The Book of Psalms
Section 1: Saturday Vespers
Psalm 1 Vulgata with translation
Beatus vir qui non abiit in consilio impiorum et in via peccatorum non stetit et in cathedra pestilentiae non sedit. Sed in lege Domini voluntas eius et in lege eius meditabitur die ac nocte. Et erit tamquam lignum quod plantatum est secus decursus aquarum quod fructum suum dabit in tempore suo et folium eius non defluet et omnia quaecumque faciet prosperabuntur.
Non sic impii non sic; sed tamquam pulvis quem proicit ventus a facie terrae; ideo non resurgent impii in iudicio neque peccatores in consilio iustorum. Quoniam novit Dominus viam iustorum et iter impiorum peribit.
Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence. But, his will is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he shall meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters, which shall bring forth its fruit in due season. And his leaf shall not fall off: and all whatsoever he shall do shall prosper.
Not so the wicked, not so: but like the dust, which the wind drives from the face of the earth. Therefore the wicked shall not rise again in the judgment: nor sinners in the council of the just. For the Lord knows the way of the just: and the way of the wicked shall perish.
Psalm 1 LXX with translation
μακάριος ἀνήρ ὃς οὐκ ἐπορεύθη ἐν βουλῇ ἀσεβῶν καὶ ἐν ὁδῷ ἁμαρτωλῶν οὐκ ἔστη καὶ ἐπὶ καθέδραν λοιμῶν οὐκ ἐκάθισεν. ἀλλ' ἢ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ κυρίου τὸ θέλημα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ αὐτοῦ μελετήσει ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός. καὶ ἔσται ὡς τὸ ξύλον τὸ πεφυτευμένον παρὰ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὑδάτων ὃ τὸν καρπὸν αὐτοῦ δώσει ἐν καιρῷ αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ φύλλον αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἀπορρυήσεται καὶ πάντα ὅσα ἂν ποιῇ κατευοδωθήσεται.
οὐχ οὕτως οἱ ἀσεβεῖς οὐχ οὕτως ἀλλ' ἢ ὡς ὁ χνοῦς ὃν ἐκριπτεῖ ὁ ἄνεμος ἀπὸ προσώπου τῆς γῆς. διὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἀναστήσονται ἀσεβεῖς ἐν κρίσει οὐδὲ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἐν βουλῇ δικαίων. ὅτι γινώσκει κύριος ὁδὸν δικαίων καὶ ὁδὸς ἀσεβῶν ἀπολεῖται.
Blessed man who not-follows in [the] wishes of [the] wicked, and in [the] way of sinners not-stands, and upon the seat of [the] pestilent not-sits. But, either in the law of [the] Lord [is] the pleasure his, or in the law His, he meditates day and night. And he is as the tree, having been planted beside the streams of the waters, who will give the fruit his in time his. And the leaf his not-drops. And all whatever if he should do, it follows the good path.
Not so, the wicked, not so: but [are] like the chaff, which is cast out, [by] the wind from the face of the earth. Through this, not-arise, [the] wicked in [the] judgment, nor sinners in [the] wishes of [the] righteous. Because He knows, [the] Lord [the] way of [the] righteous, and [the] way of [the] wicked perishes.
Psalm 1 Summary Translation
Blessed [is the] man who follows not [the] wishes of [the] wicked. In [the] path of sinners, he stands not. On the seat of [the] pestilent, he sits not. But, his will [is] in the law of [the] Lord. On His law, he meditates day and night. He is as the tree, having been planted beside the path of waters, who gives his fruit in his time. His leaf [is] not cast away. Whatever he shall do follows the good path.
Not so, the wicked, not so: but [are] like the dust, which the wind casts out from the face of the earth. Therefore, [the] wicked arise not in [the] judgment, nor sinners in [the] wishes of [the] righteous. Because [the] Lord knows, [the] path of [the] righteous. [The] path of [the] wicked perishes.
The Blessed Man, Jesus Christ is set in diametrical opposition to wicked sinners, the children of Adam. “Not so, the wicked, not so:” the psalmist exclaims. The wicked simply perish, but the declaration, shall, is applied to the blessed righteous, Jesus, with all who are in Him.
Path is repeated three times, making it also emphatic. Greek amplifies the path emphasis by using it to describe the motion of water and the outcome of Godly behavior. Path is about the habitual persistent lifestyle and world view that results from faith in God’s Law as expressed in the Pentateuch, and resultant quest to do God’s will. Only Jesus, the second Adam accomplishes these things. We receive them and are obedient to them as gifts of His grace. This is called the good path.
