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
You speak in an impressive and fitting manner! 8
Appear in your majestic splendor! 12
Ride forth for the sake of what is right, 14
on behalf of justice! 15
Then your right hand will accomplish mighty acts! 16
45:5 Your arrows are sharp
and penetrate the hearts of the king’s enemies.
Nations fall at your feet. 17
The scepter 20 of your kingdom is a scepter of justice.
Observe and pay attention! 35
will seek your favor by bringing a gift. 43
decked out in pearls and clothed in a brocade trimmed with gold. 46
45:14 In embroidered robes she is escorted to the king.
Her attendants, the maidens of honor who follow her,
are led before you. 47
45:15 They are bubbling with joy as they walk in procession
and enter the royal palace. 48
you will make them princes throughout the land.
then the nations will praise you 53 forever.
For the music director; according to the tune of “Lilies;” 55 by David.
69:1 Deliver me, O God,
for the water has reached my neck. 56
69:2 I sink into the deep mire
where there is no solid ground; 57
I am in 58 deep water,
and the current overpowers me.
69:3 I am exhausted from shouting for help;
my throat is sore; 59
my eyes grow tired of looking for my God. 60
69:4 Those who hate me without cause are more numerous than the hairs of my head.
They make me repay what I did not steal! 63
my guilt is not hidden from you. 65
69:6 Let none who rely on you be disgraced because of me,
O sovereign Lord and king! 66
Let none who seek you be ashamed because of me,
O God of Israel!
and am thoroughly disgraced. 69
69:8 My own brothers treat me like a stranger;
they act as if I were a foreigner. 70
I endure the insults of those who insult you. 74
which causes others to insult me. 76
69:11 I wear sackcloth
and they ridicule me. 77
69:12 Those who sit at the city gate gossip about me;
drunkards mock me in their songs. 78
O God, because of your great loyal love,
answer me with your faithful deliverance! 80
69:14 Rescue me from the mud! Don’t let me sink!
Deliver me 81 from those who hate me,
from the deep water!
69:15 Don’t let the current overpower me!
Don’t let the deep swallow me up!
Because of your great compassion, turn toward me!
for I am in trouble! Answer me right away! 86
Because of my enemies, rescue me!
69:19 You know how I am insulted, humiliated and disgraced;
you can see all my enemies. 88
for comforters, but find none.
and to quench my thirst they give me vinegar to drink. 94
69:22 May their dining table become a trap before them!
May it be a snare for that group of friends! 95
Make them shake violently! 97
May your raging anger 99 overtake them!
69:25 May their camp become desolate,
their tents uninhabited! 100
they spread the news about the suffering of those whom you punish. 103
Do not vindicate them! 105
Do not let their names be listed with the godly! 107
69:29 I am oppressed and suffering!
O God, deliver and protect me! 108
I will magnify him as I give him thanks! 110
69:31 That will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull
with horns and hooves.
69:32 The oppressed look on – let them rejoice!
69:33 For the Lord listens to the needy;
he does not despise his captive people. 113
69:34 Let the heavens and the earth praise him,
along with the seas and everything that swims in them!
69:35 For God will deliver Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah,
69:36 The descendants of his servants will inherit it,
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).
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.
7 tn Heb “you are handsome from the sons of man.” The preposition “from” is used in a comparative (“more than”) sense. The peculiar verb form יָפְיָפִיתָ (yafyafita) is probably the result of dittography of yod-pe (יפ) and should be emended to יָפִיתָ (yafita). See GKC 152 §55.e.
8 tn Heb “favor is poured out on your lips.” “Lips” probably stands by metonymy for the king’s speech. Some interpret the Hebrew term חֵן (khen) as referring here to “gracious (i.e., kind and polite) speech”, but the word probably refers more generally to “attractive” speech that is impressively articulated and fitting for the occasion. For other instances of the term being used of speech, see Prov 22:11 and Eccl 10:12.
9 tn Or “this demonstrates.” The construction עַל־כֵּן (’al-ken, “therefore”) usually indicates what logically follows from a preceding statement. However, here it may infer the cause from the effect, indicating the underlying basis or reason for what precedes (see BDB 487 s.v. I כֵּן 3.f; C. A. Briggs and E. G. Briggs, Psalms [ICC], 1:386).
10 tn Or “blesses you forever.” Here “bless” means to “endue with the power and skill to rule effectively,” as the following verses indicate.
11 tn Or “mighty one.”
12 tn The Hebrew text has simply, “your majesty and your splendor,” which probably refers to the king’s majestic splendor when he appears in full royal battle regalia.
