1 For the Leader; upon the Gittith. [A Psalm] of Asaf.
lam-na-TZAY-akh al ha-gi-TEET l’-a-SAF
א לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַל הַגִּתִּית לְאָסָף.
81:1 Upon the Gittith
The Gittith, upon which this psalm is uttered, might refer to a ‘gat,’ a wine press. As opposed to the metaphor of a vine being lifted up and re-planted whole in the land, this psalm, ostensibly presenting God’s response to the previous psalm, opts for a much slower, methodical process of salvation. The nation is not ready for, or deserving of, immediate salvation. Rather, like the procedure for turning grapes to wine, salvation will take time. The process requires several stages, and it takes time to eventually produce the final product. The message of the psalm is that redemption does not occur instantaneously. Just as wine making requires a process involving various stages such as laborious harvesting, crushing, selecting, fermenting and waiting, before ultimately producing the fine finished product, so does redemption. But just as with fine wine, it is well worth the wait.
2 Sing aloud unto God our strength; shout unto the God of Yaakov.
ב הַרְנִינוּ לֵאלֹהִים עוּזֵּנוּ הָרִיעוּ לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב.
3 Take up the melody, and sound the timbrel, the sweet harp with the psaltery.
ג שְׂאוּ זִמְרָה וּתְנוּ תֹף כִּנּוֹר נָעִים עִם נָבֶל.
4 Blow the horn at the new moon, at the full moon for our feast-day.
ד תִּקְעוּ בַחֹדֶשׁ שׁוֹפָר בַּכֵּסֶה לְיוֹם חַגֵּנוּ.
ו עֵדוּת בִּיהוֹסֵף שָׂמוֹ בְּצֵאתוֹ עַל אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם שְׂפַת לֹא יָדַעְתִּי אֶשְׁמָע.
7 ‘I removed his shoulder from the burden; his hands were freed from the basket.
ז הֲסִירוֹתִי מִסֵּבֶל שִׁכְמוֹ כַּפָּיו מִדּוּד תַּעֲבֹרְנָה.
8 Thou didst call in trouble, and I rescued thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder; I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah
ח בַּצָּרָה קָרָאתָ וָאֲחַלְּצֶךָּ אֶעֶנְךָ בְּסֵתֶר רַעַם אֶבְחָנְךָ עַל מֵי מְרִיבָה סֶלָה.
9 Hear, O My people, and I will admonish thee: O Yisrael, if thou wouldest hearken unto Me!
ט שְׁמַע עַמִּי וְאָעִידָה בָּךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל אִם תִּשְׁמַע לִי.
10 There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any foreign god.
י לֹא יִהְיֶה בְךָ אֵל זָר וְלֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לְאֵל נֵכָר.
11 I am Hashem thy God, who brought thee up out of the land of Mitzrayim; open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
יא אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הַמַּעַלְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם הַרְחֶב פִּיךָ וַאֲמַלְאֵהוּ.
12 But My people hearkened not to My voice; and Yisrael would none of Me.
יב וְלֹא שָׁמַע עַמִּי לְקוֹלִי וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא אָבָה לִי.
13 So I let them go after the stubbornness of their heart, that they might walk in their own counsels.
יג וָאֲשַׁלְּחֵהוּ בִּשְׁרִירוּת לִבָּם יֵלְכוּ בְּמוֹעֲצוֹתֵיהֶם.
14 Oh that My people would hearken unto Me, that Yisrael would walk in My ways!
יד לוּ עַמִּי שֹׁמֵעַ לִי יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּדְרָכַי יְהַלֵּכוּ.
15 I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries.
טו כִּמְעַט אוֹיְבֵיהֶם אַכְנִיעַ וְעַל צָרֵיהֶם אָשִׁיב יָדִי.
16 The haters of Hashem should dwindle away before Him; and their punishment should endure for ever.
טז מְשַׂנְאֵי יְהוָה יְכַחֲשׁוּ לוֹ וִיהִי עִתָּם לְעוֹלָם.
17 They should also be fed with the fat of wheat; and with honey out of the rock would I satisfy thee.’
יז וַיַּאֲכִילֵהוּ מֵחֵלֶב חִטָּה וּמִצּוּר דְּבַשׁ אַשְׂבִּיעֶךָ.