Saturday, December 7, 2013

Psalm 131: verses 3 - 5

Today's verses of Psalm 131 go to the form and content of King David's vow to build the Temple.

Verse notes

Si introíero in tabernáculum domus meæ, * si ascéndero in lectum strati mei :
Non introibo in tabernaculum domus meae, non ascendam in lectum strati mei,
Si intrauero in tabernaculum domus meae, si adsedero super lectum straminis mei ;

 ε εσελεύσομαι ες σκήνωμα οκου μου ε ναβήσομαι π κλίνης στρωμνς μου

Si (if) introíero (I will go into) in tabernáculum (into the tent) domus (house) meæ (of my)  si (if) ascéndero (I will go up) in lectum (onto the couch) strati (of  the bed) mei (of my)

The ‘si…si’ form of this and the next verse is a formula of swearing an oath (there is an implicit ‘May God do so and so to me if I don’t…’ standing before it).  Boylan suggests that tabernaculum domus meae; should be translated as ‘the tent which is my dwelling’, since the Hebrew word here strictly means tent (and is not the same word as used in verse 5 and 7); and lectum strati as the bed which is my couch.

tabernaculum, i, n. a tent, pavilion,
introeo, ivi or li, Itum, ire, to go into, to enter.
ascendo, scendi, scensum, ere 3  to go up, ascend. to mount a horse, chariot, etc., to ride.
lectus, i, m.  a couch, bed.
stratum, i, n.  a bed, couch.
domus, us,   house, structureabode, dwelling placethe inmates of a house, a family, household.

If I shall enter into the tabernacle of my house: if I shall go up into the bed wherein I lie:
saying, I will not go into the tabernacle of my house; I will not go up to the couch of my bed
I will not come within the tabernacle of mine house, nor climb up into my bed

Si dédero somnum óculis meis, * et pálpebris meis dormitatiónem :
non dabo somnum oculis meis et palpebris meis dormitationem,
si dedero somnum oculis meis, et palpebris meis dormitationem

ε δώσω πνον τος φθαλμος μου κα τος βλεφάροις μου νυσταγμν κα νάπαυσιν τος κροτάφοις μου

Si (if) dédero (I will give) somnum (sleep) óculis (to the eyes) meis (my) et (and) pálpebris (eyelids) meis (my) dormitatiónem (slumber)

The text parallels Proverbs 6:4’s injunction to make no delay in getting out of a state of debt or obligation.

do, dedi, datum, are, to give
palpebra, ae, /.  the eyelid..
somnus, i, m.  during sleep
oculus, i, , the eye.
dormitatio, onis, f slumber.

If I shall give sleep to my eyes, or slumber to my eyelids,
I will not give sleep to mine eyes, nor slumber to mine eyelids,
I will not suffer mine eyes to sleep, nor mine eyelids to slumber

Et réquiem tempóribus meis: donec invéniam locum Dómino, * tabernáculum Deo Jacob.
donec inveniam locum Domino, tabernaculum Potenti Iacob ”.
donec inueniam locum Domino, tabernacula Deo lacob.

ως ο ερω τόπον τ κυρί σκήνωμα τ θε Ιακωβ

Et (and) réquiem (I will rest) tempóribus (temples) meis (my) donec (then/until) invéniam (I will find) locum (the place) Dómino (for the Lord) tabernáculum (the dwelling place/tabernacle) Deo (for the God)  Jacob (of Jacob).

The first phrase does not appear in the MT, and so the Neo-Vulgate assumes it is nothing more than a duplication that has slipped into the text; some scholars interpret it as Theodoret’s translation of the previous phrase.  But it may in fact have been in the manuscript tradition used by the Septuagint translators, and the New English Translation of the Septuagint, which is based on the oldest available manuscript principle, includes it.

tabernaculum, i, n.  tabernacle, God's dwelling
donec, conj., till, until
locus, i, m. (in the hymns also loca, orum), a place.
requiesco, quievi, quietum, ere 3, (1) to rest, be at rest. (2) to sleep
tempus, oris, n.  time;  the time of youth;. the temples of the head.  
invenio, veni, ventum, ire,  to find,

or rest to my temples: until I find out a place for the Lord, a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.
nor rest to my temples until I find a place for the Lord, a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.
Nor repose to my temples, until I have a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the God of Jacob
until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob."
neither the temples of my head to take any rest, until I find out a place for the temple of the
Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.

Cassiodorus provides the Christological explanation of these verses, setting them firmly in the context of Christ's public mission:

"In this and the next two verses, we must interpret the words recorded by the prophet as those of the Lord Christ speak­ing in His human capacity. He says that He will not enter the taberna­cle and mount the bed wherein He lies until He is seen to fulfil the promises which He made to the Father. The tabernacle, if I am not mistaken, signifies the heavenly dwelling to which after His resurrec­tion He mounted in the flesh before the eyes of the apostles. He says that He will not enter there before He finds a place for the Lord Father in the hearts of religious persons. This was why he added: Of my house, to denote the heavenly dwelling; as He says elsewhere: Heaven is my throne, and the earth my footstool. Next comes: If I shall go up into the bed wherein I lie. We observe that after His fashion He denotes things heavenly by means of human practices. The bed on which we lie accords us rest and an end to our toils; so His bed, denoting His rest, must be interpreted as the completion of His most blessed passion. His words, if I shall go up, denote His ascension, when He mounted to heaven and took His seat at the right hand of the Father. Then the vows which He swore, which He promised, were fulfilled. As He Himself said at His passion when He had drunk."

 St Robert Bellarmine teaches us how to apply the lessons Christ offers to ourselves:

Now, these were all types and figures of Christ, the true David, who, in his desire of raising a living temple, and an everlasting tabernacle to God, spent whole nights in prayer, and, truly, neither entered his house, nor went up into his bed, nor gave slumber to his eyelids nor rest to his temples, and pre­sented to himself "a glorious Church, not having spot nor wrin­kle, nor any such thing," nor built "with corruptible gold or sil­ver," but with his own precious sweat and more precious blood; it was with them he built that city in heaven that was seen by St. John in the Apocalypse, and "was ornamented with all man­ner of precious stones." Hence, we can all understand the amount of care, cost, and labor we need to erect a becoming temple in our hearts to God.

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 you can find the next set of notes on the verses of Psalm 131 here.

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