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

Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 29 (28 in the Vulgate)

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 7, 2012

This post contains Aquinas’ lecture on Psalm 29 (28) in both Latin and English. the English translation was done by Ed Redmond as part of the Aquinas Translation Project. The work is under copyright and appears here in accord with the ATP’s copyright policy.

Psalm 28 

a. In consummatione tabernaculi. Afferte Domino filii Dei. On the completion of the tabernacle. Bring to the Lord, you sons of God,
b. Afferete Domino filios arietum. Bring to the Lord, offspring of rams.
c. Afferte Domino gloriam et honorem, afferte Domino gloriam nomini eius: adorate Dominum in atrio sancto eius. Bring to the Lord glory and honour; bring to the Lord glory to his name; adore the Lord in his holy court.
d. Vox Domini super aquas, Deus maiestatis intonuit: Dominus super aquas multas. Vox Domini in virtute: vox Domini in magnificentia. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of majesty has thundered; the Lord upon many waters. The voice of the Lord in power; the voice of the Lord in magnificence.
e. Vox Domini confringentis cedros: et confringet Dominus cedros Libani. The voice of the Lord breaking the cedars; and the Lord will break the cedars of Lebanon.
f. Et comminuet eas tanquam vitulum Libani: et dilectus quemadmodum. And he will crush them, as a calf of Lebanon: and as the beloved son of unicorns.
g. Vox Domini intercidentis flammam, vox ignis, vox Domini concutientis desertum: et commovebit Dominus desertum Cades. Vox Domini praeparantis cervos, et revelabit condensa: et in templo eius omnes dicent gloriam. The voice of the Lord dividing the flame of fire; the voice of the Lord shaking the desert; and the Lord will disturb the desert of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord preparing the stags, and he will lay bare the thick woods: and in his temple all will speak of his glory.
h. Dominus diluvium inhabitare facit: et sedebit Dominus Rex in aeternum. Dominus virtutem populo suo dabit: Dominus benedicet populo suo in pace. The Lord makes the flood to dwell; and the Lord will sit as King forever. The Lord will give strength to his people: the Lord will bless his people with peace.
a. In aliis Psalmis commemoravit Psalmista fiduciam quam habet de Deo; hic autem quasi liberatus gratias agit. Et primo ponuntur Psalmi pertinentes ad gratiarum actionem. Secundo commemorat beneficia praestita, ibi, In te Domine speravi. In other psalms, the psalmist has recounted the trust that he has from God; here, however, like a man set free, he gives thanks: and first, psalms suitable for thanksgiving are set forth: second, he recounts outstanding favours, as he says, (Psalm 30) In you, O Lord, have I hoped.
Circa primum duo facit. Primo invitat alios ad gratiarum actiones. Secundo ipse gratias agit, ibi, Exaltabo te. About the first issue, he makes two points. First, he asks others to give thanks; second, he himself gives thanks, as he says (Psalm 29) I shall exalt you.
Titulus, Psalmus David in consummatione tabernaculi, et nota historiam 1 Reg. 4. ubi filii Israel tempore Heli pugnaverunt contra Philistaeos, et arca Dei capta est, et fuit in terra illa sex mensibus, tandem propter plagam remiserunt eam in Gabaa: et Saule David tulit eam, et portavit in Hierusalem, et fecit ei tabernaculum, et lusit ante eam, ut habetur 2. Reg. 6. et nunc videtur factus fuisse iste Psalmus. The title: a psalm of David upon the completion of the tabernacle. It is written in the history of 1 Kings 4 where the children of Israel in the time of Eli fought against the Philistines, and the Ark of God was captured and was in that land for six months. Finally, because of a plague, they sent it back to Gilboa (?). And upon the death of Saul, David took it and brought it to Jerusalem and made a tabernacle for it and played before it, as we have it in 2 Kings 6. And it appears that this psalm was composed then.
Mystice per tabernaculum designatur sancta ecclesia: Apoc. 21. Ecce tabernaculum Dei cum hominibus. Mystically, by tabernacle the holy Church is designated. Apocalypse 21: Behold the tabernacle of God is with men.
Hoc tabernaculum, scilicet ecclesia, ereptum est de manibus Philistiim, idest daemonum: et quae in Psalmo isto dicuntur, pertinent ad dona Spiritus sancti, per quae istud tabernaculum consummatur. This tabernacle, that is, the Church, was torn from the hands of the Philistines, that is, from demons. And what is said in this psalm pertains to the gifts of the Holy Ghost, through which this tabernacle is perfected.
Dividitur ergo in partes duas. In prima invitat alios ad offerendum Deo per gratiarum actionem. Secundo commemorat beneficia, ibi, Vox Domini super aquas. It is divided therefore into two parts. In the first, he invites others to make an offering to God by way of thanksgiving; in the second, he recounts favours, as he says The voice of the Lord is upon the waters.
Circa primum tria facit. Primo ostendit cui sit offerendum. Secundo qui offerat. Tertio quid debeant offere. About the first, he makes three points. First, he shows to whom the offering is made; second, who may offer it; third, what they may offer.
