Tiaras, scepters, chiffon skirts, glittery shoes. Every parent of a girl knows their daughter’s fascination with being a princess. Not much in the real world lends itself to these images, however. Princesses exist, but the modern examples aren’t embodied in these early childhood fascinations. It all seems rather fictitious, and every girl seems to grow out of it.
As make-believe as the modern concept of royalty might be, the Bible shows it is very real for those called out of this world today. In Revelation 1:6, they are called “kings and priests.” This makes their children princes and princesses.
Psalm 45:16 makes a direct reference to this: “Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.” In his book, The Key of David, Gerald Flurry writes that our young people “must be taught and encouraged to uphold that royal standard—act like God’s royalty today.” He stresses the need for the ministry and parents to make the “royal” element of the vision real.
We use Psalm 45:16 a lot to show how the children of those in God’s Church are royalty—namely, princes. We know this special royal invitation applies not just to sons of Church members, but daughters too. So “princesses” is implied as well.
Another verse in this psalm actually talks about the daughters of those in God’s Church. Verse 9 reads: “Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.” The image here is of Christ and His Bride (the “queen”). But who are His honorable women? Kings’ daughters!
God’s people are spiritual royalty, and their daughters are among Christ’s honored women. If either one of your parents, or any of your grandparents or a legal guardian is a baptized member, then you are a “king’s daughter.”
Where it reads: “Kings’ daughters were,” the original Hebrew means “are” in this case. Most translations render it, “Kings’ daughters are among thy honourable women ….”
Christ’s honored women are kings’ daughters. The daughters of those in God’s Church are kings’ daughters. You daughters in God’s Church are among Christ’s honorable women!
What does it mean to be this kind of woman?
The image here is of a king, queen and ladies at court (often called ladies-in-waiting). Elizabethan-era.org.uk defines this position as: “A lady of a royal court appointed to serve or attend a queen, princess, or high-ranking noblewoman. A lady-in-waiting was not quite a servant. Ladies-in-waiting were considered ‘noble companions’ who, by their status and nobility, could better advise a woman of high station.”
Historically, the duties may have required proficiency in the etiquette, languages and dances prevalent at court; the ability to handle secretarial tasks, correspondence and the supervision of servants; skills in embroidery, painting, horseback riding, music making and wardrobe care.
In this verse, Christ’s ladies-in-waiting are all princesses—kings’ daughters. But it might be hard to relate to this metaphor because the idea of having ladies-in-waiting is not a modern one, even though Queen Elizabeth ii has nine of them. The Duchess of Cambridge has some too, but they serve more as social assistants. The closest thing we have in standard, everyday society is only found at weddings: bridesmaids—close friends of the bride who help with details of the wedding.
As The Key of David book says, we have to teach how to uphold a royal standard. The key to understanding what it means to be a king’s daughter, or one of Christ’s “honorable women,“ lies in understanding what it means to be “honorable.”
Knowing what the Hebrew word for “honorable” means will show just how special the young girls in God’s Church are!
The English phrase “honorable women” is one Hebrew word: yaqar. The definition, according to Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, is “precious, costly, dear, heavy (as in honored or influential), excellent.” It suggests that Psalm 45:9 should read: “The daughters of kings are among your dear ones.”
You can see these meanings based on how the Hebrew word is translated in other verses. This word shows how special you are to God and Jesus Christ. One definition of this word—translated this way in the King James Version four times—is “costly.”
In 1 Kings 5:13-18, you can read about the tens of thousands of men that King Solomon employed to bring “great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house” (verse 17).
Here, the word yaqar means “costly.” These were the costly stones that were used in building God’s house, and Solomon went to a great deal of effort to retrieve and cut these stones.
Think about that word in the context of Psalm 45:9. Kings’ daughters are among some of Christ’s costliest assets! Some of the costliest things in Jesus Christ’s possession are “kings’ daughters”! You are some of the most expensive things in His possession! How special!
Christ puts a high value on you. The English word “honorable” is a better translation in Psalm 45:9, though, because it shows what Christ values. He wants His “kings’ daughters” to be honorable. The main definition of this word “honorable” (or the way it’s usually translated in English), however, is “precious.”
