Psalm 19

| Shavuot

Translation by Dr. Benjamin D. Sommer, Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages, JTS. Find more on Dr. Sommer’s thoughts on this psalm which is recited on Shavuot here.

The skies recount God’s splendor

                              the expanse above proclaims His handiwork. 

                    One day utters a word to the next,

                              one night conveys knowledge to another. 

                    There is no speech, there are no words

                              whose voice cannot be heard.

                    Their sound goes through all the world,

                              their words, to the end of the earth.

                    In the skies He set a tent for the sun,

                              which is like a groom who comes out of his chamber,

                              like a hero, delighted to run the course. 

                    It rises at one end of the sky,

                              and its circuit goes to the other;

                              nothing is hidden from its heat. 

                    Hashem’s Torah is wholesome,

                              renewing life;

                    Hashem’s covenant is trustworthy,

                              making the simpleminded wise; 

                    Hashem’s orders are fair,

                              gladdening one’s mind;

                    Hashem’s command is bright,

                              bringing light to one’s eyes;

                    Hashem’s awe is pure,

                              enduring forever;

                    Hashem’s judgements are true,

                              they are always correct, 

                    More desirable than gold,

                              than quantities of platinum;

                    Sweeter than honey,

                              than drippings from the comb. 

                    Your servant, too, takes care with them;

                              in obeying them there is great bounty. 

                    Who can see his own errors?

                              Cleanse me of what is hidden, 

                    From presumption, too,

                              guard Your servant;

                     Let them not rule me;

                              then shall I become wholehearted

                              and be cleansed of terrible sins. 

                    May speech from my mouth and thoughts of my mind

                              find  acceptance before You,       

                              Hashem, my rock and redeemer.