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Psalm 45:13-17

13. The daughter of the King is all glorious within: her clothing is of garments embroidered with gold. 14. She shall be brought to the King in raiment of needle-work: the virgins after her, her companions, shall be brought to thee. 15. They shall be brought with joy and gladness; they shall enter into the palace of the King. 16. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children: thou shalt make them princes in all the earth. 17. I will make thy name to be remembered throughout all generations: therefore the people shall praise thee for ever and ever.

 

13 The daughter of the King is all glorious within 172172     Dathe and Berlin refer within to the interior of the queen’s palace, which seems to agree best with the context. The original word rendered within denotes the interior of a house in Leviticus 10:18, and 1 Kings 6:18. Fry explains the words thus: “Most splendid is the royal daughter within the awning of her covered vehicle;” and refers to the picture of a bridal procession in Mr Lane’s Egypt. Dr Geddes reads: —
   “All glorious is the queen in her apartment,
Her robe is bespangled with gold;
To the king she shall be brought in brocade,
Attended by her virgin companions.”

   “This,” says he, namely, verse 13th, “and the two next verses, contain a fine description of Oriental manners. The queen, before she be led to the king’s apartment, is gorgeously dressed in her own; and thence proceeds with her female train to the royal palace.”
This verse may be understood in a twofold sense; either as meaning that the queen, not only when she appears in public before all the people, but also when sitting in private in her own chamber, is always sumptuously apparelled; or, that the splendor and gorgeous appearance of her attire is not merely a thing of display, designed to dazzle the eyes of the simple, but consists of expensive and really substantial material. The prophet accordingly enhances the happy and lofty condition of the queen by the circumstance, that she has not only sumptuous apparel in which she may appear on particular occasions, but also for her ordinary and daily attire. Others expound it in this sense, That all her glory consists in the king inviting her familiarity into his presence; and this opinion they rest on the ground that immediately after there is a description given of her as passing into the chamber of the king accompanied with a great and glorious train of followers. This display of pomp exceeds the bounds of due moderation; but, in the meantime, we are taught by it, that while the Church is thus richly apparelled, it is not designed to attract the notice of men, but only for the pleasure of the King. If in our day the Church is not so richly adorned with that spiritual beauty in which the glory of Christ shines forth, the fault ought to be imputed to the ingratitude of men, who either through their own indifference despise the goodness of God, or else, after having been enriched by him, again fall into a state of poverty and want.

16 Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children This also serves to show the glory and transcendent excellence of this kingdom, namely, that the children will not be inferior in dignity to their fathers, and that the nobility of the race will not be diminished after the death of Solomon; for the children which shall be born to him will equal those who had preceded them in the most excellent virtues. Then it is added, that they shall be princes in all the earth, because the empire shall enjoy such an extent of dominion on every side, that it might easily be divided into many kingdoms. It is easy to gather, that this prophecy is spoken expressly concerning Christ; for so far were the sons of Solomon from having a kingdom of such an extent, as to divide it into provinces among them, that his first successor retained only a small portion of his kingdom. There were none of his true and lawful successors who attained the same power which he had enjoyed, but being princes only over one tribe and a half of the people, they were, on this account, shut up within narrow limits, and, as we say, had their wings clipped. 173173     “Et (comme on dit) ont eu les ailes rongnees.” — Fr. But at the coming of Christ, who appeared at the close of the ancient Church, and the beginning of the new dispensation, it is an undoubted truth, that children were begotten by him, who were inferior in no respect to their fathers, either in number or in excellence, and whom he set as rulers over the whole world. In the estimation of the world, the ignominy of the cross obscures the glory of the Church; but when we consider how wonderfully it has increased, and how much it has been distinguished by spiritual gifts, we must confess that it is not without cause that her glory is in this passage celebrated in such sublime language. It ought, however, to be observed, that the sovereignty, of which mention is here made, consists not in the persons of men, but refers to the head. According to a frequent mode of expression in the Word of God, the dominion and power which belong properly to the head, and are applicable peculiarly to Christ alone, are in many places ascribed to his members. We know that those who occupy eminent stations in the Church, and who rule in the name of Christ, do not exercise a lordly dominion, but rather act as servants. As, however, Christ has committed to them his Gospel, which is the scepter of his kingdom, and intrusted it as it were to their keeping, they exercise, in some sort, his power. And, indeed, Christ, by his ministers, has subdued to his dominion the whole world, and has erected as many principalities under his authority as there have been churches gathered to him in divers nations by their preaching.

17 I will make thy name to be remembered, etc. This also is equally inapplicable to Solomon, who, by his shameful and impious rebellion, stained the memory of his name with disgrace. In polluting by superstitious abominations the land which was consecrated to God, did he not bring upon himself indelible ignominy and shame? For this deed alone his name deserves to be buried in everlasting oblivion. Nor was his son Rehoboam in any degree more deserving of praise; for through his own foolish presumption he lost the better part of his kingdom. To find, therefore, the true accomplishment of what is here said, we must come to Christ, the memory of whose name continues to prosper and prevail. It is no doubt despised by the world, nay, wicked men, in the pride of their hearts, even reproach his sacred name, and outrageously trample it under their feet; but still it survives in its undiminished majesty. It is also true, that his enemies rise up on all sides in vast numbers to overthrow his kingdom; but notwithstanding, men are already beginning to bow the knee before him, which they will continue to do, until the period arrive when he shall tread down all the powers that are opposed to him. The furious efforts of Satan and the whole world have not been able to extinguish the name of Christ, which, being transmitted from one generation to another, still retains its glory in every age, even as at this day we see it celebrated in every language. And although the greater part of the world tear it in pieces by their impious blasphemies, yet it is enough that God stirs up his servants every where to proclaim with fidelity and with unfeigned zeal the praises of Christ. In the meantime, it is our duty diligently to use our endeavors, that the memory of Christ, which ought to prosper and prevail throughout all ages, to the eternal salvation of men, may never at any time lose any of its renown.


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