This psalm sees Law and Gospel or grace, not as opposing tensions, but as the same thing. The Blessed Man sets His will or delight in the Torah of יהוה. Only Jesus has the power to accomplish this, but faith walks with Jesus in love: these are termed, the righteous. To obey the Gospel is to obey the Law, Torah.
On the other hand, wicked sinners are confronted with a grim and terrifying prospect. Having habitually and persistently committed themselves to war with God, they can anticipate only death. Having refused the water of life, they throw their leaves to the ground in rigor mortis. They experience a kind of resurrection but know nothing of its beautiful blessedness. They have no one to blame but themselves. They perish.
To walk with is to follow the crowd, to go along with the popular, to move with the herd, to accept the status quo. To stand is to adopt a lifestyle, to accept a corrupted anti-God, anti-Christ worldview. To sit is to assume a position of authority. Kings and judges sit when they rule. Rabbis sit when they teach. The wicked, in their limited way, run this world. Yes, some of our own leaders are a pestilence on humanity.
Jesus of Nazareth is the healing cure. He wrote the Law. He fulfilled the Law. He is the complete and express embodiment of the Law. It is possible for us to be in Him, and thus embrace the Law in love. He brings us the waters of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sets our will and meditation on God’s Law, strengthens our leaves, makes us fruitful, and establishes us in the good path.
 There is very little in Jerome to suggest a great difference between Jerome’s proto-Hebrew (J p-H) and MT. The differences may simply indicate interpretive ideas: namely, that Jerome had, either a better understanding of the force of Hebrew idiom, or a better grasp of the NT implications and weight of the Psalm. In either case, Jerome’s variations, though minor, must be taken seriously. Jerome is standing closer to Jesus than MT; he speaks from a distinctly Christian worldview; consequently, his text is closer to the heart of Scripture.
 The difference between delight and will is more apparent than real. Whatever the heart wills, it dotes upon, and thus delights in. The difference between Hebrew and Latin seems idiomatic, and delight seems well within the scope of the nuances of voluntas. The strong desire to love does not necessarily indicate the ability to achieve.
 The difference between declaratives and futures, shall and will, is not compelling. The presence of these may be necessary for Latin idiom, but do not seem to be constructive emphases in English. Because they add little or nothing, they are ignored; in fact they may detract by blunting the force of shall or will when these are grammatically necessary.
 The difference between streams or rivers and running is more apparent than real.
 Again, the difference between wither or wilt and fall off is not striking. The picture of a well-watered tree in juxtaposition to an unwatered tree is clear enough. Deprived of water, the tree is designed to protect its life: the leaves, wilt, wither, die, shed; the tree sends all available moisture to its roots; the branches die; finally, the tree dies also. The word picture is ominous, frightening, threatening. However, it is the same picture in Hebrew or Latin.
 It is nothing like this with the wicked, nothing like this! JB The reduplication may be a necessity of Latin grammar for the sensible formation of the construction, not only ... but also.
However, this reduplication is the first major difference between J p-H and MT; it adds an emphasis and force that would otherwise be missed. Later we will observe that this difference is consistent with LXX. This seems to indicate that something is lost in MT; this could be as subtle as a difference of inflection. However, as subtle as inflection is, its change can reverse the complete meaning of a phrase. We must give preference to Jerome in this matter. We are not free to allow MT to remove the force of Divine authority by subtlety. Jesus teaches with authority; the scribes do not.
 The difference between chaff and dust is non-existent. The Hebrew idea is not limited by the English chaff. Rather, the idea is that of a byproduct, spun off by violent churning or stirring. Chaff and dust cannot be distinguished.
 Here is the second major difference between J p-H and MT. The change from “from the face of the earth” to “away” removes the sense of utter damnation and eternality provided by Jerome. We should listen to Jerome.
 This is the third major difference between J p-H and MT. MT blunts or denies the force of resurrection. This force is inescapable from the light of the NT, especially when Jesus unveils Himself in the OT (Luke 24: 27, 44-48). We may not allow the removal of Jesus’ interpretation to be blunted, removed, or softened by MT.
 Masculine nominative singular adjective (or noun) μακάριος, ία, ιον: blessed or happy.
