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,
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.
“After the first brother had died in this way, they brought forward the second for their sport. They tore off the skin of his head with the hair. They asked him.
‘Will you eat rather than have your body punished limb by limb?
He replied in the language of his ancestors.
He said to them.
Therefore he in turn underwent tortures as the first brother had done. When he was at his last breath, he said.
‘You accursed wretch,
You dismiss us from this present life.
But the King of the universe will raise us up
To an everlasting renewal of life,
Because we have died for his laws.’”
After the 1st brother had died, they took a 2nd brother and scalped him. Then they asked him if he would eat the pork food or be punished limb by limb. He responded with an emphatic no. Thus he suffered the same tortures as his other brother. With his last breath he warned them that they could dismiss him from this present life, but the King of the universe would raise him up to everlasting life because he had died for the law. It is interesting to note that God is the king of the universe, not merely the God of his ancestors. He also expects an eternal afterlife.