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Psalms 45:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [[For the Chief Musician; set to Shoshannim. [A Psalm] of the sons of Korah. Maschil. A Song of loves.]] My heart overfloweth with a goodly matter; I speak the things which I have made touching the king: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [[To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.]] My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue [is] the pen of a ready writer.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [[For the choir director; according to the Shoshannim. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. A Song of Love.]] My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [[To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.]] My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made concerning the king: my tongue [is] the pen of a ready writer.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [[To the chief Musician. Upon Shoshannim. Of the sons of Korah. An instruction;—a song of the Beloved.]] My heart is welling forth [with] a good matter: I say what I have composed touching the king. My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [[To the Chief Musician. On Shoshannim. For the Sons of Korah. A Psalm of Instruction. A Song of Love.]] Overflowed hath my heart, with an excellent theme, I will recite my poem concerning the king, Be, my tongue, [like] the pen of a scribe who is skilled.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— To the Overseer.—'On the Lilies.'—By sons of Korah.—An Instruction.—A song of loves. My heart hath indited a good thing, I am telling my works to a king, My tongue [is] the pen of a speedy writer.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Unto the end, for them that shall be changed, for the sons of Core, for understanding. A canticle for the Beloved. My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the king: My tongue is the pen of a scrivener that writeth swiftly.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[To the chiefe Musician vpon Shoshannim, for the sonnes of Korah, Maschil: a song of loues.]] My heart is inditing a good matter: I speake of the things which I haue made, touching the King: my tongue [is] the penne of a ready writer.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[For the end, for alternate [strains] by the sons of Korah{gr.Core}; for instruction, a Song concerning the beloved.]] My heart has uttered a good matter: I declare my works to the king: my tongue is the pen of a quick writer.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [[To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Qorach, Maskil, A Song of loves.]] My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue [is] the pen of a ready writer.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[[To the chief Musician 5329
{5329} Prime
A primitive root; properly to glitter from afar, that is, to be eminent (as a superintendent, especially of the Temple services and its music); also (as denominative from H5331), to be permanent.
<8764> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 685
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
annm שֹׁשַׁנִּים, 7799
{7799} Prime
From H7797; a lily (from its whiteness), as a flower or architectural ornament; also a (straight) trumpet (from the tubular shape).
for the sons 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of Kra קֹרַח, 7141
{7141} Prime
From H7139; ice; Korach, the name of two Edomites and three Israelites.
Ma$cl מַשׂכִּיל, 4905
{4905} Prime
From H7919; instructive, that is, a didactic poem.
<8688> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 857
A Song 7892
{7892} Prime
The second form being feminine; from H7891; a song; abstractly singing.
of loves.]] 3039
{3039} Prime
From the same as H1730; loved.
My heart 3820
{3820} Prime
A form of H3824; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything.
is inditing 7370
{7370} Prime
A primitive root; to gush.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
a good 2896
{2896} Prime
From H2895; good (as an adjective) in the widest sense; used likewise as a noun, both in the masculine and the feminine, the singular and the plural (good, a good or good thing, a good man or woman; the good, goods or good things, good men or women), also as an adverb (well).
matter: 1697
{1697} Prime
From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially a cause.
I x589
(0589) Complement
Contracted from H0595; I.
speak 559
{0559} Prime
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
of the things which I have made 4639
{4639} Prime
From H6213; an action (good or bad); generally a transaction; abstractly activity; by implication a product (specifically a poem) or (generally) property.
touching the king: 4428
{4428} Prime
From H4427; a king.
my tongue 3956
{3956} Prime
From H3960; the tongue (of man or animals), used literally (as the instrument of licking, eating, or speech), and figuratively (speech, an ingot, a fork of flame, a cove of water).
[is] the pen 5842
{5842} Prime
From H5860 (contracted) in the sense of swooping, that is, side long stroke; a stylus or marking stick.
of a ready 4106
{4106} Prime
From H4116; quick; hence skilful.
writer. 5608
{5608} Prime
A primitive root; properly to score with a mark as a tally or record, that is, (by implication) to inscribe, and also to enumerate; intensively to recount, that is, celebrate.
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 45:1

