(א) מַשְׂכִּיל לְאָסָף הַאֲזִינָה עַמִּי תּוֹרָתִי הַטּוּ אָזְנְכֶם לְאִמְרֵי־פִי:
(1) A song of enlightenment by Asaph. Listen, my people, to my teaching; incline your ear to the words of my mouth.
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Key Concepts of Mizmor 078 (Lessons of History)
In this mizmor the prophet Asaph offers a song of enlightenment (maskil) in the form of a historical review. It suggests the lessons to be learned from the experiences of the Jewish people in the years leading up to the establishment of the royal House of David. In a sense, everything that happened to the nation from the time that they left Mitzrayim was a preparation for this new era. This mizmor offers us a new perspective on the liberation of the Jewish people from Mitzrayim. The exodus from Mitzrayim could not be considered complete until the people had begun living a life of Torah in their ancestral home in Eretz Yisrael under the royal House of David. It was through David’s accession to the throne that Yerushalayim became in fact the chosen dwelling place of the Divine Presence among His people.
The generation that came out of Mitzrayim and roamed the Midbar for 40 years was an essential link in the chain of the Mesorah. In a matter of weeks they rose from the lowest status of abject slavery to the glory of witnessing the greatness of Hashem at Sinai. To some extent they had earned this privilege by their devotion and trust in Hashem. Even so, they were very far from perfect. They quickly fell from their noble peak of spiritual greatness and loyalty to Hashem. Although they were to reach great heights of devotion, there were many times when they fell back from those heights.
Asaph does not relate the events of this era in strict chronological order because he is more concerned with the lessons to be learned. The key element of these lessons is to remember the past and the significance of what happened.
Asaph begins by reminding the people of the present generation not to forget the wonders that Hashem performed for their ancestors. He briefly reviews the locations in which these wonders occurred, starting with the wonders performed in Mitzrayim, and then going on to the parting of the Sea at the entrance to the Midbar.
Asaph then recalls how our ancestors were fed in the Midbar with the miraculous bread called manna. Despite this great blessing our ancestors foolishly challenged Hashem because He had not provided them with fresh meat as well. They convinced themselves that the lack of meat signaled an inability on the part of their Creator to provide them with whatever they craved.
Tragically, their lack of faith and trust in Hashem elicited a time of harsh judgment against them. But first He granted them their wish in the form of a miraculous flight of quail, which fell in the midst of their camp. While they were still gorging themselves on the meat, they were struck by calamity and many died.
Asaph then turns to the incident of the spies that had been sent to scout out the Land. The effects of their distorted report and the reaction of the people to that report were tragic indeed. They involved an entire generation of Klal Yisrael being deemed unworthy of entering Eretz Yisrael. As a result the people of that generation were brought to a premature end in the Midbar. Sadly, although they went through the motions of doing teshuvah, their repentance was not sincere and they were not completely forgiven.
However, Hashem ultimately softened His anger towards them and He allowed their children to enter the Land that they had treated with such disdain.
Neverthless, Asaph emphasizes that the people failed to adequately respond to Hashem’s forbearance. They sinned again in the Midbar, showing that they still did not adequately recall the miracles and the retributions which He had inflicted upon their cruel taskmasters in Mitzrayim. And so Asaph reviews how the nation of Mitzrayim was finally persuaded to release its hold on Yisrael by means of the 10 plagues.
Asaph then recalls how Hashem immediately took direct and active responsibility for His people and brought them to Eretz Yisrael. This sequence includes the miraculous parting of the Sea of Reeds and ends with the process of conquest of Canaan and settlement in the Land.
After the death of Yehoshua the brilliant progress that had been made in building a new nation was interrupted by a serious backward movement. This occurred during the period of the Shoftim (Judges) when the Holy Ark was temporarily housed in a Tabernacle that had been set up at Shiloh in the territory of the tribe Ephraim. Sadly, at this time, many of the people turned away from their total commitment to the laws the Torah. The tragic events of this period represented a rejection of the central role that had been played up to this time by the tribe of Ephraim.
All the factors that made Yehudah special now came together. Yehudah’s territory was chosen as the site of the Bais HaMikdash, Hashem’s permanent abode among His people. And David was chosen to found a line of kings that would govern the entire nation from their capital in Yerushalayim.
David rose to prominence from the lowest of positions, a shepherd tending his father’s flocks. However, it was this background which demonstrated his special suitability to lead the nation with unlimited love, devotion, and humility.
Exploring the Mizmor
PART 1. INTRODUCTION. Asaph opens the mizmor with a call to the people to pay close attention to the lessons to be learned from their history. He emphasizes the authenticity of the events that he is about to describe. This authenticity is based on the mesorah, a handing down of trusted knowledge from generation to generation, starting with the great assemblage of people who personally witnessed the events being described. The first lesson of history is to trust in Hashem and observe His mitzvos because they are authentic and true.
(א) מַשְׂכִּיל לְאָסָף הַאֲזִינָה עַמִּי תּוֹרָתִי הַטּוּ אָזְנְכֶם לְאִמְרֵי־פִי: (ב) אֶפְתְּחָה בְמָשָׁל פִּי אַבִּיעָה חִידוֹת מִנִּי־קֶדֶם: (ג) אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְנוּ וַנֵּדָעֵם וַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ סִפְּרוּ־לָנוּ: (ד) לֹא נְכַחֵד מִבְּנֵיהֶם לְדוֹר אַחֲרוֹן מְסַפְּרִים תְּהִלּוֹת ה’ וֶעֱזוּזוֹ וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה: (ה) וַיָּקֶם עֵדוּת בְּיַעֲקֹב וְתוֹרָה שָׂם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֶת־אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לְהוֹדִיעָם לִבְנֵיהֶם:
(ו) לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ דּוֹר אַחֲרוֹן בָּנִים יִוָּלֵדוּ יָקֻמוּ וִיסַפְּרוּ לִבְנֵיהֶם: (ז) וְיָשִׂימוּ בֵאלֹקִים כִּסְלָם וְלֹא יִשְׁכְּחוּ מַעַלְלֵי־אֵ־ל וּמִצְוֹתָיו יִנְצֹרוּ:
(1) A song of enlightenment by Asaph. Listen, my people, to my teaching; incline your ear to the words of my mouth. (2) I will open my mouth with allegorical language; I will resolve the riddles from early times. (3) [These are things] that we have heard and they are known to us. Our fore-fathers related them to us. (4) We will not withhold [them] from their descendants in the next generation, telling [them] the praises of Hashem, His might and the wondrous acts that He wrought. (5) For He established testimony in Yaakov and He ordained a Torah in Yisrael, which He charged our fathers to make known to their children. (6) So that a future generation may know, the children yet to be born; they will mature and tell their own children. (7) And they will place their unshakable trust in G-d, and not forget the acts of G-d, and observe his mitzvos.
PART 2. THE INCONSTANT GENERATION. Asaph admonishes the people not to emulate the negative qualities of their ancestors who entered the Midbar after being liberated by Hashem. The mere fact that the generation of the Midbar was not constant in their devotion was a great failing. How could they so quickly forget the wonders that were still fresh in their minds? There were even some elements associated with the tribe of Ephraim who opposed the will of Hashem and rejected the leadership destiny of the tribe of Yehudah. They resisted Hashem’s wish to establish Yerushalayim as the seat of royalty and the domicile of the Shechinah in the future Bais HaMikdash.
(ח) וְלֹא יִהְיוּ כַּאֲבוֹתָם דּוֹר סוֹרֵר וּמֹרֶה דּוֹר לֹא־הֵכִין לִבּוֹ וְלֹא־נֶאֶמְנָה אֶת־אֵל רוּחוֹ: (ט) בְּנֵי־אֶפְרַיִם נוֹשְׁקֵי רוֹמֵי־קָשֶׁת הָפְכוּ בְּיוֹם קְרָב: (י) לֹא שָׁמְרוּ בְּרִית אֱלֹהִים וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ מֵאֲנוּ לָלֶכֶת: (יא) וַיִּשְׁכְּחוּ עֲלִילוֹתָיו וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר הֶרְאָם:
(8) That they not become like their fathers, a wayward and rebellious generation, a generation that did not dedicate its heart, and whose spirit was not steadfastly true to G-d. (9) Though the sons of Ephraim were armed archers, they retreated on the day of battle [and suffered a great defeat in retributiuon for their sins]. (10) They did not keep the covenant of G-d and they refused to follow His Torah. (11) They forgot His deeds and the wonders that He had shown them.
PART 3. A SERIES OF WONDERS. Asaph begins his review with the wonders that occurred in Mitzrayim itself. He emphasizes that the wonders were performed out in the open, even in the countryside of Tzoan, which was the capital district. He then goes on to the dramatic parting of the sea which occurred as soon as the people left Mitzrayim. He concludes with the wonders that sustained the people as they traveled through the Midbar. Especially notable were the columns of cloud and fire that guided the people through that wilderness. Also notable were the bountiful sources of fresh water which were made available to them despite the harsh land that they were passing through.
