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Mizmor 030 - Inauguration of the House

(א) מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר חֲנֻכַּת הַבַּיִת לְדָוִד:
(1) A mizmor for the inauguration of the Bais HaMikdash, by David.
NOTE: For a PDF of this mizmor, please click here. This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article. [Rev 6]
Key Concepts of Mizmor 030 - Inauguration of the House
David originally composed this mizmor to celebrate the inauguration of the first Bais HaMikdash (Temple) even though he knew he would not be granted the privilege of seeing it performed. He had put tremendous effort into preparing for the construction of the Bais Hamikdash, but learned that he would not be permitted to see the project through to completion. However, this did not deter him from doing everything he possibly could to prepare for that great day.
David composed this mizmor in a form which made it applicable not only to the first Bais HaMikdash, built by David’s son Shlomo, but to the Second Bais Hamikdash that was built after the Exile in Bavel, and to the Third Bais HaMikdash, which we hope to soon see in our days, please G-d.
In the mizmor the Jewish nation is overwhelmed with happiness because Hashem has accepted our tefillos (prayers) and has forgiven our sins. He has once again restored the intimate relationship between G-d and man, as represented by the House in which He dwells among us.
Although this mizmor begins with a reference to the Bais HaMikdash, the mizmor does not speak of it again. That is because the mizmor is not as much concerned with the physical edifice, as it is to the spiritual reality of the Bais HaMikdash — the earthly representation of the intimate relationship between Hashem and Klal Yisrael.
Navigating Tehillim. As a general celebration of the inauguration of the Bais HaMikdash, Mizmor 030 recalls Mizmor 024 which was composed to celebrate the introduction of the Ark of the Covenant into the Holy of Holies during the inauguration of the first Bais HaMikdash built by King Shlomo. It also recalls Mizmor 127 in which David reflects upon how he was consoled by the decision to allow the construction of the Bais HaMikdash to be carried out by his son Shlomo.
Exploring the Mizmor
PART 1. A SONG OF DEVOTION. In the song of celebration David speaks for his nation, proclaiming a renewed devotion to Hashem and offering thanks to Him for being saved from death and destruction.
(א) מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר חֲנֻכַּת הַבַּיִת לְדָוִד: (ב) אֲרוֹמִמְךָ ה' כִּי דִלִּיתָנִי וְלֹא שִׂמַּחְתָּ אֹיְבַי לִי: (ג) ה' אֱלֹקָי שִׁוַּעְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ וַתִּרְפָּאֵנִי: (ד) ה' הֶעֱלִיתָ מִן שְׁאוֹל נַפְשִׁי חִיִּיתַנִי מִיָּרְדִי בוֹר:
(1) A mizmor for the inauguration of the Bais HaMikdash, by David. (2) I raise You on high, Hashem, for You have drawn me up. You have not let my enemies rejoice over me. (3) Hashem, my G-d, I cried out to You and You healed me. (4) Hashem, You raised my soul from Gehinnom. You saved my life from descending to the grave.
PART 2. A CALL TO SING. David calls upon all those who have seen the building of the Bais Hamikdash to express their joy in song. He asks them to sing in praise of Hashem’s quality of forgiveness. It is because of this quality that they have been zoche (privileged) to experience the Ge’ulah (Redemption).
(ה) זַמְּרוּ לַה' חֲסִידָיו וְהוֹדוּ לְזֵכֶר קָדְשׁוֹ: (ו) כִּי רֶגַע בְּאַפּוֹ חַיִּים בִּרְצוֹנוֹ, בָּעֶרֶב יָלִין בֶּכִי וְלַבֹּקֶר רִנָּה:
(5) Sing to Hashem, [all of you who are] His devout ones and give thanks to His holy Name. (6) For His anger lasts but a moment while His favor is for a lifetime. The weeping in the evening stays overnight but there is a cry of joy in the morning.
PART 3. A COMMITMENT TO TEFILLAH. The nation looks back in song on the period of the Exile and reviews the lessons it has learned. A key lesson is that Hashem is in complete control of the world and that mankind is dependent upon His favor. To earn His favor we must ask Him to forgive our sins.
