exaudivit me Deus iustitiae meae: in tribulatione dilatasti mihi.
Miserere mei, et exaudi orationem meam.
When I called upon him,
the God of my justice heard me: when I was in distress, thou hast
enlarged me. Have mercy on me: and hear my prayer.
© Dr. Stephen Loughlin
the verse upon which Thomas is presently commenting.
In finem. Psalmus cantici David. Unto the end. A psalm in song of David.
hominum usquequo gravi corde? ut quid diligitis vanitatem, et
quaeritis mendacium. O ye sons of men, how long will you be dull of
heart? why do you love vanity, and seek after lying?
scitote quoniam mirificavit Dominus sanctum suum: Dominus exaudiet
me, cum clamavero ad eum. And know ye also that the Lord hath made his holy
one wonderful: the Lord will hear me when I shall cry unto him.
et nolite peccare: quae dicitis in cordibus vestris, et in
cubilibus vestris compungimini. Sacrificate sacrificium iustitiae,
et sperate in Domino. Be ye angry, and sin not: the things you say in
your hearts, be sorry for them upon your beds. Offer up the
sacrifice of justice, and trust in the Lord.
dicunt, Quis ostendit nobis bona? Signatum est super nos lumen
vultus tui Domine. Many say, Who sheweth us good things? The light of
thy countenance O Lord, is signed upon us.
Dedisti laetitiam in corde meo. A fructu frumenti, vini, et olei
sui multiplicati sunt. Thou hast given gladness in my heart. By the fruit
of their corn, their wine, and oil, they are multiplied.
pace in idipsum, dormiam, et requiescam. Quoniam tu Domine
singulariter in spe, constituisti me. In peace in the selfsame I will sleep, and I will
rest: For thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in hope.
praecedenti psalmo David imploravit auxilium Dei contra
tribulationes orando, et sentiens se exauditum hortatur alios ut
in Deo confidant. Et exprimit psalmus iste affectus hominis qui
expertus divinam misericordiam et beneficia et justitiam, hortatur
alios ut non desperent. Titulus ejus est In
finem. Psalmus cantici David.
In hoc titulo duo consideranda sunt pro toto libro: scilicet quod
dicit psalmus cantici. Secundo quod dicit, In
finem. In the preceding psalm, David invoked God's help
with his prayer against the troubles (he faced), and,
understanding that he has been heard, he now exhorts others to
trust in God. This psalm expresses the sentiment of a man who,
having experienced divine mercy, kindness and justice, exhorts
others not to despair. Its title is "Unto the end. A psalm in
song of David." In this title, two things are to be
considered that occur throughout the psalter, namely what he means by "A psalm in
song," and "Unto the end."
ad primum ergo nota, quod David sicut legitur 2 Reg. 6, faciebat
psalmum metrice, et cantabat ante arcam cum psalterio. Ergo
psalmus dicitur quod cantatur ad psalterium, sed non absque
psalterio. In quibusdam autem psalmis describitur psalmus David,
ubi intelligitur quod est
factus ad psalterium. In aliquibus praescribitur canticum David,
quia cantabatur sine instrumento. In aliquibus, psalmus cantici
David, vel e converso: eo quod ille psalmus cantabatur simul voce
humana, et ad psalterium. Sed in aliquibus incipiebat unus vel
multi voce humana sine instrumento, et unus respondebat cum
psalterio; et hi intitulantur canticum psalmi. In aliquibus vero
unus cantabat psalmum cum psalterio, et alii respondebant sine
psalterio: et hi intitulantur psalmus cantici. Et haec est
differentia litteralis; sed mystice et secundum glossam, psalmus
significat bonam operationem; canticum vero exultationem mentis de
aeternis. Quando vero simul utrumque ponitur in uno psalmo,
significatur quod de utroque agitur. With respect to the first of these, one should
understand that David, as it is read in 2 Kings 6, used to compose
metrical psalms and sang before the ark of the covenant upon the
harp. Therefore, a "psalm" in this sense is what is sung
to the harp, but not without it. In some of the psalms described
as "A psalm of David," it is understood that they are
accompanied by the harp. Others are described as "A song of
David" because they are sung without an instrument. Those
entitled "A psalm in song of David" (or the converse of
this), indicate a psalm that is both sung and accompanied by the
harp. Some of these began with one or many human voices singing
without accompaniment, and one person responding with the harp.
These are entitled "A song in psalm." In others, one
person used to sing a psalm with the harp and others would respond
without the harp. And these are entitled "A psalm in song."
