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In this psalm, the grace and beauty of Solomon, his virtues in ruling the kingdom, and also his power and riches, are illustrated and described in terms of high commendation. More especially, as he had taken to wife a stranger out of Egypt, the blessing of God is promised to him in this relationship, provided the newly espoused bride, bidding adieu to her own nation, and renouncing all attachment to it, devote herself wholly to her husband. At the same time, there can be no doubt, that under this figure the majesty, wealth, and extent of Christ’s kingdom are described and illustrated by appropriate terms, to teach the faithful that there is no felicity greater or more desirable than to live under the reign of this king, and to be subject to his government.
To the chief musician upon the lilies; of the sons of Korah;
for instruction; a song of loves.
It is well known that this psalm was composed concerning Solomon; but it is uncertain who was its author. It is, in my opinion, probable, that some one of the prophets or godly teachers (whether after Solo-men’s death, or while he was yet alive, it is of no importance to inquire) took this as the subject of his discourse, with the design of showing, that whatever excellence had been seen in Solomon had a higher application. This psalm is called a song of loves, not, as some suppose, because it illustrates the fatherly love of God, as to the benefits which he had conferred in such a distinguished manner upon Solomon, but because it contains an expression of rejoicing on account of his happy and prosperous marriage. Thus the words, of loves, are put for a descriptive epithet, and denote, that it is a love-song. Indeed, Solomon was called ידידיה, Yedidyah, which means beloved of the Lord, 2 Samuel 12:25. But the context, in my opinion, requires that this term ירידות, yedidoth, that is to say, loves, be understood as referring to the mutual love which husband and wife ought to cherish towards each other. But as the word loves is sometimes taken in a bad sense, and as even conjugal affection itself, however well regulated, has always some irregularity of the flesh mingled with it; this song is, at the same time, called משכיל, maskil, to teach us, that the subject here treated of is not some obscene or unchaste amours, but that, under what is here said of Solomon as a type, the holy and divine union of Christ and his Church is described and set forth. As to the remaining part of the inscription, interpreters explain it in various ways. שושן, shushan, properly signifies a lily; and the sixtieth psalm has in its inscription the same term in the singular number. Here, and in the eightieth psalm, the plural number is employed. It is therefore probable, that it was either the beginning of a common song, or else some instrument of music. But as this is a matter of no great consequence, I give no opinion, but leave it undecided; for, without any danger to the truth, every one may freely adopt on this point whatever view he chooses.
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