Tehillim / Psalms 45, Part 2, What is the Horse of the Kingdom and how does that relate to the Torah?

0
74

This week’s study is from Tehillim / Psalms 45:1-18, the Psalm opens saying א לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַל-שׁשַׁנִּים לִבְנֵי-קֹרַח מַשְֹכִּיל שִׁיר יְדִידֹת: ב רָחַשׁ לִבִּי | דָּבָר טוֹב אֹמֵר אָנִי מַעֲשַֹי לְמֶלֶךְ לְשׁוֹנִי עֵט | סוֹפֵר מָהִיר: For the choir director; according to the Shoshannim. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. A Song of Love. 45:1 My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer (NASB) The Psalmist continues saying 45:2 You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever. 45:3 Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One, In Your splendor and Your majesty! 45:4 And in Your majesty ride on victoriously, For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; Let Your right hand teach You awesome things. 45:5 Your arrows are sharp; The peoples fall under You; Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies. 45:6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. (NASB) The Psalmist describes the Lord as a warrior, girding His sword, his arrows hit the heart, and His throne is eternal. He continue saying ח אָהַבְתָּ צֶּדֶק וַתִּשְֹנָא רֶשַׁע עַל-כֵּן | מְשָׁחֲךָ אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן שָֹשֹוֹן מֵחֲבֵרֶיךָ: 45:7 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows. (NASB) He says the Lord’s garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia. Are these a description of the temple incense? It is interesting that the Psalmist requests that the daughter forget her fathers house (45:10), why do you think he is asking her to forget her fathers house? The daughter of the king is described as “all glorious within (45:13), her clothing is interwoven with gold, she has beautiful embroidered work, they will be led with gladness and rejoicing (45:15). The Psalmist concludes saying יז תַּחַת אֲבֹתֶיךָ יִהְיוּ בָנֶיךָ תְּשִׁיתֵמוֹ לְשָֹרִים בְּכָל-הָאָרֶץ: יח אַזְכִּירָה שִׁמְךָ בְּכָל-דֹּר וָדֹר עַל-כֵּן עַמִּים יְהוֹדֻךָ לְעֹלָם וָעֶד: 45:16 In place of your fathers will be your sons; You shall make them princes in all the earth. 45:17 I will cause Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the peoples will give You thanks forever and ever. (NASB) The sons appear to carry on the memory of the king. This is an example of a king who passes his knowledge of the Lord on to his children and they in turn pass this on to their children, etc.

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק מה

א לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַל-שׁשַׁנִּים לִבְנֵי-קֹרַח מַשְֹכִּיל שִׁיר יְדִידֹת: ב רָחַשׁ לִבִּי | דָּבָר טוֹב אֹמֵר אָנִי מַעֲשַֹי לְמֶלֶךְ לְשׁוֹנִי עֵט | סוֹפֵר מָהִיר: ג יָפְיָפִיתָ מִבְּנֵי אָדָם הוּצַק חֵן בְּשְֹפְתוֹתֶיךָ עַל-כֵּן בֵּרַכְךָ אֱלֹהִים לְעוֹלָם: ד חֲגוֹר חַרְבְּךָ עַל-יָרֵךְ גִּבּוֹר הוֹדְךָ וַהֲדָרֶךָ: ה וַהֲדָרְךָ | צְלַח רְכַב עַל-דְּבַר-אֱמֶת וְעַנְוָה-צֶדֶק וְתוֹרְךָ נוֹרָאוֹת יְמִינֶךָ:

סםר טוביה פרק מה

א לשבחא על יתבי סנהדרין דמשה דאיתאמר בנבואה על ידהון דבני קרח שיכלא טבא ותושבחתא ואודאתא׃ ב בעא לבי ממלל טב אימר אניא עובדי למלכא ממלל לישני מוחי היך קולמוס ספרא רגיל׃ ג שופרך מלכא משיחא עדיף מבני נשא אתיהיב רוח נבואה בספוותך מטול כן היכנא ברכינך יהוה אלהא לעלמא׃ ד זריז סייפך על ירכך היך גיברא למקטל מלכין עם שילטונין הודך זיוך ושבהורך׃

YALMOI 45

45:1 εἰς τὸ τέλος ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀλλοιωθησομένων τοῖς υἱοῖς Κορε εἰς σύνεσιν ᾠδὴ ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ ἐξηρεύξατο ἡ καρδία μου λόγον ἀγαθόν λέγω ἐγὼ τὰ ἔργα μου τῷ βασιλεῖ ἡ γλῶσσά μου κάλαμος γραμματέως ὀξυγράφου 45:2 ὡραῖος κάλλει παρὰ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐξεχύθη χάρις ἐν χείλεσίν σου διὰ τοῦτο εὐλόγησέν σε ὁ θεὸς εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα 45:3 περίζωσαι τὴν ῥομφαίαν σου ἐπὶ τὸν μηρόν σου δυνατέ τῇ ὡραιότητί σου καὶ τῷ κάλλει σου 45:4 καὶ ἔντεινον καὶ κατευοδοῦ καὶ βασίλευε ἕνεκεν ἀληθείας καὶ πρατητος καὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ ὁδηγήσει σε θαυμαστῶς ἡ δεξιά σου

ו חִצֶּיךָ שְׁנוּנִים עַמִּים תַּחְתֶּיךָ יִפְּלוּ בְּלֵב אוֹיְבֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ: ז כִּסְאֲךָ אֱלֹהִים עוֹלָם וָעֶד שֵׁבֶט מִישֹׁר שֵׁבֶט מַלְכוּתֶךָ: ח אָהַבְתָּ צֶּדֶק וַתִּשְֹנָא רֶשַׁע עַל-כֵּן | מְשָׁחֲךָ אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן שָֹשֹוֹן מֵחֲבֵרֶיךָ: ט מֹר וַאֲהָלוֹת קְצִיעוֹת כָּל-בִּגְדֹתֶיךָ מִן-הֵיכְלֵי שֵׁן מִנִּי שִֹמְּחוּךָ: י בְּנוֹת מְלָכִים בְּיִקְּרוֹתֶיךָ נִצְּבָה שֵׁגָל לִימִינְךָ בְּכֶתֶם אוֹפִיר: יא שִׁמְעִי-בַת וּרְאִי וְהַטִּי אָזְנֵךְ וְשִׁכְחִי עַמֵּךְ וּבֵית אָבִיךְ: יב וְיִתְאָו הַמֶּלֶךְ יָפְיֵךְ כִּי הוּא אֲדֹנַיִךְ וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִי-לוֹ: יג וּבַת-צֹר | בְּמִנְחָה פָּנַיִךְ יְחַלּוּ עֲשִׁירֵי עָם: יד כָּל-כְּבוּדָּה בַת-מֶלֶךְ פְּנִימָה מִמִּשְׁבְּצוֹת זָהָב לְבוּשָׁהּ: טו לִרְקָמוֹת תּוּבַל לַמֶּלֶךְ בְּתוּלוֹת אַחֲרֶיהָ רֵעוֹתֶיהָ מוּבָאוֹת לָךְ: טז תּוּבַלְנָה בִּשְֹמָחֹת וָגִיל תְּבֹאֶינָה בְּהֵיכַל מֶלֶךְ: יז תַּחַת אֲבֹתֶיךָ יִהְיוּ בָנֶיךָ תְּשִׁיתֵמוֹ לְשָֹרִים בְּכָל-הָאָרֶץ: יח אַזְכִּירָה שִׁמְךָ בְּכָל-דֹּר וָדֹר עַל-כֵּן עַמִּים יְהוֹדֻךָ לְעֹלָם וָעֶד:

ה ושבהורך סגי בגין כן בכין תצלח למרכב על סוסי כורסי מלכותא על עסק הימנותא וקשוט וענותנותא וצדקתא וילפינך יהוה למעבד דחילן ביד ימינך׃ ו גיררך שליפין למקטל אוכלוסין עממין תחותך יפלון ובני וגיררי קשתייך ישתלחון בלב סנאי בעלי דבבי מלכא׃ ז כורסי יקרך יהוה אלהא בשמיא קיים לעלמי עלמין חוטרא תריצתא מלכות תריץ חוטרא דמלכותך׃ ח ואנת מלכא משיחא מטול די רחימתא צדקתא וסניתא רישעא מטול היכנא רבייך יהוה אלהך מישחא דחדוא יתיר מן חברך׃ ט מירא מורא דכיא ואקסיל אלואון וקציעתא מתגמרין כל לבושייך מן היכליא דמכבשין בשין דפיל מארע מני יחדונך׃ י פילכי מלכותא אתין למקביל אפך וליקרותך בזמן דמעתד ספר אורייתא בסטר ימינך ומכתבתא בפרשגן זיותך באובריזון דמן אופיר׃ יא שמעי כנישתא דישראל אוריית פומיה וחמי פרישות עובדוי ותצלי אודנך לפתגמי אוריתא ותתנשי עובדין בישין דרשיעי עמיך ובית טעוות דפלחת בית אבוייך׃ יב ובכן ירגג יירוג מלכא שופרייך ארום הוא ריבונייך ותסגדין ליה׃ יג ויתבי כרכא דצור בתקרובתא ייתון תהון אתיין למקבל ואפיך ישחרון לבית מקדשייך עתירי עממיא׃ יד כל שבח שפר ארג נכסי פילכי אוצרי מלכיא דמטמרן מלגיו יקרבון קורבנין קדם מלכא ודורונין לכהניא דמרמצין בדהבא סנינא לבושיהון׃ טו בלבושיהון ציורין יקרבון קורבניהון קדם מלכא דעלמא ושאר חבריהון די מיתבדרין ביני עממיא יתיתין בחדוא לותיך לירושלם׃ טז יתתיין בחדון ותושבחתא וביע ויעלון בהיכלא דמלך עלמין׃ יז באתר אבהתך יהויין צדיקיא בנך תמנינון לרברביא לארכונין בכל ארעא׃ יח בעידנא ההיא תימרון נדכר אידכר שמך בכל דר ודר מטול היכנא עמיא עממיא דמיתגיירין יהודון שמך לותך לעלם ולעלמי עלמין׃

