Psalm 45:9
Kings' daughters were among your honorable women: on your right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
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(9) Honourable women.—Literally, precious ones, i.e., possibly the favourites of the harem. See Proverbs 6:26, where this word precious is used (comp. Jeremiah 31:20), or there may be an allusion to the costliness and magnificence of the harem rather than to affection for its inmates. Perhaps both senses are combined in the word, and we may compare Shakespeare’s

The jewels of our father, with washed eyes

Cordelia leaves you.”

Upon thy right hand.—Comp. 1Kings 2:19.

Did stand.—Better, was stationed, referring to the position assigned to the bride when the marriage procession was formed.

In gold of Ophir.—Or, possibly, as (i.e., precious as) gold of Ophir, a common use of this particle. For Ophir and its gold see 1Kings 9:28. The LXX. and Vulg. miss the proper name, and read, “clothed in golden vesture and many-coloured.”

Psalm 45:9. Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women — Among them that attend upon thy spouse, as the manner was in nuptial solemnities. As the queen is the church in general, so these honourable women are particular believers, who are daily added to the church, Acts 2:47. And although the church is made up of particular believers, yet she is distinguished from them for the decency of the parable, as the whole is often distinguished in our minds from the parts of which it consists, and as the daughters of Jerusalem are distinguished from the spouse in the book of Canticles, though the spouse (the church) be wholly made up of them. And these believers may be said to be kings’ daughters, because, among others, many persons of royal race embraced the faith, and because they are, in a spiritual sense, kings unto God, Revelation 1:6. On thy right hand — The most honourable place; did stand the queen — In the posture of a servant; to show that although she is a queen, yet she is also his subject to serve and obey him. Or, rather, as נצבה, nitzebah, signifies, is placed, or seated, which seems more agreeable to the dignity of a queen, 1 Kings 2:19, and of a spouse at the nuptial solemnity. In gold of Ophir — Clothed in the richest garments, made of the choicest gold; by which he designs the graces wherewith the church is adorned.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.Kings' daughters were among thy honorable women - Those who were in attendance on him and on the bride were from the most elevated ranks; among the most honorable of the earth. The word rendered "honorable women," means properly, precious, costly; and then, dear, beloved; and this might be rendered "kings' daughters are among thy beloved ones;" that is, in the number of thy maidens, or of those attending on thee. The allusion is to a marriage, and the description is drawn from the usual accompaniments of a marriage in the east. The design, as applicable to the Messiah and to his union with the Church, his bride, is to describe him as accompanied with every circumstance of distinction and honor, to throw around him all that constituted beauty and splendor in an Oriental marriage ceremony. Nothing of earth could be too rich or beautiful to illustrate the glory of the union of the Redeemer with his redeemed Church.

Upon thy right hand did stand the queen - The right hand is the place of honor, and that idea is intended here: 1 Kings 2:19; Mark 14:62; Mark 16:19; Hebrews 1:3; Acts 7:55. The idea here is, that the Church, the bride of the Lamb of God, as seen in the vision, is exalted to the highest post of honor. That Church has the place in his affections which the newly-married bride has in the affections of her husband.

In field of Ophir - In garments decked or ornamented with the finest gold. On the phrase "the gold of Ophir," see the notes at Isaiah 13:12.

9. In completion of this picture of a marriage festival, female attendants or bridesmaids of the highest rank attend Him, while the queen, in rich apparel (Ps 45:13), stands ready for the nuptial procession. Among thy honourable women, i.e. amongst them that attend upon thy spouse, as the manner was in nuptial solemnities; as men attended upon the bridegroom, whence they were called friends, John 3:29. In reference to Christ, as the spouse or queen is the church in general, so these honourable women are particular believers, who are daily added to the church, Acts 2:47, and submit themselves to it. And although the church is made up of particular believers, yet she is distinguished from them, for the decency of the parable, as the whole is oft distinguished by our minds from the parts of which it consists, and as the daughters of Jerusalem are distinguished from the spouse in the book of the Canticles, though the spouse be wholly made up of them. And these believers may be said to be kings’ daughters, either because amongst others many persons of royal or princely races did embrace the faith, as was prophesied of them, Isaiah 49:7 60:10,11, &c., or because they are in a spiritual sense kings unto God, Revelation 1:6.

