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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 45

Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the BibleKretzmann's Commentary

Verses 1-5

The Anointed of God the Bridegroom of the Church.

To the chief musician, for use in public worship, upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, a didactic poem, a song of loves. One of the members of the Korahite family composed this wonderful song by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, upon Shoshannim, that is, on or of the lilies, namely, in a figurative sense, partly explained in the words, "a song of loves," the plural referring to the bridal virgins and typifying the bride herself. The psalm is a song of the Bride, of the beloved of the great Bridegroom, the Messiah, and the plural is used because all the beloved of the King are united in the figure of the one who is His heart's delight, His Church.

v. 1. My heart is inditing a good matter, the poet's heart is astir with the good word, the wonderful message, which he wants to set forth, the consoling Gospel-news: I speak of the things which I have made touching the King, dedicating his poem to the great King, the Messiah; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer, of a quick scribe, the thoughts, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, flowing into his pen in an uninterrupted stream. The King to whom he addresses his hymn has so filled his mind as to guide his pen in the glowing account which he here indites, a psalm of Christ, the Messiah, in His wonderful, eager love for His Bride, the Church. The King is now directly addressed.

v. 2. Thou art fairer than the children of men, possessing beauty surpassing that of any mere son of man; grace is poured into Thy lips, charm and lovableness show themselves in His speech, in the beauty of His mercy and truth; therefore God hath blessed Thee forever, by virtue of the intimate relation between God and this King, the Messiah, divine blessings flow down upon Him and through His Gospel upon the world, streams of salvation and mercy issue from His mouth in the beautiful message of redemption. Because of this glory and beauty, because of this mercy and truth, all nations of the earth are blessed in Him.

v. 3. Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Most Mighty, with Thy glory and Thy majesty. He is not only a fair and gracious King, but also a great Champion of His people, who went out to battle for the salvation of mankind, invincible in His glory and majesty, the attributes of the true and only God, Psalms 96:6. With these same wonderful qualities He is now endowed as He sits at the right hand of God, Ephesians 1:21-22.

v. 4. And in Thy majesty ride prosperously, advancing as the victorious Hero, because of truth and meekness and righteousness, for it is a war in the interest of truth and of the sufferings of righteousness, undertaken because the righteous suffer great trouble and afflictions; and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things; for as gentle and gracious as the King is toward those who bow under His merciful scepter, so majestic and terrible He is in dealing with His enemies.

v. 5. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies; whereby the people fall under Thee. The battle is briefly described. The King takes His whetted arrows and sends them forth into the ranks of the enemies, into their hearts, so that the people fall before Him, wounded to death, utterly vanquished. Thus the exalted Christ exerts His almighty power. No matter how often the truth is suppressed, no matter how severely the righteous suffer, they are assured of the assistance of their almighty Redeemer. Every victory won by Christ is a judgment and punishment upon the enemies, who will be finally disposed of on the last Great Day.

Verses 6-9

From the description of the King's majesty the writer now turns to a hymn of praise and worship.

v. 6. Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, the Messiah, true man, at the same time eternal God, Hebrews 1:8; the scepter of Thy kingdom is a right scepter, His dominion is one of rightness, of righteousness and justice.

v. 7. Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness, the King Himself, coequal with God, hates the evil and loves the good, He causes righteousness to be applied in the government of His kingdom by mercifully giving to all its citizens, through His Word, the merciful gift of His righteousness, which, in turn, causes them to eschew evil and love the truly good; therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows. The King, the Messiah, is here clearly addressed as God, worshiped as God. God has anointed Him who is Himself God. There is only one God, and yet a distinction is here made between God and God, between the Messiah and His God and Father. His God has anointed Christ with oil of gladness, with the Holy Ghost, who imparts joy in the Redeemer through the Word, Hebrews 2:11-12; Isaiah 61:1-3. Above His companions the Messiah is anointed, above all ordinary, merely human kings, priests, and prophets. He is anointed with the Holy Ghost without measure and therefore freely gives of this Spirit, filling the hearts of the poor and afflicted with glorious comfort, with the assurance of the forgiveness of their sins.

