Psalm 110


Psalm 110:1–7

 


Outline of Chapter 110:

 

       Inscription       Psalm 110 Inscription

       vv.    1–3        Jesus Christ, from the First Advent to the Second

         V.    4         The Royal Priesthood of Jesus Christ

       vv.    5–7        Our Lord’s Victory in the Second Advent


Charts and Maps:

 

       Introduction    When Did David Write this Psalm?

       Introduction    What Introductory Information Can We Cull from Jesus’ Quote of this Psalm?

       Introduction    Keil and Delitzsch Explain the Organization of Psalm 110

       Introduction    Various Authors Organize Psalm 110

       Introduction    Why Bother with Other Commentaries?

       v.      1           New Testament Quotations of Psalm 110:1

       v.      1           A Summary of Psalm 110:1

       v.      2           The Use of the Term Zion/When Did David Write this Psalm?

       v.      2           A Summary of Psalm 110:2

       v.      3           The Greek Translation of Psalm 110:3a

       v.      3           The Greek Translation of Psalm 110:3b

       v.      3           The Greek Translation of Psalm 110:3c-d

       v.      3           An Explanation of Psalm 110:3 According to the Septuagint

       v.      3           Barnes Summarizes Psalm 110:3

       v.      4           Diberâh (הָר׃ב̣)

       v.      4           Translations of Diberâh in Context

       v.      4           New Testament Quotations of Psalm 110:4

       v.      4           Some Concluding Remarks about Psalm 110:4 as Quoted in Hebrews

       v.      4           Concluding Remarks About Psalm 110:4

       v.      4           The Royal Priesthood of Jesus Christ

       v.      4           Distortions of the Catholic Priesthood

       v.      5           A Brief Examination of the Tribulation

       v.      7           Various Interpretations of Psalm 110:7a

       v.      7           The Various Interpretations of Psalm 110:7b

       v.      7           Addendum: How the Phrase Lift up the Head is used in Scripture

       v.      7           The Organization of Psalm 110

       v.      7           Clarke’s Approach to Psalm 110


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

Zion

Melchizedek

The Trinity in the Old Testament

 


I ntroduction: Although we do not know when David wrote Psalm 110, I prefer to think that he wrote this psalm prior to I Sam. 24, where his men attempt to apply this psalm and do so incorrectly. As we saw in the exegesis of 1Sam. 24, the other possible Scriptures which they may have been quoting are less likely. David experienced a great deal of spiritual growth when on the run from Saul. If anything, this jump-started his spiritual growth. When we study I Sam. 24, David will have Saul in a compromising position and David’s men will try to convince David to kill him. I think that they are quoting this psalm in order to make their point. It is completely misapplied, but it allows us to place this psalm during this time period. One reason we might question this time frame is because David’s other psalms of this time period had more information in the inscription. On he other hand, since we cannot place the other psalms with little introductory information, several other psalms may belong to this time period as well. Now, this is a psalm of great importance, which possibly suggests greater spiritual growth on the part of David. However, David may have realized himself that this was a psalm of greater import, and therefore did not confine it to any particular time frame.


Because I have placed this psalm during a specific time period and because this is not universally recognized, let me offer the various theories as to when David did write this:

When Did David Write this Psalm?

Author

Time Period

Keil and Delitzsch

They seem to suggest that David wrote this on his deathbed, which is similar to the point of view taken by the NIV Study Bible. Their emphasis is, however, not so much on this being about Solomon, but about the Lord Jesus Christ to come. As David neared death, his grasp of eternal things was greater.

Keil and Delitzsch

The first of these connecting links is the bringing of the Ark home to Zion. Girded with the linen ephod of the priest, David had accompanied the Ark up to Zion with signs of rejoicing. There upon Zion Jahve, whose earthly throne is the Ark, now took His place at the side of David; but, spiritually considered, the matter stood properly thus, that Jahve, when He established Himself upon Zion, granted to David to sit henceforth enthroned at His side. The second connecting link is the victorious termination of the Syro-Ammonitish war, and also of the Edomitish war that came in between. The war with the Ammonites and their allies, the greatest, longest, and most glorious of David's wars, ended in the second year, when David himself joined the army, with the conquest of Rabbah. These two contemporary connecting links are to be recognised, but they only furnish the Psalm with the typical ground-colour for its prophetical contents. Footnote Keil and Delitzsch are rather dense sometimes; but this quote appears to indicate that they thought David wrote this after successful battles as king and brought the Ark to Jerusalem.

Kukis

Prior to the incidents of 1Sam. 24, as David’s soldiers quote a verse from this psalm back to him (1Sam. 24:4).

NIV Study Bible

David possibly wrote this about his son Solomon, as a coronation. Footnote

Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

Composed around 1042 b.c., after Nathan made a prophetical address to David. Footnote

Venema

The time in which this oracle or prophecy was delivered was probably a little after the time when David had brought home the ark, and before he had his wars with the neighboring idolatrous nations. The kingdom was confirmed in his hand; but it was not yet extended over the neighboring nations. Footnote

As you see, the theories here are essentially guesses, based upon the thinnest of evidence. I favor my interpretation because of 1Sam. 24:4. The only reason I would be uncertain is, David exhibits a great spiritual understanding in this psalm, during an early period of his life.

Let me offer another possible scenario: some people may work on a song for years. They may have one or two lines; or they may have a semi-finished version, which they continue to polish. This could be the case with David and this psalm. His men were familiar with the first line of the psalm and attempted to misapply it back in 1Sam. 24.


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This is an incredibly fascinating psalm, as portions of it are very difficult translate and to understand, and yet other parts of this psalm are quoted many times in the New Testament. For such a short psalm, and given that it is found many times in the New Testament, one would think that interpretation throughout would be relatively easy. However, that is not the case.


Jesus quotes this psalm when the pharisees ask him questions with the intention of tripping him up. So then, Jesus asked them a question, saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "The son of David." He said to them, "How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, "'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet'? If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?" (Matt. 22:41b–45). We will cover the interpretation of this later; however, this tells us several things:

What Introductory Information Can We Cull from Jesus’ Quote of this Psalm?

1.    David wrote Psalm 110.

2.    David is inspired by God the Holy Spirit.

3.    The implication is, David speaks prophetically (as this is an event which is not recorded historically in the Old Testament).

4.    David is speaking of the Messiah to come.

5.    Finally, Jesus asks the most difficult question, “How can David have a son, the Messiah, and yet David call his son Jehovah?”

I am not covering any of the questions raised here in the introduction; however, I am raising them to whet your pallet. Primarily, the first 4 points are an introduction to this psalm.


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Quite obviously, the Jews must give this psalm a different meaning, although this different interpretation came after our Lord’s death, burial and resurrection. For them, this psalm is too close to the person of Christ to allow it to be a prophecy of the Messiah to come (although, that is the true meaning of this psalm and apparently how the Jews applied this psalm prior to and during the incarnation of our Lord). Footnote And, also, you should note that the pharisees did not argue with Jesus about the meaning or application of this psalm (and they themselves offered, that Messiah was the Son of David). Jesus did, however, baffle them with His questions (as we will examine later in this psalm).

 

With regards to the interpretation of this psalm, Barnes writes: The application of the psalm in the New Testament to the Messiah is so clear and unequivocal, that we are bound to defend the opinion that it was “designed” to refer to him; and the manner in which it is quoted shows that it was in no secondary sense, and in no way of “accommodation,” but that it had an original and exclusive applicability to him. Every principle of honesty in interpretation demands this. There may be difficulties in the interpretation itself, but the fact that it refers to the Messiah involves no difficulty, if it be once admitted that there is such a thing as prophecy at all, and that “any” portion of the Old Testament has reference to a Messiah. There is no part of the Old Testament that is more clearly applied to him in the New Testament than this psalm; there is no part that more naturally suggests the Messiah; there is none that is more difficult of explanation if it be maintained that it does not refer to him; there is none that is made more plain by referring it to him. It will be assumed, therefore, in this exposition, that the psalm had an original and exclusive reference to the Messiah, and that the friends of revelation are bound to show that in him who claimed to be the Messiah, and to whom it is applied in the New Testament - the Lord Jesus - there is a “fair” fulfillment of the predictions which are contained in it. Footnote


One of the other oft quoted passages from this psalm is, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4b Heb. 5:6 7:17, 21). Again, this raises a number of provocative questions. Priests to Israel come through Aaron. Why do we have a priest here who is associated with Melchizedek, who precedes the nation Israel (but who ministered to Abraham)? Again, these are questions to whet your appetite for the psalm we are about to study.


Organizing this psalm is moderately difficult. Furthermore, Keil and Delitzsch, who are excellent and informative authors, rather obscure the organization of this psalm. As I have mentioned in the past, their writing is rather dense.

Keil and Delitzsch Explain the Organization of Psalm 110

Psalm 110:1-7 consists of three sevens, a tetrastich together with a tristich following three times upon one another. The Rebia magnum in Psalm 110:2 is a security for this stichic division, and in like manner the Olewejored by חילך in Psalm 110:3, and in general the interpunction required by the sense. And Psalm 110:1 and Psalm 110:2 show decisively that it is to be thus divided into 4 + 3 lines; for Psalm 110:1 with its rhyming inflexions makes itself known as a tetrastich, and to take it together with Psalm 110:2 as a heptastich is opposed by the new turn which the Psalm takes in Psalm 110:2. It is also just the same with Psalm 110:4 in relation to Psalm 110:3 : these seven stichs stand in just the same organic relation to the second divine utterance as the preceding seven to the first utterance. And since Psalm 110:1-4 give twice 4 + 3 lines, Psalm 110:5-7 also will be organized accordingly. There are really seven lines, of which the fifth, contrary to the Masoretic division of the verse, forms with Psalm 110:7 the final tristich.

The Psalm therefore bears the threefold impress of the number seven, which is the number of an oath and of a covenant. Its impress, then, is thoroughly prophetic. Two divine utterances are introduced, and that not such as are familiar to us from the history of David and only reproduced here in a poetic form, as with Ps 89 and 132, but utterances of which nothing is known from the history of David, and such as we hear for the first time here. The divine name Jahve occurs three times. God is designedly called Adonaj the fourth time. The Psalm is consequently prophetic; and in order to bring the inviolable and mysterious nature even of its contents into comparison with the contemplation of its outward character, it has been organized as a threefold septiad, which is sealed with the thrice recurring tetragamma.*

First of all, I included this, so you can see the sort of thing which I occasionally plow through. I am hoping that, for the majority of those who read this, your first reaction is, huh? That, in fact, was my initial response.

Okay, now my first understanding of this was, there are three sets of seven lines in this psalm. No, there are not. Vv. 1–3 is seven lines; vv. 5–7 is seven lines; however, that leaves v. 4, which is two (or three) lines. Or, in the alternative, vv. 1–3 is seven lines, vv. 4–6 is seven lines; and now we end with v. 7, which is two lines.

What Keil and Delitzsch do is, divide vv. 1–2 into 7 lines, vv. 3–4 into 7 lines, and then vv. 5–7 into 7 lines. I don’t know if I can buy into that, but I am putting this out there. Sometimes, David’s organization does not reveal itself to me until after the psalm has been exegeted, and then it becomes more clear to me.

* Quoted from Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament; from e-Sword; Psalm 110.


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This psalm, like Psalms 89 and 132, cannot be matched with any incident in David’s life, and must be taken therefore as prophetic. This may seem like a simply point, particularly when we get into the body of this psalm; however, it is important to begin with the most basic information and build from there.


Matthew Henry and others organize this passage up differently:

Matthew Henry’s Organization of Psalm 110*

I. His prophetical office (Psalm 110:2).

II. His priestly office (Psalm 110:4).

III. His kingly office (Psalm 110:1, Psalm 110:3, Psalm 110:5, Psalm 110:6).

IV. His estates of humiliation and exaltation (Psalm 110:7).

Here’s the problem: where it is clear that our Lord’s priestly office is in view in v. 4, and His kingly office in vv. 1 and 5; the rest are a stretch. This is a problem of the author having a preconceived notion, and then forcing the text into that notion.

Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge Organize Psalm 110**

Psalm 110:1, The kingdom;

Psalm 110:4, the priesthood;

Psalm 110:5, the conquest;

Psalm 110:7, and the passion of Christ.

Apart from v. 7, the other three are evident.

Spurgeon and Alexander Organize Psalm 110†

1.    The introduction, Psalm 110:1-3;

2.    The central thought, Psalm 110:4;

3.    The supplementary verses, Psalm 110:5-7

This appears to be the most reasonable of this group. The problem is, when one introduces what they believe should be the breakdown; and then they artificially force the psalm into fitting into that mold.

Barnes’ Organization of Psalm 110††

I. The appointment of the Messiah - acknowledged by the author of the psalm as his “Lord” - to that high office, to be held until he should subdue all his enemies, Psalm 110:1.

II. His being endowed with “power” needful for the accomplishment of the design for which he was appointed, Psalm 110:2.

III. The assurance that his people would be made “willing” in the day when he should put forth his power, Psalm 110:3.

IV. The special characteristic of his reign, as that of a “priest-king,” after the order of Melchizedek; combining the two functions of king and priest in his own person and office, Psalm 110:4.

V. His conquest and triumph, Psalm 110:5-7.

Barnes’s breakdown is much like Spurgeon’s, and therefore also the most reasonable.

Clarke Organizes Psalm 110‡

1.    The Messiah sits in his kingdom at the right hand of God, his enemies being subdued under him, Psalm 110:1–2.

2.    The nature and extent of his government, Psalm 110:3.

3.    His everlasting priesthood, Psalm 110:4.

4.    His execution of justice and judgment, Psalm 110:5–6.

5.    The reason on which all this is founded, his passion and exaltation, Psalm 110:7

Scofield Organizes Psalm 110‡‡

 1)   It affirms the deity of Jesus, thus answering those who deny the full divine meaning of his New Testament Title of "Lord." (Matt. 22:41-45 Mark 12:35-37 Luke 20:41-44 Acts 2:34 2:35 Heb. 1:13 10:12 10:13).

 2)    This Psalm announces the eternal priesthood of Messiah -- one of the most important statements of Scripture (Psalm 110:4).

 3)    Historically, the Psalm begins with the ascension of Christ (Psalm 110:1 John 20:17 Acts 7:56 Rev. 3:21).

 4)    Prophetically, the Psalm looks on

        a)    to the time when Christ will appear as the Rod of Jehovah's strength, the Deliverer out of Zion. Rom. 11:25-27) and the conversion of Israel; Psalm 110:3 Joel 2:27 Zech. 13:9 Deut. 30:1-9

        b)    to the judgment upon the Gentile powers which precedes the setting up of the kingdom Psalm 110:5 Psalm 110:6 Joel. 3:9-17 Zech. 14:1-4 Rev. 19:11-21.

Spurgeon, Barnes, Scofield and Clarke are all essentially in agreement here. Furthermore, they do not insert what they would like to see here.

*  Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible; courtesy of E-sword, Psalm 110.

** Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge; by Canne, Browne, Blayney, Scott, and others about 1880, with introduction by R. A. Torrey; courtesy of E-sword, Psalm 110.

†  Charles Haddon Spurgeon, A Treasury of David; e-Sword, Psalm 110.

†† Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament; from e-Sword, Psalm 110.

‡  Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible; from e-Sword, Psalm 110.

‡‡ The New Scofield Reference Bible; Dr. C.I. Scofield; ©1967 New York⋅Oxford University Press; p. 655.


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Now, what is perfectly proper, and indisputable, is to see this as the psalm about the Priest-King. Although there were some kings who attempted to hold both of those positions (recall King Saul when he slaughtered a few animals, thinking that Samuel would not arrive in time); only David and Solomon came close to holding and properly executing those two positions (David in his dedication of the Ark of God and Solomon when he dedicated the Temple).


When you look at these various organizations, where some are obviously designed to force this psalm into a preconceived arrangement, you may think, why bother with most of these exegetes? That is a good question, and there are three reasons.

Why Bother with Other Commentaries?

1.    You never know when one author may have an insight that the others do not. Obviously, this will be more true of some than of others.

2.    Sometimes even the worst exegete can say something which suggests to me a different approach to a passage and this sometimes unlocks a passage for me.

3.    There is some information which can be absolutely unique to one exegete. For example, although Rotherham is often very helpful in pointing out alternate readings, he was only partially helpful. Clarke gave very specific alternate readings for this psalm which essentially has unlocked certain verses for me.

4.    Some authors, although they are very dense and difficult to plow through, are a source of excellent information and insight (I am thinking particularly of Keil and Delitzsch).

Since I am not on a time line, and since I doubt seriously that I will ever get through the entire Bible (or even the Old Testament); I can focus on whatever it is I am studying, without regard for a time limit. You might say, the enjoyment is in the traveling as opposed to being in the final destination.


