Mizmor for Hanukkah (Tehillim 30): A Commentary on the Story of Yosef
1 א

(א) מִזְמ֡וֹר שִׁיר־חֲנֻכַּ֖ת הַבַּ֣יִת לְדָוִֽד׃

(ב) אֲרוֹמִמְךָ֣ ה' כִּ֣י דִלִּיתָ֑נִי וְלֹא־שִׂמַּ֖חְתָּ אֹיְבַ֣י לִֽי׃

(ג) ה' אֱלֹקָ֑י שִׁוַּ֥עְתִּי אֵ֝לֶ֗יךָ וַתִּרְפָּאֵֽנִי׃

(ד) ה' הֶֽעֱלִ֣יתָ מִן־שְׁא֣וֹל נַפְשִׁ֑י חִ֝יִּיתַ֗נִי מִיָּֽרְדִי־בֽוֹר׃

(ה) זַמְּר֣וּ לַה' חֲסִידָ֑יו וְ֝הוֹד֗וּ לְזֵ֣כֶר קָדְשֽׁוֹ׃

(ו) כִּ֤י רֶ֨גַע ׀ בְּאַפּוֹ֮ חַיִּ֪ים בִּרְצ֫וֹנ֥וֹ בָּ֭עֶרֶב יָלִ֥ין בֶּ֗כִי וְלַבֹּ֥קֶר רִנָּֽה׃

(ז) וַ֭אֲנִי אָמַ֣רְתִּי בְשַׁלְוִ֑י בַּל־אֶמּ֥וֹט לְעוֹלָֽם׃

(ח) ה' בִּרְצוֹנְךָ֮ הֶעֱמַ֪דְתָּה לְֽהַרְרִ֫י עֹ֥ז הִסְתַּ֥רְתָּ פָנֶ֗יךָ הָיִ֥יתִי נִבְהָֽל׃

(ט) אֵלֶ֣יךָ ה' אֶקְרָ֑א וְאֶל־ה' אֶתְחַנָּֽן׃

(י) מַה־בֶּ֥צַע בְּדָמִי֮ בְּרִדְתִּ֪י אֶ֫ל־שָׁ֥חַת הֲיוֹדְךָ֥ עָפָ֑ר הֲיַגִּ֥יד אֲמִתֶּֽךָ׃

(יא) שְׁמַע־ה' וְחָנֵּ֑נִי ה' הֱ‍ֽיֵה־עֹזֵ֥ר לִֽי׃

(יב) הָפַ֣כְתָּ מִסְפְּדִי֮ לְמָח֪וֹל לִ֥י פִּתַּ֥חְתָּ שַׂקִּ֑י וַֽתְּאַזְּרֵ֥נִי שִׂמְחָֽה׃

(יג) לְמַ֤עַן ׀ יְזַמֶּרְךָ֣ כָ֭בוֹד וְלֹ֣א יִדֹּ֑ם ה' אֱ֝לֹקַ֗י לְעוֹלָ֥ם אוֹדֶֽךָּ׃

(1) A psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the House. (2) I extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, and not let my enemies rejoice over me.

(3) O LORD, my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me.

(4) O LORD, You brought me up from Sheol, preserved me from going down into the Pit.

(5) O you faithful of the LORD, sing to Him, and praise His holy name.

(6) For He is angry but a moment, and when He is pleased there is life. One may lie down weeping at nightfall; but at dawn there are shouts of joy.

(7)When I was untroubled, I thought, “I shall never be shaken,” (8)for You, O Lord, when You were pleased, made [me] firm as a mighty mountain.When You hid Your face,I was terrified.

(9) I called to You, O LORD; to my Lord I made appeal, (10) “What is to be gained from my death, from my descent into the Pit? Can dust praise You? Can it declare Your faithfulness?

(11) Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me; O LORD, be my help!”

(12) You turned my lament into dancing, you undid my sackcloth and girded me with joy,

(13) that [my] whole being might sing hymns to You endlessly; O LORD my God, I will praise You forever.

2 ב

(א) מזמור, חנוכת הבית - והקרוב אלי: כי זה המזמור חברו בחנוכת ביתו בית ארזים, כי הכתוב לא הזכיר בית השם... ויאמר רבי משה: כי דוד התאבל כאשר אמר לו נתן כי הוא לא יבנה הבית לשם וכאשר אמר לו, כי שלמה בנו יבנה הבית אז התאזר שמחה תחת אבלו כי בנו כמוהו ולא יחרפהו האויב.

