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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 45

 

 

Introduction

BOOK II.—PSS. XLII.-LXXII.

Psalms 42-83 are Elohistic, i.e. they use the word God (Elohim) and avoid the proper name Yahweh, probably from motives of reverence. Here and there, however, the name Yahweh has crept into the text by a natural slip of the scribes.


Verses 1-17

XLV. A Royal Marriage Song.—This Ps. owes its place in the Canon to that allegorical interpretation which has been accepted by the Synagogue and the Church, the Messiah being the bridegroom and Israel the bride. The friends of the bride are the convert nations who bring tributary gifts. But any such theory is untenable, (a) The friends of the bride in Psalms 45:14 are clearly distinguished from the nations in Psalms 45:12. (b) The bride is urged to forget her people and her father's house, whereas Israel is exhorted by the prophets to remember her Maker and her origin, (c) The king is said to desire the beauty of the bride, while on the contrary the prophetic religion teaches that Israel must first be united to God and the Messiah: then and then only does she become beautiful.

We have accordingly to deal with an actual king, not with an ideal Messiah yet in the future. The king was an Israelite, for it is assumed (Psalms 45:7) that Yahweh is his God. Who this king was we cannot say. One living scholar would place the Ps. in Solomon's time—about 1000 B.C., another would carry it down to Maccabean days. Intermediate dates are suggested. But all this is mere guesswork. The language supplies no sure test.

Psalms 45:1. Introduction.—the things which I have made: i.e. "my poems" (cf. our word "poem," originally a thing that is made and then a metrical composition).

Psalms 45:2-7. Praise of the king as a hero in war and also as an equitable, attractive, and kindly ruler.

Psalms 45:3 f. The text is corrupt. Read, "In thy glory and thy majesty ride prosperously on behalf of truth and meekness and (LXX) righteousness." "Fearful is thy right hand in glory and in majesty."

Psalms 45:6. The rendering a "divine throne" (cf. mg.) is perhaps possible. For "thy throne, O God," the original text must have had "thy throne, O Yahweh," "God" being due to the editor of the Elohistic Psalter. But "Yahweh" was itself a mistake of the scribe for "will be" (yiheyeh being changed into "Yahweh"). Read, therefore, "Thy throne will exist for ever and ever."

Psalms 45:8-17. The king's marriage with a foreign princess.

Psalms 45:8. For "ivory palaces" see Amos 3:15* and 1 Kings 22:39. The walls were panelled with ivory.

Psalms 45:11. Read with LXX, "For the king desireth thy beauty."—"Worship" is a legitimate rendering if taken in its Old English sense. It does not imply adoration.

Psalms 45:12. The daughter of Tyre is a personification of the city and its inhabitants like "daughter of Zion," "daughter of Babel," etc.

Psalms 45:13. "Within" [the palace] makes no sense. An ingenious emendation, "all glorious with corals," restores the parallelism with very little change in the MT.

Psalms 45:17. Read, "They" (i.e. the princes) "shall cause thy name to be remembered in all generations."

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Psalms 45:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/psalms-45.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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