1 For the leader. A psalm of David.
א לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד׃
2 Hear my voice, O Hashem, when I plead; guard my life from the enemy’s terror.
ב שְׁמַע־אֱלֹהִים קוֹלִי בְשִׂיחִי מִפַּחַד אוֹיֵב תִּצֹּר חַיָּי׃
3 Hide me from a band of evil men, from a crowd of evildoers,
ג תַּסְתִּירֵנִי מִסּוֹד מְרֵעִים מֵרִגְשַׁת פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן׃
4 who whet their tongues like swords; they aim their arrows—cruel words—
a-SHER sha-n’-NU kha-KHE-rev l’-sho-NAM da-r’-KHU khi-TZAM da-VAR MAR
ד אֲשֶׁר שָׁנְנוּ כַחֶרֶב לְשׁוֹנָם דָּרְכוּ חִצָּם דָּבָר מָר׃
64:4 Cruel words
King David’s enemies attack him in different ways; sometimes physically, sometimes verbally. From this psalm it appears that the verbal assaults affected him more than any other. When David is defamed and maligned, he lashes out using a metaphor of swords and arrows. David is no stranger to battle. The throngs of voices singing “Shaul hath slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (I Samuel 21:12) attest to his prowess with the sword, the sling and the arrow. And yet, in his time of darkness when all his friends and confidants have disappeared, the arrow of his enemies is filled with poisoned words, slicing through his armor and penetrating his soul.1 comment
5 to shoot from hiding at the blameless man; they shoot him suddenly and without fear.
ה לִירוֹת בַּמִּסְתָּרִים תָּם פִּתְאֹם יֹרֻהוּ וְלֹא יִירָאוּ׃
6 They arm themselves with an evil word; when they speak, it is to conceal traps; they think, “Who will see them?”
ו יְחַזְּקוּ־לָמוֹ דָּבָר רָע יְסַפְּרוּ לִטְמוֹן מוֹקְשִׁים אָמְרוּ מִי יִרְאֶה־לָּמוֹ׃
7 Let the wrongdoings they have concealed, each one inside him, his secret thoughts, be wholly exposed.
ז יַחְפְּשׂוּ־עוֹלֹת תַּמְנוּ חֵפֶשׂ מְחֻפָּשׂ וְקֶרֶב אִישׁ וְלֵב עָמֹק׃
8 Hashem shall shoot them with arrows; they shall be struck down suddenly.
ח וַיֹּרֵם אֱלֹהִים חֵץ פִּתְאוֹם הָיוּ מַכּוֹתָם׃
9 Their tongue shall be their downfall; all who see them shall recoil in horror;
ט וַיַּכְשִׁילוּהוּ עָלֵימוֹ לְשׁוֹנָם יִתְנֹדֲדוּ כָּל־רֹאֵה בָם׃
10 all men shall stand in awe; they shall proclaim the work of Hashem and His deed which they perceived.
י וַיִּירְאוּ כָּל־אָדָם וַיַּגִּידוּ פֹּעַל אֱלֹהִים וּמַעֲשֵׂהוּ הִשְׂכִּילוּ׃
11 The righteous shall rejoice in Hashem, and take refuge in Him; all the upright shall exult.
יא יִשְׂמַח צַדִּיק בַּיהוָה וְחָסָה בוֹ וְיִתְהַלְלוּ כָּל־יִשְׁרֵי־לֵב׃