Psalm 132

Psalm 132
Reign of Christ B


A Song of Ascents.A

O Lord,B rememberC in David’sD favorE
    all the hardships he endured;F

Notes on superscript - verse 1

A “Ascents” = ma’alah. From ma’aleh (ascent, platform, slope, stairs, cliff, elevation, a rise; figuratively, a priority); from alah (to go up, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense). This is something that arises, elevation, a journey to a higher pane. This can be used figuratively to mean having a though or being of a superior status. It is often used in a specific sense for something the mounts to a climax. This is step, stair, or high degree.
B “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
C “remember” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
D “David’s” = David. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
E “favor” = et. Perhaps from anah (to meet, happen, approach). This is with, among, nearby.
F “hardships he endured” = anah. This is to be bowed down. It can refer to a sense of humility or to a sense of being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed. This can be literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance.

how he sworeG to the Lord
    and vowedH to the Mighty OneI of Jacob,J

Notes on verse 2

G “swore” = shaba. Perhaps from sheba (seven – the number of perfection/sacred fullness). This is to swear, curse, vow, make a covenant. Properly, it can mean to be complete. This is to seven oneself – as in affirming something so strongly it is as though it were said seven times.
H “vowed” = nadar. This is to vow or promise.
I “Mighty One” = abir. 6x in OT. From the same as abar (to fly or soar). This is Strong One or Mighty One. It is used to refer to God, especially in poetic, older passages.
J “Jacob” = Yaaqob. From the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is Isaac’s son and his descendants. The name means heel-catcher or supplanter.

“I will not enterK, L my houseM
    or getN into my bed;O

Notes on verse 3

K “enter” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
L {untranslated} = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.
M “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
N “get” = alah. Related to “Ascents” in superscript. See note A above.
O “bed” = eres + yatsua. Eres is 10x in OT. Root may refer to an arch. So, this would be a couch or bed that has a canopy. Yatsua is 8x in OT. From yatsa (to go or come out, bring forth, appear; to go out in a literal or figurative sense). This is couch (i.e. bed), chamber, or, in architecture, a wing.

4 I will not giveP sleepQ to my eyesR
    or slumberS to my eyelids,T

Notes on verse 4

P “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
Q “sleep” = shenath. 1x in OT. From the same as shenah (sleep); from yashen (to be languid or go slack; it can mean to sleep, become old or stale, or die). This is sleep.
R “eyes” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
S “slumber” = tenumah. 5x in OT. From num (to sleep because drowsy). This is slumber or drowsiness.
T “eyelids” = aphaph. 10x in OT. From uph (to fly, flee, shine, be weary, be faint); perhaps from oph (bird, flying animal). This is an eyelid or eyelash as something that flutters. So, it can refer to a gaze. It can also be used to refer to the dawn light.

5 until I findU a placeV for the Lord,
    a dwelling placeW for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Notes on verse 5

U “find” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.
V “place” = maqom. From qum(to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
W “dwelling place” = mishkan. From shakan (to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently; to abide or continue). This is a place where one lives – a tabernacle, tent, or other kind of dwelling. It can also be a lair where animals live, the grave, the Temple, or the Tabernacle.

6 XWe heardY of it in Ephrathah;Z
    we found it in the fieldsAA of Jaar.BB

Notes on verse 6

X {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
Y “heard” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
Z “Ephrathah” = Ephrath. 10x in OT. From the same as apher (covering, ashes, bandage); from the same as epher (ashes or dust – properly something strewn) OR from parah (to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase; bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense) OR from parar (to divide, split) OR from apar (to be exhausted). This is Ephrath or Ephrathah. It is a female name and the name of several places, including Bethlehem. It may mean “fruitfulness,” “exhausted,” “worthless,” or “fruitful.” See
AA “fields” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It can be used to mean wild like a wild animal.
BB “Jaar” = Ya’ar. This is honeycomb, forest, thicket. Root may mean thick with green growth. It is a forest as a place where one would find honeycomb.

