Saturday, January 29, 2011

Psalm 86 - Versions and Notes

Sometimes I do a little Scripture study...

Psalm 86 (87 according to the Hebrew) caught my attention at Sext on Friday; it put me in mind of the Anglicans now coming into full communion.

Herewith, various versions of the psalm, then my notes thereon, culled from various sources:

Psalm 86 (87)

Vulgate (the Gallican Psalter, based on the Greek of the Septuagint):

1a Filiis Core. Psalmus cantici.

1b Fundamenta ejus in montibus sanctis: * 2 diligit Dominus portas Sion super omnia tabernacula Jacob.
3 Gloriosa dicta sunt de te, * civitas Dei.
4a Memor ero Rahab, et Babylonis * scientium me.
4b Ecce alienigenæ, et Tyrus, et populus Æthiopum, * hi fuerunt illic.
5 Numquid Sion dicet: Homo † et homo natus est in ea: * et ipse fundavit eam Altissimus?
6 Dominus narrabit in scripturis populorum, et principum: * horum, qui fuerunt in ea.
7 Sicut lætantium omnium * habitatio est in te.

Neo-Vulgate (a modern correction of the Vulgate by reference to the Hebrew &c.):

1 Filiorum Core.  Psalmus.  Canticum.

Fundamenta ejus in montibus sanctis;
2 diligit Dominus portas Sion super omnia tabernacula Jacob.
3 Gloriosa dicta sunt de te, civitas Dei! —
4 Memor ero Rahab et Babylonis inter scientes me; ecce Philistæa et Tyrus cum Æthiopia: hi nati sunt illic.
5 Et de Sion dicetur: « Hic et ille natus est in ea; et ipse fundavit eam Altissimus ».
6 Dominus referet in librum populorum: « Hi nati sunt illic ».
7 Et cantant sicut choros ducentes: « Omnes fontes mei in te ».

Douay-Rheims (rendering the Vulgate):

[1a] For the sons of Core, a psalm of a canticle.

[1b] The foundations thereof are in the holy mountains: * [2] The Lord loveth the gates of Sion above all the tabernacles of Jacob.
[3] Glorious things are said of thee, * O city of God.
[4a] I will be mindful of Rahab and of Babylon * knowing me.
[4b] Behold the foreigners, and Tyre, and the people of the Ethiopians, * these were there.
[5] Shall not Sion say: This man † and that man is born in her? * and the Highest himself hath founded her.
[6] The Lord shall tell in his writings of peoples and of princes, * of them that have been in her.
[7] The dwelling in thee is * as it were of all rejoicing.  [NB reversing the Latin]

Greek Orthodox Translation from the LXX (Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, 1997):

A Canticle Psalm, for the Sons of Kore.

His foundations are in the holy mountains; the Lord loveth the gates of Sion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.
I will make mention of Raab and Babylon to them that know me.
And lo, the foreigners and Tyre and the people of the Ethiopians, these were born there.
A man will say: Mother Sion; and: That man was born in her; and: The Most High Himself hath founded her.
The Lord shall tell it in the writ of the peoples and the princes, even these that were born in her.
How joyous are all they that have their habitation in thee.

Prayer Book Version (lying somewhere between the Vulgate and the Hebrew):

Psalm 87. Fundamenta ejus

HER foundations are upon the holy hills : the Lord loveth the gates of Sion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
2. Very excellent things are spoken of thee : thou city of God.
3. I will think upon Rahab and Babylon : with them that know me.
4. Behold ye the Philistines also : and they of Tyre, with the Morians; lo, there was he born.
5. And of Sion it shall be reported that he was born in her : and the most High shall stablish her.
6. The Lord shall rehearse it when he writeth up the people : that he was born there.
7. The singers also and trumpeters shall he rehearse : All my fresh springs shall be in thee.

Revised Standard Version (from the Hebrew):

A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.  A Song.

[1] On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
[2] The Lord loves the gates of Sion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
[3] Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God.  Selah
[4] Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon; behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia — “This one was born there,” they say.
[5] And of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”; for the Most High himself will establish her.
[6] The Lord records as he registers the peoples, “This one was born there.”  Selah
[7] Singers and dancers alike say, “All my springs are in you.”

Notes on Psalm 86 (culled from various sources)

Seven verses – the number of perfection.

The seventh verse describes the perfect joy of heaven.

Triple praise of God’s city: “in the holy mountains… gates* of Sion… city of God… Sion” [*gates, a Hebraism for the city itself]

Fivefold category: “Rahab… Babylon… alienigenæ [MT: Philistia]… Tyre… Ethiopians”
Plus two more – sevenfold: “Homo et homo
Plus two more – eightfold, ninefold: “peoples… princes [the latter, LXX & Vulg. only]”

Three titles of the Deity: the Lord… (of) God… the Highest / Most High… the Lord

The foundations on the holy hills are the Apostles and Prophets, and Christ Jesus Himself the chief foundation stone (Eph 2:20); the gates, likewise the Apostles (Rev 21:12) and Christ Himself the Gate.  Twelve, three facing each of the cardinal points, for entrance is only by Triune baptism.