45:5 τὰ βέλη σου ἠκονημένα δυνατέ λαοὶ ὑποκάτω σου πεσοῦνται ἐν καρδίᾳ τῶν ἐχθρῶν τοῦ βασιλέως 45:6 ὁ θρόνος σου ὁ θεός εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος ῥάβδος εὐθύτητος ἡ ῥάβδος τῆς βασιλείας σου 45:7 ἠγάπησας δικαιοσύνην καὶ ἐμίσησας ἀνομίαν διὰ τοῦτο ἔχρισέν σε ὁ θεὸς ὁ θεός σου ἔλαιον ἀγαλλιάσεως παρὰ τοὺς μετόχους σου 45:8 σμύρνα καὶ στακτὴ καὶ κασία ἀπὸ τῶν ἱματίων σου ἀπὸ βάρεων ἐλεφαντίνων ἐξ ὧν ηὔφρανάν σε 45:9 θυγατέρες βασιλέων ἐν τῇ τιμῇ σου παρέστη ἡ βασίλισσα ἐκ δεξιῶν σου ἐν ἱματισμῷ διαχρύσῳ περιβεβλημένη πεποικιλμένη 45:10 ἄκουσον θύγατερ καὶ ἰδὲ καὶ κλῖνον τὸ οὖς σου καὶ ἐπιλάθου τοῦ λαοῦ σου καὶ τοῦ οἴκου τοῦ πατρός σου 45:11 ὅτι ἐπεθύμησεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ κάλλους σου ὅτι αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ κύριός σου 45:12 καὶ προσκυνήσουσιν αὐτῷ θυγατέρες Τύρου ἐν δώροις τὸ πρόσωπόν σου λιτανεύσουσιν οἱ πλούσιοι τοῦ λαοῦ 45:13 πᾶσα ἡ δόξα αὐτῆς θυγατρὸς βασιλέως ἔσωθεν ἐν κροσσωτοῖς χρυσοῖς περιβεβλημένη πεποικιλμένη 45:14 ἀπενεχθήσονται τῷ βασιλεῖ παρθένοι ὀπίσω αὐτῆς αἱ πλησίον αὐτῆς ἀπενεχθήσονταί σοι 45:15 ἀπενεχθήσονται ἐν εὐφροσύνῃ καὶ ἀγαλλιάσει ἀχθήσονται εἰς ναὸν βασιλέως 45:16 ἀντὶ τῶν πατέρων σου ἐγενήθησάν σοι υἱοί καταστήσεις αὐτοὺς ἄρχοντας ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν 45:17 μνησθήσονται τοῦ ὀνόματός σου ἐν πάσῃ γενεᾷ καὶ γενεᾷ διὰ τοῦτο λαοὶ ἐξομολογήσονταί σοι εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα καὶ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος

Tehillim / Psalms 45

For the choir director; according to the Shoshannim. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. A Song of Love. 45:1 My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. 45:2 You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever. 45:3 Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One, In Your splendor and Your majesty! 45:4 And in Your majesty ride on victoriously, For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; Let Your right hand teach You awesome things. 45:5 Your arrows are sharp; The peoples fall under You; Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies. 45:6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 45:7 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows. 45:8 All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad. 45:9 Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies; At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir. 45:10 Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear: Forget your people and your father’s house; (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 45

45:1 For praise; concerning those who sit in the Sanhedrin of Moses, which was spoken in prophecy by the sons of Korah; a good lesson, and a psalm, and a thanksgiving. 45:2 My heart desires fine speech; I will speak my work to the king; the utterance of my tongue is quick, like the pen of a fluent scribe. 45:3 Your beauty, O King Messiah, is greater than the sons of men; the spirit of prophecy has been placed on your lips; because of this the Lord has blessed you forever. 45:4 Gird your sword on your thigh, O champion; your glory and your brilliance is to kill kings as well as rulers. 45:5 And your brilliance is great; therefore you will succeed in mounting the horse of the kingdom, by reason of faithfulness and truth and humility and righteousness; and the Lord will teach you to do fearful things with your right hand. 45:6 Your arrows are drawn to kill Gentile hordes; beneath you they will fall; and the sons of your bow will be released into the heart of the enemies of the king. 45:7 The throne of your glory, O Lord, lasts forever and ever; the scepter of your kingdom is an upright scepter. 45:8 Because you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness – because of this the Lord your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your fellows. 45:9 Pure myrrh and aloe-wood and cassia – your garments are perfected, from the palaces paved with ivory below; from me they will make you glad. 45:10 The provinces of the kingdom come to welcome you and to honor you, while the book of Torah is stationed at your right side, and written in gold from Ophir. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 45

For the end, for alternate strains by the sons of Core; for instruction, a Song concerning the beloved. 45:1 My heart has uttered a good matter: I declare my works to the king: my tongue is the pen of a quick writer. 45:2 Thou art more beautiful than the sons of men: grace has been shed forth on thy lips: therefore God has blessed thee for ever. 45:3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O Mighty One, in thy comeliness, and in thy beauty; 45:4 and bend thy bow, and prosper, and reign, because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall guide thee wonderfully. 45:5 Thy weapons are sharpened, Mighty One, (the nations shall fall under thee) they are in the heart of the king’s enemies. 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a sceptre of righteousness. 45:7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness beyond thy fellows. 45:8 Myrrh, and stacte, and cassia are exhaled from thy garments, and out of the ivory palaces, 45:9 with which kings’ daughters have gladdened thee for thine honour: the queen stood by on thy right hand, clothed in vesture wrought with gold, and arrayed in divers colours. 45:10 Hear, O daughter, and see, and incline thine ear; forget also thy people, and thy father’s house. (LXX)

45:11 Then the King will desire your beauty. Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him. 45:12 The daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; The rich among the people will seek your favor. 45:13 The King’s daughter is all glorious within; Her clothing is interwoven with gold. 45:14 She will be led to the King in embroidered work; The virgins, her companions who follow her, Will be brought to You. 45:15 They will be led forth with gladness and rejoicing; They will enter into the King’s palace. 45:16 In place of your fathers will be your sons; You shall make them princes in all the earth. 45:17 I will cause Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the peoples will give You thanks forever and ever. (NASB)

45:11 Hear, O congregation of Israel, the Torah of his mouth, and see the wonders of his deeds, and incline your ear to the words of Torah, and you will forget the evil deeds of the wicked of your people, and the place of idols that you worshiped in the house of your father. 45:12 And then the king will desire your beauty; for he is your master and you will bow down to him. 45:13 And those who dwell in the fortress of Tyre will come with an offering, and the rich Gentiles will seek your face at your sanctuary. 45:14 All the best and choicest sacrifices from the provinces, the treasuries of the kings that are hidden within, will they bring for the priests whose clothing is chased with pure gold. 45:15 In their decorated garments they will offer their sacrifices before the king of the world, and the rest of their fellows who are scattered among the Gentiles will be brought in joy to you to Jerusalem. 45:16 They will be brought in joy and praise and they will enter the temple of the king of ages. 45:17 In the place of your fathers will be the righteous, your sons; you will appoint them as leaders in all the land. 45:18 At that time you will say, “We will invoke your name in every generation”; because of this the Gentiles who are converted will praise your name forever and ever and ever. (EMC)

45:11 Because the king has desired thy beauty; for he is thy Lord. 45:12 And the daughter of Tyre shall adore him with gifts; the rich of the people of the land shall supplicate thy favour. 45:13 All her glory is that of the daughter of the king of Esebon, robed as she is in golden fringed garments, 45:14 in embroidered clothing: virgins shall be brought to the king after her: her fellows shall be brought to thee. 45:15 They shall be brought with gladness and exultation: they shall be led into the king’s temple. 45:16 Instead of thy fathers children are born to thee: thou shalt make them princes over all the earth. 45:17 They shall make mention of thy name from generation to generation: therefore shall the nations give thanks to thee for ever, even for ever and ever. (LXX)

This week’s study is from Tehillim / Psalms 45:1-18, the Psalm opens saying א לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַל-שׁשַׁנִּים לִבְנֵי-קֹרַח מַשְֹכִּיל שִׁיר יְדִידֹת: For the choir director; according to the Shoshannim. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. A Song of Love. It should always peek our interest when we find Hebrew words “Shoshannim” (שׁשַׁנִּים) transliterated into English. Why do the English translators choose to transliterate a particular word our of the Hebrew bible? Is there some difficulty in the translation? What is the Lord God Almighty trying to tell us by inspiring David to use this particular word? This word appears twice in the defective spelling in Hebrew bible, once in Tehillim / Psalms 45, and once in Tehillim / Psalms 80. It is found in the full spelling (שׁוֹשַׁנִּים) in the Song of Solomon chapter 5 and 6. According to the Septuagint (LXX) and the Vulgate we read, “To the end: for them that shall be changed: for the Sons of Core, to understanding. A Song for the Beloved.” The English Bible states “To the Chief Musician upon Shoshannim, Maschil, a Song of Loves.” While comparing the Hebrew and Greek texts, we see that the word לַמְנַצֵּחַ is translated as ἰς τὸ τέλος meaning “for the end,” and the phrase ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀλλοιωθησομένων is derived from the Hebrew עַל־שׁשַׁנִּים meaning “over those that shall be changed.” Based upon these phrases “for the end” and “over those that shall be changed,” are the rabbis who translated the Septuagint trying to suggest this psalm is eschatological in nature? Could this be the reason this psalm is referenced in the Apostolic Writings? The Aramaic Targum takes a different interpretation saying א לשבחא על יתבי סנהדרין דמשה דאיתאמר בנבואה על ידהון דבני קרח שיכלא טבא ותושבחתא ואודאתא׃ 45:1 For praise; concerning those who sit in the Sanhedrin of Moses, which was spoken in prophecy by the sons of Korah; a good lesson, and a psalm, and a thanksgiving. (EMC) According to the Aramaic Translation, these words are spoken by those who sit in the seat of Moshe (the Sanhedrin) and these are spoken in the spirit of prophecy. This is to be a lesson, a psalm of thanksgiving.

The introductory line to the Psalm ends saying “Shir yedidot” (שִׁיר יְדִידֹת) which is translated as “A song of love.” Based upon the first line of the Psalm, the psalm appears to be a love song. The word Shoshannim is translated as “lilies” according to the Song of Solomon. This word is frequently mentioned in the Song of Songs. A famous verse from the Song of Solomon that is often inscribed into traditional Jewish wedding rings found in Song 6:3 “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

Song of Solomon 6:1-3

6:1 WHERE has your beloved gone, O most beautiful among women? Where has your beloved turned, That we may seek him with you? 6:2 My beloved has gone down to his garden, To the beds of balsam, To pasture his flock in the gardens And gather lilies. 6:3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies. (NASB)

א אָנָה הָלַךְ דּוֹדֵךְ הַיָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים אָנָה פָּנָה דוֹדֵךְ וּנְבַקְשֶׁנּוּ עִמָּךְ: ב דּוֹדִי יָרַד לְגַנּוֹ לַעֲרוּגוֹת הַבֹּשֶֹם לִרְעוֹת בַּגַּנִּים וְלִלְקֹט שׁוֹשַׁנִּים: ג אֲנִי לְדוֹדִי וְדוֹדִי לִי הָרֹעֶה בַּשּׁוֹשַׁנִּים:

The phrase ani l’dodi v’dodi li” (אֲנִי לְדוֹדִי וְדוֹדִי לִי) symbolizes the devotion and union of a husband and wife. The allegorical interpretation of the Song is of God’s love for His people. The shepherd that is the beloved went down to pasture his sheep and she waits on his return. The Song of Solomon describes her longing desire to be reunited with her lover. Rashi interprets this in line with the Hebrew prophets when they on occasion refer to Israel as the wife of the Lord. According to Hosea, idolatry among Israel was likened to adultery that breaks up a marriage contract between God and his people. This was why the Lord requested Hosea to marry a prostitute according to the book of Hosea. Messianic believers interpret the song as a picture of the Messiah and His bride (Ephesians 5:23-25).

