט־אָזְנְךָ לִי שְׁמַע אִמְרָתִי׃

7  Display Your faithfulness in wondrous deeds, You who deliver with Your right hand those who seek refuge from assailants.

ז  הַפְלֵה חֲסָדֶיךָ מוֹשִׁיעַ חוֹסִים מִמִּתְקוֹמְמִים בִּימִינֶךָ׃

8  Guard me like the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings

sho-m’-RAY-nee k’-ee-SHON bat A-yin b’-TZAYL k’-na-FE-kha tas-tee-RAY-nee

ח  שָׁמְרֵנִי כְּאִישׁוֹן בַּת־עָיִן בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵנִי׃

17:8   The apple of Your eye 

The term eeshon bat ayin (אישון בת-עין), ‘the apple of the eye’, refers to the pupil , and is used by the psalmist to reflect the divine protection he seeks: “Guard me like the apple of Your eye”.  The eye is the most sensitive part of the body, and therefore the most protected part of the face.  There are eyelids and eyelashes to protect the eyes from foreign intrusion, eyebrows to protect from sweat, and the forehead and nose to protect them from impact.  The psalmist asks that Hashem protect him fully like the eye that is surrounded on all sides.  A more profound interpretation of this expression recognizes that the eye is also the window to the soul. By asking the Lord to protect his eyes, the psalmist is thus asking God to guard his soul. In 1989, a group of settlers created a new community in Gush Etzion under the guidance of Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg. The residents of the community, called Bat Ayin, are mostly Jews with Hassidic tendencies, who place great emphasis on spirituality and the soul and aim to recognize and spread the light of Hashem in this world. Today close, to 200 families live in Bat Ayin, representing Jews of all walks of life, from rabbis and teachers, to artists and musicians, builders, farmers, doctors and writers.2 comments

9  from the wicked who despoil me, my mortal enemies who encircle me.

ט  מִפְּנֵי רְשָׁעִים זוּ שַׁדּוּנִי אֹיְבַי בְּנֶפֶשׁ יַקִּיפוּ עָלָי׃

10  Their hearts are closed to pity; they mouth arrogance;

י  חֶלְבָּמוֹ סָּגְרוּ פִּימוֹ דִּבְּרוּ בְגֵאוּת׃

11  now they hem in our feet on every side; they set their eyes roaming over the land.

יא  אַשֻּׁרֵינוּ עַתָּה סבבוני [סְבָבוּנוּ] עֵינֵיהֶם יָשִׁיתוּ לִנְטוֹת בָּאָרֶץ׃

12  He is like a lion eager for prey, a king of beasts lying in wait.

יב  דִּמְיֹנוֹ כְּאַרְיֵה יִכְסוֹף לִטְרוֹף וְכִכְפִיר יֹשֵׁב בְּמִסְתָּרִים׃

13  Rise, Hashem! Go forth to meet him. Bring him down; rescue me from the wicked with Your sword,

יג  קוּמָה יְהוָה קַדְּמָה פָנָיו הַכְרִיעֵהוּ פַּלְּטָה נַפְשִׁי מֵרָשָׁע חַרְבֶּךָ׃

14  from men, Hashem, with Your hand, from men whose share in life is fleeting. But as to Your treasured ones, fill their bellies. Their sons too shall be satisfied, and have something to leave over for their young.

יד  מִמְתִים יָדְךָ יְהוָה מִמְתִים מֵחֶלֶד חֶלְקָם בַּחַיִּים וצפינך [וּצְפוּנְךָ] תְּמַלֵּא בִטְנָם יִשְׂבְּעוּ בָנִים וְהִנִּיחוּ יִתְרָם לְעוֹלְלֵיהֶם׃

15  Then I, justified, will behold Your face; awake, I am filled with the vision of You.

 

טו  אֲנִי בְּצֶדֶק אֶחֱזֶה פָנֶיךָ אֶשְׂבְּעָה בְהָקִיץ תְּמוּנָתֶךָ׃

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Psalms 16
Psalms 18

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Psalms 17

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