Psalm 42

a. [Psalmus David] Iudica me Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta: ab homine iniquo et doloso erue me. Quia tu es Deus fortitudo mea: quare me repulisti, et quare tristis incedo, dum affligit me inimicus?a. [A psalm of David] Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man. For thou art God my strength: why hast thou cast me off? And why do I go sorrowful whilst the enemy afflicteth me?
b. Emitte lucem tuam, et veritatem tuam, ipsa me deduxerunt, et adduxerunt in montem sanctum tuum, et in tabernacula tua. Et introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat iuventutem meam. Confitebor tibi in cythara Deus, Deus meus: quare tristis es anima mea? Et quare conturbas me? Spera in Deo, quoniam adhuc confitebor illi: salutare vultus mei, et Deus meus.b. Send forth thy light and thy truth: they have conducted me, and brought me unto thy holy hill, and into thy tabernacles. And I will go in to the altar of God: to God who giveth joy to my youth. To thee, O God my God, I will give praise upon the harp: why art thou sad, O my soul? And why dost thou disquiet me? Hope in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.
In praecedenti psalmo David narravit suum desiderium; nunc autem adhibet orationem ad implendum desiderium. Et primo ponit orationem; secundo effectum eius, ibi, Quare tristis es. Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit orationem in generali; secundo in speciali, ibi, Ab homine iniquo. Et primo petit iudicium; secundo iudicii effectum. In the preceding psalm, David spoke of his desire. Here, he adds a prayer for the sake of fulfilling (his) desire. First, he sets forth (his) prayer, (and) secondly, its effect, at, Why art thou sad. Concerning the first, he does two things. First, he sets forth(his) prayer in general, and (then) secondly, in particular (terms), at, (Deliver me) from (unjust and) deceitful men. First, he asks for judgment, and secondly, the result/execution of (this) judgment.
Petit ergo, Iudica me Deus. Sed videtur praesumptionis esse: quia ipse dicit, Non intres in iudicium etc. Psal. 142. Therefore he prays, Judge me, O God. But this would seem to be presumptuous, since he himself says (later in the Psalter), Enter not into judgment (with thy servant - Psalm 142:2).
Respondeo. Dicendum, quod est duplex iudicium: scilicet severitatis, et misericordiae seu aequitatis. Primum est, quando attenditur solum res et non conditio; et hoc est timendum. De hoc dicit Psal. 142: Non intres in iudicium etc. quia iustitiae nostrae nihil sunt in conspectu Dei, ut dicitur Isa. 64. Et hoc iudicium est sine misericordia, ut dicitur Iacob. 2. Secundum est, quando consideratur non solum natura rei, sed conditio personae. Psal. 102: Misertus est Dominus timentibus se, quoniam ipse cognovit figmentum nostrum. Et hoc petit. I respond saying that judgment is twofold, namely a judgment of severity, and a judgment of mercy or equity. The first occurs when only the event, and not the situation, is considered; and this is to be feared. (It is) concerning this (sort of judgment) that Psalm 142:2 speaks, Enter not into judgment (with thy servant). For our righteous deed are nothing before the face of God, as is said in Isaiah 64:6. This judgment is without mercy, as is said in James 2:1-13. The second (kind of judgment) occurs when not only the nature of the event, but also the person's situation. Psalm 102:13-14: (As a father hath compassion on his children, so) hath the Lord compassion on them that fear him: for he knoweth our frame. And this he seeks.
