Psalm 45:7
Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
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(7) The oil of gladness.—Comp. “oil of joy,” Isaiah 61:3. Here too it may be merely employed as a figure of happiness, but the bath and, no doubt, subsequent anointing, formed part of the Oriental marriage proceedings. (See Arabian Nights, passim.)

Fellowsi.e., the paranymphs, or attendants on the bridegroom.

Psalm 45:7. Thou lovest righteousness, &c. — Thou not only doest that which is good, and avoidest that which is evil, which even bad princes and men may do, and often actually do for political and prudential reasons; but thou doest these things from a pure and internal principle, from a sincere and most fervent love of righteousness, and an implacable hatred of all wickedness. The Lord Jesus has made it appear, by the holiness of his life, the merit of his death, and the great design of his gospel, that he loves righteousness; for by his example, his satisfaction, his precepts, and the influences of his grace and Spirit, he has brought in an everlasting righteousness: and his hatred to wickedness is equally manifest, for never did God’s hatred to sin appear so fully as in the sufferings of Christ. Therefore God, thy God — According to thy human nature, John 20:17; though in respect of thy divine nature thou art his fellow, Zechariah 13:7, and one with him, John 10:30. Hath anointed thee — Because thou hast given so many and great proofs of thy love to righteousness, and of thy hatred to sin; and that not only by the constant course of thy life, but also, and especially, by thy death and passion, therefore God hath raised and exalted thee far above all men and angels, to a state of joy and endless glory at his right hand: which is fully expressed by the oil of gladness. For anointing doth not always signify the conferring of inward gifts and endowments, but sometimes only the designation or inauguration of a person to some high dignity or employment, as Ezekiel 28:14, and elsewhere. This seems to be the true sense of the clause, and is, for substance, the same thing which is expressed in other words, Php 2:8-10, namely, the glorious exaltation of Christ, in reward of his obedience unto death. It is true, however, that Christ, as man and Mediator, in order that he might govern his kingdom in that perfectly righteous manner here intended, was anointed by God with his Holy Spirit, in a peculiar manner; was endowed with gifts and graces above his fellows, above all those that ever were anointed, whether prophets, priests, or kings, whether men or angels; to the comfort and refreshment, not only of his own heart, but of the hearts of all his people. For it pleased the Father that in him, should all fulness dwell, and that out of his fulness his people should receive grace upon grace.

45:6-9 The throne of this almighty King is established for ever. While the Holy Spirit leads Christ's people to look to his cross, he teaches them to see the evil of sin and the beauty of holiness; so that none of them can feel encouragement to continue in sin. The Mediator is God, else he had been neither able to do the Mediator's work, nor fit to wear the Mediator's crown. God the Father, as his God in respect to his human nature and mediatorial offices, has given to him the Holy Spirit without measure. Thus anointed to be a Prophet, Priest, and King, Christ has pre-eminence in the gladdening gifts and graces of the spirit, and from his fulness communicates them to his brethren in human nature. The Spirit is called the oil of gladness, because of the delight wherewith Christ was filled, in carrying on his undertakings. The salvation of sinners is the joy of angels, much more of the Son. And in proportion as we are conformed to his holy image, we may expect the gladdening gifts influences of the Comforter. The excellences of the Messiah, the suitableness of his offices, and the sufficiency of his grace, seem to be intended by the fragrance of his garments. The church formed of true believers, is here compared to the queen, whom, by an everlasting covenant, the Lord Jesus has betrothed to himself. This is the bride, the Lamb's wife, whose graces are compared to fine linen, for their purity; to gold, for their costliness: for as we owe our redemption, so we owe our adorning, to the precious blood of the Son of God.Thou lovest righteousness ... - See this verse explained in the notes at Hebrews 1:9, where it is applied to the Messiah. The word "God" is rendered in the margin "O God"; "O God, thy God, hath anointed thee," etc. According to this construction, the thought would be carried on which is suggested in Psalm 45:6, of a direct address to the Messiah as God. This construction is not necessary, but it is the most obvious one. The Messiah - the Lord Jesus - though he is described as God himself (John 1:1, et al.), yet addresses God as "his" God, John 20:17. As Mediator, as appearing in human form, as commissioned to perform the work of redemption, and to subdue the world to the divine authority, it was proper thus to address his Father as "his" God, and to, acknowledge Him as the source of all authority and law. 7. As in Ps 45:6 the divine nature is made prominent, here the moral qualities of the human are alleged as the reason or ground of the mediatorial exultation. Some render "O God, thy God," instead of

