Psalms 90
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  A Prayer of Moshe the man of God. Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations.

א  תְּפִלָּה לְמֹשֶׁה אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים אֲדֹנָי מָעוֹן אַתָּה הָיִיתָ לָּנוּ בְּדֹר וָדֹר.

2  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.

ב  בְּטֶרֶם הָרִים יֻלָּדוּ וַתְּחוֹלֵל אֶרֶץ וְתֵבֵל וּמֵעוֹלָם עַד עוֹלָם אַתָּה אֵל.

3  Thou turnest man to contrition; and sayest: ‘Return, ye children of men.’

ta-SHAYV e-NOSH ad da-KA va-TO-mer SHU-vu b’-NAY a-DAM

ג  תָּשֵׁב אֱנוֹשׁ עַד דַּכָּא וַתֹּאמֶר שׁוּבוּ בְנֵי אָדָם.

90:3   Return, ye children of men

This psalm was composed by Moses praising God’s relationship with mankind. The simple interpretation of this verse is that God is so powerful that He decides when to give life and when to take it away. The Hebrew word ‘daka,’ found in the first part of the verse, means that which is crushed, and refers to the earth. The entire phrase means “you return man to dust of the earth.” The rabbis, however, offer a homiletic interpretation. God, through bringing pain and suffering, causes man to return to his righteous ways. The Hebrew word ‘shuv,’ return, appears in both halves of the verse, and the connotation of ‘daka’ refers to a crushing of one’s hubris to pave the way for a return to God.

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4  For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

ד  כִּי אֶלֶף שָׁנִים בְּעֵינֶיךָ כְּיוֹם אֶתְמוֹל כִּי יַעֲבֹר וְאַשְׁמוּרָה בַלָּיְלָה.

5  Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep; in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.

ה  זְרַמְתָּם שֵׁנָה יִהְיוּ בַּבֹּקֶר כֶּחָצִיר יַחֲלֹף.

6  In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

ו  בַּבֹּקֶר יָצִיץ וְחָלָף לָעֶרֶב יְמוֹלֵל וְיָבֵשׁ.

7  For we are consumed in Thine anger, and by Thy wrath are we hurried away.

ז  כִּי כָלִינוּ בְאַפֶּךָ וּבַחֲמָתְךָ נִבְהָלְנוּ.

8  Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance.

ח  שת (שַׁתָּה) עֲו‍ֹנֹתֵינוּ לְנֶגְדֶּךָ עֲלֻמֵנוּ לִמְאוֹר פָּנֶיךָ.

9  For all our days are passed away in Thy wrath; we bring our years to an end as a tale that is told.

ט  כִּי כָל יָמֵינוּ פָּנוּ בְעֶבְרָתֶךָ כִּלִּינוּ שָׁנֵינוּ כְמוֹ הֶגֶה.

10  The days of our years are threescore years and ten, or even by reason of strength fourscore years; yet is their pride but travail and vanity; for it is speedily gone, and we fly away.

י  יְמֵי שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן כִּי גָז חִישׁ וַנָּעֻפָה.

11  Who knoweth the power of Thine anger, and Thy wrath according to the fear that is due unto Thee?

יא  מִי יוֹדֵעַ עֹז אַפֶּךָ וּכְיִרְאָתְךָ עֶבְרָתֶךָ.

12  So teach us to number our days, that we may get us a heart of wisdom.

יב  לִמְנוֹת יָמֵינוּ כֵּן הוֹדַע וְנָבִא לְבַב חָכְמָה.

13  Return, O Hashem; how long? And let it repent Thee concerning Thy servants.

יג  שׁוּבָה יְהוָה עַד מָתָי וְהִנָּחֵם עַל עֲבָדֶיךָ.

14  O satisfy us in the morning with Thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

יד  שַׂבְּעֵנוּ בַבֹּקֶר חַסְדֶּךָ וּנְרַנְּנָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בְּכָל יָמֵינוּ.

15  Make us glad according to the days wherein Thou hast afflicted us, according to the years wherein we have seen evil.

טו  שַׂמְּחֵנוּ כִּימוֹת עִנִּיתָנוּ שְׁנוֹת רָאִינוּ רָעָה.

16  Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, and Thy glory upon their children.

טז  יֵרָאֶה אֶל עֲבָדֶיךָ פָעֳלֶךָ וַהֲדָרְךָ עַל בְּנֵיהֶם.

17  And let the graciousness of the Lord our God be upon us; establish Thou also upon us the work of our hands; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it.

יז  וִיהִי נֹעַם אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָה עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנֵהוּ.

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Psalms 89
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Psalms 90