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תהלים קל״ט | Psalms 139 for the Winter Solstice, attributed to Adam haRishon

A well-known midrash explaining the universality of the Kalends festival beginning after the Winter Solstice attributes this psalms to Adam haRishon, the primordial Adam, as they describe being knitted together within the Earth in Psalms 139:13-16. In the Roman calendar, the calends or kalends (Latin: kalendae) is the first day of every month. Named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, and derived from ianua, “door,” January began with the first crescent moon after the winter solstice, marking the natural beginning of the year. Marcus Terentius Varro, in his Res Rusticae (37 BCE) divided the agricultural year into eight parts. In the final part beginning on the winter solstice, no hard work was to be done outdoors.
Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)
א לַ֭מְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִ֣ד

1 For the Leader.
A psalm of David.
יְהוָ֥ה חֲ֝קַרְתַּ֗נִי וַתֵּדָֽע׃
ב אַתָּ֣ה יָ֭דַעְתָּ שִׁבְתִּ֣י וְקוּמִ֑י
בַּ֥נְתָּה לְ֝רֵעִ֗י מֵרָחֽוֹק׃
‎‏ג אָרְחִ֣י וְרִבְעִ֣י זֵרִ֑יתָ
וְֽכָל־דְּרָכַ֥י הִסְכַּֽנְתָּה׃
‎‏ ד כִּ֤י אֵ֣ין מִ֭לָּה בִּלְשׁוֹנִ֑י
הֵ֥ן יְ֝הוָ֗ה יָדַ֥עְתָּ כֻלָּֽהּ׃
‎‏ה אָח֣וֹר וָקֶ֣דֶם צַרְתָּ֑נִי
וַתָּ֖שֶׁת עָלַ֣י כַּפֶּֽכָה׃
ו פלאיה פְּלִ֣יאָֽה דַ֣עַת מִמֶּ֑נִּי
נִ֝שְׂגְּבָ֗ה לֹא־א֥וּכַֽל לָֽהּ׃

YHVH, you have searched me, and known me.
2 You know my sitting and my rising,
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You measure my going about and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word in my tongue,
But, lo, YHVH, you know it altogether.
5 You have hemmed me in behind and before,
And laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
Too high, I cannot reach it.
‎‏ז אָ֭נָ֥ה אֵלֵ֣ךְ מֵרוּחֶ֑ךָ
וְ֝אָ֗נָה מִפָּנֶ֥יךָ אֶבְרָֽח׃
‎‏ח אִם־אֶסַּ֣ק שָׁ֭מַיִם שָׁ֣ם אָ֑תָּה
וְאַצִּ֖יעָה שְּׁא֣וֹל הִנֶּֽךָּ׃
‎‏ט אֶשָּׂ֥א כַנְפֵי־שָׁ֑חַר
אֶ֝שְׁכְּנָ֗ה בְּאַחֲרִ֥ית יָֽם׃
‎‏י גַּם־שָׁ֭ם יָדְךָ֣ תַנְחֵ֑נִי
וְֽתֹאחֲזֵ֥נִי יְמִינֶֽךָ׃

7 Where shall I go from your spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, you are there;
If I make my bed in the nether-world, behold, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there would your hand lead me,
And your right hand would hold me.
‎‏יא וָ֭אֹמַר אַךְ־חֹ֣שֶׁךְ יְשׁוּפֵ֑נִי
וְ֝לַ֗יְלָה א֣וֹר בַּעֲדֵֽנִי׃
‎‏יב גַּם־חֹשֶׁךְ֮ לֹֽא־יַחְשִׁ֪יךְ מִ֫מֶּ֥ךָ
וְ֭לַיְלָה כַּיּ֣וֹם יָאִ֑יר
כַּ֝חֲשֵׁיכָ֗ה כָּאוֹרָֽה׃