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Psalm 110 Inscription

 

Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

For David, a psalm:

Psalm

110 inscription

A Psalm of David:

A Psalm of David:


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Early translations:

 

The Dead Sea Scrolls            .

The Peshitta                          (none)

The Septuagint                      A Psalm of David.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       (A psalm by David.)

REB                                       For David: a psalm


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         A psalm by David.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Of David. A psalm.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Updated Emphasized Bible   David’s.         A Melody.

MKJV                                     A Psalm of David.

Young's Updated LT              A Psalm of David.


What is the gist of this verse? This is a psalm that David wrote.


Psalm 110 inscription

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

mizemôwr (רמז ̣מ) [pronounced mizê-MOHR]

melody, song, poem, psalm

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4210 BDB #274


Translation: A Psalm of David: As we have discussed, this was the way that a by line was established for a psalm. David wrote this psalm, and it makes infinitely more sense when so understood. However, the phrasing is important, as this psalm is just as much for David as it is by him. That is, David, in writing this, was blessed, just like we who read it 3000 years later.


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Jesus Christ, from the First Advent to the Second


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

A declaration of Yehowah to my Adonai:

“Sit to My right hand until I place Your enemies a stood for Your feet.”

Psalm

110:1

Yehowah declares to my Adonai,

“Sit to My right hand until I place Your enemies [as] Your footstool.”

Jehovah declared to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Early translations:

 

The Septuagint                      The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit on My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at my right side, until I make your enemies into a footstool for you.”

NLT                                        The Lord said to my Lord,

“Sit in honor at my right hand

until I humble your enemies,

making them a footstool under your feet.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit in the highest position in heaven until I make your enemies your footstool.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        The Lord said to my lord,

“Sit at My right hand

while I make your enemies your footstool.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                The Lord (God) says to my Lord [the Messiah], Sit You at My right hand, until I make Your adversaries Your footstool.

MKJV                                     Jehovah said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand until I place Your enemies as Your footstool.

Young's Updated LT              The affirmation of Jehovah to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand, Till I make your enemies your footstool.”


What is the gist of this verse? God the Father says to God the Son, “Sit, while I subdue your enemies.”


This is an amazing verse of Scripture. It is quoted or alluded to no fewer than 13 times in the New Testament.


Psalm 110:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

neûm (םֻאנ) [pronounced ne-OOM]

declaration, revelation, utterance, saying, oracle

masculine singular construct

Strong's #5001 & 5002 BDB #610

BDB lists this as a masculine noun (Strong’s #5002) and Gesenius lists this as the passive participle construct of Strong’s #5001. According to Gesenius, this means to murmur, to speak in a low voice; especially used of the voice of God. Wigram lists this as the Qal participle and lists both Strong numbers. In either case, we are generally speaking of the voice of God or the Word of God (compare Gen. 22:16 Num. 14:28 Isa. 1:24 3:15 Jer. 1:8 2:19 Ezek. 5:11). There are several hundred passages where this is God speaking; only a few that I found where it was not (II Sam. 23:1 Psalm 36:1 Prov. 30:1).

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âdôwn (ןד ָא) [pronounced aw-DOHN]

lord, master, owner, superior, sovereign; transliterated adonai

masculine singular noun with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong’s #113 BDB #10

There is at least one Hebrew manuscript which reads הוהיל (to Jehovah) here. Footnote Therefore, it would read, Jehovah said to Jehovah. The reason that this is so interesting is, we could see a copyist actually making a change from Yehowah to Adonai; making a change the other way would be much less likely (of course, such a change could reasonably be a typo).


Translation: Yehowah declares to my Adonai,... Quite briefly, the Trinity means that God is one essence, one in union, but He exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, we do not have some doctrines clearly presented as they are in the New. However, even from the very beginning, the Trinity is alluded to in Scripture. In Gen. 1:26a, Elohim said, “Let Us make man in Our image.” This is where, in fact, we studied the doctrine of The Trinity in the Old Testament. In Isa. 43:16, we have God speaking: “Come near to Me, listen to this: ‘From the first I have not spoken in secret. From the time it took place, I was there, and now Adonai Jehovah has sent Me and His Spirit.’ ”


The Genesis account of creation gives us an excellent picture of how we can differentiate between the 3 members of the Trinity. God the Father planned the creation and restoration of the earth; God the Son executed the plan of God; and God the Holy Spirit provided the power or energy to first create and then later to restore the earth. This can be easily illustrated by the building of the house where you live right now. An architect planned this house; it may have been a team of architects, and the plans may have gone through several stages (perhaps you yourself took part in some of the details). Separate from this are the men who built your house (analogous to God the Son). I had an extensive addition put onto my house, and the person who drew up the plans, based upon my ideas, never met the people who actually built the addition. Besides this, there needs to be power. Modern-day building provides us with an excellent illustration of this: builders use power saws and nailers powered by air compressors, so much of the power ultimately comes from electricity, which is completely separate from the architect and from the actual builders. This electricity—or whatever power is required—illustrates the function of God the Holy Spirit.


In this first phrase, since God the Father and God the Son are eternal and omniscient, they do not have to speak in order to communicate. The declaration here is for our benefit. In fact, the act of speaking here alluded to could probably be considered an anthropopathism. God the Son definitely speaks, as He taught throughout the 3 years of His public ministry; and He spoke to his disciples after He was resurrected from the dead; however, he spoke because that is the way that we are able to understand Him. God the Father definitely speaks, because when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptizer, God said, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased.” (Matt. 3:17). God the Father again said this to the three disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:5). These are real instances where God spoke and His voice was heard. However, here, it is less certain that there are audible voices in order to communicate what we have here.


Various theologians, cults, and, of course, Jews, offer different interpretations to this psalm. However, one cannot deny that it is Jehovah God who is speaking; and the person to Whom He speaks is David’s Adonai. David, prior to being made king, might refer to Saul as his adonai or to God as his Adonai or to the Messiah as Adonai (but Messiah would have to be more than simply a royal son of David); other than that, there is no other person that David would address as lord (adonai). After David becomes king, that would eliminate Saul was the list of possibilities. Later in this verse, Jehovah tells David’s Lord to sit at His right hand. Again, it is unlikely that we could be speaking of a revolutionary or kingly hero, a descendant of David. What mere man could sit on the right hand of God? What man in human history could we point to and say, “Oh, yeah, he should sit next to God”? There is no one. There is no mere man who is deserving of this honor. By using simple logic, we are forced to the most logical interpretation that my Adonai is a reference to Jesus Christ, the God-man.


Psalm 110:1 is one of the most quoted verses in the New Testament. We first find this in Matt. 22:44. However, let us integrate into the context. The Herodians, a political party which supported Herod, along with some Pharisee students, try to get Jesus to say something that would mark Him as a traitor or a revolutionary. However, what Jesus says was reasonable to both of these divergent groups (Matt. 22:15–22). Then, the Sadducees attempt to trip Jesus up by asking Him about what happens to a woman who is married several times according to the Law, and whose husband would she be in heaven (Matt. 22:23–28). This is a ridiculous question from anyone; but it is even more ridiculous as emanating from the Sadducees, who did not even believe in the resurrection. Jesus not only answers them (Matt. 22:29–32), but actually shuts them down (Matt. 22:34). This causes the Pharisees to attempt to pose a difficult question to Jesus about the Law, which Jesus answered (Matt. 22:34–40).


None of these groups are eliciting information. They are only interest is in formulating a question which Jesus cannot answer or which makes Jesus look bad. Then Jesus asks them a question. Now, while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Messiah [the Christ]—whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “[He is the Son] of David.” He then said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet.” ’? If David calls Him ‘Lord’, how is He his son?” (Matt. 22:41–45; see also Mark 12:35–37 Luke 20:41–44). At this point, the Pharisees have no answer for Jesus, and they no longer bother Him with questions. Footnote Our understanding of these few words is, this is God the Father speaking to God the Son. Once Jesus has died for our sins and is received into heaven, then He will wait for the completion of history at which time all of His enemies are placed under Him.


The explanation is not difficult for us. Jesus is the Son of David, as His humanity is in David’s line—both the line of David’s stepfather, Joseph (Matt. 1:1–17), and of His mother, Mary (Luke 3:23–38). The first line establishes out Lord’s legal claim to the throne (as it is the royal line of David), and the second establishes His natural blood line back to David. Footnote However, Jesus is also Jehovah, the Lord of David, as He is the Son of God, by God the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:20). The problem is, the pharisees did not have a full understanding of the Messiah to come. They expected, essentially, a super-David. They certainly did not fully grasp that Jesus is God; and, in those days, they expected a revolutionary. In any case, their blindness was, in fact, due to not believing in Jesus.


Psalm 110:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

yâshab (ב ַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

to remain, to stay, to inhabit, to sit, to dwell

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yâmîyn (ןי ̣מָי) [pronounced yaw-MEEN]

the right hand, the right side, on the right, at the right; the south

feminine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #3225 BDB #411


Translation:...“Sit to My right hand... God the Father asks God the Son to sit at His right hand. This was known in the ancient world as the place of prominence. After Jesus had done His work here on earth—dying for our sins, God resurrected his human body and placed Him in a place of prominence and distinction, at His right hand. He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenlies, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the age to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church (Eph. 1:20b–22). The high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said, "I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." (Mark 14:61b–2; see also Luke 22:69). But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55; see also Col. 3:1 Heb 1:3). The writer of Hebrews speaks of Jesus as being the true High Priest, as One Who sits on the right hand of God in the True Tabernacle and Sanctuary of God (Heb. 8:1). In this context, one of the most important points of the writer of Hebrews is that, unlike the priests who offered sacrifice after sacrifice for sins, Jesus died once for all and then sat down on the right hand of God (Heb. 10:10–12). Based upon Psalm 110:1 alone, it is a stretch to give any other interpretation to this passage than God the Father speaking to God the Son. However, add in the New Testament and only the most negative person could attempt to understand this verse in any other way.


I should also point out that the Lord Jesus sits because His work is completed. He went to the cross on our behalf; so, after His resurrection and ascension, His work (until the Tribulation) has been completed. What now unfolds now is the remainder of the plan of God for the Church Age. This, by the way, explains why we pray to God the Father in the name of God the Son. God the Son is seated; God the Father is the One Who is active.

 

Matthew Henry makes some good observations at this point: Sitting is a resting posture; after His services and sufferings, He entered into rest from all His labours. It is a ruling posture; He sits to give law, to give judgment. It is a remaining posture; He sits like a King forever. Sitting at the right hand of God denotes both His dignity and His dominion, the honour put upon Him and the trusts reposed in Him by the Father. All the favours that come from God to man, and all the service that comes from man to God, pass through His hand. Footnote


I should mention that, even though Mark 16:19 appears to be a fulfillment of this verse—Jesus is received up into heaven and sits down at the right hand of God—vv. 9–20 were apparently appended to the book of Mark sometime after the first century a.d.


Also, this explains our empowerment—we are empowered by God the Holy Spirit, Who was sent to indwell and fill us. Since Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God. He is not here on earth; therefore, He has sent to us a Comforter, God the Holy Spirit.


The right hand of God is also seen to be the hand which extracts vengeance upon His enemies. Ex. 15:6: Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy (see also Deut. 33:2 Psalm 21:8 74:11 98:1 108:6 138:7 139:10 Isa. 41:10). This verse, in context, refers to God taking out pharaoh’s army during the exodus. Obviously, there is no allusion here to the Messiah being an enemy of God. Sitting at God’s right hand is different than being struck by God’s right hand.


God’s right hand is also seen as protection of those whom He loves, as David writes: You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great (Psalm 18:35; see also Psalm 20:6 44:3 60:5 63:8 73:23).


Now, having said all of that, please recall that, even though God the Son can literally sit, as He possesses a resurrection body, God the Father does not. “God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). God the Father does not have a literal right hand; He is not sitting; He does not have a bodily form. All of these concepts here, when applied to God the Father, are anthropomorphic. What we have throughout this verse is language of accommodation—words used, a description given, so that we may comprehend on our level what is occurring. With reference to our salvation, God the Son has completed His work by this point in time; He has paid for our sins by taking them on His Own body on the cross. This phase of His work has been completed. God the Father, Who planned our salvation; Who planned human history to the last detail, allowing us free will, now is allowing history to take its course, according to His perfect plan. Because of this, Jesus now sits at God’s right hand.


Tangent: have you ever wondered why we are commanded in Scripture to pray to God the Father and not to God the Son? It is because, God the Father is still active in His plan and God the Son has completed His work (until the Tribulation and His second advent).


Psalm 110:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳ad (דַע) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

shîyth (תי ̣ש) [pronounced sheeth]

 to put, to set, place; to appoint; to arrange, to set in order; to found; to station

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7896 BDB #1011

âyabv (בַי ָא) [pronounced aw-YABV]

enemy, the one being at enmity with you; enmity, hostility

masculine plural, Qal active participle with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #340 BDB #33

hădôm (םֹדֲה) [pronounced huh-DOHM]

stool, footstool

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #1916 BDB #213

lâ8med (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

regel (ל ג ר) [pronounced REH-gel]

foot, feet

feminine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7272 BDB #919

Eight manuscripts leave out the lâmed preposition here; and feet is treated as a genitive (which is in keeping with the Septuagint, Vulgate and Arabic translations). Also, regel (foot, feet) is in the singular in several manuscripts. Footnote

You may be thinking, this really does not change the meaning of this verse; why mention it? The idea is, even when variant readings are taken into account, the meaning is often unchanged.


Translation: ...until I place Your enemies [as] Your footstool.” The enemies of Jesus Christ are the enemies of God are our enemies: Satan and his demon corps. Being made a footstool means that they will be put into subjection under Christ. Keil and Delitzsch make an interesting point here: The history of time ends with the triumph of good over evil, —not, however, with the annihilation of evil, but with its subjugation. Footnote


When Peter explains that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead and received into heaven, he said, “This Jesus, God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore, having been exalted at that right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured fourth this which you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” ’ Therefore, let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ [Messiah]—this Jesus Whom you have crucified!” (Acts 2:32–36).


The writer of Hebrews explains how Jesus Christ is superior to the angels by stating, To which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” (Heb. 1:13).


Paul simply alludes to the fact that God would place all things under the feet of Jesus in I Cor. 15:25 Eph. 1:22.


As I will discuss in greater detail when we come to it in the narrative, when David was faced with having Sault his mercy, David’s men suggested that he kill Saul, and apparently misquote and misapply this verse back to him. It is for this reason that I have placed Psalm 110 at the end of I Sam. 23 (although David could have written this psalm anytime prior to I Sam. 24). At that time, I will suggest all alternate psalms which may be in agreement with this.


Since Psalm 110:1 is quoted so often in Scripture, it may be a good idea to arrange this information into a table, to make it easier to follow. Each time we find this passage quoted, the author (or speaker) is making a point, and many times, there is a different emphasis or different doctrine being discussed than we find elsewhere. I must admit to being surprised at the richness of the application of this verse.

New Testament Quotations of Psalm 110:1

Scripture

Full or partial Quotation

The Point Being Made

Matt. 22:41-46 Mark 12:35-37 Luke 20:41-44

Now while the pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, "What do you think about the Christ [or, Messiah] ? Whose Son is He?"


They said to him, "The son of David."


He said to them, "How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, "'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet'? If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?" And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions (Matt. 22:41–46).

The pharisees continued to try to trip Jesus up with theological and Scriptural questions. They had no interest in learning anything; their questions were designed to confuse the issue. Their purpose was to discredit Jesus Christ by asking Him a question that they believed He could not answer.


At the time of this incident, we are very close to the cross and the Apostles made preparations for the final Passover (Luke 22). Jesus was in the Temple teaching, and there was a crowd there, enjoying His teaching (Mark 12:35, 37).


The pharisees had gathered together, and they no doubt had questions prepared. So now Jesus asks them a question, which is pertinent to their time, as He is so close to the cross. The point Jesus makes is, “Who is this Messiah? If He is merely a son of David, why does David call Him Lord (Adonai)? Why would David call his own descendant Lord?” We know the answer: Jesus Christ is the perfect God-man, descended from David in His humanity, but Lord over all. However, the pharisees did not know this, despite the fact that they had studied theology and the Scriptures.


As we see, these final words, which caused the pharisees to back off, provided Jesus with some uninterrupted teaching time, which was important, as His time on this earth was drawing to a close.

Acts 2:34

"Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.' Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."


Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"


And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:29–38)

This is Peter’s famous sermon at Pentecost. Peter culminates with this quotation. When Jesus was speaking to the pharisees in the passage above, His disciples were there as well (Luke 20:45). Peter certainly did not understand what Jesus said at the time, however, God the Holy Spirit brought this to his mind when teaching and presenting the gospel. The power of this one verse in identifying the Messiah could not be underestimated. Most of Peter’s sermon that day consisted of Scriptural quotations, and this particular one tells those listening where Jesus Christ is. David has already quoted Psalm 16:9–11, as proof that the Messiah would rise from the dead; and Peter tells the crowd that David is dead and buried and that this does not apply to him (and in the passage quoted, Peter also makes it clear that David was not speaking of himself there either—Acts 2:34).


Then Peter quotes Psalm 110:1 as the culmination of a gospel message, to clearly identify Jesus as the Christ. “God made Jesus Lord and Messiah, the Jesus you crucified!” The people there, many of whom had approved of the crucifixion, were cut to their hearts, and pleaded with the Apostles, “What should we do?” Peter tells them to change their mind about Jesus (repent) and then to take a public stand that they have been forgiven for their sins (baptism). Changing their mind about Jesus Christ is tantamont to believing in Him.

Acts 7:55–56

But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." (Acts 7:55–56).

This is what Stephen declared when he was about to be martyred. What we have here is a raising of the stakes. Stephen was the first Christian martyr, a man stoned to death for what he said and believed. Satan’s absolute hatred of anything holy is

1Cor. 15:25

If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "all things are put in subjection," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all (1Cor. 15:19–28).

The Scripture quoted here is actually Psalm 8:6; however, it is the same principle. In Psalm 8:6, God the Father places all things in subjection to God the Son. I should mention that, this is not the original intent of this passage—in Psalm 8:6, the idea is God the Father places all of His creation under the feet of man. However, here, Paul takes that verse and applies it to God the Father destroying the final enemy, which is death; this places death under the feet of Jesus Christ. In Psalm 110:1, we have a very similar phrasing, which is properly applied, as Paul does here, to God the Father and God the Son.


Paul is making a point about death. He believes in a living Jesus, not a dead one. And since Jesus arose from the dead, we will arise from the dead. What we are waiting for is for God the Father to put all things in subjection to God the Son; that final thing being death.


Hopefully, you see the necessity of referencing both passages in the psalms. In Psalm 8:6, all things are subjected to Him. Since Adam sinned, he abrogated his kingdom. He would have to work just to subjugate the ground itself. In Psalm 110:1, we know that this refers to God the Son. However, in the latter passage, it is only His enemies. In fact, this is not only Christ’s enemies which will be under his feet, but all things.

Eph. 1:20, 22

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph. 1:17–23).

This is a prayer of Paul’s, given in thanks for the church in Ephesus. In the main of this prayer, Paul also teaches a little. He asks that God the Father give the Ephesians a spirit of wisdom and knowledge, that they may understand the immeasurable greatness of His power—that same power which raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenlies. Paul’s emphasis here was upon knowing God’s great power, and raising Jesus from the dead and seating Him at God’s right hand is but one manifestation of that power.


Paul’s second point is the authority of Jesus Christ, a God has placed all things under His feet, establishing Him above all rule and authority.

Heb. 1:3

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs (Heb. 1:1–4).

The writer of Hebrews quotes over 25 passages from the Old Testament (many of them extended passages). The first three chapters is approximately half quotations from the Old Testament. Although we do not know who wrote this book, we do know that Paul would have loved to have been the one to write this book, as a Hebrew to his fellow countrymen.


In this passage, the emphasis is, Jesus is much higher than any of the angels (which, by the way, throws a monkey wrench into the theology of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who teach that Jesus is but an angel).


The portion of Psalm 110 alluded to here, is the fact that after His death and resurrection, Jesus sat down at the right hand of God (in accordance with Old Testament Scripture), making Him superior to all angels.

Heb. 1:13

And to which of the angels has he ever said, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"? Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? (Heb. 1:13–14).

The writer of Hebrews concludes His point by quoting Psalm 110:1, again emphasizing that God at not time told an angel to sit at His right hand while He subdues that angel’s enemies. It is interesting that the writer leaves out the first part of this verse, which is a clincher (Jehovah said to my Adonai...). I believe the writer’s thinking was, let the skeptical reader look this up; he will be even more convicted in his soul.

Heb. 10:13

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified (Heb. 10:10–14).

At this point, the writer of Hebrews uses Psalm 110:1 to emphasize the finality of our Lord’s offering for our sins. The High Priest day after day offers sacrifices, and these sacrifices can never take away the sins which were committed. However, Jesus Christ offered up Himself one time for sins, and so sanctified us. The proof of this was, He sat down at the right hand of God while God the Father made His enemies a footstool for Him.

Heb. 12:2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood (Heb 12:1–4).

The context of this verse is staying in fellowship, as we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses (the angelic conflict Footnote ). We are to look to Jesus, Whose pain, suffering and shame was far greater than anything we could imagine; let alone, endure. We look to Him, for inspiration, as He is now on the right hand of the throne of God (the implication is, there is great consequence in our actions, as well as great, eternal rewards).

1Peter 3:22

God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him (1Peter 3:20b–22).

Peter’s train of thought is a little more difficult to follow in this passage. The overall topic of this chapter is doing right instead of wrong, even if you suffer for doing that which is right (see 1Peter 3:17). Peter concludes with the example of Jesus, Who died for sins, once for all, the just for the unjust, in order to bring us to God (1Peter 3:18b). Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead, after which he preached to the spirits in prison (v. 19), those from the days of Noah who were disobedient (half-angel, half-man). God saved Noah and his family through water, the same water which is used to baptize us. Baptism, which saves us, represents the resurrection of Christ. Peter makes the point that, it is not the water that saves us, but the resurrection of our Lord which saves us, as Christ is now at the right hand of God, with all angels and authorities being subjected to Him. What we may have here is a certain amount of free association (which in no way invalidates what Peter is saying).

These twelve passages illustrate just how rich in meaning Psalm 110:1 is.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index

Let us complete this verse by summarizing points on Psalm 110:1.

A Summary of Psalm 110:1

1.    The translation of Psalm 110:1 reads: Yehowah declares to my Adonai, “Sit to My right hand until I place Your enemies [as] Your footstool.”

2.    The first Lord is God the Father.

3.    My Lord (which is said by David, the writer of this psalm), is Jesus Christ, David’s greater Son, David’s Son Who will rule forever.

4.    In most cases, the son or descendant of the king would call the father lord; but David calls his descendant Lord. He calls Jesus Christ my Adonai.

5.    The first phrase tells us that we are not speaking of David or any of the historic kings of Judah.

6.    The quotation is God the Father speaking to God the Son.

7.    The right hand of a king or potentate is always seen as a place of honor, where as sitting at the left hand is seen as a place of dishonor (this is the Old Testament; this is not how things operate today).

8.    This undoubtedly explains, “Charlie Brown, you’re my right-hand man.”

9.    God the Father bades God the Son to sit in a place of great honor.

10.  God the Son is not tired; however, His work (up until this point in time) is finished.

11.  God the Son went to the cross and paid the penalty for our sins. God the Father and God the Holy Spirit recognized this as an efficacious sacrifice and raised Him from the dead.

12.  After preaching to the saints in heaven, God the Son goes to be with God the Father.

13.  God the Father planned all that would happen in eternity past. He decreed what would happen in eternity past. God the Father knew every action, everything thought, every sin, every mistake, ever decision and all natural physical progressions of the earth and space and He designed a plan, taking all of those things into account.

14.  The most important phase of this plan, from our standpoint, is that Jesus Christ came to this earth in bodily form, the God-man, and He died for our sins.

15.  Jesus Christ, with His death on the cross, broke the back of Satan.

16.  Jesus Christ, with His death on the cross, made it possible for man to have fellowship with God.

17.  All of the things which stood between us and God have been removed.

       a.    We are born with Adam’s imputed sin; Adam, as the father of the human race, made a decision for all of us: he sinned. That sin is imputed to all of us since eternity past. It is just like a president declaring war; it does not matter what we think, what we think we should do, or what we think we would have done if we were in his shoes—we are at war. It is the same when Adam, as the federal head of the human race, made the choice to sin against God. He plunged the entire human race into war against God.

       b.    Because Adam fell, there was a physical change of sorts in him and in the world. One of the manifestations of that change was that he passed along his new sin nature to his sons and daughters. Every one of us, by virtue of birth, comes equipped now with an old sin nature. It is this old sin nature which leads us to sin. It is our volition, make no mistake about it, which makes the decision to sin. However, inside of us, we have a tempter. God cannot have fellowship with us as we have the innate desire to sin. We all carry within us the normal desire to do that which is against God. Just because we have a personal desire which is declared normal by society and just because other people have that same desire to commit that same sin, does not make it any less a sin.

       c.     Because we choose to sin, we also have personal sins which stand between us and God. These three things stand between us and God.

       d.    When God the Son went to the cross, he took upon Himself all of our personal sins, from Adam to the last person in history, and He took upon Himself the penalty for those sins. In the final six hours of the cross, Jesus Christ bore the sins of the world. The penalty, which appears to be more than anyone could bear, is concentrated into six hours of time and endured by Jesus Christ. He cried aloud on the cross, over and over, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” By taking upon Himself the sins of the world, Jesus Christ removed those three barriers which block us from having fellowship with God.

       e.    When the final sin had been paid for, the culmination of suffering an eternity of hells from each and every person, Jesus Christ declared, “It is finished.” and he exhaled His final breath and died. His work had been completed (apart from the victorious proclamation to the saints).

18.  However, the plan of God continues. Even though our Lord’s death on our behalf effected salvation for us, we have to make a free-will choice to believe in Him. Therefore, God’s plan must go up to a point where, of all the people on the earth, the last person on positive volition makes a choice to believe in Jesus Christ.

19.  Therefore, God the Father, after the Son’s completed work, continues to work. God the Father continues to see His plan through to the end.

20.  Part of that plan is to put the enemies of Jesus Christ under his feet; that is, bring them into submission.

21.  This would be the devil and his angels. Once they have been subdued, as per God the Father’s plan, then this verse will have been completed.

22.  God the Father will subdue all of our Lord’s enemies while our Lord sits at His right hand.

23.  Our Lord’s enemies were obviously not completely subdued at the time of writing, as Jesus is to sit down “...until I make all Your enemies Your footstool.” Furthermore, this was not completed immediately after the cross, as the writer of Hebrews observes: You have made him a little lower than the angels. You crowned him with glory and honor and set him over the works of Your hands. You subjected all things under his feet." For in subjecting all things to Him, He did not leave anything not subjected to Him. But now we do not see all things having been subjected to him. (Heb. 2:7–8).

It is amazing that one verse, so simple to translate, is so rich in meaning.


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A staff of strength sends forth Yehowah from Zion

Tread down in a midst of Your enemies.

Psalm

110:2

Yehowah sends forth a mighty scepter [or, tribe] out of Zion

Subdue [or, rule among] Your enemies.

Jehovah sends forth His mighty scepter out of Zion [or, Jehovah sends out a mighty tribe from Zion];

Rule in the midst of Your enemies!


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Early translations:

 

The Peshitta                          The Lord will send forth the scepter of His power out of Zion, and He will rule over Your enemies.

The Septuagint                      The Lord will send out a rod of power for You out of Sion; rule in the midst of Your enemies.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The LORD will let your power reach out from Zion, and you will rule over your enemies.

NAB                                       The scepter of yo8ur sovereign might

the Lord will extend from Zion.

NJB                                        Yahweh will stretch out the sceptre of your power;

from Zion you will rule your foes all around you.

NLT                                        The Lord will extend your powerful dominion from Jerusalem;

you will rule over your enemies.

REB                                       The Lord extends the sway of your powerful sceptre, saying,

‘From Zion reign over your enemies.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The LORD will extend your powerful scepter from Zion. Rule your enemies who surround you.

JPS (Tanakh)                        The Lord will stretch forth from Zion your mighty scepter,

hold sway over your enemies!


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                The Lord will send forth from Zion the scepter of Your strength; rule, then, in the midst of Your foes.

Updated Emphasized Bible   Yahweh will extend out of Zion <Your scepter of strength>,

You tread down, in the midst of Your foes.

MKJV                                     Jehovah shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion; rule in the midst of Your enemies.

Young's Updated LT              The rod of your strength does Jehovah send from Zion,

Rule in the midst of your enemies.


What is the gist of this verse? The Lord’s rulership will extend beyond Jerusalem, even though Zion (which is in the midst of Jerusalem) is surrounded by enemies.


Psalm 110:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

maţţeh (הַמ) [pronounced maht-TEH]

staff, branch, scepter, rod; branch; tribe

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4294 BDB #641

׳ôz (זֹע) [pronounced ģohz]

strength, might; firmness, defense, refuge, protection; splendor, majesty, glory praise

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5797 BDB #738

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for, to send forth, to send away, to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

Tsîyyôwn (ן̣צ) [pronounced tzee-YOHN]

dry, parched ground; and is transliterated Zion

proper noun location

Strong’s #6726 BDB #851


Translation: Yehowah sends forth a mighty scepter [or, tribe] out of Zion... Scepter (or staff) refers to rulership or dominion, something which Jacob spoke of on his deathbed 2000 years previously: “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples” (Gen. 49:10). So, even on his deathbed, Jacob could look down the corridors of future history and identify Judah as the ruling tribe of Israel. Tribute was not really taxes, but a reference to tribute brought to him from other countries. So, Jacob recognizes that a Son of Jacob would rule over more than just Israel (which David will foretell in the second half of this verse).


To be technical, there is no scepter; this is an anthropomorphism. Furthermore, not only is there no actual scepter, but a scepter is a metonymy—it stands in for—or represents—power and authority.


Part of understanding this verse will require us to have some sort of idea of what Zion is. This is actually one of the first mentions of Zion in Scripture (depending upon where we place this psalm in time). Therefore, we need to examine the Doctrine of Zion at this time.


Zion is an actual place, as we have seen in the doctrine, which is equivalent to the City of David. Its location seems to move, and what it designates varies (although, its meaning is generally easily ascertained by the context). In placing this psalm, one is immediately concerned with, which came first, the chicken or the egg. In this case, which came first, the spiritual connotation of Zion (which is what we find in this context) or its physical location? That is another difficult question, as we have a reason to support each side.

The Use of the Term Zion/When Did David Write this Psalm?

Firstly, Zion appears to move from one physical location to another, essentially following the Ark of God, which indicates to us that Zion is a spiritual term more than the name of a particular place. This would mean that David could have written this psalm at any time.

On the other hand, one source said the Zion was the name given to that fortress in Jerusalem 400 years before David conquered it, which seems to give Zion a real physical location which precedes its spiritual designation. Furthermore, this understanding would place this psalm sometime after II Sam. 5:7.

Let me offer you a third view, which may be the most accurate. The name and place of Zion was known to David even from his youth. There appears to be some sort of connection between David and Jerusalem which predates his conquering of Jerusalem. If he saw Zion as this great, impregnable fortress, known to him from his youth, then David might, through the guidance of God the Holy Spirit, use Zion to stand for the fortress of God (which is, of course, language of accommodation, since God is omniscient). This would allow for David to use the term Zion prior to his conquering of same, and to give it a spiritual connotation. What would confirm this position would be to find a psalm which was unquestionably written by David prior to II Sam. 5. However, even though the term Zion occurs 38 times in 31 different psalms in the book of Psalms, not one of those psalms unquestionably comes from this time period.

Here is the problem: although I really like solution #3, I cannot offer it unquestionably as the best solution to place this psalm in this time period, prior to David cutting the edge of Saul’s robe. Had there been even one psalm using the word Zion that came from this period of time, then I would have offered up solution #3 with dogmatism.

Many people write songs and poetry in stages and sometimes, it is only partially done, but they still might use it. When I was young, I attended a Simon and Garfunkle concert, and one song that they sang was unfinished at the time. They still sang it. So, perhaps David worked on this particular psalm for a long time, and, although we have the completed psalm today, what his soldiers may have heard was the incomplete version, which contained v. 1 (which is the only reason why I have placed this psalm where I have). I just saw a television show last night where a line of poetry was given to a musician, and from that, he composed a song. However, he began with that one line and a melody, which he sang prior to writing the entire song. This is possibly what David did.

You may ask, how can one inspired by God the Holy Spirit have any difficulties writing a psalm? Shouldn’t it just all come out? Not necessarily. In all Scripture, there is a decidedly human aspect. Each writer of Scripture maintains his vocabulary, his writing style, his personality. Therefore, that David should struggle to write a psalm, or begin to write it, and complete it at a later date, would not be out of the question. This would allow his soldiers to have heard the first line, even though David did not use the term Zion until much later.

You may not care for this, but after covering this, I am unable to give you a definitive answer or explanation.


