(א) לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד שִׁיר: (ב) לְךָ דֻמִיָּה תְהִלָּה אֱלֹקִים בְּצִיּוֹן וּלְךָ יְשֻׁלַּם נֶדֶר:
(1) For the musician, a mizmor by David, a song. (2) Silence is [the only suitable] praise to You. [You are] G-d in Tzion and to You will vows be paid.
NOTE: For a PDF of this mizmor, please click here. This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article. [Rev. 2]
Key Concepts of Mizmor 065 – A Celebration of Rain
David composed this mizmor as a song of praise and gratitude to Hashem in celebration of a generous rainfall which miraculously appeared after a long drought. David realized that the drought was a punishment for his sins and those of his people. It resulted in an intense period of teshuvah (penitence), which in turn brought about the sign of favor that Hashem showed in the form of rain.
David places the blessing of rain within the context of all the miracles of nature for which we must be thankful. He ends the mizmor with a vivid panorama of meadows, valleys, and hills clothed with vegetation and livestock, all a direct result of the blessing of rain.
Exploring the Mizmor
PART 1. FAVOR RESTORED. David begins the mizmor by acknowledging his sins and expressing appreciation for once more having been granted Hashem’s goodwill. He takes this opportunity to ask Hashem to grant him the privilege of experiencing the holiness of the Bais Hamikdash, which is yet to be built.
(א) לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד שִׁיר: (ב) לְךָ דֻמִיָּה תְהִלָּה אֱלֹקִים בְּצִיּוֹן וּלְךָ יְשֻׁלַּם נֶדֶר: (ג) שֹׁמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה עָדֶיךָ כָּל בָּשָׂר יָבֹאוּ: (ד) דִּבְרֵי עֲוֹנֹת גָּבְרוּ מֶנִּי פְּשָׁעֵינוּ אַתָּה תְכַפְּרֵם: (ה) אַשְׁרֵי תִּבְחַר וּתְקָרֵב יִשְׁכֹּן חֲצֵרֶיךָ נִשְׂבְּעָה בְּטוּב בֵּיתֶךָ קְדֹשׁ הֵיכָלֶךָ:
(1) For the musician, a mizmor by David, a song. (2) Silence is [the only suitable] praise to You. [You are] G-d in Tzion and to You will vows be paid. (3) [You are the] One that hears prayer. All mankind may come to You. (4) The consequences of sins have overwhelmed me. [Yet] You forgive our transgressions. (5) Fortunate is he whom You choose and bring near. He will dwell [in] Your courtyards. May we receive our fill of goodness [in] Your house, [the Bais Hamikdash]. [May we experience] the holiness of Your Sanctuary.
PART 2. EARTH, SKY, AND WATER. David praises the awesome miracles by which the yeshuah has come, and compares them to the miracles of nature on the earth, in the sky and across the distant seas.
(ו) נוֹרָאוֹת בְּצֶדֶק תַּעֲנֵנוּ אֱלֹקֵי יִשְׁעֵנוּ מִבְטָח כָּל קַצְוֵי אֶרֶץ וְיָם רְחֹקִים: (ז) מֵכִין הָרִים בְּכֹחוֹ נֶאְזָר בִּגְבוּרָה: (ח) מַשְׁבִּיחַ שְׁאוֹן יַמִּים שְׁאוֹן גַּלֵּיהֶם וַהֲמוֹן לְאֻמִּים: (ט) וַיִּירְאוּ יֹשְׁבֵי קְצָוֹת מֵאוֹתֹתֶיךָ מוֹצָאֵי בֹקֶר וָעֶרֶב תַּרְנִין:
(6) With awesome deeds, You answer [our tefillos] justly, O G-d of our Yeshuah. [You are the] trustworthy Refuge [to] all the ends of the earth and the far off seas. (7) [You are He Who] sets mountains with [rich vegetation], [and Who is] girded with might.  [You are He Who] calms the roar of the seas, the roar of their waves, and the turbulences of nations. (9) Those who dwell at the ends [of the earth] are awed by Your signs. [With the coming out of morning and evening, You [inspire] serenade with joyous song.
PART 3. BLESSED RAIN. David expresses gratitude to Hashem for the miracle of rain and its blessed effect upon the earth. He offers a lyrical picture of the panorama of fields and mountains clothed in their bucolic finery with flourishing vegetation and livestock.