Dicit ergo, Afferte, Sed cui? Domino, soli, non alii: Exod. 22. quod soli Deo debeat offerri, dicitur 1 Paral. ult. Tua sunt omnia, et quae de manu tua accepimus, dedimus tibi. He says, therefore, Bring. But to whom? To the Lord, alone, not to another. Exodus 22. What ought to be offered to God alone is told in the last chapter of 1 Paralipomenon, All things are yours and what we have received from your hands have we given to you.
Qui debeant offerre ostendit, Filii Dei: Eccl. 34. Dona iniquorum non probat Altissimus: Gen. 4 Deus primo respexit ad Abel, et ad munera eius postea, quia debet homo primo Deo placere, et postea ei oblationem facere; et ideo dicit, Filii Dei, per fidem: Io. 1 Quotquot autem receperunt eum, dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri, his qui credunt in nomine eius. He shows who should have been offering: the sons of God. Ecclesiasticus 34: The Most High esteems not the gifts of the wicked. In Genesis 4, God first had regard for Abel and for his offerings afterwards; for man has to please God first and then make him an offering; and, therefore, he says Sons of God through faith. John 1: As many as received him, he gave them the power to become Sons of God, those who believe in his name.
Item per charitatem: 1 Io. 3. Videte qualem charitatem dedit nobis Deus etc. Per bona opera: Rom. 9. Qui Spiritu Dei aguntur, hi filii Dei sunt. Also, through charity. 1 John 3: See what love God has given to us, that we might be named and might be Sons of God. Through good works. Romans 8: Those who are moved by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God.
b. Hic ostendit quid debeat offerri. Et primo ponit corporale sacrificium. Secundo spirituale, ibi, Afferte Domino gloriam. Bring. Here he shows what ought to be offered: and first he sets forth bodily sacrifice; secondly, spiritual, as he says, Bring to the Lord glory.
De tribus generibus animalium fiebat oblatio, scilicet de bobus, capris, et arietibus: et super caetera animalia agnus maxime consuetum sacrificium erat. An oblation was made from three sorts of animals: that is from cattle, goats and sheep: and above the other animals, the lamb was by far the accustomed sacrifice:
Unde Ezec. 9. dicitur, quod quolibet mane, et vespere unus agnus immolabatur: quia per agnum maxime et expressius figurabatur Christus: Io. 1. Ecce agnus Dei. Et ideo dicit, Afferte Domino filios arietum, idest agnos. whence it is said in Exodus 29 that every morning and every evening one lamb was sacrificed: for by a lamb was Christ most assuredly and clearly prefigured. John 1: Behold the Lamb of God. And therefore he says Bring to the Lord offspring of rams, that is, lambs.
Mystice arietas sunt principes gregis, idest Apostoli: Ps. 46. Principes populorum congregati sunt. Filii eorum sunt fideles: 1. Cor. 4. In Christo Iesu per evangelium ego vos genui. Afferte, ergo vosipsos Deo, qui estis filii arietum. Mystically, rams are leaders of the flock, that is, apostles. Psalm 46: The leaders of the people are gathered together. Their sons are the faithful. 1 Corinthians 4: In Christ Jesus, through the Gospel, have I begotten you. Bring, therefore, your very selves to God, you who are offspring of rams.
c. Afferte. Consequenter ponit spirituale sacrificium. Et primo ponit ipsum. Secundo manifestat, ibi, Afferte Domino gloriam nomini eius. Bring. Next he proposes a spiritual sacrifice: and first he proposes it and secondly he manifests it, as he says, Bring to the Lord glory to his name.
Notandum quod Dominus voluit sibi offerri ista non propter se, quia dixit, Numquid manducabo carnes taurorum etc. sed ut cognoscamus eum principium omnium bonorum nostrorum, et finem in quem omnia sunt referenda: It is to be noted that the Lord wanted these things to be offered to him, not for his own sake, for he himself has said (Psalm 49), Shall I eat the flesh of bulls, or shall I drink the blood of goats? but in order that we might know that he is the origin of all our good and the end to which all is to be referred.
et ideo nulli licet offerre sacrificum nisi Deo. Deus enim est finis, et nihil possumus ei addere; et ideo debemus eum glorificare, ut omnia quae facimus, in eius gloriam faciamus: 1. Cor. 10. Omnia in gloriam Dei facite. And, therefore, it is lawful to offer sacrifice to no one except God, for God is our end and we can add nothing to him: and so we ought to glorify him so that everything that we do we do for his glory. 1 Corinthians 10: Do all things for the glory of God.
Item Deus est principium; et ideo debemus ei honorem: Mal. 1. Si ego Dominus, ubi est honor meus; et ideo dicit, Afferte Domino gloriam et honorem: 1. Tim. 1. Soli Deo honor et gloria. Likewise, God is our origin and, accordingly, we owe him honour. Malachi 1: If I am Lord, where is my honour? And therefore he says, Bring to the Lord glory and honour. 1 Timothy 1: To God alone honour and glory.
Adorate Dominum. Hic manifestat spirituale sacrificium. Et primo ostendit quomodo debemus ei gloriam. Secundo quomodo debemus sibi honorem. Adore the Lord. Here he shows the spiritual sacrifice: first showing how we ought to glorify him; second, how we ought to honour him.
