Thursday, September 25, 2014

Psalm 32 v6-9

Verses 6-9 of Psalm 32 point us to the Son as the Word of God.

Verbo Dómini cæli firmáti sunt: * et spíritu oris ejus omnis virtus eórum.
Verbo Domini caeli facti sunt, et spiritu oris eius omnis virtus eorum.
Uerbo Domini caeli facti sunt,  et spiritu oris eius omnis ornatus eorum;

τῷ λόγῳ τοῦ κυρίου οἱ οὐρανοὶ ἐστερεώθησαν καὶ τῷ πνεύματι τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ πᾶσα ἡ δύναμις αὐτῶν

Verbo (the word) Dómini (of the Lord) cæli (the heavens) firmáti sunt (they were established): * et (and) spíritu (by the spirit) oris (of the mouth) ejus (his) omnis (all) virtus (strength) eórum (of them).

This verse summarises Genesis 1:1-2, and includes important allusions to the Trinitarian nature of the work of creation in the words 'word' and 'spirit':

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters." 

verbum, i, n.,word, command, edict, also a promise; saying, speech; Law, the Eternal Son.
caelum, i, n., or caeli, orum, m.  heaven, the abode of God; the heavens as opposed to the earth; the air;
firmo, avi, atum, are  to strengthen, make firm or strong; establish, make stable or firm
spiritus, us, m.  breath;  wind;  breath of life, vital spirit; the soul; spirit, disposition; Divine assistance, grace
os, oris, n., the mouth.

virtus, utis, f   strength, power, might; an army, host; the angels.; the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, and stars

By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the spirit of his mouth:
By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the hosts of them by the breath of his mouth.
By his word the heavens were made, by the breath of his mouth all the stars.

Verse 6 attests to God as creator of all things, but it was also interpreted by the Fathers to speak of the new creation through faith in Christ.  Cassiodorus, for example, explains the Word' not only as Christ but also as the apostles and saints sent out to fill the earth with the 'preaching that bought salvation'.  St Thomas Aquinas summarises this mystical interpretation as follows:

Mystically, by 'heavens' are understood the apostles. These have been strengthened by the Word of the Lord, namely Christ or the Son of the Lord. This is his entreaty and teaching: 'I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren' (Luke 22:32). Again, their virtue is made firm through the holy spirit: 'Stay you in the city till you be endued with power from on high' (Luke 24:49).

Cóngregans sicut in utre aquas maris: * ponens in thesáuris abyssos.
congregans quasi in utre aquas maris, ponens in thesauris abyssos.

τῷ λόγῳ τοῦ κυρίου οἱ οὐρανοὶ ἐστερεώθησαν καὶ τῷ πνεύματι τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ πᾶσα ἡ δύναμις αὐτῶν

Cóngregans (gathering/collecting) sicut (like/as) in utre (in the skin/vessel) aquas (the waters) maris (of the sea): * ponens (setting) in thesáuris (in the storehouses/treasuries) abyssos (the depths).

Genesis:  And God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament... (1:6-7)

congrego, avi, atum, are  to collect, gather together, assemble. .
uter, utris, m., the skin of an amimal used as a bottle for wine, oil, etc.; a bottle, vessel, wine-skin.  
aqua, ae, f., water
mare, is, n., the sea, the ocean.
pono, posui, itum, ere 3,  to put, place, lay, set.
thesaurus i m treasure, a treasury, storehouse

abyssus, i, f  the deep, i.e., the primitive chaos; the depths of the sea

Gathering together the waters of the sea, as in a vessel; laying up the depths in storehouses.
Who gathers the waters of the sea as in a bottle; who lays up the deeps in treasuries.
He gathereth the waters of the sea together, as it were upon an heap, and layeth up the deep, as in
a treasure-house
He collects the waves of the ocean; he stores up the depths of the sea.

