Psalm 93 – Psalms Of Pesukei Dezimra Of Shabbat By Rabbi Gail Diamond
(א) יְהוָ֣ה מָלָךְ֮ גֵּא֪וּת לָ֫בֵ֥שׁ לָבֵ֣שׁ יְ֭הוָה עֹ֣ז הִתְאַזָּ֑ר אַף־תִּכּ֥וֹן תֵּ֝בֵ֗ל בַּל־תִּמּֽוֹט׃ (ב) נָכ֣וֹן כִּסְאֲךָ֣ מֵאָ֑ז מֵֽעוֹלָ֣ם אָֽתָּה׃ (ג) נָשְׂא֤וּ נְהָר֨וֹת ׀ יְֽהוָ֗ה נָשְׂא֣וּ נְהָר֣וֹת קוֹלָ֑ם יִשְׂא֖וּ נְהָר֣וֹת דָּכְיָֽם׃ (ד) מִקֹּל֨וֹת ׀ מַ֤יִם רַבִּ֗ים אַדִּירִ֣ים מִשְׁבְּרֵי־יָ֑ם אַדִּ֖יר בַּמָּר֣וֹם יְהוָֽה׃ (ה) עֵֽדֹתֶ֨יךָ ׀ נֶאֶמְנ֬וּ מְאֹ֗ד לְבֵיתְךָ֥ נַאֲוָה־קֹ֑דֶשׁ יְ֝הוָ֗ה לְאֹ֣רֶךְ יָמִֽים׃
(1) The LORD is king, He is robed in grandeur; the LORD is robed, He is girded with strength. The world stands firm; it cannot be shaken. (2) Your throne stands firm from of old; from eternity You have existed. (3) The ocean sounds, O LORD, the ocean sounds its thunder, the ocean sounds its pounding. (4) Above the thunder of the mighty waters, more majestic than the breakers of the sea is the LORD, majestic on high. (5) Your decrees are indeed enduring; holiness befits Your house, O LORD, for all times.

Water

1. Reading exercise – Read Psalm 93 in Hebrew and English. Do you experience a rhythm to the Psalm?

2. Activity – Review the Hebrew text of the Psalm. Which words in the Psalm refer to water?

3. Setting – Are there any references to location in this Psalm? Where do you think the action is taking place?

4. Structure –This Psalm has a different verse structure than the other Psalms we have studied – in all but verse 2. What does the structure add? What do you make of the anomalous verse 2?

5. Biblical/Rabbinic references

Examine the following passages:

Verse 1, part 2 – Isaiah 11:5; Job 12:18

Verse 1, part 3 – Psalm 96:10; I Chronicles 16:30; Psalm 15:5

Verse 2 – Nedarim 39b

שבעה דברים נבראו קודם שנברא העולם, אלו הן: תורה, ותשובה, גן עדן, וגיהנם, כסא הכבוד, ובית המקדש, ושמו של משיח; תורה – דכתיב: +משלי ח+ ה’ קנני ראשית דרכו וגו’, תשובה – דכתיב: +תהלים צ+ בטרם הרים יולדו ותחולל וגו’ +תהלים צ+ תשב אנוש עד דכא וגו’, גן עדן – דכתיב: +בראשית ב+ ויטע ה’ אלהים גן בעדן מקדם וגו’, גיהנם – דכתיב: +ישעיהו ל+ כי ערוך מאתמול תפתה, כסא כבוד – דכתיב: +תהלים צג+ נכון כסאך מאז, בית המקדש – דכתיב: +ירמיהו יז+ כסא כבוד מרום מראשון, שמו של משיח – דכתיב: +תהלים עב+ יהי שמו לעולם וגו’

Seven things were created before the world was created and these are they: Torah, Teshuvah (repentance/return), the Garden of Eden and Gehinnom, the Throne of Glory and the Temple, and the name of the Messiah.

Torah, as it is written, (Proverbs 8:22), “Hashem created me at the beginning of his way…”

Teshuvah, as it is written, (Psalm 90:2) “Before the mountains were born and [earth] was created…” and (Psalm 90:3) “You return humanity to dust…”

The Garden of Eden, as it is written, (Genesis 2:8), “The Lord G-d planted a Garden in Eden from before” (1)

Gehinnom as it is written (Isaiah 30:33, “The Topheth has long been ready for him…” (2)

The Throne of Glory as it is written, (Psalm 93:2) “Your throne stands firm from of old” (3)

The Temple as it is written, (Jeremiah 17:12), “O Throne of Glory exalted from of old” (3)

The name of the Messiah as it is written, (Psalm 72:17), “May his name be eternal…” (3).

Verse 4 – Jonah 2:4; Psalm 88:8

Verse 5 – Psalm 19:8

Whole Psalm – Exodus 15:5-10; 17-18, Psalm 29 (especially verse 10)

6. Difficult words/phrases –

Verse 1 – how many verbs are in this verse? The second section of the verse contains an ambiguity or grammatical difficulty.

Verse 3 – דכים – appears nowhere else in the Tanach. Possibly related to the root דכא or דכה.

Verse 5 – נאוה – also an anomaly,– possibly related to נווה or נאה. See also נוה קדשך in Exodus 15:13

7. Prayer and liturgy – In Shabbat liturgy, this Psalm appears with Psalm 92 but often “takes a back seat” to its partner in the davening. Do you consider Psalm 93 as important as Psalm 92? How do you think this Psalm is related to Shabbat?

8. Spiritual issues – questions for reflection and discussion

How does this Psalm portray G-d? Is it an image of divinity you can relate to? Do you find this kind of portrayal of G-d important to your prayer life?

9. Conclusion – Do you find this Psalm personally meaningful? Do you find the themes in this Psalm an important part of Judaism?