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Psalms 132

Psalm 132 1 

A song of ascents. 2 

132:1 O Lord, for David’s sake remember

all his strenuous effort, 3 

132:2 and how he made a vow to the Lord,

and swore an oath to the powerful ruler of Jacob. 4 

132:3 He said, 5  “I will not enter my own home, 6 

or get into my bed. 7 

132:4 I will not allow my eyes to sleep,

or my eyelids to slumber,

132:5 until I find a place for the Lord,

a fine dwelling place 8  for the powerful ruler of Jacob.” 9 

132:6 Look, we heard about it 10  in Ephrathah, 11 

we found it in the territory of Jaar. 12 

132:7 Let us go to his dwelling place!

Let us worship 13  before his footstool!

132:8 Ascend, O Lord, to your resting place,

you and the ark of your strength!

132:9 May your priests be clothed with integrity! 14 

May your loyal followers shout for joy!

132:10 For the sake of David, your servant,

do not reject your chosen king! 15 

132:11 The Lord made a reliable promise to David; 16 

he will not go back on his word. 17 

He said, 18  “I will place one of your descendants 19  on your throne.

132:12 If your sons keep my covenant

and the rules I teach them,

their sons will also sit on your throne forever.”

132:13 Certainly 20  the Lord has chosen Zion;

he decided to make it his home. 21 

132:14 He said, 22  “This will be my resting place forever;

I will live here, for I have chosen it. 23 

132:15 I will abundantly supply what she needs; 24 

I will give her poor all the food they need. 25 

132:16 I will protect her priests, 26 

and her godly people will shout exuberantly. 27 

132:17 There I will make David strong; 28 

I have determined that my chosen king’s dynasty will continue. 29 

132:18 I will humiliate his enemies, 30 

and his crown will shine.

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1 sn Psalm 132. The psalmist reminds God of David’s devotion and of his promises concerning David’s dynasty and Zion.

2 sn The precise significance of this title, which appears in Pss 120-134, is unclear. Perhaps worshipers recited these psalms when they ascended the road to Jerusalem to celebrate annual religious festivals. For a discussion of their background see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 219-21.

3 tn Heb “all his affliction.” This may refer to David’s strenuous and tireless efforts to make provision for the building of the temple (see 1 Chr 22:14). Some prefer to revocalize the text as עַנַוָתוֹ (’anavato, “his humility”).

4 tn Heb “the powerful [one] of Jacob.”

5 tn The words “he said” are supplied in the translation to clarify that what follows is David’s vow.

6 tn Heb “the tent of my house.”

7 tn Heb “go up upon the bed of my couch.”

8 tn The plural form of the noun may indicate degree or quality; David envisions a special dwelling place (see Pss 43:3; 46:4; 84:1).

9 tn Heb “the powerful [one] of Jacob.”

10 tn Rather than having an antecedent, the third feminine singular pronominal suffix here (and in the next line) appears to refer to the ark of the covenant, mentioned in v. 8. (The Hebrew term אָרוֹן [’aron, “ark”] is sometimes construed as grammatically feminine. See 1 Sam 4:17; 2 Chr 8:11.)

11 sn Some understand Ephrathah as a reference to Kiriath-jearim because of the apparent allusion to this site in the next line (see the note on “Jaar”). The ark was kept in Kiriath-jearim after the Philistines released it (see 1 Sam 6:21-7:2). However, the switch in verbs from “heard about” to “found” suggests that Ephrathah not be equated with Jair. The group who is speaking heard about the ark while they were in Ephrath. They then went to retrieve it from Kiriath-jearim (“Jaar”). It is more likely that Ephrathah refers to a site near Bethel (Gen 35:16, 19; 48:7) or to Bethlehem (Ruth 4:11; Mic 5:2).

12 tn Heb “fields of the forest.” The Hebrew term יָעַר (yaad, “forest”) is apparently a shortened alternative name for קִרְיַת יְעָרִים (qiryat yÿarim, “Kiriath-jearim”), the place where the ark was kept after it was released by the Philistines and from which David and his men retrieved it (see 1 Chr 13:6).

13 tn Or “bow down.”

14 tn Or “righteousness.”

15 tn Heb “do not turn away the face of your anointed one.”

16 tn Heb “the Lord swore an oath to David [in] truth.”

17 tn Heb “he will not turn back from it.”

18 tn The words “he said” are supplied in the translation to clarify that what follows are the Lord’s words.

19 tn Heb “the fruit of your body.”

20 tn Or “for.”

21 tn Heb “he desired it for his dwelling place.”

22 tn The words “he said” are added in the translation to clarify that what follows are the Lord’s words.

23 tn Heb “for I desired it.”

24 tn Heb “I will greatly bless her provision.” The infinitive absolute is used to emphasize the verb.

25 tn Heb “her poor I will satisfy [with] food.”

26 tn Heb “and her priests I will clothe [with] deliverance.”

27 tn Heb “[with] shouting they will shout.” The infinitive absolute is used to emphasize the verb.

28 tn Heb “there I will cause a horn to sprout for David.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (cf. Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Pss 18:2; 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam 2:17). In the ancient Near East powerful warrior-kings would sometimes compare themselves to a goring bull that used its horns to kill its enemies. For examples, see P. Miller, “El the Warrior,” HTR 60 (1967): 422-25, and R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 135-36.

29 tn Heb “I have arranged a lamp for my anointed one.” Here the “lamp” is a metaphor for the Davidic dynasty (see 1 Kgs 11:36).

30 tn Heb “his enemies I will clothe [with] shame.”

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