Vel aliter. Est duplex iudicium: scilicet discussionis, cum merita discutiuntur: et hoc non petit hic, quia discussio est timenda; Iob 9: Verebar omnia opera mea, sciens quod non parces delinquenti. Aliud est discretionis, scilicet separationis a malis: et hoc petit; et ideo subdit, Et discerne causam meam. Et hoc refertur ad praesentem statum: et sic petimus discerni a malis, etsi non loco, saltem causa. Multa enim sunt communia nobis et eis: quia locus est eventus fortunae, sed causa non, quia eisdem rebus aliter utuntur boni et aliter mali: quia in adversis boni rutilant per patientiam, mali vero fumant per impatientiam. Si vero ad futurum iudicium referamus, petimus distingui: quia causa malorum iudicabitur ad condemnationem, bonorum ad salutem.(This can be interpreted)in another way. Judgment is twofold. (First, there is the judgment) of examination, when (a person's) merits are examined. (The psalmist) does not ask for this here since (such an) examination is to be feared; Job 9:28: I feared all my works, knowing that thou didst not spare the offender. (Secondly) there is (the judgment) of discretion, namely of the separation from evil people. This he seeks. And so he adds, And distinguish my cause. This is referred to his present condition. In this way we seek to be "distinguished," or separated, from evil people, if not with respect to (the) place (wherein it is experienced), at least with respect to cause. For we have many things in common with evil people. Place is the result of chance, but cause is not since with respect to the same things, the good use (them) in one way, the evil in another; in the face of adversities, the good glow or shine on account of (their) patience, while the evil fume (or become dark) on account of their impatience. If, however, we refer (this) to the future judgment (of all), we seek to be "distinguished," or separated (from evil people) since the cause of evil people will be sentenced to condemnation, (but the cause) of good people (will be judged accordingly and brought) to salvation.
In speciali autem petit iudicari quantum ad duo: videlicet quantum ad liberationem a malo, et quantum ad promotionem in bono. Petit ergo liberari a malo, vel praesenti vel futuro; unde dicit, Ab homine iniquo et doloso erue me. Homo iniquus dicitur diabolus. Matth. 13: Inimicus homo hoc fecit. Vel alius homo seductor, sive iniustus quicumque. Et dicitur iniquus ille qui iniustitiam intendit aperte: dolosus vero propter occultam fraudulentiam. Prov. 12: Dolus in corde cogitantium mala. Ab his ergo liberatur quis dupliciter. Uno modo, ut non seducatur occulta dolositate. Alio modo, ut non opprimatur adversitate, Quia tu es Deus meus.In particular, he seeks to be judged with respect to two things, namely liberation from evil, and advancement in good. Therefore, he seeks to be liberated from the evil of the present or in the future; whence he says, Deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man. The unjust man is called a devil; Matthew 13:28: An enemy has done this. Another kind of man is (called) a seducer, or the unjust whoever he may be. That man is called unjust who openly strives after injustice, but in fact is called deceitful because of (his) hidden fraudulence; Proverbs 12:20: Deceit is in the heart of them that think evil things. Therefore, someone is liberated from these (two types of people) on two accounts. First, so that he not be seduced by hidden deceit, and second, that he not be oppressed by adversity, For thou art my God.
Hic ponitur ratio liberationis; et est duplex: una ex parte Dei qui potest; unde dicit, Tu es fortitudo mea. Isa. 12: Fortitudo mea et laus mea Dominus. Et dicitur fortitudo nostra effective, quia ab ipso est. Isa. 40: Qui dat lasso virtutem, et his qui non sunt fortitudinem et robur multiplicat. Alia ratio est ex parte sua, scilicet malorum quae patitur.Here he sets forth the reason for his liberation, and it is twofold. First, because of God who is able (to do this); whence he says, Thou art my strength; Isaiah 12:2: The Lord is my strength and my praise. And our strength is spoken of here as an effect, for it is from (God) himself; Isaiah 40:29: It is he that giveth strength to the weary, and increaseth force and might to them that are not. The second reason is for his own account, namely for the evils which he suffers.
