Oil of gladness - As an evidence that all causes of mourning, sorrow, and death, were at an end; as in the state of mourning the ancients did not anoint themselves.
I have mentioned above that the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Hebrews 1:8, Hebrews 1:9, quotes Psalm 45:6, Psalm 45:7, of this Psalm. I shall subjoin the substance of what I have written on these verses in that place: -
Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever - If this be said of the Son of God, i.e., Jesus Christ, then Jesus Christ must be God; and indeed the design of the apostle is to prove this. The words here quoted are taken from Psalm 45:6, Psalm 45:7, which the ancient Chaldee paraphrast, and the most intelligent rabbins, refer to the Messiah. On the third verse of this Psalm, 'Thou art fairer than the children of men,' the Targum says: 'Thy beauty, משיחא מלכא malca Meshicha, O King Messiah, is greater than the children of men.' Aben Ezra says: 'This Psalm speaks of David, or rather of his Son the Messiah, for this is his name, Ezekiel 34:24; : And David my servant shall be a prince over them for ever.' Other rabbins confirm this opinion.
"This verse is very properly considered a proof, and indeed a strong one, of the divinity of Christ; but some late versions of the New Testament have endeavored to avoid the evidence of this proof by translating the word thus: 'God is thy throne for ever and ever;' and if this version be correct, it is certain that the text can be no proof of the doctrine. Mr. Wakefield vindicates this translation at large in his History of Opinions; and ὁ Θεος being the nominative case is supposed to be sufficient justification of this version. In answer to this it may be stated that the nominative case is often used for the vocative, particularly by the Attics, and the whole scope of the place requires it should be so used here; and with due deference to all of a contrary opinion, the original Hebrew cannot be consistently translated any other way; ועד עולם אלהים כסאך kisacha Elohim olam vaed, 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and to eternity.' It is in both worlds, and extends over all time, and will exist through all endless duration. To this our Lord seems to refer, Matthew 28:18; : 'All power is given unto me, both in Heaven and Earth.' My throne, i.e., my dominion, extends from the creation to the consummation of all things. These I have made, and these I uphold; and from the end of the world, throughout eternity, I shall have the same glory - sovereign unlimited power and authority, which I had with the Father before the world began; John 17:5. I may add that none of the ancient Versions has understood it in the way contended for by those who deny the Godhead of Christ, either in the Psalm from which it is taken, or in this place where it is quoted. Aquila translates אלהים Elohim, by Θεε, O God, in the vocative case; and the Arabic adds the sign of the vocative ya, reading the place thus: korsee yallaho ila abadilabada, the same as in our Version. And even allowing that ὁ Θεος here is to be used as the nominative case, it will not make the sense contended for without adding εστι to it, a reading which is not countenanced by any Version, nor by any MS. yet discovered. Wiclif, Coverdale, and others, understood it as the nominative, and translated it so; and yet it is evident that this nominative has the power of the vocative: Forsothe to the sone God thi troone into the world of worlde: a gerde of equite the gerde of thi reume. I give this, pointing and all, as it stands in my old MS. Bible. Wiclif is nearly the same, but is evidently of a more modern cast: But to the sone he seith, God thy trone is unto the world of world, a gherd of equyte is the gherd of thi rewme. Coverdale translates it thus: 'But unto the sonne he sayeth: God, thi seate endureth for ever and ever: the cepter of thy kyngdome is a right cepter.' Tindal and others follow in the same way, all reading it in the nominative case, with the force of the vocative; for none of them has inserted the word εστι is, because not authorized by the original; a word which the opposers of the Divinity of our Lord are obliged to beg, in order to support their interpretation.
A scepter of righteousness - The scepter, which was a sort of staff or instrument of various forms, was the ensign of government, and is here used for government itself. This the ancient Jewish writers understand also of the Messiah.
Thou hast loved righteousness - This is the characteristic of a just governor; he abhors and suppresses iniquity; he countenances and supports righteousness and truth.
Therefore God, even thy God - The original, δια τουτου εχρισε δε, ὁ Θεος, ὁ Θεος σου, may be thus translated: 'Therefore, O God, thy God hath anointed thee.' The form of speech is nearly the same with that in the preceding verse; but the sense is sufficiently clear if we read: 'Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee,' etc.
With the oil of gladness - We have often had occasion to remark that anciently kings, priests, and prophets, were consecrated to their several offices by anointing, and that this signified the gifts and influences of the Divine Spirit. Christ, ὁ χριστος, signifies The anointed One, the same as the Hebrew Messiah; and he is here said to be 'anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows.' None was ever constituted prophet, priest, and king, but himself: some were kings only, prophets only, and priests only; others were kings and priests, or priests and prophets, or kings and prophets; but none had ever the three offices in his own person but Jesus Christ; and none but himself can be a King over the universe, a Prophet to all intelligent beings, and a Priest to the whole human race. Thus he is infinitely exalted beyond his fellows - all that had ever borne the regal, prophetic, or sacerdotal offices.
"Some think that the word μετοχους, fellows, refers to believers who are made partakers of the same Spirit, but cannot have its infinite plenitude. The first sense seems the best. Gladness is used to express the festivities which took place on the inauguration of kings," etc.
Thou lovest righteousness - See this verse explained in the notes at Hebrews 1:9, where it is applied to the Messiah. The word “God” is rendered in the margin “O God”; “O God, thy God, hath anointed thee,” etc. According to this construction, the thought would be carried on which is suggested in Psalm 45:6, of a direct address to the Messiah as God. This construction is not necessary, but it is the most obvious one. The Messiah - the Lord Jesus - though he is described as God himself (John 1:1, et al.), yet addresses God as “his” God, John 20:17. As Mediator, as appearing in human form, as commissioned to perform the work of redemption, and to subdue the world to the divine authority, it was proper thus to address his Father as “his” God, and to, acknowledge Him as the source of all authority and law.