Psalms 55
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  For the Leader; with string-music. Maschil of David.

א  לַמְנַצֵּחַ בִּנְגִינֹת מַשְׂכִּיל לְדָוִד.

2  Give ear, O God, to my prayer; and hide not Thyself from my supplication.

ב  הַאֲזִינָה אֱלֹהִים תְּפִלָּתִי וְאַל תִּתְעַלַּם מִתְּחִנָּתִי.

3  Attend unto me, and hear me; I am distraught in my complaint, and will moan;

ג  הַקְשִׁיבָה לִּי וַעֲנֵנִי אָרִיד בְּשִׂיחִי וְאָהִימָה.

4  Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked; for they cast mischief upon me, and in anger they persecute me.

ד  מִקּוֹל אוֹיֵב מִפְּנֵי עָקַת רָשָׁע כִּי יָמִיטוּ עָלַי אָוֶן וּבְאַף יִשְׂטְמוּנִי.

5  My heart doth writhe within me; and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.

ה  לִבִּי יָחִיל בְּקִרְבִּי וְאֵימוֹת מָוֶת נָפְלוּ עָלָי.

6  Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.

ו  יִרְאָה וָרַעַד יָבֹא בִי וַתְּכַסֵּנִי פַּלָּצוּת.

7  And I said: ‘Oh that I had wings like a dove! then would I fly away, and be at rest.

ז  וָאֹמַר מִי יִתֶּן לִי אֵבֶר כַּיּוֹנָה אָעוּפָה וְאֶשְׁכֹּנָה.

8  Lo, then would I wander far off, I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah

hi-NAY ar-KHEEK n’-DOD a-LEEN ba-mid-BAR SE-lah

ח  הִנֵּה אַרְחִיק נְדֹד אָלִין בַּמִּדְבָּר סֶלָה.

55:8   Lodge in the wilderness

In times of great danger, David yearns to escape to the wilderness. At the end of I Samuel 23, having almost met his demise at the hands of Saul, David flees to a fortresses in Ein Gedi, located in the Judean desert. The desert is a place of solitude and shelter.  Saul will have great difficulty finding David among the cliffs and caves of the Judean desert. Five hundred years later, Jeremiah yearns for a respite from rebuking the nation of Israel in Jerusalem and he also desires to escape to the desert (Jeremiah 9:1). Over a thousand years later, Simon Bar Kokhba flees to the same mountains, and plans his rebellion against the Roman regime controlling the Land of Israel from there. In ancient times, the wilderness was a place in which to disappear. Today, as a result of God’s blessings, it is filled with life.


9  I would haste me to a shelter from the stormy wind and tempest.’

ט  אָחִישָׁה מִפְלָט לִי מֵרוּחַ סֹעָה מִסָּעַר.

10  Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongue; for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

י  בַּלַּע אֲדֹנָי פַּלַּג לְשׁוֹנָם כִּי רָאִיתִי חָמָס וְרִיב בָּעִיר.

11  Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof; iniquity also and mischief are in the midst of it.

יא  יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה יְסוֹבְבֻהָ עַל חוֹמֹתֶיהָ וְאָוֶן וְעָמָל בְּקִרְבָּהּ.

12  Wickedness is in the midst thereof; oppression and guile depart not from her broad place.

יב  הַוּוֹת בְּקִרְבָּהּ וְלֹא יָמִישׁ מֵרְחֹבָהּ תֹּךְ וּמִרְמָה.

13  For it was not an enemy that taunted me, then I could have borne it; neither was it mine adversary that did magnify himself against me, then I would have hid myself from him.

יג  כִּי לֹא אוֹיֵב יְחָרְפֵנִי וְאֶשָּׂא לֹא מְשַׂנְאִי עָלַי הִגְדִּיל וְאֶסָּתֵר מִמֶּנּוּ.

14  But it was thou, a man mine equal, my companion, and my familiar friend;

יד  וְאַתָּה אֱנוֹשׁ כְּעֶרְכִּי אַלּוּפִי וּמְיֻדָּעִי.

15  We took sweet counsel together, in the house of God we walked with the throng.

טו  אֲשֶׁר יַחְדָּו נַמְתִּיק סוֹד בְּבֵית אֱלֹהִים נְהַלֵּךְ בְּרָגֶשׁ.

16  May He incite death against them, let them go down alive into the nether-world; for evil is in their dwelling, and within them.

טז  ישימות (יַשִּׁי מָוֶת) עָלֵימוֹ יֵרְדוּ שְׁאוֹל חַיִּים כִּי רָעוֹת בִּמְגוּרָם בְּקִרְבָּם.

17  As for me, I will call upon God; and Hashem shall save me.

יז  אֲנִי אֶל אֱלֹהִים אֶקְרָא וַיהוָה יוֹשִׁיעֵנִי.

18  Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I complain, and moan; and He hath heard my voice.

יח  עֶרֶב וָבֹקֶר וְצָהֳרַיִם אָשִׂיחָה וְאֶהֱמֶה וַיִּשְׁמַע קוֹלִי.

19  He hath redeemed my soul in peace so that none came nigh me; for they were many that strove with me.

יט  פָּדָה בְשָׁלוֹם נַפְשִׁי מִקְּרָב לִי כִּי בְרַבִּים הָיוּ עִמָּדִי.

20  God shall hear, and humble them, even He that is enthroned of old, Selah such as have no changes, and fear not God.

כ  יִשְׁמַע אֵל וְיַעֲנֵם וְיֹשֵׁב קֶדֶם סֶלָה אֲשֶׁר אֵין חֲלִיפוֹת לָמוֹ וְלֹא יָרְאוּ אֱלֹהִים.

21  He hath put forth his hands against them that were at peace with him; he hath profaned his covenant.

כא  שָׁלַח יָדָיו בִּשְׁלֹמָיו חִלֵּל בְּרִיתוֹ.

22  Smoother than cream were the speeches of his mouth, but his heart was war; his words were softer than oil, yet were they keen-edged swords.

כב  חָלְקוּ מַחְמָאֹת פִּיו וּקְרָב לִבּוֹ רַכּוּ דְבָרָיו מִשֶּׁמֶן וְהֵמָּה פְתִחוֹת.

23  Cast thy burden upon Hashem, and He will sustain thee; He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.

כג  הַשְׁלֵךְ עַל יְהוָה יְהָבְךָ וְהוּא יְכַלְכְּלֶךָ לֹא יִתֵּן לְעוֹלָם מוֹט לַצַּדִּיק.

24  But Thou, O God, wilt bring them down into the nethermost pit; men of blood and deceit shall not live out half their days; but as for me, I will trust in Thee.

כד  וְאַתָּה אֱלֹהִים תּוֹרִדֵם לִבְאֵר שַׁחַת אַנְשֵׁי דָמִים וּמִרְמָה לֹא יֶחֱצוּ יְמֵיהֶם וַאֲנִי אֶבְטַח בָּךְ.

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Psalms 54
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Psalms 55