The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 50 (49)

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 16, 2011

Please remember that the numbering of the Psalms differ in the Ancient versions. What Aquinas designated as Psalm 49 is identified by most modern translations as Psalm 50.

The following post includes in parallel columns both the Latin and English text of Psalm 50 followed by St Thomas’ lecture, also in Latin and English. The translation was done by Stephen Loughlin and appears here courtesy of the Aquinas Translation Project, and in accord with their copyright policy.

Psalm 49

a. Deus deorum Dominus locutus est et vocavit terram. A solis ortu usque ad occasum. Ex Sion species decoris eius The God of gods, the Lord hath spoken: and he hath called the earth. From the rising of the sun, to the going down thereof: out of Sion the loveliness of his beauty.
b. Deus manifeste veniet Deus noster et non silebit. Ignis in conspectu eius exardescet et in circuitu eius tempestas valida God shall come manifestly: our God shall come, and shall not keep silence. A fire shall burn before him: and a mighty tempest shall be round about him.
c. Advocavit caelum desursum et terram discernere populum suum. Congregate illi sanctos eius qui ordinant testamentum eius super sacrificia. Et adnuntiabunt caeli iustitiam eius quoniam Deus iudex est. He shall call heaven from above, and the earth, to judge his people. Gather ye together his saints to him: who set his covenant before sacrifices. And the heavens shall declare his justice: for God is judge.
d. Audi populus meus et loquar tibi Israhel et testificabor tibi Deus Deus tuus ego sum. Hear, O my people, and I will speak: O Israel, and I will testify to thee: I am God, thy God.
e. Non in sacrificiis tuis arguam te holocausta autem tua in consepctu meo sunt semper. Non accipiam de domo tua vitulos neque de gregibus tuis hircos. Quoniam meae sunt omnes ferae silvarum iumenta in montibus et boves. Cognovi omnia volatilia caeli et pulchritudo agri mecum est. Si esuriero non dicam tibi meus est enim orbis terrae et plenitudo eius. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices: and thy burnt offerings are always in my sight. I will not take calves out of thy house: nor he goats out of thy flocks. For all the beasts of the woods are mine: the cattle on the hills, and the oxen. I know all the fowls of the air: and with me is the beauty of the field. If I should be hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof.
f. Numquid manducabo carnes taurorum aut sanguinem hircorum potabo. Shall I eat the flesh of bullocks? or shall I drink the blood of goats?
g. Immola Deo sacrificium laudis et redde Altissimo vota tua. Offer to God the sacrifice of praise: and pay your vows to the most High.
h. Et invoca me in die tribulationis eruam te et honorificabis me. And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
i. Peccatori autem dixit Deus quare tu enarras iustitias meas et adsumis testamentum meum per os tuum tu. Vero odisti disciplinam et proiecisti sermones meos retrorsum. Si vidabas furem currebas cum eo et cum adulteris portionem tuam ponebas. But to the sinner God hath said: Why dost thou declare my justices, and take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hast hated discipline: and hast cast my words behind thee. If thou didst see a thief thou didst run with him: and with adulterers thou hast been a partaker.
i. Os tuum abundavit malitia et lingua tua concinnabat dolos. Sedens adversus fratrem tuum loquebaris et adversus filium matris tuae ponebas scandalum haec fecisti et tacui. Existimasti inique quod ero tui similis arguam te et statuam contra faciem tuam. Thy mouth hath abounded with evil, and thy tongue framed deceits. Sitting thou didst speak against thy brother, and didst lay a scandal against thy mother’s son: these things hast thou done, and I was silent. Thou thoughtest unjustly that I should be like to thee: but I will reprove thee, and set before thy face.
k. Intellegite nunc haec qui obliviscimini Deum nequando rapiat et non sit qui eripiat. Sacrificium laudis honorificabit me et illic iter quod ostendam illi salutare Dei. Understand these things, you that forget God; lest he snatch you away, and there be none to deliver you. The sacrifice of praise shall glorify me: and there is the way by which I will shew him the salvation of God.
a. Supra psalmista invitavit gentes ad confidendum de Deo; hic instruit eas ad cultum Deo. Titulus, Psalmus Asaph. Iste Asaph unus fuit de praefectis super cantores populorum, et super illos qui cantabant et laudabant in cymbalis, sicut 1 Par. 13 et 16 et 25, dicitur. Et dicitur Psalmus Asaph quia cantatur ministerio Asaph. Et congruit mysterio, quia Asaph interpretatur synagoga, et sic legitur synagogae persona. Previously, the psalmist invited the nations to trust in God. Here, he instructs them in the cultus of God. The psalm’s title is “A psalm for Asaph.” Asaph was one of the directors of the peoples’ cantors, and of those who sang and praised (God) with cymbals, as is stated at I Paralipomenon 13, 16 and 25. This psalm is called “A psalm for Asaph” because it is sung by Asaph’s ministry. (Asaph) is suited to the secret rites because (he) explains (such things) to the synagogue, and is thus the person selected for the synagogue.
Ubi instructus de sacrificiis, duo proponit de cultu Deo, quae antecedunt divinum iudicium: et est primum. Secundum est disceptatio Deo cum populo de cultu suo, ibi, Audi populus meus. When instructed concerning (matters relating to) sacrifices, one sets forth two things concerning the cultus of God, which precede divine justice: and this is first (namely, that which precedes divine judgment). Second is the discussion of God with the people concerning His cultus, at “Hear, O my people.”
Ante iudicium erunt tria. Citatio iudicis, adventus iudicis et apparatus. Primo ergo ponit citationem; secundo adventum, ibi, Deus noster manifeste veniet; tertio apparatum, ibi, Ignis in conspectu. Circa primum tria facit. Primo ostendit quis sit citator; secundo qui sunt citati, ibi, Et vocavit; tertio quo ordine citentur, ibi, Ex Sion. Three things precede judgment, namely the judge’s summons, his arrival, and the preparation. And so, he first sets down the summons, second, (his) arrival, at, Our God shall come manifestly, and third, the preparation, at, A fire shall burn before him. Concerning the first he does three things. First, he shows who is the one issuing the summons, second, to whom the summons is issued, at, And he hath called, and third, in what order they are summoned, at, Out of Sion.
Qui citat magnus est, quia Deus omnium, etiam deorum; unde dicit, Deus deorum Dominus locutus est. Primo ergo commendatur ab excellentia naturae, quia Deus deorum, non angelus. Hieronymus habet, Fortis Deus. He who summons is great, because He is God of all things, even of gods. Hence, the psalmist says, The God of gods, the Lord hath spoken. He thus is first commended on account of the excellence of his nature. For He is The God of gods, and is not an angel. Jerome has, Powerful God.
Sed numquid sunt multi dii? 1 Cor. 8: Siquidem sunt dii multi et domini multi. But are there many gods? 1 Corinthians 8 states “For there be gods many, and lords many.”
Deus enim dicitur tripliciter: scilicet naturaliter: et iste est tantum unus Deus. Deut. 6: Audi Israel, Dominus Deus tuus unus est. Item per participationem; et isti sunt multi. 1 Cor. 8: Item per nuncupationem et opinionem; sicut idola et astra, Venus et Saturnus. Psal. 95: Omnes dii gentium daemonia. “God” is said in a three-fold way. First, naturally. And that (God) is one God alone: Deuteronomy 6: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one.” Second, by way of participation. And those (gods) are many, (as) 1 Corinthians 8 (makes clear). Finally, by way of appellation and conjecture, as with idols and stars, like Venus and Saturn respectively: Psalm 95: “All the gods of the Gentiles are devils.”
Sed dici dii aliqui possunt quatuor modis. Uno modo per unionem: et sic solus Christus dicitur Deus. Ioan. 20: Dominus meus et Deus meus. Alii per gratiam adoptionis. Ps. 81: Ego dixi dii estis etc. Aliqui per participationem divinae potestatis in miraculis faciendis. Exod. 7: Constitui te Deum pharaonis. Alii per ministerium, sicut iudices Exod. 22: Diis non detrahes. However, some gods can be spoken of (as “God”) in four ways. First, by way of union. And thus, Christ alone is called God: John 20: “My Lord and my God.” Some (are called “God”) by way of the grace of adoption: Psalm 81: “I have said: You are gods…” Others (are called “God”) by way of a participation of the divine power in the performing of miracles: Exodus 7: “I have appointed thee the God of Pharaoh.” Finally, there are those (who are called “God”) by way of (their) ministry, as the judges were so called at Exodus 22: “Thou shalt not speak ill of the gods.”