This difference is of a literal sort. However, mystically and
according to the Gloss, "psalm" signifies a good
activity, while "song" indicates the exaltation of the
mind concerned with eternal matters. But when both are placed
together in one psalm, this signifies that both (good activity and
Quod vero dicit In finem,
si consideretur hoc quantum ad rem per psalmum figuratam,
manifestum est quia in finem intelligitur, idest in Christum; Rom.
10: Finis legis Christus ad justitiam omni credenti.
Sed si consideretur in finem secundum figuram; datur intelligi,
quod cantabatur pro consumptione operis vel negotii, sicut hic
psalmus pro consummata liberatione David a persecutione Absalonis
factus fuit, quasi pro victoria. Alii dicunt Victori,
scilicet David, In psalmis,
quia omnes in psalmis faciendis vincebat sed hoc verum non videtur. When he says Unto the end,
if one were to consider this with respect to that which is
represented by the psalm, it is clear that the phrase is to
understood in an ultimate way, that is to say, in Christ: For
the end of the law is Christ unto justice to every one that
believeth. (Romans 10:4) But
if one were to consider the phrase figuratively, it can be
understood that it was sung upon the completion of work or of some
business, just as this psalm was composed upon the completion of
David's liberation from the persecution brought about by Absalon,
as if upon David's victory. Some entitle the psalm For
the victor, namely, David, Innpsalms, since he was superior
among all of those who composed psalms. But this interpretation
does not seem to be accurate.
autem psalmus iste in duas partes: nam primo incipit a gratiarum
actione pro receptis beneficiis; unde ait: Cum
invocarem etc. Secundo finitur in exhortatione aliorum ut convertantur ad
Deum, ibi, Filii hominum etc. Circa primum duo facit. Primo enim agit gratias de
praeteritis. Secundo orat pro futuris, ibi, Miserere mei
etc. Circa primum duo facit. Primo agit gratias quod est
exauditus. Secundo ostendit qualiter est exauditus, ibi, In
tribulationeetc. This psalm is divided into two parts. The first
begins with thanksgiving for kindnesses received. Thus he says:
When I called upon him.
The second finds him finishing (his thanksgiving) with an
exhortation of others to turn to God, at, O ye sons of
men. Concerning the first of
these, he does two things. First, he gives thanks for past events.
Second, he prays for future ones, at, Have mercy on me.
Concerning the former of
these two, he does two things. First, he gives thanks that he was
heard, and second he demonstrates how he was heard,
at, When I was in distress.
notandum quod hic est duplex littera: una dicit: Exaudivit:
alia habet Exaudisti;
et huic concordat Hieronymus dicens, Exaudisti;
in hoc tamen non est vis. Dicit ergo: Cum
etc. Ubi quatuor consideranda sunt. Primo ponit orationem et
exauditionem: unde dicit: Exaudisti.
Sed non exaudivit, non clamantem; unde dicit: Cum
invocarem; quod est implorare auxilium in necessitate. Ps. 119: Ad
Dominum, cum tribularer, clamavi, et exaudivit me.
Item requiritur, quod sit justus: quia si audit peccatores, est ex
misericordia, non est ex justitia; et ideo dicit: Justitiae
meae: ibi glossa: idest dator justitiae, vel justificationis meae. Ps.
33: Oculi Domini super justos.
Aliud quod est primum, quod justitiam suam homo attribuat Deo, et
non sibi; et ideo dicit: Deus.
Contra quod Rom. 10: Ignorantes
Dei justitiam, et suam volentes statuere
etc. Primo ergo debet bonum suum attribuere Deo; secundo habere
justitiam; tertio clamare; quarto exaudiri. It should be noted that there are two versions of
this verse. One says, He heard me, while the other has, You
heard me, the latter of which agrees with Jerome's version.
But this is not the (correct) sense of the phrase. Therefore, the
psalmist says, When I called upon him, He heard me,
wherein four things are to be considered. First, the psalmist
describes his prayer and the fact that he was listened to: whence
he says, He heard me.
But he was not heard without crying out. Hence he says, When
I called upon him, which
means to pray earnestly for help in dire need: In my
trouble, I cried to the Lord, and he heard me.
(Psalm 119:1) In like manner it is required that he (the one
calling upon the Lord) be just. For if he listens to sinners, this
is by reason of his mercy and not his justice. And so he says, Of
my justice, that is to say,
according to the Gloss, the giver of justice, or of my
justification: The eyes of the Lord are upon the just.
