Psalm 45 and Song of Solomon

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a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Rev Winzer said this on another thread about the Song of Solomon (since my question isn't relevant to that thread's purpose, I thought it would be better to start a new one):

The Song is of "Solomon." The historical record shows us quite clearly that Solomon never enjoyed a monogamous relationship. Moreover, the allegory is specifically spelled out in the first few verses, and it includes the love of the virgins.

Solomon is idealised. It is his "name" that is important, and what that "name" means in the progress of God's covenant relation with His people. His "name" is as ointment poured forth. He is the peace-bringer. In his days rest was brought to the promised people in the promised land, and the symbol of rest, the temple, was built and dedicated. The imagery of the book is centred around these things, not human qualities. His beloved bears an allegorical name which comports with his own. She is the peace-receiver. The conflicts in the book are not designed to help monogamous marriages overcome difficulties. What man leaves his wife exposed to beatings? These conflicts are precisely those which arose in Israel's relations to the foreign nations before she had rest.

Solomon was the promised Son of David who sat upon the promised throne. Israel is a precious people. The daughters are those dedicated to the service of the king, as Samuel had said. It does not require an imaginative ladder to arrive at a higher meaning when the book is read in its redemptive-historical context through the window of New Testament fulfilment.

How does Psalm 45 relate to this? Some of the same elements are present in that 'love song': a King who is the most handsome of the sons of men, a bride with virgin companions. I had understood this Psalm to be of Solomon, rather than David -- but I would like to understand the relation between them more coherently?
 

Cymro

Puritan Board Junior
David the father of Solomon(the prince of peace, which occurs 7times), wrote
concerning Christ and the Church (the Shulamith). Solomon being brought up
on that Psalm, amplifies and expands the vision, and portrays in an epic poem
or a love duet, the wonderful Union twixt the two. The Song of Songs describes
the blessed communion that should pertain between the Beloved and His bride.Solomon
wrote 1005 songs, but this is the only one extant. Hengstenberg, John Owen, John Gill
and heavenly Sibbes hold this position, which is opposed to the modern interpretation
of some affair with a shepherd girl. I believe it is a book that the modern church should
study to bring us back into that divine fellowship and communion which oft times is substituted
with something else. Notice one is the Song of Loves, the other the Song of Songs.
 
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Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Ps.45 is, to put it in simplest terms, Messianic through and through.

vv6-7 (see Heb.1:8-9) address the Davidic king as "God." This is the ultimate union of the divine and human throne, the return of men under the blessed reign of God. The results redound to the ends of the earth, and to all generations, by a permanent and plentiful posterity, vv16-17.

Ps.45 is a royal wedding Psalm. It may have been (appropriately) sung at royal weddings in the theocratic kingdom. But it celebrates more than an earthly ruler (who is flush with victory from his defense of the saints, vv3-5) taking his earthly bride. It is the apotheosis of weddings. In the earthly king's nuptials is the Promise of the Hope, according to God's covenant with David. This is the greater subject of the people's praise--yes, they could know this is precisely what they were doing.

The king's bride is lifted above any station she ever knew or could have known. She is a type of the whole people, even as she is urged to "forget" what she was and whence she came, v10; she will receive them again (even the greatest of them) in a new and glorious frame. For now, her eyes are fixed upon her Lord.

Hope this is helpful.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
I had understood this Psalm to be of Solomon, rather than David

Spurgeon says the Psalm is about Christ: But he thought most of the Psalms were about Christ. I guess I do too.

Subject. Some here see Solomon and Pharaoh's daughter only -- they are short sighted; others see both Solomon and Christ -- they are cross eyed; well focused spiritual eyes see here Jesus only, or if Solomon be present at all, it must be like those hazy shadows of by passers which cross the face of the camera, and therefore are dimly traceable upon a photographic landscape. "The King," the God whose throne is for ever and ever, is no mere mortal and his everlasting dominion is not bounded by Lebanon and Egypt's river. This is no wedding song of earthly nuptials, but an Epithalamium for the Heavenly Bridegroom and his elect spouse.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Thank you for each of these thoughtful responses. I have been thinking about them, and especially this: 'In the earthly king's nuptials is the Promise of the Hope, according to God's covenant with David. This is the greater subject of the people's praise--yes, they could know this is precisely what they were doing.' I have wondered about the connection between the riding out for truth and justice, the establishment of the throne, and the royal wedding -- that makes it more clear.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I had understood this Psalm to be of Solomon, rather than David -- but I would like to understand the relation between them more coherently?

The genius of this Psalm (like many of the kingship Psalms) is its generic nature. It does not specify. E.g., the king's throne is divine. David and Solomon occupied the throne, and so their personal kingship could only be temporary; but the Anointed for whom the throne was established is Himself divine, as Hebrews 1 tells us, and it must therefore continue for ever.

The Song of Solomon contains some very interesting parallels to Psalm 45, but there are also some important differences. In Psalm 45, conquest is apparent (following the conquest in Psalm 44); the Song supposes a state of rest. Psalm 45 comes in a series of Psalms (42-49), which are immediately concerned with the juxtaposition of the people to the land; the Song rejoices in the enjoyment of the land. The Psalm speaks from the perspective of an onlooker; the Song speaks as a participant. The Psalm is concerned with children and posterity; the Song has a striking absence of this theme. The Psalm pictures the woman coming to the king; the Song has the king coming to the woman. This peculiar characteristic of the Song is most apparent in the prophets, including John the Baptiser, where the daughter's basis of rejoicing is the coming of her king and the bridegroom is identified as the one who "hath" the bride.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Thank you, Rev. Winzer, Heidi and I both found that very illuminating.
 
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