Wednesday, July 29, 2015


The Psalms of Solomon appear to have been used in early Christianity. The exact function, like many of the non-canonical psalms that have come into focus since the mid twentieth century is somewhat obscure. For now, we can find allusions to them in early Christian writings and we can hypothesis that they may have been applied in some form of primitive liturgy. This is to say nothing of the still disputed origin of this "second psalter."

Every so often, it is tempting to think of how one could apply one of the 18 psalms today. Number six could find a suitable place in a revised breviary. Yes, the proposition makes sense - the Western office has been revised so thoroughly in the course of the last century there are no longer any anchors left holding it to the ancient tradition.


1᾿Εν ἐλπίδι· τῷ Σαλωμων.

Μακάριος ἀνήρ, οὗ ἡ καρδία αὐτοῦ ἑτοίμη ἐπικαλέσασθαι τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου·
ἐν τῷ μνημονεύειν αὐτὸν τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου σωθήσεται.

2 αἱ ὁδοὶ αὐτοῦ κατευθύνονται ὑπὸ κυρίου,
καὶ πεφυλαγμένα ἔργα χειρῶν αὐτοῦ ὑπὸ κυρίου θεοῦ αὐτοῦ.

3 ἀπὸ ὁράσεως πονηρῶν ἐνυπνίων αὐτοῦ οὐ ταραχθήσεται ἡ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ,
ἐν διαβάσει ποταμῶν καὶ σάλῳ θαλασσῶν οὐ πτοηθήσεται.

4 ἐξανέστη ἐξ ὕπνου αὐτοῦ καὶ ηὐλόγησεν τῷ ὀνόματι κυρίου,
ἐπ᾽ εὐσταθείᾳ καρδίας αὐτοῦ ἐξύμνησεν τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ θεοῦ αὐτοῦ·

5 καὶ ἐδεήθη τοῦ προσώπου κυρίου περὶ παντὸς τοῦ οἴκου αὐτοῦ,
καὶ κύριος εἰσήκουσεν προσευχὴν παντὸς ἐν φόβῳ θεοῦ.

6 καὶ πᾶν αἴτημα ψυχῆς ἐλπιζούσης πρὸς αὐτὸν ἐπιτελεῖ ὁ κύριος·
εὐλογητὸς κύριος ὁ ποιῶν ἔλεος τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτὸν ἐν ἀληθείᾳ.

Intuitively, the psalm seems proper for a nocturne or lauds. The invocation of the name of God and imagery alluding to the combat myth make this a perfect psalm for invoking divine help. 

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