Psalm 132:12
If your children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit on your throne for ever more.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
132:11-18 The Lord never turns from us when we plead the covenant with his anointed Prophet, Priest, and King. How vast is the love of God to man, that he should speak thus concerning his church! It is his desire to dwell with us; yet how little do we desire to dwell with him! He abode in Zion till the sins of Israel caused him to give them up to the spoilers. Forsake us not, O God, and deliver us not in like manner, sinful though we are. God's people have a special blessing on common enjoyments, and that blessing puts peculiar sweetness into them. Zion's poor have reason to be content with a little of this world, because they have better things prepared for them. God will abundantly bless the nourishment of the new man, and satisfy the poor in spirit with the bread of life. He gives more than we ask, and when he gives salvation, he will give abundant joy. God would bring to nothing every design formed to destroy the house of David, until King Messiah should arise out of it, to sit upon the throne of his Father. In him all the promises centre. His enemies, who will not have him to reign over them, shall at the last day be clothed with shame and confusion for ever.If thy children will keep my covenant ... - This was the condition implied in the promise - that they were to keep the law of God, and to serve and obey him. If they did not, they could not, of course, plead the promise. This principle is universal. We cannot plead any promise of God in our behalf, or in behalf of our children, unless we obey his commands, and are ourselves faithful to him. See the sentiment in this verse illustrated in the notes at Psalm 89:30-37. 10-12. For thy servant David's sake—that is, On account of the promise made to him.

turn … anointed—Repulse not him who, as David's descendant, pleads the promise to perpetuate his royal line. After reciting the promise, substantially from 2Sa 7:12-16 (compare Ac 2:30, &c.), an additional plea,

No text from Poole on this verse. If thy children will keep my covenant, and my testimony that I shall teach them,.... The former part of the promise and oath is absolute, respecting the Messiah; but this is conditional, and relates to the seed of David, both immediate, and in succeeding generations; proposing their observance of the law of God, as the condition of their enjoying the kingdom after him. By the "covenant" and "testimony" are meant the same thing; the law, which was given to the people of Israel in the form of a covenant, and was a testimony of the will of God to them: in this the kings of Israel were to read continually, and conduct according to it in their personal walk and conversation, and by it to rule the people they were set over; and which the Lord promises to teach them by his prophets, whose business it was not to promulgate new laws, but to explain what were given. Now in case this was attended to, and the instructions of prophets observed, then thus it would be,

their children also shall sit upon thy throne for evermore; but, the condition not being fulfilled, this did not take place: Solomon, his immediate successor, fell into idolatry in the latter part of his life; and Rehoboam, his son, slighted the advice of the old men, founded upon the laws of God, and ten tribes revolted from him: several succeeding kings of Judah, of the house of David, were very wicked princes; and the race of them ended in Zedekiah, who was carried captive into Babylon. Indeed all this is true of Christ and his spiritual offspring; he kept the covenant of grace made with his divine Father; and the law or testimony; and fulfilled it in the room and stead of his people; and did the whole will and work of his Father, and in all things pleased him: and his children also lay hold by faith on the covenant and the promises of it; and receive, observe, and retain the testimony of the Gospel; and shall reign with Christ, on the same throne with him, for ever and ever.

If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for {h} evermore.

(h) Because this cannot be accomplished but in Christ, it follows that the promise was spiritual.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. If thy sons will keep] The condition of the literal fulfilment of the promise is implied in 2 Samuel 7:14, and explicitly stated in 1 Kings 8:25. In Psalm 89:30 ff. the thought is developed, that man’s faithlessness cannot finally defeat God’s purpose.

my testimony] Or, as P.B.V., my testimonies. See p. 704.

their children &c.] Their sons also for ever shall sit upon thy throne, lit. upon a throne for thee, as thy representatives.Verse 12. - If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne forevermore (comp. 2 Samuel 7:14-16, where the conditional character of the promises made to David is also apparent). In Psalm 132:6 begins the language of the church, which in this Psalm reminds Jahve of His promises and comforts itself with them. Olshausen regards this Psalm 132:6 as altogether inexplicable. The interpretation nevertheless has some safe starting-points. (1) Since the subject spoken of is the founding of a fixed sanctuary, and one worthy of Jahve, the suffix of שׁמענוּה (with Chateph as in Hosea 8:2, Ew. ֗60, a) and מצאנוּה refers to the Ark of the covenant, which is fem. also in other instances (1 Samuel 4:17; 2 Chronicles 8:11). (2) The Ark of the covenant, fetched up out of Shiloh by the Israelites to the battle at Ebenezer, fell into the hands of the victors, and remained, having been again given up by them, for twenty years in Kirjath-Jearim (1 Samuel 7:1.), until David removed it out of this Judaean district to Zion (2 Samuel 6:2-4; cf. 2 Chronicles 1:4). What is then more natural than that שׂדי־יער is a poetical appellation of Kirjath-Jearim (cf. "the field of Zoan" in Psalm 78:12)? Kirjath-Jearim has, as a general thing, very varying names. It is also called Kirjath-ha-jearim in Jeremiah 26:20 (Kirjath-'arim in Ezra 2:25, cf. Joshua 18:28), Kirjath-ba'al in Joshua 16:1-10 :50, Ba'alah in Joshua 15:9; 1 Chronicles 13:6 (cf. Har-ha-ba'alah, Joshua 15:11, with Har-Jearim in Joshua 15:10), and, as it seems, even Ba'al Jehudah in 2 Samuel 6:2. Why should it not also have been called Ja'ar side by side with Kirjath-Jearim, and more especially if the mountainous district, to which the mention of a hill and mountain of Jearim points, was, as the name "city of the wood" implies, at the same time a wooded district? We therefore fall in with Khnl's (1799) rendering: we found it in the meadows of Jaar, and with his remark: "Jaar is a shortened name of the city of Kirjath-Jearim."

