Psalm 132:5
Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
132:1-10 David bound himself to find a place for the Lord, for the ark, the token of God's presence. When work is to be done for the Lord, it is good to tie ourselves to a time. It is good in the morning to fix upon work for the day, with submission to Providence, for we know not what a day may bring forth. And we should first, and without delay, seek to have our own hearts made a habitation of God through the Spirit. He prays that God would take up his dwelling in the habitation he had built; that he would give grace to the ministers of the sanctuary to do their duty. David pleads that he was the anointed of the Lord, and this he pleads as a type of Christ, the great Anointed. We have no merit of our own to plead; but, for His sake, in whom there is a fulness of merit, let us find favour. And every true believer in Christ, is an anointed one, and has received from the Holy One the oil of true grace. The request is, that God would not turn away, but hear and answer their petitions for his Son's sake.Until I find out a place for the Lord - A place for the ark of God; a place where it may constantly and safely remain. The symbol of the divine presence rested on the mercy-seat, the cover of the ark, and hence, this was represented as the seat or the house of God.

An habitation for the mighty God of Jacob - Hebrew, "For the mighty One of Jacob." The reference is to a permanent dwelling-place for the ark. It had been moved from place to place. There was no house appropriated to it, or reared expressly for it, and David resolved to provide such a house - at first, a tent or tabernacle on Mount Zion - and then, a more spacious and magnificent structure, the temple. The latter he was not permitted to build, though the purpose was in his heart.

5. habitation—literally, "dwellings," generally used to denote the sanctuary. Until I find out a place for the Lord; either,

1. Until I can understand from God what place he hath chosen for his house to be built in. Or rather,

2. Until I have fitted or raised a house in which the ark may be put;

a habitation, as this is explained both in the next clause, and in Psalm 132:7 Acts 7:46. For this, and not the former, was the matter both of David’s desire, and-of God’s answer delivered by Nathan, 2 Samuel 7. Until I find a place for the Lord,.... To build a house on for the Lord; which it seems was unknown till the times of David; for though mention had been made of a place the Lord would choose to cause his name to dwell in, yet the particular place was not pointed out, Deuteronomy 12:11. David was very solicitous to find it out, and did, 1 Chronicles 22:1;

an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob; See Gill on Psalm 132:2; or "habitations", or "tabernacles" (t); the temple, which is meant, consisting of three parts, the court, the holy place, and the holy of holies; this was typical of the human nature of Christ, the temple of his body, the tabernacle of God's pitching, John 2:19; in which the fulness of the Godhead dwells, the glory of God is seen, and through whom he grants his presence to his people; and also of the church of God, the temple of the living God, where he dwells and is worshipped: and that this might be a fit habitation for God was the great desire of the Messiah, and not only the end and issue of his sufferings and death, but also the design of his preparations and intercession in heaven, John 14:2.

(t) "habitacula", Pagninus, Montanus; "tabernacula", Musculus, Vatablus, Cocceius.

Until I find out a place for the {c} LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.

(c) That is, the ark, which was a sign of God's presence.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. a place] Cp. 1 Chronicles 15:1.

a habitation &c.] A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob, where His presence might ‘dwell’ among His people (Exodus 25:8-9). The word for dwelling place, or tabernacle, is in the ‘amplificative’ plural, expressing the dignity of the house of Jehovah. Cp. Psalm 43:3; Psalm 84:1.Verse 5. - Until I find out a place for the Lord. The "place" which David desired to "find" was a permanent resting-place for the ark of God, which he had already "brought up from the house of Obed-Edom into the city of David with gladness" (2 Samuel 6:12), but which he had only established in a temporary abode of the nature of a tent, or tabernacle (2 Samuel 6:17). God approved David's zeal, but did not allow him to accomplish his design (2 Samuel 7:5-16). An habitation for the mighty God of Jacob; rather, the Mighty One of Jacob (comp. ver. 2 and the comment ad loc.). This little song is inscribed לדוד because it is like an echo of the answer (2 Samuel 6:21.) with which David repelled the mocking observation of Michal when he danced before the Ark in a linen ephod, and therefore not in kingly attire, but in the common raiment of the priests: I esteem myself still less than I now show it, and I appear base in mine own eyes. In general David is the model of the state of mind which the poet expresses here. He did not push himself forward, but suffered himself to be drawn forth out of seclusion. He did not take possession of the throne violently, but after Samuel has anointed him he willingly and patiently traverses the long, thorny, circuitous way of deep abasement, until he receives from God's hand that which God's promise had assured to him. The persecution by Saul lasted about ten years, and his kingship in Hebron, at first only incipient, seven years and a half. He left it entirely to God to remove Saul and Ishbosheth. He let Shimei curse. He left Jerusalem before Absalom. Submission to God's guidance, resignation to His dispensations, contentment with that which was allotted to him, are the distinguishing traits of his noble character, which the poet of this Psalm indirectly holds up to himself and to his contemporaries as a mirror, viz., to the Israel of the period after the Exile, which, in connection with small beginnings under difficult circumstances, had been taught humbly contented and calm waiting.

