Psalms 38
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1  A Psalm of David, to make memorial.

א  מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד לְהַזְכִּיר.

2  O Hashem, rebuke me not in Thine anger; neither chasten me in Thy wrath.

ב  יְהוָה אַל בְּקֶצְפְּךָ תוֹכִיחֵנִי וּבַחֲמָתְךָ תְיַסְּרֵנִי.

3  For Thine arrows are gone deep into me, and Thy hand is come down upon me.

ג  כִּי חִצֶּיךָ נִחֲתוּ בִי וַתִּנְחַת עָלַי יָדֶךָ.

4  There is no soundness in my flesh because of Thine indignation; neither is there any health in my bones because of my sin.

ד  אֵין מְתֹם בִּבְשָׂרִי מִפְּנֵי זַעְמֶךָ אֵין שָׁלוֹם בַּעֲצָמַי מִפְּנֵי חַטָּאתִי.

5  For mine iniquities are gone over my head; as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

ה  כִּי עֲו‍ֹנֹתַי עָבְרוּ רֹאשִׁי כְּמַשָּׂא כָבֵד יִכְבְּדוּ מִמֶּנִּי.

6  My wounds are noisome, they fester, because of my foolishness.

ו  הִבְאִישׁוּ נָמַקּוּ חַבּוּרֹתָי מִפְּנֵי אִוַּלְתִּי.

7  I am bent and bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day.

ז  נַעֲוֵיתִי שַׁחֹתִי עַד מְאֹד כָּל הַיּוֹם קֹדֵר הִלָּכְתִּי.

8  For my loins are filled with burning; and there is no soundness in my flesh.

ח  כִּי כְסָלַי מָלְאוּ נִקְלֶה וְאֵין מְתֹם בִּבְשָׂרִי.

9  I am benumbed and sore crushed; I groan by reason of the moaning of my heart.

ט  נְפוּגוֹתִי וְנִדְכֵּיתִי עַד מְאֹד שָׁאַגְתִּי מִנַּהֲמַת לִבִּי.

10  Lord, all my desire is before Thee; and my sighing is not hid from Thee.

י  אֲדֹנָי נֶגְדְּךָ כָל תַּאֲוָתִי וְאַנְחָתִי מִמְּךָ לֹא נִסְתָּרָה.

11  My heart fluttereth, my strength faileth me; as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.

יא  לִבִּי סְחַרְחַר עֲזָבַנִי כֹחִי וְאוֹר עֵינַי גַּם הֵם אֵין אִתִּי.

12  My friends and my companions stand aloof from my plague; and my kinsmen stand afar off.

יב  אֹהֲבַי וְרֵעַי מִנֶּגֶד נִגְעִי יַעֲמֹדוּ וּקְרוֹבַי מֵרָחֹק עָמָדוּ.

13  They also that seek after my life lay snares for me; and they that seek my hurt speak crafty devices, and utter deceits all the day.

יג  וַיְנַקְשׁוּ מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשִׁי וְדֹרְשֵׁי רָעָתִי דִּבְּרוּ הַוּוֹת וּמִרְמוֹת כָּל הַיּוֹם יֶהְגּוּ.

14  But I am as a deaf man, I hear not; and I am as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.

va-a-NEE kh’-khay-RAYSH lo esh-MA ukh-ee-LAYM lo yif-TAKH peev

יד  וַאֲנִי כְחֵרֵשׁ לֹא אֶשְׁמָע וּכְאִלֵּם לֹא יִפְתַּח פִּיו.

38:14   I am as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth

Psalm 38 is difficult to read, as it is almost entirely an expression of pain written by an individual suffering physically and spiritually. While his bones have no peace and his sins are too much to bear, his friends stand afar, unable or unwilling to help, and his enemies seek to hurt him. His response? I am deaf and mute: I pretend not to hear their taunts nor do I respond to their calls and “deceits” (verse 13). Instead, he calls out only to the Lord for salvation and deliverance. In the 13th century, Rabbi Menachem Meiri wrote that this psalm refers to the Jews in exile. He commented profoundly: “The psalm refers to our long exile in which our enemies are many and our nemeses ridicule us and sit in their serenity. We are hated and have no recourse but we pray that our salvation and redemption will come soon. Amen.” Eight centuries later, the redemption has begun and the Jewish people are no longer mute.


15  Yea, I am become as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no arguments.

טו  וָאֱהִי כְּאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר לֹא שֹׁמֵעַ וְאֵין בְּפִיו תּוֹכָחוֹת.

16  For in Thee, O Hashem, do I hope; Thou wilt answer, O Lord my God.

טז  כִּי לְךָ יְהוָה הוֹחָלְתִּי אַתָּה תַעֲנֶה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהָי.

17  For I said: ‘Lest they rejoice over me; when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.’

יז  כִּי אָמַרְתִּי פֶּן יִשְׂמְחוּ לִי בְּמוֹט רַגְלִי עָלַי הִגְדִּילוּ.

18  For I am ready to halt, and my pain is continually before me.

יח  כִּי אֲנִי לְצֶלַע נָכוֹן וּמַכְאוֹבִי נֶגְדִּי תָמִיד.

19  For I do declare mine iniquity; I am full of care because of my sin.

יט  כִּי עֲו‍ֹנִי אַגִּיד אֶדְאַג מֵחַטָּאתִי.

20  But mine enemies are strong in health; and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.

כ  וְאֹיְבַי חַיִּים עָצֵמוּ וְרַבּוּ שֹׂנְאַי שָׁקֶר.

21  They also that repay evil for good are adversaries unto me, because I follow the thing that is good.

כא  וּמְשַׁלְּמֵי רָעָה תַּחַת טוֹבָה יִשְׂטְנוּנִי תַּחַת רדופי (רָדְפִי ) טוֹב.

22  Forsake me not, O Hashem; O my God, be not far from me.

כב  אַל תַּעַזְבֵנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהַי אַל תִּרְחַק מִמֶּנִּי.

23  Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.

כג  חוּשָׁה לְעֶזְרָתִי אֲדֹנָי תְּשׁוּעָתִי.

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Psalms 37
Psalms 39

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Psalms 38