Item commendatur a gubernatione, cum dicit, Dominus locutus est. Hic locutus est interius per inspirationem. Psal. 84: Audiam quid loquatur in me Dominus Deus. Again, He is commended on account of his governance, when (the Psalmist) says The Lord hath spoken. He has spoken here internally by means of inspiration (Psalm 84: “I will hear what the Lord God will speak in me”),
Item exteriori locutione. Hebr. 1: Novissime locutus est nobis etc. and also by means of external expression (Hebrews 1: “In these days (God) hath spoken to us” etc.).
Et vocavit terram, scilicet universam, idest universae habitatores terrae; unde citati sunt, non aliqui tantum in medio mundi, sed a solis ortu usque ad occasum. Marc. ult.: Euntes in mundum universum etc. Ier. 16: Ad te venient gentes ab extremis terrae, et dicent, vere mendacium etc. And he hath called the earth, namely, the universe, that is, all of those who dwell upon earth. Hence, they have been summoned, not just some from the midst of the world, but From the rising of the sun, to the going down thereof; Mark 16: “Go ye into the whole world” etc.; Jeremiah 16: “To thee the Gentiles shall come from the ends of the earth, and shall say: Surely (our fathers have possessed) lies” etc.
Ordo vocationis ponitur cum dicit, Ex Sion species decoris eius; quasi dicat: Haec vocatio inchoata est in Sion. Isa. 2: De Sion exibit lex etc.: nam apostoli quando acceperunt Spiritum Sanctum, erant in Sion, et tunc fortes facti sunt ad eundum per mundum. Ex Sion ergo ubi apostoli erant, coepit divulgari Species decoris eius. The order of summons is set down when (the Psalmist) says, Out of Sion the loveliness of his beauty; (it is) as if he were saying, “This summons finds its beginnings in Sion” (see Isaiah 2: “The law shall come forth from Sion”). For when the Apostles received the Holy Spirit, they were in Sion. They were then made strong to go out into the world. Therefore, Out of Sion, where the Apostles were, The loveliness of his beauty began to be spread (among the people).
Sed Christus bene incepit aliqualiter divulgari; sed non videbatur species eius, quia circumdatus erat infirmitate; quia, vidimus eum novissimum virorum, virum dolorum, ut habetur Isa. 53. Sed post passionem apparuit virtus et potestas eius. But in a certain manner Chirst began to be well divulged (to the Apostles). But his aspect was not seen, because it was enclosed by his infirmity; we see him (here) as the most unfamiliar of men, a man of sorrows, as is related in Isaiah 53. But after his passion his excellence and power were apparent.
b. Deus manifeste. Hic agit de adventu; et dicit duo de secundo adventu, contra duo quae fuerunt in primo. In primo adventu venit Deus occultus in infirmitate humanitatis. Ezech. 32: Solem nube tegam. Et illud Isa. 45: Vere tu es Deus absconditus: sed tunc erit manifestus. Apoc. 1: Ecce veniet, et videbit eum omnis oculus. Thessal. 2: Quem Dominus Iesus interficiet spiritu oris sui, et destruet illustratione adventus sui. God shall come manifestly. Here, (the Psalmist) treats of (the judge’s) arrival. And he says two things concerning the second coming in opposition to two things which were present at (His) first (coming). At (His) first coming, God came hidden in the infirmity of (our) humanity; Ezechial 32: “I will cover the sun with a cloud”, and Isaiah 45: “Verily thou art a hidden God.” But (at (His) second coming), he will be made manifest; Apocalypse 1: “Behold, he cometh (with the clouds), and every eye shall see him”; 2 Thessalonians 2: “…whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming…”
Item in primo adventu ostendit mansuetudinem. Isa. 53: Tamquam agnus coram tondente ductus est. Unde nihil dixit coram principibus et sacerdotibus, nec coram pilato; sed tunc non silebit, sed loquetur. Isa. 42: Silui, semper tacui, et patiens fui, in iudicio quando iudicabar, quando tolerabam malos: sed ut parturiens clamabit. Again, in (His) first coming, He shows (His) gentleness; Isaiah 53: “He is led as a sheep to the slaughter.” Hence, he said nothing in the presence of rulers, priests and Pilate. But at (the time of his second coming), he will not be silent, but will speak; Isaiah 42: “I have always held my peace, I have kept silence, I have been patient” when I was judged in the courts, and endured evil things; “but I will shout out like a woman in labor.”
Et dicit, Noster; quasi dicat, non alius Deus est iste qui venit quam noster, extra quem non est salus. And he says, Our, as if to say, “No other God than our God, He who comes, beyond whom there is no salvation.”
Hieronymus incipit versum, ex Sion perfecta decore Deus apparebit; quasi dicat: Deus apparebit ex Sion quae est perfecta decore spiritus sancti. Jerome’s version begins the line (as follows): From Sion God will appear in perfect beauty, as if to say, “God will appear from Sion, which is in the perfect beauty of (His) holy Spirit.”
Quantum ad primum subdit, Deus manifeste veniet. Quantum ad secundum, ignis in conspectu eius ardebit. Hic ponit apparatum venientis. With respect to (His) first (coming, the Psalmist) adds, God shall come manifestly. With respect to (His) second (coming), A fire shall burn before him. At this point, he sets down the preparation for (His) comming.
Principes coram se faciunt deferri insignia et gladios. Rom. 13: Non sine causa gladium portat; quasi dicat, quia habent potestatem iudicandi. Sic ante Christum praecedent signa vindictae, et ministri iudicis. Primo ergo ponit signa et instrumenta vindictae. Secundo ostendit potestatem quantum ad ministros, ibi, Advocavit Rulers arrange for insignias and swords to be brought before them; Romans 13: “For he beareth not the sword in vain,” as if he were saying that they have the power of passing sentence. And so, signs of vengeance and ministers of judgment precede (the coming of) Christ. Therefore, (the Psalmist) first sets down the signs and instruments of vengeance, and secondly shows (His) power as far as concerns (His) ministers, at, He shall call.
Instrumentum divini iudicii est duplex. Unum principale ex parte ignis punientis; et aliud ex parte totius creaturae pugnantis contra insensatos. Sap. 5. Quantum ad primum dicit, ignis in conspectu eius exardescet. Ad litteram ignis praecedet ante eum, ut habetur Hebr. 10, quia ignis confringens ardebit, et purgabit superficiem terrae, et purgabit si quid est purgandum in bonis, et tandem involvet malos in infernum. The instrument of divine judgment is two-fold. The first is primarily in relation to the punishing fire, the second in relation to fighting against the foolishness of all creatures – see Wisdom 5. With respect to the first, he says, A fire shall burn before him. Literally considered, the fire will precede him, as is stated at Hebrews 10, since the destroying fire will burn and cleanse the face of the earth, (burn and cleanse) whatever is to be cleansed in the good, and, finally, descend upon the evil in hell.
Vel ignis conscientiae remordentis. Isa. 50: Ambulate in lumine ignis vestri. Or (A fire shall burn before him can be understood as) the fire of a gnawing conscience; Isaiah 50: “Walk in the light of your fire.”
Quantum ad secundum dicit, et in circuitu eius tempestas valida, quae consurget ex commotione omnium elementorum ante iudicium. Luc. 21: Erunt signa in sole etc., et erit tanta commotio quod etiam virtutes caelorum movebuntur. Tempestas, idest indignatio erit in circuitu eius, idest in sanctis qui erunt circa ipsum. Isa. 3: Ad puniendum peccatores. Iob 27: Apprehendet eum, quasi aqua, inopia. Prover. 1: Cum venerit repentina calamitas. With respect to (His) second (coming), the Psalmist says, And a mighty tempest shall be round about him, which arises from the commotion of all the elements before the judgment; Luke 21: “And there shall be signs in the sun” etc. And there shall be such a great commotion that even the heavenly bodies will be moved. Tempest, that is, (God’s) indignation, shall be round about him, that is, about the saints who will be round him; Isaiah 13: “to destroy sinners”; Job 27: “Poverty like water shall take hold on him”; Proverbs 1: “When sudden calamity shall fall upon you.”
c. Advocavit caelum desursum etc. Posito adventu iudicis ad iudicium, et iudicis apparatu quantum ad instrumentum poenae, hic ponit apparatum iudicii quantum ad ministros. Et primo agit de assistentia ministrorum; secundo de officio angelorum, ibi, Congregate; tertio de officio apostolorum, ibi, Annuntiabitur. He shall call heaven from above. Having set forth the coming of the judge to the judgement, and the preparation of the judge with respect to (His) instruments of punishment, the psalmist sets forth here the preparation of the judge with respect to (His) ministers. And first he treats of the assistance of his ministers, second, of the angels’ duty, at, Gather ye together, and third, of the apostles’ duty, at, It shall be declared.
