St. Thomas's Introduction to his Exposition of the Psalms of David


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In omni opere suo dedit confessionem Sancto et Excelso in verbo gloriae Eccli. 47 "In all his works he gave thanks to the holy one, and to the most High, with words of glory." Eccl. 47:9
Verba haec dicuntur de David ad litteram, et satis convenienter assumuntur ad ostendum causam huius operis: in quibus ostenditur quadruplex causa huius, scilicet materia, modus seu forma, finis, et agens. These words are spoken of David literally, and they are suitably enough applied to showing the cause of this work: in this words there is shown the fourfold cause of the work, namely, the matter, the mode or form, the end and the agent.
Materia est universalis: quia cum singuli libri canonicae Scripturae speciales materias habeant, hic liber generalem habet totius Theologiae. The material is universal, for while the particular books of the Canon of Scripture contain special materials, this book has the general material of Theology as a whole.
Et hoc est quod dicit Dion. 3, libro Caelest. Hierar. Divinarum odarum (idest Psalmorum) sacram scripturam intendere est sacras et divinas operationes universas decantare This is what Dionysius says, in book 3 of the Caelestial Hierarchy, The sacred scripture of the Divine Songs (the Psalms) is intended to sing of all sacred and divine workings.
Unde signatur materia in hoc quod dicit, in omni opere, quia de omni opere Dei tractat. Hence the material is indicated in what he says, in all his works, because he treats of every work of God.
Est autem quadruplex opus Dei; scilicet creationis, Gen. I. Requievit Deus die septima ab omni opere etc.; gubernationis, Ioan. 5. Pater meus usque modo operatur etc.; reparationis, Ioan. 4. Meus cibus est ut faciam voluntatem eius qui misit me, ut perficiam opus eius; glorificationis, Eccli. 42. Gloria Domini plenum est opus eius. Now the work of God is fourfold; namely, that of creation, Genesis 2:2 "God rested on the seventh day from all his work" etc.; governance, John 5:17 "My Father worketh until now"; reparation, John 4: "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, that I may perfect his work"; glorification, Ecclesiasticus 42:16 "Full of the glory of the Lord are his works."
Et de his omnibus complete in hac doctrina tractatur There is a complete treatment of all these things in this doctrine.
Primo de opere creationis Psalm. 8, Videbo caelos tuos opera digitorum tuorum. First, of the work of creation, Psalm 8 I will see your heavens, the work of your fingers
Secundo gubernationis, quia omnes historiae veteris testamenti tanguntur in hoc libro: Psalm. 77, Aperiam in parabolis os meum etc. Second, of the work of governance, because in this book all the stories of the Old Testament are touched upon: Psalm 77 I will open my mouth in parables etc.
Tertio, reparationis, quantum ad caput, scilicet Christum, et quantum ad omnes effectus gratiae, Psal. 3. Ego dormivi, et somnum etc. Third, of reparation, with respect to the head, namely Christ, and with respect to all the effects of grace, Psalm 3 I lay down, and sleep comes to me etc.
Omnia enim quae ad fidem incarnationis pertinent, sic dilucide traduntur in hoc opere, ut fere videatur Envangelium, et non Prophetia. All the things that concern faith in the incaration are so clearly set forth in this work that it almost seems like the Gospel, and not prophecy.
Quarto est opus glorificationis: Psalm. 149. Exultabunt sancti in gloria eius etc. Fourth, there is the work of glorification: Psalm. 149 The saints will exult in his glory etc.
Et haec erit ratio quare magis frequentatur Psalterium in Ecclesia, quia continet totam Scripturam. And this will be the reason why the Psalter is read more often in the Church, because it contains the whole of Scripture.
Vel, secundum Glossam, ad dandam nobis spem divinae misericordiae: quia cum peccasset David, tamen per poenitentiam est reparatus. Or, according to the Gloss, it is to give us hope of divine mercy, because when David had sinned, he made reparation through penitence.
Materia ergo universalis est, quia omne opus. The material, therefore, is universal, because it is the whole work.
Et quia hoc ad Christum spectat, Coloss. 1, In ipso complacuis omnem plenitudinem divinitatis inhabitare; ideo materia huius libri est Christus, et membra eius. And because it concerns Christ, Coloss. 1 you have been pleased that all fullness of divinity should dwell in him.; therefore the material of this book is Christ and his members.
