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תהלים קנ״ד | Psalms 154, according to the Nusaḥ of the Judean Desert Scrolls, Edited, Vocalized, Cantillated, and Translated into English by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Psalms 151 through 155 are not found in the Masoretic Text books of Psalms, or in rabbinic writings. A Psalm 151 was recorded in the Septuagint, whereas Psalms 152—155 were only found in some Syriac (or Christian Aramaic) Peshiṭṭa texts. For a long time, it was assumed that they were Greek compositions, either by Hellenized Jews or not by Jews at all. That all changed with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, specifically 11Q5, also known as the Great Psalms Scroll. This scroll not only included text from thirty-two psalms (in a non-standard order), but also passages from Apocryphal Psalms 154, 155, and 151, as well as sections of Ben Sira and several otherwise unknown psalmodic compositions. Here the editor has taken the Hebrew text from the Great Psalms Scroll, supplemented with Peshiṭṭa content for the worn passages, and attempted to create masoretic-style vocalization and cantillation for these three fascinating pieces of Hebrew apocrypha, along with a new English translation.

Psalm 154 seems to be a hymn of communal eating, very appropriate for the communal life of Qumran, but also features a very Proverbs-like anthropomorphization of Wisdom as a woman. Of the three apocryphal psalms recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls, this one seems the most likely to have been written with sectarian intent, which may have been why it wasn’t included in the Masoretic canon.

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

בְּק֣וֹל גָּ֭דוֹל
פָּאֲר֣וּ אֱלֹהִ֑ים
בִּקְהַ֣ל רַ֝בִּ֗ים
הַשְׁמִ֣יעוּ תִּפְאַרְתּֽוֹ׃
בְּרֹ֣ב יְ֭שָׁרִים
פָּאֲר֣וּ שְׁמ֑וֹ
וְעִ֥ם אֱ֝מוּנִ֗ים
סַפְּר֥וּ גְּדֻלָּתֽוֹ׃
In a loud voice
glorify God;
in the great congregation
make His glory heard!
Among the many upright
glorify His name;
and with the believers
tell of His greatness!

חַבְּר֣וּ לַטּוֹבִ֣ים נַפְשֹׁתֵ֑כֶם
וְ֝לַתְּמִימִ֗ם לְפָאֵ֣ר עֶלְיֽוֹן׃
הַחְבִּ֤ירוּ ׀ יַ֘חַד
לְהוֹדִ֢יעַ יִ֫שְׁע֥וּ
וְאַל־תִּתְעַצְּל֣וּ לְהוֹדִ֣יעַ
עֻזּ֑וֹ
וְ֝תִפְאַרְתּ֗וֹ
לְכׇל־פְּתָאִים׃
Bind your souls to the good;
and to the pure, to glorify God.
Be bound together,
to make known His rescue,
and slack not from making known
His strength
and His glory
to all the simple.

כִּ֨י ׀ לְהוֹדִ֣יעַ כְּב֣וֹד יְהֹוָ֑ה
נָתְנָ֣ה חוכמה חׇכְמָֽה׃
וּ֭לְסַפֵּר רֹ֣ב מַעֲשָׂ֑יו
נוֹדָעָ֣הּ לְאָדָֽם׃
לְהוֹדִ֣יעַ לְפְתָאִ֣ים
עֻזּ֑וֹ
לְהַשְׂכִּ֤יל ׀ לְחַסְרֵ֣י לֵ֝בָ֗ב
גְּדֻלָּתֽוֹ׃
הָרְחוֹקִ֥ים מִפְּתָחֶ֑יהָ
הַנִּדָּחִ֣ים מִמְּבוֹאֶֽיהָ׃
For to make known the honor of Adonai
was wisdom given.
And to tell the greatness of His acts
was she made known to mortals.
To make known to the simple
His strength,
to reveal to the absent-minded
His greatness.
Those far from His gates,
those exiled from His entrances.

