Tecum principium...

Scholiast

Senior Member
saluete amici!

An amateur choir with which I sing is rehearsing (for concert-performance at Christmas-tide) a piece including a setting of the words tecum principium in die virtutis tuae, in splendoribus Sanctorum.

Can anyone identify for me, please, the source of this text? In the light of the 'splendours of the Saints' I don't think it can be biblical—in the NT, the 'saints' (ἅγιοι = hagioi) are just 'believers', 'the faithful'.

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  • Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Barbato Mediolanensi nostro, necnon aliis, Scholiasta S.P.D.

    gratias, of course, yes, it turns out, this is an accurate transcription of the Vulgate's Ps. 109/110. The trouble is, none of the biblical translations into English that I have to hand (in the Book of Common Prayer, the King James AV, the (RC) Jerusalem Bible, or the NEB) has anything resembling this formulation of Jerome's. I need a Hebraist!

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    rajulbat

    Senior Member
    English - United States (Houston)
    The original Hebrew says "your people" (עַמְּךָ֣ / ‘am·mə·ḵā) as opposed to "saints" (sanctorum). The KJV translates this as "thy people."

    Other translations for 'amm (means the same in Arabic): plebeian, common man; those united, connected, or related. See here: Strong's Hebrew: 5971. עָם (am) -- folk The "ka" suffix is second person possessive (i.e., "your").

    Presumably Jerome's thinking is that God's people are saints.
     

    rajulbat

    Senior Member
    English - United States (Houston)
    To clarify...

    This is Psalms 109 (110) verses 3 and 4.

    The Latin is: Tecum principium in die virtutis tuae in splendoribus sanctorum ex utero ante luciferum genui te Iuravit Dominus et non paenitebit eum tu es sacerdos in aeternum secundum ordinem Melchisedech

    Which in English is:
    With thee is the principality in the day of thy strength: in the brightness of the saints: from the womb before the day star I begot thee. The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech.

    The Hebrew is:
    עַמְּךָ֣ נְדָבֹת֮ בְּי֪וֹם חֵ֫ילֶ֥ךָ בְּֽהַדְרֵי־קֹ֖דֶשׁ מֵרֶ֣חֶם מִשְׁחָ֑ר לְ֝ךָ֗ טַ֣ל יַלְדֻתֶֽיךָ׃
    נִשְׁבַּ֤ע יְהוָ֨ה׀ וְלֹ֥א יִנָּחֵ֗ם אַתָּֽה־כֹהֵ֥ן לְעוֹלָ֑ם עַל־דִּ֝בְרָתִ֗י מַלְכִּי־צֶֽדֶק

    Transliterating the bolded part: bə·haḏ·rê qō·ḏeš

    Hadar: Strong's Hebrew: 1926. הָדָר (hadar) -- an ornament, honor, splendor / Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: Hebrew 1926. הָדָר (hadar) -- an ornament, honor, splendor
    An ornament, honor, splendor, majesty. See, e.g., Ps. 90:16 (Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, And Thine honour on their sons.)

    Qō·ḏeš: Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: Hebrew 6944. קֹ֫דֶשׁ (qodesh) -- apartness, sacredness
    consecrated thing, dedicated thing, hallowed thing, holiness, most holy day, portion, thing, saint,


    Which according to Young's Literal Translation is:
    3 Thy people [are] free-will gifts in the day of Thy strength, in the honours of holiness, From the womb, from the morning, Thou hast the dew of thy youth.
    4 Jehovah hath sworn, and doth not repent, `Thou [art] a priest to the age, According to the order of Melchizedek.'
     
    Last edited:

    voltape

    Senior Member
    Peruvian Spanish/USA English
    saluete amici!

    An amateur choir with which I sing is rehearsing (for concert-performance at Christmas-tide) a piece including a setting of the words tecum principium in die virtutis tuae, in splendoribus Sanctorum.

    Can anyone identify for me, please, the source of this text? In the light of the 'splendours of the Saints' I don't think it can be biblical—in the NT, the 'saints' (ἅγιοι = hagioi) are just 'believers', 'the faithful'.

    Σ
    we have to take into account that it is Psalm 109 of the Latin Gallican Version - "saints" for Catholics has a different meaning than that of non catholics. A Saint is one who has died and has been canonized by the Pope - Like St. Francis, St. Peter, St. Martin de Porres, etc.
    S
     

    Quiviscumque

    Moderator
    Spanish-Spain
    Do not miss the Septuaginta (Jerome did not, indeed, he follows it here word by word):
    μετὰ σοῦ ἡ ἀρχὴ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ τῆς δυνάμεώς σου
    ἐν ταῖς λαμπρότησιν τῶν ἁγίων·

    It is very difficult to understand the "high poetry" of the Psalms (at least for me, in Latin or Spanish). Perhaps it was easy for Hebrew people in times of King David; however, I doubt it.
     
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