Translating Psalms (40)

“Beatus qui intelligit” (Psalm 40)

[1] In finem. Psalmus ipsi David.

Unto the end.  A Psalm to David.

[2] Beatus qui intelligit super egenum et pauperem : in die mala liberabit eum Dominus.

Blessed who understands over the needy and poor; in the evil day He will free him, will the Lord.

[3] Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum ejus.

The Lord will keep him safe and making him living and make him blessed in the land and not give him into the soul of his enemies.

[4] Dominus opem ferat illi super lectum doloris ejus; universum stratum ejus versasti in infirmitate ejus.

The Lord will bear wealth to him over the couch of his sorrow; all his cover You have twisted in his infirmity.

[5] Ego dixi : Domine, miserere mei; sana animam meam, quia peccavi tibi.

I, I have said, “O Lord, be merciful of me; heal my soul, since I have sinned to You.”

[6] Inimici mei dixerunt mala mihi : Quando morietur, et peribit nomen ejus?

My enemies have spoken evils to me: “When will he die and his name perish?”

[7] Et si ingrediebatur ut videret, vana loquebatur; cor ejus congregavit iniquitatem sibi. Egrediebatur foras et loquebatur.

Even if he entered so that he see, vane things did he speak; his heart has gathered injustice to itself.  He went forth outside and spoke.

[8] In idipsum adversum me susurrabant omnes inimici mei; adversum me cogitabant mala mihi.

In the same place against me they whispered, all my enemies; against me they thought evils for me.

[9] Verbum iniquum constituerunt adversum me : Numquid qui dormit non adjiciet ut resurgat?

A word unjust have they set up against me: “Surely who sleeps will not set to that he may rise again, no?”

[10] Etenim homo pacis meae, in quo speravi, qui edebat panes meos magnificavit super me supplantationem.

Also even the man of my peace in whom I have hoped, who ate my breads, has magnified over me an uprooting.

[11] Tu autem, Domine, miserere mei, et resuscita me; et retribuam eis.

But You, O Lord, be merciful of me and rouse me again and I will repay to them.

[12] In hoc cognovi quoniam voluisti me, quoniam non gaudebit inimicus meus super me.

In this I have known for You have willed me, for he will not rejoice, my enemy, over me.

[13] Me autem propter innocentiam suscepisti; et confirmasti me in conspectu tuo in aeternum.

But me, on account of innocence, You have upheld; and You have confirmed me in Your sight into the eternal.

[14] Benedictus Dominus, Deus Israel, a saeculo, et usque in saeculum. Fiat, fiat.

Blessed the Lord, the God of Israel, from the age and even into the age–let Him be; let Him be.


v. 10 supplantationem Using the etymological uprooting earlier tripped me up here (har, har).  Putting down smooth and clear English here is particularly difficult inside my restrictions; even the D-R converts the direct object into the verb.  Here, try hyper-literal: “he made great above me an up-planting.”  Enjoy.

v. 14 It’s interesting to see what happens when you don’t force a prose syntax on the last line.  I probably should have left out the definite articles as well.  In either event, the fiat at the end supplies the verb as a prayer/wish.

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