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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 6–9
Verses 6–9

We have here the royal bridegroom filling his throne with judgment and keeping his court with splendour.

I. He here fills his throne with judgment. It is God the Father that says to the Son here, Thy throne, O God! is forever and ever, as appears Heb. 1:8, 9, where this is quoted to prove that he is God and has a more excellent name than the angels. The Mediator is God, else he neither would have been able to do the Mediator’s work nor fit to wear the Mediator’s crown. Concerning his government observe, 1. The eternity of it; it is for ever and ever. It shall continue on earth throughout all the ages of time, in despite of all the opposition of the gates of hell; and in the blessed fruits and consequences of it it shall last as long as the days of heaven, and run parallel with the line of eternity itself. Perhaps even then the glory of the Redeemer, and the blessedness of the redeemed, shall be in a continual infinite progression; for it is promised that not only of his government, but of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end (Isa. 9:7); even when the kingdom shall be delivered up to God even the Father (1 Cor. 15:24) the throne of the Redeemer will continue. 2. The equity of it: The sceptre of thy kingdom, the administration of thy government, is right, exactly according to the eternal counsel and will of God, which is the eternal rule and reason of good and evil. Whatever Christ does he does none of his subjects any wrong, but gives redress to those that do suffer wrong: He loves righteousness, and hates wickedness, Ps. 45:7. He himself loves to do righteousness, and hates to do wickedness; and he loves those that do righteousness, and hates those that do wickedness. By the holiness of his life, the merit of his death, and the great design of his gospel, he has made it to appear that he loves righteousness (for by his example, his satisfaction, and his precepts, he has brought in an everlasting righteousness), and that he hates wickedness, for never did God’s hatred of sin appear so conspicuously as it did in the sufferings of Christ. 3. The establishment and elevation of it: Therefore God, even thy God (Christ, as Mediator, called God his God, John 20:17; as commissioned by him, and the head of those that are taken into covenant with him), has anointed thee with the oil of gladness. Therefore, that is, (1.) “In order to this righteous government of thine, God has given thee his Spirit, that divine unction, to qualify thee for thy undertaking,” Isa. 61:1. 1. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he has anointed me. What God called him to he fitted him for, Isa. 11:2. The Spirit is called the oil of gladness because of the delight wherewith Christ was filled in carrying on his undertaking. He was anointed with the Spirit above all his fellows, above all those that were anointed, whether priests or kings. (2.) “In recompence of what thou has done and suffered for the advancement of righteousness and the destruction of sin God has anointed thee with the oil of gladness, has brought thee to all the honours and all the joys of thy exalted state.” Because he humbled himself, God has highly exalted him, Phil. 2:8, 9. His anointing him denotes the power and glory to which he is exalted; he is invested in all the dignities and authorities of the Messiah. And his anointing him with the oil of gladness denotes the joy that was set before him (so his exaltation is expressed, Heb. 12:2) both in the light of his Father’s countenance (Acts 2:28) and in the success of his undertaking, which he shall see, and be satisfied, Isa. 53:11. This he is anointed with above all his fellows, above all believers, who are his brethren, and who partake of the anointing—they by measure, he without measure. But the apostle brings it to prove his pre-eminence above the angels, Heb. 1:4, 9. The salvation of sinners is the joy of angels (Luke 15:10), but much more of the Son.

II. He keeps his court with splendour and magnificence. 1. His robes of state, wherein he appears, are taken notice of, not for their pomp, which might strike an awe upon the spectator, but their pleasantness and the gratefulness of the odours with which they were perfumed (Ps. 45:8): They smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia (the oil of gladness with which he and his garments were anointed): these were some of the ingredients of the holy anointing oil which God appointed, the like to which was not to be made up for any common use (Exod. 30:23, 24), which was typical of the unction of the Spirit which Christ, the great high priest of our profession, received, and to which therefore there seems here to be a reference. It is the savour of these good ointments, his graces and comforts, that draws souls to him (Song 1:3, 4) and makes him precious to believers, 1 Pet. 2:7. 2. His royal palaces are said to be ivory ones, such as were then reckoned most magnificent. We read of an ivory house that Ahab made, 1 Kgs. 22:39. The mansions of light above are the ivory palaces, whence all the joys both of Christ and believers come, and where they will be for ever in perfection; for by them he is made glad, and all that are his with him; for they shall enter into the joy of their Lord. 3. The beauties of his court shine very brightly. In public appearances at court, when the pomp of it is shown, nothing is supposed to contribute so much to it as the splendour of the ladies, which is alluded to here, Ps. 45:9. (1.) Particular believers are here compared to the ladies at court, richly dressed in honour of the sovereign: Kings’ daughters are among thy honourable women, whose looks, and mien, and ornaments, we may suppose, from the height of their extraction, to excel all others. All true believers are born from above; they are the children of the King of kings. These attend the throne of the Lord Jesus daily with their prayers and praises, which is really their honour, and he is pleased to reckon it his. The numbering of kings’ daughters among his honourable women, or maids of honour, intimates that the kings whose daughters they were should be tributaries to him and dependents on him, and would therefore think it a preferment to their daughters to attend him. (2.) The church in general, constituted of these particular believers, is here compared to the queen herself—the queen-consort, whom, by an everlasting covenant, he hath betrothed to himself. She stands at his right hand, near to him, and receives honour from him, in the richest array, in gold of Ophir, in robes woven with golden thread or with a gold chain and other ornaments of gold. This is the bride, the Lamb’s wife, whose graces, which are her ornaments, are compared to fine linen, clean and white (Rev. 19:8), for their purity, here to gold of Ophir, for their costliness; for, as we owe our redemption, so we owe our adorning, not to corruptible things, but to the precious blood of the Son of God.