Psalms – Chapter 5

Flight of the Bumblebee

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

David asks G-d to pay heed to his words and even his thoughts (when he is unable to express them) because David recognizes that there is no power besides G-d. David’s first act of the day, before he starts his business, is to pray to G-d, Whose favorable reply David anticipates. Why is David so confident that G-d will agree to his requests? Because David knows that G-d hates evil, so He will not tolerate evildoers (like David’s pursuers) indefinitely.

David asks G-d to destroy the treacherous and bloodthirsty men. This may refer to Doeg and Achitofel, learned men who turned on David. (We see from the Mishna that Doeg and Achitofel were, in fact, destroyed, as they are among the rare few who managed to forfeit their share in the World to Come – see Mishna Sanhedrin 10:2.) David is confident that G-d will welcome him and David will bow before Him.

David asks G-d to guide him on the path of righteousness, successfully avoiding those who would see him stumble. These enemies are treacherous and insincere, feigning friendship while waiting for a chance to stab David in the back. G-d should judge these people as they deserve and dismantle their plots. They have rebelled against G-d by their many sins; those who truly love G-d will rejoice when He acts against these faithless ones. The righteous will sing in joy from their relationship with G-d.

Like the previous Psalm, this one begins with a note to the conductor. It indicates that this Psalm is to be accompanied by an instrument called the nechilos, which the Radak suggests was a stringed instrument that made a bee-like buzz.

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