The 2001 Commentaries

The Meaning of Psalm 45

info All commentaries are written by volunteers, readers, or supporters of our Bible translation project. These are not official views of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.

Notice that the superscription of Psalm 45 indicates that it is speaking about ‘the loved one,’ whom we would assume to be the Messiah (Jesus). However, notice that in the King James Bible, Psalm 45:6 reads:

‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever:
The sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.’

So, despite the fact that the superscription proceeding Psalm 45 seems to indicate that this psalm or sacred hymn was foretelling the coming of Jesus, the impression that we get from the rendering of the King James Bible (and many others), is that the Psalm is in fact talking about The God (Jehovah/Yahweh).

Who was it really discussing?

Well, notice that the Hebrew text correctly translates the word God here from the Hebrew word for god, elohim, not as in other places where it substitutes the words GOD or LORD for the Divine Name YHWH. And remember that in several other places throughout the Bible, Jesus is also referred to as a god.

So there is no conflict in Psalm 45, because the term god can also be correctly applied to Jesus, since the reference is to someone that is powerful, not necessarily to the Almighty (for more information, see the Note, ‘Is Jesus God?’).

For this reason (for clarification), we have rendered Psalm 45:6 to read as follows:

‘Your throne, O god, is through ages of ages,
And your Kingdom is ruled by your scepter.’

As you can see, we used the lower-case word ‘god’ to translate the Greek word theos here. Why? Although other translators have assumed that the king that is spoken of in the verse is The God, notice what the following verse (verse seven) goes on to say:

‘For, you have loved what is right,
And you have hated law breaking.
And for this, The God who is also your God
Has anointed you with His oil
And praised you above all your peers.’

So it seems clear that theos in verse 6 didn’t refer to The God, but to the powerful one whom God was to choose and anoint to be His king. Also notice that this one was chosen over his ‘peers,’ because he ‘loved righteousness and hated law breaking.’

Of course, The God has no ‘peers.’

Further insights into the true meaning of this Psalm may be gained by looking at verses 14-16, where we read:

‘Then, all the virgins that follow her train (Those closest to her) will be carried to you.
They’ll be carried there singing praises of joy,
And led to the Most Holy Place of the king.
Then in place of your fathers, sons will be born,
And you’ll appoint them as rulers over the lands.’

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