I have only a vague recollection of it, but I could swear that I was taught that the word "wretched" in the Bible, and "miser" in Latin, referred to poor people. I may have learned this in communicants class. If so, then that's 50 years ago.

Is there a Latin hymn with "miser" in it? Can anyone think of a context in which one might have been taught about the word "miser"?

  • This may be better on the Latin Stack Exchange? – Matt Gutting Aug 15 '19 at 10:09

Revelations 3:17

The word "miser" appears appears in the Latin text of Revelations 3:17:

quia dicis quod dives sum et locupletatus et nullius egeo et nescis quia tu es miser et miserabilis et pauper et caecus et nudus

Strictly the word means miserable, but here it is often also translated to mean wretched. This is distinct itself from poor, which is "pauper" in the above translation.

Psalms 37:7

It also appears in the Latin text of Psalms 37:7:

miser factus sum et curvatus sum usque ad finem tota die contristatus ingrediebar

Here it is often also translated to wicked in other biblical translations.

Isaiah 16:4

It also appears in the Latin text of Isaiah 16:4:

habitabunt apud te profugi mei Moab esto latibulum eorum a facie vastatoris finitus est enim pulvis consummatus est miser defecit qui conculcabat terram

Here it is often also translated to aggressor or oppressor, or the like in other biblical translations.

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  • It might be helpful to provide English translations of these passages. I was also thinking of "Quid sum miser tunc dicturus" from the Dies Irae. – Matt Gutting Aug 15 '19 at 17:13

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