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Bible Commentaries

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 132

A.M. 3000. B.C. 1004.

This Psalm is supposed by most commentators to have been written by Solomon, when he had built the temple, and fulfilled what had been designed by his father David. Probably it was intended to be sung, and was sung, at the dedication of the temple, of which, Psalms 132:8-10 , he desires God would come and take possession. With the words of these verses he concluded his prayer, 2 Chronicles 6:41-42 . He pleads David’s piety toward God, Psalms 132:1-7 . And God’s promises to David, Psalms 132:11-18 .

Verses 1-2

Psalms 132:1-2. Lord, remember David Thy covenant with David; or David’s eminent piety and zeal for thy service; and all his afflictions All his sufferings for thy sake, all the solicitude of his mind, all his hard and wearisome labours for thy service and glory. How he sware and vowed Made a solemn vow, and confirmed it with an oath. This he undoubtedly did, although no mention be made of it in the history of David. Unto the mighty God of Jacob Of Israel; that is, the people so called, the posterity of Jacob.

Verses 3-5

Psalms 132:3-5. Surely I will not, &c. As if he had said, I value not my own private domestic enjoyments and accommodations, in comparison of the settlement of God’s public worship. “He was so highly concerned,” says Dr. Hammond, “for the service of God, that, having built himself a house, ( 1Ch 15:1 ; 1 Chronicles 15:11, &c.) he immediately prepared a place for the ark of God, and brought it up thither in pomp, having, it seems, solemnly vowed to do so before ever he would dedicate and bless (or dwell in) his own house, chap. 1 Chronicles 16:43. And, not content with that, his zeal further broke out to Nathan the prophet, (chap. Psalms 17:1,) being troubled to think of the magnificence of his own house, while the ark was but in a tent. And he resolved, if God should permit him, to erect a magnificent structure wherein the ark of God should be placed, and God’s solemn worship performed.” Bishop Patrick’s paraphrase is to the same purport: “I will not come into the new palace which I have built for myself, much less go to dwell and take up my lodging there; nay, I will not lay myself down to rest, nor take a wink of sleep, until I have found out a convenient place for the ark of the Lord, a habitation for that mighty one; who there makes himself present to his people the posterity of Jacob.” Henry supposes that, having procrastinated too long, amidst his difficulties, upon his first accession to the throne, “he one morning made a vow, that, before night, he would come to a resolution in this matter, and would determine the place where the tent should be fixed for the reception of the ark.” Some think that the spot on which the temple should be built was intended, and that David made this vow on the morning of the day of the pestilence, which cut off so many in Israel because he had numbered the people; and that the thrashing- floor of Ornan was pointed out to him in consequence of this resolution.

Verse 6

Psalms 132:6. Lo, we have heard of it The ark, or of the place or habitation for the Lord last mentioned; at Ephratah That is, at Shiloh, in the tribe of Ephraim, there they were told it had been, but it was gone; 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 Chronicles 13:6; so that, in preparing this place for the ark, he gratified all Israel, they needed not to go about to seek it any more: they now knew where to find it. Some learned men, however, being of opinion that Jerusalem, which was at no great distance from Bethlehem, was within the district called Ephratah, give a different interpretation of this verse, and consider the psalmist as speaking of having found the place on which the temple was to be fixed. Thus Bishop Patrick: “And now, behold the Lord himself, to our great joy, hath told us the very place where he will fix his habitation, in the territory of Bethlehem, Ephratah: (Genesis 35:16; Genesis 35:19,) in the fields of that forest where the angel stood and directed David to build an altar unto the Lord, 1 Chronicles 21:18; 1 Chronicles 22:1.”

Verse 7

Psalms 132:7. We will go into his tabernacles Seeing the ark is now fixed in a certain place, we will go to it more generally and constantly than formerly we did. We will worship at his footstool As subjects and supplicants, prostrating ourselves, with humble reverence, before the Divine Majesty, which we too much neglected to do for want of such a place of solemn, public worship, in the days of Saul.

