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 45:4–8), and of his splendor as he waits for his bride (Ps 45:9–10). The woman is to forget her own house when she becomes wife to the king (Ps 45:11–13). Her majestic beauty today is a sign of the future prosperity of the royal house (Ps 45:14–17). 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.
Song for a Royal Wedding
1For the leader; according to “Lilies.” A maskil of the Korahites. A love song.
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.
3You are the most handsome of men;
fair speech has graced your lips,
for God has blessed you forever.#a. [45:3] Sg 5:10–16.
4Gird your sword upon your hip, mighty warrior!
In splendor and majesty ride on triumphant!#b. [45:4] Ps 21:5.
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,#O God: the king, in courtly language, is called “god,” i.e., more than human, representing God to the people. Heb 1:8–9 applies Ps 45:7–8 to Christ. stands forever;#c. [45:7–8] Heb 1:8–9.
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#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.
stringed instruments bring you joy.
10Daughters of kings are your lovely wives;
a princess arrayed in Ophir’s gold#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.
comes to stand at your right hand.
11Listen, my daughter, and understand;
pay me careful heed.
Forget your people and your father’s house,#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.
12that the king might desire your beauty.
He is your lord;
13#d. [45:13] Ps 72:10–11; Is 60:5f.honor 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. [45:14–16] Ez 16:10–13.
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.
17The throne of your fathers your sons will have;
you shall make them princes through all the land.#f. [45:17] Gn 17:6.
18I will make your name renowned through all generations;
thus nations shall praise you forever.#g. [45:18] Is 60:15.