Ancient Latin Translation of Psalms Found in Irish Bog

Archaeologists in Ireland found an ancient Latin translation of King David's Psalms last week. Exactly which Psalm the book was open to when preserved in the Irish bog is a subject of confusion.

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Ezra HaLevi, | updated: 01:17

(file photo)
The ancient book was discovered in a bog by a construction worker who spotted it while driving the shovel of his backhoe into an area nearby. The approximately 20-page book has been dated to the years 800-1000.

It was initially reported that the Latin Vulgate version of the book was opened to Psalm 83, which in the Hebrew Bible exhorts G-d to “not hold Yourself silent” as the nations plot against Israel – explicitly mentioning Edom, Ishmael and the residents of Philistia and Tyre.

It turns out, however, that the Vulgate uses a different numbering of the chapters than the Hebrew Bible, and the chapter that was actually facing outwards was not Psalm 83.

It was then reported that the visible text on the bog book is from the seventh verse of Psalm 82, which reads: "But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler."

Finally, the the Director of Ireland's museum Patrick F. Wallace said in a statement Friday that it was actually Psalm 84 that was exposed. He said that the original announcement had “led to misconceptions about the revealed wording. It is hoped that this clarification will serve comfort to anyone worried by earlier reports of the content of the text.”

The words of Psalm 84 are as follows:
1. For the conductor, on the gittith, of the sons of Korah, a song.
2. How beloved are Your dwelling places, O L-rd of Hosts!
3. My soul yearns, yea, it pines for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh pray fervently to the living G-d.
4. Even a bird found a house and a swallow her nest, where she placed her chicks upon Your altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King and my G-d.
5. Fortunate are those who stay in Your house; they will continually praise You forever.
6. Fortunate is the man who has strength in You, in whose heart are the highways.
7. Transgressors in the valley of Baka (weeping) make it into a fountain; also with blessings they enwrap [their] Teacher.
8. They go from host to host; he will appear to G-d in Zion.
9. O L-rd, G-d of Hosts, hearken to my prayer; bend Your ear, O G-d of Jacob, forever.
10. See our shield, O G-d, and look at the face of Your anointed.
11. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand; I chose to sit on the threshold of the house of My G-d rather than dwell in tents of wickedness.
12. For a sun and a shield is the L-rd G-d; the L-rd will give grace and glory; He will not withhold good from those who go with sincerity.
13. O L-rd of Hosts, fortunate is the man who trusts in You.


The Psalm is recited by many Jews at the beginning of the afternoon prayers on a daily basis. The Valley of Weeping can be read as the Bekaa Valley, a Hizbullah stronghold in eastern Lebanon thought to also host a Syrian military intelligence presence.




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