She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought to you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)In raiment of needlework.—This is now more generally understood of rich tapestry carpets spread for the procession. (Comp. Æsch. Agam. 908-910.)Psalm 45:14-15. She shall be brought unto the king — He alludes to the custom of conducting the bride to the bridegroom’s house; in raiment of needlework — The image of God, the divine nature, the robe of righteousness, the garment of salvation. The virgins, her companions — Her bride-maidens, attending upon her, called the honourable women, Psalm 45:9. (where see the note,) and here virgins, because of their spiritual purity and chastity, 2 Corinthians 11:2. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought — Full of joy, for the glory and felicity of the bride and bridegroom, and for the comfort and benefit which redound to themselves therefrom.
In raiment of needlework - The word used here means properly "something variegated" or "versicolored," and would here denote a garment of divers colors, or "versicolored raiment." The word - רקמה riqmâh - occurs in the following places: Judges 5:30, twice, where (as here) it is rendered "needlework;" 1 Chronicles 29:2; Ezekiel 17:3, rendered "divers colors;" and Ezekiel 16:10, Ezekiel 16:13, Ezekiel 16:18; Ezekiel 26:16; Ezekiel 27:7, Ezekiel 27:16, Ezekiel 27:24, where it is rendered "broidered work." It has reference probably to embroidery or needlework, though the particular idea is rather that of the variegated "appearance" of the garment than to the manner in which it is made.
The virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee - literally, "virgins after her, her companions, brought unto thee." That is, they will be brought to the king. They will come in the same state as the queen herself; they, her companions, will be of so illustrious rank and birth, and apparelled with so much richness, that even "they" will be regarded as worthy to be treated as queens, or in the manner of queens. The design of the whole is to show the rank, the dignity, the splendor of the bride; herself gorgeously apparelled, and attended with companions so exalted as to he worthy of being treated as queens themselves. If this is to be regarded as applicable to the church, "the Lamb's wife" Revelation 21:9, it is designed to describe that church as beautiful and glorious, and as worthy of the affection of its Saviour. Compare Ephesians 5:27.
in raiment of needlework—propose another rendering, "on variegated (or embroidered) cloths"—that is, in the manner of the East, richly wrought tapestry was spread on the ground, on which the bride walked. As the dress had been already mentioned, this seems to be a probable translation.
Her companions, i.e. her bridemaidens attending upon her, called her honourable women, Psalm 45:9, See Poole "Psalm 45:9", and here
virgins, because of their spiritual purity and chastity, 2 Corinthians 11:2. John 17:24;
the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee; such who are betrothed as chaste virgins to Christ, who strictly and chastely adhere unto him, love him in the singleness of their hearts; are incorrupt in faith and worship, and of pure and upright conversations; see Revelation 14:4; these are the "companions" of the church, who are partakers of the same grace, enjoy the same privileges, and share in the common salvation; and, as they are partners together in sufferings, they will be in glory: these "follow" the footsteps of the flock, walk after the church in the path of doctrine and duty; are followers of her, as she is of the Lord, in the word and ordinances, and in the exercise of faith and patience; these, even everyone, shall be brought unto the King, not one shall be lost, or left behind: whither they shall be brought, and the manner in which, are expressed in Psalm 45:15.She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. In raiment of embroidery shall she be conducted to the king, in solemn and stately procession, accompanied by a train of attendants such as befits a king’s daughter. Cp. Esther 2:9. For mention of embroidery cp. Exodus 28:39; Jdg 5:30; &c. Other but less probable renderings are, on tapestry or carpets of divers colours, or, into tapestry-curtained chambers.Verse 14. - She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework; i.e. in garments richly embroidered. Such were known to the Hebrews from the time of the Exodus (Exodus 28:4, 39), and were worn by princeases in David's day (2 Samuel 13:18). Brides were commonly "led" into the presence of the bridegroom. The virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee (comp. ver. 9). A virgin train follows the bride as she is led to the palace of the bridegroom, for a royal bride necessarily had her attendants. These symbolize the Gentile converts that should attach themselves to the