Shiloh (Jer 7:12-7:15)

“‘Go now to my place

That was in Shiloh.

There I made

My name dwell at first.

See what I did to it,

Due to the wickedness

Of my people Israel.

Now,

Because you have done

All these things

Watch out!’

Says Yahweh.

‘When I spoke to you persistently,

You did not listen.

When I called you,

You did not answer.

Therefore I will do

To the house

That is called by my name,

In which you trust,

What I did to Shiloh.

This is the place

That I gave to you

As well as your ancestors.

I will do

Just what I did to Shiloh.

I will cast you out of my sight.

I will do

Just as I cast out all your kinsmen,

All the offspring of Ephraim.’”

Shiloh had been an ancient Canaanite shrine and then an Israelite shrine until it was destroyed by the Philistines around 1050 BCE. Shiloh was in the Ephraim territory, north of Bethel and Jericho, about 20 miles north of Jerusalem. It had been an Israelite shrine where the Ark of the Covenant was until Jerusalem was built by King David and King Solomon. Here Yahweh reminds Jeremiah that his name had lived at Shiloh. However, due to the wickedness of those people, he changed his living place to Jerusalem. Like them, these people in Jerusalem were not listening when Yahweh called. They did not answer him. Thus he was going to do to Jerusalem what he had done to Shiloh. He was going to cast them all out of his sight, as he had done to Ephraim and all its descendants.

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Yahweh’s promise to Zion (Ps 132:13-132:18)

“Yahweh has chosen Zion.

He has desired it for his habitation.

‘This is my resting place forever.

Here I will reside.

I have desired it.

I will abundantly bless its provisions.

I will satisfy its poor with bread.

I will clothe its priests with salvation.

Its faithful will shout for joy.

There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David.

I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one.

I will clothe his enemies with shame.

But upon him,

His crown will gleam.’”

This psalm ends with Yahweh’s promise to remain at Zion, Jerusalem. Yahweh has chosen Zion for his dwelling place. He was going to rest there at his new residence. He desired to live there. He was going to provide for the poor people there with provisions and bread. The priests would be provided with saving clothes, while the faithful would be full of joyful shouts. David would have his horn of plenty full. He would have a lamp for the anointed one, David. His enemies would be clothed in shame, while David’s crown would gleam.   Thus the combination of the Ark of the Covenant, the covenant with David, and Jerusalem as the holy city are all combined into one thought here at the conclusion of this psalm.

Going to get the Ark of the Covenant (Ps 132:8-132:10)

“Rise up!

Yahweh!

Go to your resting place,

You and the Ark of your might.

Let your priests be clothed with righteousness.

Let your faithful shout for joy.

For your servant David’s sake

Do not turn away

The face of your anointed one.”

The psalmist wanted Yahweh to rise up and go to his resting place. He wanted Yahweh and the Ark of the Covenant to go to Jerusalem. He wanted the priests to be clothed with righteousness and the faithful people to shout for joy. He wanted David, Yahweh’s servant and anointed one, not to be turned away. The trip of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem can be found in 2 Samuel, chapter 6.

Discovery of the Ark of the Covenant (Ps 132:6-132:7)

“We heard of the Ark in Ephrathah.

We found it in the fields of Jaar.

‘Let us go to his dwelling place.

Let us worship at his footstool!’”

David had heard of the Ark of the Covenant while he was in Ephrathah, which was Bethlehem, the home of David. However, the Ark was in Jaar, Kiriath-jearim. The Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant in 1 Samuel, chapters 6-7. David wanted to go there and worship at the foot of the Ark of the Covenant.

Remembering David and Yahweh (Ps 132:1-132:5)

A song of ascents

“Yahweh!

Remember in David’s favor.

Remember all the hardships he endured.

Remember how he swore to Yahweh.

Remember how he vowed to the mighty one of Jacob.

‘I will not enter my house.

I will not get into my bed.

I will not give sleep to my eyes.

I will not give slumber to my eyelids.

I will not do these things

Until I find a place for Yahweh,

A dwelling place for the mighty one of Jacob.’”

Psalm 132 is another in this series of pilgrimage songs or psalms on the ascent to Jerusalem. However, this longer psalm celebrates the transfer of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem at the time of David, based on 2 Samuel, chapter 7. This psalmist asks Yahweh to remember that he had favored David in all his hardships. He wanted Yahweh to remember that David had vowed to the mighty one of Jacob. David said that he would not enter his house, go to bed, and let his eyes sleep, or let his eyelids slumber until he had found a dwelling place for Yahweh, the mighty one of Jacob. Yahweh was called the mighty one of Jacob. Obviously this is an exaggeration that David would not sleep until he built a place for the Ark of the Covenant, considered to be the presence of Yahweh.

The defeat of Israel (Ps 78:60-78:66)

“He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh,

The tent where he dwelt among mortals.

He delivered his power to captivity.

He delivered his glory to the hand of the foe.

He gave his people to the sword.

He vented his wrath on his heritage.

Fire devoured their young men.

Their girls had no marriage song.

Their priests fell by the sword.

Their widows made no lamentation.

Then Yahweh awoke as from sleep,

Like a warrior shouting because of wine.

He put his adversaries to rout.

He put them to everlasting shame.”

This is a reference to 1 Samuel, chapter 4, about the Ark of the Covenant at Shiloh. This was when the Philistines defeated the Israelites. Things were looking bad for Israel. God was angry at them. People died by the sword. Fire destroyed their young men so that the young girls had no marriage songs. The priests died by the sword, but somehow the widows were not able to mourn. Finally Yahweh woke up as if he were asleep. He then shouted like a warrior full of wine. God then put the adversaries of Yahweh to rout in everlasting shame.

The King of glory (Ps 24:7-24:10)

“Lift up your heads!

O gates!

Be lifted up!

O ancient doors!

Thus the King of glory may come in.

Who is the King of glory?

Yahweh!

Strong and mighty!

Yahweh!

Mighty in battle!

Lift up your heads!

O gates!

Be lifted up!

O ancient doors!

Thus the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?

Yahweh of hosts,

He is the King of glory!

Selah

The gates to the sanctuary should be lifted up. The ancient doors should be lifted up. This is clearly a rousing chant about the King of glory which would be the Ark of the Covenant. Who is the king of glory? The king of glory is strong and mighty in battles. It is Yahweh as represented by his Ark of the Covenant. There is the repetition of the question about the king of glory and the call to lift up the gates. This short psalm ended with another Selah, musical pause or mediation.