Dicit ergo quod ipse Deus est gloriosus, et ideo debemus sibi gloriam; unde dicit, Afferte Domino gloriam nomini eius. He then says that because God himself is full of glory we ought on that account to glorify him: whence he says, Bring to the Lord glory to his name.
Ipse in se gloriosus est, sed nomen eius debet in nobis gloriosum esse, idest ut in notitia nostra sit gloriosum. Et quod sit ipse in nobis gloriosum esse, idest ut in notitia nostra sit gloriosum. Et quod sit ipse in nobis gloriosus et clarus, debemus ei honorem dare; He is in himself full of glory, but his name should be full of glory among us, that is, it is to become glorious in awareness. And in order that he might be full of glory and illustrious among us, we must give him honour.
et ideo dicit, Adorate Dominum in atrio sancto eius, idest in ecclesia ista, quae est sicut atrium caeleste. And he therefore says: Adore the Lord in his holy court, that is, the Church which is like the heavenly court.
Vel In atrio, idest in mente: Io. 4. Veri adoratores etc. Or, in the court, that is, the mind. John 4: True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
d. Vox Domini super aquas etc. Hic ponit divina beneficia. Et primo praeterita. Secundo futura, ibi, Dominus diluvium etc. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters. Here he sets forth divine favours: first, those of the past; second, those of the future, as he says, The Lord makes the flood to dwell.
Circa primum duo facit. Primo enumerat beneficia praestita. Secundo concludit gratiarum actionem, ibi, Et in templo eius. About the first, he makes two points. First, he enumerates outstanding favours; second, he concludes the thanksgiving, as he says, And in his temple.
Praestita beneficia possunt exponi figuraliter et mystice. Figuraliter quidem; et sic in prima parte ponit duo beneficia praestita, scilicet in exitu, secundo post exitum de eo, ibi, Vox Domini confringentis. Et primo commemorat beneficium eductionis de Aegypto. Secundo manifestat illud. Outstanding favours can be explained figuratively and mystically. Figuratively for instance: so he first sets forth two outstanding favours, namely, the departure, and, secondly, after the departure: concerning this we have, The voice of the Lord breaking. And first he recalls the favour of the leading out from Egypt; secondly, he clarifies it.
Dicit ergo, Vox, idest imperium, Domini, fuit, Super aquas, maris divisi, ut dicitur Ex. 14. Therefore he says, The voice, that is, the command, of the Lord was upon the waters of the divided sea, as it is told in Exodus 14.
Et magnificat hoc tripliciter. Primo ex parte auctoritatis, Deus maiestatis, qui scilicet est ipsa maiestas: Isa. 6. Plena erat omnis terra maiestate eius. Intonuit, quia cum clevasset Moyses manus, flavit ventus. Et hunc flatum dicit, Intonuit, quia tonitruum ex commotione ventorum fit. And he extols this in three ways. First, from the part of origin: God of majesty, who, of course, is majesty itself. Isaiah 6: The whole earth is full of his majesty. He thundered: for Moses had lifted up his hands, the wind blew. And he calls this blowing thundered for thunder was made out of the agitation of the winds.
Item ex parte materiae: quia siccavit non parvas aquas, sed multas, scilicet maris: Isa. 41. Numquid non siccast mare? Sap. 10. Transvexit eos per aquam nimiam. Next, from the part of matter, for he dried up not a few waters but many, namely, a sea. Isaiah 41: Have I not dried up the sea? Wisdom 10: He bore them over through a great water.
Item ex parte effectus, ex hoc quod fuit magnae virtutis in hoc quod deiecit inimicos: Ex. 15. Dextera tua Domine percussit inimicum: propter quod dicitur, Vox Domini in virtute. Next, from the part of the effect, from what was of great strength to what cast down his enemies. Exodus 15: Your right hand, O Lord, has struck the enemy. And on account of this it is said, The voice of the Lord in Power.
Item alius effectus est magnificentiae; unde dicit, Vox Domini in magnificentia, quia fecit transire per siccum mare; unde sequitur ibidem, scilicet Ex. 15. Magnificus in sanctitate, terribilis atque laudabilis etc. Then another effect is that of magnificence: whence it is said, The voice of the Lord in magnificence, for he made them cross over through a dry sea, whence it follows in the same place, namely Exodus 15: Glorious in holiness, terrible and praiseworthy, alone working wonders.
e. Vox Domini confringentis cedros, et confringet Dominus etc. Consequenter commemorat beneficia praestita post transitum. Et hoc potest dupliciter intelligi. Primo per remotionem a malo. Secundo per collationem bonorum, ibi, Vox Domini concutientis. The voice of the Lord breaking the cedars and The Lord will break the cedars of Lebanon. Next he recalls extraordinary favours after the crossing; and this can be understood in two ways. First, by pulling away from evil, second, by bringing together good things, as we have it, The voice of the Lord breaking.
Circa primum duo facit. Primo ponit beneficium. Secundo facilitatem conferendi beneficium, ibi, Et comminuet. About the first, he makes two points. First, he sets forth the favours, and second, the ease with which they are conferred, at, And he will crush them.
