Psalm 45:2
You are fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into your lips: therefore God has blessed you for ever.
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(2) Thou art fairer.—Better, Fair art thou; aye, fairer than, &c. We may thus reproduce the Hebrew expression, which, however, grammatically explained, must convey this emphasis. The old versions render: “Thou art fair with beauty;” or, “Thou hast been made beautiful with beauty.”

Grace is poured into thy lips.—Better, A flowing grace is on thy lips, which may refer either to the beauty of the mouth, or to the charm of its speech. Cicero, himself the grandest example of his own expression, says of another that “Persuasion had her seat upon his lips;” while Christian commentators have all naturally thought of Him at whose “words of grace” all men wondered.

Therefore.—This word is apparently out of place. But there is nothing harsh in rendering: Therefore, we say, God hath blessed thee for ever. And we are struck by the emphasis of its occurrence in Psalm 45:7; Psalm 45:17, as well as here. Ewald seems to be right in printing the clause so begun as a kind of refrain. The poet enumerates in detail the beauties of the monarch and his bride, and is interrupted by the acclaim of his hearers, who cannot withhold their approving voices.



Psalm 45:2 - Psalm 45:7

There is no doubt that this psalm was originally the marriage hymn of some Jewish king. All attempts to settle who that was have failed, for the very obvious reason that neither the history nor the character of any of them correspond to the psalm. Its language is a world too wide for the diminutive stature and stained virtues of the greatest and best of them, and it is almost ludicrous to attempt to fit its glowing sentences even to a Solomon. They all look like little David in Saul’s armour. So, then, we must admit one of two things. Either we have here a piece of poetical exaggeration far beyond the limits of poetic license, or ‘a greater than Solomon is here.’ Every Jewish king, by virtue of his descent and of his office, was a living prophecy of the greatest of the sons of David, the future King of Israel. And the Psalmist sees the ideal Person who, as he knew, was one day to be real, shining through the shadowy form of the earthly king, whose very limitations and defects, no less than his excellences and his glories, forced the devout Israelite to think of the coming King in whom ‘the sure mercies’ promised to David should be facts at last. In plainer words, the psalm celebrates Christ, not only although, but because, it had its origin and partial application in a forgotten festival at the marriage of some unknown king. It sees Him in the light of the Messianic hope, and so it prophesies of Christ. My object is to study the features of this portrait of the King, partly in order that we may better understand the psalm, and partly in order that we may with the more reverence crown Him as Lord of all.

I. The Person of the King.

The old-world ideal of a monarch put special emphasis upon two things-personal beauty and courtesy of address and speech. The psalm ascribes both of these to the King of Israel, and from both of them draws the conclusion that one so richly endowed with the most eminent of royal graces is the object of the special favour of God. ‘Thou art fairer than the children of men, grace is poured into Thy lips: therefore God hath blessed Thee for ever.’

Here, at the very outset, we have the keynote struck of superhuman excellence; and though the reference is, on the surface, only to physical perfection, yet beneath that there lies the deeper reference to a character which spoke through the eloquent frame, and in which all possible beauties and sovereign graces were united in fullest development, in most harmonious co-operation and unstained purity.