Modus seu forma in Sacra Scriptura multiplex invenitur. The mode or form is found to be of many kinds in Sacred Scripture.
Narrativus, Eccli. 22. Nonne Deus fecit sanctos suos enarrare omnia mirabilia sua?. Et hoc in historialibus libris invenitur. There is the narrative mode, Eccli. 22 Has not God made his saints narrate all his wonders?. And this is found in the historical books.
Admonitorius, et exhortatorius, et praeceptivus, ad Titum 2. Haec loquere, et exhortare, et argue cum omni imperio: secun. Tim. 2. Haec commone, testificans coram Deo etc. There is the admonishing, the exhorting, and the preceptive mode, Titus 2. Say these things, exhort and correct with all authority of command.: II Timothy 2. Remind people of this things, and bear witness before God etc.
Hic modus invenitur in Lege, Prophetis, et Libris Salomonis. This mode is found in the Law, the Prophets, and the Books of Solomon.
Disputativus; et hoc in Iob, et in Apostolo: Iob 13. Disputare cum Deo cupio There is the mode of dispute; and this is found in Job, and the Apostle: Job 13. I desire to argue with God.
Deprecativus, vel laudativus; et hoc invenitur in isto libro; quia quicquid in aliis libris praedictis modis dicitur, hic ponitur per modum laudis, et orationis: infra (Psalm. 9) Confitebor tibi, Domine, etc. narrabo etc. There is the deprecative or laudative mode; and this is found in this book; because whatever is said in the other books in the aforesaid modes, is put here by the mode of praise and prayer: below (Psalm 9) I will confess to you, Lord, etc. I will narrate etc.
Et ideo dicit, Dedit confessionem, quia per modum confitendi loquitur. And thus he says He gave a confession, because he is speaking by the mode of confessing.
Et hinc sumitur ratio tituli qui est, Incipit liber hymnorum, seu soliloquiorum Propheta David de Christo. Hence the reason for the title is drawn, which is The beginning of the book of hymns, or of the soliloquies of the Prophet David concerning Christ.
Hymnus est laus Dei cum cantico; canticum autem exultatio mentis de aeternis habita, prorumpens in vocem. A hymn is the praise of God with song; a song is the exultation of the mind dwelling on eternal things, bursting forth in the voice.
Docet ergo laudare Deum cum exultatione. Therefore he teaches how to praise God with exultation.
Soliloquium est collocutio hominis cum Deo singulariter, vel secum tantum, quia hoc convenit laudanti, et oranti. A soliloquy is the conversation of man with God one to one, or speaking within himself alone, because this suits one who praises, and one who prays.
Huius Scripturae finis est oratio, quae est elevatio mentis in Deum. Damasc. lib. 3, Oratio est ascensus intellectus in Deum. Psalm. 140. Elevatio manuum mearum, sacrificium vespertinum. The end purpose of this Scripture is prayer, which is the raising of the mind to God. John of Damascus, book 3, Prayer is the rising of the intellect to God. Psalm 140. The raising of my hands, the evening sacrifice.
Sed quatuor modis anima elevatur in Deum: But the mind is raised to God in four modes:
scilicet ad admirandum celsitudinem potestatis ipsius. Esa. 40. Levate in excelsum oculos vestros, et videte quis creavit haec. Psalm. 103. Quam mirabilia sunt opera tua, Domine! Et haec est elevatio fidei. namely, to admire the loftiness of his power, Isaiah 40. Lift your eyes on high, and see who created these things. Psalm 103 How marvelous are your work, Lord!. And this is the elevation of faith.
Secundo elevatur mens ad tendendum in excellentiam aeternae beatitudinis, Iob. 11. Levare poteris faciem tuam absque macula; eris stabilis, et non timebis: miseria quoque oblivisceris; et quasi fulgur meridianus consurget tibi. Et haec est elevatio spei. Second, the mind is elevated to tend toward the excellence of eternal happiness, Job. 11. You will be able to lift your face without stain; you will stand firm, and will not fear: you will also forget misery; and like noonday brightness he will rise before you. And this is the elevation of hope.
Tertio elevatur mens ad inhaerendum divinae bonitati et sanctitati. Esa. 51. Elevare, consurge, Hierosalem etc. Et haec est elevatio charitatis. Third, the mind is raised to hold fast to the divine goodness and holiness. Isaiah 51. Rise, get up, Jerusalem, etc. And this is the elevation of charity.