(יב) נֶגֶד אֲבוֹתָם עָשָׂה פֶלֶא בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם שְׂדֵה־צֹעַן: (יג) בָּקַע יָם וַיַּעֲבִירֵם וַיַּצֶּב־מַיִם כְּמוֹ־נֵד:(יד) וַיַּנְחֵם בֶּעָנָן יוֹמָם וְכָל־הַלַּיְלָה בְּאוֹר אֵשׁ: (טו) יְבַקַּע צֻרִים בַּמִּדְבָּר וַיַּשְׁקְ כִּתְהֹמוֹת רַבָּה: (טז) וַיּוֹצִא נוֹזְלִים מִסָּלַע וַיּוֹרֶד כַּנְּהָרוֹת מָיִם:
(12) [The people of our generation should know that] He performed wonders in the presence of their ancestors in the land of Mitzrayim, the countryside of Tzoan. (13) He parted the sea and brought them through, and He stood the water [upright] like a wall. (14) He led them with a cloud by day and [then] throughout the night with a light of fire. (15) He split rocks in the Midbar and gave them [fresh water] to drink as if from the great deep. (16) He brought forth streaming water from the rock and caused waters to run down through the camp like rivers.
PART 4. FEEDING THE MULTITUDES.
(1) Challenging Hashem
This part of the Mizmor begins with the demand for meat, a request that was framed in the form of a brazen challenge rather than a humble request.
(יז) וַיּוֹסִיפוּ עוֹד לַחֲטֹא־לוֹ לַמְרוֹת עֶלְיוֹן בַּצִּיָּה: (יח) וַיְנַסּוּ־אֵל בִּלְבָבָם לִשְׁאָל־אֹכֶל לְנַפְשָׁם: (יט) וַיְדַבְּרוּ בֵּאלֹקִים אָמְרוּ הֲיוּכַל אֵ־ל לַעֲרֹךְ שֻׁלְחָן בַּמִּדְבָּר: (כ) הֵן הִכָּה־צוּר וַיָּזוּבוּ מַיִם וּנְחָלִים יִשְׁטֹפוּ הֲגַם־לֶחֶם יוּכַל תֵּת אִם־יָכִין שְׁאֵר לְעַמּוֹ:
(17) But they continued to sin against Him, defying the Most High in the parched land. (18) They challenged G-d in their hearts by demanding food for their craving. (19) They spoke against G-d, saying,”Can G-d provide a [fully] set table in the wilderness?” (20) “True, He struck a rock and water flowed and streams gushed forth, but can He also provide bread? Can He also supply meat for His people?”
(2) The Miraculous Manna
Asaph describes how the people’s ingratitude angered Hashem, especially in light of the manna which they had already been receiving.
(כא) לָכֵן שָׁמַע ה’ וַיִּתְעַבָּר וְאֵשׁ נִשְּׂקָה בְיַעֲקֹב וְגַם־אַף עָלָה בְיִשְׂרָאֵל: (כב) כִּי לֹא הֶאֱמִינוּ בֵּאלֹהִים וְלֹא בָטְחוּ בִּישׁוּעָתוֹ: (כג) וַיְצַו שְׁחָקִים מִמָּעַל וְדַלְתֵי שָׁמַיִם פָּתָח: (כד) וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם מָן לֶאֱכֹל וּדְגַן־שָׁמַיִם נָתַן לָמוֹ: (כה) לֶחֶם אַבִּירִים אָכַל אִישׁ צֵידָה שָׁלַח לָהֶם לָשֹׂבַע: (כו) יַסַּע קָדִים בַּשָּׁמָיִם וַיְנַהֵג בְּעֻזּוֹ תֵימָן: (כז) וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם כֶּעָפָר שְׁאֵר וּכְחוֹל יַמִּים עוֹף כָּנָף:
(21) And so Hashem heard [their thoughts] and became angry. A fire was kindled against Yaakov and wrath also flared against Yisrael … (22) … because they did not believe in G-d and they did not trust in His yeshuah … (23) … [although] He had already commanded the skies above and opened the gates of heaven … (24) …. and rained upon them manna to eat, giving them heavenly grain. (25) Man ate the bread of angels; He sent [along with] them provisions in abundance.
(3) The Miraculous Quail
The first reaction of Hashem to the demand for meat was to provide the people with a flight of quail, which they immediately consumed.
(כו) יַסַּע קָדִים בַּשָּׁמָיִם וַיְנַהֵג בְּעֻזּוֹ תֵימָן: (כז) וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם כֶּעָפָר שְׁאֵר וּכְחוֹל יַמִּים עוֹף כָּנָף: (כח) וַיַּפֵּל בְּקֶרֶב מַחֲנֵהוּ סָבִיב לְמִשְׁכְּנֹתָיו: (כט) וַיֹּאכְלוּ וַיִּשְׂבְּעוּ מְאֹד וְתַאֲוָתָם יָבִא לָהֶם:
(26) [Now] He made the east wind blow through the heavens and He guided the south wind with His strength. (27) He rained savory meat upon them like dust, winged birds like the sand of sea. (28) He let them fall inside His camp, all around His dwellings. (29) So they ate and were abundantly satisfied for He brought them what they craved.
(4) Divine Punishment
This part of the mizmor concludes with a brief description of the high price the people were made to pay for the pleasure they thought was so important to them.
(ל) לֹא־זָרוּ מִתַּאֲוָתָם עוֹד אָכְלָם בְּפִיהֶם: (לא) וְאַף אֱלֹהִים עָלָה בָהֶם וַיַּהֲרֹג בְּמִשְׁמַנֵּיהֶם וּבַחוּרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הִכְרִיעַ:
(30) They had not yet lost their craving; their food was still in their mouth … (31) when the anger of G-d flared against them. So He slew the sturdiest among them and He struck down the finest among the young men of Yisrael.
PART 5. A TRAGIC SIN. Although the people had witnessed the power of Hashem with their own eyes, they still had difficulty believing that His sheltering presence would continue into the indefinite future. And so they were ready to be influenced by the frightening stories that the spies brought back from their scouting trip into the Land of Canaan. This failure of trust in Hashem was to cost them dearly. They were made to wander in the Midbar and when the time came to enter the Holy Land, the promise of a bright future would not be fulfilled until the entire generation had come to the end of their days in the desolate wilderness.
(לב) בְּכָל־זֹאת חָטְאוּ־עוֹד וְלֹא־הֶאֱמִינוּ בְּנִפְלְאוֹתָיו: (לג) וַיְכַל־בַּהֶבֶל יְמֵיהֶם וּשְׁנוֹתָם בַּבֶּהָלָה: (לד) אִם־הֲרָגָם וּדְרָשׁוּהוּ וְשָׁבוּ וְשִׁחֲרוּ־אֵ־ל: (לה) וַיִּזְכְּרוּ כִּי־אֱלֹקִים צוּרָם וְאֵ־ל עֶלְיוֹן גֹּאֲלָם: (לו) וַיְפַתּוּהוּ בְּפִיהֶם וּבִלְשׁוֹנָם יְכַזְּבוּ־לוֹ: (לז) וְלִבָּם לֹא־נָכוֹן עִמּוֹ וְלֹא נֶאֶמְנוּ בִּבְרִיתוֹ:
(32) In spite of all this, they continued to sin; they did not have faith in [the power of] His wonders. (33) So He ended their days in futility and their years in bewildered fear. (34) When He struck them with death, they sought Him out. Then they turned back and prayed to G-d. (35) They then realized that G-d was their Rock and their Redeemer was the Most High G-d. (36) But they [were still not sincere and] thought they could beguile Him with their mouths and deceive Him with their tongues. (37) Their heart was not steadfast with Him and they were not faithful to His covenant.
PART 6. FORGIVENESS. The two factors that contributed to Hashem’s forgiveness are presented in two corresponding verses.
First of all, there is the eternal quality of mercy that characterizes Hashem. In effect, His mercy overcame His anger.
Secondly, Hashem knew that human beings are not perfect and so He chose not to demand perfection of them. The imperfection of human beings is inherent in the way they were created from base materials. Although they have the potential to rise above their limitations to the greatest spiritual heights, they are beset with a destructive spirit, the yetzer hara (evil inclination), which goads them to follow their imagination instead of the truth that is all around them.
(לח) וְהוּא רַחוּם יְכַפֵּר עָוֹן וְלֹא־יַשְׁחִית וְהִרְבָּה לְהָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ וְלֹא־יָעִיר כָּל־חֲמָתוֹ:
(לט) וַיִּזְכֹּר כִּי־בָשָׂר הֵמָּה רוּחַ הוֹלֵךְ וְלֹא יָשׁוּב:
(38) But He is merciful. He forgives iniquity and does not impose utter destruction. Time and again He pulls back His rage and does not let all His wrathful feelings be provoked. (39) [And so He showed forgiveness to them] for He remembered that they were but flesh, with a capricious spirit that goes [after fantasies] and does not return [to G-d].
PART 7. REMEMBERING MITZRAYIM. Hashem had forgiven the sins of His people even though they were unworthy. But now Asaph recalls that Hashem’s kindness did not prevent them from sinning again in the Midbar, and subsequently in Eretz Yisrael. These later sins suggested that the people had tragically put out of their minds the miraculous power that Hashem displayed in bringing about their freedom from the slavery of Mitzrayim.
