TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN UPON SHOSHANIM, FOR THE SONS OF KORAH, A SONG OF LOVES.
<<SHOSHANIM>>: In Hebrew this word usually means "rose". The Radak (Kimchi) says that here it refers to a kind of musical instrument.
The Sons of Korah were one of the Clans of Levites who comprised the choir that sang during the Temple Service.
[Psalms 45:1] MY HEART IS INDITING A GOOD MATTER: I SPEAK OF THE THINGS WHICH I HAVE MADE TOUCHING THE KING: MY TONGUE IS THE PEN OF A READY WRITER.
The Radak says that the "king" that is spoken of is the future Messiah. The writer of this psalm (King David) is saying that his deeds and writings are for the sake of the Messiah.
The Mairi explains this Psalm to have been said by David concerning the future rule of his son King Solomon from whom the future Messiah will descend and in some way be an extension of.
[Psalms 45:2] THOU ART FAIRER THAN THE CHILDREN OF MEN: GRACE IS POURED INTO THY LIPS: THEREFORE GOD HATH BLESSED THEE FOR EVER.
You have perfected the power of speech to speak well before God who as a result has rewarded you.
[Psalms 45:3] GIRD THY SWORD UPON THY THIGH, O MOST MIGHTY, WITH THY GLORY AND THY MAJESTY.
The time of the Messiah will be an era of peace but it will be necessary to wage war in order to achieve it.
<<O MOST MIGHTY, WITH THY GLORY AND THY MAJESTY>>: This translation (of the KJ) is problematic. Literally the Hebrew seems to say:
"Gird you sword upon your thigh, O Hero (Hebrew: "gibor" i.e. mighty one), your glory, and your majesty.
The Radak interprets this to mean that through the sword will the glory and majesty of the Messiah be realized.
[Psalms 45:4] AND IN THY MAJESTY RIDE PROSPEROUSLY BECAUSE OF TRUTH AND MEEKNESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND THY RIGHT HAND SHALL TEACH THEE TERRIBLE THINGS.
<<RIDE>>: Hebrew "recev" connoting to ride in a chariot.
<<PROSPEROUSLY>>: Hebrew "Tsalach" which can also mean "pass over", i.e. Pass over on your chariot. Your natural warrior ability will instinctively (through your right hand) express itself in awesome ways.
[Psalms 45:5] THINE ARROWS ARE SHARP IN THE HEART OF THE KING'S ENEMIES; WHEREBY THE PEOPLE FALL UNDER THEE.
[Psalms 45:6] THY THRONE, O GOD, IS FOR EVER AND EVER: THE SCEPTRE OF THY KINGDOM IS A RIGHT SCEPTRE.
<<THY THRONE, O GOD>>: This is also explained from the Hebrew as referring to the Messiah whose throne is like the throne of God just as the throne of King Solomon was called the throne of God.
"THEN SOLOMON SAT ON THE THRONE OF THE LORD AS KING INSTEAD OF DAVID HIS FATHER, AND PROSPERED; AND ALL ISRAEL OBEYED HIM" [1-Chronicles 29:23].
[Psalms 45:7] THOU LOVEST RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND HATEST WICKEDNESS: THEREFORE GOD, THY GOD, HATH ANOINTED THEE WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE THY FELLOWS.
[Psalms 45:8] ALL THY GARMENTS SMELL OF MYRRH, AND ALOES, AND CASSIA, OUT OF THE IVORY PALACES, WHEREBY THEY HAVE MADE THEE GLAD.
[Psalms 45:9] KINGS' DAUGHTERS WERE AMONG THY HONOURABLE WOMEN: UPON THY RIGHT HAND DID STAND THE QUEEN IN GOLD OF OPHIR.
The future King Messiah will embody and bring to fruition all the good qualities of his forebears. Solomon had 300 wives and 700 concubines. The great men of all the earth sent their daughters to his palace and the women were honored to have been so chosen.
"AND HE HAD SEVEN HUNDRED WIVES, PRINCESSES, AND THREE HUNDRED CONCUBINES: AND HIS WIVES TURNED AWAY HIS HEART" [1-Kings 11:3].
"OPHIR": This is sometimes explained to mean a place in India; Others say it means an area of South America such as Peru. The term Africa is actually a linguistic extension of "Ophir" which is splet in Hebrew "Aleph-Pheh-Reish" i.e. like AFeR and thus we have "AFRica". AFER is the Hebrew word for ashes or soot, i.e, Gold from Black Africa. King Solomon's mines in South Africa?