_ _ Psalms 45:1-17. Shoshannim — literally, “Lilies,” either descriptive of an instrument so shaped, or denoting some tune or air so called, after which the Psalm was to be sung (see on Psalms 8:1, title). A song of loves, or, of beloved ones (plural and feminine) — a conjugal song. Maschil — (See on Psalms 32:1, title, and see on Psalms 42:1, title) denotes the didactic character of the Psalm; that it gives instruction, the song being of allegorical, and not literal, import. The union and glories of Christ and his Church are described. He is addressed as a king possessed of all essential graces, as a conqueror exalted on the throne of a righteous and eternal government, and as a bridegroom arrayed in nuptial splendor. The Church is portrayed in the purity and loveliness of a royally adorned and attended bride, invited to forsake her home and share the honors of her affianced lord. The picture of an Oriental wedding thus opened is filled up by representing the complimentary gifts of the wealthy with which the occasion is honored, the procession of the bride clothed in splendid raiment, attended by her virgin companions, and the entrance of the joyous throng into the palace of the king. A prediction of a numerous and distinguished progeny, instead of the complimentary wish for it usually expressed (compare Genesis 24:60; Ruth 4:11, Ruth 4:12), and an assurance of a perpetual fame, closes the Psalm. All ancient Jewish and Christian interpreters regarded this Psalm as an allegory of the purport above named. In the Song of Songs the allegory is carried out more fully. Hosea (Hosea 1:1-3:5) treats the relation of God and His people under the same figure, and its use to set forth the relation of Christ and His Church runs through both parts of the Bible (compare Isaiah 54:5; Isaiah 62:4, Isaiah 62:5; Matthew 22:3; Matthew 25:1; John 3:29; Ephesians 5:25-32, etc.). Other methods of exposition have been suggested. Several Jewish monarchs, from Solomon to the wicked Ahab, and various foreign princes, have been named as the hero of the song. But to none of them can the terms here used be shown to apply, and it is hardly probable that any mere nuptial song, especially of a heathen king, would be permitted a place in the sacred songs of the Jews. The advocates for any other than the Messianic interpretation have generally silenced each other in succession, while the application of the most rigorous rules of a fair system of interpretation has but strengthened the evidences in its favor. The scope of the Psalm above given is easy and sustained by the explication of its details. The quotation of Psalms 45:6, Psalms 45:7 by Paul (Hebrews 1:8, Hebrews 1:9), as applicable to Christ, ought to be conclusive, and their special exposition shows the propriety of such an application.

_ _ An animated preface indicative of strong emotion. Literally, “My heart overflows: a good matter I speak; the things which I have made,” etc.

_ _ inditing — literally, “boiling up,” as a fountain overflows.

_ _ my tongue is the pen — a mere instrument of God’s use.

_ _ of a ready writer — that is, it is fluent. The theme is inspiring and language flows fast.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 45:1-5

_ _ Some make Shoshannim, in the title, to signify an instrument of six strings; others take it in its primitive signification for lilies or roses, which probably were strewed, with other flowers, at nuptial solemnities; and then it is easily applicable to Christ who calls himself the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys, Song of Songs 2:1. It is a song of loves, concerning the holy love that is between Christ and his church. It is a song of the well-beloved, the virgins, the companions of the bride (Psalms 45:14), prepared to be sung by them. The virgin-company that attend the Lamb on Mount Zion are said to sing a new song, Revelation 14:3, Revelation 14:4.

_ _ I. The preface (Psalms 45:1) speaks, 1. The dignity of the subject. It is a good matter, and it is a pity that such a moving art as poetry should every be employed about a bad matter. It is touching the King, King Jesus, and his kingdom and government. Note, Those that speak of Christ speak of a good matter, no subject so noble, so copious, so fruitful, so profitable, and so well-becoming us; it is a shame that this good matter is not more the matter of our discourse. 2. The excellency of the management. This song was a confession with the mouth of faith in the heart concerning Christ and his church. (1.) The matter was well digested, as it well deserved: My heart is inditing it, which perhaps is meant of that Spirit of prophecy that dictated the psalm to David, that Spirit of Christ which was in the prophets, 1 Peter 1:11. But it is applicable to his devout meditations and affections in his heart, out of the abundance of which his mouth spoke. Things concerning Christ ought to be thought of by us with all possible seriousness, with fixedness of thought and a fire of holy love, especially when we are to speak of those things. We then speak best of Christ and divine things when we speak from the heart that which has warmed and affected us; and we should never be rash in speaking of the things of Christ, but weigh well beforehand what we have to say, lest we speak amiss. See Ecclesiastes 5:2. (2.) It was well expressed: I will speak of the things which I have made. He would express himself, [1.] With all possible clearness, as one that did himself understand and was affected with the things he spoke of. Not, “I will speak the things I have heard from others,” that is speaking by rote; but, “the things which I have myself studied.” Note, What God has wrought in our souls, as well as what he has wrought for them, we must declare to others, Psalms 66:16. [2.] With all possible cheerfulness, freedom, and fluency: “My tongue is as the pen of a ready writer, guided by my heart in every word as the pen is by the hand.” We call the prophets the penmen of scripture, whereas really they were but the pen. The tongue of the most subtle disputant, and the most eloquent orator, is but the pen with which God writes what he pleases. Why should we quarrel with the pen if bitter things be written against us, or idolize the pen if it write in our favour? David not only spoke what he thought of Christ, but wrote it, that it might spread the further and last the longer. His tongue was as the pen of a ready writer, that lets nothing slip. When the heart is inditing a good matter it is a pity but the tongue should be as the pen of a ready writer, to leave it upon record.