Quaedam mala patimur secundum opinionem, quia cum sumus in adversitatibus, videmur repulsi a Deo; unde dicit, Quare me repulisti? Sed non repellet Dominus plebem suam, Ps. 94. Et sic est tantum opinatum malum hoc. Aliud est verum; unde sequitur, Quare tristis incedo? Tristis scilicet vel tristitia saeculi, quae mortem operatur: et sic est sensus: Quare tristis incedo, scilicet temporaliter, Dum affligit me inimicus, homo malus, temporaliter. We suffer some evils according to (our own) opinion, for when we are in adversities, we seem to have been cast off by God; whence he says, Why hast thou cast me off? But the Lord does not cast off his own people, (as is indicated at) Psalm 94:7. And so this is opined to be an evil. Another (way we suffer evil) is (when it is real or) true; whence it follows, Why do I go sorrowful? Sorrowful, namely, the sorrow because of the world which works unto death, and this is the sense. Why do I go sorrowful, temporarily, Whilst the enemy afflicteth me, evil men, temporarily.
Vel, Tristis incedo, tristitia bona quae operatur poenitentiam in salutem. Et sic est sensus, Quare tristis incedo, tantum; quia etiam laetitia adiungenda est poenitentiae.Or (another interpretation of), Do I go sorrowful, (brings to mind) a good sorrow which works unto repentance for (our) salvation. And this is the sense (of) Why do I go sorrowful, to such a degree; for joy is also to be added to repentance.
b. Emitte. Hic ponit promotionem in bono. Et primo petit divina bona quibus promovetur; secundo petit promotionem pro illa. b. Send forth. Here he sets forth (his desire for) advancement in good. And he seeks first divine goods by which he will be advanced, and secondly advancement on account of these (very goods themselves).
Petit autem duo bona: lucem et veritatem. Ad Deum pervenitur passibus mentis, et per cognitionem. Heb. 4: Illis promittitur introitus qui credunt. Duo sunt necessaria cognitioni: scilicet lux, et cognitum. Eph. 5: Omne quod manifestatur lumen est. Et ideo duo petit: scilicet lucem et veritatem: ad quae per me non valeo venire. Et ideo dicit, Emitte lucem tuam et veritatem tuam.He seeks two goods, light and truth. One attains to God by the steps of the mind, and through knowledge. Hebrews 4:3: For we, who have believed, shall enter into rest. Two things are necessary for knowledge, namely light and (the thing which is) known. Ephesians 5:13: All that is made manifest is light. And so, he seeks for two things, namely light and truth: to which I, by myself, am not able to go. And so he says, Send forth thy light and thy truth.
Idem est lux et veritas hic, quia accipiuntur pro Christo, Emitte lucem tuam, idest Christum. Ioan. 1: Erat lux vera etc. Et veritatem tuam, quia ipse Christus veritas est. Ioan. 14: Ego sum via, veritas et vita; quasi dicat, Deus pater emitte Christum. Light and truth are the same here, because they are taken with respect to Christ, Send forth they light, that is, Christ; John 1:9: That was the true light etc.; And your truth, because Christ himself is the truth; John 14:6: I am the way, and the truth, and the life; it is as if (the psalmist) were saying, "God, O Father, send Christ forth."
Vel lux hic accipitur pro lege, quia Prov. 6: Mandatum Domini lucerna, et lex lux. Et veritatem, idest novum testamentum.Or, Light here could be taken for the law, because of (what is said at) Proverbs 6:23: The commandment (of the Lord) is a lamp, and the law a light. And truth, that is, the New Testament.
Consequenter ponitur promotio in bono. Et ponit primo directionem in accedendo, ibi, Ipsa me deduxerunt, scilicet lux et veritas me duxerunt ad te.(His) advancement in good is subsequently set down. And first he sets forth (his) direction in approaching (God), at They have conducted me, namely (your) light and truth have guided me to you.
Vel, Deduxerunt, idest abstraxerunt a malis, et adduxerunt in montem sanctum tuum, et in tabernacula tua. Haec oratio respondet desiderio praecedentis psalmi, Transibo in locum etc. Et quia adhuc non sufficit, peto adduci per Deum ad montem etc. Or (another way of interpreting) They have conducted (me, is that) they have separated me from evil, And brought me unto thy holy hill, and into thy tabernacles. This prayer agrees with the desire of the preceding psalm (41:5) I shall go over into the place (of the wonderful tabernacle, even to the house of God). And because it (his desire) is not yet satisfied, I seek to be brought by God to his holy hill.