13 tn Heb “and your majesty, be successful.” The syntax is awkward. The phrase “and your majesty” at the beginning of the verse may be accidentally repeated (dittography); it appears at the end of v. 3.
14 tn Or “for the sake of truth.”
15 tc The precise meaning of the MT is uncertain. The form עַנְוָה (’anvah) occurs only here. One could emend the text to עֲנָוָה וְצֶדֶק (’anavah vÿtsedeq, “[for the sake of truth], humility, and justice”). In this case “humility” would perhaps allude to the king’s responsibility to “serve” his people by promoting justice (cf. NIV “in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness”). The present translation assumes an emendation to יַעַן (ya’an, “because; on account of”) which would form a suitable parallel to עַל־דְּבַר (’al-dÿvar, “because; for the sake of”) in the preceding line.
16 tn Heb “and your right hand will teach you mighty acts”; or “and may your right hand teach you mighty acts.” After the imperatives in the first half of the verse, the prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive likely indicates purpose (“so that your right hand might teach you mighty acts”) or result (see the present translation). The “right hand” here symbolizes the king’s military strength. His right hand will “teach” him mighty acts by performing them and thereby causing him to experience their magnificence.
17 tn Heb “your arrows are sharp – peoples beneath you fall – in the heart of the enemies of the king.” The choppy style reflects the poet’s excitement.
18 sn The king’s throne here symbolizes his rule.
19 tn Or “forever and ever.”
sn O God. The king is clearly the addressee here, as in vv. 2-5 and 7-9. Rather than taking the statement at face value, many prefer to emend the text because the concept of deifying the earthly king is foreign to ancient Israelite thinking (cf. NEB “your throne is like God’s throne, eternal”). However, it is preferable to retain the text and take this statement as another instance of the royal hyperbole that permeates the royal psalms. Because the Davidic king is God’s vice-regent on earth, the psalmist addresses him as if he were God incarnate. God energizes the king for battle and accomplishes justice through him. A similar use of hyperbole appears in Isa 9:6, where the ideal Davidic king of the eschaton is given the title “Mighty God” (see the note on this phrase there). Ancient Near Eastern art and literature picture gods training kings for battle, bestowing special weapons, and intervening in battle. According to Egyptian propaganda, the Hittites described Rameses II as follows: “No man is he who is among us, It is Seth great-of-strength, Baal in person; Not deeds of man are these his doings, They are of one who is unique” (see Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, 2:67). Ps 45:6 and Isa 9:6 probably envision a similar kind of response when friends and foes alike look at the Davidic king in full battle regalia. When the king’s enemies oppose him on the battlefield, they are, as it were, fighting against God himself.
20 sn The king’s scepter symbolizes his royal authority.
21 sn To love justice means to actively promote it.
22 sn To hate evil means to actively oppose it.
23 tn For other examples of the repetition of Elohim, “God,” see Pss 43:4; 48:8, 14; 50:7; 51:14; 67:7. Because the name Yahweh (“
24 sn Anointed you. When read in the light of the preceding context, the anointing is most naturally taken as referring to the king’s coronation. However, the following context (vv. 8-9) focuses on the wedding ceremony, so some prefer to see this anointing as part of the king’s preparations for the wedding celebration. Perhaps the reference to his anointing at his coronation facilitates the transition to the description of the wedding, for the king was also anointed on this occasion.
25 sn The phrase oil of joy alludes to the fact that the coronation of the king, which was ritually accomplished by anointing his head with olive oil, was a time of great celebration and renewed hope. (If one understands the anointing in conjunction with the wedding ceremony, the “joy” would be that associated with the marriage.) The phrase “oil of joy” also appears in Isa 61:3, where mourners are granted “oil of joy” in conjunction with their deliverance from oppression.
26 tn Heb “from your companions.” The “companions” are most naturally understood as others in the royal family or, more generally, as the king’s countrymen.
27 tn The words “perfumed with” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
28 tn Heb “the palaces of ivory.” The phrase “palaces of ivory” refers to palaces that had ivory panels and furniture decorated with ivory inlays. Such decoration with ivory was characteristic of a high level of luxury. See 1 Kgs 22:39 and Amos 3:15.
29 tn Heb “from the palaces of ivory stringed instrument[s] make you happy.”
30 tn Heb “daughters of kings.”
31 tn Heb “valuable ones.” The form is feminine plural.
33 tn Heb “a consort stands at your right hand, gold of Ophir.”
