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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.

8. All thy garments smell of myrrh As to the signification of the words I am not disposed to contend much, for I find that even the Jews are not agreed among themselves as to the meaning of the third word, except that from the similarity of pronunciation it may be conjectured to denote cassia. It is sufficient that we understand the prophet as meaning that the garments of the king are perfumed with precious and sweet-smelling odours. He describes Solomon coming forth from his ivory palace amidst shoutings of universal applause and joy. I explain not the word מני, minni, Out of me, because no tolerable meaning can be drawn from this. I translate it whence, 165165     Calvin here seems to take the word מני, Minni, which has somewhat perplexed commentators, to be the particle מן, min, out of, with י, yod, paragogic, as it is in Psalm 44:19, and many other places; and to suppose that the relative אשר, asher, which, a pronoun frequently omitted, is to be understood, — “out of which palaces they have made thee glad.” This is the view taken by many interpreters. Others understand the word מני, minni, to be a noun; (and from Jeremiah 51:27, it appears that מני, minni, was the proper name of a territory, which Bochart shows was a district of Armenia;) and they translate the words thus, “From the ivory palaces of Armenia they make thee glad,” make thee glad with presents. Others suppose that מני, minni, is here the name of a region, Minnaea in Arabia Felix, which abounded in myrrh and frankincense; and according to this view, the clause may be rendered, “The Minnaeitas from their ivory palaces make thee glad;” that is, coming to thee from their ivory palaces they gladden thee with presents. Rosenmüller thinks with Schmidt, De Wette, and Gesenius, that a more elegant sense will be brought out if we understand מני, minni, as a plural noun in a form somewhat unusual, but of which there are several other examples in the Old Testament, such as שכשי, 2 Samuel 23:8; כרי, 2 Kings 9:4, 19; עמי, 2 Samuel 22:44; Psalm 144:2. “The word,” says he, “according to these examples, stands for מנים, and signifies, as in the Syriac, Psalm 150:4, chords, stringed instruments of music. The sense of the clause will thus be, ‘From the palaces of ivory, musical instruments — players on musical instruments — make thee glad.’” — Rosenmüller on the Messianic Psalms, pp. 213-215. — Biblical Cabinet, volume 32. and refer it to the ivory palaces Superfluity and excess in pleasures cannot be justified, not only in the common people, but not even in kings; yet, on the other hand, it is necessary to guard against too much austerity, that we may not condemn the moderate display of grandeur which is suitable to their dignity, even as, a little after, the prophet describes the queen sumptuously and royally apparelled. 166166     “Comme un peu apres le prophere descrit la Royne ornee somptueusement et magnifiquement.” — Fr. We must, however, at the same time, consider that all that is here commended in Solomon was not approved of by God. Not to speak of other things, it is well known that from the very first the sin of polygamy was a thing displeasing to God, and yet concubines are here spoken of as included among the blessings of God, for there is no reason to doubt that by the honorable women, or maids of honor, 167167     “Ou, dames d’honneur.” — Fr. the prophet means Solomon’s wives, of whom mention is made in another place. The daughter of the king of Egypt, whom Solomon had married, was his principal wife, and the first in rank 168168     “Car combien que la fille du Roy d’Egypte que Salomon avoit espousee, fust sa principale femme, et teinst le premier lieu.” — Fr. but it appears that the others, whom sacred history describes as occupying an inferior rank, were provided for in a liberal and honorable manner. These the prophet calls the daughters of kings, because some of them were descended of the royal blood. In what sense, then, it might be asked, does the prophet account it among the praises of Solomon that he had many wives, — a thing which God condemns in all private persons, but expressly in kings? (Deuteronomy 17:17.) Doubtless it may easily be inferred that in commending, according to a common practice, the wealth and glory of the king, as the prophet here does, he did not mean to approve of the abuse of them. It was not his design to set forth the example of a man in opposition to the law of God. It is true, indeed, that the power, dignity, and glory, which Solomon enjoyed, were granted to him as singular blessings from God; but as generally happens, he defiled them greatly by not exercising self-control, and in abusing the great abundance with which he was blessed, by the excessive indulgence of the flesh. In short, it is here recorded what great liberality God manifested towards Solomon in giving him every thing in abundance. As to the fact that he took to him so many wives, and did not exercise a due moderation in his pomp, this is not to be included in the liberality of God, but is a thing as it were accidental.

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