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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 1 - Verse 9

Verse 9. Thou hast loved righteousness. Thou hast been obedient to the law of God, or holy and upright. Nothing can be more truly adapted to express the character of any one, than this is to describe the Lord Jesus, who was "holy, harmless, undefiled," who "did no sin, and in whose mouth no guile was found;" but it is with difficulty that this can be applied to Solomon. Assuredly, for a considerable part of his life, this declaration could not well be appropriate to him; and it seems to me, that it is not to be regarded as descriptive of him at all. It is language prompted by the warm and pious imagination of the Psalmist, describing the future Messiah and, as applied to him, is true to the letter.

Therefore God, even thy God. The word even inserted here by the translators, weakens the force of the expression. This might be translated, "O God, thy God hath anointed thee." So it is rendered by Doddridge, Clarke, Stuart, and others. The Greek will bear this construction, as well the Hebrew in Ps 45:7. In the margin in the Psalm it is rendered, "O God." This is the most natural construction, as it accords with what is just said before. "Thy throne, O God, is for ever. Thou art just and holy, therefore, O God, thy God hath anointed thee." It is not material, however, which construction is adopted.

Hath anointed thee. Anciently kings and priests were consecrated to their office by pouring oil on their heads. See Le 8:12; Nu 3:3; 1 Sa 10:1; 2 Sa 2:7; Ps 2:6; Isa 61:1; Ac 4:27; 10:38; See Barnes "Mt 1:1".

The expression "to anoint," therefore, comes to mean, to consecrate to office, or to set apart to some public work. This is evidently the meaning in the Psalm, where the whole language refers to the appointment of the personage there referred to to the kingly office.

The oil of gladness. This probably means the perfumed oil that was poured on the head, attended with many expressions of joy and rejoicing. The inauguration of the Messiah, as king would be an occasion of rejoicing and triumph. Thousands would exult at it—as in the coronation of a king; and thousands would be made glad by such a consecration to the office of Messiah.

Above thy fellows. Above thine associates; that is, above all, who sustain the kingly office. He would be more exalted than all other kings. Doddridge supposes that it refers to angels, who might have been associated with the Messiah in the government of the world. But the more natural construction is, to suppose that it refers to kings, and to mean that he was the most exalted of all.

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