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Psalm 45

Ode for a Royal Wedding

To the leader: according to Lilies. Of the Korahites. A Maskil. A love song.


My heart overflows with a goodly theme;

I address my verses to the king;

my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.



You are the most handsome of men;

grace is poured upon your lips;

therefore God has blessed you forever.


Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,

in your glory and majesty.



In your majesty ride on victoriously

for the cause of truth and to defend the right;

let your right hand teach you dread deeds.


Your arrows are sharp

in the heart of the king’s enemies;

the peoples fall under you.



Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.

Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;


you love righteousness and hate wickedness.

Therefore God, your God, has anointed you

with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;


your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.

From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;


daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;

at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.



Hear, O daughter, consider and incline your ear;

forget your people and your father’s house,


and the king will desire your beauty.

Since he is your lord, bow to him;


the people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,

the richest of the people 13with all kinds of wealth.


The princess is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes;


in many-colored robes she is led to the king;

behind her the virgins, her companions, follow.


With joy and gladness they are led along

as they enter the palace of the king.



In the place of ancestors you, O king, shall have sons;

you will make them princes in all the earth.


I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations;

therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.

3. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh. Here Solomon is praised as well for his warlike valor, which strikes terror into ]his enemies, as for his virtues which give him authority among his subjects, and secure him their reverence. On the one hand, no king will be able to preserve and defend his subjects, unless he is formidable to his enemies; and, on the other hand, it will be to little purpose to make war boldly upon foreign realms, if the internal state of his own kingdom is not established and regulated in uprightness and justice. Accordingly, the inspired writer says, that the sword with which he will be girded will be, in the first place, a token of warlike prowess to repel and rout his enemies; and, secondly, of authority also, that he might not be held in contempt among his own subjects. He adds, at the same time, that the glory which he will obtain will not be a merely transient thing, like the pomp and vain-glory of kings, which soon decay, but will be of lasting duration, and will greatly increase.

He then comes to speak of the virtues which flourish most in a time of peace, and which, by an appropriate similitude, he shows to be the true means of adding strength and prosperity to a kingdom. At first sight, indeed, it seems to be a strange and inelegant mode of expression, to speak of riding upon truth, meekness, and righteousness, (verse 4;) but, as I have said, he very suitably compares these virtues to chariots, in which the king is conspicuously borne aloft with great majesty. These virtues he opposes not only to the vain pomp and parade in which earthly kings proudly boast; but also to the vices and corruptions by which they endeavor most commonly to acquire authority and renown. Solomon himself

“Mercy and truth preserve the king;
and his throne is upholden by mercy.”— Proverbs 20:28

But, on the contrary, when worldly kings desire to enlarge their dominions, and to increase their power, ambition, pride, fierceness, cruelty, exactions, rapine, and violence, are the horses and chariots which they employ to accomplish their ends; and, therefore, it is not to be wondered at if God should very often cast them down, when thus elated with pride and vain-glory, from their tottering and decayed thrones. For kings, then, to cultivate faithfulness and justice, and to temper their government with mercy and kindness, is the true and solid foundation of kingdoms. The latter clause of the verse intimates, that every thing which Solomon undertakes shall prosper, provided he combine with warlike courage the qualities of justice and mercy. Kings who are carried headlong with a blind and violent impulse, may for a time spread terror and consternation around them; but they soon fall by the force of their own efforts. Due moderation, therefore, and uniform self-restraint, are the best means for making the hands of the valiant to be feared and dreaded.

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