Psalms 45:8 MEANING

Psalm 45:8
(8) All thy garments smell of . . .--Or, perhaps, from the last verse (and comparing Psalm 133:2, and the customs there referred to), are anointed with. The spices mentioned may have been ingredients of the "oil of gladness."

Myrrh . . . cassia.--These spices formed part of the sacred oil described Exodus 30:23-24. On the other hand, for the custom of perfuming clothes, beds, &c, comp. Song of Solomon 5:5; Proverbs 7:17.

For myrrh see Genesis 37:25.

Aloes.--Heb. ah?loth (sometimes ah?lim), a word formed from the native name aghil (Cochin China and Siam are its homes), which also appears in eagle-wood (Aquilaria agallochum). The lign aloes of Numbers 24:6, was most probably a different tree from that whose resin forms the precious perfume here mentioned. (See Bib. Ed. i. 243.)

Cassia.--See Note Exodus 30:24.

The Oriental's love for these mixtures of many fragrant spices has been finely caught in some modern lines.

"Heap cassia, sandal-buds, and stripes

Of labdanum, and aloe-balls,

Smeared with dull nard an Indian wipes

From out her hair, such balsam falls

From seaside mountain pedestals,

From tree-tops where tired winds are fain--

Spent with the vast and howling main--

To treasure half their island gain."

R. BROWNING: Paracelsus.

Out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.--Rather, out of the ivory palaces music (literally, strings) has made thee glad.

Of the many conjectured explanations this, though somewhat grammatically doubtful, is in all other respects preferable. Indeed, it would have been strange if a nuptial ode, giving a picture of the splendour and pomp accompanying the marriage, had missed the mention of music, and at this verse we may imagine the doors of the palace thrown open for the issue of the bridal train (comp. the procession immediately after the bath in the weddings in the Arabian Nights), not only allowing the strains of music to float out, but also giving a glimpse into the interior, where, surrounded by her train of ladies, the queen-bride stands.

The word rendered "palace" (generally "temple,") may from its derivation be only a spacious place, and so a receptacle. On the other hand, Amos 3:15 shows that ivory was frequently used as an ornament of the houses of the rich, and Ahab's "ivory house" (1 Kings 22:39) is familiar.

Verse 8. - All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia; literally, myrrh and aloes [and] cassia are thy garments. The "and" before "cassia" appears in four manuscripts, and in all the ancient versions. The garments are so impregnated with spices as to seem made of them. Out of the ivory palaces. "Ivory palaces" are mentioned in 1 Kings 22:39 and Amos 3:15. We must understand "palaces adorned with ivory." Whereby they have made thee glad. So Hengstenberg, Kay, Professor Alexander, and others. But most moderns render, "Out of the ivory palaces stringed instruments have made thee glad."

45:6-9 The throne of this almighty King is established for ever. While the Holy Spirit leads Christ's people to look to his cross, he teaches them to see the evil of sin and the beauty of holiness; so that none of them can feel encouragement to continue in sin. The Mediator is God, else he had been neither able to do the Mediator's work, nor fit to wear the Mediator's crown. God the Father, as his God in respect to his human nature and mediatorial offices, has given to him the Holy Spirit without measure. Thus anointed to be a Prophet, Priest, and King, Christ has pre-eminence in the gladdening gifts and graces of the spirit, and from his fulness communicates them to his brethren in human nature. The Spirit is called the oil of gladness, because of the delight wherewith Christ was filled, in carrying on his undertakings. The salvation of sinners is the joy of angels, much more of the Son. And in proportion as we are conformed to his holy image, we may expect the gladdening gifts influences of the Comforter. The excellences of the Messiah, the suitableness of his offices, and the sufficiency of his grace, seem to be intended by the fragrance of his garments. The church formed of true believers, is here compared to the queen, whom, by an everlasting covenant, the Lord Jesus has betrothed to himself. This is the bride, the Lamb's wife, whose graces are compared to fine linen, for their purity; to gold, for their costliness: for as we owe our redemption, so we owe our adorning, to the precious blood of the Son of God.All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia,.... Either his human nature, as anointed with the oil of gladness, and filled with the graces of the Spirit, signified by the holy anointing oil in the tabernacle, of which the things mentioned were ingredients, Exodus 30:23; or the garments of salvation and robe of righteousness, wrought out by him for his people, which are well pleasing and acceptable to his Father, and of a sweet smelling savour, being agreeable to his law and justice; and also to himself, as they are put upon his people; see Sol 4:11. And likewise to them who rejoice at being clothed with them, and desire to be found in them: or else his people themselves, who are sometimes compared to a clothing and to garments, Isaiah 49:18; whose persons are to God as the smell of a field, whom the Lord has blessed; and whose sacrifices of prayer and praise are sweet odours to him, through the mediation of his Son;

out of the ivory palaces; see Sol 7:4; meaning the places from whence these garments were taken, the wardrobe; or from whence Christ came, and where he appears; as heaven, the palace of the great King, from whence he came down, whither he is gone, and from whence he is expected again; and the human nature of Christ, in which he tabernacled on earth, and was pure and clear from sin; and his churches, which are his temples and palaces, where he grants his presence. Or it may be rendered, "more than the ivory palaces" (i), and so be expressive of the excellency of Christ's garments above them; and denote the purity of his human nature, the spotlessness of his righteousness, and the comeliness of his people;

whereby they have made thee glad; or, "wherein" or "from whence" (k); in which palaces, the churches, the saints make Christ glad, by speaking of his glory; by ascribing glory to him; and by the exercise of grace upon him, with which his heart is ravished, Sol 4:9. Or "for which" (l); garments of salvation, and robe of righteousness; they being clothed with them, and rejoicing in them, cause joy and gladness in Christ: or "more than they", or "theirs that make thee glad" (m); meaning his fellows and their garments, his being more odorous than theirs.

(i) "prae palatiis eburneis", Cocceius, Gejerus. (k) "unde", Montanus, Musculus, Muis, Noldius, p. 629, No. 1664. (l) "Propter quod", Muis. (m) "Prae iis", Junius & Tremellius; "magis quam eorum", Piscator; so Ainsworth.

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