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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Psalms 133

 

 

Verses 1-3

Psalm 133

Historical Background- Psalm 133is one of the fifteen Songs of Ascents. These particular psalms were probably sung at the yearly feasts, when the Israelites traveled up the hills to Jerusalem. The unity of the brethren was strongly felt during such large gatherings.

Theme- Psalm 133expresses the secrets of revival and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which is a result of the unity of the children of God. The oil ( Psalm 133:2) and the dew ( Psalm 133:3) referred to in Psalm 133represent the presence of the Holy Spirit in the midst of His Church. It is the presence of the Lord in the body of Christ that brings unity in the hearts of man. The fact that the oil pours down from the head onto the garments symbolizes the fact that when leadership is first anointed, they are able to impart this anointing unto the people, so that the entire nations is blessed, but without anointed leadership, the people do not experiences such outpourings of divine blessings.

One of David"s great accomplishments as king was the fact that he unified the kingdom of Israel. This unity was especially seen during the gathering of the children of Israel at the yearly feasts. Unfortunately, this unity was broken up at the end of the reign of King Solomon.

The three yearly feasts when Israel gathered at Jerusalem were intended by God to be a time of revival, a time of refreshing by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, a time of repentance and brokenness before God, and a time of coming together in unity for the twelve tribes of Israel.

We see eleven times in the book of Acts that the church was in "one accord." This was the source of the anointing and power in the Holy Spirit.

In 1933Joseph E. Church, a medical missionary to East Africa, began to experience the flames of revival and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as he ministered to the native Africans. Note in the following quotes from his book Quest for the Highest how he saw that unity among the brethren helped spark the flames of this great African revival.

"At this time after the Mukono convention we began to understand more about real prayer for revival. God was teaching us that when two are in deep fellowship and really trust each other, have forgotten about colour, are really ‘in the light' together and have gone to the foot of the Cross together, he is there ‘in the midst of them'. That is the only placed where revival can be expected." 122]

122] Joseph E. Church, Quest for the Highest (Exeter, UK: The Paternoster Press, 1981), 133-4.

"God has shown us quite clearly that the conditions for the granting of His blessing to this fellowship have been the common bond of absolute surrender to Christ. And the only praying that is certain of results is that of those who know this same secret....The secret of all true Revival, and the fellowship that knows no barriers of race or class or privilege is personal unbroken communion with Christ....One cannot organize a Revival; it is mysterious as the wind. All human attempts at working up Revival are mere emotionalism- are Prayer of Manasseh -made fire. Even the organization of prayer can be mechanical; there is an invisible bond that unites the hearts of men who are truly on fire." 123]

123] Joseph E. Church, Quest for the Highest (Exeter, UK: The Paternoster Press, 1981), 267-8.

Psalm 133:1 (A Song of degrees of David.) Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Psalm 133:1Word Study on "degrees" - Strong says the Hebrew word "ma'alah" ( מַעֲלָה) (H 4609) literally means, "elevations," and in book of Psalm it means, "a climatic progression." Strong says this word is derived from the Hebrew verb "‘alah" ( עָלָה) (H 5927), which means "to ascend." This noun occurs 45 times in the Old Testament Scriptures and is often translated "steps," as in 1 Kings 10:19. In 2 Kings 20:9-11 "ma'alah" ( מַעֲלָה) is translated "degrees," referring to the ten steps the shadow regressed on the king's sundial.

Psalm 133:2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron"s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

Psalm 133:2 — "It is like the precious ointment" - Comments- This fragrant, anointing oil was a mixture of olive oil and four spices: myrrh, cinnamon, calamus and cassia (See Exodus 30:22-25).

Exodus 30:22-25, "Moreover the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil."

With it the Tabernacle and all of its furnishings were anointed. Aaron and his sons were also anointed with this holy oil.

Exodus 30:30, "And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest"s office."

This oil was holy unto God. It was not to touch the flesh of man nor was it to be copied for other personal uses.

Exodus 30:31-33, "And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations. Upon man"s flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people."

We know from the New Testament, that the oil is representative of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit at work in the hearts of men that brings unity in the body of Christ.

Ephesians 4:3, "Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

It is by the unity of the Church working together that the purpose and plan of God will be accomplished on this earth. God chose to work through man in performing His work on earth. This unity is a result of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts and lives of the Church, brooding over the Church as He brooded over the face of the earth in creation.

Ephesians 4:16, "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."

The Symbolic Meanings of the Ingredients- One preacher has given symbolic meanings to the five ingredients of the holy anointing oil as seen in Exodus 30:23-24. The myrrh, which literally means to be troubles, represents suffering, or the fellowship of Christ's sufferings. The cinnamon was a fragrance of spicery and represents good things. The calamus, which literally means a rod or measuring stick, represents government and order. The cassia, which grows at high altitudes and produces a purple flower, represents worship. The oil represents the Holy Spirit.

In addition, the preacher suggests that myrrh represents the office of the apostle as seen in the book of Acts. The cinnamon represents the office of an evangelist, as seen in the Gospel of Mark. Calamus represents the teacher, who sets in order the doctrines of Scripture, as seen in the Gospel of Matthew. Cassia represents the pastor, or shepherd, as seen in the Gospel of John. The oil represents the office of the prophet, as seen in the Gospel of Luke.

Thus, this symbolism teaches us that when the offices of the Church are in unity, the Holy Spirit is able to work mightily through His members. The preacher used 2 Corinthians 2:15 to say that the body of Christ is likened unto the sweet smelling fragrance of the holy anointing oil.

2 Corinthians 2:15, "For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:"

Psalm 133:2 — "upon the head" - Comments- Note another reference to oil upon the head:

Psalm 141:5, "Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities."

Psalm 133:2Comments- Rick Joyner describes in a vision the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. He says that the hair of Jesus glistened with oil. He said that this represented the oil of unity. 124]

124] Rick Joyner, The Call (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1999), 69-70.

Psalm 133:3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Psalm 133:3 — "As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion" - Comments- The Scriptures tell us that Hermon was an earlier name for mount Zion; or, as some scholars believe, it could have been a reference to the entire mountain range in this area.

Deuteronomy 4:48, "From Aroer, which is by the bank of the river Arnon, even unto mount Sion, which is Hermon,"

Zion, or Sion, is perhaps a derivative of the Phoenician name "Sirion." See:

Deuteronomy 3:8, "And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan, from the river of Arnon unto mount Hermon; (Which Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it Shenir;)"

Psalm 133:3 — "for there the LORD commanded the blessing" - Comments- This is a reference to Zion, the city of God. In the march of the children of Israel to the annual feasts in Jerusalem, it refers to the city of David. To the Church, it refers to the heavenly Jerusalem, called Heaven. For Heaven will be a place of eternal life.

Psalm 133:3 — "even life for evermore" - Comments- One of the Lord"s blessings of the unity of brethren is eternal life.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 133:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/psalms-133.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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