Psalm 133, 8 April 18

How good and how pleasant it is when kindred live together in harmony. That’s the simple message of this psalm.” Like most of the psalms of ascent, it’s short and sweet. Some unusual but enticing images that require a little explanation adorn the short song:

  • Fine oil upon the head, flowing down upon the beard, upon the collars of Aaron’s robe. The pristine state of the high priest’s fine robes just don’t count against the value of a holy blessing.

    Mount Hermon. Image
  • The dew of Hermon flowing down upon the hills of Zion. Familial harmony is a blessing spreading gently down from the snowy heights upon the villages and streets of everyday dwellings in the foothills.

In the original historical setting, the references to the hills of Hermon in the northern kingdom (now on the Lebanon-Syria border) and Zion, the mount of Jerusalem in the southern kingdom, suggest that this was a prayer for national as well as societal or family unity.

A post last year at this time added some more comments.


As in recent years, we sing PFAS 133D, the lilting Spanish song Miren qué bueno. And speaking of relatives in unity, note how familial this Spanish is with the Latin in the illustration below, Ecce quam bonum. More singers = more harmony! Roll up.

Psalm 133 in the Vespasian Psalter; British Library

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