John T. Willis

Friday, November 25, 2016

A Royal Wedding--Psalm 45

Psalm 45 was composed for a royal wedding between an Israelite or Judean king and a foreign princess. Some scholars argue that the "ivory palaces" in Psalm 45:8 are the "houses of ivory" symbolized by the North Israelite luxury denounced in Amos 3:12, 15 [more particularly the "ivory house" which Ahab built in Samaria (1 Kings 22:37-39) and connect this with the "daughter of Tyre" [meaning the city or people of Tyre] with Jezebel, and conclude that the historical occasion lying behind Psalm 45 was the marriage of Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 16:31). But other scholars argue Psalm 45 has in mind Solomon's wedding to Pharaoh's daughter (1 Kings 3:1), and other scholars argue that Psalm 45 has in mind the marriage of Jehoram of Judah to Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Kings 8:18, 26). One may mention other options. There is not enough information in Psalm 45 to allow certainty on this point.

Psalm 45 naturally falls into FOUR Paragraphs.

1. Introduction. Psalm 45:1.
    a. This psalmist is NOT the king, but an individual who addresses the king in Psalm 45.
    b. This psalmist is excited about his theme, and his tongue is eloquent as he speaks.

2. The Poet addresses the king. Psalm 45:2-9.
    a. The poet begins by commending the king because he is very handsome and his speech is pleasing and appealing because God has blessed him with this gift. 45:2.
    b. Second, the poet praises the king because of his military strength. Using a sword and a bow and arrows, Yahweh empowers the king to defeat his enemies. In this way, he defends the innocent and the oppressed. 45:3-5.
    c. Third, the poet extols the king because of his spiritual strength.  The king supports equity among the people, loving righteousness and hating wickedness. Because of this spiritual emphasis, Yahweh anointed him with the oil of gladness beyond any of his rivals. 45:6-7.
    d. Finally, the poet points out that the king's robes exude fragrance with myrrh and aloes and cassia, stringed instruments make him glad, his maids of honor in the wedding are daughters of kings, and at his right hand his queen enters in gold of Ophir. 45:8-9.

3. Next, the poet addresses the king's bride who has just appeared and come forward, Psalm 45:10-15.
    a. First, the poet implores the king's bride to FORGET her people and her father's house. Her father is a foreign king. She is a foreigner. And thus, she must abandon her people and her original background in order to establish a good marriage with the king of Israel or Judah. 45:10.
    b. When she makes this commitment and submits her heart to the king, the king of Israel or Judah will desire her beauty. 45:11.
    c. Then the daughter of Tyre will bring rich gifts to the king. 45:12.
    d. Similar to Psalm 45:9, the poet describes the approach of the bride and her attendants. The attendants bring the bride to the king decked with gold-woven and many-colored robes. The virgins, her companions, follow the attendants as they are led along to enter the palace of the king. 45:13-15.

4. The poet concludes by assuring the king that he will have a great future. Psalm 45:16-17.
    a. The poet assures the king that he and his bride will have sons to make them princes in all the earth. 45:16.
    b. Yahweh will cause his name to be celebrated in all generations, and the peoples [that is, the nations] will praise this king forever and ever. 45:17.

Psalm 45 presents some very important spiritual ideas about true kingship.
    a. Yahweh "anointed" this king. Psalm 45:7. This does not mean that Yahweh LITERALLY anointed a king, but God's authentic representative in God's name anointed the king. 1 Samuel 10:1 clearly emphasizes this practice.
    b. The Hebrew word for "anointed" is mashiach, in English "messiah." Every king of Israel and Judah was the Lord's "messiah," that is, anointed one. Jesus and his followers adopted this term to describe Jesus' identity as "Christ." The Greek word christos means "anointed." See Acts 2:33-36; Hebrews 1:9. The symbolic anointing of Jesus took place when he ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father (Hebrews 1:3, 13).
    c. The meaning of Psalm 45:6a is widely debated. The context suggests that it means that the throne of the earthly king is actually Yahweh's throne, NOT the throne of the earthly king. Because Yahweh is the real king, the reign of the earthly king will continue for a long time.
    d. The term "forever and ever" in Psalm 45:6a does not mean "endless time," but rather a long period of time in contrast to a brief period of time. A careful study of the expression "forever" demonstrates that "forever" means a long period of time. Only one of many examples of this is
1 Samuel 1:22, where Hannah made this promise: "As soon as the child [Samuel] is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord, and remain there FOREVER." Later,
1 Samuel 1:28 says "AS LONG AS HE LIVES, he [Samuel] is given to the Lord."

Weddings are very important. Psalm 45 describes a beautiful picture of a great wedding.

Share YOUR thoughts and experiences and backgrounds and problems and anxieties with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


Post a Comment

<< Home