Scripture and acedia

Judges 5:15-17 (Song of Deborah and Barak)

“Among the clans of Reuben
there were great searchings of heart.
Why did you sit still among the sheepfolds,
to hear the whistling for the flocks?
Among the clans of Reuben
there were great searchings of heart.
Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan;
and Dan, why did he stay with the ships?
Asher sat still at the coast of the sea,
staying by his landings” (ESV).

Psalm 91: 5,6

“You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday” (ESV).

“You will not be afraid of nocturnal fright,
of an arrow that flies by day,
of a deed that travels in darkness,
of mishap and noonday demon” (New English Translation of the Septuagint).

Psalm 106:24,25

“Then they despised the pleasant land,
having no faith in his promise.
They murmured in their tents,
and did not obey the voice of the LORD” (ESV).

2 Corinthians 7:10

“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death” (ESV).

Ancient and medieval exegesis identified “the destruction that wastes at noonday” and “worldly sorrow” with acedia.

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This entry was posted in accidie, acedia, Scripture, sloth. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Scripture and acedia

  1. ixotl says:

    Psalm 91 is regarded as refering to acedia/acedie as the Septuagint reads not the “destruction” that wastes at noonday but the “demon” that wastes at noonday. Many fathers considered the remedy for such temptations to be meditation on the Cross, because of the timing of the Passion or because perhaps its horrors would jar the suppliant to tears. A friend of mine (Maria Águilar) recently wrote a master’s thesis at Harvard Divinity on the subject of akedia and the demon of noontide.

  2. LfN says:

    Thanks for that ixotl… I’ve put an English translation of the Septuagint underneath the ESV to make the historical connection clearer.

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