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who is the subject in "Non nobis"?

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who is the subject in "Non nobis"?

Postby Lord_WayneY » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:38 am

The Knight Templar had a famous song:
Non nobis non nobis Domine,
sed nomini tuo da gloriam


Every time I hear this lyrics I feel a little confused that who is the subject in this sentence? Who is the one do the action of "da" ? Did the knights mean their fighting was not for their own glory but the God's, or were they praying to God wishing God not bring glory to them but to God himself?
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Re: who is the subject in "Non nobis"?

Postby Robertus Sum » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:51 am

Domine is vocative, and thus the subject of the imperative "da."
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Re: who is the subject in "Non nobis"?

Postby bedwere » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:28 pm

For your information, it's actually Psalm 113:9 in the Gallican Psalter.
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Re: who is the subject in "Non nobis"?

Postby Lord_WayneY » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:27 am

Thank you!

So it is the second meaning listed in to original post? However, I am still a little confused.It seems like "we did something and it generated glory, but we think this glory does not belong to us, it belongs to you the God". Here the glory is generated by "our actions". But by literally translating the sentence I get "do not give us glory, give it to yourself". Here the glory is something that originally occupied by the God and now the God will give it to us and we refused.

Or else, should I consider it as "We generate some glory and God is the one who can decide how to deliver it. Now when the God would deliver it to us we suggest the God should leave it to himself " ?
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Re: who is the subject in "Non nobis"?

Postby Shenoute » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:58 am

I think your first interpretation ("we did something and it generated glory, but we think this glory does not belong to us, it belongs to you the God") is better. If it helps, the verb "da" is maybe not to be understood literally, it is more something like "make sure that glory is given to you and not to us".

The text is better understood when taken in context with the preceding verse(s) of the Psalm, qui (=Deus) convertit petram in stagna aquarum et rupem in fontes aquarum (a reference to Exodus 17).

Here's the commentary of Denys the Carthusian (1402–1471),
Qui convertit petram in stagna aquarum, id est, de petra fecit effluere aquas, sicut ex aqua stagnali rivi aquarum erumpunt facto meatu. Haec erat petra Horeb, quam cum Moyses percussisset, egressae sunt aquae largissimae, prout in Exodi libro scriptum est. Convertit quoque et rupem, id est scilicem, in fontes aquarum : quia, ut in Numerorum volumine legitur, cum percussisset Moyses virga bis scilicem, aqua copiosa effluxit.

Quoniam igitur ista non nostris meritis aut viribus, sed divina virtute ac miseratione peracta sunt, ideo Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam : id est, fac ut omnes qui ista cognoscunt, non nos, sed, te gloriose collaudent, et tibi totum adscribant.


So even if Moses is the one who actually did strike the rock to make water flow, the whole thing was made possible by God and so the glory attached to this event should only be ascribed to God.
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Re: who is the subject in "Non nobis"?

Postby adrianus » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:24 pm

Pessùm dare = "to send to the bottom"
OLD do, dare (sense 19) "to put, place, cause to go".
Think of da gloriam in this sense // sic anglicè vertas:
"Make the glory go [/Cause the glory to go] to your name, not to us, Lord."
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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