Psalm 45 - overcomer - The Messiah and His bride
Witness Lee said that this was the greatest of the 150 psalms.
This has been the most difficult psalm for me to translate to date.
The church in this psalm:
1. The King's sharp arrows, who convict the King's foes v5
2. The King's companions who share in His annointing with the oil of exultant joy, making the King joyful v7-8
a. The palaces of ivory, the local churches v8
b. me, the individual Christian v8
3. daughters of kings, the King's precious possession v9
4. the queen at the King's right hand in gold v9
5. a daughter who sees and hears and leaves all for the King v10
6. a daughter of God the King, all glorious within, whose clothing is embroidered with gold and is of needlework v13-14
7. virgins following the daughter of God the King v14
a. her children who will rule on the earth v15
Tune: The psalm heading says "upon the lilies", which tells me it should be a light, tender, beautiful and spring-like melody. The heading also says the tune should be lovely. Verse 1 tells me that the tune should be quick.
Then I used the current tune, and the words were able to flow.
heading - "Lilies" - The word is used 8 times in Song of Songs. A lilly is tender in contrast to thorns (SS 2:2
) like the Lord's lips (SS 5:13
). There are 3 other "lily" psalms beside this one (Ps 60; 69; 80). Besides Song of Songs and Psalms headings, the word is used in only 1 other place, Hos 14:5
"giving understanding" - Hebrew Maschill
. There are 13 Maschil
psalms, see Ps 32
"loveliness" - the word here is feminine and plural, so it refers to God's people, not to the Messiah. The only other feminine plural usage is in Ps 84:1
, where it refers to the Lord's tabernacles.
- No writers block, nor searching for the right word, which won't come. The words just flow.
Sometimes when I work on a psalm, the words do not come, and sometimes they flow easily. When the words do not come the result is not inspiring to me. When the words do flow, I still need to check them against the Bible text, and make corrections.
- The Messiah is the perfect Man. His beauty is that He expressed God through His humanity (John 1:18
; Zech 11:7,10
God blessed the Messiah forever so that the Messiah could be a blessing to all mankind by the grace from His lips.
- "Your sword" is in apposition to "Your glory and Your splendor". The Messiah's sword is His glory and splendor. That sword is the word of God.
The thigh symbolizes strength for moving.
The word, "meekness", indicates that this must refer to the New Testament age of grace where Christ's splendor prospers by the preaching of the gospel (Rev 6:2
). In the New Testament age, the word is of meekness, but at His second coming Christ will not be meek.
Lit. ride on upon the word of truth and meekness, righteousness. There is "and" connecting truth and meekness, but none connecting meekness and righteousness. This is unusual because in Hebrew normally either there is "and" connecting all items of the list or there is just 1 "and" connecting the 2nd-to-last item with the last as in English. The MT text has dashes: upon-word-truth and meekness-righteousness indicating a joining of the words "meekness" and "righteousness". Stone Tanach translates it "righteous humility", or it might mean "meekness of righteousness". Neither of these renderings do anything for me. The MT dashes are not part of the inspired text. I think the meaning is that "righteousness" is in apposition to "word of truth and meekness". That is, the word of truth and meekness is the word of righteousness. This is the word Jesus spoke in the gospels and that is prosperred through the preaching of the gospel.
This same structure is in v8
in "myrrh and aloes, kesya
The "fear-inspiring things" are the sharp arrows in the next verse that convict people. The King's "right hand" is where the queen (v9
) is, which is the church, His body. The Lord's main purpose is to build up the church.
- This verse is written strangely. Literally it says, "Your arrows sharp, peoples under You (or in place of You) fall in the heart of the foes of the King." Why is the phrase "peoples under You fall" inserted between "arrows sharp" and "in the heart of the King's foes"?
I think the reason is that the sharp arrows are the peoples. In the New Testament age, the sharp arrows are the Christians who convict the hearts of the King's foes with the word of truth, meekness and righteousness and their own living according to that word.