(ז) וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי בְשַׁלְוִי בַּל אֶמּוֹט לְעוֹלָם: (ח) ה' בִּרְצוֹנְךָ הֶעֱמַדְתָּה לְהַרְרִי עֹז הִסְתַּרְתָּ פָנֶיךָ הָיִיתִי נִבְהָל: (ט) אֵלֶיךָ ה' אֶקְרָא וְאֶל אֲדֹ־נָי אֶתְחַנָּן:
(7) I said in my serenity, “I will never falter.” (8) Hashem, with Your favor You supported my mountain of strength. As soon as You hid Your face I became disconcerted. (9) I will call to You, Hashem, I will appeal to my L-rd.
PART 4. A TEFILLAH RECALLED. In its song the nation recollects the tefillah in which it asked Hashem’s forgiveness.
(י) מַה בֶּצַע בְּדָמִי בְּרִדְתִּי אֶל שָׁחַת הֲיוֹדְךָ עָפָר הֲיַגִּיד אֲמִתֶּךָ: (יא) שְׁמַע ה' וְחָנֵּנִי ה' הֱיֵה עֹזֵר לִי:
(10) What gain is there for my soul in my descent to the grave? Will the dust acknowledge You? Will it declare Your truth? (11) Hear, Hashem. Favor me, Hashem. Come to my aid.
PART 5. A SONG OF JOY. The nation joyfully thanks Hashem for accepting its tefillah and granting the Ge’ulah.
(יב) הָפַכְתָּ מִסְפְּדִי לְמָחוֹל לִי פִּתַּחְתָּ שַׂקִּי וַתְּאַזְּרֵנִי שִׂמְחָה: (יג) לְמַעַן יְזַמֶּרְךָ כָבוֹד וְלֹא יִדֹּם ה' אֱלֹקַי לְעוֹלָם אוֹדֶךָּ:
(12) You converted a lament for me into dancing for me. You have undone my sackcloth. You have girded me with gladness. (13) So that [my] soul might sing to You and not be stilled. Hashem, my G-d, I will forever thank You.
Learning the Mizmor
PART 1. SONG OF DEVOTION.
(א) מִזְמוֹר 
שִׁיר חֲנֻכַּת הַבַּיִת לְדָוִד:
This mizmor is a song  מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר  to be performed at the inauguration of the future Bais Hamikdash — חֲנֻכַּת הַבַּיִת . The mizmor was composed by David — לְדָוִד .
(ב) אֲרוֹמִמְךָ ה' 
כִּי דִלִּיתָנִי
HashemYou have enabled me to proclaim Your power and majesty, which surpasses that of all living things. am now able to raise You on high, Hashem — אֲרוֹמִמְךָ ה' , for You have drawn me up — כִּי דִלִּיתָנִי  to Yourself from the depths of oppression and despair.
וְלֹא שִׂמַּחְתָּ אֹיְבַי לִי:
You have not let my enemies triumphantly rejoice over me  וְלֹא שִׂמַּחְתָּ אֹיְבַי לִי  in their thinking that I would always remain subjugated to them.
(ג) ה' אֱלֹקָי שִׁוַּעְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ 
וַתִּרְפָּאֵנִי:
Hashem, my G-d — ה' אֱלֹקָי , when I suffered, I cried out to You alone — שִׁוַּעְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ  because You have always been my sole yeshuah (salvation). You answered my tefillos and You healed me — וַתִּרְפָּאֵנִי  from the suffering of my troubled soul by forgiving my sins.
(ד) ה' הֶעֱלִיתָ מִן שְׁאוֹל נַפְשִׁי 
חִיִּיתַנִי מִיָּרְדִי בוֹר:
Hashem, You raised — ה' הֶעֱלִיתָ  my anguished soul from the experience of Gehinnom on earth  מִן שְׁאוֹל נַפְשִׁי You saved my life from descending to the grave — חִיִּיתַנִי מִיָּרְדִי בוֹר  in punishment for my sins.
PART 2. A CALL TO SING.
