274. Rabbi Yosi quoted the verse, "You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from the adversary; You do compass me about with songs of deliverance. Sela" (Tehilim 32:7). " ...My hiding place," refers to the Holy One, blessed be He, who is a hiding place and a shield to the man who treads the paths of the Torah, THE SECRET OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN, and is hidden under the shadow of His wings so as not to come to harm. HE ASKS, WHY THEN DOES IT READ, "You shall preserve me from the adversary," WHICH HAS THE SAME MEANING AS, "YOU ARE MY HIDING PLACE?" HE ANSWERS, Man has enemies above as well as below FOR WHICH IT SAYS, "YOU ARE MY HIDING PLACE." It is the Evil Inclination, OF WHICH IT IS WRITTEN, "YOU SHALL PRESERVE ME FROM THE ADVERSARY." It attacks above and below - DESCENDS TO INCITE, AND ASCENDS TO BRING ACCUSATIONS. Were it not for the Evil Inclination, man would not have any enemies in the world. Therefore THE SCRIPTURE READS, "You shall preserve me from the adversary," FROM THE EVIL INCLINATION.
275. " ...You do compass me about with songs of deliverance, Sela" (Tehilim 32:7). He said, It should have read, 'He does compass me,' IN THE THIRD PERSON, BECAUSE IN THE SECOND PERSON IT COULD MEAN 'THE SONGS OF DELIVERANCE COMPASS ME.' Why then does it read, "You do compass," IN THE PRESENT PERSON? HE ANSWERS, Within these songs there are grades of salvation, You will compass me with them to guard me on my way. THE VERSE IS INDEED ADDRESSED TO THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE SAYING, "YOU DO COMPASS ME." This verse may be read forwards or backwards, from both sides, YET ITS MEANING REMAINS THE SAME.
276. Come and behold, the songs and praises sung by David contain mysteries and high matters of the secret of wisdom, because they were all inspired by the Holy Spirit, which dwelt with David when he recited poetry. Hence they were all said from the Holy Spirit.
277. Rabbi Elazar continued with the verse, "You did push me hard that I might fall: but Hashem helped me" (Tehilim 118:13). HE SAID, IT IS WRITTEN, "You did push me," when it should have been written, 'they did push me.' Why is it written, "You did push me," AS IT WAS NOT THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, WHO PUSHED HIM, BUT HIS ENEMIES? HE ANSWERS, This is the Other Side, which always pushes man in an effort to turn him away from the Holy One, blessed be He. It is the Evil Inclination, the constant companion of man, to which David addressed the words, "You did push me hard that I might fall," because, with all the troubles that came upon him, it almost caused him to turn him from the Holy One, blessed be He. Concerning this, David said, "You did push me hard that I might fall" into Gehenom, "but Hashem helped me" by not delivering me into your hands.
278. It is incumbent on man to guard against it, so it does not obtain mastery over him. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, will guard him in all his ways, as it is written, "Then shall you walk in your way safely, and your foot shall not stumble" (Mishlei 3:23), and "When you go, your steps shall not be confined" (Mishlei 4:12). It is also written, "But the path of just men is like the gleam of sunlight, it shines ever more brightly until the height of noonday" (Mishlei 4:18). Rabbi Yehuda said, Happy are Yisrael, for the Holy One, blessed be He, keeps them in this world and in the World to Come, as it is written, "Your people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever" (Yeshayah 60:21).