1.0 The Text
Psalm 133:1-3 (KJV) “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments, like the dew of Hermon, and like the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”
1.1 Psalm 133
Psalm 133 is the 14th Psalm of the 15 “Songs of Decrees.” Most Bible Expositors agreed that Psalm 133 is a Psalm of David. Of three verses extols the pleasantness and the preciousness of the Unity of Brethren. The lessons of Psalm 133 are both appropriate and relevant to Believer/Church, today, for the Unity, which is taught, is an essential condition for those who Worship together “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The conditions described in Psalm 133 are necessary for God’s Anointing and Blessing to the Individual/Church. The real problem of the Church is the Leaders and Members do not understand and experience “brokenness:”
- Isaiah 66:2b (KJV) “But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at My Word.”
- Psalm 34:18 (KJV) “The LORD is near unto those who are of a broken heart, and saveth such as he of a contrite spirit.”
- Psalm 51:17 (KJV) “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.”
- Isaiah 57:15 (KJV) “For thus saith the high and lofty One who inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and lofty place, with him also who is f a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
Psalm 133 is about Unity among Believers; Commentators identify it as a Wisdom Psalm. Psalm 133 is the occasion of the uniting of all the Tribes of Israel, after seven or eight years of Civil War (2Samuel 5:1; 1Chronicles 12:38-40) – “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” It thought runs from the Definition of Unity (Psalm 133:1) to a Description of Unity (Psalm 133:2-3). Psalm 133 is a literary gem. The word “good” (towb) occurs twice:
- Brotherly Unity is “Good” (Psalm 133:1).
- And the flowing oil is “Good” (Psalm 133:2).
As or like occurs twice: (a) like the good oil (Psalm 133:2); (b) and like the dew of Hermon (Psalm 133:3). Upon occurs four times: (a) upon the head; (b) upon the beard; (c) upon the skirts; (d) upon the mountains (Psalm 133:2-3). Flowing down (yárad) occurs three times, translates ran down, went down, and descended. Beard occurs twice (Psalm 133:2).
Dr. Dwight L. Moody preached a Sermon in which he noted that Christians in his day wanted influence. Instead, Moody said, what they need is Power, the Power of the Holy Spirit. This is the Power that we need to tear down the walls, freeing us to love one another again. This is the Power that we need, and it cannot be elected or bought or sold. In fact, when one man tried to buy it long ago, the Apostle Peter replied, “To hell with you and your money” (Acts 8:20, J.B. Philips).
1.2 Unity Defined
Psalm 133:1 (KJV) “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” The premise is stated. The word “good” means fulfilling or perfect. The word “pleasant” means “delightful, lovely and beautiful,” denotes our response to being together.
- The word “pleasant” is used in the Hebrew for the harmony of music.
- The word “pleasant” is used in the Hebrew for the pleasantness of the corn field, when the field is filled with corns.
- The word “pleasant” is used in the Hebrew for the sweetness of honey.
A thing or situation may be good without being pleasant or pleasant without being good. But if a pleasant thing is to be good, it must be good before it is pleasant. Fraternal concord (unity) is good in its source, nature, and effects, and pleasant to God, to us, and to others.
This Unity is not Catholicity, or Ecumenicalism or Denominational. When the New Testament says: “the dwelling of brethren also together in unity,” it speaks of the “Unity of the Faith, and the Maturity to the Full Stature of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13) brought about by the Fivefold Ministry Gift of the Ascended Christ, of: “Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers” (Ephesians 4:11).
The Unity declared in Psalm 133 is possible because of “the Promise of Blessing” through the Messiah’s Reign, which came at the End of Psalm 132.
The first step to Unity is “brethren dwell together” – The idea of dwelling together should probably not be taken literally. It is doubtful that the Psalmist is referring to a family living under one roof (Deuteronomy 25:5), especially in the light of Psalm 133:2, 3, we take David to be addressing the value and benefit of Spiritual Unity for God’s people.
The emphasis is not outward casual acquaintance but “brotherly love” (Hebrews 13:1) – both Individual and Corporate responsibility to “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3b). True Unity is beneficial – the Fellowship is a joy for everyone, and that joy is rooted in a mutual commitment to working out difficulties and refining relationships. Unity gives us a sense of purpose and completion that resulted in “Goodness and Pleasantness.”
1.2.1 Unity & Anointing –
The word “good” in Psalm 133:1 and the word “precious” in Psalm 133:2 are the same Hebrew word: “towb” – by using this one Hebrew word “towb” to describe both “Unity” (Psalm 133:1) and the “Anointing Oil” (Psalm 133:2) – God’s Word indicates that Unity and Anointing are inseparable and are linked – Unity and Anointing functioned together, creating the Great Synergy.
1.2.2 Fruitfulness –
The Hebrew word “towb” which means “good” (Psalm 133:1) and “precious” (Psalm 133:2) also means “fruitfulness” – thus, the Unity spoken of in Psalm 133 is “Fruit-Producing Unity” (Psalm 133:1), and not just agreement. This Unity results in “Fruit-Producing Anointing” (Psalm 133:2). God’s Word teaches that “Fruitful-Unity,” not agreement, produces “Fruitful-Anointing” of the Holy Spirit.
1.2.3 Pleasant –
The word “pleasant” (Psalm 133:1) means “delightful, lovely and beautiful,” denotes our response to being together – it denotes the “enjoyment of each-other-company” – The word “pleasant” is used in the Hebrew for “the harmony of music; pleasantness of the corn field, when the field is filled with corns; the sweetness of honey.” Thus, when we are in unity, our relationship with one another is: “Harmonious, Pleasant and Sweet.”