(1) A psalm; a song of dedication of the House – It seems to me that he composed this song at the dedication of his own house, the House of Cedars, because the psalm does not mention the House of God...R’ Moshe said that David mourned when Natan told him that he would not build the house for the Lord. When he told him that Shlomo his son would build the house he was clothed with joy in place of his mourning because his son was like him, and his enemies could not disparage him.

3 ג

(ז) וַיִּלְכֹּ֣ד דָּוִ֔ד אֵ֖ת מְצֻדַ֣ת צִיּ֑וֹן הִ֖יא עִ֥יר דָּוִֽד׃...(יא) וַ֠יִּשְׁלַח חִירָ֨ם מֶֽלֶךְ־צֹ֥ר מַלְאָכִים֮ אֶל־דָּוִד֒ וַעֲצֵ֣י אֲרָזִ֔ים וְחָרָשֵׁ֣י עֵ֔ץ וְחָֽרָשֵׁ֖י אֶ֣בֶן קִ֑יר וַיִּבְנֽוּ־בַ֖יִת לְדָוִֽד׃ ...(יט) וַיִּשְׁאַ֨ל דָּוִ֤ד בַּֽה' לֵאמֹ֔ר הַאֶֽעֱלֶה֙ אֶל־פְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים הֲתִתְּנֵ֖ם בְּיָדִ֑י וַיֹּ֨אמֶר ה' אֶל־דָּוִד֙ עֲלֵ֔ה כִּֽי־נָתֹ֥ן אֶתֵּ֛ן אֶת־הַפְּלִשְׁתִּ֖ים בְּיָדֶֽךָ׃ (כ) וַיָּבֹ֨א דָוִ֥ד בְּבַֽעַל־פְּרָצִים֮ וַיַּכֵּ֣ם שָׁ֣ם דָּוִד֒ וַיֹּ֕אמֶר פָּרַ֨ץ ה' אֶת־אֹיְבַ֛י לְפָנַ֖י כְּפֶ֣רֶץ מָ֑יִם עַל־כֵּ֗ן קָרָ֛א שֵֽׁם־הַמָּק֥וֹם הַה֖וּא בַּ֥עַל פְּרָצִֽים׃

(7) But David captured the stronghold of Zion; it is now the City of David...(11) King Hiram of Tyre sent envoys to David with cedar logs, carpenters, and stonemasons; and they built a palace for David. (19) David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hands?” And the LORD answered David, “Go up, and I will deliver the Philistines into your hands.” (20) Thereupon David marched to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, “The LORD has broken through my enemies before me as waters break through [a dam].” That is why that place was named Baal-perazim.

4 ד

(ב) דבר אחר אשרי האיש...ומי הוא משובח שבנביאים ומשובח שבמלכים. משובח שבנביאים זה משה. משובח שבמלכים זה דוד. את מוצא שכל מה שעשה משה עשה דוד. משה הוציא את ישראל ממצרים. ודוד הוציא את ישראל משעבוד מלכיות....משה נתן להם חמשה חומשי תורה. וכנגדם נתן להם דוד ספר תהלים שיש בו חמשה ספרים. אשרי האיש. למנצח משכיל. מזמור לאסף. תפלה למשה. יאמרו גאולי. משה בירך את ישראל באשריך. ודוד בירך באשרי.

5 ה

(כג) וַֽיְהִ֕י כַּֽאֲשֶׁר־בָּ֥א יוֹסֵ֖ף אֶל־אֶחָ֑יו וַיַּפְשִׁ֤יטוּ אֶת־יוֹסֵף֙ אֶת־כֻּתָּנְתּ֔וֹ אֶת־כְּתֹ֥נֶת הַפַּסִּ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָלָֽיו׃ (כד) וַיִּ֨קָּחֻ֔הוּ וַיַּשְׁלִ֥כוּ אֹת֖וֹ הַבֹּ֑רָה וְהַבּ֣וֹר רֵ֔ק אֵ֥ין בּ֖וֹ מָֽיִם׃

(23) And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph of his coat, the coat of many colours that was on him; (24) and they took him, and cast him into the pit—and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