And so Asaph reminds his listeners of the spectacular retribution that Hashem delivered in Mitzrayim, which His people failed to remember adequately. He especially calls attention to the most dramatic of the ten plagues, concluding with the most dramatic of all, the slaying of the firstborn.
(1) Failure to Remember.
(מ) כַּמָּה יַמְרוּהוּ בַמִּדְבָּר יַעֲצִיבוּהוּ בִּישִׁימוֹן: (מא) וַיָּשׁוּבוּ וַיְנַסּוּ אֵל וּקְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל הִתְווּ: (מב) לֹא־זָכְרוּ אֶת־יָדוֹ יוֹם אֲשֶׁר־פָּדָם מִנִּי־צָר:(מג) אֲשֶׁר־שָׂם בְּמִצְרַיִם אֹתוֹתָיו וּמוֹפְתָיו בִּשְׂדֵה־צֹעַן:
(40) How often did they rebel against Him in the Midbar and distress Him in that desolate wasteland! (41) They repeatedly tested [the patience of] G-d by setting bounds to the Holy One of Israel. (42) They did not remember the power of His hand, the day He redeemed them from the oppressor, (43) how he set His signs in Mitzrayim and His wonders in the countryside of Tzoan.
(2) Five Plagues
(מד) וַיַּהֲפֹךְ לְדָם יְאֹרֵיהֶם וְנֹזְלֵיהֶם בַּל־יִשְׁתָּיוּן: (מה) יְשַׁלַּח בָּהֶם עָרֹב וַיֹּאכְלֵם וּצְפַרְדֵּעַ וַתַּשְׁחִיתֵם: (מו) וַיִּתֵּן לֶחָסִיל יְבוּלָם וִיגִיעָם לָאַרְבֶּה: (מז) יַהֲרֹג בַּבָּרָד גַּפְנָם וְשִׁקְמוֹתָם בַּחֲנָמַל: (מח) וַיַּסְגֵּר לַבָּרָד בְּעִירָם וּמִקְנֵיהֶם לָרְשָׁפִים:
(44) [They did not remember how] turned their rivers into bloodand [made] their flowing waters undrinkable. (45) He sent against them [beasts of] the wild that devoured them, and frogs that poisoned them. (46) He gave their produce to the grasshopper and He gave [the fruit of] their toil to the locust. (47) He killed their grapevines with hail and their fig-trees with biting frost. (48) He delivered their cattle to the hail and their flocks to fiery [lightning] bolts.
(מט) יְשַׁלַּח־בָּם חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ עֶבְרָה וָזַעַם וְצָרָה מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים: (נ) יְפַלֵּס נָתִיב לְאַפּוֹ לֹא־חָשַׂךְ מִמָּוֶת נַפְשָׁם וְחַיָּתָם לַדֶּבֶר הִסְגִּיר: (נא) וַיַּךְ כָּל־בְּכוֹר בְּמִצְרָיִם רֵאשִׁית אוֹנִים בְּאָהֳלֵי־חָם:
(49) [In punishment for their wanton cruelty] He sent His burning rage against them, [which He expressed through] wrath, fury, and trouble. [In summary, it was] a mission of destructive emissaries. (50) He paved a path for His anger [to descend to earth]. He did not spare their lives from death and He delivered their animals to pestilence. (51) He struck every firstborn in Mitzrayim, the first fruit of their manhood in the tents of Cham.
PART 8. COMING HOME. Asaph now approaches the entry of the people into Eretz Yisrael. The first step was their physical exodus into the Midbar, immediately followed by the miraculous parting of the Sea of Reeds. Asaph has previously reviewed the events of the Midbar itself, and so he now skips directly to the arrival in Eretz Yisrael, where he recalls how Hashem guided the tribes of Yisrael in the process of conquest and settlement.
(נב) וַיַּסַּע כַּצֹּאן עַמּוֹ וַיְנַהֲגֵם כַּעֵדֶר בַּמִּדְבָּר: (נג) וַיַּנְחֵם לָבֶטַח וְלֹא פָחָדוּ וְאֶת־אוֹיְבֵיהֶם כִּסָּה הַיָּם: (נד) וַיְבִיאֵם אֶל־גְּבוּל קָדְשׁוֹ הַר־זֶה קָנְתָה יְמִינוֹ: (נה) וַיְגָרֶשׁ מִפְּנֵיהֶם גּוֹיִם וַיַּפִּילֵם בְּחֶבֶל נַחֲלָה וַיַּשְׁכֵּן בְּאָהֳלֵיהֶם שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
(52) He led His nation [as a shepherd drives his] sheep and He drove them like a flock into the Midbar. (53) He led them securely and they had no fear for they had seen how the sea covered their foes. (54) He brought them to His sacred boundary [of Eretz Yisrael] and to this mountain [the Bais HaMikdash in Yerushalayim] that His right Hand acquired. (55) Then He drove out [the seven] nations from before them and apportioned [to each tribe its] inheritance with a measuring line. And He took residence in the tents [of His people].
PART 9. REJECTING EPHRAIM. During the period when the Tabernacle was in Shiloh, the people continued to recognize Hashem as the Supreme Power that created the world. However, they could not help being influenced by the culture of the surrounding nations. As a result they began to think there might be other powers that they needed to placate. Such an attitude is unacceptable because it denies a core concept of our emunah, that Hashem is the only true power in the universe.
As long as the Shechinah (Hashem’s Divine presence) remained in Shiloh, this location and the tribe of Ephraim were effectively the center of the nation. But Yisrael’s offense angered Hashem so much that He removed His presence from Shiloh. In conjunction with this, Hashem allowed the Ark to be captured by the Plishtim, a nation that that had been Yisrael’s enemy for many years. Furthermore, a fierce battle with the Plishtim resulted in the destruction of the Tabernacle at Shiloh and the loss of 30,000 Jewish warriors. These events were characterized by Asaph as the rejection of the central role that had been played up to this time by the tribe of Ephraim and by the memory of Yosef HaTzadik, the tribe’s ancestor.
(נו) וַיְנַסּוּ וַיַּמְרוּ אֶת־אֱלֹהִים עֶלְיוֹן וְעֵדוֹתָיו לֹא שָׁמָרוּ: (נז) וַיִּסֹּגוּ וַיִּבְגְּדוּ כַּאֲבוֹתָם נֶהְפְּכוּ כְּקֶשֶׁת רְמִיָּה: (נח) וַיַּכְעִיסוּהוּ בְּבָמוֹתָם וּבִפְסִילֵיהֶם יַקְנִיאוּהוּ: (נט) שָׁמַע אֱלֹהִים וַיִּתְעַבָּר וַיִּמְאַס מְאֹד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל: (ס) וַיִּטֹּשׁ מִשְׁכַּן שִׁלוֹ אֹהֶל שִׁכֵּן בָּאָדָם: (סא) וַיִּתֵּן לַשְּׁבִי עֻזּוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ בְיַד־צָר: (סב) וַיַּסְגֵּר לַחֶרֶב עַמּוֹ וּבְנַחֲלָתוֹ הִתְעַבָּר: (סג) בַּחוּרָיו אָכְלָה־אֵשׁ וּבְתוּלֹתָיו לֹא הוּלָּלוּ: (סד) כֹּהֲנָיו בַּחֶרֶב נָפָלוּ וְאַלְמְנֹתָיו לֹא תִבְכֶּינָה: (סה) וַיִּקַץ כְּיָשֵׁן אֲדֹנָי כְּגִבּוֹר מִתְרוֹנֵן מִיָּיִן: (סו) וַיַּךְ־צָרָיו אָחוֹר חֶרְפַּת עוֹלָם נָתַן לָמוֹ: (סז) וַיִּמְאַס בְּאֹהֶל יוֹסֵף וּבְשֵׁבֶט אֶפְרַיִם לֹא בָחָר:
(56) The people tried [the patience] of G-d the Most High and rebelled. And so they did not keep His precepts. (57) They backslid and betrayed [Him] as their ancestors [had done]. They reversed [direction] like a treacherous bow. (58) They angered Him with their high altars and they provoked Him with their idols. (59) G-d heard their voices [of idol worship] and became enraged. (60) He abandoned the Tabernacle of Shiloh, the very tent where He had dwelled among men. (61) He delivered [the holy Ark representing] His strength into captivity and [put] His splendor into the oppressor’s hand. (62) He gave His people over to the sword and His anger overflowed against His inheritance. (63) Fire consumed His young men and His maidens had no marriage celebration. (64) His Kohanim fell by the sword; their widows did not [even have a chance to] weep. (65) Then Hashem awoke as if from sleep, like a warrior shaking off the [effects of] wine. (66) He [then] beat His enemies into retreat and dealt them a lasting insult. (67) But He rejected Shiloh, the tent of Yosef and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.
PART 10. THE ASCENDANCE OF YEHUDAH. Here Asaph presents the climactic conclusion of the mizmor. All the travails that Yisrael experienced and all the lessons they learned brought the nation to a new level in their relationship with Hashem. At long last the tribe of Yehudah, was given the opportunity to realize its full potential of leadership.