(י) פָּקַדְתָּ הָאָרֶץ וַתְּשֹׁקְקֶהָ רַבַּת תַּעְשְׁרֶנָּה פֶּלֶג אֱלֹקִים מָלֵא מָיִם תָּכִין דְּגָנָם כִּי כֵן תְּכִינֶהָ: (יא) תְּלָמֶיהָ רַוֵּה נַחֵת גְּדוּדֶיהָ בִּרְבִיבִים תְּמֹגְגֶנָּה צִמְחָהּ תְּבָרֵךְ: (יב) עִטַּרְתָּ שְׁנַת טוֹבָתֶךָ וּמַעְגָּלֶיךָ יִרְעֲפוּן דָּשֶׁן: (יג) יִרְעֲפוּ נְאוֹת מִדְבָּר וְגִיל גְּבָעוֹת תַּחְגֹּרְנָה: (יד) לָבְשׁוּ כָרִים הַצֹּאן וַעֲמָקִים יַעַטְפוּ בָר יִתְרוֹעֲעוּ אַף יָשִׁירוּ:
(10) You restore Your attention to the earth and You irrigate it. You greatly enrich it with a stream of G-d, filled with water. You prepare their grain [by alternating drought with rain], for so do You prepare it. (11) Saturating [the earth’s] furrows, gratifying its inhabitants, You soften it with a fine rain. You bless its growth. (12) You crown the year [with] Your bounty and [the clouds] drip with plenty. (13) They drip onto the pastureland of the wilderness and the hills are girded with celebration. (14) The meadows are clothed with flocks and the valleys are covered with grain. They shout for joy, even breaking into song.
Learning the Mizmor
PART 1. FAVOR RESTORED.
(א) לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד שִׁיר:
This song has been prepared for the musician — לַמְנַצֵּחַ , who will perform it. It is a mizmor composed by David — מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד – in the special form of a song — שִׁיר – that expresses enthusiasm in praise and gratitude to Hashem.
(ב) לְךָ דֻמִיָּה תְהִלָּה
Hashem, although I stand here to sing to You, I am overwhelmed. How could a human voice begin to express Your glory? A stunned silence filled with admiration and awe is the only praise that I should dare to offer to You — לְךָ דֻמִיָּה תְהִלָּה . And yet You have asked for my tehillos.
אֱלֹקִים בְּצִיּוֹן וּלְךָ יְשֻׁלַּם נֶדֶר:
You are the all-powerful G-d — אֱלֹקִים – of the entire universe, but You have honored mankind by choosing to make Your presence known in Tzion — בְּצִיּוֹן . And although everything is Yours , You have allowed vows to be paid to You — וּלְךָ יְשֻׁלַּם נֶדֶר – in the form of sacrifices accompanied by sincere prayer.
(ג) שֹׁמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה
עָדֶיךָ כָּל בָּשָׂר יָבֹאוּ:
You are the One that hears the personal prayer — שֹׁמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה – and the deepest yearnings of every individual. Therefore, all of mankind may come to You — עָדֶיךָ כָּל בָּשָׂר יָבֹאוּ , each person approaching You directly with his personal tefillah.
(ד) דִּבְרֵי עֲוֹנֹת גָּבְרוּ מֶנִּי
פְּשָׁעֵינוּ אַתָּה תְכַפְּרֵם:
There are times when I am filled with guilt because the consequences of my sins have overwhelmed me — דִּבְרֵי עֲוֹנֹת גָּבְרוּ מֶנִּי . And yet I and my fellows are comforted by the knowledge that You accept our sincere repentance and forgive our transgressions — פְּשָׁעֵינוּ אַתָּה תְכַפְּרֵם .
(ה) אַשְׁרֵי תִּבְחַר וּתְקָרֵב
Fortunate is the person whom You choose — אַשְׁרֵי תִּבְחַר , to enable his continued spiritual growth and thereby bring him near to You — וּתְקָרֵב . He will surely dwell in Your courtyards — יִשְׁכֹּן חֲצֵרֶיךָ , in the places of tefillah and Torah all the days of his life.
נִשְׂבְּעָה בְּטוּב בֵּיתֶךָ
May we be among those fortunate few to receive and enjoy our fill of the spiritual goodness — נִשְׂבְּעָה בְּטוּב – that is present in Your house — בֵּיתֶךָ , the Bais Hamikdash, when it is built. May we experience in abundant measure the holiness of the Shechinah in Your Sanctuary — קְדֹשׁ הֵיכָלֶךָ .
PART 2. EARTH, SKY, AND WATER.
