Vel est aqua sapientiae sacrae doctrinae; quae quidem et est cibus, quia confortat; et aqua, quia refrigerat: Eccl. 15: aqua sapientiae salutaris potavit illum.
Or it is the water of the wisdom of sacred doctrine, which indeed is a food, because it strengthens, and water, because it refreshes. She shall give him the water of wholesome wisdom to drink (Sir 15:3).
Animam meam convertit. Hic est effectus pascuae, quia animam meam convertit. Vel dicit, quae sint haec pascua; quia conversio animae.
He has converted my soul. This is the effect of feeding: that he has converted my soul. Or, he says that these are pastures because of the conversion of soul.
Est autem duplex effectus spiritualis doctrinae.
Now there are two effects of spiritual teaching.
Primus est interior, in conversione animae ad Deum, quando totaliter se a rebus mundi trahit. Ps. 18: lex domini immaculata convertens animas, testimonium et cetera. Et conversio fit virtute Dei. Thren. ult.: converte nos domine ad te.
The first is interior, in the conversion of the soul to God, which completely draws one away from the things of this world. The law of the Lord is unspotted, converting souls: the testimony of the Lord is faithful, giving wisdom to little ones (Ps 18:8). And conversion comes about by the power of God. Convert us, O Lord, to you, and we shall be converted (Lam 5:21).
Alius effectus est exterior, ut opera exteriora exequatur; unde dicit: deduxit me super semitas justitiae; haec autem sunt bona opera. Isa. 40: rectas facite semitas Dei nostri.
Another effect is exterior, that he accomplish exterior works, so he says, he has led me on the paths of justice; now these are good works. Make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God (Isa 40:3).
Vel semitae sunt consilia. Prov. 4: deducam te per semitas aequitatis; et hoc, propter nomen tuum, id est gloriam nominis tui. Ps. 78: propter gloriam nominis tui libera nos.
Or the paths are counsels: I will lead you by the paths of equity (Prov 4:11). And this is for his own name’s sake, that is, the glory of your name. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us (Ps 78:9).
204. Nam. Hic ponit beneficia contra mala.
204. For though I should walk. Here he describes the favors against evil:
Et primo in generali;
first in general,
secundo in speciali, ibi, virga tua.
second in particular, at your rod and your staff.
Et loquitur ad similitudinem hominis euntis per loca periculosa, cui necesse est securitas; et haec beneficia ponit hic, nam et si ambulavero in medio umbrae mortis, non timebo mala, quoniam tu mecum es, tamquam dux et protector; et sic securus ero.
And he speaks using the image of a man going through a dangerous place who needs security, and he describes this blessing here: for though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils, for you are with me, as a leader and protector, and I will be safe.
Umbra mortis dicitur praesens tribulatio: est enim umbra praesagium corporis subsequentis. Col. 2: lex umbra futurorum, corpus autem Christi; sic tribulatio est quasi mortis indicium.
The shadow of death is said about present tribulation, for a shadow is a sign of a body which is coming. The law is a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ (Col 2:17), so tribulation is like an indicator of death.
In medio, id est in intimo sive vehementia tribulationis. Ps. 137. Si ambulavero in medio tribulationis vivificabis me et cetera.
In the midst, that is, in deep or intense tribulation. If I shall walk in the midst of tribulation, you will quicken me (Ps 137:7).
Sed umbra mortis dicitur praesentis vita caligine peccatorum obscura. Job 3: occupet eum caligo et cetera.
But the shadow of death is said about the present life, obscured by the mist of sin. Let a mist overspread it (Job 3:5).
Vel umbra mortis dicuntur facta haereticorum portantium in se imaginem Diaboli. Job 28: lapidem caliginis et umbram mortis dividit torrens et cetera.
Or the shadow of death is said about the deeds of heretics who bear in themselves the image of the devil. The flood divides that stone in the dark and the shadow of death (Job 28:3–4).
Dicitur autem umbra mortis, quod non infert malum Deo praesente. Job 17: pone me juxta te et cetera. Isa. 43: cum transieris per aquas, tecum ero, ne flumina operiant te: cum ambulaveris in igne, non combureris.
Now it is called the shadow of death because it cannot bring about evil while God is present. Set me beside you and let any man’s hand fight against me (Job 17:3). When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and the rivers shall not cover you. When you walk in the fire, you shall not be burnt (Isa 43:2).
Sed praeter dictam securitatem ponit tria beneficia quae Deus facit in eis.
Now, in addition to what has been said about security, he describes three favors which God causes in them.
Primo sustentat: unde dicit, virga tua et baculus tuus.
First, he sustains them, so it says, your rod and your staff, they have comforted me.
Et hoc potest dupliciter intelligi.
And this can be understood in two ways.
Uno modo, ut per virgam intelligamus directionem viae. Ps. 44: virga directionis, virga regni tui. Per baculum intelligamus sustentaculum. Tob. 5: baculum senectutis nostrae.
In one way, we understand the direction of the path through the rod. The rod of your kingdom is a rod of uprightness (Ps 44:7). By staff, we understand a prop. The staff of our old age (Tob 5:23).
Littera Hieronymi habet, fulcimentum: quasi dicat, ostensio et sustentatio ipsa me consolata sunt; id est dederunt mihi consolationem in via. 2 Cor. 1: Deus totius consolationis qui consolatur nos.
The text of Jerome has, support, as if to say, your showing and sustaining have comforted me, that is, they have brought me consolation along the way. The God of all consolation who comforts us (2 Cor 1:3–4).
