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תהלים צ״ד | Psalms 94, the Psalm for Wednesday (translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=16119 תהלים צ״ד | Psalms 94, the Psalm for Wednesday (translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z"l) 2017-07-26 08:23:49 This psalm was the Wednesday song of the Levites in the Holy Temple. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Zalman Schachter-Shalomi the Masoretic Text Unknown Author(s) https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tehilim Book 4 (Psalms 90–106) Wednesday interpretive translation תהלים Psalms English Translation Psalms 94 Wednesday שיר של יום Shir Shel Yom Psalm of the Day First Temple Period devotional interpretation
This psalm was the Wednesday song of the Levites in the Holy Temple.
Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)
א אֵל־נְקָמ֥וֹת יְהוָ֑ה
אֵ֖ל נְקָמ֣וֹת הוֹפִֽיַע׃
ב הִ֭נָּשֵׂא
שֹׁפֵ֣ט הָאָ֑רֶץ
1 God who settles scores!
Appear in Divine vengeance!
2 Make Yourself known,
As The Judge of the World.
הָשֵׁ֥ב גְּ֝מ֗וּל
Let the arrogant suffer
Your retribution.
ג עַד־מָתַ֖י
רְשָׁעִ֥ים ׀ יְהוָ֑ה
רְשָׁעִ֥ים יַעֲלֹֽזוּ׃
ד יַבִּ֣יעוּ יְדַבְּר֣וּ עָתָ֑ק
כָּל־פֹּ֥עֲלֵי אָֽוֶן׃
3 How long yet YHVH
will the wicked —
How long yet
will the evil ones prosper?
4 Boasting their malice,
They talk each other
into greater evil.
ה עַמְּךָ֣ יְהוָ֣ה
וְֽנַחֲלָתְךָ֥ יְעַנּֽוּ׃
ו אַ֭לְמָנָה
וְגֵ֣ר יַהֲרֹ֑גוּ
וִֽיתוֹמִ֣ים יְרַצֵּֽחוּ׃
They oppress Your people.
They demean Your legacy.
6 They murder widows
and strangers.
They kill orphans!
ז וַ֭יֹּ֣אמְרוּ
לֹ֣א יִרְאֶה־יָּ֑הּ
וְלֹא־יָ֝בִ֗ין אֱלֹהֵ֥י יַעֲקֹֽב׃
ח בִּ֭ינוּ
בֹּעֲרִ֣ים בָּעָ֑ם
וּ֝כְסִילִ֗ים מָתַ֥י תַּשְׂכִּֽילוּ׃
ט הֲנֹ֣טַֽע אֹ֭זֶן
הֲלֹ֣א יִשְׁמָ֑ע
אִֽם־יֹ֥צֵֽר עַ֝֗יִן
הֲלֹ֣א יַבִּֽיט׃
י הֲיֹסֵ֣ר גּ֭וֹיִם
הֲלֹ֣א יוֹכִ֑יחַ
7 Deluded are they,
Thinking that Yah cannot see,
The God of Jacob is not aware.
8 Boorish trash!
Try to make sense!
Fools, will you ever get wise?
9 The One who plants ears —
Can He not hear?
Who shapes eyes —
Can She not see?
10 He who reproaches nations —
Does She not call them to task?
אָדָ֣ם דָּֽעַת׃
יא יְֽהוָ֗ה
יֹ֭דֵעַ מַחְשְׁב֣וֹת אָדָ֑ם
כִּי־הֵ֥מָּה הָֽבֶל׃
יב אַשְׁרֵ֤י ׀ הַגֶּ֣בֶר
אֲשֶׁר־תְּיַסְּרֶ֣נּוּ יָּ֑הּ
יג לְהַשְׁקִ֣יט ל֭וֹ
מִ֣ימֵי רָ֑ע
עַ֤ד יִכָּרֶ֖ה
לָרָשָׁ֣ע שָֽׁחַת׃
יד כִּ֤י ׀
לֹא־יִטֹּ֣שׁ יְהוָ֣ה עַמּ֑וֹ
וְ֝נַחֲלָת֗וֹ לֹ֣א יַעֲזֹֽב׃
טו כִּֽי־עַד־צֶ֭דֶק יָשׁ֣וּב מִשְׁפָּ֑ט
וְ֝אַחֲרָ֗יו כָּל־יִשְׁרֵי־לֵֽב׃
He, Who teaches people
to be aware, Is She not aware?
11 YHVH,
Knows our human thoughts.
They are all worthless.
12 Blissful is the one
whom You, Yah,
Take to task and teach him
Of Your Torah,
13 To keep him secure
during evil days,
Tiding him over until ruin
Overtakes the wicked.
14 Because YHVH,
