Exposition - Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher - Works Upon This Psalm
TITLE. The many titles of this Psalm mark its royalty, its
deep and solemn import, and the delight the writer had in it. To the Chief
Musician upon Shoshannim. The most probable translation of this word is upon the
lilies, and it is either a poetical title given to this noblest of songs after
the Oriental manner, or it may relate to the tune to which it was set, or to the
instrument which was meant to accompany it. We incline to the first theory, and
if it be the true one, it is easy to see the fitness of borrowing a name for so
beautiful, so pure, so choice, so matchless a poem from the golden lilies, whose
bright array outshone the glory of Solomon. For the sons of Korah. Special
singers are appointed for so divine a hymn. King Jesus deserves to be praised
not with random, ranting ravings, but with the sweetest and most skilful music
of the best trained choristers. The purest hearts in the spiritual temple are
the most harmonious songsters in the ears of God; acceptable song is not a
matter so much of tuneful voices as of sanctified affections, but in no case
should we sing of Jesus with unprepared hearts. Maschil, an instructive ode, not
an idle lay, or a romancing ballad, but a Psalm of holy teaching, didactic and
doctrinal. This proves that it is to be spiritually understood. Blessed are the
people who know the meaning of its joyful sound. A Song of loves. Not a carnal
sentimental love song, but a celestial canticle of everlasting love fit for the
tongues and ears of angels.
SUBJECT. Some here see Solomon and Pharaoh's daughter only--
they are short sighted; others see both Solomon and Christ--they are cross eyed;
well focused spiritual eyes see here Jesus only, or if Solomon be present at
all, it must be like those hazy shadows of by passers which cross the face of
the camera, and therefore are dimly traceable upon a photographic landscape.
"The King, "the God whose throne is for ever and ever, is no mere mortal and his
everlasting dominion is not bounded by Lebanon and Egypt's river. This is no
wedding song of earthly nuptials, but an Epithalamium for the Heavenly
Bridegroom and his elect spouse.
DIVISION. Ps 45:1 is an announcement of intention, a
preface to the song; Ps 45:3 adores the matchless beauty of Messiah; and from Ps
45:3-9, he is addressed in admiring ascriptions of praise. Ps 45:10-12 are
spoken to the bride. The church is further spoken of in Ps 45:13-15, and the
Psalm closes with another address to the King, foretelling his eternal fame, Ps
Verse 1. My heart. There is no writing like that dictated by
the heart. Heartless hymns are insults to heaven. Is inditing a good
matter. A good heart will only be content with good thoughts. Where the
fountain is good good streams will flow forth. The learned tell us that the word
may be read overflows, or as others, boils or bubbles up, denoting the warmth of
the writer's love, the fulness of his heart, and the consequent richness and
glow of his utterance, as though it were the ebullition of his inmost soul, when
most full of affection. We have here no single cold expression; the writer is
not one who frigidly studies the elegancies and proprieties of poetry, his
stanzas are the natural outburst of his soul, comparable to the boiling jets of
the geysers of Hecla. As the corn offered in sacrifice was parched in the pan,
so is this tribute of love hot with sincere devotion. It is a sad thing when the
heart is cold with a good matter, and worse when it is warm with a bad matter,
but incomparably well when a warm heart and a good matter meet together. O that
we may often offer to God an acceptable minchah, a sweet oblation fresh
from the pan of hearts warmed with gratitude and admiration. I speak of the
things which I have made touching the King. This song has "the King"
for its only subject, and for the King's honour alone was it composed, well
might its writer call it a good matter. The psalmist did not write carelessly;
he calls his poem his works, or things which he had made. We are not to offer to
the Lord that which costs us nothing. Good material deserves good workmanship.
We should well digest in our heart's affections and our mind's meditations any
discourse or poem in which we speak of one so great and glorious as our Royal
Lord. As our version reads it, the psalmist wrote experimentally things which he
had made his own, and personally tasted and handled concerning the King. My
tongue is the pen of a ready writer, not so much for rapidity, for
there the tongue always has the preference, but for exactness, elaboration,
deliberation, and skilfulness of expression. Seldom are the excited utterances
of the mouth equal in real weight and accuracy to the verba scripta of a
thoughtful accomplished penman; but here the writer, though filled with
enthusiasm, speaks as correctly as a practised writer; his utterances therefore
are no ephemeral sentences, but such as fall from men who sit down calmly to
write for eternity. It is not always that the best of men are in such a key, and
when they are they should not restrain the gush of their hallowed feelings. Such
a condition of heart in a gifted mind creates that auspicious hour in which
poetry pours forth her tuneful numbers to enrich the service of song in the
house of the Lord.
Verse 2. Thou. As though the King himself had suddenly
appeared before him, the psalmist lost in admiration of his person, turns from
his preface to address his Lord. A loving heart has the power to realise its
object. The eyes of a true heart see more than the eyes of the head. Moreover,
Jesus reveals himself when we are pouring forth our affections towards him. It
is usually the case that when we are ready Christ appears. If our heart is warm
it is an index that the sun is shining, and when we enjoy his heat we shall soon
behold his light. Thou art fairer than the children of men. In person,
but especially in mind and character, the King of saints is peerless in beauty.
The Hebrew word is doubled, "Beautiful, beautiful art thou." Jesus is so
emphatically lovely that words must be doubled, strained, yea, exhausted before
he can be described. Among the children of men many have through grace been
lovely in character, yet they have each had a flaw; but in Jesus we behold every
feature of a perfect character in harmonious proportion. He is lovely
everywhere, and from every point of view, but never more so than when we view
him in conjugal union with his church; then love gives a ravishing flush of
glory to his loveliness. Grace is poured into thy lips. Beauty and
eloquence make a man majestic when they are united; they both dwell in
perfection in the all fair, all eloquent Lord Jesus. Grace of person and grace
of speech reach their highest point in him. Grace has in the most copious manner
been poured upon Christ, for it pleased the Father that in him should all
fulness dwell, and now grace is in superabundance, poured forth from his lips to
cheer and enrich his people. The testimony, the promises, the invitations, the
consolations of our King pour forth from him in such volumes of meaning that we
cannot but contrast those cataracts of grace with the speech of Moses which did
but drop as the rain, and distil as the dew. Whoever in personal communion with
the Wellbeloved has listened to his voice will feel that "never man spake like
this man." Well did the bride say of him, "his lips are like lilies dropping
sweet smelling myrrh." One word from himself dissolved the heart of Saul of
Tarsus, and turned him into an apostle, another word raised up John the Divine
when fainting in the Isle of Patmos. Oftentimes a sentence from his lips has
turned our own midnight into morning, our winter into spring. Therefore God
hath blessed thee for ever. Calvin reads it, Because God hath blessed
thee for ever. Christ is blessed of God, blessed for ever, and this is to us
one great reason for his beauty, and the source of the gracious words which
proceed out of his lips. The rare endowments of the man Christ Jesus are given
him of the Father, that by them his people may be blessed with all spiritual
blessings in union with himself. But if we take our own translation, we read
that the Father has blessed the Mediator as a reward for all his gracious
labours; and right well does he deserve the recompense. Whom God blesses we
should bless, and the more so because all his blessedness is communicated to us.
Verse 3. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh. Loving spirits
jealous of the Redeemer's glory long to see him putting forth his power to
vindicate his own most holy cause. Why should the sword of the Spirit lie still,
like a weapon hung up in an armoury; it is sharp and strong, both for cutting
and piercing: O that the divine power of Jesus were put forth to use against
error. The words before us represent our great King as urged to arm himself for
battle, by placing his sword where it is ready for use. Christ is the true
champion of the church, others are but underlings who must borrow strength from
him; the single arm of Immanuel is the sole hope of the faithful. Our prayer
should be that of this verse. There is at this moment an apparent suspension of
our Lord's former power, we must by importunate prayer call him to the conflict,
for like the Greeks without Achilles we are soon overcome by our enemies, and we
are but dead men if Jesus be not in our midst. O most mighty. A title
well deserved, and not given from empty courtesy like the serenities,
excellencies and highnesses of our fellow mortals--titles, which are but sops for
vain glory. Jesus is the truest of heroes. Hero worship in his case alone is
commendable. He is mighty to save, mighty in love. With thy glory and thy
majesty. Let thy sword both win thee renown and dominion, or as it may mean,
gird on with thy sword thy robes which indicate thy royal splendour. Love
delights to see the Beloved arrayed as beseemeth his excellency; she weeps as
she sees him in the garments of humiliation, she rejoices to behold him in the
vestments of his exaltation. Our precious Christ can never be made too much of.
Heaven itself is but just good enough for him. All the pomp that angels and
archangels, and thrones, and dominions, and principalities, and powers can pour
at his feet is too little for him. Only his own essential glory is such as fully
answers to the desire of his people, who can never enough extol him.
Verse 4. And in thy majesty ride prosperously. The hero
monarch armed and apparelled is now entreated to ascend his triumphal car. Would
to God that our Immanuel would come forth in the chariot of love to conquer our
spiritual foes and seize by power the souls whom he has bought with blood.
Because of truth and meekness and righteousness. These words may
be rendered, ride forth upon truth and meekness and righteousness.
--Three noble chargers to draw the war chariot of the gospel. In the sense of our
translation it is a most potent argument to urge with our Lord that the cause of
the true, the humble, and the good, calls for his advocacy. Truth will be
ridiculed, meekness will be oppressed, and righteousness slain, unless the God,
the Man in whom these precious things are incarnated, shall arise for their
vindication. Our earnest petition ought ever to be that Jesus would lay his
almighty arm to the work of grace lest the good cause languish and wickedness
prevail. And thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
Foreseeing the result of divine working, the psalmist prophesies that the
uplifted arm of Messiah will reveal to the King's own eyes the terrible
overthrow of his foes. Jesus needs no guide but his own right hand, no teacher
but his own might; may he instruct us all in what he can perform, by achieving
it speedily before our gladdened eyes.
Verse 5. Thine arrows. Our King is master of all weapons: he
can strike those who are near and those afar off with equal force. Are
sharp. Nothing that Jesus does is ill done, he uses no blunted shafts, no
pointless darts. In the heart of the King's enemies. Our Captain aims at
men's hearts rather than their heads, and he hits them too; point blank are his
shots, and they enter deep into the vital part of man's nature. Whether for love
or vengeance, Christ never misses aim, and when his arrows stick, they cause a
smart not soon forgotten, a wound which only he can heal. Jesus' arrows of
conviction are sharp in the quiver of his word, and sharp when on the bow of his
ministers, but they are most known to be so when they find a way into careless
hearts. They are his arrows, he made them, he shoots them. He makes them
sharp, and he makes them enter the heart. May none of us ever fall under the
darts of his judgment, for none kill so surely as they. Whereby the people
fall under thee. On either side the slain of the Lord are many when Jesus
leads on the war. Nations tremble and turn to him when he shoots abroad his
truth. Under his power and presence, men are stricken down as though pricked in
the heart. There is no standing against the Son of God when his bow of might is
in his hands. Terrible will be that hour when his bow shall be made quite naked,
and bolts of devouring fire shall be hurled upon his adversaries: then shall
princes fall and nations perish.