Alio modo, ut exponatur hoc pertinere ad correctionem, quia virga fit correctio. Prov. 13: qui parcit virgae et cetera. Et baculus tuus, scilicet senioris disciplinae; quasi dicat. Mitis et dura correctio tua dedit mihi consolationem: Prov. 3: quem diligit corripit, et quasi pater in filio complacet sibi.
In another way, this can be explained as referring to correction, since a rod is used to correct. He who spares the rod hates his son (Prov 13:24). And he says, your staff, namely, the discipline of one who is older, as if to say, “Your correction, mild and harsh, has given me consolation.” Whom he loves, he chastises, and as a father he is pleased in his son (Prov 3:12).
Quantum ad secundum dicit, parasti in conspectu meo mensam, duplicis quidem doctrinae. Prov. 9: proposuit mensam, misit ancillas suas vocare ad arcem: ubi sunt diversa fercula, scilicet diversa documenta spiritualia. Et hoc, in conspectu meo, (quia) in lege meditatur die ac nocte, Ps. 1.
In regard to the second favor which God causes in them, he says, you have prepared a table before me, indeed of a double teaching. She has set forth her table, she has sent her maids to invite to the tower (Prov 9:2–3), where there are various dishes, namely, the different spiritual writings. And this is before me because on his law he shall meditate day and night (Ps 1:2).
Vel mensam sacramentalem, scilicet altaris.
Or it is the sacramental table, that is, the altar.
Triplex enim mensa legitur in sacra Scriptura.
For three tables are written about in Scripture.
Prima est mensa veteris legis. Exod. 25: facies mensam de lignis setim: et pones super mensam panes propositionis.
First is the table of the Old Law. You shall make the table of setim wood, and set upon the table the loaves of proposition (Exod 25:23, 30).
Alia est novi testamenti. 1 Cor. 10: non potestis mensae domini esse participes, et mensae Daemoniorum; et haec mensa fuit res et figura.
Another is that of the New Testament. You cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord and of the table of devils (1 Cor 10:21), and this table was the reality and the figure.
Tertia mensa est in patria. Luc. 22: ego dispono vobis regnum, ut edatis et bibatis super mensam meam in regno meo.
The third table is in the fatherland: I give to you a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table, in my kingdom (Luke 22:29–30).
Et utraque mensa pugnamus contra inimicos nostros; unde dicit, adversus eos qui tribulant me; quia per mensam, quae est sacra Scriptura, expellimus tentationes. Eph. ult.: in omnibus sumentes scutum fidei, in quo possitis omnia tela nequissimi ignea extinguere. Item corpus Christi contra inimicos tuetur, ut dicit Chrysostomus super Joan.:
And at both of these tables we fight against our enemies, so he says, against those who afflict me, since through the table, which is Sacred Scripture, we expel temptations. In all things taking the shield of faith, whereby you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one (Eph 6:16). Also, the body of Christ protects against enemies, as Chrysostom says.
impinguasti in oleo, id est laetitia, caput meum.
You have anointed my head with oil, that is, with joy.
Hoc autem per duo signatur,
Now two things are expressed here:
scilicet per oleum inungens,
the anointing with oil
et vinum inebrians.
and the inebriation of wine.
Et hoc dicit ad similitudinem antiquorum Orientalium qui in festis ungebant capita oleo. Isa. 61: ut daret eis coronam pro cinere, et oleum gaudii pro luctu.
This is said using an image from the ancient Eastern people who anointed their heads with oil at feasts. To give them a crown in place of ashes, the oil of joy in place of mourning (Isa 61:3).
Caput meum, id est Christum, impinguasti, id est replesti abundantissime, oleo spiritualis gratiae, ut ex eo ad nos gratia diffunderetur. 1 Cor. 8: unus dominus Jesus Christus per quem omnia, et nos per ipsum. Ps. 44: unxit te et cetera.
My head, that is, Christ, you have anointed, that is, filled with abundance of the oil of spiritual grace so that grace has flowed to us from him. One Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him (1 Cor 8:6). God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness (Ps 44:8).
Vel, caput meum, id est mentem meam. Matth. 6: tu autem cum jejunas, unge caput tuum, id est mentem oleo, id est spirituali devotione.
Or he says, my head, that is, my mind. But you, when you fast, anoint your head (Matt 6:17), that is, your mind, with oil, that is, with spiritual devotion.
Et calix tuus, vel meus, id est mihi datus, vel tuus, id est a te datus. Hic calix est donum divini amoris qui inebriat: quia ebrius non est in se, nec secundum se loquitur, sed secundum impetum vini; sic ille qui est plenus divino amore, loquitur secundum Deum: est enim in extasim factus. Cant. 5: comedite amici, et inebriamini. Isa. 55: quomodo descendit imber et nix de caelo, et inebriat terram, et germinare eam facit; sic erit verbum quod egredietur de ore meo. Hier. 23: factus sum quasi vir ebrius, et quasi homo madidus vino a facie domini.
And your chalice, which is either mine (that is, the one given to me) or yours, that is, given by you. This chalice is the gift of divine love which inebriates, since as the drunk man is not said to be in himself or acting according to himself but according to the wine, so he who is full of the divine love is said to be acting according to God, for he has been taken out of himself. Eat, O friends, and be inebriated (Song 5:1). As the rain and the snow come down from heaven . . . and inebriate the earth, and make it to spring, . . . so shall my word be, which shall go forth from my mouth (Isa 55:10–11). I am become as a drunken man, and as a man full of wine, at the presence of the Lord (Jer 23:9).