Home > Scripture Reflections > What is so pleasant about unity?

What is so pleasant about unity?


Continuing to read in Psalm 133 and I spent some time looking up the two words the Psalmist uses to describe the unity of brothers dwelling together.  He says in verse one this unity is good (Heb tov) and pleasant (heb na’im).   I don’t have all my OT tools with me to study these two Hebrew words with me but I did a concordance search.

Of course tov means good but it can also have the idea of phyical beauty, sweetness of taste or a sweet smelling aroma.  When I think of good, I think of one of those defining characteristics of God.  Apart from God, we cannot understand goodness–only one is truly good says Jesus to the rich young ruler, and that one is God!  But tov is not the only word, the Psalmist uses to describe unity–he also uses na’im, a word that my abridged BDB says can be translated as either delightful or lovely or beautiful and which is translated here as “pleasant.”

Na’im is used thirteen times in the OT and in four of those, it is combined with tov.  But, there are other words with which it is combined that are interesting–beloved, beautiful( shapar), beautiful (‘avach), precious (‘aqir).  What else is na’im besides brothers dwelling together in unity?  David as the beloved singer of Israel 2 Sam 23:1, Saul and Jonathan–beloved and beautiful in life 2 Sam 1:23, Job 36:11 says those who are obedient and serve will spend their last years contented and their days in goodness, the boundary lines that have fallen to the Psalmist in Ps 16:6 are na’im and his inheritance is beautiful. In Ps 16:11, the Psalmist says God makes me know the path of life–the abundance of joy, his pleasant (na’im) face and his everlasting hand. The Psalmist in 135:3 and 147: 1 tells us to praise YHWH because He is good (tov) and our music or praise is said to be na’im before God.  God’s words are na’im when they are treasured Prov 22:18 but our delightful (na’im) words are wasted before a selfish person.  When we have knowledge in Prov 24:14 it is like our rooms are filled with precious or rare and beautiful (na’im) treasure.  Finally, the bride says that her beloved is handsome and says how pleasant (na’im) is it to have their luxurious bed SOS 1:16

After reading these verses, I ask myself, “Is  there is something about unity that we are missing? I think so!!

If you need help to flesh out unity,  Romans 12 may provide assistance as we move towards unity.

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