In prima parte fit mentio de caelo et terra. Et intelligitur dupliciter. Uno modo, ut intelligatur per metonymiam continens pro contento, ut per caelum designet sanctos qui in caelis sunt, et per terram designet homines qui sunt in terra; et isti omnes ad iudicium vocantur. Et haec est secunda vocatio, quia supra dixit et vocavit terram, quia illa vocatio est vocatio ad fidem, ad quam omnes vocantur boni et mali. Matth. 13: Simile est regnum caelorum sagenae missae in mare etc. Sed ista secunda vocatio est ad segregandum, quia, elegerunt bonos in vasa sua, malos autem foras miserunt; et ideo dicit, Ut discerneret populum suum, discretione bonorum a malis. Matth. 25: Segregabit oves ab haedis. Ps. 42: Iudica me Deus, et discerne causam meam. In the first part, the Psalmist makes mention of heaven and earth, which can be understood in a two-fold way. First, so that by a metonymy the container be understood in place of [or standing for] the contained. And so, by Heaven the Psalmist designates the holy who are in the heavens. And it is these very people who are all summoned to judgment. This is the second summons, since the Psalmist said previously (that) He hath called the earth. That particular summons was a call to faith, to which all, good and bad, are called; Matthew 13: “The kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea,” etc. But this second summons is with the purpose of separation, that they gather the good into His vessels, but cast the evil out of them. Thus, he says, To judge his people, by the separation of the good from the evil; Matthew 25: “He shall separate the sheep from the goats”; Psalm 42: “Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause.”
Sed aliter vocantur caeli, aliter terra; quia caelestes viri vocantur ad hoc, quasi iudices. Matth. 19: Vos qui reliquistis omnia etc. usque tribus Israel. Terreni vocantur, ut iudicentur. Ioel 3: Congregabo omnes gentes, et deducam eas in vallem Iosaphat. However, the heavens are summoned in a different fashion from the earth. For the men of heaven are called to be like judges; Matthew 19: “You who have left all things” etc., including the tribe of Israel. The men of earth are called that they may be judged; Joel 3: “I will gather together all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Josaphat.”
Vel, vocavit caelum, idest caelestes, idest iustos ad praemium. Dan. 12: Docti fulgebunt sicut splendor firmamenti etc. Et terram, idest terrenos, idest malos ad poenam. Or, He summons the Heaven, that is, the heavenly, or the just, to their reward; Daniel 12: “They that are learned shall shine as the brightness of the firmament” etc. And the Earth, that is, the earthly, or evil, he summons to their punishment.
Potest etiam esse alius sensus, ut caelum et terra ponantur pro ipsis creaturis corporalibus: et sic vocantur per modum testimonii vel impugnationis contra infideles, quia in eis mali potuerunt advertere ex caelo et terra. Iob 20: Revelabunt caeli iniquitatem eius, et terra consurget adversus eum, scilicet peccatorem. There can also be another sense, namely that Heaven and Earth are asserted for corporeal creatures themselves. And so, they are summoned by way of their testimony or impugnment against the faithless, because by (their) testimony and impugnment, the wicked can have attention drawn to them out of heaven and earth; Job 20: “The heavens shall reveal his iniquity, and the earth shall rise up against him,” namely the sinner.
Vel, advocavit caelum desursum, ut det ei animas sanctorum quas tenet, et terram, ut det animas malorum quas tenet in profundo. Et huic concordat littera Hieronymi, quae dicit, congregate mihi omnes sanctos meos; quasi dicit: ad hoc advocat, ut exhibeat sanctos suos. Or, He shall call heaven from above, so that he might admit into it the souls of the holy whom he holds, And the earth, that he might admit the souls of the evil whom he binds into the abyss. Jerome’s version agrees with this (interpretation). It says, “Gather unto me all my saints,” as if to say, “For this reason does he summon, that he might display His saints.”
Congregate illi sanctos eius. Hoc est officium angelorum, ut in iudicio scilicet congregent electos. Matth. 24: Mittet angelus suos etc. Et est vox Danielis prophetae ad angelos ad ministerium missos. Sancti enim eius sunt, qui ordinant testamentum super sacrificia. Gather ye together his saints to him. This is the duty of the angels, namely that they gather the elect in judgment; Matthew 24: “And he shall send his angels…(and they shall gather together his elect…). This voice (speaking at this point in the psalm) is of the prophet Daniel (directed) to the angels who were sent to (God’s) ministers. For (the latter) are His saints who set his covenant before sacrifices.
Ly super, dupliciter accipitur. Uno modo, ut designet ordinem causae materialis: et tunc est sensus, super sacrificia, idest qui fecerunt pactum cum Deo de sacrificiis offerendis. Et fecit mentionem de sacrificiis propter duo. Primo quia sequens disceptatio erit de sacrificiis; secundo quia disceptatio in iudicio erit solum cum fidelibus qui iudicabuntur. Et isti sunt qui cum Deo pactum in sacrificiis fecerunt. The word “before” can be taken in two ways. First, to designate the order of the material cause. And then, the sense of Before sacrifices (would be that the covenant is set before) those who made the pact with God concerning the sacrifices being offered. He made mention of sacrifices for two reasons. First, because there will be an inquiry following concerning sacrifices, and second, because the inquiry during the judgement will only be with the faithful who will be judged. And these are the one who have made a pact with God in sacrifices.
Alio modo ut ly supra, notet excessum. Et sic dicendum est quod per Testamentum intelligitur novum testamentum, quod excedit: unde est sensus, super sacrificia, idest qui praeferunt novum testamentum sacrificiis veteris testamenti. The second way in which the word “before” can be taken is as it indicates a going beyond. And in this way it should be said that by Covenant is understood the new covenant, which surpasses (the old). This, then, is the sense of Before sacrifices, namely, (that the covenant is set before) those who prefer the new covenant to the sacrifices of the old covenant.
Vel Testamentum promissum a Deo: et sic, super sacrificia, idest qui bona promissa a Deo reputat maiora omnibus meritis nostris. Rom. 8: Non sunt condignae passiones huius temporis etc. Or, Covenant (can be understood as that which was) promised by God. In this way, (the sense of) Before sacrifices, (is) namely that (the covenant is set before he) who considers the goods promised by God to be greater than all of our merits; Romans 8: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this time (are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come).”
Vel per testamentum illud anima habet foedus cum iustitia, misericordia, fide et huiusmodi. Oseae 2: Sponsabo te mihi in fide. Et sic sunt, super sacrificia, idest qui praeferunt bona spiritualia huiusmodi sacrificiis corporalibus. Oseae 6: Misericordiam volo, et non sacrificium. Or, by Covenant (is meant that) this soul has a bond with justice, mercy, faith, and other such things; Hosea 2: “And I will espouse thee to me in faith.” And so, they are Before sacrifices, that is, those who prefer spiritual goods of this sort to corporeal sacrifices; Hosea 6: “I desired mercy, and not sacrifice.”
Vel, qui ordinant testamentum etc., idest qui in sacrificiis quae Deo exhibent, habent respectum ad testamentum Deo, quia aliqui referunt bona quae faciunt ad aliud, ut in ipsum congregentur. 1 Cor. 10: Omnia in gloriam Deo facite. Or, those Who set his covenant etc., that is those who, in the sacrifices which they offer to God, have a relation to God according to the covenant. For they refer the good things that they do to another, so that they may be gathered into him; 1 Corinthians 10: “Do all to the glory of God.”
Annuntiabunt caeli. Officium apostolorum est annuntiare; et hi designantur per caelos. Unde, caeli, idest apostoli, annuntiabunt, iustitiam Deo. Et dicuntur caeli, quia ipsi eminent omnibus choris sanctorum, et illuminant totam ecclesiam. Psal. 18: Caeli enarrant gloriam Deo. The heavens shall declare. The duty of the apostles is to declare. And these men are designated by the heavens. Hence, The heavens, that is, the apostles, shall declare justice in God. The heavens are indicated because they themselves are prominent in all the choruses of the holy, and they illuminate the entire church; Psalm 18: “The heavens shew forth the glory of God.”
Annuntiabunt autem, quoniam Deus iudex est, per doctrinam instruendo. Act. 10: Ipse est qui constitutus est a Deo iudex vivorum et mortuorum. Instruunt ergo de futuro iudicio. 2 Cor. 5: Omnes nos manifestari oportet ante tribunal Christi. But They shall declare that God is judge through teaching doctrine; Acts 10: “(And he commanded us to preach to the people,) and to testify that it is he who was appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead”; 2 Corinthians 5: “For we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ.”
Alio modo nuntiabunt per iudicis auctoritatem promulgantes sententiam contra malos, quando sedebunt super sedes duodecim, ut dicitur Matth. 19. In another way, they shall declare by means of a judge’s authority, promulgating a sentence against the evil when they will sit upon the twelve seats (of judgment), as is said at Matthew 19.
d. Audi. Hic agit de discrepatione iudicii. In discrepatione iudicii tria sunt necessaria. Unum requiritur ex parte nostra. Aliud ex parte Deo. Tertium est ipsa discrepatio. Ex parte nostra requiritur auditus non solum exterior corporalis, respectu eorum quae audiuntur corporaliter, sed etiam interior. Eccl. 6: Si dilexeris audire etc. Et ideo dicit, Audi, idest etiam interius attende. Matth. 13: Qui habet aures audiendi, audiat. Hear. Here, the psalmist treats of the dispute of judgment. With respect to this, three things are necessary. One thing is sought on our part, another on God’s part, and finally the third is the dispute itself. On our part, one seeks to hear not only something exterior to the body (with respect to those things which are heard corporally), but (one) also (seeks to hear something) within; Ecclesiasticus 6: “If thou love to hear (thou shalt be wise).” Thus he says, Hear, that is, listen also within; Matthew 13: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
Populus meus, quia qui non est de populo suo, non audit eum. Ioan. 6: Omnis qui audit a Patre meo. Item ibidem 8: Propterea vos non auditis, quia ex Deo non estis. O my people, because he who is not of his people, do not hear him; John 6: “Everyone that hath heard of my Father.” Again, at John 8: “Therefore you hear them (the words of God) not, because you are not of God.”
Ex parte Deo requiritur locutio et testificatio; et ideo dicit, Et loquar; Israel, et testificabor tibi. Est autem duplex locutio Deo. Una est exterior per praedicatores. Hebr. 1: Olim Deus loquens patribus in prophetis. Alia est interior per inspirationem. Psal. 84: Quid loquatur in me etc. On God’s part speech and testimony are sought after. And so, he says, And I will speak: O Israel, and I will testify to thee. Now God’s speech is two-fold. On the one hand, it is external by way of (His) preachers; Hebrews 1: “God (who, at sundry times and divers manners,) spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets…” On the other, it is interior by way of (His) inspiration; Psalm 84: “(I will hear) what the Lord God will speak in me…”
Item testificatio est duplex. Una est per miracula. Ioan. 5: Opera quae ego facio testimonium perhibent de me. Alia per testes. Isa. 44: Vos testes mei. Act. 1: Eritis mihi testes etc. Et sic ista possunt esse verba Christi populum instruentis. Audi populus meus, et loquar; Israel, et testificabor tibi, per miracula. Ioan. 5: Opera quae dedit mihi Pater ut perficiam. Item, ibid.: Scrutamini scripturas. Et ideo loquar per miracula et per scripturas, idest apparebit quod ego vera loquor, et quod verus sum per scripturas. Et quid testificabor? Deus Deus tuus ego sum, scilicet singulariter. Exod. 20: Ego Dominus: et dicit, Sum, propter aeternitatem, quia non declinat nec in praeterito nec in futuro. Et dicit, Deus tuus, quia de semine Abrahae. Rom. 9: Ex quibus Christus est secundum carnem. Likewise, (His) testimony is two-fold. First, it is by way of miracles; John 5: “The works themselves, which I do, give testimony of me.” Second, by way of witnesses; Isaiah 44: “You are my witnesses”; Acts 1: “You shall be witnesses unto me” etc. And in this way, these witnesses can be the words of Christ instructing the people. Hear, O my people, and I will speak: O Israel, and I will testify to thee, by way of miracles; John 5: “The works which the Father hath give me to perfect.” Again, in the same chapter: “Search the scriptures.” And in this way I speak by way of miracles and the scriptures, that is, it will become apparent that by way of the scriptures, I speak the truth, and that I am true. And what will I testify? I am God, thy God, namely singly; Exodus 20: “I am the Lord.” And he says, I am, on account of (His) eternity, which does not decrease either in the past or in the future. And he says, Thy God, because (they are) of the seed of Abraham; Romans 9: “Of whom is Christ, according to the flesh.”
e. Non in sacrificiis tuis arguam te. Hic agit de ipsa disceptatione; et circa hoc tria facit. Primo reprobat vetus sacrificium; secundo inducit sacrificium novum, ibi, Immola Deo; tertio ab hoc sacrificio repellit malos, ibi, Peccatori. Sacrificia sunt protestationes fidei; et ideo praemissurus de vultu Deo, praemittit de fide unius Deo. Et primo proponit intentum; secundo assignat rationem. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices. Here, the psalmist treats of the dispute itself, concerning which he does three things. First, he rejects the old sacrifice, second, introduces the new, at, Offer to God, and third, repels the evil by means of this sacrifice, at, To the sinner. Sacrifices are professions of faith. And so, about to set (this) before the face of God, the psalmist puts forth concerning the faith of one God. First, sets forth his intention, and second, he supplies the reason (for it).
Dicit ergo: Veniam et iudicabo, et, non arguam te de sacrificiis tuis, quae non omisisti. Thus, he says, “I will come and judge, and I will not reprove thee for they sacrifices, which you have not neglected.
Sed contra. Qui tunc omisisset, errasset; sed pro omni errato adducetur in iudicium, ut dicitur Eccl. 12. But on the contrary, (it may be said that) he who neglected (to perform the sacrifices he should have) at that time, erred, and that he will be brought to judgment for every error, as is said in Ecclesiasticus 12.
Dicendum, quod homo arguit, quando non facit voluntatem superioris. Voluntas autem Dei est sanctificatio vestra. 1 Thessalonic. 4. Haec autem sacrificia non conferunt ad sanctitatem vestram; et ideo non sunt per se volita a Deo, sed prout sunt signa alterius; et ideo dicit Oseae 6: Misericordiam volo, et non sacrificium; et prout sunt signa interioris virtutis, et ideo de virtutibus arguuntur per se, quas non exercuerunt, non de sacrificiis. I respond that a man complains when he does not do the will of (his) superior. But the will of God is your sanctification; see 1 Thessalonians 4. But this sacrifice does not contribute to your sanctity. Hence, (these sacrifices) are not willed by God for themselves, but as a sign of another thing (and so, he says in Hosea 6: “I desired mercy, and not sacrifice”), and of an interior virtue. And in this way, they are reproved concerning (these) virtutes as such, which they did not exercise, and not concerning the sacrifices (themselves).
Rationem manifestat. Primo ex parte eorum; secundo ex parte sua; unde dicit, Holocausta tua in conspectu meo sunt semper; quasi dicat: non arguam te de sacrificiis, quia promptus es ad sacrificia carnalia offerenda, quia libenter offerebant sacrificia propter hoc quod delectabantur in eis in conviviis. Isa. 22: Ecce gaudium immolare victimas etc. (Next,) he makes the reason (for his intent) clear. (He does this) first on their part, and secondly on his own part. Hence he says, Thy burnt offerings are always in my sight, as if to say, “I will not reprove you for (your) sacrifices, because you were prompt to offer carnal sacrifices, and have freely offered sacrifices for this reason, namely that they were delighted in them [namely, the sacrifices of animal flesh] in their communal meals; Isaiah 22: “And behold joy (and gladness), killing sacrifices” etc.
Vel aliter, non arguam te in sacrificiis, carnalibus, quia holocausta tua, scilicet spiritualia, in conspectu meo sunt semper, idest mihi placent. Et haec sunt, sicut Gregorius, quando totum Deo offertur, scilicet qui seipsum offert, et totum quod habet, et sic expendit in Deo servitio. Or again, I will not reprove thee for thy carnal sacrifices, because Thy burnt spiritual offerings are always in my sight, that is, they please me. And, as Gregory says, these (offerings) are (made) when all is offered up to God, namely, he himself who offers and all that he has. In this way, he expends (himself) in the service of God.
Ex parte Deo manifestat rationem cum dicit, non accipiam de domo tua vitulos. Ratio quare non arguam te de sacrificiis, est, quia quae non quaero principaliter, non principaliter arguo de eis. Duo erant principalia sacrificia, vitulus et hircus. Lev. 4. Et haec duo ostendit se non accipere, idest acceptare de domo carnalium, de gregibus tuis, scilicet carnalibus, accipiam, idest acceptabo, hircos. Mich. 6: Numquid placari potuit Dominus in millibus arietum? On God’s part, the psalmist makes the reason (of God’s intent) clear) when he says, I will not take calves out of thy house. The reason why I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices is that concerning those things which I do not principally seek, I do not principally reprove you for. Now there were two principal kinds of sacrifices, namely the calf and the goat (see Leviticus 4). And he appears not to accept either, that is, to receive (calves or) carnal things from thy house (or goats) from thy flocks; Micheas 6: “May the Lord be appeased with thousands of rams?”
Quoniam meae sunt omnes ferae sylvarum. Probat quod dixit, scilicet quod nec vitulos nec hircos approbat; et quod si indigeret, non acciperet de domo sua. Nullus petit aliquid quod sit in potestate sua; omnia autem quae isti offerebant, erant in potestate Deo. For all the beasts of the woods are mine. Here, he proves what he has said, namely that neither favors calves nor goats, and that if he stands in need (of them), that he would not take (them) from his house – no one asks for something which is in his power; whatever they offered, these things were in the power of God.
Tria offerebantur in veteri testamento: animalia quadrupedia, aves et fructus, scilicet primitias, et panes. Quantum ad primum dicit, Omnes ferae sylvarum meae sunt. Quadrupedia in duo genera dividuntur: quia quaedam sunt silvestria, et quaedam domestica: et licet silvestria non offerantur, tamen enumerat ea ut magis appareat quod etiam domestica sunt sua. Three things were offered (to God) in the old testament: four-footed animals, birds and fruit, namely the best or first fruits and bread. With respect to the first (offering) he says, All the beasts of the woods are mine. Four-footed animals are divided into two categories. There are those which are wild, and those which are domesticated. And although the wild are not offered, the psalmist enumerates them so that it is more evident that even the domesticated (animals) are His.
Mystice autem per ista animalia possunt designari diversa genera personarum; unde dicit, Ferae, idest infideles, iumenta, idest fideles, boves in montibus, idest apostoli, omnia mea sunt. Mystically (speaking), different kinds of people can be designated by these very animals. And so, he says (those) Of the wood, that is, the infidels, The cattle, that is, the faithful, The oxen on the mountains, that is, the apostles, Are all mine.
Quantum ad secundum dicit, Cognovi omnia volatilia caeli, idest ista subsunt meae providentiae. Per haec volatilia sancti angeli intelliguntur, qui sunt similitudo. With respect to the second he says, I know all the fowls of the air, that is, these very creatures are under my providence. By Fowls are to be understood the holy angels, who are a likeness (to them, namely the fowls).
Quantum ad tertium dicit, Et pulchritudo agri mecum est, idest quicquid pulchrum est in eis, mihi servit. With respect to the third he says, And with me is the beauty of the field, that is, Whatsoever is beautiful in these things, serves me.
Vel pulchritudo agri mecum est, quia ubique sum. Et est, quia semper sum, sine praeterito et futuro. Or, With me is the beauty of the field, since I am everywhere. And because “I always am”, He is without past and future.
Si esuriero, non dicam tibi. Concludit per impossibile. Si indigerem eis, non dicerem tibi, idest non quaererem a te. Quare? Quia Meus est orbis terrae, et plenitudo eius. Psal. 23: “Domini est terra” etc. If I should be hungry, I would not tell thee. He concludes by means of the impossible. “If I were lacking these things, I would not tell you,” that is, I would not seek (them) from you. Why? Because The world is mine, and the fullness thereof; Psalm 23: “The earth is the Lord’s” etc.
f. Numquid manducabo? Supra psalmista ex persona Domini assignavit rationem quare Dominus non accipiet hircos, etiam si indigeret; hic autem ostendit, quod non indiget. Shall I eat? Previously, the psalmist assigned, on the Lord’s part, the reason why the Lord would not accept goats, even if he needed them. Here, however, he shows that he does not need (them).
Sciendum est autem quod in lege praecipitur quod carnes holocaustorum comburerentur, et sanguis effundebatur ad altaris crepidinem. Et posset aliquis suspicari, quod Deus delectaretur in sanguine et carnibus illorum. Haec etiam fuit opinio gentilium, quod dii eorum delectarentur odoribus carnium et sanguinis effusione, ut dicit Augustinus. It must be noted that in the law, it is set forth that the flesh of the offerings be consumed by flame, and the blood be poured be upon the base of the altar. Now someone could suppose that God takes pleasure in the blood and flesh of those creatures. This, according to Augustine, was the opinion of the gentiles, namely that their gods took pleasure in the odor of flesh and the shedding of blood.
Et Dominus dicit quod in his non delectatur quae non delectant secundum se; et ideo dicit, Numquid manducabo carnes taurorum, aut sanguinem hircorum potabo? Quasi dicat, non, quia non indigeo, nec delector, quia delector in his, quae per se sunt cibus Deo, sed alius est cibus Deo quam carnes et sanguis animalium: cibus enim Deo est id, quod est cibus omnium sanctorum: Luc. 22: “Ego dispono vobis sicut” etc. Et sic eadem est refectio sanctorum et Deo. Sed sancti reficiuntur ipsius amore Deo; et sic Deus reficitur in fruitione suiipsius: Tob. 12: Ego cibo invisibili, et potu qui ab hominibus videri non potest, utor. Now the Lord says that he does not take pleasure in those things which in themselves do not delight. Thus, he says, Shall I eat the flesh of bullocks? or shall I drink the blood of goats? It is as if (the psalmist) were saying “No (I shall not partake of such) because I do not stand in need (of these), nor do I take pleasure (in them). For I take pleasure in those things which in themselves are food (so to speak) for God. But the flesh and blood of animals is different from this food. For food for God is that which is food of all of the holy; Luke 22: “I dispose to you, as (my Father hath disposed to me, a kingdom; that you may eat and drink at my table, in my kingdom…”). In this way, the refreshment of the holy, and refreshment for God are the same. But the holy are refreshed by the love of God Himself. And so God is refreshed in the enjoyment of Himself; Tobias 12: “(I seemed indeed to eat and to drink with you:) but I use an invisible meat and drink, which cannot be seen by men.”
g. Immola Deo. Hic ostendit quid sit illud sacrificium, quod Deus acceptat. Et primo ostendit quid Deus acceptat ab homine. Secundo quid retribuit. Offer to God. Here, the psalmist shows which that sacrifice is which God accepts. And he shows first God accepts from man, and second, what he returns.
Duo requirit Dominus ab homine. Primo sacrificium laudis. Et dicitur Laus sacrificium, quia nihil est aliud sacrificium nisi protestatio interioris devotionis et fideo: quia per sacrificium recognoscimus Deum creatorem omnium: 1 Paral. 29: Tua sunt omnia, et quae de manu tua accepimus dedimus tibi. The Lord requires two things from man. First, a sacrifice of praise. And A sacrifice of praise is said because a sacrifice is nothing other than a profession of interior devotion and faith. For by a sacrifice we recognize God as the creator of all things; 1 Paralipomenon 29: “All things are thine; and we have given thee what we received of thy hand.”
Augustinus lib. de Doctr. Christiana dicit, quod nullum signum est ita expressum et intentionem cordis significans, sicut verbum, et exterior fides; et devotio non potest melius explicari, quam per devotionem laudis: et sic laus est magis Deo accepta quam occisio animalium: Heb. ult.: Per ipsum offeramus hostiam laudis semper Deo: Oseae ult.: Reddemus vitulos labiorum nostrorum. In his book, On Christian Doctrine, Augustine states that there is no sign signifying as clearly both the heart’s intent as does the word and exterior faith; and devotion cannot be better revealed than by the devotion of praise. And so, praise is accepted more by God that the killing of animals; Hebrews 13: “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise always to God”; Hosea 14: “(Take with you words, and return to the Lord, and say to him: Take away all iniquity, and receive the good:) and we will render the calves of our lips.”
