Psalms of the sons of Korah
The excitement that cannot be contained is depicted in English translations of the Bible as, “My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;” or in traditional Anglican churches as, “My heart is astir with gracious words;” and sung to a slow Anglican chant. Come on people this is an exuberant song, do not hold back.
The books of Psalms are roughly themed like this:
Book 1: Psalms 1 – 41: God is beside us.
Book 2: Psalms 42 – 72: God goes before us
Book 3: Psalms 73 – 89: God is all around us.
Book 4: Psalms 90 – 106: God is above us.
Book 5: Psalms 107 – 150: God is among us.
Psalms 42, 44–49, 84, 85, 87 and 88 are attributed to the Sons of Korah. Korah, was a cousin of Moses and Arron who led a revolt against Moses: Korah died in the rebellion. His three sons were named as singers in the Tabernacle and their offspring in the Temple. The sons of Korah who wrote these psalms are descended from Korah’s sons, not necessarily the sons themselves.
Your Throne, O God, Is For Ever
To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah; a love song.
1 My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;Psalm 45 ESV UK
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
2 You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
therefore God has blessed you for ever.
3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
in your splendour and majesty!
4 In your majesty ride out victoriously
for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
5 Your arrows are sharp
in the heart of the king’s enemies;
the peoples fall under you.
6 Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever.
The sceptre of your kingdom is a sceptre of uprightness;
7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honour;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
10 Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
forget your people and your father’s house,
11 and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him.
12 The people[b] of Tyre will seek your favour with gifts,
the richest of the people.[c]
13 All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
14 In many-coloured robes she is led to the king,
with her virgin companions following behind her.
15 With joy and gladness they are led along
as they enter the palace of the king.
16 In place of your fathers shall be your sons;
you will make them princes in all the earth.
17 I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;
therefore nations will praise you for ever and ever.
Psalm 45 is song of praise for the king, the Messiah. It is a wedding song, a love song in two parts, the first a song of the bride of the Messiah and followed by the Messiah’s reply to his bride. This love song is not only about the wedding, it goes into the bedroom as well.
This is a Maskil, a wisdom literature song. Psalms 42 – 44 have followed the structure of Ecclesiastes, this one follows the structure of the Song of Solomon. At verse 10 it changes to be addressed to the bride at the kings wedding and wedding night where sons will be hopefully be conceived.
In Jewish literature the Song of Solomon with which this psalm shares it’s style, is about the relationship of the king with his bride and is a dialogue between them. It is about King Solomon, but taken as an allegory of God’s relationship with the nation of Israel. Christians take the allegory to be about Christ and his bride the Church.
The return of Christ to reign as king is the theme of that most enigmatic of New Testament books, Revelation. You would expect that a Psalm that is about a Jewish Messiah to be about the Messiah/King to take on the foreign nations and win the people of God, Israel the victory; but that is not what is happening here. A Jewish source, the Gemarah in Avoda Zara, explains that when Mashiach [Messiah or Christ] comes, the outer shell of people’s exterior will be ripped off and their true inner self will be revealed. The enemies include Jews and the Messiah’s bride is a Gentile from Tyre. I was not expecting that in a Messiahnistic Psalm. All nations will praise you [the Messiah] says the last line of the Psalm.
All nations. The message is for everybody. It is not something exclusive to Jews,or to Christians. Christ is for all and available to all.Yes all. The Christian commission is to introduce all people to Jesus.