Psalm 45 Your Throne O God Will Last For Ever

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My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.

You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. (vv 1-2)

Psalm 45 draws our attention because of its shift in focus. This is not a prayer or plea to God as the preceding entries have been. Instead, it is a song in praise of a Royal on his wedding day. Our view of the psalter is expanded and its application to all of life is made more apparent.

The voice of the first verses also gives us a new appreciation for the author of the song. He is an ‘expert scribe’, similar to profession of Ezra (Ezra 7:6). The scribe is not simply a transcriber of words. He is a learned fellow, observing and cataloging the traditions, literature, and practices of his community. In the instance of this psalm, it appears that he has composed this loving tribute orally and speaks it to the King himself. We will now be more aware of his hand in the rest of the psalter as we continue our exploration.

The application of this psalm has expanded through the ages. This was read as a Messianic text in later Jewish practice and others have found it to be speaking allegorically of the relationship between God and His people. Many have struggled with verses 6 and 7 as the King is referenced as God:

Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.

You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. (vv 6-7)

In the context of the time, modern readers must appreciate that King was seen as divinely appointed by God and possessed a special relationship because of the selection. This is not to be read as an ascendency to divine status nor as idolatry. The author of Hebrews found in these verses the perfect words to speak of the Son of Man and His person and office (Heb 1:8-9). Christians have interpreted this psalm as a song of love between Christ and His church, a beautiful application of beautiful words.

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2 thoughts on “Psalm 45 Your Throne O God Will Last For Ever

  1. I have been taking a course with a company that teaches a number of languages, such as Chinese, Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew. Since there are many different versions of the way in which this verse, I asked why.

    The response was that this is a Nominal Sentence, or that there is an implied verb because none exist in the scripture. Usually in this form if you were to read “Book red”. It would mean “the Book is red. ” The song of Solomon opens with the words Ani Shahorah literally I Black, with Feminine gender. It would thus be translated as A Black Girl am I.

    Normally then especially if one were speaking in present tense the nominal sentence would need the verb to be placed between the two Nouns when translating into English. “Your throne is God forever and ever.” You seem to leave out this point in your discussion. The Scripture could be well be indicating that the source of the power that this king posesses sits on God’s power and authority. And the king would thus surely then have a God that he worships.

    If you would just give the readers this other option then the rest of the verses would be contextually agreeable. Many open-minded people do not need your explanation based on a subjective opinion more than on objective research as much as your honesty. It is important that help people think things through, but not to do their thinking for them. Many people feel that Jesus is indeed God, while many feel he is not. I am in agreement that this king is in fact Jesus.

  2. While I appreciate your input on this post, your Hebrew translation is deeply flawed. I too have been trained in Hebrew through two of finest scholars available in the seminary environment. So let’s put our heads together and examine the verse that you have elected to translate. In Hebrew it will read:

    כִּסְאֲךָ אֱלֹהִים עוֹלָם וָעֶד שֵׁבֶט מִישֹׁר שֵׁבֶט מַלְכוּתֶךָ׃

    In particular you propose that a verb (to be) be placed between the masculine noun kese (throne/chair) and the masculine noun elohim (God in this context). I believe the markings of the words place them in a genitive relationship; ie. God’s throne or the throne of God. If you examine your LXX you will find this same translation. In reviewing numerous English translations, none agrees with your assertion. I don’t think you can make the case for this to be read as the throne “is” God based on the grammar.

    So let’s go back to your initial example. Book-Red is composed of a noun and an adjective, not two nouns. This requires (in English) the verb of being since no sentence in English exists without a verb. The Song of Songs verse that you highlight contains both a personal pronoun and an adjective into which it is appropriate to enter the verb that doesn’t exist in Hebrew.

    Finally, I’m not sure where you feel its appropriate to label me dishonest in my presentation of the passage. The verse came from the NIV so, first, I suppose you should take up the translation with that committee. Second, the majority of reputable commentary authors recognize this psalm in its wedding context. I didn’t author this post to do people’s thinking for them; it is devotional in nature. Next time, you might want to add the appropriate scholastic support asserting that a verse is being incorrectly translated or interpreted. That will be much more helpful.

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