כִּ֗י ׀ עֶלְי֣וֹן ה֭וּא אָד֣וֹן יַעֲקֹ֑ב
וְ֝תִפְאַרְתּ֗וֹ עַ֥ל כׇּל־מַעֲשָֽׂיו׃
וְאָדָ֣ם מְפָאֵ֣ר עֶלְי֑וֹן
יִ֝רְצֶ֗ה כְּמַגִּ֣ישׁ מִנְּחָֽה׃
כְּמַקְרִ֘יב
עַתּוּדִ֢ים וּבְנֵ֫י בָּקָ֥ר
כִּמְדַשֵּׁ֣ן מִ֭זְבֵּחַ
בְּרֹ֣ב עֹל֑וֹת
כִּקְטֹ֥רֶת נִ֝יח֗וֹחַ
מִיַּ֣ד צַדִּיקִֽים׃
For the Highest is the Master of Jacob,
and His glory is over all His acts.
And a mortal who praises the Highest,
He accepts it like one giving a grain-offering.
Like one sacrificing
he-goats and cattle,
like one greasing the altar
with many whole-offerings,
like sweet incense from
the hand of the righteous.

מִפִּתְחֵ֣י צַ֭דִּיקִים נִשְׁמַ֣ע קוֹלָ֑הּ
מִקְּהַ֣ל חֲ֝סִידִ֗ים זִמְרָתָֽהּ׃
עַל־אׇכְלָ֣ם בַּ֭שּׂבַע נֶאֶמְרָ֑ה
וְעַ֥ל שְׁ֝תוֹתָ֗ם בַּחֶ֣בֶר יַחְדָּֽו׃
שִׂ֭יחָתָם בְּתוֹרַ֣ת עֶלְי֑וֹן
אָ֝מְרֵיהֶ֗ם לְהוֹדִ֥יעַ עֻזּֽוֹ׃
כַּ֡מָּה ׀ רְחֹקָ֣ה מֵרְשָׁעִ֣ים אׇמְרָ֑הּ
מִכׇּל־זֵ֝דִ֗ים לָדַ֥עַתָֽהּ׃
From the openings of the righteous
[wisdom’s] voice is heard,
from the pious congregation
Her song.
Over their food in satiety it is spoken,
and over their communal drink together.
How far from the wicked is her word,
from all the arrogant to know her!

הִנֵּ֣ה עֵינֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה
עַל־טוֹבִ֥ים תַּחְמֹֽל׃
וְעַ֨ל ׀ מְפָאֲרָ֘יו
יִגְדַּ֢ל חַ֫סְדּ֥וֹ
מֵעֵ֣ת רָ֭עָה יַצִּ֣יל נַפְשָׁ֑ם
בָּרְכ֖וּ אֶת־יְהֹוָֽה׃
גֹּאֵ֣ל עָ֭נִי
מִיַּ֣ד זָרִ֑ים
וּמַצִּ֥יל תְּ֝מִימִ֗ים
מִיַּ֥ד רְשָׁעִֽים׃
מֵקִ֣ים קֶ֭רֶן מִיַּעֲקֹ֑ב
וְשֹׁפֵ֥ט עַ֝מִּ֗ים מִיִּשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
נֹטֶ֣ה אׇהֳל֣וֹ בְּצִיּ֑וֹן
וְיִוָּעֵ֣ד לָנֶצַח בִּירוּשָׁלִָֽם׃
Behold, the eyes of God
are on the good to have mercy.
And on those who glorify Him
His compassion is greatened,
from an evil time He saves their beings;
bless YHWH!
Who redeems the poor
from the strangers’ hand,
and saves the pure
from the wicked ones’ hand.
Who lifts up a horn from Jacob
and a judge of the people from Israel .
And sets His tent in Zion,
and will be found forever in Jerusalem.

Plate 974, B-285206
Taken March 1961
PAM Number: M43.792
Photographer: Najib Anton Albina
Image Type: Scanned Infrared Negative
Side: Recto
manuscripts in this image: 11Q5 –  11Q Psa

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