1.2.4 Priestly Ministry –
Psalm 133:2b indicates Aaron in his Priestly Function, which included the Ministry of Intercession – thus, the dynamic of the “Fruitful-Unity” resulting in the “Fruitful-Anointing” that produces Effective Intercession. This releases the Spiritual Power and Authority to the Body of Christ, by the Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ.
1.3 Unity Explained
Psalm 133:2-3a (KJV) “It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments. Like the dew of Hermon, and like the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion.” The emphasis on Unity is upon the Pattern of the Hebrew’s life, in which the family and tribal live in harmony with each other. David describes the Pleasantness of Unity with two poetic images. The first is “the Anointing Oil’ of the High Priests, and the second is the “Dew of Mount Hermon:”
1.3.1 Aaron’s Anointing
Psalm 133:2 (KJV) “It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments.” The first illustration is the “Anointing oil” – specifically the Anointing of Aaron, the High Priest:
- “It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments.” The word rendered “precious” here means “good.” The “Anointing Oil” is the sacred perfumed oil used for Anointing the High Priest (Exodus 30:23). It is poured upon Aaron’s head (Exodus 30:22-33) when consecrated to office. The oil is a type of the Holy Spirit in His Sanctifying Power. The illustration given here is not only on the fragrance of the oil (precious = good), and its abundance. The oil does not remain upon the head but flowed downward, thus sanctifying the whole body. All the Members shared the Blessing.
- This Anointing, which followed a ritual bath, set Aaron apart. There is reason to believe from the Anointing of David with oil and the immediate coming of the Holy Spirit upon him, that the oil represented the Blessing and Presence of God’s Spirit (1Samuel 16:13). This would also account for the singular description of the oil flowing down Aaron’s beard and “running down on the edge” (literally, “mouth”) of his garments.” Thus, the Unity of the Brethren is like Aaron, covered with the Oil of the Spirit. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Unity (Ephesians 4:3). It is the Spirit who makes us one, levelling the walls that stand between us, as He (Spirit) Authors God’s New Creation in us and Anoints us with Himself (2Corinthians 1:21-22).
- The Holy Oil with which Aaron was Anointed at his Consecration into the Priesthood is a sweet-smelling compound of myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, and cassia, in olive oil. It is a unique composition, never to be imitated, and to be used for the Anointing of the High Priest and the Vessels of the Tabernacle (Exodus 30:22-33). The interpretation of the five ingredients is taken from Song of Solomon 4:12-14, which lists the nine plants and spices in the garden (heart) of the Bride of Christ, and Galatians 5:22-23, which enumerates the Nine Fruit of the Spirit that the Spirit of God cultivates in the garden of our hearts:
- Myrrh represents “Meekness” – “Meekness” is the strength of character, a virtue that enables a person not to retaliate when offended.
- Cinnamon typifies “Goodness” – “Goodness” is a quality of being good. The person harness himself from doing evil.
- Calamus represents “Gentleness” – “Gentleness” is a precious virtue (1Thessalonians 2:7; Psalm 18:35; 2Timothy 2:24).
- Cassia represents “Humility” – “Humility” is a must in order to have unity with others, because unless we have the humility of heart to prefer others before ourselves, we tend to strife (Philippians 2:3).
- Olive Oil represents “Peace” (Genesis 8:11) – The olive branch is an International Symbol of Peace. We have peace with people around us, not having any hard feelings or offenses toward others.
- In order to experience true Unity of the brethren, to its fullest extent, these five virtues (“Meekness, Goodness, Gentleness, Humility, and Peace”) must be worked out in every Believer’s life. Therefore, let the Members of the Body of Christ seek to cultivate these Five Virtues (Meekness, Goodness, Gentleness, Humility and Peace) of the Anointing Oil. The “Anointing Oil” is therefore very precious, just like the Unity of the Brethren!!
- Anointing is done at God’s Direction (Exodus 30:22-33), in His Ways, with His Authority, and any Blessing it conferred is from God. In Psalm 133:2 the threefold repetition: “running down,” “running down,” and “down” – the Hebrew uses the same verb each time – emphasises that the Blessing of Aaron’s Anointing is from above, that is, from God. The Unity of the Brethren is compared to the Precious Anointing Oil that is poured on Aaron’s head and flowed down his whole body to the bottom of his garments. In other words, he (Aaron) is completely covered with the Anointing Oil, which represents the Anointing (James 5:4). The Lord Jesus Christ was Anointed with the Holy Spirit Without Measure (John 3:34). The Brethren who dwell in Unity will experience this Great Anointing both Individually and Corporately!
- The Anointing Oil of Aaron is the Blessing from God to him, but he (Aaron) is the High Priest, which mean that he in turn blessed others. The description of the Anointing Oil running down from his head-to the beard-to the skirts, suggests the blessing of Unity flows from one person to another, in the Body of Christ.
- The Anointing Oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit in His Sanctifying Power. The illustration given here is not only on the Fragrance of the Oil (Precious = Good), and its abundance but that the Anointing Oil does not remained upon the head but flowed downward, thus Sanctifying the whole Body of Christ. All the Members shared in the Anointing!!
- God’s Anointing breaks the yoke – Isaiah 10:27 (KJV) “The yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing” – the yoke of division, strife in the Church will be broken when God’s Anointing of the Holy Spirit flows.
To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..