(ה) זַמְּרוּ לַה' חֲסִידָיו 
וְהוֹדוּ לְזֵכֶר קָדְשׁוֹ:
[David speaks to the nation:] Hashem’s forgiveness towards those who show their devotion to Him is a cause for great joy. Therefore I call upon you who have seen His generosity and goodwill: Sing praises to Hashem, all His devout ones — זַמְּרוּ לַה' חֲסִידָיו . Proclaim Hashem’s greatness to all mankind and give thanks to His holy Name  וְהוֹדוּ לְזֵכֶר קָדְשׁוֹ . The essence of Hashem is far beyond human understanding. So when you tell of your gratitude to Him you can only do so by praising His Name, which describes how He is perceived by mankind.
(ו) כִּי רֶגַע בְּאַפּוֹ 
חַיִּים בִּרְצוֹנוֹ
Even though the Exile seems to have endured for a long time, it is short in comparison to the Geulah (Redemption). For His anger lasts but a moment  כִּי רֶגַע בְּאַפּוֹ  while His favor is for a lifetime  חַיִּים בִּרְצוֹנוֹ  of eternity.
בָּעֶרֶב יָלִין בֶּכִי 
וְלַבֹּקֶר רִנָּה:
As we have seen, there may be weeping in the evening, and the grief may even stay over for the night  בָּעֶרֶב יָלִין בֶּכִי , but it is a necessary preparation for the glorious dawn, — וְלַבֹּקֶר  which will be greeted by a cry of joy  רִנָּה !
PART 3. A COMMITMENT TO TEFILLAH.
(ז) וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי בְשַׁלְוִי 
בַּל אֶמּוֹט לְעוֹלָם:
[The nation declares in song:] Before the Exile began, life was good and I became self-confident. I forgot that all is in Hashem’s hands, not my own, and so I said in my serenity  וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי בְשַׁלְוִי , “I will never falter” — בַּל אֶמּוֹט לְעוֹלָם . I thought I would never let the yetzer hara lead me astray.
(ח) ה' בִּרְצוֹנְךָ 
הֶעֱמַדְתָּה לְהַרְרִי עֹז
But Hashem, now I know that my good fortune was not my own doing. It was an exercise of Your favor — ה' בִּרְצוֹנְךָ  when You supported my mountain of growing strength — הֶעֱמַדְתָּה לְהַרְרִי עֹז . But Your favor depends on whether I am worthy.
הִסְתַּרְתָּ פָנֶיךָ 
הָיִיתִי נִבְהָל:
As soon as You hid Your face — הִסְתַּרְתָּ פָנֶיךָ  from me, I became disconcerted — הָיִיתִי נִבְהָל  and my power was no more.
(ט) אֵלֶיךָ ה' אֶקְרָא 
וְאֶל אֲדֹ־נָי אֶתְחַנָּן:
Once I realized that my sins were the source of my troubles I resolved that I will call to You, Hashem  אֵלֶיךָ ה' אֶקְרָא , because I know that I am lost without Your forgiveness. Thus, I will appeal to Hashem  וְאֶל אֲדֹ־נָי אֶתְחַנָּן  even though I knew that I am unworthy.
PART 4. A TEFILLAH RECALLED.
(י) מַה בֶּצַע בְּדָמִי 
בְּרִדְתִּי אֶל שָׁחַת
[The nation continues:] What gain is there for my living soul — מַה בֶּצַע בְּדָמִי – if I am denied entry into the Next World. If so, why was I born? What was the purpose of my years on earth if they end with my descent to the grave — בְּרִדְתִּי אֶל שָׁחַת ?
הֲיוֹדְךָ עָפָר 
הֲיַגִּיד אֲמִתֶּךָ:
Will the dust of the grave acknowledge You — הֲיוֹדְךָ עָפָר  and aspire to emulate Your middos as I can? Will it declare Your truth  הֲיַגִּיד אֲמִתֶּךָ  and bring others to Your service as I can?
(יא) שְׁמַע ה' וְחָנֵּנִי 
ה' הֱיֵה עֹזֵר לִי:
Hear me, Hashem, and recognize the sincerity of my teshuvah. Show Your favor to me Hashem  שְׁמַע ה' וְחָנֵּנִי ה'  and grant me years of life to correct my ways. Come to my aid  הֱיֵה עֹזֵר לִי  and help me carry out what I have committed to do!