6 ו

(כה) וַיֵּשְׁבוּ֮ לֶֽאֱכָל־לֶחֶם֒ וַיִּשְׂא֤וּ עֵֽינֵיהֶם֙ וַיִּרְא֔וּ וְהִנֵּה֙ אֹרְחַ֣ת יִשְׁמְעֵאלִ֔ים בָּאָ֖ה מִגִּלְעָ֑ד וּגְמַלֵּיהֶ֣ם נֹֽשְׂאִ֗ים נְכֹאת֙ וּצְרִ֣י וָלֹ֔ט הוֹלְכִ֖ים לְהוֹרִ֥יד מִצְרָֽיְמָה׃ (כו) וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהוּדָ֖ה אֶל־אֶחָ֑יו מַה־בֶּ֗צַע כִּ֤י נַהֲרֹג֙ אֶת־אָחִ֔ינוּ וְכִסִּ֖ינוּ אֶת־דָּמֽוֹ׃ (כז) לְכ֞וּ וְנִמְכְּרֶ֣נּוּ לַיִּשְׁמְעֵאלִ֗ים וְיָדֵ֙נוּ֙ אַל־תְּהִי־ב֔וֹ כִּֽי־אָחִ֥ינוּ בְשָׂרֵ֖נוּ ה֑וּא וַֽיִּשְׁמְע֖וּ אֶחָֽיו׃

(25) Then they sat down to a meal. Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, their camels bearing gum, balm, and ladanum to be taken to Egypt. (26) Then Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain by killing our brother and covering up his blood? (27) Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let us not do away with him ourselves. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed.

7 ז

(כא) וַיֹּאמְר֞וּ אִ֣ישׁ אֶל־אָחִ֗יו אֲבָל֮ אֲשֵׁמִ֣ים ׀ אֲנַחְנוּ֮ עַל־אָחִינוּ֒ אֲשֶׁ֨ר רָאִ֜ינוּ צָרַ֥ת נַפְשׁ֛וֹ בְּהִתְחַֽנְנ֥וֹ אֵלֵ֖ינוּ וְלֹ֣א שָׁמָ֑עְנוּ עַל־כֵּן֙ בָּ֣אָה אֵלֵ֔ינוּ הַצָּרָ֖ה הַזֹּֽאת׃ (כב) וַיַּעַן֩ רְאוּבֵ֨ן אֹתָ֜ם לֵאמֹ֗ר הֲלוֹא֩ אָמַ֨רְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶ֧ם ׀ לֵאמֹ֛ר אַל־תֶּחֶטְא֥וּ בַיֶּ֖לֶד וְלֹ֣א שְׁמַעְתֶּ֑ם וְגַם־דָּמ֖וֹ הִנֵּ֥ה נִדְרָֽשׁ׃

(21) They said to one another, “Alas, we are being punished on account of our brother, because we looked on at his anguish, yet paid no heed as he pleaded with us. That is why this distress has come upon us.” (22) Then Reuben spoke up and said to them, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do no wrong to the boy’? But you paid no heed. Now comes the reckoning for his blood.”

8 ח

(כה) וַיְצַ֣ו יוֹסֵ֗ף וַיְמַלְא֣וּ אֶת־כְּלֵיהֶם֮ בָּר֒ וּלְהָשִׁ֤יב כַּסְפֵּיהֶם֙ אִ֣ישׁ אֶל־שַׂקּ֔וֹ וְלָתֵ֥ת לָהֶ֛ם צֵדָ֖ה לַדָּ֑רֶךְ וַיַּ֥עַשׂ לָהֶ֖ם כֵּֽן׃ (כו) וַיִּשְׂא֥וּ אֶת־שִׁבְרָ֖ם עַל־חֲמֹרֵיהֶ֑ם וַיֵּלְכ֖וּ מִשָּֽׁם׃ (כז) וַיִּפְתַּ֨ח הָאֶחָ֜ד אֶת־שַׂקּ֗וֹ לָתֵ֥ת מִסְפּ֛וֹא לַחֲמֹר֖וֹ בַּמָּל֑וֹן וַיַּרְא֙ אֶת־כַּסְפּ֔וֹ וְהִנֵּה־ה֖וּא בְּפִ֥י אַמְתַּחְתּֽוֹ׃ (כח) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֶל־אֶחָיו֙ הוּשַׁ֣ב כַּסְפִּ֔י וְגַ֖ם הִנֵּ֣ה בְאַמְתַּחְתִּ֑י וַיֵּצֵ֣א לִבָּ֗ם וַיֶּֽחֶרְד֞וּ אִ֤ישׁ אֶל־אָחִיו֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר מַה־זֹּ֛את עָשָׂ֥ה אֱלֹקִ֖ים לָֽנוּ׃

(25) Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, return each one’s money to his sack, and give them provisions for the journey; and this was done for them. (26) So they loaded their asses with the rations and departed from there. (27) As one of them was opening his sack to give feed to his ass at the night encampment, he saw his money right there at the mouth of his bag. (28) And he said to his brothers, “My money has been returned! It is here in my bag!” Their hearts sank; and, trembling, they turned to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”