The word which I translated "in place of Thee" could also mean "under Thee". The word is also used in v16
, where it means "in place of".
"fall" - The word often means to die a violent death. The gospel has been furthered the most by martyrs and those who suffer for the gospel or for righteousness.
- The King is God, yet He is distinct from God in the next verse.
- "Righteousness" = "truth" + "meekness" from v4
"O God, Your God" - The King is God, yet there is God above Him. This is the mystery of the Triune God. There is one God, yet He is 3 in 1.
- This is a very hard verse to translate.
The 1st part of the verse says literally, "Myrrh and aloes, kesya
all thy garments." I think the "Myrrh, aloes and kesya
" are components of the "oil of great joy" in the previous verse. This is different than the anointing oil in Exo 30
Myrrh signifies the sweetness of the Lord's death.
Aloes in the Bible is a completely different plant from the cactus, aloe vera. From Biblical usage, it was a tree and was aromatic (Nu 24:6; Pr 7:17; So 4:14
). The Lord Jesus' body was anointed in burial with much myrrh and aloes (Jn 19:39-40
is a quite different word than "Cassia
" in Exo 30
. It is only used here in the plural and in Job 42:14
in singular, where it is the name of one of Job's beautiful daughters whom the Lord gave to him after his great tribulation. The root of the word means "scraping" (Lev 14:41; Isa 44:13
; similar in meaning to Job 2:7-8
Lit. Myrrh and aloes, kesya
all thy garments. This is the same unusual structure as v4
in that there is "and" connecting myrrh and aloes but no "and" connecting kesya
. I think it means that kesya
here (different word than Exo 30) = myrrh + aloes. Because of the striking parallel to v4
, there must be some connection between the word of truth and meekness, righteousness, with the components of the annointing oil of exultant joy composed of myrrh and aloes, kesya
. At minimum, the word of truth and meekness, righteousness is a basis for the annointing oil of exultant joy. "Truth" is not just doctrinally true, but also honest.
The 2nd 1/2 of the verse is more difficult:
It says literally: from (or more than) ivory palaces, from (or more than) me, they make you joyful.
The problem is with the Hebrew word, minni
, which means "from me" or "more than me" or sometimes just "from". Since "from me" or "more than me" doesn't seem to make sense, modern translations translate it as "musical instruments", but there is no ground for this. Goldingay says "Minni
is apparently an apocopated plural", which means that it is the word in Ps 150:4
with the last letter, Mem
, missing. The problem I have with that explanation is that there are no other instances of "apocopated plural"'s in the Old Testament.
KJV translated minni as "whereby", but the word never has that meaning. Stone Tanach translated minni as just "from", which meaning it can have, but that forced them to translate the verb which follows it as a noun, "those which gladdened you." The word is a verb, "gladdened you", and cannot mean "those who gladdened you". This just shows that the Stone Tanach does not agree with the "apocopated plural" guess and made their own best guess.
Since there is no alternative that respects the integrity of the text, I think it should be translated the only way it can be translated, which is "from me" or "more than me". I translated the preposition as "above", which is the same meaning as "more than" because that is how the same preposition is translated in the preceding v7 (Heb 1:9
). In verses 7-8, the preposition, min
, is used 3 times, modifying "Your companions" in v7, "ivory palaces" in v8 and "me" in v8. The only other use of the preposition min
in this psalm is in v2
, where it also means "more than."
Verse 8 ends with "make You joyful". This goes back to "oil of great joy" in the previous verse, v7. This means that v8 is a restatement of v7 with different details. The "Myrrh and aloes, kesya" are the Holy Spirit, which is the oil of exultant joy in v7. Christ is clothed with this Spirit of exultant joy.
The "palaces of ivory" and "me" are details of "Your companions" in v7. The "palaces of ivory" are the local churches (1 Pet 2:5
), living as a royal priesthood in resurrection (1Pet 2:9
). The oil of great joy is poured out on the churches, but to a less extent than on Christ. Then the oil of joy is poured out on believers individually, "me", but less than is poured out corporately on the churches. The joy of the Holy Spirit in the churches and in the individual believers comes back to Christ making Him joyful.