The Psalmist continues sayingב רָחַשׁ לִבִּי | דָּבָר טוֹב אֹמֵר אָנִי מַעֲשַֹי לְמֶלֶךְ לְשׁוֹנִי עֵט | סוֹפֵר מָהִיר: 45:1 My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer (NASB) The literal translation would be “the thoughts of my heart, good words, I speak of my deeds to the king, my tongue is a quick, swift pen to write with.” The word “rachash” (רָחַשׁ) means “to happen, occur,” or “whisper, noise, thought,” and according to Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon means “to boil or bubble up as a fountain.” This word may be used metaphorically to refer to mediating deeply of the good words that are in one’s heart (e.g. “my heart boils up pleasant words,” רָחַשׁ לִבִּי דָּבָר טוֹב). He continues saying “I will speak of the things I have done (my works, מַעֲשַֹי) to the King.” The Hebrew word “lemelech” (לְמֶלֶךְ) means “to the king” and is translated in the Septuagint as λεγω εγω τα εργα μου τω βασιλει, “I rehearse my works to the king.” Tehillim / Psalms 45 verse 2 concludes saying that he is a good writer, that he is using the pen to compose his love song (psalm). Take note how the psalmist is referring to the one he is speaking to. He says that “You are fairer than the sons of men” in Tehillim / Psalms 45:2. The One he is referring to is masculine and the conclusion is that he is speaking to the Lord God Almighty. The Aramaic Targum and the Septuagint translate this verse in the following way.

Masoretic Text

Tehillim / Psalms 45:2

45:2 You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever. (NASB)

ג יָפְיָפִיתָ מִבְּנֵי אָדָם הוּצַק חֵן בְּשְֹפְתוֹתֶיךָ עַל-כֵּן בֵּרַכְךָ אֱלֹהִים לְעוֹלָם:

Aramaic Targum

Toviyah / Psalms 45:3

45:3 Your beauty, O King Messiah, is greater than the sons of men; the spirit of prophecy has been placed on your lips; because of this the Lord has blessed you forever. (EMC)

ג שופרך מלכא משיחא עדיף מבני נשא אתיהיב רוח נבואה בספוותך מטול כן היכנא ברכינך יהוה אלהא לעלמא׃

Septuagint

Psalmoi / Psalms 45:2

45:2 Thou art more beautiful than the sons of men: grace has been shed forth on thy lips: therefore God has blessed thee for ever.

45:2 ὡραῖος κάλλει παρὰ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐξεχύθη χάρις ἐν χείλεσίν σου διὰ τοῦτο εὐλόγησέν σε ὁ θεὸς εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα

As noted, the psalmist appears to be speaking to the Lord and according to the rabbis of the Aramaic Targum, the psalmist is speaking of the “King Messiah.” The rabbis who translated the Targum again speak of the spirit of prophecy saying that the King Messiah” is greater than the sons of men because of the spirit of prophecy that has been placed upon his lips and the Lord has blessed Him forever. According to the Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Melachim (Laws Concerning Kings) we find in Chapter 11 a messianic expectation of the Davidic Kingdom and the King Messiah:

1. The Messianic King will arise in the future and restore the Davidic Kingdom to its former state and original sovereignty. He will build the Sanctuary and gather the dispersed of Israel. (This follows Psalms 147:2, as interpreted in Berachot 49a, Tanchuma, Noach 11, and Zohar 1:134a and 139a) All the laws will be re-instituted in his days as they had been aforetimes; (Isaiah 1:26, Sanhedrin 51b, Rambam’s Perush Hamishnah on Sanhedrin 1:3) sacrifices will be offered, and the Sabbatical years and Jubilee years will be observed (Mechilta deRashby on Exodus 20:22, Sifra on Leviticus 2:14 (parshat 13:1)) fully as ordained by the Torah. (Vayikra / Leviticus 25) Anyone who does not believe in Mashiach, or whoever does not look forward to his coming, denies not only [the teachings of] the other prophets but [also those] of the Torah and of Moses our Teacher. For the Torah attested to him, as it is said:

According to Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, the Messianic king will arise to restore the Davidic kingdom, rebuild the sanctuary, and gather the dispersed peoples. This interpretation is taken from Parashat Nitzavim in the Torah (Devarim / Deuteronomy 30:3-5).

Devarim / Deuteronomy 30:3-5

30:3 then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. 30:4 ‘If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. 30:5 ‘The Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. (NASB)

It is believed that these words spoken of in the Torah encompass all of the Messianic statements that were made by the prophets in the Tanach. In addition to this, in Parashat Balak, there is a reference to this made by Bilam (see Bamidbar / Numbers 23-24 and the midrashim interpreting Bilam’s prophecies). According to Midrash Aggadah, Rashi, and R. Bachaya, on Bamidbar / Numbers 24:17-18, Bilam prophesied about two Messiahs, the first was King David who saved Israel from the hand of their oppressors, and the second was the Anointed One (Mashiach) will arise and save Israel in the end. The midrash states, “I see him, but not now” (Bamidbar / Numbers 24:17) referring to David, “I behold him, but not nigh” this refers to the Messianic King, “A star steps out from Jacob” is a reference to David, “and a scepter will arise from Israel” refers to the Messianic King. Bilam saying, “He will smite the great ones of Moab” is a reference to David, as it says, “He smote Moab and measured them with a rope” (2 Samuel 8:2), “and break all the children of Seth” refers to the Messianic King, of whom it is said, “His rule will be from sea to sea.” (Zechariah 9:10), “Edom will be a possession” (Bamidbar / Numbers 24:18) is a reference to David, as it is said, “Edom became servants to David” (2 Samuel 8:14), “and Seir shall be a possession” this refers to the Messianic King, as it is said, “Saviors shall ascend Mount Zion [to judge the mount of Esau]…” (Obadiah 1:21). So the rabbis weave together the texts to interpret how Bilam in Parashat Balak spoke of the Messiah in the spirit of prophecy similar to the Targum translation the rabbis provide of the Messianic King whom the Lord God has placed the spirit of prophecy upon his lips.

The Psalmist continues saying ה וַהֲדָרְךָ | צְלַח רְכַב עַל-דְּבַר-אֱמֶת וְעַנְוָה-צֶדֶק וְתוֹרְךָ נוֹרָאוֹת יְמִינֶךָ: ו חִצֶּיךָ שְׁנוּנִים עַמִּים תַּחְתֶּיךָ יִפְּלוּ בְּלֵב אוֹיְבֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ: 45:4 And in Your majesty ride on victoriously, For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; Let Your right hand teach You awesome things. 45:5 Your arrows are sharp; The peoples fall under You; Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies. (NASB) The Psalmist describes the Lord as a warrior, but it is interesting how he describes the Lord as His majesty rides on victoriously. His majesty that goes forth in truth, meekness, and righteousness. The psalmist says that God’s right hand teaches awesome things and then proceeds to say that His arrows are sharp and pierce the heart of the King’s enemies. Are the weapons of war the Psalmist is speaking of here literal? Literal arrows that pierce the heart of the enemy? What is the Psalmist trying to say here? The Aramaic Targum provides some insight on these verses saying the following, ה ושבהורך סגי בגין כן בכין תצלח למרכב על סוסי כורסי מלכותא על עסק הימנותא וקשוט וענותנותא וצדקתא וילפינך יהוה למעבד דחילן ביד ימינך׃ ו גיררך שליפין למקטל אוכלוסין עממין תחותך יפלון ובני וגיררי קשתייך ישתלחון בלב סנאי בעלי דבבי מלכא׃ 45:4 Gird your sword on your thigh, O champion; your glory and your brilliance is to kill kings as well as rulers. 45:5 And your brilliance is great; therefore you will succeed in mounting the horse of the kingdom, by reason of faithfulness and truth and humility and righteousness; and the Lord will teach you to do fearful things with your right hand. (EMC) Here the Aramaic text speaks of the King Messiah telling him to gird his sword, his glory and brilliance for the purpose of killing kings as well as rulers. Notice how the rabbis write that the King Messiah is able to mount the horse of the kingdom” by reason of his “faithfulness, truth, humility, and righteousness.” What is the horse of the kingdom? If we think about the idea of riding a horse that is unfamiliar with its rider, the horse would begin to buck and jump about to get the rider off his back. The Kingdom of Heaven appears to be paralleled here in the Targum translation to a horse, and that in order to ride this “horse of the kingdom” the horse would need to be familiar with the rider meaning a person would need to be faithful to God, walk in truth, in humility, and in righteousness. The rider would need to be familiar with the Torah in order to operate the horse (make him go where you want him to). The rider would need to have taken upon himself the yoke of the Torah meaning to walk in the ways of the Lord in order to function properly within the Kingdom of God upon the back of this horse. Comparing the Masoretic Text to the Aramaic Targum, the arrows that pierce the heart of the enemy, may very well be the Word of God. According to the Scriptures, the Word is paralleled to a sword that is capable of dividing the soul and spirit, joints and marrows. (Hebrews 4:12) The King Messiah is giving the power and the glory to defeat our enemies by the power of His Word. We have to accept and apply God’s word to our lives in order to function as a part of the Kingdom. The point the rabbis are trying to drive forward here within the Aramaic Targum is the King Messiah leads the way and the manner in which we are to live, in righteousness, holiness, and truth, before the Lord God Almighty.

Based upon the interpretation of the rabbis according to the Aramaic Targum, this psalm is very messianic in nature where the Lord shows His King Messiah to be victorious. As a result, the author of the book of Hebrews quotes from Tehillim / Psalms 45:6-7 in Hebrews 1:8-9.

Tehillim / Psalms 45:6-7

45:6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 45:7 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows.