(Psalm 33:16) Another1
says that this is first, namely that man attribute his justice to
God and not to himself. Thus he says God.2
But against (this, St. Paul
at) Romans 10:3 (writes): For they, not knowing the
justice of God, and seeking to establish their own, have not
submitted themselves to the justice of God.
Therefore, one ought first to attribute his own good to God,
second, be just, third, cry out, and fourth, be heard.
Modus autem exauditionis describitur cum dicit, In
tribulatione. Dicit Exaudivit et Dilatasti
vel quia forte metrice factus est psalmus ubi oportuit mutari
constructionem propter metrum; vel quia per modum orantis, ubi ex
diversis affectibus mutat homo loquendi modum. Dicit autem, In
tribulatione dilatasti mihi,
quia plus est dilatasti quam liberasti; quasi dicat, non solum
liberasti, sed in ipsa tribulatione cordis latitudinem tribuisti.
Psal. 17: Dilatasti
gressus meos subtus me, et non sunt infirmata vestigia mea.
Vel latitudinem animi ad patienter sustinendum, vel latitudinem
potestatis de qua dicitur Gen. 9: Dilatet
Deus Japhet. Deinde cum dicit, Miserere mei,
removendo scilicet quidquid remansit miseriae praeteritae:
Et exaudi me, orantem pro futuris bonis. The way in which he was heard is described when he says, When I was in distress.
He says, He heard me and Thou hast enlarged me,
either because the psalm was composed in a strong meter where it
was fitting to change the construction on account of the meter, or
because of the manner of prayer, where, by reason of diverse
emotions, a person changes his manner of expression. But he says,
When I was in distress, thou hast enlarged me,
because you have enlarged more than you have freed. It is as if he
were saying, "You have not only freed me, but in tribulation
itself you have enlarged the extent of my heart": Thou
hast enlarged my steps under me; and my feet are not weakened."
(Psalm 17:36) Or (you have enlarged) the
extent of my soul to suffer patiently, or the extent of my power,
concerning which Genesis 9:27 speaks: May God enlarge
Japheth. Then he says, Have mercy on me, namely by
removing whatever remains of my past suffering, And hear
me praying for good things to come.
cum dicit, Filii
etc., convertit se ad aliorum exhortationem: et circa hoc duo
facit. Primo redarguit peccatores; secundo exhortatur eos ad
emendam, ibi, Et scitote
etc. Circa primum duo facit. Primo commemorat conditionem; secundo
arguit culpam, ibi, Ut quid diligitis;
Next, when he says O ye sons of men,
he turns to the exhortation of others, concerning which he does
two things. First, he finds fault with sinners, and second,
exhorts them to make emends, at, And know ye also.
Concerning the former, he does two things. First, he mentions
their condition, and second, he asserts their blame, at, Why
do you love vanity.
commemorat dicens, Filii hominum:
quod dupliciter potest intelligi. Primo in malo, sic, Filii
quasi homines secundum naturam inferiorem corruptibiles et proni
ad peccandum. Gen. 6: Non
permanebit spiritus meus in homine in aeternum quia caro est.
Et iterum 8 cap.: Sensus
et cogitatio hominum in malum proni sunt ab adolescentia sua.
Filii ergo hominum;
quasi dicat, Ostenditis vos esse filios hominum, idest peccatorum,
scilicet Evae et Adae: Usquequo gravi corde? Isa. 1: Vae
genti peccatrici, populo gravi iniquitate
etc. Secundo in bono: quia homo inquantum homo, est imago Dei:
unde Filii hominum, non bestiarum. Psal. 48: Homo
cum in honore esset non intellexit, etc. Et, o Gravi corde,
idest quia debetis habere cor grave et stabile, Usquequo
non convertimini ad Deum; et hoc est quod Hieronymus habet, Filii
viri, usquequo inclyti mei ignominiose diligitis vanitatem,
quaerentes mendacium; et sic convenienter arguit culpam, Ut quid diligitis
etc. In peccato namque sunt duo consideranda, scilicet voluntas
inhaerens rei, et intentio inordinata. Primo ergo tangit
inordinatam amorem cum dicit, Ut quid diligitis
etc. idest aliquid vanum, non solidum, temporalia quippe vana
sunt, quia non continent solidum, sed pertransiens bonum. Eccl. 1:
Vanitas vanitatum, et omnia vanitas. Ut quid ergo diligitis
etc. quasi dicat, ut quid diligitis temporalia. Secundo tangit
pravam intentionem cum dicit: Et quaeritis mendacium,
idest quare amatis divitias, ut habeatis sufficientiam? Nam Eccl.
