Psalm 45:1-2, 7-10 - A marriage made in heaven
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1 My heart is stirring with a noble song;
let me recite what I have fashioned for the king; *
my tongue shall be the pen of a skilled writer.
2 You are the fairest of men; *
grace flows from your lips,
because elohim has blessed you forever.
7  Your throne, elohim, endures for ever and ever, *
a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom;
you love righteousness and hate iniquity.
8  Therefore elohim eloheka, has anointed you *
with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
9  All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, *
and the music of strings from ivory palaces makes you glad.
10  Kings' daughters stand among the ladies of the court; *
on your right hand is the queen,
adorned with the gold of Ophir.
This is the accompanying Psalm to the Track 1 Old Testament selection from the Song of Solomon 2, which are selected verses that sing of ‘a bride’s adoration’ for her bridegroom. That song of marriage must be seen as why this Psalm’s verses were selected in accompaniment, to be read aloud in unison or sung by a cantor on the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 17], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. If chosen, this pair will precede the Epistle from James, where was written, “You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God's righteousness.” All will be read along with the Gospel selection from Mark, where Jesus said, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”
This Psalm actually begins, as verse 1, stating: “upon the flowers of the sons of Korah ; an instructive song [or didactic poem] , a song of love moving my heart to speak good , I recite my work as king ; my tongue styles recount ready .” The NRSV lists this as a heading, showing: “Ode for a Royal Wedding – To the leader: according to Lilies. Of the Korahites. A Maskil. A love song.” It then adds as verse 1: “My heart overflows with a goodly theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.”
Once again, it is important to realize this song of David is dedicated to the “flowers of the sons of Korah,” where some hypothesize the “flowers” might be “lilies.” Because the flower is the blossom of a fruit, one can see this “song of love” as focusing on the elohim of the Tabernacle, which was the symbol of Israel’s marriage to Yahweh [knowing “Israel” means “He Retains God”]. The history of Korah, as the cousin of Moses who led a rebellion for greater responsibilities in the Tabernacle and who Yahweh had the earth open up and swallow, says his “sons” [one of whom was Samuel] were the Yahweh elohim who judged the waywardness of the people, based on the vows of marriage. Therefore, this love song is announced to be on a much higher plane than simply singing about a man and a woman joining in wedlock.
In these selected verses, I ask that you take note of the three places when the NRSV translation into English has changed the plural Hebrew word “elohim” into the singular “God.” The word was used to direct the singer and listener to the need to be a soul married to Yahweh’s Spirit, where that becomes a union of the divine, where an extension of God on earth has manifest. Rather than be an angel, which may or may not be seen, an elohim of soul in the flesh yields a Saint, which is a human form with godly talents. It is this proposed creation that comes from a divine marriage that led David to sing, “My heart is stirring with a noble song,” or literally, “a song of love moving my heart to speak good , I recite my work as king.”
In verse two, David wrote [literally translated], “you are more beautiful than the sons of man , is poured out favor from your speech ; together with then has knelt you elohim always .” In this translation, which differs significantly from the NRSV paraphrase, the key Hebrew words to closely examine are “yā·p̄ə·yā·p̄î·ṯā” (from “yaphah”), “bə·śə·p̄ə·ṯō·w·ṯe·ḵā” (from “saphah”), and “bê·raḵ·ḵā” (from “barak”). In the order of presentation, the English translations from the root words are as such (all from Strong’s):
“yaphah” – “to be fair or beautiful”
“saphah” – “lip, speech, edge”
“barak” – “to kneel, bless”
Seeing the scope of meaning that is viable to insert into a literal English translation, it is important to first of all see “sons of man” [“mib·bə·nê ’ā·ḏām”] as love that is directed towards the masculine, which then becomes the perspective of the feminine. As an accompanying psalm to the verses from the Song of Solomon that are clearly those spoken by a bride of her bridegroom, the same scenario fits here. However, the “beauty” or “fairness” of appearance must be seen not in physical terms, but in terms of promise. Yahweh is then the love focus of David, such that there can be no human [male or female, but male in particular as a “son of mankind”] that offers more promise in marriage than Yahweh.