For instance, the queen of Sheba, when visiting King Solomon, came to Jerusalem with “very much gold, and precious [yaqar] stones” (1 Kings 10:2). Verse 10 shows that she donated those “precious stones” to Solomon. Verse 11 shows that another head of state, Hiram, exported “precious stones” to Solomon as well. Ezekiel 28:13 talks about Lucifer being covered with “every precious stone.” 1 Chronicles 20:2 discusses a crown that David acquired that had “precious stones” in it. These are the kinds of stones that are jewels in a crown!
Yaqar, when translated “precious,” can also refer to other kinds of riches—those that are the result of hard work. Proverbs 12:27 shows that the hard-earned substance of the diligent is precious. Proverbs 24:4 shows there are precious riches earned through knowledge.
Yaqar can also refer to non-material things. Proverbs 6:26 uses it to refer to life itself being precious. Psalm 116:15 shows that the death of one of God’s saints (one of those kings) is precious. Lamentations 4:2 refers to the “sons of Zion” as precious.
But what does precious really mean? 1 Samuel 3:1 uses the word yaqar: “And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.” “Precious” here indicates how rare God’s revelation was in Eli’s day. So here yaqar (honorable, precious) means “rare,” as Gesenius’ Lexicon points out.
If a good thing is rare, that makes it “precious.” That’s definitely the case with gems.
And how rare are the girls in God’s Church—certainly in terms of behavior, but even in terms of sheer numbers. For every 1.5 million girls in the world, there’s one in the pcg. How priceless!
This helps explain the definition discussed earlier—costly. Obviously something being rare, or precious, makes it of a higher value or a higher price.
‘More’ Precious Than Rubies
This word yaqar is also used to describe things that are non-material—things that are special on more of an intangible, spiritual level. In fact, the Bible uses this word to convey that these things are more precious—more honorable, more yaqar—than gems or jewels.
Job 28:12 asks: “But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?” Notice the elaboration in verses 13-18: “Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.”
Yaqar is used in verse 16 specifically to describe “precious onyx,” but we know these other gems and metals (like the gold of Ophir) are precious and rare as well. They are costly.
So as precious and rare as these physical gems and materials are, there are character traits that are even more rare. This would make them even more precious, and therefore more costly—priceless in fact.
Proverbs 3:15 says wisdom is “more precious than rubies” and any other material thing you might desire.
A woman with these characteristics has a value “far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10)—see the sidebar for more on the comparisons between rubies and godly womanhood. When God uses the word “precious” or “rare” to describe “kings’ daughters,” it’s not just analogous to precious and rare in the sense of physical jewels. He is saying those “kings’ daughters” are more valuable than anything physical! Even the phrase in verse 10, “Who can find a virtuous woman?” shows the rarity of these women!
Let’s look at another definition of yaqar—what it means to be an “honorable” woman in Christ’s royal court. Gesenius’ Lexicon lists “heavy” as a definition—as in influential.
It is used this way in Ecclesiastes 10:1: “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.” Yaqar here refers to the reputation of one who has wisdom and honor. It explains, however, that a “little folly” can make it stink. Even the nicest perfume would stink if it had dead flies in it!
Your reputation and character can be influential—if not tarnished by foolish lapses of judgment. To put that back in the phrase of Psalm 45:9: king’s daughters are among Christ’s reputable, influential women.
Some biblical examples of influential women can be found in Judah’s royal women. In one account, Princess Jehosheba—sister of the late King Ahaziah—risked her to life to save her brother’s son, Joash, from the slaughter of Queen Mother Athaliah. The account of this princess and her husband, the priest Jehoiada, is in 2 Kings 11:1-3.
Two other interesting accounts show the influence of righteous queen mothers. The two most righteous kings after David were probably Hezekiah and Josiah. But two of the most wicked kings were their fathers: Ahaz and Amon, respectively. Ahaz “transgressed sore against the Lord” (2 Chronicles 28:19). Amon “trespassed more and more” (2 Chronicles 33:23). How could such evil kings spawn such righteous sons who wholeheartedly followed God?
2 Kings 22:1 reads: “Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.” The 8-year-old Josiah would not have had many memories of his evil father, but the Bible mentions his mother Jedidah. She must have been some mother.
You can read a similar account about Hezekiah and his mother in 2 Chronicles 29:1. Hezekiah started reigning at 25, so he would have had some living memory and influence from his evil father—but again, the Bible mentions his mother Abijah—a righteous queen mother (and likely a descendant of that priest-princess couple Jehoiada and Jehosheba).
