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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Psalms 45

 

 

Verses 1-17

Psalm 45

Introduction- Psalm 45 clearly has a similarity to the Song of Songs as it talks about love, a wedding and even uses similar phrases. It is called "a song of loves" and is believed to be a traditional Jewish wedding song.

Psalm 45:1 (To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.) My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

Psalm 45:1 — "To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves." - Comments- "To the chief Musician" - The RSV reads, "To the choir master." The LXX reads "For the end." YLT reads "To the Overseer." The ISBE suggests that the phrase "to the chief musician" indicated that this particular psalm was an official collection of psalms for public worship in the custody of the choir master of the temple." 59]

59] John Richard Sampey, " Psalm ," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Word Study on "Shoshannim" - Strong says the Hebrew word "Shoshannim" ( שׁוּשַׁן) (H 7799) means, "a lily (from its whiteness)," and is derived from the primitive root ( שׂוּשׂ) (H 7797), which literally means, "to be bright, cheerful." The Enhanced Strong says it has 15 uses in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "lily 13, Shoshannim 2." It is obvious transliterated from the Hebrew in Psalm 45:1 and is in the plural form. The other place where this word is transliterated in the KJV is Psalm 69:1. These two uses where it is transliterated are done so because it seems to refer to a musical instrument or to a familiar tune that was entitled "Lilies."

Psalm 69:1, (To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, A Psalm of David.) "Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul."

"for the sons of Korah" - Origen tells us the psalms that include the title "sons of Korah" in its opening verse (42through 49, 84, 85, 87, 88) were written by the sons of Korah, who worked together in the unity of the Spirit to produce it. He justifies this statement by quoting Psalm 44:1, which says, "O God, we have heard with our ears."

"But if it be necessary also from the ancient Scriptures to bring forward the three who made a symphony on earth, so that the Word was in the midst of them making them one, attend to the superscription of the Psalm , as for example to that of the forty-first, which is as follows: ‘Unto the end, unto understanding, for the sons of Korah.' For though there were three sons of Korah whose names we find in the Book of Exodus , Aser, which Isaiah , by interpretation, ‘instruction,' and the second Elkana, which is translated, ‘possession of God,' and the third Abiasaph, which in the Greek tongue might be rendered, ‘congregation of the father,' yet the prophecies were not divided but were both spoken and written by one spirit, and one voice, and one soul, which wrought with true harmony, and the three speak as one, ‘As the heart panteth after the springs of the water, so panteth my soul alter thee, O God.' But also they say in the plural in the forty-fourth Psalm , ‘O God, we have heard with our ears.'" (Origen's Commentary on Matthew 14:1) 60]

60] Origen, Origen's Commentary on Matthew, trans. Allan Menzies, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol 9, ed. Allan Menzies (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, c 1896, 1906), 495.

Word Study on "Maschil" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "Maschil" ( מַשְׂכִּיל) (H 4905) is a participle meaning, "a didactic poem." Strong it means, "instructive," thus "a didactic poem," being derived from ( שָׂכַל) (H 7919), which literally means, "to be circumspect, and hence intelligent." The Enhanced Strong says it is found 13times in the Old Testament being translated in the KJV all 13times as "Maschil." It is used as a title for thirteen of the 150 psalms ( Psalm 32; Psalm 42, 44, 45, 52through 55; 74; 78; 88; 89; 142).

Most modern translations do as the KJV and transliterate this Hebrew word as "maschil," thus avoiding the possibility of a mistranslation. The LXX reads "for instruction." YLT reads "An Instruction." Although some of these psalms are didactic in nature, scholars do not feel that all fit this category. The ISBE says, "Briggs suggests ‘a meditation,' Thirtle and others ‘a psalm of instruction,' Kirkpatrick ‘a cunning psalm.'" 61]

61] John Richard Sampey, " Psalm ," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

"A Song of loves" - The NIV translates this phrase as "A Wedding Song of Solomon ," thus identifying its use, which is believed to be a literally title to a traditional Jewish wedding song. The LITV reads "A Song of the Beloved."