Dicit ergo, Vox Domini confringentis cedros. Cedri sunt homines magni: et signat Amorrhaeos qui erant magni et fortes: Amos 2. Exterminavi ante faciem eius Amorrhaeum, cuius altitudo cedrorum altitudo illius, et fortis ipse quasi quercus. He then says, The voice of the Lord breaking the cedars. The cedars are great men and signify the Amorites who were great and strong. Amos 2: I have driven out the Amorites from before his face, whose height was the height of cedars, and he himself was as strong as an oak.
Item in tota terra quae promissa erat eis, erant Amorrhaei et aliae gentes, quae non poterant exterminari et subiugari usque ad tempus David. Omnes Amorrhaei adhuc habitabant circa Libanum, ut dicitur Iosue 15. Et ideo dicit, Confringet Dominus cedros Libani, idest Amorrhaeos, qui adhuc habitabant ibi. Et comminuet eas tamquam vitulum Libani, et Saron tamquam filium unicornium. Then in the whole land that had been promised to them, there were Amorites and other peoples who could not be driven out and subjugated until the time of David. All the Amorites as yet dwelt about Lebanon, as it is told in Joshua 15. And therefore he says, The Lord will break the cedars of Lebanon, that is, the Amorites who still lived there, and He will reduce them to pieces as a calf of Lebanon and Sharon as a son of unicorns.
Hebraei habent sic, Et communiet eos tamquam vitulum Libani et Saron sicut filium bubalorum. Et est sensus literalis: quia bubali in paludibus nutriuntur, boves autem in montibus. Erant enim in monte Libani multa pascua in quo crescebant magni cedri. Item erant ibi vituli, et boves. The Hebrews have it thus: And he will crush them like a calf of Lebanon, and Sharon like a son of buffaloes. And the literal sense is: that there is a difference between buffaloes and cattle, since buffaloes are nourished in marshes, cattle, however, in mountains. Now there were on Mt. Lebanon many pastures in which grew great cedars. Likewise were there calves and cattle.
Dicit ergo, Ita erit facile Deo comminuere cedros Libani, sicut si comminueret vitulum Saron. Saron est locus quidam: Isa. 35. Decor Carmeli et Saron. Hic locus est aquosus, ubi bubali pascuntur; quasi dicat, Etiam Saron comminuet sicut filium bubali, vitulum. He says therefore: thus will it be easy for God to crush the cedars, as if he were crushing a calf of Sharon. Sharon is indeed the place, Isaiah 35: The splendour of Carmel and Sharon. This place where buffaloes graze is watery, as he might say: Sharon indeed will he crush, like a son of a buffalo, or a calf.
Mystice Vox Domini super aquas. Duplex beneficium innuit, scilicet conversionis, et donorum quae dantur conversionis. Mystically, The voice of the Lord upon the waters signifies a double favour, namely, of conversion and of the gifts that are given to the converted.
Vox Domini in virtute. Secundum mysterium potest dupliciter exponi. Uno modo, ut referatur ad praedictionem Christi, et sic agitur de converione Iudaeorum et gentium: Iudaeorum cum dicit, Super aquas. Homines assimilantur aquis; quia sicut aquae homines fluunt, et non revertuntur, 2. Reg. 14. The voice of the Lord in power. The second mystery can be explained in two ways. In one way, it refers to the prophecy of Christ: and thus it treats of the conversion of the Jews and the gentiles. Of the Jews, when he says, Upon the waters, men are likened to waters: because, like waters, men flow and will not return. 2 Kings 14.
Unde super aquas dicitur vox, idest praedicatio Domini, idest super populum Iudaeorum, quia ex doctrina Dei nondum incarnati, sed expectati, Iudaei conversi sunt ad Deum. Whence it is said that the voice, that is, the prophecy of the Lord, is upon the waters, that is, upon the Jewish people, for the Jews were converted to God out of a doctrine of God not yet made Man, but expected.
De conversione gentium sequitur cum dicit, Deus maiestatis intonuit. Tonitruum formatur in nube, in qua signatur ipsa incarnatio quae est sicut nebes: Isa. 19. Ecce Dominus ascendit super nubem levem. Concerning the conversion of the gentiles, it follows when he says, The God of majesty has thundered. Thunder is formed in the cloud, in which is signified the Incarnation itself, which is like a cloud. Isaiah 19: Behold the Lord will ascend upon a swift cloud.
Deus ergo maiestatis intonuit, idest omnipotens intonuit per praedicationem de nube carnis suae: Iob 37. Tonabit voce sua mirabiliter. Therefore the God of majesty thundered; that is, the Almighty has thundered through prophecy from the cloud of his flesh. Job 37: He will thunder with his voice wonderfully.
Et dicit, Super aquas multas, quia vox Domini incarnati fuit non tantum super Iudaeos, sed super Gentiles: Isa. 49. Dedi te in lucem Gentium etc. And he says, Upon many waters because the voice of the incarnate Lord was not only upon the Jews, but also upon the gentiles. Isaiah 49: I have given you to be the light of the gentiles that you might be my salvation even to the farthest part of the earth.
