Psalm 49.  Deus deorum
False piety

This highly poetic Psalm uses the form of a divine sermon to teach us that the essence of true piety does not consist in external works, but in interior dedication.  It censures a  spirit of two-faced Pharisaism: external works without interior disposition and pious words without good works.  It was especially in his sermon on the mount that our Lord so explicitly condemned this false piety.  Even today, the Pharisees among us have not all died away.

God comes for judgment

Deus deórum, Dóminus locútus est: * et vocávit terram,
2  A solis ortu usque ad occásum: * ex Sion spécies decóris ejus.
3  Deus maniféste véniet: * Deus noster et non silébit.
4  Ignis in conspéctu ejus exardéscet: * et in circúitu ejus tempéstas válida.
5  Advocábit cælum desúrsum: * et terram discérnere pópulum suum.
6  Congregáte illi sanctos ejus: * qui órdinant testaméntum ejus super sacrifícia.
7  Et annuntiábunt cæli justítiam ejus: * quóniam Deus judex est.

The Lord, even the God of gods, hath spoken, * and he hath called the earth.
2  From the rising up of the sun unto the going down thereof : * out of Sion hath he appeared in perfect beauty.
3  God shall come plainly, * yea, our God shall come, and shall not keep silence.
4  A fire shall consume before him : * and a mighty tempest shall be stirred up round about him.
5  He shall call the heaven from above, * and the earth to judge his people.
6  Gather ye his saints together unto him; * who ordained his covenant above sacrifice.
7  And the heavens shall declare his righteousness; * for God is judge.

God's sentence:  Not external sacrifices, but inner dispositions

8  Audi, pópulus meus, et loquar :  Israël, et testificábor tibi: * Deus, Deus tuus ego sum.
9  Non in sacrifíciis tuis árguam te: * holocáusta autem tua in conspéctu meo sunt semper.
10  Non accípiam de domo tua vítulos: * neque de grégibus tuis hircos.
11  Quóniam meæ sunt omnes feræ silvárum: * juménta in móntibus et boves.
12  Cognóvi ómnia volatília cæli: * et pulchritúdo agri mecum est.
13  Si esuríero, non dicam tibi: * meus est enim orbis terræ, et plenitúdo ejus.
14  Numquid manducábo carnes taurórum? * aut sánguinem hircórum potábo?
15  Immola Deo sacrifícium laudis: * et redde Altíssimo vota tua.
16  Et ínvoca me in die tribulatiónis: * éruam te, et honorificábis me.

8  Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify to thee; * for I am God, even thy God.
9  I will not reprove thee because of thy sacrifices; * but thy burnt-offerings are alway before me.
10  I will take no young bullocks out of thine house, * nor he-goats out of thy flocks.
11  For all the beasts of the forest are mine, * and so are the cattle upon the hills, and the oxen.
12  I know all the fowls of the air, * and with me is the beauty of the field.
13  If I be hungry, I will not tell thee; *  for the whole world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
14  Shall I eat the flesh of bullocks, * or shall I drink the blood of goats?
15  Offer unto God the sacrifice of praise : * and pay thy vows unto the Most Highest.
16  And call upon me in the time of trouble; * I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Not words, but deeds

17  Peccatóri autem dixit Deus: * Quare tu enárras justítias meas, et assúmis testaméntum meum per os tuum?
18  Tu vero odísti disciplínam: * et projecísti sermónes meos retrórsum:
19  Si vidébas furem, currébas cum eo: * et cum adúlteris portiónem tuam ponébas.
20  Os tuum abundávit malítia: * et lingua tua concinnábat dolos.
21  Sedens advérsus fratrem tuum loquebáris, et advérsus fílium matris tuæ ponébas scándalum: * hæc fecísti, et tácui.
22  Existimásti, iníque, quod ero tui símilis: * árguam te, et státuam contra fáciem tuam.

17  But unto the ungodly God hath said : * Why dost thou preach my laws, and take my covenant in thy mouth?
18  Whereas thou hatest discipline, * and hast cast my words behind thee.
19  When thou sawest a thief, thou didst run with him; * and hast been partaker with the adulterers.
20  Thy mouth hath abounded with wickedness, * and with thy tongue thou hast set forth deceit.
21  Sitting thou didst speak against thy brother, yea, and hast slandered thine own mother's son : * these things hast thou done, and I held my tongue.
22  Thou thoughtest unjustly, that I should be like unto thyself; * but I will reprove thee, and set up before thy face.


23  Intellígite hæc, qui obliviscímini Deum: * nequándo rápiat, et non sit qui erípiat.
24  Sacrifícium laudis honorificábit me: * et illic iter, quo osténdam illi salutáre Dei.

23  O consider this, ye that forget God, * lest he pluck you away, and there be none to deliver you.
24  The sacrifice of praise shall glorify me; * and this is the path by which I will shew him the salvation of God.