PSALM 133#A benediction over a peaceful community, most probably the people Israel, but appropriate too for Israelite families (Ps 133:1). The history of Israel, whether of its ancestors in the Book of Genesis or of later periods, was a history of distinct groups struggling to live in unity. Here that unity is declared blessed, like the holy oils upon the priest Aaron or the dew of the rainless summer that waters the crops (Ps 133:2–3).
A Vision of a Blessed Community
1A song of ascents. Of David.
How good and how pleasant it is,
when brothers#Brothers: in biblical Hebrew this word includes both the male and female members of a group united by blood relationships or by shared experiences and values. In this Psalm, the term could be applied most appropriately to the people of Israel, those privileged by God to be his chosen children. dwell together as one!
2Like fine oil on the head,#Oil on the head: oil was used at the consecration of the high priest (Ex 30:22–33).#a. [133:2] Ex 30:25, 30.
running down upon the beard,
Upon the beard of Aaron,
upon the collar of his robe.
3Like dew#Dew: dew was an important source of moisture in the dry climate (Gn 27:28; Hos 14:6). Hermon: the majestic snow-capped mountain visible in the north of Palestine. of Hermon#Dew: dew was an important source of moisture in the dry climate (Gn 27:28; Hos 14:6). Hermon: the majestic snow-capped mountain visible in the north of Palestine. coming down
upon the mountains of Zion.#b. [133:3] Hos 14:6.
There the Lord has decreed a blessing,
life for evermore!#c. [133:3] Dt 28:8; 30:20.