Psalms 71
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1  I seek refuge in You, Hashem; may I never be disappointed.

א  בְּךָ־יְהוָה חָסִיתִי אַל־אֵבוֹשָׁה לְעוֹלָם׃

2  As You are beneficent, save me and rescue me; incline Your ear to me and deliver me.

ב  בְּצִדְקָתְךָ תַּצִּילֵנִי וּתְפַלְּטֵנִי הַטֵּה־אֵלַי אָזְנְךָ וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנִי׃

3  Be a sheltering rock for me to which I may always repair; decree my deliverance, for You are my rock and my fortress.

ג  הֱיֵה לִי לְצוּר מָעוֹן לָבוֹא תָּמִיד צִוִּיתָ לְהוֹשִׁיעֵנִי כִּי־סַלְעִי וּמְצוּדָתִי אָתָּה׃

4  My Hashem, rescue me from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and the lawless.

ד  אֱ‍לֹהַי פַּלְּטֵנִי מִיַּד רָשָׁע מִכַּף מְעַוֵּל וְחוֹמֵץ׃

5  For You are my hope, O Hashem, my trust from my youth.

ה  כִּי־אַתָּה תִקְוָתִי אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה מִבְטַחִי מִנְּעוּרָי׃

6  While yet unborn, I depended on You; in the womb of my mother, You were my support; I sing Your praises always.

a-LE-kha nis-MAKH-tee mi-BE-ten mi-m’-AY i-MEE a-TAH go-ZEE b’-KHA t’-hi-la-TEE ta-MEED

ו  עָלֶיךָ נִסְמַכְתִּי מִבֶּטֶן מִמְּעֵי אִמִּי אַתָּה גוֹזִי בְּךָ תְהִלָּתִי תָמִיד׃

71:6   In the womb of my mother, You were my support

David praises the Lord, saying he relied on God from the earliest age. The Hebrew phrase ata gozi (אתה גוזי), translated here as ‘You were my support,’ is hard to explain. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch raises the possibility that it comes from the root word ג-ז-ז, meaning ‘to cut,’ resulting in the image of David being cut from the womb at birth. Hirsch, however, rejects this idea and suggests that the root ג-ז-ז not only connotes cutting but also ‘removing’ and ‘separating.’ David is expressing the idea that from the time of his birth he was always different from everyone else, set aside by God for something grand and significant. Indeed, we find David separate from his brothers when his father Yishai doesn’t even bring him in with the rest of his brothers to be considered as Hashem’s choice for king (I Samuel 16). However, in this moment of reflection, perhaps at the end of his life, David recalls the constant feelings of Hashem’s presence in his life and a mission of greatness.1 comment

7  I have become an example for many, since You are my mighty refuge.

ז  כְּמוֹפֵת הָיִיתִי לְרַבִּים וְאַתָּה מַחֲסִי־עֹז׃

8  My mouth is full of praise to You, glorifying You all day long.

ח  יִמָּלֵא פִי תְּהִלָּתֶךָ כָּל־הַיּוֹם תִּפְאַרְתֶּךָ׃

9  Do not cast me off in old age; when my strength fails, do not forsake me!

ט  אַל־תַּשְׁלִיכֵנִי לְעֵת זִקְנָה כִּכְלוֹת כֹּחִי אַל־תַּעַזְבֵנִי׃

10  For my enemies talk against me; those who wait for me are of one mind,

י  כִּי־אָמְרוּ אוֹיְבַי לִי וְשֹׁמְרֵי נַפְשִׁי נוֹעֲצוּ יַחְדָּו׃

11  saying, “Hashem has forsaken him; chase him and catch him, for no one will save him!”