God expected these royal women to exert great influence over their sons. That is what Bathsheba did for Solomon. The first verse of Proverbs 31 shows that this was the “prophecy” from a mother to a king—namely, King Lemuel (another name for Solomon). Verse 2 reads (in the English Standard Version): “What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows?”
King Solomon was getting some pretty direct advice from Mom here. Then when she gets to the advice in verse 10, it reads: “Who can find a virtuous woman?” She starts telling Solomon about this woman, who is clearly (based on several direct historical references) his great-great-grandmother Ruth.
Bathsheba wielded a proper influence over Solomon. She is even included in the Song of Songs—documented as the one who physically laid the crown on Solomon’s head (Song of Songs 3:11).
Another translation of the word yaqar is “excellent.” Psalm 36:7 reads: “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!” In Proverbs 17, the word “excellent” is used to discuss the character God wants to create in us. “He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit” (verse 27).
Here the English word “excellent” is comprised of two Hebrew words—yaqar and another word meaning “calm.” In other words, someone of understanding is of a calm, excellent spirit.
Notice the next verse: “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding” (verse 28). Even by keeping your mouth shut, you can appear to be someone “of understanding”— someone with this excellent spirit.
Destined to Be Queen
Put all these definitions together, and here is what it means to be a royal princess in Christ’s royal court: It means you posses an excellent and calm, collected spirit. It means you possess a reputation that allows you to be an influential princess. It means you are among His costliest possessions. You are precious and rare—even more precious and rare than the costliest gems because of the wisdom and character you can posses.
That is what Psalm 45:9 is all about!
Finally, notice verses 13-17 of Psalm 45: “The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.”
As Mr. Flurry writes in The Key of David, the youth in God’s Church “are God’s princes and princesses of the Earth. But they won’t remain princes and princesses. They are to become God’s kings of the universe! The most exalted calling in all eternity!”
Your destiny is not to remain a princess. God wants you to be part of the one Bride—the Bride whom He will make remembered forever! And it starts by being Christ’s honorable princesses today!
SIDEBAR: Four Characteristics of Rubies
The Hebrew word yaqar, used in Psalm 45:9 to describe how honorable “kings’ daughters” are, is often used in the context of the rarity of jewels—namely, the ruby.
The ruby comes from the gem quality versions of the mineral corundum. The ruby is the most valuable member of the corundum family because of its red color—even more valuable than sapphire. According to minerals.net, next to its bright color, it is such a desirable gem “due to its hardness, durability, luster and rarity.”
Those are four traits Christ’s princesses possess.
The ruby ranks a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness (the diamond is a 10). “Hardness” refers to “the resistance of an object to scrapes and scratching. The harder it is, the greater its resistance” (ibid). So, as a character trait, “hardness” in this case would not be meanness, or being cold or invulnerable. It means, rather, the ability to resist anything that could scar you.
“Durability” refers to the ruby’s exceptional ability to withstand wear, pressure or damage. In terms of character, Christ’s princesses must be able to withstand the pressure of the world and peers—and endure despite any damage done.
“Luster” refers to the manner in which the surface of a material reflects light. The comparison to character should be obvious. The Bride is depicted in the Bible for her ability to reflect God’s light. According to Revelation 19:8, her righteousness is “clean and bright,” as some translations render it. In fact, one of the translations of the word yaqar refers to the moon walking in “brightness” (Job 31:26). When you are being bright—full of light and positivity—you are like the moon, reflecting the light of the sun. That depicts how we reflect God’s brightness in our lives!
The ruby is also known for its “rarity.” According to minerals.net, “Transparent rubies of large sizes are even rarer than diamonds.” Now, corundum is a fairly common mineral, but gem-quality corundum is quite a bit rarer—consisting of only a percent or so of all the corundum found. The most common of the gem-grade corundum is the blue sapphire. So the ruby—the red variety of corundum (due to the presence of chromium)—is even rarer.
Due to their rarity, rubies have been known to be sold for $100,000 a carat (the unit of weight in measuring gemstones). In May 2015, Sotheby’s auctioned a 25.59-carat “pigeon-blood” ruby—the rarest of all kinds of rubies—for $30 million.
In terms of both character and numbers, it is evident how rare Christ’s princesses are.