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Psalm 69 (from Chabad.org English translation of the entire Tanach with Rashi’s commentary. This Tanakh translation has been completely revised with a modern translation of the Hebrew of the Jewish Bible to English begun in 1955 and copyrighted in 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society. I have used the JPS Tanakh for the verses without changing the commentary of Rashi. There are minor differences in the words he comments on in some of the verses).

1For the leader. On shoshannim. Of David.

Rashi:

on shoshannim: Concerning Israel, who are like a rose (שושנה) among the thorns, pricked by the thorns, and he prayed for them.

Keith: No commentary.

 

2Deliver me, O God,
for the waters have reached my neck;

Rashi:

for water has come up: the nations.

Keith: No commentary.

 

3I am sinking into the slimy deep
and find no foothold;
I have come into the watery depths;
the flood sweeps me away.

Rashi:

in muddy depths: In the mire, the mud of the deep.

and the current: That is the flood of the strength of the river, fil in Old French, current.

Keith: No commentary.

 

4I am weary with calling;
my throat is dry;
my eyes fail
while I wait for God.

Rashi:

has become parched: Heb. נחר, dry, as (Job 30:30): “are burned (חרה) with heat.”

my eyes fail: Any drawn-out hope is called “failure of the eyes,” as (Deut. 28:32): “and pine after them all day” . [Similarly] (Lev. 26:16): “that cause the eyes to pine away” ; (Job 11:20), “and the eyes of the wicked will pine away.”

Keith: No commentary.

 

5More numerous than the hairs of my head
are those who hate me without reason;
many are those who would destroy me,
my treacherous enemies.
Must I restore what I have not stolen?

Rashi:

who are my enemies because of lies: They hate me because of a lie, because I do not pursue their lies to adopt their error.

I will then return: When they gather against me, I bribe them with money that I did not steal from them.

Keith:

More numerous than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without reason: Like the man described in Isaiah 53/3 “He was despised, shunned by men,” and “He was despised, we held him of no account” David was hated without reason. David was  G-d’s anointed of Jesse to be King of the Israelites but to others he was David the lowly shepherd who “was said to be” G-d’s anointed King. 

Must I restore what I have not stolen?: Must David deny the anointment that was freely given to him by G-d?

 

6God, You know my folly;
my guilty deeds are not hidden from You.

7Let those who look to You,
O Lord, God of hosts,
not be disappointed on my account;
let those who seek You,
O God of Israel,
not be shamed because of me.

Rashi:

Do not let those who hope for You be shamed: Do not leave me in their hands lest those who hope for You be shamed by what happens to me and say, “Didn’t that happen to one who hopes to the Holy One, blessed be He?”.

Keith:

Let those who look to You, O Lord, God of hosts, not be disappointed on my account: People do not believe G-d anointed David a lowly shepherd born in sin to be King of Israel. David does not want people who worship G-d to be disappointed in G-d that he never becomes King.

 

8It is for Your sake that I have been reviled,
that shame covers my face;

9I am a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my kin.

Rashi:

to my brothers: To Esau.

Keith:

I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my kin: In Psalm 110/7 David says “Indeed I was born with iniquity; with sin my mother conceived me.” In the days of David men had many wives and many concubines as is well known with his son Solomon. The iniquity came from his father Jesse fathering a child with a woman outside of the tribes. That is why there is no mention of his mother in the Jewish Bible that G-d had written by His prophets with few exceptions. The Talmud says the mother of David was a Jewish women named Nitzevet.

David is confessing a deep emotional pain in a Psalm for all to read and it is a lesson of the pain of interfaith marriages for children. A sin he had nothing to do with that he had to bear all of his life. Today under the Halacha David would be a gentile of the tribe of Judah as I am.

Rashi says “to my brothers: To Esau.” Esau is a brother of Jacob and the scripture tells why they did not get along. But this does not tell us why David is a stranger and alien to his brothers. It is because David’s mother was not an Israelite.

 

10My zeal for Your house has been my undoing;
the reproaches of those who revile You have fallen upon me.

Rashi:

the envy of Your house: They saw the love that You showed us when Your house was still existing, and they envied me.

Keith:

the reproaches of those who revile You have fallen upon me: David’s zeal for G-d has caused those who revile G-d to reproach and revile David and made him ashamed of himself (from above “shame covers my face”).

 

11When I wept and fasted,
I was reviled for it.