v. 8. All Thy garments smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia, being perfumed with the most costly ointments and spices; out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made Thee glad, rather, from the palaces of ivory the stringed instruments have gladdened Thee. The ivory palaces are the habitations in Messiah's kingdom. They are white, the color of innocence, purity, holiness, and the songs performed on the stringed instruments are the praises sung in honor of the King by the citizens of His kingdom, hymns of thanksgiving to His grace.

v. 9. King's daughters were among Thy honorable women, precious and valued are the bridal virgins, the maidens of the bridal procession, the believers, who are also followers of the King; upon Thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir, the Bride, or Wife, of the King appearing in the midst of the bridal virgins chosen by His grace, and identified with them for the purposes of the lesson here conveyed. The gold of Ophir decorating the queen is a picture of the rich gifts of mercy which the Messiah has bestowed upon His Church. The paragraph thus treats of Christ, true God and man, King and Bridegroom, from whom the gifts of mercy, righteousness, and joy in the Holy Ghost go forth and are bestowed upon the members of His Church, but who also lets His enemies feel the power of His majesty.

Verses 10-17

The inspired singer now repeats the words with which the King, the Messiah, addresses His Bride.

v. 10. Hearken, O daughter, called so by the Bridegroom because she is begotten and regenerated through the Gospel, 1 Peter 1:23, and consider and incline thine ear, becoming so absorbed in the words of His grace as to forget everything else, even the closest ties of human relationship; forget also thine own people and thy father's house, all for the sake of the Bridegroom and His love;

v. 11. so shall the King greatly desire thy beauty, taking pleasure in her for the beauty of her obedience, her finest and most precious ornament; for He is thy Lord, who has made her His own by the shedding of His precious blood; and worship thou Him, giving Him the honor due Him as the great Lord and serving Him in the beauty of holiness.

v. 12. And the daughter of Tyre, as the representative of the heathen world, shall be there with a gift, bringing presents and attempting to gain the favor of the Bride; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favor, seeking entrance into the kingdom of the Messiah. It is when the Bride, the Church, denies and forgets everything else, all the precious things of this world, that people outside the Church become interested. It is not by making concessions to the world that the Church gains members, but by being strictly exclusive, holding the treasure of the Gospel unpolluted.

v. 13. The King's daughter, the Bride of Messiah, is all glorious within, clothed, as she is, with the garment of the Messiah's righteousness; her clothing is of wrought gold, of braided work of gold, with rich colored embroidery, the most costly garments, jewels of Christ's grace, spiritual and heavenly blessings.

v. 14. She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework, skillfully embroidered; the virgins, her companions that follow her, also such believers as have been gained from the heathen world, shall be brought unto thee, being identified with the Bride and received by Christ in the eternal palaces of heaven.

v. 15. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought; they shall enter into the King's palace, into the everlasting glories of heaven. v 16. Instead of Thy fathers shall be Thy children, whom Thou mayest make princes in all the earth. The King is here once more addressed. Instead of His fathers, the kings of the line of David who preceded Him, He will have sons, believers, citizens in His kingdom, His spiritual children; for His family will never die out, since He will always gain new adherents out of all nations, whom He will then set as princes over all the earth. All believers are kings and princes before Christ and His heavenly Father, they share in His glorious dominion, 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6. And so the inspired singer finally, as a member and representative of Christ's Church on earth, extols the name of Messiah, the King.

v. 17. I will make Thy name to be remembered in all generations, from generation to generation; therefore shall the people praise Thee forever and ever. Peoples, nations, believers, from every part of the earth, all the various members of the Church from all lands, give thanks to the King. And this song of thanksgiving, as it is begun here in time, will be continued without end, throughout eternity; for then the Bride, the Church, will forever be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, and her hallelujahs will sound forth in endless, glorious refrain.

Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Psalms 45". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kpc/psalms-45.html. 1921-23.
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