Quarto elevatur mens ad imitandum divinam iustitiam in opere. Tren. 3 Levemur corda nostra cum manibus ad Deum in caelos. Et haec est elevatio iustitiae. Fourth, the mind is raised to imitate the divine justice in a work. Lamentations 3 Let us lift our hearts along with our hand to God toward the heavens. And this is the elevation of justice.
Et iste quadruplex modus insinuatur cum dicit: Sancto, et Excelso: quia duo ultimi modi elevationis pertinent ad hoc quod dicit, Excelso. This fourfold mode is implied when he says: Holy, and Most High: because the last two modes of elevation concern that which he says: Most High.
Et quod hic sit finis scriptuae huius, habetur in Psalmis. Primo de Excelso Psalm. 112. A solis ortu... etc. et post, Excelsus super omnes etc. And as for this being the end purpose of this scripture, we find evidence in the Psalms. First about Most High Psalm 112. From the rising of the sun...etc. and after that Most high above all etc.
Secundo de Sancto Psalm. 95. Confiteantur nomini tuo magno, quoniam terribile, et sanctum est. Second, concerning Holy Psalm 95 May they confess to your great name, because it is to be feared, and it is holy
Ideo Greg. I. Hom. dicit super Ezech. quod vox psalmodiae si cum intentione cordis agitur, omnipotenti Deo per eam ad cor iter paratur, ut intenta anima aut prophetia mysteria, aut gratiam compunctionis infundat. Therefore Gregory, I Homily, says on Ezechiel, that the voice of psalmody if it is done with the intention of the heart, prepares the way for almighty God through it to the heart, so that he may pour in mysteries or the grace of compunction, by an intent soul or prophecy.
Finis ergo est, ut anima coniungatur Deo, sicut Sancto, et Excelso. The end purpose therefore is for the soul to be joined with God, as the Holy and Most High.
Auctor autem huius operis significatur ibi in verbis gloriae The author of this work, however, is signified there in words of glory.
Notandum autem, quod aliud est in Sacra Scriptura, et aliud in aliis scientiis. It should be noted, however, that things are different in the case of Sacred Scripture and in the case of the other sciences.
Nam aliae scientiae sunt per rationem humanam editae, haec autem Scriptura per instinctum inspirationis divinae, 2. Pet. 1. Non enim voluntate humana allata est Prophetia, sed Spiritu Sancto inspirati locuti sunt etc. For the other sciences are produced by human reason, but Sacred Scripture is produced through inner urging of divine inspiriation, 2 Peter 1. For it is not by human will that prophecy was brought forth, but they spoke inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Et ideo lingua hominis se habet in Scriptura Sacra, sicut lingua pueri dicentis verba quae alius ministrat. Psalm. 44. Lingua mea calamus etc. 2. Reg. 23. Spiritus Domini locutus est per me, et sermo eius per linguam meam. And so the tongue of man in Sacred Scripture is like the tongue of a child who says words that another provides. Psalm 44 My tongue is like a pen etc. 2. Kings 23. The Spirit of the Lord has spoken through me, and his speech through my tongue.
Et ideo dicit: in verbo Domini, vel gloria: quae per revelationem dicuntur. Unde 3. Regum 20. Percute me in sermone Domini, idest in revelatione divina And so he says: in the word of the Lord, or glory: which are said by revelation. Hence 3. Kings 20. Strike me in the word of the Lord, that is, in divine revelation.
Et potest dici haec Scriptura verbum gloriae quatuor modis: And this scripture can be called the word of glory in four modes:
quia quadrupliciter se habet ad gloriam; scilicet quantum ad causam a qua fluit, quia a verbo glorioso Dei haec doctrina emanavit. 2. Pet. 1. Voce delapsa huiuscemodi a magnifica gloria: Hic est filius meus dilectus etc. because it is related in a fourfold way to glory; namely, with respect to the cause from which it flows, because this doctrine radiates out of the glorious word of God. 2. Pet. 1. when a voice came from out of magnificent glory saying: This is my beloved son etc.
Quantum ad continentiam, quia in illo libro gloria Dei continetur quam annuntiat Psalm. 96, Annuntiate inter gentes gloriam eius. With respect to containment, because the glory of God is contained in this book, which glory is announced, Psalm 96 Announce his glory among the nations
Quantum ad modum emanationis. Gloria enim idem est quod claritas. Et revelatio huius Prophetiae gloriosa fuit, quia aperta. With respect to the mode of emanation. For Glory is the same as clarity. And the revelation of this prophecy was glorious, because it was open.
