Psalms 63


מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד בִּהְיוֹתוֹ בְּמִדְבַּר יְהוּדָה׃   63:1

Psal. 63:1   A psalm of David's, on his being in the wilderness of Judah:

Some scholars believe this refers to the episode in 2Samuel Chapter 15 when David is described as having fled from before Absalom.

אֱלֹהִים אֵלִי אַתָּה אֲשַׁחֲרֶךָּ צָמְאָה לְךָ נַפְשִׁי כָּמַהּ לְךָ בְשָׂרִי בְּאֶרֶץ־צִיָּה וְעָיֵף בְּלִי־מָיִם׃   63:2

Psal. 63:2   O God, You are my God;

                              I will search earnestly for You.

                      My soul thirsts for You,

                             my flesh longs for You,

                       in a land dry and weary, without water.

כֵּן בַּקֹּדֶשׁ חֲזִיתִיךָ לִרְאוֹת עֻזְּךָ וּכְבוֹדֶךָ׃   63:3

Psal. 63:3   Thus in holiness I behold You,

                              seeing Your might and Your glory.

Most bibles have for the second Hebrew word “... in the sanctuary ....”  I have a problem with that translation.  It’s true that this word is often properly translated as in the sanctuary, but only in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, but in those chapters the sanctuary in the Tabernacle is their subject.  But wherever the sanctuary is not being directly addressed, the translation is in holiness (or else it’s part of a name).  In truth, its very first appearance in the bible occurs in Exod. 15:11, and that verse is very familiar to many Jews.  Synagogue attendees repeat it daily.  And the universal translation of that verse in prayer books uses the phrase in holiness.  The entire verse is (in my translation) “Who is like You among the mighty, Lord? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, revered in praises, doing wonders?”

כִּי־טוֹב חַסְדְּךָ מֵחַיִּים שְׂפָתַי יְשַׁבְּחוּנְךָ׃   63:4

Psal. 63:4   Surely Your loving kindness is better than life;

                              my lips shall praise You.

כֵּן אֲבָרֶכְךָ בְחַיָּי בְּשִׁמְךָ אֶשָּׂא כַפָּי׃   63:5

Psal. 63:5   Thus I will bless You in my lifetime;

                               in Your name I will lift up my hands.

כְּמוֹ חֵלֶב וָדֶשֶׁן תִּשְׂבַּע נַפְשִׁי וְשִׂפְתֵי רְנָנוֹת יְהַלֶּל־פִּי׃   63:6

Psal. 63:6   As if it were marrow and fat, my soul would be satisfied,

                               as, my lips shouting for joy, my mouth would praise,

אִם־זְכַרְתִּיךָ עַל־יְצוּעָי בְּאַשְׁמֻרוֹת אֶהְגֶּה־בָּךְ׃   63:7

Psal. 63:7   when, upon my bed, I remember You,

                                in the night watches I would meditate on You.

כִּי־הָיִיתָ עֶזְרָתָה לִּי וּבְצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ אֲרַנֵּן׃   63:8

Psal. 63:8   For You are my Help,

                               and in the shadow of Your “wings” I will exult.

דָּבְקָה נַפְשִׁי אַחֲרֶיךָ בִּי תָּמְכָה יְמִינֶךָ׃   63:9

Psal. 63:9   My soul stays close after You;

                               Your right “hand” holds fast onto me.

וְהֵמָּה לְשׁוֹאָה יְבַקְשׁוּ נַפְשִׁי יָבֹאוּ בְּתַחְתִּיּוֹת הָאָרֶץ׃   63:10

Psal. 63:10   But they who would seek my soul for ravaging

                                shall go into the lowest parts of the earth.

יַגִּירֻהוּ עַל־יְדֵי־חָרֶב מְנָת שֻׁעָלִים יִהְיוּ׃   63:11

Psal. 63:11   They shall be stretched out by wielders of the sword;

                                 they shall be the portion of foxes.

וְהַמֶּלֶךְ יִשְׂמַח בֵּאלֹהִים יִתְהַלֵּל כָּל־הַנִּשְׁבָּע בּוֹ כִּי יִסָּכֵר פִּי דוֹבְרֵי־שָׁקֶר׃   63:12

Psal. 63:12   And the king shall rejoice in God;

                                 every one swearing by Him shall glory.

                        Surely the mouth of the speakers of falsehood shall be stopped.


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