The joy of brotherhood
A Song of degrees of David.
This psalm is all about the preciousness of family unity. Its blessedness is exclaimed (verse 1), and explained (verses 2-3). It sanctifies (verse 2), and solidifies (verse 3).
Verses 1-3 (see note on Psalm 120:1-7). The occasion for this Davidic psalm is unknown. Perhaps it was prompted by the nation’s coming together in unity at his coronation (compare 2 Sam. 5:1-3; 1 Chron. 11:1-3). It’s teaching on fraternal unity would have been instructive to David’s sons, who were antagonistic toward one another, e.g., Absalom murdered Ammon (2 Sam. 13:28-33), and Adonijah tried to preempt Solomon’s right to the throne (1 Kings 1:5-53).
- Praise of Unity (133:1);
- Pictures of Unity (133:2-3);
III. Oil on Aaron’s head (133:2);
- Dew on Mt. Zion (133:3).
Psalm 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
“Pleasant” means “lovely, charming, attractive”, things that fill the mind with delight. God’s people derive this delight from unity within the body of Christ (John chapter 17).
“Brethren: Those who lineage can be traced to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
“Unity”: While national unity might be on the surface, the foundation must always be spiritual unity. This would be the emphasis here, since these songs were sung by Jewish pilgrims traveling to the 3 great feasts.
The word “behold”, always means to stop and take notice. Notice who it is who are to dwell together. It is brethren. All believers in Christ are the sons of God. We are brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the natural, and only begotten Son of God. We are His adopted brothers. Even women are spoken of as brothers, just as all men and women are spoken of as the bride of Christ. With God there is no male or female. We are children of God in our spirit body, not in our body of flesh. In the flesh, there is a separation of men and women, for the purpose of procreating life. In the Spirit, there is no marrying and taking in marriage. Look at the difference in the flesh body and the spirit body (in 1 Corinthians). Why cannot all believers in Christ not get along on this earth? It has to do with the frailty of the flesh. Earthly sisters and brothers do not get along very well. The flesh gets in the way.
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;”
“Ointment upon”: Most likely refers to the anointing of Aaron as High-Priest of the nation (compare Exodus 29:7; 30:30), which would picture a rich spiritual blessing as a first priority.
Priests were anointed with “oil” when they took office as a sign of God’s blessing on them (Exodus 30:22-33). God lavishes His blessing when there is unity among His children.
This oil, is the oil of the Holy Spirit. It was poured in abundance on the High Priest in the temple. The fact that it covered his entire body, showed a total dedication to the Lord. This very same oil was used to dedicate the priests, as well. Remember, the priest symbolizes all believers in Christ. It is the Spirit of God that draws us closer together in the unity of Christ.
Ephesians 4:13 “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:”
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.”
“The dew of Hermon”: Mt. Hermon, a 9200-foot peak at the extreme northern portion of Palestine, provided the major water supply for the Jordan River by its melting snow. This reference could be to the Jordan water supply or figuratively to the actual prevalent dew of Hermon being hypothetically transported to Zion. Either way, this pictures a refreshing material blessing as a second, lesser priority.
“There”: Seems to refer to Zion.
“Life for evermore” (compare Psalm 21:4-6).
People do not have anything at all to do with the dew falling. God sends it wherever He will. The dew that falls from God is symbolic of the Spirit. Notice, the word mountains is plural in the verse above. Mountains are symbolic of nations. Zion symbolizes the church. We see, in this, the fact that God will pour His Spirit out unto the Christians (who are the church), in all nations. There is no greater blessing to be bestowed upon man than the blessing of everlasting life. The believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are blessed with this greatest of all blessings. Look, with me, at the pouring out of God’s Spirit.
Joel 2:28-29 “And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:” “And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”
Psalm 133 Questions
- How good and pleasant it is for the brethren to ________ together in _________.
- Where can we read about the spirit body and the flesh body?
- What is the oil, in 133:2?
- What is the dew of Hermon symbolic of?
- What do mountains symbolize?
- There is no greater blessing than what?
- Quote Joel 2:28.