Psalm 132
Matthew Poole's Commentary
A Song of degrees. LORD, remember David, and all his afflictions:

The penman of this Psalm was either,

1. David, when God had graciously declared his acceptance of David’s desire to build a house for God. and his purpose of establishing the kingdom to David and his seed for ever: or,

2. Solomon, as may be gathered from the whole matter of the Psalm, which seems better to agree to him than to David; and particularly from Psalm 132:8-10, compared with 2 Chronicles 6:41,42, where we have the same words with no great alteration.

David in prayer commendeth unto God the care he had for the ark, Psalm 132:1-7; with his prayer over it, Psalm 132:8-10. A rehearsal of God’s oath and promises of the everlasting kingdom of Christ, Psalm 132:11-18.

Remember David; either,

1. Thy covenant made with David; or rather,

2. David’s eminent piety and zeal for thy service, amplified by the following clause.

All his afflictions; all his sufferings for thy sake, all the solicitude of his mind, all his hard and wearisome labours for thy service and glory, and for provisions towards the building of thy temple, and for the establishment of thy people in peace and tranquillity, that so way might be made for that great work.

How he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob;
He made a solemn vow, and confirmed it with an oath; which he undoubtedly did, although no mention be made of it 2 Samuel 7. Thus many historical passages which were omitted in their proper places, are afterwards recorded upon other occasions; of which examples have been formerly noted.

Of Jacob; of Israel; Jacob and Israel are frequently put for their posterity; as hath been frequently observed.

Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed;
This and the following clauses are not to be understood strictly and properly, as if he would never come into his house or bed till this was done, which is confuted by the history, 2 Samuel 11:2; but figuratively as an hyperbolical expression, such as are usual both in Scripture and in all other authors, to signify his passionate desire of doing this work, which was so earnest, that neither his house, nor bed, nor sleep could give him any content till this work was done, or in some forwardness.

I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids,
No text from Poole on this verse.

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

Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood.
We heard of it; of the place or habitation for the Lord last mentioned.

At Ephratah; either,

1. In Bethlehem, which is called Ephratah, Genesis 35:19 48:7 Micah 5:2. So the sense is either this, We heard a rumour at Bethlehem among David’s relations, that the ark should be removed to a new place, and that David had pitched upon it; or this, We heard that Bethlehem would be the place for it, because it was the city of David. Or rather,

2. In the tribe of Ephraim, which was called also Ephratah or Ephrathah, as is manifest, because the men of Ephraim were called Ephrathites, as Judges 12:5, in the Hebrew text, though in the English it be Ephraimite. So Jeroboam is called an Ephrathite, 1 Kings 11:26. So the sense is, We heard it from our fathers, that the ancient place of it was Shiloh, which was in the land of Ephraim; whereby he covertly intimates that God rejected and forsook that place, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim, as it is said, Psalm 78:67, that so he might make way for Zion, which was the place chosen by God for it, as it follows here, Psalm 132:13.

We found it; afterwards we found it elsewhere.

In the fields of the wood, i.e. in a field, or in one of the fields of the wood; for that little spot of ground in which the tabernacle or temple was built was not likely to be in several fields. Thus Jephthah was buried in the cities of Gilead, Judges 12:7, i.e. in one of them. This is meant either,

1. Of the Mount Moriah, which might possibly be called the field of the wood, as being anciently a place full of wood, Genesis 22:13, or of the threshing-floor of Araunah, of which see 2 Samuel 24:18, which before the building of the temple is said to have been a woody place. Or rather,

2. Of Kirjath-jearim, which signifies a city of woods, in the field or territory whereof the ark was seated for twenty years, as we read, 1 Samuel 7:1,2. And from this place it was removed to Zion, 2 Samuel 6:1, &c.

We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool.
We will go; seeing the ark is now fixed in a certain place, we will go to it more generally and constantly than formerly we did.

Into his tabernacles; into his tabernacle or temple, the plural number put for the singular, as Psalm 43:3 46:4, &c.

