Book #5: 107-150, cont’d.
This royal psalm consists of two parts: the request that the Lord remember David’s zeal in bringing the Ark to Jerusalem and thus bless his dynasty (vv. 1-10); and the response of the Lord promising to fulfill the Davidic covenant (vv. 11-18).
The Ryrie Study Bible, Psalm 132 footnote, p. 923
Psalm 132:1-10-The Psalmist requests that God remember David’s dedication to bring the Ark to Jerusalem (:1-5). They hunted for it and tracked it down as far as “Ephrathah”. Some suggest that the term “Ephrathah” is used here to speak of Bethlehem:
The name either of Bethlehem itself or of a district in which Bethlehem was situated.
Others suggest that it speaks of another city:
The biblical city of Kiriath Jearim is best known for the house of Abinadab which held the Ark of the Covenant from the time of Samuel until the time of David (about 120 years). Kiriath Jearim was originally a Gibeonite city that fell within the tribal territory of Judah near the borders of Benjamin and Dan. The prophet Uriah, a contemporary of Jeremiah, was from Kiriath Jearim.
Still others suggest that it speaks of the city of Shiloh, located in the land of the tribe of Ephraim.
- That it was in pursuance of the expectations of the people of Israel, v. 6, 7.
(1.) They were inquisitive after the ark; for they lamented its obscurity, 1 Sa. 7:2. They heard of it at Ephratah (that is, at Shiloh, in the tribe of Ephraim);
Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Psalms 132,
Beyond that, there is even more vagueness about exactly where it was found due to the uncertainty of the Hebrew wording. In Hebrew, verse 6 reads, “sadeh ya’ar”. The word “sadeh” means “field”. The word “ya’ar” means, “forest, wood, thicket, wooded height”. So, some say that the verse should read…
- “fields of the wood” (KJV)
Yet others believe that “ya’ar” is a proper noun, the name of a person…”Jaar”. So, the verse should read…
- “field of Jaar” (NASV)
- “fields of Jaar” (NIV)
- “countryside of Jaar” (NLT)
- “Jaar meadows” (Message).
They found it, at last, in the fields of the wood, that is, in Kirjath-jearim, which signifies the city of woods. Thence all Israel fetched it, with great solemnity, in the beginning of David's reign (1 Chr. 13:6), so that in building his house for the ark Solomon had gratified all Israel. They needed not to go about to seek the ark anymore; they now knew where to find it.
Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Psalms 132,
At any rate, they found the Ark and moved it to Jerusalem. They called on God and asked that His presence would be manifested through the Ark when they got it to Jerusalem (:8)
Psalm 132:11-18-The Psalmist recalls the promise of God to bless the descendants of David and Jerusalem…by making David’s descendants the perpetual rulers of Jerusalem (:11-12). The Psalmist further recalls that God has specifically chosen Jerusalem to be the place where His presence will be manifested (:13-14). And that as a result…those who live there will be blessed (:15-18).
Psalm 133:1-3-David speaks of the blessing of believers living in harmony. He uses two visual descriptions to portray the blessing. First, it is like “oil”. This speaks of anointing oil…oil to which perfumes and fragrances have been added. This was a hot, arid land and all transportation was either by foot, or animal…causing one to have body odor from sweat and perspiration. This oil was spread over the head and beard to provide a pleasing aroma. David says that when brothers dwell in unity it produces a pleasant environment…even as the oil produces a pleasant environment. The second description is “the dew of Mount Hermon”. There, the dew condenses, drips down the mountainside and provides moisture that cools down the atmosphere and provides water for plant life. Unity among brothers provides for the environment necessary for there to be a good life.
Mount Hermon is the southern tip of the anti-Lebanon mountain range. Its highest peak is 9,230 feet and the highest point inside Israel’s borders today is Mizpe Shelagim at 7,295 feet. The mountain is the only place with snow skiing in the country.
Psalm 134:1-3-The Psalmist calls upon those who serve in the Temple at night time to not grow weary or lax in their duties…but to continue to give praise to God.
This is the last of the fifteen songs of degrees; and, if they were at any time sung all together in the temple-service, it is fitly made the conclusion of them, for the design of it is to stir up the ministers to go on with their work in the night, when the solemnities of the day were over. Some make this psalm to be a dialogue.
- In the first two verses, the priests or Levites who sat up all night to keep the watch of the house of the Lord are called upon to spend their time while they were upon the guard, not in idle talk, but in the acts of devotion.
- In the last verse those who were thus called upon to praise God pray for him that gave them the exhortation, either the high priest or the captain of the guard. Or thus: those who did that service did mutually exhort one another and pray for one another.
In singing this psalm we must both stir up ourselves to give glory to God and encourage ourselves to hope for mercy and grace from him.
Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Psalms 134,
Psalm 135:1-4-These first four verses are a call to Israel to praise the LORD.
Psalm 135:5-7-The Psalmist speaks of the sovereignty of God over all other gods and over creation. In speaking of other gods…it is not a suggestion that the Psalmist believes in the existence of these gods (that would be polytheism…belief in many gods). He believes that there is only one, true God (monotheism). This is clearly stated in verses 15-18. However, he is recognizing that other nations believe in their own gods…and he is saying that the God of Israel is supreme over all gods. Whether they exist, or not, is not what he is dealing with. He is simply making the statement that the God of Israel is supreme and sovereign.
Psalm 135:8-18-He says that the LORD is sovereign over all nations...and then says that there is no other god, besides Him. All of their so-called gods are nothing more than the creation of their imagination and the product of their hand. They are not real.
Psalm 135:19-21-He calls upon all people to give Him praise.
Prayer: Lord, help me to never grow weary in the work You have given to me. And never let me become lax. Give me the energy, the determination, and the passion to serve You with every ounce and with every day of my life.