For the music director; according to the tune of “Lilies;” 2 by the Korahites, a well-written poem, 3 a love song.
45:1 My heart is stirred by a beautiful song. 4
I say, “I have composed this special song 5 for the king;
my tongue is as skilled as the stylus of an experienced scribe.” 6
1 sn Psalm 45. This is a romantic poem celebrating the Davidic king’s marriage to a lovely princess. The psalmist praises the king for his military prowess and commitment to justice, urges the bride to be loyal to the king, and anticipates that the marriage will be blessed with royal offspring.
2 tn Heb “according to lilies.” “Lilies” may be a tune title or musical style, suggestive of romantic love. The imagery of a “lily” appears frequently in the Song of Solomon in a variety of contexts (see 2:1-2, 16; 4:5; 5:13; 6:2-3; 7:2).
3 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is uncertain. See the note on the phrase “well-written song” in the superscription of Ps 42.
4 tn Heb “[with] a good word.” The “good word” probably refers here to the song that follows.
5 tn Heb “my works [are] for a king.” The plural “works” may here indicate degree, referring to the special musical composition that follows.
6 tn Heb “my tongue [is] a stylus of a skillful scribe.” Words flow from the psalmist’s tongue just as they do from a scribe’s stylus.