(ו) נוֹרָאוֹת בְּצֶדֶק תַּעֲנֵנוּ אֱלֹקֵי יִשְׁעֵנוּ
מִבְטָח כָּל קַצְוֵי אֶרֶץ וְיָם רְחֹקִים:
With awesome and miraculous deeds — נוֹרָאוֹת – that impress all the world, You answer our tefillos justly — תַּעֲנֵנוּ בְּצֶדֶק , O G-d of our yeshuah — אֱלֹקֵי יִשְׁעֵנוּ . You are the trustworthy Refuge — מִבְטָח – of the Jewish people, even those dispersed to all the ends of the earth — כָּל קַצְוֵי אֶרֶץ – and the far off seas — וְיָם רְחֹקִים .
(ז) מֵכִין הָרִים בְּכֹחוֹ
You are G-d Who with His strength sets the rock-hard mountains with rich vegetation — מֵכִין הָרִים בְּכֹחוֹ . You are G-d Who is girded with the might — נֶאְזָר בִּגְבוּרָה – that generates life-sustaining rain .
(ח) מַשְׁבִּיחַ שְׁאוֹן יַמִּים
שְׁאוֹן גַּלֵּיהֶם וַהֲמוֹן לְאֻמִּים:
You are G-d Who restrains and controls the violence of the powerful forces in nature and in history. Thus, it is You Who calms the violent roar of the seas — מַשְׁבִּיחַ שְׁאוֹן יַמִּים , the violent roar of their waves — שְׁאוֹן גַּלֵּיהֶם , and the turbulence of nations — וַהֲמוֹן לְאֻמִּים . The nations have been persistent in their relentless wave-like drive to overwhelm the Jewish people, but it is You Who have prevented them from achieving our destruction.
(ט) וַיִּירְאוּ יֹשְׁבֵי קְצָוֹת מֵאוֹתֹתֶיךָ
מוֹצָאֵי בֹקֶר וָעֶרֶב תַּרְנִין:
Those who dwell at the ends of the earth are awed by Your signs — וַיִּירְאוּ יֹשְׁבֵי קְצָוֹת מֵאוֹתֹתֶיךָ , that is, by the thunder and lightning that mark the appearance of rain. And with the coming out of the sun and the moon to demarcate morning and evening — מוֹצָאֵי בֹקֶר וָעֶרֶב , You inspire Your creations to serenade You with joyous song — תַּרְנִין .
PART 3. BLESSED RAIN.
(י) פָּקַדְתָּ הָאָרֶץ וַתְּשֹׁקְקֶהָ
רַבַּת תַּעְשְׁרֶנָּה פֶּלֶג אֱלֹקִים מָלֵא מָיִם
תָּכִין דְּגָנָם כִּי כֵן תְּכִינֶהָ:
You restore Your attention to the earth after a period of drought and You irrigate it — פָּקַדְתָּ הָאָרֶץ וַתְּשֹׁקְקֶהָ . Then You greatly enrich it — רַבַּת תַּעְשְׁרֶנָּה with an abundance of blessed rain, pouring out like a Divine stream of G-d, filled with water — פֶּלֶג אֱלֹקִים מָלֵא מָיִם . You prepare their grain — תָּכִין דְּגָנָם – by alternating drought with abundant rain, for so do You prepare it — כִּי כֵן תְּכִינֶהָ , to teach man to not take it for granted.
(יא) תְּלָמֶיהָ רַוֵּה
נַחֵת גְּדוּדֶיהָ בִּרְבִיבִים תְּמֹגְגֶנָּה
Saturating its furrows — תְּלָמֶיהָ רַוֵּה , gratifying its inhabitants — נַחֵת גְּדוּדֶיהָ , You soften it with a fine rain — בִּרְבִיבִים תְּמֹגְגֶנָּה . You bless its growth — צִמְחָהּ תְּבָרֵךְ to protect the produce from harm.
(יב) עִטַּרְתָּ שְׁנַת טוֹבָתֶךָ
וּמַעְגָּלֶיךָ יִרְעֲפוּן דָּשֶׁן:
With abundant crops You crown the year in which You choose to make available Your bounty — עִטַּרְתָּ שְׁנַת טוֹבָתֶךָ – and the clouds, which are Your heavenly walkways, drip with plenty — וּמַעְגָּלֶיךָ יִרְעֲפוּן דָּשֶׁן .
(יג) יִרְעֲפוּ נְאוֹת מִדְבָּר
וְגִיל גְּבָעוֹת תַּחְגֹּרְנָה:
Not only do the clouds shed their blessed rain on cultivated fields, they drip onto the pastureland of the wilderness — יִרְעֲפוּ נְאוֹת מִדְבָּר – to provide grasses for flocks and cattle. And the hills are girded with celebration — וְגִיל גְּבָעוֹת תַּחְגֹּרְנָה – because vegetation is made available to all the wild creatures of the forests.
