Psalms 58
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1  For the Leader; Al-tashheth. [A Psalm] of David; Michtam.

א  לַמְנַצֵּחַ אַל תַּשְׁחֵת לְדָוִד מִכְתָּם.

2  Do ye indeed speak as a righteous company? Do ye judge with equity the sons of men?

ב  הַאֻמְנָם אֵלֶם צֶדֶק תְּדַבֵּרוּן מֵישָׁרִים תִּשְׁפְּטוּ בְּנֵי אָדָם.

3  Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh out in the earth the violence of your hands.

ג  אַף בְּלֵב עוֹלֹת תִּפְעָלוּן בָּאָרֶץ חֲמַס יְדֵיכֶם תְּפַלֵּסוּן.

4  The wicked are estranged from the womb; the speakers of lies go astray as soon as they are born.

ד  זֹרוּ רְשָׁעִים מֵרָחֶם תָּעוּ מִבֶּטֶן דֹּבְרֵי כָזָב.

5  Their venom is like the venom of a serpent; they are like the deaf asp that stoppeth her ear;

ה  חֲמַת לָמוֹ כִּדְמוּת חֲמַת נָחָשׁ כְּמוֹ פֶתֶן חֵרֵשׁ יַאְטֵם אָזְנוֹ.

6  Which hearkeneth not to the voice of charmers, or of the most cunning binder of spells.

ו  אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִשְׁמַע לְקוֹל מְלַחֲשִׁים חוֹבֵר חֲבָרִים מְחֻכָּם.

7  Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth; break out the cheek-teeth of the young lions, O Hashem.

ז  אֱלֹהִים הֲרָס שִׁנֵּימוֹ בְּפִימוֹ מַלְתְּעוֹת כְּפִירִים נְתֹץ יְהוָה.

8  Let them melt away as water that runneth apace; when he aimeth his arrows, let them be as though they were cut off.

ח  יִמָּאֲסוּ כְמוֹ מַיִם יִתְהַלְּכוּ לָמוֹ יִדְרֹךְ חִצָּו כְּמוֹ יִתְמֹלָלוּ.

9  Let them be as a snail which melteth and passeth away; like the untimely births of a woman, that have not seen the sun.

ט  כְּמוֹ שַׁבְּלוּל תֶּמֶס יַהֲלֹךְ נֵפֶל אֵשֶׁת בַּל חָזוּ שָׁמֶשׁ.

10  Before your pots can feel the thorns, He will sweep it away with a whirlwind, the raw and the burning alike.

b’-TE-rem ya-VEE-nu see-ro-tay-KHEM a-TAD k’-MO khai k’-MO kha-RON yis-a-RE-nu

י  בְּטֶרֶם יָבִינוּ סִּירֹתֵכֶם אָטָד כְּמוֹ חַי כְּמוֹ חָרוֹן יִשְׂעָרֶנּוּ.

58:10   Before your pots can feel the thorns

David struggles with the notion that the righteous suffer while the wicked thrive throughout his psalms. Psalm 58 is directed at the wicked, chastising them for their corruption and deceit. He warns that God will bring retribution upon them for their sins, and he invokes several metaphors from nature to express his sentiment. The ‘atad,’ or boxthorn tree, lives in the desert and is quite thorny. It seems to defy nature as it is strong and long lasting despite inclement conditions. The wicked prick like the boxthorn and seem invincible, but David tells them that before they mature like a strong ‘atad,’ God will hurl them away and destroy them.

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11  The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

יא  יִשְׂמַח צַדִּיק כִּי חָזָה נָקָם פְּעָמָיו יִרְחַץ בְּדַם הָרָשָׁע.

12  And men shall say: ‘Verily there is a reward for the righteous; verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth.’

יב  וְיֹאמַר אָדָם אַךְ פְּרִי לַצַּדִּיק אַךְ יֵשׁ אֱלֹהִים שֹׁפְטִים בָּאָרֶץ.

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Psalms 57
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Psalms 58