Friday, January 3, 2014

Psalm 5: Verses 13-15


The final verses of Psalm 5 deals with the reward for our efforts, both now and in heaven.

Notes on the verses

 13. Et læténtur omnes, qui sperant in te, in ætérnum exsultábunt: et habitábis in eis.
But let all them be glad that hope in you: they shall rejoice for ever, and you shall dwell in them.
Et (and) læténtur (let them rejoice) omnes (all) qui (who) sperant (they hope) in te (in you) in ætérnum (forever) exsultábunt (they will rejoice) et (and) habitábis (you will live/dwell) in eis (in them).

The final phrase differs in the Hebrew Masoretic Text: instead of dwelling amongst us (literally encamped amongst them in the Greek), it suggests protecting or defending them, and Coverdale therefore renders the verse as 'becasue thou defendest them'.  The Neo-Vulgate reflects this alternate version by changing the Latin to 'obrumbrabis eis'.  Yet on the face of it, the idea that God is more than our defender, but also dwells in and amongst us, is surely more in keeping with Christian theology.

laetor, atus sum, ari,  to rejoice, be joyful, take delight in
spero, avi, atum, are , to hope or trust in
aeternus, a, urn eternal. forever
exsulto, avi, atum, are , prop., to spring, leap, or jump up; to exult, to rejoice exceedingly
habito, avi, atum, are  to dwell, abide, live.

The Psalm's final verses return to the reward of those who hope in God.  First, we are urged to be joyful, for we are promised true happiness borne of God's dwelling in and amongst us, not that ephemeral pleasure that is but temporary.  Even persecution and other ills should spur us to greater heights in this regard, Chrysostom instructs, for:

"This in particular, you see, is unceasing joy; other joys, at any rate, are no better than flowing streams, no sooner seen than gone by. The happiness that is from God, by contrast, remains steady and has firm roots, is both ample and lasting, interrupted by no unforeseen circumstance, but ren­dered more elevated by the very obstacles themselves. For the apostles also rejoiced when scourged, and Paul exulted when sub­jected to distress; he was on the point of death, and spoke of sharers in his enjoyment...Christ also indicated this same thing in his words, revealing the indissolubility of the enjoyment: "I shall see you again, and no one takes away your joy."...


14. Et gloriabúntur in te omnes, qui díligunt nomen tuum: quóniam tu benedíces justo.
And all they that love your name shall glory in you. For you will bless the just.
Et (and) gloriabúntur (they will glory/exult/boast) in te (in you) omnes (all) qui (who) díligunt (they love) nomen (name) tuum (your) quóniam (because) tu (you) benedíces (you will bless) justo (to the just)

Note that benedicere is frequently used with the dative (ie justo) as an alternative to the accusative.

glorior, atus sum, ari to boast,  glory in, pride one's self on anything; to to be joyful, exult; to raise a shout.
omnis, e, all, each, every; subst., all men, all things, everything
diligo, lexi, lectum, ere 3  to love;
nomen, mis, n. name; God himself; the perfections of God, His glory, majesty, wisdom, power, goodness,
benedico, dixi, dictum, ere 3, to bless,
justus, a, um Of God: just. (2) as a subst., a just man, the just.


What does it mean to be a 'lover of thy name', as Knox renders the phrase?  The Navarre commentary suggests that "name" is equivalent to "person", so that those who love God's name are all those who acknowledge and trust what he has done for them.  Yet I think there is something more to it than that, for our God is not anonymous, not an unknown God, but the Christian one, through whom all who are saved will be saved, and whose name we can call upon when we ask for help in our daily lives.  

