לִשְׁלֹמֹה אֱלֹהִים מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ לְמֶלֶךְ תֵּן וְצִדְקָתְךָ לְבֶן־מֶלֶךְ׃ 72:1
Psal. 72:1 For Solomon:
O God, give Your judgments to the king
and Your righteousness to the son of the king.
There has been a long history of conjecture over the translation of the first word. It has been translated as To Solomon, [A psalm] of Solomon, and For Solomon. Many agree it should be the middle translation as it parallels the typical translation of many other superscriptions (being: [A psalm} of David). My typical translation has been of David’s. I don’t use the parallel translation here, because I don’t believe this psalm was composed by Solomon. As the last verse testifies, it is David’s prayer.
יָדִין עַמְּךָ בְצֶדֶק וַעֲנִיֶּיךָ בְמִשְׁפָּט׃ 72:2
Psal. 72:2 Let him judge Your people with righteousness
and Your poor with justice.
יִשְׂאוּ הָרִים שָׁלוֹם לָעָם וּגְבָעוֹת בִּצְדָקָה׃ 72:3
Psal. 72:3 Let the mountains bear peace to the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
יִשְׁפֹּט עֲנִיֵּי־עָם יוֹשִׁיעַ לִבְנֵי אֶבְיוֹן וִידַכֵּא עוֹשֵׁק׃ 72:4
Psal. 72:4 Let him judge the poor of the people,
let him be a deliverer to the children of the needy,
and crush any oppressor.
יִירָאוּךָ עִם־שָׁמֶשׁ וְלִפְנֵי יָרֵחַ דּוֹר דּוֹרִים׃ 72:5
Psal. 72:5 May they revere You during sunlight
and before the moon
throughout the generations.
I presume the pronoun they refers to the people who would be judged so fairly by the king that they would forever worship and revere the Lord.
יֵרֵד כְּמָטָר עַל־גֵּז כִּרְבִיבִים זַרְזִיף אָרֶץ׃ 72:6
Psal. 72:6 Let him descend like rain on mown grass,
like spring showers, saturating the earth.
יִפְרַח־בְּיָמָיו צַדִּיק וְרֹב שָׁלוֹם עַד־בְּלִי יָרֵחַ׃ 72:7
Psal. 72:7 Let righteousness bloom in his days,
and abundance of peace,
until there is no moon.
וְיֵרְדְּ מִיָּם עַד־יָם וּמִנָּהָר עַד־אַפְסֵי־אָרֶץ׃ 72:8
Psal. 72:8 And let him rule from sea to sea,
and from river to the ends of the earth.
לְפָנָיו יִכְרְעוּ צִיִּים וְאֹיְבָיו עָפָר יְלַחֵכוּ׃ 72:9
Psal. 72:9 Let desert dwellers bow before him,
and his enemies lick the dust.
מַלְכֵי תַרְשִׁישׁ וְאִיִּים מִנְחָה יָשִׁיבוּ מַלְכֵי שְׁבָא וּסְבָא אֶשְׁכָּר יַקְרִיבוּ׃ 72:10
Psal. 72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of the islands shall pay tribute;
the kings of Sheba and Seba shall bring gift.
וְיִשְׁתַּחֲווּ־לוֹ כָל־מְלָכִים כָּל־גּוֹיִם יַעַבְדוּהוּ׃ 72:11
Psal. 72:11 And all kings shall bow down to him,
all nations serve him.
כִּי־יַצִּיל אֶבְיוֹן מְשַׁוֵּעַ וְעָנִי וְאֵין־עֹזֵר לוֹ׃ 72:12
Psal. 72:12 For he will deliver the needy crying out,
and the poor,
and for whom there is no helper.
יָחֹס עַל־דַּל וְאֶבְיוֹן וְנַפְשׁוֹת אֶבְיוֹנִים יוֹשִׁיעַ׃ 72:13
Psal. 72:13 He will have pity on the weak or needy one,
and will save the souls of the needy.
מִתּוֹךְ וּמֵחָמָס יִגְאַל נַפְשָׁם וְיֵיקַר דָּמָם בְּעֵינָיו׃ 72:14
Psal. 72:14 He will redeem their soul from oppression and from violence,
as their blood will be precious in his eyes.
וִיחִי וְיִתֶּן־לוֹ מִזְּהַב שְׁבָא וְיִתְפַּלֵּל בַּעֲדוֹ תָמִיד כָּל־הַיּוֹם יְבָרֲכֶנְהוּ׃ 72:15
Psal. 72:15 That one could live,
that he would give him from the gold of Sheba,
and he would pray on his behalf continually,
would bless him all the time.
יְהִי פִסַּת־בַּר בָּאָרֶץ בְּרֹאשׁ הָרִים יִרְעַשׁ כַּלְּבָנוֹן פִּרְיוֹ וְיָצִיצוּ מֵעִיר כְּעֵשֶׂב הָאָרֶץ׃ 72:16
Psal. 72:16 Let him be of the abundance of corn in the land on top of the mountains,
let his fruit vibrate like Lebanon,
and let them blossom out of the city like grass of the earth.
The meaning of the translation’s middle line is somewhat obscure. It has been interpreted to mean that the fruit (on top of the mountains?) will shake in the wind as the cedars of Lebanon do. As I see it, this entire verse is a metaphor for Solomon’s future great works. And the city from which his works will blossom is thus not just any city, it is Jerusalem.
יְהִי שְׁמֹו לְעֹולָם לִפְנֵי־שֶׁמֶשׁ (יָנִין) [יִנֹּון] שְׁמֹו וְיִתְבָּרְכוּ בֹו כָּל־גֹּויִם יְאַשְּׁרוּהוּ׃ 72:17
Psal. 72:17 Let his name be forever;
before the sun let his fame increase,
so they bless themselves by him,
let all nations pronounce him happy.
The word in the parentheses is misspelled. The second yad should be a vav. The correction is in the brackets.
בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עֹשֵׂה נִפְלָאוֹת לְבַדּוֹ׃ 72:18
Psal. 72:18 Blessed is the Lord, God, God of Israel,
the only Doer of wonders.
וּבָרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹדוֹ לְעוֹלָם וְיִמָּלֵא כְבוֹדוֹ אֶת־כֹּל הָאָרֶץ אָמֵן וְאָמֵן׃ 72:19
Psal. 72:19 And blessed is His glorious name forever,
and may His glory fill all the earth,
amen, and amen.
כָּלּוּ תְפִלּוֹת דָּוִד בֶּן־יִשָׁי׃ 72:20
Psal. 72:20 The prayers of David son of Jesse are complete.
Lots of commentaries on this verse! Some believe it tells us this is the last psalm composed by David before he gave his throne to Solomon. Others conclude that this is David’s last psalm, as many of the remaining psalms are presumably composed by Asaph, starting with the next psalm. Still others think the verse was added later on, to signify David’s last psalm. I’m not sure anyone would agree with me, but it could also be that David wrote this last line to simply complete this psalm. It certainly contains a series of prayers, and this verse says that he is done, with more support than merely ending with verse 19. In any case, as with much of the bible, whatever was intended by concluding with this verse is lost in antiquity.
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