At his footstool; either the temple; or rather the ark, so called 1 Chronicles 28:2 Lamentations 2:1, because God is oft said to sit between the cherubims, which were above the ark.

Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength.
Arise, i.e. arise and come. One word put for two, as Genesis 43:33, marvelled (i.e. marvelled looking) one at another; and Genesis 43:34, he took messes, i.e. he took and sent messes, as our translation renders it. And this word is very proper in this place, because it was to be used by God’s appointment when the ark was to be removed from one place to another, Numbers 10:35, as now it was from the tabernacle in Zion to the temple in Moriah, upon which occasion this and the two following verses were used by Solomon, 2 Chronicles 6:41,42.

Into thy rest; into thy resting-place, the temple, so called Isaiah 66:1, where thou hast now a fixed habitation.

The ark of thy strength; the seat of thy powerful and glorious presence, from whence thou dost put forth and manifest thy strength on the behalf of thy people when they desire and need it.

Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.
With righteousness; not only with those outward sacerdotal garments of glory and beauty which thou hast appointed for them, but especially with those inward ornaments of righteousness and true holiness, that so their persons and services may be accepted by thee, both for themselves and for all thy people, and they may be clothed with salvation, as it is expressed here below, Psalm 132:16 2 Chronicles 6:41, which is the effect or consequent of the former clothing. Let thy saints shout for joy; let all thy people have cause of rejoicing in the tokens of thy goodness; which they eminently had at the dedication of the temple, as is noted, 1 Kings 8:66.

For thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of thine anointed.
For thy servant David’s sake; in regard of thy singular kindness and promises vouchsafed to David, as this is explained in the following verses. And this verse makes it more than probable that David was not the penman of this Psalm, who never used to beg mercies from God for his own sake, but constantly for his name’s sake, and for the sake of his truth, mercy, goodness, or righteousness, as will be evident to any one that reads this book.

Turn not away the face; cast me not out of thy presence, do not reject or deny my request, as this phrase is expounded, 1 Kings 2:16. Of thine anointed; of me, whom thou hast anointed to be king over thy people. He speaks of himself in the third person, as is usual.

The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.
Sworn in truth; not falsely or deceitfully, as men sometimes do, but sincerely and faithfully, what he will inviolably observe and fulfil, as the next clause expounds this.

Of the fruit of thy body; some of thy posterity.

If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.
No text from Poole on this verse.

For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.
Zion; not strictly, but largely taken; either for the whole mountain, whereof Zion and Moriah were two parts or tops; or for Jerusalem, which was in a great part built upon Mount Zion, whence it is oft called Zion, as hath been noted again and again. For he speaks here of that place which he chose to be his rest for ever, as it follows, Psalm 132:14, which unquestionably was the temple; whence also it appears that this Psalm was not written by David, nor before the building of the temple.

This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.
I will no more wander to several places as I have done, but here I have fixed my abode.

I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.
I will plentifully provide for Jerusalem, and all that live in her or resort to her for worship; nor shall they seek my face in vain.

I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
With salvation; with my saving graces and blessings; with righteousness, as thou didst desire, Psalm 132:9; and moreover, with that protection and benediction which by my promise belongs to righteous persons.

There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.
There; in Jerusalem, the seat of the kingdom, and, which is no small advantage to that family, the only place of my presence and worship in the world.

The horn of David to bud; his power and glory to flourish and increase, and to be propagated to his posterity.

A lamp; a successor or succession to continue for ever in his family, as this phrase is expounded, 1 Kings 11:36 15:4; and particularly one eminent and glorious light, to wit, the Messias, who shall come out of his loins, and revive and vastly enlarge his kingdom.

His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.
Clothe with shame; for the shameful and unexpected disappointment of all their vain hopes and wicked designs.

Upon himself; upon him and his posterity, which are nothing else but a man’s self multiplied.

Matthew Poole's Commentary

Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bible Hub
Psalm 131
Top of Page
Top of Page