Ierusalem erat in pede montis in latere Aquilonis. Et sic primo perveniebant ad montem qui illuc ibant. Secundo ibant ad habitationem. Tertio ad locum sacrificii, scilicet altare. Et etiam ibi non quiescit spiritus meus, sed ascendit ad Deum; et ideo dicit, Adduxerunt me in montem sanctum tuum, et in tabernacula tua, idest ad habitationem. Et iterum non quiescit ibi, sed vadit ad domum Dei, idest ad altare. Ideo dicit, Introibo ad altare Dei; et non quiescit ibi ne videatur idolatra, sed vadit Ad Deum, qui laetificat iuventutem meam.Jerusalem was at the foot of a hill on the north side. First, those who were going to that place used to arrive at the hill, then went to (their) dwelling, and finally, to the place of sacrifice, namely to the altar. And even there my spirit does not rest, but ascends to God; and thus he says, (They) brought me unto thy holy hill, and into thy tabernacles, that is to (his) dwelling. And again, he does not rest there, but goes the the house of God, that is, to the altar. Thus, he says, I will go in to the altar of God; And he does not rest there lest he appear to practice idolatry, but goes To God who gives joy to my youth.
Mystice autem In monte et In tabernaculo ecclesia praesens designatur, vel ecclesia caelestis; quasi dicat: deduxerunt me in ecclesiam tuam. Isa. 2: Erit praeparatus mons domus Domini in vertice montium etc. Et Tabernacula, idest diversitates sanctorum, quae sunt quaedam peregrinationes super terram; Heb. 11. Et haec ecclesia dicitur porta caeli. Gen. 28: Non est hic aliud nisi domus Dei et porta caeli. Et ideo etiam dicitur Altare Dei, idest ipse Deus. Apoc. 21: Ipse Deus est templum: quia omnia sacrificia spiritualia sunt offerenda in Deo, non in re terrena.Mystically (considered), Unto thy holy hill and Into thy tabernacles signfy the Church of the present time, or the heavenly Church; it is as if (the psalmist) were saying "They have conducted me into your Church." Isaiah 2:2: The mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared on the top of the mountains (and it shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go, and say: Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord). And Tabernacles, that is, the different ways of the saints, which are the pilgrimages of some upon the earth; Hebrews 11(13-16). And this Church is called the gate of heaven. Genesis 28:17: This is no other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven. And thus it is also said To the altar of God, that is God himself. Apocalypse 21:22: God himself is the temple: for all spiritual sacrifices are to be offered in God, and not in earthly things.
Et ibi erit laetitia. Isa. 66: Videbitis, et gaudebit cor vestrum. Matth. 25: Intra in gaudium Domini tui. Et ideo dicit, Laetificat iuventutem meam: idest erit ibi renovatio et iuventus: quia, ut dicitur Eph. 4, Omnes apparebimus in mensuram aetatis plenitudinis Christi: et ideo dicit, Iuventutem. Psal. 102: Renovabitur ut aquilae iuventus tua. Et hunc psalmum dicunt presbyteri cum accedunt ad altare: quia haec duo, scilicet laetitia et renovatio, sunt necessaria illis qui ad caeleste altare accedere volunt. Levit. 10: Quomodo potuit comedere aut placere Domino in caeremoniis mente lugubri? Item non est ibi vetustas peccati. 1 Ioan. 2: Scribo vobis iuvenes. And there will be joy there. Isaiah 66:14: You shall see and your heart shall rejoice. Matthew25:21: Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. And thus he says, (Who) giveth joy to my youth, that is to say, there will be renewal and youth there; for, as it is said in Ephesians 4:7: To every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ; and thus he says Youth; Psalm 102:5: Thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle's. And the priests say this psalm when they go up to the altar, because these two, namely joy and renewal, are necessary to those who desire to go up to the heavenly altar; Leviticus 10:19: How could I eat it, or please the Lord in the ceremonies, having a sorrowful heart? Moreover, there is not the oldness of sin there; 1 John 2:14: I write unto you, young men.