_ _ II. In these verses the Lord Jesus is represented,

_ _ 1. As most beautiful and amiable in himself. It is a marriage-song; and therefore the transcendent excellencies of Christ are represented by the beauty of the royal bridegroom (Psalms 45:2): Thou art fairer than the children of men, than any of them. He proposed (Psalms 45:1) to speak of the King, but immediately directs his speech to him. Those that have an admiration and affection for Christ love to go to him and tell him so. Thus we must profess our faith, that we see his beauty, and our love, that we are pleased with it: Thou are fair, thou art fairer than the children of men. Note, Jesus Christ is in himself, and in the eyes of all believers, more amiable and lovely than the children of men. The beauties of the Lord Jesus, as God, as Mediator, far surpass those of human nature in general and those which the most amiable and excellent of the children of men are endowed with; there is more in Christ to engage our love than there is or can be in any creature. Our beloved is more than another beloved. The beauties of this lower world, and its charms, are in danger of drawing away our hearts from Christ, and therefore we are concerned to understand how much he excels them all, and how much more worthy he is of our love.

_ _ 2. As the great favourite of heaven. He is fairer than the children of men, for God has done more for him than for any of the children of men, and all his kindness to the children of men is for his sake, and passes through his hands, through his mouth. (1.) He has grace, and he has it for us; Grace is poured into thy lips. 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. He received all grace from God, all the endowments that were requisite to qualify him for his work and office as Mediator, that from his fulness we might receive, John 1:16. It was not only poured into his heart, for his own strength and encouragement, but poured into his lips, that by the words of his mouth in general, and the kisses of his mouth to particular believers, he might communicate both holiness and comfort. From this grace poured into his lips proceeded those gracious words which all admired, Luke 4:22. The gospel of grace is poured into his lips; for it began to be spoken by the Lord, and from him we receive it. He has the words of eternal life. The spirit of prophecy is put into thy lips; so the Chaldee. (2.) He has the blessing, and he has it for us. “Therefore, because thou art the great trustee of divine grace for the use and benefit of the children of men, therefore God has blessed thee for ever, has made thee an everlasting blessing, so as that in thee all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” Where God gives his grace he will give his blessing. We are blessed with spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 1:3.

_ _ 3. As victorious over all his enemies. The royal bridegroom is a man of war, and his nuptials do not excuse him from the field of battle (as was allowed by the law, Deuteronomy 24:5); nay, they bring him to the field of battle, for he is to rescue his spouse by dint of sword out of her captivity, to conquer her, and to conquer for her, and then to marry her. Now we have here,

_ _ (1.) His preparations for war (Psalms 45:3): Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O Most Mighty! The word of God is the sword of the Spirit. By the promises of that word, and the grace contained in those promises, souls are made willing to submit to Jesus Christ and become his loyal subjects; by the threatenings of that word, and the judgments executed according to them, those that stand it out against Christ will, in due time, be brought down and ruined. By the gospel of Christ many Jews and Gentiles were converted, and, at length, the Jewish nation was destroyed, according to the predictions of it, for their implacable enmity to it; and paganism was quite abolished. The sword here girt on Christ's thigh is the same which is said to proceed out of his mouth, Revelation 19:15. When the gospel was sent fort to be preached to all nations, then our Redeemer girded his sword upon his thigh.

_ _ (2.) His expedition to this holy war: He goes forth with his glory and his majesty, as a great king takes the field with abundance of pomp and magnificence — his sword, his glory, and majesty. In his gospel he appears transcendently great and excellent, bright and blessed, in the honour and majesty which the Father had laid upon him. Christ, both in his person and in his gospel, had nothing of external glory or majesty, nothing to charm men (for he had no form nor comeliness), nothing to awe men, for he took upon him the form of a servant; it was all spiritual glory, spiritual majesty. There is so much grace, and therefore glory, in that word, He that believes shall be saved, so much terror, and therefore majesty, in that word, He that believes shall not be damned, that we may well say, in the chariot of that gospel, which these words are the sum of, the Redeemer rides forth in glory and majesty. In thy majesty ride prosperously, Psalms 45:4. Prosper thou; ride thou. This speaks the promise of his Father, that he should prosper according to the good pleasure of the Lord, that he should divide the spoil with the strong, in recompence of his sufferings. Those cannot but prosper to whom God says, Prosper, Isaiah 52:10-12. And it denotes the good wishes of his friends, praying that he may prosper in the conversion of souls to him, and the destruction of all the powers of darkness that rebel against him. “Thy kingdom come; Go on and prosper.”