Vel, Super aquas, baptismi: unde ex tempore quo Christus est baptizatus, iste Psalmus cantatur. Or, Upon the waters of Baptism, whence that psalm was sung at the time Christ was baptised.
Vox Domini in virtute. Super Psalmista secundum mysticum intellectum tetigit mysterium conversionis iudaeorum, et gentium; hic autem ponit beneficium temporalium donorum: et circa hoc tria facit. Primo porponit spiritualia dona. Secundo ponit vitiorum extirpationem quae sequitur ex eis, ibi, Vox Domini confringentis. Tertio profectionem seu promotionem ad bona, ibi, Vox Domini praeparantis. The voice of the Lord in power. Further, the psalm, according to the mystical understanding, has touched the mystery of the conversion of Jews and gentiles; here, however, he discusses the favour of temporal gifts. And he makes three points about this. First, he sets forth the spiritual gifts; second, he presents the rooting out of vices which follows from these gifts, The voice of the Lord breaking; third, a setting out, or advancement to good, The voice of the Lord preparing.
In spiritualibus donis haec est differentia, quia quibus dantur spiritualia dona, quibusdam dantur ad ea quae conveniunt communiter, et agenda sunt, et sunt de necessitate salutis, quibusdam ad quaedam ardua, sicut ad miracula facienda, at huiusmodi. In the spiritual gifts, there is this difference, that, to those to whom spiritual gifts are given, to the same ones are given those things that harmonise with them, and they must be carried out and they are of necessity for salvation: given to them for certain difficult tasks, such as the working of miracles and things of that sort.
Quantum ad primum dicit, Vox Domini in virtute, idest ex imperio Domini datur virtus ad implendum praecepta. As to the first, he says, The voice of the Lord in power; that is, from the command of the Lord power is given to accomplish his precepts.
Quantum ad secundum dicit, Vox Domini in magnificentia, idest ex imperio Domini datur virtus sanctis suis magna faciendi: Ps. 67. Super Israel magnificentia eius. As to the second, he says, The voice of the Lord in magnificence, that is, from the command of the Lord power is given to his holy ones for doing great things. Psalm 67: Upon Israel is his magnificence.
Glossa haec adaptat donis Spiritus sancti. Et post, scilicet conversionem fidelium ad donum timoris qui fit divina virtute, ad quam pertinet timores admittere. A gloss adapts these to the gifts of the Holy Ghost who, after the conversion of the faithful to the gift of fear, arises in divine power to which the admission of fears relates.
Magnificentia pertinet ad donum scientiae, quia ad scientiam pertinet magna agere: Eccl. 25. Quam magnus est qui invenit sapientiam. Magnificence relates to the gift of knowledge because to do great things relates to knowledge. Ecclesiasticus 25: How great is he that finds wisdom.
Vox Domini confringentis. Hic agit de exclusione vitiorum. Et tangit primo vitium superbiae. Secundo concupiscentiae, ibi, Vox Domini intercidentis flammam ignis. Tertio vitium infidelitatis sive contemptus, ibi, Vox Domini concutientis desertum. The voice of the Lord breaking. Here he treats of the removal of vices, and first he touches on the vice of pride, and secondly of concupiscence: The voice of the Lord dividing the flame of fire; third, the vice of infidelity, or disdain: The voice of the Lord shaking the desert.
Ostendit ergo primo exclusionem supebiae. Unde notandum est quod sicut abietes sunt magnae, ita et cedri; et ideo per eas signatur superbia. He shows first the removal of pride. Whence it is to be observed that just as fir-trees are great, so also are cedars; and by them pride is signified.
Dicit ergo, Vox Domini confringentis cedros, idest virtus imperii divini super omnes superbos: Isa. 14. Detracta est ad inferos superbia tua, Therefore he says, The voice of the Lord breaking the cedars, that is, the power of the divine command upon all the proud. Isaiah 14: Your pride is brought down to hell.
et comminuet cedros Libani, idest vox Domini super arrogantes, et superbos comminuendo sua potentia: quia omnes reges per hoc conversi sunt ad Christum; And he will break the cedars of Lebanon, that is, the voice of the Lord is upon the arrogant and proud, by breaking them by his power: for all the Kings were converted through this to Christ;
et finaliter super cedros Libani, quia maiores Iudaeorum conversi sunt, sicut de Nicodemo, Io. 3. and finally, upon the cedars of Lebanon because leaders of the Jews were converted, as, for example, Nicodemus, John 3.
f. Item, Et comminuet eos tanquam vitulum. Hic ponitur perfectio conversionis. Likewise: And he will crush them as a calf. Here is set forth the completion of conversion.
Mons Libani est valde pascuosus, et sacerdotes propter copiam victimae faciebant pascere ibi boves: et ideo, Comminuet eas tanquam vitulum Libani, idest humiliabit eos sicut vitulum Libani, ut scilicet seipsos in sacrificium offerant, sicut offertur vitulus qui nutritur in monte Libani. Et hoc patet, quia multi magni se martyrio exposuerunt pro Christo: Matth. 22. Tauri mei, et altilia occisa sunt. Mt. Lebanon is especially fit for pasture, and the priests, on account of the abundance of sacrificial animals, used to make the cattle pasture there; and therefore, He will crush them as a calf of Lebanon, that is, he will bring them low like a calf of Lebanon that they might offer indeed themselves in sacrifice, as a calf that is nourished on Mt. Lebanon is offered. And this is obvious for many great men have exposed themselves to martyrdom for the sake of Christ. Matthew 22: My oxen and my fatlings are killed.