ז כִּסְאֲךָ אֱלֹהִים עוֹלָם וָעֶד שֵׁבֶט מִישֹׁר שֵׁבֶט מַלְכוּתֶךָ: ח אָהַבְתָּ צֶּדֶק וַתִּשְֹנָא רֶשַׁע עַל-כֵּן | מְשָׁחֲךָ אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן שָֹשֹוֹן מֵחֲבֵרֶיךָ:

Hebrews 1:8-9

1:7 And of the angels He says, ‘Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.’ 1:8 But of the Son He says ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. 1:9 ‘You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.’

7καὶ πρὸς μὲν τοὺς ἀγγέλους λέγει, Ὁ ποιῶν τοὺς ἀγγέλους αὐτοῦ πνεύματα, καὶ τοὺς λειτουργοὺς αὐτοῦ πυρὸς φλόγα: 8πρὸς δὲ τὸν υἱόν, Ὁ θρόνος σου, ὁ θεός, εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος, καὶ ἡ ῥάβδος τῆς εὐθύτητος ῥάβδος τῆς βασιλείας σου. 9ἠγάπησας δικαιοσύνην καὶ ἐμίσησας ἀνομίαν: διὰ τοῦτο ἔχρισέν σε ὁ θεός, ὁ θεός σου, ἔλαιον ἀγαλλιάσεως παρὰ τοὺς μετόχους σου

Notice how the author of the book of Hebrews quotes from Tehillim / Psalms 104:4 (ד עֹשֶֹה מַלְאָכָיו רוּחוֹת מְשָׁרְתָיו אֵשׁ לֹהֵט: 104:4 He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers. NASB) the purpose might be to show that God’s angels were created to serve and not to be served. Note also the Hebraic concept of “serve” takes on the sense of “worship” as Yeshua quoted from Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:20 in Matthew 4:10 when he said “… Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” (NASB) In Matthew 4:10 we find a parallel between “worship” and “serve.” The Apostle Paul spoke of the spiritual-physical connection in Romans 12:1-3 on our spiritual act of “service.” In addition to this, in the traditional Siddur, Tehillim / Psalms 104:1-2 is read when the tallit is first draped over the head for prayers. This is meant to be a reminder of God’s awesome power in creating the universe, the heavens, and the light, in which these things are His (God’s) tallit.

Looking at the Hebrew and Aramaic texts, the Messianic King is given authority over the nations and His people. The author of Hebrews uses the interpretation of the text, that leads up to Tehillim / Psalms 45:6-7, to speak of Yeshua the Messiah as the One whose throne is forever and ever, and who is the Anointed One of God. Studying the Greek and English translations of the book of Hebrews, it appears that the One who has been anointed for kingship is being addressed in Hebrews 1:8-9 as Divine. This reminds us of the concept that the Messiah would reign in our midst as Emanuel (God with us, Isaiah 7:14, 9:6). Tehillim / Psalms 45 ends saying, 45:17 I will cause Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the peoples will give You thanks forever and ever. (NASB) Hebrews 1:9 states “Therefore God, Your God has anointed You…” (ἔχρισέν σε ὁ θεός, ὁ θεός σου) which seems to be a blatant statement of the Messiah’s deity. Based upon the way the verses from Tehillim / Psalms 45 are used here in the book of Hebrews, the author thought that Tehillim / Psalms 45 was messianic and prophetic of the Messiah which again is consistent with the rabbinic understanding according to the Aramaic Targum. The evidence is obvious according to the Aramaic Targum of being both Messianic and Prophetic. The point of the author in Hebrews is that God had planned for the Messiah to be given authority so that He would have the right to the eternal throne. Hebrews 1:9 also states that “He loves righteousness and hates lawlessness.” The rabbis write in the Aramaic Targum that the King Messiah is able to mount the “horse of the kingdom,” having the right to the throne, by reason of his “faithfulness, truth, humility, and righteousness.” Yeshua was given the authority and power, along with all the rights and privileges associated with being seated upon the eternal throne. Because of this authority that is declared based upon Tehillim / Psalms 45, the author of the book of Hebrews proclaims Yeshua to be the Creator by quoting from Tehillim / Psalms 102 in Hebrews 1:10-12. The quote from Tehillim / Psalms 102 is from the Septuagint and we get the imagery of the “wrapping of the mantle” (Hebrews 1:10-12) to be a parallel to God wrapping Himself in the tallit of the heavens and light. Note how in the Psalms, the author of the book of Hebrews quotes from texts that begin with an address to יהוה (YHVH) and that he does not seem to have a problem applying this text to Yeshua the Messiah. The psalm is a prayer of the afflicted to the Lord where the psalmist pleads for the Lord to listen to his prayer and in the end acknowledges that God will deliver and establish Israel and Zion as His chosen nation and city. Like we read in the rabbinic literature (mentioned earlier), in the eschatological interpretations of the Torah, the Psalms, and the Prophets, the hope and restoration clearly rests upon the shoulders of the Messiah. This is why the author of Hebrews writes “1:10 And, ‘You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands.” (NASB) The King Messiah has been seated upon the everlasting throne and his authority began before the creation of the world.

The Psalmist continues saying ט מֹר וַאֲהָלוֹת קְצִיעוֹת כָּל-בִּגְדֹתֶיךָ מִן-הֵיכְלֵי שֵׁן מִנִּי שִֹמְּחוּךָ: 45:8 All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad. (NASB) The One whom the psalmist is speaking of is described as being seasoned with pleasant smelling spices, and he says that stringed instruments make him glad, suggesting music is played in his honor bringing us back to the concept of worship and praise. The Lord’s garments being fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, are these a description of the incense used in the tabernacle? A description of the incense used in the Tabernacle is found in Shemot / Exodus 30:34-38.

Shemot / Exodus 30:34-38

30:34 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each. 30:35 ‘With it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. 30:36 ‘You shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you; it shall be most holy to you. 30:37 ‘The incense which you shall make, you shall not make in the same proportions for yourselves; it shall be holy to you for the Lord. 30:38 ‘Whoever shall make any like it, to use as perfume, shall be cut off from his people.’ (NASB)

According to these Scriptures, the person who takes of the holy incense or makes the incense for purposes other than its intended use in the Tabernacle does so in a profane manner and he is to be cut off from his people. The description of the holy incense is different than that of the garments which are made fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia. The use of these fragrant incense appears to be purpose for drawing attraction and love from the spouse.

The Psalmist continues saying, י בְּנוֹת מְלָכִים בְּיִקְּרוֹתֶיךָ נִצְּבָה שֵׁגָל לִימִינְךָ בְּכֶתֶם אוֹפִיר: יא שִׁמְעִי-בַת וּרְאִי וְהַטִּי אָזְנֵךְ וְשִׁכְחִי עַמֵּךְ וּבֵית אָבִיךְ: 45:9 Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies; At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir. 45:10 Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear: Forget your people and your father’s house. (NASB) The Psalmist requests that the daughter forget her fathers house (45:10), why do you think he is asking her to forget her fathers house? This may be interpreted as a bride who is being advised about her new condition that she is to forget her father’s house or the former things. The daughter is in a new relationship and that relationship requires her full attention. She is also now identified with her husband, her interests and even service of worship before the Lord has changed. This would be a more appropriate interpretation than to consider she was to forget her father’s house that acted corruptly before the Lord in wickedness. The reason being, a godly man should not marry a woman who comes from an ungodly family. The example from King Solomon’s life demonstrates the point, he married many women and these women who came from ungodly families, as the Scriptures say “in Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of the Lord God Almighty.” (see 1 Kings 11:4) The point of the exhortation from the psalmist may be to give counsel to the daughter that she should behave herself in such a way as to gain or secure the continual confidence of her husband. How do you think this applies to us today? Do we need to “do things” in order to secure the confidence of the Lord? Note something the Apostle Peter says in his first epistle.

1 Peter 3:8-21

3:8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 3:9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 3:10 For, ‘The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 3:11 ‘He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. 3:12 ‘For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’ 3:13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 3:14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 3:16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 3:17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 3:19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 3:20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 3:21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (NASB)

Notice what Peter is saying in his epistle, we are to be kind to one another, loving, and humble before God. We are not to repay evil for evil, we are to give a blessing instead. He continues, the one who desires life is to keep his tongue from Lashon Hara, to turn from evil and do good, to seek and pursue peace, these are characteristics of the righteous whom the Lord looks towards and whom His ears listen to. The Lord is against those who do evil. He says to be ready to suffer for righteousness sake, and to sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts, being ready to make a defense for our faith and the hope we have. “We are to keep a good conscience by remaining in good behavior so we do not put Yeshua to shame.” He goes on to speak of putting to death the flesh and living in the spirit, and says in 1 Peter 3:21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (NASB) Note something here, Baptism is not what Peter is speaking of that saves, baptism was developed from the Mikvah which is a way of demonstrating that one is taking a new direction in one’s life in repentance. In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul discusses this mikvah. He said, “Our forefathers were all under the cloud and they all passed through the sea. They were all immersed into Moshe in the cloud and in the sea.” Note here in 1 Peter 3:20, Peter uses the example of Noah’s flood and of bringing eight persons safely through the water. Note it is the Lord God Almighty who saved His people in the midst of the waters of death that surrounded them in both cases (Red Sea and Noah’s flood). The mikvah, according to the Torah, symbolized a change in status. When a leper was cleansed, he was to perform a mikvah. An unclean individual immersed himself as part of the cleansing process. The example that is given by Paul in 1 Corinthians 10, he is demonstrating how Israel had undergone the greatest change of status there is, they had changed from being a powerless group of slaves to the holy, unique people of Almighty God. Under the renewed covenant in the Messiah Yeshua, the mikvah has much the same meaning, it symbolizes our change in status from sinful, unredeemed individuals to co-heirs with the Messiah. We are part of the holy nation, the royal priesthood, and included among the righteous remnant of Israel. In the Apostolic Writings, the mikvah, the Torah, the Messiah, and our redemption are put together. The Messiah Yeshua’s mikvah was to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). This means that righteousness is “doing what is right,” and in our context of the Psalm and of the Apostles letters, doing what is right in the eyes of God is what the Lord desires from us. The Torah was given to show us what God thinks is right so part of the reason Yeshua performed the mikvah (was baptized) was to show obedience to God’s commands, fulfilling His duty under the Torah.