34 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.
35 tn Heb “see and turn your ear.” The verb רָאָה (ra’ah, “see”) is used here of mental observation.
36 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.
37 tn Heb “and the house of your father.”
38 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.
39 tn Or “desire.”
40 tn Or “bow down.”
41 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.
43 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).
44 tn Heb “[the] daughter of a king.”
45 tn Heb “[is] completely glorious.”
46 tc Heb “within, from settings of gold, her clothing.” The Hebrew term פְּנִימָה (pÿnimah, “within”), if retained, would go with the preceding line and perhaps refer to the bride being “within” the palace or her bridal chamber (cf. NIV, NRSV). Since the next two lines refer to her attire (see also v. 9b), it is preferable to emend the form to פְּנִינִיהָּ (“her pearls”) or to פְּנִינִים (“pearls”). The mem (מ) prefixed to “settings” is probably dittographic.
47 tn Heb “virgins after her, her companions, are led to you.” Some emend לָךְ (lakh, “to you”) to לָהּ (lah, “to her,” i.e., the princess), because the princess is now being spoken of in the third person (vv. 13-14a), rather than being addressed directly (as in vv. 10-12). However, the ambiguous suffixed form לָךְ need not be taken as second feminine singular. The suffix can be understood as a pausal second masculine singular form, addressed to the king. The translation assumes this to be the case; note that the king is addressed once more in vv. 16-17, where the second person pronouns are masculine.
48 tn Heb “they are led with joy and happiness, they enter the house of the king.”
49 tn The pronoun is second masculine singular, indicating the king is being addressed from this point to the end of the psalm.
50 tn The prefixed verbal form could be taken as jussive and the statement interpreted as a prayer, “May your sons carry on the dynasty of your ancestors!” The next line could then be taken as a relative clause, “[your sons] whom you will make princes throughout the land.”
51 tn Heb “in place of your fathers will be your sons.”
52 tn Heb “I will cause your name to be remembered in every generation and generation.” The cohortative verbal form expresses the poet’s resolve. The king’s “name” stands here for his reputation and character, which the poet praised in vv. 2-7.
53 sn The nations will praise you. As God’s vice-regent on earth, the king is deserving of such honor and praise.
56 tn The Hebrew term נפשׁ (nefesh) here refers to the psalmist’s throat or neck. The psalmist compares himself to a helpless, drowning man.
57 tn Heb “and there is no place to stand.”
58 tn Heb “have entered.”
59 tn Or perhaps “raw”; Heb “burned; enflamed.”
60 tn Heb “my eyes fail from waiting for my God.” The psalmist has intently kept his eyes open, looking for God to intervene, but now his eyes are watery and bloodshot, impairing his vision.
62 tn The Hebrew verb עָצַם (’atsam) can sometimes mean “are strong,” but here it probably focuses on numerical superiority; note the parallel verb רָבַב (ravav, “be many”).
63 tn Heb “that which I did not steal, then I restore.” Apparently אָז (’az, “then”) is used here to emphasize the verb that follows.
sn They make me repay what I did not steal. The psalmist’s enemies falsely accuse him and hold him accountable for alleged crimes he did not even commit.
64 tn Heb “you know my foolishness.”
65 sn The psalmist is the first to admit that he is not perfect. But even so, he is innocent of the allegations which his enemies bring against him (v. 5b). God, who is aware of his foolish sins and guilt, can testify to the truth of his claim.
66 tn Heb “O Master,
67 tn Heb “carry, bear.”
68 tn Heb “on account of you.”
69 tn Heb “and shame covers my face.”
70 tn Heb “and I am estranged to my brothers, and a foreigner to the sons of my mother.”
71 tn Or “for.” This verse explains that the psalmist’s suffering is due to his allegiance to God.
72 tn Or “devotion to.”
73 sn God’s house, the temple, here represents by metonymy God himself.
74 tn Heb “the insults of those who insult you fall upon me.”
sn Jn 2:17 applies the first half of this verse to Jesus’ ministry in the context of John’s account of Jesus cleansing the temple.
75 sn Fasting was a practice of mourners. By refraining from normal activities such as eating food, the mourner demonstrated the sincerity of his sorrow.
76 tn Heb “and it becomes insults to me.”
77 tn Heb “and I am an object of ridicule to them.”
78 tn Heb “the mocking songs of the drinkers of beer.”
79 tn Heb “as for me, [may] my prayer be to you, O
80 tn Heb “O God, in the abundance of your loyal love, answer me in the faithfulness of your deliverance.”