[Psalms 45:10] HEARKEN, O DAUGHTER, AND CONSIDER, AND INCLINE THINE EAR; FORGET ALSO THINE OWN PEOPLE, AND THY FATHER'S HOUSE;
A wife should put her father's family behind her and identify completely with her husband and live for him and her children that she shall bear from him.
[Psalms 45:11] SO SHALL THE KING GREATLY DESIRE THY BEAUTY: FOR HE IS THY LORD; AND WORSHIP THOU HIM.
[Psalms 45:12] AND THE DAUGHTER OF TYRE SHALL BE THERE WITH A GIFT; EVEN THE RICH AMONG THE PEOPLE SHALL INTREAT THY FAVOUR.
[Psalms 45:13] THE KING'S DAUGHTER IS ALL GLORIOUS WITHIN: HER CLOTHING IS OF WROUGHT GOLD.
[Psalms 45:14] SHE SHALL BE BROUGHT UNTO THE KING IN RAIMENT OF NEEDLEWORK: THE VIRGINS HER COMPANIONS THAT FOLLOW HER SHALL BE BROUGHT UNTO THEE.
[Psalms 45:15] WITH GLADNESS AND REJOICING SHALL THEY BE BROUGHT: THEY SHALL ENTER INTO THE KING'S PALACE.
[Psalms 45:16] INSTEAD OF THY FATHERS SHALL BE THY CHILDREN, WHOM THOU MAYEST MAKE PRINCES IN ALL THE EARTH.
[Psalms 45:17] I WILL MAKE THY NAME TO BE REMEMBERED IN ALL GENERATIONS: THEREFORE SHALL THE PEOPLE PRAISE THEE FOR EVER AND EVER.
<<PRAISE THEE>>: Hebrew "Yehoducha", meaning "acknowledge you". The Radak explains this to mean that all people of the earth will acknowledge the rulership of the Messiah.
Cf. the blessing to Judah:
[Genesis 49:8] JUDAH, THOU ART HE WHOM THY BRETHREN SHALL PRAISE: THY HAND SHALL BE IN THE NECK OF THINE ENEMIES; THY FATHER'S CHILDREN SHALL BOW DOWN BEFORE THEE.
"Yehudah Atah Yoduchah Acheecha" (In Genesis 49:9)
This is translated in the KJ as "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise..." but actually in Hebrew the verse says: "Yehudah, you are he whom your brothers shall acknowledge the righteousness of": The key word "Yoducha" [translated in the KJ as "shall praise] means "acknowledge the righteousness of" i.e. the brothers of Judah, the other tribes, the tribes that went into exile and lost their identity, that did not keep the law are destined to acknowledge that Judah had been in the right.
TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN FOR THE SONS OF KORAH, A SONG UPON ALAMOTH.
<<ALAMOTH>>: The Mairi says this was a kind of muscial instrument. He relates the word to the root "ALeM" meaning "youth" and thus ALAMOTH means youthfulness. The Mairi says this particular Psalm and the instrument that accompanies it were chosen to arouse in us great joy and youthful exuberance, and make for a pleasing song.
There also may be a play on words here:
"Almuth" can mean "youthfulness" while AL-MOTH can connote "al-Movet" ("beyond death" in Hebrew the two words are spelt with the same letters) i.e. immortality.
S.R. Hirsch traces the word to yet another root "ALeM" meaning hidden. Hirsch says thats this Psalm is about the mysteries of song and those truths that can be realized only through music and song.
S.HR. Hirsch says: "ALAMUTH SHIR are the secrets, the mysteries of life, that which is hidden to others and can be sensed only in the ecstasy of song."
The Hebrew language and especially Biblical Hebrew is built in such a way that all of these explanations reflect aspects of the intended meaning.
That ALAMOTH really was a kind of musical instrument is also indicated by another verse:
<<AND ZECHARIAH, AND AZIEL, AND SHEMIRAMOTH, AND JEHIEL, AND UNNI, AND ELIAB, AND MAASEIAH, AND BENAIAH, WITH PSALTERIES [Hebrew: "Nevalim" i.e. bagpipes?] ON ALAMOTH>> [1-Chronicles 15:20].
The Radak says this Psalm concerns the Ingathering of the Exiles and trhe War of Gog and Magog.