יא  לֵאמֹר אֱלֹהִים עֲזָבוֹ רִדְפוּ וְתִפְשׂוּהוּ כִּי־אֵין מַצִּיל׃

12  O Hashem, be not far from me; my God, hasten to my aid!

יב  אֱלֹהִים אַל־תִּרְחַק מִמֶּנִּי אֱלֹהַי לְעֶזְרָתִי חישה [חוּשָׁה׃]

13  Let my accusers perish in frustration; let those who seek my ruin be clothed in reproach and disgrace!

יג  יֵבֹשׁוּ יִכְלוּ שֹׂטְנֵי נַפְשִׁי יַעֲטוּ חֶרְפָּה וּכְלִמָּה מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתִי׃

14  As for me, I will hope always, and add to the many praises of You.

יד  וַאֲנִי תָּמִיד אֲיַחֵל וְהוֹסַפְתִּי עַל־כָּל־תְּהִלָּתֶךָ׃

15  My mouth tells of Your beneficence, of Your deliverance all day long, though I know not how to tell it.

טו  פִּי יְסַפֵּר צִדְקָתֶךָ כָּל־הַיּוֹם תְּשׁוּעָתֶךָ כִּי לֹא יָדַעְתִּי סְפֹרוֹת׃

16  I come with praise of Your mighty acts, O Hashem; I celebrate Your beneficence, Yours alone.

טז  אָבוֹא בִּגְבֻרוֹת אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אַזְכִּיר צִדְקָתְךָ לְבַדֶּךָ׃

17  You have let me experience it, Hashem, from my youth; until now I have proclaimed Your wondrous deeds,

יז  אֱ‍לֹהִים לִמַּדְתַּנִי מִנְּעוּרָי וְעַד־הֵנָּה אַגִּיד נִפְלְאוֹתֶיךָ׃

18  and even in hoary old age do not forsake me, Hashem, until I proclaim Your strength to the next generation, Your mighty acts, to all who are to come,

יח  וְגַם עַד־זִקְנָה וְשֵׂיבָה אֱלֹהִים אַל־תַּעַזְבֵנִי עַד־אַגִּיד זְרוֹעֲךָ לְדוֹר לְכָל־יָבוֹא גְּבוּרָתֶךָ׃

19  Your beneficence, high as the heavens, O Hashem, You who have done great things; O Hashem, who is Your peer!

יט  וְצִדְקָתְךָ אֱלֹהִים עַד־מָרוֹם אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂיתָ גְדֹלוֹת אֱלֹהִים מִי כָמוֹךָ׃

20  You who have made me undergo many troubles and misfortunes will revive me again, and raise me up from the depths of the earth.

כ  אֲשֶׁר הראיתנו [הִרְאִיתַנִי ] צָרוֹת רַבּוֹת וְרָעוֹת תָּשׁוּב תחיינו [תְּחַיֵּינִי] וּמִתְּהֹמוֹת הָאָרֶץ תָּשׁוּב תַּעֲלֵנִי׃

21  You will grant me much greatness, You will turn and comfort me.

כא  תֶּרֶב גְּדֻלָּתִי וְתִסֹּב תְּנַחֲמֵנִי׃

22  Then I will acclaim You to the music of the lyre for Your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing a hymn to You with a harp, O Holy One of Yisrael.

כב  גַּם־אֲנִי אוֹדְךָ בִכְלִי־נֶבֶל אֲמִתְּךָ אֱלֹהָי אֲזַמְּרָה לְךָ בְכִנּוֹר קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

23  My lips shall be jubilant, as I sing a hymn to You, my whole being, which You have redeemed.

כג  תְּרַנֵּנָּה שְׂפָתַי כִּי אֲזַמְּרָה־לָּךְ וְנַפְשִׁי אֲשֶׁר פָּדִיתָ׃

24  All day long my tongue shall recite Your beneficent acts, how those who sought my ruin were frustrated and disgraced.


כד  גַּם־לְשׁוֹנִי כָּל־הַיּוֹם תֶּהְגֶּה צִדְקָתֶךָ כִּי־בֹשׁוּ כִי־חָפְרוּ מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתִי׃

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Psalms 70
Psalms 72

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Psalms 71

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