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Psalms 45:9-11

Context

45:9 Princesses 1  are among your honored guests, 2 

your bride 3  stands at your right hand, wearing jewelry made with gold from Ophir. 4 

45:10 Listen, O princess! 5 

Observe and pay attention! 6 

Forget your homeland 7  and your family! 8 

45:11 Then 9  the king will be attracted by 10  your beauty.

After all, he is your master! Submit 11  to him! 12 

1 tn Heb “daughters of kings.”

2 tn Heb “valuable ones.” The form is feminine plural.

3 tn This rare Hebrew noun apparently refers to the king’s bride, who will soon be queen (see Neh 2:6). The Aramaic cognate is used of royal wives in Dan 5:2-3, 23.

4 tn Heb “a consort stands at your right hand, gold of Ophir.”

sn Gold from Ophir is also mentioned in Isa 13:12 and Job 28:16. The precise location of Ophir is uncertain; Arabia, India, East Africa, and South Africa have all been suggested as options.

5 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.

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

7 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.

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

9 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.

10 tn Or “desire.”

11 tn Or “bow down.”

12 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.



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