Will not forsake His people.
She will not abandon Her heritage.
15 Justice will return to the courts,
Vindicating those of upright heart.
טז מִֽי־יָק֣וּם לִ֭י
מִֽי־יִתְיַצֵּ֥ב לִ֝י
עִם־פֹּ֥עֲלֵי אָֽוֶן׃
16 Will anyone
Stand with me against the wicked?
Who will stand up for me
Against the bullies?
יז לוּלֵ֣י יְ֭הוָה עֶזְרָ֣תָה לִּ֑י
כִּמְעַ֓ט ׀
שָֽׁכְנָ֖ה דוּמָ֣ה נַפְשִֽׁי׃
יח אִם־אָ֭מַרְתִּי מָ֣טָה רַגְלִ֑י
חַסְדְּךָ֥ יְ֝הוָ֗ה
יט בְּרֹ֣ב
יְֽשַׁעַשְׁע֥וּ נַפְשִֽׁי׃
כ הַֽ֭יְחָבְרְךָ כִּסֵּ֣א הַוּ֑וֹת
יֹצֵ֖ר עָמָ֣ל עֲלֵי־חֹֽק׃
כא יָ֭גוֹדּוּ
עַל־נֶ֣פֶשׁ צַדִּ֑יק
וְדָ֖ם נָקִ֣י יַרְשִֽׁיעוּ׃
כב וַיְהִ֬י יְהוָ֣ה לִ֣י
לְצ֣וּר מַחְסִֽי׃
כג וַיָּ֤שֶׁב עֲלֵיהֶ֨ם ׀
וּבְרָעָתָ֥ם יַצְמִיתֵ֑ם
יַ֝צְמִיתֵ֗ם יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ׃
17 Had YHVH not helped me,
I would not have escaped
The silent tomb.
18 When my knees buckled,
Your Grace, YHVH,
Held me up.
19 When overwhelmed
By disturbing thoughts—like…
‘How could You assist malice?’
I found comfort
As You delighted my soul.
20 Those who scoff
all laws and justice,
21 Who band together
Against righteous souls,
And shed pure blood in meanness,
22-23 You paid them back
for their crimes.
YHVH, God,
You suppressed them for their evil.
YHVH, Is at all times
my tower of strength,
My God,
The rock of my safe place.

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the Psalm of the Day for Wednesday (Psalms 94) in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). To the best of my ability, I have set his translation side-by-side with a transcription of the vocalized text of the Psalm.








2 comments to תהלים צ״ד | Psalms 94, the Psalm for Wednesday (translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l)

  • Avatar Robert Mandel

    Shalom Rabbi

    Our Torah study group has recently encountered significant questions found in Psalms 94. There are references to evil men who want to do injustice as a partner to Hashem and subsequently to the people of the covenant by evil statutes.

    הַֽ֭יְחׇבְרְךָ כִּסֵּ֣א הַוּ֑וֹת יֹצֵ֖ר עָמָ֣ל עֲלֵי־חֹֽק׃

    Shall the seat of injustice be Your partner,
    that frames mischief by statute?

    Your perspective would be greatly appreciated.

    • To clarify an important but tangential point: Rabbi Zalman Schechter-Shalomi, z”l, passed away in 2014. (This and other pages containing his work are maintained by the project to which I serve as its shamesh (director) and not in any rabbinical capacity.)

      As Reb Zalman’s English here is not a direct translation, but rather what he called a “praying translation” — you can also use it as a resource of readings for this Psalm. For other readings including that of Rashi, make sure to visit Sefaria.

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