Ivory Palaces (11/21/2021)
“All your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia,
Out of the ivory palaces, by which they made you glad” (Psalm 45:8).
Making reference to wedding garments, the psalmist selects some of the herbs of that time to describe a treatment given to the garments the bridegroom would wear. These herbs are special and precious and evidently used only on special occasions.
“Myrrh” is used both as a perfume as well as for medicine and for embalming. “Aloes” was a bitter herb used in embalming, but it also could be used for perfuming garments. The bitterness would represent the many sorrows Jesus suffered. “Cassia” is a spicy perfume with an odor like cinnamon, but it also could be used for medicine.
This passage is actually a metaphor describing Jesus, the bridegroom, who left his “ivory palace” to come to “a world of woe” to live, suffer, and sacrifice Himself for His bride, the church. The classic church hymn, Ivory Palaces, is based on this verse.