Translating Psalms (35)

“Dixit injustus” (Psalm 35)

[1] In finem. Servo Domini ipsi David.

Unto the end.  To the servant of the Lord, David himself.

[2] Dixit injustus ut delinquat in semetipso : non est timor Dei ante oculos ejus.

The unjust has spoken so that he may fail in his very own self; there is no fear of God before his eyes.

[3] Quoniam dolose egit in conspectu ejus, ut inveniatur iniquitas ejus ad odium.

For deceitfully has he worked in his sight so that it may be found, his injustice, unto hatred.

[4] Verba oris ejus iniquitas, et dolus; noluit intelligere ut bene ageret.

The words of his mouth, iniquity and deceit; he has not wished to understand that he might do well.

[5] Iniquitatem meditatus est in cubili suo; astitit omni viae non bonae, malitiam autem non odivit.

Injustice he has pondered in his room; he has stood by on every way not good, while malice he has not hated.

[6] Domine, in caelo misericordia tua, et veritas tua usque ad nubes.

O Lord, in heaven Your mercy and Your truth even to the clouds.

[7] Justitia tua sicut montes Dei; judicia tua abyssus multa. Homines et jumenta salvabis, Domine,

Your justice just as the mountains of God; Your judgments a great abyss.  Men and beasts You will save, O Lord,

[8] quemadmodum multiplicasti misericordiam tuam, Deus. Filii autem hominum in tegmine alarum tuarum sperabunt.

just as You have multiplied Your mercy, O God.  But the sons of men in the cover of Your wings will they hope.

[9] Inebriabuntur ab ubertate domus tuae, et torrente voluptatis tuae potabis eos;

They will be intoxicated by the fatness of Your house and by the torrent of Your pleasure You will water them;

[10] quoniam apud te est fons vitae, et in lumine tuo videbimus lumen.

for with You is the font of life and in Your light will we see light.

[11] Praetende misericordiam tuam scientibus te, et justitiam tuam his qui recto sunt corde.

Forthstretch Your mercy to those knowing You and Your justice to these who are right of heart.

[12] Non veniat mihi pes superbiae, et manus peccatoris non moveat me.

Let it not come to me, the foot of pride, and the hand of the sinner, let it not move me.

[13] Ibi ceciderunt qui operantur iniquitatem; expulsi sunt, nec potuerunt stare.

There they have fallen who work injustice; they have been driven out, nor could they stand.


The opening line (Dixit injustus…) was a cause of some consternation.  The given punctuation is sketchy, since normally that colon is used to introduce a direct quotation after a verb of speaking.  Here it can’t, and then when you work back to the ut delinquat it starts to look like a defective indirect statement.  The Greek there is actually a cool articular infinitive in the genitive to show purpose–you don’t get to say that every day–and so St. Jerome has converted it to the final clause in Latin.  Probably.  In the end I think it just means that the wicked has deliberated (spoken within himself) on doing evil (failing).

v. 11 Yeah I wrote forthstretch.  Deal with it.

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