Psalms 56
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1  For the Leader; upon Jonath-elem-rehokim. [A Psalm] of David; Michtam; when the Plishtim took him in Gat.

lam-na-TZAY-akh al yo-NAT AY-lem r’-kho-KEEM l’-da-VID mikh-TAM be-e-KHOZ o-TO f’-lish-TEEM b’-GAT

א  לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַל יוֹנַת אֵלֶם רְחֹקִים לְדָוִד מִכְתָּם בֶּאֱחֹז אוֹתוֹ פְלִשְׁתִּים בְּגַת.

56:1   When the Philistines took him in Gath

Constantly on the run in a very small Israelite kingdom, David does the irrational; he escapes to the Philistine city of Gath (I Samuel 21 11-16). The Philistines were the main enemy of the Israelites at the time, and David himself had slain Goliath who was from the same city. How does David survive when the advisers of the king Achish (also called Abimelech in Psalm 34:1) reveal that this is the same David who killed Philistines by the thousands? David feigns insanity. He dances uncontrollably, foams at the mouth and sputters unintelligible words. His behavior leads the king of Gath to make his famous statement “Do I lack madmen, that ye have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence?” (I Samuel 21:26). He lets David free, and David responds to this near-death experience in the best way he knows how; with a psalm of gratitude to the Lord.

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2  Be gracious unto me, O God, for man would swallow me up; all the day he fighting oppresseth me.

ב  חָנֵּנִי אֱלֹהִים כִּי שְׁאָפַנִי אֱנוֹשׁ כָּל הַיּוֹם לֹחֵם יִלְחָצֵנִי.

3  They that lie in wait for me would swallow me up all the day; for they are many that fight against me, O Most High,

ג  שָׁאֲפוּ שׁוֹרְרַי כָּל הַיּוֹם כִּי רַבִּים לֹחֲמִים לִי מָרוֹם.

4  In the day that I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee.

ד  יוֹם אִירָא אֲנִי אֵלֶיךָ אֶבְטָח.

5  In God–I will praise His word– in God do I trust, I will not be afraid; what can flesh do unto me?

ה  בֵּאלֹהִים אֲהַלֵּל דְּבָרוֹ בֵּאלֹהִים בָּטַחְתִּי לֹא אִירָא מַה יַּעֲשֶׂה בָשָׂר לִי.

6  All the day they trouble mine affairs; all their thoughts are against me for evil.

ו  כָּל הַיּוֹם דְּבָרַי יְעַצֵּבוּ עָלַי כָּל מַחְשְׁבֹתָם לָרָע.

7  They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps; according as they have waited for my soul.

ז  יָגוּרוּ יצפינו (יִצְפּוֹנוּ) הֵמָּה עֲקֵבַי יִשְׁמֹרוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר קִוּוּ נַפְשִׁי.

8  Because of iniquity cast them out; in anger bring down the peoples, O God.

ח  עַל אָוֶן פַּלֶּט לָמוֹ בְּאַף עַמִּים הוֹרֵד אֱלֹהִים.

9  Thou has counted my wanderings; put Thou my tears into Thy bottle; are they not in Thy book?

ט  נֹדִי סָפַרְתָּה אָתָּה שִׂימָה דִמְעָתִי בְנֹאדֶךָ הֲלֹא בְּסִפְרָתֶךָ.

10  Then shall mine enemies turn back in the day that I call; this I know, that God is for me.

י  אָז יָשׁוּבוּ אוֹיְבַי אָחוֹר בְּיוֹם אֶקְרָא זֶה יָדַעְתִּי כִּי אֱלֹהִים לִי.

11  In God–I will praise His word–in Hashem–I will praise His word–

יא  בֵּאלֹהִים אֲהַלֵּל דָּבָר בַּיהוָה אֲהַלֵּל דָּבָר.

12  In God do I trust, I will not be afraid; what can man do unto me?

יב  בֵּאלֹהִים בָּטַחְתִּי לֹא אִירָא מַה יַּעֲשֶׂה אָדָם לִי.

13  Thy vows are upon me, O God; I will render thank-offerings unto Thee.

יג  עָלַי אֱלֹהִים נְדָרֶיךָ אֲשַׁלֵּם תּוֹדֹת לָךְ.

14  For Thou hast delivered my soul from death; hast Thou not delivered my feet from stumbling? that I may walk before God in the light of the living.

יד  כִּי הִצַּלְתָּ נַפְשִׁי מִמָּוֶת הֲלֹא רַגְלַי מִדֶּחִי לְהִתְהַלֵּךְ לִפְנֵי אֱלֹהִים בְּאוֹר הַחַיִּים.

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Psalms 55
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Psalms 56