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This verse tells us that the rule of Jehovah originates from Zion; as does Isa. 2:3b: The Law will for forth from Zion and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. Zech. 9:10 tells us how far His rule will extend in the Millennium: I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.


Psalm 110:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

râdâh (הָדָר) [pronounced raw-DAW]

to tread with the feet; to rule, to have dominion over, to subdue; to take possession of

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong’s #7287 BDB #921

Arabic and Aramaic read Footnote You will rule...

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

qereb (ב ר ק) [pronounced KEH-rebv]

midst, inward part

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #7130 BDB #899

With the bêyth preposition, it means in the midst of, among, into the midst of (after a verb of motion).

âyabv (בַי ָא) [pronounced aw-YABV]

enemy, the one being at enmity with you; enmity, hostility

masculine plural, Qal active participle with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #340 BDB #33


Translation: ...Subdue [or, rule among] Your enemies. David is speaking to God. He tells God to rule over, or tread over or subdue His enemies. This is not a call to proceed to the Millennium, but a call for God to dominate that general geographical area.

 

Again, let me remind you of the observation of Keil and Delitzsch: For the history of time ends with the triumph of good over evil, - not, however, with the annihilation of evil, but with its subjugation. This is the issue, inasmuch as absolute omnipotence is effectual on behalf of and through the exalted Christ. Footnote


Let me remind you of Hannah’s prophecy: The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed." (1Sam. 2:10). Let me add to this the prophecy of Balaam: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth. Edom shall be dispossessed; Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed. Israel is doing valiantly. And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion and destroy the survivors of cities!" (Num. 24:17–19).


Let me offer you one fulfillment of this verse in today’s history: Jesus Christ controls history; He does, in fact, rule in the midst of His enemies. Paul discusses the culmination of history in 1Cor. 15:24–28: Then the end, when He shall hand over the kingdom to God, even [the] Father, when He shall abolish every ruler and every authority and power. For it is necessary [for] Him to be reigning until He shall put all the enemies under His feet. [The] last enemy being abolished [is] death. For 'He put all [things] in subjection under His feet.' But when He says that all [things] have been subjected, [it is] evident that [this is] except for the One subjecting all the [things] to Him. Now when all the [things] are subjected to Him, then the Son also Himself will be subjected to One having subjected all the [things] to Him, so that God shall be the all in all. And the writer of Hebrews: "You put all [things] in subjection under his feet." For in the subjecting to him all [things], He left nothing unsubjected to him. But now we do not yet see all [things] having been subjected to him (Heb. 2:8).


Since this verse is not as well known as the first verse, we should examine...

A Summary of Psalm 110:2

1.    As per Psalm 110:1, God the Son must wait for God the Father to place all of His enemies under His feet.

2.    By simple observation, and according to Heb. 2:7–8, even still, not all things are subjected to Jesus Christ.

3.    The scepter mentioned refers to rulership. His mighty scepter stretching out over the land indicates that Jesus will rule over the land.

4.    At some point in time, Jesus will rule from a particular geographical area—we are told here that it is Zion; when He stands on this earth for His second advent, it will be the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4). However, He will rule from Zion, which is likely synonymous with the walled city of David.

5.    At the time of David’s writing, even until now, Jerusalem is surrounded by enemies of the Jews. There are men who are willing to die, if it means that can kill a handful of Jews as well—that is how deep their hatred runs.

6.    At the end of the tribulation, four great armies will converge on Jerusalem, to battle; the point being, hatred for the Jew runs deep. Satan certainly will have a hand in the armies converging here.

7.    At one time, I must admit that I questioned that the armies of the revived Roman empire would come from the north to destroy the Jews. However, in the year that tI write this, 2010, Europe is being inundated with Muslim immigrants, and it appears as thought they will overrun all of Europe within 50 years. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU

8.    From Zion, the authority of Jesus Christ will extend over the entire earth.

9.    Right now, all of the nation which surround Jerusalem are hostile toward the Jew and they are hostile toward the Christian and they are hostile toward God. For Jesus Christ to rule from Zion, means that he will rule from a place which is in the midst of His enemies.

10.  However, at some point in time, in the future, at the beginning of the Millennium, Christ’s rule will be complete and absolute. Those who oppose Him will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

11.  This is the point at which, all of Jesus’ enemies will be made a footstool for His feet (Psalm 110:1) and all things will be subject to Him (Heb. 2:8–9).


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Your people [are] willing volunteers [or, freewill offerings]

in a day of Your strength,

in majesties [or, mountains] of holiness

from a womb of morning

to You dew of Your young men.

Psalm

110:3

Your people [are] willing volunteers [or, freewill offerings] in the day of Your army [or, strength],

in majesties [or, ornaments; or, mountains] of holiness

from the womb of the morning,

Your young men [are] a mist to You [or, He sires You].

Your people willingly volunteer in the day You require an army [or, Authority will be with You in the day of your power],

as holy, majestic offerings from the midst of the morning [or, in the joyousness of Your saints (or, angels)]

Your young men are a mist to You [or, from the womb, before the morning, I have sired You].



You will note below a great deal of variance of the translations below; that means this is a very difficult verse to translate, and therefore to understand. Some of the words of this verse occur rarely in Scripture. Therefore, I approach the interpretation of this verse with great trepidation. It is not me only. Clarke says Psalm 110:3 has been woefully perverted. Footnote Barnes tells us that Every clause of the verse is obscure. Footnote Therefore, expect to spend a lot of time in this verse, and yet to walk away possibly unsatisfied with the final observations.


The key to understanding this verse may be in the alternative readings of it. I will also exegete this verse from the Greek Septuagint; however, bear in mind that the inspiration of Scripture does not extend to the Septuagint. However, also bear in mind that the Septuagint may represent a more accurate representation of the original text. Unfortunately, we do not find this psalm among the Dead Sea Scrolls.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Early translations:

 

The Latin Vulgate (Luther)     After thy victory shall Your people willingly bring an offering to You, in holy adorning: Your children shall be born to You as the dew of the morning.

The Peshitta                          Your people will be glorious in the day of Your power, arrayed in the beauty of holiness from the womb, I have begotten you as a child from the ages. .

The Septuagint                      With You is dominion in the day of Your power, in the splendors of Your saints [or, Holy things]. I have begotten You from the womb before the morning.

The Septuagint (Barnes)       With You is the beginning in the day of Your power, in the splendor of Your saints, from the womb, before the light of the morning have I begotten You.

 

Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Your glorious power will be seen on the day you begin to rule. You will wear the sacred robes and shine like the morning sun in all of your strength.

NAB                                       Yours is princely power from the day of your birth.

In holy splendor before the daystar,

Like the dew I begot you.”

NJB                                        Royal dignity has been yours from the day of your birth,

sacred honour from the womb, from the dawn of your youth.

NLT                                        In that day of battle,

your people will serve you willingly.

Arrayed in holy garments,

your vigor will be renewed each day like the morning dew.

REB                                       You gain the homage of your people

on the day of your power.

Arrayed in holy garments, a child of the dawn,

you have the dew of your youth.

 

Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Your people will volunteer when you call up your army. Your young people will come to you in holy splendor like dew in the early morning.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Your people come forward willingly on your day o battle.

In majestic holiness, from the womb,

from the dawn, yours was the dew of youth. [meaning of Hebrew uncertain]

NIV                                        In that day of battle,

your people will serve you willingly.

Arrayed in holy garments,

your vigor will be renewed each day like the morning dew.

 

Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Your people will offer themselves willingly in the day of Your power, in the beauty of holiness and in holy array out of the womb of the morning; to You will spring forth Your young men who are as the dew.

Professr Alexander                Your people (are) free-will offerings in the day of Your power, in holy decorations, from the womb of the dawn, to You (is) the dew of Your youth.

DeWitte (updated)                 Willingly shall Your people show themselves to You on the day of the assembling of thy host in holy adorning, as from the womb of the morning, Your youth (vigor) shall be as the dew.

Updated Emphasized Bible   ║Your people║ will freely offer themselves in the day of Your army,—

<In the splendours of holiness [or, in (or on) the mountains of holiness; or, in the holy mountains] Footnote , out of the womb of the dawn>

To You [will spring forth] the dew of Your youth. [See the Hebrew for additional alternate readings].

MKJV                                     Your people shall be willing in the day of Your power, in holy adornment from the womb of the morning: You have the dew of Your youth.

NRSV                                    You people will offer themselves willingly

on the day you lead your forces

on the holy mountains.

From the womb of the morning,

like dew, your youth will come to you.

Young's Updated LT              Your people are free-will gifts in the day of Your strength, in the honours of holiness,

From the womb, from the morning, You have the dew of your youth.

 

What is the gist of this verse? This is a difficult verse to interpret. Apparently, Jews will turn to Jesus and offer themselves willingly in the final days; offering themselves willingly means that they obey Jesus in the last days. The youth will be as dew every morning—abundant and always there.

 

Psalm 110:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

nedâbâh (הָבָדנ) [pronounced ne-DAWb-VAW]

freewill, readiness of mind [to give], freely, with a willing mind, willing to volunteer; a spontaneous offering, a freewill sacrifice; largeness, abundance

feminine plural noun

Strong’s #5071 BDB #621

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yôwm (םי) [pronounced yohm]

day; today (with a definite article)

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

chayil (ל̣יַח) [pronounced CHAH-yil]

army, strength, valour, power, might; efficiency; and that which is gotten through strength—wealth, substance

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #2428 BDB #298

 

Translation: Your people [are] willing volunteers [or, freewill offerings] in the day of Your army [or, strength],... The word here translated willing volunteers is nedâbâh, which is primarily rendered free offering, freewill offering in Ex. 35:29  36:3 Lev. 7:16 22:18, 21, 23, 38; Num. 15:3 29:39; Deut. 12:6, 17 16:10 23:23 2Chron. 31:14; Ezra 1:4 3:5 8:28 Psalm 119:108 Amos 4:5. It is rendered (in the KJV) “willingly,” in 2Chron. 35:8; “plentiful,” in Psalm 68:9; “voluntary, and voluntarily,” in Ezek. 46:12; and “freely,” in Hosea 14:4. Footnote The idea is, whatever is done here is done from one’s freewill, without coercion. Although it is not the same word, it is possible that this is similar to the sentiments expressed by Deborah, when she Footnote wrote: That the leaders took the lead in Israel, that the people offered themselves willingly, bless the LORD! (Judges 5:2).

 

Barnes offers the following: That which was done, or that which is here intended to be described as having been done, is evidently the act of devoting themselves to him who is here designated as their Ruler - the Messiah. The allusion may be either: (a) to their devoting themselves to “him” in conversion, or becoming his; (b) to their devoting themselves to his “service” - as soldiers do in war; or (c) to their devoting their time, wealth, talents, to him in lives consecrated to him. Footnote

 

It is possible that we find the New Testament parallel to this verse in Rom. 12:1: I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship [or, reasonable service]. The believer is to offer himself for whatever God’s service is, as an act of freewill, as is his reasonable service.

 

God’s people are willing to join Him when He decides to rule over the powers of darkness and evil. When God chooses to destroy His enemies, His people are willing to be sacrifices, if need be, to that end. They willingly volunteer to do whatever God requires of them. Although this is phrased to sound as though Jesus Christ will require volunteers for any army, the idea is, He will require His people to do specific things in the end times. In Matt. 24:4–31, Jesus gives specific instructions as to what His people should do at this or that time, when the end comes. Furthermore, 144,000 Jews will become evangelists in the end times (Rev. 14:1–5)—these also are willing volunteers, freewill sacrifices in some instances, given the unbridled hatred which will be unleashed at that time.

 

Now, even though the exact meaning and application of this portion of v. 3 may be difficult to ascertain, what is key is, the devotion here is a matter of free will. Christianity is nothing apart from freewill. Even though there are Muslims who desire to take over various portions of this earth so that they can impose their values and distorted religion on those within their power, true Christianity must take a different tact. You cannot legislate Christianity. You cannot force a people to become Christian (despite the distortions of various Christian groups—present and historic). In our nation, people can legislate morality, to some extent; and try to bring legislation more in line with Biblical principles; but, no matter what laws govern a society, becoming a Christian and then serving God afterward is a matter of free will. You can be forced to attend church as a child; you cannot be forced to believe in Christ. You can be coerced into attending church with your wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, but no one can change your heart to believe in Jesus Christ.

 

Barnes writes: No man is forced to go to heaven against his will; no man is saved from hell against his will; no man makes a sacrifice in religion against his will; no man is compelled to serve the Redeemer in any way against his will. Footnote

 

Application: When you present the gospel, bear in mind, it is their decision. You cannot argue someone into becoming a Christian. You cannot browbeat someone into becoming a believer. You can present the gospel and then let them make a choice. You cannot force your children to become believers; you cannot force your friends, your wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend into becoming believers. Now, you may exercise considerable influence over those people (and possibly much less than you realize), but, when all is said and done, once you present the gospel, you must step back and allow them to make the decision. Furthermore, it is not even any of your business what their decision is. If they choose to believe in Jesus Christ, they do not even have to tell you that they have.

 

Tangent: It is important that you grasp just how much of a conscious choice a person makes to spend eternity in hell. They are given all of their life, and often many times they hear the gospel. However, they must choose consistently, every second of the day, to not believe in Jesus Christ; they must choose every day of their lives to not desire fellowship with the True God. If a person for 50 or 70 or 100 years chooses to have nothing to do with God as He is, both a God of justice and a God of love, then what makes you think that person will want to spend eternity with God? Heaven is eternity with God; if a person does not choose to spend even one second with God here on earth, that person certainly does not want to spend eternity with God once his mortal life is over.

 

Tangent: On television and the movies, the greatest fear, the worst thing that can happen to a person is death. In life, we feel the same way; the greatest fear that we have is death. For the unbeliever, such a fear is right and reasonable. If you are sitting at the deathbed of an unbeliever, and they confess to you that they are afraid, don’t say, “There there, it will be alright.” It won’t be alright. They have a reason to be afraid. It is innate in man to be afraid of death. At some point, we must own up for all that we did. Now, as a believer, Jesus Christ took upon Himself the penalty for all the wrong that we have done—we stand in Him and have no reason to fear death. However, for the unbeliever, who has not believed in Jesus Christ, he has good reason to be afraid—he faces eternity without God, eternity in the Lake of Fire, eternity under divine judgment. God the Son gave everything for that person, and all that person had to do was believe in Jesus Christ, even if only for a second. It takes absolutely nothing by way of effort to insure that one spends eternity with God; to insure that one goes to heaven; however, it takes a lifetime of negative volition for a person to choose hell. Every second of every day, he must choose against fellowship with God. The obvious result is, after choosing not to have fellowship with God during life; he also is choosing not to have fellowship with God after life.

 

However, we are not certain that we are actually dealing with the correct translation. The Septuagint is quite different at this point; therefore, we should examine....

The Greek Translation of Psalm 110:3a

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

meta (μετά) [pronounced meht-AH]

with, among, in the company of, in the midst of

preposition with the genitive

Strong’s #3326

su (συ) [pronounced sue]

[of] you

2nd person personal pronoun; genitive case (σο)

Strong’s #4771

hê (ἡ) [pronounced hey]

the

1st person feminine singular definite article (nominative and vocative forms)

no Strong’s #

archê (ἀρΧή) [pronounced ar-KHAY]

beginning; elementary, basic; origin, first cause; ruler, authority; rule, domain, sphere of influence

feminine singular; nominative or accusative case

Strong’s #746

en (ἐν) [pronounced en]

in, by means of, with

preposition

Strong’s #1722

hêmera (ἡμάρα) [pronounced hay-MEH-raw]

day, daytime; 24-hour day; period of time

masculine noun; locative, dative and instrumental case

Strong’s #2250

tês (τς) [pronounced tayc]

the

1st person feminine singular definite article (genitive and ablative forms)

no Strong’s #

dúnamis (δύναμις) [pronounced DOO-nahm-iss]

power, ability, able, capable; mighty deeds, miracles; meaning or significance [of voice, language]

feminine noun, genitive and ablative case

Strong’s #1411

su (συ) [pronounced sue]

[of] you

2nd person personal pronoun; genitive and ablative case (σο)

Strong’s #4771

With You [is] authority [or, dominion; or, (the) beginning] in [the] day of Your power. Even though the words in the Greek are quite common and easy to define, archê has a number of different meanings. Clarke saw it as referring to elementary principles. However, given the way which I have rendered this, the understanding is relatively simple: there will come a time when Jesus Christ will rule over this earth—here it is called the day of Your power. This is in keeping with the first verse: after God the Father has made the enemies of Jesus His footstool, then Jesus Christ will exercise authority over the earth, during the Millennium, also called the day of Your power. Footnote

 

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Psalm 110:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

hâdâr (רָדָה) [pronounced haw-DAWR]

majesty, splendor; ornament, adorning, decoration; honor

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1926 BDB #214

Some manuscripts read in the mountains of holiness (as below): 30 of our Kennicott’s MSS., and 53 of those of De Rossi, and also of several printed editions. Footnote

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

har (ר ַה) [pronounced har]

hill, mountain, hill-country

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #2042 (and #2022) BDB #249

qôdesh (שדֹק) [pronounced koh-DESH]

holiness, sacredness, apartness, that which is holy, holy things

masculine singular noun

Strong's #6944 BDB #871

 

Translation: ...in majesties [or, ornaments; or, mountains] of holiness... There is some confusion here as to the meaning of this portion of this verse. God’s people are willing to act as sacrifices of holiness or they willingly present themselves in service to God in the end times. This appears to parallel Rev. 14:1, where we have the 144,000 Jews standing on Mount Zion with the Lamb (Jesus Christ): And I looked, and behold, the Lamb is standing on Mount Zion and with Him are 144,000, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. This would be in stark contrast to those who received the mark of the beast, the ones who are deceived in 2Thess. 2:8–12: Then that lawless one will be revealed—whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming—the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be delivered. And for this reason, God will send to them a deluding influence, so that they might believe the lie, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

 

As was mentioned, the word here may be mountains of holiness, which does not quite jive in number with Mount Zion (as per Rev. 14:1); however, we do have a warning for the Jews to flee to the mountains when the abomination of desolation is set up in the holy place (Matt. 24:15–16). The holy mountains would therefore be to where these people flee; and they are holy, because they are set apart to God and the people are safe there. Those who flee, when they are told to, are acting in obedience to God’s orders for the last days—so they in essence, willingly offer themselves in the day of His strength.

