Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms - Vol. 3

By Cassiodorus; P. G. Walsh | Go to book overview
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which is known to have overcome its fearful enemy through the solidity of the Rock. We must also pay great attention to the fact that after this extended chain of numerous psalms, this appears to have been set as the close, so to say, of worldly matters; for after this psalm nothing is recounted about persecutions of the Church, the bitterness of the world, the sufferings of martyrs, the afflictions of penitents, the laments of the faithful, or the execrable arrogance of Antichrist. The remaining seven are harnessed to divine praises, to express a great mystery, and they are seen to be suffused with heavenly joy. Now that we have driven off the clouds of sins, let us proceed to praises of the Lord with sunny minds.


COMMENTARY ON PSALM 144

I. Praise for David himself. We have shown that David signifies the Lord Christ by interpretation of the name itself; 1 moreover it has been demonstrated that He was so called through physical descent from His forbear. But though we seem to have this firmly established, I think that we should examine more carefully why this heading uniquely contains the words: Praise for David himself, since His glory is proclaimed in all the psalms. But here the praise is delineated more sharply and clearly because all the areas in which human ignorance needed instruction have been remedied, and the psalmist is bidden to devote himself to praise of the Lord alone. These praises are wonderfully unfolded distinctively and with their own strengths in the seven psalms that follow. Their peculiar nature is revealed in their conclusions as was the case also in previous psalms. It is not otiose that the Lord's praises are enclosed in this number seven, for the confession of penitents is designated by this number, 2 and the holy Spirit himself has been proclaimed with His sevenfold powers; 3 perhaps it points to that sacred mystery when the Lord ordered Moses to set seven lamps shining with enduring light in His tabernacle. Though it is certain that there is nothing without point in the divine Scriptures, I believe that the order of the Hebrew alphabet set here before the verses is especially significant. We said at Psalm 24 that this is to be interpreted with reference to two kinds of person. 4 When a psalm unfolds with all

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