Friday, November 22, 2013

Psalm 128: Verse 7

Pissaro: The Harvest

Psalm 128

The final verse of Psalm 128 details the final punishment of the unrepentant sinner, in his exclusion from the blessings commonly exchanged within the community.

Psalm 128 (129) – Saepe expugnaverunt me

Canticum graduum.
A gradual canticle.
1 Sæpe expugnavérunt me a juventúte mea, * dicat nunc Israël:
Often have they fought against me from my youth, let Israel now say.
2  Sæpe expugnavérunt me a juventúte mea: * étenim non potuérunt mihi.
2 Often have they fought against me from my youth: but they could not prevail over me.
3  Supra dorsum meum fabricavérunt peccatóres: * prolongavérunt iniquitátem suam.
3 The wicked have wrought upon my back: they have lengthened their iniquity.
4  Dóminus justus concídit cervíces peccatórum: * confundántur et convertántur retrórsum omnes, qui odérunt Sion.
4 The Lord who is just will cut the necks of sinners: 5 Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Sion.
5  Fiant sicut fœnum tectórum: * quod priúsquam evellátur exáruit:
6 Let them be as grass upon the tops of houses: which withers before it be plucked up:
6  De quo non implévit manum suam qui metit: * et sinum suum qui manípulos cólligit.
7 Who with the mower fills not his hand: nor he that gathers sheaves his bosom.
7  Et non dixérunt qui præteríbant: Benedíctio Dómini super vos: * benedíximus vobis in nómine Dómini.
8 And they that passed by have not said: The blessing of the Lord be upon you: we have blessed you in the name of the Lord.

Notes on the verse

7. Et non dixerunt qui præteribant: Benedictio Domini super vos. Benediximus vobis in nomine Domini.
And they that have passed by have not said: The blessing of the Lord be upon you: we have blessed you in the name of the Lord.

Et (and) non (not) dixérunt (they have said) qui (who) præteríbant (they pass by) benedíctio (the blessing) Dómini (of the Lord) super (on/over) vos (you) benedíximus (we have blessed) vobis (you) in nómine (in the name) Dómini (of the Lord)

praetereo, li, ltum, ire,  Of place: to go by, pass by.
benedictio, onis, /.a blessing.
benedico, dixi, dictum, ere 3  to bless, to praise, bless, give thanks to (God);  to be well pleased with, to take pleasure in

nomen, mis, n. name

Cassiodorus explains the context of the blessing being denied:

It was a custom among the Jews that if passers-by came upon individuals working at some agricultural task, they bestowed grace and a blessing on them. So we read in the book of Ruth: And Booz said to the young man that was set over the reapers, The Lord be with you: and they answered him, The Lord bless thee. Here an implication contrary to this custom is assumed, for no blessing is bestowed on wicked men who work to no effect. 

St Augustine points out that those who reject Christ are owed no blessings, but rather condemnation. Because we are friends of the bridegroom, he argues, we must 'refuse to be adulterers of the bride'.

And that brings to an end our consideration of the psalms of Monday Vespers.  You can find an overview of Tuesday in the Benedictine Office here.

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