15. Dómine, ut scuto bonæ voluntátis tuæ coronásti nos.
O Lord, you have crowned us, as with a shield of your good will.
Dómine (O Lord) ut (that/ as with) scuto (with a shield) bonæ (of good) voluntátis (goodwill/favour) tuæ (your) coronásti (you have crowned/encompassed) nos (us)

Translators have struggled with how to deal with the idea of crowning with a shield.  Some correct, or interpret the Greek and Hebrew 'crowning' to mean encompass or surround, so Knox (and Coverdale takes a similar approach) for example makes it' thou dost throw they loving-kindness about us like a shield'.  The more literal approach is reflected in the New Septuagint version, 'you crowned us as with a shield of favour'.  The neo-Vulgate retains the idea of crowning, but attempts to simplify the Latin somewhat: 'Domine quasi scuto, bona voluntate coronabis eum' (O Lord, as if with a shield you will crown them with good favour).

scutum, i, n. a shield, buckler; defense, protection.
bonus, a, um, good; morally good, upright
voluntas, atis, wish, desire;, good will, favor, graciousness.  plan, counsel.
corono, avi, atum, are (corona), to crown, to bestow some thing on as a mark of honor, to adorn; to surround, encompass
ut, adv. and conj., as, like. wherefore, so, so, why. that, in order that, to the end that.

The final blessing alluded to by the psalm is the armour of righteousness that is God's gift to us.  Cassiodorus explains:

"The Creator's good will which fills us with indescribable gifts is called a shield, which in very truth protects us, and bestows fine rewards...It is a protection which no blow can pierce, an armour which no death can infiltrate; rather, through it death has been con­quered and has surrendered, and men's salvation for which hope had been lost has emerged."

Psalm 5: Verba mei auribus
Vulgate
Douay-Rheims
In finem, pro ea quæ hæreditatem consequitur. Psalmus David.
Unto the end, for her that obtains the inheritance. A psalm for David.
1 Verba mea áuribus pércipe, Dómine, * intéllege clamórem meum.
Give ear, O Lord, to my words, understand my cry
2. Inténde voci oratiónis meæ: * Rex meus et Deus meus
Hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God
3  Quóniam ad te orábo: * Dómine, mane exáudies vocem meam.
For to you will I pray: O Lord, in the morning you shall hear my voice
4  Mane astábo tibi et vidébo: * quóniam non Deus volens iniquitátem tu es.
In the morning I will stand before you, and I will see: because you are not a God that wills iniquity.
5  Neque habitábit juxta te malígnus: * neque permanébunt injústi ante óculos tuos.
Neither shall the wicked dwell near you: nor shall the unjust abide before your eyes.
6  Odísti omnes, qui operántur iniquitátem: * perdes omnes, qui loquúntur mendácium.
You hate all the workers of iniquity: you will destroy all that speak a lie
7  Virum sánguinum et dolósum abominábitur Dóminus: * ego autem in multitúdine misericórdiæ tuæ.
The bloody and the deceitful man the Lord will abhor.  But as for me in the multitude of your mercy,
8  Introíbo in domum tuam: * adorábo ad templum sanctum tuum in timóre tuo.
I will come into your house; I will worship towards your holy temple, in your fear.
9  Dómine, deduc me in justítia tua: * propter inimícos meos dírige in conspéctu tuo viam meam.
Conduct me, O Lord, in your justice: because of my enemies, direct my way in your sight.
10  Quóniam non est in ore eórum véritas: * cor eórum vanum est.
For there is no truth in their mouth: their heart is vain.
11  Sepúlcrum patens est guttur eórum, linguis suis dolóse agébant, * júdica illos, Deus.
Their throat is an open sepulchre: they dealt deceitfully with their tongues: judge them, O God
12  Décidant a cogitatiónibus suis, secúndum multitúdinem impietátum eórum expélle eos, * quóniam irritavérunt te, Dómine.
Let them fall from their devices: according to the   multitude of their wickednesses cast them out: for they have provoked you, O Lord.
13  Et læténtur omnes, qui sperant in te, * in ætérnum exsultábunt: et habitábis in eis.
But let all them be glad that hope in you: they shall rejoice for ever, and you shall dwell in them.
14  Et gloriabúntur in te omnes, qui díligunt nomen tuum: * quóniam tu benedíces justo.
And all they that love your name shall glory in you. For you will bless the just.
15  Dómine, ut scuto bonæ voluntátis tuæ * coronásti nos.
O Lord, you have crowned us, as with a shield of   your good will.

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