Verse 6. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. To whom
can this be spoken but our Lord? The psalmist cannot restrain his adoration. His
enlightened eye sees in the royal Husband of the church, God, God to be adored,
God reigning, God reigning everlastingly. Blessed sight! Blind are the eyes that
cannot see God in Christ Jesus! We never appreciate the tender condescension of
our King in becoming one flesh with his church, and placing her at his right
hand, until we have fully rejoiced in his essential glory and deity. What a
mercy for us that our Saviour is God, for who but a God could execute the work
of salvation? What a glad thing it is that he reigns on a throne which will
never pass away, for we need both sovereign grace and eternal love to secure our
happiness. Could Jesus cease to reign we should cease to be blessed, and were he
not God, and therefore eternal, this must be the case. No throne can endure for
ever, but that on which God himself sitteth. The sceptre of thy
kingdom is a right sceptre. He is the lawful monarch of all things that
be. His rule is founded in right, its law is right, its result is right. Our
King is no usurper and no oppressor. Even when he shall break his enemies with a
rod of iron, he will do no man wrong; his vengeance and his grace are both in
conformity with justice. Hence we trust him without suspicion; he cannot err; no
affliction is too severe, for he sends it; no judgment too harsh, for he ordains
it. O blessed hands of Jesus! the reigning power is safe with you. All the just
rejoice in the government of the King who reigns in righteousness.
Verse 7. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness.
Christ Jesus is not neutral in the great contest between right and wrong: as
warmly as he loves the one he abhors the other. What qualifications for a
sovereign! what grounds of confidence for a people! The whole of our Lord's life
on earth proved the truth of these words; his death to put away sin and bring in
the reign of righteousness, sealed the fact beyond all question; his providence
by which he rules from his mediatorial throne, when rightly understood, reveals
the same; and his final assize will proclaim it before all worlds. We should
imitate him both in his love and hate; they are both needful to complete a
righteous character. Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with
the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Jesus as Mediator owned God as his
God, to whom, being found in fashion as a man, he became obedient. On account of
our Lord's perfect life he is now rewarded with superior joy. Others there are
to whom grace has given a sacred fellowship with him, but by their universal
consent and his own merit, he is prince among them, the gladdest of all because
the cause of all their gladness. At Oriental feasts oil was poured on the heads
of distinguished and very welcome guests; God himself anoints the man Christ
Jesus, as he sits at the heavenly feasts, anoints him as a reward for his work,
with higher and fuller joy than any else can know; thus is the Son of man
honoured and rewarded for all his pains. Observe the indisputable testimony to
Messiah's Deity in verse six, and to his manhood in the present verse. Of whom
could this be written but of Jesus of Nazareth? Our Christ is our Elohim. Jesus
is God with us.
Verse 8. All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and
cassia. The divine anointing causes fragrance to distil from the robes of
the Mighty Hero. He is delightful to every sense, to the eyes most fair, to the
ear most gracious, to the spiritual nostril most sweet. The excellences of Jesus
are all most precious, comparable to the rarest spices; they are most varied,
and to be likened not to myrrh alone, but to all the perfumes blended in due
proportion. The Father always finds a pleasure in him, in him he is well
pleased; and all regenerated spirits rejoice in him, for he is made of God unto
us, "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." Note that not only
is Jesus most sweet, but even his garments are so; everything that he has to do
with is perfumed by his person. All his garments are thus fragrant; not
some of them, but all; we delight as much in his purple of dominion as in the
white of his priesthood, his mantle as our prophet is as dear to us as his
seamless coat as our friend. All his dress is fragrant with all sweetness. To
attempt to spiritualise each spice here mentioned would be unprofitable, the
evident sense is that all sweetnesses meet in Jesus, and are poured forth
wherever he is present. Out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have
made thee glad. The abode of Jesus now is imperial in splendour, ivory and
gold but faintly image his royal seat; there is he made glad in the presence of
the Father, and in the company of his saints. Oh, to behold him with his
perfumed garments on! The very smell of him from afar ravishes our spirit, what
must it be to be on the other side of the pearl gate, within the palace of
ivory, amid those halls of Zion, "conjubilant with song, "where is the throne of
David, and the abiding presence of the Prince! To think of his gladness, to know
that he is full of joy, gives gladness at this moment to our souls. We
poor exiles can sing in our banishment since our King, our Wellbeloved, has come
to his throne.
Verse 9. King's daughters were among thy honourable women.
Our Lord's courts lack not for courtiers, and those the fairest and noblest.
Virgin souls are maids of honour to the court, the true lilies of heaven. The
lowly and pure in heart are esteemed by the Lord Jesus as his most familiar
friends, their place in his palace is not among the menials but near the throne.
The day will come when those who are "king's daughters" literally will count it
their greatest honour to serve the church, and, meanwhile every believing sister
is spiritually a King's daughter, a member of the royal family of heaven.
Upon thy right hand, in the place of love, honour, and power, did
stand the queen in gold of Ophir: the church shares her Lord's honour and
happiness, he sets her in the place of dignity, he clothes her with the best of
the best. Gold is the richest of metals, and Ophir gold the purest known. Jesus
bestows nothing inferior or of secondary value upon his beloved church. In
imparted and imputed righteousness the church is divinely arrayed. Happy those
who are members of a church so honoured, so beloved; unhappy those who persecute
the beloved people, for as a husband will not endure that his wife should be
insulted or maltreated, so neither will the heavenly Husband; he will speedily
avenge his own elect. Mark, then, the solemn pomp of the verses we have read.
The King is seen with rapture, he girds himself as a warrior, robes himself as a
monarch, mounts his chariot, darts his arrows, and conquers his foes. Then he
ascends his throne with his sceptre in his hand, fills the palace hall with
perfume brought from his secret chambers, his retinue stand around him, and,
fairest of all, his bride is at his right hand, with daughters of subject
princes as her attendants. Faith is no stranger to this sight, and every time
she looks she adores, she loves, she rejoices, she expects.
Verse 10. Hearken, O daughter, and consider. Ever is this
the great duty of the church. Faith cometh by hearing, and confirmation by
consideration. No precept can be more worthy of the attention of those who are
honoured to be espoused to Christ that that which follows. And incline thine
ear. Lean forward so that no syllable may be unheard. The whole faculties of
the mind should be bent upon receiving holy teaching. Forget also thine own
people, and thy father's house. To renounce the world is not easy,
but it must be done by all who are affianced to the Great King, for a divided
heart he cannot endure; it would be misery to the beloved one as well as
dishonour to her Lord. Evil acquaintances, and even those who are but neutral,
must be forsaken, they can confer no benefits, they must inflict injury. The
house of our nativity is the house of sin--we were shapen in iniquity; the carnal
mind is enmity against God, we must come forth of the house of fallen nature,
for it is built in the City of Destruction. Not that natural ties are broken by
grace, but ties of the sinful nature, bonds of graceless affinity. We have much
to forget as well as to learn, and the unlearning is so difficult that only
diligent hearing, and considering, and bending of the whole soul to it, can
accomplish the work; and even these would be too feeble did not divine grace
assist. Yet why should we remember the Egypt from which we cam out? Are the
leeks and the garlic, and the onions anything, when the iron bondage, and the
slavish tasks, and the death dealing Pharaoh of hell are remembered? We part
with folly for wisdom; with bubbles for eternal joys; with deceit for truth;
with misery for bliss; with idols for the living God. O that Christians were
more mindful of the divine precept here recorded; but, alas! worldliness
abounds; the church is defiled; and the glory of the Great King is veiled. Only
when the whole church leads the separated life will the full splendour and power
of Christianity shine forth upon the world.
Verse 11. So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty.
Wholehearted love is the duty and bliss of the marriage state in every case, but
especially so in this lofty mystic marriage. The church must forsake all others
and cleave to Jesus only, or she will not please him nor enjoy the full
manifestation of his love. What less can he ask, what less may she dare propose
than to be wholly his? Jesus sees a beauty in his church, a beauty which he
delights in most when it is not marred by worldliness. He has always been most
near and precious to his saints when they have cheerfully taken up his cross and
followed him without the camp. His Spirit is grieved when they mingle themselves
among the people and learn their ways. No great and lasting revival of religion
can be granted us till the professed lovers of Jesus prove their affection by
coming out from an ungodly world, being separated, and touching not the unclean
thing. For he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. He has royal rights
still; his condescending grace does not lessen but rather enforce his authority.
Our Saviour is also our Ruler. The husband is the head of the wife; the love he
bears her does not lessen but strengthen her obligation to obey. The church must
reverence Jesus, and bow before him in prostrate adoration; his tender union
with her gives her liberty, but not license; it frees her from all other
burdens, but places his easy yoke upon her neck. Who would wish it to be
otherwise? The service of God is heaven in heaven, and perfectly carried out it
is heaven upon earth. Jesus, thou art he whom thy church praises in her
unceasing songs, and adores in her perpetual service. Teach us to be wholly
thine. Bear with us, and work by thy Spirit in us till thy will is done by us on
earth as it is in heaven.
Verse 12. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a
gift. When the church abounds in holiness, she shall know no lack of homage
from the surrounding people. Her glory shall then impress and attract the
heathen around, till they also unite in doing honour to her Lord. The power of
missions abroad lies at home: a holy church will be a powerful church. Nor shall
there be lack of treasure in her coffers when grace is in her heart; the free
gifts of a willing people shall enable the workers for God to carry on their
sacred enterprise without stint. Commerce shall send in its revenue to endow,
not with forced levies and imperial taxes, but with willing gifts the church of
the Great King. Even the rich among the people shall intreat thy
favour. Not by pandering to their follies, but by testifying against
their sins, shall the wealthy be one to the faith of Jesus. They shall come not
to favour the church but to beg for her favour. She shall not be the hireling of
the great, but as a queen shall she dispense her favours to the suppliant throng
of the rich among the people. We go about to beg for Christ like beggars for
alms, and many who should know better will make compromises and become reticent
of unpopular truth to please the great ones of the earth; not so will the true
bride of Christ degrade herself, when her sanctification is more deep and more
visible; then will the hearts of men grow liberal, and offerings from afar,
abundant and continual, shall be presented at the throne of the Pacific Prince.
Verse 13. The king's daughter is all glorious within. Within
her secret chambers her glory is great. Though unseen of men her Lord sees her,
and commends her. "It doth not yet appear what we shall be." Or the passage may
be understood as meaning within herself-- her beauty is not outward only or
mainly; the choicest of her charms are to be found in her heart, her secret
character, her inward desires. Truth and wisdom in the hidden parts are what the
Lord regards; mere skin deep beauty is nothing in his eyes. The church is of
royal extraction, of imperial dignity, for she is a king's daughter; and she has
been purified and renewed in nature; for she is glorious within. Note the word
all. The Bridegroom was said to have all his garments perfumed, and now
the bride in all glorious within--entireness and completeness are great
points. There is no mixture of ill savour in Jesus, nor shall there be alloy of
unholiness in his people, his church shall be presented without spot or wrinkle,
or any such thing. Her clothing is of wrought gold. Best material and
best workmanship. How laboriously did our Lord work out the precious material of
his righteousness into a vesture for his people! no embroidery of golden threads
can equal that masterpiece of holy art. Such clothing becomes on so honoured by
relationship to the Great King. The Lord looks to it that nothing shall be
wanting to the glory and beauty of his bride.