Secundo Dominus requirit ut reddat vota altissimo. Et ideo dicit, Et redde altissimo vota tua. Laus est sacrificium Deo, inquantum est signum interioris devotionis; quia laus significat quod homo Deo offert mentem suam; et hoc vult Deus quod sibi reddatur, et hoc est votum, et ita votum est actus latriae: Isa. 19: Colent eum in hostiis et muneribus, et vota vovebunt Deo, et solvent: Eccl. 5: Si quid vovisti Deo, ne moreris reddere. The second thing that the Lord requires from man is that he render vows to the most high. And so, he says, And pay your vows to the most High. Praise is a sacrifice to God insofar as it is a sign of interior devotion. For praise indicates that man offers his very mind to God. And God wants that this be rendered to him; it is a vow, and as it is a vow, it is an act of adoration; Isaiah 19: “They shall worship him with sacrifices and offerings: and they shall make vows to the Lord, and perform them”; Ecclesiastes 5: “If thou hast vowed any thing to God, defer not to pay it.”
h. Et invoca. Hic Dominus exponit quid retribuet colentibus eum. Et primo ostendit quid sancti patiantur. Secundo quid faciant in tribulationibus. Tertio quid a Deo recipiant. Quarto quid Deo recompensant. And call. At this point, the Lord sets forth what he will return to those who honor him. First, he shows what the holy suffer, secondly, what they do in times of trial, third, what they receive from God, and fourth, what they pay back to Him.
Dicit ergo quod per hoc quod aliquis reddit vota, nihilominus affligitur: Psal. 68: Persequuntur me inimici mei iniuste. Et ratio huius est, quia nisi affligerentur iusti in hoc mundo, multi servirent Deo non propter ipsum, sed propter prosperitatem. And so, he says that although one pays his vows, he is nevertheless afflicted; Psalm 68: “My enemies…have wrongfully persecuted me.” The reason for this is that unless the just are afflicted in this world, many will serve God not on His account alone, but rather for the sake of prosperity.
Secundo ostendit quid faciant tempore tribulationis, quia debent eum invocare: et invocabis me. Deus quid faciet ei? Liberabit eum, eruam te: Ps. 119: Ad Dominum cum tribularer clamavi etc. Et postea liberatus debet Deum honorificare, et honorificabis me. Next, he shows what they do in times of tribulation, namely that they ought to call upon Him: And you will call upon me. What will God do for him? He will free him, I will deliver thee; Psalm 119: “In my trouble I cried to the Lord” etc. And after He has freed him, he ought to honor God, And thou shalt glorify me.
i. Peccatori autem dixit Deus. Hic arcet quosdam, scilicet peccatores, a sacrificio laudis; et ponit tria. Primo humanam perversitatem. Secundo Deo patientiam. Tertio comminatur divinam severitatem. But to the sinner God hath said. At this point, he prevents certain people, namely sinners, from (making) a sacrifice of praise. He sets down three things (in this regard). First, the perversity of man, second, the patience of God, and third, he threatens the divine severity.
Perversitas humana consistit in hoc quod bona dicunt et mala faciunt: et ideo ostendit, quomodo indigni sunt bona dicere. Est autem duplex bonum: unum est instructio morum, aliud est informatio ad laudem Deo. Human perversity consists in this, namely that they say good things, but do evil. And so, he shows how they are unworthy to say good things. However, good speech is two-fold. One kind is the instruction of morals, and the other is of forming one in the praise of God.
Dicit ergo, Tu, scilicet popule meus, Immola Deo sacrificium laudis etc. Sed peccatori dixit Deus, idest Deo praeordinatione fixum est, quod hoc iniustum est, quod bona dicat et mala faciat. Et hoc dixit, quia hoc in mente omnium, etiam peccatorum impressum est. Et quid dixit? Quare tu enarras iustitias meas: Rom. 2: Qui praedicas non furandum furaris. And so, he says, You, namely my people, Offer to God the sacrifice of praise. But To the sinner God says, that is, it is fixed by God through preordination, that this is unjust, that he say good things, but do evil. And he says this because it is in the mind of all, even impressed in the mind of sinners. And what did he say? Why dost thou declare my justices; Romans 2: “That thou preachest that men should not steal, stealest.”
Sed numquid, qui in statu peccati mortalis est, peccat mortaliter, quando praedicat vel docet? But does one, who is in a state of mortal sin, sin mortally [that is, sin again, a new sin], if he should preach or teach?
Dicendum, quod eius peccatum aut est publicum vel occultum: et si occultum, vel est ex contemptu, et sine poenitentia, aut cum poenitentia. Dicendum est ergo, quod si aliquis est in peccato publico, non debet publice praedicare vel docere. Et dico publico; quia si peccatum non est publicum, posset cum caritate occulte fratrem suum de peccato etiam minori quam sit suum peccatum quod occultum est reprehendere, reprehendendo tamen seipsum. Si vero est in peccato occulto, et sine poenitentia, tunc provocat Deum, quia simulat: Prov. 11: Simulator ore decipit amicum suum. Et de his loquitur hic, sicut dicit Glossa Augustini, lingua laudare non praesumat cui contradicit conscientia. Si vero peccatum est occultum et dolet, non peccat praedicando vel docendo, etiam si publice loquatur contra peccatum: quia sic detestando aliorum peccata detestatur etiam suum. It must be said that his sin is either public or private. If it is private, either it is from contempt and without penance, or it is with penance. Therefore, is must be said that if one’s sin is public, one ought not to preach or teach publically. And I say this because if one’s sin is not public, one could, with love and in private, find fault with one’s brother for a sin lesser than one’s own which also is private, by finding fault with oneself. If, however, one is in sin privately, and without penance, then he provokes God, because (such a person) feigns (goodness); Proverbs 11: “The dissembler with his mouth deceiveth his friend. These matters are spoken of here, as Augustine’s Gloss indicates, (namely that) it is not the priviledge of the one whose conscience contradicts him to praise with the tongue. If, however, the sin is private and (the sinner) is sorry for it, he does not sin by preaching or teaching, even if the speaks publicly against sin. For just as he detests the sins of others, so too does he despise his own.
Et assumis testamentum meum per os tuum. Iustitia refertur ad instructionem, testamentum refertur ad laudem fidei: Eccl. 15: Non est speciosa laus in ore peccatoris, quia nomen Dei est sanctissimum; et ideo inconveniens est quod a peccatoribus assumatur, quasi usurpatum: Prov. 26: Quomodo pulchras frustra habet claudus tibias, sic indecens est in ore stultorum parabola. And take my covenant in thy mouth. Justice is referred to instruction, and covenant to faith’s praise; Ecclesiasticus 15: “Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner.” For the name of God is most holy, and as such it is unseemly that such be assumed, or usurped as it were, by sinners; Proverbs 26: “As a lame man hath fair legs in vain: so a parable is unseemly in the mouth of fools.”
Tu vero odisti disciplinam. Hic ostendit mala quae faciunt peccatores. Et faciunt duo mala: primum est, quod odiunt divinam correptionem; unde dicit, Tu vero odisti disciplinam. Haec correptio morum fit per difficilia: Heb. 12: Omnis disciplina in praesenti quidem videtur esse non gaudii, sed moeroris. Hanc odiunt mali: Heb. 12: Si extra disciplinam estis etc. Psal. 118: Bonitatem et disciplinam etc. Amos 5: Odio habuerunt corripientem in porta. Seeing thou hast hated discipline. Here, the psalmist sets forth the evil things which sinners do. The evil they do is twofold. First, they hate divine correction. Hence, he says Seeing thou hast hated discipline. The correction of (one’s) practices is done with difficulty; Hebrew 12: “All chastisement for the present indeed seemeth not to bring with it joy, but sorrow.” This, the evil hate; Hebrews 12: “But if you be without chastisement (whereof all are made partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons)”; Psalm 118: “(Teach me) goodness and discipline (chastisement)”; Amos 5: “They have hated him that rebuketh in the gate.”
