Lectionary Year B
April 27, 2003
Psalm 133

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) The major theological concern in this text might be prefigured in Genesis 1:31b, where God calls all that was made, "very good". Evidently, the Psalmist of 133 would agree that when things are together, fitting in unity, agreement and concord they may be called, "good". So, the principal element in this Psalm might be the nature of good and how it becomes pleasant with harmony and togetherness. Another major concern has to be the promise for eternal life in the concluding verse. That gift is as major and as good as it gets. The minor concerns support and delineate goodness. They include, first, togetherness of siblings, at least, then, at least, the oil symbolizing Aaron's anointing and the dew connoting healthy resourcing of nature.

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 1 Behold, how good and pleasant (it is) for all to remain together in unity. 2 (Such harmonious relationships are) Like the good oil upon the head Coming down upon the beard (Upon) the beard of Aaron Upon the collar of his robes. 3 (It is) like the dew of/onto Hermon (that is) falling And (even) upon the mountains of Zion. For there Yahweh has commanded/promised the blessing (of) life everlasting.

C. Hermeneutical bridge

(JFC) Collectiveness is far more desirable than isolationism. Doing anything alone is far less advantageous than doing it with others, including, if you will, contemplating and/or meditating, which needs God's involvement to be effective, surely. Partnering is better than going the lone ranger route. In today's digital age it might seem too many people spend too much time alone at a keyboard. Relationships developed and maintained even via cyberspace can prove more beneficial than mere reading and/or writing without responses. Psalm 133 encourages togetherness, to be sure. How 'bout John Donne's, "No man is an island entire of itself, every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main . . . Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in Mankind . . ." Togetherness, even with the cosmos totally, is where fulfillment is found.

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