Triplex est enim modus Prophetiae. Per sensibiles res: Dan. 5. Apparuerunt digiti, quasi hominis scribentes ... Rex aspiciebat articulos manus scribentis. For there is a threefold mode of prophecy. Through sensible things: Daniel 5. Fingers appeared, as a man's, writing .... the King saw the joints of a hand writing.
Per similitudines imaginarias, sicut patet de somnio Pharaonis, et interpretatione facta per Ioseph Gen. 41. Isaiah 6. Vidi Dominum sedentem super solium excelsum, et elevatum, etc. By imaginary likenesses, as is obvious in the case of Pharao's dream, and the interpretation made by Joseph Genesis 41. Isaiah 6. I saw the Lord sitting on a high and raised throne etc.
Per ipsius veritatis manifestationem; et talis modus Prophetiae convenit Danieli, qui solius Spiritus Santi instinctu, sine omni exteriori adminiculo, suam edidit Prophetiam. By the manifestation of the truth by itself; and such a mode of prophecy was Daniel's, who by an inner urging of the Holy Spirit alone, without any external aid, set forth his Prophecy.
Alii namque Prophetae, sicut dicit Augu. per quasdam rerum imagines atque verborum tegumenta, scilicet per somnia, et visiones facta, et dicta prophetaverunt; sed iste unde doctus fuit de veritate? The other prophets, as Augustine says, prophecied events and sayings by certain images of things and coverings of words, that is, by dreams and visions; but from what source was this prophet taught of the truth?
Unde 2. Reg. 23. cum diceret David: Spiritus Domini locutus est etc. statim addit: sicut lux aurorae oriente sole mane absque nubibus rutilat. Hence 2. Kings 23, when David said: The Spirit of the Lord has spoken etc. he adds immediately: like the light of the dawn shines redly at sunrise on a cloudless morning
Sol est Spiritus Sanctus illuminans corda prophetarum, qui quandoque sub nubibus apparet, quandoque per duos modos praedictos Prophetis illucet, quandoque sine nubibus, sicut hic. The sun is the Holy Spirit illuminating the hearts of the prophets, who sometimes appears under clouds, sometimes gives light to the prophets in the two aforesaid ways, sometimes without clouds, as here.
Et ad hoc adduci potest quod dicitur 2. Regum 6. Quam gloriosus fuit hodie Rex Israel, discooperiens se ante ancillas servorum suorum, et nudatus est. To support this one could include what is said in 2 Kings 6. How glorious was the King of Israel today, uncovering himself before the handmaids of servants, and he was naked.
Et quia per eam nos invitat ad gloriam, Psalm. 149. Gloria haec est omnibus sanctis eius, bene praemittitur, Quam gloriosus etc.. And because through this he invites us to glory, Psalm 149. This glory belongs to all his saints, it is well said before this, How glorious etc.
Patet ergo materia huius operis, quia de omni opere Domini. Therefore the material of this work is clear, that it is about every work of the Lord.
Modus, quia deprecativus, et laudativus. Finis, quia ut elevati coniungamur Excelso et Sancto. Auctor, quia ipse Spiritus Sanctus hoc revelans. The mode, that it is deprecative and laudative. The end purpose, that we are raised to be joined to the most High and Holy One. The author, that he is the Holy Spirit that reveals this.
Sed antequam ad litteram veniamus, circa hunc librum tria in generali consideranda sunt. Primo de translatione huius operis. Secundo de modo exponendi. Tertio de eius distinctione. But before we come to the text, three things concerning this book must be considered in general. First, about the translation of this work. Second, about the mode of exposition. Third, about the distinction of the work.
Translationes sunt tres. Una a principio Ecclesiae tempore Apostolorum; et haec vitiata erat tempore Hieronymi propter scriptores. Unde ad preces Damasi Papae Hieronymus Psalterium correxit, et hoc legitur in Italia. There are three translations. One comes from the beginning of the Church at the time of the apostles, and this one was corrupted in the time of Jerome by copyists. Hence, at the request of Pope Damasius, Jerome corrected the Psalter, and this is the one read in Italy.
