The *Dew on Hermon Mountain

Psalm 133

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 133

Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the *Hebrew Bible.

The notes explain some of the words with a *star by them. A word list at the end explains all the words that have a *star by them.

The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.


Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the *Leper. When he was there, a woman came to him. She had a box made out of *alabaster. In it was a very valuable *oil. While Jesus was eating a meal in the house, she poured the oil over his head. (Matthew 26:6-7). (A leper has an illness called leprosy. Alabaster is a soft stone. The oil was not what people use in cars. It was oil with a nice smell.)

Psalm 133

  (This is) a song for climbing by David.

v1   See how good it is.
  And see what pleasure it brings when brothers stay together.

v2   It is as a sweet *oil poured on the head.
  It goes down on to the beard, as it did on to Aaronís beard.
  It then poured down over his clothes.

v3   It is like the *dew on the mountain called Hermon.
  It (also) pours down on to the mountains of Zion.
  The *LORD has said that it is a *good place to be.
  There is always life there.

The story of Psalm 133

Some Bible students believe that David wrote this psalm after he united his people. Other students believe that Ezra or Nehemiah wrote it. This is because not all *Hebrew Bibles have "of David" at the beginning. Read about "songs for climbing" in the notes on Psalm 120.

What Psalm 133 means

Verse 1: Brothers "stay together" means that brothers "do not fight".

Verse 2: A united country is like sweet oil. This is not motor oil, but oil from a fruit called the *olive. We still use it to cook things in. You can make oils from many other fruits, not only olives.

Aaron was Mosesí brother. He was the first chief (most important) *priest of the *Jews. A *priest is a special servant of God. They do something special to a chief *priest at the start of his work. They "anoint" him. This means that they put *olive oil on his head. It runs down his face on to his beard. Then it goes on to his clothes. A better translation of "clothes" is "collar". The collar is the part of our clothes round our necks. The oil makes everything smell nice. It is like a picture of brothers who are not fighting. It is good, or "smells nice".

Verse 3: This verse gives another picture. Dew is water that comes on to the ground at night. It comes down on mountains like Hermon and Zion. Hermon is in the north of the country where the *Jews lived. The *dew makes plants grow when there is no rain. *Zion is the mountain in Jerusalem where the *Jews built Godís house. Zion is a good place to be. Zion is where God "*blesses" people (or does good things for them). That is why it is a good place. For Christians, *Zion is like a picture of the Church.

Something to do

Pray that brothers will live together. Pray that brothers will not fight. This means brothers in a family, brothers in a country and brothers in the world. All men are like brothers because God made them all.

Word List

alabaster ~ soft stone.

bless ~ say good things.

dew ~ water that comes on to the ground at night.

Hebrew ~ the language that the Jews spoke; they wrote the Psalms in Hebrew.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

leper ~ someone with an illness called leprosy.

LORD ~ the covenant name for God (in a covenant you agree with someone).

oil ~ not motor oil, but from a fruit called the olive. People cook with it, or they make themselves smell nice with it.

olive ~ a fruit.

priest ~ a servant of God in his *temple.

temple ~ a place where people meet to *worship God.

worship ~ you tell someone that they are very great. And you tell them that you love them.

Zion ~ Jerusalem was on a mountain called Zion.


© 1997-2004, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

January 2004

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