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Before we go to St. Hilary’s Homily on Psalm 130(131), I want to provide several different translations of the Psalm. As I did with Psalm 1, I will proceed with five translations:

  • Septuagint (LXX) [with a very literal English translation] — when the OT is quoted in the NT, they do so from the Septuagint, which was (and is) the Greek Translation of the OT the Church used (uses).
  • Revised Standard Version (RSV) — according to Archbishop Demetrius, this is the most solid English translation available.
  • New King James (NKJ) — this is the Archbishop’s second choice (and if memory serves), he finds that it is better for reading because it is more lyrical.
  • New International Version (NIV) — this is the most widely read English translation of the Bible.
  • New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) — this is the translation I most often read for myself. I highly recommend its annotated version, because the notations are very solid and enlightening.

As I have noted before, the numbering of the Psalms in the Septuagint (LXX) is different than the Mesoretic (which forms the basis of almost all modern English translations). It is conventional to list the Mesoretic number in parenthesis after the LXX number (as I have in the title of this post).

Verse One

LXX

᾿ῼδὴ τῶν ἀναβαθμῶν. – ΚΥΡΙΕ, οὐχ ὑψώθη ἡ καρδία μου, οὐδὲ ἐμετεωρίσθησαν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου, οὐδὲ ἐπορεύθην ἐν μεγάλοις, οὐδὲ ἐν θαυμασίοις ὑπὲρ ἐμέ

[Ode (song) of the flight of stairs (from the Temple to the Tower Antonia) — O Lord, not is lifted up (exalted) my heart, nor are anxious my eyes,  nor do I proceed in greatness, nor in wonderfulness above myself].

RSV

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

NKJ

Lord, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me.

NIV

My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.

NJB

[Song of Ascents] Yahweh, my heart is not haughty, I do not set my sights too high. I have taken no part in great affairs, in wonders beyond my scope.

Verse Two

LXX

εἰ μὴ ἐταπεινοφρόνουν, ἀλλὰ ὕψωσα τὴν ψυχήν μου ὡς τὸ ἀπογεγαλακτισμένον ἐπὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ, ὡς ἀνταποδώσεις ἐπὶ τὴν ψυχήν μου.

[if not I be humbleminded, but lifted up (exalted) my soul, how has it weaned from its mother, how is there a reward for my soul?]

RSV

But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother’s breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul.

NKJ

Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

NIV

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.

NJB

No, I hold myself in quiet and silence, like a little child in its mother’s arms, like a little child, so I keep myself.

Verse Three

LXX

ἐλπισάτω ᾿Ισραὴλ ἐπὶ τὸν Κύριον, ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν καὶ ἕως τοῦ αἰῶνος.

[hopes Israel in the Lord, from now until the age(s of ages)]

RSV

O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.

NKJ

O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.

NIV

Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.

NJB

Let Israel hope in Yahweh henceforth and for ever.

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