Comments- The opening description of Psalm 45 indicates that these songs contained in the book of Psalm were organized in a very particular way by the Temple musicians for worship. We see an indication of the careful order of Temple worship when reading in Kings-Chronicles about the ministry of the Temple worship and service during the reigns of David and Solomon. They appointed divisions of priests, Levites, singers, musicians, porters and Nethinims each with their specific time of service. It was a highly organized structure of worship. This is why many of the psalms are group and identified in their opening verses.

Psalm 45:1 — "My heart is inditing a good matter" - Word Study on "heart" - The Hebrew word ( לֵב) (H 3820) is a commonly used word for "heart" being found 593times in the Old Testament. Thus, it has a wide variety of meanings, "inner Prayer of Manasseh , mind, will, heart, understanding."

Word Study on "is inditing" - Strong says the Hebrew word "is inditing" ( רָחַשׁ) (H 7370) is a primitive root is only used one time in the entire Old Testament, meaning, "to gush, indite."

Word Study on "a matter" - BDB says the Hebrew "matter" ( דָּבָר) (H 1697) literally means,, "speech, word, speaking, thing, saying, utterance, business, occupation, Acts , matter, case, something, manner." The Enhanced Strong says this common Hebrew word is used 1493times in the Old Testament; therefore, it covers a variety of meanings.

Psalm 45:1 — "I speak of the things which I have made touching the king" - Word Study on "of the things which I have made" - Strong says the Hebrew word "of the things which I have made" ( מַעֲשֶׂה) (H 4639) means, "an action, a transaction, an activity, a product, a property." The Enhanced Strong says this common Hebrew word is used 235 times in the Old Testament.

Psalm 45:1 — "my tongue is the pen of a ready writer" - Comments- There are a number of instances in the Scriptures when a prophet of God attempts to describe the way he feels when the anointing falls upon him and a word from the Lord weighs upon him. For those who are given a prophecy of judgment and doom, they call this a "burden of the Lord" because it weighs heavy upon their hearts. Here in Psalm 45:1 David is being overwhelmed with the revelation of the person and nature of the Messiah when He takes His bride. Therefore, this Word from the Lord is not so much a heavy burden as it is a glorious experience in the presence of God. He feels inspired to write down this divine revelation and put it into words and thus, we have in Psalm 45 the record of this experience.

How often, as I have spent time in the Holy Scriptures, that a door of revelation was opened and I was given insight into His Word. I immediately took a pen and began to write these things down lest I forget them. I learned to always keep a pen and paper beside me lest while driving in a car or at work or while meditating, I should lose that piece of insight into God's Word. Ultimately, this revelation points to the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. The writer of this Psalm knew that experience of such divine revelation and he also took a pen and recorded this beautiful psalm.

As a young Christian, when insight into God's Word would come to me, I felt as if I wanted to "explode" from being filled with something that I could not contain. I often shared such insights with other fellow believers as a way of releasing this infilling. But as a more mature believer, I have learned to not only share such insights, but to grab a pen and record these truths. This method of writing has become my "relief valve" and allows me to capture and treasure those precious insights into God's Word indefinitely. It has now become a lifestyle that I practice almost daily.

I have come to believe that there are several ways to enter into God's presence, which is through prayer, through praise and worship and through meditating upon God's Word. Song of Solomon , when such inspirations come while meditating upon His Word, I often feel as David felt in Psalm 45 when he attempts to describe the majesty and beauty of the Lord. I sometimes feel that when I am in His Word, I am also in His presence. This is not an experience that I have every time I read the Holy Bible just as it is not an experience we have every time we pray or worship the Lord. But such experiences come more frequently as we mature in Christ. The same can be said regarding prayer and worship as well. Through time and practice we learn how to come into His presence through these three avenues.

Psalm 45:2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.

Psalm 45:2Comments- The phrase "the children of men" is a poetic phrase found often in the Hebrew poetry. We see it used again in this psalm in Psalm 45:12.

Psalm 45:12, "And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour."

We see these type of phrases used for the first time in the book of Genesis.

Genesis 6:2, "That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose."