In addition to this, the mikvah symbolizes the covenant of the Torah. According to Paul’s exposition, he says that they were immersed into Moshe. Moshe, in the writings of the Disciples and in the words of Yeshua Himself is often used to symbolize the Torah (i.e. Moshe and the prophets). Thus, part of what Paul is saying is that Israel went through the mikvah as a symbol of their taking on the yoke of the Torah. They had taken on the Yoke of the Kingdom” through their experience of redemption. These things happened to provide us an example, our mikvah experience includes this as well. The Mikvah represents a repentant life and redemption. It is within this repentant life that we find life, and God through His Holy Spirit convicts us of sin which leads to that repentant life. The responsibilities that we have as a redeemed people are to be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, humble in spirit, not returning evil for evil, not insulting, giving a blessing, turning from evil to do good and being zealous for good works for the glory of God. If we do these things, and we do what is right, the Lord will bless us and we will have favor in His eyes. On the other hand, if we do what is wrong, live sin filled lives, the Lord will turn His face away from us and we will reap the reward of unrighteousness and wickedness. This truth is independent of our faith in Yeshua the Messiah. We do not want the Lord’s Name to be blasphemed before the world on account of us. The Lord does not look on the smearing of His Name very kindly. Paul says that life is difficult, especially when trying to live as a redeemed people. The Lord God however is faithful and will always provide us the way and the strength to stand for truth and righteousness.

The Aramaic Targum states, י פילכי מלכותא אתין למקביל אפך וליקרותך בזמן דמעתד ספר אורייתא בסטר ימינך ומכתבתא בפרשגן זיותך באובריזון דמן אופיר׃ יא שמעי כנישתא דישראל אוריית פומיה וחמי פרישות עובדוי ותצלי אודנך לפתגמי אוריתא ותתנשי עובדין בישין דרשיעי עמיך ובית טעוות דפלחת בית אבוייך׃ 45:10 The provinces of the kingdom come to welcome you and to honor you, while the book of Torah is stationed at your right side, and written in gold from Ophir. 45:11 Hear, O congregation of Israel, the Torah of his mouth, and see the wonders of his deeds, and incline your ear to the words of Torah, and you will forget the evil deeds of the wicked of your people, and the place of idols that you worshiped in the house of your father. (EMC) The rabbis interpret the daughter to be Israel and the queen to be the Torah. The rabbis also interpret the meaning of “forget your people and your father’s house” to listening to the words of Torah and forgetting the evil deeds of the wicked people and the place of idols that they worshiped in the house of their father. The point of the exhortation of the psalmist, and even of the Apostles, is to give counsel to behave in a way so as to do what is pleasing to the Lord. Tehillim / Psalms 45:11-15 says something consistent with this interpretation.

Tehillim / Psalms 45:11-15

45:11 Then the King will desire your beauty. Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him. 45:12 The daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; The rich among the people will seek your favor. 45:13 The King’s daughter is all glorious within; Her clothing is interwoven with gold. 45:14 She will be led to the King in embroidered work; The virgins, her companions who follow her, Will be brought to You. 45:15 They will be led forth with gladness and rejoicing; They will enter into the King’s palace. (NASB)

יב וְיִתְאָו הַמֶּלֶךְ יָפְיֵךְ כִּי הוּא אֲדֹנַיִךְ וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִי-לוֹ: יג וּבַת-צֹר | בְּמִנְחָה פָּנַיִךְ יְחַלּוּ עֲשִׁירֵי עָם: יד כָּל-כְּבוּדָּה בַת-מֶלֶךְ פְּנִימָה מִמִּשְׁבְּצוֹת זָהָב לְבוּשָׁהּ: טו לִרְקָמוֹת תּוּבַל לַמֶּלֶךְ בְּתוּלוֹת אַחֲרֶיהָ רֵעוֹתֶיהָ מוּבָאוֹת לָךְ: טז תּוּבַלְנָה בִּשְֹמָחֹת וָגִיל תְּבֹאֶינָה בְּהֵיכַל מֶלֶךְ:

Aramaic Targum

Toviyah / Psalms 45:12-16

45:12 And then the king will desire your beauty; for he is your master and you will bow down to him. 45:13 And those who dwell in the fortress of Tyre will come with an offering, and the rich Gentiles will seek your face at your sanctuary. 45:14 All the best and choicest sacrifices from the provinces, the treasuries of the kings that are hidden within, will they bring for the priests whose clothing is chased with pure gold. 45:15 In their decorated garments they will offer their sacrifices before the king of the world, and the rest of their fellows who are scattered among the Gentiles will be brought in joy to you to Jerusalem. 45:16 They will be brought in joy and praise and they will enter the temple of the king of ages.

יב ובכן ירגג יירוג מלכא שופרייך ארום הוא ריבונייך ותסגדין ליה׃ יג ויתבי כרכא דצור בתקרובתא ייתון תהון אתיין למקבל ואפיך ישחרון לבית מקדשייך עתירי עממיא׃ יד כל שבח שפר ארג נכסי פילכי אוצרי מלכיא דמטמרן מלגיו יקרבון קורבנין קדם מלכא ודורונין לכהניא דמרמצין בדהבא סנינא לבושיהון׃ טו בלבושיהון ציורין יקרבון קורבניהון קדם מלכא דעלמא ושאר חבריהון די מיתבדרין ביני עממיא יתיתין בחדוא לותיך לירושלם׃ טז יתתיין בחדון ותושבחתא וביע ויעלון בהיכלא דמלך עלמין׃

Septuagint

Psalmoi / Psalms 45:11-15

45:11 Because the king has desired thy beauty; for he is thy Lord. 45:12 And the daughter of Tyre shall adore him with gifts; the rich of the people of the land shall supplicate thy favour. 45:13 All her glory is that of the daughter of the king of Esebon, robed as she is in golden fringed garments, 45:14 in embroidered clothing: virgins shall be brought to the king after her: her fellows shall be brought to thee. 45:15 They shall be brought with gladness and exultation: they shall be led into the king’s temple.

45:11 ὅτι ἐπεθύμησεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ κάλλους σου ὅτι αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ κύριός σου 45:12 καὶ προσκυνήσουσιν αὐτῷ θυγατέρες Τύρου ἐν δώροις τὸ πρόσωπόν σου λιτανεύσουσιν οἱ πλούσιοι τοῦ λαοῦ 45:13 πᾶσα ἡ δόξα αὐτῆς θυγατρὸς βασιλέως ἔσωθεν ἐν κροσσωτοῖς χρυσοῖς περιβεβλημένη πεποικιλμένη 45:14 ἀπενεχθήσονται τῷ βασιλεῖ παρθένοι ὀπίσω αὐτῆς αἱ πλησίον αὐτῆς ἀπενεχθήσονταί σοι 45:15 ἀπενεχθήσονται ἐν εὐφροσύνῃ καὶ ἀγαλλιάσει ἀχθήσονται εἰς ναὸν βασιλέως

Notice how the Hebrew texts speaks of the King’s palace (בְּהֵיכַל מֶלֶךְ) and the Aramaic Targum brings into the Psalm the richness of the covenant and the ritual service of the Tabernacle. The rabbis parallel the palace of the King to the Temple and the King Messiah. It says that the daughter of Tyre will adore Him with gifts and the people of the land will supplicate His favor in the Septuagint. Whereas, the Targum translation says those who dwell in the fortress of Tyre will bring an offering and the gentiles will see His face at the Sanctuary. The King is obviously the Lord God Almighty in heaven.

The King will desire her beauty, and she will bow down to him. Even the Gentiles will seek His face at the Sanctuary. The best and choicest portions will be brought before the King and we read of the gathering of the Jewish people from the ends of the earth where they are scattered among the Gentiles. There will be joy and praises. This psalm definitely has its application in eschatology and rightly so it has been interpreted as such throughout Jewish and Christian history.

The Psalm ends saying that the sons will replace their fathers and that they will be princes in all the earth in Tehillim / Psalms 45:16.

Masoretic Text

Tehillim / Psalms 45:16-17

45:16 In place of your fathers will be your sons; You shall make them princes in all the earth. 45:17 I will cause Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the peoples will give You thanks forever and ever. (NASB)

יז תַּחַת אֲבֹתֶיךָ יִהְיוּ בָנֶיךָ תְּשִׁיתֵמוֹ לְשָֹרִים בְּכָל-הָאָרֶץ: יח אַזְכִּירָה שִׁמְךָ בְּכָל-דֹּר וָדֹר עַל-כֵּן עַמִּים יְהוֹדֻךָ לְעֹלָם וָעֶד:

Aramaic Targum

Toviyah / Psalms 45:17-18

45:17 In the place of your fathers will be the righteous, your sons; you will appoint them as leaders in all the land. 45:18 At that time you will say, “We will invoke your name in every generation;” because of this the Gentiles who are converted will praise your name forever and ever and ever. (EMC)

יז באתר אבהתך יהויין צדיקיא בנך תמנינון לרברביא לארכונין בכל ארעא׃ יח בעידנא ההיא תימרון נדכר אידכר שמך בכל דר ודר מטול היכנא עמיא עממיא דמיתגיירין יהודון שמך לותך לעלם ולעלמי עלמין׃

Septuagint

Psalmoi / Psalms 45:16-17

45:16 Instead of thy fathers children are born to thee: thou shalt make them princes over all the earth. 45:17 They shall make mention of thy name from generation to generation: therefore shall the nations give thanks to thee for ever, even for ever and ever. (LXX)

45:16 ἀντὶ τῶν πατέρων σου ἐγενήθησάν σοι υἱοί καταστήσεις αὐτοὺς ἄρχοντας ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν 45:17 μνησθήσονται τοῦ ὀνόματός σου ἐν πάσῃ γενεᾷ καὶ γενεᾷ διὰ τοῦτο λαοὶ ἐξομολογήσονταί σοι εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα καὶ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος

The Hebrew text says תַּחַת אֲבֹתֶיךָ יִהְיוּ בָנֶיךָ “under/instead of your fathers will be your sons” and תְּשִׁיתֵמוֹ לְשָֹרִים בְּכָל-הָאָרֶץ “he will make them to be princes in all the earth.” The rabbis who translated the Septuagint state that the sons will take the place of their fathers and they will be the righteous. The sons appear to carry on the memory of what the King has taught them being able to take His place. The Aramaic Targum states that they will “invoke the name of God in every generation.” This draws in the idea of the psalm speaking of the King Messiah, and the sons learning His Torah. The King passes His wisdom and His knowledge to His children. Tehillim / Psalms 45:17 states, “I will cause Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the peoples will give You thanks forever and ever.” (NASB) Based upon the final verse of the psalm, there appears to be an eschatological hope of Israel, (i) in the invoking of the name of God in every generation (בכל דר ודר) and (ii) in the claim that all peoples (עַל-כֵּן עַמִּים יְהוֹדֻךָ לְעֹלָם וָעֶד) will give thanks forever and ever. The Aramaic Targum states that because Israel calls upon the name of the Lord throughout their generations, the Gentiles will convert and give praise to the Name of God as well. This provides us with the idea that Israel will lead the nations to the Lord, and this is what happened according to the Apostolic Writings. Praise the Lord for the symmetry we can find in the Psalm, the Apostolic Writings, and in the Rabbinic commentaries.

