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 τουτο εχρισε σε 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 Messias ; 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 hast loved righteousness - Thou hast been obedient to the Law of God, or holy and upright. Nothing can be more truly adapted to express the character of anyone than this is to describe the Lord Jesus, who was “holy, harmless, undefiled,” who “did no sin, and in whose mouth no guile was found;” but it is with difficulty that this can be applied to Solomon. Assuredly, for a considerable part of his life, this declaration could not well be appropriate to him; and it seems to me that it is not to be regarded as descriptive of him at all. It is language prompted by the warm and pious imagination of the Psalmist describing the future Messiah - and, as applied to him, is true to the letter. “Therefore God, even thy God.” The word “even” inserted here by the translators, weakens the force of the expression. This might be translated, “O God, thy God hath anointed thee.” So it is rendered by Doddridge, Clarke, Stuart, and others.
The Greek will bear this construction, as well the Hebrew in Psalm 45:7. In the margin in the Psalm it is rendered “O God.” This is the most natural construction, as it accords with what is just said before. “Thy throne, O God, is forever. Thou art just and holy, therefore, O God, thy God hath anointed thee,” etc. It is not material, however, which construction is adopted. “Hath anointed thee.” Anciently kings and priests were consecrated to their office by pouring oil on their heads; see Leviticus 8:12; Numbers 3:3; 1 Samuel 10:1; 2 Samuel 2:7; Psalm 2:2; Isaiah 61:1; Acts 4:27; Acts 10:38; Note, Matthew 1:1. The expression “to anoint,” therefore, comes to mean to consecrate to office, or to set apart to some public work. This is evidently the meaning in the Psalm, where the whole language refers to the appointment of the personage there referred to to the kingly office. “The oil of gladness.” This probably means the perfumed oil that was poured on the head, attended with many expressions of joy and rejoicing. The inauguration of the Messiah as king would be an occasion of rejoicing and triumph. Thousands would exult at it as in the coronation of a king; and thousands would be made glad by such a consecration to the office of Messiah. “Above thy fellows.” Above thine associates; that is, above all who sustain the kingly office. He would be more exalted than all other kings. Doddridge supposes that it refers to angels, who might have been associated with the Messiah in the government of the world. But the more natural construction is to suppose that it refers to kings, and to mean that he was the most exalted of all.
The soul of the prophet, emptied of self, was filled with the light of the divine. As he witnessed to the Saviour's glory, his words were almost a counterpart of those that Christ Himself had spoken in His interview with Nicodemus. John said, “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all.... For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” Christ could say, “I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.” John 5:30. To Him it is declared, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” Hebrews 1:9. The Father “giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” DA 180.1
So with the followers of Christ. We can receive of heaven's light only as we are willing to be emptied of self. We cannot discern the character of God, or accept Christ by faith, unless we consent to the bringing into captivity of every thought to the obedience of Christ. To all who do this the Holy Spirit is given without measure. In Christ “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in Him ye are made full.” Colossians 2:9, 10, R. V. DA 181.1
The disciples of John had declared that all men were coming to Christ; but with clearer insight, John said, “No man receiveth His witness;” so few were ready to accept Him as the Saviour from sin. But “he that hath received His witness hath set his seal to this, that God is true.” John 3:33, R. V. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” No need of disputation as to whether Christ's baptism or John's purified from sin. It is the grace of Christ that gives life to the soul. Apart from Christ, baptism, like any other service, is a worthless form. “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life.” DA 181.2Read in context »
Jesus was taken, faint with weariness and covered with wounds, and scourged in the sight of the multitude. “And the soldiers led Him away into the hall, called Praetorium, and they call together the whole band. And they clothed Him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about His head, and began to salute Him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they ... did spit upon Him, and bowing their knees worshiped Him.” Occasionally some wicked hand snatched the reed that had been placed in His hand, and struck the crown upon His brow, forcing the thorns into His temples, and sending the blood trickling down His face and beard. DA 734.1
Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth! Behold the oppressor and the oppressed. A maddened throng enclose the Saviour of the world. Mocking and jeering are mingled with the coarse oaths of blasphemy. His lowly birth and humble life are commented upon by the unfeeling mob. His claim to be the Son of God is ridiculed, and the vulgar jest and insulting sneer are passed from lip to lip. DA 734.2
Satan led the cruel mob in its abuse of the Saviour. It was his purpose to provoke Him to retaliation if possible, or to drive Him to perform a miracle to release Himself, and thus break up the plan of salvation. One stain upon His human life, one failure of His humanity to endure the terrible test, and the Lamb of God would have been an imperfect offering, and the redemption of man a failure. But He who by a command could bring the heavenly host to His aid—He who could have driven that mob in terror from His sight by the flashing forth of His divine majesty—submitted with perfect calmness to the coarsest insult and outrage. DA 734.3Read in context »
Let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 1 John 3:7. RC 59.1
Those who are looking for the revelation of Christ in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, as King of kings and Lord of lords, in life and character will seek to represent Him to the world. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” They will hate sin and iniquity, even as Christ hated sin. They will keep the commandments of God, as Christ kept His Father's commandments. They will realize that it is not enough to acquiesce in the doctrines of truth, but that the truth must be applied to the heart, practiced in the life, in order that the followers of Christ may be one with Him, and that men may be as pure in their sphere as God is in His sphere. There have been men in every generation who have claimed to be the sons of God, who paid tithes of mint and anise and cummin, and yet who led a godless life; for they neglected the weightier matters of the law—mercy, justice, and the love of God.... RC 59.2Read in context »