Verse 14. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of
needlework. The day comes when the celestial marriage shall be openly
celebrated, and these words describe the nuptial procession wherein the queen is
brought to her royal Husband attended by her handmaidens. In the latter-day
glory, and in the consummation of all things, the glory of the bride, the Lamb's
wife, shall be seen by all the universe with admiration. While she was within
doors, and her saints hidden ones, the church was glorious; what will be her
splendour when she shall appear in the likeness of her Lord in the day of his
manifestation? The finest embroidery is but a faint image of the perfection of
the church when sanctified by the Spirit. This verse tells us of the ultimate
rest of the church--the King's own bosom; of the way she comes to it, she is
brought by the power of sovereign grace; of the time when this is done--in
the future, she shall be, it does not yet appear; of the state in which
she shall come--clad in richest array, and attended by brightest spirits. The
virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.
Those who love and serve the church for her Lord's sake shall share in her bliss
"in that day." In one sense they are a part of the church, but for the sake of
the imagery they are represented as maids of honour; and, though the figure may
seem incongruous, they are represented as brought to the King with the same
loving familiarity as the bride, because the true servants of the church are of
the church, and partake in all her happiness. Note that those who are admitted
to everlasting communion with Christ, are pure in heart--virgins, pure in
company--her companions, pure in walk--that follow her. Let none
hope to be brought into heaven at last who are not purified now.
Verse 15. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought.
Joy becomes a marriage feast. What joy will that be which will be seen at the
feasts of paradise when all the redeemed shall be brought home! Gladness in the
saints themselves, and rejoicing from the angels shall make the halls of the New
Jerusalem ring again with shoutings. They shall enter into the King's
palace. Their peaceful abodes shall be where Jesus the King reigns in state
for ever. They shall not be shut out but shut in. Rights of free entrance into
the holiest of all shall be accorded them. Brought by grace, they shall enter
into glory. If there was joy in the bringing, what in the entering? What in the
abiding? The glorified are not field labourers in the plains of heaven, but sons
who dwell at home, princes of the blood, resident in the royal palace. Happy
hour when we shall enjoy all this and forget the sorrows of time in the triumph
Verse 16. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children. The
ancient saints who stood as fathers in the service of the Great King have all
passed away; but a spiritual seed is found to fill their places. The veterans
depart, but volunteers fill up the vacant places. The line of grace never
becomes extinct. As long as time shall last, the true apostolical succession
will be maintained. Whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.
Servants of Christ are kings. Where a man has preached successfully, and
evangelised a tribe or nation, he gets to himself more than regal honours, and
his name is like the name of the great men that be upon the earth. Jesus is the
king maker. Ambition of the noblest kind shall win her desire in the army of
Christ; immortal crowns are distributed to his faithful soldiers. The whole
earth shall yet be subdued for Christ, and honoured are they, who shall, through
grace, have a share in the conquest--these shall reign with Christ at his coming.
Verse 17. I will make thy name to be remembered in all
generations. Jehovah by the prophet's mouth promises to the Prince of Peace
eternal fame as well as a continuous progeny. His name is his fame, his
character, his person; these are dear to his people now--they never can forget
them; and it shall be so as long as men exist. Names renowned in one generation
have been unknown to the next era, but the laurels of Jesus shall ever be fresh,
his renown ever new. God will see to this; his providence and his grace shall
make it so. The fame of Messiah is not left to human guardianship; the Eternal
guarantees it, and his promise never fails. All down the ages the memories of
Gethsemane and Calvary shall glow with inextinguishable light; nor shall the
lapse of time, the smoke of error, or the malice of hell be able to dim the
glory of the Redeemer's fame. Therefore shall the people praise thee
for ever and ever. They shall confess thee to be what thou art, and shall
render to thee in perpetuity the homage due. Praise is due from every heart to
him who loved us, and redeemed us by his blood; this praise will never be fully
paid, but will be ever a standing and growing debt. His daily benefits enlarge
our obligations, let them increase the number of our songs. Age to age reveals
more of his love, let every year swell the volume of the music of earth and
heaven, and let thunders of song roll up in full diapason to the throne of him
that liveth, and was dead, and is alive for evermore, and hath the keys of hell
and of death.
"Let him be crowned with majesty
Who bowed his head to death,
And be his honours sounded high
By all things that have breath."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Title. "Upon Shoshannim, "or upon lilies. It
will be remembered that lilies were an emblem of purity and loveliness, and were
introduced as such in the building of Solomon's temple (see 1Ki 7:19,22,26 2Ch
4:5); and the church is compared in the Canticles to a "lily among thorns." So
2:2. The Psalms which bear this title, "upon lilies, "are the present, the
sixty-ninth, and the eightieth (compare Ps 60:1-12); and all these contain
prophecies of Christ and his church. The sixtieth is a parallel to the
forty-fourth, and represents her supplicating appeal to God, and Christ's
victories. The sixty-ninth displays the victories gained by Christ through
suffering. The eightieth is also parallel to the forty-fourth and sixtieth, a
plaintive lament of the church in distress and a supplicating cry for
deliverance. All these three Psalms are (if we may venture to use this
expression) like the voice of the "lily among thorns." That there is, therefore,
some reference here to the spiritual meaning of the word (Mynvs), or lilies, in this title, seems at
least to be probable. Christopher Wordsworth.
Title. We think that Shoshannim signifies an
instrument of six strings, or a song of rejoicing. Augustin Calmet,
1672-1757. Kitto, on the other hand, says that the word is so clearly
lilies, that he is disinclined to go out of the way to bring in the
Hebrew word for six.
Title. "To the chief musician upon Shoshannim." Some
would have it that instruments whereon were many engravings of lilies, which are
six leaved flowers, are here meant. And, indeed, some interpreters, because of
that derivation of the word, do thus translate it, upon Shoshannim, that
is, upon lilies; and that either in reference to their wedding garlands,
that were made much of lilies, or as intending by these lilies Christ and his
church. Arthur Jackson.
Title. "A song." The word (ryv), shir, the meaning of which (song), is
unquestioned, is prefixed to many of the Psalms, three times simply and thirteen
times in connection with Mizmor. There is no mark of peculiarity in their
composition. The meaning of the word seems to be discriminated from Mizmor,
as signifying a thing to be sung, with reference to its poetical structure.
Whole Psalm. The Psalter, which sets forth so much truth
respecting the person and work of Christ--truth more precious than gold and
sweeter than the honeycomb--is not silent respecting the bond subsisting between
him and his people, THE MYSTICAL UNION BETWEEN CHRIST AND THE CHURCH. When a
prince sets his affections on a woman of lowly rank, and takes her home to be
his wife, the two are so united that her debts become his, his wealth and
honours become hers. Now, that there is formed between Christ and the church,
between Christ and every soul that will consent to receive him, a connection, of
which the most intimate of all natural relations is the analogue and type, we
have already found to be not only taught in the Psalms, but to be implied in the
very structure of many of them. He takes his people's sins upon him, and they
receive the right to become the sons of God: the One Spirit of God wherewith he
was baptised without measure, dwells in them according to the measure of the
grace that is given them. I will only add further, that this union, besides
being implied on so many places, is expressly set forth in one most glorious
Psalm--the Nuptial Song of Christ and the Church--which has for its peculiar theme
the home bringing of Christ's elect, that they may be joined to him in a union
that shall survive the everlasting hills. William Binnie, D.D.
Verse 1. My heart is inditing a good matter, and then My
tongue shall be like the pen of a ready writer. Oh, then I shall go
merrily on in his service, when I have matter prepared in my heart. And, indeed,
as the mariner sees further new stars the further he sails, he loseth sight of
the old ones and discovers new; so the growing Christian, the further he sails
in religion he discovers new wants, new Scriptures affect him, new trials
afflict him, new business he finds with God, and forgetting those things that
are behind, he reacheth after those things that are before, and so finds every
day new business with the Lord his God; and he that's busy trifles not; the more
business the less distractions. Richard Steele.
Verse 1. My heart is inditing a good matter. (vxr) (rakhash); boils or bubbles up; denotes
the language of the heart full and ready for utterance. Victorinus
Verse 1. My heart is inditing a good matter. Here you have
the work of the Spirit of prophecy. By his operation the good "matter" is
engendered in the psalmist's bosom, and now his heart is heaving and labouring
under the load. It is just beginning to throw it up, like water from a fountain,
that it may flow off in the channel of the tongue. Here, therefore, you have
some insight given you of the manner of the operation of the Spirit in the heart
of man. The psalmist says his heart is doing what the spirit is doing in his
heart. The heart does it, indeed, but it is the Spirit's working. The psalmist
took all the interest and pleasure in his subject that he could have done, if
the Spirit had had nothing to do with it; for when the Spirit works, he works
not only by the heart, but in the heart; he seizes upon all its affections,
every fibre of it is bent to his will. George Harpur, in "Christ in the
Verse 1. Good matter, the good spell, or gospel.
Verse 1. A similitude taken from the mincah, or
meat offering in the law, which was dressed in the frying pan Le 7:9, and
there boiled in oil, being made of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil Le
2:5, and afterwards was presented to the Lord by the priest, verse 8. Here the
matter of this Psalm is as the mincah or oblation, which with the oil,
the grace of the Spirit, was boiled and prepared in the prophet's heart, and now
presented. Henry Ainsworth.
Verse 1. It is reported of Origen, saith Erasmus, that he
was ever earnest, but most of all when he discoursed of Christ. Of Johannes
Mollias, a Bononian, it is said, that whenever he spake of Jesus Christ, his
eyes dropped, for he was fraught with a mighty fervency of God's Holy Spirit;
and like the Baptist, he was first a burning (boiling or bubbling), and then a
shining light. John Trapp.
Verse 1. Touching the king. It does not all concern the king
immediately, for much of it concerns the queen, and about one half of it is
directly addressed to her. But it relates to him inasmuch as it relates to his
family. Christ ever identifies himself with his people; so that, whatever is
done to them, is done to himself. Their interests are his. George Harpur.
Verse 1. My tongue shall be like the pen of one that takes
minutes or writes shorthand: for I shall speak very briefly, and not in words at
length, or so as to be understood in a literal sense, but in figures and
emblems. From "Holy David and his old English Translators cleared,"
Verse 1. The pen. We call the prophets the penmen of
Scripture, whereas they were but the pen.
Verse 2. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is
poured into thy lips. Thus he begins to set forth his beauty, wherein
is the delightfulness of any person; so is it with the soul when God hath made
known to man his own filthiness and uncomeliness through sin, and that only by
Jesus sin is taken away; oh, how beautiful is this face, the first sight of him!
Secondly, Full of grace are thy lips: here is the second commendation;
which is, when Jesus hath opened his lips to us, from them he pours out grace
into our soul, when he makes known the Father to us, and speaks peace to all
that are far off and near; when he calls, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and
are heavy laden, and I will refresh you:" and all this is because God hath
blessed him for ever; we are assured he comes from God, and that he and his
works are eternal, and therefore all his grace poured out upon us shall remain
with us, and make us blessed for ever; for he is the Word of God, and he speaks
the mind of God, for he speaks nothing but what he hath heard from the Father;
and when he speaks to our souls with his Word, the Spirit is given, a certain
testimony to our soul that we are the sons of God, and a pledge of our
inheritance; for the Spirit and the Word cannot be separated. Richard Coore,
in "Christ set forth."