original Church, and follow that Church into Christ's presence. Revelation 19:7.). It is this final ga'mos which the Psalm, as a song of the congregation, when the light was dawning upon the Old Testament church, sees by anticipation, and as it were goes forth to meet it, rejoicing to behold it afar off. The king's garments are so thoroughly scented with costly spices that they seem to be altogether woven out of them. And מנּי out of the ivory palaces enchant him. This מנּי has been taken mostly, according to Isaiah 59:18 (cf. also Isaiah 52:6), as a repetition of the מן: "out of ivory palaces, whence they enchant thee." But this repetition serves no special purpose. Although the apocopated plural in ı̂, instead of ı̂m, is controvertible in Biblical Hebrew (vid., on Psalm 22:17; 2 Samuel 22:44), still there is the venture that in this instance מנּי is equivalent to מנּים, the music of stringed instruments (Psalm 150:4); and if in connection with any Psalm at all, surely we may venture in connection with this Psalm, which in other respects has such an Aramaic or North-Palestinian colouring, to acknowledge this apocope, here perhaps chosen on account of the rhythm. In accordance with our historical rendering of the Psalm, by the ivory palaces are meant the magnificent residences of the king, who is the father of the bride. Out of the inner recesses of these halls, inlaid within with ivory and consequently resplendent with the most dazzling whiteness, the bridegroom going to fetch his bride, as he approaches and enters them, is met by the sounds of festive music: viewed in the light of the New Testament, it is that music of citherns or harps which the seer (Revelation 14:2) heard like the voice of many waters and of mighty thunder resounding from heaven. The Old Testament poet imagines to himself a royal citadel that in its earthly splendour far surpasses that of David and of Solomon. Thence issues forth the sound of festive music zealous, as it were, to bid its welcome to the exalted king.
Even the daughters of kings are among his precious ones. יקר is the name for that which is costly, and is highly prized and loved for its costliness (Proverbs 6:26). The form בּיקּרותיך resembles the form ליקּהת, Proverbs 30:17, in the appearance of the i and supplanting the Sheba mobile, and also in the Dag. dirimens in the ק (cf. עקּבי, Genesis 49:17; מקּדשׁ, Exodus 15:17).
(Note: It is the reading of Ben-Naphtali that has here, as an exception, become the receptus; whereas Ben-Asher reads בּיקּרותיך. Saadia, Rashi, Simson ha-Nakdan and others, who derive the word from בּקּר (to visit, wait on), follow the receptus, comparing משׁיסּה, Isaiah 42:24, in support of the form of writing. Also in ליקּהת, Proverbs 30:17; ויללת, Jeremiah 25:36; כּיתרון, Ecclesiastes 2:13, the otherwise rejected orthography of Ben-Naphtali (who pointed ויחלּוּ, Job 29:21, לישׂראל, ויתּן, and the like) is retained, as quite an exception, in the textus receptus. Vide S. D. Luzzatto, Prolegomeni, cxcix., and Grammatica della Lingua Ebraica, 193.)
Now, however, he has chosen for himself his own proper wife, who is here called by a name commonly used of Chaldaean and Persian queens, and, as it seems (cf. on Judges 5:30), a North-Palestinian name, שׁגל,
(Note: Bar-Ali says that in Babylonia Venus is called ודלפת שגל, vid., Lagarde, Gesammelte Abhandl. S. 17. Windischmann (Zoroastrische Studien, S. 161) erroneously compares ćagar (pronounced tshagar) as a name of one of the two wives of Zarathustra; but it happens that this is not the name of the wife who holds the first rank (Neo-Persic padishāh-zen), but of the second (ćakir-zen, bond-woman).)
instead of גּבירה. From the fact that, glittering with gold of Ophir, she has taken the place of honour at the right hand of the king (נצּבה, 3rd praet., not part.), it is evident that her relationship to the king is at this time just in the act of being completed. Who are those daughters of kings and who is this queen standing in closest relationship to the king? The former are the heathen nations converted to Christ, and the latter is the Israel which is remarried to God in Christ, after the fulness of the heathen is come in. It is only when Israel is won to Him, after the fulness of the heathen is come in (Romans 11:25), that the morning of the great day will dawn, which this Psalm as a song of the church celebrates. בּנות מלכים cannot certainly, like בּת־צר, be a personificative designation of heathen kingdoms, although שׁגל is the believing Israel conceived of as one person. It is actually kings' daughters as the representatives of their nations that are intended; and the relation of things is just the same here as in Isaiah 49:23, where, of the Israelitish church of the future, it is predicted that kings shall be its foster-fathers and their princesses its nursing-mothers.
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