5: Avarus non implebitur pecunia. Hier. 5: Aspexi terram
etc. Vel Mendacium, idest idolum, 1 Cor. 8: Idolum nihil est.
Usquequo ergo diligitis, et quaeritis hoc, et non convertimini ad
Deum? He mentions their condition saying, O ye sons of men. This can be
understood in two ways. First, in an evil way. And so, Sons
of men, as men who are
corruptible and prone to sin according to their lower nature: (And
God said:) My spirit shall not remain in man for ever, because he
is flesh. (Genesis 6:3) And
again at 8:21: The imagination and thought of man's
heart are prone to evil from his youth. Thus, Sons of men,
as if he were saying, "You have shown yourselves to be sons
of men," that is to say, of sinners, namely of Eve and Adam.
How long will you be dull of heart?:
Woe to the sinful nation, a people laden with
iniquity... (Isaiah 1:4) Secondly, (Sons of men)
can be taken in a good way, because man, insofar as he is man, is
the image of God. Hence, Sons of men,
and not of the beasts: And man when he was in honor did
not understand; (he is compared to senseless beasts and is become
like to them). (Psalm 48:13) And, O ye...dull of heart, that
is because you ought to have a serious and stable heart, How
long will you not be turned
toward God? And this is what Jerome has: Ye sons of men,
how long will you, my renowned children, desire vanity
shamelessly, seeking after lies? And
thus he suitably asserts their blame, at, Why do you
love vanity? For with regard
to sin, there are two things to be considered, namely the will
that clings to the thing, and one's disordered intention. He
touches first upon disordered love when he says, Why do
you love vanity, that is to
say, something vane, not solid -- temporal things to be sure are
vane because they do not contain anything solid, but are goods
that are passing: Vanity of vanities...all is vanity.
(Ecclesiastes 1:2) Why do you love vanity,
as if the psalmist were saying "Why do you love temporal
things?" He touches, secondly, upon their perverse intention
when he says, And seek after lying,
that is to say, "Why do you love riches so as to find your
contentment?" For A covetous man shall not be satisfied with money.
(Ecclesiastes 5:9); I beheld the earth, and lo it was
void, and nothing (Jeremiah 4:23). Or, Lying,
that is to day, an idol: An idol is nothing. (I
Cor. 8:4) Therefore, why do you love and seek after this, and not
turn towards God?
Secundo cum dicit, Et scitote,
hortatur peccatores ad emendam: et circa hoc tria facit. Primo
commemorat beneficia sibi exhibita. Secundo hortatur ut ad Deum
redeant, ibi, Irascimini
etc. Tertio ostendit praeeminentiam sui ad illos in bonis, ibi,
etc. (Having found fault with sinners,) the psalmist,
at, And know ye also, now exhorts them to make emends.
Concerning this he does three things. First, he calls to mind the
kindnesses shown to him. He then exhorts (sinners) so that they
might return to God, at, Be ye angry.
Lastly, he shows his own pre-eminence over them in the goods (they
respectively enjoy), at, Thou hast given gladness.
Dicit ergo, Et scitote
etc. Sed notandum est, quod hic in Graeco est Diapsalma,
in Hebraeo vero est Sela, quod Hieronymus transtulit, Feliciter,
vel Semper. Diapsalma ergo divisio psalmi est: qui quando
cantabant, fiebant aliqua intervalla in psalmo, ut ostenderetur
quod sequentia ad aliam materiam pertinebant secundum Augustinum.
Sed contra hoc est, quia secundum hoc, Diapsalma nunquam
inveniretur in fine psalmi; sed in psalterio Hieronymi Sela
invenitur in fine psalmi. Et ideo sumptum est Sela ex ly Salon,
idest Pacifice. Et concordat cum Hieronymo qui interpretatus est
Feliciter. Sic ergo melius Pacifice, quasi Semper, et hoc Sela
importat. And so he says And know ye also.
One should note here that the Greek word here is Diapsalma,
while in Hebrew it is Sela,
which Jerome translates as Happily, or Always.
acts as a divider of a psalm, which when it was sung by the
Hebrews, indicated an interval in the psalm so that it might show
that what followed pertained to other material, according to
Augustine. But contrary to this interpretation is that according
to this line of reasoning, Diapslam
should never be found at the end of a psalm, while in Jerome's
Psalter, Sela is
found at the end of a psalm. And for this reason, Sela
is named after the word Salon, that is to say, Peacefully.
This agrees with Jerome who interprets it as Happily.
