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Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible
Psalms 133



Verse 1



This Psalm was composed by David upon the happy occasion of the ending of the civil war between the two houses of Saul and David; in which, having felt the sad effects of discord and division, both the king and people were more sensible of the great blessing of reconciliation and unity.

David extolleth the benefit and excellency of the unity and brotherly communion of the faithful.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is! you have been harassed by a civil war, take notice of this blessed change with thankfulness to God for it.

For brethren; for us, who are brethren, not only by nature and blood, but also by combination in one and the same commonwealth, and by the profession of the same religion.

Verse 2

It is no less grateful and refreshing than that oil which was plentifully poured forth upon Aaron’s head at the time of his consecration to the priestly office, which was exceeding pleasant, not only for the extraordinary fragrancy of it, but because by this, together with the other rites prescribed, he was initiated into that sacred office, which was so acceptable to God, and so comfortable and beneficial to the people, as being the happy instrument of making atonement to God for them, and of procuring and maintaining their peace with God, upon which all their happiness of this life and of the next depends.

Skirts; or, skirt; for the Hebrew word is of the singular number. Not to the lower skirt or bottom of his sacerdotal garment, for that the sacred oil was poured forth in so great plenty is not probable, nor was it necessary or convenient; but to the upper skirt of it, or the mouth of it, as this Hebrew word properly signifies; or to the collar of his upper priestly garment, which the ointment falling upon his beard might easily reach.

Verse 3

It is no less grateful than the dew is which falls upon that great and goodly hill of

Hermon, whereby it is both refreshed and made fruitful. And as the dew which falleth

upon the mountains of Zion, i.e. either upon the several parts and ridges or tops of that mountain, whereof one was peculiarly called

Zion, and another

Moriah; or upon the mountains which are round about Jerusalem, Psalms 125:2, which is oft called Zion, as Psalms 132:13. And these may be opposed to Hermon, which was remote and beyond Jordan. But peradventure (which yet I propose with all submission) this dew is not to be taken literally, for the falling of the dew availed very little to the refreshment or improvement of the hills of Zion and Moriah, especially as now they were filled with buildings; but allegorically, for the favour or blessing of God, which is frequently called and compared to the dew, as Proverbs 19:12 Isaiah 18:4 Hosea 14:5 Micah 5:7. And thus it may seem to be explained in the following clause; and so the sense of the place is this, It is as desirable as the natural dew which falls upon Mount Hermon, nay, which is more, as that blessed and heavenly dew of God’s ordinances and graces which he hath commanded to fall upon the mountains of Zion; i.e. either upon Mount Zion; the plural number being put for the singular, as it is Psalms 132:7, and oft elsewhere, as I have observed in several places; or upon the mountains of Zion and Moriah, and others which are round about Jerusalem, as was now said. And if it seem strange that the dew should be taken literally in the first clause, and mystically in the next, we have a like instance Matthew 8:22, Let the dead (spiritually) bury the dead (naturally). For: he now gives the reason either why this unity is so good a thing; or why the dew descending upon Zion, to which that is compared, is so desirable. And so upon this occasion he slides into the commendation of Zion’s felicity, as the sacred writers frequently do upon other like occasions. There; either,

1. Where brethren live in peace and unity; or rather,

2. In Zion last mentioned. Commandeth the blessing; ordained, promised, conferred, and established his blessing, to wit, all manner of blessedness for his people that sincerely worship him in that place. Life, to wit, a happy and pleasant life; for to live in misery is accounted and oft called death, both in Scripture and in other authors.


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Bibliography Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 133:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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