God, thy God—but the latter is sustained by the same form (Ps 50:7), and it was only of His human nature that the anointing could be predicated (compare Isa 61:3).

oil of gladness—or token of gladness, as used in feasts and other times of solemn joy (compare 1Ki 1:39, 40).

fellows—other kings.

Thou dost not only do that which is good, and avoid that which is evil; which even bad princes and men may do, and sometimes actually do, for politic or prudential reasons; but thou dost this sincerely, and from an inward principle, even from a true love to God, and goodness, and from an implacable hatred against all wickedness. Therefore; so this particle is commonly used. And so it denoteth, either,

1. The reward of Christ’s righteous administration of his kingdom. So the sense is, Because thou hast given so many and great proofs of thy love to righteousness, and of thy hatred of sin, and that not only by the constant course of thy life, but also by thy death and passion, therefore God hath raised and exalted thee far above all men and angels, to a state of joy and endless glory at his right hand; which is fitly expressed by the

oil of gladness. For anointing doth not always signify the conferring of inward gifts or endowments, but sometimes only notes the designation or inauguration of a person to some high dignity or employment, as Ezekiel 28:14, and elsewhere. Or,

2. The final cause or end of Christ’s unction. So the sense is, To that end, i.e. that thou mightest love righteousness, and hate wickedness, and govern thyself and thy kingdom accordingly, God hath anointed thee, &c., i.e. hath endowed thee with all the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, Acts 10:38, in an eminent and peculiar manner, to the comfort and refreshment of thine own and all thy people’s hearts; and hath solemnly called thee to be the Priest and Prophet and King of all his people. But the former sense seems to be the truest, and is for substance the same thing which is said in other words, Philippians 2:8-10.

God, thy God, according to thy human nature, John 20:17, though in respect of thy Divine nature thou art his fellow, Zechariah 13:7, and his equal, Phil. it. 6, and one with him, John 10:30. The oil of gladness; so called here, as also Isaiah 61:3; partly because it not only makes the countenance fresh and pleasant, Psalm 104:15, but also rejoiceth the heart, Proverbs 27:9; and partly because it was a token of gladness, and used in feasts and other solemn occasions of rejoicing; of which see Psalm 23:5 Daniel 10:3 Amos 6:6.

Above thy fellows, i.e. above all them who partake with thee in this unction; either,

1. Above all that ever were anointed for priests, or prophets, or kings. Or,

2. Above all believers, who also have received this same unction, 1Jo 2:20,27, and are made priests and kings unto God, Revelation 1:6.

Thou lovest righteousness,.... Either righteous persons, whom his countenance beholds, on whom his eyes are, and from whom they are never withdrawn, and with whom he is exceedingly delighted: or righteous things; a righteous administration of government; faithfulness and integrity in whatsoever he is intrusted with, or appointed to by his father; all righteous actions which the law requires, as appeared in the whole course of his life; and by working out a righteousness for his people, and by encouraging them in works of righteousness; and as also will appear by judging the world in righteousness at the last day, and by giving the crown of righteousness to his righteous ones;

and hatest wickedness; which was manifest not only by his inveighing against it and dehorting from it, and by his severity exercised towards delinquents; but by suffering for it, and abolishing it, and by chastising his own people on account of it;

therefore God, thy God; or "because (g) God", thy God; who is the God of Christ, as Christ is man; who prepared and formed his human nature, supported it in suffering, and glorified it, and to whom Christ prayed, and whom he believed in, loved, and obeyed as such:

hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows; who though he is called God, Psalm 45:6, and is truly so, yet was not anointed as such, but as man and Mediator, to the office of Prophet, Priest, and King; and not with material oil, but with the Holy Ghost, his gifts and graces; see Acts 10:38; called "the oil of gladness", in allusion to the use of oil at feasts and weddings, for the delight and refreshment of guests, and particularly of the oil of lilies, "olcum susinum", so some (h) translate it; well known to the Hebrews, who inhabited Syria and Palestine, where red lilies grew, of which this was made, and had in great esteem; and because of its effects in the human nature of Christ, filling it with alacrity and cheerfulness to go through the work he came about. This unction rotors to the time of his conception and birth, and also to the time of his baptism; and the phrase, "above thy fellows", denotes the abundance of the Spirit's grace, his having it without measure, and in a transcendent manner to any of the sons of men, even his own people; for these, and not angels, nor the princes of the earth, are meant, neither of which are his fellows; but the saints, who are of the same nature with him, of the same family he is the head of, of the same dignity through him, being made kings and priests by him, partakers of the same Spirit and grace; and will be companions with him, and sit on the same throne with him to all eternity. The Targum, in the king of Spain's Bible, begins the verse thus;

"But thou, O King Messiah, because thou lovest, &c.''

(g) "propterea quod", Tigurine version, Vatablus, Piscator, Gejerus; "quia", Rivet. Noldius, p. 727, No. 1730. (h) Vid. Schacchi Elaeochrism, l. 1. c. 27. & 28.

Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath {f} anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

(f) Has established your kingdom as the figure of Christ, which is the peace and joy of the Church.

7. Thou lovest &c.] Or, as R.V., Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness. “I have loved justice and hated iniquity, and therefore I die in exile” were the last memorable words of Gregory VII. Milman, Hist. of Lat. Christianity, iv. 138.

therefore] The willing conformity of the king to the will of God is rewarded with special tokens of His favour.

God, thy God] The rendering, O God, thy God is unquestionably wrong. God, thy God in the Elohistic Psalms is the equivalent of Jehovah thy God elsewhere. Cp. Psalm 43:4; Psalm 50:7.

hath anointed thee &c.] The reference is not to anointing as the symbol of consecration to the office of king, but to the use of oil on occasions of festivity (Psalm 23:5; Psalm 104:15). Thus ‘the oil of gladness’ is contrasted with mourning (Isaiah 61:3 : cp. 2 Samuel 12:20; 2 Samuel 14:2). The rejoicings of the marriage festival are meant. Cp. Song of Solomon 3:11.

thy fellows] Other kings, to none of whom has equal happiness been granted. Cp. Psalm 89:27 b.

