Psalm 45 is the 45th psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in English in the King James Version: "My heart is inditing a good matter". In the slightly different numbering system used in the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate translations of the Bible, this psalm is Psalm 44. In Latin, it is known as "Eructavit cor meum".[1] It was composed by the sons of Korach on (or "according to") the shoshanim–either a musical instrument or the tune to which the psalm should be sung. The psalm has been interpreted as an epithalamium, or wedding song, written to a king on the day of his marriage to a foreign woman, and is one of the royal psalms.

Psalm 45
"My heart is inditing a good matter"
English Window quoting the verse
"Full of grace are thy lips"
Other name
  • Psalm 44
  • "Eructavit cor meum"
LanguageHebrew (original)

The psalm forms a regular part of Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and other Protestant liturgies.

Background Edit

According to classical Jewish sources, Psalm 45 refers to the Jewish Messiah. According to Metzudot, a classical Jewish commentary, the king mentioned in verse 2 is the Jewish Messiah.[2]

Christian scholars frequently interpret the psalm as a Messianic prophecy.[3] Henry explains the prophecy as referring to Jesus as both the future king and a bridegroom of the church.[4] In Hebrews 1:8–9, verses 6–7 of this psalm are quoted as allusions to Jesus.[5]

Themes Edit

Shoshanim (roses) can refer to either a musical instrument shaped like a rose (shoshana in Hebrew),[2] or the tune to which the psalm should be sung.[6] Rashi proposes that the term refers to Torah scholars, and interprets the rest of the psalm according to the scholars' efforts in and reward for Torah study.[7]

Jesuit writer Mitchell Dahood asserts that the psalm is an epithalamium, or a wedding song, written to a king on the day of his marriage to a foreign woman, and is one of the royal psalms.[8] Die Bibel mit Erklärungen states that Psalm 45 is the only example of profane poetry in the Psalms and was composed and sung by a minstrel or cult prophets on the occasion of the marriage of the king.[9] In the 19th century, Franz Delitzsch argued that the poem was written on the occasion of Jehoram of Judah's marriage to Athaliah; John Calvin and Alexander Kirkpatrick both maintained that it referred rather to the marriage of Solomon with an Egyptian princess.[10][11] Charles Spurgeon, however, rejects these interpretations, stating: "Maschil, an instructive ode, not an idle lay, or a romancing ballad, but a Psalm of holy teaching, didactic and doctrinal. This proves that it is to be spiritually understood. … This is no wedding song of earthly nuptials, but an Epithalamium for the Heavenly Bridegroom and his elect spouse."[12] More recently, Near Eastern scholar Charles R. Krahmalkov posits that the wedding of Jezebel and Ahab was the likely occasion, reading verse 14 as originally referring not to a "King's daughter who is within" but a "daughter of the King of the Phoenicians (Pōnnīma)".[13]

Verse 14 in the Hebrew, "All the glory of the king's daughter is within", encapsulates the import of tzniut (modesty) in Judaism.[7] The Midrash Tanhuma teaches on this verse, "If a woman remains modestly at home, she is worthy that both her husband and children are Kohanim Gedolim [who wear golden clothes]."[14]

Text Edit

Hebrew Bible version Edit

The following is the Hebrew text of Psalm 45:

