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Mizmor 125 – A Mountain of Trust
(א) שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת, הַבֹּטְחִים בַּה’ כְּהַר צִיּוֹן לֹא יִמּוֹט, לְעוֹלָם יֵשֵׁב:
(1) A song of the steps. Those who trust in Hashem [will be secure] like Har Tzion, [that is] immovable, sitting [on its base] forever.
NOTE: For a PDF of this mizmor, please click here. This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article. [Rev. 3]
Key Concepts of Mizmor 125 – A Mountain of Trust
As in most of the previous mizmorim of this series, the mizmor speaks of a time when the Jewish people are in Exile. However, in this mizmor David is looking ahead to the Geulah (Redemption), when the Jewish people will return to Yerushalayim and the Bais HaMikdash (Temple) will be rebuilt. He sees the Geulah as a reward for our bitachon (trust) and he assures his listeners that this time the Bais HaMikdash will not be destroyed.
To demonstrate the permanence of the rebuilt Yerushalayim David compares it to the solidity of Har Tzion (Mount Zion), which is unshakeable. Furthermore, just as Yerushalayim is surrounded by protective mountains, Hashem will encircle His people with His Divine protection.
Navigating Tehillim. This is the sixth in the series of 15 mizmorim to be sung by the Leviim in the Beis HaMikdash while standing on the 15 steps leading up from the women’s courtyard to the men’s courtyard.
Exploring the Mizmor
PART 1. THE PROMISE OF YERUSHALAYIM. David assures those who trust in Hashem that their devotion will be rewarded.
(א) שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת, הַבֹּטְחִים בַּה’ כְּהַר צִיּוֹן לֹא יִמּוֹט, לְעוֹלָם יֵשֵׁב:
(ב) יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם הָרִים סָבִיב לָהּ, וַה’ סָבִיב לְעַמּוֹ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם: (ג) כִּי לֹא יָנוּחַ שֵׁבֶט הָרֶשַׁע עַל גּוֹרַל הַצַּדִּיקִים לְמַעַן לֹא יִשְׁלְחוּ הַצַּדִּיקִים בְּעַוְלָתָה יְדֵיהֶם:
(1) A song of the steps. Those who trust in Hashem [will be secure] like Har Tzion, [that is] immovable, sitting [on its base] forever. (2) Yerushalayim has [protective] mountains around it. [So will] Hashem be round about His people, now and forever. (3) For the scepter of wickedness will never [come to] rest on the portion of the tzaddikim, so that the tzaddikim will not set their hands to wrongdoing.
PART 2. FULFILL THE PROMISE. David calls upon Hashem to fulfill this promise and bring about the Geulah. But David acknowledges that this promise can be fulfilled only if the tzaddikim (righteous) of the nation can avoid the harmful influence of the resha’im (wicked). Therefore, David concludes the mizmor by calling upon Hashem to prevent the resha’im from gaining a permanent foothold in the rebuilt Yerushalayim. Only when the resha’im are gone will there be shalom (peace) in Yisrael.
(ד) הֵיטִיבָה ה’ לַטּוֹבִים וְלִישָׁרִים בְּלִבּוֹתָם: (ה) וְהַמַּטִּים עֲקַלְקַלּוֹתָם, יוֹלִיכֵם ה’ אֶת פֹּעֲלֵי הָאָוֶן. שָׁלוֹם עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
(4) Do good, Hashem, to the good and to the upright of heart. (5) But for those who turn to their crookedness, may Hashem lead them [to destruction together] with the evildoers. [Then there will be] peace upon Yisrael.
Additional Thoughts
In the previous mizmor David taught us to be grateful for the miraculous survival of our nation in the face of our enemies. A people which has experienced such a history must surely have bitachon in Hashem, and now in Mizmor 125 David links that bitachon to the ultimate Geulah, which is its reward. He employs the image of Har Tzion to symbolize the steadfastness of our bitachon in the Geulah, as well as its permanence.
The key to that permanence is the suppression of the resha’im, because even tzaddikim cannot be secure if they are subject to the pernicious influence of nations such as the Greeks, who sought to impose their culture on us in the time of the Chashmona’im.
When David speaks of the tzaddikim, he is not only referring to the most holy of our people, but to every Jew who asks that our lot be with them forever in the paragraph of Al Hatzadikkim (On the Rightous) in the daily shemoneh esrei. May we all be privileged to see the Geulah.
Learning the Mizmor
(א) שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת
This is the sixth song of the steps.
הַבֹּטְחִים בַּה‘ כְּהַר צִיּוֹן 
לֹא יִמּוֹט לְעוֹלָם יֵשֵׁב:
The tzaddikim who trust in Hashem — הַבֹּטְחִים בַּה’  and do not give up hope for the Geulah will return to Yerushalayim, this time to remain. Then the tzaddikim will be permanently secure like Har Tzion — כְּהַר צִיּוֹן , which is immovable — לֹא יִמּוֹט , sitting firmly on its base forever — לְעוֹלָם יֵשֵׁב .
(ב) יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם הָרִים סָבִיב לָהּ 
וַה‘ סָבִיב לְעַמּוֹ 
מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם:
Just as Yerushalayim has protective mountains around it — יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם הָרִים סָבִיב לָהּ , so will Hashem continue to be round about His people — וַה’ סָבִיב לְעַמּוֹ , protecting them now and forever — מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם .
(ג) כִּי לֹא יָנוּחַ שֵׁבֶט הָרֶשַׁע 
עַל גּוֹרַל הַצַּדִּיקִים
The Jewish people will continue to be worthy of Hashem’s protection. For — כִּי – even if there are initially some resha’im among those who return, the scepter of wickedness will never come to rest — לֹא יָנוּחַ שֵׁבֶט הָרֶשַׁע  on Yerushalayim, which is the portion of the tzaddikim — עַל גּוֹרַל הַצַּדִּיקִים .
לְמַעַן לֹא יִשְׁלְחוּ הַצַּדִּיקִים 
בְּעַוְלָתָה יְדֵיהֶם:
Hashem will not allow the resha’im to remain in the land so that the tzaddikim will not come under their influence and set  לְמַעַן לֹא יִשְׁלְחוּ הַצַּדִּיקִים  their hands to wrongdoing — בְּעַוְלָתָה יְדֵיהֶם .
(ד) הֵיטִיבָה ה‘ לַטּוֹבִים 
וְלִישָׁרִים בְּלִבּוֹתָם:
Do good, Hashem — הֵיטִיבָה ה’ , to the people who are good  לַטּוֹבִים , even if it is only for the mitzvos that they do, but especially to the upright in heart — וְלִישָׁרִים בְּלִבּוֹתָם , who are committed to achieve complete devotion in the inner core of their being.
(ה) וְהַמַּטִּים עֲקַלְקַלּוֹתָם 
יוֹלִיכֵם ה‘ אֶת פֹּעֲלֵי הָאָוֶן
But for those people who turn to their crookedness — וְהַמַּטִּים עֲקַלְקַלּוֹתָם , may Hashem lead them — יוֹלִיכֵם ה’ to destruction together with the evildoers — אֶת פֹּעֲלֵי הָאָוֶן .
שָׁלוֹם עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
Then there will be peace upon Yisrael — שָׁלוֹם עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל because the sources of ill-will and conflict will be gone.