(סח) וַיִּבְחַר אֶת־שֵׁבֶט יְהוּדָה אֶת־הַר צִיּוֹן אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב: (סט) וַיִּבֶן כְּמוֹ־רָמִים מִקְדָּשׁוֹ כְּאֶרֶץ יְסָדָהּ לְעוֹלָם: (ע) וַיִּבְחַר בְּדָוִד עַבְדּוֹ וַיִּקָּחֵהוּ מִמִּכְלְאֹת צֹאן: (עא) מֵאַחַר עָלוֹת הֱבִיאוֹ לִרְעוֹת בְּיַעֲקֹב עַמּוֹ וּבְיִשְׂרָאֵל נַחֲלָתוֹ: (עב) וַיִּרְעֵם כְּתֹם לְבָבוֹ וּבִתְבוּנוֹת כַּפָּיו יַנְחֵם:
(68) He chose the tribe of Yehudah, with Mount Tzion that He loves. (69) And He built His Bais HaMikdash, [everlasting] like the highest heavens; like the earth He established it forever. (70) He chose David, His servant, and took him from the sheep corrals. (71) From minding the nursing ewes He brought him to tend to Yaakov, His nation, and to Yisrael, His inheritance. (72) He tended them [with goodness and wisdom], consistent with the innocent conscientiousness of his heart. And he led them with the skill of his hands.
Learning the Mizmor
PART 1. INTRODUCTION
(א) מַשְׂכִּיל לְאָסָף
הַאֲזִינָה עַמִּי תּוֹרָתִי
הַטּוּ אָזְנְכֶם לְאִמְרֵי פִי:
A song of enlightenment by Asaph — מַשְׂכִּיל לְאָסָף . Listen, my worthy people, to my teaching — הַאֲזִינָה עַמִּי תּוֹרָתִי . Even if you are not in need of my sermon, you will receive a reward for just listening. And to the multitudes of the nation I say, incline your ear and pay special attention to the words of my mouth — הַטּוּ אָזְנְכֶם לְאִמְרֵי־פִי , so that you will not be punished as were your ancestors.
(ב) אֶפְתְּחָה בְמָשָׁל פִּי
אַבִּיעָה חִידוֹת מִנִּי קֶדֶם:
I will open my mouth with allegorical language — אֶפְתְּחָה בְמָשָׁל פִּי to help you visualize my themes and concepts. I will resolve the riddles posed by the relationship between historical events that have been handed down from early times — אַבִּיעָה חִידוֹת מִנִּי־קֶדֶם .
(ג) אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְנוּ וַנֵּדָעֵם
וַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ סִפְּרוּ לָנוּ:
The things that I will tell you are not folk tales. They are things that we have heard — אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְנוּ – through an authentic mesorah passed down by righteous people. And they are known — וַנֵּדָעֵם – to us from the Torah of Moshe Rabbeinu. These are stories that were originally told by those who witnessed the events. In fact it was our fore-fathers that went out of Mitzrayim who have related them to us — וַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ סִפְּרוּ־לָנוּ – and it is not in the nature of a father to give false reports to his children.
(ד) לֹא נְכַחֵד מִבְּנֵיהֶם לְדוֹר אַחֲרוֹן
מְסַפְּרִים תְּהִלּוֹת ה’
וֶעֱזוּזוֹ וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה:
We, in turn, will not withhold these things from our own children who are their descendants — לֹא נְכַחֵד מִבְּנֵיהֶם – in the next generation — לְדוֹר אַחֲרוֹן , and to every generation that follows, telling them the praises of Hashem — מְסַפְּרִים תְּהִלּוֹת ה’ , His might and the wondrous acts that He wrought — וֶעֱזוּזוֹ וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה . We thereby continue the mesorah, making our sons and daughters the spiritual heirs of our own fathers and mothers.
(ה) וַיָּקֶם עֵדוּת בְּיַעֲקֹב וְתוֹרָה שָׂם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל
אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֶת אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לְהוֹדִיעָם לִבְנֵיהֶם:
For He established an eternal testimony in Yaakov — וַיָּקֶם עֵדוּת בְּיַעֲקֹב , attesting to all that happened to the nation over the centuries. And He ordained a Torah in Yisrael — וְתוֹרָה שָׂם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל , teaching His laws and principles of morality and integrity, which He charged our fathers — אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֶת־אֲבוֹתֵינוּ , to make known to their children — לְהוֹדִיעָם לִבְנֵיהֶם – throughout all the generations..
(ו) לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ דּוֹר אַחֲרוֹן בָּנִים יִוָּלֵדוּ
יָקֻמוּ וִיסַפְּרוּ לִבְנֵיהֶם:
So that a future generation may know — לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ דּוֹר אַחֲרוֹן , the children yet to be born — בָּנִים יִוָּלֵדוּ . So that they will mature and tell their own children — יָקֻמוּ וִיסַפְּרוּ לִבְנֵיהֶם so that the chain will be unbroken throughout all the future Exiles and persecutions. When one center of Torah learning is destroyed, another will rise up in its place.
(ז) וְיָשִׂימוּ בֵאֱלֹקִים כִּסְלָם
וְלֹא יִשְׁכְּחוּ מַעַלְלֵי אֵל וּמִצְוֹתָיו יִנְצֹרוּ:
So that upon hearing and being convinced of everything that He has done, that they will place their unshakable trust in G-d — וְיָשִׂימוּ בֵאלֹקִים כִּסְלָם , and not forget the acts of G-d — וְלֹא יִשְׁכְּחוּ מַעַלְלֵי־אֵל . Despite all the challenges that they may face they will never give up their hope and trust in His mercy. And as a result, they will continue to faithfully observe His mitzvos — וּמִצְוֹתָיו יִנְצֹרוּ . For they will realize that there is no other power in heaven or earth that could have done and would have done what He did for them in the past.
PART 2. THE INCONSTANT GENERATION
(ח) וְלֹא יִהְיוּ כַּאֲבוֹתָם דּוֹר סוֹרֵר וּמֹרֶה
דּוֹר לֹא הֵכִין לִבּוֹ וְלֹא נֶאֶמְנָה אֶת אֵ־ל רוּחוֹ:
That they not become like their fathers — וְלֹא יִהְיוּ כַּאֲבוֹתָם who went out of Mitzrayim, a wayward and rebellious generation — דּוֹר סוֹרֵר וּמֹרֶה . It was a generation that did not consistently dedicate its heart — דּוֹר לֹא־הֵכִין לִבּוֹ – to the word of Hashem, and whose spirit was not steadfastly true to G-d — וְלֹא־נֶאֶמְנָה אֶת־אֵ־ל רוּחוֹ .
(ט) בְּנֵי אֶפְרַיִם נוֹשְׁקֵי רוֹמֵי קָשֶׁת
הָפְכוּ בְּיוֹם קְרָב:
The failings of that generation were seen in the sons of Ephraim — בְּנֵי־אֶפְרַיִם , who resisted the establishment of Yerushalayim as the location of the future Bais HaMikdash, preferring to see it in Shiloh instead. They defied the will of Hashem and so they were ultimately punished by being defeated in battle against the Plishtim. Though they were armed archers — נוֹשְׁקֵי רוֹמֵי־קָשֶׁת , they retreated on the day of battle — הָפְכוּ בְּיוֹם קְרָב .
(י) לֹא שָׁמְרוּ בְּרִית אֱלֹקִים
וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ מֵאֲנוּ לָלֶכֶת:
Hashem wanted to save them but in three ways they failed to take advantage of what they should have done to be worthy of His support. (1) They did not keep the covenant of G-d — לֹא שָׁמְרוּ בְּרִית אֱלֹקִים , which He made with them at Sinai, and (2) they refused to follow His Torah — וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ מֵאֲנוּ לָלֶכֶת .
(יא) וַיִּשְׁכְּחוּ עֲלִילוֹתָיו
וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר הֶרְאָם:
(3) They forgot His deeds — וַיִּשְׁכְּחוּ עֲלִילוֹתָיו – that he performed in Mitzrayim to bnring about the redemption, and the spectacular wonders which He showed them — וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר הֶרְאָם – at the Sea and in the Midbar. Besides the openly visible miracles, there were so many that were apparent, although hidden.
PART 3. A SERIES OF WONDERS
(יב) נֶגֶד אֲבוֹתָם עָשָׂה פֶלֶא
בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם שְׂדֵה צֹעַן:
Surely the people alive today are aware how He performed wonders in the presence of their ancestors — נֶגֶד אֲבוֹתָם עָשָׂה פֶלֶא , in the land of Mitzrayim — בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם , in public view in the countryside of Tzoan — שְׂדֵה־צֹעַן , the capital of Mitzrayim, where the most important people of that nation resided.
(יג) בָּקַע יָם וַיַּעֲבִירֵם
וַיַּצֶּב מַיִם כְּמוֹ נֵד:
And then after they left Mitzrayim, He parted the sea and brought them through — בָּקַע יָם וַיַּעֲבִירֵם as a father carries a child, and He stood the water upright like a wall — וַיַּצֶּב־מַיִם כְּמוֹ־נֵד in a way that His hand was made obvious to all the world.
