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Psalm 45:6 of the American King James Version says, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the scepter of your kingdom is a right scepter.

Did the writer of this verse think that the human king to which this verse was addressed was Almighty God?

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  • See also Psalm 82:6 and 1 Chronicles 29:20.
    – Lucian
    Jun 18, 2020 at 3:17

5 Answers 5

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The Hebrew of Ps 45:6 says:

כִּסְאֲךָ֣ אֱ֭לֹהִים עֹולָ֣ם וָעֶ֑ד שֵׁ֥בֶט מִ֝ישֹׁ֗ר שֵׁ֣בֶט מַלְכוּתֶֽךָ׃

A reasonable translation is provided by BSB:

Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever, and justice is the scepter of Your kingdom.

Note that the second word in the Hebrew is אֱ֭לֹהִים (Elohim = God). All the versions I consulted, including the KJV also translate this word as "God".

Therefore, I expect that the Sons of Korah did not write this to a human king but the great King of the Universe (v2) of whom the earthly king of Israel and Judah were only symbols and deputies; or, more likely, Ps 45:6 changes key and swings to an anthem to praise the king of heaven. either way, it does not matter - Hebrews quotes this in Heb 1 as an anthem of praise to the Father and Jesus.

APPENDIX - Kingship in Israel

Ps 45 contains a brief stanza about the true king of Israel - the God of heaven. The Davidic kingship were only deputies of God.

While David and his successors (including Solomon) were earthly kings, they were to recognize that the real king of Israel was God. 1 Sam 8:7, 8, 24:6, 2 Sam 19:21, 1 Chron 28:5, 29:23, 2 Chron 9:8, 13:8, Ps 5:2, 44:4. See also 1 Sam 12:14.

Note that it is a simple matter of history that David’s descendants were not always faithful and the earthly Davidic dynasty ended in 586 BC with the final capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. However, the New Testament calls Jesus Christ, Messiah, “the Son of David” as a direct fulfilment of the (ultimately) eternal throne of David which Jesus inherited. Matt 1:1, 20, 9:27, 12:23, 15:22, 20:30, 15, 21:9, 15, Mark 10:35, Luke 1:32, 33, 18:38, 39, John 1:49, Acts 13:32-37, Heb 1:8. See also Rev 11:15, 19:16. Such a Messiah was prophesied long ago: Ex 15:18, Ps 10:16, 61:7, 68:16, 92:8, 93:5, 146:10, Isa 9:7, 47:7, Lam 5:19, Micah 4:7, etc. Compare Isa 55:3 with Acts 13:34 and John 1:49.

Note especially, what the angel said to Mary before Jesus’ birth in Luke 1:32, 33 –

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!”

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Did the writer of Psalm 45:6 think that the human king to which this verse was addressed was Almighty God?

Psalm 45 is a hymn in praise of the king of Israel. He is described as shooting arrows, girded with a sword, he rides on victoriously, for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness. The Psalm leaves no doubt that the life described here is of a human king, it is quoted as if it is about Jesus, The Messiah.

Grace is poured upon Your lips.

Psalm 45:2 "You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured [g]upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever."

Jesus used gracious words when he preached the Good News of the kingdom of God.

Luke 4:22 (NASB)

22 And all were [a]speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

God instructs his king to gird his sword on his thigh and to ride in the cause of truth and righteousness.

Psalm 45:3-4 NASB Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O [h]Mighty One, In Your splendor and Your majesty! 4 And in Your majesty ride on victoriously, For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;

The King is mounted on a white horse and his arrows are sharp that pierce people hearts, making people fall under him.

Psalm 45:5 NASB. Your arrows are sharp; The peoples fall under You; Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Revelation 6:2 (NASB)

2 I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

Conclusion.

The King elevated above his companions.

The Psalm continues Vs 45:6 "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 7 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows.

Jesus was anointed "With the oil of joy above "Your fellows" (part of Vs7) . The expression "Your fellows" are the kings of Judah from the line of David.

Psalm 2:2 NASB. The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,

The psalm is about what God has done for the person spoken, Jesus the Messiah

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  • Good! It seems to me that while the earthly king of Israel is praised in verses 1-5, verse 6 credits God, as eternal king of justice and righteousness, rewarding the king of Israel for his qualities and the source of the earthly king's blessings.
    – Dieter
    Mar 23 at 5:21
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Did the writer of this verse think that the human king to which this verse was addressed was Almighty God?

No. The writer did not think that the human king to which this verse was addressed was God Almighty because the Almighty God is not a human king. Psalm 45 is celebrating a king’s marriage and is applied to a king . The New American Standard Bible (NASB), Reference Edition, explains in a footnote for Ps. 45:1, “Probably refers to Solomon as a type of Christ.”

So, the words of Ps. 45:6, although figuratively referring to Jesus, were literally applied to an ancient Israelite king (probably King Solomon, it says).

So if Ps. 45:6 is properly translated, “your throne, O God ...” then that ancient Israelite King (Solomon?) was also literally called “O God” (or “O god”?).The New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition, 1970, explains in a footnote for this verse:

“The Hebrew king was called ... ‘God,’ not in the polytheistic sense common among the ancient pagans, but as meaning ‘godlike’ or ‘taking the place of God’.”

The Easy-to-read-Version also says in a footnote for this passage:

“God .... here the writer might be using the word ‘God’ as a title for the king.” (Cf. NIV Study Bible f.n. for Pss. 45:6 and 82:1, 6.)