According to the Talmud Bavli Avodah Zarah 2b and Midrash Rabba Bamidbar Parashat 1, Part 7, the rabbis state that our Father in Heaven offered the Torah to all the nations of the earth, and the Jews were the only ones who accepted it. Note also that, according to the rabbis, this was the purpose of the wilderness revelation of Torah (see Bits of Torah Truths, Parashat Chukat, The Purpose of the Wilderness Revelation of Torah, https://www.matsati.com/index.php/bits-of-torah-truths-parashat-chukat-the-purpose-of-the-wilderness-revelation-of-torah/, Access Date: June 26, 2014) the nations would come to seek the Lord God Almighty at His holy hill. While studying the Rabbinic literature, it is easy to find concepts that God intended for all men (both Jew and non-Jew) to receive and accept His Torah. Throughout the Apostolic Writings, we see the Apostles teaching Torah by exhorting the believers (ekklesia) to live in righteousness, holiness, and truth. If we live in this generation maintaining our integrity, the nations will see and want what we have. Studying the Hebrew and Aramaic texts, the rabbis believed this psalm to be messianic saying the Messianic King is given authority over the nations and His (God’s) people. Because of the rabbinic understanding of this psalm, the author of Hebrews uses this interpretation of the text, and the Messianic King, to speak of Yeshua the Messiah as the One whose throne is forever and ever, and who is the Anointed One of God. By our faith in Yeshua the Messiah, who is the Messianic King, we are given the Holy Spirit of God who empowers us to keep our tongues from Lashon Hara, to turn from evil and do good, to seek and pursue peace, to have the strength to suffer for righteousness sake, and to sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts. If we are truly seeking the Lord in Heaven, doing what is right, the nations will see, God will work powerfully in our lives, and we will be given the opportunity to speak of how the Lord has worked and is working in our lives for His glory. We can speak of the great love that He has for us by sending His Son Yeshua the Messiah. Praise the Lord! Let’s Pray!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 45 has 7 parts. Reading through the Midrash we will be looking at Part 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 44, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6.

Outline of Midrash Tehillim / Psalms, Chapter 45, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “For the leader, upon shoshannim, the sons of Korach. A maskil. A son of loves (Tehillim / Palms 45:1).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says The word Shoshannim is to be considered in the light of the verse My beloved is gone down to His garden to gather lilies (Shoshannim) (Song 6:2).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis go on to expand upon David’s words to discuss lilies and thorns and burning up the thorns.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis speak of how the thorns are burned up using examples from Parashat Korach, and a parable of a king who entered a city.
  • The Concluding phrase says “The Holy One blessed be He, answered, You will be victorious, as is said For Him who gives victory to the sons of Korach because they are Shoshannim (Tehillim / Psalms 45:1).”

Part 2

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “For the leader; a Psalm of the sons of Korach, Maskil. A song of loves (Tehillim / Psalms 45:1).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says This Psalm is introduced by three words, Leadership, Maskil, and Song, to stand for the three sons of Korach.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis go on to expand upon David’s words regarding the sons of Korach and the love song.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis speak of how the plural form indicates that the Holy One blessed be He was present where they assembled.
  • The Concluding phrase says “The word Maskil (he who is instructed) means that His beloved be He, for it is said, When all your children are instructed by the Lord, then the peace of your children will be great (Isaiah 54:13).”

Part 3

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “Another comment on For the leader; upon Shoshannim (lilies).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says These words are to be considered in the light of the verse I will be as the dew unto Israel; he will blossom as the lily (Hosea 14:6).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis go on to expand upon David’s words and speak of the glory of the Lord filling His people in the Olam Haba.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis speak of the Lord redeemed them (the sons of Korach) from the pit and how the heart turns upward when one repents before the Lord.
  • The Concluding phrase says “I will be as the dew unto Israel, when he blossoms as the lily, that is, when Israel blossoms as the lily. Hence it is said, For Him who gives victory because of lilies. ”

Part 4

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “The verse My heart overflows with a goodly matter (Tehillim / Psalms 45:2)”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says means to teach you that even when men are unable to confess with their mouths, but their hearts are overflowing with repentance, the Holy One blessed be He, receives them.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis go on to expand upon David’s words referring to those who serve the Lord with their whole heart.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis speak of how the sons of Korach repented in their hearts and the Lord received them even tough they did not repent with their lips.
  • The Concluding phrase says “Thus, when Hannah said, The Lord kills, and makes alive; He brings down to the grave, and brings up (1 Samuel 2:6), she was referring to the sons of Korach who went down until their feet touched the bottom of the pit, and after their feet had touched the bottom of the pit, them came up forthwith. Hence Hannah said, He brings down to the grave, and brings up.”

Part 6

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “You are fairer than the children of earth (Tehillim / Psalms 45:3).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says “this alludes to the sons of Korach whose deeds were fairer than those of Korach and his assembly.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis go on to expand upon David’s words, the sons of Korach, and Moshe.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis speak of how the Torah is as a sword, that Moshe went up to heaven riding a cloud, and how all the earth sought the presence of Solomon.
  • The Concluding phrase says “The verses beginning Harken O daughter, and consider (Tehillim / Psalms 45:11), to the end of the Psalm are spoken to the congregation of Israel.”

Midrash Tehillim 45, Part 1 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “For the leader, upon shoshannim, the sons of Korach. A maskil. A son of loves (Tehillim / Palms 45:1).” The Homiletic introduction (פתיחתא, Petihta) to the Midrash states “The word Shoshannim is to be considered in the light of the verse My beloved is gone down to His garden to gather lilies (Shoshannim) (Song 6:2).” The rabbis go on the say the following in the midrash:

When lilies in the garden are not recognized, whoever sees them says that they are thorns. Why? Because they grow among thorns. And what becomes of thorns? They go into the fire, as is said, As thorns are cut down, they will be burned in the fire (Isaiah 33:12); and also If fire goes forth, and catches the thorns (Shemot / Exodus 22:5); and again, And fire come forth from the Lord, and devoured the two hundred and fifty men that offered the incense (Bamidbar / Numbers 16:35). But the sons of Korach, who were lilies, were gathered from among the thorns, that they might not be consumed with the thorns, the Holy One blessed be He, came down swiftly and saved them. (Midrash Tehillim 45, Part 1)

They say that when the lilies are not recognized they appear as thorns in the garden. The reason is they grow among the thorns. This analogy seems to suggest that the gardener is not properly weeding the garden to remove the thorns. Every gardener knows that thorns have the capability of overwhelming normal plants, they grow faster and at one point may even overshadow the plants. Thistles are capable of growing as tall as and taller than corn. How might this apply to our lives? If we are not weeding out the thorns from our lives, will we begin to look just like useless weeds before God? The midrash asks the question “And what becomes of the thorns?” The answer is they will be cast into the fire, and the rabbis quote from Isaiah 33:12, יב וְהָיוּ עַמִּים מִשְֹרְפוֹת שִֹיד קוֹצִים כְּסוּחִים בָּאֵשׁ יִצַּתּוּ: 33:12 ‘The peoples will be burned to lime, Like cut thorns which are burned in the fire. (NASB) The thorns are paralleled to people and the wicked who will be burned because of their unrighteousness in the last days. The Midrash cites from Parashat Mishpatim, Shemot / Exodus 22:6 ‘If a fire breaks out and spreads to thorn bushes, so that stacked grain or the standing grain or the field itself is consumed, he who started the fire shall surely make restitution. (NASB) The idea is if we live as thorns, we will need to make restitution and how do we make restitution to God who owns all things, even our own lives? These thorns are consumed by fire, and a parallel text is from Parashat Korach because of the psalm being a love song of the sons of Korach and the fire that proceeded from the presence of God and consumed the 250 men who came to offer incense according to Bamidbar / Numbers 16:35. The midrash states that the sons of Korach were lilies and the lilies were gathered from among the thorns so that they would not be consumed with the thorns. What are the rabbis referring to here? It may be that a reference to the book of Chronicles is being referred to which states that the sons of Korach survived the sins of their fathers in Parashat Korach. Not all of the sons of Korach died indicated by David placing the sons of Korach in charge of the Temple and wrote songs for them to sing. The Lord God Almighty (the Holy One blessed be He) come down and saved them. This reminds us of a parable that Yeshua taught in Matthew 13:24-30.

Matthew 13:24-30

13:24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 13:25 ‘But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 13:26 ‘But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 13:27 ‘The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 13:28 ‘And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 13:29 ‘But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 13:30 ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.’’‘ (NASB)

This is known as the parable of the tares and is found only in the Gospel of Matthew. According to the parable, the owner of the field sows seed and as the wheat is growing, there is a point in time when it becomes apparent that the wheat in the field is not what it appears to be; some of the wheat are in fact tares, which are plants that have the appearance of wheat while growing up but in the end they are distinguishable from the wheat and nothing more than useless weeds. Similar to what is found in the midrash, the lilies are confused with thorns. In Yeshua’s parable, the tares are confused with the wheat. The principle that is being taught is that the seed represents people in this world (field). Note also that this parable is transitional from the previous parable of the sower. In the parable of the sower, the Son of Man is the sower who sows the word of God and it falls upon good ground, stony ground, and amongst thorns. The seed that fell upon good ground produced much more fruit than what was sown. The parable of the lilies in the garden in the midrash, lilies do not produce fruit, lilies are designed for looks and not for food. In both instances, the Lord rescues the people by sending His angels to rescue them. Why do the rabbis use lilies which do not produce fruit (good works) to represent the people?

