Bible Question:

What is the meaning of Psalm 133:2 when it says, “ . . . the precious oil . . . coming down upon . . . Aaron’s beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes.”

Bible Answer:

Psalm 133:2 illustrates the proceeding verse, Ps. 33:1. Here are both verses together.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes. (NASB) Ps. 133:1-2

The precious oil is being used as an illustration of “brothers dwelling together in unity.” Most of us will ask how does that make sense? The answer is found in Exodus 30:22-33. Here is a portion of that passage.

Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty, and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin. And you shall make of these a holy anointing oil, a perfume mixture, the work of a perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil . . . And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister as priests to Me. (NASB) Ex. 30:23-25, 30

The oil used to anoint Aaron was holy anointing oil.

The holy anointing oil was a mixture of four spices in oil. The spices were myrrh, cinnamon, cane, and cassia. The spices were mixed together in olive oil. They were different spices mixed together to make a wonderful fragrance – a holy oil. What a picture of unity. It is a picture of very different people, yet people who are united.


When these spices were mixed with oil, the oil became holy oil. It was not the oil that was holy but the mixture. By themselves the spices could not make a holy oil. God did not ask for three measurements of myrrh, but required four different spices. God could have used just one spice, but He did not do that. It is a great reminder for us that we need each other to provoke one another to love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24). The body of Jesus Christ is made up of all types of people.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God. (NASB) 1 Cor. 6:9-11

God has put murderers with those who hate, thieves with those who lie, homosexuals with those who lust, one race with another race, parents with children, wealthy with the poor, and the lazy with the diligent. He has mixed different spices together and called it the body of Jesus Christ – the church – Christians! He calls us to live in harmony and unity. We are family!