Verse 7. - Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness, therefore, etc. God will only commit rule and authority over his Church to one who will rule justly - one who loves righteousness and hates iniquity. Messiah is alone perfect in righteousness, and therefore entitled to rule. Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Some moderns translate, "Therefore, O God, thy God hath anointed thee," etc.; but the rendering of the Authorized Version is maintained by Dr. Kay, Professor Alexander, and our Revisers. The anointing intended is that outpouring of glory and blessedness on Messiah which followed upon his voluntary humiliation and suffering (comp. Philippians 2:9; Hebrews 2:9). Psalm 45:7(Heb.: 45:7-8) In order to avoid the addressing of the king with the word Elohim, Psalm 45:6 has been interpreted, (1) "Thy throne of God is for ever and ever,", - a rendering which is grammatically possible, and, if it were intended to be expressed, must have been expressed thus (Nagelsbach, 64, g); (2) "Thy throne is God ( equals divine) for ever and ever;" but it cannot possibly be so expressed after the analogy of "the altar of wood equals wooden" (cf. Psalm 45:9), or "the time is showers of rain equals rainy" (Ezra 10:13), since God is neither the substance of the throne, nor can the throne itself be regarded as a representation or figure of God: in this case the predicative Elohim would require to be taken as a genitive for אלהים כּסּא, which, however, cannot possibly be supported in Hebrew by any syntax, not even by 2 Kings 23:17, cf. Ges. 110, 2, b. Accordingly one might adopt the first mode of interpretation, which is also commended by the fact that the earthly throne of the theocratic king is actually called יהוה כסא in 1 Chronicles 29:23. But the sentence "thy throne of God is an everlasting one" sounds tautological, inasmuch as that which the predicate asserts is already implied in the subject; and we have still first of all to try whether אלהים cannot, with the lxx ὁ θρόνος σου, ὁ Θεὸς, εἰς αἰῶνα αἰῶνος, be taken as a vocative. Now, since before everything else God's throne is eternal (Psalm 10:16; Lamentations 5:19), and a love of righteousness and a hatred of evil is also found elsewhere as a description of divine holiness (Psalm 5:5; Psalm 61:8), אלהים would be obliged to be regarded as addressed to God, if language addressed to the king did not follow with על־כּן. But might אלהים by any possibility be even addressed to the king who is here celebrated? It is certainly true that the custom with the Elohim-Psalms of using Elohim as of equal dignity with Jahve is not favourable to this supposition; but the following surpassing of the אלהים by אלהים אלהיך renders it possible. And since elsewhere earthly authorities are also called אלהים, Exodus 21:6; Exodus 22:7., Psalm 82:1-8, cf. Psalm 138:1, because they are God's representatives and the bearers of His image upon earth, so the king who is celebrated in this Psalm may be all the more readily styled Elohim, when in his heavenly beauty, his irresistible doxa or glory, and his divine holiness, he seems to the psalmist to be the perfected realization of the close relationship in which God has set David and his seed to Himself. He calls him אלהים, just as Isaiah calls the exalted royal child whom he exultingly salutes in Psalm 9:1-6, אל־גּבּור. He gives him this name, because in the transparent exterior of his fair humanity he sees the glory and holiness of God as having attained a salutary of merciful conspicuousness among men. At the same time, however, he guards this calling of the king by the name Elohim against being misapprehended by immediately distinguishing the God, who stands above him, from the divine king by the words "Elohim, thy God," which, in the Korahitic Psalms, and in the Elohimic Psalms in general, is equivalent to Jahve, thy God" (Psalm 43:4; Psalm 48:15; Psalm 50:7); and the two words are accordingly united by Munach.

(Note: The view that the Munach is here vicarius Tiphchae anterioris (Dachselt in his Biblia Accentuata) is erroneous, vid., Accentuationssystem, xviii. 4. It is the conjunctive to אלהיך, which, in Heidenheim and Baer, on the authority of the Codices, has Tiphcha anterior, not Athnach as in the editions heretofore published. The proper place for the Athnach would at first be by שׁשׁון; but according to Accentuationssystem, xix. 6, it cannot stand there.)

Because the king's sceptre is a "sceptre of uprightness" (cf. Isaiah 11:4), because he loves righteousness and consequently (fut. consec.) hates iniquity, therefore God, his God, has anointed him with the oil of joy (Isaiah 61:3; cf. on the construction Amos 6:6) above his fellows. What is intended is not the anointing to his office (cf. Psalm 89:21 with Acts 10:38) as a dedication to a happy and prosperous reign, but that God has poured forth upon him, more especially on this his nuptial day, a superabundant joy, both outwardly and in his spirit, such as He has bestowed upon no other king upon the face of the earth. That he rises high above all those round about him is self-evident; but even among his fellows of royal station, kings like himself, he has no equal. It is a matter of question whether the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 1:8) has taken the first ὁ Θεὸς of the expression ὁ Θεὸς ὁ Θεὸς σου as a vocative. Apollinaris does not seem so to have understood him; for he renders it τοὔνεκά σοι Θεὸς αὐτὸς ἑὴν περίχηευεν ἀλοιφήν χηρίσας τερπωλῆς μετόχηοις παρὰ πάντας ἐλαίῳ, and the Greek expositors also take ὁ Θεὸς here as a nominative.

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