 Masculine nominative singular noun ἀνήρ, ἀνδρόϛ, ὁ: adult male, individual, having the characteristics of bravery or manliness. In this context, a person of either sex having the characteristics of perfect humanity: Jesus, or like Jesus, the second Adam, rather than the first Adam.
 Relative pronoun ὅϛ, ἥ, ὅ.
 Adverb of absolute negation οὐ, οὐκ, οὐχ, only with indicative.
 Aorist indicative active, third singular of πορεύομαι: walks, follows, pursues.
 Feminine dative singular noun βουλή, ῆϛ, ἡ from βούλομαι: advice, choice, counsel, decree, desire, determination, direction, intention, order, pleasure, purpose, will, wish.
 Masculine genitive plural noun or adjective ἀσεβήϛ, έοϛ, οῦϛ, ὁ, ἡ, τό, -έϛ: impious, ungodly, wicked.
 Feminine dative singular noun ὁδόϛ, οῦ, ἡ: way, road, direction, course (of action), system (of doctrine).
 Genitive plural noun ἁμαρτωλόϛ, οῦ, ὁ, ἡ from ἁμαρτάνω: miss a mark, err, offend, sin, sinners.
 Aorist indicative active, third singular of ἵστημι: confirms, endures, establishes, stands, persists. Not passively blocking the path or way, but actively and tenaciously adhering to its principles or persisting in its pursuit. Here it speaks of a stubbornness of behavior and attitude against the Lord.
 Feminine nominative singular noun καθέδρα, ας, ἡ: a seat.
 Masculine genitive plural noun λοιμός, ου, ὁ: a pest, plague.
 Aorist indicative active, third singular of καθίζω: sits. To sit is to assume the place of authority, to rule or to teach.
 Conjunction, the contraction of ἀλλά: but, except, however, unless, also serves to introduce a sentence with keenness and emphasis — for!
 Either, or
 Masculine dative singular noun νόμος, ου, ὁ: law, specifically the Mosaic law in this context.
 Masculine genitive singular noun κύριος, ίου, ὁ: lord, master, the name of God, The Tetragrammaton, יהוה, which was too sacred to pronounce, hence spoken as Adonai, or Lord.
 Neuter nominative singular noun θέλημα, ατος, τό from θέλω: will, chose, intend, design, pleasure.
 Masculine or neuter genitive singular reflexive pronoun αὐτόϛ, ή, ό: here used as a third person possessive pronoun, his.
 Future indicative active, third singular of μελετάω: to give careful or painful attention, study, meditate.
 Feminine genitive singular noun ἡμέρα, ας, ἡ: day, the period of sunlight, or the whole twenty-four hours.
 Feminine genitive singular noun νύξ, νυκτός, ἡ: night the period of solar darkness.
 Future indicative active, third singular of εἰμί: the copula, be, exist, is.
 Adverb, see ὅϛ, ἥ, ὅ: as.
 Neuter nominative singular noun ξύλον, ου, τό: wood, timber, stocks, club, post, cross, tree.
 Perfect passive participle, masculine accusative singular from φυτεύω, φύω: plant, having been planted.
 Preposition παρὰ: before genitives, from; datives, at, with, by, near, in, among; accusatives (motion) at, by, near, along; comparatives, except, etc.; beside, along side of.
 Feminine accusative plural noun διέξοδος, οῦ, ἡ, a contraction of δια + έξ + οδος: out of the through path, the through source path, passage, road, stream. The connection with ὁδόϛ must not be overlooked.
 Neuter genitive plural noun ὕδωρ, ατος, τό: fluid, water.
 Masculine accusative singular noun καρπός, ου, ὁ: offspring, posterity, fruit, spiritual fruit.
 Future indicative active, third singular of δίδωμι: to give.
 Masculine dative singular noun καιρός, οῦ, ὁ: a fit or suitable time or place, period of time, opportune, season, time.
 Neuter nominative singular noun φύλλον, ου, τό: a leaf.
 Future indicative middle, third singular of ἀπορέω, ἀπορρέω, or ἀπορρίπτω, a contraction of ἀπο + ῥίπτω, see also ῥύπτος, a closely related noun: to cast off, throw away, fade wilt, fall, drop. The idea is active not passive. The tree throws its leaves away; they do not drop by accident, but rather by design.
 Masculine accusative plural adjective πᾶς, πᾶσα, πᾶν: all.
 Neuter nominative and accusative plural correlative pronoun ὅσος, η, ον: as great, as much, as many, whoever, whatever.
 Particle, conjunction ἐάν: if.
