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Home > Fathers of the Church > Expositions on the Psalms (Augustine) > Psalm 134

Exposition on Psalm 134

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1. Behold, now, bless ye the Lord, all you servants of the Lord Psalm 133:1, who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God Psalm 133:2. Why has he added, in the courts? Courts mean the wider spaces of a house. He who stands in the courts is not straitened, is not confined, in some fashion is enlarged. Remain in this enlargement, and you can love your enemy, because you love not things in which an enemy could straiten you. How can you be understood to stand in the courts? Stand in charity, and you stand in the courts. Breadth lies in charity, straitness in hatred.

2. Lift up your hands by night in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord Psalm 133:2. It is easy to bless by day. What is by day? In prosperity. For night is a sad thing, day a cheerful. When it is well with you, thou dost bless the Lord. Your son was sick, and he is made whole, thou dost bless the Lord. Your son was sick, perchance you have sought an astrologer, a soothsayer, perchance a curse against the Lord has come, not from your tongue, but from your deeds, from your deeds and your life. Boast not, because you bless with your tongue, if you curse with your life. Wherefore bless ye the Lord. When? By night. When did Job bless? When it was a sad night. All was taken away which he possessed; the children for whom his goods were stored were taken away. How sad was his night! Let us however see whether he blesses not in the night. The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away; it is as the Lord willed; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21 And black was the night....

3. The Lord out of Zion bless you, who made heaven and earth Psalm 133:3. He exhorts many to bless, and Himself blesses one, because He makes one out of many, since it is good and pleasant for brethren to dwell together in one. It is a plural number, brethren, and yet singular, to dwell together in one. Let none of you say, It comes not to me. Do you know of whom he speaks, the Lord bless you out of Zion. He blessed one. Be one, and the blessing comes to you.

About this page

Source. Translated by J.E. Tweed. 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. <>.

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