Psalms 68
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1  For the leader. Of David. A psalm. A song.

א  לַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר׃

2  Hashem will arise, His enemies shall be scattered, His foes shall flee before Him.

ב  יָקוּם אֱלֹהִים יָפוּצוּ אוֹיְבָיו וְיָנוּסוּ מְשַׂנְאָיו מִפָּנָיו׃

3  Disperse them as smoke is dispersed; as wax melts at fire, so the wicked shall perish before Hashem.

ג  כְּהִנְדֹּף עָשָׁן תִּנְדֹּף כְּהִמֵּס דּוֹנַג מִפְּנֵי־אֵשׁ יֹאבְדוּ רְשָׁעִים מִפְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים׃

4  But the righteous shall rejoice; they shall exult in the presence of Hashem; they shall be exceedingly joyful.

ד  וְצַדִּיקִים יִשְׂמְחוּ יַעַלְצוּ לִפְנֵי אֱלֹהִים וְיָשִׂישׂוּ בְשִׂמְחָה׃

5  Sing to Hashem, chant hymns to His name; extol Him who rides the clouds; Hashem is His name. Exult in His presence—

ה  שִׁירוּ לֵאלֹהִים זַמְּרוּ שְׁמוֹ סֹלּוּ לָרֹכֵב בָּעֲרָבוֹת בְּיָהּ שְׁמוֹ וְעִלְזוּ לְפָנָיו׃

6  the father of orphans, the Champion of widows, Hashem, in His holy habitation.

ו  אֲבִי יְתוֹמִים וְדַיַּן אַלְמָנוֹת אֱלֹהִים בִּמְעוֹן קָדְשׁוֹ׃

7  Hashem restores the lonely to their homes, sets free the imprisoned, safe and sound, while the rebellious must live in a parched land.

ז  אֱלֹהִים מוֹשִׁיב יְחִידִים בַּיְתָה מוֹצִיא אֲסִירִים בַּכּוֹשָׁרוֹת אַךְ סוֹרֲרִים שָׁכְנוּ צְחִיחָה׃

8  O Hashem, when You went at the head of Your army, when You marched through the desert, selah

ח  אֱ‍לֹהִים בְּצֵאתְךָ לִפְנֵי עַמֶּךָ בְּצַעְדְּךָ בִישִׁימוֹן סֶלָה׃

9  the earth trembled, the sky rained because of Hashem, yon Sinai, because of Hashem, the God of Yisrael.

E-retz ra-a-SHAH af sha-MA-yim na-t’-FU mi-p’-NAY e-lo-HEEM ZEH see-NAI mi-p’-NAY e-lo-HEEM e-lo-HAY yis-ra-AYL

ט  אֶרֶץ רָעָשָׁה אַף־שָׁמַיִם נָטְפוּ מִפְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים זֶה סִינַי מִפְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

68:9   The earth trembled, the sky rained because of Hashem

The psalm opens with a paraphrase of Sefer Bamidbar (10:35), which explains that as the Aron traveled in the desert, Moshe called out, “Advance, Hashem! May Your enemies be scattered, And may Your foes flee before You!” The psalmist acknowledges that Israel goes into battle with God at the helm, smiting the enemy and miraculously scattering the cowardly foe. This is illustrated in a remarkable biblical story concerning the prophetess and judge Devora, and the battle fought by Israel against the Canaanites at Mount Tavor (Judges 4,5). Devora signals to the general Barak that Hashem is fighting with Israel and victory is at hand. The Canaanite army is defeated and Sisera the Canaanite general is ultimately killed by Yael, wife of Chever the Kenite in her tent. After the Israelite victory, Devora praises God with words that are strikingly similar to this verse: “Hashem, when You came forth from Seir, advanced from the country of Edom, the earth trembled; the heavens dripped, Yea, the clouds dripped water, the mountains quaked before Hashem, Him of Sinai, before Hashem, God of Yisrael” (Judges 5:4-3). The earth shakes at the realization that in Israel, God Himself fights together with His people.3 comments

