As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended on the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing…
The dew of Hermon and the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion, to which the psalmist referred — differs entirely from the ordinary dew of our country — and is a phenomenon peculiar to Palestine and the East. It is a soft mist that comes from the Mediterranean during the summer, when the heat is greatest, and the country is burnt up with the terrible sunshine. It is attracted by the inland heights, and condensed in copious moisture upon their sides, and creeps down upon the plains, reviving and refreshing every green thing. It comes first of all to Mount Hermon, and helps to keep up its unchanging robe of snow, and to fill its springs, and feed its cedars, and then it flows down and makes the corn to grow green in the valleys, and the vines to swell out their purple grapes in the vineyards, and the lilies to unfold their crimson radiance in the fields. And it is to this wonderful phenomenon that the psalmist compares the unify and harmony of those who dwell together as brethren. It is a most beautiful and expressive image. For just as Mount Hermon that is high above the plains and valleys of Palestine, benefits them by its clouds and rains and streams, imparts to them the blessings it receives from heaven, and thus becomes essential to their life and well-being; so these plains and valleys in turn have helped to elevate and maintain Hermon on his throne, and send up to it their evaporations and radiations to become the sources of its spotless snows, its billowy clouds, and its sparkling streams and cooling winds. They help it as much as if helps them. They are mutually dependent upon each other. The lowly plain does not envy the lofty mountain; nor does the lofty mountain look down in contempt upon the lowly plain. They are associated together in physical harmony. They are there in the close relation to each other appointed by Him who weighs the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance; and they could have no other position or shape or function. The one could not do or even be without the other. So would the psalmist have the inhabitants of the Holy Land to live. Let the religion of Ephraim be like the all-pervading fragrance of the holy oil of the temple in Judah; and let the religion of Judah be like the moisture that is borne from the snowcapped Hermon in Ephraim, and falls in refreshing drops upon the dry southern hills of Judah. The covenant people had lost the blessing through their division; they were weakened, and, in consequence, were carried away captive, and their land was made desolate. But now, if they become reunited and continue, in mutual harmony and brotherly kindness, to help and encourage each other ha She good work for which God had prepared and called them; if they observe together the same ordinances of religion, and preserve together the purity of their national faith, then God would remove the threat, and command upon them the blessing, even life for evermore. Their land would become once more a land flowing with milk and honey; and they themselves would be once more a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people zealous of good works. And so would it be with every family and Church and nation still that dwelt together in the unity and harmony of love. God would command there the blessing, even continuous and prosperous life. Especially in the Church would this goodness and pleasantness of brethren dwelling together in unity be felt. When will Churches recognize the fact that they are meant to provoke one another not to envy and jealousy but unto all good works? When will their members learn the great truth that God bestows the blessings of salvation upon individuals, not that these blessings may be confined to them, but that they may be diffused by them? But the earthly Hermon is only the type of the heavenly — the shadow of something grander and more enduring. There are everlasting hills to which we are to lift up our eyes, rocks higher than any in this world. From them come to us the dew of grace, and the river that flows from the throne of God and the Lamb; and God there indeed commands the blessing, even life for evermore.
(H. Macmillan, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.