Upon thy right hand; the most honourable place next to the king’s. See 1 Kings 2:9 Matthew 26:64. Did stand; which is the posture of a servant; to show that as she is a queen, she is also his subject to serve and obey him. Or, is placed, or seated; which seems more agreeable to the person of a queen, 1 Kings 2:19, and of a spouse at the nuptial solemnity.

In gold of Ophir; clothed in the richest garments made of the choicest gold; by which he designs the graces wherewith the church is accomplished. Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women,.... Or "maids of honour" (n); who filled and adorned the king's court, and made a splendid appearance there, the same with the virgins, the companions of the bride, in Psalm 45:14; and design truly gracious souls, believers in Christ, who are his "precious ones" (o), as the word may be rendered; the excellent in the earth, in whom is all his delight; the precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold; his portion, his jewels, his peculiar treasure, and the apple of his eye: and since they have been precious to him, they have been "honourable", as they are, both by birth and marriage, being born of God, and espoused to Christ; by their character, kings and priests; and by their company, being among princes, and especially by their having communion with Father, Son, and Spirit: and among these are "kings' daughters"; yea, they are all of them the sons and daughters of the King of kings; not by their first birth, by which they were mean, base, and dishonourable, wretched and miserable, and children of wrath, as others; but by their second birth, or regeneration, through being born from above, and of God, to an incorruptible inheritance; and so are clothed and fed like the daughters of kings, and have the attendance of such, angels to wait upon them and guard them; and through adopting grace, which regeneration is the evidence of, by virtue of which some of the children of men become the sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty; and through their marriage to the King's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ: the words may be rendered, "Kings' daughters were in thy precious things" (p); that is, were arrayed with them: meaning either the graces of the Spirit, comparable to gems, pearls, jewels, and precious stones; see Sol 1:10; or else the rich robe of Christ's righteousness, and garments of salvation, with which believers being clothed, are as a bridegroom decked with ornaments, and as a bride adorned with jewels, Isaiah 61:10; and this agrees with what follows;

upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir; by whom is meant the church, whose title is a "queen", being the bride, the Lamb's wife: wherefore, because he is King, she is queen; for this title she has not of herself; it is founded not in her own right, but upon her relation to Christ, being married to him; and so is expressive of relation to him, union with him, and of privilege and dignity through him; she sharing with him in all he has, even in his kingdom and government, reigning with him, and on the same throne: her being "on his right hand" shows the honour she is advanced unto; yet "standing" may denote subjection to him as her Lord and head; and being so close by him may suggest her fidelity and inviolable attachment to him, and strict adherence to his person, cause and interest; as well as her protection from him, being held and upheld by his right hand; and her reception of favours from thence, and her enjoyment of his presence, at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore. Her dress is "gold of Ophir": a place famous for gold; See Gill on 1 Kings 9:28; with which the clothes of great personages used to be embroidered; so Esther is said (q) to put on her royal apparel, adorned with the good gold of "Ophir": here it means, that the queen's or church's clothing was of wrought gold, as in Psalm 45:13, and intends the righteousness of Christ, with which she is arrayed, comparable to it for its richness, purity, lustre, glory, and duration.

(n) "inter noblies tuas", Tigurine version. (o) Heb. "pretiosas", Piscator; so Ainsworth. (p) In "pretiositatibus tuis", Montanus, Gejerus; so some in Vatablus. (q) Targum Sheni in Esther v. 1.

Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the {h} queen in gold of Ophir.

(h) Though he had many king's daughters among his wives, yet he found Pharaoh's daughter best.

9. Kings’ daughters are among thy honourable women:

At thy right hand doth stand the queen in gold of Ophir (R.V.).

