Sunday, December 29, 2013

Week 17 (Book 5): Reviewing the Fourth Week of Teveth - Psalms 49-51; 59:6-8; 89:18

PSALMS (Introductions and Translations from

Chapter 49
This psalm is a strong message and inspiration for all, rich and poor alike, rebuking man for transgressions which, owing to habit, he no longer considers sinful; yet, these sins incriminate man on the Day of Judgment. The psalm speaks specifically to the wealthy, who rely not on G-d but on their wealth.

1. For the Conductor, by the sons of Korach, a psalm. 2. Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all you inhabitants of the world; 3. sons of common folk and sons of nobility, rich and poor alike. 4. My mouth speaks wisdom, and the thoughts of my heart are understanding. 5. I incline my ear to the parable; I will unravel my riddle upon the harp. 6. Why am I afraid in times of trouble? [Because] the sins I trod upon surround me. 7. There are those who rely on their wealth, who boast of their great riches. 8. Yet a man cannot redeem his brother, nor pay his ransom to G-d. 9. The redemption of their soul is too costly, and forever unattainable. 10. Can one live forever, never to see the grave? 11. Though he sees that wise men die, that the fool and the senseless both perish, leaving their wealth to others- 12. [nevertheless,] in their inner thoughts their houses will last forever, their dwellings for generation after generation; they have proclaimed their names throughout the lands. 13. But man will not repose in glory; he is likened to the silenced animals. 14. This is their way-their folly remains with them, and their descendants approve of their talk, Selah. 15. Like sheep, they are destined for the grave; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright will dominate them at morning; their form will rot in the grave, away from its abode. 16. But G-d will redeem my soul from the hands of the grave, for He will take me, Selah. 17. Do not fear when a man grows rich, when the glory of his house is increased; 18. for when he dies he will take nothing, his glory will not descend after him. 19. For he [alone] praises himself in his lifetime; but [all] will praise you if you better yourself. 20. He will come to the generation of his forefathers; they shall not see light for all eternity. 21. Man [can live] in glory but does not understand; he is likened to the silenced animals.

Chapter 50
This psalm speaks of many ethics and morals. The psalmist rebukes those who fail to repent humbly and modestly. He also admonishes those who do not practice that which they study, and merely appear to be righteous; they sin and cause others to sin.

1. A psalm by Asaph. Almighty G-d, the Lord, spoke and called to the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting. 2. Out of Zion, the place of perfect beauty, G-d appeared. 3. Our G-d will come and not be silent; a fire will consume before Him, His surroundings are furiously turbulent. 4. He will call to the heavens above, and to the earth, to avenge His people: 5. "Gather to Me My pious ones, those who made a covenant with me over a sacrifice.” 6. Then the heavens declared His righteousness, for G-d is Judge forever. 7. Listen, my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against you-I am G-d your G-d. 8. Not for [the lack of] your sacrifices will I rebuke you, nor for [the lack of] your burnt offerings which ought to be continually before Me. 9. I do not take oxen from your house, nor goats from your pens; 10. for every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle of a thousand mountains. 11. I know every bird of the mountains, and the crawling creatures of the field are in My possession. 12. Were I hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and everything in it is mine. 13. Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 14. Offer confession as a sacrifice to G-d, and fulfill your vows to the Most High, 15. and call to Me on the day of distress; I will free you, and you will honor Me. 16. But to the wicked, G-d said, "What does it help you to discuss My laws, and bear My covenant upon your lips? 17. For you hate discipline, and throw My words behind you. 18. When you see a thief you run with him, and your lot is with adulterers. 19. You sent forth your mouth for evil, and attach your tongue to deceit. 20. You sit down to talk against your brother; your mother's son you defame. 21. You have done these things and I kept silent, so you imagine that I am like you-[but] I will rebuke you and lay it clearly before your eyes. 22. Understand this now, you who forget G-d, lest I tear you apart and there be none to save you. 23. He who offers a sacrifice of confession honors Me; and to him who sets right his way, I will show the deliverance of G-d."

Chapter 51
This psalm speaks of when Nathan the prophet went to David's palace, and rebuked him for his sin with Bathsheba. David then secluded himself with G-d, offering awe-inspiring prayers and begging forgiveness. Every person should recite this psalm for his sins and transgressions.

1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David, 2. when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba. 3. Be gracious to me, O G-d, in keeping with Your kindness; in accordance with Your abounding compassion, erase my transgressions. 4. Cleanse me thoroughly of my wrongdoing, and purify me of my sin. 5. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 6. Against You alone have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Your eyes; [forgive me] so that You will be justified in Your verdict, vindicated in Your judgment. 7. Indeed, I was begotten in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 8. Indeed, You desire truth in the innermost parts; teach me the wisdom of concealed things. 9. Purge me with hyssop and I shall be pure; cleanse me and I shall be whiter than snow. 10. Let me hear [tidings of] joy and gladness; then the bones which You have shattered will rejoice. 11. Hide Your face from my sins, and erase all my trespasses. 12. Create in me a pure heart, O G-d, and renew within me an upright spirit. 13. Do not cast me out of Your presence, and do not take Your Spirit of Holiness away from me. 14. Restore to me the joy of Your deliverance, and uphold me with a spirit of magnanimity. 15. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to You. 16. Save me from bloodguilt, O G-d, G-d of my deliverance; my tongue will sing Your righteousness. 17. My Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Your praise. 18. For You do not desire that I bring sacrifices, nor do You wish burnt offerings. 19. The offering [desirable] to G-d is a contrite spirit; a contrite and broken heart, G-d, You do not disdain. 20. In Your goodwill, bestow goodness upon Zion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 21. Then will You desire sacrifices [offered in] righteousness, olah and other burnt offerings; then they will offer bullocks upon Your altar. 


Chapter 59

6. And You, Lord, G-d of Hosts, G-d of Israel, wake up to remember all the nations; do not grant favor to any of the iniquitous traitors, Selah. 7. They return toward evening, they howl like the dog and circle the city. 8. Behold, they spew with their mouths, swords are in their lips, for [they say], "Who hears?” 


18. Indeed, You are the splendor of their might, and in Your goodwill our glory is exalted. 

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