Translating Psalms (45)

I need to pick this up or I’m not going to make it to 50 by Good Friday.  I must!

“Deus noster refugium” (Psalm 45)

[1] In finem, filiis Core, pro arcanis. Psalmus.

Unto the end, to the sons of Korah, for hidden things.  A Psalm.

[2] Deus noster refugium et virtus; adjutor in tribulationibus quae invenerunt nos nimis.

Our God, refuge and strength; a helper in troubles which have found us quite enough!

[3] Propterea non timebimus dum turbabitur terra, et transferentur montes in cor maris.

Therefore we will not fear when it is troubled, the earth, and they are transferred, the mountains, into the heart of the sea.

[4] Sonuerunt, et turbatae sunt aquae eorum; conturbati sunt montes in fortitudine ejus.

They sounded and were troubled, their waters; they were disturbed, the mountains, in His strength.

[5] Fluminis impetus laetificat civitatem Dei : sanctificavit tabernaculum suum Altissimus.

The force of the river makes glad the city of God; He has sanctified His tabernacle, has the Most High.

[6] Deus in medio ejus, non commovebitur; adjuvabit eam Deus mane diluculo.

God in its midst, it will not be moved; He will help her, will God, at the morning daybreak.

[7] Conturbatae sunt gentes, et inclinata sunt regna : dedit vocem suam, mota est terra.

They were disturbed, the nations, and cast down, the kingdoms; He gave His voice; it was moved, the earth.

[8] Dominus virtutum nobiscum; susceptor noster Deus Jacob.

The Lord of powers with us; our uplifter, the God of Jacob.

[9] Venite, et videte opera Domini, quae posuit prodigia super terram,

Come and see the works of the Lord, which He has placed as portents over the earth,

[10] auferens bella usque ad finem terrae. Arcum conteret, et confringet arma, et scuta comburet igni.

carrying away wars even unto the end of the earth.  The bow He will crush and He will shatter arms and consume shields with fire.

[11] Vacate, et videte quoniam ego sum Deus; exaltabor in gentibus, et exaltabor in terra.

Be idle, and behold for I am God; I will be exalted in the nations and I will be exalted in the earth.

[12] Dominus virtutum nobiscum; susceptor noster Deus Jacob.

The Lord of powers with us; our uplifter, the God of Jacob.


v. 2 noster Right off the bat a simple grammatical point: noster is masculine and “must” modify Deus rather than refugium since the latter is neuter.  I hedge with “must” since refugium introduces a list of nouns, the others of which are masculine, so noster can reasonably modify them all distributively.  Mixed-gender lists usually default to masculine anyway.  But here I’m choosing to be a stickler for the word order: positioned between a masculine Deus and a neuter refugium, noster “must” go with Deus.

v. 10 I really want to render comburet as “burst” just to keep the sound and because it fits the idea of the other two verbs and because we use “burst into flame” in English.  But then he went away sad, for he had many possessions (read: rules of interpretation).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s