Saturday, December 14, 2013

Psalm 131 verses 18-19

The final verses of Psalm 131 point us forward to the coming of Christ, the true Temple.

Notes on the verses

Illuc prodúcam cornu David: * parávi lucérnam christo meo.
Illic germinare faciam cornu David, parabo lucernam christo meo.
Ibi oriri faciam cornu Dauid: paraui lucernam christo meo.

κε ξανατελ κέρας τ Δαυιδ τοίμασα λύχνον τ χριστ μου

Illuc (there/in that place) prodúcam (I will bring forth/raise up) cornu (the horn) [of] David parávi (I have prepared) lucérnam (a light) christo (for the anointed) meo (my)  

Note that the neo-Vulgate changes 'I have prepared' to ' I will prepare', a view of the text tradition also reflected in the Monastic Diurnal's translation.

illuc, adv.  thither, to that place; there, in that place.
produco, duxi, ductum, ere 3, to bring forth; Maketh to grow
cornu, us, n.  the horn of animals, of the bull, ram, etc; symbols of strength, power, glory, pride, or dominion
paro, avi, atum, are,  to prepare, make ready,  furnish, equip, fit out, provide, make firm, establish
lucerna, ae,  a light, lamp.
Christus, i m Christ, the Messias, the Messianic King, anointed.

There will I bring forth a horn to David: I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
There will I cause to spring up a horn to David: I have prepared a lamp for mine anointed.
There will I raise up a horn to David; I will prepare a lamp for my anointed.
There shall I make the horn of David to flourish; I have ordained a lantern for mine Anointed.

St Robert Bellarmine explains the image of the horn:

"The horn metaphorically means the power and the dignity of the king, and that by reason of its preeminence and durability. But, in a literal sense, the horn of David means the kingdom of the Messias, that was to have its rise in Sion, and to be propa­gated from thence throughout the entire world. Zacharias announced it when he said, Luke 1, "And he hath raised up a horn of salvation to us in the house of David, his servant."’

The Fathers generally follow St Augustine in seeing the lantern or light as a reference to St John the Baptist.

Inimícos ejus índuam confusióne: * super ipsum autem efflorébit sanctificátio mea.
Inimicos eius induam confusione, super ipsum autem efflorebit diadema eius .
Inimicos eius induam confusione: super ipsum autem florebit sanctificatio eius.

τος χθρος ατο νδύσω ασχύνην π δ ατν ξανθήσει τ γίασμά μου

Inimícos (the enemies) ejus (his) índuam (I will clothe) confusióne (with confusion)  super (upon/over) ipsum (himself) autem (but) efflorébit (it will bloom/flourish) sanctificátio (holiness) mea (my)

The Masoretic Text (picked up by the neo-Vulgate and many early twentieth century Catholic translations) offers a text variant for this Messianic prophesy, talking about a crown instead of holiness.  

inimicus, i, m. (in and amicus), a foe, enemy
confusio, onis, f. shame, confusion.
super, prep, with ace. And abl  on, upon, over
ipse, a, um, demon, pronoun., himself, herself, itself
autem, adversative conj., but, on the contrary, however
effloreo, ui, ere 2  to blow or blossom forth, to flourish.
sanctificatio, 5nis,  Holiness; a holy place, shrine, sanctuary;

His enemies I will clothe with confusion: but upon him shall my sanctification flourish.
His enemies will I clothe with a shame; but upon himself shall my holiness flourish.
His enemies I will cover with confusion; but upon him shall shine My crown of glory.
As for his enemies, I shall clothe them with shame; but upon himself shall his crown flourish.

The Fathers and Theologians see this verse as a prophecy realized in the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 AD, but also as of the ultimate fate of heretics, pagans and those who reject God’s law.

Bellarmine comments:

He prophesies that Christ will have many enemies, as, in truth, he had amongst the Jews, who said, "We will not have this man to reign over us;" and when they said to Pilate, "We have no king but Caesar;" but he also prophesies the punish­ment in store for them. "His enemies I will clothe with confu­sion." I will brand them with infamy, as we see all over the world. Soon after the death of Christ, the Romans sacked and destroyed the city, slew immense numbers of them, sold many of them as slaves, and exposed a great many of them to wild beasts in the public games; and from thence to the present day, the Jewish race is everywhere in a state of slavery, and is every­where despised; but on the last day, then not only will Jews, but all pagans, heretics, and all false brethren, who, through his brethren, have been enemies to Christ, will be "clothed with confusion." While they shall be "clothed with confusion," Christ will be clothed with glory, because the seed that had been buried in the earth will then flower forth into glory, by budding forth the flowers of sanctification; and not only will Christ be clothed with glory, but so will all his members too, because such sanctification will then produce flowers of incred­ible beauty, when grace shall be turned into glory.

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 for a look at the final psalm of Tuesday Vespers, Psalm 132, go on here.

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