‘Thou art fairer than the children of men.’ Put side by side with that, words which possibly refer to, and seem to contradict it. A later prophet, speaking of the same Person, said: ‘His visage was so marred, more than any man, and His form than the sons of men. . . . There is no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see Him there is no beauty that we should desire Him.’ We have to think, not of the outward form, howsoever lovely with the loveliness of meekness and transfigured with the refining patience of suffering it may have been, but of the beauty of a soul that was all radiant with a lustre of loveliness that shames the fragmentary and marred virtues of the best of us, and stands before the world for ever as the supreme type and high-water mark of the grace that is possible to a human spirit. God has lodged in men’s nature the apprehension of Himself, and of all that flows from Him, as true, as good, as beautiful; and to these three there correspond wisdom, morality, and art. The latter, divorced from the other two, becomes earthly and devilish. This generation needs the lesson that beauty wrenched from truth and goodness, and pursued for its own sake, by artist or by poet or by dilettante, leads by a straight descent to ugliness and to evil, and that the only true satisfying of the deep longing for ‘whatsoever things are lovely’ is to be found when we turn to Christ and find in Him, not only wisdom that enlightens the understanding, and righteousness that fills the conscience, but beauty that satisfies the heart. He is ‘altogether lovely.’ Nor let us forget that once on earth ‘the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment did shine as the light,’ as indicative of the possibilities that lay slumbering in His lowly Manhood, and as prophetic of that to which we believe that the ascended Christ hath now attained-viz. the body of His glory, wherein He reigns, filled with light and undecaying loveliness on the Throne of the Heaven. Thus He is fairer in external reality now, as He is, by the confession of an admiring, though not always believing, world, fairer in inward character than the children of men.

Another personal characteristic is ‘Grace is poured into Thy lips.’ Kingly courtesy, and kingly graciousness of word, must be the characteristic of the Sovereign of men. The abundance of that bestowment is expressed by that word, ‘poured.’ We need only remember, ‘All wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth,’ or how even the rough instruments of authority were touched and diverted from their appointed purpose, and came back and said, ‘Never man spake like this Man.’ To the music of Christ’s words all other eloquence is harsh, poor, shallow-like the piping of a shepherd boy upon some wretched oaten straw as compared with the full thunder of the organ. Words of unmingled graciousness came from His lips. That fountain never sent forth ‘sweet waters and bitter.’ He satisfies the canon of St. James: ‘If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man.’ Words of wisdom, of love, of pity, of gentleness, of pardon, of bestowment, and only such, came from Him. ‘Daughter! be of good cheer.’ ‘Son! thy sins be forgiven thee.’ ‘Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy-laden.’

‘Grace is poured into Thy lips’; and, withal, it is the grace of a King. For His language is authoritative even when it is most tender, and regal when it is most gentle. His lips, sweet as honey and the honeycomb, are the lips of an Autocrat. ‘He speaks, and it is done: He commands, and it stands fast.’ He says to the tempest, ‘Be still!’ and it is quiet; and to the demons, ‘Come out of him!’ and they disappear; and to the dead, ‘Come forth!’ and he stumbles from the tomb.

Another personal characteristic is-’God hath blessed Thee for ever.’ By which we are to understand, not that the two preceding graces are the reasons for the divine benediction, but that the divine benediction is the cause of them; and therefore they are the signs of it. It is not that because He is lovely and gracious therefore God hath blessed Him; but it is that we may know that God has blessed Him, since He is lovely and gracious. These endowments are the results, not the causes; the signs or the proofs, not the reasons of the divine benediction. That is to say, the humanity so fair and unique shows by its beauty that it is the result of the continual and unique operation and benediction of a present God. We understand Him when we say, ‘On Him rests the Spirit of God without measure or interruption.’ The explanation of the perfect humanity is the abiding Divinity.

II. We pass from the person of the King, in the next place, to His warfare.

The Psalmist breaks out in a burst of invocation, calling upon the King to array Himself in His weapons of warfare, and then in broken clauses vividly pictures the conflict. The Invocation runs thus: ‘Gird on thy sword upon thy thigh, O mighty hero! gird on thy glory and thy majesty, and ride on prosperously on behalf {or, in the cause} of truth and meekness and righteousness.’ The King, then, is the perfection of warrior strength as well as of beauty and gentleness-a combination of qualities that speaks of old days when kings were kings, and reminds us of many a figure in ancient song, as well as of a Saul and a David in Jewish history.