Verse 2. Thou art fairer than the children of men, etc.
Nothing can be more beautiful than this abrupt way of discourse. The prophet
sets out with a professed design to speak of the king. But as if in the moment
he had so intended, the glorious Person of whom he was going to speak
appeared to his view, he instantly leaves every other consideration to speak to
him himself. And what a rapturous address he makes! He first describes the
glories, the beauties, the astonishing loveliness, of his person. Though
to a carnal eye there was no beauty to desire him, his visage was marred more
than any man's, and his form more than the sons on men, yet to an eye truly
enlightened, he is the king in his beauty, fairer, as the glorious Mediator,
the Head, the Bridegroom of his Church and people, than all the children of
men. And, in the Father's view, so greatly beloved, so truly glorious, that
grace was poured into his lips. Reader, observe the expression; not
simply grace put into his heart, for the holiness and purity of his person, but
poured into his lips, that, like the honey, it might drop upon his people, and
be for ever communicated to all his redeemed, in an endless perpetuity of all
suited blessings here, and glory hereafter. Robert Hawker, D.D.
Verse 2. Thou art fairer than the children of men. Are you
for beauty? That takes with most: for this none like Christ. For beauty
and comeliness he infinitely surpasses both men and angels. We read of Moses,
that he was exceeding fair; and of David, that he was ruddy, and of a beautiful
countenance; and Josephus reports of the one of them, that all that saw him were
amazed at and enamoured of his beauty. Oh, but what was their beauty to
Christ's? Were their beauty, and with theirs the beauty of men and angels put
together, it would all be nothing to the beauty of Christ; not so much as the
light of a farthing candle is to the light of the sun at noonday. Edward
Pearse in "The Best Match." 1673.
Verse 2. Thou art fairer, etc. Fair he was (1) in his
conception, conceived in purity, and a fair angel brought the news. Fair
(2) in his nativity: wraioz is the word in the Septuagint,
tempustivus, in time, that is, all things are beautiful in their time, Ec
3:11. And in the fulness of time it was that he was born, and a fair star
pointed to him. Fair (3) in his childhood; he grew up in grace and
favour, Lu 2:52. The doctors were much taken with him. Fair (4) in his
manhood; had he not been so, says S. Jerome, had there not been something
admirable in his countenance and presence, some heavenly beauty, the apostles
and the whole world (as the Pharisees themselves confess) would not so suddenly
have gone after him. Fair (5) in his transfiguration, white as the light,
or as the snow, his face glittering as the sun Mt 17:2, even to the ravishing
the very soul of S. Peter, that "he knew not what he said, "could let his eyes
dwell upon that face for ever, and never come down the mount again. Fair (6) in
his passion. Nihil indecorum, no uncomeliness, in his nakedness; his very
wounds, and the bloody prints of the whips and scourges drew an ecce from
the mouth of Pilate: "Behold, the man!" the sweetness of his countenance and
carriage in the midst of filth and spittle, whips and buffets. His very
comeliness upon the cross, and his giving up the ghost, made the centurion cry
out, he "was the Son of God:" there appeared so sweet a majesty, so
heavenly a lustre in him through that very darkness that encompassed him. Fair
(7) in his resurrection; so subtle a beauty, that mortal eyes, even the
eyes of his own disciples, were not able to see or apprehend it, but when he
veiled it from them. Fair (8) in his ascension; made his disciples stand
gazing after him so long (as if they never could look long enough upon him),
till an angel is sent from heaven to rebuke them, to look home, Ac 1:2. Mark
Verse 2. O fair sun, and fair moon, and fair stars, and fair
flowers, and fair roses, and fair lilies; but O ten thousand thousand times
fairer Lord Jesus! Alas! I have wronged him in making the comparison this way. O
black sun and moon! but O fair Lord Jesus! O black flowers, and black lilies,
and roses! but O fair, fair, ever fair, Lord Jesus! O black heaven! but O fair
Christ! O black angels! but O surpassingly fair Lord Jesus! Samuel
Verse 2. In one Christ we may contemplate and must confess
all the beauty and loveliness both of heaven and earth; the beauty of heaven is
God, the beauty of earth is man; the beauty of heaven and earth together is this
God man. Edward Hyde, D.D., 1658.
Verse 2. Thou. "I have a passion, "observed Count Zinzendorf
in one of his discourses to the congregation at Herrnhut, "and it is He --He
Verse 2. Thou art fairer. Hebrew, thou art double fairer;
the Hebrew word is doubled, ad corroborandum, saith Kimchi. John
Verse 2. Grace is poured into thy lips. This is said as if
this grace were a gift, and not something inherent in our Lord himself. And is
not this exactly what we learn from the histories of the evangelists? Before
Jesus went forth to the work of his public mission, the Holy Ghost descended
from heaven like a dove, and lit upon him. The Spirit who imparts all its graces
to the church of Christ, imparted his graces to Christ himself. Not that the Son
of God needed the anointing of the Spirit of God, but he suffered it to be so
that he might be in all things like his brethren. If he was to be their example,
he must show them wherein their great strength lay. They see in him the fruits
of the Holy Ghost who is promised to themselves. All that Christ ever did as the
Head and Representative of his people, he did by that very Spirit which is still
resident in his church. George Harpur.
Verse 2. Grace is poured into thy lips. Full of grace are
thy lips. Full of grace for the matter, and full of grace for
1. For the matter, he delivered acceptable doctrine:
"The law was given by Moses, but grace came by Jesus Christ." Joh 1:17. Moses
had harsh and hard words in his law; "Cursed is he that continueth not in all
things which are written in the book of the law to do them; "but Christ on the
contrary speaks better things, the first words in his first sermon are, "Blessed
are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Mt 5:3. He cometh
unto his people, cum verbo gratiae, cum osculo gratae, saith
Augustine: his lips are full of grace, that is, pouring out gracious
words abundantly. Mt 11:28 Joh 3:16 Lu 4:18. "His lips are like lilies dropping
down myrrh" So 5:13; all that heard him wondered at the gracious words which
proceeded out of his mouth, Lu 4:22.
2. For the manner, he taught not as
the scribes; he spake so sweetly that the very catch poll officers, astonished
at his words, gave this testimony, "Never man spake like this man," Joh 7:46. He
spake so graciously that the apostles forsook all things and followed him; at
his call Andrew left his nets straightway, James and John their father without
tarrying, Matthew from the receipt of custom, Zacchaeus from the like worldly
course came hastily to receive him joyfully. Mr 10:28 Mt 4:20-21 9:9 Lu 19:6.
Nay, beloved, he was so powerful an orator, that the very winds and waves obeyed
his word, Mr 4:39. It is reported in Holy Writ that all princes and people were
desirous of hearing Solomon's eloquence; the Queen of Sheba wondering at the
same, cried out," Happy are these thy servants which stand continually before
thee, and that hear thy wisdom, "1Ki 10:8. Solomon is type here, but Christ is
the truth; and this showeth evidently that Christ is not a tyrant, but a mild
prince, persuading obedience plausibly, not compelling his people violently; his
sayings are his sceptre and his sword: his piercing exhortations are, as
it were, his sharp arrows by which his followers are subdued unto him.
To conclude this argument, his fair words (as the Scripture
speaks) "are as an honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones" Pr
16:24: "an honeycomb," and what more toothsome?" sweetness to the soul and
health to the bones; "and what, I pray, more wholesome? The good man's soul is
Christ's own spouse, to which he speaks a great many ways graciously; sometimes
correcting, and what stronger argument of love? for "whom he loveth he
chasteneth" Heb 12:6; sometimes instructing, and his gospel is able to make "the
man of God perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" 2Ti 3:17; sometimes
wooing in amorous terms, as in his love song everywhere: "my beloved, ""my
sister, ""my spouse, " "the fairest among women, ""my love,"
"my dove." etc.;
sometimes promising, and that both the blessings of this life present. Fear thou
not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: etc., Isa 41:10, and
of that life which is to come. Joh 17:21,24. But Christ's excellent intercession
every day to God the Father, appearing in the court of heaven, and as an
advocate pleading for us, is yet fuller of grace; for if Caleb easily granted
his daughter's request, and bestowed on her "the springs above and the springs
beneath" Jud 1:15, how shall Almighty God (whose mercies are above all his
works) deny the suits of such a Son in whom he is well pleased?
Verse 2. Grace is poured into thy lips. The former clause
noted his inward perfections; and this signifies his ability and readiness to
communicate them to others. Matthew Poole.
Verse 2. (second clause). Never were there such words
of love and sweetness spoken by any man as by him: never was there such a loving
and tender heart as the heart of Jesus Christ: Grace was poured into
his lips. Certainly never were there such words of love, sweetness, and
tenderness spoken here upon this earth as those last words of his which were
uttered a little before his sufferings, and are recorded in the 13th, 14th,
15th, 16th and 17th chapters of John. Read over all the books of love and
friendship that were ever written by any of the sons of men, they do all come
far short of these melting strains of love that are there expressed. So sweet
and amiable was the conversation of Jesus Christ, that it is reported of the
apostle Peter in the Ecclesiastical History, that after Christ's ascension he
wept so abundantly, that he was always seen wiping his face from the tears; and
being asked why he wept so, he answered, He could not choose but weep as often
as he thought of that most sweet conversation of Jesus Christ. John Row.
Verse 3. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh. The sword, according
to ancient custom was hung in a belt put round the shoulders, and reaching down
to the thigh. It was suspended on the back part of the thigh, almost to the
ground, but was not girded upon it; the horseman's sword was fixed on the saddle
by a girth. When David, in spirit invites the Redeemer of the church to gird his
sword upon his thigh, and the spouse says of the valiant of Israel, "every man
hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night" So 3:8, they do not
mean that the weapon was literally bound upon their thigh, but hung in the
girdle on the back part of it; for this was the mode in which, by the universal
testimony of ancient writers, the infantry wore their swords. It is still the
practice in the East to wear swords in this manner, for Chardin informs us, that
"the Eastern people wear their swords hanging down at length; and the Turks wear
their swords on horseback, and on their thigh." But in his poetical invitation
to the Redeemer, to gird his sword upon his thigh, David manifestly points to
some special occasion of solemn and official character; and a clear light is
thrown upon his meaning by a custom to this day observed in the East. "When a
Persian or an Ottoman prince ascends the throne, "says Mr. Morier, "he
girds on his sabre. Mohammed Jaffer, for example, was proclaimed by the Khan,
governor pro tempore, till the arrival of his brother, and was invested
in this dignity by the girding of a sword upon his thigh, and honour
which he accepted with a reluctance perhaps not wholly feigned." -- "This
ceremony, "says Dr. Davey, giving an account of an Eastern coronation, "remained
to be performed before the prince could be considered completely king--it was
that of choosing a new name, and putting on the regal sword. The prince went in
great state to the temple, where he presented offerings, and then, the sword
having been girded on his thigh, the priest presented a pot of sandal powder, in
which the prince, who may now be called king, dipped his fingers." From
these anecdotes, it is evident girding a sword on the thigh is part of the
ceremony of royal inauguration; and that when the psalmist addresses the
Messiah, he refers to his receiving the honours and powers of the Lord of all.