There is a hymn, "Ivory Palaces
," by Henry Barraclough on this verse. He wrote it based on a sermon by Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman. This hymn was a favorite of George Beverly Shea
- The daughters of kings are the individual believers who are the King's companions in v7, inhabit the ivory palaces in v8, and are represented by "me" in v8. The phrase "of kings" indicates their royalty. The "kings" are other believers in the church who raised them up.
We, Christians, should live in a royal way as the King Jesus did, honoring all men, though we may be poor.
The queen is the corporate church. She is the King's companions in v7, and she is the daughters of kings in this verse.
She stands at the King's right hand, signifying that she is 2nd to Christ in His kingdom. She is higher than angels. The word "stands" here, means to "to take one's position, to be set over something, established."
Gold signifies God's divine holy nature. She lives a holy manner of life in all things, a life that matches Christ (1 Pet 1:15-16
- "understand" is literally "see".
The daughter here is an individual believer. She needs to hearken, see and incline her ear to the following speaking in order to become a daughter of a king to compose the King's preciousness, His queen.
That she must forget her own people means she must be a gentile.
- In order for the King to desire our beauty, we must forget, to some extent, our own people and relations. These are not necessarily bad, but may be very good, but they do not match Christ. We are closer to those who love Christ than to our natural relations and race.
- The daughter of Tyre and the rich of the people are some of the peoples that will praise the King's bride in v17
- "The King" here must be God, not the Messiah, because she is going to marry the Messiah. Christians are never called sons or daughters of Christ but of God.
Her clothing signifies her manner of life, which is holy and righteous. Both the queen, the church corporately, and the daughter individually, are clothed in gold. This clothing is the work of the oil of exultant joy, the Holy Spirit (v8
- The needlework raiment is her righteousnesses that she lived out (Rev 19:7-8
The virgins are other people she brought to the Lord or helped to live a holy life by the Lord. The helping is mutual.
- The King's palace is the church, whereas the palaces of ivory in v8
are the local churches. This takes place whenever a Christian is saved. We become part of the church, which is the King's palace.
- The vowels of the Hebrew text make the 2nd person pronoun here masculine, referring to the King, but this does not make sense. The King did not lose His fathers, but the believers did in v10
. Also, Christians are never considered the children of Christ, but of God and of the church (Gal 4:26
). (Heb 2:13
does not refer to Christ's begotten children, but to God's children given to Christ, as indicated by both the Greek and Hebrew words for "children" and the context in Hebrews.) Since the vowels here are not part of the inspired text, I think they are mistaken here, and the 2nd person pronouns refer to the daughter.
The exhortation to the daughter to forget the house of her father, and the consolation here "in place of your fathers", indicates that this is part of the exhortation to the daughter.
Since she is at the right hand of the King, she will ordain her children as princes in all the earth.
- the "I" here is God speaking. The 2nd person pronoun in this verse, "your name" and "praise thee" should be the daughter from the previous verse.
-copyright Steve Miller 2/4/2012
Psalm 45 For the Overcomer. Upon the lilies. Through the sons of Korah, giving understanding, a song of loveliness
My heart's flowing with
a good thing.
I speak of what I have done.
It's belonging unto the King,
God's only begotten Son.
My tongue is a pen, a flowing pen,
of a quick ready writer.
You are fairer than all
the sons of men.
Grace through Your lips is made firm.
Therefore forever God blessed Thee.
Upon Your thigh gird Your sword,
O Thou mighty Man, Your glory,
and it's also Your splendor.
Your majesty, make it
Upon word of truth, do ride,
and word of meekness, of true righteousness,
and Your right hand shall Thee guide
unto things that are fear-inspiring,
sharp are Your arrows,
in the place of Thee, peoples many,
fall in hearts of the King's foes.
God, Thy throne, it shall be Thine Own
forever and forever.
The scepter upright making all things right
is Your kingdom's firm scepter.
Thou hast lov-ed true
and hated iniquity.