The singer calls upon Him to bind on His side His glittering sword, and to put on, as His armour, ‘glory and majesty.’ These two words, in the usage of the psalms, belong to Divinity, and they are applied to the monarch here as being the earthly representative of the divine supremacy, on whom there falls some reflection of the glory and the majesty of which He is the vice-regent and representative. Thus arrayed, with His weapon by His side and glittering armour on His limbs, He is called upon to mount His chariot or His warhorse and ride forth.

But for what? ‘On behalf of truth, meekness, righteousness.’ If He be a warrior, these are the purposes for which the true King of men must draw His sword, and these only. No vulgar ambition or cruel lust of conquest, earth-hunger, or ‘glory’ actuates Him. Nothing but the spread through the world of the gracious beauties which are His own can be the end of the King’s warfare. He fights for truth; He fights-strange paradox-for meekness; He fights for righteousness. And He not only fights for them, but with them, for they are His own, and by reason of them He ‘rides prosperously,’ as well as ‘rides prosperously’ in order to establish them.

In two or three swift touches the Psalmist next paints the tumult and hurry of the fight. ‘Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things.’ There are no armies or allies, none to stand beside Him. The one mighty figure of the Kingly Warrior stands forth, as in the Assyrian sculptures of conquerors, erect and solitary in His chariot, crashing through the ranks of the enemy, and owing victory to His own strong arm alone.

Then follow three short, abrupt clauses, which, in their hurry and fragmentary character, reflect the confusion and swiftness of battle. ‘Thine arrows are sharp. . . . The people fall under Thee.’ . . . ‘In the heart of the King’s enemies.’ The Psalmist sees the bright arrow on the string; it flies; he looks-the plain is strewed with prostrate forms, the King’s arrow in the heart of each.

Put side by side with that this picture:-A rocky road; a great city shining in the morning sunlight across a narrow valley; a crowd of shouting peasants waving palm branches in their rustic hands; in the centre the meek carpenter’s Son, sitting upon the poor robes which alone draped the ass’s colt, the tears upon His cheeks, and His lamenting heard above the Hosannahs, as He looked across the glen and said, ‘If thou hadst known the things that belong to thy peace!’ That is the fulfilment, or part of the fulfilment, of this prophecy. The slow-pacing, peaceful beast and the meek, weeping Christ are the reality of the vision which, in such strangely contrasted and yet true form, floated before the prophetic eye of this ancient singer, for Christ’s humiliation is His majesty, and His sharpest weapon is His all-penetrating love, and His cross is His chariot of victory and throne of dominion.

But not only in His earthly life of meek suffering does Christ fight as a King, but all through the ages the world-wide conflict for truth and meekness and righteousness is His conflict; and wherever that is being waged, the power which wages it is His, and the help which is done upon earth He doeth it all Himself. True, He has His army, willing in the day of His power, and clad in priestly purity and armour of light, but all their strength, courage, and victory are from Him; and when they fight and conquer, it is not they, but He in them who struggles and overcomes. We have a better hope than that built on ‘a stream of tendency that makes for righteousness.’ We know a Christ crucified and crowned, who fights for it, and what He fights for will hold the field.

This prophecy of our psalm is not exhausted yet. I have set side by side with it one picture-the Christ on the ass’s colt. Put side by side with it this other. ‘I beheld the heaven opened; and lo! a white horse. And He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.’ The psalm waits for its completion still, and shall be fulfilled on that day of the true marriage supper of the Lamb, when the festivities of the marriage chamber shall be preceded by the last battle and crowning victory of the King of kings, the Conqueror of the world.

III. Lastly, we have the royalty of the King.

‘Thy throne, O God! is for ever and ever.’ This is not the place nor time to enter on the discussion of the difficulties of these words. I must run the risk of appearing to state confident opinions without assigning reasons, when I venture to say that the translation in the Authorised Version is the natural one. I do not say that others have been adopted by reason of doctrinal prepossessions; I know nothing about that; but I do say that they are not by any means so natural a translation as that which stands before us. What it may mean is another matter; but the plain rendering of the words, I venture to assert, is what our English Bible makes it-’Thy throne, O God! is for ever and ever.’

Then it is to be remembered that, throughout the Old Testament, we have occasional instances of the use of that great and solemn designation in reference to persons in such place and authority as that they are representatives of God. So kings and judges and lawyers and the like are spoken of more than once. Therefore there is not, in the language, translated as in our English Bible, necessarily the implication of the unique divinity of the persons so addressed. But I take it that this is an instance in which the prophet was ‘wiser than he knew,’ and in which you and I understand him better than he understood himself, and know what God, who spoke through him, meant, whatsoever the prophet, through whom He spoke, did mean. That is to say, I take the words before us as directly referring to Jesus Christ, and as directly declaring the divinity of His person, and therefore the eternity of His kingdom.

We live in days when that perpetual sovereignty is being questioned. In a revolutionary time like this it is well for Christian people, seeing so many venerable things going, to tighten their grasp upon the conviction that, whatever goes, Christ’s kingdom will not go; and that, whatever may be shaken by any storms, the foundation of His Throne stands fast. For our personal lives, and for the great hopes of the future beyond the grave, it is all-important that we should grasp, as an elementary conviction of our faith, the belief in the perpetual rule of that Saviour whose rule is life and peace. In the great mosque of Damascus, which was a Christian church once, there may still be read, deeply cut in the stone, high above the pavement where now Mohammedans bow, these words, ‘Thy kingdom, O Christ! is an everlasting kingdom.’ It is true, and it shall yet be known that He is for ever and ever the Monarch of the world.

Then, again, this royalty is a royalty of righteousness. ‘The sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness.’ His rule is no arbitrary sway, His rod is no rod of iron and tyrannical oppression, His own personal character is righteousness. Righteousness is the very life-blood and animating principle of His rule. He loves righteousness, and, therefore, puts His broad shield of protection over all who love it and seek after it. He hates wickedness, and therefore He wars against it wherever it is, and seeks to draw men out of it. And thus His kingdom is the hope of the world.

And, lastly, this dominion of perennial righteousness is the dominion of unparalleled gladness. ‘Therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of joy above Thy fellows.’ Set side by side with that the other words, ‘A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.’ And remember how, near the very darkest hour of the Lord’s earthly experiences, He said:-’These things have I spoken unto you that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’ Christ’s gladness flowed from Christ’s righteousness. Because His pure humanity was ever in touch with God, and in conscious obedience to Him, therefore, though darkness was around, there was light within. He was ‘sorrowful, yet always rejoicing,’ and the saddest of men was likewise the gladdest, and possessed ‘the oil of joy above His fellows.’

Brother! that kingdom is offered to us; participation in that joy of our Lord may belong to each of us. He rules that He may make us like Himself, lovers of righteousness, and so, like Himself, possessors of unfading joy. Make Him your King, let His arrow reach your heart, bow in submission to His power, take for your very life His words of graciousness, lovingly gaze upon His beauty till some reflection of it shall shine from you, fight by His side with strength drawn from Him alone, own and adore Him as the enthroned God-man, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Crown Him with the many crowns of supreme trust, heart-whole love, and glad obedience. So shall you be honoured to share in His warfare and triumph. So shall you have a throne close to His and eternal as it. So shall His sceptre be graciously stretched out to you to give you access with boldness to the presence-chamber of the King. So shall He give you too, ‘the oil of joy for mourning,’ even in the ‘valley of weeping,’ and the fulness of His gladness for evermore, when He sets you at His right hand.Psalm 45:2. Thou art fairer — More beautiful and amiable; than the children of men — Than all other men. Which is most true of Christ, but not of Solomon; whom many have excelled, if not in wisdom, yet in holiness and righteousness, which is the chief part of the beauty celebrated in this Psalm. Grace is poured into thy lips — God hath plentifully poured into thy mind and tongue the gift of speaking wisely, eloquently, and acceptably, so as to find grace with, and communicate grace to, the hearers. This was in some sort true of Solomon, but far more eminently of Christ, Isaiah 50:4; Luke 4:22; John 7:46. The former clause refers to his inward perfections, and this to his ability and readiness to communicate them to others. Therefore God hath blessed thee, &c. — The psalmist does not mean that the beauty and grace, now mentioned, were the meritorious cause of the blessings which he speaks of, for they were the free gifts of God, and therefore, properly speaking, the effects and not the cause of God’s blessing. But the sense of the clause is, Because God hath so eminently adorned and qualified thee for rule, therefore he hath intrusted and blessed thee with an everlasting kingdom.45:1-5 The psalmist's tongue was guided by the Spirit of God, as the pen is by the hand of a ready writer. This psalm is touching the King Jesus, his kingdom and government. It is a shame that this good matter is not more the subject of our discourse. There is more in Christ to engage our love, than there is or can be in any creature. This world and its charms are ready to draw away our hearts from Christ; therefore we are concerned to understand how much more worthy he is of our love. By his word, his promise, his gospel, the good will of God is made known to us, and the good work of God is begun and carried on in us. The psalmist, ver. 3-5, joyfully foretells the progress and success of the Messiah. The arrows of conviction are very terrible in the hearts of sinners, till they are humbled and reconciled; but the arrows of vengeance will be more so to his enemies who refuse to submit. All who have seen his glory and tasted his grace, rejoice to see him, by his word and Spirit, bring enemies and strangers under his dominion.Thou art fairer than the children of men - That is, Thou art more fair and comely than men; thy comeliness is greater than that which is found among men. In other words, Thou art beautiful beyond any human standard or comparison. The language, indeed, would not necessarily imply that he was not a man, but it means that among all who dwell upon the earth there was none to be found that could be compared with him. The Hebrew word rendered "thou art fairer" - יפיפית yāpeyāpiytha - is a very unusual term. It is properly a reduplication of the word meaning "beautiful," and thus means to be very beautiful. It would be well expressed by the phrase "Beautiful - beautiful - art thou above the children of men." It is the language of surprise - of a sudden impression of beauty - beauty as it strikes at the first glance - such as the eye had never seen before. The impression here is that produced by the general appearance or aspect of him who is seen as king. Afterward the attention is more particularly directed to the "grace that is poured into his lips." The language here would well express the emotions often felt by a young convert when he is first made to see the beauty of the character of the Lord Jesus as a Saviour: "Beautiful; beautiful, above all men."

Grace is poured into thy lips - The word here rendered "is poured" means properly to pour, to pour out as liquids - water, or melted metal: Genesis 28:18; 2 Kings 4:4. The meaning here is, that grace seemed to be spread over his lips; or that this was strikingly manifest on his lips. The word grace means properly favor; and then it is used in the general sense of benignity, kindness, mildness, gentleness, benevolence. The reference here is to his manner of speaking, as corresponding with the beauty of his person, and as that which particularly attracted the attention of the psalmist: the mildness; the gentleness; the kindness; the persuasive eloquence of his words. It is hardly necessary to remark that this, in an eminent degree, was applicable to the Lord Jesus. Thus if is said Luke 4:22, "And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth." So John 7:46 : "Never man spake like this man." See also Matthew 7:29; Matthew 13:54; Luke 2:47.

Therefore God hath blessed thee for ever - In connection with this moral beauty - this beauty of character - God will bless thee to all eternity. Since he has endowed thee with such gifts and graces, he will continue to bless thee, forever. In other words, it is impossible that one who is thus endowed should ever be an object of the divine displeasure.

2. To rich personal attractions is added grace of the lips, captivating powers of speech. This is given, and becomes a source of power and proves a blessing. Christ is a prophet (Lu 4:22).2 Thou art fairer than the children of men; grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.