Et dilectus quemadmodum filius unicornium. Hoc potest dupliciter legi. And as the beloved sons of unicorns. This can be read in two ways.
Primo, ut significet auctoritatem comminutionis; quasi dicat, Dilectus faciet ea. Et secundum hoc dilectus ponitur singulariter quasi auctoritatem habens. Hic est Filius meus, Matth. 3. Et haec faciet, Quemadmodum filius unicornium, idest filius Iudaeorum, quia mysterium incarnationis haec operabatur; et Iudaei unicornes dicuntur, inquantum gloriantur in cultu unius Dei. First, in order to point out authority for crushing, as if he said the beloved will do these things, and accordingly, beloved is put in the singular, as of one having authority. This is my beloved Son. Matthew 3. And he will do these things as a son of unicorns, that is, a son of the Jews, for the mystery of the Incarnation was performing these things. And the Jews are called unicorns inasmuch as they glory in the worship of the one God.
Vel unicornius dicitur, quia secundum generatione aeternam est sine matre, et secundum temporalem generationem fuit filius sine patre. Or, he is called a unicorn because, according to his eternal generation he was without a mother, and according to his generation in time, he was a son without a father.
Aliter, Dilectus etc. Idest Christus in exemplum huius comminutionis patietur, dabit exemplum aliis patiendi: 1. Petri 2. Christus est passus est pro nobis, vobis relinquens exemplum, ut sequamini vestigia eius. Otherwise, Beloved, etc., that is, Christ, will suffer as an example of crushing that he might give an example of suffering to others. 1 Peter 2: Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example that you might follow his steps.
Et patietur non inquantum Deus, sed inquantum filius unicornium Iudaeorum. Revertamur ergo ad sensum literalem. And he suffers not insofar as he is God, but insofar as he is the son of Jewish unicorns. Let us return then to the literal sense.
g. Vox Domini intercidentis flammam. Hic commemorat beneficium, quo liberati sunt a malo inflicto divinitus. The voice of the Lord dividing the flame. Here he recalls the favour whereby they were liberated from an evil inflicted from heaven.
Num. 11. Dicitur quod propter murmur populi ignis invasit partem castrorum, et ad levationem manus Moysi ignis extinctus est: et hoc est quod dicit, Vox, idest imperium, Domini intercidentis, idest destruentis, flammam ignis. It is told in Numbers 11 that because of the murmuring of the people, fire attacked part of the camp, and at the lifting up of Moses’ hand, the fire was put out. And this is why he says, The voice, that is, the command, of the Lord dividing, that is, destroying, the flame of fire.
Consequenter commemorat beneficia quae promovent in bono. Et ponit tria. Primo beneficia multiplicationis populi. Secundo nutritionis parvulorum. Tertio ducatus per desertum. In consequence, he recalls the favours which increase in good, and he sets forth three points. First, the favours of the multiplication of the people; second, the rearing of children; third, the leading through the desert.
Litera Hieronymi habet, Vox Domini parturientis desertum. Sic legitur in Iosue. The text of Jerome has: The voice of the Lord bringing forth the desert. Thus is it read in Joshua.
Nullus eorum qui exierunt de Aegypto, et venerunt in desertum, intraverunt terram promissionis, nisi Iosue et Caleb, ut patet Num. 14. Sed omnes qui intraverunt in eam, nati sunt in deserto. Et ideo commemorat hoc beneficium quod populus non est extinctus; None of those who went out of Egypt and came into the desert entered into the land of the promise, except Joshua and Caleb, as is clear from Numbers 14. But all who entered it were born in the desert, and, therefore, he recalls the favour that the people were not wiped out.
unde dicit, Vox Domini parturientis, idest parturire facientis, et specialiter desertum Cades: quia quantum ad inetntionem Moysi fuit, quod statim exeuntes de Aegypto intrarent terram promissionis, et venirent in Cades. Unde miserunt exploratores, et timuerunt intrare: et propter illud peccatum omnes mortui sunt. Et quia ex illo dimiserunt intrare, ideo in hoc deserto omnes mortui sunt. Whence he says, The voice of the Lord bringing forth, that is, causing to give birth, specifically to the desert of Kadesh, for as far as the design of Moses was concerned, they, immediately upon going out of Egypt were to enter the land of the promise and come into Kadesh: whence they sent scouts, and they advised against it and feared to enter, and because of that sin all died. And because from that time they gave up going in, therefore all died in this desert.
Vel secundum literam nostram, Vox Domini concutientis desertum, idest commoventis ad generationem per desertum Cades, Vox Domini praeparantis cervos, Hieronymus habet, Obstreticantis cervos, Hebraeus habet Praeparantis mulos. Or, according to our text, The voice of the Lord shaking the desert, that is to cause propagation through the desert of Kadesh. The Voice of the Lord preparing the stags. Jerome has: Assisting in the birth of stags. The Hebrew has: Preparing the mules.
