Psalms 63
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1  A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Yehuda.

miz-MOR l’-da-VID bih-yo-TO b’-mid-BAR y’-hu-DAH

א  מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד בִּהְיוֹתוֹ בְּמִדְבַּר יְהוּדָה.

63:1   Wilderness of Judah

Fleeing from Saul, David goes south to the wilderness of Judah, but quickly becomes aware of the lack of water. This psalm, therefore, begins with a focus on his thirsts. He experiences physical thirst for water in “a dry and weary land,” but more significantly, a spiritual yearning for God’s presence; “my soul thirsts for you” (verse 2). The Judean desert is unique due to its proximity to the Jerusalem mountains. Within a few kilometers, the amount of rainfall decreases drastically from plenty to dearth. This is because of a geological phenomenon called a rain shadow desert. The clouds rise from the west and bring rain over Jerusalem, but due to the extreme drop of almost 1,000 meters in a short distance, the clouds dissipate and only re-emerge when they reach the mountains of Jordan. David recognizes the threat of scarcity of water, but says it pales in comparison to the absence of God’s presence.

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2  O God, Thou art my God, earnestly will I seek Thee; my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee, in a dry and weary land, where no water is.

ב  אֱלֹהִים אֵלִי אַתָּה אֲשַׁחֲרֶךָּ צָמְאָה לְךָ נַפְשִׁי כָּמַהּ לְךָ בְשָׂרִי בְּאֶרֶץ צִיָּה וְעָיֵף בְּלִי מָיִם.

3  So have I looked for Thee in the sanctuary, to see Thy power and Thy glory.

ג  כֵּן בַּקֹּדֶשׁ חֲזִיתִךָ לִרְאוֹת עֻזְּךָ וּכְבוֹדֶךָ.

4  For Thy lovingkindness is better than life; my lips shall praise Thee.

ד  כִּי טוֹב חַסְדְּךָ מֵחַיִּים שְׂפָתַי יְשַׁבְּחוּנְךָ.

5  So will I bless Thee as long as I live; in Thy name will I lift up my hands.

ה  כֵּן אֲבָרֶכְךָ בְחַיָּי בְּשִׁמְךָ אֶשָּׂא כַפָּי.

6  My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth doth praise Thee with joyful lips;

ו  כְּמוֹ חֵלֶב וָדֶשֶׁן תִּשְׂבַּע נַפְשִׁי וְשִׂפְתֵי רְנָנוֹת יְהַלֶּל פִּי.

7  When I remember Thee upon my couch, and meditate on Thee in the night-watches.

ז  אִם זְכַרְתִּיךָ עַל יְצוּעָי בְּאַשְׁמֻרוֹת אֶהְגֶּה בָּךְ.

8  For Thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of Thy wings do I rejoice.

ח  כִּי הָיִיתָ עֶזְרָתָה לִּי וּבְצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ אֲרַנֵּן.

9  My soul cleaveth unto Thee; Thy right hand holdeth me fast.

ט  דָּבְקָה נַפְשִׁי אַחֲרֶיךָ בִּי תָּמְכָה יְמִינֶךָ.

10  But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the nethermost parts of the earth.

י  וְהֵמָּה לְשׁוֹאָה יְבַקְשׁוּ נַפְשִׁי יָבֹאוּ בְּתַחְתִּיּוֹת הָאָרֶץ.

11  They shall be hurled to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for foxes.

יא  יַגִּירֻהוּ עַל יְדֵי חָרֶב מְנָת שֻׁעָלִים יִהְיוּ.

12  But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by Him shall glory; for the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

יב  וְהַמֶּלֶךְ יִשְׂמַח בֵּאלֹהִים יִתְהַלֵּל כָּל הַנִּשְׁבָּע בּוֹ כִּי יִסָּכֵר פִּי דוֹבְרֵי שָׁקֶר.

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Psalms 62
Psalms 64

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Psalms 63