Monday, December 6, 2010

Dash Thy Little Ones Against the Rock! What?

Taylor Marshall writes,
Recently, I had a little exegetical epiphany while meditating on the Vulgate Psalms in Latin. Previously I've been troubled by Psalm 136{137}:9, which reads, "Blessed be he that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock." Being blessed for infanticide? Huh?

However, the Clementine Vulgate version opens itself to a very beautiful allegorical reading: "beatus qui tenebit et adlidet parvulos tuos ad petram."

We are encouraged to dash the infants of our enemies "ad petram."

Now couple this with the Vulgate version of Matthew 16:18

"et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam."

To read it allegorically, we should be asking that the infants of our enemies be dashed against Peter and the foundation of the Catholic Church! For example, see the photo at that top of this post--that's Pope Benedict's hand baptizing an infant.

It's edifying (nerdy Latin Vulgate pun intended) to pray Psalm 136 with Mt 16:18 in mind, and then intend that the children of our enemies (secularists, terrorists, haters of the Church, those who have hurt us) be thrown against Peter and the Church...that they be baptized, saved, and remain within the barque of Peter...

The Psalms are so rich. It's too bad that Psalm 136:9 has been removed from the Liturgy of the Hours. A true pity. 
If I had taken more than one year of Latin, I might be able to better appreciate things like this.  Very interesting nonetheless.


  1. "Psalm 136:9 has been removed from the Liturgy of the Hours"

    Among other things that didn't fit into the late 60s version of a PC world.

    The did the same thing for some of the Scripture readings as well.

    Of course, you haven't suffered until you have lived through an inclusivist revision of certain. I happenned to find myself stuck at 1 of those Masses 1 time where the 2nd reading went like this: "Spouses be submissive to your spouses" & it was downhill from there. i recently saw an inclusive revision of the "Liturgy of the Hours" that totally avoided Father, Son & Holy Spirit with some creative PC descriptions.

    Now if you really want to read the Psalms as they should be, take Biblical hebrew. although i will admit I haven't had my Hebrew OT out for a while. But I do read from my Italian NT regularly.