Sunday, August 7, 2016

Psalm 118/3 (Ghimel) - Prime, Sunday No 3

beheading of St. Valentine
above: Psalm 118(119):17 ‘Retribue servo tuo, vivifica me, et custodiam sermones tuos.’ ('Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.’)
Queen Mary Psalter, London 1310-1320.
British Library, Royal...
Beheading of St Valentine
Queen Mary Psalter, London 1310-1320.
British Library, Royal 2 B VII, fol. 243r

Psalm 118 – ghimel (verses 17-24): Retríbue servo tuo

17 Retríbue servo tuo, vivífica me: * et custódiam sermónes tuos.
Deal bountifully with your servant, revive me: and I will keep your words
18  Revéla óculos meos: * et considerábo mirabília de lege tua.
Open my eyes, and I will consider the wonderful things of your law.
19. Incola ego sum in terra: * non abscóndas a me mandáta tua.
I am a stranger on the earth: do not hide your commandments from me.
20  Concupívit ánima mea desideráre justificatiónes tuas, * in omni témpore
My soul has longed to desire your precepts: at all times
21 Increpásti supérbos: * maledícti qui declínant a mandátis tuis.
You have rebuked the proud: cursed are they who turn away from your commandments
22  Aufer a me oppróbrium, et contémptum: * quia testimónia tua exquisívi
Take away from me contempt and reproach: because I have sought your testimonies
23  Etenim sedérunt príncipes, et advérsum me loquebántur: *servus autem tuus exercebátur in justificatiónibus tuis.
For the enthroned princes spoke against me: but your servant had been kept busy with your precepts
24  Nam et testimónia tua meditátio mea est: * et consílium meum justificatiónes tuæ.
For your testimonies are my meditation: and my counsel your justification

The Knox translation, which retains the acrostic nature of this psalm in the Hebrew translates it as:

Crown thy servant with life, to live faithful to thy commands.
Clear sight be mine, to contemplate the wonders of thy law.
Comfort this earthly exile; do not refuse me the knowledge of thy will.
Crushed lies my spirit, longing ever for thy just awards.
Chastener of the proud, thy curse lies on all who swerve from thy covenant.
Clear me of the reproach that shames me, as I was ever attentive to thy claims.
Closeted together, princes plot against me, thy servant, that thinks only of thy decrees.
Claims lovingly cherished, decrees that are my counsellors!

They come to the third letter, in which they confess human need, and commend the Lord's grace in all things. They claim that the proud who persecute the Lord's faithful with unjust agitation are rebuked.
St Robert Bellarmine:
In the next octave he enumerates the obstacles to the observance of the law, and prays for their removal out of his way. 
Fr Pasch:
Overcome obstacles
You can find an extended commentary on this stanza of Psalm 118 here.

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