9 ט

(ג) וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יוֹסֵ֤ף אֶל־אֶחָיו֙ אֲנִ֣י יוֹסֵ֔ף הַע֥וֹד אָבִ֖י חָ֑י וְלֹֽא־יָכְל֤וּ אֶחָיו֙ לַעֲנ֣וֹת אֹת֔וֹ כִּ֥י נִבְהֲל֖וּ מִפָּנָֽיו׃ (ד) וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יוֹסֵ֧ף אֶל־אֶחָ֛יו גְּשׁוּ־נָ֥א אֵלַ֖י וַיִּגָּ֑שׁוּ וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אֲנִי֙ יוֹסֵ֣ף אֲחִיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־מְכַרְתֶּ֥ם אֹתִ֖י מִצְרָֽיְמָה׃ (ה) וְעַתָּ֣ה ׀ אַל־תֵּעָ֣צְב֗וּ וְאַל־יִ֙חַר֙ בְּעֵ֣ינֵיכֶ֔ם כִּֽי־מְכַרְתֶּ֥ם אֹתִ֖י הֵ֑נָּה כִּ֣י לְמִֽחְיָ֔ה שְׁלָחַ֥נִי אֱלֹקִ֖ים לִפְנֵיכֶֽם׃

(3) Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still well?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dumfounded were they on account of him. (4) Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come forward to me.” And when they came forward, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, he whom you sold into Egypt. (5) Now, do not be distressed or reproach yourselves because you sold me hither; it was to save life that God sent me ahead of you.

10 י

(ח) יְהוּדָ֗ה אַתָּה֙ יוֹד֣וּךָ אַחֶ֔יךָ יָדְךָ֖ בְּעֹ֣רֶף אֹיְבֶ֑יךָ יִשְׁתַּחֲוּ֥וּ לְךָ֖ בְּנֵ֥י אָבִֽיךָ׃ (ט) גּ֤וּר אַרְיֵה֙ יְהוּדָ֔ה מִטֶּ֖רֶף בְּנִ֣י עָלִ֑יתָ כָּרַ֨ע רָבַ֧ץ כְּאַרְיֵ֛ה וּכְלָבִ֖יא מִ֥י יְקִימֶֽנּוּ׃

(8) You, O Judah, your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the nape of your foes; Your father’s sons shall bow low to you. (9) Judah is a lion’s whelp; On prey, my son, have you grown. He crouches, lies down like a lion, Like the king of beasts—who dare rouse him?

11 יא

(כו) וַיַּכֵּ֣ר יְהוּדָ֗ה וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ צָֽדְקָ֣ה מִמֶּ֔נִּי כִּֽי־עַל־כֵּ֥ן לֹא־נְתַתִּ֖יהָ לְשֵׁלָ֣ה בְנִ֑י וְלֹֽא־יָסַ֥ף ע֖וֹד לְדַעְתָּֽה׃ (כז) וַיְהִ֖י בְּעֵ֣ת לִדְתָּ֑הּ וְהִנֵּ֥ה תְאוֹמִ֖ים בְּבִטְנָֽהּ׃ (כח) וַיְהִ֥י בְלִדְתָּ֖הּ וַיִּתֶּן־יָ֑ד וַתִּקַּ֣ח הַמְיַלֶּ֗דֶת וַתִּקְשֹׁ֨ר עַל־יָד֤וֹ שָׁנִי֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר זֶ֖ה יָצָ֥א רִאשֹׁנָֽה׃ (כט) וַיְהִ֣י ׀ כְּמֵשִׁ֣יב יָד֗וֹ וְהִנֵּה֙ יָצָ֣א אָחִ֔יו וַתֹּ֕אמֶר מַה־פָּרַ֖צְתָּ עָלֶ֣יךָ פָּ֑רֶץ וַיִּקְרָ֥א שְׁמ֖וֹ פָּֽרֶץ׃ (ל) וְאַחַר֙ יָצָ֣א אָחִ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֥ר עַל־יָד֖וֹ הַשָּׁנִ֑י וַיִּקְרָ֥א שְׁמ֖וֹ זָֽרַח׃ (ס)

(26) Judah recognized them, and said, “She is more in the right than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he was not intimate with her again. (27) When the time came for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb! (28) While she was in labor, one of them put out his hand, and the midwife tied a crimson thread on that hand, to signify: This one came out first. (29) But just then he drew back his hand, and out came his brother; and she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” So he was named Perez. (30) Afterward his brother came out, on whose hand was the crimson thread; he was named Zerah.