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.

Lessons for Life – Your Attitude.

[125:1] THE MOUNTAIN. – הַבֹּטְחִים בַּה’ כְּהַר צִיּוֹן לֹא יִמּוֹט, לְעוֹלָם יֵשֵׁב – “Those who trust in Hashem [will be secure] like Har Tzion, [that is] immovable, sitting [on its base] forever.” Work on your bitachon by visualizing it as a mountain, knowing that you will be secure in Hashem’s care.

Tehillos for Life – Contemplation of Hashem.

[125:2] THE NATION. – יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם הָרִים סָבִיב לָהּ, וַה’ סָבִיב לְעַמּוֹ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם – “Yerushalayim has [protective] mountains around it. [So will] Hashem be round about his people, now and forever.” Hashem protects His nation of Yisrael and His protection will continue for all time, like the permanence of the mountains around Yerushalayim.

Tefillos for Life – Your Berachah.

[125:4] THE RIGHTEOUS. – הֵיטִיבָה ה’ לַטּוֹבִים וְלִישָׁרִים בְּלִבּוֹתָם – “Do good, Hashem, to the good and to the upright of heart.” Ask Hashem to grant a special measure of well-being to the tzaddikim of your generation, for the world exists in their zechus.


The primary sources used in the interpretation of the verses of this mizmor are listed below.

א – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, המאירי, ספורנו, אבן יחייא

ב – רש”י, מצודות

ג – רד”ק, מצודות, ספורנו, נר לרגלי
ד – אבן עזרא, רד”ק, מצודות, ספורנו

ה – רד”ק, מצודות, מלבי”ם, אבן יחייא, ספורנו