1. The Excellence of Unity (v.1)
  2. The Source of Brotherly Unity Illustrated (v.2)
  3. The Blessing of Brotherly Unity Illustrated (v.3)
TITLE A Song of Ascents, of David ( ryvi [n.m.s.] tAl[]M;h; [, ma-alah, step] dwId'l [prep.w/pr.n.]).
The Excellence of Brotherly Unity (v.1)

VERSE 1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is ( hNEhi. [interj.] bAJ-hm [interrog. + adj.m.s., tobh, good] ~y[iN"-hm;W; [conj.w/interrog. + adj.m.s., na-im, pleasant])

For brothers to dwell together in unity ( ~yxia; [n.m.p., ach, brother] tb,v, [Qal.infin.cstr., yashabh, dwell] `dx;y"-~G: [conj., gam, "in unity", + adv., yachadh, together])!

The Source of Brotherly Unity Illustrated (v.2)

VERSE 2 It is like the precious oil upon the head ( !m,V,K; [, shemen, oil] bAJh; [, tobh, good; "precious"] l[;varoh'-l[; [prep. +, rosh, head]),

Coming down upon the beard ( dreyO [, yaradh, descend] !q'Z"h;-l[; [prep.w/ + n.m.s., zaqan, beard]),

Even Aaron's beard ( !roh]a;-!q;z> [n.m.s.cstr., zaqan, beard, + pr.n.]),

Coming down upon the edge of his robes ( dreYOv, [prep.; an abbreviation used as a prefix from asher, w/, yaradh, go down] yPi-l[; [prep. + n.m.s.cstr., peh, mouth; opening] `wyt'ADmi [n.m.p.w/3.m.s.sf., midah, size, garment]).

The Blessing of Brotherly Unity Illustrated (v.3)

VERSE 3 It is like the dew of Hermon ( !Amr>x,-lj;K. [prep.w/n.m.s., tal, dew, + pr.n., means "a sanctuary"]),

Coming down upon the mountains of Zion ( dreYOv, [prep.w/, yaradh, go down] yrer>h;-l[; [prep. +, har, mountain] !Ayci [pr.n.]);

For there the LORD commanded the blessing – life forever ( yKi [conj.] ~v' [adv.] hw"hy> [pr.n.] hW"ci [, tsawah, command] hk'r'B.h;-ta, [dir.obj. +, berachah, blessing] ~yYIx; [n.m.p., chaya, life] `~l'A[h'-d[; [prep., until, +, olam, ever]).


