Psalms 132


The psalmist prays that God would remember his promises to

David, 1.

His purpose to bring the ark of the Lord into a place of rest,


Where it was found, and the prayer in removing it, 6-9.

The promises made to David and his posterity, 10-12.

God's choice of Zion for a habitation, and his promises to the

people, 13-17.

All their enemies shall be confounded, 18.


Some attribute this Psalm to David, but without sufficient

ground; others, to Solomon, with more likelihood; and others, to

some inspired author at the conclusion of the captivity, which is,

perhaps, the most probable. It refers to the building of the

second temple, and placing the ark of the covenant in it.

Verse 1. Lord, remember David] Consider the promises thou hast

made to this thy eminent servant, that had respect, not only to

him and to his family, but to all the Israelitish people.

Verse 2. How he sware unto the Lord] It is only in this place

that we are informed of David's vow to the Lord, relative to the

building of the temple; but we find he had fully purposed the


Verse 3. Surely I will not come] This must refer to the

situation of the temple; or, as we would express it, he would

not pass another day till he had found out the ground on which to

build the temple, and projected the plan, and devised ways and

means to execute it. And we find that he would have acted in all

things according to his oath and vow, had God permitted him. But

even after the Lord told him that Solomon, not he, should build

the house he still continued to show his good will by collecting

treasure and materials for the building, all the rest of his life.

Verse 5. The mighty God of Jacob.] abir yaacob,

the Mighty One of Jacob. We have this epithet of God for the first

time, Ge 49:24. Hence, perhaps, the

abirim of the heathen, the stout ones, the strong beings.

Verse 6. Lo, we have heard of it at Ephratah] This may be

considered as a continuation of David's vow, as if he had said: As

I had determined to build a temple for the ark, and heard that it

was at Ephratah, I went and found it in the fields of Jaar,

;-not the wood, but Kirjath Jaar or Jearim, where the ark

was then lodged;-and having found it, he entered the tabernacle,

Ps 132:7; and then, adoring that God whose presence was in it,

he invited him to arise and come to the place which he had

prepared for him.

Verse 8. Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou and the ark of thy

strength.] Using the same expressions which Solomon used when he

dedicated the temple, 2Ch 6:41, 42. There are several

difficulties in these passages. Ephratah may mean the tribe of

Ephraim; and then we may understand the place thus: "I have

learned that the ark had been in the tribe of Ephraim, and I have

seen it at Kirjath-jearim, or Field of the woods; but this is not

a proper place for it, for the Lord hath chosen Jerusalem." It is

true that the ark did remain in that tribe from the days of Joshua

to Samuel, during three hundred and twenty-eight years; and thence

it was brought to Kirjath-jearim, where it continued seventy

years, till the commencement of the reign of David over all


But if we take Ps 132:6-8,

not as the continuation of David's vow, but as the words of the

captives in Babylon, the explanation will be more plain and easy:

"We have heard, O Lord, from our fathers, that thy tabernacle was

formerly a long time at Shiloh, in the tribe of Ephraim. And our

history informs us that it has been also at Kirjath-jearim, the

fields of the wood; and afterwards it was brought to Jerusalem,

and there established: but Jerusalem is now ruined, the temple

destroyed, and thy people in captivity. Arise, O Lord, and

re-establish thy dwelling-place in thy holy city!" See Calmet and

others on this place.

Verse 9. Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness] Let them

be as remarkable for inward holiness as they are for the splendour

of their holy vestments.

Verse 10. The face of thine anointed.] David. Remember thy

promises to him, that he may be restored to thee and to thy


Verse 11. The Lord hath sworn] As David sware to the Lord, so

the Lord swears to David, that he will establish his throne, and

place his posterity on it: and that he had respect to David's

Antitype, we learn from St. Peter, Ac 2:30, where see the note.

This verse with the following refers to the spiritual David, and

the Christian Church.

Verse 12. If thy children will keep my covenant] This was

conditional with respect to the posterity of David. They have been

driven from the throne, because they did not keep the Lord's

covenant, but the true David is on the throne, and his posterity

forms the genuine Israelites.

Verse 13. The Lord hath chosen Zion] Therefore neither Shiloh

nor Kirjath-jearim is the place of his rest.

Verse 14. This is my rest for ever] Here the Christian Church is

most indubitably meant. This is God's place for ever. After this

there never will be another dispensation; Christianity closes and

completes all communications from heaven to earth. God has nothing

greater to give to mankind on this side heaven; nor does man need

any thing better; nor is his nature capable of any thing more


Verse 15. I will abundantly bless her provision] There shall be

an abundant provision of salvation made for mankind in the

Christian Church. Our Lord's multiplication of the loaves was a

type and proof of it.

Verse 16. I will also clothe her priests] All Christian

ministers, with salvation; this shall appear in all their conduct.

