תהלים ז׳ | Psalms 7, a shigayon of David translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi

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Date: 2022-04-28

Last Updated: 2022-04-28

Categories: Tehilim Book 1 (Psalms 1–41)

Tags: deliverance from danger, devotional interpretation, interpretive translation, protection, שגיון shigayon

Excerpt: Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's translation of Psalms 7 was first published in Psalms in a Translation for Praying (Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Philadelphia: 2014), pp. 8-9. . . .

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)
שִׁגָּי֗וֹן לְדָ֫וִ֥ד
אֲשֶׁר־שָׁ֥ר לַֽיהֹוָ֑ה
עַל־דִּבְרֵי־כ֝֗וּשׁ בֶּן־יְמִינִֽי׃
A singing meditation of David
after he spared the life
of King Saul hiding in a cave.
יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱ֭לֹהַי
בְּךָ֣ חָסִ֑יתִי
פֶּן־יִטְרֹ֣ף כְּאַרְיֵ֣ה נַפְשִׁ֑י
פֹּ֝רֵ֗ק וְאֵ֣ין מַצִּֽיל׃
YaH, my God!
In You I find refuge.
Please protect me
from those who pursue me
and save me from them;
they pursue me like raging lions
to tear me apart without mercy.
יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱ֭לֹהַי
אִם־עָשִׂ֣יתִי זֹ֑את אִֽם־יֶשׁ־עָ֥וֶל בְּכַפָּֽי׃
אִם־גָּ֭מַלְתִּי שֽׁוֹלְמִ֥י רָ֑ע
וָאֲחַלְּצָ֖ה צֽוֹרְרִ֣י רֵיקָֽם׃
YaH, my God!
There was no misdeed in my hands;
I spared him.
People who are in peace with me,
I never harmed;
even those who oppress me,
I spared their lives.
אוֹיֵ֨ב ׀ נַפְשִׁ֡י
וְיַשֵּׂ֗ג וְיִרְמֹ֣ס
לָאָ֣רֶץ חַיָּ֑י
וּכְבוֹדִ֓י ׀ לֶעָפָ֖ר יַשְׁכֵּ֣ן סֶֽלָה׃
Yet I fear
that the enemy will pursue me
and take hold of me,
that in the end
I will have to grovel in the dust.
ק֘וּמָ֤ה יְהֹוָ֨ה ׀ בְּאַפֶּ֗ךָ
הִ֭נָּשֵׂא בְּעַבְר֣וֹת
Arise, YaH, and show Your Wrath;
let my oppressors
become aware of Your Anger.
וְע֥וּרָה אֵ֝לַ֗י
מִשְׁפָּ֥ט צִוִּֽיתָ׃
But for me—
command Your Justice.
וַעֲדַ֣ת לְ֭אֻמִּים
וְ֝עָלֶ֗יהָ לַמָּר֥וֹם שֽׁוּבָה׃
Communities of nations
will then turn to You
and rise to greater moral heights.
יְהֹוָה֮ יָדִ֢ין עַ֫מִּ֥ים
שׇׁפְטֵ֥נִי יְהֹוָ֑ה
כְּצִדְקִ֖י וּכְתֻמִּ֣י עָלָֽי׃
YaH, Judge of nations!
Let my verdict fit my rectitude
and my simple faith in You.
יִגְמׇר־נָ֬א רַ֨ע ׀ רְשָׁעִים֮
וּתְכוֹנֵ֢ן צַ֫דִּ֥יק
וּבֹחֵ֣ן לִ֭בּוֹת
וּכְלָי֗וֹת אֱלֹהִ֥ים צַדִּֽיק׃
מָגִנִּ֥י עַל־אֱלֹהִ֑ים
מ֝וֹשִׁ֗יעַ יִשְׁרֵי־לֵֽב׃
Let the evil of villainy be done with
and let the light of the tsadiq
be made firm, because the heart
and the conscience of the tsadiq
are all transparent to You.
My protection, I leave to You, my God,
who saves those straight of heart.
אֱ֭לֹהִים שׁוֹפֵ֣ט צַדִּ֑יק
וְ֝אֵ֗ל זֹעֵ֥ם בְּכׇל־יֽוֹם׃
אִם־לֹ֣א יָ֭שׁוּב
חַרְבּ֣וֹ יִלְט֑וֹשׁ
קַשְׁתּ֥וֹ דָ֝רַ֗ךְ וַֽיְכוֹנְנֶֽהָ׃
וְ֭לוֹ הֵכִ֣ין כְּלֵי־מָ֑וֶת
חִ֝צָּ֗יו לְֽדֹלְקִ֥ים יִפְעָֽל׃
הִנֵּ֥ה יְחַבֶּל־אָ֑וֶן
וְהָרָ֥ה עָ֝מָ֗ל
וְיָ֣לַד שָֽׁקֶר׃
God judges from the standard of the tsadiq
and all day rebuffs evil.
But if the wicked will not repent,
will sharpen their swords,
will draw their bows to sharpen their aim—
the weapons he prepared
will be used against himself;
her own arrows will fell her.
He still hatches evil plots,
fills his mind with means of violence
and gives birth to lies.
בּ֣וֹר כָּ֭רָה וַֽיַּחְפְּרֵ֑הוּ
וַ֝יִּפֹּ֗ל בְּשַׁ֣חַת יִפְעָֽל׃
יָשׁ֣וּב עֲמָל֣וֹ בְרֹאשׁ֑וֹ
וְעַ֥ל קׇ֝דְקֳד֗וֹ חֲמָס֥וֹ יֵרֵֽד׃
The very trap she dug for others
will become her own trap.
All this effort will collapse on him;
she will be buried under her own schemes
אוֹדֶ֣ה יְהֹוָ֣ה
שֵֽׁם־יְהֹוָ֥ה עֶלְיֽוֹן׃
And I will give thanks to YaH
for His Righteousness
and keep singing
to Her awesome reputation.

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s translation of Psalms 7 was first published in Psalms in a Translation for Praying (Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Philadelphia: 2014), pp. 8-9. Reb Zalman was, in 2009, an early advocate of the Open Siddur Project and generously shared his liturgical and prayer work with the project following his vision of a common “Database Davvenen.” I have set his translation opposite the Masoretic Hebrew text of the psalm according to the phrasing he provided. –Aharon Varady


Contributor: Zalman Schachter-Shalomi


Featured Image:
Title: Judean-desert-wadi-perazim-flour-cave
Caption: Nahal Perazim: Flour Cave (credit: Mboesch, license: CC BY-SA)