Hence it is better to use Happily as Always, and this
is how we understand Sela.
autem quod commemorat est duplex: unum de praeterito, et aliud de
futuro, ibi, Dominus exaudiet. Quantum ad primum dicit, Et
scitote etc.; et cum sit principium sententiae continuatur cordi
prophetae, sicut illud in principio Ezech.: Et
factum est in trigesimo anno
etc. Nam sela quod interpretatum est Diapsalma, ponitur hic: quod
notat interruptionem. Vel continuatur ad praecedentia; quasi
dicat: Nolite diligere vanitatem, et scitote quare? Quoniam
etc. Ecce quot bona mihi fecit: quia scilicet Mirificavit
etc., idest mirabilem reddidit. Potest etiam aliter continuari
secundum glossam; quasi dicat: Quia vana scitote,
et scitote quid sequamini: Quoniam mirificavit Dominus
etc., idest Christum per figuram principaliter intellectum, qui
est sanctus sanctorum, de quo Dan. 9. Hunc
Deus ostendit mirabilem suscitando, et ad dexteram ejus eum
Quilibet etiam justus mirabilis est; quia majora sunt opera
justitiae, quam miracula exteriora. Ps. 67: Mirabilis
Deus in sanctis suis. Sed Christus est maxime mirabilis. Isa. 9: Et
vocabitur nomen ejus admirabilis. Quantum ad secundum dicit, Dominus
exaudiet. Isa. 65: Antequam clament, ego exaudiam etc. The kindnesses that he calls to mind are twofold,
those received in the past, and those to be received in the
future, at, The Lord will hear.
With respect to the former, he says, And know ye also.
Since And is at the
beginning of the verse, it is connected with the heart of the
prophet as to the beginning of the book of Ezechiel: And
now it came to pass in the thirtieth year (...when I was in the
midst of the captives...the heavens were opened, and I saw the
visions of God). For Sela, which is interpreted as Diapsalma,
is found here, which indicates an interruption. Or, it continues
what had preceded it, as if the psalmist were saying: "Do not
love vanity." And know ye also.
What? That the Lord hath made his holy one wonderful.
Look at how many good things he has done for me: for he has
made his holy one wonderful,
that is to say, has given wonderful things to me. This can also be
continued otherwise according to the Gloss, as if he were saying:
"And know ye also
that these things are vain, and know ye also
what you have pursued," that the Lord hath made his
holy one wonderful, that is
to say, Christ figured principally through the intellect, who is
the holy of holies of which Daniel 9:24 speaks. God makes this one
wonderful by raising him from the dead, and by seating him at his
right hand. Anyone at all who is just is wonderful because the
works of justice are greater than outward miracles: God
is wonderful in his saints.
(Psalm 67:36) But Christ is wonderful in the highest degree: And
his name shall be called Wonderful.
(Isaiah 9:6) Concerning (the kindnesses that he will receive in
the future), he says, The Lord will hear: Before they
call, I will hear. (Isaiah
cum dicit, Irascimini,
exhortatur eos ad emendationem vitae: et circa hoc tria facit.
Primo exhortatur ut recedant a malo; secundo ut tendant in bonum,
ibi, Sacrificate sacrificium; tertio movet quaestionem, ibi, Multi
dicuntetc. Next, when he says Be ye angry,
he exhorts them to the emendation of their life. Concerning this,
he does three things. First, he exhorts them that they might
withdraw from evil, secondly, that they might tend to good, at,
Offer up the sacrifice,
and third, he poses a question, at Many say.
primum considerandum est, quod peccatum in nobis ut plurimum ex
tribus consurgit: scilicet ex corruptione irascibilis, rationalis
et concupiscibilis. Primo ergo prohibet peccatum quod consurgit ex
primo; unde dicit, Irascimini
etc. Hoc autem intelligitur tribus modis. Primo de ira inordinata;
quasi dicat: Permittitur nobis quod motus iracundiae surgat in
nobis: non tamen perducatis iracundiam ad actum peccati. Ephes. 4:
Sol non occidat super iracundiam vestram.
Secundo sic: Irascimini, idest contra vestra peccata. Isa. 63: Indignatio
mea ipsa auxiliata est mihi etc. Et nolite peccare,
scilicet iterum; quasi dicat: Sic irascimini contra peccata
praeterita ut non committatis alia. Tertio de ira per zelum sic exponitur:
Irascimini contra vitia aliorum; et tamen Nolite peccare,
eos inordinate corrigendo, quia debet ira dirigi per rationem.
