Psalm 45 — The Greatest Jewish King — Reading the Psalms


For the Chief Musician; set to Shoshannim; a Psalm of the sons of Korah. Maschil. A Song of loves.

1 My heart overfloweth with a goodly matter:
I speak the things which I have made touching the king:
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
2 Thou art fairer than the children of men;
Grace is poured into thy lips:
Therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O mighty one,
Thy glory and thy majesty.
4 And in thy majesty ride on prosperously,
Because of truth and meekness and righteousness:
And thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
5 Thine arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under thee;
They are in the heart of the king’s enemies.
6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever:
A sceptre of equity is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness:
Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee
With the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made thee glad.
9 Kings’ daughters are among thy honourable women:
At thy right hand doth stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear;
Forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house;
11 So shall the king desire thy beauty:
For he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.
12 And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift;
Even the rich among the people shall entreat thy favour.
13 The king’s daughter within the palace is all glorious:
Her clothing is inwrought with gold.
14 She shall be led unto the king in broidered work:
The virgins her companions that follow her
Shall be brought unto thee.
15 With gladness and rejoicing shall they be led:
They shall enter into the king’s palace.
16 Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children,
Whom thou shalt make princes in all the earth.
17 I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations:
Therefore shall the peoples give thee thanks for ever and ever.

It is hard for me to read this psalm and not think about Jesus, the anointed one, the Messiah so longed for in the Old Testament scriptures. Though this psalm was most likely composed for an Israelite king and his coming marriage, what King of Judah or Israel ever fit these words? A few had their bright moments, but no earthly king ever rose into the nobility expressed by this psalm.

The king in this psalm, this gracious man blessed forever by God, holding all glory and majesty, fits no one as well as Jesus Christ. If you read the stories of his teaching and works you will see a man who, just as it says in this psalm, was prosperous by his truth, meekness and righteousness. His words were as sharp as an arrow, or as a sword cutting down enemy arguments. He spoke with equity, not selfishness, and was elevated by God.

Those disciples who followed Jesus, both during and after his life, became described as the bride of Christ in New Testament writings. Even today, we who choose to follow his teachings are told to come out from the world, leaving family and passions behind, to be welcomed into his family. In Christ’s care we are blessed by the one whom God blessed. Praise be to God and his Son!


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