(And the revised 1991 ed. of the NAB actually translates Ps. 45:6, 7 as “Your throne, O god.”)

The NAB (St. Joseph ed.,1970) goes on to explain, however, that others have translated this verse as, “Your throne is the throne of God” and refers us to 1 Chron. 29:23 “where Solomon’s throne is referred to as the throne of the LORD [YHWH].”

Oxford professor and famous Bible translator, Dr. James Moffatt, has been described as “probably the greatest biblical scholar of our day.” His respected Bible translation renders Heb. 1:8 as:

“God is thy throne for ever and ever.”

Just as this makes it clear that the ancient Israelite king was not God but was anointed by God, HIS God, to a position above his fellows, so does Heb. 1:9, as figuratively applied to Jesus, show that he is not God, but was anointed by his God to a position above his fellows! Context, then, shows that the person addressed in Heb. 1:8 is not God, but one who worships God and was anointed by his God!

So we find once more that Jesus cannot possibly be God. Just as we saw in the case of the Israelite king in Ps. 45:6, 7, if God is his throne (the one supporting him - giving him power and authority), then he cannot be that God!

This answer was taken from http://examiningthetrinity.blogspot.com/2009/09/heb-18.html

Addition.

How was this verse understood by Jews at the time it was written before the time of Christ?

If we try to understand the Old Testament in light of the New Testament. we may read future history back into the Old Testament and obscure its historical understanding. Because the Old Testament came first, we should interpret the New Testament in light of the Old Testament. The Old Testament comes first in our Bibles for a reason.

The rest of the Psalm 45 does not make sense when divided into two to make the Messiah the Almighty God, applying the rest of the Psalm 45 to the Israelite king, and applying verse 6 to the Messiah.

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    + 1. Nice inclusion of Hebrews 1:8. Mar 25 at 18:36
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Correct. All one has to do is take a look at the RSV translation of Psalms 45:6 and see how they translate it, then compare it to Hebrews 1:8 in the RSV, and you will see how biased the Trinitarian translators are.

Psalm 45:6 RSV

Your divine throne endures for ever and ever. Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;

Hebrews 1:8 RSV

But of the Son he says, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom.

This is why I favor the RSV. It includes footnotes and is usually very conversative in its overall translation. John 1:18 says son, not God. Acts 3:13 says servant not son, etc.

Check out the YouTube Channel "Common Sense Christianity" he has some good stuff.

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  • Welcome to BH. Do read the tour [below, left] to see how this site works. You say that Trinitarian translators are biased; that's an assertion that in my view is empty unless rigorously supported. eg: dealing with the majority of versions that are on Bible Hub at length.
    – C. Stroud
    Mar 23 at 11:30
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It is a Biblical method that when it talks about an ordinary person or a thing, it suddenly jumps to prophetic vision for a short time and then goes back to the same subject.

Example 1:

Isaiah speaks about someone who says:

“The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is on Me, because Jehovah has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the meek. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and complete opening to the bound ones” (Is 61:1).

[Isaiah 61:1 is a direct continuation of 60:22 – divisions of chapter and verses came later – where Jehovah speaks. So the One who speaks in 61:1 is still Jehovah]

Jesus Christ at the beginning of His public life, quotes this passage as applying to Himself (Luke 4:17-21).

Example 2:

Isaiah 14th chapter talks about the king of Babylon (verse 3). But suddenly the verses talk about Lucifer/Satan!:

“Your majesty is lowered into Sheol; the noise of your harps. The maggot is spread under you; yea, the worms cover you. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For you have said In your heart, I will go up to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit in the mount of meeting, in the sides of the north. I will rise over the heights of the clouds; I will be compared to the Most High. Yet you shall go down to Sheol, to the sides of the Pit” (Isaiah 14:11-15; LITV; KJV).

[There was some kind of a futile Star Wars when Lucifer/Satan tried to evict God from His throne!]

After delving on Lucifer for a short while, the verses go back again to the king of Babylon.

Example 3:

Ezekiel chapter 28 talks about the king of Tyre. But suddenly, in between, the verses jump to Lucifer:

“You have been in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone was your covering; …..; the workmanship of your tambourines and of your flutes in you. In the day you were created, they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub that covers, and I had put you in the holy heights of God, where you were. You walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, until iniquity was found in you. By the multitude of your trade, they filled your midst with violence, and you sinned. So I cast you defiled from the height of God, and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from among the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. I have cast you to the ground” (Exek 28:13-17).

As is obvious, the king of Tyre could not have been in Eden when Adam and Eve were living there. The Spirit of Prophecy jumps in between to a different milieu.

After a short while, the verses come back to the king of Tyre and continues.

Psalms 45:6

The case is the same here in this Psalms. The Psalm starts with addressing “to the King” (verse 1).

But suddenly in verse 5, a different “You” other than the ‘King’ appears!

Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies; peoples fall under You (verse 5).

Then comes the prophetic verses 6 and 7:

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; the scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; on account of this (O) God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your fellows”.

Conclusion

The writer of Psalm 45:6 was not addressing any human king; but he was addressing the Messiah through the Spirit of Prophecy.

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  • @NepeshRoi. Is the expected messiah not human? Mar 24 at 0:10
  • Scripture says He is a full human. Mar 24 at 7:18

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