 

Because the Septuagint is still quite different at this point; therefore, we should examine....

The Greek Translation of Psalm 110:3b

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

en (ἐν) [pronounced en]

in, by means of, with

preposition

Strong’s #1722

tais (τας) [pronounced taiç]

the

feminine plural definite article; dative, locative and instrumental cases

no Strong’s #

lamprotês (λαμπρότης) [pronounced lahm-PROH-tayç]

brilliance, splendor; joyousness, greatness [of the soul]

feminine singular noun; dative, locative and instrumental cases?

Strong’s #2987

Although I am positive about the word and its meaning; I am confused about its ending (although, given the definite article and the preposition, the case must be correct).

tôn (τν) [pronounced tohn]

the

plural definite article; genitive and ablative cases

no Strong’s #

hagios (ἅγιος) [pronounced HA-gee-oss]

angels, saints

masculine plural, genitive and ablative cases; adjective used as a substantive

Strong’s #40

su (συ) [pronounced sue]

[of] you

2nd person personal pronoun; genitive and ablative case (σο)

Strong’s #4771

...in the brilliance [or, joyousness; or, greatness] of Your saints [or, angels],... Believers in Jesus Christ, because they are in Christ, will be glorified and they will be joyous. So, we may understand this as: In the day of the power of Messiah [Christ], and in the joyousness of the saints, Jesus Christ has complete authority over planet earth and dominion over the heavens.

We may also interpret this as the angels celebrating the time known as the day of power. When Jesus Christ takes His rightful place as ruler over planet earth, and the devil and his angels have been banished, the angels will also rejoice in this.

It should be obvious that translating from the Greek is much easier than translating from the Hebrew; the words found here are very common Greek words (apart from lamprotês). Furthermore, the meaning is much easier to ascertain. Therefore, the question is: why don’t I dispense with the Hebrew and simply teach from the Greek? The Greek is a translation made from the Hebrew, and it is an uneven translations. There are times when the translators attempted to be very accurate and literal, and other times when they took more liberties with the text, given it more of a thought for thought rendering. It is very reasonable that, when they came across difficulties, that some of the translators would rework the translation to a point where it means something (our NIV and NLT both frequently do that). When the general meaning is ascertained correctly, this is a great help. However, when the general meaning is skipped over for an easier to grasp translation, then we have a problem...we are no longer reading God’s Word, but the best understanding of God’s Word that a translator could muster at the time. So, in studying this Greek, bear in mind that, at times we are outside of what God’s Word might actually say here.

On the other hand, the Apostles used the Greek translation and several of them—Paul in particular—often quoted freely from Holy Writ, developing his own translation of a particular passage at times.

 

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Psalm 110:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

rechem (םחר) [pronounced REH-khem]

womb; inner parts

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7358 (and #7356) BDB #933

mishechâr (רָחש̣מ) [pronounced mishe-KHAWR]

dawn, morning

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4891 BDB #1007

Mishechâr is possibly a misspelling and probably equivalent to Strong’s #7837 BDB #1007 (which lacks the mem and is below). Or, it is the correct word, a form of the word below, and found only here.

shachar (ר -ח-ש) [pronounced SHAH-khahr]

dawn, morning; felicity [a dawning after misery]

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7837 BDB #1007

 

Translation: ...from the womb of the morning... They are willing to give themselves beginning in the midst of the morning.

 

Psalm 110:3d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ţal (ל-ט) [pronounced tahl]

night mist, mist, dew

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #2919 BDB #378

2yaledûwth (דל-י) [pronounced yahle-DOOTH]

childhood, youth, young men

feminine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3208 BDB #409

The alternate reading is, I have begotten You (as per 62 of Kennicott’s manuscripts and 23 De Rossi’s manuscripts; also the Seputagint, Arabic and Anglo-Saxon translations). Footnote The alternate reading is below.

yâlad (דַלָי) [pronounced yaw-LAHD]

sired, fathered, became the father of, became the ancestor of; to became the founder of

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect (specifically with a masculine subject); with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3205 BDB #408

Although Clarke translates Footnote this as I have begotten You; it should be He sires You (as per the consonants that he lists).

 

Translation: ...Your young men [are] a mist to You [or, to You a mist, He sires You]. The picture is possibly of so many men dead, that they are like the morning mist. Their blood covers the ground.

 

The Septuagint reads Out of the womb before the morning-star, I sired you. Footnote My version reads: I have begotten You from the womb before the morning. The reference could be to these people being chosen by God before the foundation of the world; and, therefore, prior to their acts of allegiance (even though they will make the choice in time soon after heir own change of mind). Therefore, we should examine....

The Greek Translation of Psalm 110:3c-d

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

ek (ἐκ) [pronounced ehk]

out of, out from, from, of

preposition

Strong’s #1537

gastêr (γαστήρ; –τρός, ἡ) [pronounced gas-TAIR]

belly, inward parts of body [not subject to human observation]; womb

feminine singular noun; genitive and ablative cases

Strong’s #1064

pro (πρό) [pronounced proh]

before, in front of; before [in time]; of precedence, rank, or advantage

preposition, used with the genitive

Strong’s #4253

heôphorou (ἑωφόρου) [pronounced hyoh-FOH-roo]

morning?

Masculine/neuter singular noun; genitive case

??

Like many of the Greek words in the Septuagint, this is one which I cannot find. However, I have defined it based upon the English translation of Brenton. Footnote

gennaô (γεννάω) [pronounced gen-NAW-oh]

to beget, to sire [used of a male]; to give birth to, to bear [used of a female]; to bring forth, to produce, to cause

1st person masculine singular, aorist active indicative

Strong’s #1080

se (σέ) [pronounced seh]

you

2nd person singular pronoun; accusative case

Strong’s #4771

...out of the womb before the morning I sired You. This is completely in keeping with what has gone before. God the Father has sired God the Son from the womb. This would make little sense to some scribes. They had to accept the divine nature of this psalm, although they certain would be confused by it.

On the other hand, the Greek translators could have been perplexed by what was in the Hebrew and simply gave it their best shot, taking v. 1 into consideration. Because of this, it is difficult to come to a firm conclusion as to the translation of this. In any case, it should be apparent that the Septuagint is much easier to understand, and this explains where some of the English translations came from.

 

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Because the LXX is so different, allow me to give...

An Explanation of Psalm 110:3 According to the Septuagint

1.    The first thing we need, of course, is a translation from the Septuagint. This comes from Barnes:* “With You is authority in the day of Your power, in the brilliance [or, joyousness] of Your saints, from the womb, before the morning have I begotten You.” Recall, Barnes’ rendering from the Greek: With You is the beginning in the day of Your power, in the splendor of Your saints, from the womb, before the light of the morning have I begotten You.

2.    This would be in keeping with the first verse, where God the Father says to God the Son, “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

3.    Again, in v. 3, God the Father speaks to God the Son.

4.    He says that the power of Jesus Christ was decreed to be with Him from the beginning. What is used here is poetical language to indicate this: from the womb, before the light of the morning.

5.    This is a reference to the divine decrees, which were in existence in eternity past. In relation to man, Jesus came at a specific point in time; He gave Himself for our sins at a particular point in time; but all of this was decreed outside of time, before time was invented.

6.    At the same time, this refers to the literal birth of Jesus. God the Son is eternal; however, Jesus Christ, as a man, entered into history at a specific point in time.

7.    Not only was the cross a part of the divine decrees, but Jesus’ resurrection, ascension and session are a part of the decrees (not in view here).

8.    Furthermore, His return to earth, to subjugate all things to Himself, is a part of what has been decreed.

       a.    In fact, since the Old Testament does not clearly distinguish between the first and second advents of our Lord, Jews have been confused by them, expecting their Messiah to return as a political conqueror.

       b.    However, that confusion is a matter of unbelief; it is a matter of choosing not to believe in Jesus Christ.

9.    In any case, the day of our Lord’s power (or, the Day of the Lord) and the glorification of His saints (here, called, the joyousness of Your saints) was all known in eternity past.

10.  The day of the Lord and the glorification of His saints (because they glorify Him) is known from the womb, before the light of the morning.

       a.    This has a two-fold meaning. This is a reference to the Christ child being born from the womb, and...

       b.    ...His birth being foreknown in eternity past, even before the light of the morning.

11.  All of this was known when God the Father sired God the Son. This act of siring also requires some explanation:

       a.    God the Father and God the Son are co-equal and co-eternal.

       b.    God the Father did not suddenly have a Son in time, and that was the beginning of God the Son.

       c.     However, in human history, when God became man, when the God-man was conceived in the womb of Mary, that was the day Jesus Christ was conceived as the God-man.

       d.    Jesus Christ existed in eternity past, with God the Father.

       e.    Neither God the Son nor God the Father were created.

       f.     However, Jesus, the God-man, did happen in time. He was begotten at a particular point in human history (a time from which we compute our modern calendar). This is the time spoken of here, even though it was decreed in eternity past.

* Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament; from e-Sword, Psalm 110:3.

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Barnes Footnote provides a good summary of this verse.

Barnes Summarizes Psalm 110:3

Every clause of the verse is obscure, though the “general” idea is not difficult to perceive; that, in the day of Messiah’s power, his people would willingly offer themselves to him, in holy robes or adorning, like the glittering dew of the morning; or, in numbers that might be compared with the drops of the morning dew. The essential ideas are:

(1) that He would have a “people;”

(2) that their subjection to him would be a “willing” subjection;

(3) that this would be accomplished by his “power;”

(4) that they would appear before Him in great beauty - in robes of holy adorning;

(5) that they would in some way resemble the dew of the morning; and

(6) that to Him in thus subduing them there would be the vigor of youth, the ardor of youthful hope.

This was quoted almost directly from Barnes, updating only the thee’s and thou’s.

 

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These last two parts of v. 3 are frustrating; mostly because there is not a clearly accurate original. How does one explain what one is not at all sure of in the first place? The various ancient translations and their take on this verse further indicate that they were confused by the Hebrew as well (or, what they read was slightly different than what we read).

 

I realize that you may not feel as though you have received a decent explanation of this verse; it is frustrating for me, because I know I did not deliver one. But this should indicate an important principle: without a good and correct translation, an explanation is impossible.

 

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The Royal Priesthood of Jesus Christ

 

Has sworn Yehowah and He is not sorry:

You a priest for long duration upon a manner of Melchizedek.

Psalm

110:4

Yehowah has sworn [a solemn oath] (and He will not change His mind):

“You [are] a priest forever according to the manner of Melchizedek.”

Jehovah has taken a solemn oath (and He will not change His mind):

“You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

 

Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Early translations:

 

The Peshitta                          The Lord has sworn and will not lie, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

The Septuagint                      The Lord swears and will not repent [change His mind], You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec.”

 

Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The LORD has made a promise that will never be broken: “You will be a priest forever, just like Melchizedek.”

NAB                                       The Lord has sworn and will not waver:

“Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever.”

NLT                                        The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow:

“You are a priest forever in the line of Melchizedek.”

REB                                       The Lord has sworn an oath and will not change his mind:

‘You are a priest for ever,

a Melchizedek in my service.’

 

Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The LORD has taken an oath and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the way Melchizedek was a priest.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        The Lord has sworn and will not relent,

“You are a priest forever, a rightful king by My decree.” [Or, “after the manner of Melchizedek.”]

 

Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Updated Emphasized Bible   Yahweh │has sworn│ —and will not repent [change His mind]:

║You║ [will be] a priest unto times age-abiding [for eternity],

After the manner of Melchizedek.

MKJV                                     Jehovah has sworn, and will not repent, You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Young's Updated LT              Jehovah has sworn, and does not repent, ‘You are a priest to the age, According to the order of Melchizedek.’

 

What is the gist of this verse? God the Father makes an unretractable oath to God the Son: “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

 

Psalm 110:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shâbva׳ (עַבָש) [pronounced shawb-VAHĢ]

to swear, to imprecate, to curse, to swear an oath, to take a solemn oath, to swear allegiance

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal perfect

Strong's #7650 BDB #989

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

nâcham (ם ַח ָנ) [pronounced naw-KHAHM]

to be sorry, to be moved to pity, to lament, to grieve to have compassion, to pity, to suffer grief, to rue

3rd person singular, Niphal imperfect

Strong’s #5162 BDB #636

When applied to God, the word is used phenomenally, according to O.T. custom. God seems to change His mind. The phenomena are such as, in the case of a man, would indicate a change of mind. Footnote

 

Translation: Yehowah has sworn [a solemn oath] (and He will not change His mind):... We begin here with a very strong and solemn statement. First of all, Jehovah is taking an oath, and most of us would think, that’s good enough. After all what could be stronger than God taking a solemn oath? However, we have added to this the fact that God would not change His mind. He will not retract this oath. God is immutable—His character does not change. The oath here is absolutely emphatic—it could not be any stronger.

 

Psalm 110:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

attâh (הָ-א) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

kôhên (ן ֵהֹ) [pronounced koh-HANE]

priest

masculine singular noun

Strong's #3548 BDB #463

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳ôwlâm (םָלע) [pronounced ģo-LAWM]

long duration, forever, perpetuity, antiquity, futurity

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5769 BDB #761

׳ôwlâm together with the lâmed preposition mean forever

 

Translation: “You [are] a priest forever... First of all, we need to determine to Whom is Jehovah speaking here? Our context is determined by v. 1 where it reads Jehovah said to my Lord; therefore, again, Jehovah God is speaking to Adonai. We may interpret this as God the Father says to God the Son. Here, God the Father tells Jesus Christ, “You are a Priest forever.” This is not simply a priest who passes on his post to his son and to his son’s sons; but Jesus Christ is a Priest forever.

 

Psalm 110:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

diberâh (הָר׃ב̣) [pronounced dibve-RAW]

manner, mode; cause, reason

feminine singular noun:

Strong’s #1700 (and #1701) BDB #184

Together, ׳al diberâh mean to the intent that, in order that, so that; for the sake of; concerning the matter of, concerning the condition of; according to the manner of, according to the order of.

According to 12 manuscripts, this could read his order rather than after the order of. Footnote

Malekîy Tsedeq (ק∵ד∵צֿי.ל-מ) [pronounced mahle-KEE TZEH-dek]

my king is Tsedek, king of Tsedek and is transliterated Melchizedek

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #4442 BDB #575

The first word is king with the 1st person singular suffix (Strong’s #4428 BDB #572). The latter word is possibly derived from an Arabic verb which means to speak the truth. It could also come from an Arabic noun that means hard, even, straight, perfect. Various authors give this the meaning innocent; loyalty; authorized; just, righteousness. This is the Hebrew word for righteousness, rightness. (Strong’s #6664 BDB #841). This gives us more of a title than a name: My King [is] Righteous. However, there are others (e.g., Gesenius), who render this King of Righteousness or King of Salem (Jerusalem).

 

Translation: ...according to the manner of Melchizedek.” This is going to require us to take a little time to unravel this last portion of v. 4.

 

The first order of business is to examine the rare Hebrew word diberâh (הָר׃ב̣) [pronounced dibve-RAW]. Except for Job 5:8, diberâh is found with the preposition ל-ע, which is included in the translations below.

