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Psalm 132[a]

A song of ascents.[b]

132 O Lord, for David’s sake remember
all his strenuous effort,[c]
and how he made a vow to the Lord,
and swore an oath to the Powerful One of Jacob.
He said,[d] “I will not enter my own home,[e]
or get into my bed.[f]
I will not allow my eyes to sleep,
or my eyelids to slumber,
until I find a place for the Lord,
a fine dwelling place[g] for the Powerful One of Jacob.”[h]
Look, we heard about it[i] in Ephrathah;[j]
we found it in the territory of Jaar.[k]
Let us go to his dwelling place.
Let us worship[l] before his footstool.
Ascend, O Lord, to your resting place,
you and the ark of your strength.
May your priests be clothed with integrity.[m]
May your loyal followers shout for joy.
10 For the sake of David, your servant,
do not reject your chosen king.[n]
11 The Lord made a reliable promise to David;[o]
he will not go back on his word.[p]
He said,[q] “I will place one of your descendants[r] on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant
and the rules I teach them,
their sons will also sit on your throne forever.”
13 Certainly[s] the Lord has chosen Zion;
he decided to make it his home.[t]
14 He said,[u] “This will be my resting place forever;
I will live here, for I have chosen it.[v]
15 I will abundantly supply what she needs;[w]
I will give her poor all the food they need.[x]
16 I will protect her priests,[y]
and her godly people will shout exuberantly.[z]
17 There I will make David strong;[aa]
I have determined that my chosen king’s dynasty will continue.[ab]
18 I will humiliate his enemies,[ac]
and his crown will shine.”


  1. Psalm 132:1 sn Psalm 132. The psalmist reminds God of David’s devotion and of his promises concerning David’s dynasty and Zion.
  2. Psalm 132:1 sn The precise significance of this title, which appears in Pss 120-134, is unclear. Perhaps worshipers recited these psalms when they ascended the road to Jerusalem to celebrate annual religious festivals. For a discussion of their background see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 219-21.
  3. Psalm 132:1 tn Heb “all his affliction.” This may refer to David’s strenuous and tireless efforts to make provision for the building of the temple (see 1 Chr 22:14). Some prefer to revocalize the text as עַנַוָתוֹ (ʿanavato, “his humility”).
  4. Psalm 132:3 tn The words “he said” are supplied in the translation to clarify that what follows is David’s vow.
  5. Psalm 132:3 tn Heb “the tent of my house.”
  6. Psalm 132:3 tn Heb “go up upon the bed of my couch.”
  7. Psalm 132:5 tn The plural form of the noun may indicate degree or quality; David envisions a special dwelling place (see Pss 43:3; 46:4; 84:1).
  8. Psalm 132:5 tn Or “the Mighty One of Jacob.”
  9. Psalm 132:6 tn Rather than having an antecedent, the third feminine singular pronominal suffix here (and in the next line) appears to refer to the ark of the covenant, mentioned in v. 8. (The Hebrew term אָרוֹן [ʾaron, “ark”] is sometimes construed as grammatically feminine. See 1 Sam 4:17; 2 Chr 8:11.)
  10. Psalm 132:6 sn Some understand Ephrathah as a reference to Kiriath Jearim because of the apparent allusion to this site in the next line (see the note on “Jaar”). The ark was kept in Kiriath Jearim after the Philistines released it (see 1 Sam 6:21-7:2). However, the switch in verbs from “heard about” to “found” suggests that Ephrathah not be equated with Jair. The group who is speaking heard about the ark while they were in Ephrath. They then went to retrieve it from Kiriath Jearim (“Jaar”). It is more likely that Ephrathah refers to a site near Bethel (Gen 35:16, 19; 48:7) or to Bethlehem (Ruth 4:11; Mic 5:2).
  11. Psalm 132:6 tn Heb “fields of the forest.” The Hebrew term יָעַר (yaʿar, “forest”) is apparently a shortened alternative name for קִרְיַת יְעָרִים (qiryat yeʿarim, “Kiriath Jearim”), the place where the ark was kept after it was released by the Philistines and from which David and his men retrieved it (see 1 Chr 13:6).
  12. Psalm 132:7 tn Or “bow down.”
  13. Psalm 132:9 tn Or “righteousness.”
  14. Psalm 132:10 tn Heb “do not turn away the face of your anointed one.”
  15. Psalm 132:11 tn Heb “the Lord swore an oath to David [in] truth.”
  16. Psalm 132:11 tn Heb “he will not turn back from it.”
  17. Psalm 132:11 tn The words “he said” are supplied in the translation to clarify that what follows are the Lord’s words.
  18. Psalm 132:11 tn Heb “the fruit of your body.”
  19. Psalm 132:13 tn Or “for.”
  20. Psalm 132:13 tn Heb “he desired it for his dwelling place.”
  21. Psalm 132:14 tn The words “he said” are added in the translation to clarify that what follows are the Lord’s words.
  22. Psalm 132:14 tn Heb “for I desired it.”
  23. Psalm 132:15 tn Heb “I will greatly bless her provision.” The infinitive absolute is used to emphasize the verb.
  24. Psalm 132:15 tn Heb “her poor I will satisfy [with] food.”
  25. Psalm 132:16 tn Heb “and her priests I will clothe [with] deliverance.”
  26. Psalm 132:16 tn Heb “[with] shouting they will shout.” The infinitive absolute is used to emphasize the verb.
  27. Psalm 132:17 tn Heb “there I will cause a horn to sprout for David.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (cf. Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Pss 18:2; 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam 2:17). In the ancient Near East powerful warrior-kings would sometimes compare themselves to a goring bull that used its horns to kill its enemies. For examples, see P. Miller, “El the Warrior,” HTR 60 (1967): 422-25, and R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 135-36.
  28. Psalm 132:17 tn Heb “I have arranged a lamp for my anointed one.” Here the “lamp” is a metaphor for the Davidic dynasty (see 1 Kgs 11:36).
  29. Psalm 132:18 tn Heb “his enemies I will clothe [with] shame.”