Rahab was a converted prostitute, saved alone out of Jericho (that is, the sinful world) with all her house.

Babylon, the type of the city of this world – for even Babylon can be converted and made Jerusalem.

The Church gathered from the nations exclaims in amazement: these are all my children, born of me!

All the nations of the Fertile Crescent: Egypt, called Rahab elsewhere in Scripture (Ps 88:10; Is 30:7); Babylon; Tyre, standing for all Phoenicia; Philistia; and faroff Ethiopia, south of Egypt.

Greek MSS have “Mother Sion” – St Paul alludes to this in Gal 4:26, “Jerusalem which is our mother”.

Sion shall be the mother and city of all peoples, reborn as her adopted children, recorded by the Lord in his register as her citizens.

“Princes” (MSS and versions) = “singers” (Text. Rec.) “dancing there”, lit. “as dancers” – i.e. the nations, made citizens, are permitted to sing and dance in the liturgy.

Use of Psalm 86 in the Breviary:

Since 1912, as the third psalm at Friday Sext.

On feasts of the Dedication, of Our Lady, of Virgin(s) and of non-Virgin(s), as the third psalm in the second Nocturn of Matins.
Brev. S.O.P.:
Aña.  Erit mihi Dominus in Deum, et lapis iste vocabitur domus Dei.  T.P.  Alleluja.  (Comm. Ded. Eccl.)
Aña.  Veniat dilectus meus in hortum suum, ut comedat fructum pomorum suorum.  (Comm. B.M.V.)
Aña.  Læva ejus sub capite meo, et dextera illius amplexabitur me.  (Comm. V. & n-V.)

Most Holy Name of Jesus – third psalm in second Nocturn:
Aña.  Omnes gentes, quascumque fecisti, venient et adorabunt coram te, Domine: et glorificabunt nomen tuum.

Circumcision (Octave Day of Christmas) – third psalm in second Nocturn of Matins:
Aña.  Homo natus est in ea, et ipse fundavit eam Altissimus.  (Ps 86:5b)
Similarly, in Epiphanytide – first psalm in third Nocturn of Matins, apart from on the Epiphany itself (so on the Octave Day):
Aña.  Homo natus est in ea, et ipse fundavit eam Altissimus.  (Ps 86:5b)

In the (Roman) Little Office, as the third psalm at Matins on Tuesday and Friday:
Aña.  Sicut lætantium omnium nostrum habitatio est in te, sancta Dei Genitrix.  (Ps 86:7 plus underlined words)

Use of Ps 86 in the Monastic Breviary:

Friday Matins, second psalm in first Nocturn (said together with Ps 85).

On feasts of the Dedication, of Our Lady, of Virgin(s) and of non-Virgin(s), as the second psalm in the second Nocturn of Matins.  Brev. Mon.:
Aña. Non est hic aliud, nisi domus Dei et porta cæli.  (Comm. Ded. Eccl.)
Aña.  Sicut lætantium omnium nostrum habitatio est in te, sancta Dei Genitrix.  (Comm. B.M.V.)
Aña.  Trahe me post te, in odorem curremus unguentorum tuorum; oleum effusum nomen tuum.  (Comm. V. & n-V.)

Circumcision and Epiphany – second psalm in second Nocturn of Matins:
Aña.  Homo natus est in ea, et ipse fundavit eam Altissimus.  (Ps 86:5b)

Most Holy Name of Jesus – sixth psalm in first Nocturn:
Aña.  Omnes gentes, quascumque fecisti,venient, et adorabunt coram te, Domine, et glorificabunt nomen tuum.

Anglican Use of Psalm 87 (1662 BCP):

The second of three psalms at Morning Prayer on the 17th of each month.

4 comments:

Pr Mark Henderson said...

Joshua,
Good to see you study holy scripture. You must look into 'Romans' sometime.
Kind regards.

Joshua said...

Very droll, Pastor, very droll!

I endured studying Romans under Fr Brendan Byrne, S.J.; unfortunately, the way Scripture is taught at tertiary level these days, with much use of every sort of criticism, completely put me off.

In any case, Lutherans preferring Romans is at least attractive and sensible - unlike the case of a Calvinist I knew, whose favourite book was Leviticus!

Joshua said...

Somehow, I managed to delete my post when editing it; I have replaced it, but may have left off some of the points I originally included. My bad.

Kate said...

Thanks for this Joshua, very useful.