A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The... what? ...between his... what?

The last verse of today’s first reading (Genesis 49:2, 8-10) is sometimes translated strangely: sometimes because of uncertainties in the Hebrew and sometimes because of uncertainties in the modern mind. The RSV does a fair job:

The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs;
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

The Lectionary, based on the NAB, steps in it.

The scepter shall never depart from Judah,
or the mace from between his legs,
While tribute is brought to him,
and he receives the people’s homage

There is a "Freudian" aspect here that may make some people feel uncomfortable (and understandably so), but if we are able to set aside the distractions of concupiscence, we can recognize that this ancient symbolism emphasized the paternal and life-giving aspects of ruling authority...

...the authority of God our Father and of his Christ – the fulfillment of this prophecy – a fortiori.