The remainder of Midrash Tehillim 45, Part 1 says the following:

But the sons of Korach, who were lilies, were gathered from among the thorns, that they might not be consumed with the thorns, the Holy One blessed be He, came down swiftly and saved them. A parable of a king who entered a city, when the men of the city came forth to crown the king with a crown of gold studded with precious stones and pearls, they were met and told, The king requires nothing from you except a crown of lilies. Forthwith, the men of the city rejoiced. So it was with Korach and his assembly. They said, The Holy One blessed be He, requires of you censers of gold, but the Holy One blessed be He, replied, What good are censers of gold to Me? Mine are the silver and mine the gold. (Haggai 2:8). And so, two, the incense, Incense is an abomination unto me (Isaiah 1:13). But what do I require? Lilies? Thereupon the sons of Korach said, We are lilies. The Holy One blessed be He, answered, You will be victorious, as is said For Him who gives victory to the sons of Korach because they are Shoshannim (Tehillim / Psalms 45:1). (Midrash Tehillim 45, Part 1)

The rabbis illustrate the meaning of the lilies using a parable of a king who enters a city and the people desire to make him king and bring gold, precious stones, etc. The king says that he requires nothing of us besides that we be as lilies. Why lilies? In the rabbinic literature, the first account of the lily is given by Ibn Ezra in his commentary on the Song of Solomon. Ibn Ezra states, “It is a white flower of sweet but narcotic perfume, and it receives its name because the flower has, in every case, six (שש) petals, within which are six long filaments.” The Midrash alludes once to the abundance of its sap, and Abravanel says that dew makes the lily bloom, but rain destroys it. The idea is that the heart of this flower is directed upward, even though it grows among thorns. The lily symbolizes one’s trust in God which should be done even in the midst of afflictions (Leviticus Rabbah 23:1, Cant. Rabbah 2:2). The Zohar speaks of the thirteen leaves of the lily which surround the flower as the thirteen attributes of God which encompass Israel. This number is evidently derived from the description of Ibn Ezra with its six petals, six stamens (pollen-bearing organ of a flower), and one pistil. The lilies among which the beloved feeds (Cant. Rabbah 2:16) are the morning and evening Shema; the five leaves of the rose are the first five words of the Shema; and the thirteen leaves of the lily the numerical equivalent to “ekhad” (אֶחָד) the last word in the Shema. In the rabbinic literature the rabbis use the gematria to draw out the meaning and symbolism of the Scriptures. The faces of the righteous are as the lily, and exist only for redemption as the lily for perfume. The lily typifies Israel and as we see here in the midrash we are told that we are to be as lilies. We are to live as a sweet fragrance before the Lord. The lily withers in the sunlight, but blooms beneath the dew, and Hosea 14:5 states, “I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon.” The Lord God becomes the dew for the lily which represents us. We are to be deeply rooted in the Scriptures, God’s Word, like the root of the cedars of Lebanon. Israel is known as the lily among the nations for her sweet savory fragrance. The important point we can draw out of the midrash is that the sweet smell of the lily may be paralleled in our lives as righteousness and repentance. The midrash concludes saying, “The Holy One blessed be He, answered, You will be victorious, as is said For Him who gives victory to the sons of Korach because they are Shoshannim (Tehillim / Psalms 45:1).” Victory comes on the heals of living in righteousness and living repentant lives. Yeshua the Messiah sends us the Holy Spirit and gives us victory, to be convicted of sin that leads to repentance, and to be able (empowering our lives) to live in righteousness before our Father in Heaven.

Midrash Tehillim 45, Part 2 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “For the leader; a Psalm of the sons of Korach, Maskil. A song of loves (Tehillim / Psalms 45:1).” The homiletic introduction to the Midrash states “This Psalm is introduced by three words, Leadership, Maskil, and Song, to stand for the three sons of Korach.” The midrash states that the Psalm is introduced using three words and this leads to the interpretation this refers to the three sons of Korach and because there was three they sung three songs. The Lord loves the songs of those who sing to Him. The rabbis ask when do we know that Moshe and Aaron assembled to listen to the song of the sons of Korach? The justification is given as the words “Maskil, a song for yeddiot” (משכיל שיר ידידות) with the word yeddiot (ידידות) being written in plural form implies they were assembled to listen to the song. The midrash concludes saying “The word Maskil (he who is instructed) means that His beloved be He, for it is said, When all your children are instructed by the Lord, then the peace of your children will be great (Isaiah 54:13).”

The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק מה סימן ב

ב [למנצח וגו׳ משכיל שיר ידידות]. בשלשה דברים נאמר המזמור הזה, בניצוח במשכיל בשיר, כנגד שלשה בני קרח, ומפני שהם שלשה אמרו שלשה, [ידידות], אמר להם הקב״ה כל אחד ואחד שלו ידידות הם לפני, מניין אתה יודע שהיו משה ואהרן וכל הגדולים באין לשמוע שירתן של בני קרח, שנאמר למנצח על שושנים לבני קרח משכיל שיר ידידות, משמיע ידידים של הקב״ה, לכך נאמר שיר ידידות, ומלמדים לומר שירה לפני הקב״ה, שנאמר וכל בניך למודי ה׳ ורב שלום בניך (ישעיה נד יג).

Midrash Tehillim 45, Part 2

2. For the leader; a Psalm of the sons of Korach, Maskil. A song of loves (Tehillim / Psalms 45:1). This Psalm is introduced by three words, Leadership, Maskil, and Song, to stand for the three sons of Korach. Because they were three, they sang three songs. By “of loves” (yedidot) is meant that the Holy One blessed be He, said of the three sons of Korach, The songs of each, of every one of them, is beloved to Me. Whence do we know that Moshe and Aharon, and all the great ones assembled to hear the song of the sons of Korach? Because in the words For the leader; upon Shoshannim, the sons of Korach. Maskil, a song for yedidot (the beloved), the word yedidot, being plural, implies that those beloved of the Holy One blessed be He, were there assembled. Hence, A song for the beloved. The word Maskil (he who is instructed) means that His beloved be He, for it is said, When all your children are instructed by the Lord, then the peace of your children will be great (Isaiah 54:13).

The context on the ending of the midrash comes from Isaiah 54 which states the following.

Isaiah 54:13-55:9

54:13 ‘All your sons will be taught of the Lord; And the well-being of your sons will be great. 54:14 ‘In righteousness you will be established; You will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; And from terror, for it will not come near you. 54:15 ‘If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me. Whoever assails you will fall because of you. 54:16 ‘Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals And brings out a weapon for its work; And I have created the destroyer to ruin. 54:17 ‘No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their vindication is from Me,’ declares the Lord. 55:1 ‘Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. 55:2 ‘Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. 55:3 ‘Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David. 55:4 ‘Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples, A leader and commander for the peoples. 55:5 ‘Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, And a nation which knows you not will run to you, Because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.’ 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. 55:8 ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. 55:9 ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. (NASB)

The midrash discusses the introductory sentence to the Psalm and the three words and the children of Korach who was a wicked man. The midrash speaks of the love of God and the song of his people. Those who assemble themselves together to hear the song, and finally the sons who are taught and peace will come. Looking at the Hebrew text on Isaiah 54:13 we read, יג וְכָל-בָּנַיִךְ לִמּוּדֵי יְהֹוָה וְרַב שְׁלוֹם בָּנָיִךְ: which is translated as “All your children will be disciples of YHVH and great will be the peace of your children.” Note the context of Isaiah, in righteousness you will be established, whoever assails you will fall, no weapon that is formed against you will prosper, the heritage in the Lord for His servants, the Lord will give water and food who need them, and working for wages that perish and do not satisfy. The Lord says to listen to Him, eat what is good, listen and obey so we live and the Lord will make an everlasting covenant with us, and will call a nation Israel does not know. Isaiah is speaking of listening and obeying God’s Word. According to the rabbis, we know that eating and living is paralleled to studying Torah and having life. Note that Yeshua uses a similar hermeneutic in John 6 (e.g. he who eats my body and drinks my blood will have life). He instructs the wicked to forsake his ways and the unrighteous to forsake his thoughts and let these men return to the Lord and He will have compassion on him and forgive their sins. Yeshua quoted from Isaiah 54:13 in John 6:45.

John 6:44-47

6:44 ‘No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 6:45 ‘It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. 6:46 ‘Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. 6:47 ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. (NASB)

This is reminiscent of Isaiah 54-55, the Lord calls men to Himself, he gives an internal peace that leads to outward peace with one another, safety, and happiness; the Lord is setting up His kingdom in righteousness and holiness.

Midrash Tehillim 45, Part 3 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “Another comment on For the leader; upon Shoshannim (lilies).” The homiletic introduction to the Midrash states “These words are to be considered in the light of the verse I will be as the dew unto Israel; he will blossom as the lily (Hosea 14:6).” The midrash goes on to say This verse speaks of the time to come. For as the dew harms no creature, so the glory of the Presence will fill the righteous in the time to come and they will not be harmed, as is said, In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Tehillim / Psalms 16:11). According to Habakkuk 2:14 we read, “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.” (NASB) What we find here is a future expectation of the glory of God indwelling His people as the midrash states “in the world to come” (Olam Haba). The rabbis believed the Lord’s desire is to fill all of the earth and the ones He loves with His glory. According to Isaiah, the Lord has a passion for His glory, so much so that he will delay His wrath for the purpose of His name’s sake.

Isaiah 49:9-11

48:9 ‘For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, And for My praise I restrain it for you, In order not to cut you off. 48:10 ‘Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. 48:11 ‘For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another. (NASB)

Notice what the Lord is saying in Isaiah 49:9-11, “For My name’s sake,” “For the sake of My praise,” “For My own sake,” “How should My name be profaned,” and “My glory I will not give to another.” The most important point here is that the Lord desires to display the glory of His name and according to the midrash, He plans on doing this in the world to come. Note that the Apostle Paul’s interpretation on this is that we are given the praise and glory of His grace in Yeshua the Messiah according to his letter to the Ephesians.

Ephesians 1:4-6, 12, 14

1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 1:5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (NASB)

1:12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. (NASB)

1:14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (NASB)

Paul interprets the words of Isaiah and agrees with the rabbis that the Lord desires to placed His presence (glory) in His children (Isaiah 43:6-7 Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory.) Yeshua had the same purpose in mind for the glory of God in John 12:27-28 in the garden when he said, “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’” Note that the Lord tells us to serve Him in a way that will glorify His name, “Whoever serves, [let him do it] as one who serves by the strength which God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (l Peter 4:11) Note the parallel to Devarim / Deuteronomy 8:18 (Parashat Ekev). Paul tells us that Yeshua will fill us with fruits of righteousness for God’s glory in Philippians 1:9, 1:11, “It is my prayer that . . . [you be] filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

The midrash continues saying the children of Israel ask the Lord when He will redeem them, and the Lord responds saying when you have gone down to the very bottom of the pit.

