Psalm 45

Psalm 45


To the leader:I according to Lilies.II Of the Korahites.III A Maskil.IV A loveV song.

Notes on superscript

I “leader” = natsach. Properly, something that glitters from a distance. So, something that stands out, excels, has status/standing (such as a chief musician or superintendent of Temple services). This can also mean to be permanent or enduring.
II “Lilies” = shushan. 15x in OT. Perhaps from sus (to rejoice, be glad; properly, to be bright or cheerful). This is lily, Shoshan, or Shoshannah. It could also be other flowers that look like lilies, architecture decoration in the shape of a lily, a musical tune, or trumpets due to the similar appearance. This is where the name “Susan” comes from.
III “Korahites” = ben + Qorah. Literally “sons of Korah.” Ben is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Qorah is from qarach (to shave the head, perhaps be frozen). This is Korah, perhaps meaning “ice.”
IV “Maskil” = maskiyl. 13x in OT. From sakal (to consider or be prudent; to instruct, be an expert; dealing prudently, which implies success and prospering; can mean laying cross-wise). This is maskil or maschil. It is a poem used for instruction.
V “love” = yadid. 9x in OT. Perhaps from the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle, love token; root may mean to boil). This is lovely, amiable, beloved.

My heartVI overflowsVII with a goodlyVIII theme;IX
    I address my versesX to the king;

Notes on verse 1a

VI “heart” = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
VII “overflows” = rachash. 1x in OT. This is to stir, overflow, or continue moving.
VIII “goodly” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
IX “theme” = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
X “verses” = maaseh. From asah (to do, make, accomplish, become). This is a word – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced.

    my tongueXI is like the penXII of a readyXIII scribe.XIV

Notes on verse 1b

XI “tongue” = lashon. This is tongue, talker, language, or wedge. It can also be a tongue of flame or a water cove.
XII “pen” = et. 4x in OT. Perhaps from iyt (to fly, rail, swoop on literally or figuratively). This is a stylus or pen as something that makes long strokes.
XIII “ready” = mahir. 4x in OT. From mahar (being liquid, which implies flowing; so, hurrying forward, whether in a positive or negative sense). This is quick, ready, diligent, skillful.
XIV “scribe” = saphar. From sepher (writing, document, book, evidence). This is properly to tally or record something. It can be enumerate, recount, number, celebrate, or declare.

You are the most handsomeXV of men;XVI
    graceXVII is pouredXVIII upon your lips;XIX

Notes on verse 2a

XV “are the most handsome” = yaphah. 7x in OT. This is to be beautiful, decorate. Root means being bright, which implies being beautiful.
XVI “men” = ben + adam. Literally “sons of men.” Ben is the same as “Korahites” in superscript. See note III above. Adam is perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.
XVII “grace” = chen. From chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is grace, favor, kindness, beauty, precious.
XVIII “poured” = yatsaq. This is to pour out, flow, wash away, or overflow. It can imply melting as one does to cast metal. By extension, it can refer to something being steadfast, stiffened, firmly in place.
XIX “lips” = saphah. This is lip, edge border, bank – used for a boundary. It can also be speech or language.

    therefore GodXX has blessedXXI you forever.XXII

Notes on verse 2b

XX “God” = Elohim.
XXI “blessed” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
XXII “forever” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).

GirdXXIII your swordXXIV on your thigh,XXV O mighty one,XXVI
    in your gloryXXVII and majesty.XXVIII

Notes on verse 3

XXIII “gird” = chagar. This is to gird, bind, or arm. Generally, it is using a belt to gather up one’s garment so that it’s easier to run or move quickly.
XXIV “sword” = chereb. From charab (to attack, slay). This is any sharp instrument like a sword, dagger, axe, or mattock.
XXV “thigh” = yarek. Root may mean to be soft. This is thigh, side, body, shank. It can be used figuratively for genitalia.
XXVI “mighty one” = gibbor. From gabar (to be strong or mighty; to prevail or be insolent). This is strong, mighty, or powerful. This can imply a warrior, hero, or tyrant.
XXVII “glory” = hod. This is grandeur, beauty, glory, honor, or authority. It emphasizes a form or appearance with gravitas.
XXVIII “majesty” = hadar. From hadar (to honor or adorn; majestic, respected, glorious; to favor or honor; to be proud). This is ornament, splendor, beauty, dignity, majesty, magnificence, and glory.