Sed quia haec translatio discordabat Graeco, transtulit rursus Hieronymus ad preces Paulae de Graeco in Latinum; et hoc Damasius Papa fecit cantari in Francia, et concordat de verbo ad verbum cum Graeco. But because this translation disagreed with the Greek version, Jerome again translated it at the request of Paul from Greek to Latin, and Pope Damasius ordered that this version be sung in France, and it agrees word for word with the Greek.
Post quidam Sophronius aliquando disputans cum Iudaeis, cum dicerent Iudaei aliqua non sic se habere, sicut ex secunda translatione Psalterii introducerat, dictus Sophronius rogavit Hieronymum, ut Psalterium de Hebraeo in Latinum transferret. Cuius petitioni annuit Hieronymus, quae trnaslatio concordat omnino cum Hebraeo; sed non cantatur in aliqua Ecclesia, habetur tamen a multis. Afterwards, a certain Sophronius was once disputing with the Jews, when the Jews said that some things were not as he cited them from the second translation of the Psalter, and this Sophronius asked Jerome to translate the Psalter from Hebrew to Latin. Jerome agreed to his request, and this translation agrees completely with the Hebrew; but it is not sung in any Church, although many own a copy.
Circa modum exponendi sciendum est, quod tam in Psalterio quam in aliis Prophetiis exponendis evitare debemus unum errorem damnatum in quinta Synodo. Regarding the mode of exposition, it should be known that in expounding upon the Psalter, as in other prophecies, we should avoid an error that was condemned in the Fifth Synod.
Theodorus enim Mopsuestenus dixit, quod in Sacra Scriptura, et prophetiis nihil expresse dicitur de Christo, sed de quidbusdam aliis rebus; sed adaptaverunt Christo: sicut illud Psalm 21. Diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea etc. non de Christo, sed ad litteram dicitur de David. Theodorus Mopsuestenus said that in Sacred Scripture and the prophecies nothing is explicitly said about Christ, but about certain other things; but they accomodated it to Christ: as Psalm 21. They divided my garments among them. is not said of Christ, but of David as according to the text.
Hic autem modus damnatus est in illo Concilio, et qui afferit sic exponendas Scripturas, haereticus est. This mode is condemned in that Council, and he who says Scriptures are so to be expounded is a heretic.
Beatus ergo Hieronymus super Ezech. tradidit nobis unam regulam, quam servabimus in Psalmis; scilicet quod sic sunt exponendae de rebus gestis, ut figurantibus aliquid de Christo, vel Ecclesia. Ut enim dicitur I. Cor. 10. Omnia in figura contingebant illis. Blessed Jerome therefore expounding on Ezechial passed on to us a rule that we will observe in the Psalms; namely, that events are to be expounded as prefiguring something about Christ or the Church. As indeed it says in I Cor. 10. Everything happened to them as a prefigurement.
Prophetiae autem aliquando dicuntur de rebus quae tunc temporis erant, sed non principaliter dicuntur de eis, sed inquantum figura sunt futurorum; et ideo Spiritus Sanctus ordinavit quod quando talia dicuntur, inferantur quaedam quae excedunt conditionem illius rei gestae, ut animus elevetur ad figuratum. Prophecies however sometimes are said of things which were of the time then, but are not principally said of those things, but insofar as they are a figure of future things; and therefore the Holy Spirit ordained that when such things were said, we should infer things that excede the condition of the event, so that our attention might be raised to that which is prefigured.
Sicut in Daniele multa dicuntur de Antiocha in figura Antichristo; unde ibi quaedam leguntur quae non sunt in eo completa, implebuntur autem in Antichristo; sicut etiam aliqua de Regno David et Salomonis leguntur quae non erant implenda in talium hominum Regno, sed impleta fuere in Regno Christi, in cuius figura dicta sunt, sicut Psalm. vi. Deus iudicium etc., qui est secundum titulum de Regno David et Salomonis; et aliquid ponit in eo quod excedit facultatem ipsius, scilicet: Orietur in diebus eius iustitia, et abundantia pacis, donec auferatur luna: et iterum: Dominabitur a mari usque ad mare, et a flumine usque ad terminos etc. Just as in Daniel many things are said of Antioch as a prefigurement of the Antichrist, so there some things are said which were not fulfilled in Antioch, but will be fulfilled in the Antichrist; so also some we read some things about Kingdom of David and Solomon which were not to be fulfilled in the reign of those men, but were fulfilled in the reign of Christ, of whom those things are a figure, as in Psalm vi God, judgment etc., which is according to the title about the reign of David and Solomon; and something is set forth that exceeds the power of David, namely In his days Justice will arise, and abundance of peace, until the moon fails: and again: He will rule from sea to sea, from the river to the ends etc.