Secundo prohibet vitium rationalis, scilicet simulationem, dicens:
Quae dicitis in cordibus vestris,
supple sint in vobis; quasi dicat: Non aliud sitis in corde, et
aliud praetendatis extra. Tertio prohibet quod surgit ex
concupiscibili. Compungimini, scilicet de peccatis quae fecistis: In
cubilibus vestris. Rom. 13: Non in cubilibus et impudicitiis
etc. Concerning the
first of these, it should be considered that sin arises in us
mostly by reason of three things, namely from the corruption of
the irascible, rational and concupiscible (aspects). Therefore,
first, the psalmist forbids that sin which arises from the first
of these three, whence he says, Be ye angry.
This can be understood in three ways. First, concerning inordinate
anger, as if he were saying: "It is permitted for the
movement of anger to surge up in us. However, it is not permitted
for you to follow anger into an act of sin: (Be angry
and sin not.) Let not the sun go down upon your anger. (Ephesians
4:26) Second, in this fashion: Be ye angry,
that is to say, with your sins: My indignation itself hath helped me. (Isaiah
63:5), And sin not,
that is to say, again. It is as if he were saying: "Be angry
with your past sins so that you will not commit others."
Third, concerning anger as it is displayed through zeal: Be
ye angry with the sins of others, but nevertheless Sin not by
correcting them inordinately, because anger must be directed by
reason. The psalmist forbids the second of these three
corruptions, that pertaining to reason, namely of hypocrisy,
saying, The things you say in your hearts, let
them be in you, as if to say: "Let not there be one thing in
your heart, and another simulated outside of it." He
prohibits the third, that of sin arising out of the concupiscible,
(saying) Be sorry for them,
namely for the sins that you have committed, Upon your beds: (Let us walk
honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness,) not in
chambering and impurities, (not in contention and envy. But put ye
on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in
dicendum, quod tangit duplex peccatum: scilicet irae, sicut dictum
est, Irascimini de ira per zelum. Secundo concupiscentiae, Compungimini
quae dicitis in cordibus vestris, idest male cogitatis, In
cubilibus vestris, idest de occultis, vel in occultis. Et hoc magis sonat littera
Hieronymi, qui dicit, Loquimini et tacete,
idest non publicetis inordinate exequendo. Vel de ira per vitium,
quam prohibet non procedere ad opus, quod pejus est. Vel de ira
contra peccata. Or it must be said that he treats of a twofold sin, namely of anger, as it is said, Be ye angry
with the anger of zeal, and secondly of concupiscence, Be
sorry for the things you say in your hearts,
that is to say, your evil thoughts, Upon your beds, that
is to say, concerning secret things, or things done in secret. And
this agrees better with Jerome's version which says, Speak
and keep your peace, that is to say, do not disclose an inordinate way of acting by punishing.
Or (Be ye angry) with the anger of vice, which he holds back so as not to go forth
into act which is worse. Or (Be ye angry)
hortatur eos ut faciant bonum. Et primo dirigit eos circa
principium boni, quia Sacrificate sacrificium justitiae;
quasi dicat scilicet Compungimini.
Levit. 4, mandatur quod offerunt sacrificium pro peccatis. Sed
Dominus de hujusmodi non multum curat. Psalm. 39: Sacrificium
et oblationem noluisti: aures autem perfecisti mihi; unde et vos,
sacrificate sacrificium justitiae et sperate in Domino: multi
dicunt quis ostendit
etc. idest satisfactionis et poenitentiae. Rom. 12: Exhibeatis
corpora vestra Deo, hostiam viventem, sanctam, Deo placentem etc.
Secundo dirigit eos circa finem boni, dicens: Et
sperate in Domino etc.: quasi dicat: Sitis sperantes in Domino qui dedit vobis haec
operari. Following upon this, he urges them to do good.
First, he instructs them concerning the beginning of good (works),
that (they) Offer up the sacrifice of justice, as
if he were saying Be sorry for them. In
Leviticus 4, it is commanded that they offer sacrifices for their
sins. But the Lord does not care much for these: Sacrifice
and oblation thou didst not desire; but thou hast pierced ears for
me. (Psalm 39:7) And so, Offer up the sacrifice of justice, and trust in the
Lord. Many say, Who sheweth,
that is, of satisfaction and contrition: Present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God.