With לבּי לא־גבהּ the poet repudiates pride as being the state of his soul; with לא־רמוּ עיני (lo-ramū' as in Proverbs 30:13, and before Ajin, e.g., also in Genesis 26:10; Isaiah 11:2, in accordance with which the erroneous placing of the accent in Baer's text is to be corrected), pride of countenance and bearing; and with ולא־הלּכתּי, pride of endeavour and mode of action. Pride has its seat in the heart, in the eyes especially it finds its expression, and great things are its sphere in which it diligently exercises itself. The opposite of "great things" (Jeremiah 23:3; Jeremiah 45:5) is not that which is little, mean, but that which is small; and the opposite of "things too wonderful for me" (Genesis 18:14) is not that which is trivial, but that which is attainable.

אם־לא does not open a conditional protasis, for where is the indication of the apodosis to be found? Nor does it signify "but," a meaning it also has not in Genesis 24:38; Ezekiel 3:6. In these passages too, as in the passage before us, it is asseverating, being derived from the usual formula of an oath: verily I have, etc. שׁוּה signifies (Isaiah 28:25) to level the surface of a field by ploughing it up, and has an ethical sense here, like ישׂר with its opposites עקב and עפּל. The Poel סּומם is to be understood according to דּוּמיּה in Psalm 62:2, and דּוּמם in Lamentations 3:26. He has levelled or made smooth his soul, so that humility is its entire and uniform state; he has calmed it so that it is silent and at rest, and lets God speak and work in it and for it: it is like an even surface, and like the calm surface of a lake. Ewald and Hupfeld's rendering: "as a weaned child on its mother, so my soul, being weaned, lies on me," is refuted by the consideration that it ought at least to be כּגמוּלה, but more correctly כּן גמולה; but it is also besides opposed by the article which is swallowed up in כּגּמל, according to which it is to be rendered: like one weaned beside its mother (here כּגמול on account of the determinative collateral definition), like the weaned one (here כּגּמול because without any collateral definition: cf. with Hitzig, Deuteronomy 32:2, and the like; moreover, also, because referring back to the first גמול, cf. Habakkuk 3:8), is my soul beside me (Hitzig, Hengstenberg, and most expositors). As a weaned child - viz. not one that is only just begun to be weaned, but an actually weaned child (גּמל, cognate גּמר eta, to bring to an end, more particularly to bring suckling to an end, to wean) - lies upon its mother without crying impatiently and craving for its mother's breast, but contented with the fact that it has its mother - like such a weaned child is his soul upon him, i.e., in relation to his Ego (which is conceived of in עלי as having the soul upon itself, cf. Psalm 42:7; Jeremiah 8:18; Psychology, S. 151f., tr. p. 180): his soul, which is by nature restless and craving, is stilled; it does not long after earthly enjoyment and earthly good that God should give these to it, but it is satisfied in the fellowship of God, it finds full satisfaction in Him, it is satisfied (satiated) in Him.

By the closing strain, Psalm 131:3, the individual language of the Psalm comes to have a reference to the congregation at large. Israel is to renounce all self-boasting and all self-activity, and to wait in lowliness and quietness upon its God from now and for evermore. For He resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

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