An Oriental monarch prided himself on the number and nobility of the wives in his harem, and some at least of the Jewish monarchs were no exception to the rule (1 Kings 11:3; Song of Solomon 6:8). It may seem strange that such a degradation of the true ideal of marriage should find place in a Psalm which opens up such lofty thoughts and hopes. But the Psalm reflects the actual facts and customs of the age: it is not intended to depict a perfect state of things. One of the wives takes precedence of the rest and occupies the place of honour (1 Kings 2:19) at the king’s right hand. It is implied that this place is reserved for the new bride whom the poet now turns to address. The verse is a general description of the king’s state, for the bride has not yet been brought in (Psalm 45:14); or is the poet anticipating? Gold of Ophir was the choicest gold (1 Kings 9:28; 1 Kings 10:11; Job 22:24; Job 28:16), but where Ophir was is not known. Most probably it was in S. Arabia or India.Verse 9. - King's daughters were (rather, are) among thy honourable women. The marriage scene now begins to open upon us. The bridegroom has been depicted in all his glorious majesty. The bride has now to be brought forward. She comes, accompanied by a train of attendants - "honourable women," or, noble ladies" (Kay), many of whom are "kings' daughters" (comp. 1 Kings 7:3). It must not be expected that all the details of the scene shall have exact equivalents in the spiritual marriage which it represents. Upon thy right hand did stand (rather, stands) the queen in gold of Ophir; i.e. in a vesture richly embroidered with gold thread (comp. Exodus 28:5-8). "Gold of Ophir" was known, not merely to David (1 Chronicles 29:4), but even to Job (Job 28:16). The "right hand" of the king was the place of honour. We find it assigned by Solomon to the queen-mother, Bathsheba (1 Kings 2:19). (Heb.: 44:4-6) In the ever blessed one the greatest strength and vigour are combined with the highest beauty. He is a hero. The praise of his heroic strength takes the form of a summons to exert it and aid the good in obtaining the victory over evil. Brightness and majesty, as the objects to חגור, alternating with the sword, are not in apposition to this which is their instrument and symbol (Hengstenberg), but permutatives, inasmuch as חגור is zeugmatically referable to both objects: the king is (1) to gird himself with his sword, and (2) to surround himself with his kingly, God-like doxa. הוד והדר is the brilliancy of the divine glory (Psalm 96:6), of which the glory of the Davidic kingship is a reflection (Psalm 21:6); mentioned side by side with the sword, it is, as it were, the panoply that surrounds the king as bright armour. In Psalm 45:5 והדרך, written accidentally a second time, is probably to be struck out, as Olshausen and Hupfeld are of opinion. Hitzig points it והדרך, "and step forth;" but this is not Hebrew. As the text runs, wa-hadārcha (with Legarme preceded by Illuj, vid., Accentsystem xiii. 8c, 9) looks as though it were repeated out of Psalm 45:4 in the echo-like and interlinked style that we frequently find in the songs of degrees, e.g., Psalm 121:1-2; and in fact repeated as an accusative of more exact definition (in the same bold manner as in Psalm 17:13-14) to צלח, which, like Arab. ṣlḥ, starting from the primary notion of cleaving, breaking through, pressing forward, comes to have the notion of carrying anything through prosperously, of being successful, pervadere et bene procedere (cf. the corresponding development of signification in Arab. flḥ, 'flḥ), and, according to Ges. 142, rem. 1, gives to רכב the adverbial notion of that which is effectual (victorious) or effective and successful. We cannot determine whether רכב is here intended to say vehi curru or vehi equo; but certainly not upon a mule or an ass (1 Kings 1:33; Zechariah 9:9), which are the beasts ridden in a time of peace. The king going forth to battle either rides in a war-chariot (like Ahab and Jehoshaphat, 1 Kings 22), or upon a war-horse, as in Revelation 19:11 the Logos of God is borne upon a white horse. That which he is to accomplish as he rides forth in majesty is introduced by על־דּבר (for the sake of, on account of), which is used just as in Psalm 79:9, 2 Samuel 18:5. The combination ענוה־צדק-is very similar to עריה־בשׁת, Micah 1:11 (nakedness - ignominy equals ignominious nakedness), if ענוה equals ענוה is to be taken as the name of a virtue. The two words are then the names of virtues, like אמת (truth equals veracity, which loves and practises that which is true and which is hostile to lying, falseness, and dissimulation); and whereas צדק ענוה would signify meek righteousness, and צדק ענות, righteousness meekness, this conjunction standing in the middle between an addition and an asyndeton denotes meekness and righteousness as twin-sisters and reciprocally pervasive. The virtues named, however, stand for those who exemplify them and who are in need of help, on whose behalf the king is called upon to enter the strife: the righteous, if they are at the same time ענוים (עניּים), are doubly worthy and in need of his help. Nevertheless another explanation of ענוה presents itself, and one that is all the more probable as occurring just in this Psalm which has such a North-Palestinian colouring. The observation, that North-Palestinian writers do not always point the construct state with ath, in favour of which Hitzig, on Psalm 68:29, wrongly appeals to Hosea 10:6; Job 39:13, but rightly to Judges 7:8; Judges 8:32 (cf. Deuteronomy 33:4, Deuteronomy 33:27), is perfectly correct. Accordingly ענוה may possibly be equivalent to ענות, but not in the signification business, affair equals ענין, parallel with דּבר, but in the signification afflictio (after the form ראוה, Ezekiel 28:17); so that it may be rendered: in order to put a stop to the oppression of righteousness or the suffering of innocence. The jussive ותורך, like ויתאו in Psalm 45:12, begins the apodosis of a hypothetical protasis that is virtually there (Ew. 347, b): so shall thy right hand teach thee, i.e., lead thee forth and cause thee to see terrible things, i.e., awe-inspiring deeds.