The NRSV translation of “grace flows from your lips” that misses how “chen” can mean, “favor, grace, charm, or pleasures,” with “grace” making one lean more in the direction of refined speech, with “lips” drawing an image of a kiss. This takes on a seductive view that makes the aforementioned “beauty” be aligned with sexual appeal. When one sees how it is “favor” that makes the “beauty” greater than that offered by any man on earth [including kings], it is not so much because of having succulent “lips,” but the words spoken from the “speech” or voice of Yahweh. For David, such “love” talk would be the Torah, or the books of Moses.
From that realization that David would not be singing a love song about another man, knowing it was his love of Yahweh that drew his soul to the metaphorical altar, the last segment places focus on that step, where “kneeling” is a sign of submission. That becomes a statement about a soul’s marriage to Yahweh, so the Hebrew “‘al-kên” better translates as “together with then,” rather than what the NRSV portrays. Here, the use of elohim makes the statement that the marriage has not been human, but a divine elevation in spirit, one where an eternal bond has been created between Yahweh and His bride.
At this point, the Episcopal Church has changed the numbering of verses six through nine, portraying them as seven through ten. This does not match the NRSV numbering, although there are Hebrew sites that list a numbering that matches the Episcopal Church; but that system states verse one to be verse two, and the Episcopal Church shows verse one as verse one. Therefore, I have bracketed the actual verse numbers and placed them in bold text; and that will be my reference numbers now.
In verse six is another of the references to elohim. There, the literal translation says, “your seat of honor elohim always perpetuity ; staff of uprightness , scepter of your royal power .” Because translators of elohim have transformed it into “God,” rather than the reality [“gods”], the Hebrew word “kis·’ă·ḵā” (from “kisseh”) has been read as a “throne of God.” When elohim is read truthfully as a divine creation of Yahweh, from marriage to a soul in human flesh, there is no need to portray Yahweh as some mystical entity that requires a “throne” to rest on. It anything, Yahweh resides between the Cherubim [elohim] atop the Ark [which is not a “throne”]. This makes “seat of honor” be a better choice in translation, when David is singing about the honor that comes from having Yahweh within his soul [the true “throne”]. It is taken for granted that Yahweh is “always perpetuity” (eternal), but the “seat of honor” comes from a soul born into dead flesh having received that promise of eternal life.
In the two subsequent segments of words, the Hebrew word “šê·ḇeṭ” (from “shebet”) means “rod, staff, club, scepter, tribe.” Because there are multiple translations possible, there is no need to repeat the same translation. Thus, the middle segment places focus on the ability to stand upright or be righteous, which is only possible in human beings [Yahweh is Yahweh]. With there no need for Yahweh to possess a “scepter” to prove His “uprightness,” the usage then best applies as a description of the tool given by Yahweh to a human being, enabling him or her to be righteous. That tool is best described as a “staff,” like that given to Moses, or as a "rod" or "staff" utilized by shepherds. The translation as “scepter” best fits in the last segment, where David has honored Yahweh as his King, where a “scepter of royal power” becomes that admission.
Verse seven then presents the reader with the back-to-back combo that says, “elohim eloheka.” This is important to grasp, as verse seven ventures into the realm of the “wickedness” (“re·ša‘,” from “rasha”). The importance of this says David realized that demonically possessed souls were likewise elohim, as they too were led by a spiritual (thus eternal higher power) entity that had them do bad and evil deeds. That makes “elohim eloheka” become a statement that marriage to Yahweh created elohim that were “your gods,” where the modification to include “your” acts as a possessive case; and, this is a statement of divine Spiritual possession that prevents acts of “wickedness.”
The literal English translation of verse seven then sings, “you love righteousness and hate wickedness together with then you have anointed elohim [that are] eloheka [“your gods”] with the oil of rejoicing more than your companions .” Here, again, is the focus on “love” [“’ā·haḇ·tā,” from “aheb”], which is the whole reason a marriage takes place. Those who Yahweh takes as His brides (souls in human flesh) then have the ability to act righteously, as opposed to sinful. All past sins are forgiven, with no future acts of sin possible, because Yahweh “hates wickedness.”
That becomes a huge statement that tells all the sinners today (those promised the moon by sinful false shepherds [i.e.:” Jesus loves homosexuals,” for one example]), two things: First, it says sinful acts that cannot be controlled by a soul are due to demonic possession, as Yahweh’s presence removes all such inabilities to refrain from sins; and, Second, it says Yahweh’s hatred of sin prevents Him from ever marrying a soul that serves self and does not seek to change to attract Yahweh in marriage.