Rashi:

And I bewailed my soul in fast: In my fast.

and it was a disgrace for me: When I weep and fast before You, they mock me.

Keith:

When I wept and fasted, I was reviled for it: When David cried and went without food in his shame his brothers and enemies assailed him with scornful and abusive language.

 

12I made sackcloth my garment;
I became a byword among them.

13Those who sit in the gate talk about me;
I am the taunt of drunkards.

Rashi:

and melodies: they made of me for those who imbibe strong drink.

Keith: No commentary.

 

14As for me, may my prayer come to You, O Lord,
at a favorable moment;
O God, in Your abundant faithfulness,
answer me with Your sure deliverance.

Rashi:

But, as for me, may my prayer to You, O Lord, be: may the time of my prayer be a desirable time.

Keith: No commentary.

 

15Rescue me from the mire;
let me not sink;
let me be rescued from my enemies,
and from the watery depths.

16Let the floodwaters not sweep me away;
let the deep not swallow me;
let the mouth of the Pit not close over me.

Rashi:

and let not… close: And let it not close over me.

a well: This strange trouble [shall not close] its mouth to swallow me up.

close: Heb. תאטר, as (Jud. 3:15): “with a shriveled (אטר) right hand” that he does not use it.

Keith:

let the mouth of the Pit not close over me: David is a lowly shepherd who was born in sin and G-d has anointed David to be King of all Israel according to Samuel and David feels as though he is living in a pit of shame and despair.

 

17Answer me, O Lord,
according to Your great steadfastness;
in accordance with Your abundant mercy
turn to me;

18do not hide Your face from Your servant,
for I am in distress;
answer me quickly.

19Come near to me and redeem me;
free me from my enemies.

Rashi:

Come close to my soul: (Come close to me.)

redeem it: Heb. גאלה, [equivalent to] גְאוֹל אוֹתָה.

Keith: No commentary.

 

20You know my reproach,
my shame, my disgrace;
You are aware of all my foes.

Rashi: No commentary.

Keith:

You are aware of all my foes: G-d has absolute knowledge of all things and all people He chooses to follow closely. That would include all naysayers and haters and enemies of His anointed King.

 

21Reproach breaks my heart,
I am in despair;
I hope for consolation, but there is none,
for comforters, but find none.

Rashi:

and I have become ill: Heb. ואנושה, I am ailing and sick, as (Micah 1:9): “For she is mortally ill (אנושה) [from] her wounds,” and as (II Sam. 12:15): “and the child (sic) became mortally ill (ויאנש) ,” of Bathsheba. Now if you ask how this “aleph” serves as a radical and also as a prefix denoting the first person, this is the way of a word beginning with “aleph.” For example, (Mal. 1:2): “and I loved (וָאֹהַב) Jacob” ; (Prov. 8:17), “I will love (אֵהָב) those who love me.” It is equivalent to וָאֶאֶהַב Similarly, (Zeph. 1:2): “I will totally destroy (אָסֹף אָסֵף),” like אֶאֶסֹף.

for sympathy: Heb. לנוד, to shake. That friends should come to me to shake [their heads] over me and to comfort me.

Keith:

I hope for consolation, but there is none, for comforters, but find none: David does not have the support of anyone. Anyone that believes he is G-d’s anointed King. Even his family who were present when Samuel anointed David according to the words of the L-rd to Samuel. Words only Samuel could hear.

1Samuel 16/12 “So they sent and brought him. He was ruddy-cheeked, bright-eyed, and handsome. And the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him, for this is the one.” 13Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord gripped David from that day on. Samuel then set out for Ramah.”

 

22They give me gall for food,
vinegar to quench my thirst.

23May their table be a trap for them,
a snare for their allies.

Rashi:

into my food: Heb. בברותי, into my food, as (II Sam. 13:6): “Let my sister Tamar come now, etc., that I may eat (ואברה) from her hand.”

Keith:

May their table be a trap for them, a snare for their allies: May the haters and naysayers and enemies and those who ignore David and shame him and all those who believe in their talk and words and opinions about David which is the “table” they have set for themselves against G-d’s anointed King be their undoing before G-d and when David is King.

 

24May their eyes grow dim so that they cannot see;
may their loins collapse continually.

25Pour out Your wrath on them;
may Your blazing anger overtake them;

26may their encampments be desolate;
may their tents stand empty.