11 And if I say: `Surely the darkness shall envelop me,
And the light about me shall be night’;
12 Even the darkness is not too dark for you,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness is even as the light.
‎‏יג כִּֽי־אַ֭תָּה קָנִ֣יתָ כִלְיֹתָ֑י
תְּ֝סֻכֵּ֗נִי בְּבֶ֣טֶן אִמִּֽי׃
‎‏יד אֽוֹדְךָ֗ עַ֤ל
כִּ֥י נוֹרָא֗וֹת נִ֫פְלֵ֥יתִי
נִפְלָאִ֥ים מַעֲשֶׂ֑יךָ
וְ֝נַפְשִׁ֗י יֹדַ֥עַת מְאֹֽד׃
‎‏טו לֹא־נִכְחַ֥ד עָצְמִ֗י מִ֫מֶּ֥ךָּ
אֲשֶׁר־עֻשֵּׂ֥יתִי בַסֵּ֑תֶר
רֻ֝קַּ֗מְתִּי בְּֽתַחְתִּיּ֥וֹת אָֽרֶץ׃
‏טז גָּלְמִ֤י׀ רָ֘א֤וּ עֵינֶ֗יךָ
וְעַֽל־סִפְרְךָ֮ כֻּלָּ֪ם
יִכָּ֫תֵ֥בוּ יָמִ֥ים יֻצָּ֑רוּ
ולא וְל֖וֹ אֶחָ֣ד בָּהֶֽם׃

13 For you have made my reins;
You have knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to you,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are your works;
And that my soul knows right well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
When I was made in secret,
And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes did see my unformed substance,
And in your book they were all written–
Even the days that were fashioned,
When as yet there was none of them.
‎‏יז וְלִ֗י מַה־יָּקְר֣וּ רֵעֶ֣יךָ אֵ֑ל
מֶ֥ה עָ֝צְמוּ רָאשֵׁיהֶֽם׃
‎‏יח אֶ֭סְפְּרֵם מֵח֣וֹל יִרְבּ֑וּן
הֱ֝קִיצֹ֗תִי וְעוֹדִ֥י עִמָּֽךְ׃

17 How weighty also are your thoughts unto me, El!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more in number than the sand;
Were I to come to the end of them, I would still be with you.
‎‏יט אִם־תִּקְטֹ֖ל אֱל֥וֹהַּ׀ רָשָׁ֑ע
וְאַנְשֵׁ֥י דָ֝מִ֗ים ס֣וּרוּ מֶֽנִּי׃
‎‏כ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יֹ֭אמְרֻךָ לִמְזִמָּ֑ה
נָשֻׂ֖א לַשָּׁ֣וְא עָרֶֽיךָ׃
‎‏כא הֲלֽוֹא־מְשַׂנְאֶ֖יךָ יְהוָ֥ה׀ אֶשְׂנָ֑א
וּ֝בִתְקוֹמְמֶ֗יךָ אֶתְקוֹטָֽט׃
‎‏כב תַּכְלִ֣ית שִׂנְאָ֣ה שְׂנֵאתִ֑ים
לְ֝אוֹיְבִ֗ים הָ֣יוּ לִֽי׃

19 If you would but slay the wicked, Elo’ah —
Depart from me therefore, you men of blood;
20 Who utter your name with wicked thought,
They take it for falsehood, even your enemies–
21 Do not I hate them, YHVH, that hate you?
And do not I strive with those that rise up against you?
22 I hate them with utmost hatred;
I count them mine enemies.
‎‏כג חָקְרֵ֣נִי אֵ֭ל וְדַ֣ע לְבָבִ֑י
בְּ֝חָנֵ֗נִי וְדַ֣ע שַׂרְעַפָּֽי׃
‎‏כד וּרְאֵ֗ה אִם־דֶּֽרֶךְ־עֹ֥צֶב בִּ֑י
וּ֝נְחֵ֗נִי בְּדֶ֣רֶךְ עוֹלָֽם׃

23 Search me, El, and know my heart,
Try me, and know my thoughts;
24 And see if there be any way in me that is grievous,
And lead me in your everlasting way.

This translation of Psalms 139 was adapted by Aharon Varady from the JPS 1917 translation.

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