Verse Hebrew
1 לַֽמְנַצֵּ֣חַ עַל־שֽׁ֖שַֹׁנִּים לִבְנֵי־קֹ֑רַח מַ֜שְׂכִּ֗יל שִׁ֣יר יְדִידֹֽת
2 רָ֘חַ֚שׁ לִבִּ֨י | דָּ֘בָ֚ר ט֗וֹב אֹמֵ֣ר אָ֖נִי מַֽעֲשַׂ֣י לְמֶ֑לֶךְ לְ֜שׁוֹנִ֗י עֵ֚ט | סוֹפֵ֬ר מָהִֽיר
3 יָפְיָפִ֡יתָ מִבְּנֵ֣י אָדָ֗ם ה֣וּצַק חֵ֖ן בְּשִׂפְתוֹתֶ֑יךָ עַל־כֵּ֚ן בֵּֽרַכְךָ֖ אֱלֹהִ֣ים לְעוֹלָֽם
4 חֲגֽוֹר־חַרְבְּךָ֣ עַל־יָרֵ֣ךְ גִּבּ֑וֹר הֽ֜וֹדְךָ֗ וַֽהֲדָרֶֽךָ
5 וַֽהֲדָֽ֬רְךָ | צְלַ֬ח רְכַ֗ב עַל־דְּבַר־אֱ֖מֶת וְעַנְוָה־צֶּ֑דֶק וְתֽוֹרְךָ֖ נֽוֹרָא֣וֹת יְמִינֶֽךָ
6 חִצֶּ֗יךָ שְׁנ֫וּנִ֥ים עַ֖מִּים תַּחְתֶּ֣יךָ יִפְּל֑וּ בְּ֜לֵ֗ב אֽוֹיְבֵ֥י הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
7 כִּסְאֲךָ֣ אֱ֖לֹהִים עוֹלָ֣ם וָעֶ֑ד שֵׁ֥בֶט מִ֜ישֹׁ֗ר שֵׁ֣בֶט מַלְכוּתֶֽךָ
8 אָהַ֣בְתָּ צֶּדֶק֘ וַתִּשְׂנָא־רֶ֗שַׁע עַל־כֵּ֚ן | מְשָֽׁחֲךָ֡ אֱלֹהִ֣ים אֱ֖לֹהֶיךָ שֶׁ֥מֶן שָׂשׂ֗וֹן מֵֽחֲבֵרֶֽךָ
9 מֹ֤ר וַֽאֲהָל֣וֹת קְ֖צִיעוֹת כָּל־בִּגְדֹתֶ֑יךָ מִן־הֵ֥יכְלֵי שֵׁ֜֗ן מִנִּ֥י שִׂמְּחֽוּךָ
10 בְּנ֣וֹת מְ֖לָכִים בִּיקְּרוֹתֶ֑יךָ נִצְּבָ֖ה שֵׁגָ֥ל לִ֜ימִֽינְךָ֗ בְּכֶ֣תֶם אוֹפִֽיר
11 שִׁמְעִי־בַ֣ת וּ֖רְאִי וְהַטִּ֣י אָזְנֵ֑ךְ וְשִׁכְחִ֥י עַ֜מֵּ֗ךְ וּבֵ֥ית אָבִֽיךְ
12 וְיִתְאָ֣ו הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ יָפְיֵ֑ךְ כִּי־ה֥וּא אֲ֜דֹנַ֗יִךְ וְהִשְׁתַּֽחֲוִי־לֽוֹ
13 וּבַת־צֹ֨ר | בְּ֖מִנְחָה פָּנַ֥יִךְ יְחַלּ֗וּ עֲשִׁ֣ירֵי עָֽם
14 כָּל־כְּבוּדָּ֣ה בַת־מֶ֣לֶךְ פְּנִ֑ימָה מִמִּשְׁבְּצ֖וֹת זָהָ֣ב לְבוּשָֽׁהּ
15 לִרְקָמוֹת֘ תּוּבַ֪ל לַ֫מֶּ֥לֶךְ בְּתוּל֣וֹת אַֽ֖חֲרֶיהָ רֵֽעוֹתֶ֑יהָ מ֖וּבָא֣וֹת לָֽךְ
16 תּ֖וּבַלְנָה בִּשְׂמָחֹ֣ת וָגִ֑יל תְּ֜בוֹאֶ֗ינָה בְּהֵ֣יכַל מֶֽלֶךְ
17 תַּ֣חַת אֲ֖בֹתֶיךָ יִֽהְי֣וּ בָנֶ֑יךָ תְּשִׁיתֵ֥מוֹ לְ֜שָׂרִ֗ים בְּכָל־הָאָֽרֶץ
18 אַזְכִּ֣ירָה שִׁ֖מְךָ בְּכָל־דֹּ֣ר וָדֹ֑ר עַל־כֵּ֚ן עַמִּ֥ים יְ֜הוֹד֗וּךָ לְעֹלָ֥ם וָעֶֽד

King James Version Edit

  1. My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
  2. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
  3. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
  4. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
  5. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.
  6. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
  7. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
  8. All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
  9. Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
  10. Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house;
  11. So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.
  12. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.
  13. The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.
  14. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.
  15. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace.
  16. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.
  17. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.