“Let us goCC to his dwelling place;
    let us worshipDD at his footstool.”EE
8 Rise up,FF O Lord, and go to your resting place,GG
    you and the arkHH of your might.II

Notes on verses 7-8

CC “go” = bo. Same as “enter” in v3. See note K above.
DD “worship” = shachah. This is to bow down, make a humble entreaty, to do homage to royalty or to God.
EE “footstool” = hadom + regel. Hadom is 6x in OT. It may come from a root that means to tread on. This is stool or footstool. Regel is foot, endurance, or journey. It is a foot as the means of walking and so it implies a step or a greater journey. It can be used euphemistically for private parts.
FF “rise up” = qum. Related to “place” in v5. See note V above.
GG “resting place” = menuchah. From manoach (resting place, quiet, home); from nuach (to rest, calm, camp, free, place, remain, satisfy, settle, station, or wait; implies settling down in a literal or figurative sense). This is resting place, consolation, ease, quiet. It is the same word in Psalm 23:2, “he leads me beside the still waters.”
HH “ark” = aron. Perhaps from arah (to gather or pluck). This is a chest, box, or coffin. It is used for the Ark of the Covenant.
II “might” = oz. From azaz (to be strong, become fixed, be bold, prevail, be impudent; it means to be stout literally or figuratively. A Late Hebrew word). This is strength in the sense of force, majesty, praise, material and physical strength, the abstract notion of security. It can also speak of social or political power.

Let your priestsJJ be clothedKK with righteousness,LL
    and let your faithfulMM shout for joy.NN

Notes on verse 9

JJ “priests” = kohen. This is literally the one who officiates i.e. the priest. This is where the Jewish last name “Cohen” (and its variants) comes from.
KK “clothed” = labash. This is to wrap around, which implies clothing oneself or someone else. This is wrapping around in a literal or figurative way.
LL “righteousness” = tsedeq. This is rightness, righteousness, vindication. It is everything that is just or ethical. That which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense. It also includes just weights (i.e. true weights). Figuratively, this is justice, righteousness, equity – even prosperity.
MM “faithful” = chasid. From chasad (being good, kind, merciful; may mean bowing one’s neck as is done in the presence of an equal for courtesy’s sake; so, if one in a superior position is treating you like an equal, that is what is captured here). This is faithful, kind, pious, merciful, or gracious. It can also refer to godly or pious people. This is where Chasidic Jews take their name from.
NN “shout for joy” = ranan. This is a cry of joy or a joyful song. Properly, it is emitting a shrill sound, especially one of joy.

10 For your servantOO David’s sakePP
    do not turn awayQQ the faceRR of your anointed one.SS

Notes on verse 10

OO “servant” = ebed. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.
PP “sake” = abur. From abar (to pass over, pass through, or pass by; cross over or to alienate; used for transitions). This is for, so that, on account of. Properly, it means crossed.
QQ “turn away” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
RR “face” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
SS “anointed one” = mashiach. From mashach (to smear or anoint; to run oil on, to consecrate). This is the anointed or consecrated one. So, it could refer to a king, priest, or saint. It is also the root of the word “messiah.”

11 The Lord swore to David a sureTT oath
    from which he will not turn back:
“One of the sonsUU of your bodyVV
    I will setWW on your throne.XX

Notes on verse 11

TT “sure” = emet. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This is firmness or stability. Figuratively, it is faithfulness, truth, or trustworthiness. This is the same root that “amen” comes from.
UU “sons” = peri. From parah (to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase; bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense). This is fruit or reward.
VV “body” = beten. Root may mean to be hollow. This is the belly or womb. It can also refer to a body more broadly.
WW “set” = shith. This is to place, set, bring, appoint, consider, bring, array or look.
XX “throne” = kisse. From the same as kese (full moon); perhaps from kasah (to cover, conceal, overwhelm; to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret). This is throne – a seat that is covered or has a canopy. Thus, it is a seat that conveys authority.

12 If your sonsYY keepZZ my covenantAAA
    and my decreesBBB that I shall teachCCC them,
their sonsDDD also, forevermore,EEE
    shall sitFFF on your throne.”