81 tn Heb “let me be delivered.”
83 tn Heb “do not let the well close its mouth upon me.”
84 tn Or “pleasant”; or “desirable.”
86 tn Or “quickly.”
88 tn Heb “before you [are] all my enemies.”
89 tn Heb “break my heart.” The “heart” is viewed here as the origin of the psalmist’s emotions.
90 tn The verb form appears to be a Qal preterite from an otherwise unattested root נוּשׁ (nush), which some consider an alternate form of אָנַשׁ (’anash, “be weak; be sick”; see BDB 60 s.v. I אָנַשׁ). Perhaps the form should be emended to a Niphal, וָאֵאָנְשָׁה (va’e’onshah, “and I am sick”). The Niphal of אָנַשׁ occurs in 2 Sam 12:15, where it is used to describe David’s sick child.
91 tn Heb “wait.”
92 tn Heb “and I wait for sympathy, but there is none.” The form נוּד (nud) is an infinitive functioning as a verbal noun:, “sympathizing.” Some suggest emending the form to a participle נָד (nad, “one who shows sympathy”). The verb נוּד (nud) also has the nuance “show sympathy” in Job 2:11; 42:11 and Isa 51:19.
93 tn According to BDB 912 s.v. II רֹאשׁ the term can mean “a bitter and poisonous plant.”
95 tc Heb “and to the friends for a snare.” The plural of שָׁלוֹם (shalom, “peace”) is used in Ps 55:20 of one’s “friends.” If the reading of the MT is retained here, the term depicts the psalmist’s enemies as a close-knit group of friends who are bound together by their hatred for the psalmist. Some prefer to revocalize the text as וּלְשִׁלּוּמִים (ulÿshillumim, “and for retribution”). In this case the noun stands parallel to פַּח (pakh, “trap”) and מוֹקֵשׁ (moqesh, “snare”), and one might translate, “may their dining table become a trap before them, [a means of] retribution and a snare” (cf. NIV).
96 tn Heb “may their eyes be darkened from seeing.”
97 tn Heb “make their hips shake continually.”
98 tn Heb “anger.” “Anger” here refers metonymically to divine judgment, which is the practical effect of God’s anger.
99 tn Heb “the rage of your anger.” The phrase “rage of your anger” employs an appositional genitive. Synonyms are joined in a construct relationship to emphasize the single idea. For a detailed discussion of the grammatical point with numerous examples, see Y. Avishur, “Pairs of Synonymous Words in the Construct State (and in Appositional Hendiadys) in Biblical Hebrew,” Semitics 2 (1971), 17-81.
100 tn Heb “in their tents may there not be one who dwells.”
sn In Acts 1:20 Peter applies the language of this verse to Judas’ experience. By changing the pronouns from plural to singular, he is able to apply the ancient curse, pronounced against the psalmist’s enemies, to Judas in particular.
101 tn Or “persecute”; Heb “chase.”
102 tn Heb “for you, the one whom you strike, they chase.”
103 tn Heb “they announce the pain of your wounded ones” (i.e., “the ones whom you wounded,” as the parallel line makes clear).
sn The psalmist is innocent of the false charges made by his enemies (v. 4), but he is also aware of his sinfulness (v. 5) and admits that he experiences divine discipline (v. 26) despite his devotion to God (v. 9). Here he laments that his enemies take advantage of such divine discipline by harassing and slandering him. They “kick him while he’s down,” as the expression goes.
104 tn Heb “place sin upon their sin.”
105 tn Heb “let them not come into your vindication.”
106 tn Heb “let them be wiped out of the scroll of the living.”
sn The phrase the scroll of the living occurs only here in the OT. It pictures a scroll or census list containing the names of the citizens of a community. When an individual died, that person’s name was removed from the list. So this curse is a very vivid way of asking that the enemies die.
107 tn Heb “and with the godly let them not be written.”
sn Do not let their names be listed with the godly. This curse pictures a scroll in which God records the names of his loyal followers. The psalmist makes the point that his enemies have no right to be included in this list of the godly.
108 tn Heb “your deliverance, O God, may it protect me.”
109 tn Heb “I will praise the name of God with a song.”
110 tn Heb “I will magnify him with thanks.”
113 tn Heb “his prisoners he does not despise.”
114 tn Heb “they”; the referent (God’s people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
117 sn Verses 35-36 appear to be an addition to the psalm from the time of the exile. The earlier lament reflects an individual’s situation, while these verses seem to reflect a communal application of it.