PART 5. A SONG OF JOY.
(יב) הָפַכְתָּ מִסְפְּדִי 
לְמָחוֹל לִי
[The nation concludes:] You have transformed what I saw as a tragedy into a reason for celebration. Through my suffering I came to realize that I could learn to be worthy of Your favor once again. Thus, You converted what seemed an assembly of lament for me  הָפַכְתָּ מִסְפְּדִי  and my fate into a gathering of joyful dancing for me  לְמָחוֹל לִי  and my future in Your favor.
פִּתַּחְתָּ שַׂקִּי 
וַתְּאַזְּרֵנִי שִׂמְחָה:
In so doing You have undone my sackcloth  פִּתַּחְתָּ שַׂקִּי  of mourning and converted it into a precious garment. You have now girded me with gladness — וַתְּאַזְּרֵנִי שִׂמְחָה .
(יג) לְמַעַן יְזַמֶּרְךָ כָבוֹד 
וְלֹא יִדֹּם
You have done this so that my soul, which is eternal, might continue forever to sing to You  לְמַעַן יְזַמֶּרְךָ כָבוֹד  and not be stilled  וְלֹא יִדֹּם  by death.
ה' אֱלֹקַי 
לְעוֹלָם אוֹדֶךָּ:
And so, Hashem, my God — ה' אֱלֹקַי , I will forever thank You  לְעוֹלָם אוֹדֶךָּ . I will not be like those who forget their obligation of gratitude once they are comfortable in their new state.
Living the Mizmor
Listed below are some of the lessons that you can draw from this mizmor, as well as some of the thoughts you might have in mind when you say the words of the mizmor as a tefillah, expressing your devotion to Hashem.
Lessons for Life - Your Attitude.
[30:1] EFFORT. – מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר חֲנֻכַּת הַבַּיִת לְדָוִד – “A mizmor for the inauguration of the Bais HaMikdash, by David.” Learn from David’s example and do whatever you can to serve Hashem, even when you know you will not be able to see your project through to completion. It is your duty to put your efforts into doing what is right (hishtadlus), while recognizing that what ultimately happens depends on the will of Hashem.
[30:6] PAST AND FUTURE. – כִּי רֶגַע בְּאַפּוֹ חַיִּים בִּרְצוֹנוֹ – “For His anger lasts but a moment while His favor is for a lifetime.” When life seems to go against you and you find that you are experiencing the anger of Hashem, remember that His anger is short relative to the time of His good will toward you in the past. Also remember that His anger serves an important purpose. (1) It makes you appreciate how good it was to have His good will up to now. (2) It encourages you to prepare yourself for a restoration of His good will in the future.
[30:7] SELF-DELUSION. – וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי בְשַׁלְוִי בַּל אֶמּוֹט לְעוֹלָם – “I said in my serenity, ‘I will never falter.’” When things go well for you, you may be grateful, but if that good fortune persists over a period of time, you will be tempted to believe it is your own doing or just good luck. This is a delusion. Then when things turn bad for you, you will realize that your “mountain of strength” that you thought could never falter, was actually granted by the favor of Hashem.
[30:8] – ה' בִּרְצוֹנְךָ הֶעֱמַדְתָּה לְהַרְרִי עֹז – “Hashem, with Your favor You supported my mountain of strength..
[30:8] – הִסְתַּרְתָּ פָנֶיךָ הָיִיתִי נִבְהָל – “As soon as You hid Your face I became disconcerted.” You became like a small child whose parents are hidden from him.
Tefillos for Life - Your Gratitude.
[30:2] A MEASURE OF THANKS. – אֲרוֹמִמְךָ ה' כִּי דִלִּיתָנִי – “I raise You on high, Hashem, for You have drawn me up.” The greater the kindness that Hashem has shown to you, the greater is your duty to show gratitude to Him.
[30:2] TWOFOLD JOY. – וְלֹא שִׂמַּחְתָּ אֹיְבַי לִי – “You have not let my enemies rejoice over me. ” Be grateful that the resha’im have not been given the opportunity to rejoice and that they have not been given the opportunity to enjoy the public weakening of respect for Hashem.