G. Paxton's Illustrations of Scripture.
Verse 3. Thy sword. The word of God is compared to such a
weapon, for the apostle informs us that it is quick, or living, and powerful,
and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of
the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and laying open the thoughts
and intents of the heart. It must be observed, however, that this description of
the word of God is applicable to it only when Christ girds it on, and employs it
as his sword. Of what use is a sword, even though it be the sword of Goliath,
while it lies still in its scabbard, or is grasped by the powerless hand of an
infant? In those circumstances it can neither conquer nor defend, however well
suited it might be to do both in the hand of a warrior. It is the same with the
sword of the Spirit. While it lies still in its scabbard, or is wielded only by
the infantile hand of Christ's ministers, it is a powerless and useless weapon;
a weapon at which the weakest sinner can laugh, and against which he can defend
himself with the utmost ease. But not so when he who is the Most Mighty girds it
on. Then it becomes a weapon of tremendous power, a weapon resistless as the
bolt of heaven. "Is not my word like a fire, and a hammer, saith the Lord, which
breaketh the rock in pieces?" It is indeed, for what can be more efficacious and
irresistible than a weapon sharper than a two edged sword, wielded by the arm of
omnipotence? What must his sword be whose glance is lightning? Armed with this
weapon, the Captain of our salvation cuts his way to the sinner with infinite
ease, though surrounded by rocks and mountains, scatters his strongholds and
refuges of lies, and with a mighty blow cleaves asunder his heart of adamant,
and lays him prostrate and trembling at his feet. Since such are the effects of
this weapon in the hand of Christ, it is with the utmost propriety that the
psalmist begins by requesting him to gird it on, and not suffer it to be
inactive in its scabbard, or powerless in the feeble grasp of his ministers.
Verse 3. O most mighty. Christ is almighty, and so able to
make good all that he speaketh, and to make his word of precept, promise, and
threatening effectual unto the errand for which it is sent. David
Verses 3-4. We may reflect with pleasure on the glorious
cause in which Christ is engaged, and the holy war which he carries on, and in
which he shall prosper. It is the cause of truth, of meekness, and
righteousness. His gospel, his sword, which is the word of God, tends to rectify
our errors by truth; to control our passions by that meekness which it promotes,
and to regulate our lives by the laws of righteousness which it inculcates. Let
us rejoice that this sacred cause has hitherto prospered, and shall prosper.
Job Orton, 1717-1783.
Verse 4. And in thy majesty ride prosperously, etc. The
wheels of Christ's chariot, whereupon he rideth when he goeth to conquer and
subdue new converts to his kingdom, are majesty, truth, meekness,
righteousness, manifested in the preaching of his gospel; majesty,
when the stately magnificence of his person and offices is declared;
truth, when the certainty of all that he teacheth in Scripture is known;
meekness, when his grace and mercy is offered to rebels; and
righteousness, when justification by faith in his name is clearly set
forth. Christ goeth no voyage in vain, he cometh not short of his intent and
purpose, but doth the work for which he cometh, preaching the gospel; in his
majesty, truth, meekness, and righteousness, he rideth prosperously.
Verse 4. Ride prosperously, because of truth, and meekness,
and righteousness. The literal translation would be, "Ride on the
word of truth, and the meekness of righteousness, "and so the Syriac has it. If
this rendering be adopted, the meaning will then be, that the great object of
Christ's gospel was to vindicate the cause of truth and righteousness in the
world. Christ is said to ride on the word of truth, because the knowledge of the
truth depends on the word--it is by the word that truth is made known. He is said
to ride on the meekness or humility of righteousness, because meekness or
humility is its distinguishing characteristic. The former relates to what man is
to believe, the latter to how he is to live. George Harpur.
Verse 4. Thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
This expression seems only used to imply, either that by his power he should be
enabled to do terrible things, because teaching enables men to do what they are
taught, or that by his almighty power he should experimentally see what great
and terrible things should by done by him. Arthur Jackson.
Verse 5. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's
enemies. In a still bolder metaphor the arrows which are discharged from
the bow of Christ are the preachers of the gospel, especially the apostles and
evangelists. "His sagittis, "says S. Jerome, "totus orbis vulneratus
et captus est." Paul, the apostle, was an arrow of the Lord, discharged from
his bow from Jerusalem to Illyricum, and from Illyricum to Spain, flying from
east to west, and subduing Christ's enemies beneath his feet. Christopher
Verse 5. While beseeching the Redeemer to ride forth
prosperously, and predicting his success, he seems suddenly to have seen his
prayers answered and his predictions fulfilled. He saw his all conquering Prince
gird on his resistless sword, array himself in glory and majesty, ascend the
chariot of his gospel, display the banner of his cross, and ride forth, as on
the wings of the wind, while the tremendous voice of a herald proclaimed before
him: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, "exalt the valleys, and level the hills;
make the crooked ways straight, and the rough places plain; for, behold, the
Lord God comes; he comes with a strong hand, his reward is with him, and his
work before him. From the bright and fiery cloud which enveloped his chariot,
and concealed it from mortal eyes, he saw sharp arrows of conviction shot forth
on every side, deeply wounding the obdurate hearts of sinners, and prostrating
them in crowds around his path, while his right hand extended raised them again,
and healed the wounds which his arrows had made; and his omnipotent voice spoke
peace to their despairing souls, and bade them follow in his train, and witness
and share in his triumph. From the same bright cloud he saw the vengeful
lightnings flashing thick and dreadful, to blast and consume everything that
opposed his progress; he saw sin, and death, and hell, with all its legions,
baffled, defeated, and flying in trembling consternation before him; he saw them
overtaken, bound, and chained to his triumphant chariot wheels; while enraptured
voices were heard from heaven exclaiming, "Now is come salvation, and strength,
and the kingdom of God, and the power of his Christ." Such was the scene which
seems to have burst upon the ravished sight of the entranced prophet.
Transported with the view, he exclaims, Thine arrows are sharp in the
heart of the King's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.
Verse 5. The king's enemies, is not simply an expression for
"Thy enemies, "as some think, but rather implies that Christ's kingship is the
ground of their enmity; just as in the second Psalm their cry was, "Let us break
their bands asunder." George Harpur.
Verse 6. Thy throne, O God. The original word is, probably
vocative, both in the Greek and in the Hebrew; and is so taken by modern
Unitarians, who seek their refuge by explaining away yeos. Henry Alford, D.D., on Heb 1:8.
Verse 7. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness.
Many a one loves righteousness, but would not be its champion; such a love is
not Christ's love. Many a one hates iniquity, not for its own sake, but for the
sake of its consequences; such a hate is not Christ's hate. To be like Christ we
must love righteousness as he loved, and hate wickedness as he hated. To love
and hate as he loves and hates is to be perfect as he is perfect. The perfection
of this love and hate is moral perfection. George Harpur.
Verse 7. Therefore. Observe how usual it is to impute
Christ's exaltation to his merits. God blessed him for ever, as in the second
verse of this Psalm (if such be the sense of that verse), because he was
fairer than the children of men, and grace was poured into his lips. And so the
apostle. God highly exalted him, and gave him a name above every name,
because he had humbled himself, and became obedient unto death. And here
God anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows, because he
loved righteousness and hated iniquity. George Harpur.
Verse 7. Therefore. He says not, "Wherefore he anointed thee
in order to thy being God, or King, or Son, or Word; "for so he was before, and
is for ever, as has been shown; but rather, "Since thou art God and King,
therefore thou wast anointed, since none but thou couldest unite man to the Holy
Ghost, thou the image of the Father, in which we were made in the beginning: for
thine is even the Spirit." Athanasius.
Verse 7. Therefore God, thy God. God was the God of Christ
in covenant, that he might be our God in covenant; for in his transactions,
whole Christ, Head and members, are to be considered Ga 3:16 1Co 12:12, the
covenant being first transacted with the Head (who is given for a covenant to
us, Isa 42:6), and then with the members, with him in reference to us and for
us. As God did not fail our surety, but supported him in his great conflict,
when out of the depths he called unto him; so neither will he fail us in time of
need. Heb 4:16 13:5-6. William Troughton.
Verse 7. Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil
of gladness above thy fellows; i.e., enriched and filled thee in a
singular manner with the fulness of the Spirit, whereby thou art consecrated to
thy office; and by reason whereof you out shine and excellest all the saints who
are thy fellows, or copartners in these graces. So that in these words
you have two parts, namely, first, the saint's dignity; and, secondly,
Christ's preeminence. First. The saint's dignity, which
consists in this, that they are Christ's fellows. The Hebrew word
(Kyrkxm), is very full and copious, and
is translated consorts, companions, copartners, partakers; or as ours reads it,
fellows; i.e., such as are partakers with him in the anointing of the
Spirit, who do in their measure receive the same Spirit, every Christian being
appointed, modo sibi proportionato, with the same grace and dignified
with the same titles. 1Jo 2:27 Re 1:6. Christ and the saints are in common one
with another. Doth the Spirit of holiness dwell in him? So he doth in them too.
Is Christ King and Priest? Why, so are they, too, by the grace of union with
him. He hath made us kings and priests to God and his Father. This is the
saints' dignity, to be Christ's fellows, consorts, or copartners; so that look
whatever grace or excellency is in Christ, it is not impropriated to himself,
but they do share with him; for indeed he was filled with the fulness of the
Spirit for their sakes and use. As the sun is filled with light not to shine to
itself, but to others, so is Christ with grace; and therefore some translate the
text not prae consortibus, above thy fellows, but propter
consortes, for thy fellows; (Rivetus), making Christ the first receptacle of
all grace, who first and immediately is filled from the fountain of the Godhead,
but it is for his people who receive and derive from him according to their
proportion. This is a great truth; and the dignity of the saints lies chiefly in
the partnership with Christ, though our translation, above thy fellows,
suits best both with the importance of the word and scope of the place.
Secondly. But then, whatever dignity is ascribed herein to the saints,
there is, and still must be, a preeminence acknowledged and ascribed to
Christ: if they are anointed with the spirit of grace, much more abundantly is
Christ: God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness
above thy fellows. John Flavel.
Verse 7. Oil of gladness. For sweet smelling oils were also
used to beautify the face upon occasions of feasting and mirth. Ps 23:5 104:15
Isa 61:3. And likewise this oil of consecration and infusion of the gifts of the
Holy Ghost hath been the cause and foundation of Christ's human nature's
obtaining of the everlasting joys and glory. Php 2:9 Heb 12:2. John
Verse 7. Behold, O ye Arians, and acknowledge even hence the
truth. The psalmist speaks of us all as fellows or partakers of
the Lord, but were he one of things which come out of nothing, and of things
generate, he himself had been one of those who partake. But since he hymned him
as the eternal God, saying, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,
and has declared that all other things partake of him, what conclusion must
we draw, but that he is distinct from generated things, and he only the Father's
veritable Word, Radiance, and Wisdom, which all things generate partake, being
sanctified by him in Spirit? And, therefore, he is here anointed, not
that he may become God, for he was so even before; nor that he may become king,
for he has the kingdom eternally, existing as God's image, as the sacred oracle
shows; but in our behalf is this written, as before. For the Israelitish kings,
upon their being anointed, then became kings, not being so before, as David, as
Ezekias, as Josias, and the rest; but the Saviour, on the contrary, being God,
and ever ruling in the Father's kingdom, and being himself the dispenser of the
Holy Ghost, nevertheless is here said to be anointed, that, as before, being
said as man to be anointed with the Spirit, he might provide for us more, not
only exaltation and resurrection, but the indwelling and intimacy of the
Spirit...And when he received the Spirit, we it was who, by him were made
recipients of it. And, moreover, for this reason, not as Aaron, or David, or the
rest, was he anointed with oil, but in another way, above all his fellows,
with the oil of gladness, which he himself interprets to be the
Spirit, saying by the prophet, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the
Lord hath anointed me; "as also the apostle has said, "How God anointed him with
the Holy Ghost." Athanasius.
