Saturday, February 9, 2013

Psalm 111 vs 7: Victory is sure!

Verse 7 of Psalm 111 reads:

Paratum cor ejus sperare in Domino, confirmatum est cor ejus; non commovebitur donec despiciat inimicos suos.
His heart is ready to hope in the Lord: His heart is strengthened, he shall not be moved until he look over his enemies

Looking at the Latin

Parátum (prepared) cor (heart) ejus (his) = his heart [is] prepared/ready
speráre (to hope) in Dómino (in the Lord)

confirmátum est (it is confirmed/established/strengthened) cor ejus (his heart) = his heart is made steady/strengthened

paro, avi, atum, are,  to prepare, make ready,  furnish, equip, fit out, provide, make firm, establish
cor, cordis, n., the heart, regarded as the seat of the faculties, feelings, emotions, passions; the mind, the soul.
spero, avi, atum, are, to hope or trust in
confirmo, avi, atum, are, to strengthen, confirm, establish; in the passive, to be sustained, supported, stayed

non commovébitur (he will not be moved) donec (until) despíciat (he can look down upon) inimícos suos (his enemies) =  [ie sees his enemies defeated]

donec, conj., till, until
despicio, spexi, spectum, ere 3 to look away from, not to look at, to slight; to despise; to look down upon

Penetrating the meaning of the text

It is one of the strange mysteries of life that the good inevitably attract enemies: but what distinguishes the good man is that he looks steadfastly to God for help, knowing that ultimately, victory is certain.

St Robert Bellarmine comments:

“This is the seventh blessing of the soul that feareth God; a firm and fixed reliance on the divine protection, through which it fears no evil. "His heart is ready to hope in the Lord." That is, in every adversity, in every imminent danger, his heart is ready to take refuge in God, because he is always prepared and ready to hope in God, never loses sight of God's assistance, never dis­trusts him, never hesitates in putting faith in him. His heart is strengthened in such confidence, so that there is no danger of his failing in it. "He shall not be moved until he look over his enemies." He never will have the slightest fear of any impending danger from his enemies, and, of course, much less when he shall look down upon them prostrate and vanquished.”

The psalm as a whole

1 Beatus vir qui timet Dominum : in mandatis ejus volet nimis
2 Potens in terra erit semen ejus; generatio rectorum benedicetur.
3 Gloria et divitiæ in domo ejus, et justitia ejus manet in sæculum sæculi. 
4 Exortum est in tenebris lumen rectis : misericors, et miserator, et justus. 
5 Jucundus homo qui miseretur et commodat; disponet sermones suos in judicio: quia in æternum non commovebitur.  
6 In memoria æterna erit justus; ab auditione mala non timebit.
7 Paratum cor ejus sperare in Domino, confirmatum est cor ejus; non commovebitur donec despiciat inimicos suos.
8 Dispersit, dedit pauperibus; justitia ejus manet in sæculum sæculi : cornu ejus exaltabitur in gloria.
9 Peccator videbit, et irascetur; dentibus suis fremet et tabescet : desiderium peccatorum peribit.

For notes on verse 8, go here.

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