(Romans 12:1) Secondly, he instructs them concerning the end of
good (work), saying And trust in the Lord,
as if to say: "Be filled with hope in the Lord who gave to
you these (sacrifices) to be performed."
cum dicit, Multi, movet quaestionem quam dicunt, Multi,
idest stulti: Dicunt autem, quis ostendit nobis bona;
quasi dicat: Quomodo scire possumus quae sunt haec sacrificia Deo
acceptabilia? Hanc autem quaestionem solvit cum dicit: Signatum
est super nos lumen vultus tui, Domine;
quasi dicat: Ratio naturalis indita nobis docet discernere bonum a
malo; et ideo dicit: Signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui, Domine
etc. Vultus Dei est id per quod Deus cognoscitur; sicut homo
cognoscitur per vultum suum, hoc est veritas Dei. Ab hac veritate
Dei refulget similitudo lucis suae in animabus nostris. Et hoc est
quasi lumen, et est signatum super nos,
quia est superior in nobis, et est quasi quoddam signum super
facies nostras, et hoc lumine cognoscere possumus bonum. Ps. 88:
In lumine vultus tui ambulabunt
etc. Super hoc autem signamur signo Spiritus. Eph. 4: Nolite
contristare Spiritum sanctum in quo signati estis.
Et iterum signo crucis, cujus signaculum nobis impressum est in
baptismo, et quotidie debemus imprimere. Cant. 8: Pone
me ut signaculum super cor tuum. Next, when he says, Many, he poses a question which they, the Many,
that is to say, the foolish, ask, namely Who sheweth us
good things? as if to say,
"How can we know what sort of sacrifices are acceptable to
God?" He answer this question when he says, The
light of thy countenance O Lord, is signed upon us,
as if to say: "Natural reason, innate to us, teaches us to
discern good from evil." For this reason he says The
light of thy countenance O Lord, is signed upon us. The
countenance of God is that through which God is known, as a man is
known through his countenance. This is the truth of God. By this
truth of God, a likeness of His light shines forth from our own
souls. And this is a sort of light, and it is signed
upon us, because it is
highest in us, and is as it were a sort of sign upon our faces,
and by this light, we are able to know good: They shall
walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.
(Psalm 88:16) In addition to this, we are signed with the sign of
the Spirit: And grieve not the holy Spirit of God:
whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption
(Ephesians 4:30); and with the sign of the cross, the mark of
which is impressed upon us in baptism, and which we ought to
impress daily: Put me as a seal upon thy heart. (Song
of Songs 8:6)
cum dicit, Dedisti,
ponit praeeminentiam ejus ad illos peccatores in bonis: quasi
dicerent ei: Tu nos exhortaris ad beneficia tua, sed nos habemus
omnia; ideo comparat temporalia spiritualibus. Et primo ponit
spiritualia; secundo temporalia, ibi, A fructu
etc. Tertio praeeminentiam spiritualium, ibi, In
paceetc. Next, when he says, Thou hast given,
he describes his pre-eminence over those sinners (whom he has just
exhorted to turn away from sin and return to God) in the goods
(they respectively enjoy). It is as if they are saying to him:
"You exhort us to seek your kindnesses, but we have
everything (that we want)." For this reason, he compares
temporal with spiritual goods. First, he sets forth the spiritual
goods, then secondly the temporal at By the fruit, and
lastly the pre-eminence of the spiritual goods at, In
ergo: Verum est quod omnes habent lumen vultus desuper se: sed, o
Domine, sanctis et mihi Dedisti laetitiam,
scilicet spiritualem, In corde meo,
ut scilicet de te gaudeam. Rom. 14: Non est regnum
Dei esca et potus; sed justitia et pax, et gaudium in Spiritu sancto:
et hoc est beneficium spirituale. Mali autem habent abundantiam
temporalium; et ideo dicit: A
fructu frumenti, vini et olei sui, multiplicati sunt,
idest dilatati. Et per omnia ista temporalia intelliguntur omnia
alia: quia omnia referuntur ad necessitatem vivendi: et sic
frumentum pro cibo, et vinum pro potu, oleum vero pro condimento
accipitur. Alia littera habet, A tempore frumenti;
ubi duplex bonorum istorum defectus innuitur, quia temporalia
dicuntur a tempore. Sap. 2: Umbrae enim transitus est tempus nostrum.
Et quia unum non sufficit, oportet quod sint multa; ideo dicit:
Multiplicati sunt. And so he say: It is true that all things have the
light of your countenance (shining upon) them from on high. But
Thou, O Lord, Hast given gladness,
that is to say, a spiritual one, In my heart,
namely so that I might rejoice in you: The kingdom of
God is not meat and drink; but justice, and peace, and joy in the
Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)
And this is a kind of spiritual beneficence. The evil, however,
have an abundance of temporal things, for which reason he says, By
the fruit of their corn, their wine, and oil, they are multiplied,
that is to say, they are
swollen. By these temporal things are to be understood all the
rest, for they are all related to the necessity of living. Thus,
corn stands for food, wine for drink, and oil for seasoning.
