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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Psalms 132

 

 

Verse 1

LORD, remember David, and all his afflictions:

Psalms 132:1-18.-David's zeal for building Yahweh's house is the plea that Yahweh should remember him and his race now in affliction (Psalms 132:1-5); his zeal appeared in his bringing the ark of God's strength from the fields of the wood (the forest town, Kirjath-jearim) to Zion. At its dedication he prayed that Yahweh might make Zion His rest, and that His priests might be clothed with righteousness, and His saints have cause for joy (Psalms 132:6-9); Yahweh, in answer to Israel's prayer in affliction, promises for David's sake to quicken David's royal line to life again (Psalms 132:10-12); because He hath chosen Zion, and, echoing David's prayer, will make it His rest forever, and clothe her priests with salvation, and make her saints shout for joy, and make David's crown to flourish, while his foes shall be clothed with shame (Psalms 132:13-18). Like the other anonymous pilgrim-songs, it belongs to the period of the return from Babylon, when David's kingdom and race were depressed, (cf. Psalms 89:1-52.)

Lord, remember David, (and) all his afflictions - from the prayer of Solomon at the consecration of the temple, 2 Chronicles 6:42, "O Lord God, turn not away the face of thine anointed (cf. Psalms 132:10 here); remember the mercies (Hebrew, the pious deed; as in 2 Chronicles 35:26, margin) of David thy servant." David's affliction at the time was concerning the sacred tabernacle which was without the ark of the covenant, a body without a soul. The ark, the symbol of the Lord Himself, was in Kirjath-jearim almost forgotten, and without any order of worship (Psalms 78:60-61; 1 Chronicles 13:3). Compare 1 Chronicles 22:14. He earnestly desired to have the ark of God in his capital, yet feared lest God's wrath against Israel might not yet have passed away; especially so when the Lord 'made a breach upon Uzzah' for his presumption (2 Samuel 6:7; 2 Samuel 6:9). At last his eager wish prevailed over fear. He brought up the ark to Zion. Then a new desire took possession of him, to raise a temple of stone for the ark. Though God denied his wish until Solomon's reign, He was so pleased with David's zeal for the house of God, that He gave him a promise of perpetuity to his own house and kingdom. Now the people and the posterity of David plead this premise at a time when God seemed to forget it and the pious earnestness of David. As primarily it was the plea of the depressed Jews after the return from Babylon, so ultimately it shall be the plea of the Jews after their long-continued dispersion, when the Lord shall by His spirit turn them to Himself.


Verse 2

How he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob;

The mighty God of Jacob - from Genesis 49:24.


Verse 3

Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed;

Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed - not literally, but virtually: I will come into my house as though I did not come into it, and go up into my bed as though I did not go into it, I shall regard myself as without a hence and bed, giving myself no settled rest until I find a resting place for the ark of Yahweh (2 Samuel 6:1-23; 2 Samuel 7:2; cf. 1 Corinthians 7:29-30). On account this his restless state, he calls his "house" a "tabernacle" or tent. Beds were generally placed on ascent at the end of the chamber, and were approached by several steps.


Verse 4-5

I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids,

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 6

Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood.

Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah - David's words after he had so far attained his wish, that the ark had been brought up to Zion. When we were at Ephratah (the old name for Bethlehem) - i:e., in David's youth, we knew of the ark only by hearsay (Job 42:5; Psalms 18:44): it was neglected and never visited. Gesenius takes "Ephratah" as Ephraim, in which tribe Shiloh was situated, the original seat of the ark; so in Judges 12:5, the Hebrew, Ephrathi, denotes an Ephraimite. But that is an abbreviation which can hardly have place here. "We heard of it in Ephratah" could hardly mean 'we heard that it was in Ephratah.' Rather, it is, 'we, being in Ephratah, heard of it' as a matter of mere hearsay. When it was in Shiloh it was not a mere matter of hearsay, and lost sight of, but it was the religious center of the nation openly.

We found it in the fields of the wood - i:e., in Kirjath-jearim (city of the woods), on the confines of Judah and Benjamin, where the ark was placed after its restoration by the Philistines. "We found it" implies that it was visually lost to Israel during the twenty years while it was in the suburbs of the solitary forest-town, Kirjath-jearim (1 Samuel 6:21; 1 Samuel 7:1; 2 Samuel 6:3-4). Maurer translates, 'in the fields of Jaar,' an abbreviation for Kirjath-jearim; as Hermon is put for Baal-hermon (Deuteronomy 3:9; Judges 3:3), Sheba for Beer-Sheba (Joshua 19:2).