  1. This vivid little psalm is ascribed to David.
  2. Its theme is brotherly unity.
  3. The psalm opens with the interjection "behold", drawing our attention to something that is "good and pleasant".
  4. The well-being of national Israel depended upon the coming of the people together in a spirit of unity.
  5. This blessed joy was especially apparent when the nation assembled for the national feasts, provided the corporate soul was in sync with the realities associated with the shadows.
  6. The "shadows" constitute all that was a part of the ritual associated with the ceremonial code of the Mosaic Covenant.
  7. The leadership of David, the positive volition of the general population, and the occasion of the bringing of the Ark to the new national capital was an overt demonstration of unity.
  8. David was inspired to compose this song as a result of the unified spirit he witnessed on that occasion.
  9. Unity is a plant that must be nurtured, and that nurturing depends upon adherence to the WOG (Law).
  10. Where there is neglect, there is discord and division.
  11. Pseudo unity is where people fail to adhere to the truths of God’s Word.
  12. The unity that David speaks of is unity with respect to a common creed.
  13. God wants His people to be unified in the teachings of His Word.
  14. Unity is crucial to the success and well-being of any social organization.
  15. "Brethren" refers to believers united by a common faith (Eph.4:13).
  16. When we are like-minded, we can "dwell (associate) together in unity".
  17. In the present dispensation, unity occurs where there is the indwelling of Christ, which is the consequence of BD in the soul/spirit (Jn.17:23).
  18. Unity occurs where there is the consistent FHS (Col.3:14; Eph.4:2,3).
  19. It is a "good" thing and a "pleasant"/delightful thing when believers are united with respect to the directive will of God.
  20. The metaphor of v.2 deals with the source of unity.
  21. The Source is God the Holy Spirit, as suggested by the sacred anointing oil that was used to anoint/commission the high priests of Israel.
  22. Each high priest, starting with Aaron, was a type of our high priest, Jesus Christ.
  23. The olive oil, compounded with spices (Ex.29:7; 30:25; Lev.8:2), was poured copiously upon the head of the high priest as he was inducted into office.
  24. The aromatic oil flowed down from his head upon his beard, speaking of the anointing of Christ with the HS "without measure" (Jn.3:34).
  25. The pleasant graces of God the HS in His life and ministry are seen in the sacred anointing oil.
  26. The things Jesus accomplished in His public ministry were through the HS (Acts.10:38).
  27. The oil is fittingly called "precious" (v.2a).
  28. This copious effusion on the head of the high priest, so that it went "down upon the edge (skirts) of his robes" (v.2d; cp. Ex.28:33; 39:24), indicates that the ultimate High Priest was anointed above His fellow priests.
  29. The oil being most present in the head region indicates Christ as the head of the Church, while the oil that flowed on the torso to the feet foreshadows the HS given to the body of believers on earth.
  30. On the day of Pentecost our High Priest, from His place in heaven, sent the HS to unify and empower His people to carry on the work of Christ on earth.
  31. Believers on earth constitute His body.
  32. The body is unified through positional sanctification (work of God the HS, 1Cor.12:13).
  33. The function of the spiritual gifts is the result of the indwelling HS.
  34. God the HS enables us to accomplish all the things we are called upon to do in a way that glorifies God and makes life easier.
  35. The HS in the lives of believers in any age binds God’s people together.
  36. We are both unified positionally as well as experientially where there is acclimation to BD.
  37. The breakdown of unity is where there is rejection of BD or failure to walk by the Spirit.
  38. The second metaphor (v.3) is designed to show the blessing of unity.
  39. The psalmist compares unity among "brothers" to the "dew of Hermon, coming down upon the mountains of Zion".
  40. Brotherly unity, in its "pleasant" aspect, resembles the copious and refreshing dew of Mount Hermon in the north of Israel.
  41. Mount Hermon (‘sanctuary’), a mountain in the Lebanon range, is the highest peak in Palestine (2,814 meters).
  42. Snow usually lies on its peak all year round, the source of plentiful dews all the way to the lower spur range in the south.
  43. The dew of Hermon descends "upon the mountains of Zion".
  44. Van de Velde, in his Travels says, "…is not become quite clear to me. Here, as I sat at the foot of Hermon, I understood how the water-drops which rose from its forest-mantled heights, and out of the highest ravines, which are filled the whole year round with snow, after the sun’s rays have attenuated them and moistened the atmosphere with them, descend at evening-time as a heavy dew upon the lower mountains which lie round about as its spurs. One ought to have seen Hermon with its white-golden crown glistening aloft in the blue sky, in order to be able rightly to understand the figure. Nowhere in the whole country is so heavy a dew perceptible as in the districts near Hermon."
  45. To this dew, the psalmist likens brotherly unity and love.
  46. This is the dew of Hermon (e.g., heaven): of such pristine freshness, and thus refreshing, possessing such pristine power.
  47. The dew of Hermon comes down upon the mountains of Zion like the oil which comes down on the beard and robes of Aaron.
  48. An abundant dew, when warm days prevailed, was diverted by the cool wind currents to Jerusalem sweeping down from the north over Hermon.
  49. This figure of the poet is, therefore, as true as it is beautiful.
  50. When positive believers who are bound together in love meet together in one place, it is like the descending dew of Hermon.
  51. In fact, when brethren from the north came together with brethren from the south on those special occasions of the great festivals, it was like the heavy dews of Hermon descending upon the more arid mountains in the south.
  52. On those rare occasions when the national soul was in sync with God’s Spirit, there was a quickening when positive volition met to worship God in the place of His own choosing.
  53. In Jerusalem is where love and all that is good came together.
  54. "From there", as in Ps.132:17 (that is, from the courts of the holy temple), is where heaven’s concord could be found.
  55. Hermon is analogous to heaven (the third heaven), and Zion is the touchstone of His plan manifest on earth.
  56. As dew brings refreshment and life, so the blessings of heaven are found when the believing nation came together at the great feasts.
  57. At that place the people of God realized anew the ultimate blessing arising from the far north, so to speak – life forever".
  58. To those who embrace the truth of the gospel as presented under the old covenant, God commands the ultimate blessing – eternal life.
  59. During the age of Christ, the reality of this song will be realized as redeemed and restored Israel gathers in Jerusalem during the prescribed assemblies.
  60. Unity will be the rule, and the fellowship will be beyond imagining.
  61. God the HS is the unifying factor, and the unity’s blessing is life and life forevermore.
FEBRUARY 8, 1998

© Copyright 1998, Maranatha Church Inc.