 Present subjunctive active, third singular of ποιέω: do, make.
 Future indicative passive, third singular of κατευοδόω, a contraction of κατα + ευ + οδόω: to follow a good path, descend from a good path, prosper. The connection with ὁδόϛ is again self-evident.
 Adverb, see οὗτος, αὕτη, τοῦτο: in this manner, way, thus, so.
 Masculine nominative and accusative plural adjective ἀσεβήϛ, έοϛ, οῦϛ, ὁ, ἡ, τό, -έϛ: impious, ungodly, wicked, the wicked as a class of people.
 Masculine nominative singular noun χνοῦς, ὁ: scrapings, shavings, down, fruit blossom, cushion stuffing, sea spray; anything light, fluffy, or easily wind borne; anything worthless.
 Masculine accusative singular of ὅϛ, ἥ, ὅ ὃν: which or that.
 Present indicative active, third singular of ἐκρίπτω, a contraction of ἐκ + ῥίπτω: to cast out.
 Masculine nominative singular noun ἄνεμος, ου, ὁ: wind, specifically distinct from πνεῦμα, breath and spirit
 Preposition ἀπὸ: ablative in concept, indicating departure or separation, source, material, agency, instrument, from, here – away from.
 Neuter genitive singular noun πρόσωπονυ, ου, τό: presence, face.
 Feminine genitive singular noun γῆ, γῆς, ἡ: soil, land, the earth.
 Preposition διά: by means of, with, by; with a genitive indicating direct agency, action, or instrument; with an accusative indicating indirect agency, etc; through.
 Neuter nominative and accusative singular demonstrative pronoun οὗτος, αὕτη, τοῦτο: possibly contemptuous, this, that.
 Future indicative middle, third plural of ἀνίστημι: to stand up or arise, to resurrect. The connection with the resurrection of Christ is inescapable. The wicked, who have lived their lives in self will against God, will not be able to lift themselves up now.
 Feminine nominative plural noun κρίσις, εως, ἡ from κρίνω: sentence, judgment.
 Adverb, contraction of οὐ + δὲ: neither, nor.
 Nominative plural noun ἁμαρτωλόϛ, οῦ, ὁ, ἡ from ἁμαρτάνω: miss a mark, err, offend, sin, sinners, the sinners as a class of people.
 Genitive plural adjective δίκαιος, αία, αιον from δίκη: just, righteous, nominally the righteous as a class of people.
 Particle of cause ὅστις: for, since, because.
 Present indicative active, third singular of γινώσκω: know, here in the sense of intimate personal involvement. It is the causative agency of the Holy Spirit that makes people righteous.
 Masculine nominative singular noun κύριος, ίου, ὁ: lord, master, the name of God, The Tetragrammaton, יהוה, which was too sacred to pronounce, hence spoken as Adonai, or Lord, κύριος.
 Feminine accusative singular noun ὁδόϛ, οῦ, ἡ: way, road, direction, course (of action), system (of doctrine).
 Feminine nominative singular noun ὁδόϛ, οῦ, ἡ: way, road, direction, course (of action), system (of doctrine).
 Future indicative middle, third singular of ἀπόλλυμι: self-destruct, destroy, put to death, perish.
 The force of the future is better expressed as characteristic in English. The idea that these tense constructions are Hebraisms is inescapable. The eternal sense of this Psalm is not weakened by this approach.
 This reduplication, the first major difference between J p-H and MT is now seen to exist in the Septuagint and possibly in the Septuagint proto-Hebrew (S p-H) as well. Jerome might have corrected this, but did not. This suggests that S p-H contained this text, or else this force was active in rabbinic thinking long before the birth of Christ. This is a strong indication that something is lost in MT. This could be as subtle as a difference of inflection. Taken together, Septuagint and Jerome indicate that this is the actual text in Jesus’ and the Apostles’ hands.
 This second major difference between J p-H and MT is also reinforced by LXX and S p-H. The change from “from the face of the earth” to “away” removes the sense of utter damnation and eternality provided by Jerome and LXX. This is the Bible as Jesus’ and the Apostles’ read and taught it.
 The third major difference between J p-H and MT is also supported by LXX and S p-H. MT blunts or denies the force of resurrection. This suggests that resurrection to eternal life was active in rabbinic thought (Revelation 20:4-15). This force is inescapable from the light of the NT, especially when Jesus unveils Himself in the OT (Luke 24: 27, 44-48).