Tu ergo non vis ab aliis castigari cum quotidie delinquas, Et proiecisti sermones meos retrorsum, quibus informaris ad bene operandum et merendum. Tales sermones debent haberi in reverentia. Sed isti, scilicet peccatores, non accipiunt eos, nec considerant: Ezech. 33: Audiunt sermones tuos, et non faciunt eos, quia in canticum oris sui convertunt illos. Therefore, you do not want to be corrected by others when you do wrong daily, And hast cast my words behind thee, by which you are formed so that you might act well and be found deserving. Such Words ought to be held in reverence. But these people, namely sinners, do not accept or (even) consider them; Ezechiel 33: “They hear thy words, and do them not: for they turn them into a song of their mouth (and their heart goeth after their covetousness).”
Vel, Proiecisti, scilicet pro nihilo habuisti, Retrorsum, ita ut nec etiam considerares eos. Or, Thou hast cast, that is, you held (them, my words) as though (they were) nothing, (these, thou hast cast) Behind thee, in such a fashion that you would also not consider them.
Si videbas furem, currebas cum eo. Hic proponit malitiam peccatorum quantum ad operationem mali. Sed paulo ante ostendit defectum eorum quantum ad desertionem boni, cum dixit, Tu vero odisti etc. Et primo ponit eorum nequitiam, quantum ad malum operis; deinde quantum ad malum oris. If thou didst see a thief thou didst run with him. Here, the psalmist sets down the wickedness of sinners with respect to (their) performance of evil. But a little before (this), he set forth their failure with respect to (their) abandonment of good when he said, Seeing thou hast hated etc. He first describes their wickedness with respect to the evil of (their) work, and then to that of (their) mouth.
Dicit ergo, Si videbas. Ubi sciendum est, quod haec verba ex persona Dei proponuntur peccatori annuntianti et praedicanti iustitiam Dei. Et competunt maxime praelatis et doctoribus, qui non de facili per se in peccatum labuntur; sed aliis peccantibus consentiunt, et haec convertuntur in eos. Rom. 1: Digni sunt morte non solum qui faciunt etc. 1 Reg. 2: Punitus est Heli, qui non correxit filios; ideo de hoc reprehendit eos. And so, he says, If thou didst see. It should be noted here that these words are applied (by the psalmist) on God’s part to sinners announcing and preaching of God’s justice. And (this, namely this condition of being in sin while announcing and preaching) applies most to prelates and teachers (of the Christian faith) who are not easily brought to sin, but who consent to other people sinning, and these [sins of other people] fall on their heads; Romans 1: “…they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them (but they also that consent to them that do them)”; and 1 Kings 3 (wherein) Heli is punished, he who did not correct his sons by way of reprimanding them.
Et tangit duo, scilicet furtum et adulterium.Quantum ad primum dicit, Si videbas furem, ad te delatum ad iudicium, Currebas cum eo, non corrigendo: Isa. 1: Principes tui infideles. The psalmist touches upon two things, namely theft and adultery. With respect to the first, he says, If thou didst see a thief, (if) brought to you for judgment, thou didst run with him, by not correcting him; Isaiah 1: “Thy princes are faithless.”
Item, Cum adulteris portionem tuam ponebas, quia non corrigis adulteros, sed blandiris, et cooperis et foves eos, cum ad notitiam tuam perveniunt: Ier. 9: Omnes adulteri sunt. Again, With adulterers thou hast been a partaker, because you have not corrected adulterers, but have flattered, cooperated with and favored them, when they came to your notice; Jeremiah 9: “They are all adulterers.”
Spirituale autem furtum est, quando ex verbis sacrae scripturae depravator furatur verum intellectum; et sic videns depravare et occultare verum intellectum, et tu consentiens, Curris cum eo: Ier. 23: Ecce ego ad prophetas qui furantur verba mea. Spiritually (speaking), theft occurs when a corruptor steals the true understanding from the words of Sacred Scripture. And thus, seeing the corrupting and concealment of (its) true meaning, and consenting (to it), Thou runs with him; Jeremiah 23: “Behold I am against the prophets… who steal my words…”
Adulterium spirituale est, quando verba detorquentur in alium sensum, vel ad alium finem; puta si praedicet aliquis ad lucrum vel seductionem: 1 Corinth. 2: Non sumus sicut plurimi adulterantes verbum Dei. Adultery, in the spiritual sense, occurs when the words (of Sacred Scripture) are twisted into another sense, or to some other end, for instance, if one were to preach something for the sake of gain or seduction; 2 Corinthians 2: “We are not as many, adulterating the word of God.”
i. Os tuum. Hic agit de peccato oris, quod aggravatur dupliciter. Primo ex circumstantiis. Secundo ex conditione personarum, ibi, Sedens. Circa primum duo facit. Primo ponit conditiones aggravantes, scilicet frequentiam. Aliud est dolositas. Thy mouth. At this point, the psalmist treats of mouth’s sin, which is made worse in two ways. First, by way of the circumstance, and second, by way of the person’s condition, at, Sitting. Concerning the first, he does two things. First, he puts forth the aggravating conditions, namely that of frequency and deceit.
Frequentia: quia si aliquando quis committat aliquod peccatum, aliquo modo tolerabile est. Vel si ex lapsu linguae aliquod inordinatum dicat, facilius portatur: Iac. 3: Si quis verbo non offendit, hic perfectus est vir. Si quis autem os suum implet maledictionibus, tunc ex malitia propria procedit: nam ex abundantia cordis os loquitur, Mat. 12. Psal. 13: Quorum os maledictione etc. Frequency (is an aggravating condition) because if at some point one were to commit a sin, this, in a way, is tolerable. Or, if by a slip in one’s speech, one says something inordinate, it is more easily endured; James 3: “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man.” However, if one fills one’s mouth with evil speech, then one acts from wickedness proper: for the mouth speaks from the fullness of one’s heart – see Matthew 12 and Psalm 13: “Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
Aggravatur etiam peccatum linguae ex dolositate, sive fraude: Ier. 9: Sagitta vulnerans lingua eorum dolum locuta est; et ideo dicit, Et lingua tua concinnabat dolos, idest componebat, et quasi ut docens ordinabat dolos, ut verba eius essent placentia: Prov. 12: Qui testis est repentinus, concinnat verba mendacii. The sin of speech is also aggravated by way of deceit or fraud; Jeremiah 9: “Their tongue is a piercing arrow, it hath spoken deceit.” And thus he says, And thy tongue framed, that is, composed, deceits, as if the one teaching arranged his deceits, so that his words would be pleasing; Proverbs 12: “He that is a hasty witness, frameth a lying tongue.”
Sedens adversus fratrem tuum loquebaris. Hic ostendit quomodo peccatum linguae aggravatur ex conditione personarum. Et primo ex conditione loquentis; secundo ex conditione eius contra quem loquitur; tertio ex conditione audientium. Sitting thou didst speak against thy brother. At this point, the Psalmist shows how the sin of speech is aggravated by peoples’ condition, and (this) first by the condition of the one speaking, second, by the condition of him against whom he speaks, and third, by the condition of those listening.
Dicit ergo, Sedens. Contingit aliquando quod aliquis dicit amarum verbum commotus et provocatus: et hoc utcumque tolerabile est. Sed quando aliquis quieto corde, non provocatus, dicit mala, hoc iniquum et detestabile est: et ideo dicit, Sedens, scilicet quietus: Ps. 68: Adversum me loquebantur qui sedebant in porta. And so, he says, Sitting. At times, it is appropriate that one who has been agitated and provoked speak an unpleasant word. And this is tolerable in one way or another. But when one in peace of heart, and who has not been provoked, speaks evil things, this is wicked and detestable. And so he says, Sitting, namely, peace; Psalm 68: “They that sat in the gate spoke against me.”
Ex persona eius contra quem loquitur, aggravatur peccatum: quia si loqueretur contra iniquum, secus esset. Sed dicit, Adversum fratrem tuum: Ier. 9: Unusquisque a proximo se custodiat. Sin is aggravated on account of the person of him against whom he speaks. For if one spoke against evil things, one would not be so [evil]. But he says Against thy brother; Jeremiah 9: “Let every man take heed of (his) neighbor.”
Et adversum filium matris tuae ponebas scandalum. Hic ostendit quomodo aggravatur ex parte eorum qui ex hoc scandalizantur, scilicet audientium; et ideo dicit, Ponebas scandalum, scilicet aliorum contra fratrem tuum. Et quod dicit, filium matris tuae, ostendit, quod parvuli lactentes dicuntur filii matris, et pusilli scandalizantur de verbis malis quae dicit. And didst lay a scandal against thy mother’s son. Here, the psalmist shows how (sin) is aggravated on the part of those who are scandalized by this, namely those who listening. And thus he says, Thou didst lay a scandal, that is, of different things against your brother. And when he says, Against thy mother’s son, he shows that children at the breast are called a mother’s sons, and that little ones are scandalized by the evil words which he (the one voicing scandal) says.