Cervi in desertis manent. Et quia filii Israel quadraginta annis fuerunt in deserto, ideo dicuntur cervi: Ps. 17. Statuit pedes meos tanquam cervorum, quia mulieres habuerunt opportunitatem pariendi, et enutriendi. Stags abide in deserts: and because the children of Israel were forty years in the desert they are called stags: Psalm 17: He has made my feet like those of stags: for women had the advantage of giving birth and nursing.
Et revelabit condensa, vel saltus, quia ducatum ei praestitit per diem: Ps. 135. Transduxit populum suum per desertum. And he will lay bare the thick woods, or forest pastures, for he showed him guidance through column of fire by night and of cloud by day. Psalm 135: He led his people through the desert.
Mystice in hoc quod dicit, Vox Domini confringentis, signat donum fortitudinis. Et ponit hic exclusionem peccati concupiscentiae cum dicit, Vox Domini intercidentis flammam ignis, scilicet concupiscentiae: Sap. 6. Concupiscentia sapientiae deducet ad ignem perpetuum. Mystically, in what he says, The voice of the Lord breaking, he signifies the gift of fortitude. And he places here the removal of the sin of concupiscence when he says: The voice of the Lord dividing the flame of fire, that is, of concupiscence. Wisdom 6: Longing for wisdom will lead to everlasting fire.
Et haec nutrit alia mala: de hac 1. Io. 2. Omne quod est in mundo aut est concupiscentia oculorum etc. Et haec consumit: Iob 31. Ignis est usque ad consumptionem devorans. And this nourishes other evils, about which John 2 says: Everything that is in the world is either longing of the eyes, etc. And this confirms it. Job 31: It is a fire that devours even to destruction.
Basilius exponit sic. Vox Domini intercidentis, quia in die iudicii virtute divina ignis dividetur, quia ardor sine luce erit in igne involvente reprobao. Ignis splendens sine ardore erit ad gloriam electorum. Et hoc quod dicit, pertinet ad donum consilii. Basil explains it thus: “The voice of the Lord dividing the flame of fire: on the day of judgement, by divine power, the fire will be divided, for burning without light will be in the fire surrounding the condemned, and a fire bright without burning will be for the glory of the elect.” And what he says here relates to the gift of counsel.
Vox Domini concutientis desertum. Hic ponit exclusionem duplicis infidelitatis, scilicet Gentilium, et Iudaeorum. The voice of the Lord shaking the desert. Here he presents the removal of a two-fold infidelity, that is, of the gentiles and of the Jews.
Quantum ad primum dicit, Vox Domini concutientis desertum, idest gentem ad fidem commovit convertendo ad eam: Is. 54. Multi filii desertae, idest populi Gentilis, magnis quam eius quae habet virum, idest synagogae. As to the first, he says, The voice of the Lord shaking the desert, that is, he has moved the nations to faith by directing them to it. Isaiah 54: Many are the sons of the deserted one (that is, the gentile people), more than those of her that has a husband, that is, of the synagogue.
Quantum ad secundum dicit, Desertum Cades, quod interpretatur sanctum legis: quia Iudaei sanctificati per legislatorem convertentur in fine mundi: Is. 1. Terra nostra deserta etc. Et hoc pertinet ad donum intellectus. As to the second, he says, The desert of Kadesh, which is interpreted holy place of the law, because the Jews, made holy by the lawgiver, will be converted at the end of the world. Isaiah 1: Our land is desolate, our cities are burnt by fire. And this relates to the gift of understanding.
Consequenter commemorat beneficium quod pertinet ad promotionem in bonis. Et primo ponit collationem sapientiae. Secundo eius actum. Then he brings up the favour that pertains to advancement in good, and first he sets forth its likeness to wisdom, secondly, its activity.
Dicit ergo, Vox Domini praeparantis cervos, idest sanctos et perfectos viros, quia sicut cervi repellunt venenosa, ita sancti repellunt omne peccatum: et sicut cervi per spinas incedunt sine laesione, ita sancti per vanitatem mundi eunt sine delectatione: Gen. penul. Nephtalim cervus emissus, dans eloquia pulchritudinis. Therefore, he says, The voice of the Lord preparing the stags, that is, holy and perfect men: since, as stags drive away very poisonous things, so do holy men drive away every sin, and, just as stags walk through thorns without injury, so do holy men go through the vanity of the world without pleasure. In the second last chapter of Genesis: Naphtali, a stag set free, giving expressions of beauty.
Et isti praeparantur per Deum, non per se: et ipse Deus, Revelabit, eis, condensa, idest ea quae aliis sunt abscondita: Matth. 11. Revelasti ea parvulis. And these things are made ready by God and not by ourselves, and God himself will lay bare to them the thick woods, that is, those things that were hidden from others. Matthew 11: You have revealed them to little ones.