Verses 8-10

Psalms 132:8-10. Arise, O Lord, to thy rest, &c. See notes on Numbers 10:35; 2 Chronicles 6:41-42. Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness Not only with those outward sacerdotal garments of glory and beauty, which thou hast appointed for them, but, especially, with the inward ornaments of righteousness and true holiness, that so their persons and services may be accepted by thee, both for themselves and for all thy people; and they may be clothed with salvation, (Psalms 132:16,) which is the effect, or consequent, of the former clothing. And let thy saints shout for joy Let all thy people have cause of rejoicing in the tokens of thy goodness; which they eminently had at the dedication of the temple, as is signified 1 Kings 8:66. For thy servant David’s sake In regard of thy singular kindness and promises vouchsafed to David, as this is explained in the following verses. This verse makes it more than probable that David was not the penman of this Psalm, for he never used to beg mercies from God for his own sake, but constantly for God’s name’s sake, and for the sake of his truth, mercy, goodness, or righteousness. Turn not away the face of thine anointed Of me, whom thou hast anointed to be king over thy people. Cast me not out of thy presence: do not reject or deny my request.

Verses 11-12

Psalms 132:11-12. The Lord has sworn in truth Not falsely or deceitfully, as men sometimes do, but sincerely and faithfully, what he will inviolably observe and fulfil, as the next clause expounds this. Of the fruit of thy body Of some of thy posterity, will I set upon thy throne See notes on 2 Samuel 7:12-16; and Psalms 89:3-4; Psalms 89:33, &c. If thy children will keep my covenant, &c. See notes on 1 Kings 8:25; 2 Chronicles 6:16.

Verses 13-16

Psalms 132:13-16. For the Lord hath chosen Zion Taken either for the whole mountain, whereof Zion and Moriah were two parts, or for Jerusalem, which was, in a great part, built upon mount Zion, whence it is often called Zion, as has been frequently observed. This is my rest for ever Not my residence only for a short time, as Shiloh was; here will I dwell Here will I statedly manifest the tokens of my presence. Zion must be here considered as a type of the gospel church, which is called mount Zion, Hebrews 12:18. And in it, what is here said of Zion has its full accomplishment. Zion was long since ploughed as a field, but the church of Christ is still, and always will be, the house of the living God, 1 Timothy 3:15. It is his rest for ever and shall be blessed with his presence, even to the end of the world. I will abundantly bless her provision I will plentifully provide for Jerusalem, and all that live in her, or resort to her for worship: nor shall they seek my face in vain. I will satisfy her poor with bread I will make such liberal provision for her by fruitful years, that the poorest person there shall be satisfied with food: see note on 2 Chronicles 7:13-14. I will also, &c. To the blessings of life I will add those pertaining to godliness; clothe her priests with salvation With my saving graces and blessings, with righteousness, as requested Psalms 132:9; and, moreover, with that protection and benediction, which, by my promise, belongs to righteous persons. Her saints shall shout aloud for joy The delight God takes in his church, the continuance of his presence with it, and with his ministers, and their being clothed with graces and virtues, wisdom and holiness, are the comfort and joy of all its members.

Verses 17-18

Psalms 132:17-18. There In Jerusalem, the seat of the kingdom, and the only place of my presence and worship in the world; will I make the horn of David to bud His power and glory to flourish and increase, and to descend to his posterity. I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed A successor or succession to continue in his family, as this phrase is expounded 1 Kings 11:36; 1 Kings 15:4; where see the notes; and particularly one eminent and glorious light, namely, the Messiah, who shall descend from him, and revive, and greatly enlarge his kingdom.

His enemies That have formed designs against him; will I clothe with shame When they shall see all their designs baffled, and their vain hopes disappointed; but upon himself Upon him and his posterity, shall his crown flourish That is, his government shall be established and enlarged, and shall be more and more to his honour. This prediction was to have its full accomplishment in Jesus Christ, whose crown of honour and power shall never fade, nor the flowers of it wither. The crowns of earthly princes continue only for a short time; but Christ’s crown shall endure to all eternity, and the crowns reserved for his faithful subjects are such as fade not away.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 132". Benson's Commentary. 1857.