"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 Well-beloved 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, 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.

Fairer, or, more beautiful, i.e. lovely and amiable. He speaks not here so much of this outward beauty, which, though it be an ornament both to a bridegroom and to a king, yet is not very considerable in either, nor is much admired or applauded by wise men, as of the inward and glorious endowments of his mind or soul, such as wisdom, and righteousness, and meekness, &c., as the particulars of this beauty are declared, Psalm 45:4,7. Than the children of men; than all other men: which is most true of Christ, but not of Solomon; whom many have excelled, if not in wisdom, yet in holiness and righteousness, which is the chief part of this beauty, and most celebrated in this Psalm.

Grace is poured into thy lips; God hath plentifully poured into thy mind and tongue the gift of speaking with admirable grace, i.e. most wisely and eloquently, and therefore most acceptably, so as to find grace with and work grace in thy hearers. This was in the same sort true of Solomon, but far more eminently and effectually in Christ; of which see Isaiah 50:4 Luke 4:22 John 7:46. The former clause noted his inward perfections, and this signifies his ability and readiness to communicate them to others.

Therefore; which notes not the meritorious cause, for that beauty and grace now mentioned are declared to be the free gifts of God, and were the effects, and not the causes, of God’s blessing him; but rather the final cause, or the end for which God endowed him with those excellent qualifications; and so the sense of the place is, Because God hath so eminently adorned and qualified thee for rule, therefore he hath trusted and blessed thee with an everlasting kingdom. Or, because, as this particle is used, Genesis 38:26 Psalm 42:6, and elsewhere. And so God’s blessing him with such solid and everlasting blessings, is noted as the cause of this singular beauty and grace here expressed. Thou art fairer than the children of men,.... Here begins the psalm, and this is an address to the King Messiah, the subject of it, commending him for his beauty and comeliness; which is not to be understood of his divine beauty or his glory, as the only begotten of the Father, in which he is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person; for this admits of no comparison, nor is the beauty of angels and men to be mentioned with it; but of the beauty of his human nature, both in body and soul, which being the immediate produce of the Holy Spirit, and without sin, and full of wisdom, grace, and holiness, must transcend that of any or all the sons of Adam. They are all deformed by sin; and whatever spiritual beauty there is in any of them, they have it from Christ; they are comely through his comeliness the outward beauty of men is vain and deceitful, and soon perishes; but Christ is ever the same, and he esteemed of by all that know him, as exceeding precious, altogether lovely, and transcendently excellent and glorious. The Hebrew word here used is doubled in its radicals, which denotes the exceeding great fairness and beauty of Christ, especially as Mediator, and as full of grace and truth. It follows,

grace is poured into thy lips; by which is meant the matter of his speech, or the Gospel preached by him; these words of grace, as Kimchi on the text expresses himself; or gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, Luke 4:22. The Gospel of the grace of God was given him to preach; it was put into his mouth, and that in great abundance; it was given at sundry times and in divers manners, and by piecemeal, to the prophets before him; but it was poured into his lips, and he was abundantly qualified for preaching it, by having the Spirit without measure given him; and so was poured out in a graceful manner, with great authority, and as never man before him spake, in doctrines of grace, gracious invitations, precious promises, excellent prayers, and even words of eternal life; see Sol 5:13;

therefore God hath blessed thee for ever; or, "because (e) God hath blessed thee for ever"; in his human nature, with the grace of union to the Son of God, and with all the gifts and graces of the Spirit of God; and as Mediator, with all spiritual blessings, with grace and glory for his people. Hence all his comeliness, grace, and gracefulness.

(e) "eo quid", Tigurine version; "propterea quod", Musculus, Piscator; "quia", Gejerus.

Thou art {c} fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.

(c) Solomon's beauty and eloquence to win favour with his people, and his power to overcome his enemies, is here described.