(יד) וַיַּנְחֵם בֶּעָנָן יוֹמָם
וְכָל הַלַּיְלָה בְּאוֹר אֵשׁ:
As they traveled through the desolate Midbar He led them with a cloud by day — וַיַּנְחֵם בֶּעָנָן יוֹמָם – to show them the way and protect them from the heat of the sun. And He led them throughout the night with a light of fire — וְכָל־הַלַּיְלָה בְּאוֹר אֵשׁ – until the day had fully dawned. The fire was not only to light their path, but also to provide light for all their needs at night, and also to provide warmth during the cold desert nights.
(טו) יְבַקַּע צֻרִים בַּמִּדְבָּר
וַיַּשְׁקְ כִּתְהֹמוֹת רַבָּה:
He split rocks in the widerness of the Midbar — יְבַקַּע צֻרִים בַּמִּדְבָּר on many occasions, and gave them fresh water to drink — וַיַּשְׁקְ . Even though they were in the middle of a parched desert the water flowed in abundance as if from an unending supply in the great deep — כִּתְהֹמוֹת רַבָּה , .
(טז) וַיּוֹצִא נוֹזְלִים מִסָּלַע
וַיּוֹרֶד כַּנְּהָרוֹת מָיִם:
He brought forth streaming water from the rock — וַיּוֹצִא נוֹזְלִים מִסָּלַע , and caused waters to run down in torrents from the high rock through the camp like rivers — וַיּוֹרֶד כַּנְּהָרוֹת מָיִם .
PART 4. FEEDING THE MULTITUDES
(1) Challenging Hashem
(יז) וַיּוֹסִיפוּ עוֹד לַחֲטֹא לוֹ
לַמְרוֹת עֶלְיוֹן בַּצִּיָּה:
But after having sinned with their impatient demands for water and then seeing the miracles by which the water came, they continued to sin against Him — וַיּוֹסִיפוּ עוֹד לַחֲטֹא־לוֹ , defying the Most High in the parched land — לַמְרוֹת עֶלְיוֹן בַּצִּיָּה . Even in the vast desert where they had no one beside Him, they challenged the omnipotence of Hashem, thinking that His power was delegated to lesser gods.
(יח) וַיְנַסּוּ אֵ־ל בִּלְבָבָם
לִשְׁאָל אֹכֶל לְנַפְשָׁם:
They challenged G-d in their hearts — וַיְנַסּוּ־אֵ־ל בִּלְבָבָם , by demanding food that they did not need, only to satisfy their craving — לִשְׁאָל־אֹכֶל לְנַפְשָׁם . The manna was good and tasty, yet they asked for meat to see if He could do it. However, they didn’t say this outright. Their claim was that they needed meat. Although their defiance was primarily in their heart, Hasahem heard their thoughts (verse 21).
(יט) וַיְדַבְּרוּ בֵּאלֹקִים
אָמְרוּ הֲיוּכַל אֵ־ל לַעֲרֹךְ שֻׁלְחָן בַּמִּדְבָּר:
They spoke against G-d — וַיְדַבְּרוּ בֵּאלֹקִים , as if to be saying, “Can G-d provide a fully set table to serve meat in the wilderness — אָמְרוּ הֲיוּכַל אֵ־ל לַעֲרֹךְ שֻׁלְחָן בַּמִּדְבָּר where there is no human habitation?” Why did they raise the level of their expectation to an unreasonable level, if not to challenge Hashem?
(כ) הֵן הִכָּה צוּר וַיָּזוּבוּ מַיִם וּנְחָלִים יִשְׁטֹפוּ
הֲגַם לֶחֶם יוּכַל תֵּת אִם יָכִין שְׁאֵר לְעַמּוֹ:
“Where is the limit of His capacity? True, He struck a rock and water flowed and streams gushed forth — הֵן הִכָּה־צוּר וַיָּזוּבוּ מַיִם וּנְחָלִים יִשְׁטֹפוּ , but can He also provide bread — הֲגַם־לֶחֶם יוּכַל תֵּת ? Is He not using up His resources? And if He provided water and bread (manna), can He also supply meat for His people — אִם־יָכִין שְׁאֵר לְעַמּוֹ ?”
(2) The Miraculous Manna
(כא) לָכֵן שָׁמַע ה’ וַיִּתְעַבָּר
וְאֵשׁ נִשְּׂקָה בְיַעֲקֹב וְגַם אַף עָלָה בְיִשְׂרָאֵל:
And so — לָכֵן , even though they spoke in their hearts and not aloud, Hashem heard their thoughts and became angry — שָׁמַע ה’ וַיִּתְעַבָּר . A fire of rage was kindled against Yaakov — וְאֵשׁ נִשְּׂקָה בְיַעֲקֹב , referring to the people who were seeking pretexts for complaint as mentioned in Bamidbar 11:1. And wrath also flared against Yisrael — וְגַם־אַף עָלָה בְיִשְׂרָאֵל , referring to the finer elements of the people who were influenced by the riff-raff among them in a separate incident, as mentioned in 11:4 ibid.
(כב) כִּי לֹא הֶאֱמִינוּ בֵּאלֹקִים
וְלֹא בָטְחוּ בִּישׁוּעָתוֹ:
The anger of Hashem was not so much because of the request for meat as such, but because it meant that they did not believe in the ability of G-d — כִּי לֹא הֶאֱמִינוּ בֵּאלֹקִים to give them what they asked nor did they believe He had their interest at heart in everything He did. And so they did not place their trust in His yeshuah — וְלֹא בָטְחוּ בִּישׁוּעָתוֹ . They did not feel they could completely rely upon Him to save them in the future.
(כג) וַיְצַו שְׁחָקִים מִמָּעַל
וְדַלְתֵי שָׁמַיִם פָּתָח:
Furthermore, Hashem was angry because they did not learn a lesson from His previous kindness to them. He had already commanded the skies above — וַיְצַו שְׁחָקִים מִמָּעַל , and opened the gates of heaven — וְדַלְתֵי שָׁמַיִם פָּתָח , changing the very laws of nature to provide them with a generous supply of miraculous food on a daily basis.
(כד) וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם מָן לֶאֱכֹל
וּדְגַן שָׁמַיִם נָתַן לָמוֹ:
From heaven He rained upon them manna to eat — וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם מָן לֶאֱכֹל , and He gave them heavenly grain — וּדְגַן־שָׁמַיִם נָתַן לָמוֹ – to help them develop the spiritual side of their being.
(כה) לֶחֶם אַבִּירִים אָכַל אִישׁ
צֵידָה שָׁלַח לָהֶם לָשֹׂבַע:
Man ate the bread of angels — לֶחֶם אַבִּירִים אָכַל אִישׁ , a miracle food that left no residue in the body. Wherever the people went He sent along with them provisions in abundance — צֵידָה שָׁלַח לָהֶם לָשֹׂבַע –so that even though the manna had the characteristics of a spiritual food each person who ate it felt satiated.
(3) The Miraculous Quail
(כו) יַסַּע קָדִים בַּשָּׁמָיִם
וַיְנַהֵג בְּעֻזּוֹ תֵימָן:
And now order to provide fresh meat to the people Hashem used a combination of winds to bring up huge quantities of quail from the south-east. He made the east wind blow through the heavens — יַסַּע קָדִים בַּשָּׁמָיִם – to drive the quail across the sea and He guided the south wind with His strength — וַיְנַהֵג בְּעֻזּוֹ תֵימָן – to waft them in the direction of the camps of Yisrael.
(כז) וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם כֶּעָפָר שְׁאֵר
וּכְחוֹל יַמִּים עוֹף כָּנָף:
And He rained savory meat upon them like dust — וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם כֶּעָפָר שְׁאֵר , in the form of winged birds, which did not fly away but plummeted to earth like the sand of sea — וּכְחוֹל יַמִּים עוֹף כָּנָף . There were so many of them that they were like dust, but intead being blown away like dust, they fell to the ground like sand at the seashore.
(כח) וַיַּפֵּל בְּקֶרֶב מַחֲנֵהוּ
Hashem let them fall inside His camp — וַיַּפֵּל בְּקֶרֶב מַחֲנֵהוּ , all around His dwellings — סָבִיב לְמִשְׁכְּנֹתָיו , clearing showing the people that the quail were being provided to feed them. The quail fell conveniently nearby but not directly on the dwellings.
(כט) וַיֹּאכְלוּ וַיִּשְׂבְּעוּ מְאֹד
וְתַאֲוָתָם יָבִא לָהֶם:
So they ate and their appetites were abundantly satisfied — וַיֹּאכְלוּ וַיִּשְׂבְּעוּ מְאֹד , for He brought them what they craved — וְתַאֲוָתָם יָבִא לָהֶם . Despite the fact that the people continued eating eating the quail day after day, they did not find it revolting. On the contrary, their appetites kept increasing. This was a sign that their motivation was not simple appetite, but defiance.
(4) Divine Punishment
(ל) לֹא זָרוּ מִתַּאֲוָתָם
עוֹד אָכְלָם בְּפִיהֶם:
They had not yet lost their craving — לֹא־זָרוּ מִתַּאֲוָתָם ; their craving had not yet turned into disgust even they had eaten more than their fill. Their food was still in their mouth — עוֹד אָכְלָם בְּפִיהֶם and they were still enjoying it, …
(לא) וְאַף אֱלֹקִים עָלָה בָהֶם
וּבַחוּרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הִכְרִיעַ:
… when the anger of G-d flared against them — וְאַף אֱלֹקִים עָלָה בָהֶם because they should have been satisfied with the manna of Heaven, which was designed their spiritual health. And they should have regretted their having pressed for rich meat instead of eating it gluttonously. So He slew the sturdiest among them — וַיַּהֲרֹג בְּמִשְׁמַנֵּיהֶם , so that no one could claim they were brought down by the rigors of overeating. And He struck down the finest among the young men of Yisrael — וּבַחוּרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הִכְרִיעַ to clearly demonstrate that this was a punishment for their sin.