Verse 8. All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia,
out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. Although
there is considerable obscurity overhanging these words, still the general idea
of a supereminent fulness of anointing is quite apparent, combined,
however, with the other idea that the anointing oil or ointment os of the
most exquisite quality. Myrrh, and aloes, and cassia were celebrated for
their peculiar fragrance, on which account they were used in compounding the
choicest unguents. Myrrh and cassia are mentioned in Ex 30:23-24, as two of the
spices of which the holy anointing oil was made up. All its ingredients were
considered sacred. The Israelites were forbidden to pour it upon man's flesh, or
to attempt any imitation of it in their own perfumes. Ivory was in early times,
as it still is, rare and costly, and it was highly esteemed as a material for
household decoration, on which the finest workmanship and the most princely
expenditures were displayed. In palaces of ivory, therefore, it was to be
expected that, in correspondence with the magnificence of their structure and
the costliness of their furniture, the ointment employed for anointing would be
of the richest perfume, and in the greatest profusion. According to our version
of the Psalm, the divine Saviour is thus represented as being anointed with oil
of the very best kind, even oil taken from the ivory palaces; and also as
receiving it in no ordinary measure. His anointing was not confined to a few
ceremonial drops poured upon the head, but so abundant is it said to have been,
that all his garments smelled of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia.
Bishop Horsley has proposed a change in the translation, by which means the idea
of abundance is connected, not with the fragrance arising from the anointing,
but with the anointing itself, which is a different and far more important
thing. "Thy garments are all myrrh, aloes, and cassia, excelling the palaces of
ivory, excelling those which delight thee." This translation, which is strictly
literal as well as poetical, is at the same time comparatively free from
obscurity, and it visibly sets forth, under the most expressive imagery, the
surpassing measure of that anointing which was conferred on our Lord above all
his fellows. His garments are supposed not merely to have been all richly
perfumed, or even thoroughly saturated with the oil of gladness, but to have
consisted of the very articles which entered into the composition of the most
precious and odoriferous unguent: Thy garments are all myrrh, aloes, and
cassia. This is figurative language, but nothing could more emphatically
exhibit how truly "the Spirit rested on Jesus, and abode with him" in all the
plenitude of his heavenly gifts. That heavenly anointing constituted, as it
were, his very dress, "excelling" in the quantity or measure of the anointing
"the palaces of ivory; "because their furniture, however highly scented, were
not made of aromatic materials. The strength of the perfumes would evaporate,
the fragrance would soon diminish; but permanent as well as plentiful fragrance
is secured to him whose "garments are all myrrh, aloes, and cassia." It is
added, in the way of parallelism, "excelling those which delight in thee, "or
those which make thee glad. To say that the persons here alluded to are the
occupiers of the ivory palaces, might perhaps be objected to as fanciful; but
palaces are the abodes of kings; and anointed kings wither literally, or
typically, or spiritually, are the fellows of the Lord's Anointed One; and it
does seem manifest that, as his anointing causes joy and gladness to all the
parties concerned in it, so likewise there is an anointing of those who are
honoured to be his fellows which causes joy and gladness to him. The persons who
are in the one verse spoken of as giving delight to Christ, there is no reason
to regard as any other than the persons spoken of in the former verse as his
"fellows." And if this is the case, then we have a comparison drawn
betwixt the one and the other in the matter of their anointing, and to that of
Christ a decided superiority is ascribed. David Pitcairn, in "The Anointed
Verse 8. All thy garments smell of myrrh, etc. These things
are true in Jesus; by his garments in meant his righteousness; for it is
written, He clothed himself with righteousness and zeal. And here the translator
hath put in smell, which rather should have been are, for "his
garments are of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, " that is, truly purging,
cleansing, and making sound; for his righteousness, which is the righteousness
of faith, maketh sound hearted Christians; whereas, man's righteousness, which
is the righteousness of works, maketh filthy hypocrites. And by "ivory
palaces, "is meant the true faith and fear of God; for ivory is solid and
white, and palaces are king's houses; and by Christ we are made kings, and our
dwelling is in faith and fear of God; and this is the gladness and joy of our
Lord Jesus, that he brings many sons and daughters unto God. Richard Coore,
Verse 8. Out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made
thee glad. Commentators have been more perplexed in explaining these
words than any other part of the Psalm. Not to detain you with the various
expositions that have been proposed, I will give you what I conceive to be the
meaning of the passage. The word rendered whereby, is also the name of a
region in Arabia Felix, namely, Minnaea, which, according to the geographer
Strabo, "abounded in myrrh and frankincense." Now, it is singular that,
according to the historian, Diodorus Siculus, "the inhabitants of Arabia Felix
had sumptuous houses, adorned with ivory and precious stones." Putting
these two things together, therefore, namely, that this region abounded in myrrh
and frankincense, and that its inhabitants adorned their houses with ivory, we
may, I conceive, find a clue to the psalmist's meaning. If we substitute
"Minnaea" for "whereby, "the passage will run thus--
"Myrrh, aloes, and cassia, are all thy garments.
From ivory palaces of Minnaea they have made thee glad."
You recollect in the verse just going before, the oil with
which Christ was said to be anointed, is called the oil of "gladness."
Accordingly, he is here said to be made glad (it is the same word in both
places in the Hebrew), by the spices of which that oil is composed. This spices
are said to have been brought out of the most spicy region of the land of
spices, and it is implied that they are the best spices of that spicy region.
Out of the ivory palaces, says the psalmist; not only houses, but
palaces--the mansions of the great, where the best spices would naturally be
kept--out of these have come the myrrh, aloes, and cassia, that have composed the
oil of gladness whereby thou art made glad. God anointed Christ, when he set him
on his everlasting throne, with the oil of gladness; and this anointing was so
profuse, his garments were so overspread with it, that they seemed to be nothing
but myrrh, aloes, and cassia. The spices, moreover, of which the anointing oil
was composed, were the best of their kind, brought, as they were, from the ivory
palaces of Minnaea. Such appears to be the psalmist's meaning; and when thus
understood, the passage becomes most beautifully expressive of the
excellency and unmeasured supply of the gifts and graces of that
Spirit with which Christ was anointed by his Father. George Harpur.
Verse 8. The ivory palaces. The ivory courts. Probably so
called from the great quantity of ivory used in ornamenting and inlaying them;
as the emperor Nero's palace, mentioned by Suetonius, was named, "aurea, "or
"golden, "because "lita auro, ""overlaid with gold." This method of
ornamenting or inlaying rooms was very ancient among the Greeks. Homer in the
fourth book of the Odyssey, seems to mention it, as employed in Menelaus's
palace at Lacedaemon; and that the Romans sometimes ornamented their apartments
in like manner, seems evident from Horace and Ovid. So in modern times, the
winter apartment of the fair Fatima at Constantinople, has been described by an
eye witness as "wainscotted with inlaid work of mother of pearl, ivory of
different colours, and olive wood." Ivory is likewise employed at
Aleppo, as Dr. Russell informs us, in the decoration of some of the more
expensive apartments. Richard Mant.
Verse 8. Ivory palaces. Either edifices 1Ki 22:39 So 7:14,
or ivory coffers, and wardrobes, whence those garments were taken, and are kept.
Westminster Assembly's Annotations.
Verse 8. Whereby they have made thee glad. The best sense of
the phrase--from which they rejoice thee --is had by making they
refer to the king's daughters mentioned in the next verse. William S.
Verse 8. Gesenius and Delitzsch consider (ynm) an abbreviated form of the plural (Mynm) Ps 105:4, "strings, "or "stringed instruments,
"and would render thus: --"Thee glad out of the ivory palaces stringed
instruments have made." Dalman Hapstone. (With this rendering Ewald
and Lange agree.) J. L. K.
Verse 9. King's daughters. Albeit the Catholic church
consisting of true converts or real saints be but the one and only true spouse
of Christ, yet particular visible churches consisting of saints by calling, by
obligation, by profession, and common estimation, their own or others, are many.
The true church consisting of true converts (whose praise is of God, to whom
only they are certainly known, and not of men), being but one, is compared to
the queen; but the particular, whose collections and consociations are
known to men, being many, are compared to ladies of honour who serve the
queen. David Dickson.
Verse 9. The queen. It is written of Matilda, the empress,
that she was the daughter of a king, the mother of a king, and the wife of a
Ortu magna, viro major, sed maxima prole,
Hic jacet Henrici filia, nupta, parens.
So David intimates in this hymn, that the church is the
daughter of a King, at the 13th verse, "The king's daughter is all glorious
within; "and the mother of a king, at the 16th verse, "Instead of thy fathers
shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth; "and the
wife of a king, in this verse, Upon thy right hand did stand the
queen, as being (I speak in the language of Canaan), spiritually the wedded
and bedded wife to the king of glory. John Boys.
Verse 10. Forget also thine own people, and thy father's
house. Three alls I expect you to part with, saith Christ. 1. All
your sinful lusts, all the ways of the old Adam, our Father's house. Ever since
Adam's apostasy, God and man have parted houses. Ever since, our Father's house
is a house of ill manners, a house of sin and wickedness. 2. All your worldly
advantages. "If any man come unto me, and hate not his father, and mother, and
wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he
cannot be my disciple." He that hath all these must be ready to part with all;
they are joined not disjunctively but copulatively. 3. All self, self will, self
righteousness, self sufficiencies, self confidence, and self seekings. Lewis
Verse 10. Forget also thine own people, and thy father's
house. If you see a bee leave a fair flower and stick upon another, you may
conclude that she finds most honey dew in that flower she most sticks upon: so
here God's people would never leave so many fair flowers in the world's garden,
had they not some other in which they find most sweetness. Christ hath his
garden, into which he brings his beloved, and there she finds other manner of
flowers than any the world hath, in which there is sweetness of a higher nature,
even the honey dew of the choice mercy and goodness and blessing of God himself:
if God's people do leave the full breasts of the world, it is because they have
found the breasts of consolation from which they have sucked other manner of
sweetness than the breast of the world can afford. Jeremiah Burroughs, in
"Moses, his self denial." 1649.
Verse 10. Forget. If thou be on the mountain, have no love
to look back to Sodom. If thou be in the ark, fly not back to the world, as the
raven did. If thou be set on Canaan, forget the flesh pots of Egypt. If marching
against Midian, forget stooping to the waters of Harod. Jud 7:1-25. If on the
house top, forget that is below thee. Mr 13:15. If thy hand be put to the
plough, forget that is behind thee. Lu 9:62. Themistocles desired rather to
learn the art of forgetfulness than of memory. Philosophy is an art of
remembering, divinity includes in it an art of forgetting. The first lesson that
Socrates taught his scholars was, Remember; for he thought that knowledge was
nothing else but a calling to remembrance of those things the mind knew ere it
knew the body. But the first lesson that Christ teacheth his scholars is,
Forget:Forget thine own people; "Repent" Mt 4:17; first,
"eschew evil, "1Pe 3:11. Thomas Adams.