2. Thou art fairer &c.] Personal beauty was always regarded as a qualification for a ruler, partly on account of its intrinsic attractiveness, partly as the index of a noble nature. Cp. 1 Samuel 9:2; 1 Samuel 10:23; 1 Samuel 16:12; and the descriptions of the classical heroes in Homer and Vergil; e.g. Aeneas (Aen. i. 589), “os humerosque deo similis.”

grace is poured into thy lips] Or, upon thy lips. The gracious smile upon his lips gives promise of the gracious words which proceed from them. Cp. Proverbs 22:11, “He that hath gracious lips, the king shall be his friend”; Ecclesiastes 10:12; Luke 4:22.

therefore] This is usually explained to mean, ‘Hence it may be seen that God hath blessed thee; it is the logical inference from this endowment of beauty.’ But must not therefore be understood as in Psalm 45:7? Physical qualifications correspond to moral qualifications. They are in themselves a Divine gift; but they are further regarded as a ground of the special blessings which have been showered upon the king. The P.B.V. because is ungrammatical.

for ever] The perpetuity of the covenant with David and his seed is constantly emphasised. Cp. 2 Samuel 7:13; 2 Samuel 7:16; 2 Samuel 7:25; 2 Samuel 7:29; Psalm 18:50; Psalm 89:2 ff.

2–9. The royal bridegroom: his personal beauty, the justice of his government, the success of his arms, the glory of his kingdom, the magnificence of his court. He is one upon whom the Divine blessing has rested in fullest measure.Verse 2. - Thou art fairer than the children of men. It has been argued that a description of the Messiah would not lay stress on his personal beauty. But in the Song of Songs the personal beauty of the bridegroom, whom so many critics regard as the Messiah, is a main point (Song of Solomon 5:10-16). A perfect man, such as Messiah was to be, must needs be beautiful, at any rate with a beauty of expression. In calling his bridegroom "fair beyond the sons of men," the writer at once gives us to understand that he is not a mere man. Grace is poured into thy lips; rather, grace is poured out on thy lips (Hengstenberg, Cheyne, Kay). The gift of gracious expression and gracious speech has been poured upon him from on high (comp. Song of Solomon 5:16, "His mouth is most sweet"). Therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. The gifts bestowed upon him show the Divine favor and blessing, which, once granted, are not capriciously withdrawn. (Heb.: 44:23-27) The church is not conscious of any apostasy, for on the contrary it is suffering for the sake of its fidelity. Such is the meaning intended by כּי, Psalm 44:23 (cf. Psalm 37:20). The emphasis lies on עליך, which is used exactly as in Psalm 69:8. Paul, in Romans 8:36, transfers this utterance to the sufferings of the New Testament church borne in witnessing for the truth, or I should rather say he considers it as a divine utterance corresponding as it were prophetically to the sufferings of the New Testament church, and by anticipation, coined concerning it and for its use, inasmuch as he cites it with the words καθὼς γέγραπται. The suppliant cries עוּרה and הקיצה are Davidic, and found in his earlier Ps; Psalm 7:7; Psalm 35:23; Psalm 59:5., cf. Psalm 78:65. God is said to sleep when He does not interpose in whatever is taking place in the outward world here below; for the very nature of sleep is a turning in into one's own self from all relationship to the outer world, and a resting of the powers which act outwardly. The writer of our Psalm is fond of couplets of synonyms like ענינוּ ולחצנוּ in Psalm 44:25; cf. Psalm 44:4, ימינך וּזרועך. Psalm 119:25 is an echo of Psalm 44:26. The suppliant cry קוּמה (in this instance in connection with the עזרתה which follows, it is to be accented on the ultima) is Davidic, Psalm 3:8; Psalm 7:7; but originally it is Mosaic. Concerning the ah of עזרתה, here as also in Psalm 63:8 of like meaning with לעזרתי, Psalm 22:20, and frequently, vid., on Psalm 3:3.
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