Haec fecisti, et tacui. Hic agit de Dei simulatione. Et primo ponitur dissimulatio Dei. Secundo ponitur effectus dissimulationis in malis, ibi, Existimasti. Dicit ergo, Haec fecisti, scilicet omnia quae supra dicta sunt: locutus es bona, et perpetrasti mala, ut sic loquatur psalmista in persona Dei, et ego tacui, quasi scilicet non statim te correxi et punivi; sed ex clementia et misericordia te ad poenitentiam expectavi: Isa. 42: Tacui, semper silui: Rom. 2: An ignoras quod benignitas Dei ad poenitentiam te adducit? Sed homo malus et peccator hac clementia abutitur in superbia: Rom. 2: Secundum duritiam tuam et cor impoenitens thesaurizas tibi iram etc. Et ideo dicit, Existimasti inique, quod ero tui similis. These things hast thou done, and I was silent. Here, the psalmist treats of God’s assumed appearance. First he describes God’s concealment, and secondly, this concealment’s effect in evil people, at, Thou thoughtest. And so, he says, These things hast thou done, namely everything which was said above: you spoke good things, but have brought about evil, and, as the psalmist speaks in the manner of God’s person, I was silent, as if to say, I did not immediately correct and punish you, but out of clemency and compassion I waited for you to make penance; Isaiah 42: “I have always held my peace, I have kept silence”; Romans 2: “Or… knowest thou not, that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance?” But the evil man and the sinner abuse this clemency in (their) pride; Romans 2: “But according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up to thyself wrath…” And so, he says, Thou thoughtest unjustly that I should be like to thee.
Dictum est autem supra, si videbas furem etc. Arguunt ex hoc peccatores, et credunt iniqui quod peccatum placeat Deo et non puniat, quia tacet, haec fecisti et tacui; However, it was said above, If thou didst see a thief etc. Sinners argue in this manner, and the wicked believe that sin pleases God, and that He does not punish, because he remains silent – These things hast thou done, and I was silent.
sed haec existimatio est iniqua, quia similiter odio sunt Deo impius et impietas eius, ut dicitur Sap. 14: Et Habac. 1: Mundi sunt oculi tui ne videant mala, et ad iniquitatem respicere non poteris. But this way of thinking is wicked, since the impious and their impiety are hateful to God alike, as is said at Wisdom 14 and, again, at Habacuc 1: “Thy eyes are too pure to behold evil, and thou canst not look on iniquity.”
Sed arguam te. Unde hic ponitur divina securitas. Et primo in eius reprehensione. Secundo in effectu. Dicit ergo, Arguam te, idest condemnabo te: Psal. 7: Domine ne in ira tua corripias me. In ira est effectus, statuam contra faciem tuam. Deus qui punit, non solum punit per seipsum, sed per alias creaturas: Sap. 5: Pugnabit cum eo orbis terrarum contra insensatos: But I will reprove thee. And so, at this point, the divine guarantee, so to speak, is set down, first, in His reprimand, and second, in its effects. And so, he says, I will reprove thee, that is, I will condemn you; Psalm 6: “O Lord…chastise me not in thy anger.” The effect is in His anger, And set before thy face. God punishes not only through Himself, but also by means of other creatures; Wisdom 5: “And the whole world shall fight with him against the unwise.”
item etiam ipse homo contra se pugnat per remorsum conscientiae. Et sic etiam contra se pugnat, et per seipsum arguit; et hoc est, quod dicit, Statuam te contra faciem tuam, idest tu ipse te condemnabis: Ioan. 8: Nemo te condemnavit: nemo Domine: nec ego te condemnabo. Again, even man himself fights against himself by means of the remorse of conscience. And even in this way, he fights against himself and argues with himself. This is what the psalmist says, Set yourself before thy face, that is, you will condemn yourself; John 8: “(Woman, where are they that accused thee?) Hath no man condemned thee? (Who said) No man, Lord. (And Jesus said) Neither will I condemn thee.”
Vel, Statuam contra faciem tuam, scilicet creaturas, ut dicitur Sap. 5. Or, Set before thy face, namely creatures, as is said at Wisdom 5.
Sive rationales, idest angelos et sanctos; Or, rational beings, that is, the angels and the saints;
sive irrationales, quibus male usus est in peccatis: Iob 7: Posuisti me contrarium tibi, et factus sum mihimetipsi gravis, quia contra seipsum peccator dicet, Sap. 5: Erravimus a via veritatis: Nahum 3: Revelabo pudenda tua in faciem tuam: Isa. 3: Agnitio vultus eorum respondebit eis. Et haec poena est vermis conscientiae. or irrational beings, whose bad use lies in sins; Job 7: “(Why) hast thou set me opposite to thee, and I am become burdensome to myself(?)”; Wisdom 5: “We have erred from the way of truth”; Nahum 3: “I will discover thy shame to thy face”; Isaiah 3: “The shew of their countenance hath answered them.” And this punishment is the worm of conscience.
k. Intelligite haec qui obliviscimini Deum. Hic hortatur ad peccatorum considerationem. Et primo ad considerandum Dei severitatem. Secundo ostendit, quid sit acceptum Deo in sacrificiis. Understand these things, you that forget God. At this point, the psalmist urges one to a consideration of one’s sins. First, (he urges that we) consider God’s severity. Second, he shows what is accepted by God in sacrifices.
Primo ergo hortatur ad intelligendum; unde dicit, intelligite haec qui obliviscimini Deum, scilicet quae dicta sunt considerate. Et hoc necessarium est, quia estis obliti Dei: Deut. 32: Oblitus es Dei creatoris tui. Secundo, quid intelligat, Nequando rapiat, scilicet diabolus, Et non sit qui eripiat, scilicet de eius potestate. Quando diabolus rapit ad poenam inferni, non est qui eripiat. Aliquando rapit ad peccatum, et Deus eripit peccatorem: Psal. 90: Eripiat eum. Quod non eripiat de potestate diaboli ad poenam, non est ex impotentia, sed ex sua iustitia non vult. And so, he first urges one to understand; hence he says, Understand these things, you that forget God, namely consider those things which have been said. And this is necessary because you have forgotten God; Deuteronomy 32: “Thou hast forgotten the God that created thee.” Second, let him understand what (has been said) Lest he snatch you away, that is to say, the devil, And there be none to deliver you, that is, from his power. When the devil carries one off to the punishment of hell, there is no one to deliver you. Sometimes, the devil carries one off to sin, but God snatches back even the sinner; Psalm 90: “He (I) will deliver him.” When he does not snatch one from the devil’s power to punish, this is not from a lack of power (on God’s part), but rather that he does not desire (to do this) on account of His justice.
Sacrificium laudis honorificabit me. Hic concludit, quid sit acceptum Deo in sacrificiis. Et ostendit duplicem fructum in eis. Unus fructus ex parte Deo, ut excellentia eius manifestetur; et hoc fit per sacrificium laudis vocalis: 1 Corinth. 10: Omnia in gloriam Dei, facite. Alius fructus est ex parte nostra, scilicet vera salus; unde dicit, Et illic iter quo ostendam illi salutare Dei, idest ad videndum Deum: Isa. 52: Levaverunt vocem: simul laudabunt. The sacrifice of praise shall glorify me. At this point, the psalmist concludes (with) what is accepted by God in sacrifices. And he shows that there are two fruits in these sacrifices. The first fruit is on God’s part, that His excellence is clearly shown. And this is accomplished through the sacrifice of vocal praise; 1 Corinthians 10: “Do all to the glory of God.” The other fruit is on our part, namely true deliverance from our sins; hence he says, And there is the way by which I will shew him the salvation of God, that is the living God; Isaiah 52: “They have lifted up their voice, they shall praise together.”
Hieronymus habet, Et qui ordinate ambulat, ostendam illi salutare Dei; quasi dicat, duo autem necessaria sunt ad salutem, idest sacrificium laudis, et quod ordinate ambules. Jerome has, And to he who goes about in an orderly manner, I will shew him the salvation of God; as if to say, two things are necessary for deliverance from sin, that is, the sacrifice of praise, and that you go about in an orderly manner.

© Stephen Loughlin

The Aquinas Translation Project




8 Responses to “St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 50 (49)”

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