Psalm 45 makes my head almost explode. There is something contained within its verses that for me seems impossible to be there. Yet it is there. My mindset in reading the psalms is to let them speak for themselves in the context in which they were originally given. Once we understand the original context, then we can add what was later revealed. I’ll get to the apocalypse contained in Psalm 45 in my next post. I just had to get this seeming impossibility off my chest.
One thing that I often think is that the OT prophets [and psalmists] did not understand everything that they were writing. One of those things that I think they didn’t understand was the deity of the Messiah. How could they have understood that the coming Savior/Redeemer/Seed Promise would actually be God in the flesh? Those who witnessed the ministry, miracles, and teachings of Jesus seemed to have categorized Him as simply a prophet. Not until after His resurrection and ascension into heaven was it revealed that Jesus is truly both Son of God, and God in the flesh. Or so I think in my mind.
Erroneous. My thinking is completely wrong. This study in Psalm 45 is not the first time I have had this revealed to me. I just keep forgetting. Perhaps (I fool myself into thinking) even though the prophets were prophesying that the Messiah would be David’s Lord ~ Psalm 110:1, the Mighty God ~ Isaiah 9:6, and that there would be no god beside Him ~ Deuteronomy 32:39-43 w/ Romans 15:10, perhaps they really didn’t understand what they were saying. Maybe they didn’t really believe that God would take on flesh and exist here on earth living His life along with us. Perhaps it was metaphoric language. God would figuratively dwell on earth. God’s presence would come to earth through the Shekinah glory. Some person, like David, would be here vicariously in His place. God would reign from the heavens instead of condescending to be with mankind. A number of explanations come to my mind to try to explain that perhaps these OT prophets could not have possibly conceived that God would become a man and be a king over all the earth.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
That’s why Psalm 45 makes my head almost explode. There is no possible way that you can read verses 6 and 7 and believe that the psalmist was writing about anything but a king here on earth who is God, yet has been anointed by a God, who is described as His God, that is, the God of this God-King. One who is anointed = Anointed One = Messiah. God is both the One who anoints the God-King and the God-King at the same time. Such language stops me in my tracks. The psalmist must have believed in a God-in-the-flesh-Messiah who would one day rule the earth. No wonder the writer to the Hebrews quoted this very passage when asserting the superiority of God’s Son to the angels, Hebrews 1:8-9.
The only explanation is that the OT prophets knew of a God/Messiah/King who would come and rule here on earth. This would explain many misunderstandings concerning the rejection of Jesus. They had could not conceive of a time for Messiah to come and be exiled from earth, even though the OT scriptures prophesy of this as well. When Jesus spoke of His anointing to the citizens of His hometown as recorded in Luke 4:16-21, wouldn’t the obvious conclusion be to link the passage He quoted from Isaiah 61 with passages like Psalm 45? Surely He was anointed by God the Father at His baptism. Psalm 45 demonstrates that God in the flesh would be anointed by God because of His love for righteousness and hatred for wickedness. The Pharisees struggled with Jesus’ assertion that Messiah must be David’s Lord, Mark 12:35-37, yet the great crowd heard this saying gladly. Perhaps the average fisherman understood the scriptures better than the trained scholars.
After examining Psalm 45 I believe it was written during the days of Solomon, perhaps even by Solomon. First, the word “love” in the title means “beloved” and has the same root as the word translated “beloved” in Song of Solomon. (32 of 53 times in the OT are contained in Song of Solomon.) So it is a song for the beloved one. The word translated “fairer” in verse 2 is used 3 times in Song of Solomon. (3 of 8 times in the OT are contained in Song of Solomon.) The word translated “fellows” in verse 7 is only used 11 times in the OT, 4 of those being in the writings of Solomon.
The perfumes in verse 8 are reminiscent of the descriptions of the perfumes from Song of Solomon as well. Myrrh is spoken of 11 times total in the OT; 7 in Song of Solomon and 1 in Proverbs. Aloe is used 4 times in the OT, 2 of those in the writings of Solomon. It was not until the days of Solomon that a throne was erected for the queen. The gold from Ophir must be a reference to the gold which was brought from Ophir during the days of Solomon, I Kings 9:28, 10:11, II Chronicles 8:18, 9:10.
The word for “desire” in verse 11 is a word that can mean crave or lust. 7 out of 26 times it is used in Solomon’s writings. Favorable relations with Tyre in verse 12 also remind us of the days of Solomon. The female virgin companions of verse 14 remind of us the daughters of Jerusalem from the Song of Solomon. At the very least, the language of Psalm 45 was contemporary with the language used in the writings of Solomon.
Next, I will show that Psalm 45 gives us an apocalyptic view into the reign of the Messiah. Until then…
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman