Translating Psalms (75)

If you are not familiar with how the Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, first read II Kings 18-19 (it’s also in Isaiah 36-37).  Then read Lord Byron’s immortal take, even though the psalmist beat him to it by about 2500 years.

For Holy Saturday, it is the harrowing of hell.

“Notus in Judaea” (Psalm 75)

[1] In finem, in laudibus. Psalmus Asaph, canticum ad Assyrios.

Unto the end, in praises.  A psalm for Asaph, a canticle unto the Assyrians. Continue reading Translating Psalms (75)


Translating Psalms (73)

Why indeed would God be angry with us?  Maybe because we just sold His Son into the hands of death?  A total desecration of God in the triumph of the enemy?  An overthrow of God in the garden of His holy place?

Sure if this weren’t Holy Week I could talk about what I think the historical setting of this psalm is–some later stage of the kingdom when the foreign cults were overwhelming the worship of God.  But that doesn’t matter compared to seeing Jesus heading to the garden to be betrayed by his friend.

“Ut quid, Deus” (Psalm 73)

[1] Intellectus Asaph. Ut quid, Deus, repulisti in finem, iratus est furor tuus super oves pascuae tuae?

An understanding of Asaph.  Why, O God, have You repelled unto the end, has been angry, Your fury, over the sheep of Your flock? Continue reading Translating Psalms (73)

Translating Psalms (68)

Really wishing I had looked ahead to see this one waiting for me after the long Psalm 67… My heart hasn’t really been in these as much this year given my other commits, but this is a great Lenten psalm with excellent Passion connections.  Just look at v. 22!  I can at least soldier on for gems like these!

“Salvum me fac, Deus” (Psalm 68)

[1] In finem, pro iis qui commutabuntur. David.

Unto the end, for them who will be all-changed.  To David. Continue reading Translating Psalms (68)

Translating Psalms (66)

Another highly liturgical psalm, again with more emphasis on the universal human nature than just the people of Israel.  That universality of Israel’s mission is already present in Solomon’s dedication of the Temple, but it’s definitely a minor note that grows stronger as Israel’s history continues to unfold.  If you like playing authorship games, it’s a reason to think of this psalm as a later one.

I however do not care for such games, as they are beside the point.  David sounds an awful lot like a cosmic high priest mediating between God and man.  Almost like a foreshadowing, or even a type of the True Mediator…almost as if the true mediator Himself is speaking these words…hmm…

I’ve played around a bit with the subjunctives to contrast the way David speaks to God and the way he speaks to us.

“Deus misereatur” (Psalm 66)

[1] In finem, in hymnis. Psalmus cantici David.

Unto the end, in hymns.  A psalm of a canticle of David. Continue reading Translating Psalms (66)

Translating Psalms (65)

I really, really hate the punctuation and line-breaking to this psalm.  This one really requires a good page layout which I sadly cannot duplicate here on wordpress.  A heavily liturgical song.  For the first nine verses David commands the earth and directs it towards its Creator.  Then he both personalizes the prayer and speaks on behalf of all Israel.

“Jubilate Deo” (Psalm 65)

[1] In finem. Canticum psalmi resurrectionis. Jubilate Deo, omnis terra;

Unto the end.  A canticle of a psalm of resurrection.  Rejoice in God, all the earth; Continue reading Translating Psalms (65)