Psalm 133:3
As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended on the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for ever more.
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133:1-3 The excellency of brotherly love. - We cannot say too much, it were well if enough could be said, to persuade people to live together in peace. It is good for us, for our honour and comfort; and brings constant delight to those who live in unity. The pleasantness of this is likened to the holy anointing oil. This is the fruit of the Spirit, the proof of our union with Christ, and adorns his gospel. It is profitable as well as pleasing; it brings blessings numerous as the drops of dew. It cools the scorching heat of men's passions, as the dews cool the air and refresh the earth. It moistens the heart, and makes it fit to receive the good seed of the word, and to make it fruitful. See the proof of the excellency of brotherly love: where brethren dwell together in unity, the Lord commands the blessing. God commands the blessing; man can but beg a blessing. Believers that live in love and peace, shall have the God of love and peace with them now, and they shall shortly be with him for ever, in the world of endless love and peace. May all who love the Lord forbear and forgive one another, as God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven them.As the dew of Hermon ... - On the situation of Mount Hermon, see the notes at Psalm 89:12. The literal rendering of this passage would be, "Like the dew of Hermon which descends on the mountains of Zion." According to our version two things are referred to: the dew of Hermon, and the dew on the mountains of Zion, But this is not in the original. There no dew is referred to but that which belongs to Hermon. It has, of course, been made a question how the dew of Hermon, a remote mountain, could be said to descend on the mountains of Zion, and our translators have sought to solve the difficulty by inserting the words "and as the dew." Some have supposed that the proper interpretation is to refer the comparison in the passage to the dew of Hermon, and that all which follows is an application of the thought: "Like the dew of Hermon is the influence which comes down upon the mountains of Zion," etc.

The most probable and plausible interpretation, however, it seems to me, is, that the mind of the poet was turned to the dew of Hermon - to the gentleness, and the copiousness, and the vivifying nature of that dew - diffusing beauty and abundance all around - and that he thought of that dew, or dew like that, as descending on the mountains of Zion. Not that the dew of Hermon actually descended there; but when changing the comparison, in illustration of brotherly love, from oil to dew, he most naturally thought (perhaps from some former observation) of the dew of Hermon, and immediately thought of Zion as if that dew descended there: that is, love, unity, and concord there would be as if the dew of Hermon should descend on the barren hills of Zion or Jerusalem, there diffusing beauty, abundance, fertility. The comparison of the influence of brotherly love, or unity, with dew is not a forced or unnatural one. So calm, so gentle, so refreshing on the tender grain, on the young plants, on the flowers, is dew, that it is a striking image of the influences which produce brotherly love and harmony.

For there the Lord commanded the blessing - He appointed that as the place of worship; as the seat of his residence; the source of all holy influences. See Psalm 78:67-69, note; Psalm 87:2, note.

Even life for evermore - literally, "Life to eternity." That is, such influences go from that place as to lead to eternal life, or as to secure eternal life. It is in Zion, in his church, that he has made known the way to eternal life, and the means by which it may be obtained. To the end of the world this beautiful psalm will be sung in the church alike as expressing the charm which there is in unity among brethren and in the church; and as tending to promote that unity whose beauty it is designed to commend. Happy will be that day when the church shall be so united that it may be sung everywhere, as expressing what is, and not merely what should be.

As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion,.... Hermon was a very high hill beyond Jordan; the Sidonians called it Sirion, and the Amorites Shenir, Deuteronomy 3:8; hence Shenir and Hermon are mentioned together, Sol 4:8; and sometimes Sion or Seon, Deuteronomy 4:48; and is the Zion here intended; for the dew of Hermon could never descend on the mountain of Zion near Jerusalem, which was a hundred miles distant; besides Zion was but one mountain, these many. Hermon was remarkable for its dew, which still continues: a traveller (c), one of our own country, and whose fidelity is to be depended on, lying in tents near this hill one night, says,

"we were sufficiently instructed by experience what the holy psalmist means by the dew of Hermon; our tents being as wet with it as if it had rained all night.''

