1 For the Leader, for Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
א לַמְנַצֵּחַ לידיתון (לִידוּתוּן) מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד.
2 I said: ‘I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue; I will keep a curb upon my mouth, while the wicked is before me.’
a-MAR-tee esh-m’-RAH d’-ra-KHAI may-kha-TO vil-sho-NEE esh-m’-RAH l’-FEE makh-SOM b’-OD ra-SHA l’-neg-DEE
ב אָמַרְתִּי אֶשְׁמְרָה דְרָכַי מֵחֲטוֹא בִלְשׁוֹנִי אֶשְׁמְרָה לְפִי מַחְסוֹם בְּעֹד רָשָׁע לְנֶגְדִּי.
39:2 That I sin not with my tongue
The sages ask why the second Temple was destroyed if there were plenty of people studying theTorah, following God’s commandments and performing acts of kindness for others. They answer that people spoke ill of each other because of baseless hatred. This teaches that such hatred and foul-mouthed behavior is worse than idolatry, sexual infidelity and murder which are the reasons given for the destruction of the first Temple. They then ask, was there no slander or baseless hatred among the people in the first Temple period? Yes there was, but those who lived during the first Temple were open with their hatred, thus their punishment was shorter. During the second Temple, the people hid their feelings, secretly slandering and speaking hate, thus their exile lasted much longer.
3 I was dumb with silence; I held my peace, had no comfort; and my pain was held in check.
ג נֶאֱלַמְתִּי דוּמִיָּה הֶחֱשֵׁיתִי מִטּוֹב וּכְאֵבִי נֶעְכָּר.
4 My heart waxed hot within me; while I was musing, the fire kindled; then spoke I with my tongue:
ד חַם לִבִּי בְּקִרְבִּי בַּהֲגִיגִי תִבְעַר אֵשׁ דִּבַּרְתִּי בִּלְשׁוֹנִי.
5 ‘Hashem, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; let me know how short-lived I am.
ה הוֹדִיעֵנִי יְהוָה קִצִּי וּמִדַּת יָמַי מַה הִיא אֵדְעָה מֶה חָדֵל אָנִי.
6 Behold, Thou hast made my days as hand-breadths; and mine age is as nothing before Thee; surely every man at his best estate is altogether vanity. Selah
7 Surely man walketh as a mere semblance; surely for vanity they are in turmoil; he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.
ז אַךְ בְּצֶלֶם יִתְהַלֶּךְ אִישׁ אַךְ הֶבֶל יֶהֱמָיוּן יִצְבֹּר וְלֹא יֵדַע מִי אֹסְפָם.
8 And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope, it is in Thee.
ח וְעַתָּה מַה קִּוִּיתִי אֲדֹנָי תּוֹחַלְתִּי לְךָ הִיא.
9 Deliver me from all my transgressions; make me not the reproach of the base.
ט מִכָּל פְּשָׁעַי הַצִּילֵנִי חֶרְפַּת נָבָל אַל תְּשִׂימֵנִי.
10 I am dumb, I open not my mouth; because Thou hast done it.
י נֶאֱלַמְתִּי לֹא אֶפְתַּח פִּי כִּי אַתָּה עָשִׂיתָ.
11 Remove Thy stroke from off me; I am consumed by the blow of Thy hand.
יא הָסֵר מֵעָלַי נִגְעֶךָ מִתִּגְרַת יָדְךָ אֲנִי כָלִיתִי.
12 With rebukes dost Thou chasten man for iniquity, and like a moth Thou makest his beauty to consume away; surely every man is vanity. Selah
13 Hear my prayer, O Hashem, and give ear unto my cry; keep not silence at my tears; for I am a stranger with Thee, a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
יג שִׁמְעָה תְפִלָּתִי יְהוָה וְשַׁוְעָתִי הַאֲזִינָה אֶל דִּמְעָתִי אַל תֶּחֱרַשׁ כִּי גֵר אָנֹכִי עִמָּךְ תּוֹשָׁב כְּכָל אֲבוֹתָי.
14 Look away from me, that I may take comfort, before I go hence, and be no more.’
יד הָשַׁע מִמֶּנִּי וְאַבְלִיגָה בְּטֶרֶם אֵלֵךְ וְאֵינֶנִּי.