Verse 11. So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty. This
is a most sweet promise. For the Holy Spirit knoweth that this monster, Monk,
sticks fast in our heart--that we want to be pure and without spot before God.
Thus, under Popery, all my temptation was this. I used to say, `that I would
willingly go to the sacrament if I were but worthy.' Thus we seek, naturally, a
purity in ourselves; and we examine our whole life and want to find a purity in
ourselves, that we might have no need of grace, but might be pronounced
righteous upon the grounds of our own merit...Thou wilt certainly never become
righteous by thyself and thine own works...The Holy Spirit saith, therefore, I
will give thee wholesome counsel; and if thou wilt hear me, thou shalt become a
virgin all fair. For, if thou wouldst be beautiful in the sight of God, so that
all thy works should please him, and he should say, "Thy prayer pleaseth me; all
that thou sayest, doest, and thinkest, pleaseth me!" proceed thou thus: "hear,
see, and incline thine ear; "and thou shalt thus become all fair. When thou hast
heard, hast seen, hast forgotten all thine own righteousness, all the law, all
traditions, and all that monkery, and hast believed, then art thou fair; not in
thine own beauty, but in the beauty of the King who has adorned thee with his
Word; because he has brought unto thee thereby his righteousness, his holiness,
truth, and fortitude, and all the gifts of the Holy Spirit...The Holy Spirit
uses the most exalted language. So shall the king greatly desire thy
beauty: that is, thou wilt by this faith prevail upon him to do whatever
thou desirest: so that, as one urged by the power of love, he will spontaneously
follow thee, abide with thee, and take up his abode with thee. For wherever God
has given his Word, there he does not leave his work which he has begun in thee;
but he brings upon thee first the temptations of the world, the devil, and the
flesh; that by them he may work upon thee. These are his embraces whereby he
embraces his spouse through impatience of love...The sum of the whole therefore,
is this: That our beauty does not consist in our own virtues, now even in the
gifts which we have received from God, by which we put forth virtues, and do all
those things which pertain unto the life of the law; but in this--our
apprehending Christ and believing in him. Then it is that we are truly
beautiful: and it is this beauty alone that Christ looks upon, and upon no
other. Martin Luther.
Verse 11. In this Psalm Christ is set forth in all his
royalty and majesty; yet he is said greatly to desire or delight in the
beauty of his queen, that is, the graces of the saints; and that not with
an ordinary delight, but he "greatly desires; "his desire is increased as
her beauty is. For that is there brought in as a motive unto her to be more holy
and conformed unto him, "to incline her ear, and forsake her father's house."
So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty. Christ hath a beauty
that pleaseth him as well as we have, though of another kind; and, therefore,
ceaseth not till he hath got out every spot and wrinkle out of his spouse's
face, as the apostle speaks Eph 5:27, "so as to present her glorious unto
himself, "that it, delightful and pleasing in his eyes. Thomas Goodwin.
Verse 12. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a
gift. The daughters of Tyre are the daughters of the Gentiles, the part
standing for the whole. Tyre, a city bordering on this country where the
prophecy was delivered, typified the nations that were to believe in Christ.
Thence came that Canaanitish woman, who was at first called a dog; for
that ye may know that she was from thence, the gospel speaks thus Mt 15:21-28,
"Jesus departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of
Canaan came out of the same coasts, "with all the rest that is related there.
She who at first, at the house of her "father, "and among her "own people, "was
but a dog, who by coming to, and crying after that "King, "was made
beautiful by believing in him, what did she obtain to hear? "O woman, great
is thy faith." The King has greatly desired thy beauty.
Verse 12. With a gift. Those who sold their property, came
with presents to entreat the face of this "queen, "and "laid what they brought
at the apostle's feet." Warm then was love in the church. Augustine.
Verse 12. The rich. They are, indeed, rich in grace, whose
graces are not hindered by riches, whose souls prosper when their bodies
prosper, as the apostle John speaks in his third Epistle; or, who, as it is
prophesied in the verse, being full of worldly blessings, are yet hungry and
eager in their pursuit after Christ. The daughter of Tyre shall be
there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy
favour, saith the psalmist; that is, either the favour of Christ himself, or
the favour of the church, by reason of that spiritual excellence and inward
glory which she hath received from Christ. Now, to see the rich bring their
gifts, and, which is the thing chiefly aimed at here, giving up themselves to
Christ, this is a rare sight, and a remarkable work of grace. Joseph
Verse 13. The king's daughter is all glorious within, etc.
When the children of God recollect their glorious and heavenly pedigree, they
endeavour to excel others, both in the beautiful disposition of soul and manner
of life. The king's daughter, that is, the daughter of the heavenly
Father, who is also the bride of the king's Son; every believing soul is all
glorious, adorned with a holiness not only glorious to herself, but also to
the Father and the Bridegroom, and is the beginning of a heavenly glory; and
that chiefly within, not only when she appears abroad, and presents
herself to the view of men, but also when she sits in the inner bed chamber in
the secret exercises of religion, in which she in private pleases the Father and
the Bridegroom, who having a regard to the inward man, she above all endeavours
to keep that pure and chaste. Her clothing is of gold; in comparison of
which whatever excellency natural men were even possessed of, is but a shining
vanity; nay, it was wrought gold, curiously beautified with various
resemblances, which represents the perfections of God himself; and of different
colours, on account of the different yet harmoniously corresponding graces of
the Holy Spirit; or of needlework of the Phrygian embroiderers, or rather the
work of the cunning workman, mentioned in So 7:1. Nor is the spouse only
beautiful within, but also without; "holding forth the word of life, "Php 2:16,
she practises charity, glorifies Christ, edifies her neighbour, and in this
manner she is brought unto the king, worthy to be presented to him. This is the
only way by which we are to endeavour to obtain familiarity with him, and the
sweetest intercourse of the most chaste love, both on earth and in heaven.
Hermann Witsius. 1636-1708.
Verse 13. The king's daughter is all glorious within. The
meaning is, either (1.) that her chief glory consisted in this, that she was
admitted to such a familiar privacy with the king; or, (2.) that when she sat in
the inmost rooms of the king's palace, she was there in her greatest glory,
because those rooms were most gorgeously set forth with all kinds of bravery and
glorious furniture; or, (3.) that she used to be gloriously attired, not only
when she went abroad in public, but also when she stayed within, as being indeed
adorned (which may be implied) only for the delight of the king, and not that
others might gaze upon her; or, (4.) --which I like best--that the inward virtues
and endowments of her mind were her greatest ornament and glory. Arthur
Verse 13. All glorious within. Saints must shine by the
comeliness of Christ, as a gracious husband labours to change his spouse into
his own image and likeness by kindnesses, precepts, and example, that he may
take the more delight in her person; so does our spiritual Solomon change the
hue of his Egyptian queen to deem of things and persons as her Lord and husband
judges, and frames her spirit to delight in doing his will and pleasure, and
take the highest solace in obedience, to enjoy a heavenly freedom, mixed with
amiable and joyful reverence. He roots out of her heart all changeable
affections and worldly fancies, and hankering longings after the fond fashions
of Shechem, and all carnal inclinations to the daughters of Canaan's lineage,
and all the beggardly humours of the besotted world, and to pass by with a holy
scorn all the pitiful pageantry of this perishing and fading life, and rise to a
mean estimate of the baubles and trifles that enchant a carnal heart. At length
she arrives to a noble and generous judgment, counting all but dung and dross
that she may win Christ. As her prince of life was crucified by the world for
her redemption, so she begins to be crucified to it in token of conformity to
him, and at length becomes all glorious within. Samuel Lee, in "The
Triumph of Mercy." 1676.
Verse 13. Within. The ark was pitched within by the same
pitch with which it was pitched withal; such is the sincere man, within and
without alike, inside and outside, all one. Yea, he is rather better than he
shows, as the king's daughter, whose outside might sometimes be
sackcloth, yet was all glorious within, and her inward garments
of wrought gold. Or as the temple, outwardly nothing but wood and stone to
be seen, inwardly all rich and beautiful, especially the sanctum
sanctorum (when the veil was drawn) was all gold. The very floor, as well as
the roof, was overlaid with gold. 1Ki 6:30. John Sheffield.
Verse 13. Her clothing is of wrought gold. Some read it
purled works, or closures of gold, enamelled gold, such as
precious stones were set in, which were exceeding splendid and
glorious; such were the clothes of service in the tabernacle, and the
garments and robes of the high priest, which shadowed forth Christ's
righteousness. Ex 28:11-14 Ex 39:1-6. William Troughton.
Verse 13. About this time, Father La Combe was called to
preach on some public occasion. The new doctrine, as it was termed, was not
altogether a secret. Public curiosity had become excited. He choose for his text
the passage in Ps 45:13, The king's daughter is all glorious within:
her clothing is of wrought gold. By the king he understood Christ; by
the king's daughter, the church. His doctrine was, whatever might be true
in regard to men's original depravity, that those who are truly given to Christ,
and are in full harmony with him, are delivered from it: that is to say, are
all glorious within. Like Christ, they love God with a love free
from selfishness, with pure love. Like Christ, they are come to do the
will of the Father. Christ is formed in them. They not only have faith in
Christ, and faith in God through Christ, but, as the result of this faith, they
have Christ's disposition. They are now in a situation to say of themselves
individually, in the language of the apostle Paul, "I live, and yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me." He did not maintain that all Christians are
necessarily the subjects of this advanced state of Christian experience, but
endeavoured to show that this is a possible state; that, however intense
human depravity may be, the grace of God has power to overcome it; that the
example of Christ, the full and rich promises, and even the commands, give
encouragement to effort, and confidence in ultimate victory. From the "Life,
Religious Opinions and Experience of Madame de la Mothe Guyon."
Verse 14. The virgins, her companions that follow her, shall
be brought unto thee. The highest and most excellent Christian cannot
say, I have no need of thee: the queen will not be without any of
her true companions. As it is in the body natural, so it is in the
church of Christ, or body mystical; all the members being fitly joined
together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the
effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the
body to the edifying of itself in love. Eph 4:16 Col 2:19. William
Verse 14. The virgins her companions that follow her. These
are members of the church, but the figure of a bridal train is employed to
sustain the allegory. What bright train the Royal Bride will have as she goes
forth to meet the Bridegroom! King's daughters will be there, for every crowned
head on earth shall one day bow at the foot of the cross. The daughter of Tyre
shall be there--Tyre, the ancient emporium of the nations--to show that the
merchandise of the world shall be holiness from the Lord. The kings of Sheba and
Seba shall offer gifts. Jews and Gentiles will be there-- representatives from
all peoples, and tongues, and nations. They are virgins. They keep
themselves unspotted from the world. They are weaned from its idols; they dread
its contaminations. Their first care is to preserve the whiteness of their souls
by daily washing in the blood of the Lamb...They follow the royal Bride.