10  You released a bountiful rain, O Hashem; when Your own land languished, You sustained it.

י  גֶּשֶׁם נְדָבוֹת תָּנִיף אֱלֹהִים נַחֲלָתְךָ וְנִלְאָה אַתָּה כוֹנַנְתָּהּ׃

11  Your tribe dwells there; O Hashem, in Your goodness You provide for the needy.

יא  חַיָּתְךָ יָשְׁבוּ־בָהּ תָּכִין בְּטוֹבָתְךָ לֶעָנִי אֱלֹהִים׃

12  Hashem gives a command; the women who bring the news are a great host:

יב  אֲדֹנָי יִתֶּן־אֹמֶר הַמְבַשְּׂרוֹת צָבָא רָב׃

13  “The kings and their armies are in headlong flight; housewives are sharing in the spoils;

יג  מַלְכֵי צְבָאוֹת יִדֹּדוּן יִדֹּדוּן וּנְוַת בַּיִת תְּחַלֵּק שָׁלָל׃

14  even for those of you who lie among the sheepfolds there are wings of a dove sheathed in silver, its pinions in fine gold.”

יד  אִם־תִּשְׁכְּבוּן בֵּין שְׁפַתָּיִם כַּנְפֵי יוֹנָה נֶחְפָּה בַכֶּסֶף וְאֶבְרוֹתֶיהָ בִּירַקְרַק חָרוּץ׃

15  When Shaddai scattered the kings, it seemed like a snowstorm in Zalmon.

טו  בְּפָרֵשׂ שַׁדַּי מְלָכִים בָּהּ תַּשְׁלֵג בְּצַלְמוֹן׃

16  O majestic mountain, Mount Bashan; O jagged mountain, Mount Bashan;

טז  הַר־אֱלֹהִים הַר־בָּשָׁן הַר גַּבְנֻנִּים הַר־בָּשָׁן׃

17  why so hostile, O jagged mountains, toward the mountain Hashem desired as His dwelling? Hashem shall abide there forever.

יז  לָמָּה תְּרַצְּדוּן הָרִים גַּבְנֻנִּים הָהָר חָמַד אֱלֹהִים לְשִׁבְתּוֹ אַף־יְהֹוָה יִשְׁכֹּן לָנֶצַח׃

18  Hashem‘s chariots are myriads upon myriads, thousands upon thousands; Hashem is among them as in Sinai in holiness.

יח  רֶכֶב אֱלֹהִים רִבֹּתַיִם אַלְפֵי שִׁנְאָן אֲדֹנָי בָם סִינַי בַּקֹּדֶשׁ׃

19  You went up to the heights, having taken captives, having received tribute of men, even of those who rebel against Hashem‘s abiding there.

יט  עָלִיתָ לַמָּרוֹם שָׁבִיתָ שֶּׁבִי לָקַחְתָּ מַתָּנוֹת בָּאָדָם וְאַף סוֹרְרִים לִשְׁכֹּן יָהּ אֱלֹהִים׃

20  Blessed is Hashem. Day by day He supports us, Hashem, our deliverance. Selah.

כ  בָּרוּךְ אֲדֹנָי יוֹם יוֹם יַעֲמָס־לָנוּ הָאֵל יְשׁוּעָתֵנוּ סֶלָה׃

21  Hashem is for us a God of deliverance; Hashem the Lord provides an escape from death.

כא  הָאֵל לָנוּ אֵל לְמוֹשָׁעוֹת וְלֵיהוִה אֲדֹנָי לַמָּוֶת תּוֹצָאוֹת׃

22  Hashem will smash the heads of His enemies, the hairy crown of him who walks about in his guilt.

כב  אַךְ־אֱלֹהִים יִמְחַץ רֹאשׁ אֹיְבָיו קָדְקֹד שֵׂעָר מִתְהַלֵּךְ בַּאֲשָׁמָיו׃

23  Hashem said, “I will retrieve from Bashan, I will retrieve from the depths of the sea;

כג  אָמַר אֲדֹנָי מִבָּשָׁן אָשִׁיב אָשִׁיב מִמְּצֻלוֹת יָם׃

24  that your feet may wade through blood; that the tongue of your dogs may have its portion of your enemies.”

כד  לְמַעַן תִּמְחַץ רַגְלְךָ בְּדָם לְשׁוֹן כְּלָבֶיךָ מֵאֹיְבִים מִנֵּהוּ׃

25  Men see Your processions, O Hashem, the processions of my God, my king, into the sanctuary.

כה  רָאוּ הֲלִיכוֹתֶיךָ אֱלֹהִים הֲלִיכוֹת אֵלִי מַלְכִּי בַקֹּדֶשׁ׃

26  First come singers, then musicians, amidst maidens playing timbrels.

כו  קִדְּמוּ שָׁרִים אַחַר נֹגְנִים בְּתוֹךְ עֲלָמוֹת תּוֹפֵפוֹת׃

27  In assemblies bless Hashem, Hashem, O you who are from the fountain of Yisrael.

כז  בְּמַקְהֵלוֹת בָּרְכוּ אֱלֹהִים יְהֹוָה מִמְּקוֹר יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

28  There is little Binyamin who rules them, the princes of Yehuda who command them, the princes of Zevulun and Naftali.

כח  שָׁם בִּנְיָמִן צָעִיר רֹדֵם שָׂרֵי יְהוּדָה רִגְמָתָם שָׂרֵי זְבֻלוּן שָׂרֵי נַפְתָּלִי׃

29  Your God has ordained strength for you, the strength, O Hashem, which You displayed for us

כט  צִוָּה אֱלֹהֶיךָ עֻזֶּךָ עוּזָּה אֱלֹהִים זוּ פָּעַלְתָּ לָּנוּ׃

30  from Your temple above Yerushalayim. The kings bring You tribute.

ל  מֵהֵיכָלֶךָ עַל־יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם לְךָ יוֹבִילוּ מְלָכִים שָׁי׃

31  Blast the beast of the marsh, the herd of bulls among the peoples, the calves, till they come cringing with pieces of silver. Scatter the peoples who delight in wars!

לא  גְּעַר חַיַּת קָנֶה עֲדַת אַבִּירִים בְּעֶגְלֵי עַמִּים מִתְרַפֵּס בְּרַצֵּי־כָסֶף בִּזַּר עַמִּים קְרָבוֹת יֶחְפָּצוּ׃

32  Tribute-bearers shall come from Egypt; Cush shall hasten its gifts to Hashem.

לב  יֶאֱתָיוּ חַשְׁמַנִּים מִנִּי מִצְרָיִם כּוּשׁ תָּרִיץ יָדָיו לֵאלֹהִים׃

33  O kingdoms of the earth, sing to Hashem; chant hymns to Hashem, selah

לג  מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ שִׁירוּ לֵאלֹהִים זַמְּרוּ אֲדֹנָי סֶלָה׃

34  to Him who rides the ancient highest heavens, who thunders forth with His mighty voice.

לד  לָרֹכֵב בִּשְׁמֵי שְׁמֵי־קֶדֶם הֵן יִתֵּן בְּקוֹלוֹ קוֹל עֹז׃

35  Ascribe might to Hashem, whose majesty is over Yisrael, whose might is in the skies.

לה  תְּנוּ עֹז לֵאלֹהִים עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל גַּאֲוָתוֹ וְעֻזּוֹ בַּשְּׁחָקִים׃

36  You are awesome, O Hashem, in Your holy places; it is the God of Yisrael who gives might and power to the people. Blessed is Hashem.

לו  נוֹרָא אֱלֹהִים מִמִּקְדָּשֶׁיךָ אֵל יִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא נֹתֵן עֹז וְתַעֲצֻמוֹת לָעָם בָּרוּךְ אֱלֹהִים׃

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Psalms 67
Psalms 69

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  • Verse 36: “…it is the God of Yisrael who gives might and power to the people.”

    If Israel ever forgets this declaration from David, Israel will again cease to be a nation.

    Remember the warning by Moshe found in Deuteronomy 8:11-20: “Take care lest you forget Hashem your God and fail to keep His commandments, His rules, and His laws, which I enjoin upon you today. When you have eaten your fill, and have built fine houses to live in, and your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold have increased, and everything you own has prospered, beware lest your heart grow haughty and you forget Hashem your God—who freed you from the land of Egypt, the house of bondage; who led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its seraph serpents and scorpions, a parched land with no water in it, who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers had never known, in order to test you by hardships only to benefit you in the end and you say to yourselves, ‘My own power and the might of my own hand have won this wealth for me.’ Remember that it is Hashem your God who gives you the power to get wealth, in fulfillment of the covenant that He made on oath with your fathers, as is still the case. If you do forget Hashem your God and follow other gods to serve them or bow down to them, I warn you this day that you shall certainly perish; like the nations that Hashem will cause to perish before you, so shall you perish—because you did not heed Hashem your God.”

    It happened before, it can—but doesn’t have to—happen again. Take heed, you leaders and future leaders of the State of Israel.

Psalms 68

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