Psalm 32


1 א Of David, a maskil[1] – Praiseworthy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is concealed.
לדוד משכיל אשרי נשוי־פשע כסוי חטאה׃
1 א Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

ב 2
Praiseworthy is the man to whom the LORD ascribes no iniquity and in whose Spirit there is no guile.
אשרי אדם לא יחשב יהוה לו עון ואין ברוחו רמיה׃
ב 2 Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.


3 ג When I was silent, my bones decayed with my moaning all day long.
כי־החרשתי בלו עצמי בשאגתי כל־היום
3 ג When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.


4 ד For [both] day and night Your Hand is heavy upon me; my freshness was transformed as in the droughts of summer, forever[2].
כי יוםם ולילה תכבד עלי ידך נהפך לשדי בחרבני קיץ סלה׃
ד For day and night Your Hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.


5 ה I would inform You of my sin, and I did not conceal my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin forever.
חטאתי אודיעך ועוני לא־כסיתי אמרתי אודה עלי פשעי ליהוה ואתה נשאת עון חטאתי סלה׃
5 ה Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And You forgave the guilt of my sin.


6 ו For this let every pious man pray to You at the time that You are found, only about a flood of vast waters [that] should not reach him.
על־זאת יתפלל כל־חסיד אליך לעת מצא רק לשטף מים רבים אליו לא יגיעו׃
6 ו Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.


7 ז You are a shelter for me, from an adversary You guard me; with songs of deliverance You encompass me forever,
אתה סתר לי מצר תצרני רני פלט תסובבני סלה׃
7 ז You are my hiding place;  you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.


8 ח “I will enlighten you and instruct you which Way [to go]; I will wink My eye to you.”
אשכילך ואורך בדרך־זו תלך איעצה עליך עיני׃ 
8 ח I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.


9 ט Be not like a horse, like a mule that does not discern; whose mouth must be held with bit and bridle, so that when he is being groomed, he does not come near you.
אל־תהיו כסוס כפרד אין הבין במתג־ורסן עדיו לבלום בל קרב אליך׃
9 ט Do not be like the horse or the mule,  which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.


10 י Many are the pains of the wicked, but as for him who trusts in the Lord- kindness will encompass him.
רבים מכאובים לרשע והבוטח ביהוה חסד יסובבנו׃
10 י Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.


11 יא Rejoice with the LORD and exult, You righteous, and cause all those of upright hearts to sing praises.
שמחו ביהוה וגילו צדיקים והרנינו כל־ישרי־לב׃

11 יא
Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!


1. ASH translation    2. Original language (Hebrew)    3. NIV (New International version)


[1] Maskil (plural: maskilim) ~ Probably a literary or musical term. In Hebrew literally, enlightened; Also, followers of Haskalah, a movement begun by European Jews in the late XIIX century advocating adoption of Enlightenment values, integration into European society, and increased secular education, study of Jewish history, and Hebrew.

[2] The Hebrew word “Selah” is a word of uncertain meaning, here and at the end of verses 5 and 7. This word is used 74 times in the Hebrew Bible, 71 times in the Psalms and 3 times in the Book of Habakkuk.

ASH Commentary:

The 32nd psalm (song) of the Book of Psalms, traditionally attributed by King David, expresses the joy of being released from great suffering.
It is divided into two parts: verses 1-5, the psalmist proclaims the joy of seeing his fault remitted by GOD and in verse 6 to verse 11, he shows his confidence in the fact that GOD is the guide on the right path.
The harm suffered by the psalmist is very hard to bear, although we can not know precisely its nature. The Psalm seeks to understand where it comes from, because according to tradition, misfortune most of the time is a consequence of the sins one has committed. But far from being an opportunity to revolt, this event leads him to experience GOD’s forgiveness.


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