Vel totum quod dictum est refertur ad caelestem patriam, in qua desiderio debemus stare, et ad illam desideranter pergere: et hoc designat cum dicit, In montem sanctum tuum. Exod. 15: Introduces eos, et plantabis in monte hereditatis tuae; quia est ibi stabilitas status.Or, everything that has been said could be referred to (our) heavenly homeland, in which desire we ought to stand firm, and to which we ought to hasten with all desire: and this he signifies when he says, Unto thy holy hill. Exodus 15:17: Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thy inheritance; for there is a stability of condition there.
Item est ibi societas sanctorum; unde dicit: Et in tabernacula tua. Num. 24: Quam pulchra tabernacula tua, Iacob etc. Ps. 83: Quam dilecta tabernacula tua, Domine virtutum. Et dicuntur tabernacula, quia licet sint homines cives secundum gratiam, tamen secundum conditionem humanae naturae sunt ibi hospites.Moreover, there is there a fellowship of the holy; whence he says And into thy tabernacles. Numbers 24:5: How beautiful are thy tabernacles, O Jacob; Psalm 83:2: How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts. And they are called tabernacles because although men are citizens according to grace, nevertheless according to the condition of human nature they are guests there.
Tertio Altare designat humanitatem Christi. Isa. 33: Regem in decore suo videbunt. Et Christus dicitur Altare Dei. Hebr. ult.: Habemus altare, de quo edere non habent potestatem qui tabernaculo deserviunt; quia sicut omnia sacrificia carnalia offerebantur in altari, ita omnes orationes offeruntur per Christum. Unde omnis oratio terminatur, per Christum Dominum nostrum. Sed quia non est quies in humanitate, ideo ulterius tendit ad divinitatem: unde dicit, Ad Deum etc. Iob 22: Super omnipotentem deliciis afflues, et elevabis ad Deum faciem tuam.Third, To the altar signifies the humanity of Christ. Isaiah 33:17: His eyes shall see the king in his beauty. And Christ is signified by To the altar of God. Hebrews 13:10: We have an altar, whereof they have no power to eat who serve the tabernacle; for just as all carnal sacrifices were offered on the altars, so too are all prayers offered through Christ. Hence every prayer is ended, "Through Christ our Lord." But since there is no rest in humanity, thus does he tend to divinity; whence he says To God. Job 22:26: Then shalt thou abound in delights in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face to God.
Effectus orationis est confessio laudis; unde dicit: Confitebor tibi in cythara Deus: et hoc dicit propter affectum: quia Is. 51: Gaudium et laetitia invenietur in ea. Et dicit, In cythara, ad differentiam psalterii; quia psalterium sonat a superiori, sed cythara ab inferiori; unde, Confitebor in cythara, quia sumus liberati a malis mundi. Et psalterio, quia consequuti sumus illa gaudia superna. The result of prayer is an acknowledgement of praise; whence he says, To thee, O God...I will give praise upon the harp: and he says this in accordance with (his) feeling: for Isaiah 51:3 states: Joy and gladness shall be found therein. And he says, Upon the harp, with regard to the difference (between it and the) psaltery (a kind of lute); for the psaltery sounds from on high, but the harp from below; whence, I will give praise upon the harp, since we have been liberated from the evils of (this) world. And upon the psaltery, because we have attained that heavenly joy.
Quare tristis etc. Totum hoc quod sequitur, expositum est supra in praecedenti psalmo.Why art thou sad. All that follows has been explained above in the preceding psalm (41).

© Stephen Loughlin
(stephen.loughlin@desales.edu)



The Aquinas Translation Project
(http://www4.desales.edu/~philtheo/loughlin/ATP/index.html)