Diberâh (הָר׃ב̣)

 

Emphasized Bible

KJV

NASB

NKJV

Young

Job 5:8

(my) cause

(my) cause

(my) cause

(my) cause

(my) word

Psalm 110:4

after the manner of

after the order of

according to the order of

according to the order of

according to the order of

Eccles. 3:18

as concerning

concerning the estate of

concerning

concerning the condition

concerning the matter of

Eccles. 7:14

to the end

to the end that

so that

so that

to the intent that

Eccles. 8:2

out of regard to

in regard of

because of

for the sake of

for the sake of

Daniel 2:30

in order that

for their sakes

for the purpose of

in order that

for the intent that

Daniel 4:17

to the intent that

to the intent that

in order that

in order that

to the intent that

You should notice quite an agreement between various translations, but not within a translation.

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Translations of Diberâh in Context

Passage

NKJV

Young’s Updated Translation

Job 5:8

But as for me, I would seek God,

And to God I would commit my cause

Yet I—I inquire for God, And for God I give my word,...

Psalm 110:4

The Lord has sworn

And will no relent,

“You are a priest forever

According to the order of Melchizedek.”

Jehovah has sworn, and does not repent, “You are a priest to the age,

According to the order of Melchizedek.”

Eccles. 3:18

I said in my heart, “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are animals.

I said in my heart concerning the matter of the sons of man that God might cleanse them, so as to see that they themselves are beasts.

Eccles. 7:14

In the day of prosperity, be joyful,

But in the day of adversity consider:

Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other

So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.

In a day of prosperity be in gladness,

And in a day of evil consider.

Also this over-against that has God made, To the intent that man does not find anything after him.

Eccles. 8:2

I say, “Keep the king’s commandment for the sake of your oath to God.

I pray you, the commandment of a king keep, even for the sake of the oath of God.

Daniel 2:30

“But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.

As to me—not for any wisdom that is in me above any living has this secret been revealed to me; but for the intent that the interpretation to the king they make known, and the thoughts of your heart you do know.

Daniel 4:17

‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers,

And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,

In order that the living may know

That the most High rules in the kingdom of men,

Gives it to whomever He will

And sets over it the lowest of men.’

...by the decree of the sifters is the sentence, and by the saying of the holy ones the requirement, to the intent that the living may know that the Most High is ruler in the kingdom of men, and to whom He wills He gives it, and the lowest of men He does raise up over it.

The word diberâh (הָר׃ב̣) [pronounced dibve-RAW] is built upon the word dâbâr (רָבָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR], which means word, saying, doctrine, thing, matter, command. Strong’s #1697 BDB #182. According to BDB, it means cause, reason, manner, which are all in line with being derived from dâbâr, Gesenius renders this manner, mode; cause, reason; cause [in the forensic sense]. With the ׳al preposition, it therefore means on account of, to the end that. Footnote

Barnes writes: The word rendered “order” here means properly a word, a thing, a matter; hence, a way or manner. The meaning here is, that he would be a priest “after the manner” of Melchizedek; or, such a priest as he was.*

Now, for the clincher. You may feel as though this, despite the volume of discussion, has not really been put to rest, and I agree. However, all we need to do is see this verse quoted in the New Testament. The phrase that we are interested in is translated into the Greek as follows: κατὰ τὴν τάξιν (both in the Septuagint and in the book of Hebrews). Taxis (τάξις) [pronounced TAWX-iss] means an arranging, an arrangement, an order, a fixed succession in a fixed time; an orderly condition, a post, a rank; nature, character, fashion, quality, style. Strong’s #5010. This is preceded by the preposition katá (κατά) [pronounced kaw-TAW], which means down, down from, down upon, according to, after, according to a norm or standard. Strong’s #2596. Therefore, we have according to [the norm or standard] of the order [or post or nature] of Melchizedek. We find the same phrasing in 1Cor. 14:40, but without the definite article.

Conclusion: We have spent a great deal of time here, and the result is: (1) the phrase ׳al diberâh is used differently here than elsewhere in the Old Testament; (2) we must make a reasonable hypothesis at the English translation, as have many scholars before us; and (3) our hypothesis is in agreement with the Greek of both the Septuagint and the New Testament.

* Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament; from e-Sword, Psalm 110:4.

 

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Calmet Footnote properly observes that there were three orders of priesthood.

1.That of royalty. All ancient kings being, in virtue of their office, priests also. This seems to have been considered as the natural right of royalty, as it obtained in almost every nation of the earth, from the beginning of the world down to the end of the Roman empire.

2.That of the first-born. This right appertained naturally to Reuben, as the first-born in the family of Jacob.

3.That of the Levites, instituted by God himself, and taken [away] from Reuben, because of his transgression. The Levitical priesthood ended with the Jewish polity; and that also of the first-born, which had been absorbed in it. Footnote

 

Our next order of business is, what about Melchizedek? Therefore, we must examine the Doctrine of Melchizedek. It is quite amazing what we find here. Melchizedek is mentioned in two verses in the Old Testament, and these brief mentions are the basis for several chapters of sound theological reasoning by the writer of Hebrews (Heb. 5–8). The summary of all of this is, Jesus Christ is patterned more closely after the order of the priesthood of Melchizedek than He is after the pattern of the Aaronic priesthood. The pattern here is actually quite simple to discern: Melchizedek was a king-priest; Jesus Christ is the King-Priest. In Israel, those descended from Aaron (who is descended from Levi) were priests and high priests; the southern kings (with two exceptions) were sons of David, who was from the tribe of Judah. Since these lines were separate, Jesus must be a priest after the order of Melchizedek. This will become even more clear as we examine where this passage is quoted in the book of Hebrews.

 

Since Psalm 110:4 is quoted so often in the book of Hebrews, it may be a good idea to arrange this information into a table, to make it easier to follow. Each time we find this passage quoted, the author is making a point. Since it is unlikely for the emphasis to be the same every time, it will be enlightening to examine each New Testament occurrence the verse.

New Testament Quotations of Psalm 110:4

Scripture

Full or partial Quotation

The Point Being Made

Heb. 5:6

For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you"; as he says also in another place, "You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek." (Heb. 5:1–6).

The High Priest is called by God. Even Aaron, the father of the Levitical priesthood, did not aspire to become a High Priest; God chose him for this office.


This passage emphasizes that God called Jesus Christ as a priest.

Heb. 5:10

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing (Heb. 5:7–11).

The writer of Hebrews speaks of Jesus’ humanity, mentions the priesthood again; but then he cannot explore this topic, as his readers do not have the background that they should.

By the way, chapter 6 explains why the Hebrews are having a difficult time with doctrine (they continue to offer sacrifices for their sins); then it speaks of God’s oaths, and ties the surety of God’s oaths to the promise that God would appoint Jesus a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek forever.

Heb. 7:11

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever. See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham. But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him. Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well (Heb. 7:1–12).

The writer of Hebrews now goes into more detail about Melchizedek and how he relates to Jesus Christ. The point here is, there are more parallels between Melchizedek and Jesus Christ than there is between the Levitical priesthood and Jesus Christ.


There is no genealogy associated with Melchizedek. He certainly had a mother and a father, but he was not a priest due to his genealogy. Furthermore, he had no beginning of days or end of life (which is mentioned). These are parallels to Jesus Christ, Who was appointed high Priest, but not as a part of the Aaronic priesthood. That is, he did not inherit His priesthood because of his genetic line (Jesus was descended from Judah, not Levi). Jesus Christ is also eternal in His priesthood, as He is eternal.


In a way, even the Levitical priests paid tribute to Melchizedek, through Abraham; making him superior to all of the priests.


Psalm 110:4 promised a Priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek. If the priesthood of Levi was sufficient, then there would be no reason for another priest to come on the scene outside of the family of Levi.


Finally, if the Levitical priesthood and their sacrifices were efficacious, then there would have been no reason for Jesus Christ to offer Himself for our sins.

Heb 7:15

For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, "You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek." (Heb. 7:13–17).

The point being made is, Jesus Christ is descended maternally from the tribe of Judah; and his step-father, so to speak, is from the tribe of Judah. However, there is no connection between the tribe of Judah and the priesthood. For the priest to Israel, he must be from the tribe of Israel. However, Jesus lays claim to the priesthood through His eternal life, as a priest after the order of Melchizedek.

Heb 7:21

On the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, 'You are a priest forever.'" This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever (Heb. 7:18–28).

That Jesus is not a priest after the Law is not a negative, as the Law makes nothing perfect. More importantly, Jesus was made a priest as per an oath from God; an oath which cannot be applied to the Aaronic priests. This oath makes all the difference. Furthermore, Jesus is eternal, whereas the other priests died. The fact that Jesus is eternal and that He received this as per an oath from God makes His priesthood not only better but permanent.


Furthermore, Jesus’ sinlessness makes His priesthood before God more meaningful and powerful. He does not have to offer sacrifices daily, but just one time for all.

Unlike v. 1, which is quoted in many places in Scripture to make several different points, v. 4 is quoted only in the book of Hebrews (several times in Heb. 5–7) as the author explains the Levitical priesthood and why it was superceded by Jesus Christ, our High Priest.

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Now would be an excellent time to examine...

The Parallels Between Jesus Christ and Melchizedek

Melchizedek

Jesus Christ

Melchizedek was not from the tribe of Levi (Heb. 7:3, 6).

Jesus Christ was from the tribe of Judah; not from the tribe of Levi (Luke 3:23–38).

Melchizedek predated the various tribes of Israel and therefore predates Israel (Heb. 7:9–10).

Our Lord, in His deity, predates Israel (John 1:1–3, 14).

Although Melchizedek was probably born and probably died—that is, we do not believe that he is a theophany—this viewpoint is never presented to us.

Our Lord, although His humanity had a beginning, He has said, “Before Abraham was, I existed eternally.” (John 8:58). His Deity had no beginning (John 1:1–3, 14).

Abraham, the father of the Jewish race, paid tithes to Melchizedek, meaning that, he was inferior to Melchizedek (Heb. 7:4–7).

Abraham, as well as all Jews, are inferior to Jesus Christ, Who is God (John 1:1, 14 Heb. 26–28).

Melchizedek was a king-priest (Psalm 110:4 Heb. 5:10 7:1–2).

Our Lord is a King-Priest (Psalm 110:1, 4).

Melchizedek was the king of Salem, which was ancient Jerusalem (Heb. 7:1).

Jesus Christ is the King Who will rule from Jerusalem (Psalm 110:2).

Melchizedek was apparently chosen by God to be a priest.

Jesus Christ was chosen by God to be a priest (Heb. 5:6–10).

Melchizedek is the king of righteousness and the king of peace (Heb. 7:2).

Jesus Christ is the King of Righteousness and the King of Peace.

Although the genealogy of the priesthood is fairly well defined in Scripture—see 1Chron. 6, for instance—Melchizedek is presented apart from any genealogy (Heb. 7:3).

Similarly, the Deity of Jesus Christ has no genealogy, no beginning of days, no ending of days (Heb. 7:3).

Although I have covered all of the main points, one may further study the priesthood of Melchizedek and the priesthood of Jesus Christ in Heb. 5–9.

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Just as there are many parallels between Melchizedek and Jesus Christ, there are several places where these parallels are missing between Jesus and the Aaronic (Levitical) priesthood.

The Lack of Parallels Between Jesus Christ and the Tribe of Levi

Levi

Jesus Christ

By definition, Levites are from the tribe of Levi.

Jesus Christ was from the tribe of Judah; not from the tribe of Levi (Luke 3:23–38 Heb. 7:14).

Levi is the great grandson of Abraham.

Our Lord, in His deity, predates Israel.

We know to whom Levi was born and we know even the order in which he was born.

Our Lord, although His humanity had a beginning, He has said, “Before Abraham was, I existed eternally.”

Since Levi was the great grandson of Abraham, Abraham could not pay tithes to Levi (Heb. 7:5–6).

Abraham, as well as all Jews, are inferior to Jesus Christ, Who is God. He paid tithes to Melchizedek (Heb. 7:6).

Not all Levites were priests. Properly, to be a priest, a Levite had to be descended from Aaron. Furthermore, the Levites were never a ruling tribe.

Our Lord is a King-Priest (Psalm 110:1, 4).

The Levites had no political power (until their priesthood had become a form of religious tyranny during the 1st advent).

Jesus Christ is the King Who will rule from Jerusalem.

Being a priest from the tribe of Levi required a physical requirement; i.e., born from the tribe of Levi (Heb. 7:16).

Jesus Christ was not required in Scripture to be born from the tribe of Levi (Heb. 7:16).

The Law, from whence the Levites derive their origin, made nothing perfect (Heb. 19).

Jesus Christ Himself was the guarantee of a perfect covenant (Heb. 7:22).

The Levites were priests because of they were born into the family of Levi. There was no oath. Heb. 7:21

Jesus Christ was a Priest as per the oath of God (Heb. 7:20–22)

There are many Levite priests, and death ends their priesthood (and they all die—Heb. 7:23).

Jesus Christ is eternal and He is a Priest forever (Heb. 7:24).

The priests from the tribe of Levi could do nothing to really forgive sins; they simply were able to go through the ritual which pointed to the ultimate forgiveness of sins (Heb. 5:1 7:19).

Jesus Christ could forgive sins because He died for our sins—He took the punishment for our sins—upon Himself (Heb. 7:25).

The High Priests had to offer up sacrifices for their own sins before they could offer up a sacrifice for the sins of others (Heb. 5:3 7:27–28). This is because they were clearly imperfect men, beset with sin (Heb. 5:1–2).

Jesus Christ is holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens (Heb. 7:26, 28).

The Levite High Priest took his place offering sacrifices day after day at the Tabernacle of God and later at the Temple of God.

Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of the throne of God, a minister in the true tabernacle (Heb. 8:1–2).

What the Aaronic priests did was simply a shadow of the sacrifice which was to come (Heb. 8:5).

Jesus offered Himself, the true Sacrifice, for our sins; and the efficacious sacrifice for our sins (Heb. 8:6).

The Levitical priesthood operated under the first covenant, which was imperfect, in that it could not atone for sin (Heb. 7:19 9:13).

In Jesus Christ, we are under a New Covenant (another way of saying New Testament); through which covenant we have forgiveness of sins (Heb. 8:6–12 9:11, 14–15).

Abraham, as the father of the Jewish race, could be seen as superior to the Levites, who are descended from him. In fact, in Abraham, the Levites paid tithes to Melchizedek, making them inferior to him (Heb. 7:9–10).

However, by being blessed by Melchizedek, and offering a tithe to Melchizedek, Abraham was indicating that he was inferior to Melchizedek, just as Abraham is inferior to Jesus Christ (Heb. 7:4–7).

Now, don’t misunderstand this to mean that there are no parallels between the Levitical priesthood and Jesus Christ. They were a shadow of the High Priest to come. For every High Priest take from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins (Heb. 5:1). However, the institution of the priesthood in Israel had become so corrupt at the time of writing of the letter to the Hebrews—recall, they were a part of those who persecuted our Lord to His death on the cross—that it was better to compare the priesthood of Melchizedek, which had not been defiled, with our High Priest, Jesus Christ.

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This may be a good time to also examine remarks from other exegetes:

Spurgeon and Barnes on Melchizedek and the Priesthood of Jesus Christ

Psalm 110:4: The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, "You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."

Spurgeon writes: The declaration runs in the present tense as being the only time with the Lord, and comprehending all other times. “You are,” i.e., You were and are, and are to come, in all ages a priestly King. The order of Melchizedek's priesthood was the most ancient and primitive, the most free from ritual and ceremony, the most natural and simple, and at the same time the most honourable. That ancient patriarch was the father of his people, and at the same time ruled and taught them; he swayed both the sceptre and the censer, reigned in righteousness, and offered sacrifice before the Lord. There has never arisen another like to him since his days, for whenever the kings of Judah attempted to seize the sacerdotal office they were driven back to their confusion; God would have no king-priest save his son. Melchizedek's office was exceptional; none preceded or succeeded him; he comes upon the page of history mysteriously; no pedigree is given, no date of birth, or mention of death; he blesses Abraham, receives tithe, and vanishes from the scene amid honours which show that he was greater than the founder of the chosen nation. He is seen but once, and that once suffices. Aaron and his seed came and went; their imperfect sacrifice continued for many generations, because it had no finality in it, and could never make the comers thereunto perfect. Our Lord Jesus, like Melchizedek, stands forth before us as a priest of divine ordaining; not made a priest by fleshly birth, as the sons of Aaron; he mentions neither father, mother, nor descent, as his right to the sacred office; he stands upon his personal merits, by himself alone; as no man came before him in his work, so none can follow after; his order begins and ends in his own person, and in himself it is eternal, “having neither beginning of days nor end of years.” The King-priest has been here and left his blessing upon the believing seed, and now he sits in glory in his complete character, atoning for us by the merit of his blood, and exercising all power on our behalf.*

Barnes writes: He would not be of the tribe of Levi; he would not be in the regular line of the priesthood, but he would resemble, in the characteristics of his office, this ancient priest-king, combining in himself the two functions of priest and king; as a priest, standing alone; not deriving his authority from any line of predecessors; and having no successors. See this verse explained at length, in its application to the Messiah, in the notes at Heb. 5:6, 10 7:1-3. The passage as it stands here, and as looked at without any reference to the use made of it in the New Testament, would imply these things:

(1) That he who was spoken of would be, in a proper sense, a priest.

