Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Psalm 131 verses 14-15

Christ in majesty in the heavenly Sion
 église Saint-Theudère de Saint-Chef, c12-13th
Today's verses of Psalm 131 point out that God's choice of Jerusalem for his temple provided a concrete image for us of the heavenly Sion, pointing us to our ultimate destination; for us today, Churches serve the same function.

Notes on the verses

Quóniam elégit Dóminus Sion: * elégit eam in habitatiónem sibi.
Quoniam elegit Dominus Sion, desideravit eam in habitationem sibi:
Quia elegit Dominus Sion; desiderauit eam in babitaculum suimi

τι ξελέξατο κύριος τν Σιων ρετίσατο ατν ες κατοικίαν αυτ

Quóniam (for/because) elégit (he has chosen/elected) Dóminus (the Lord) Sion elégit (he has chosen) eam (it) in habitatiónem (as a dwelling place) sibi (for himself).

The neo-Vulgate follows the Hebrew Masoretic Text here, and changes the second phrase from a repetition of 'chosen' to 'he has desired'. The threefold repetition (with the next verse) of the word chosen though, is probably meant to be symbolic: three denotes completeness and perfection (hence the Trinity).

quoniam, for, because, since, seeing that, whereas
eligo, legi, lectum, ere 3  to choose, pick out, select.
habitatio, onis, f , a dwelling, habitation.

For the Lord has chosen Sion: he has chosen it for his dwelling.
For the Lord has elected Sion, he has chosen her for a habitation for himself
For the Lord hath chosen Sion to be an habitation for himself; he hath longed for her.
The Lord’s choice has fallen upon Sion, this is the dwelling he longed for: 

The Fathers and Theologians generally interpret Sion here to mean the Church, and especially in the sense of the Church Triumphant, or heaven.  Bellarmine, for example comments that:

"These verses apply, to a certain extent, to the city of Jerusalem, inasmuch as it was a type of the Church militant, and afterwards triumphant; because God chose that city for a time as the seat of royalty and of the priesthood, and in it were to be found the throne and the temple. But, as that city was soon to be laid in ruins, and the kingdom upset, and the tem­ple itself to be burned, we are constrained to say that these verses apply to the Church, the kingdom of Christ..."

Hæc réquies mea in sæculum sæculi: * hic habitábo, quóniam elégi eam.
Haec requies mea in saeculum saeculi; hic habitabo, quoniam desideravi eam.
Haec est requies mea in sempiternum: hic habitabo ; quia desideraui eam.

ατη  κατάπαυσίς μου ες αἰῶνα αἰῶνος δε κατοικήσω τι ρετισάμην ατήν

Hæc (this) réquies (resting place) mea (my) in sæculum sæculi (forever and ever) hic (here) habitábo (I will live) quóniam (for/because) elégi (I have chosen) eam (it)

hic, haec, hoc (demon pron)., this
requies, ei,   rest;  a resting-place.
hic (adverb) here, in this place
habito, avi, atum, are  to dwell, abide, live.
saeculum, i, n., a lifetime, generation, age; an indefinite period of time; forever, eternity
eligo, legi, lectum, ere 3  to choose, pick out, select.

This is my rest for ever and ever: here will I dwell, for I have chosen it.
saying, This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have chosen it.
This shall be my rest for ever: here will I dwell, for I have a delight therein.

There is a third sense of the word Sion, too, which we should contemplate, namely of ourselves transformed into temples of God.  Cassiodorus summarises the point:

The Lord's rest and special tabernacle is His lodging in the most devoted hearts of men. True, He is present everywhere, but we are to say that He dwells in them to a degree beyond measure and beyond understanding.

Psalm 131 (132) – Memento Domine

Canticum graduum.
A gradual canticle.
1 Meménto, Dómine, David, * et omnis mansuetúdinis ejus :
O Lord remember David, and all his meekness.

2  Sicut jurávit Dómino, * votum vovit Deo Jacob
2 How he swore to the Lord, he vowed a vow to the God of Jacob:
3  Si introíero in tabernáculum domus meæ, * si ascéndero in lectum strati mei :
3 If I shall enter into the tabernacle of my house: if I shall go up into the bed wherein I lie:
4  Si dédero somnum óculis meis, * et pálpebris meis dormitatiónem :
4 If I shall give sleep to my eyes, or slumber to my eyelids,
5  Et réquiem tempóribus meis : donec invéniam locum Dómino, * tabernáculum Deo Jacob.
5 or rest to my temples: until I find out a place for the Lord, a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.
6. Ecce audívimus eam in Ephrata: * invénimus eam in campis silvæ.
6 Behold we have heard of it in Ephrata: we have found it in the fields of the wood.
7  Introíbimus in tabernáculum ejus: * adorábimus in loco, ubi stetérunt pedes ejus.
7 We will go into his tabernacle: we will adore in the place where his feet stood. .
8  Surge, Dómine, in réquiem tuam, * tu et arca sanctificatiónis tuæ.
8 Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark, which you have sanctified
9  Sacerdótes tui induántur justítiam: * et sancti tui exsúltent.
9 Let your priests be clothed with justice: and let   your saints rejoice.
10  Propter David, servum tuum: * non avértas fáciem Christi tui.
10 For your servant David's sake, turn not away the face of your anointed.
11  Jurávit Dóminus David veritátem, et non frustrábitur eam: * de fructu ventris tui ponam super sedem tuam.
11 The Lord has sworn truth to David, and he will not make it void: of the fruit of your womb I will set upon your throne
12  Si custodíerint fílii tui testaméntum meum: * et testimónia mea hæc, quæ docébo eos.
12 If your children will keep my covenant, and these my testimonies which I shall teach them:
13  Et fílii eórum usque in sæculum: * sedébunt super sedem tuam.
Their children also for evermore shall sit upon your throne.
14  Quóniam elégit Dóminus Sion: * elégit eam in habitatiónem sibi.
13 For the Lord has chosen Sion: he has chosen it for his dwelling.
15  Hæc réquies mea in sæculum sæculi: * hic habitábo, quóniam elégi eam.
14 This is my rest for ever and ever: here will I dwell, for I have chosen it.
16  Víduam ejus benedícens benedícam: * páuperes ejus saturábo pánibus.
15 Blessing I will bless her widow: I will satisfy her poor with bread.
17  Sacerdótes ejus índuam salutári: * et sancti ejus exsultatióne exsultábunt.
16 I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall rejoice with exceeding great joy.
18  Illuc prodúcam cornu David: * parávi lucérnam Christo meo.
17 There will I bring forth a horn to David: I have prepared a lamp for my anointed
19  Inimícos ejus índuam confusióne: * super ipsum autem efflorébit sanctificátio mea.
18 His enemies I will clothe with confusion: but upon him shall my sanctification flourish.

And the next set of notes can be found here.

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