Gird your sword on your thigh, O most mighty, with your glory and your majesty.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Gird thy sword . . . O most mighty.—Or, perhaps, Gird on thy sword in hero guise; or, Gird on thy hero’s sword. The object of the poet’s praise is as heroic in war as he is beautiful in person.
With thy glory and thy majesty.—This adverbial use of the accusatives may be right, but it seems better to take them in apposition with sword. His weapon was the monarch’s glory and pride. Some commentators see here a reference to the custom of girding on the sword said to be still observed at the elevation to the throne of a Persian or Ottoman prince. But the next verse shows that we have rather an ideal picture of the royal bridegroom’s prowess in war.Psalm 45:3-4. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most Mighty — “Having described the beauty and eloquence of the king, the prophet now proceeds to set forth his power, and to arm him as a warrior for the battle.” The sword of the Messiah, which is here put, by a synecdoche, for all his arms, is his Word, which, in the language of St. Paul, is said to be quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and is represented by St. John as a sharp two-edged sword coming out of his mouth, Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:19. With this he smites his enemies, and with this he subdues the nations, and enlarges and establishes his kingdom, both in the earth and in the hearts of his people. With thy glory and thy majesty — Or, which is thy glory and thy majesty; that is, which sword or word is the great instrument of maintaining and spreading thy honour, glory, and kingdom. Or, as Bishop Patrick paraphrases the clause, “Appear like thyself in such splendour and majesty, as may serve for an emblem of that most illustrious power and sovereign authority, wherein the omnipotent Lord of all the world shall show himself among men.” And in thy majesty — Being thus magnificently girt and armed; ride prosperously — March on speedily and successfully against thine enemies; because of truth, &c. — Hebrew, על דבר אמת, gnal debar emeth, upon the word of truth, that is, the gospel; which is called the word of truth, Ephesians 1:13, and may no less truly be called the word of meekness, because it is not delivered with terror, as the law was at Sinai, but meekly and sweetly; and the word of righteousness, because it brings in everlasting righteousness, and strongly excites all men to the practice of righteousness and holiness. And so the gospel is compared to a horse or chariot, upon which Christ is said to ride, when the gospel is preached, and carried about from place to place. And this may be here added, to show the great difference between the kingdoms of the world, which are managed and governed with outward pomp and glory, and the kingdom of Christ, which is a spiritual kingdom, not of this world, and like the spouse, mentioned Psalm 45:13 : all glorious within, as consisting in spiritual graces and virtues, truth, meekness, and righteousness. And thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things — Thou shalt do great and glorious exploits, which shall be terrible to thine enemies, as the next verse explains it, and this not by great forces, and the assistance of others, but by thine own single power, Isaiah 63:3. But the phrase, thy right hand shall teach thee, is not to be taken properly, for so he taught his hand, not his hand him; but the meaning is, that his hand should show him, discover, and work before him. The LXX. render it, οδηγησει σε θαυμαστως, thy right hand shall guide, or direct thee wonderfully.
O most mighty - That is, Hero; Warrior; Conqueror.
With thy glory and thy majesty - With the glory and majesty appropriate to thee; or which properly belong to thee. This is at the same time the expression of a wish on the part of the author of the psalm, and a prophetic description. The psalmist desired that he would thus go forth to the conquest of the world; and saw that he would do it. Compare Psalm 45:5-6. It is needless to remark that this is easily and naturally applicable to the Messiah - the Lord Jesus - as going forth for the subjugation of the world to the authority of God. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:25, 1 Corinthians 15:28. See also, in reference to the figure used here, Isaiah 49:2; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16; Revelation 19:15.
sword—(Compare Re 1:16; 19:15).
mighty—(Compare Isa 9:6).
4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.
6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
9 King's daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
"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 it 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.
"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.
"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.
continued...Gird thy sword upon thy thigh; either,
1. As an ensign of royal majesty. But that is usually and much better expressed in Scripture by putting a crown upon his head. Or rather,
2. As an instrument for war and battle, to smite his enemies, as it is declared, Psalm 45:4,5. And the sword is here put synecdochically for all his arms, as it is in many other places, as appears from Psalm 45:5, where we read also of his arrows. And this sword of the Messias is nothing else but the word of God coming out of his mouth; which is fitly compared to a sword, as may appear from Isaiah 49:2 Ephesians 6:17 Hebrews 4:12 Revelation 1:16, which is elsewhere called the rod of his mouth, Isaiah 11:4, and the rod of his power, Psalm 110:2.
With thy glory and thy majesty; or, which is thy glory and thy majesty; or, magnificence or beauty; for these words are joined with the sword, by way of apposition; which sword or word is the great instrument of maintaining and propagating thy honour, and glory, and kingdom.
with thy glory and thy majesty; which may be connected either with the phrase "and most mighty", and so be expressive of the glory and majesty of Christ, as the mighty God; or with his sword, as an emblem of his authority and majesty as a King, and may denote the glory of his Gospel and of his power; or may point at the end of his girding his sword upon his thigh, which was to show forth the glory of his majesty, or to obtain honour and glory: though the word "gird" may be supplied and repeated, and so make a distinct proposition, "gird with thy glory and thy majesty"; which was done when he was raised from the dead, and had glory given him; was crowned with it, and had the glory put upon him he had with his Father before the world was.Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. Instead of praising the king’s strength and courage in the abstract, the Psalmist bids him use them in the cause of truth and right.
O most mighty] O mighty hero.
with thy glory and thy majesty] It is better to repeat the verb: (gird on) thy honour and thy majesty. Honour and majesty are Divine attributes, reflected in the person of the victorious King who is Jehovah’s representative. Cp. Psalm 96:6; Psalm 104:1; Psalm 145:5; with Psalm 21:5.Verse 3. - Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty; i.e. array thyself as a warrior, for thou wilt have enemies to conquer, and wilt need a sword against them (see vers. 4, 5). With thy glory and thy majesty. There is no "with" in the original. Some think his sword is called Messiah's "glory and majesty." Others supply "put on," as implied in the "gird" of the first clause, and translate, "Put on thy glory and thy majesty;" i.e. show thyself in all the majesty and glory that naturally belong to thee. This is quite in accordance with the context. 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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