_ _ (3.) The glorious cause in which he is engaged — because of truth, and meekness, and righteousness, which were, in a manner, sunk and lost among men, and which Christ came to retrieve and rescue. [1.] The gospel itself is truth, meekness, and righteousness; it commands by the power of truth and righteousness; for Christianity has these, incontestably, on its side, and yet it is to be promoted by meekness and gentleness, 1 Corinthians 4:12, 1 Corinthians 4:13; 2 Timothy 2:25. [2.] Christ appears in it in his truth, meekness, and righteousness, and these are his glory and majesty, and because of these he shall prosper. Men are brought to believe on him because he is true, to learn of him because he is meek, Matthew 11:29 (the gentleness of Christ is of mighty force, 2 Corinthians 10:1), and to submit to him because he is righteous and rules with equity. [3.] The gospel, as far as it prevails with men, sets up in their hearts truth, meekness, and righteousness, rectifies their mistakes by the light of truth, controls their passions by the power of meekness, and governs their hearts and lives by the laws of righteousness. Christ came, by setting up his kingdom among men, to restore those glories to a degenerate world, and to maintain the cause of those just and rightful rulers under him that by error, malice, and iniquity, had been deposed.

_ _ (4.) The success of his expedition: “Thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things; thou shalt experience a wonderful divine power going along with thy gospel, to make it victorious, and the effects of it will be terrible things.” [1.] In order to the conversion and reduction of souls to him, there are terrible things to be done; the heart must be pricked, conscience must be startled, and the terrors of the Lord must make way for his consolations. This is done by the right hand of Christ. The Comforter shall continue, John 16:8. [2.] In the conquest of the gates of hell and its supporters, in the destruction of Judaism and Paganism, terrible things will be done, which will make men's hearts fail them for fear (Luke 21:26) and great men and chief captains call to the rocks and mountains to fall on them, Revelation 6:15. The next verse describes these terrible things (Psalms 45:5): Thy arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies. First, Those that were by nature enemies are thus wounded, in order to their being subdued and reconciled. Convictions are like the arrows of the bow, which are sharp in the heart on which they fasten, and bring people to fall under Christ, in subjection to his laws and government. Those that thus fall on this stone shall by broken, Matthew 21:44. Secondly, Those that persist in their enmity are thus wounded, in order to their being ruined. The arrows of God's terrors are sharp in their hearts, whereby they shall fall under him, so as to be made his footstool, Psalms 110:1. Those that would not have him to reign over them shall be brought forth and slain before him (Luke 19:27); those that would not submit to his golden sceptre shall be broken to pieces by his iron rod.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Psalms 45:1

Enditing — Heb. boileth, or bubbleth up like water over the fire. This denotes that the workings of his heart, were fervent and vehement, kindled by God's grace, and the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Made — Have composed. Pen — He was only the pen or instrument in uttering this song; it was the spirit of God, by whose hand this pen was guided.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 45:1

"To the chief Musician upon (a) Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of (b) loves." My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue [is] the pen of a ready writer.

(a) This was a certain tune of an instrument.

(b) Of that perfect love that ought to be between the husband and the wife.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Psalms 69:1 [[To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, [A Psalm] of David.]] Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul.
Psalms 80:1 [[To the chief Musician upon Shoshannimeduth, A Psalm of Asaph.]] Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest [between] the cherubims, shine forth.

or, of instruction

A song:

Song of Songs 1:1 The song of songs, which [is] Solomon's.
Song of Songs 1:2-7 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love [is] better than wine. ... Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest [thy flock] to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?
Isaiah 5:1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

is inditing:
Heb. boileth, or, bubbleth up,
Job 32:18-20 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me. ... I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.
Proverbs 16:23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

a good:

Psalms 49:3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understanding.
Job 33:3 My words [shall be of] the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly.
Job 34:4 Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what [is] good.
Proverbs 8:6-9 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips [shall be] right things. ... They [are] all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.


Psalms 2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
Psalms 24:7-10 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. ... Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he [is] the King of glory. Selah.
Psalms 110:1-2 [[A Psalm of David.]] The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. ... The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
Song of Songs 1:12 While the king [sitteth] at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.
Isaiah 32:1-2 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. ... And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Matthew 27:37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.


2 Samuel 23:2 The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word [was] in my tongue.
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

2S 23:2. Jb 32:18; 33:3; 34:4. Ps 2:6; 24:7; 49:3; 69:1; 80:1; 110:1. Pv 8:6; 16:23. So 1:1, 2, 12. Is 5:1; 32:1. Mt 12:35; 25:34; 27:37. Ep 5:32. 2P 1:21.

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