Again, as was seen in verse two, the words “‘al-kên” are presented, which should be translated as “together with then,” as a sign of marriage. This combination of words is written three times in this love song, but the third is in the last verse (seventeen), which is not part of this reading selection. This statement of union, based on the “love” shared between a soul and Yahweh, is what creates a righteous state in an elohim that is Yahweh’s elohim, not a demon-possessed elohim. David then used the metaphor of oil being poured to anoint a couple in marriage, where the “oil of anointment” is Yahweh’s Spirit that brings about that state of “righteousness.” That is the addition (“more”) that comes upon Yahweh’s marriage “companion” [“mê·ḥă·ḇê·re·ḵā,” from “chaber”].
Verse eight then literally translates into English as, “with myrrh and aromatic tree oils [aloes] , cinnamon all your robes , from the temples ivory harp has made you rejoice .” Following a verse that sings of anointment, David then specifically named pleasing scents, which were “aloes,” or oils from aromatic trees, used in the making of perfumes. The use of “cassia” [“qə·ṣî·‘ō·wṯ,” from “qetsiah”] means the powered bark of a cinnamon tree, which was used in Egypt in embalming fluids. When the use of “ivory strings” [“n min·nî”] is seen as a harp made of ivory, the combination of all these named scents and sounds have the air of being imported, thus of great expense. The “rejoicing” from the music can then be seen as the wedding celebration, after a couple has been married, where that one-time event spares no expense. Still, the hint of embalmment offers a celebration of death, where the ways of the past have been buried, with the celebration being the promise of the future. It says the stench of sin has been replaced with the sweet fragrance of righteousness.
Verse nine then literally translates into English as saying, “daughters kings among your highly valued women ; stands the consort at your right hand , in gold from Ophir .” While the combination of “daughters, women, and consorts [or queens]” gives this verse some sense of Yahweh being a ‘lady’s man,’ the reality is all souls in human flesh take on the femininity of being earthbound, therefore all human beings are of female essence. This is how David was a bride of Yahweh, in the same was as was Moses, Abram, Samuel, et al. To bring a soul to marriage with Yahweh and receive His Spirit within one’s being, that whole point of penetration is the point of a marriage: a man [masculine] enters his wife [feminine]. The male projects and the female receives. Thus, David was a “king” who was a “daughter” soul that married Yahweh, becoming a “highly valued woman” [“bə·yiq·qə·rō·w·ṯe·ḵā,” from “yaqar”] over the Israelites, in the sense that one whose soul has married Yahweh becomes “precious, rare, splendid, weighty” among the common folk.
When the middle segment places focus on the “queen at His right hand” [“šê·ḡal lî·mî·nə·ḵā”], this paints a picture of Jesus in heaven at God’s right hand. David had Yahweh within him, in the same way that Jesus was born with Yahweh within his soul-flesh, so both represented the “right hand” of Yahweh extended into the earth plane. Again, the feminine gender, as a “consort” or a “queen” is a statement of human essence being in the feminine gender, with an empowerment [as a queen] coming from a royal wedding that is meant to lead others, not do nothing. The “gold from Ophir” is then another statement of an import of valuable resources that are not naturally found within. The presence of Yahweh’s Spirit is then stated in metaphor as being more valuable than “gold.”
In this accompanying Psalm to the love song found in the Song of Solomon, chapter two, the connection of both comes from seeing the divine level of union, which is a soul’s marriage to Yahweh, not the common marriage of a man and a woman. When chosen to be read or sung aloud on the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own personal ministry for Yahweh should already be well underway, the lesson is to stop seeing human gender as anything relative to a soul.
A soul has no gender, because it is eternal and has no need nor any capability to regenerate. A soul does need to submit itself to Yahweh in marriage to be cleansed of past sins and be returned forever to the eternal realm after the flesh dies away. Human beings become so distracted by the day-to-day actions of material life that they refuse to accept that material life is an illusion, because all matter is dead. Matter can only sustain a soul for a limited amount of time. Accepting that before one’s flesh begins to show signs of aging and wear, making death become a closer reality, means a soul-flesh entity can have time to serve Yahweh as His instrument on earth. After all, one’s soul is not so important that it must be forced into marriage by Yahweh, in order to save it from reincarnation [or worse]. That importance is self-ego, which blocks a soul from divine marriage. It is the other lost souls who have importance, making a soul saved become the saint used by Yahweh to serve those needs.