Another Latin Quote

I have a print of a painting of the Last Supper that has a long Latin quote on it. I thought someone in the TC forum might be able to give me a close translation–enough to get the gist of what it means. I’ll type it out just as it appears on the painting:


Have fun! And thank you in advance. :slight_smile:

I presume you mean *BIBATIS *and not BIBATUS? The former is Luke 22:29-30. Douay-Rheims:
I dispose to you, as my Father hath disposed to me, a kingdom. That you may eat and drink at my table, in my kingdom.


I need to re-render that in Ecclesiastical Latin because the “Classical” form is hurting my eyes:

Ego dispono vobis sicut disposuit mihi pater meus regnum. Ut edatis et didatus super mensam meam in regno meo.

There – that’s better already!

The first part is kinda easy:

I dispose to you following the manner in which my father disposed a kingdom to me.

You could swap “to give” for “to dispose” in English, but I suspect that might not be quite accurate as “do, dare” would be more straightforward Latin verb for “to give.” I took a minor liberty in translating “secundum” since we don’t have anything quite that terse in English.

The second part is more difficult. My first pass at it is this:

Unto/That you might eat and drink above my table in my kingdom.

Okay, “super” doesn’t mean “above” in this case and it’s connected with “mensam meam” which is in the accusative case… or is it vocative? But vocative requires motion…

It’s something about eating and drinking and involves a table in the “my kingdom” but the “super” is throwing me. Either it’s an idiom or another meaning for super with which I’m not familiar. I only had three years of Latin (fifteen years ago) so I’m going to have to cave on this one. It sounds like a scriptural quote, but I would be more interested in someone giving a grammatical deconstruction and explanation of this quote. That would really help me understand why this phrase works the way it does.

By the way, for those who would like to learn some Latin without tearing your hair out in the process, check out “Latin for Mountain Men” at:

I won’t give the grammer a go, as I was lousy in Latin. (You do know the greatest thing that the Romans were able to accomplish was to speak Latin.) I’d translate it more idiomatically, “That you may eat and drink at my heavenly table, in my kingdom.”

Yes, it is scriptural (see above). If I had been translating, instead of cribbing the D-R, I would have rendered *SUPER (which does take an accusative object) *MENSAM MEAM *as “upon my table”, but I can see where “at my table” is idiomatically more pleasing.

(* Vocative would be MENSA MI, I think)


Thanks, guys! I’ve been puzzled about what the inscription said since I bought the picture a few years ago. I just never thought to ask! :blush: Thanks again. :slight_smile:

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