They keep by her side in storm and sunshine. They follow her in the
regeneration. They follow her in the search after her Beloved. So 3:2-3. They
follow her to the green pastures and the still waters. They follow her without
the camp bearing his reproach. Like Ruth, they leave father and mother to follow
her. Ru 1:16. Like Caleb, they follow the Lord fully. When a crisis comes, and
the question, "Who is on the Lord's side?" involves heavy issues, and hollow
hearted professors fly away like swallows before the storm, they follow her.
When persecution comes, and Christ's faithful witnesses have to prophesy clothed
in sackcloth, and perhaps to pass through a baptism of blood to the crown, they
follow her: like Peden, when--the bloodhounds of persecution in full chase after
him, and the lone moor his home--he thought of Richard Cameron gone to glory, and
sighed "Oh, to be with Richie!" Duncan Macgregor, M.A., in "The Shepherd of
Israel; or, Illustrations of the Inner Life," 1869.
Verse 15. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought.
No marriage was ever consummated with that triumphal solemnity as the marriage
of Christ and believers shall be in heaven. Among the Jews the marriage house
was called bethillulah --the house of praise; there was joy on all hands,
but not like the joy that will be in heaven when believers, the spouse of
Christ, shall be brought thither. God the Father will rejoice to behold
the blessed accomplishment and consummation of that glorious design and project
of his love. Jesus Christ the Bridegroom will rejoice to see the travail
of his soul, the blessed birth and issue of all his bitter pangs and agonies.
Isa 53:11. The Holy Spirit will rejoice to see the complement and
perfection of that sanctifying design which was committed to his hand 2Co 5:5;
to see those souls, whom he once found as rough stones, now to shine as the
bright polished stones of the spiritual temple. Angels will rejoice;
great was the joy when the foundation of this design was laid, in the
incarnation of Christ Lu 2:13; great, therefore, must their joy be when the top
stone is set up with shouting, crying, Grace, grace. The saints
themselves shall rejoice unspeakably, when they shall enter into the king's
palace, and be for ever with the Lord. 1Th 4:17. Indeed, there will be joy on
all hands, except among the devils and damned, who shall gnash their teeth with
envy, at the everlasting advancement and glory of believers. John Flavel.
Verse 15. They shall be brought. Reader! do not fail to
observe the manner of expression, the church is brought, she doth not
come of herself. No, she must be convinced, converted, made willing. No
one can come to Christ, except the Father, who hath sent Christ, draw him. Joh
6:44. Robert Hawker, D.D.
Verse 15. They shall enter into the king's palace. There are
two rich palaces mentioned in this Psalm: the one an ivory palace Ps 45:8,
whereby is signified the assemblies of the saints, and ordinances of divine
worship, in which the Lord manifests himself graciously. Here the presence of
the Lord is sweet and amiable. So 1:8 Ps 84:2. The other "palace" is mentioned
in this fifteenth verse, and it is a palace of glory, a palace more bright and
splendid than the finest gold glorious mansions. Joh 14:2. William
Verse 16. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children. O
church of God, think not thyself abandoned then, because thou seest not Peter,
nor seest Paul--seest not those through whom thou wast born. Out of thine own
offspring has a body of "fathers" been raised up to thee. Augustine.
Verse 16. Thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all
the earth. The new connexion is glorious to the King. Many were his
glorious and royal ancestors down to Jesse, but now there are born to him, the
Eternal King, sons as the dew from the womb of the morning Ps 110:3, who shall,
as princes, occupy the thrones of the world. So our Lord promised to his
disciples, "Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the
regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also
shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Mt 19:28.
And Paul says, "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" 1Co 6:2.
Augustus F. Tholuck.
Verse 16. Princes in all the earth. Others are but princes
in their own dominion, but he will make you princes in all lands...Such a
kingdom you shall have, if you will come into Christ, you shall have the liberty
of kings, the abundance and plenty of kings, the power of kings, the victory of
kings, and the glory of kings. John Preston.
Verse 17. Therefore shall the people praise thee. Christ's
espousing unto himself a church, and gathering more and more from age to age by
his word and Spirit unto it, his converting souls and bringing them into the
fellowship of his family, and giving unto them princely minds and affections,
wherever they live, is a large matter of growing and everlasting glory unto his
majesty; for in regard of this point, and what is said before in this Psalm, he
addeth as the close of all, Therefore shall the people praise thee.
Verse 17. In the Hebrew text, which is here quoted, there is
a particle added to the word ever, which in that case intends a proper
everlastingness, without any period or end at all, and thereupon translated
for ever and ever. William Gouge, D.D., on Heb 1:8.
Verse 17. (last clause):
"When morning gilds the skies,
My heart awakening cries;
May Jesus Christ be praised."
"When sleep her balm denies,
My silent spirit sighs;
May Jesus Christ be praised."
"In heaven's eternal bliss,
The loveliest strain is this;
May Jesus Christ be praised."
"To God the Word on high.
The hosts of angels cry;
May Jesus Christ be praised."
"Let mortals too, upraise
Their voice in hymns of praise;
May Jesus Christ be praised."
"Let earth's wide circle round,
In joyful notes resound;
May Jesus Christ be praised."
"Let air, and sea, and sky,
From depths to height reply;
May Jesus Christ be praised."
"Be this while life is mine,
My canticles divine;
May Jesus Christ be praised."
"Be this the eternal song
Through all the ages on;
May Jesus Christ be praised."
--Translated by Edward Caswall, in "Poems." 1861.
HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER
Verse 1. In the preface, the prophet commends the subject he
is to treat of, signifying,
1. That it is a good matter--good as speaking of the Son
of God, who is the chief good.
2. Good for us; for upon the marriage of Christ to his
church depends our good. Bishop Nicholson.
Verse 1. Character read by heart writing.
1. The true lover of Christ is sincere--my heart?
2. He is a man of emotion.
3. A man of holy meditation.
4. A man of experience--things I have made.
5. A man who bears witness for his Lord.
Verse 1. Three things requisite for Christian teaching:
1. That the matter be good; and concerning the best of all
subjects, touching the King.
2. That the language be fluent like the pen, etc.--(a) Partly from nature,
(b) Partly from cultivation, (c) Partly from the Spirit of God.
3. That the heart be absorbed in it--My heart is
inditing. G. R.
Verse 2. In what respects Jesus is fairer than the best of
Verse 2. Jesus--his person, his gospel, his fulness of
1. We may and ought to praise Christ. Angels do, God does, Scripture does, Old Testament saints and New, so
should we. It is the work of heaven begun on earth.
2. For what should we praise him? (a) For his beauty. Is wisdom beauty? Is righteousness? Is love?
Is meekness? All are found in him supremely--"All human beauties, all divine,
In our Redeemer meet and shine." (b) For his grace. Grace of God treasured up in him.
3. For his blessedness--of God and for ever. G.R.
Verses 2-5. In these verses the Lord Jesus is presented,
1. As most amiable in himself.
2. As the great favourite of heaven.
3. As victorious over his enemies.
Verses 3-5. Messiah's victory predicted and desired. E.
1. Arrows of judicial wrath are sharp.
2. Arrows of providential goodness are sharper still.
3. Arrows of subduing grace are sharpest of all. The quiver of
the Almighty is full of these arrows. G.R.
Verse 5. Arrows--what they are; whose they are; whom they
strike; where they strike; what they do; and what follows.
Verse 6. The God, the King, his throne, its duration, his
sceptre. Let us worship, obey, trust, acquiesce, rejoice.
Verses 6-7. Empire, Eternity, Equity, Establishment,
Verse 7. Thou hatest wickedness. He hated it when it
assailed him in his temptation, hated it in others, denounced it, died to slay
it, will come to condemn it.
Verse 7. Christ's love and hate.
Verse 8. Christ's garments--his offices, his two natures, his
ordinances, his honours, all are full of fragrance.
Verse 8. Whereby they have made thee glad. We make Jesus
glad by our love, our praise, our service, our gifts, our holiness, our
fellowship with him.
1. The odour of his garments, not of blood and battle, but of
2. The splendour of his palaces--ivory for rareness, purity,
3. The source of his delight. (a) Himself, the sweet odour of his own graces.
(b) His people, the savour of those who are saved. (c) His enemies, "even in them that perish."
(d) All holy happy creatures who unite to make him glad.
Verses 9-10. The connections of the Bridegroom are to be remembered,
those of the Bride to be forgotten.
Verse 10. "Christ the best husband: or, an earnest
invitation to young women to come and see Christ." George Whitefield's
"Sermon, Preached to a Society of Young Women, in Fetter Lane."
Verse 11. So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty.
Christ delighting in the Beauty of the Righteous. Martin Luther. (Select
Works, by H. Cole. I. 281.)
1. The Bride's new name --"The king's daughter." She is
the king's daughter for two reasons. (a) She is born of God; and (b) She is espoused to the Son of God.
2. The Bride's character --"All glorious within." (a) Because Christ reigns on the throne of her heart.
(b) Because she is the temple of the Holy Ghost.
3. The Bride's raiment --"wrought gold, " "needlework:"
this is the righteousness of Christ; in other words, His perfect
obedience, and His atoning death.
4. The Bride's companion --"Virgins that follow her."
5. The Bride's home going --"She shall be brought unto
the king in raiment of needlework...With gladness and rejoicing shall they be
brought: they shall enter into the king's palace." (a) She shall see the king in his beauty.
(b) There will be an open declaration of his love to
her before all worlds. Duncan Macgregor, M.A.
1. Christ is the Father's delight. "I will make, "etc.
2. He is the church's theme--his name shall be remembered; and
3. He is heaven's glory, "Shall praise thee, "etc. G.R.
WORKS UPON THE FORTY-FIFTH PSALM
Exposition of Psalm XLV, in the works of JOHN BOYS, Dean of
Canterbury. 1638. Folio edition, pages 920-931.
The Mystery of the Marriage Song, and Mutual Spiritual
Embraces between Christ and his Spouse, opened as an Exposition with
practical notes and observations on the whole Forty-fifth Psalm. By W.
TROUGHTON, Minister of the Gospel. 1656.
In "Christ set forth in all types, figures, and obscure
places of the Scripture, by RICHARD COORE, 1683, "there is an
Exposition of this Psalm.
A Treatise of Solomon's Marriage; or, a Congratulation for the
happie and hopeful Marriage betweene the most illustrious and Noble Prince,
Fredericke the V. Count Palatine of Rhine...and the most gratious and excellent
Princisse, the Lady Elizabeth, sole daughter unto the high and mighty Prince
James, by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland. Joyfully
solemnized on the 14th day of February, 1612...(On Ps 45:10-16. By ANDREW
The Bride Royall; or, the Spirituall Marriage betweene Christ
and his Church. Delivered by way of congratulation upon the happy and
hopeful marriage betweene the two incomparable Princes, the Palsegrave, and the
Ladie Elizabeth. In a sermon...By GEORGE WEBBE. 1613...(On Ps 45:13-15)
Psalm XLV applied to Messiah's First Advent, and Psalm XLV applied to Messiah's Second Advent, in pages 242-341, of The
Anointed Saviour set forth as the Principal Object of Saving
Faith. By the Rev. DAVID PITCAIRN. 1846.
Five Discourses on Christ in the Psalms. An Exposition
of the second, forty-fifth and hundred and tenth Psalms. In a series of
Discourses. By the Rev. GEORGE HARPUR, B.A. London: Wertheim, Macintosh, and