Again this verse can be read literally, as a reference to the cosmic waters of Genesis 1, or spiritually, as reference to the Church.  St Basil the Great, builds on the Genesis reference, making a link between the separation of the waters and baptism: 

"When we have been deemed worthy of knowledge face to face, we shall see also the depths in the storehouses of God. If you will gather together the sayings in Scripture about vessels, you will better  comprehend the prophetic meaning. Those, then, who are renewed day by day and who take new wine from the true vine, are said in the Gospel to be new vessels. But, they who have not yet put off the old man are old vessels, unable to be trusted for the reception of new wine. For, no one puts new wine into old wineskins, lest the wine be spilt, and those skins be entirely ruined, inasmuch as they are considered worthy of no excuse hereafter, if they spill the good new wine. New wine must be poured into fresh skins. The new and spiritual wine and that which is glowing with the Holy Spirit, the
perception of truth which never becomes old, must be put in the new man, who, because 'he always bears about in his body  the dying of Jesus,' might justly be said to be a new vessel."
Tímeat Dóminum omnis terra: * ab eo autem commoveántur omnes inhabitántes orbem.
timeat Dominum omnis terra ab ipso autem commoveantur universi et omnes qui habitant orbem
Timeat Dominum omnis terra, a facie autem eius formident omnes inhabitantes orbem.
Timeat Dominum omnis terra : ipsum formident uniuersi habitatores orbis;

φοβηθήτω τὸν κύριον πᾶσα ἡ γῆ ἀ{P'} αὐτοῦ δὲ σαλευθήτωσαν πάντες οἱ κατοικοῦντες τὴν οἰκουμένην

Tímeat (Let them fear) Dóminum (the Lord) omnis (all) terra (the earth): * ab (from) eo (him) autem (but) commoveántur (let them be moved) omnes (all) inhabitántes (the inhabitants) orbem (on the earth).

commoveo, movi, motum, ere 2 to move, shake, agitate, disturb, waver, falter, hesitate, fail; tremble from fear,
inhabito, avi, atum, are to dwell, abide; to inhabit, dwell in (present participle=inhabitantes, in habitants, dwellers)

orbis, is, m., a circle, ring, anything round. the world, the earth

Let all the earth fear the Lord, and let all the inhabitants of the world be in awe of him.
Let all the earth fear the Lord; and let all that dwell in the world be moved because of him.
Let all the earth fear the Lord; stand in awe of him, all ye that dwell in the world.
Let all the earth fear the Lord all who live in the world revere him.

Is this verse referring to fear of hell (servile fear) or reverent awe (filial fear)?  The Fathers generally see the first half of the psalm as dealing with fear of hell; the second as reflecting progress in the spiritual life.  St Basil, for example, suggests that there is a necessary progression in our lives, but we start from servile fear:

"Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, let those who are earthly minded be taught through fear. In fact, fear Is necessarily employed as introductory to true religion, but love, now taking over, brings to perfection those who have been prepared by a fear that is capable of knowledge. To the whole earth, therefore, Scripture advises fear. 'Let all the inhabitants of the world' it says, 'be in awe of him.' Let them make every movement, as it were, whether effected by the mind or by bodily action, according to the will of God. At least I understand the words, 'Let them be in awe of him' in this way. For example, let neither the eye be moved without God, nor the hand be put in motion without God, nor the heart think on things not well pleasing to God. In short, let them be in awe of no one else, and let nothing move them except the fear of God."

St Augustine puts it more succinctly:

"Let all the earth fear the Lord: let every sinner fear, that so he may cease to sin. Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him: not of the terrors of men, or of any creature, but of Him let them stand in awe."

Quóniam ipse dixit, et facta sunt: * ipse mandávit, et creáta sunt.
quia ipse mandauit, et factus est ; ipso praecipiente, stetit.

ὅτι αὐτὸς εἶπεν καὶ ἐγενήθησαν αὐτὸς ἐνετείλατοκαὶ ἐκτίσθησαν

Quóniam (for /because) ipse (he himself) dixit (he spoke), et (and) facta sunt (they were made): * ipse (he himself) mandávit (he commanded), et (and) creáta sunt (they were created).

facio, feci, factum, ere 3,  to make, do, cause, bring to pass
mando, avi, atum, are to enjoin, order,

creo are avi atum  to create, bring into being

For he spoke and they were made: he commanded and they were created.
For he spoke, and they were made; he commanded, and they were created. 
For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
He spoke; and it came to be. He commanded; it sprang into being.