Verse 7

We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool. We will go into his tabernacles; we will worship at his footstool - the language of David and the people at the dedication of the ark on Zion. The ark is "His footstool" (Psalms 99:5). Compare Hebrews 10:25 as to our duty, corresponding to the people's mutual exhortation here. Also Isaiah 2:3.


Verse 8-9

Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength.

Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. Let thy priests ... thy saints shout for joy (like Psalms 132:1; Psalms 132:10) - from Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the temple (2 Chronicles 6:41). 'The ark of the Lord's strength' (cf. Psalms 78:61) is the ark, the symbol of the strength which "the mighty God of Jacob" (Psalms 132:2) puts forth in behalf of His people. 'For the ark was not a dead ghost, but really showed that God was nigh to His Church' (Calvin). Compare the words of Moses when the ark set forward, and when it rested, wherein the Lord is identified in action with the ark, His symbol (Numbers 10:35-36).

Verse 9. Be clothed with righteousness - "with salvation" in the corresponding Psalms 132:16, and in Solomon's prayer in dedicating the temple. The "righteousness" with which the priests are clothed is that of their justification by God (cf. Isaiah 61:10), which involves with it necessarily their "salvation" (cf. Psalms 24:5).


Verse 10

For thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of thine anointed.

For thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of thine anointed - (cf. Psalms 132:1 above; 2 Chronicles 6:42). "Thine anointed" is David, as the original words of Solomon and the parallelism here prove (cf. Psalms 132:17; Psalms 84:9). Again and again we find that 'for David's sake' the Lord spared Judah's kings, and reserved to them a kingdom (1 Kings 11:12-13; 1 Kings 15:4; 2 Kings 8:19). It was not mealy for the sake of David, but for the sake of God's covenant with him and his seed (especially the Divine Son of David), and for the sake of God's honour involved therein (Psalms 132:11; 1 Kings 8:24-26).


Verse 11

The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.

The Lord hath sworn in truth (2 Samuel 7:28) unto David. To doubt after such an oath would be to blasphemously insult God (Psalms 89:3-4; Psalms 89:35-36).

Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. Its fullest realization is in Messiah (Luke 1:32-33; Luke 1:69; Acts 2:30-31).


Verse 12

If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.

If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore. This condition, which David's descendants had not kept, explains why the state of David's race and people was now, as a matter of fact, so different from what the Lord's gracious promise had contemplated. Still, though the non-fulfillment of the condition caused a suspension, it did not abrogate forever the promise. When the condition shall be fulfilled through the repentance and obedience of Israel, the promise resumes its unabated force. So 2 Samuel 7:14-15. The teaching of the Lord's testimony here is that internally imparted by God's Holy Spirit (Psalms 143:10; Psalms 94:12; and Psalms 119:1-176 :throughout). God alone can give the will and the power to keep His covenant.


Verse 13

For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.

For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. As Zion's welfare is inseparably associated with David's throne, Yahweh's choice of Zion as His seat involves as a consequence the restoration of David's race and kingdom, through which He shall then impart Salvation to His people (Psalms 48:1-2).


Verse 14

This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

This is my rest forever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it - (Psalms 68:16.) The Lord's answer is exactly consonant to the prayer. Psalms 132:8, "Arise, O Lord, into thy rest."


Verse 15

I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.

I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread - (Psalms 147:14; Isaiah 33:16; Isaiah 33:20.)


Verse 16

I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.

I will also clothe her priests with salvation - (Psalms 132:9, "with righteousness:" cf. Psalms 149:4).

And her saints shall shout aloud for joy - namely, at their salvation (Isaiah 61:10). How immediately and how fully doth God's answer echo His people's prayer! (Psalms 132:9.)


Verse 17

There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.

There will I make the horn of David to bud. "There" - namely, in Zion I will make David's race to rise from depression to eminence in kingly dignity (cf. Ezekiel 29:21). Luke 1:69 applies the prophecy to Messiah. A horn is the symbol of strength (Psalms 75:4, note).

I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed - I will cause the light of prosperity to shine again upon his race, after the darkness that has enveloped them, for the sake of David mine anointed. Compare the same image, Psalms 18:28. Especially 1 Kings 11:36, "Unto his (Solomon's) son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light (Hebrew, lamp) alway before me in Jerusalem" (1 Kings 15:4; 2 Chronicles 21:7).


Verse 18

His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.

His enemies will I clothe with shame - with disappointment in their hope of glorying over his downfall. His enemies will I clothe with shame - with disappointment in their hope of glorying over his downfall.

But upon himself shall his crown flourish - in contrast to Psalms 89:39. David shall reign in the person of his seed, the Son of David, Messiah.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 132:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-132.html. 1871-8.

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