Et retributiónem peccatórum vidébis

et retributiónem peccatórum vidébis. And you shall see the retribution of sinners.

retributionem = retribution. Dictionaries will give many possible translations (recompense, repayment, punsihment, reward) but retribution is a fair translation and easier for the beginner to remember.

peccatorum = Be careful. This word could mean three completely different things:

From peccatum,i = sin, we can derive peccatorum = of sins (genitive plural).

From peccator,peccatoris = sinner, we can derive pecatorum = of sinners (genitive plural).

And from pecco,are = to sin, we can derive peccatorum = of the man having sinned (from the genitive plural of the past participle. NB it could also be neuter, but things generally don’t sin).

In this situation it could be the retribution of sins or of sinners. Leaving aside reference to any English translation and basing ourselves solely on the Latin, we just don’t know. However, it seems to me more sensible to think of the sinners being paid back rather than the sins of the sinners. Consulting the Douay-Rheims, we find this: “But thou shalt consider with thy eyes: and shalt see the reward of the wicked.”

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