The Great Canterbury Psalter

The Great Canterbury Psalter f. 20r, psalm 11  Save me Lord, for there is now no saint


f. 20r, psalm 11  Save me Lord, for there is now no saint

The psalmist asks for God’s help against the wicked (v. 2, Salvum me fac Domine quoniam defecit sanctus // Save me Lord, for there is now no saint), and God actively responds. At the top left stand two angels beside God who has stepped out of his mandorla to give a spear to an angel with a shield. Below are seated and standing men in the hills, representing the poor (v. 6, Propter miseriam inopum et gemitum pauperum nunc exurgam dicit Dominus // By reason of the misery of the needy and the groans of the poor, now will I arise, says the Lord). Two groups of men walk around and turn a circular disk and a capstan (v. 9, In circuitu impii ambulant // The wicked walk round about). At the top right, a crowned man holds two scrolls, one held out towards God, and the other towards a blacksmith standing before a forge with flaming fire (v. 7, Eloquia Domini eloquia casta: argentum igne examinatum probatum terre, purgatum septuplum // The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried by the fire, purged from the earth, refined seven times). At the bottom right corner, an angel brandishes a spear at the head of the leader of a group of men (v. 4, Disperdat Dominus universa labia dolosa linguam magniloquam // May the Lord destroy all deceitful lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things).

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