(א) לַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד לְהַזְכִּיר: (ב) אֱלֹקִים לְהַצִּילֵנִי ה’ לְעֶזְרָתִי חוּשָׁה:
(1) For the musician, a mizmor by David, for remembrance. (2) O G-d, [hurry] to rescue me and O Hashem, [hurry] to my assistance. Hurry!
NOTE: For a PDF of this mizmor, please click here. This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article. [Rev. 0]
Key Concepts of Mizmor 070 – Remembrance
Towards the end of his life, David found himself in a situation that he thought he would never have to face again. As on many occasions throughout his life David was forced to flee his enemies with a small group of loyal supporters. However, this time the pursuing army was led by David’s own son Avshalom and so David’s confidence was badly shaken.
While composing this mizmor to ask for Hashem’s help, David thought back to previous occasions when he had turned to Hashem, pleading for a yeshuah. Despite the painful circumstance he was now in, David was heartened by memories of the times when Hashem had helped him in response to his deeply felt tefillah.
And so David modeled this mizmor on Mizmor 040, which he had composed when he was a young man, fleeing from Shaul. Just as Hashem helped him then, David hoped and prayed that He would not abandon him now in his old age, but save him again.
Navigating Tehillim. David’s conflict with Avshalom is also the subject of Mizmor 003, which describes the demoralizing effect that the rebellion had on David. In Mizmor 055 David describes how his spiritual strength was renewed through the process of composing and singing this mizmor to Hashem. The text accompanying Mizmor 055 provides further information on the historical background of Avshalom’s rebellion.
Exploring the Mizmor
This brief mizmor consists of a total of six verses, of which the last four correspond to verses 15 through 18 of Mizmor 040.
Of the six verses, the one that is totally new is verse 2, which emphasizes the urgency of David’s plight and begs Hashem to hurry in bringing the yeshuah. The plea to “hurry!” appears only once, but the verse is structured in a distinctive manner to make it appear as though it is repeatedly intoned.
(א) לַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד לְהַזְכִּיר: (ב) אֱלֹקִים לְהַצִּילֵנִי ה’ לְעֶזְרָתִי חוּשָׁה: (ג) יֵבֹשׁוּ וְיַחְפְּרוּ מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשִׁי יִסֹּגוּ אָחוֹר וְיִכָּלְמוּ חֲפֵצֵי רָעָתִי: (ד) יָשׁוּבוּ עַל־עֵקֶב בָּשְׁתָּם הָאֹמְרִים הֶאָח הֶאָח: (ה) יָשִׂישׂוּ וְיִשְׂמְחוּ בְּךָ כָּל־מְבַקְשֶׁיךָ וְיֹאמְרוּ תָמִיד יִגְדַּל אֱלֹקִים אֹהֲבֵי יְשׁוּעָתֶךָ: (ו) וַאֲנִי עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן אֱלֹקִים חוּשָׁה־לִּי עֶזְרִי וּמְפַלְטִי אַתָּה ה’ אַל־תְּאַחַר:
(1) For the musician, a mizmor by David, for remembrance. (2) O G-d, [hurry] to rescue me and O Hashem, [hurry] to my assistance. hurry! (3) May those who seek my life be embarrassed and shamed. May those who desire my harm fall back and be humiliated. (4) Let them be turned back in return for their shaming [me], those who have been exclaiming, “Hurrah, Hurrah!” (5) May all who seek You rejoice and be glad with You. Those who love [to see]Your yeshuah may they always say, “Let G-d be magnified.” (6) As for me, O G-d, I am poor and destitute. Hurry to [save] me, You are my Help and my Rescuer; Hashem, do not delay.
Learning the Mizmor
(א) לַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד לְהַזְכִּיר:
This song has been prepared for the musician — לַמְנַצֵּחַ , who will perform it. It is a mizmor composed by David — מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד – for remembrance — לְהַזְכִּיר .
(ב) אֱלֹקִים לְהַצִּילֵנִי
ה‘ לְעֶזְרָתִי חוּשָׁה:
O G-d, if I am worthy under Your rule of justice, hurry to rescue me — אֱלֹקִים לְהַצִּילֵנִי . But if I am not worthy under justice, then invoke Your quality of mercy, O Hashem, and hurry to my assistance — ה’ לְעֶזְרָתִי . But in any case, please hurry — חוּשָׁה !
(ג) יֵבֹשׁוּ וְיַחְפְּרוּ מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשִׁי
May those who seek to end my life — מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשִׁי – be embarrassed and shamed — יֵבֹשׁוּ וְיַחְפְּרוּ , once they realize that Hashem has taken my side against them.
יִסֹּגוּ אָחוֹר וְיִכָּלְמוּ חֲפֵצֵי רָעָתִי:
May those who desire my harm — חֲפֵצֵי רָעָתִי – be forced to fall back from their intention to harm me and thereby let them be humiliated — יִסֹּגוּ אָחוֹר וְיִכָּלְמוּ .
(ד) יָשׁוּבוּ עַל עֵקֶב בָּשְׁתָּם
הָאֹמְרִים הֶאָח הֶאָח:
Let my enemies be turned back in return for their shaming me — יָשׁוּבוּ עַל עֵקֶב בָּשְׁתָּם . Those are the people who have been joyfully exclaiming to each other, “Hurrah, Hurrah!” — הָאֹמְרִים הֶאָח הֶאָח , thinking they have seen my downfall both in this world and the next.
(ה) יָשִׂישׂוּ וְיִשְׂמְחוּ בְּךָ כָּל מְבַקְשֶׁיךָ
In contrast to the fate of the wicked, may all who seek to be close to You — כָּל מְבַקְשֶׁיךָ – rejoice and be glad with You — יָשִׂישׂוּ וְיִשְׂמְחוּ בְּךָ . They will be happy to see how the influence of Your Name in the world is magnified through the yeshuah.
וְיֹאמְרוּ תָמִיד יִגְדַּל אֱלֹקִים אֹהֲבֵי יְשׁוּעָתֶךָ:
And as for those who love to see Your yeshuah — אֹהֲבֵי יְשׁוּעָתֶךָ – because they want it to come from You alone, may they always be zoche (merit) to see it and therefore be able to say — וְיֹאמְרוּ תָמִיד – with confidence, “Let the judgment of G-d be magnified! — יִגְדַּל אֱלֹקִים .”
(ו) וַאֲנִי עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן אֱלֹקִים
As for me — וַאֲנִי , though I am a king, I have been humbled by my troubles and by Your judgment, O G-d and so I feel poor and destitute — עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן אֱלֹקִים .
חוּשָׁה לִּי עֶזְרִי וּמְפַלְטִי אַתָּה
ה‘ אַל תְּאַחַר:
Hurry to save me — חוּשָׁה לִּי – for You are my Help — עֶזְרִי – to save me from my those who want to kill me and You are my Rescuer — וּמְפַלְטִי אַתָּה – to save me from being caught up in my sins. Hashem, do not delay — ה’ אַל תְּאַחַר for I am old and don’t have much time left!
The primary sources used in the interpretation of the verses of this mizmor are listed below.
א – רד”ק, מלבי”ם
ב – אבן עזרא, בן־רמוך
ג – אבן עזרא, רד”ק
ד – רש”י, אבן יחייא, רשר”ה
ה – רד”ק, ספורנו, רשר”ה, נר לרגלי
ו – רד”ק, המאירי, בן־רמוך, אבן יחייא,