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Psalms 45:7-8

Context

45:7 You love 1  justice and hate evil. 2 

For this reason God, your God 3  has anointed you 4 

with the oil of joy, 5  elevating you above your companions. 6 

45:8 All your garments are perfumed with 7  myrrh, aloes, and cassia.

From the luxurious palaces 8  comes the music of stringed instruments that makes you happy. 9 

1 sn To love justice means to actively promote it.

2 sn To hate evil means to actively oppose it.

3 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 (“Lord”) is relatively rare in Pss 42-83, where the name Elohim (“God”) predominates, this compounding of Elohim may be an alternative form of the compound name “the Lord my/your/our God.”

4 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.

5 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.

6 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.

sn Verses 6-7 are quoted in Heb 1:8-9, where they are applied to Jesus.

7 tn The words “perfumed with” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

8 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.

9 tn Heb “from the palaces of ivory stringed instrument[s] make you happy.”



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