Psalms 134

PSALM CXXXIV

An exhortation to praise God in his sanctuary, 1-3.

NOTES ON PSALM CXXXIV

This is the last of the fifteen Psalms called Psalms of degrees.

Who was the author is uncertain; it is attributed to David only by

the Syriac; it is intimately connected with the two preceding

Psalms, and is an exhortation to the priests and Levites who kept

nightly watch in the temple, to the assiduous in praising the

Lord. It seems to consist of two parts: 1. An exhortation,

probably from the high priest, to those priests and Levites who

kept watch in the temple by night, to spend their time profitably,

and duly celebrate the praises of God, Ps 134:1, 2. The

second part, which is contained in the third verse, Ps 134:3

is the prayer of the priests and Levites for the high priest, who

seems now to be going to his rest.

Verse 1. Behold, bless ye the Lord] I believe hinneh

should be taken here in the sense of take heed! Be upon your

guard; you serve a jealous God; provoke him not.

Which by night stand] Who minister during the night.

Verse 2. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary] kodesh,

"in holiness:" or, as the SYRIAC, [Syriac] lekoudishe, "to

holiness;" in sancta, VULGATE; and ειστααγια, SEPTUAGINT; "in

holy things; or, as the AETHIOPIC, in the house of the sanctuary."

The expression seems very similar to that of St. Paul, 1Ti 2:8:

"Lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."

Bless the Lord.] That is, speak good of his name: tell the

wonders he has wrought, and show that his name is exalted.

Verse 3. The Lord that made heaven and earth] Who governs and

possesses all things; and who can give you every spiritual and

earthly blessing.

Bless thee out of Zion.] As if they had said, "We will attend to

your orders; go in peace, and may God shower down his blessings

upon you!" The blessing pronounced by the priests was the

following: "The Lord bless thee and keep thee! The Lord make his

face shine upon thee, and he gracious unto thee! The Lord lift up

his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace!" Nu 6:24-26.

ANALYSIS OF THE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FOURTH PSALM

In this Psalm the prophet-

I. Exhorts the Levites and ministers of religion to attend the

appointed hours of prayer.

II. Then the ministers bless the people.

1. 1. "Behold, bless ye the Lord."

2. Yet principally, "all ye servants of the Lord:" Choose out of

the people to this service.

3. "Which by night stand in the house of the Lord," &c.: In the

temple ye ought not to be sleepy, or forget your duty.

4. Therefore, "lift up your hands," &c., before the ark of the

covenant which was the symbol of his presence.

5. "Bless the Lord," &c.

II. The other part of your office is to bless the people; let

not that be forgotten, but say,-

1. "The Lord bless thee:" Let them know from whom the blessing

comes.

2. "Out of Zion:" So long as they remain in the unity of the

Church; there was none to be expected out of Zion.

3. "The Lord that made:" &c. He that hath power to bless hath

given, and must give, his blessing to all creatures, without which

they will not be blessed to thee; therefore, bless him.

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