Salvation-redemption from all sin through the blood of the Lamb,

shall be their great and universal message.

Verse 17. There will I make the horn of David to bud] There, in

the Christian Church, the power and authority of the spiritual

David shall appear.

I have ordained a lamp] I have taken care to secure a posterity,

to which the promises shall be expressly fulfilled.

Verse 18. His enemies will I clothe with shame] Every opponent

of the Christian cause shall be confounded.

But upon himself shall his crown flourish.] There shall be no

end of the government of Christ's kingdom. From Ps 132:11-18, the

spiritual David and his posterity are the subjects of which the

Psalm treats.


This Psalm is divided into three parts:-

I. A petition, before which is David's care and vow to settle

the ark, and with what reverence they would settle it in the

temple; and he sets down the solemn prayer then used,

Ps 132:1-10.

II. An explication of the promises made unto David for the

continuance of his kingdom in his posterity, Ps 132:11, 12, and

God's love to his Church, Ps 132:13.

III. A prophecy, spoken in the person of God, for the stability

of Christ's Church; and the blessings upon the people, the

priests, and the house of David, Ps 132:14-18.

I. In all prayer a man must reflect upon God's promise;

otherwise he cannot pray in faith.

1. "Lord, remember David:" Thy promises made to him. First he

prays for the king; then for the ecclesiastics, Ps 132:8, 9; then

for the people, Ps 132:8.

2. "And all his afflictions:" Many he had before he was king;

and one of the greatest was the settling of the ark.

Now this his ardent and sincere desire appears by his oath. And


1. "How he sware unto the Lord," &c.

2. The substance of which was, "Surely I will not come," &c.

Now this is hyperbolical; for we must not conceive that he went

not into his house or bed till he found out a place to build God's

house. But see the note.

1. "I will not come into-my house:" So as to forget to build

God's house.

2. "Nor go up into my bed:" Or let any thing make me forget the


3. "I will not give sleep," &c.: But make provision for building

the temple.

And here the prophet inserts two verses by way of gratitude.

First, he exults for the news of the ark: "Lo, we heard of it at

Ephratah," &c.

By Ephratah some understand the land of Ephraim, in which the

ark remained at Shiloh. Being afterwards sent home, it was found

in the field of Joshua; thence conveyed to the house of Amminadab,

who dwelt in Kirjath-jearim, that signifies a woody city. Hence,

David might well say, "And found it in the fields of the wood,"


And the place for the ark being found, he calls on Israel,


1. "We will go into his tabernacles." Now the ark is rested in

Mount Zion.

2. "And we will worship," &c. Not make rash approaches to the

ark, but come with reverence, and bow in his presence.

The ark being brought into the temple, he uses this solemn


1. "Arise, O Lord," &c. He prays and invites him to dwell in his


2. "Into thy rest." To pass no more from place to place.

3. "Thou, and the ark of thy strength." Show thy power and

strength, as thou didst at Jordan, &c.

Before the ark in the temple he prays,-

1. "Let thy priests be clothed," &c. Inwardly, in heart and


2. "Let thy saints shout," &c. With a cheerful voice, for the

ark rests.

3. "For thy servant David's sake," &c. 1. David is not here to

be taken absolutely for his person only, as having the covenants

and promises made to him, but for the promise' sake. 2. "Turn not

away," &c. Suffer me not to depart from thy presence unheard.

II. The prophet now proceeds to count up the promises made to

David, which God confirmed by oath, in which we are to observe,

1. The manner of the promise: "The Lord hath sworn in truth," &c.

It was merciful to promise; but more so to bind himself by oath.

2. The matter of his oath expressed Ps 132:11-14.

1. For the seed of David, as respects Christ, is categorical and

absolute: "Of the fruit of thy body," &c. Which word St. Peter

refers to Christ, Ac 2:30. According to the flesh he was David's

seed; for by the mother's side Christ was to be David's seed, not

by the father's.

2. For the seed of David, as it relates to his posterity, the

oath is hypothetical and conditional: "If thy children will keep,"


As the external kingdom was by this oath annexed to one family,

so the external worship was assigned by it to one place.

1. "For the Lord hath chosen Zion," &c.

2. "This is my rest for ever." Zion was the seat of the

sanctuary till the coming of the Messiah. But Zion was but a type

of Christ's Church, which he hath chosen to be his rest for ever.

III. The prophet represents God as promising good things to his


1. Such abundance of temporal things that the poor shall not

want: "I will abundantly bless her provision," &c.

2. That her "priests shall be clothed with salvation," &c.

3. "There will I make the horn of David to flourish," &c. That

is, the kingdom of the Messiah.

4. The fourth benefit God promises is the confusion of their

enemies, and the eternal authority in this kingdom: "His enemies

will I clothe with shame, but upon himself shall his crown


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