Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday with the New Psalms: Psalm 133

Psalm 133

1 A song of ascents. Of David.

How good and how pleasant it is,
when brothers dwell together as one!

2 Like fine oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
Upon the beard of Aaron,
upon the collar of his robe.

3 Like dew of Hermon coming down
upon the mountains of Zion.
There the LORD has decreed a blessing,
life for evermore!

1 A Song of Ascents. Of David.

How good and how pleasent it is,
when brothers live in unity!

2 It is like precious oil upon the head,
running down upon the beard,
running down upon Aaron's beard,
upon the collar of his robes;

3 Like the dew of Hermon, which runs down
on the mountains of Sion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing:
life forever.
-Revised Grail Psalms

NABRE Notes:
[Psalm 133] A benediction over a peaceful community, most probably the people Israel, but appropriate too for Israelite families (Ps 133:1). The history of Israel, whether of its ancestors in the Book of Genesis or of later periods, was a history of distinct groups struggling to live in unity. Here that unity is declared blessed, like the holy oils upon the priest Aaron or the dew of the rainless summer that waters the crops (Ps 133:23).

[133:1] Brothers: in biblical Hebrew this word includes both the male and female members of a group united by blood relationships or by shared experiences and values. In this Psalm, the term could be applied most appropriately to the people of Israel, those privileged by God to be his chosen children.

[133:2] Oil on the head: oil was used at the consecration of the high priest (Ex 30:2233).

[133:3] Dew: dew was an important source of moisture in the dry climate (Gn 27:28; Hos 14:6). Hermon: the majestic snow-capped mountain visible in the north of Palestine.


Dan Z said...

This is another very close one. Almost identical. I prefer "brothers live in unity" and "precious oil" from the Grail, but I still have to give the nod to the NABRE for being more poetic and having a better flow.

My scorecard:

rolf said...

For me this one is a tie! My count shows: NABRE 7, Grail 6, Tie 1

Anonymous said...

This has been an interesting series. One that has really made me appreciate the Grail translations. I've been using the 63 Grail in the LOTH for years and never really thought twice about the translation. But now that I see it in comparison to the NABRE - and recently to the Universalis online translation - it really is quite nice! And IMO the best of the three. Especially, if you chant or sing the Psalms.

At any rate, another one for Grail. I didn't do a count, but I know I didn't give the NABRE more than 2 here. So:

Grail - 12


Chrysostom said...

Grail by a mile. The NABRE's cadence, well, doesn't exist here - it's cacophonic in my mind, like poor prose given poetry indentation, or good prose indented improperly.