For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies.” Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil. A wedding song.
Psa 45:1 My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.
‘Composed for an actual royal wedding and motivated by devotion to an earthly king, this psalm, like all royal psalms, runs beyond what any earthly king could be, to the longed-for Messiah in whom all the glories are true. Likewise it speaks tellingly to the Bride of Christ of her true position, beauty and dedication (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:27; Rev. 14:4; 19:7; 21:9).’ (NBC)
Psa 45:2 You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever.
Psa 45:3 Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one; clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.
Psa 45:4 In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds.
Psa 45:5 Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet.
Psa 45:6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
V. 6-9 ‘The seven glories of the king: (i) His divine nature (6). Many emendations have been suggested for the text here, not because there is textual uncertainty but to avoid the ascription of deity to the king. But the text is sound and the OT enigma of the Messiah who is God and who yet worships God (7) awaits its resolution in Jesus (Eph. 1:17; Heb. 1:8); (ii) His upright rule (6, 7): officially (sceptre) and personally (love … hate) the king is holy, (Isa 11:3-5); (iii) His human superiority (7). Outwardly a man among men (your God … companions), there is also the inner secret of his divine anointing (Lk. 4:18); (iv) His fragrant person (8, 2 Cor 2:14); (v) His rich situation (8) where everything outward speaks of royal wealth and everything within is for the delight of the king. (vi) His honoured attendants (9), the kings of the earth gladly providing for the staffing of his household. (vii) The seventh glory of the king is his bride (9). The list began with the king on his throne (6) ; it ends with the shared throne, the bride beside the king (9).’ (NBC)
In the middle of this Royal Wedding Song, the royal compliments suddently turn into divine honours and the Messiah is addressed, v6f. This raises the question: If this psalm is Messianic, is not that closely related other wedding poem, the Song of Solomon, also Messianic?
‘In the portrait of the King in the Psalms we have either the most blatant, unrealistic flattery of the successive kings of David’s line, or else the expression of a great ideal, a mirror of the truth held up before each king in turn, awaiting the One in whom all will be fulfilled. The King meets world-opposition (2:1-3; 110:1) but, as Victor (45:3-5; 89:22f) and by the Lord’s activity (2:6, 8; 18:46-50; 21:1-13; 110:1f), he establishes world-rule (2:8-12; 18:43-45; 45:17; 72:8-11; 89:25; 110:5ff), based on Zion (2:6) and marked by morality (45:4, 6; 72:2-4, 7; 101). His rule is everlasting (21:4; 45:6; 72:5); prosperous (72:7, 16) and undeviating in reverence for the Lord (72:18-19). Pre-eminent in gifts, graces and dignity (45:2-7), he is also friend of the poor and enemy of oppression (72:2, 4, 12-14); under him the righteous flourish (72:7). He is remembered for ever (45:17); possesses an everlasting name (72:17), and is the object of unending thanks (72:15). In relation to the Lord he is recipient of everlasting blessing (45:2). He is heir of David’s covenant (89:28-37, 132:11f), and of Melchizedek’s priesthood (110:4). He belongs to the Lord (89:18) and is devoted to him (21:7; 63:1-8, 11). He is his son (2:7; 89:27), seated at his right hand (110:1) and is himself divine (45:6).’ (NBC)
Psa 45:7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.
Psa 45:8 All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad.
Psa 45:9 Daughters of kings are among your honored women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir.
Psa 45:10 Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear: Forget your people and your father’s house.
‘Gen 2:24 requires that, from marriage onwards a son should become primarily a husband; great stress is laid here (Listen, consider … give ear) on a daughter becoming a wife. King’s daughter though she is (13), now her whole devotion must be for the king, responding to his love (enthralled, ‘desires for himself’), sensitive to his dignity (honour) and acceptive of his status (lord).’ (NBC)
Psa 45:11 The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.
Psa 45:12 The Daughter of Tyre will come with a gift, men of wealth will seek your favor.
Psa 45:13 All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold.
Psa 45:14 In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her and are brought to you.
Psa 45:15 They are led in with joy and gladness; they enter the palace of the king.
Psa 45:16 Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land.
Psa 45:17 I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.