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45. Psalm 45

My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

2Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.

3Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.

4And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.

5Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.

6Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.

7Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

8All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.

9Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.

10Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house;

11So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.

12And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.

13The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.

14She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

15With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace.

16Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.

17I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.

1 My heart is boiling over 157157     “רחש, rachash, boileth, or bubbleth up, denotes the language of the heart, full and ready for utterance.” — Bythners Lyra The Psalmist’s heart was so full and warmed with the subject of the psalm, that it could not contain; and the opening of the poem evinces that it was so, for he abruptly breaks forth into an annunciation of its subject as if impatient of restraint. Ainsworth thinks there is here an allusion to the boiling of the minchah, or meat-offering under the law in the frying-pan, (Leviticus 7:9.) It was there boiled in oil, being made of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil, (Leviticus 11:5;) and afterwards was presented to the Lord by the priest, verse 8, etc. “Here,” says he, “the matter of this psalm is the minchah or oblation, which with the oil, the grace of the spirit, was boiled and prepared in the prophet’s breast, and now presented.” with a good matter This preface shows sufficiently that the subject of the psalm is no common one; for whoever the author of it may have been, he here intimates, at the very outset, that he will treat of great and glorious things. The Holy Spirit is not accustomed to inspire the servants of God to utter great swelling words, and to pour forth empty sounds into the air; and, therefore, we may naturally conclude, that the subject here treated of is not merely a transitory and earthly kingdom, but sortie-thing more excellent. Were not this the case, what end would it serve to announce, as the prophet does in such a magnificent style, that his heart was boiling over, from his ardent desire to be employed in rehearsing the praises of the king? Some prefer to translate the word to utter; but the other signification of the word appears to me to be more appropriate; and it is confirmed by this, that from this verb is derived the noun מרהשת, marchesheth, a word which is found once or twice in Moses, and signifies a frying-pan, in which sweatmeats are baked. It is then of the same import as if the inspired writer had said, My heart is ready to breathe forth something excellent and worthy of being remembered. He afterwards expresses the harmony between the tongue and the heart, when he compares his tongue to the pen of a swift and ready writer

2. Thou art fairer than the sons of men. The Psalmist commences his subject with the commendation of the beauty of the king, and then he proceeds also to praise his eloquence. Personal excellence is ascribed to the king, not that the beauty of the countenance, which of itself is not reckoned among the number of the virtues, ought to be very highly valued; but because a noble disposition of mind often shines forth in the very countenance of a man. This may have been the case with Solomon, so that from his very countenance it might have appeared that he was endued with superior gifts. Nor is the grace of oratory undeservedly commended in a king, to whom it belongs, by virtue of his office, not only to rule the people by authority, but also to allure them to obedience by argument and eloquence, just as the ancients feigned that Hercules had in his mouth golden chains, by which he captivated the ears of the common people, and drew them after him. How manifestly does this rebuke the mean-spiritedness of kings in our day, by whom it is regarded as derogatory to their dignity to converse with their subjects, and to employ remonstrance in order to secure their submission; nay, who display a spirit of barbarous tyranny in seeking rather to compel than to persuade them, and in choosing rather to abuse them as slaves, than to govern them by laws and with justice as a tractable and obedient people. But as this excellence was displayed in Solomon, so also did it shine forth more fully afterwards in Christ, to whom his truth serves the part of a scepter, as we shall have occasion by and by to notice mere at large. The term על-כן, al-ken, which we have translated because, is sometimes rendered wherefore; but it is not necessary that we should interpret it in this place in the latter sense, as if Solomon had been blessed on account of his beauty and excellence, for both of these are blessings of God. It is rather to be understood as the reason why Solomon was distinguished for these endowments, namely, because God had blessed him. As to the interpretation which others give, God shall bless thee for thy excellency, it is both cold and forced.


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