Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the most accurate English translation of the famous verse from Tehillim (Psalms)

פתחו לי שערי צדק

?

share|improve this question
1  
1  
I'm not sure there is such a thing as the proper translation. –  Double AA Jan 17 '13 at 4:14
    
@DoubleAA I edited the way I phrased it. –  Imray Jan 17 '13 at 4:15
1  
@DoubleAA Hard (if not impossible) to translate Torah without applying any interpretation. –  Michoel Jan 17 '13 at 7:10
1  
@DoubleAA We are just nitpicking now.. (or maybe the whole time :-). You criticized the original wording, which was then edited. I pointed out that the edit did not remove the entire problem which I think you agree to. So granted you won't call all 70 interpretations "accurate translations", but my point remains that there is no one most accurate. –  Michoel Jan 17 '13 at 8:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The verse literally means something like "Open (command, plural) for me the gates of righteousness." Rashi interprets it to mean the gates of the Beis HaMikdash. Metzudas David explains that he is going there to thank G-d for having rescued him (referred to in the previous verses). The Ibn Ezra says they are called the "gates of righteousness" because a person has an obligation to thank G-d for His help, which is what David is saying he is doing. Malbim says he was leading a sacrifice there to thank G-d and asking the gatekeepers to open the gates for him, and that they are called "gates of righteousness (or: judgment)" because G-d, having afflicted him in order to bring the salvation (as mentioned in the previous verse), had saved him more through judgment than through kindness. Radak interprets the gate thing to be a metaphor.

share|improve this answer
    
צדק sounds more literally like Justice. Also I don't see any definite article in the verse. –  Double AA Jan 17 '13 at 5:43
    
I wasn't making the translation exact to every word. I think the questioner was more interested in an explanation of what it means (what are the "gates of righteousness"?). –  b a Jan 17 '13 at 5:54
1  
...but that's not what he wrote... (if anything he asked what are the "gates of Justice"; בצדק תשפוט עמיתך; צדק צדק תרדוף) –  Double AA Jan 17 '13 at 5:59
    
מאזני צדק אבני צדק איפת צדק הין צדק What did those objects do to become righteous? :) –  Double AA Jan 17 '13 at 6:25
    
@DoubleAA Which is why I included the translation as well (though arguably not "the most exact"). (And who is this "right person"? They had Republicans back then? And what's this thing about "three hundred maidservants"?) –  b a Jan 17 '13 at 6:28

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.