The children of Israel said to the Holy One blessed be He, Master of the universe, when will You redeem us? And He answered, When you have gone down to the very bottom of the pit, in that hour, I will redeem you, as is said The children of Judah and the children of Israel will be gathered together and will rise up from the earth (Hosea 2:2). So, too, the sons of Korach said, We are at the very bottom of the pit, as it is said, For our soul is sunk deep in the dust (Tehillim / Psalms 24:27). The Holy One blessed be He, answered, Your help will be all your own. As the lily blossoms when its heart is turned upward, so will you when you repent before Me. Let your heart be directed upward like the lily, and in that hour I will bring the deliverer, I will be as the dew unto Israel, when he blossoms as the lily, that is, when Israel blossoms as the lily. Hence it is said, For Him who gives victory because of lilies. (Midrash Tehillim 45, Part 3)

Why does the Lord let us get to the bottom before raising us up? The answer may be within the midrash, the rabbis draw a parallel to the lily who has its petals pointing up to the heart of man whose heart is to be pointing up meaning that he is to be thinking upon the Lord, seeking Him for help, etc. When we are at the bottom, sunk into the mire, dirt, sludge of our sins, we look upwards towards God and the rabbis say this leads to repentance before God. The Lord allows us to goto the bottom for the purpose of causing us to see the error of our ways. The Lord allows the bad things to happen to us so that we make the choice to choose righteousness and justice even in the midst of evil in this world. The purpose then is to bring glory to His name and we fulfill our purpose of being created, which is to bring glory to His name! The concluding phrase states, “I will be as the dew unto Israel, when he blossoms as the lily, that is, when Israel blossoms as the lily. Hence it is said, For Him who gives victory because of lilies.” The Lord will give victory because of lilies? The reason they say this is because of the parallel with the lilies, whose petals face upwards, to repentance and the hearts of men pointing upwards seeking the face of God for help.

Midrash Tehillim 45, Part 4 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “The verse My heart overflows with a goodly matter (Tehillim / Psalms 45:2)” The homiletic introduction to the Midrash states “this means to teach you that even when men are unable to confess with their mouths, but their hearts are overflowing with repentance, the Holy One blessed be He, receives them.” The rabbis say in this midrash that though a man does not confess with his mouth, his heart is overflowing with repentance; would this be a correct assessment of a person who does not confess with his mouth? Why do the rabbis make this statement regarding Tehillim / Psalms 45:2 that one does not need to confess with the mouth? The Midrash continues saying “Note that when Scripture says, And you Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart, and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the imaginings of the thoughts (1 Chronicles 28:9), it does not say, all the thoughts, but all the imaginings of the thoughts. What is meant by all the imaginings of the thoughts? That even before a man shapes a thought in his heart, the Holy One blessed be He, understands it.” The idea is that a man shapes the imagination of this heart and does so in praise, worship, and repentance unto the Lord; the Lord knows his thoughts and it is as if he confessed with his mouth. Could it be that when trouble comes, if sever enough, one would not be able to speak or utter a word yet one’s thoughts are directed toward God in praise and repentance?

Yeshua spoke a couple times regarding the heart and the mouth in Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45 saying the following:

Matthew 12:34

You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks. (AMP)

Luke 6:45

The upright (honorable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honorable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks. (AMP)

According to Yeshua, the mouth speaks based upon what is in the heart. He says in Matthew 12 that the wicked are not able to speak of good things because their heart is filled with evil. In Luke 6 he said the good treasures that are stored up in one’s heart, from that one speaks. With this in mind, it is important to remember that we are supposed to store up the words of the Torah in our hearts. The words of the Torah are a treasure we are supposed to hide in our hearts. What better treasure to draw upon while speaking to others than the Word of God itself. The words of all of Scripture are a great treasure from which the heart may speak from.

The midrash continues speaking of Parashat Korach, fire come down and consumed the 250 men and the ground opened up swallowing the men alive, and the rabbis say that when there was fire on one side and the pit on the other, though the sons of Korach could not speak with their mouth, their hearts overflowed with repentance. The Midrash continue saying:

Why, then, does Scripture say, My heart overflows, as if there were only one? By this Scripture means to teach you that whatever one intended in his heart, the others also intended in their hearts, for the three of them were of like heart. My heart overflows with a goodly matter; I utter my songs to the King (Tehillim / Psalms 45:2). But if the heart overflow, what need for speech? And if speech be enough, why should the overflowing heart be mentioned? This is what the sons of Korach said, however, If our hearts overflow, it is the same as uttering our songs to the King, the King of kings, the Holy One blessed be He. Hence, they said, I utter my songs to the king. Another explanation, My heart overflows with prophecy. For the sons of Korach prophesied the future. Thus, when Hannah said, The Lord kills, and makes alive; He brings down to the grave, and brings up (1 Samuel 2:6), she was referring to the sons of Korach who went down until their feet touched the bottom of the pit, and after their feet had touched the bottom of the pit, them came up forthwith. Hence Hannah said, He brings down to the grave, and brings up.

Note how another interpretation is that the heart overflows with prophecy. If we consider that Prophecy is a process in which one or more messages that have been communicated to a prophet are then communicated to others, then how can one’s heart be filled with prophecy and yet keep silent? In the Torah, prophecy often consisted of a warnings from the Lord God of the consequences should the children of Israel, or specific communities, or their leaders not adhere to the Torah’s instructions. Prophecies also on occasion included conditioned promises of blessing for obeying the Lord and His commandments to live a moral life as written in the Torah. Maimonides (Rambam) suggests that there were many levels of prophecy, from the highest such as those experienced by Moses, to the lowest where the individuals were able to apprehend the Divine Will, but not respond or even describe this experience to others, citing in example, Shem, Eber and most notably, Noah, who, in biblical narrative, does not issue prophetic declarations. (see Maimonides, “The Guide for the Perplexed,” Part II, Chapter 39). The point is that when the heart overflows, the mouth speaks. This might be inferred by the conclusion of the midrash which states “For the sons of Korach prophesied the future” they obviously needed to speak of the future events that were going to befall Israel for the purpose of bringing her to repentance before God.

Midrash Tehillim 45, Part 6 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “You are fairer than the children of earth (Tehillim / Psalms 45:3).” The homiletic introduction to the Midrash states “this alludes to the sons of Korach whose deeds were fairer than those of Korach and his assembly.” Midrash Tehillim 45, Part 6 appears to summarize a large portion of Tehillim / Psalms 45.

Summary of Midrash Tehillim 45, Part 6

  1. Grace is poured out upon the lips of the sons of Korach enabling them to utter prophecy.
  2. The Torah is likened to a sword.
  3. Arrows are sharp (Tehillim / Psalms 45:6) refers to Moshe who fought against Amalek, Sihon, and Og.
  4. The throne given of God is forever and ever, alludes to Moshe who is described as the hand upon the throne of the Lord (Shemot / Exodus 17:16).
  5. And You have loved righteousness (Tehillim / Psalms 45:8) alludes to Moshe, of whom it is said, He executed the righteousness of the Lord (Devarim / Deuteronomy 33:21).
  6. The verse Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness (Tehillim / Psalms 45:8) alludes to Aaron.
  7. For in the next verse, myrrh and aloes (Tehillim / Psalms 45:9) alludes to the incense of spices; and Cassia are all your garments alludes to the garments of priesthood.
  8. Out of ivory palaces speaks of Solomon, of whom it is said, moreover the king made a great throne of ivory (1 Kings 10:18).
  9. The words Minni have made you glad also allude to Solomon, whom distant kingdoms such as Minni and Ashkenaz (Jeremiah 51:27) made glad.
  10. The words Kings’ daughters are among your visitors (Tehillim / Psalms 45:10) allude to Solomon of whom it is said All the earth sought the presence of Solomon (1 Kings 10:24).
  11. At your right hand (Torah) stands as the paramour (Tehillim / Psalms 45:10).
  12. Because Torah is beloved by the children of Israel, while a paramour is beloved by the children of the earth, therefore the children of Israel were thought worthy of the gold of Ophir.

Notice how the midrash draws out a particular theme, the Torah is a sword, it stands as the paramour (Paramour is an interpersonal relationship that involves physical or emotional intimacy.), the Torah is loved by the children of Israel, and from out of the Torah we find the grace of God which is given to the sons of Korach for the purpose of prophecy, the throne of the Lord, righteousness, anointing oil, and incense, etc. The Torah can give life, joy, and peace, and can also lead to destruction and war. This indicates that there is a dual aspect to the Torah. It can give life or take life. Understanding the dual aspect of the Torah helps us understand the purpose and place of the Torah in the writings of the Apostles (the place of the Torah in the New Testament). The word תורה (Torah, Nomos) means “instructions;” the first five books of the Bible contain God’s instructions for our lives. If it were not for the Torah, we would not know what sin is, the Torah defines sin. In 1 John 3:4, the Apostle John says that sin is lawlessness (anomia).” The concept of Lawlessness is the one being without the Torah, therefore, sin is defined as anything that does not follow the instructions of the Torah. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:23 that we all fall short of God’s perfect righteousness. Try as we might, we cannot keep the instructions of the Torah perfectly at all times. As a result, the Torah stands in shine light upon us, when we fail to keep the Torah, we are in a state of sin and the wages of sin is death according to Romans 6:23. The Torah itself is not death, it is our sins that lead to death. This is the Torah’s aspect of condemnation of being judged guilty, the legal ruling (dogma) of guilt. God’s Torah however does not leave us in a state of condemnation. The Torah brings us to the point of eternal life with God by directing us to the Messiah. Paul told the Galatians in Galatians 3:24 that the Torah leads us to Christ so that we may be justified by faith. Once we are saved, our obedience to the mitzvot reveals our love for God (see 1 John 5:3) and stores up rewards in heaven (Matthew 5:19). This is the aspect of the Torah that gives life: it leads us to Messiah and then gives us a quality of life following salvation. When we understand the dual aspect of the Torah, we can understand verses like Colossians 2:14, which states that Yeshua took the legal ruling (dogma) away and nailed it to the tree. He caused the legal ruling of guilt to be destroyed. This does not refer to the Law (Nomos), the Torah was not annulled (see Matthew 5:17). Yeshua took away the legal ruling of guilt (he removed the ruling of guilt by his death). The same concept is understood today regarding the law of the land, if we disobey the law of the land we are placed “under the law” and judged guilty (e.g. given a legal ruling based upon the law of the land). The aspect of the Torah that gives life still stands. This is the concept the author of the book of Hebrews had when he wrote in Hebrews 4:12 saying “The double-edged sword of the Word judges the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts.” And, if we remain in the Messiah, we are safe from the condemnation of the Torah, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, and we are free to follow the way of God (His Torah) because of the love we have for the Lord and there are rewards for living righteously in both this world and the world to come. So as the rabbis say, let’s be lilies, who seek the Lord and live humble and repentant lives. Let’s Pray!

Tehillim 45-Part1-and-2

 

Previous articleBits of Torah Truths, Parashat Mattot, Allowing our Wealth to Draw us away from God
Next articleBits of Torah Truths, Parashat Massei, Being Reckless or Unintentional in our walk before God
Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!