[30:3] PERSONAL THANKS. – ה' אֱלֹקָי שִׁוַּעְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ וַתִּרְפָּאֵנִי – “Hashem, my G-d, I cried out to You alone and You healed me.” In thanking Hashem, recognize your personal relationship to Him. You didn’t just get healed; it was He who healed you.
[30:13] ETERNAL THANKS. – ה' אֱלֹקַי לְעוֹלָם אוֹדֶךָּ – “Hashem, my G-d, I will forever thank You.” A major purpose of life is the opportunity to thank Hashem. Therefore you should never waste a minute of the time when you are able to fulfill this mission. By continuing to thank Him in this world you will merit the opportunity to continue doing so in the World to Come.
Tefillos for Life - Your Relationship with Hashem.
[30:5] DEVOTION. – זַמְּרוּ לַה' חֲסִידָיו – “Sing to Hashem, [all of you who are] His devout ones.” It is not enough to be devout. Your devotion should encompass a strong sense of love toward Hashem. Be one of “His” devout ones.
[30:9] REACTION. – אֵלֶיךָ ה' אֶקְרָא וְאֶל אֲדֹ־נָי אֶתְחַנָּן – “I will call to You, Hashem, I will appeal to my L-rd.” When you experience any kind of distress, your reaction should be to turn to Hashem. Recognize that the purpose of such an event is to motivate you to call to Him.
[30:10] JUSTIFICATION. – מַה בֶּצַע בְּדָמִי בְּרִדְתִּי אֶל שָׁחַת – “What gain is there for my soul in my descent to the grave?” The basis for any appeal that you make to Hashem should not be a self-serving benefit, but to be granted an opportunity to do His will and serve Him in this life.
[30:10] – הֲיוֹדְךָ עָפָר הֲיַגִּיד אֲמִתֶּךָ – “Will the dust acknowledge You? Will it declare Your truth?” Although the souls in the World to Come will have the opportunity of praising Hashem in a state of unending glory, this still cannot equal the value to Hashem of a person praising Him out of his own free will in this world.
Tehillos for Life - Public Acclaim.
[30:5] RESPONSE. – וְהוֹדוּ לְזֵכֶר קָדְשׁוֹ – “and give thanks to His holy Name.” When you hear someone describe the miracles that Hashem has performed for him, you should respond by praising His Name.
Tefillos for Life - Your Anguish.
[30:6] PAST AND FUTURE. – בָּעֶרֶב יָלִין בֶּכִי וְלַבֹּקֶר רִנָּה – “The weeping in the evening stays overnight but there is a cry of joy in the morning.” The anguish that you experience in difficult times prepares for the joy you will feel when Hashem smiles upon you again. This includes future times of simchah in this world as well as in the World to Come.
Tefillos for Life - Your Berachah.
[30:13] THE GIFT OF LIFE. – לְמַעַן יְזַמֶּרְךָ כָבוֹד וְלֹא יִדֹּם – “So that [my] soul might sing to You and not be stilled.” The true bitterness of death is not being immersed in Torah and mitzvos.
Sources
The primary sources used in the interpretation of the verses of this mizmor are listed below.
א - רש"י, אבן עזרא, רד"ק, ספורנו,מצודות, רשר"ה
ב - רד"ק, המאירי, ספורנו, רשר"ה
ג - רש"י, אבן עזרא, רד"ק, ספורנו, מצודות, נר לרגלי
ד - ספורנו, אבן יחייא,
ה - רד"ק, ספורנו, רשר"ה
ו - רש"י, ספורנו, רשר"ה
ז - רש"י, רד"ק, ספורנו, רשר"ה
ח - רש"י, אבן עזרא, רשר"ה, נר לרגלי
ט - רד"ק, נר לרגלי, רשר"ה
י - רד"ק, אבן יחייא, נר לרגלי,
יא - ספורנו, נר לרגלי,
יב - מלבי"ם, רשר"ה
יג - רד"ק, מלבי"ם, נר לרגלי