Psalm 45, 9 July 2017

Psalm 45 is the closest we get to a love song in the Psalter. The poem by the sons of Korah is addressed first to the king, probably Solomon, then in a second voice to the bride. (v. 10) Hebrews 1 quotes a clutch of psalms, including in relation to Jesus verse 6 of Ps 45: Your throne endures forever.

Being more in the style of an official paean, it may not reach the poetical and romantic heights of the Song of Solomon. However, the formal reminders of the importance of truth and loyalty are lightened by some sweet lines:

All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia, and the music of strings from the ivory palaces makes you glad (v. 8)

Ps45 simple CC

Everett in The Emergent Psalter picks up these nice lines for his antiphon. Others —  such as the very simple home-grown refrain illustrated, and the fragment of Martin Luther’s Ein Feste Burg in Psalms for All Seasons 45B— focus on divine goodness.

The alternate refrain in PFAS 45B is by John Bell. Creative as always, he stretches his interpretation widely and borrows and bends a phrase from the Song of Solomon 8:6 in his refrain:

Take O take me as I am; summon out what I shall be; set your seal upon my heart and live in me.

The alternative reading includes Psalm 145; see an earlier post for July 2014.

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