Psalms 81
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1  For the leader; on the gittith. Of Asaf.

lam-na-TZAY-akh al ha-gi-TEET l’-a-SAF

א  לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַל־הַגִּתִּית לְאָסָף׃

 81:1   On the gittith

According to some, the gittith, upon which this psalm is uttered, refers to a gat (גת), ‘wine press.’ This psalm, which presents Hashem’s response to the previous psalm, opts for a much slower, methodical process of salvation. As opposed to the metaphor of a vine being lifted up whole and then planted again in the land, the nation is not yet ready for, or deserving of, immediate salvation. Rather, like the procedure for producing wine from grapes, salvation will take time. The process requires several stages, and it requires a passage of time until the final product is ready. The message of this psalm is that redemption does not occur instantaneously. Just as winemaking requires a process involving various stages such as laborious harvesting, crushing, selecting, fermenting and ultimately waiting, before producing the finished product, so does redemption. But just as with fine wine, it is well worth the wait.1 comment

2  Sing joyously to Hashem, our strength; raise a shout for the God of Yaakov.

ב  הַרְנִינוּ לֵאלֹהִים עוּזֵּנוּ הָרִיעוּ לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב׃

3  Take up the song, sound the timbrel, the melodious lyre and harp.

ג  שְׂאוּ־זִמְרָה וּתְנוּ־תֹף כִּנּוֹר נָעִים עִם־נָבֶל׃

4  Blow the shofar on the new moon, on the full moon for our feast day.

ד  תִּקְעוּ בַחֹדֶשׁ שׁוֹפָר בַּכֵּסֶה לְיוֹם חַגֵּנוּ׃

5  For it is a law for Yisrael, a ruling of the God of Yaakov;

ה  כִּי חֹק לְיִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא מִשְׁפָּט לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב׃

6  He imposed it as a decree upon Yosef when he went forth from the land of Egypt; I heard a language that I knew not.

ו  עֵדוּת בִּיהוֹסֵף שָׂמוֹ בְּצֵאתוֹ עַל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם שְׂפַת לֹא־יָדַעְתִּי אֶשְׁמָע׃

7  I relieved his shoulder of the burden, his hands were freed from the basket.

ז  הֲסִירוֹתִי מִסֵּבֶל שִׁכְמוֹ כַּפָּיו מִדּוּד תַּעֲבֹרְנָה׃

8  In distress you called and I rescued you; I answered you from the secret place of thunder I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

ח  בַּצָּרָה קָרָאתָ וָאֲחַלְּצֶךָּ אֶעֶנְךָ בְּסֵתֶר רַעַם אֶבְחָנְךָ עַל־מֵי מְרִיבָה סֶלָה׃

9  Hear, My people, and I will admonish you; Yisrael, if you would but listen to Me!

ט  שְׁמַע עַמִּי וְאָעִידָה בָּךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל אִם־תִּשְׁמַע־לִי׃

10  You shall have no foreign god, you shall not bow to an alien god.

י  לֹא־יִהְיֶה בְךָ אֵל זָר וְלֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לְאֵל נֵכָר׃

11  I Hashem am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

יא  אָנֹכִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הַמַּעַלְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם הַרְחֶב־פִּיךָ וַאֲמַלְאֵהוּ׃

12  But My people would not listen to Me, Yisrael would not obey Me.

יב  וְלֹא־שָׁמַע עַמִּי לְקוֹלִי וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא־אָבָה לִי׃

13  So I let them go after their willful heart that they might follow their own devices.

יג  וָאֲשַׁלְּחֵהוּ בִּשְׁרִירוּת לִבָּם יֵלְכוּ בְּמוֹעֲצוֹתֵיהֶם׃

14  If only My people would listen to Me, if Yisrael would follow My paths,

יד  לוּ עַמִּי שֹׁמֵעַ לִי יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּדְרָכַי יְהַלֵּכוּ׃

15  then would I subdue their enemies at once, strike their foes again and again.

טו  כִּמְעַט אוֹיְבֵיהֶם אַכְנִיעַ וְעַל צָרֵיהֶם אָשִׁיב יָדִי׃

16  Those who hate Hashem shall cower before Him; their doom shall be eternal.

טז  מְשַׂנְאֵי יְהֹוָה יְכַחֲשׁוּ־לוֹ וִיהִי עִתָּם לְעוֹלָם׃

17  He fed them the finest wheat; I sated you with honey from the rock.

יז  וַיַּאֲכִילֵהוּ מֵחֵלֶב חִטָּה וּמִצּוּר דְּבַשׁ אַשְׂבִּיעֶךָ׃

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Psalms 80
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Psalms 81

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