The great fraternal life (Ps 133:1-133:3)

A song of ascents.

“How very good it is!

How pleasant it is!

Kindred brothers live together in unity!

It is like the precious oil upon the head.

It runs down upon the beard.

It runs down on the beard of Aaron.

It runs down over the collar of his robes.

It is like the dew of Hermon.

It falls on the mountains of Zion.

For there Yahweh has commanded his blessing,

Life forevermore.”

Psalm 133 is another very short psalm in this series of pilgrimage songs on the ascent to Jerusalem. This wisdom song emphasizes the value of brothers living together in unity. This was like the holy oil that one puts on one’s head. As in the ceremony for the consecration of the Levitical priests, it runs down as on the beard of Aaron and over the collar of his robes. This good fraternal life is like the dew from the mountains of Hermon in Syria. Here the dew falls on Mount Zion. From Mount Zion, Yahweh gives his blessings of life forever. Thus this very short psalm concludes with everlasting life.

Job turns to his own afflictions (Job 30:16-30:19)

“Now my soul is poured out within me.

The days of affliction have taken hold of me.

The night racks my bones.

The pain that gnaws me takes no rest.

With violence it seizes my garment.

He grasps me by the collar of my tunic.

God has cast me into the mire.

I have become like dust and ashes.”

Job turned inward as he said even his soul was afflicted. His body was racked with pain. He had no rest from this continual pain. It was as like someone had seized him by the collar of his tunic. The pain was devastating to his whole body. God had cast him out into mud. He had become like dust and ashes, of so little value.