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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 132

 

 


Verses 1-18

This is the most difficult of the Pilgrim Songs. According to accepted literary criticism it must be a post-exilic Ps. The Temple worship has been restored. The days of David are in the distant past. The circumstances of the time are such that God's promise to David of a perpetual dynasty is recalled as a ground of hope. Accordingly we must believe that the writer either incorporated a fragment from an earlier period, Psalms 132:6-10, or represented Israel speaking, dramatically describing three periods, (1) Psalms 132:6-7, the time of David; (2) 8, 9, the time of Solomon; (3) 10, the writer's own age. In any case, the Ps. is one of great charm and delicacy, echoing and re-echoing the promise that Jehovah hath chosen Zion for His habitation.

1. 'Lord, remember unto David all his afflictions' (cp. 1 Chronicles 22:14), i.e. for good—to do him good in consequence: cp. Psalms 137:7. David] perhaps, here, 'the house of David,' or 'the representative of David.'

3-5. David's vow to find a permanent home for the ark: cp. 2 Samuel 7:2.

6. We heard of it at] i.e. the people heard the ark was at Ephratah, perhaps the district round Kirjath-jearim, where the ark stayed till a place was prepared for it in Mt. Zion: cp. 1 Chronicles 13:5. Fields of the wood] field of Jaar,' i.e. Kirjath-jearim, shortened for the sake of rhythm.

8-10. These vv. are found in 2 Chronicles 6:41-42, and undoubtedly refer to the dedication of the Temple by Solomon.

8. Ark of thy strength] the symbolical centre of Jehovah's power in Israel. The ark is mentioned only here in the Psalter. Unless, as suggested above, the whole passage is quoted from the very late book of Chronicles, it is difficult to account for its presence in this Ps.

9. Thy saints] God's chosen people.

10. Turn not away the face] owing to the rejection of his prayer. Thine anointed] means the king.

11, 12. Cp. 1 Kings 8:25. In Psalms 132:11-18 we may trace the divine answer to the prayers of Psalms 132:8-10.

13. This is the keynote of the Ps.

14. See Psalms 68:16.

15. A Messianic promise against famine, very welcome in such a country as Palestine.

16. Salvation] here, 'health,' 'prosperity.'

17. The horn] which is generally a symbol of strength, is in Daniel the symbol of a king.

To bud] sprout: see Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15; Zechariah 3:8, where the 'branch' or 'sprout' denotes the Messianic King: see also Luke 1:69. Ordained] EM 'prepared.' A lamp] symbol of undying prosperity in a house: cp. 1 Kings 11:36; Proverbs 20:20.

18. Flourish] i.e. sparkle.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 132:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/psalms-132.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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