In the unparalleled and beautiful Messianic Psalm 45 (44 LXX), the Hebrew lyricist treats his readers to one of the greatest literary and spiritual accomplishments in human history. The psalmist proclaims that his words are heartfelt utterances about a king. His tongue consequently becomes like a writing instrument as he pictorially relates the beauty and glory of the Potentate that God supremely blesses (Ps 45:1, 2) for all eternity. This King is indeed mighty, prosperous and most capable of utterly annihilating his enemies in truth and righteousness as his weapons accurately penetrate the heart of his adversaries with incomprehensible precision (Ps 45:3-5).
As the psalmist continues delineating the royal activities of Yahweh's King, he goes into some detail describing the profuse and aromatic oils that emanate from the King's garments as his queenly consort stands at his right hand, while she too appears arrayed in exquisite and aromatic garments (Ps 45:10). Though this entire psalm is dramatic and quite telling, we must stop now in order to focus on Ps 45:11-12 (44:12, 13 LXX). This verse in the LXX reads: kai proskunesousin autos thugateres Tyrou en dorois to prosopon sou litaneusousin hoi plousioi tou laou.
The Hebrew text indicates that it is the queenly consort herself who should bow down to the King. Originally, the psalm evidently had reference to an anointed Judean king who sat upon the throne of Jehovah (1 Chron 29:23). It is a nuptial ode that scholars have associated with Solomon or with the wedding of Ahab (Buttenwieser 84-85). The psalm most certainly does not apply to a pagan king in its initial fulfillment, however, since it is YHWH who anoints the mighty King (Ps 45:8, 9). Knowing the possible identity of the King in the song's initial application is important, for this insight helps us to understand in what sense either the Maiden of Tyre or the queenly consort of the King is to render proskuneo to him.
While proskuneo in Ps 45:11-12 could certainly mean that the Maiden of Tyre or the queen worships the King, it is more likely the case that the song depicts the queen or the Maiden of Tyre simply bowing down to the King with great deference or respect. This point is especially clear in the LXX where the Maiden of Tyre seeks the King’s favor by means of expensive and very precious gifts (Buttenwieser 86). Thus, the psalmist's use of proskuneo does not seem to denote “worship,” but simply refers to a display of respect for a superior (God's royal Messiah whom He has anointed and blessed). The usage of proskuneo in Ps 45:11-12 appears to reflect that found in Mk 5:6 and other texts that involve Jesus (Jn 9:38). Compare Ralph Earle’s comments concerning Mk 5:6 in his Word Meanings in the New Testament.