Thursday, September 18, 2014

Psalm 32: verses 1-2

The first two verses of Psalm 32 set the scene: those in a state of grace are invited to worship God.

Exsultáte, justi in Dómino: * rectos decet collaudátio.
Old Roman
Gaudete iusti in Domino rectos decet conlaudatio
Laudate, iusti, Dominum: rectos decet laudatio.

ἀγαλλιᾶσθε δίκαιοι ἐν τῷ κυρίῳ τοῖς εὐθέσι πρέπει αἴνεσις 

Exsultáte (Rejoice/exsult), justi (the just) in Dómino (in the Lord): * rectos (the upright) decet (it is fitting) collaudátio (praise)

Boylan suggests the just should be read as the community of Israel.

exsulto, avi, atum, are ., to spring, leap, or jump up; to exult, to rejoice exceedingly
justus, a, um  just as a subst., a just man, the just
rectus, a, um, part. adj. just, right, righteous, upright; the just, just men, the good; steadfast, stable, steady.
decet = it is fitting
collaudatio – onis – praise, praising together

rectus, a, um, part. adj. (from rego),just, right, righteous, upright; the just, just men, the good; steadfast, stable, steady. 

Rejoice in the Lord, O you just: praise becomes the upright.
Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; praise becomes the upright.
Triumph, just souls, in the Lord; true hearts, it is yours to praise him.
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous; for it becometh well the just to be to be thankful
Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just; for praise is fitting for loyal hearts.

The Fathers point out that only those genuinely seeking to do God's will can properly praise him.  St Thomas Aquinas puts it thus:

Why though does he say 'be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye just' (Psalm 31:11), and not 'be glad...all persons'? The explanation is that 'Praise becometh the upright' (Psalm 32:1), praise, that is, of God. Thus it must be determined whether they are just and how it is fitting they praise. Something is not called 'upright' unless it is conformed to rule and measure. Now the rule and measure of human will is justice and the divine will. Thus, those who do not have an upright disposition are not able properly to praise God, because they do not wish their will to conform to God's, but would rather the divine will conform to theirs. Hence God does many things which these ones do not condone. But those who accommodate themselves to God's will rejoice in prosperity and adversity, and thus he says: 'praise becometh the upright' (Psalm 32:1), because they give praise in every circumstance, not just certain ones. Again, they praise with one spirit: 'Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner' (Ecclesiastes 15:9) -- 'A great joy to them that shall have escaped of Israel.' (Isaiah 4.2).

Confitémini Dómino in cíthara: * in psaltério decem chordárum psállite illi.
Confitemini Domino in cithara : in psalterio decachordo cantate ei.

ἐξομολογεῖσθε τῷ κυρίῳ ἐν κιθάρᾳ ἐν ψαλτηρίῳ δεκαχόρδῳ ψάλατε αὐτῷ

Confitémini (let us give praise) Dómino (to the Lord) in cíthara (on the harp): * in psaltério (on the psaltery) decem (ten) chordárum (of strings) psállite (sing) illi (to him).

Note that the cithara and psalterium were two stringed instruments.

confiteor, fessus sum, eri 2 to praise, give thanks; to confess, acknowledge one's guilt.
cithara, ae, f stringed instrument, a harp
psalterium, ii, n a stringed instrument, a psaltery, harp, zither.
decem ten
chorda, ae, a string of a musical instrument.

psallo, ere 3 to sing to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument,; to sing the praises of God

Give praise to the Lord on the harp; sing to him with the psaltery, the instrument of ten strings.
Praise the Lord on the harp; platy to him on a psaltery of ten strings. 
Praise the Lord with harp; sing praises unto him with the lute and instrument of ten strings.
Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp, with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs.

The concept being conveyed here is the need to conform our external activity of worship, with our inner dispositions.  St Basil the Great, for example instructs:

First, it is necessary to praise the Lord on the harp; that is, to render harmoniously the actions of the body. Since, indeed, we sinned in the body, 'when we yielded our members as slaves of sin, unto lawlessness' let us give praise with our body, using the same instrument for the destruction of sin. Have you reviled? Bless. Have you defrauded? Make restitution. Have you been intoxicated? Fast. Have you made false pretensions? Be humble. Have you been envious? Console. Have you murdered? Bear witness, or afflict your body with the equivalent of martyrdom through confession. And then, after confession you are worthy to play for God on the ten-stringed psaltery. For, it is necessary, first, to correct the actions of our body, so that we perform them harmoniously with the divine Word and thus mount up to the contemplation of things intellectual. 

 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 part in this series on Psalm 32 here.

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