Exponitur ergo psalmus iste de Regno Salomonis, inquantum est figura Regni Christi in quo omnia complebuntur ibi dicta. This psalm, then, is explained as being about the kingdom of Solomon, insofar as it is a symbol of the Kingdom of Christ in which all the things said there will be fulfilled.
Distinctio autem prima est quod sunt centum quinquaginta Psalmi; et competit mysterio, quia componitur numerus iste ex 70 et 80. Per 7 a quo denominatur 70, significatur decursus huius temporis, quod peragitur septem diebus; per 8 vero, a quo denominatur 80, status futurae vitae. The first distinction is that there are one hundred and fifty psalms; et this is a mystery, because this number is composed of 70 and 80. By 7, from which 70 is named, the course of this time is signified, which is carried out in seven days; by 8, from which 80 is named, the state of the future life.
Octava enim secundum Glossam est resurgentium; et significat quod in hoc libro tractantur ea quae pertinent ad decursum praesentis vitae, et gloriam futurae. For the number eight according to the Gloss concerns those who rise from the dead; and it signifies that in this book there is a treatment of those things that pertain to the course of the present life, and to future glory.
Item per septem significatur vetus testamentum. Patres namque veteris testamenti septenario serviebant: observabant enim septimum diem, septimam septimanam, septimum mensem, et septimum annum septimae decadis, qui dicitur Iubileus. Again, by seven the old testament is signified. The fathers of the old testament observed that which is seventh: they observed the seventh day, the seventh week, the seventh month, and the seventh year of the seventh decade, which is called the Jubilee.
Per octo vero significatur novum testamentum: celebramus enim diem octavum, scilicet diem Dominicum propter solemnitatem dominicae resurrectionis; et in hoc libro continentur mysteria veteris et novi testamenti. By eight the new testament is signified: we celebrate the eighth day, namely the Lord's Day, on account of the solemnity of the Lord's resurrection; and in this book are contained the mysteries of the old and new testament.
Secunda distinctio est secundum quosdam qui dicebant, quod Psalterium dividitur in quinque libros per quinque Psalmorum distinctiones, quae fiunt per Fiat, fiat, vel Amen, amen. Et in hoc notatur finis libri cuiuslibet secundum eos; et hoc est primo in Psalmo 40 Beatus qui intelligit. The second distinction is according to those who said that the Psalter is divided into five books by the five distinctions of the Psalms, which happen by So be it! So be it! or Amen, amen. And in this phrase the end of each book is marked according to them, and this is seen first in Psalm 40 Blessed he who understands.
Item in 71, Deus iudicium tuum. Item in 88. Misericordias Domini. Item in 106. scilicet in secundo Confitemini; et sunt quinque libri. Sed haec distinctio non est apud Hebraeos, sed pro uno libro habetur: Act. 1. Sicut scriptum est in libro Psalmorum: Fiat commoratio etc. Again in 71, Lord, your judgement. Again in 88. The Mercies of the Lord. Again in 106, namely in the second Let us confess; and there are five books. But this distinction is not held among the Hebrews, but it is regarded as one book: Acts 1. As it is written in the book of the Psalms: Let his encampment....
Quod autem dicit, Fiat, fiat, vel Amen, amen, non refertur ad finem libri, quia in aliis libris multoties hoc ponitur, nec est finis libri. When it says So be it, so be it, or Amen, amen, this does not refer to the end of the book, because in other books this phrase often appears, and not at the end of the book.
Tertio distinctio est, quia Psalmi distinguuntur in tres quinquagenas: et haec distinctio comprehendit triplicem statum populi fidelis: scilicet statum poenitentiae; et ad hunc ordinatur prima quinquagena, quae finitur in Miserere mei Deus, qui est Psalmus poenitentiae. Secunda iustitiae; et haec consistit in iudicio, et finitur in Psalmo 100, Misericordiam, et iudicium. Tertia laudem gloriae concludit aeternae, et ideo finitur, Omnis spiritus laudet Dominum. The third distinction is that the Psalms are distinguished into three groups of fifty: and this distinction takes in the three fold state of the faithful people: namely the state of penitence; and to this the first fifty are ordered, which conclude in Have mercy on me, O God, which is the Psalm of penitence. The second concerns justice, and this consists in iudgement, and concludes in Psalm 100, Mercy, and justice. The third concludes the praise of eternal glory, and so it ends with May every spirit praise the Lord.