Et hoc pertinet ad donum sapientiae. Consequenter concludit gratiarum actionem pro praedictis beneficiis, dicens, In templo eius omnes dicent gloriam: Ps. Iuvenes et virgines, senes cum iunioribus etc. And this pertains to the gift of wisdom. Next he concludes his thanksgiving for the before-mentioned favours, saying: In his temple all will say glory. Psalm 148: Let youths and maidens, old men and Young Praise the name of the Lord.
Alia litera habet, Omnis dicet vel loquetur gloriam. Verum est quod quilibet habet dona communia, et etiam spiritualia. Et pro hoc speciali dono quilibet dicet gloriam: Eccl. Ult. Danti mihi iustitiam, dabo gloriam. Another text has: Everyone will say, or speak of glory. It is true that everyone will have common and even spiritual gifts. And for this special gift, everyone will say of glory. In the last chapter of Ecclesiasticus: To him who gives me justice, I shall give glory.
h. Domini. Hic agit de beneficiis speratis. Et primo commemorat potentiam benefactoris. Secundo ponit sperata beneficia, ibi, Dominus virtutem populo suo dabit. The Lord. Here he treats of favours hoped for; and, first he mentions the power of the benefactor; secondly, he sets forth the favours he hopes for. The Lord will give strength to his people.
In Hebraeo habetur, Dominus diluvio sedit. Et hoc habet planum sensum; quasi dicat, Verum est quia hoc fecit populo Israeli. Numquid non eiusdem potestatis aliquando fuit? Immo a principio mundi iudicia eius manifesta fuerunt. In the Hebrew we have: The Lord sat upon on the flood and this has a clear sense: as if he were saying: It is true for he did this for the people of Israel. For has there ever been anything of like power? Indeed, from the beginning of the world his judgements had been made manifest.
Et commemorat unum manifestum quod ex iudicio pro peccato hominum induxit diluvium. Et sedebit Dominus rex in aeternum, iudicans scilicet populos in aequitate. And he mentions one made manifest that, out of judgement on men’s sin, brought on the flood. And the Lord will sit as King forever, judging the peoples in equity.
Hieronymus habet, Dominus diluvium inhabitat, vel inhabitare facit. Diluvio inundante, terra evacuata est ab habitatoribus. Postea iterum, Inhabitare facit terram, dissipatam tunc per multiplicationem hominum. Jerome has it: The Lord inhabits the flood, or causes to inhabit. As the flood spread, the earth was emptied of its inhabitants. After, he again causes to inhabit the now destroyed earth by the multiplication of men.
Mystice potest triplicitere legi. Uno modo, ut diluvium sit quasi accusativus appositus ad hoc infinitum, Inhabitare: quia in arca Noe soli illi habitaverunt diluvium: et si per arcam Noe signatur ecclesia, et sancti qui sunt in ea, securi habitant diluvium tribulationum. This can be read mystically in three ways. In one way, as The flood becomes as the accusative attached to the infinitive to inhabit: for in Noah’s ark did they alone inhabit the flood; and thus by Noah’s ark the Church is signified and the holy ones who are in it dwell secure in a flood of tribulations.
Alio modo e converso, quasi diluvium inhabitat in templo suo. Diluvium est mundus, et carnales homines mundi: Nah. 1. In diluvio praetereunte consummationem faciet. Hoc ergo diluvio faciet inhabitare in templo suo, quando convertentur, Et sedebit rex in aeternum, ut supra expositum est. In another way, and conversely, he dwells in his holy temple as in a flood. The flood is the world and carnal men are of the world. Nahum 1: In the flood that passes by, he will make an ending. Therefore, he will make the flood to dwell in his temple when they are converted, and He will sit as King forever, as it was explained above.
Alio modo diluvium inhabitat, idest aquas baptismales, quas ipse inhabitat per effectum gratiae. Consequenter commemorat beneficia sperata. Et primo pertinentia ad progressum. Secundo ad finem. In another way, he inhabits the flood, that is, the baptismal waters, which he himself inhabits through the effect of grace. Then he mentions hoped for blessings: and first, those pertaining to our growth; secondly, those pertaining to our end.
Quantum ad primum dicit, Dominus virtutem populo suo dabit, per quam possint proficere: Isa. 40. Qui dat lapso virtutem, et his qui non fuerunt fortitudinem etc. As to the first, he says, The Lord will give strength to his people, through which they may be able to advance. Isaiah 40: Who gives strength to the weary man and to those who are not he increases courage and might.
Quantum ad secundum dicit, Dominus benedicet populo suo in pace: Isa. 32. Sedebit populus meus in pulchritudine pacis, in tabernaculis fiduciae, in requie opulenta. As to the second he says: The Lord will bless his people with peace. Isaiah 32: My people will sit in the beauty of peace, in the tabernacles of trust, in rich repose.

© The Estate of Ed Redmond

The Aquinas Translation Project



2 Responses to “Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 29 (28 in the Vulgate)”

  1. […] Responsorial: St Thomas Aquinas’s Lecture on One of Today’s Responsorials (Psalm 29). On the entire Psalm. Latin and English Text side by […]

  2. […] Responsorial: St Thomas Aquinas’s Lecture on One of Today’s Responsorials (Psalm 29). On the entire Psalm. Latin and English Text side by […]

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