Psalms 90


תְּפִלָּה לְמֹשֶׁה אִישׁ־הָאֱלֹהִים אֲדֹנָי מָעוֹן אַתָּה הָיִיתָ לָּנוּ בְּדֹר וָדֹר׃   90:1

Psal. 90:1   A prayer of Moses,' the man of God:

                     Master, You have been a Dwelling Place for us in every generation.

Some sages and scholars believed that this psalm was indeed composed by Moses, and claim it to have some similarity to the words in Deuteronomy Chapter 33.  But whether it was composed by Moses or someone else for him or in memory of him, I can’t say.  And I believe it to be unimportant, as the psalm speaks for itself.

בְּטֶרֶם הָרִים יֻלָּדוּ וַתְּחוֹלֵל אֶרֶץ וְתֵבֵל וּמֵעוֹלָם עַד־עוֹלָם אַתָּה אֵל׃   90:2

Psal. 90:2   Before the mountains were born

                              and You had brought forth the earth and the world,

                      even from everlasting to everlasting, You were God.

תָּשֵׁב אֱנוֹשׁ עַד־דַּכָּא וַתֹּאמֶר שׁוּבוּ בְנֵי־אָדָם׃   90:3

Psal. 90:3   You could turn anyone back to contrition,

                              but You say, “Return, children of Adam!”

כִּי אֶלֶף שָׁנִים בְּעֵינֶיךָ כְּיוֹם אֶתְמוֹל כִּי יַעֲבֹר וְאַשְׁמוּרָה בַלָּיְלָה׃   90:4

Psal. 90:4   For a thousand years in Your eyes are as a day,

                              a yesterday that would be passed, or a watch in the night.

זְרַמְתָּם שֵׁנָה יִהְיוּ בַּבֹּקֶר כֶּחָצִיר יַחֲלֹף׃   90:5

Psal. 90:5   You sweep them away;

                               they would continue sleep in the morning.

                      Like grass, it can vanish.

The pronouns in this verse leave me with some uncertainty as to their antecedents.  The pronoun them probably refers to the thousand years in the preceding verse.  The pronoun they may refer to either the thousand years or the combination of all three, the thousand years, the yesterday, and the night watch.  Finally, the pronoun it might refer to is one of these:  The day, the yesterday, or the night watch.  Does that help to understand it?  I hope so.

בַּבֹּקֶר יָצִיץ וְחָלָף לָעֶרֶב יְמוֹלֵל וְיָבֵשׁ׃   90:6

Psal. 90:6   In the morning it would flourish and grow;

                              toward evening it would be cut down, and it would wither.

In this verse the three instances of the pronoun it probably refer to the grass.

כִּי־כָלִינוּ בְאַפֶּךָ וּבַחֲמָתְךָ נִבְהָלְנוּ׃   90:7

Psal. 90:7   When we are consumed in Your “anger,”

                               and in Your “wrath” we are dismayed,

שַׁתָּ) [שַׁתָּה] עֲוֹנֹתֵינוּ לְנֶגְדֶּךָ עֲלֻמֵנוּ לִמְאֹור פָּנֶיךָ׃   90:8

Psal. 90:8   You have lain our iniquities before You,

                              our hiding before the light of Your presence.

The word before the left parenthesis is presumed to be misspelled.  The correction is in the brackets.

כִּי כָל־יָמֵינוּ פָּנוּ בְעֶבְרָתֶךָ כִּלִּינוּ שָׁנֵינוּ כְמוֹ־הֶגֶה׃   90:9

Psal. 90:9   When all our days have elapsed in Your “fury,”

                               we end our years as though they were a sigh.

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן כִּי־גָז חִישׁ וַנָּעֻפָה׃   90:10

Psal. 90:10   The duration of our years in them is seventy years,

                                or, if through strength, eighty years,

                         but their best is toil and sorrow,

                                 that it passes quickly and we fly away.

מִי־יוֹדֵעַ עֹז אַפֶּךָ וּכְיִרְאָתְךָ עֶבְרָתֶךָ׃   90:11

Psal. 90:11   Who would be knowing the might of Your “anger”

                                or Your overwhelming “fury” according to Your awesomeness?

לִמְנוֹת יָמֵינוּ כֵּן הוֹדַע וְנָבִא לְבַב חָכְמָה׃   90:12

Psal. 90:12 Therefore, to number our days make it known

                               so we might acquire a heart of wisdom.

It’s interesting to me that the psalmist apparently believes if we knew when we were to die, we would become wiser.  I wonder.

שׁוּבָה יְהוָה עַד־מָתָי וְהִנָּחֵם עַל־עֲבָדֶיךָ׃   90:13

Psal. 90:13   Return, Lord!  Until when?

                               Then have compassion,

                        for the sake of Your servants.

שַׂבְּעֵנוּ בַבֹּקֶר חַסְדֶּךָ וּנְרַנְּנָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בְּכָל־יָמֵינוּ׃   90:14

Psal. 90:14   In the morning have Your mercy for us in excess,

                                so we can rejoice and be glad in all our days.

שַׂמְּחֵנוּ כִּימוֹת עִנִּיתָנוּ שְׁנוֹת רָאִינוּ רָעָה׃   90:15

Psal. 90:15   Gladden us according to the time You have afflicted us,

                                 the years we have seen evil.

יֵרָאֶה אֶל־עֲבָדֶיךָ פָעֳלֶךָ וַהֲדָרְךָ עַל־בְּנֵיהֶם׃   90:16

Psal. 90:16   Let Your work and Your glory appear to Your servants

                                 for the sake of their children.

וִיהִי נֹעַם אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָה עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנֵהוּ׃   90:17

Psal. 90:17   And may the kindness of the Master, our God, be for our sake,

                                 and establish the work of our hand for our sake,

                        and the work of our hand -- direct it.


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