PART 5. A TRAGIC SIN
(לב) בְּכָל זֹאת חָטְאוּ עוֹד
וְלֹא הֶאֱמִינוּ בְּנִפְלְאוֹתָיו:
In spite of all this, they continued to sin — בְּכָל־זֹאת חָטְאוּ־עוֹד . Their most fateful sin was to support the spies (Bamidbar 13:27-33) who wanted to give up the dream of the Land of Canaan and return to Mitzrayim. Despite the miracles they had witnessed, they did not have faith in the power of His wonders — וְלֹא־הֶאֱמִינוּ בְּנִפְלְאוֹתָיו and so they questioned His ability to deliver the Land of Canaan into their hands.
(לג) וַיְכַל בַּהֶבֶל יְמֵיהֶם
— וַיְכַל־בַּהֶבֶל יְמֵיהֶם for even when they found courage, they were not permitted entry into the Holy Land. And He ended their years in bewildered fear — וּשְׁנוֹתָם בַּבֶּהָלָה – for they had been sentenced to die in the Wilderness.
(לד) אִם הֲרָגָם וּדְרָשׁוּהוּ
וְשָׁבוּ וְשִׁחֲרוּ אֵ־ל:
When He struck them with the penalty of death in the wilderness , they sought Him out — אִם־הֲרָגָם וּדְרָשׁוּהוּ – in the desperate hope that they would still be able to annul the decree. It was only then that they turned back and prayed to G-d — וְשָׁבוּ וְשִׁחֲרוּ־אֵל .
(לה) וַיִּזְכְּרוּ כִּי אֱלֹקִים צוּרָם
וְאֵ־ל עֶלְיוֹן גֹּאֲלָם: ֹ
They then recognized in their prayers that G-d was their Rock — וַיִּזְכְּרוּ כִּי־אֱלֹקִים צוּרָם , and that their Redeemer was the Most High G-d — וְאֵ־ל עֶלְיוֹן גֹּאֲלָם , Who does not depend on any other power.
(לו) וַיְפַתּוּהוּ בְּפִיהֶם
וּבִלְשׁוֹנָם יְכַזְּבוּ לוֹ:
But they were still not sincere and thought they could beguile Him with their mouths — וַיְפַתּוּהוּ בְּפִיהֶם , and deceive Him with their tongues — וּבִלְשׁוֹנָם יְכַזְּבוּ־לוֹ . They thought Hashem would forgive them based on their prayerful words alone, as if He did not know what was in their hearts. Their teshuvah was not sincere but a misguided attempt to fool G-d.
(לז) וְלִבָּם לֹא נָכוֹן עִמּוֹ
וְלֹא נֶאֶמְנוּ בִּבְרִיתוֹ:
The essence of tefillah was missing because their heart was not steadfast with Him — וְלִבָּם לֹא־נָכוֹן עִמּוֹ . They did not resolve never to sin again and they were not faithful to His covenant — וְלֹא נֶאֶמְנוּ בִּבְרִיתוֹ . By rights Hashem should not have forgiven them, but He did ultimately grant forgiveness in order to encourage future generations to do teshuvah and ask forgiveness for their sins.
PART 6. FORGIVENESS
(לח) וְהוּא רַחוּם יְכַפֵּר עָוֹן וְלֹא יַשְׁחִית
וְהִרְבָּה לְהָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ
וְלֹא יָעִיר כָּל חֲמָתוֹ:
But even when teshuvah is inadequate, He is Merciful — וְהוּא רַחוּם . He forgives iniquity and although harsh measures may be needed He does not impose utter destruction — יְכַפֵּר עָוֹן וְלֹא־יַשְׁחִית . Time and again He pulls back His rage — וְהִרְבָּה לְהָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ , and does not let all His wrathful feelings be provoked — וְלֹא־יָעִיר כָּל־חֲמָתוֹ .
(לט) וַיִּזְכֹּר כִּי בָשָׂר הֵמָּה
רוּחַ הוֹלֵךְ וְלֹא יָשׁוּב:
And so when He punished our ancestors, He did not expose them to the full brunt of His anger. For He remembered that they were but flesh — וַיִּזְכֹּר כִּי־בָשָׂר הֵמָּה , which is subject to powerful physical appetites. And they are subject to a capricious spirit that goes — רוּחַ הוֹלֵךְ after fantasies of the flesh. This is the yetzer hara (evil inclination), which does not return — וְלֹא יָשׁוּב from its materialistic path to reflect upon the ways of G-d.
PART 7. REMEMBERING MITZRAYIM.
(1) Failure to Remember
(מ) כַּמָּה יַמְרוּהוּ בַמִּדְבָּר
Despite Hashem’s merciful forgiveness our ancestors continued to defy Him. How often did they rebel against Him in the Midbar ! — כַּמָּה יַמְרוּהוּ בַמִּדְבָּר . And how often did they distress Him in that desolate wasteland — יַעֲצִיבוּהוּ בִּישִׁימוֹן , a place which turned out to be very fitting for them !
(מא) וַיָּשׁוּבוּ וַיְנַסּוּ אֵ־ל
וּקְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל הִתְווּ::
They repeatedly tested the patience of G-d — וַיָּשׁוּבוּ וַיְנַסּוּ אֵ־ל , alternately doing teshuvah and then sinning again. They effectively tried to see how much disobedience He would tolerate. They set bounds to the Holy One of Israel — וּקְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל הִתְווּ , by assuming His power to be limited and then asking for signs that His power went even further.
(מב) לֹא זָכְרוּ אֶת יָדוֹ
יוֹם אֲשֶׁר פָּדָם מִנִּי צָר:
They did not remember with fear the power of His hand — לֹא־זָכְרוּ אֶת־יָדוֹ – which He showed in Mitzrayim, the day He redeemed them from Pharaoh the oppressor — יוֹם אֲשֶׁר־פָּדָם מִנִּי־צָר . They thought the power of miracles had come to an end with the final dramatic event of the death of the firstborn.
(מג) אֲשֶׁר שָׂם בְּמִצְרַיִם אֹתוֹתָיו
וּמוֹפְתָיו בִּשְׂדֵה צֹעַן:
They did not remember how he set His signs in Mitzrayim — אֲשֶׁר־שָׂם בְּמִצְרַיִם אֹתוֹתָיו . The signs were the marvelous occurrences within nature, such as the plagues of hail and locusts. And they did not remember His wonders in the countryside of Tzoan — וּמוֹפְתָיו בִּשְׂדֵה־צֹעַן , the capital of Mitzrayim, where the most important people of that nation resided. The wonders were the miraculous events that went beyond the framework of nature like the plague of blood.
(2) Five Plagues
(מד) וַיַּהֲפֹךְ לְדָם יְאֹרֵיהֶם
וְנֹזְלֵיהֶם בַּל יִשְׁתָּיוּן:
They did not remember how He turned their sacred rivers into blood — וַיַּהֲפֹךְ לְדָם יְאֹרֵיהֶם – and how He made their flowing waters undrinkable — וְנֹזְלֵיהֶם בַּל־יִשְׁתָּיוּן . Even though flowing water is usually fresh, their waters reeked with a foul odor and became not even drinkable by animals.
(מה) יְשַׁלַּח בָּהֶם עָרֹב וַיֹּאכְלֵם
He sent against them ferocious beasts of the wild — יְשַׁלַּח בָּהֶם עָרֹב – that attacked men, women, and children, and devoured them — וַיֹּאכְלֵם . And into their ovens and their bread He sent diseased frogs — וּצְפַרְדֵּעַ ithat poisoned and disgusted them — וַתַּשְׁחִיתֵם .
(מו) וַיִּתֵּן לֶחָסִיל יְבוּלָם
He gave their produce, which they counted on for food, to the grasshopper — וַיִּתֵּן לֶחָסִיל יְבוּלָם , and He gave the fruit of their toil to the locust — וִיגִיעָם לָאַרְבֶּה . Several types on locust attacked Mitzrayim at once.
(מז) יַהֲרֹג בַּבָּרָד גַּפְנָם
The succulent grapes and figs had been the pride of Mitzrayim, but He killed their grapevines with hail — יַהֲרֹג בַּבָּרָד גַּפְנָם , which had the effect of drying out the vines so they could not grow again. And He killed their fig-trees with biting frost — וְשִׁקְמוֹתָם בַּחֲנָמַל . The calamities of hail and frost were totally unknown to Mitzrayim, a dry tropical land.
(מח) וַיַּסְגֵּר לַבָּרָד בְּעִירָם
He delivered their cattle to the hail — וַיַּסְגֵּר לַבָּרָד בְּעִירָם , and their flocks to fiery lightning bolts — וּמִקְנֵיהֶם לָרְשָׁפִים that appeared in the hail.
