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scripture

 

PSALM 45*

Song for a Royal Wedding

1For the leader; according to “Lilies.” A maskil of the Korahites. A love song.

I

2My heart is stirred by a noble theme,

as I sing my ode to the king.

My tongue is the pen of a nimble scribe.

II

3You are the most handsome of men;

fair speech has graced your lips,

for God has blessed you forever.a

4Gird your sword upon your hip, mighty warrior!

In splendor and majesty ride on triumphant!b

5In the cause of truth, meekness, and justice

may your right hand show your wondrous deeds.

6Your arrows are sharp;

peoples will cower at your feet;

the king’s enemies will lose heart.

7Your throne, O God,* stands forever;c

your royal scepter is a scepter for justice.

8You love justice and hate wrongdoing;

therefore God, your God, has anointed you

with the oil of gladness above your fellow kings.

9With myrrh, aloes, and cassia

your robes are fragrant.

From ivory-paneled palaces*

stringed instruments bring you joy.

10Daughters of kings are your lovely wives;

a princess arrayed in Ophir’s gold*

comes to stand at your right hand.

III

11Listen, my daughter, and understand;

pay me careful heed.

Forget your people and your father’s house,*

12that the king might desire your beauty.

He is your lord;

13dhonor him, daughter of Tyre.

Then the richest of the people

will seek your favor with gifts.

14All glorious is the king’s daughter as she enters,e

her raiment threaded with gold;

15In embroidered apparel she is led to the king.

The maids of her train are presented to the king.

16They are led in with glad and joyous acclaim;

they enter the palace of the king.

IV

17The throne of your fathers your sons will have;

you shall make them princes through all the land.f

18I will make your name renowned through all generations;

thus nations shall praise you forever.g

* [Psalm 45] A song for the Davidic king’s marriage to a foreign princess from Tyre in Phoenicia. The court poet sings (Ps 45:2, 18) of God’s choice of the king (Ps 45:3, 8), of his role in establishing divine rule (Ps 45:48), and of his splendor as he waits for his bride (Ps 45:910). The woman is to forget her own house when she becomes wife to the king (Ps 45:1113). Her majestic beauty today is a sign of the future prosperity of the royal house (Ps 45:1417). The Psalm was retained in the collection when there was no reigning king, and came to be applied to the king who was to come, the messiah.

* [45:7] O God: the king, in courtly language, is called “god,” i.e., more than human, representing God to the people. Heb 1:89 applies Ps 45:78 to Christ.

* [45:9] Ivory-paneled palaces: lit., “palaces of ivory.” Ivory paneling and furniture decoration have been found in Samaria and other ancient Near Eastern cities, cf. Am 3:15.

* [45:10] Ophir’s gold: uncertain location, possibly a region on the coast of southern Arabia or eastern Africa, famous for its gold, cf. 1 Kgs 9:28; 10:11; Jb 22:24.

* [45:11] Forget your people and your father’s house: the bride should no longer consider herself a daughter of her father’s house, but the wife of the king—the queen.

a. [45:3] Sg 5:1016.

b. [45:4] Ps 21:5.

c. [45:78] Heb 1:89.

d. [45:13] Ps 72:1011; Is 60:5f.

e. [45:1416] Ez 16:1013.

f. [45:17] Gn 17:6.

g. [45:18] Is 60:15.




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