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1. Behold! how good, and how becoming, that brethren 142142 The word brethren is not limited to those who are descended from the same parents; it denotes such as are members of the same community, profess the same holy religion, and are governed by the same institutions. All the people of Israel are in the first instance here addressed. should even dwell together! 2. Like the precious ointment upon the head, that descendeth upon the beard, the beard of Aaron, which descendeth upon the skirt of his garments. 143143 Kimchi, Jarchi, and others, instead of “to the skirts,” translate “to the collar of his garment.” This seems to give the true meaning of the original, which implies that the head and beard of Aaron only were anointed, and that the costly sacerdotal robes were thus preserved from an unction, which must inevitably have spoiled them. For an account of this ointment and of its sprinkling on Aaron, and his sons, see Exodus 30:23-25, 30; Leviticus 8:12. When Aaron was consecrated High Priest the oil was poured on him, whilst on the other priests it was only sprinkled. 3. Like the dew of Hermon, 144144 There is a mountain called Hermon, which is the highest of the ridge of mountains designated Anti-Lebanon, and which is situated in the northern border of the country beyond Jordan. This, however, is not the mountain supposed to be here intended, but another of the same name lying within the land of Canaan on the west of the river Jordan. It is described by Buckingham as a range of hills running for several miles east and west, and forming the southern boundary of the plain of Esdraelon, overlooked in which Mount Tabor is situated. Maundrell, who, in his journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem had a full view of Tabor and Hermon at about six or seven hours’ distance to the eastward, speaking of the copious dews which fell in that part of the country, says, “We were sufficiently instructed by experience what the Psalmist means by the dew of Hermon, our tents being as wet with it as if it had rained all night.” — Journey. which descendeth upon the mountains of Zion, 145145 Calvin gives the construction of these words as it is in the Hebrew text. But to make them intelligible something must be supplied. As Hermon and Zion are many miles distant from each other, it would be absurd to speak of the dews of the former as falling on the latter, not to mention the difficulty of understanding how the dew of one mountain can descend upon another. The translators of our English Bible repeat the words like the dew before which descended; and the insertion of this supplement is fully justified, as it is the most natural way of bringing out an intelligent meaning. for there 146146 “The particles, כי שם, refer not to Zion, but are put as introducing the reason of the goodness spoken of in Psalm 133:1, חיים.” — Phillips. Others, as Lowth, maintain that שםmust refer to Zion, and that to it the blessing must also refer. “May not שםmean the place wherever brethren dwell together in unity?” — Archbishop Seeker. Jehovah commanded the blessing, life for evermore.
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