(מט) יְשַׁלַּח בָּם חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ
עֶבְרָה וָזַעַם וְצָרָה
מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים:
In reaction to the wanton cruelty of the people of Mitzrayim, Hashem sent His burning rage against them — יְשַׁלַּח־בָּם חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ – in the form of all the 10 plagues. Because of Hashem’s burning rage, each of the 10 plagues was as severe as if it consisted of several plagues.
Hashem’s rage was expressed through the emotions of wrath — עֶבְרָה – which caused Him to overcome His quality of mercy, fury — וָזַעַם , which caused Him to want to destroy them completely, and trouble — וְצָרָה , which caused Him to want to extend their punishment, even when they began to regret their behavior. In summary, the plagues were a mission of destructive emissaries — מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים , expressing the will of Hashem.
(נ) יְפַלֵּס נָתִיב לְאַפּוֹ
לֹא חָשַׂךְ מִמָּוֶת נַפְשָׁם וְחַיָּתָם לַדֶּבֶר הִסְגִּיר:
He paved a path for His anger to descend to earth — יְפַלֵּס נָתִיב לְאַפּוֹ – so that death came only to those for whom it was intended. He did not spare their lives from death — לֹא־חָשַׂךְ מִמָּוֶת נַפְשָׁם – if they were destined to die, and He delivered their animals to pestilence — וְחַיָּתָם לַדֶּבֶר הִסְגִּיר .
(נא) וַיַּךְ כָּל בְּכוֹר בְּמִצְרָיִם
רֵאשִׁית אוֹנִים בְּאָהֳלֵי חָם:
He struck every firstborn in Mitzrayim — וַיַּךְ כָּל־בְּכוֹר בְּמִצְרָיִם , the first fruit of their manhood in the tents of Cham. — רֵאשִׁית אוֹנִים בְּאָהֳלֵי־חָם . Cham was the ancestor of the people of Mitzrayim. His lack of respect for his father Noach (Bereishis 1:22) demonstrated a character defect which was reflected in the behavior of his descendants in the Land of Mitzrayim.
PART 8. COMING HOME.
(נב) וַיַּסַּע כַּצֹּאן עַמּוֹ
וַיְנַהֲגֵם כַּעֵדֶר בַּמִּדְבָּר:
After the tenth plague He led His nation from Mitzrayim at their own pace as a shepherd drives his sheep — וַיַּסַּע כַּצֹּאן עַמּוֹ . He drove them like a flock into the desolate Midbar — וַיְנַהֲגֵם כַּעֵדֶר בַּמִּדְבָּר , where he provided for all their needs with the manna and the water from the miraculous well of Miriam. The people followed His lead like a flock of sheep responding to their shepherd.
(נג) וַיַּנְחֵם לָבֶטַח וְלֹא פָחָדוּ
וְאֶת אוֹיְבֵיהֶם כִּסָּה הַיָּם:
He led them securely through the Sea of Reeds into the Midbar — וַיַּנְחֵם לָבֶטַח . They were initially afraid when they saw the might of Mitzrayim hemming them in at the shore of the sea, but they began to recover their confidence when Moshe Rabbeinu assured them that Hashem would bring a great yeshuah. Then the sea parted miraculously and they successfully crossed to the other side. At that point they had no fear at all — וְלֹא פָחָדוּ , for they saw with their own eyes that the sea had covered their foes — וְאֶת־אוֹיְבֵיהֶם כִּסָּה הַיָּם .
(נד) וַיְבִיאֵם אֶל גְּבוּל קָדְשׁוֹ
הַר זֶה קָנְתָה יְמִינוֹ:
And He brought them to Eretz Yisrael, His sacred boundary — וַיְבִיאֵם אֶל־גְּבוּל קָדְשׁוֹ , and to the Bais HaMikdash, this mountain that His right hand acquired — הַר־זֶה קָנְתָה יְמִינוֹ – in order to maintain His permanent presence there.
(נה) וַיְגָרֶשׁ מִפְּנֵיהֶם גּוֹיִם
וַיַּפִּילֵם בְּחֶבֶל נַחֲלָה
וַיַּשְׁכֵּן בְּאָהֳלֵיהֶם שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
Then He drove out the seven nations from before them — וַיְגָרֶשׁ מִפְּנֵיהֶם גּוֹיִם and apportioned to each tribe its inheritance with a measuring line — וַיַּפִּילֵם בְּחֶבֶל נַחֲלָה . After the Land had been subdivided His presence settled in the tents — וַיַּשְׁכֵּן בְּאָהֳלֵיהֶם שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל – of Yisrael.
PART 9. REJECTING EPHRAIM.
(נו) וַיְנַסּוּ וַיַּמְרוּ אֶת אֱלֹקִים עֶלְיוֹן
וְעֵדוֹתָיו לֹא שָׁמָרוּ:
But in the era of the Shoftim (Judges), soon after the death of Yehoshua and the Elders the people tried the patience of G-d the Most High and ultimately they rebelled against Him— וַיְנַסּוּ וַיַּמְרוּ אֶת אֱלֹקִים עֶלְיוֹן . They conjectured that perhaps Hashem’s place was in Heaven and that He was not concerned with the affairs of man, and so they did not keep His precepts — וְעֵדוֹתָיו לֹא שָׁמָרוּ . In effect they were challenging Him to see whether He would respond to their misbehavior.
(נז) וַיִּסֹּגוּ וַיִּבְגְּדוּ כַּאֲבוֹתָם
נֶהְפְּכוּ כְּקֶשֶׁת רְמִיָּה:
They backslid and betrayed — וַיִּסֹּגוּ וַיִּבְגְּדוּ – their commitment to Hashem as their ancestors — כַּאֲבוֹתָם , who came out of Mitzrayim had done. In effect, they reversed their direction like a treacherous bow — נֶהְפְּכוּ כְּקֶשֶׁת רְמִיָּה , whose arrows strike the shooter instead of the enemy. They were to continue the progress made by the previous generation that settled Eretz Yisrael. But instead they reverted to the faults of that generation’s forefathers who had sinned in the Midbar.
(נח) וַיַּכְעִיסוּהוּ בְּבָמוֹתָם
They angered Him with their unauthorized high altars — וַיַּכְעִיסוּהוּ בְּבָמוֹתָם . Even though some of the sacrifices on these private altars were exclusively devoted to Hashem, they were unsupervised in contrast to the sacrifices offered at the Sanctuary in Shiloh. Thus, they were subject to gross violations, such as offerings to heavenly bodies because many people were not yet convinced that Hashem was the only G-d.
They provoked Him with their idols — וּבִפְסִילֵיהֶם יַקְנִיאוּהוּ . Even though in some idols were used as icons for Hashem, they were clear violations of the Torah’s strict injunction against graven images.
(נט) שָׁמַע אֱלֹקִים וַיִּתְעַבָּר
וַיִּמְאַס מְאֹד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל:
When G-d heard the voices of Yisrael raised in worship at their high altars, He became enraged — שָׁמַע אֱלֹקִים וַיִּתְעַבָּר . Indeed, at that time He found Yisrael utterly loathsome — וַיִּמְאַס מְאֹד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל . – As a result, He removed His Shechinah (Divine presence) from the Tabernacle (Mishkan) that housed the holy Ark in Shiloh. The Ark itself was then casptured by the Plishtim and taken into exile.
(ס) וַיִּטֹּשׁ מִשְׁכַּן שִׁלוֹ
אֹהֶל שִׁכֵּן בָּאָדָם:
Hashem’s anger was felt by the entire nation for He abandoned the Tabernacle of Shiloh — וַיִּטֹּשׁ מִשְׁכַּן שִׁלוֹ , and it was destroyed by the Plishtim. This Tabernacle was the very tent where the Shechinah had dwelled among men — אֹהֶל שִׁכֵּן בָּאָדָם , as it says “I shall rest My Presence among the Children of Yisrael “(Shemos 29:45).
(סא) וַיִּתֵּן לַשְּׁבִי עֻזּוֹ
וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ בְיַד צָר:
In His rage He delivered the holy Ark representing His strength into captivity — וַיִּתֵּן לַשְּׁבִי עֻזּוֹ , and with it He gave over His splendor into the oppressor’s hand — וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ בְיַד צָר for He allowed the Plishtim to be victorious.
(סב) וַיַּסְגֵּר לַחֶרֶב עַמּוֹ
He gave His people over to the sword — וַיַּסְגֵּר לַחֶרֶב עַמּוֹ , and His anger overflowed against His inheritance — וּבְנַחֲלָתוֹ הִתְעַבָּר . In the tragic war with the Plishtim 30,000 men of Yisrael died in battle. In effect, Hashem was angry that Yisrael was His inheritance for they were unworthy.
(סג) בַּחוּרָיו אָכְלָה אֵשׁ
וּבְתוּלֹתָיו לֹא הוּלָּלוּ:
The fire of war and the heat of Hashem’s anger consumed His young fighting men — בַּחוּרָיו אָכְלָה אֵשׁ , and His maidens had no marriage celebration — וּבְתוּלֹתָיו לֹא הוּלָּלוּ , because there were no young men for the maidens to marry.