Notes on verse 12

YY “sons” = ben. Related to “house” in v3. From banah (see note M above). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
ZZ “keep” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
AAA “covenant” = berit. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from bara (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.
BBB “decrees” = edah. From ed (witness, testimony, recorder); from ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is testimony or witness.
CCC “teach” = lamad. Properly, this refers to goading (using a pointed stick to guide or prod one’s flock). By implication, it means teaching or instructing.
DDD “sons” = ben. Same as “sons” in v12. See note YY above.
EEE “forevermore” = ad + ad. From adah (to advance or continue; to take away or remove; adorning oneself with ornaments). This is old, perpetuity, eternity. It is a duration going back or forward.
FFF “sit” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.

13 For the Lord has chosenGGG Zion;HHH
    he has desiredIII it for his habitation:JJJ
14 “This is my resting place forever;
    here I will reside,KKK for I have desired it.

Notes on verses 13-14

GGG “chosen” = bachar. This is to choose, appoint, try, excellent.
HHH “Zion” = Tsiyyon. Related to tsyiyyun (signpost, monument); from tsavah (to charge someone, to command, order); from the same as tsiyyah (dryness drought); from a root meaning parched as desert, dry land. Zion can refer to a mountain in Jerusalem as well as another name for Jerusalem itself or the people.
III “desired” = avah. This is to desire, wish for, crave, lust after, to incline.
JJJ “habitation” = moshab. Related to “sit” in v12. From yashab (see note FFF above). This is dwelling, seat, assembly, settlement, population.
KKK “reside” = yashab. Same as “sit” in v12. See note FFF above.

15 I will abundantly blessLLL its provisions;MMM
    I will satisfyNNN its poorOOO with bread.PPP

Notes on verse 15

LLL “abundantly bless” = barak + barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
MMM “provisions” = tsayid. 17x in OT. From tsud (to hunt, to lie in wait in order to catch an animal; used figuratively for capturing people). This is hunting, catch, the chase. It can also refer to provisions or lunch for a journey.
NNN “satisfy” = saba. To be satisfied or full in a literal or figurative sense. Also, to have plenty of.
OOO “poor” = ebyon. From abah (to consent, obey, want, yield, accept). This is needy, poor, beggar. Someone who is wanting.
PPP “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.

16 Its priests I will clothe with salvation,QQQ
    and its faithful will shout for joy.RRR
17 There I will cause a hornSSS to sprout upTTT for David;
    I have preparedUUU a lampVVV for my anointed one.

Notes on verses 16-17

QQQ “salvation” = yesha. From yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue, be safe. Properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. Used causatively, it means to free). This is salvation, deliverance, rescue, safety, welfare, liberty.
RRR “shout for joy” = ranan + ranan. Same as “shout for joy” in v9. See note NN above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
SSS “horn” = qeren. This is horn or hill. It can be a flask or cornet, ivory, altar corner, mountain peak, or figuratively power.
TTT “cause…to sprout up” = tsamach. This is to sprout, grow, or spring up – literal or figurative.
UUU “prepared” = arak. This is to arrange by setting in a row. It can also mean to set a battle, estimate, put in order, or compare.
VVV “lamp” = ner. This is to glisten. It is used for a lamp, candle, or light in a literal or figurative sense.

18 His enemiesWWW I will clothe with disgrace,XXX
    but on him, his crownYYY will gleam.”ZZZ

Notes on verse 18

WWW “enemies” = oyeb. From ayab (to hate or be hostile to). This is a foe or enemy as one that you are hostile to.
XXX “disgrace” = bosheth. From bosh (properly, to be pale, which implies shame, disappointment, or confusion). This is shame as a feeling and a thing that creates shame. It can also mean humiliation, confusion, or be used specifically for an idol.
YYY “crown” = nezer. From nazar (to dedicate, set apart, fast, keep self from impurity, refrain from worship; to consecrate for a holy purpose). This is something set apart, so it is a consecration. It could be used for one who takes the Nazirite vow or a priest. In reference to the Nazirite vow, it can also refer to uncut hair. It can also refer to a crown, as of a king.
ZZZ “gleam” = tsuwts. 9x in OT. This is to twinkle, shine, blossom. Figuratively, it is to flourish.

Image credit: “King David with Musicians and Dancing Children” from an Illuminated psalter c. 1465-1470.

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