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Psalms 45:10-12

Context

45:10 Listen, O princess! 1 

Observe and pay attention! 2 

Forget your homeland 3  and your family! 4 

45:11 Then 5  the king will be attracted by 6  your beauty.

After all, he is your master! Submit 7  to him! 8 

45:12 Rich people from Tyre 9 

will seek your favor by bringing a gift. 10 

1 tn Heb “daughter.” The Hebrew noun בת (“daughter”) can sometimes refer to a young woman in a general sense (see H. Haag, TDOT 2:334).

sn Listen, O princess. The poet now addresses the bride.

2 tn Heb “see and turn your ear.” The verb רָאָה (raah, “see”) is used here of mental observation.

3 tn Heb “your people.” This reference to the “people” of the princess suggests she was a foreigner. Perhaps the marriage was arranged as part of a political alliance between Israel (or Judah) and a neighboring state. The translation “your homeland” reflects such a situation.

4 tn Heb “and the house of your father.”

5 tn After the preceding imperatives, the jussive verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive is best understood as introducing a purpose (“so that the king might desire your beauty”) or result clause (see the present translation and cf. also NASB). The point seems to be this: The bride might tend to be homesick, which in turn might cause her to mourn and diminish her attractiveness. She needs to overcome this temptation to unhappiness and enter into the marriage with joy. Then the king will be drawn to her natural beauty.

6 tn Or “desire.”

7 tn Or “bow down.”

8 sn Submit to him. The poet here makes the point that the young bride is obligated to bring pleasure to her new husband. Though a foreign concept to modern western culture, this was accepted as the cultural norm in the psalmist’s day.

9 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

10 tn Heb “and a daughter of Tyre with a gift, your face they will appease, the rich of people.” The phrase “daughter of Tyre” occurs only here in the OT. It could be understood as addressed to the bride, indicating she was a Phoenician (cf. NEB). However, often in the OT the word “daughter,” when collocated with the name of a city or country, is used to personify the referent (see, for example, “Daughter Zion” in Ps 9:14, and “Daughter Babylon” in Ps 137:8). If that is the case here, then “Daughter Tyre” identifies the city-state of Tyre as the place from which the rich people come (cf. NRSV). The idiom “appease the face” refers to seeking one’s favor (see Exod 32:11; 1 Sam 13:12; 1 Kgs 13:6; 2 Kgs 13:4; 2 Chr 33:12; Job 11:19; Ps 119:58; Prov 19:6; Jer 26:19; Dan 9:13; Zech 7:2; 8:21-22; Mal 1:9).



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