(2) that he would have a perpetual or permanent priesthood - “forever.”

(3) that he would not be of the established line of priests in the tribe of Levi, but that his appointment would be unusual and extraordinary.

(4) that the appointment would come directly from God, and would not be “derived” from those who went before him.

(5) that as a priest he would “resemble” Melchizedek, according to the record which was found of Melchizedek in Genesis.

(6) that as Melchizedek was a priest of the Most High God, so he would be.

(7) that as Melchizedek combined in himself the functions of both priest and king, so these would be found in him.

(8) that as Melchizedek had no successors in office, so he would have none.

How far these things were applicable to the Lord Jesus Christ, and with what propriety the passage might be applied to him, may be seen by examining the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb. 5–7.

*  Taken from Charles Haddon Spurgeon, A Treasury of David; e-Sword, Psalm 110:4. Some minor editing was done in order to update his language.

** Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament; from e-Sword, Psalm 110:4 (with some editing).

 

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Now let us make...

Some Concluding Remarks about Psalm 110:4 as Quoted in Hebrews

1.    Te Aaronic priesthood, like many of the things found in the Old Testament, was a shadow of what was to come.

2.    A priest represented man to God.

3.    A priest offered up sacrifices on behalf of the people.

4.    The High Priest once a year, on the Day of Atonement, went into the Holy of Holies and smeared blood on the altar.

5.    All of these functions were to point the unbeliever toward Jesus Christ, Who...

       a.    Represents man before God;

       b.    Gave Himself as a living sacrifice for our sins.

6.    However, the Aaronic priesthood had become so corrupt that I believe the writer of Hebrews did not want to associate this priesthood with Jesus Christ.

7.    Furthermore, one main point of these chapters was to stop the Jews from offering animal sacrifices, as their Savior, their Sacrifice, had already come in the flesh. These Levitical sacrifices merely pointed toward Messiah to come. Once Jesus had come, these animal sacrifices were no longer necessary.

8.    Therefore, the author of Hebrews sets up an analogy with Melchizedek, a King-Priest, to whom Abraham paid tithes and who sacrifices animals on Abraham’s behalf.

9.    Melchizedek is not tied to the Levitical Priesthood because he predated them.

10.  Levi paid tithes himself to Melchizedek by being in Abraham.

11.  Melchizedek is said to have no lineage, which really points to the fact that he is not associated with a line of priests. This is to better draw the parallel between eternal Christ and Melchizedek.

12.  There was only one Melchizedek, another close parallel with Jesus Christ.

13.  Even Abraham, the father of the Jews, did obeisance to Melchizedek, another parallel to Christ Jesus.

14.  For all of these reasons, the writer of Hebrews chose to draw parallels between Jesus Christ and Melchizedek, who was a shadow of Jesus Christ in His Royal Priesthood.

15.  These 3 chapters of Hebrews and this one verse in no way invalidates the Aaronic priesthood. The writer of Hebrews just sought a better parallel in history, and one which was not tied to Judaism.

16.  Furthermore, quoting Psalm 110:4 was apropos, because it also set up a close parallel between Melchizedek and the Lord sitting at the right hand of God.

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Now let me offer....

Concluding Remarks About Psalm 110:4

1.    The background to Psalm 110:4 is Jehovah God is speaking to David’s Lord (Adonai), Who is Jesus Christ.

2.    This was a very difficult psalm for the Jew to grasp for several reasons:

       a.    It was generally accepted that this psalm was Messianic; and the Messiah was expected to come from David (in his line).

       b.    However, David addresses his progeny as Adonai (Lord). A father does not generally address his son (or his descendant) as lord.

       c.     Furthermore, this Messiah is a priest forever. The priests came from the tribe of Levi; more specifically, through the line of Aaron. David is in the line of Judah. Therefore, we have the problem of the Messiah as coming through two different lines.

       d.    However, David here says the Messiah will be a priest like Melchizedek. To the Jew, with a divinely established priestly line, this makes little sense. If the Messiah is going to be a priest and a Jew, why isn’t He in the line of Levi?

       e.    There is the additional problem of God telling the Messiah to set at God’s right hand. This is an offer never made to anyone throughout the Old Testament (however, Psalm 80:17 also appears to be a similar reference to Jesus Christ).*

3.    This is Jesus Christ Who, following His death, burial, and resurrection, will sit at the right hand of God.

4.    During this time, God the Father will make His enemies a footstool for Jesus’ feet. The idea is, all of the enemies of God will be put in subjection to Jesus.

5.    In v. 4, not only does Jehovah make an oath, but He says that He will not change His mind.

6.    This does not mean that God has changed His mind about other oaths; this simply emphasizes the strength of the oath.

7.    A priest from the tribe of Aaron could not be king; and kings were not allowed to function as priests. 1Sam. 13:9–13 2Chron. 26:16–20. Not only is there a conflict of interests, but they come from different tribes altogether. Levitical priests are only those Levites who are descended from Aaron; although the royal line began with Saul of Benjamin, it was moved to the tribe of Judah.

8.    Even though there is an Aaronic priesthood in existence at the time that this psalm was written and even though this priesthood was a shadow of the Great High Priest to come, the priesthood of Melchizedek was even a better parallel, as he is not tied to a particular line of priests, a particular genealogy, and he apparently ministered to all mankind (as Abraham was the only Jew at this time—and one might even argue that Abraham was not even a Jew until circumcised).

9.    In any case, the Adonai of David, Who is also the Son of David, will be a priest in the same manner as Melchizedek.

* However, angels are said to be on the right and left hands of God, meaning, simply, that they surround Him (2Chron. 18:18). There is also Psalm 45:9 which should be exegeted as well. These passages are the only two exceptions; and they are not really exceptions to this principle.

 

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This study of Psalm 110:4 would be incomplete, apart from examining....

The Royal Priesthood of Jesus Christ

1.    A simplified, but reasonably accurate distinction is: a priest represents man to God and a prophet represents God to man (Heb. 5:1).

2.    A priest would offer animal sacrifices to God on behalf a sinner who wants access to and/or blessing from God.

3.    Jesus Christ was made a High Priest to God, to offer Himself as a propitiation for our sins (Heb. 2:17 1John 2:2 4:10).

4.    Although Jesus was tempted by sin, just like all mankind, He never succumbed to sin (Heb. 2:18 4:15 7:26).

5.    It should not be a surprise when Jews reject the Lord of Glory, their true High Priest, as they habitually rebelled against God (Heb. 3:15–19).

6.    Jesus Christ, as High Priest, ascended to God, indicating that He has full access to God (Heb. 4:14).

7.    Jesus Christ, our High Priest, is sympathetic to our weaknesses, as He was tempted also in all things (Heb. 4:15).

8.    Jesus Christ did not aspire to become our High Priest, but God made Him our High Priest (Heb. 5:5–6, 10).

9.    Perfection is not attainable through the Levitical priesthood; it is by our obedience to Jesus Christ, our High Priest (Heb. 5:9 7:11).

10.  Jesus Christ was made a High Priest via an oath from Jehovah God (Psalm 110:4 Heb. 7:21–22).

11.  Because Jesus Christ is eternal, He is our advocate before God forever; He does not die like those who are Levitical priests (Heb. 7:22–25).

12.  The Law is weak in many ways: the priesthood it authorizes is weak; and it does not offer us salvation, only condemnation. However, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the true High Priest, is made perfect forever (Heb. 7:19, 26–28).

13.  Because Jesus Christ is eternal, His priesthood is eternal (Heb. 7:21, 25).

14.  Jesus Christ, as our High Priest, now sits at the right hand of God (Heb. 8:1).

15.  A priest offers gifts and sacrifices to God; Jesus Christ, as our High Priest, offered Himself as a gift and a sacrifice on our behalf (Heb. 7:27 8:3–4).

16.  The priests on earth offer sacrifices as a copy or a shadow of reality; Jesus Christ, has offered Himself (Heb. 7:27 8:4–5). Therefore, we would expect Him to be before God, and not on earth, before man—as a priest represents man to God (Heb. 8:1, 4).

17.  An example of this shadow is the Holy of Holies within the Tabernacle of God. The High Priest entered into the Holy of Holies once a year to sprinkle blood on the altar. This was a shadow of Jesus to shed His blood one time for our sins, and to them ever make intercession on our behalf before God the Father (Heb. 9:7–14, 21–28).

18.  Priests to God here on earth offers sacrifices day by day, year after year, and none of these sacrifices are efficacious; they are simply a shadow of Jesus Christ, Who would offer Himself one time for our sins (Heb. 9:28 10:1–4, 10–12).

19.  We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ on our behalf (Heb. 10:10).

20.  Apart from Jesus Christ, there is no other true offering to God on our behalf for our sins (Heb. 10:19).

21.  Because we are in Christ, we are also priests to God, able to represent ourselves to Him (1Peter 2:5, 9 Rev. 1:5–6 5:10 20:6).

 

 

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As some of you realize, there is a theory out there called documentary hypothesis which maintains that the books of Moses were not written by Moses, but they believe that the first five books of the Bible were the product of 4 traditions. One of those was the priestly tradition, whose intention was to reform priestly function. Here we have a verse in a psalm where one might assert that the tribe of Judah should become the priestly tribe. Furthermore, this is a common Satanic approach—uniting church and state (see Romanism or various Muslim movements). However, we do not find any Scriptural attempt for either the Levites to seize political power, or the tribe of Judah to seize religious power (although, given he writings of David and Solomon, there was ample opportunity for both men to do so). However, even though we have studied Saul’s attempt to usurp Samuel’s spiritual authority (and it was simply out of impatience) and we will later observe some kings, like Ahab, who will attempt to distort Israel’s relationship to God, what we do not find in Scripture is an attempt by either the tribe of Judah or the tribe of Levi to take the authority of the other tribe. If the Scripture was written simply by men, and written simply to gain this foothold or that foothold, and be able to justify it; we should expect to see a lot more Scripture which could be used to justify the Levites grabbing political power or for the tribe of Judah to grab religious power. However, we do not find anything apart from this verse. My point is, this runs contrary to human nature. Had Scripture been written simply by men for their own carnal reasons (as documentary hypothesis claims), then we lack evidence fr this viewpoint particularly when it comes to the marriage of political and religious power. What we have instead is, a verse like this, which, for most Jews, was difficult, if not impossible to compute. Why is a son of David, the Messiah, also being called a priest, and why is He called a priest after the order of Melchizedek? We have sufficiently answered those questions already; however, these were doctrines which confused the Jewish mind.

 

You know, since we are dealing with the priesthood here, I want you to recognize that there are certain aspects of today’s cultic priesthood which is left out.

Distortions of the Catholic Priesthood

1.    First of all, we must recognize priesthoods of the past and present:

       a.    We have a priesthood as we find in Melchizedek. We do not know whether several kings exercised this right and privilege, or whether Melchizedek was one of a kind here. Insofar as Scripture goes, he was one-of-a-kind, as we would expect, simply to make a more accurate analogy to Jesus Christ.

       b.    The heads of families also acted as priests for their family. They offered sacrifices and guided their families.

       c.     We have the Aaronic priesthood, also called the Levitical priesthood, which became extremely corrupt in the time of Jesus Christ.

       d.    We have the Royal Priesthood of Jesus Christ, which we have just studied.

       e.    Finally, there is the universal priesthood of the believer. The believer in Jesus Christ, because he is in Christ, may represent himself before God.

       f.     Note that none of these priesthoods remotely resembles the specialized priesthood of the Catholic Church.

2.    Note what we do not find in the Old or New Testaments:

       a.    Celibacy is never ever associated with any of the priesthoods ever. Paul was celibate and Peter had a wife. Paul made the statement that there is no sin in leading around a wife as Peter does; but, it was even better to remain unmarried and be able to dedicate more of one’s time to Gods work. They were both a part of the universal priesthood of the believer.

       b.    There is no provision in Scripture for a super-priest along the lines of a pope. We could certainly call Jesus a super-priest, although that trivializes His office as our High Priest. However, we do not find any authorization anywhere in the New Testament for a continuation of a specialized priesthood or any sort of an elected super-priesthood; nor do we find any justification for an Apostolic succession (which is what the pope is supposed to be).*

       c.     Recall that the Levitical priesthood was based upon family; that is, the son of a priest became a priest; the son of the High Priest was often the next high priest. This is rather difficult to do if one is celibate.

3.    What the Catholic church misses altogether is, the priesthoods in the past look forward to Jesus Christ. They are shadows of our Lord to come. The point of Heb. 5–8 is that the priesthood of Melchizedek is a better shadow-representation of Jesus Christ than the Levitical priesthood. However, in both cases, we are looking at priesthoods which foreshadowed our Lord’s work on the cross.

4.    The most common activity of the various priesthoods was to offer animal sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. This obviously points toward the sacrifice of Christ Jesus.

5.    The universal priesthood of the believer is based upon the fact that we are in the Beloved, and therefore we share His priesthood. Because Jesus Christ removed the barrier between man and God, we can represent ourselves before God directly.

This is in no way to be thought of as a thorough examination of the Catholic apostate view and practice of the priesthood.

* Although this is not really a part of our study, I should deal with the verse most often referred to, to justify Apostolic succession: Matt. 16:18: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This is a play on words by Jesus. Peter means pebble, piece of a rock; and rock, in this verse, is a similar word with the same root. That refers to a rock, a large rock, a boulder. We cannot take this out of context. Peter has just recognized that Jesus is “...the Messiah (Christ), Son of the Living God” (Matt. 16:16). It is upon Jesus Christ, the Rock, the Jesus would build His church.

 

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I must admit that I never expected to spend 17 pages on this particular verse.

 

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Our Lord’s Victory in the Second Advent

 

My Lords upon Your right hand has [mortally] wounded in a day of His nostril kings.

Psalm

110:5

My Lord at Your right hand will shatter kings in the day of His anger.

The Lord at Your right hand will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.

 

Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Early translations:

 

The Peshitta                          The Lord at Your right hand will defeat the kings in the day of His wrath.

The Septuagint                      The Lord at Your right hand has dashed in pieces kings in the day of His wrath.

 

Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       My Lord is at your right side, and when he gets angry he will crush the other kings.

NLT                                        The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you,

He will strike down many kings in the day of his anger.

 

Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The Lord is at your right side. He will crush kings on the day of his anger.

 

Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                The Lord at Your right hand will shatter kings in the day of His indignation.

MKJV                                     The Lord at Your right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath.

Young's Updated LT              The Lord on your right hand smote kings In the day of His anger.

 

What is the gist of this verse? Jesus Christ will destroy His opposition in the last days.

 

Psalm 110:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

âdôwn (ןד ָא) [pronounced aw-DOHN]

lord, master, owner, superior, sovereign; transliterated adonai

masculine plural noun with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong’s #113 BDB #10

The difference between a singular and a plural is the final vowel point.

A great number of manuscripts read Yehowah rather than Adonai. Footnote

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

yâmîyn (ןי ̣מָי) [pronounced yaw-MEEN]

the right hand, the right side, on the right, at the right; the south

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person singular suffix

Strong’s #3225 BDB #411

mâchats (ץַחָמ) [pronounced MAW-khats]

to severely wound, to mortally wound, to smite through, to pierce; to shatter, to smite, to agitate, to shake

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #4272 BDB #563

 

Translation: My Lord at Your right hand will shatter kings... Kings is the object of the verb. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. However, that is symbolic and not literal. Given that God the Father says to God the Son, “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool,” just Who is the subject of this verb requires a little thought. We unravel this by examining the different functions of God the Father and God the Son. God the Father has planned this, so, in the Tribulation, God the father will set things up in such a way so that the enemies of our Lord will be exactly where He wants them to be. This is making Christ’s enemies His footstool. Then Jesus returns to the earth and He destroys His enemies. So, My Lord at Your right hand refers to Jesus, at the right hand of God the Father, and He will reenter history to destroy His enemies.

 

At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus will put His feet down at the Mount of Olives and destroy His enemies. Several armies will converge on Israel to battle, and God the Son will destroy them.

