Psalm 45:1-17

To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Lilies.” A Contemplation of the sons of Korah. A Song of Love.

1 My heart is overflowing with a good theme;
I recite my composition concerning the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One,
With Your glory and Your majesty.

And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness;
And Your right hand shall teach You awesome things.

Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies;
The peoples fall under You.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.

All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia,
Out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad.

Kings’ daughters are among Your honorable women;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.

10 Listen, O daughter,
Consider and incline your ear;
Forget your own people also, and your father’s house;

11 So the King will greatly desire your beauty;
Because He is your Lord, worship Him.

12 And the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift;
The rich among the people will seek your favor.

13 The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace;
Her clothing is woven with gold.

14 She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors;
The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You.

15 With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought;
They shall enter the King’s palace.

16 Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons,
Whom You shall make princes in all the earth.

17 I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations;
Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.

Set to “The Lilies” (Intro) — Most likely designating the melody according to which this psalm was to be sung.

For the rest of the intro, see the post on Psalms 42 and 43.

Some commentaries suggest that this Psalm was composed on the occasion of the marriage of one of the kings of Israel (for example, Hezekiah to Hephzibah). Wechsler, however, argues otherwise:

The marriage described in the psalm is not that of the Davidic king, as some scholars suppose, but rather that of the Son of God (the ‘bridegroom”) and His people (the “bride”). That this is so is evident from (1) the direct and exclusive application of vs. 6-7 (and hence the rest of the psalm, which is contextually inseparable from these verses) to Jesus in Hebrews 1:8-9, (2) the piling up of messianic terminology, and (3) the fact that certain expressions in the psalm far transcend what can be applied to any previous Davidic king — or mere human, for that matter (e.g., v.7: the designation of the bridegroom as “God”; v.11: the exhortation to the bride to “worship” the bridegroom; v.16: the affirmation that the bridegroom will “make (His sons) princes in all the earth”). — Wechsler, page 128.

overflowing (v.1) = bubbling up

This first section (vs.2-9) focuses on the preeminence of the Son of God to all others — whether men or angels — which is precisely the intended point in Hebrews 1:8-9, where the culminating thought of this section, in verses 6-7, is cited. In leading up to this culminating point, the psalmist affirms that the divine king is fairer than anyone else (v.2; cf. Psalm 27:4) — as He will one day be affirmed by all (Isaiah 33:17), in marked contrast to the initial assessment of His people (Isaiah 53:2) — and that grace is poured out by [not “poured upon”] His lips — i.e., His speech is imbued with grace and purity throughout (see the similar phraseology in Proverbs 22:11, as well as the clear application of this notion to Jesus in Luke 4:22). He is also affirmed (in v.3) as being a Mighty One (lit. “hero,” “valiant warrior”) — and important divine-messianic title, as elsewhere employed, e.g., Psalm 24:8 and Isaiah 9:6 — and clothed in splendor and majesty (see Psalm 110:3). He is further qualified by the messianic combination of truth (cf. John 1:14), meekness (i.e., non-arrogance; cf. Zechariah 9:9), and righteousness (cf. Isaiah 9:7). He is also attributed the exclusively  messianic attributes of receiving the obedience of the peoples (v.5; i.e., all human ethnic groups, as in Genesis 49:10 — which allusion is strengthened by the reference to the royal scepter in v.6b) and reigning forever (v.6a; see 2 Samuel 7:13; Luke 1:33) — Wechsler, pages 128-129.

oil of gladness (v.7) — the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:20-27)

Verses 6 and 7 are quoted in Hebrews 1:8-9.

But to the Son He says:
“Your throne, O God,
is forever and ever;

A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia (v.8) — Garments when spoken of symbolically in the Word of God are a type of conduct or behavior. All the actions, the conduct, the behavior of the Lord Jesus Christ smelt of heaven.

Myrrh was among the gifts brought by the wise men of the east to the infant Christ, and myrrh was among the spices in which His dead body was wrapped after Calvary. Thus from His birth to His death He was dedicated unto the sacrifice of Golgotha as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.

Aloes is a bitter herb, and here may signify to us the sufferings through which He passed on the way to Calvary and including Gethsemane and Calvary.

Cassia is a beautiful fragrance, speaking of the glory which is to follow the sufferings, and with which the sufferings may not be compared. — Pettingill, pages 104-105.

Ophir (v.9) — the name of a son of Joktan, and of a gold region in the East

daughter of Tyre (v.12) — Tyre was a rich commercial city on the northeastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, lying north of Palestine. Here it represents the Gentile nations (perhaps because Tyre once did send gifts to Israel (1 Kings 5). The “daughter” is thought to represent the people, as the “royal daughter” in v. 13 represents the people of Israel.

royal daughter (v.13) — In the East the bride, in her wedding dress, receives in her father’s house her visitors, and then at the appointed time, accompanied by the bridesmaids, her companions, is conducted to the palace of her husband, who, attended by the most distinguished women of his court (v.9), receivers her and conducts her alone into the nuptial chamber (v.14). Such is the touching and beautiful figure by which Jerusalem is here portrayed. That cit is the bride; her companions are the cities of Palestine; the daughter of Tyre and the Kings’ daughters represent the Gentile nations. All these will be brought into relationship with the Messiah, and all will be blessed. — Williams, page 334.

We may interpret verses 9 to 17 as follows: All saved Israel living at the time will return to her home land, when the Messiah returns. She will be known as the restored wife of Adonai, God the Father, She will be known as the queen and her offspring will be appointed princes in the earth. The daughter of Tyre may be thought of as saved Gentiles who will be under the blessings of God the Father and Messiah the Son, during the Kingdom Age. According to the Psalms and scores of other Old Testament passages of Scripture, the land will be exceedingly wealthy during the Kingdom Age, and the Messiah will rule over all the earth. The Old Testament does not reveal the length of His reign, but the New Testament reveals that it will be for one thousand years. — Phillips, page 126.

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