Psalm 133

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19th-century glass windows in the Evangelische Stadtkirche Ravensburg with inscription from Psalms 133:1

Psalm 133 is the 133rd psalm from the Book of Psalms. It is one of the 15 Songs of Ascent (Shir Hama'alot).

Structure[edit]

Psalm 133 is one of the shortest chapters in the Book of Psalms, being one of three psalms with only three verses (the others are Psalms 131 and 134). The shortest psalm is Psalm 117, with two verses.[1]

Text[edit]

Hebrew Bible version[edit]

Following is the Hebrew text and an English translation of Psalm 133:[2]

Verse Hebrew English
1 שִׁ֥יר הַֽמַּֽעֲל֗וֹת לְדָ֫וִ֥ד הִנֵּ֣ה מַה־טּ֖וֹב וּמַה־נָּעִ֑ים שֶׁ֖בֶת אַחִ֣ים גַּם־יָֽחַד A song of ascents of David. Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers also to dwell together!
2 כַּשֶּׁ֚מֶן הַטּ֨וֹב | עַל־הָרֹ֗אשׁ יֹרֵ֗ד עַל־הַזָּ֫קָ֥ן זְקַ֥ן אַֽהֲרֹ֑ן שֶׁ֜יֹּרֵ֗ד עַל־פִּ֥י מִדּוֹתָֽיו As the good oil on the head runs down upon the beard, the beard of Aaron, which runs down on the mouth of his garments.
3 כְּטַ֥ל חֶרְמ֗וֹן שֶׁיֹּרֵד֘ עַל־הַרְרֵ֪י צִ֫יּ֥וֹן כִּ֚י שָׁ֨ם | צִוָּ֣ה יְ֖הֹוָה אֶת־הַבְּרָכָ֑ה חַ֜יִּ֗ים עַד־הָֽעוֹלָֽם As the dew of Hermon which runs down on the mountains of Zion, for there the Lord commanded the blessing, life forever.

King James Version[edit]

  1. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
  2. 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;
  3. 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.

Uses[edit]

Judaism[edit]

Psalm 133 is one of the 15 Songs of Ascents recited after the Shabbat afternoon prayer in the period between Sukkot and Shabbat HaGadol (the Shabbat prior to Passover).[3]

Verse 3 is part of the Selichot prayers.[4]

Other[edit]

The Latin title of the Psalm is Ecce Quam Bonum. The first lines, Ecce quam bonum et quam jucundum habitare fratres in unum ("Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity") constitute the motto of Sewanee: The University of the South[5] and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minnesota.[6]

Musical settings[edit]

Verse 1, known as Hine Ma Tov ("How goodly") has often been set to music in Judaism. Melodies have been composed for congregational prayer, folk singing, and art and choral settings.[7] The verse is also sung as a Shabbat table song.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alden, Robert (1976). Everyman's Bible Commentary: Psalms: Songs of Discipleship. 3. Moody Publishers. p. 73. ISBN 9781575678467. 
  2. ^ "Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 133". Chabad.org. 2018. Retrieved August 25, 2018. 
  3. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur (3rd ed.). Mesorah Publications Ltd. 2003. p. 530. ISBN 089906650X. 
  4. ^ Brauner, Reuven (2013). "Shimush Pesukim: Comprehensive Index to Liturgical and Ceremonial Uses of Biblical Verses and Passages" (PDF) (2nd ed.). p. 49. Retrieved 25 August 2018. 
  5. ^ "Student Life • Residential Life • The University of the South". Sewanee.edu/student-life/residential-life/. Retrieved 2015-08-31. 
  6. ^ "Seminary snapshots - Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, Winona (see motto)". Diocese of St Cloud. 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  7. ^ Friedmann, Jonathan L. (2012). Social Functions of Synagogue Song: A Durkheimian Approach. Lexington Books. p. 72. ISBN 9780739168318. 
  8. ^ Shapiro, Mark Dov, ed. (2016). Gates of Shabbat: Shaarei Shabbat: A Guide for Observing Shabbat (Revised ed.). CCAR Press. p. 182. ISBN 9780881232820. 

External links[edit]