The persecuted Church
First enemy of the kingdom: persecutor of Christians
This Psalm is a plea against evil enemies; the
Christian at prayer applies the Psalm to the Church persecuted by the powers
of hell. The enemy is the devil, and we pray that he will be
completely overcome. Understood in this setting, the curses can all be
taken at face value. Still, the Church has pity on all men who work as
tools of the devil; she prays for their conversion. The sufferings of
Christ and his unjust persecution by the Jews can serve as illustration of
Call to arms
nocéntes me, * expúgna impugnántes me.
2 Apprehénde arma et scutum: * et exsúrge in adjutórium mihi.
3 Effúnde frámeam, et conclúde advérsus eos, qui persequúntur me: *
dic ánimæ meæ: Salus tua ego sum.
Judge thou, O Lord, them that
wrong me, * and fight thou against them
that fight against me.
2 Lay hand upon the shield and buckler, * and rise up to help
3 Bring forth the sword, and stop the way against them that
persecute me: * say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
Plea for protection and punishment
4 Confundántur et revereántur, * quæréntes
5 Avertántur retrórsum, et confundántur * cogitántes mihi mala.
6 Fiant tamquam pulvis ante fáciem venti: * et Angelus Dómini
7 Fiat via illórum ténebræ et lúbricum: * et Angelus Dómini
8 Quóniam gratis abscondérunt mihi intéritum láquei sui: *
supervácue exprobravérunt ánimam meam.
9 Véniat illi láqueus, quem ignórat: et cáptio, quam abscóndit,
apprehéndat eum: * et in láqueum cadat in ipsum.
10 Anima autem mea exsultábit in Dómino: * et delectábitur super
11 Omnia ossa mea dicent: * Dómine, quis símilis tibi?
12 Erípiens ínopem de manu fortiórum ejus: * egénum et páuperem
a diripiéntibus eum.
4 Let them be confounded, and put to shame,
* that seek after my soul.
5 Let them be turned back, and brought to
confusion, * that devise mischief for me.
6 Let them be as the dust before the wind, * and let the Angel of
the Lord straiten them.
7 Let their way be dark and slippery, * and let the Angel of
the Lord persecute them.
8 For they have privily laid their net to destroy me without a
cause; * yea, even without a cause have they made a pit for my soul.
9 Let the snare which he knoweth not come upon him, and his net
that he hath laid privily catch himself; * that he may fall into his own
10 But my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; * it shall rejoice in
11 All my bones shall say, * Lord, who is like unto thee?
12 Who deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him; * yea, the poor
and the needy, from him that spoileth him.
Complaint against their evil
testes iníqui, * quæ ignorábam interrogábant me.
14 Retribuébant mihi mala pro bonis: * sterilitátem ánimæ meæ.
15 Ego autem cum mihi molésti essent, * induébar cilício.
16 Humiliábam in jejúnio ánimam meam: * et orátio mea in sinu
17 Quasi próximum, et quasi fratrem nostrum, sic complacébam: *
quasi lugens et contristátus, sic humiliábar.
18 Et advérsum me lætáti sunt, et convenérunt: * congregáta sunt
super me flagélla, et ignorávi.
19 Dissipati sunt, nec compúncti, tentavérunt me, subsannavérunt me
subsannatióne: * frenduérunt super me déntibus suis.
20 Dómine, quando respícies? * restítue ánimam meam a malignitáte
eórum, a leónibus únicam meam.
13 False witnesses did rise up: * they laid
to my charge things that I knew not.
14 They rewarded me evil for good, * to the great discomfort of
15 Nevertheless, when they were troublesome to me, * I put on sackcloth.
16 I humbled my soul with fasting; * and my prayer shall turn into mine own
17 I behaved myself as though it had been my friend or my
brother; * as one mourning and sorrowful so was I humbled.
18 But they rejoiced against me, and gathered themselves
together; * yea, scourges came together upon me, and I knew it not.
19 They were scattered, and repented not, they tempted me, and
scoffed at me with scorn, * they gnashed upon me
with their teeth.
20 Lord, when wilt thou look upon me? * O deliver my
soul from their malice, and my only one from the
Renewed plea for protection and
tibi in ecclésia magna, * in pópulo gravi laudábo te.
22 Non supergáudeant mihi qui adversántur mihi iníque: * qui odérunt
me gratis et ánnuunt óculis.
23 Quóniam mihi quidem pacífice loquebántur: * et in iracúndia
terræ loquéntes, dolos cogitábant.
24 Et dilatavérunt super me os suum: * dixérunt: Euge, euge,
vidérunt óculi nostri.
25 Vidísti, Dómine, ne síleas: * Dómine, ne discédas a me.
26 Exsúrge et inténde judício meo: * Deus meus, et Dóminus meus in
27 Júdica me secúndum justítiam tuam, Dómine, Deus meus, * et non
28 Non dicant in córdibus suis: Euge, euge, ánimæ nostræ: * nec
dicant: Devorávimus eum.
29 Erubéscant et revereántur simul, * qui gratulántur malis meis.
30 Induántur confusióne et reveréntia * qui magna loquúntur
31 Exsúltent et læténtur qui volunt justítiam meam: * et dicant
semper: Magnificétur Dóminus qui volunt pacem servi ejus.
21 So will I give thee thanks in the great
congregation; * I will praise thee among much people.
22 O let not them that are mine enemies triumph over me
ungodly; * that hate me without a cause, and wink with their eyes.
23 For they spoke indeed peaceably to me ; * and speaking in
the anger of the earth, they have imagined deceit.
24 They gaped upon me with their mouths, and said, * Fie on
thee! fie on thee! we saw it with our eyes.
25 This thou hast seen, O Lord, hold not thy tongue; * O Lord,
depart not from me.
26 Arise, and be attentive to my judgment : * avenge thou my
cause, my God, and my Lord.
27 Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness; *
and let them not triumph over me.
28 Let them not say in their hearts, There! there! to our soul: * neither let them say, We have devoured him.
29 Let them be put to confusion and shame together, that
rejoice at my trouble.
30 Let them be clothed with confusion and shame, * that
boast themselves against me.
31 Let them be glad and rejoice, that favour my righteous
dealing : * yea, let them say alway, The Lord be magnified, who hath pleasure in
the peace of his servant.
32 Et lingua mea meditábitur justítiam tuam, * tota die laudem tuam.
32 And as for my tongue, it shall be talking of thy
righteousness, * and of thy praise all the day long.