Hashkiveinu is a Hebrew prayer to lie down in peace at night and arise alive in the morning. It is part of the Ma’ariv, the evening prayer service. It generally follows the Shema and Mi Kamocha and precedes the Amidah.

Evening Prayers

I remember as a young child reciting this prayer at bedtime:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

That’s maybe a little bit morbid – thinking about death, praying to be kept safe at night with a caveat for if I don’t happen to live until morning. Perhaps it is a reflection of an all too common Christian attitude – we focusing on the hereafter rather than on living life in the present (but, that is a completely different topic we should tackle sometime). Even though that’s the way I learned the bedtime prayer, there is another more pleasant version. Perhaps this is the way you remember it:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
His love to guard me through the night,
And wake me with the morning light.

This Hebrew Prayer, hashkiveinu, expresses the same thought:

Hashkiveinu Adonai Eloheinu l’shalom
v’ha-amideinu malkeniu l’chayim
Lay us down, O Lord our God, in peace,
And raise us up, our King, to new life.

In some renditions the word malkeinu (our king) in the second line is replaced with the word shomreinu (our guardian).

Hashkiveinu is found in most Jewish weekday Siddurim, including the Complete Artscroll Siddur. I was not able to find it in any Messianic Siddur that I have, but I did find it (though only in English) in the Prayer Book and Life Cycle Guide for Messianic Believers in Yeshua in the Ma’ariv for weekdays and the conclusion of Shabbat.

Here is the complete text of Hashkiveinu in Hebrew and in English as presented in the Artscroll Siddur:

הַשְׁכִּיבֵנוּ יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ לְשָׁלוֺם
וְהַעֲמִידֵנוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ לְחַיּים
וּפְרוֺשׂ עָלֵינוּ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֺמֶךָ
וְתַקְּנֵנוּ בְּעֵצָה טוֺבָה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
וְהוֺשִׁיעֵנוּ לְמַעַן שְׁמֶךָ
וְהָגֵן בַּעֲדֵנוּ וְהָסֵר מֵעָלֵינוּ אוֺיֵב דֶּבֶר וְחֶרֶב וְרָעָב וְיָגוֺן
וְהָסֵר שָׂטָן מִלְּפָנֵינוּ וּמֵאַחֲרֵינוּ
וּבְצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵנוּ
כִּי אֵל שׁוֺמְרֵנוּ וּמַצִּילֵנוּ אָתָּה
כִּי אֵל מֶלֶךְ חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם אָתָּה
וּשְׁמוֺר צֵאתֵנוּ וּבוֺאֵנוּ
לְחַיּים וּלְשָׁלוֺם מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֺלָם
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהוה שׁוֺמֵר עַמּוֺ יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַד

Hashkiveinu ADONAI eloheinu l’shalom,
v’ha-amideinu malkeinu l’chayim
Ufros aleinu sukat sh’lomecha
V’tak’neinu b’eitza tova mil’fanecha
V’hoshieinu l’ma-an sh’mecha
V’hagein ba-adeinu, v’haseir mei-aleinu, oyeiv, dever, v’cherev, v’ra-av, v’yagon
V’haseir satan mil’faneinu umei-aḥareinu
Uv’tzeil k’nafecha tastireinu
Ki Eil shom’reinu umatzileinu ata
Ki Eil melech chanun v’rachum ata
Ushmor tzeiteinu uvo-einu
l’cḥayim ul’shalom mei-ata v’ad olam
Baruch ata ADONAI, shomer ‘amo Israel la’ad

Lay us down to sleep, HASHEM our God, in peace,
Raise us erect, our King, to life;
And spread over us the shelter of your peace.
Set us aright with good counsel from before Your Presence,
and save us for Your Name’s sake.
Shield us, remove from us foe, plague, sword, famine and woe;
And remove spiritual impediment from before us and behind us
And in the shadow of Your wings shelter us
For God, the gracious and compassionate King, are You.
Safeguard our going and coming
For life and for peace from now to eternity.
Blessed are you, HASHEM, Who protects his people Israel forever.


Hashkiveinu is an imperative (command or request) first person plural form of the Hebrew verb shakab, meaning to lie down or in this case, to be laid down. In the second line, Amideinu is a similar form of the verb ‘amad, meaning to stand up. It is the same root word from which we get Amidah, the name of the standing prayer. So this prayer makes two requests, similar to the child’s bedtime prayer mentioned previously:

Lay us down, and raise us up.

שׁכב shâkab (H7901)
Brown-Driver-Briggs definition:

1) to lie down
1a) (Qal) to lie, lie down, lie on
1b) (Niphal) to be lain with
1c) (Pual) to be lain with
1d) (Hiphil) to make to lie down
1e) (Hophal) to be laid

עמד ‛âmad (H5975)
Brown-Driver-Briggs definition:

1) to stand, remain, endure, take one’s stand
1a) (Qal) to stand, take one’s stand, be in a standing attitude
1b) (Hiphil) to cause to stand up, cause to set up, erect
1c) (Hophal) to be presented, be caused to stand, be stood before
Part of Speech: verb

From The Cantor

Here are three different melodies for singing this prayer. The first is a beautiful rendition of this prayer composed and sung by Danny Maseng. The second melody (J. Zweilback) is sung by Cantor Magda Fishman. The last one is written and performed by Craig Taubman. Here it is done as a round, and if you search you can even find this one in a “mash” with Matisyahu’s “One Day.”

The Messianic Light does not own the rights to any of this music.

3 thoughts on “Hashkiveinu”

  1. I sing this prayer in the first version, and it is gorgeous. It puts me to sleep with “Ufross aleinu sukkat sh’lomecha” and makes me yawn and want to go to sleep. That version is so well-composed, and sounds gorgeous in E major.

  2. Thank you for these prayers for Yom Kippur. I too remember reciting the Christian version of Now I lay me down to sleep, but never thought of it as morbid. Death is a reality of life, and many do like down to sleep daily and not arise the next day. Nothing wrong with that. Thinking of things above and not just below, momentary things. Besides, there’s a second stanza you forgot:
    In my little bed I lie,
    Heavenly Father, hear my cry
    L-RD, protect me through this night
    And keep me safe till morning light.
    That covers the awakening aspect, looking forward to a new day, while the first stanza covers the possibility of dying. All bases covered.


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