The question now further arises as to what Ephrathah is intended to mean. This is an ancient name of Bethlehem; but the Ark of the covenant never was in Bethlehem. Accordingly Hengstenberg interprets, "We knew of it in Bethlehem (where David had spent his youth) only by hearsay, no one had seen it; we found it in Kirjath-Jearim, yonder in the wooded environs of the city, where it was as it were buried in darkness and solitude." So even Anton Hulsius (1650): Ipse David loquitur, qui dicit illam ipsam arcam, de qua quum adhuc Bethlehemi versaretur inaudivisset, postea a se (vel majroibus suis ipso adhuc minorenni) inventam fuisse in campis Jaar. But (1) the supposition that David's words are continued here does not harmonize with the way in which they are introduced in Psalm 132:2, according to which they cannot possibly extend beyond the vow that follows. (2) If the church is speaking, one does not see why Bethlehem is mentioned in particular as the place of the hearsay. (3) We heard it in Ephrathah cannot well mean anything else than, per antiptosin (as in Genesis 1:4, but without כּי), we heard that it was in Ephrathah. But the Ark was before Kirjath-Jearim in Shiloh. The former lay in the tribe of Judah close to the western borders of Benjamin, the latter in the midst of the tribe of Ephraim. Now since אפרתי quite as often means an Ephraimite as it does a Bethlehemite, it may be asked whether Ephrathah is not intended of the Ephraimitish territory (Khnl, Gesenius, Maurer, Tholuck, and others). The meaning would then be: we had heard that the sacred Ark was in Shiloh, but we found it not there, but in Kirjath-Jearim. And we can easily understand why the poet has mentioned the two places just in this way. Ephrāth, according to its etymon, is fruitful fields, with which are contrasted the fields of the wood - the sacred Ark had fallen from its original, more worthy abode, as it were, into the wilderness. But is it probable, more especially in view of Micah 5:1, that in a connection in which the memory of David is the ruling idea, Ephrathah signifies the land of Ephraim? No, Ephrathah is the name of the district in which Kirjath-Jearim lay. Caleb had, for instance, by Ephrath, his third wife, a son named Hr (Chr), 1 Chronicles 2:19, This Hr, the first-born of Ephrathah, is the father of the population of Bethlehem (1 Chronicles 4:4), and Shobal, a son of this Hr, is father of the population of Kirjath-Jearim (1 Chronicles 2:50). Kirjath-Jearim is therefore, so to speak, the daughter of Bethlehem. This was called Ephrathah in ancient times, and this name of Bethlehem became the name of its district (Micah 5:1). Kirjath-Jearim belonged to Caleb-Ephrathah (1 Chronicles 2:24), as the northern part of this district seems to have been called in distinction from Negeb-Caleb (1 Samuel 30:14).

But משׁכּנותיו in Psalm 132:7 is now neither a designation of the house of Abinadab in Kirjath-Jearim, for the expression would be too grand, and in relation to Psalm 132:5 even confusing, nor a designation of the Salomonic Temple-building, for the expression standing thus by itself is not enough alone to designate it. What is meant will therefore be the tent-temple erected by David for the Ark when removed to Zion (2 Samuel 7:2, יריעה). The church arouses itself to enter this, and to prostrate itself in adoration towards (vid., Psalm 99:5) the footstool of Jahve, i.e., the Ark; and to what purpose? The ark of the covenant is now to have a place more worthy of it; the מנוּחה, i.e., the בּית מנוּחה, 1 Chronicles 28:2, in which David's endeavours have through Solomon reached their goal, is erected: let Jahve and the Ark of His sovereign power, that may not be touched (see the examples of its inviolable character in 1 Samuel 5:1-12, 1 Samuel 6, 2 Samuel 6:6.), now enter this fixed abode! Let His priests who are to serve Him there clothe themselves in "righteousness," i.e., in conduct that is according to His will and pleasure; let His saints, who shall there seek and find mercy, shout for joy! More especially, however, let Jahve for David's sake, His servant, to whose restless longing this place of rest owes its origin, not turn back the face of His anointed one, i.e., not reject his face which there turns towards Him in the attitude of prayer (cf. Psalm 84:10). The chronicler has understood Psalm 132:10 as an intercession on behalf of Solomon, and the situation into which we are introduced by Psalm 132:6-8 seems to require this. It is, however, possible that a more recent poet here, in Psalm 132:7-8, reproduces words taken from the heart of the church in Solomon's time, and blends petitions of the church of the present with them. The subject all through is the church, which is ever identical although changing in the persons of its members. The Israel that brought the sacred Ark out of Kirjath-Jearim to Zion and accompanied it thence to the Temple-hill, and now worships in the sanctuary raised by David's zeal for the glory of Jahve, is one and the same. The prayer for the priests, for all the saints, and more especially for the reigning king, that then resounded at the dedication of the Temple, is continued so long as the history of Israel lasts, even in a time when Israel has no king, but has all the stronger longing for the fulfilment of the Messianic promise.

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