18th December 2003, hej
This Article: (2 Pages)
- 1. Psalm 133 is poetry
- 2. Meaning of Psalm 133
1) Psalm 133 is poetry
Below is a literal word-for-word translation from Hebrew of the well-known Psalm.
Here what good and what pleasant praise brothers also together. 1
Just as the-good on the head comes down the beard- Aaron’s beard. 2
that comes down on facing of (robe?). 3
As dew (of)Hermon that comes down on mountains Zion. 4
For there decreed Yahweh the blessing life until the-ever. 5
It should be noted that this is poetry in song. Poetry tends to use language devices and word associations. By translating it word-for-word it no longer flows and at first reading it hardly makes sense. Let us examine the words of this song.
Structure of Psalm 133
This is a ‘tight’ poem, as the whole poem is one thought. The first line introduces the thought and the last line summarises that same thought, as the use of the word “for” indicates. The three centre lines introduced by “as” are similes or analogies of that one thought. They are pictures. Let us take out the analogies of the oil, beard and dew and connect the thoughts in lines 1 and 5.
Here what good and what pleasant praise brothers also-together
For there decreed-Yahweh the blessing - life until the-ever.
With these two lines tied in juxtaposition by the use of the word ‘for’ that links ‘here’ in line 1 with ‘there’ in line 5, we can see the blessing of eternal life is the ‘good’ referred to in line 1. The “what good” in line 1, which is the subject of the poem’s thought, is the Hebrew ‘ma-tov’. In modern Israeli idiom ma-tov means “so much better!” or “what an improvement!”.
The‘so much better’ of brethren being “also-together” is the “there” or location. In this ‘location’ is decreed or ordained the blessing – which is life forever – chaiyim ad-haOlam.