The mountains of Zion were those that were near to Zion, and not the mountain itself, those that were round about Jerusalem, on which the dew also fell in great plenty; and to which unity among brethren is here compared, because it comes from God in heaven, as the dew does. Saints are taught of God to love one another; contentions and quarrels come from lusts within, but this comes from above, from the Father of lights; and, because of its gentle nature, this makes men pure, and peaceable, and gentle, and easy to be entreated; as the dew falls gently in a temperate and moderate air, not in stormy and blustering weather: and because of its cooling nature; it allays the heats and animosities in the minds of men; and because it makes the saints fruitful, and to grow and increase in good works;

for there the Lord commanded the blessing; either in the mountains of Zion; so Kimchi: and if Mount Zion is meant by it, the church, often signified thereby, is the dwelling place of the Lord; here he records his name and blesses; here his word is preached, which is full of blessings; and here ordinances are administered, which are blessed of God to his people. Theodoret thinks some respect is had to the pouring down of the Spirit on the apostles in Jerusalem, on the day of Pentecost: but rather the sense is, where brethren dwell together in unity, there the God of love and peace is; the Gospel of the grace of God is continued; and the ordinances of it made beneficial to the souls of men, they meeting together in peace and concord; see 2 Corinthians 13:11. God is said to "command the blessing" when he promises it, and makes it known to his people, or bestows it on them, Psalm 105:8;

even life for evermore: the great blessing of all, which includes all others, and in which they issue, the promise of the covenant, the blessing of the Gospel; which is in the hands of Christ, and comes through him to all his people; to the peacemakers particularly, that live in love and peace; these shall live for ever in a happy eternity, and never die, or be hurt of the second death.

(c) Maundrell's Travels, p. 57. Ed. 7.

As the dew of {c} Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for {d} there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

(c) By Hermon and Zion he means the plentiful country about Jerusalem.

(d) Where there is such concord.

Shiloh has been rejected (Psalm 78:60), for a time only was the sacred Ark in Bethel (Judges 20:27) and Mizpah (Judges 21:5), only somewhat over twenty years was it sheltered by the house of Abinadab in Kirjath-Jearim (1 Samuel 7:2), only three months by the house of Obed-Edom in Perez-uzzah (2 Samuel 6:11) - but Zion is Jahve's abiding dwelling-place, His own proper settlement, מנוּחה (as in Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 66:1, and besides 1 Chronicles 28:2). In Zion, His chosen and beloved dwelling-place, Jahve blesses everything that belongs to her temporal need (צידהּ for זידתהּ, vid., on Psalm 27:5, note); so that her poor do not suffer want, for divine love loves the poor most especially. His second blessing refers to the priests, for by means of these He will keep up His intercourse with His people. He makes the priesthood of Zion a real institution of salvation: He clothes her priests with salvation, so that they do not merely bring it about instrumentally, but personally possess it, and their whole outward appearance is one which proclaims salvation. And to all her saints He gives cause and matter for high and lasting joy, by making Himself known also to the church, in which He has taken up His abode, in deeds of mercy (loving-kindness or grace). There (שׁם, Psalm 133:3) in Zion is indeed the kingship of promise, which cannot fail of fulfilment. He will cause a horn to shoot forth, He will prepare a lamp, for the house of David, which David here represents as being its ancestor and the anointed one of God reigning at that time; and all who hostilely rise up against David in his seed, He will cover with shame as with a garment (Job 8:22), and the crown consecrated by promise, which the seed of David wears, shall blossom like an unfading wreath. The horn is an emblem of defensive might and victorious dominion, and the lamp (נר, 2 Samuel 21:17, cf. ניר, 2 Chronicles 21:7, lxx λύχνον) an emblem of brilliant dignity and joyfulness. In view of Ezekiel 29:21, of the predictions concerning the Branch (zemach) in Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12 (cf. Hebrews 7:14), and of the fifteenth Beracha of the Shemone-Esre (the daily Jewish prayer consisting of eighteen benedictions): "make the branch (zemach) of David Thy servant to shoot forth speedily, and let his horn rise high by virtue of Thy salvation," - it is hardly to be doubted that the poet attached a Messianic meaning to this promise. With reference to our Psalm, Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, changes that supplicatory beracha of his nation (Luke 1:68-70) into a praiseful one, joyfully anticipating the fulfilment that is at hand in Jesus.
3. there—that is, in Zion, the Church; the material Zion, blessed with enriching dews, suggests this allusion the source of the influence enjoyed by the spiritual Zion.

commanded the blessing—(Compare Ps 68:28).

As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion - This was not Mount Zion, ציון tsiyon, in Jerusalem, but Sion, שיאן which is a part of Hermon, see Deuteronomy 4:48 : "Mount Sion, which is Hermon." On this mountain the dew is very copious. Mr. Maundrell says that "with this dew, even in dry weather, their tents were as wet as if it had rained the whole night." This seems to show the strength of the comparison.

For there - Where this unity is.

The Lord commanded the blessing - That is, an everlasting life. There he pours out his blessings, and gives a long and happy life.

For other particulars, see the commentators passim, and the following analysis.

133:3 Zion - It is as desirable as the dew which falls upon mount Hermon, nay, as desirable as that heavenly dew of God's ordinances and graces which he hath commanded to fall upon the mountains of Zion and Moriah, and others which are round about Jerusalem. There - Where brethren live in peace and unity.
Psalm 133:2
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