27For they persecute those You have struck;
they talk about the pain of those You have felled.

Rashi:

For: this nation, which You smote.

they pursued: For You were a little angry, and they helped cause harm.

and about the pain of those whom You wounded they tell: their words, to plot: “Let us destroy them while they are in pain.”

Keith:

For they persecute those You have struck: They, the haters and naysayers and enemies and those who ignore David and shame him and all those who believe in their talk and words and opinions about David persecute him for being anointed by G-d. Most, if not all do not believe G-d spoke to Samuel in his anointment of David. David feels as though G-d’s anointment of him has been a physical blow to his life and feelings. “Those” would include others that had been anointed or selected by G-d as his prophets whose words are rarely believed and heeded as the words of G-d and go through the same ordeal as David.

they talk about the pain of those You have felled: “Those” would be men who failed or died in the name of the L-rd.

 

28Add that to their guilt;
let them have no share of Your beneficence;

29may they be erased from the book of life,
and not be inscribed with the righteous.

Rashi: No commentary.

Keith:

be erased from the book of life, and not be inscribed with the righteous: According to the Talmud it is open on Rosh Hashanah, as is its analog for the wicked, the Book of the Dead. For this reason extra mention is made for the Book of Life during Amidah recitations during the Days of Awe, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, and Yom Kippur, the day of atonement (the two High Holidays, particularly in the prayer Unetaneh Tokef). (From:Wikipedia)

The Jewish Bible does not have a Book of the Dead. “In the Hebrew Bible the Book of Life – the book or muster-roll of God – records forever all people considered righteous before God. God has such a book, and to be blotted out of it signifies death. It is with reference to the Book of Life that the holy remnant is spoken of as being written unto life in Jerusalem, compare also Ezekiel ix. 4, where one of the six heavenly envoys “who had the scribe’s inkhorn upon his loins” is told to mark the righteous for life, while the remainder of the inhabitants of Jerusalem are doomed. The Psalmist likewise speaks of the Book of Life in which only the names of the righteous are written “and from which the unrighteous are blotted out”. Even the tears of men are recorded in this Book of God. “Every one that shall be found written in the book . . . shall awake to everlasting life”. This book is probably identical with the “Book of Remembrance” in which are recorded the deeds of those that fear the Lord.” (From: Wikipedia.)

The scroll of remembrance in Malachi 3/16 is not the book of life. “16In this vein have those who revere the Lord been talking to one another. The Lord has heard and noted it, and a scroll of remembrance has been written at His behest concerning those who revere the Lord and esteem His name. 17And on the day that I am preparing, said the Lord of Hosts, they shall be My treasured possession; I will be tender toward them as a man is tender toward a son who ministers to him. 18And you shall come to see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between him who has served the Lord and him who has not served Him. 19For lo! That day is at hand, burning like an oven.”

The scroll of remembrance is about a special place in the heart of G-d for those who revere the L-rd and esteem His name on the day of the L-rd that He is preparing. Not a specific day but the days of Elijah the Teacher of Righteousness of Isaiah 53 who G-d sends before him with the angel of the covenant of the forgiveness of the sins of the Jewish people to clear the way for His return.

 

30But I am lowly and in pain;
Your help, O God, keeps me safe.

31I will extol God’s name with song,
and exalt Him with praise.

32That will please the Lord more than oxen,
than bulls with horns and hooves.

Rashi:

And it will appeal to the Lord: My praise to the Lord.

more than a young bull that is mature: That is the bull sacrificed by Adam, which was created at its height. On the day it was called שּׁוֹר, on that very day, he brought it, for a bull on day of its birth is called שּׁוֹר, as it is said (Lev. 22:27): “A bull (שור), a lamb, or a goat, that is born.” On that very day, it resembled a פַּר, which is a three-year old.

with horns and hooves: Its horns preceded its hooves, because it was created at its height with its horns, and its head emerged from the ground first; the earth thrust them forth in the manner in which all creatures are born, so that its horns preceded its feet.

Keith: No commentary.

 

33The lowly will see and rejoice;
you who are mindful of God, take heart!

34For the Lord listens to the needy,
and does not spurn His captives.

35Heaven and earth shall extol Him,
the seas, and all that moves in them.

36For God will deliver Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah;
they shall live there and inherit it;

37the offspring of His servants shall possess it;
those who cherish His name shall dwell there.

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