This verse brings us firmly back to the Christological interpretation of the psalm, for the use of the phrase 'All things were made through him' in John 1:3 is a reminder that the Word is Christ, who through the mystery of the Incarnation, dwelt among us. 

Psalm 32: Exsultáte, justi in Dómino
Psalmus David.
A psalm for David.
1 Exsultáte, justi in Dómino: * rectos decet collaudátio.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you just: praise becomes the upright.
2  Confitémini Dómino in cíthara: * in psaltério decem chordárum psállite illi.
2 Give praise to the Lord on the harp; sing to him with the psaltery, the instrument of ten strings
3  Cantáte ei cánticum novum: * bene psállite ei in vociferatióne.
3 Sing to him a new canticle, sing well unto him with a loud noise.
4  Quia rectum est verbum Dómini, * et ómnia ópera ejus in fide.
4 For the word of the Lord is right, and all his works are done with faithfulness.
5  Díligit misericórdiam et judícium: * misericórdia Dómini plena est terra.
5 He loves mercy and judgment; the earth is full of the mercy of the Lord.
6 Verbo Dómini cæli firmáti sunt: * et spíritu oris ejus omnis virtus eórum.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the spirit of his mouth:
7  Cóngregans sicut in utre aquas maris: * ponens in thesáuris abyssos.
7 Gathering together the waters of the sea, as in a vessel; laying up the depths in storehouses.
8  Tímeat Dóminum omnis terra: * ab eo autem commoveántur omnes inhabitántes orbem.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord, and let all the inhabitants of the world be in awe of him.
9  Quóniam ipse dixit, et facta sunt: * ipse mandávit, et creáta sunt.
9 For he spoke and they were made: he commanded and they were created.
10  Dóminus díssipat consília Géntium: * réprobat autem cogitatiónes populórum et réprobat consília príncipum.
10 The Lord brings to nought the counsels of nations; and he rejects the devices of people, and casts away the counsels of princes.
11  Consílium autem Dómini in ætérnum manet: * cogitatiónes cordis ejus in generatióne et generatiónem.
11 But the counsel of the Lord stands for ever: the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

12 Beáta gens, cujus est Dóminus, Deus ejus: * pópulus, quem elégit in hereditátem sibi.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: the people whom he has chosen for his inheritance.
13  De cælo respéxit Dóminus: * vidit omnes fílios hóminum.
13 The Lord has looked from heaven: he has beheld all the sons of men.
14  De præparáto habitáculo suo * respéxit super omnes, qui hábitant terram.
14 From his habitation which he has prepared, he has looked upon all that dwell on the earth.
15  Qui finxit sigillátim corda eórum: * qui intélligit ómnia ópera eórum.
15 He who has made the hearts of every one of them: who understands all their works.
16  Non salvátur rex per multam virtútem: * et gigas non salvábitur in multitúdine virtútis suæ.
16 The king is not saved by a great army: nor shall the giant be saved by his own great strength.
17  Fallax equus ad salútem: * in abundántia autem virtútis suæ non salvábitur.
17 Vain is the horse for safety: neither shall he be saved by the abundance of his strength.
18 Ecce óculi Dómini super metuéntes eum: * et in eis, qui sperant super misericórdia ejus :
18 Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him: and on them that hope in his mercy.
19  Ut éruat a morte ánimas eórum: * et alat eos in fame.
19 To deliver their souls from death; and feed them in famine.
20  Anima nostra sústinet Dóminum: * quóniam adjútor et protéctor noster est.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord: for he is our helper and protector.
21  Quia in eo lætábitur cor nostrum: * et in nómine sancto ejus sperávimus.
21 For in him our heart shall rejoice: and in his holy name we have trusted.
22  Fiat misericórdia tua, Dómine, super nos: * quemádmodum sperávimus in te.
22 Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in you.

You can find the next set of notes in this series here.

No comments:

Post a Comment