Sed circa ordinem psalmorum sciendum est, quod psalmi quidam tangunt historias, sed non sunt ordinati secundum ordinem historiae. Nam Diligam te Domine, pertinet ad historiam Saulis; sed Domine, quid multiplicati sunt, ad historiam pertinet Absalonis, et haec est posterior: unde aliquid aliud significant praeter historiam tantum. But regarding the order of the psalms, it should be known that some psalms concern histories but are not ordered according to the order ofhistory. The psalm I love you, Lord concerns the history of Saul; but Lord, how they are increased in number pertains to the history of Absolom, and this comes after: hence they signify something else other than history alone.
Prima ergo quinquagena pertinet ad statum poenitentiae, et ideo figuraliter tractatur in ea de tribulationibus, et impugnationibus David, et liberatione eius. Et ut divisio fiat secundum litteram, David in Regno suo existens contra duplicem impugnationem, vel persecutionem orat. Primo contra eam quae fuit contra totum populum Dei; et hoc in quinta decade Psalm. 41. Quemadmodum desiderat cervus ad fontem aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus. The first group of fifty concerns the state of penitence, and therefore figuratively treats of things about Davids tribulations, attacks upon him, and his liberation. So that the division might be textual, David while in his reign prays against a twofold attack or persection. First, against that which is against the entire people of God; and this is in the fifth group of ten, Psalm. 41 As a hind yearns for a spring of water, so my soul yearns for you, God.
Universaliter autem iustus in persona sua dupliciter affligitur. Quandoque a temporaliter persequentibus, quandoque ab aliquibus iniuste viventibus. 2. Pet. 2. Animam iusti iniquis operibus cruciabant. Psalm. 118. Defectio renuit me etc. The just man is everywhere afflicted in his own person in two ways. Sometimes by those who persecute him in the temporal order, sometimes by those who live unjustly. 2. Pet. 2 They tormented the soul of the just man by their evil works. Psalm 118. Rebellion refused me etc..
Et ideo primo ponit psalmos pertinentes as primam persecutionem David, secundum quod significat aliquid contra Christum, et Ecclesiam. Secundo, ad secundam tribulationem pertinentes, in quarta decade, Psalm. 31. Beati quorum remissa sunt iniquitates. And first therefore he puts those psalms pertaining to the first persecution of David, according to how they signify something against Christ, and the Church. Second, pertaining to the second tribulation, in the fourth group of ten, Psalm 31. Blessed those whose iniquities have been remitted.
Item David in Regno suo existens duplicem tribulationem passus est, quia a specialibus personis, et a toto populo. Primo ergo ponuntur Psalmi contra primam. Secundo psalmi in quibus orat contra secundam, et hoc in tertia decade (Ps. 21), scilicet Deus, Deus. Again, while David was in his reign he suffered a twofold tribulation, because he suffered from special persons, and from the entire people. First, there are the psalms against the first tribulation. Second, the psalms in which he praises against the second tribulation, and this is in the third group of ten (Ps. 21), namely God, God.
A specialibus autem personis duabus persecutionem passus est, scilicet ab Absolone, et Saule. Et per hoc significatur persecutio quam sancti patiuntur vel a domesticis vel ab extraneis: sic Christus passus est a Iuda, et a Iudaeis. Primo ergo ponuntur Psalmi contra primum; secundo contra secundum, et hoc in secunda decade, Psal. 11. Salvum me fac, Domine, quoniam defecit sanctus, quoniam diminuta sunt veritates a filiis hominum. Primo ergo agendum est de prima decade, in qua praemittitur Psalmus iste, scilicet Beatus vir etc. He suffered persecution from two special persons, namely from Absolom and from Saul. By this is signified the persecution which the saints suffer either from those of their own household or from outsiders: so Christ suffered from Judas, and from theJews. First, there are the psalms against the first thing; second, against the second, and this is in the second group of ten, Psalm 11. Save me, Lord, because the holy man has failed, because truths have become few from among the sons of men. First, therefore, it is a question of the first group of ten, in which in the first place is the Psalm that starts with Blessed the man.

Hugh McDonald
(hyoomik@vaxxine.com)

Latin Text according to the Venice Edition of MDCCLXXV



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