(יד) לָבְשׁוּ כָרִים הַצֹּאן
וַעֲמָקִים יַעַטְפוּ בָר
יִתְרוֹעֲעוּ אַף יָשִׁירוּ:
The meadows clothe themselves with flocks of sheep and goats — לָבְשׁוּ כָרִים הַצֹּאן – and the valleys cover themselves with grain — וַעֲמָקִים יַעַטְפוּ בָר – for human consumption. They all shout for joy, even breaking into song — יִתְרוֹעֲעוּ אַף יָשִׁירוּ !
Living the Mizmor
Listed below are some of the thoughts you might have in mind when you say the words of the mizmor as tefillos expressing your gratitude to Hashem and as tehillos expressing your recognition of Hashem.
Tehillos for Life – Contemplation of Hashem.
[65:2] STUNNED AWE. – לְךָ דֻמִיָּה תְהִלָּה – “Silence is [the only suitable] praise to You.” You should feel a stunned awe in the presence of Hashem, an awe that makes it difficult for you to take it upon yourself to praise Him.
[65:2] TZION. – אֱלֹקִים בְּצִיּוֹן – “[You are] G-d in Tzion.” Although G-d’s presence fills the entire universe, He has chosen Tzion as a special focus.
[65:2] VOWS. – וּלְךָ יְשֻׁלַּם נֶדֶר – “to You will vows be paid.” Despite the unlimited greatness of Hashem He has chosen to accept mankind’s payments in fulfillment of vows, accompanied by sincere prayer.
[65:3] PRAYER. – שֹׁמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה עָדֶיךָ כָּל בָּשָׂר יָבֹאוּ – “[You are the] One that hears prayer. All mankind may come to You.” Although G-d’s power is unlimited, He is concerned with the prayers of each person.
[65:6] TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH. – מִבְטָח כָּל קַצְוֵי אֶרֶץ וְיָם רְחֹקִים – “[You are the] trustworthy Refuge [to] all the ends of the earth and the far off seas.” No matter where you are, in the farthest regions of the earth, you can be close to Hashem.
[65:7] VEGETATION AND RAIN. – מֵכִין הָרִים בְּכֹחוֹ נֶאְזָר בִּגְבוּרָה – “[You are He Who] sets mountains with [rich vegetation], [and Who is] girded with might.” All the wonders of nature are the work of Hashem, provided for the benefit of mankind. We should aspire to be worthy of His kindness.
[65:8] RESTRAINT. – מַשְׁבִּיחַ שְׁאוֹן יַמִּים שְׁאוֹן גַּלֵּיהֶם – “[You are He Who] calms the roar of the seas, the roar of their waves.” The greatness of Hashem is revealed, not so much in the massive power He wields, but in His ability to control and restrain that power. This is an important lesson for mankind — the art of self-restraint.
Tefillos for Life – Your Teshuvah.
[65:4] GUILT. – דִּבְרֵי עֲוֹנֹת גָּבְרוּ מֶנִּי פְּשָׁעֵינוּ אַתָּה תְכַפְּרֵם – “The consequences of sins have overwhelmed me. [Yet] You forgive our transgressions.” You should feel overwhelming guilt because of your sins against Hashem. But that still shouldn’t stop you from turning to Him and begging forgiveness.
Lessons for Life – Your Attitude.
[65:5] NEARNESS. – אַשְׁרֵי תִּבְחַר וּתְקָרֵב – “Fortunate is He Whom You choose and bring near.” Aspire to achieve spiritual closeness to Hashem and ask Him to help you towards this goal.
The primary sources used in the interpretation of the verses of this mizmor are listed below.
א – מלבי”ם, דעת סופרים
ב – רש”י
ג – מצודות, מלבי”ם, רשר”ה
ד – אלשיך, מצודות, רשר”ה
ה – רש”י, אבן עזרא, מלבי”ם
ו – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, מצודות
ז – רש”י, אלשיך
ח – רש”י, אבן עזרא, רד”ק, אלשיך, רשר”ה
ט – רד”ק, מצודות
י – רש”י, רד”ק, מלבי”ם, רשר”ה
יא – רש”י, מצודות, דעת סופרים
יב – רש”י, רד”ק, מצודות
יג -, רד”ק, אלשיך,
יד – רש”י