1 For the Leader; with string-music. Maschil of David:
א לַמְנַצֵּחַ בִּנְגִינֹת מַשְׂכִּיל לְדָוִד.
ב בְּבֹא הַזִּיפִים וַיֹּאמְרוּ לְשָׁאוּל הֲלֹא דָוִד מִסְתַּתֵּר עִמָּנוּ.
54:2 The Ziphites
David sings in times of sadness, danger and fright, and of course he also sings in times of salvation, joy and triumph. One such episode of salvation is found in I Samuel 23. The people of Ziph, a city in the portion of Judah, report David’s location to Saul. Unaware of this deception, David dwells among the Ziphites until Saul is close by, ready to end David’s life. The story reaches its climax with David on one side of a mountain in the wilderness of Maon, and Saul on the other about to pounce. Miraculously, just as he is ready to strike, a messenger appears to Saul, informing him that the Philistines are attacking and that he is needed elsewhere in the kingdom. David is able to flee, and later acknowledges God’s graciousness and salvation in this psalm.
3 O God, save me by Thy name, and right me by Thy might.
ג אֱלֹהִים בְּשִׁמְךָ הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי וּבִגְבוּרָתְךָ תְדִינֵנִי.
4 O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth.
ד אֱלֹהִים שְׁמַע תְּפִלָּתִי הַאֲזִינָה לְאִמְרֵי פִי.
5 For strangers are risen up against me, and violent men have sought after my soul; they have not set God before them. Selah
ה כִּי זָרִים קָמוּ עָלַי וְעָרִיצִים בִּקְשׁוּ נַפְשִׁי לֹא שָׂמוּ אֱלֹהִים לְנֶגְדָּם סֶלָה.
6 Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is for me as the upholder of my soul.
ו הִנֵּה אֱלֹהִים עֹזֵר לִי אֲדֹנָי בְּסֹמְכֵי נַפְשִׁי.
7 He will requite the evil unto them that lie in wait for me; destroy Thou them in Thy truth.
ז ישוב (יָשִׁיב) הָרַע לְשֹׁרְרָי בַּאֲמִתְּךָ הַצְמִיתֵם.
8 With a freewill-offering will I sacrifice unto Thee; I will give thanks unto Thy name, O Hashem, for it is good.
ח בִּנְדָבָה אֶזְבְּחָה לָּךְ אוֹדֶה שִּׁמְךָ יְהוָה כִּי טוֹב.
9 For He hath delivered me out of all trouble; and mine eye hath gazed upon mine enemies.
ט כִּי מִכָּל צָרָה הִצִּילָנִי וּבְאֹיְבַי רָאֲתָה עֵינִי.