Psalm 134:2
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Lift up your hands (see Note, Psalm 28:2) (in) the sanctuary.—The usual meaning would be to the sanctuary (see reference above), but since the servants of Jehovah are here addressed as standing in the sanctuary, this direction seems unreasonable. Render, therefore, in holiness, and comp. “lifting up holy hands” (1Timothy 2:8).

134:1-3 An exhortation to bless the Lord. - We must stir up ourselves to give glory to God, and encourage ourselves to hope for mercy and grace from him. It is an excellent plan to fill up all our spare minutes with pious meditations, and prayers and praises. No time would then be a burden, nor should we murder our hours by trifling conversation and vain amusements, or by carnal indulgences. We need desire no more to make us happy, than to be blessed of the Lord. We ought to beg spiritual blessings, not only for ourselves, but for others; not only, The Lord bless me, but, The Lord bless thee; thus testifying our belief that there is enough for others as well as for us, and showing our good will to others.Lift up your hands in the sanctuary - Margin, In holiness. The Hebrew word properly means holiness, but it may be applied to a holy place. See Psalm 20:2. The lifting up of the hands is properly expressive of prayer, but the phrase may be used to denote praise or worship in general.

And bless the Lord - In the night-watches - while all around is still, - let there be one place where the voice of praise shall ascend on high.

2. Lift up your hands—(Compare Ps 28:2). Lift up your hands unto God in prayer and praises, thus expressing and exciting your inward devotion. In the sanctuary; in that holy house of God Where you stand, Psalm 134:1. Or, in or with holiness, lift up your hands, as it is prescribed, 1 Timothy 2:8. Do not content yourselves with lifting up your hands, but see that this be done with pure and holy hearts. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary,.... Which Aben Ezra interprets of the priests lifting up their hands to bless the people; but Kimchi, better, of lifting up of the hands to God in prayer; see Psalm 141:2; which should be done "with holiness", as the Targum renders it, in a holy manner; and is the same with lifting up holy hands, 1 Timothy 2:8; or towards the holy place; the oracle in the holy of holies, and the ark of the covenant, typical of Christ; see 1 Kings 8:29, Psalm 28:2; so Kimchi; or rather, according to Arama, unto the holy name of God, to whom prayer is to be directed;

and bless the Lord; which is repeated, to show the importance of the work, that it might not be forgotten and neglected; this being a principal part of spiritual service, and greatly acceptable to God.

Lift up your {b} hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.

(b) For their charge was not only to keep the temple, but to pray there and to give God thanks.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. Lift up your hands] The gesture of prayer. Cp. Psalm 28:2; 1 Timothy 2:8.

in the sanctuary] Rather to the sanctuary, towards the most holy place, as the earthly dwelling-place of Jehovah. The rendering of R.V. marg., in holiness, is less probable.Verse 2. - Lift up your hands. The attitude of prayer and praise (Psalm 63:4; Psalm 119:48; Psalm 141:2). In the sanctuary; rather, towards the sanctuary; i.e. towards the holy of holies. Others render, "in holiness." And bless the Lord (compare the first clause of ver. 1). Shiloh has been rejected (Psalm 78:60), for a time only was the sacred Ark in Bethel (Judges 20:27) and Mizpah (Judges 21:5), only somewhat over twenty years was it sheltered by the house of Abinadab in Kirjath-Jearim (1 Samuel 7:2), only three months by the house of Obed-Edom in Perez-uzzah (2 Samuel 6:11) - but Zion is Jahve's abiding dwelling-place, His own proper settlement, מנוּחה (as in Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 66:1, and besides 1 Chronicles 28:2). In Zion, His chosen and beloved dwelling-place, Jahve blesses everything that belongs to her temporal need (צידהּ for זידתהּ, vid., on Psalm 27:5, note); so that her poor do not suffer want, for divine love loves the poor most especially. His second blessing refers to the priests, for by means of these He will keep up His intercourse with His people. He makes the priesthood of Zion a real institution of salvation: He clothes her priests with salvation, so that they do not merely bring it about instrumentally, but personally possess it, and their whole outward appearance is one which proclaims salvation. And to all her saints He gives cause and matter for high and lasting joy, by making Himself known also to the church, in which He has taken up His abode, in deeds of mercy (loving-kindness or grace). There (שׁם, Psalm 133:3) in Zion is indeed the kingship of promise, which cannot fail of fulfilment. He will cause a horn to shoot forth, He will prepare a lamp, for the house of David, which David here represents as being its ancestor and the anointed one of God reigning at that time; and all who hostilely rise up against David in his seed, He will cover with shame as with a garment (Job 8:22), and the crown consecrated by promise, which the seed of David wears, shall blossom like an unfading wreath. The horn is an emblem of defensive might and victorious dominion, and the lamp (נר, 2 Samuel 21:17, cf. ניר, 2 Chronicles 21:7, lxx λύχνον) an emblem of brilliant dignity and joyfulness. In view of Ezekiel 29:21, of the predictions concerning the Branch (zemach) in Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12 (cf. Hebrews 7:14), and of the fifteenth Beracha of the Shemone-Esre (the daily Jewish prayer consisting of eighteen benedictions): "make the branch (zemach) of David Thy servant to shoot forth speedily, and let his horn rise high by virtue of Thy salvation," - it is hardly to be doubted that the poet attached a Messianic meaning to this promise. With reference to our Psalm, Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, changes that supplicatory beracha of his nation (Luke 1:68-70) into a praiseful one, joyfully anticipating the fulfilment that is at hand in Jesus.
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