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Psalms: Chapter 132

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Text view alone

A song of ascents.

1O LORD, remember in David's favor his extreme self‐denial, 2how he swore to the LORD, vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob, 3“I will not enter my house, nor will I mount my bed, 4I will not give sleep to my eyes, or slumber to my eyelids a Lit. “eyes.” 5until I find a place for the LORD, an abode for the Mighty One of Jacob.” 6We heard it was in Ephrath; we came upon it in the region of Jaar. b Cf. 1 Sam. 7.1–2 ; 1 Chron. 13.5–6 . 7Let us enter His abode, bow at His footstool. 8Advance, O LORD, to Your resting‐place, You and Your mighty Ark! 9Your priests are clothed in triumph; Your loyal ones sing for joy. 10For the sake of Your servant David do not reject Your anointed one. 11The LORD swore to David a firm oath that He will not renounce, “One of your own issue I will set upon your throne. 12If your sons keep My covenant and My decrees that I teach them, then their sons also, to the end of time, shall sit upon your throne.” 13For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His seat. 14“This is my resting‐place for all time; here I will dwell, for I desire it. 15I will amply bless its store of food, give its needy their fill of bread. 16I will clothe its priests in victory, its loyal ones shall sing for joy. 17There I will make a horn sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for My anointed one. 18I will clothe his enemies in disgrace, while on him his crown shall sparkle.”


a Lit. “eyes.”

b Cf. 1 Sam. 7.1–2 ; 1 Chron. 13.5–6 .

Text Commentary view alone

Ps. 132 :

Like several other Songs of Ascents, this psalm emphasizes the significance of Zion, but in other ways it differs from this group: it is significantly longer, and stylistically unlike all the others. Its focus is on various promises made by and to David, and thus exhibits the same reciprocity seen in 134. It may recreate a ritual involving the Ark; according to 2 Chron. 6.41–42, vv. similar to 132.8–9 were used in connection with Solomon's dedication of the Temple. It is impossible, however, to reconstruct this ritual. Like Psalm 89, it does not exactly agree with the book of Samuel as it reinterprets earlier traditions about David.

1–2 :

This self‐denial is not found in Samuel, nor is David's desire to build a Temple expressed as an oath there. The Mighty One of Jacob is an old divine epithet, used only here and in v. 5 in the Psalter (e.g., Gen. 49.24 ).

3–5 :

An exaggerated poetic rendition of 2 Sam. 7.2 : “Here I am dwelling in a house of cedar, while the Ark of the LORD abides in a tent!”

6 :

The referent of it (feminine in Heb) is uncertain, though it likely refers to traditions about the Ark (masculine!) wandering; it is unclear if these agree exactly with Samuel.

7 :

On abode (“mishkanot”) and footstool, see 43.3–4 and 99.5 n.

8–9 :

See 2 Chron. 6.41–42 (no parallel in 1 Kings ch 8 ); as noted by Radak, “there are slight changes between these verses, but they have the same meaning”; these vv. appear to have been used somehow in an ancient ritual. Advance (lit. “Arise,” “kumah”), is often used to rouse God into battle—note Your mighty Ark (see 7.7 n. ).

10 :

On David as God's servant, see 18.1 n. ; on anointed one, see 2.2 n.

11 :

The divine oath is a response of David's oath (v. 2 ), creating symmetry in the psalm. In 2 Sam. ch 7 , “oath” is not used: the promise is called “words” and “prophecy” (2 Sam. 7.17 ). One of your own issue is a poetic restatement of 2 Sam. 7.12 .

12 :

In 2 Sam. ch 7 and related literature (see esp. Ps. 89 ), the promise is of an eternal (“‘olam”) dynasty; here, as in 1 Kings 9.4–9 , the promise is conditional (see annotations to 1 Kings ch 9 and intro. to that book).

13 :

For connects the choosing of David and of Zion (see 78.68–72 n. ).

14 :

Resting‐place: See v. 8 , of the Ark, God's throne or footstool.

15 :

The needy are a frequent concern of Psalms.

16 :

On loyal ones (“ḥasid”), see 4.4 n.

17 :

Horn often expresses military victory. In 2 Sam. 21.17 , David is called “the lamp of Israel.”

18 :

Shame is the gravest punishment; ancient Israel was a shame‐oriented society. This image reverses v. 16 , “I will clothe its priests in victory” (Radak). The crown is a symbol of royalty (2 Sam. 1.10; 2 Kings 11.12 ).

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