Psalm 45:6-7 — — Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament - Psalm 45:6-7 is quoted in Hebrews 1:8-9.

Hebrews 1:8-9, "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."

Psalm 45:8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.

Psalm 45:8 — "All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces" - Comments- Paul Crouch suggests that Psalm 45:8 gives us a description of the sweet aroma that fills the atmosphere in Heaven. 62] There are numerous testimonies as to the aromas in Heaven. Mary Baxter describes her experience in heaven when she was standing before the throne of God. The Lord opened a book which was lying at the altar located in front of God's throne. She writes, "Amazed, I saw what looked like smoke ascending from the book. Suddenly, the most beautiful perfume I ever smelled filled the whole area where I stood. The angel told me that this book contains the prayers of the saints and that God was sending his angels to earth to answer the prayers from the cries of their hearts. Everybody was praising and magnifying God." 63] Jesse Duplantis says regarding his visit to Heaven, "There were flowers in heaven that I have never seen before in my life and fragrances I have never smelled." 64] However, Psalm 45:8 specifically refers to the aroma of "Christ's" garments. Kenneth Copeland shared the testimony of how he has smelled the anointing and presence of Jesus on several occasions. He described it as the smell of roses. One day when this smell filled the pulpit area, the Lord spoke to him and said that the "Rose of Sharon" had just passed by. 65]

62] Paul Crouch, Behind the Scenes, on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), 25 February 2009, television program.

63] Mary K. Baxter, A Divine Revelation of Heaven (New Kensington, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, 1998), 38.

64] Jesse Duplantis, Heaven Close Encounters of the God Kind (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harrison House, 1996), 71.

65] Kenneth Copeland, "Sermon," (Southwest Believers Convention, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas), 8 August 2008.

"whereby they have made thee glad" - Comments- The sweet aroma of perfumes have the effect of making our hearts glad.

Psalm 45:9 Kings" daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.

Psalm 45:10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father"s house;

Psalm 45:10 — "forget also thine own people, and thy father"s house" - Comments- When a bride was taken from another land, she did not have the opportunity to return and visit her family. She had to learn to forget her family for the sake of her husband. In fact, the only way to keep her peace of mind and mental health and not despair is to forget the natural longings for her family.

In a figurative sense, a Christian has to forsake the bonds of family tradition and serve the Lord. They are to lay aside the traditions of men. Jesus Himself forsook His family for the work of the ministry ( Matthew 10:37).

Matthew 10:37, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."

There were many traditions and superstitions that my wife left behind after a few years away from the Philippines. She commented on a number of occasions that she did not think the same as she used to think. She said that if she ever returned to live in the Philippines that she would be a different person.

Psalm 45:11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.

Psalm 45:12 And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.

Psalm 45:12 — "the daughter of Tyre" - Comments- This is a poetic phrase used throughout Hebrew poetry. It is used in Psalm 45:2 of this psalm.

Psalm 45:2, "Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever."

We see these type of phrases used for the first time in the book of Genesis.

Genesis 6:2, "That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose."

Psalm 45:12Comments- The ancient city of Tyre, centered on the Mediterranean coast, was perhaps the most important and richest merchant city of Old Testament times (ISBE). 66]

66] H. Porter, "Tyre," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Psalm 45:13 The king"s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.

Psalm 45:13Comments - The king's daughter is glorious in her inner chamber (within): with robes interwoven with gold.

Psalm 45:14 She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

Psalm 45:14 — "She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework" - Word Study on "raiment of needlework" - HALOT says the Hebrew word רקמה means, "something colorfully woven."

Comments - Note the following English translations:

YLT, "In divers colours she is brought to the king, Virgins--after her--her companions, Are brought to thee."

NKJV, "She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors; The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You."

Note that Joseph was also given a robe of many colours in Genesis 37:3, "Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours."

Psalm 45:15 With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king"s palace.

Psalm 45:16 Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.

Psalm 45:16Comments- When my wife left her home, family and friends in the Philippines for three and a half years, it was a very painful time of missing her loved ones. However, when we had our first child, much of that loneliness was forgotten for the joy of a child.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 45:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/psalms-45.html. 2013.

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