Psalms 94


אֵל־נְקָמוֹת יְהוָה אֵל נְקָמוֹת הוֹפִיַע׃   94:1

Psal. 94:1   O God of vengeance!

                              O Lord, God of vengeance, shine forth!

הִנָּשֵׂא שֹׁפֵט הָאָרֶץ הָשֵׁב גְּמוּל עַל־גֵּאִים׃   94:2

Psal. 94:2   Rise up, Judge of the earth!

                              Return payment for pride!

עַד־מָתַי רְשָׁעִים יְהוָה עַד־מָתַי רְשָׁעִים יַעֲלֹזוּ׃   94:3

Psal. 94:3   How long wickedness, Lord?

                              Until when shall the wicked exult?

Who are the wicked referred to here?  There is no consensus among bible scholars.  Some believe it is the nations surrounding Israel.  Others think it is the perpetrators of wickedness running rampant in Israel.  Verse 5 seems to lend support to the first opinion -- they are the surrounding nations.  But see v. 8 below.

יַבִּיעוּ יְדַבְּרוּ עָתָק יִתְאַמְּרוּ כָּל־פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן׃   94:4

Psal. 94:4   All the workers of iniquity may gush forth,

                              speak arrogance, boast.

עַמְּךָ יְהוָה יְדַכְּאוּ וְנַחֲלָתְךָ יְעַנּוּ׃   94:5

Psal. 94:5   Your people, O Lord!

                              They can crush, and afflict Your possession.

אַלְמָנָה וְגֵר יַהֲרֹגוּ וִיתוֹמִים יְרַצֵּחוּ׃   94:6

Psal. 94:6   They can slay widow and stranger,

                               and murder orphans.

וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹא יִרְאֶה־יָּהּ וְלֹא־יָבִין אֱלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב׃   94:7

Psal. 94:7   And they can say, “The Lord will not see,”

                               and, “The God of Jacob will not give heed.”

בִּינוּ בֹּעֲרִים בָּעָם וּכְסִילִים מָתַי תַּשְׂכִּילוּ׃   94:8

Psal. 94:8   Consider, stupid ones among the people, and fools:

                              When might you comprehend?

This is interesting, even intriguing.  Verses 5 and 7 above give some support to those who believe the wicked are the other nations, while vss. 6 and 8 seem to offer some support, although weak,  to those who believe the wicked are among the Israelites.

הֲנֹטַע אֹזֶן הֲלֹא יִשְׁמָע אִם־יֹצֵר עַיִן הֲלֹא יַבִּיט׃   94:9

Psal. 94:9   Shall the Planter of the ear not hear?

                               If He formed the eye, shall He not regard?

הֲיֹסֵר גּוֹיִם הֲלֹא יוֹכִיחַ הַמְלַמֵּד אָדָם דָּעַת׃   94:10

Psal. 94:10   Shall the Instructor of nations not correct,

                               He Who teaches humanity knowledge?

יְהוָה יֹדֵעַ מַחְשְׁבֹות אָדָם כִּי־הֵמָּה הָבֶל׃   94:11

Psal. 94:11   The Lord knows the thoughts of humankind,

                                that they are vanity.

אַשְׁרֵי הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר־תְּיַסְּרֶנּוּ יָּהּ וּמִתּוֹרָתְךָ תְלַמְּדֶנּוּ׃   94:12

Psal. 94:12   Happy is the man whom You can instruct, O Lord,

                               and through Your Torah can teach,

לְהַשְׁקִיט לֹו מִימֵי רָע עַד יִכָּרֶה לָרָשָׁע שָׁחַת׃   94:13

Psal. 94:13   giving rest to him from the days of evil,

                                until a pit can be dug for the guilty one.

כִּי לֹא־יִטֹּשׁ יְהוָה עַמּוֹ וְנַחֲלָתוֹ לֹא יַעֲזֹב׃   94:14

Psal. 94:14   For the Lord will not forsake His people,

                                and His possession He will not abandon.

כִּי־עַד־צֶדֶק יָשׁוּב מִשְׁפָּט וְאַחֲרָיו כָּל־יִשְׁרֵי־לֵב׃   94:15

Psal. 94:15   For judgment shall come back to righteousness

                               and all the upright of heart shall follow it.

מִי־יָקוּם לִי עִם־מְרֵעִים מִי־יִתְיַצֵּב לִי עִם־פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן׃   94:16

Psal. 94:16   Who can rise up for me against the evil doers?

                               Who can stand for me against the workers of iniquity?

לוּלֵי יְהוָה עֶזְרָתָה לִּי כִּמְעַט שָׁכְנָה דוּמָה נַפְשִׁי׃   94:17

Psal. 94:17   If the Lord is not a Helper to me,

                               my soul soon dwells silently.

אִם־אָמַרְתִּי מָטָה רַגְלִי חַסְדְּךָ יְהוָה יִסְעָדֵנִי׃   94:18

Psal. 94:18   If I say, “My foot slips,”

                                let Your mercy, O Lord, support me.

בְּרֹב שַׂרְעַפַּי בְּקִרְבִּי תַּנְחוּמֶיךָ יְשַׁעַשְׁעוּ נַפְשִׁי׃   94:19

Psal. 94:19   With abundance of my disquieting thoughts inside me,

                               Your consolations can delight my soul.

הַיְחָבְרְךָ כִּסֵּא הַוּוֹת יֹצֵר עָמָל עֲלֵי־חֹק׃   94:20

Psal. 94:20   Could the seat of desires be in league with You,

                               framing mischief on the basis of statute?

This is either a rhetorical question, as is that in the next verse, not to be taken as a sign of serious doubt.  Or else they represent the imagined thoughts of those who doubt the Lord’s righteousness.

יָגוֹדּוּ עַל־נֶפֶשׁ צַדִּיק וְדָם נָקִי יַרְשִׁיעוּ׃   94:21

Psal. 94:21   They would gather together against the soul of any righteous one,

                               as innocent blood they would condemn?

וַיְהִי יְהוָה לִי לְמִשְׂגָּב וֵאלֹהַי לְצוּר מַחְסִי׃   94:22

Psal. 94:22   But the Lord is as a secure height for me,

                               and my God as a rock, my Refuge.

וַיָּשֶׁב עֲלֵיהֶם אֶת־אוֹנָם וּבְרָעָתָם יַצְמִיתֵם יַצְמִיתֵם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ׃   94:23

Psal. 94:23   And He will bring back upon them their own iniquity,

                               and with their own evil cut them off.

                        The Lord, our God, will cut them off.


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