In your majesty ride onXXIX victoriouslyXXX
    for the causeXXXI of truthXXXII and to defendXXXIII the right;XXXIV

Notes on verse 4a

XXIX “ride on” = rakab. This is to ride an animal or in some vehicle. It can also mean bringing on a horse.
XXX “victoriously” = tsalach. This is pushing forward in a literal or figurative sense. So it could be to break out, to come mightily, to rush, to go over. Figuratively, it could mean to prosper.
XXXI “cause” = dabar. Same as “theme” in v1. See note IX above.
XXXII “truth” = emet. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This is firmness or stability. Figuratively, it is faithfulness, truth, or trustworthiness. This is the same root that “amen” comes from.
XXXIII “defend” = anvah. 2x in OT. From the same as anvah (humility, gentleness, modesty, help, meekness); from anav (poor, needy, afflicted as well as humble or meek); from anah (to be bowed down; can refer to a sense of humility or to a sense of being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed; literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance). This is gentleness, meekness, or oppressed.
XXXIV “right” = tsedeq. This is rightness, righteousness, vindication. It is everything that is just or ethical. That which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense. It also includes just weights (i.e. true weights). Figuratively, this is justice, righteousness, equity – even prosperity.

    let your right handXXXV teachXXXVI you dread deeds.XXXVII

Notes on verse 4b

XXXV “right hand” = yamin. May be from yamam (to go or choose the right, use the right hand; to be physically fit or firm). This can mean right hand, right side, or south. Since most people are right-handed, the metaphorical usage of this word presumes that the right hand is stronger and more agile. Thus, it is the instrument of power and action.
XXXVI “teach” = yarah. This is to throw, shoot, be stunned. It is to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach. This is the same root that “Jerusalem” and “Torah” draw from.
XXXVII “dread deeds” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.

Your arrowsXXXVIII are sharpXXXIX
    in the heart of the king’s enemies;XL
    the peoplesXLI fall under you.

Notes on verse 5

XXXVIII “arrows” = chets. From chatsats (to divide, chop, pierce, distribute, shoot an arrow, an archer). This is an arrow or archer, shaft, staff. Properly, it is someone or something that pierces, such as an arrow. It can imply a wound. Used figuratively of God’s thunder bolt.
XXXIX “sharp” = shanan. 9x in OT – including Deuteronomy 6:7 “recite them to your children.” This is to pierce, sharpen, or whet. It is often used for sharp arrows or being pricked in the heart. Figuratively, it can mean to teach diligently.
XL “enemies” = oyeb. From ayab (to hate or be hostile to). This is a foe or enemy as one that you are hostile to.
XLI “peoples” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.

Your throne,XLII O God, endures forever and ever.XLIII
    Your royalXLIV scepterXLV is a scepter of equity;XLVI

Notes on verse 6

XLII “throne” = kisse. From the same as kese (full moon); perhaps from kasah (to cover, conceal, overwhelm; to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret). This is throne – a seat that is covered or has a canopy. Thus, it is a seat that conveys authority.
XLIII “ever” = ad. From adah (to advance or continue; to take away or remove; adorning oneself with ornaments). This is old, perpetuity, eternity. It is a duration going back or forward.
XLIV “royal” = malkut. Related to “king” in v1. From melek (king, royal). This is royalty, kingdom, realm, empire – the power the sovereign has.
XLV “scepter” = shebet. This is a rod, staff, club, scepter, dart, or tribe. Literally a stick that can be used for punishing, writing, fighting, walking, ruling; thus, used figuratively for a clan.
XLVI “equity” = mishor. From yashar (to be straight, right, even, smooth, or agreeable; figuratively, to make something pleasant or prosperous) This is a level place like a plain. It can also be the proper name of a level place. Figuratively, it can refer to straightness in the sense of justice, equity, fairness, righteousness, or uprightness. It can also refer to a concord.

    you loveXLVII righteousnessXLVIII and hateXLIX wickedness.L

Notes on verse 7a

XLVII “love” = aheb. This is to love, beloved, friend. It is to have affection for sexually or otherwise.
XLVIII “righteousness” = tsedeq. Same as “right” in v4. See note XXXIV above.
XLIX “hate” = sane. This is an enemy or foe. It is one that is hated with a personal hatred.
L “wickedness” = resha. From rasha (to be wicked, guilty, make trouble, do wrong; can also be condemn, guilty, inflict punishment; this verb implies disturbing or violating). This is wrong, particularly moral wrong. It can be wickedness, evil, wicked deeds, or something that is ill-gotten.

