Monday, 7 September 2009

Hebrews and Psalm 45

The second of the 'throne' psalms in Hebrews is Psalm 45. The historical setting seems to have been the coronation or marriage of Solomon and its sub-title is a 'Song of Loves'. It is an appropriate title, verses 1-12 being focussed on the King and verses 13-17 on the bride. It is only after the Son had been 'anointed' that the bride comes into view. There could be no church before Christ's coronation.

Again the psalm seems to outstrip its original purpose as it declares; Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions. Psa 45:6-7. It is true that rulers were sometimes referred to as 'gods' but what are we to make of the refrain "thy throne... is forever and ever"? Youngs Literal Translation has Thy throne, O God, [is] age-during, and for ever...Psa 45:6 YNG Where the Greek version (LXX) has 'into the age of the ages'. This is a glimpse of an eternal reign!

The author of Hebrews has no doubt that ultimately this is a reference to the Messiah on his eternal throne. He is persisting in his theme of Son and heir but it is the sequence of events that is key too. Notice the order of those events;
1. you have loved righteousness and hated iniquity

2. Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.
This is anointing which follows his triumph. Christ's ascension and accession, ie his coronation is an important truth of revelation. It is because of this that Peter declared; Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. Acts 2:33 It is because he is enthroned and has received this 'anointing' that he is able to 'pour out this which you now see and hear'. In fact, for Peter, the outpouring of the Spirit was the earthly proof of this heavenly reality.

But what kind of anointing is this? Is he anointed King or Priest? The answer to that question will open up the rest of Hebrews to us.

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