Therefore, O-O God, Your Own God,
He thus has anointed Thee
with the oil of joy, of exultant joy
above Your companions all.
Myrrh and aloes scent with much
upon all Thy garments fall
above palaces of ivory,
above me make You joyful.
daughters of kings composing
Your preciousness wonderful.
Behold the queen stands at Your own right hand
dressed in the gold of Ophir.
Hearken daughter and clearly
and also incline your ear.
And forget your own loved people
and the house of your father.
Therefore shall the King, captivating
your chaste beauty so desire
for your Lord is He. Worship Him solely.
And the daughter of Ty-re
shall be with gift. Of people, the rich,
they shall entreat your favor.
daughter of the King,
all glori'us, she is within.
Embroidered is all her clothing
with gold thread interwoven.
In needlework fine of
she is brought in to the King.
Virgins after her, who are her neighbors,
shall be brought in unto Thee.
The King's palace, they shall enter
with joy and exultation.
In the place of your dear
there shall be to you children.
Them You shall ordain as princes to reign
in all of the earth's nations.
I will make your name remembered again
unto all generations.
Therefore shall the peoples praise thee
forever and forever.
Great is indeed this mystery:
I speak of Christ and the church.
So 2:2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
5:13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.
Ps 84:1 « To the overcomer upon Gittith, A Psalm through the sons of Korah. » How lovely are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!
Job 32:18 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.
19 Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.
20 I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (Joh 1:14-17 KJV)
18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (Tit 2:11 KJV)
Zech 11:7 So I fed the flock of slaughter, the truly poor of the flock. And I took unto Me two staffs; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bonds; and I fed the flock.
10 And I took My staff Beauty and cut it asunder, that I might break My covenant, which I then made with all the peoples. 11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon Me knew that it was the word of the LORD.
1 Kings 7:23 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. (1Ki 7:23 KJV)
33 And the work of the wheels was like the work of a chariot wheel: their axletrees, and their naves, and their felloes, and their spokes, were all molten. (1Ki 7:33 KJV)
2 Chronicles 4:2 Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. (2Ch 4:2 KJV)
Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass? (Job 37:18 KJV)
Job 11:15 For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear: (KJV)
2 Samuel 15:24 And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city. (2Sa 15:24 KJV)
Leviticus 21:10 And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes; (Lev 21:10 KJV)
Joshua 7:23 And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. (Jos 7:23 KJV)
2 Kings 4:5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. (2Ki 4:5 KJV)
Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
(Rev 19:11-16 KJV)
Rev 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. (Rev 6:2 KJV)
Hosea 14:5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall blossom as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. (Hos 14:5 DBY)
Exo 30:22 Moreover the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels,
24 And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin:
25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.
26 And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony,
27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense,
28 And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot.
29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.
30 And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priestís office.
31 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations.
32 Upon manís flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you.
33 Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.
Nu 24:6 As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the riverís side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.
Pr 7:17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
So 4:14 Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:
Joh 19:39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
Job 42:13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.
14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch.
15 And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. (Job 42:13-15 KJV)
KJV Psalm 150:4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Heb 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
1 Pet 2:5 Ye also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
1 Pet 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1Pe 1:15-16 KJV)
Eph 5:27 That he might present her to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Eph 5:27 KJV)
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. (Rev 19:7-8 KJV)
26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. (Gal 4:26 KJV)
11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (Heb 2:11-14 KJV)
Isa 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. (Isa 8:18 KJV)
Job 2:7-8 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes
KJV Leviticus 14:41 And he shall cause the house to be scraped within round about, and they shall pour out the dust that they scrape off without the city into an unclean place: (Lev 14:41 KJV)
YLT Isaiah 44:13 He hath wrought with wood, He hath stretched out a rule, He doth mark it out with a line, He maketh it with carving tools, And with a compass he marketh it out, And maketh it according to the form of a man, According to the beauty of a man, To remain in the house. (Isa 44:13 YLT)
-copyright Steve Miller 2/4/2012