Therefore God, your God, has anointedLI you
    with the oilLII of gladnessLIII beyond your companions;LIV

Notes on verse 7b

LI “anointed” = mashach. This is smear, paint, spread, or paint. It can also be to rub with oil or, otherwise stated, to anoint. This implies a consecration. This root verb is where the word “messiah” comes from.
LII “oil” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
LIII “gladness” = sason. Perhaps related to “lilies” in superscript. From sus (see note II above). This is rejoicing, cheerfulness, and welcome.
LIV “companions” = chaber. 12x in OT. From chabar (to unite, ally, attach, touch; to join in a literal or figurative sense; also, specially, using magic knots or spells to fascinate or connect). This is something that is united or knit together such as an associate or a companion.

    your robesLV are all fragrant with myrrhLVI and aloesLVII and cassia.LVIII

Notes on verse 8a

LV “robes” = beged. From bagad (to cover or conceal; figuratively, to act in a covert or treacherous way, to transgress or pillage). This is clothing, garment, robe, or some other kind of clothing. Figuratively, it can be treachery or pillaging.
LVI “myrrh” = mor. 12x in OT. From marar (to be bitter, embittered, weep, troubled). This is myrrh as liquid and bitter.
LVII “aloes” = ahalim. 4x in OT. This is wood or sticks of aloe.
LVIII “cassia” = qetsiah. 1x in OT. From qatsa (to scrape, strip off, separate partially). This is cassia a bark with cinnamon-like qualities.

From ivoryLIX palacesLX stringed instrumentsLXI make you glad;LXII

Notes on verse 8b

LIX “ivory” = shen. Related to “sharp” in v5. From shanan (see note XXXIX above). This is a tooth, ivory, something sharp, or, figuratively, a cliff.
LX “palaces” = hekal. Perhaps from yakol (to be able, endure, overcome, prevail). This is a large building with public access such as a palace or temple.
LXI “stringed instruments” = men. 2x in OT – both in Psalms. Root may mean to apportion. This is an instrument, particularly one with strings like a harp.
LXII “make…glad” = samach. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to brighten up in a literal or figurative sense.

    daughtersLXIII of kings are among your ladies of honor;LXIV
    at your right hand standsLXV the queenLXVI in goldLXVII of Ophir.LXVIII

Notes on verse 9

LXIII “daughters” = bat. Perhaps related to “Korahites” in superscript. From ben (see note III above). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be branch.
LXIV “ladies of honor” = yaqar. From yaqar (to be precious, costly, rare, valued; properly, to be heavy; figuratively, valuable or inhibit). This is precious, splendid, noble, weighty, or rare. It is valuable in a subjective or objective sense.
LXV “stands” = natsab. This is to station, appoint, establish, take a stand.
LXVI “queen” = shegal. 2x in OT. From shagel (to copulate with, violate). This is a queen or consort that cohabitates.
LXVII “gold” = kethem. 9x in OT. Perhaps from katham (to carve, mark, stain). This is pure or fine gold. It can also be something carved, so gold ore.
LXVIII “Ophir” = Ophir. 13x in OT. This is Ophir, a son of Joktan, his lineage, and a place where there is gold.

10 Hear,LXIX O daughter, considerLXX and inclineLXXI your ear;LXXII
    forgetLXXIII your people and your father’s house,LXXIV

Notes on verse 10

LXIX “hear” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
LXX “consider” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
LXXI “incline” = natah. This is to stretch or spread out, to extend, or bend. In can also imply moral deflection.
LXXII “ear” = ozen. This is ear, hearing, audience, show. Properly, it is broadness – applied to its ear in reference to its shape.
LXXIII “forget” = shakach. This is to forget or mislay – it is not knowing because of forgetfulness or inattentiveness.
LXXIV “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.

11     and the king will desireLXXV your beauty.LXXVI
Since he is your lord,LXXVII bowLXXVIII to him;

Notes on verse 11

LXXV “desire” = avah. This is to desire, wish for, crave, lust after, to incline.
LXXVI “beauty” = yophi. Related to “are the most handsome” in v2. 19x in OT. From yaphah (see note XV above). This is beauty.
LXXVII “lord” = adon. From a root that means ruling or being sovereign. This is lord, master, or owner.
LXXVIII “bow” = shachah. This is to bow down, make a humble entreaty, to do homage to royalty or to God.