Revised Standard Version Edit

The verse marking for this psalm in the Revised Standard Version (RSV) differs from that used in other translations.[15]

Uses Edit

Judaism Edit

In the Siddur Avodas Yisrael, Psalm 45 is recited as a Song of the Day on Shabbat Chayei Sarah and Shabbat Pekudei.[16]

This psalm is said as a general prayer for the end of the exile and the coming of the Mashiach.[17]

New Testament Edit

Verses 6 and 7 are quoted in the Epistle to the Hebrews 1:8–9.[18][19]

Catholic Church Edit

Since the early Middle Ages, monasteries have traditionally performed this psalm during the celebration of Monday matins, according to the Rule of St. Benedict (530).[20][21] In modern times in the Liturgy of the Hours, Psalm 45 is sung or recited, in two parts, at Vespers on Monday of the second week of the four-weekly cycle,[22] and at the midday office on Saturday of the fourth week. The portion of the Psalm which refers to the 'Queen, in gold of Ophir' is also one of the set readings for mass on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Book of Common Prayer Edit

In the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer, this psalm is appointed to be read on the morning of the ninth day of the month,[23] as well as at Mattins on Christmas Day.[24]

Musical settings Edit

Heinrich Schütz wrote a setting of a paraphrase of Psalm 45 in German, "Mein Herz dichtet ein Lied mit Fleiß", SWV 142, for the Becker Psalter, published first in 1628.

References Edit

  1. ^ "Parallel Latin/English Psalter / Psalmus 44 (45)". Archived from the original on 2017-09-30. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  2. ^ a b "Chapter 45". 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  3. ^ Kirkpatrick 1901, p. 244.
  4. ^ Henry, Matthew. "Psalms 45". Bible Study Tools. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  5. ^ Rhodes 1960, p. 78
  6. ^ Kirkpatrick 1901, p. 245.
  7. ^ a b Abramowitz, Rabbi Jack (2018). "A Psalm Fit for a King". Orthodox Union. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  8. ^ Dahood 1966, p. 270.
  9. ^ Die Bibel mit Erklärungen (in German), Berlin: Evangelische Haupt-Bibelgesellschaft, 1993, p. 3, ISBN 3-7461-0069-0.
  10. ^ "Psalm 45". Calvin's Commentaries. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  11. ^ Kirkpatrick 1901, pp. 243–44.
  12. ^ Spurgeon, Charles (2018). "Charles H. Spurgeon's Treasury of David: Psalm 45". Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  13. ^ Krahmalkov, Charles R. (2000), A Phoenician-Punic Grammar, page 2
  14. ^ Falk 1998, p. 560.
  15. ^ Dahood 1966, p. 269.
  16. ^ Brauner, Reuven (2013). "Shimush Pesukim: Comprehensive Index to Liturgical and Ceremonial Uses of Biblical Verses and Passages" (PDF) (2nd ed.). p. 38.
  17. ^ "End of Exile/Mashiach". Daily Tehillim. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  18. ^ Steyn, Gert J. (2004). "The Vorlage of Psalm 45: 6-7 (44: 7-8) in Hebrews 1: 8-9". HTS. 60 (3): 1085–1103.
  19. ^ Kirkpatrick 1901, p. 839.
  20. ^ Psautier latin-français du bréviaire monastique, p. 167, 1938/2003
  21. ^ Guéranger, Prosper (2007), Règle de saint Benoît (in French) (réimpression ed.), Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, p. 46.
  22. ^ Archive of abbaye-montdescats
  23. ^ Church of England, Book of Common Prayer: The Psalter as printed by John Baskerville in 1762, pp. 196ff
  24. ^ "The Book of Common Prayer: Proper Psalms On Certain Days" (PDF). The Church of England. p. 6. Retrieved 19 April 2023.

Sources Edit

Further reading Edit

External links Edit