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Psalms 133:2

    Psalms 133:2 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    It is like the precious ointment on the head, that ran down on the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    It is like the precious oil upon the head, That ran down upon the beard, Even Aaron's beard; That came down upon the skirt of his garments;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    It is like oil of great price on the head, flowing down over the face, even Aaron's face: coming down to the edge of his robe;

    Webster's Revision

    It is like the precious oil upon the head, That ran down upon the beard, Even Aaron's beard; That came down upon the skirt of his garments;

    World English Bible

    It is like the precious oil on the head, that ran down on the beard, even Aaron's beard; that came down on the edge of his robes;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    It is like the precious oil upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard; that came down upon the skirt of his garments;

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 133:2

    Like the precious ointment - The composition of this holy anointing oil may be seen, Exodus 30:23; sweet cinnamon, sweet calamus, cassia lignea, and olive oil. The odour of this must have been very agreeable, and serves here as a metaphor to point out the exquisite excellence of brotherly love.

    Ran down upon the beard - The oil was poured upon the head of Aaron so profusely as to run down upon his garments. It is customary in the east to pour out the oil on the head so profusely as to reach every limb.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 133:2

    It is like the precious ointment upon the head - That is, which was poured upon the head of the high priest, when consecrated to the holy office. The Hebrew is, "the good ointment." For a description of the ointment which was used in the consecration of the high priest, and the holy things of the sanctuary, see Exodus 30:22-30. Compare the notes at Isaiah 61:3, on the phrase "oil of joy." Anointing with oil was common on festivals and joyous occasions (see the notes at Psalm 23:5), and hence, it became an emblem of anything joyous, happy, beautiful; and the idea seemed to be carried to the highest degree when it was connected with the anointing of a high priest to the sacred duties of his office. There is no other resemblance between the idea of anointing with oil and that of harmony among brethren than this which is derived from the gladness - the joyousness - connected with such an anointing. The psalmist wished to give the highest idea of the pleasantness of such harmony; and he, therefore, compared it with that which was most beautiful to a pious mind - the idea of a solemn consecration to the highest office of religion. The comparison is one which would not unnaturally occur to a Jew.

    That ran down upon the beard - Descending from the head upon the long, flowing beard. The idea here is that of copiousness, or abundance - as if so much ointment was poured forth as to descend on the whole person, consecrating the entire man.

    Even Aaron's beard - The word "even" here, introduced by our translators, weakens the force and beauty of the comparison. The psalmist had the simple image of Aaron before his mind, without intending to compare him with any other.

    That went down to the skirts of his garments - literally, "to the mouth of his garment." The idea is that the anointing oil was abundant enough to flow down so as to fall on his entire robe, diffusing a sweet fragrance all around. It is possible, though it may seem like a conceit, that the psalmist may have had an idea of unity in this, as if in the anointing of the high priest the whole man was consecrated, or was "united" in the consecration. It was not merely the head, but the beard, the raiment, the entire person, that partook of the fragrance of the anointing oil. Thus love in a Christian community is so abundant - so overflowing - that it spreads over all the spiritual body, the church; the same sweet and holy influence, represented by the oil of anointing, pervades all, and combines all in one.