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Home > Fathers of the Church > Expositions on the Psalms (Augustine) > Psalm 30

Exposition on Psalm 30

To the end, the psalm of the canticle of the dedication of the house, of David himself.

1. To the end, a Psalm of the joy of the Resurrection, and the change, the renewing of the body to an immortal state, and not only of the Lord, but also of the whole Church. For in the former Psalm the tabernacle was finished, wherein we dwell in the time of war: but now the house is dedicated, which will abide in peace everlasting.

2. It is then whole Christ who speaks. I will exalt You, O Lord, for You have taken Me up Psalm 29:1. I will praise Your high Majesty, O Lord, for You have taken Me up. You have not made Mine enemies to rejoice over Me. And those, who have so often endeavoured to oppress Me with various persecutions throughout the world, You have not made to rejoice over Me.

3. O Lord, My God, I have cried unto You, and You have healed Me Psalm 29:2. O Lord, My God, I have cried unto You, and I no longer bear about a body enfeebled and sick by mortality.

4. O Lord, You have brought back My Soul from hell, and You have saved Me from them that go down into the pit Psalm 29:3. You have saved Me from the condition of profound darkness, and the lowest slough of corruptible flesh.

5. Sing to the Lord, O you saints of His. The prophet seeing these future things, rejoices, and says, Sing to the Lord, O you saints of His. And make confession of the remembrance of His holiness Psalm 29:4. And make confession to Him, that He has not forgotten the sanctification, wherewith He has sanctified you, although all this intermediate period belong to your desires.

6. For in His indignation is wrath Psalm 29:5. For He has avenged against you the first sin, for which you have paid by death. And life in His will. And life eternal, whereunto you could not return by any strength of your own, has He given, because He so would. In the evening weeping will tarry. Evening began, when the light of wisdom withdrew from sinful man, when he was condemned to death: from this evening weeping will tarry, as long as God's people are, amid labours and temptations, awaiting the day of the Lord. And exultation in the morning. Even to the morning, when there will be the exultation of the resurrection, which has shone forth by anticipation in the morning resurrection of the Lord.

7. But I said in my abundance, I shall not be moved for ever Psalm 29:6. But I, that people which was speaking from the first, said in mine abundance, suffering now no more any want, I shall not be moved for ever.

8. O Lord, in Your will You have afforded strength unto my beauty Psalm 29:7. But that this my abundance, O Lord, is not of myself, but that in Your will You have afforded strength unto my beauty, I have learned from this, You turned away Your Face from me, and I became troubled; for You have sometimes turned away Your Face from the sinner, and I became troubled, when the illumination of Your knowledge withdrew from me.

9. Unto You, O Lord, will I cry, and unto my God will I pray Psalm 29:8. And bringing to mind that time of my trouble and misery, and as it were established therein, I hear the voice of Your First-Begotten, my Head, about to die for me, and saying Unto You, O Lord, will I cry, and unto My God will I pray.

10. What profit is there in the shedding of My blood, while I go down to corruption? Shall dust confess unto You? For if I shall not rise immediately, and My body shall become corrupt, shall dust confess unto You? that is, the crowd of the ungodly, whom I shall justify by My resurrection? Or declare Your truth? Or for the salvation of the rest declare Your truth?

11. The Lord has heard, and had mercy on Me, the Lord has become My helper. Nor did He suffer His holy One to see corruption Psalm 29:10.

12. You have turned My mourning into joy to Me Psalm 29:11. Whom I, the Church, having received, the First-Begotten from the dead, Revelation 1:5 now in the dedication of Your house, say, You have turned my mourning into joy to me. You have put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness. You have torn off the veil of my sins, the sadness of my mortality; and hast girded me with the first robe, with immortal gladness.

13. That my glory should sing unto You, and I should not be pricked Psalm 29:12. That now, not my humiliation, but my glory should not lament, but should sing unto You, for that now out of humiliation You have exalted me; and that I should not be pricked with the consciousness of sin, with the fear of death, with the fear of judgment. O Lord, my God, I will confess unto You for ever. And this is my glory, O Lord, my God, that I should confess unto You for ever, that I have nothing of myself, but that all my good is of You, who art God, All in all.

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Source. Translated by an anonymous scholar. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 8. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1888.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1801030.htm>.

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