But in Psalm 45:6 both summons and desire pass over into the expression of a sure and hopeful prospect and a vision, in which that which is to be is present to the mind: thine arrows are sharpened, and therefore deadly to those whom they hit; peoples shall fall (יפּלוּ)

(Note: It is not יפּלוּ; for the pause falls upon שׁנוּנים, and the Athnach of יפלו stands merely in the place of Zekaph (Numbers 6:12). The Athnach after Olewejored does not produce any pausal effect; vid., Psalm 50:23; Psalm 68:9, Psalm 68:14; Psalm 69:4; Psalm 129:1, and cf. supra, p. 56, note 2.)

under thee, i.e., so that thou passest over them as they lie upon the ground; in the heart of the enemies of the king, viz., they (i.e., the arrows) will stick. The harsh ellipse is explained by the fact of the poet having the scene of battle before his mind as though he were an eye-witness of it. The words "in the heart of the king's enemies" are an exclamation accompanied by a pointing with the finger. Thither, he means to say, those sharp arrows fly and smite. Crusius' explanation is similar, but it goes further than is required: apostrophe per prosopopaeiam directa ad sagittas quasi jubens, quo tendere debeant. We are here reminded of Psalm 110:2, where a similar בּקרב occurs in a prophetico-messianic connection. Moreover, even according to its reference to contemporary history the whole of this strophe sounds Messianic. The poet desires that the king whom he celebrates may rule and triumph after the manner of the Messiah; that he may succour truth and that which is truly good, and overcome the enmity of the world, or, as Psalm 2:1-12 expresses it, that the God-anointed King of Zion may shatter everything that rises up in opposition with an iron sceptre. This anointed One, however, is not only the Son of David, but also of God. He is called absolutely בּר, ὁ υἱὸς. Isaiah calls Him, even in the cradle, אל גּבּור, Isaiah 9:5, cf. Isaiah 10:21. We shall not, therefore, find it to be altogether intolerable, if the poet now addresses him as אלהים, although the picture thus far sketched is thoroughly human in all its ideality.

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