לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַל־מָחֲלַת מַשְׂכִּיל לְדָוִד׃ 53:1
Psal. 53:1 A poem of David's for the leader on the mahalath:
The meaning of the term mahalath is unknown. Some believe it may be the name of a melody. I wonder why it would not be considered another unknown instrument? But the word represents one of the differences between this psalm and Psalm 14, which is mostly similar, in some instances identical, to this one. [Return to Psal. 88:1]
אָמַר נָבָל בְּלִבּוֹ אֵין אֱלֹהִים הִשְׁחִיתוּ וְהִתְעִיבוּ עָוֶל אֵין עֹשֵׂה־טוֹב׃ 53:2
Psal. 53:2 A fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They deal corruptly and they would do abominable injustice;
not one does good.
אֱלֹהִים מִשָּׁמַיִם הִשְׁקִיף עַל־בְּנֵי אָדָם לִרְאוֹת הֲיֵשׁ מַשְׂכִּיל דֹּרֵשׁ אֶת־אֱלֹהִים׃ 53:3
Psal. 53:3 God gazes down from heaven on the children of Adam
to see if there is one who is understanding, is seeking God.
כֻּלּוֹ סָג יַחְדָּו נֶאֱלָחוּ אֵין עֹשֵׂה־טוֹב אֵין גַּם־אֶחָד׃ 53:4
Psal. 53:4 “Every one of them backslides,
they are altogether corrupt.
Not one does good, not even one.”
הֲלֹא יָדְעוּ פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן אֹכְלֵי עַמִּי אָכְלוּ לֶחֶם אֱלֹהִים לֹא קָרָאוּ׃ 53:5
Psal. 53:5 “Do the workers of evil, the devourers of My people, not understand?
They eat bread, they do not mention God.”
שָׁם פָּחֲדוּ־פַחַד לֹא־הָיָה פָחַד כִּי־אֱלֹהִים פִּזַּר עַצְמוֹת חֹנָךְ הֱבִשֹׁתָה כִּי־אֱלֹהִים מְאָסָם׃ 53:6
Psal. 53:6 Then they were in great awe (there is no awe)
when God scattered the bones of your siege holder,
whom you put to shame because God rejected them,
The meaning here seems to be that there was a time when Israel was (or the priests were) righteous and the Lord protected the land and its people. Now it was not so (there is no awe), and the people are in apparent distress.
[Return to Psal. 14:5]
מִי יִתֵּן מִצִּיּוֹן יְשֻׁעוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּשׁוּב אֱלֹהִים שְׁבוּת עַמּוֹ יָגֵל יַעֲקֹב יִשְׂמַח יִשְׂרָאֵל׃ 53:7
Psal. 53:7 Who will bring forth the salvation of Israel out of Zion.
When God reverses the captivity of His people,
Jacob shall rejoice, Israel shall be glad.
See Psal. 14:7 for my remarks about the captivity and this psalm.
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