Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Public Domain KJV text from Wordproject.org
Of all the senses, smell has the unique ability to bring your memory back to the exact time and place when you first experienced a smell, be it the smell of fresh bread in your grandma’s kitchen or the smell of Japanese noodles from your childhood travels. Just one whiff of the same smell and it seems is as if you are right there again.
David evokes this sense in Psalm 133 when he said that brotherly unity, “is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.” (verse 2). He is recalling the story of when Aaron was anointed as the High Priest. The anointing oil was so holy that it was to be used only in connection with the sanctuary under penalty of death (see Exodus 30:22-33). It was designed to be a smell that could only be experienced in the very presence of God.
This means that true brotherhood and unity is such a holy thing that it only happens when we consecrate ourselves to God and live in His presence. It is so wonderful that you can smell it.
Karen D. Lifshay
Pastoral Spouse, Coos Bay/Coquille/Bandon, Oregon USA (as of this writing)