(סד) כֹּהֲנָיו בַּחֶרֶב נָפָלוּ
וְאַלְמְנֹתָיו לֹא תִבְכֶּינָה:
His Kohanim, including the sons of Eli the Kohen Gadol, fell by the sword — כֹּהֲנָיו בַּחֶרֶב נָפָלוּ when the Ark was captured. Their widows did not have a chance to weep— וְאַלְמְנֹתָיו לֹא תִבְכֶּינָה because they were overwhelmed by the pain of the loss of the Ark.
(סה) וַיִּקַץ כְּיָשֵׁן אֲדֹ־נָי
כְּגִבּוֹר מִתְרוֹנֵן מִיָּיִן:
It seemed then to the Plishtim that Hashem awoke as if from sleep — וַיִּקַץ כְּיָשֵׁן אֲדֹ־נָי , like a warrior shaking off the effects of wine — כְּגִבּוֹר מִתְרוֹנֵן מִיָּיִן . Hashem had been quiet for a long time while His Ark was treated like spoils of war and Yisrael was devastated by war.
(סו) וַיַּךְ צָרָיו אָחוֹר
חֶרְפַּת עוֹלָם נָתַן לָמוֹ:
He beat His enemies the Plishtim into retreat— וַיַּךְ צָרָיו אָחוֹר . He dealt them a lasting insult— חֶרְפַּת עוֹלָם נָתַן לָמוֹ in the form of an embarrasing affliction of hemorrhoids, and compelled them to return the Ark accompanied by gifts of tribute.
(סז) וַיִּמְאַס בְּאֹהֶל יוֹסֵף
וּבְשֵׁבֶט אֶפְרַיִם לֹא בָחָר:
But the long-term effect of this incident was that He rejected Shiloh, the tent of Yosef — וַיִּמְאַס בְּאֹהֶל יוֹסֵף and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim — וּבְשֵׁבֶט אֶפְרַיִם לֹא בָחָר . After that time, the Ark was no longer stationed in the territory of Ephraim nut was shifted from location to location until David HaMelech finally brought it to Yerushalayim.
PART 10. THE ASCENDANCE OF YEHUDAH.
(סח) וַיִּבְחַר אֶת שֵׁבֶט יְהוּדָה
אֶת הַר צִיּוֹן אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב:
He chose the tribe of Yehudah — וַיִּבְחַר אֶת־שֵׁבֶט יְהוּדָה as the family of royalty to lead his His nation. And in the territory of Yehudah He chose Mount Tzion — אֶת־הַר צִיּוֹן אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב as the site of His permanent presence. This was the location that He loves — אֶת־הַר צִיּוֹן אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב: because it is there that Yitzchak was bound upon the altar in a demonstration of faith.
(סט) וַיִּבֶן כְּמוֹ רָמִים מִקְדָּשׁוֹ
כְּאֶרֶץ יְסָדָהּ לְעוֹלָם:
And there He built His Bais HaMikdash to be in that location forever like the highest heavens — וַיִּבֶן כְּמוֹ־רָמִים מִקְדָּשׁ , which are eternally changeless. And like the earth He established the location of His residence forever — כְּאֶרֶץ יְסָדָהּ לְעוֹלָם .This was in contrast to the previous Sanctuaries in Gilgal, Shiloh, Nov, and Givon, each which was meant to be temporary.
(ע) וַיִּבְחַר בְּדָוִד עַבְדּוֹ
וַיִּקָּחֵהוּ מִמִּכְלְאֹת צֹאן:
He chose David, His servant — וַיִּבְחַר בְּדָוִד עַבְדּוֹ to rule as king over Yisrael, and took him from the sheep corrals — וַיִּקָּחֵהוּ מִמִּכְלְאֹת צֹאן to inaugurate a royal dynasty that would last forever. It was there in the sheep corrals that David demonstrated his devotion and selflessness that were to make him the model of a worthy king for all time.
(עא) מֵאַחַר עָלוֹת הֱבִיאוֹ
לִרְעוֹת בְּיַעֲקֹב עַמּוֹ וּבְיִשְׂרָאֵל נַחֲלָתוֹ:
From minding the nursing ewes and their young lambs with sensitivity and patience He brought him — מֵאַחַר עָלוֹת הֱבִיאוֹ to Yerushalayim to tend to Yaakov, His nation, and to Yisrael, His inheritance — לִרְעוֹת בְּיַעֲקֹב עַמּוֹ וּבְיִשְׂרָאֵל נַחֲלָתוֹ .
(עב) וַיִּרְעֵם כְּתֹם לְבָבוֹ
וּבִתְבוּנוֹת כַּפָּיו יַנְחֵם:
He tended them with goodness and wisdom, consistent with the innocent conscientiousness of his heart — וַיִּרְעֵם כְּתֹם לְבָבוֹ . And he led them with the skill of his hands — וּבִתְבוּנוֹת כַּפָּיו יַנְחֵם which he guided with his wisdom.
The primary sources used in the interpretation of the verses in this part of the mizmor are listed below.
PART 1. INTRODUCTION
א – אלשיך, המאירי, ספורנו, אבן יחייא
ב – אבן עזרא, רשר”ה
ג – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, מצודות
ד – רש”י, רשר”ה, נר לרגל
ה – מצודות,, המאירי
ו – רד”ק, נר לרגלי
ז – רד”ק, בן רמוך, ספורנו
PART 2. THE INCONSTANT GENERATION
ח – רש”י, רד”ק, מצודות, בן רמוך
ט – רש”י, אבן עזרא, אבן יחייא
י – אבן עזרא, מלבי”ם
יא – אבן עזרא, אבן יחייא
PART 3. A SERIES OF WONDERS
יב – רד”ק, מלבי”ם, בן־רמןך, אבן יחייא
יג – רד”ק, דעת סופרים
יד – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, אלשיך, דעת סופרים
טו – אבן עזרא, בן־רמוך, דעת סופרים
טז – מצודות,, בן־רמוך, דעת סופרים
PART 4. FEEDING THE MULTITUDES
יז – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, מצודות, מלבי”ם, רשר”ה
יח – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, מצודות, ספורנו
יט – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, המאירי
כ – מלבי”ם, בן־רמוך, ספורנו
כא – רש”י, רד”ק, מלבי”ם, רשר”ה
כב – רד”ק, מלבי”ם, נר לרגלי
כג – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, בן־רמוך, ספורנו, נר לרגלי
כד – מצודות, אבן יחייא
כה – רש”י, המאירי, נר לרגלי
כו – רד”ק, אלשיך, רשר”ה
כז – רד”ק, בן־רמוך
כח – אלשיך, מצודות, מלבי”ם
כט – רד”ק, אלשיך, מלבי”ם
ל – רד”ק, מצודות, המאירי, בן־רמוך, ספורנו
לא – רש”י, מלבי”ם, המאירי, נר לרגלי
PART 5. A TRAGIC SIN
לב – רד”ק, מצודות, ספורנו
לג – אבן עזרא, מצודות, בן־רמוך
לד – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, מצודות, בן־רמוך
לה – מצודות, מלבי”ם
לו – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, מצודות, המאירי, אבן יחייא
לז – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, מצודות, ספורנו
PART 6. FORGIVENESS
לח – רש”י, מצודות, מלבי”ם, אבן יחייא
לט – רד”ק, מצודות, מלבי”ם, בן־רמוך, אבן יחייא
PART 7. REMEMBERING MITZRAYIM.
מ – תהלים המפורש
מא – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, מצודות, מלבים, ספורנו
מב – אבן עזרא, מלבים,
מג – מצודות, מלבי”ם, בן־רמוך
מד – בן־רמוך
מה – אבן עזרא, בן־רמוך, אבן יחייא, נר לרגלי
מו – רד”ק
מז – רד”ק, המאירי, בן־רמוך, אבן יחייא, נר לרגלי
מח – רד”ק, מצודות
מט – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, המאירי, נר לרגלי
נ – רש”י, אבן עזרא, , רד”ק, מצודות
נא – רד”ק
PART 8. COMING HOME.
נב – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, מצודות, מלבים
נג – רד”ק, המאירי
נד – רד”ק
נה – אבן עזרא, מצודות, אבן יחייא, מלבי”ם
PART 9. REJECTING EPHRAIM.
נו – רש”י, רד”ק, אלשיך, מצודות, נר לרגלי
נז – רש”י, אלשיך, מלבים
נח – אלשיך, בן־רמוך, רשר”ה, דעת סופרים
נט – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, בן־רמוך
ס – רד”ק, מצודות
סא – רש”י, מצודות, מלבי”ם
סב – רד”ק, מלבים, נר לרגלי
סג – רש”י, אבן עזרא, רד”ק, מצודות, בן־רמוך,
סד – רש”י, רד”ק, מצודות, בן־רמוך, אבן יחייא,
סה – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, מצודות, בן־רמוך
סו – רש”י, בן־רמוך, אבן יחייא, רשר”ה, נר לרגלי
סז – רש”י, אלשיך
PART 10. THE ASCENDANCE OF YEHUDAH.
סח – רד”ק, מצודות
סט – רש”י, רד”ק, מצודות
ע – נר לרגלי
עא – בן־רמוך, ספורנו
עב – רד”ק, מצודות