Another version has, By the time of your fruit,
where a two-fold defect of their own goods is observed, since
temporal things are designated in relation to time: For
our time is as the passing of a shadow. (Wisdom
2:5) And since one (such temporal good) does not satisfy, it is
fit there they be many, hence he says, They are
cum dicit, In pace,
ponit praeeminentiam spiritualium; quasi dicat, Quid inter haec
excedit? Certa laetitia cordis. Et hoc patet duplici ratione.
Primo, quia hoc bonum erit aeternum, illud vero temporale; secundo
quia est unum et simplex, illud est multiplex. Secundum ponit ibi,
Quoniam tu, Domine singulariter etc. Next, when he says, In peace,
he sets forth the pre-eminence of spiritual things. It is as if he
were saying: "What excels among these (spiritual goods)?"
Certainly joy of heart. And this is plain for two reasons. First,
that this good will be eternal, while that which they enjoy is
temporal, and second, that the former is one and simple, while
that latter has many parts. The second reason he sets forth at,
For thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in hope.
Dicit ergo, In pace
etc.: quasi dicat: Alii in tempore, sed ego non, immo In
idipsum. Nota ergo, quod etiam in praesenti vita dicitur justus stare in
bono, propter quatuor. Primo, quia non impeditur exterius: et ideo
dicit: In pace. Isai. 31: Sedebit populus meus in pulchritudine pacis
etc. Secundo ex immutatione rerum habitarum, quia hoc semper idem
manet; unde In idipsum. Psalm. 121: Hierusalem
quae aedificatur ut civitas, cujus participatio ejus in idipsum.
Tertio, quia sine solicitudine: unde, Dormiam. Cant. 2: Ego dormio
etc. Quarto ex quiete a labore conquirendi; unde dicit, Et requiescam.
Et hoc potest esse etiam hic in praesenti vita secundum
inchoationem; quia sancti omnia ista habent hic aliqualiter in
Deo; sed haec omnia perfecte erunt in patria. Et hoc ideo habeo,
dicit David, quia unum habeo in quo sunt omnia haec: et hoc est
quod ait, Quoniam tu Domine
etc.: quasi dicat: Uno modo in quadam spe singulari; Constituisti
me, scilicet vita aeterna, de qua infra dicitur Psal. 26: Unam
petii a Domino etc. Et hoc respondet contra id quod dicit, Multiplicati
sunt: ut Quoniam tu Domine
etc. quasi dicat, In te singulariter spero. Et hoc magis sonat
littera Hieronymi, quae dicit: Quia
tu Domine specialiter securum habitare me fecisti. Ps. 117: Bonum
est confidere vel sperare in Domino etc. And so, he says, In peace. It is as if he were saying: "Others rest in the temporal, but
not I. Instead, I rest In the selfsame."
Note, therefore, that even in this present life, the just man is
said to stand steadfast with respect to (temporal) goods in four
ways. First, that he is not hindered by external things: And
my people shall sit in the beauty of peace, and in the tabernacles
of confidence, and in wealthy rest (Isaiah
32:18); second, on account of (his) stability in things possessed,
that this always remains the same: hence In the
selfsame: Jerusalem, which is built as a city, which is compact together (Psalm
121:3); third, that he is without solicitude, hence he states, I
will sleep: I sleep, and my heart watcheth
(Song of Songs 5:2); and fourth, by having attained rest from his
labor, hence he says And I will rest.
And this can even be achieved here in this present life
imperfectly, for all the saints have this here with God after a
fashion. But everyone will have this perfectly in heaven. And for
this reason David says "I have this, because I have one good
in which are found all these (other goods)." And this is what
he says: For thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in
hope. It is as if he were saying: "In one way, in a particular hope, Thou
hast settled me, namely in life eternal, concerning which Psalm 26:4 speaks: One
thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after; that I may
dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. It
is as if he were saying: "I hope in one thing in particular."
And this agrees better with Jerome's version which says: For
you, O Lord, have made me to dwell especially secure. It is good
to confide in the Lord, rather than to have confidence in man
The Aquinas Translation Project
Cum invocarem, exaudivit me Deus iustitiae meae: in tribulatione dilatasti mihi. Miserere mei, et exaudi orationem meam.
When I called upon him, the God of my justice heard me: when I was in distress, thou hast enlarged me. Have mercy on me: and hear my prayer.
© Dr. Stephen Loughlin
2in the verse upon which Thomas is presently commenting.