1 For the Leader. Maschil of David;
א לַמְנַצֵּחַ מַשְׂכִּיל לְדָוִד.
What is the definition of derogatory speech, in Hebrew ‘lashon hara?’ It is often assumed to mean that you make up terrible things about someone else. That, however, is called slander. ‘Lashon hara’ takes place when one person intentionally or unintentionally harms others through the true statements of his mouth uttered at inopportune times. Case in point is the biblical story of Doeg the Edomite, chief herdsman of King Saul (I Samuel 22). When asked by Saul if he knew the wherabouts of David, he replied that David is in the city of Nov, together with the High Priest Ahimelech. To Saul, it sounded like David and Ahimelech were conspiring to rebel, and thus Saul gave a directive to destroy all the priests of the city of Nov. Doeg’s mis-spoken words caused great sorrow, as it says in verse 4, “thy tongue deviseth destruction; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.”. In this psalm, David addresses a great man who falls because he inappropriately used the power of his tongue.
3 Why boastest thou thyself of evil, O mighty man? The mercy of God endureth continually.
ג מַה תִּתְהַלֵּל בְּרָעָה הַגִּבּוֹר חֶסֶד אֵל כָּל הַיּוֹם.
4 Thy tongue deviseth destruction; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
ד הַוּוֹת תַּחְשֹׁב לְשׁוֹנֶךָ כְּתַעַר מְלֻטָּשׁ עֹשֵׂה רְמִיָּה.
5 Thou lovest evil more than good; falsehood rather than speaking righteousness. Selah
ה אָהַבְתָּ רָּע מִטּוֹב שֶׁקֶר מִדַּבֵּר צֶדֶק סֶלָה.
6 Thou lovest all devouring words, the deceitful tongue.
ו אָהַבְתָּ כָל דִּבְרֵי בָלַע לְשׁוֹן מִרְמָה.
7 God will likewise break thee for ever, He will take thee up, and pluck thee out of thy tent, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.
ז גַּם אֵל יִתָּצְךָ לָנֶצַח יַחְתְּךָ וְיִסָּחֲךָ מֵאֹהֶל וְשֵׁרֶשְׁךָ מֵאֶרֶץ חַיִּים סֶלָה.
8 The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:
ח וְיִרְאוּ צַדִּיקִים וְיִירָאוּ וְעָלָיו יִשְׂחָקוּ.
9 ‘Lo, this is the man that made not God his stronghold; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.’
ט הִנֵּה הַגֶּבֶר לֹא יָשִׂים אֱלֹהִים מָעוּזּוֹ וַיִּבְטַח בְּרֹב עָשְׁרוֹ יָעֹז בְּהַוָּתוֹ.
10 But as for me, I am like a leafy olive-tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
י וַאֲנִי כְּזַיִת רַעֲנָן בְּבֵית אֱלֹהִים בָּטַחְתִּי בְחֶסֶד אֱלֹהִים עוֹלָם וָעֶד.
11 I will give Thee thanks for ever, because Thou hast done it; and I will wait for Thy name, for it is good, in the presence of Thy saints.
יא אוֹדְךָ לְעוֹלָם כִּי עָשִׂיתָ וַאֲקַוֶּה שִׁמְךָ כִי טוֹב נֶגֶד חֲסִידֶיךָ.