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Psalm 1 in Hebrew

Mizmor Aleph -

Psalm 1 Recited in Hebrew

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Mizmor Aleph

Psalm 1 (KJV)

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Pasuk Aleph
Pasuk Aleph

ashrei-ha'ish asher lo halakh ba'atzat resha'im
uvderekh chatta'im lo amad, uvmoshav leitzim lo yashav.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful

v1 Notes:

The Talmud (Berachot 10a) states that first two Psalms were counted as one, and that David opened (and closed) his favorite psalms with the word ashrei, a word that has been variously translated as "the praises" (a plural noun), "praiseworthy" (a substantive adjective), or as "happy," "blessed," and "fortunate." Thus Psalm 1 begins with ashrei-ha'ish and Psalm 2 ends with ashrei kol choso vo.

Ashrei
can also mean "enriched." Enriched is the man who has not walked after the advice of the wicked, nor stood on the path of sinners, nor sat among the scorners. Walk, stand, sit: the progression is unmistakable. Turning away from evil leads to a praiseworthy life. Some commentators note that ashrei is a pun on ashur, meaning to strive forward...

Ha'ish
("the man") represents the ideal man of God who is not ensnared by the ways of the wickedness that surrounds him. The way forward is the Torah-perspective.

ba'atzat resha'im - the counsel of the wicked. The etzah of the wicked pertains to advice, counsel, or ideas that are evil. Radak notes that etzah means the wicked enjoy persuading others to join in their evil ways in order to justify their own godlessness.

uvderekh chatta'im - The word chet (sin) refers to "missing the mark," i.e., erring unintentionally (and therefore is more akin to foolishness than rasha, wickedness, which is a deliberate and willful act of rebellion).

uvmoshav leitzim - The leitz is a scorner, a cynic who mocks (yalitz) everything, in a show of superficial superiority. The leitz is unteachable and arrogantly considers himself as better than others. He is considered an incorrigible fool in Proverbs.

Audio Commentary:

Pasuk Bet

ki im b'torat Adonai cheftzo uvtorato yehegeh yomam va'lailah.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

v2 Notes:

Torat YHVH - The Torah of Adonai. This pertains to the Torah of Moses. Cheftzo is 3ms of chefetz, meaning delight or pleasure. Ashrei ha'ish finds pleasure in the Torah of Adonai.

uvtorato - Some of the commentators say that the 3pms torato (his Torah) refers not the LORD, but to the student of the Scriptures who makes it his possession through study. At first it is called torat Adonai, and then it is called torato - his Torah.

yehegeh - From hagah, to moan.  This verb is used to describe meditations of the heart.

yomam va'lailah - Day and night. This is connected with Joshua 1:8 and the command to meditate on the Torah sunrise to sunset (the Jewish day begins at sundown, though the study of Torah is to be performed both at the start and end of the day.)

Pasuk Gimmel

v'hayah ke'etz shatul al-palgei mayim asher piryo yiten be'ito
v'aleihu lo-yibbol v'khol asher-ya'aseh yatzli'ach.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

v3 Notes:

ke'etz shatul - like a replanted tree (etz). Ashrei ha'ish is not natul, planted, with roots in this earth and world, but shatul, replanted, with the soul rooted in heaven.

al palgei mayim - Peleg is a stream or channel of water split from a larger source.
Palegei mayim means a stream of water.

piryo yitten be'ito - will give (3ms imperf. from natan) his fruit (3ms from pri, fruit) in its season (3ms from eit, time, with prefixive bet, in).  Note that fruit bearing is not constant, but according to divine timing. It takes time to acquire wisdom and other middot halev.

v'aleihu lo-yibbol - His leaf (3ms from aleh, leaf) shall not wither (from navel, fade, dry up). One purpose of the leaf is to protect the fruit.

v'khol asher-ya'aseh yatzli'ach - and all that he does shall thrive. Yatzli'ach is 3ms hiphil imperfect of tzalach, to succeed.

Pasuk Dalet

lo-khen ha-resha'im ki im-kamotz asher-tidefenu ru'ach.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

v4 Notes:

lo-khen ha-resha'im - Not so the wicked. A contrast is being set up in the psalm.

ki im-kamotz - motz (chaff) with the prefixive Kaf and Hey: but like the chaff, the most worthless part of the grain stalk. asher-tedefenu ru'ach - that the wind (ru'ach) drives away (3ms from nadaf, to drive away).

Pasuk Hey

al-ken lo-yakumu resha'im ba-mishpat v'chatta'im ba'adat tzaddikim.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

v5 Notes:

al-ken - therefore; lo-yakumu resha'im bamishpat - the wicked shall not stand in the judgment (3ms imperf. of kum, stand up, arise). The wicked ones shall not be vindicated in the judgment to come.

v'chatta'im ba'adat tzaddikim - nor the sinners in the assembly (edah) of the righteous (tzaddikim). The distinction between the resha'im (who will not stand at all) and the chatta'im (who are excluded from edat-tzaddikim).

Pasuk Vav

ki-yode'a Adonai derekh tzaddikim v'derekh resha'im toveid.

For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

v6 Notes:

ki-yode'a Adonai derekh tzaddikim - For the LORD knows the way (derech) of the tzaddikim. Ashrei ha'ish is yedeoni (a familiar one) to the LORD, from yada, to know.

v'derekh resha'im toveid - The way of the wicked is doomed. Toveid is 3fs Qal from avad, meaning to doom or be destroyed. The word Abaddon (destruction, ruin) comes from this verb. See Rev. 9:11 where Abaddon is the name given to the angel of the bottomless pit.

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