12     the peopleLXXIX of TyreLXXX will seekLXXXI your favorLXXXII with gifts,LXXXIII

Notes on verse 12a

LXXIX “people” = bat. Same as “daughters” in v9. See note LXIII above.
LXXX “Tyre” = Tsor. “From Phoenician “𐤑𐤓‎ (ṣr /Ṣur/, “rock”)”” OR from the same as tsor (flint, stone, knife, edge); from the same as tsar (pebble, flint) or tsur (to confine, cramp, or bind in a literal or figurative sense; to besiege, assault, or distress). This is Tyre, the Phoenician city. Its name may mean “rock.” See
LXXXI “seek” = chalah. Properly, this is to be worn; hence, being weak, sick, or afflicted. It can also mean to grieve or, positively, to flatter or entreat.
LXXXII “favor” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
LXXXIII “gifts” = minchah. This is a gift or an offering, particularly a sacrificial one that is generally bloodless and given spontaneously (voluntarily).

    the richestLXXXIV of the people 13 with all kinds of wealth.LXXXV

The princessLXXXVI is decked in her chamber with goldLXXXVII-wovenLXXXVIII robes;LXXXIX

Notes on verses 12b-13

LXXXIV “richest” = ashir. From ashar (to be rich, gain, accumulate). This is rich in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be noble or a rich person.
LXXXV “wealth” = kebuddah. 3x in OT. From kabad (to be heavy, weighty, burdensome). This is abundance, weightiness, wealth, valuables, stately, or magnificence.
LXXXVI “princess” = bat + melek. Literally “royal daughter.” Bat is the same as “daughters” in v9. See note LXIII above. Melek is the same as “king” in v1. See note XLIV above.
LXXXVII “gold” = zahab. Root may mean to shimmer. This is gold or something that has the color of gold like oil. It can also refer to a clear sky – to good weather.
LXXXVIII “woven” = mishbetsah. 9x in OT – 8x of items for Temple worship. From shabats (to weave in a checkered pattern, braided, embroidered, setting gems in gold, filigree). This is filigree, interwove, brocade, gems set in gold.
LXXXIX “robes” = lebush. From labash (to wrap around, which implies clothing oneself or someone else; wrapping around in a literal or figurative way). This is clothing literally or figuratively. It can be used as a euphemism for a wife.

14     in many-colored robesXC she is ledXCI to the king;
    behind her the virgins,XCII her companions,XCIII follow.
15 With joyXCIV and gladnessXCV they are led along
    as they enter the palace of the king.

Notes on verses 14-15

XC “many-colored robes” = riqmah. 12x in OT. From raqam (to embroider, weave, vary color, fabricate). This is embroidered work or cloth, multi-colored, multi-colored stones.
XCI “led” = yabal. 18x in OT. This is to lead, bring, carry, conduct. Properly, it means to flow. It can mean to bring or lead with fanfare.
XCII “virgins” = betulah. This is virgin, maiden, or bride. Can also be used figuratively for a place.
XCIII “companions” = reah. 2x in OT – 1x in Judges 11 of Jephtah’s daughter’s companions & 1x in Psalm 45 of the bride’s companions. From rea (associate, companion, friend, neighbor, or other; close family or a lover); from raah (perhaps association with). This is a female companion or attendant.
XCIV “joy” = simchah. Related to “make…glad” in v8. From samach (see note LXII above). This is joy, rejoicing, pleasure, or glee.
XCV “gladness” = gil. 9x in OT. From gil (properly, twirling around because of a strong feeling – whether of rejoicing or from fear; to rejoice, be glad or joyful, to cry). This is circle, rejoicing, or age.

16 In the place of ancestorsXCVI you, O king, shall have sons;
    you will makeXCVII them princesXCVIII in all the earth.XCIX

Notes on verse 16

XCVI “ancestors” = ab. Literally “fathers.”
XCVII “make” = shith. This is to place, set, bring, appoint, consider, bring, array or look.
XCVIII “princes” = sar. This is chief, leader, ruler, lord, official, governor, prince, military leader. It refers to someone at the top of a rank or class.
XCIX “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.

17 I will cause your nameC to be celebratedCI in all generations;CII
    therefore the peoples will praiseCIII you forever and ever.

Notes on verse 17

C “name” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
CI “celebrated” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
CII “all generations” = kol + dor + dor. Literally “in all generation and generations.” Dor is from dur (to move in a circle, which implies living somewhere or remaining there; it can also be the sense of piling or heaping up). This is a revolution of time, which is to say, an age or generation. It can also be a dwelling or one’s posterity.
CIII “praise” = yadah. From yad (hand). This is to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise. So, it is to praise, give thanks, or make a confession.

Image credit: “Solomon and the Queen of Sheba,” Uttar Pradesh, India in 1760.

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