I have a choral text set to music by Anton Bruckner. (I do not know Bruckner's source.) The text VIRGA JESSE reads as follows:
VIRGA JESSE FLORUIT
VIRGO DEUM ET HOMINEM GENUIT
PACEM DEUS REDDIDIT
IN SE RECONCILIANS IMA SUMMIS
I have a question regarding the grammar of SUMMIS. If I see it correctly, this is dative or ablative plural of SUMMUM or SUMMUS (syntactically, it could also be coming from SUMMA, but this does not make sense semantically).
Why is this plural?
I read the last verse as In himself reconciling the lowest with the highest (the english language does not distinguish between plural and singular of the highest, so my problem is getting lost in translation into English). I do not understand why the highest is plural here? I would assume that it refers to God himself, who reconciles the temporal with the eternal when he becomes flesh, so I don't understand the use of plural.
Is there a sophisticated theological reason for the ocurrence of plural here? Or is SUMMIS just "wrong" grammar? Or (most probably) do I get something wrong?