 

Psalm 110:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yôwm (םי) [pronounced yohm]

day; today (with a definite article)

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

aph (ף ַא) [pronounced ahf]

nose, nostril, but is also translated face, brow, anger

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #639 BDB #60

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

 

Translation: ...in the day of His anger. Jesus Christ will destroy His enemies in the day of His wrath (or, the day of His wrath). This is, obviously, the Tribulation, which is the final week of the Age of Israel.

 

In the Old Testament, the first advent and the second advents of our Lord are never distinguished and sometimes presented side-by-side as one event. Let me tell you what makes a cult: a cult occurs when those on negative volition choose a set of doctrines which emphasize one portion of Scripture and ignore mitigating portions of Scripture. This is what the Jews have done. Jesus was presented in two ways in the Old Testament: as the suffering servant (Psalm 22 Isa. 53) and as a victorious general Who destroys His enemies (Psalm 110). The Jews has chosen to see only the Lord returning to avenge them, but they ignored the Lord as the Suffering Servant. Therefore, since they rejected Jesus at His first advent, they have not had the second advent.

 

When our Lord came to this earth, He made a clear and distinct offer to the Jew to believe in Him and He offered to them the kingdom of God. That is, Jesus could have gone immediately from the cross to the restoration of Israel—had Israel believed. However, Israel held to passages such as this one, and ignored passages that deal with our Lord’s sacrifice. They went from being the people of God to being the enemies of God. They went from holding to the true religion to holding to Satan’s lies.

 

God the Son will return to this earth and He will destroy His enemies; this psalm affirms that position. The day of His wrath is one of the many synonyms for the Tribulation.

 

I believe that I should, at this point in time, briefly examine the Tribulation:

A Brief Examination of the Tribulation

1.    First of all, in order to understand the Tribulation, we must have an overview of Dispensations.

       a.    The Dispensation of Early Man

               i.      Innocence

               ii.     Conscience

               iii.    Human government

       b.    The Age of Israel

               i.      Time of the patriarchs

               ii.     The nation Israel

               iii.    The Tribulation

       c.     The Church Age

               i.      Pre-canon period

               ii.     Post-canon period

       d.    The Millennium

2.    Although most of these time periods run linearly, the Age of Israel is interrupted near its end, because the Jews reject their Messiah. Jesus, rather than going to the Jews exclusively, now appeals to the Gentiles. Furthermore, the great Apostle Paul also switches his focus from the Jew to the Gentile.

3.    The Church Age is an intercalated period. It was not prophesied in the Old Testament. It was inserted into the Jewish Age, cutting off the Jewish Age by 7 years. When the Church is removed from this earth, the final years of the Jewish Age will resume.

4.    The 7 years which remain in the Jewish Age are called the Tribulation.

5.    These 7 years will probably be based upon lunar months, as we are told that this time is shortened; otherwise, no flesh would be saved. Therefore, we are dealing with 84 lunar months; 360 weeks; 2520 days. This will help us in some of the calculations found in Scripture.

6.    The Tribulation begins immediately when the Church Age ends. The Church Age ends with the rapture. All of the church is taken out. God does not mix up His dispensations. 2Thess. 2:3 (in the Greek) 1Thess. 4:13–17

7.    After the rapture, the man of sin is revealed. 2Thess. 2:3

8.    Matt. 24:15–51 Jer. 30:4–7 Rev. 6–19 describe the events of the Tribulation.

9.    The Tribulation will be a time of war, famine, death by disease (Rev. 6:4–8).

       a.    Allow me a brief aside here: throughout the 20th century, we have almost worshipped at the feet of science. We have naively assumed that science and medicine would be able to solve all problems. We can grow more food, healthier food; we can harness renewable sources for energy; we can eradicate disease.

       b.    As we have found out, we cannot cure all of these diseases. In fact, there are some wonder drugs that we have discovered, whose potential to help us is unfortunately limited. Antibiotics at one time were thought to be a cure for many bacterial diseases. However, what has happened is, stronger mutations of the bacteria which plagued us continue to grow and multiply. These mutations are more resistant to antibacterial treatments.

       c.     At the end of the 20th century, we have seen some of the most fearsome diseases, including AIDS, appear on the scene. We went through a time when we believed that we would one by one cure the great diseases; and still, illness plagues us as never before.

10.  During the tribulation, there will be 144,000 Jewish evangelists, many of whom will be apparently martyred (Rev. 6:9–11 14:1–5). Even though God promised the Jews, before they entered into the Land of Promise, that they would be scattered from the Land of Promise; God’s plan was to apparently place these Jews in Gentile nations throughout the world, so that, when the Tribulation came, they would be saved and they would guide others to the truth as well (Lev. 26:33–45 Rev. 7:4–10).

11.  There will be great geological disasters during this time as well (Rev. 6:12–17 8:5–13).

       a.    As an aside, one of these disasters appears to be a tremendous meteor which strikes the earth, polluting the waters here. However, Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck will not be climbing into a rocket to save the earth from destruction at the last moment.

12.  Believers, during this time period, will pray a great deal for deliverance and protection (Rev. 8:1–4).

13.  There will be two witnesses from God who will have great power and will witness to mankind for half of this tribulation period. In the end, they will be killed by the beast. However, they will be raised from the dead and ascend into heaven; and an earthquake will ensue, taking out a tenth of the city and 7000 of their population. Rev. 11:1–13

14.  Believers from Israel (and probably from other nations) will flee out of the cities and hide for half of the Tribulation (Rev. 12:6).

15.  The beast will appear to come back from the dead; possibly after an assassination attempt where he is shot in the head; and people throughout the world will worship him (Rev. 13:1–4). He will war against the faithful for half of the Tribulation (Rev. 13:5–8).

16.  There is another beast which comes out of the earth who causes everyone to receive a mark on their right hands or foreheads. This is apparently an identification number of sorts, possibly 3 rows of 6 numbers. Rev. 13:11–18

17.  There will be unprecedented bloodshed. The blood of those killed will flow as high as the horses bridle. This is spoken of in terms of a winepress. That is, if you placed grapes in a winepress, they would be crushed to bring out the juice; so it is with the bodies of those who are at the receiving end of the wrath of God. Rev. 14:14–20

18.  At the end, there will be seven plagues brought upon the earth, representing the wrath of God. Rev. 16

       a.    Sores break out on those who receive the mark of the beast; this could even be a skin reaction to mark itself.

       b.    The sea becomes like blood and everything in the sea dies.

       c.     The rivers also become like blood.

       d.    Men are then scorched with a fierce heat; and instead of repenting, men curse God. This would logically be an incredible heat wave, as the waters of the seas and rivers would no longer be a part of the water circulation cycle.

       e.    The nation of the beast is darkened and men will gnaw at their own tongues due to pain.

       f.     The Euphrates River dries up completely.

       g.    Not as a plague, but what follows these six bowls of wrath are the words of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet go throughout the land and these demon -possessed men perform signs

       h.    The seventh bowl of wrath is great natural disasters, including earthquakes as never seen before, which just about level the land. Along with this are great flashes of lightning and crashes of thunder and hailstones weighing 100 lbs. each.

19.  I must say, as I read through Rev. 18, I cannot help but wonder if the United States is the Babylon which is spoken of. “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! And she has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” (Rev. 18:2b–3). However, the merchandise which is trades sounds more like Africa (see Rev. 18:11–14). In any case, this appears to be a great coastal city—reasonably New York City—whose ports are shut down in a day, whose celebration is stifled, and in this city is found the blood of the prophets and saints (Rev. 18:16–24). For this to occur in one hour, makes me think atomic weapons.

20.  At the very end, Jesus will return and overthrow the armies and people of the world, casting the beast and false prophet into the Lake of Fire (Psalm 2:9 Isa. 11:4 Rev. 19).

This may all seem a little sketchy because, quite frankly, I have never spent much time studying the tribulation; so my knowledge of that time in our future history is far from boundless

 

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He judges in the peoples,

filling [with] corpses

He has mortally wounded a head upon earth much.

Psalm

110:6

He correctly evaluates the nations,

filling [the nations with] corpses,

He shatters the head over most of the earth.

He correctly evaluates the nations,

filling these nations with dead bodies.

He shatters the head of Satan throughout the whole earth.

 

Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Early translations:

 

The Peshitta                          He will judge among the nations, He will count the slain; He will cut off the heads of many on earth.

The Septuagint                      He will judge among the nations; He will fill up corpses; He will crush the heads of many on the earth.

 

Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       He will judge the nations and crack their skulls, leaving piles of dead bodies all over the earth.

NAB                                       Who, robed in spendor, judges nations,

crushes heads across the wide earth.

NLT                                        He will punish the nations and fill them with their dead;

he will shatter heads over the whole earth.

REB                                       In glorious majesty he judge the nations,

shattering heads throughout the wide earth. [In glorious majesty: probably reading; Hebrew: full of corpses].

 

Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         He will pass judgment on the nations and fill them with dead bodies. Throughout the earth he will crush their heads.

JPS (Tanakh)                        He works judgment upon the nations,

heaping up bodies,

crushing heads far and wide.

 

Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                He will execute judgment [in overwhelming punishment] upon the nations; He will fill the valleys with the dead bodies; He will crush the chief heads over lands many and far extended. [Ezek. 38:21, 22; 39:11, 12.]

Updated Emphasized Bible   He will judge among the nations—full of dead bodies!

He has shattered the head over land far extended.

MKJV                                     He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill them with dead bodies; He shall shatter heads over much of the earth.

NRSV                                    He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses;

He will shatter heads over the wide earth.

Young's Updated LT              He judges among the nations, He has completed the carcases, [and] He has struck the head over the mighty earth.

 

What is the gist of this verse? When our Lord judges the nations, He will fill the land with corpses and He will strike down Satan.

 

Psalm 110:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

dîyn (ןי ̣) [pronounced deen]

to judge, to correctly evaluate, to evaluate, to condemn, to vindicate; to defend [the right of anyone]; to rule, to regulate; to contend with

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1777 BDB #192

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

One manuscript leaves out the bêyth preposition. Footnote

gôwyîm (ם̣י) [pronounced goh-YEEM]

Gentiles, [Gentile] nation, people, peoples, nations

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1471 BDB #156

 

Translation: He correctly evaluates the nations,... At the end of history, there will be a blood bath. There will be killing and carnage as we have never known before. When Jesus Christ destroys His enemies in the Tribulation, it will not be a pretty sight. However, know that God can correctly evaluate the people on this earth; who should live and who should die. Jesus Christ does simply come in and destroy a group of people, and then notice that He has killed one or two believers by mistake. “Oh, damn, I forgot about Charlie Brown.” Jesus Christ will never say that. There are no accidents in the plan of God. There will be no collateral damage. In fact, there is never collateral damage in God’s plan at any time.

 

Psalm 110:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

mâlê (א̤לָמ) [pronounced maw-LAY]

to fill, to make full; to be filled, to be full, to fulfill

Qal active participle

Strong's #4390 BDB #569

gewîyyâh (הָ̣ו) [pronounced gewee-YAW]

body [of man or animal], dead body, corpse

feminine plural noun

Strong’s #1472 BDB #156

 

Translation: ...filling [the nations with] corpses,... Even though God’s strike upon nation earth will be a surgical strike, this does not mean that He will kill a few here or there. The earth will be filled with unbelievers, whose hearts are against Him. We know in one portion of the earth, the blood will flow as high as the horses’ bridles (Rev. 14:20) and that it will take 7 months just to bury the corpses (Ezek. 39:12).

 

Psalm 110:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

mâchats (ץַחָמ) [pronounced MAW-khats]

to severely wound, to mortally wound, to smite through, to pierce; to shatter, to smite, to agitate, to shake

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #4272 BDB #563

rôsh (שאֹר) [pronounced rohsh]

head, top, chief, front, choicest

masculine singular noun

Strong's #7218 BDB #910

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land

feminine singular noun

Strong's #776 BDB #75

rabbâh (הָַר) [pronounced rahb-BAW]

many, much, great (in the sense of large or significant, not acclaimed)

feminine singular adjective

Strong's #7227 BDB #912

 

Translation: ...He shatters the head over most of the earth. Satan will work through various heads of state. He will be behind their thoughts and deeds. So, when God destroys the leaders throughout the world, along with their armies, He will be crushing the head of Satan. This fulfills Gen. 3:15b, when God says to Satan, “He [Jesus Christ] will crush your head and you will bruise His heel.” The first statement refers to the end of the Tribulation, which is what we are speaking of here; and the second refers to the cross, or the 1st advent.

 

We find many parallel verses: 1Sam. 2:10: The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed. Psalm 2:9: “You will break them with a rod of iron; You will shatter them like pottery.” Isa. 34:2–4: For the LORD is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host; he has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter. Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood. All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree. Isa 66:15–16 "For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many.” Rev 14:19–20: So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse's bridle, for 180 miles.

 

From a brook in the road He drinks;

upon so He lifts up a head.

Psalm

110:7

He drinks from a brook along the road;

therefore, He has lifted up [his] head.

He drinks form a brook along the road

because He has lifted up his head.

 

Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Early translations:

 

The Peshitta                          He will drink of the brook in the way; therefore, He will lift up His head.

The Septuagint                      He will drink from the brook in the way; therefore, He will lift up the head.

 

Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       He will drink from any stream that he chooses, while winning victory after victory.

NLT                                        But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way.

He will be victorious.

 

Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         He will drink from the brook along the road. He will hold his head high.

JPS (Tanakh)                        He drinks from the stream on his way;

therefore he holds his head high.

 

Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                He will drink of the brook by the way; therefore will He lift up His head [triumphantly].

MKJV                                     He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore He shall lift up the head.

NRSV                                    He will drink from the stream by the path;

therefore he will lift up his head.

Young's Updated LT              From a brook in the way he drinks, Therefore he does lift up the head!

 

What is the gist of this verse? Jesus drinks from a stream and then lifts up His head (in victory).

 

Psalm 110:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

nachal (לַחַנ) [pronounced NAHKH-al]

brook, torrent

masculine singular noun

Strong's #5158 BDB #636

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

dereke (ר) [pronounced DEH-reke]

way, distance, road, journey, manner, course

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #1870 BDB #202

With the bêyth preposition, this means in the way, along the way [road], near the road, by the way.

shâthâh (הָתָש) [pronounced shaw-THAW]

to drink [actually or metaphorically]; to drink together [at a banquet]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #8354 BDB #1059

 

Translation: He drinks from a brook along the road;... In the end, Jesus Christ has destroyed all of His enemies. Therefore, He can take a break from His battle and to drink. This speaks of being refreshed at the end of a hard fought battle. Perhaps, the idea is, this emphasizes His humanity. God the Father would not drink from a stream; Deity does not drink water. However, God the Son will drink water. Not because he has to, but because He can. You may recall that Jesus ate solid food while in His resurrection body (Luke 24:42–43 John 21:12–15).

 

For your edification, let me offer some of the interpretations of Psalm 110:7a, which reads: He drinks from a brook along the road [or, way]. By the way, I am not offering these interpretations as alternatives to what I have said above. I just want you to know there are some goofy ways of looking at this verse.

Various Interpretations of Psalm 110:7a

Exegete

Interpretation

Barnes

The design here seems to be to represent the Messiah as a victorious king and conqueror pursuing his enemies. In the previous verse the psalmist had represented him under the image of one engaged in battle, and slaying his enemies with a great slaughter. He here represents him as pursuing those who should escape from the battle, and as pursuing them without fainting or exhaustion. He is like one who finds abundant springs and streams of water in his journeyings; who refreshes himself at those fountains and streams; who, therefore, is not faint and weary. He pursues his foes vigorously and with success. Footnote Keil and Delitzsch write: He shall on His arduous way, the way of his mission (cf. Psalm 102:24), be satisfied with a drink from the brook. He will stand still only for a short time to refresh Himself, and in order then to fight afresh. Footnote Spurgeon, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown also take this approach. Footnote Personally, I feel that this just sounds too casual in war. I believe we are speaking to the aftermath of war, rather than the midst of it. Jesus is slaughtering thousands of His enemies, and stops for a water break.

Clarke

He shall have sore travail, and but little ease and refreshment: but he shall still go on from conquering to conquer. Footnote My comment: huh?

Gaebelein

Jesus drinks from the deep waters of suffering and death. Footnote

Gill

This some understand [to refer to] the sufferings of Christ, compared to a brook, a flow of waters, because of the abundance of them, as in Psalm 69:1, his partaking of which is sometimes expressed by drinking (Matt. 20:22) and this was in the way of working out the salvation of his people, and in his own way to glory (Luke 24:26). If this is the sense, there may be some allusion to the black brook Kidron; over which David, the type of Christ, passed when in distress; and over which Christ himself went into the garden, where his sorrows began (2Sam. 15:23). Footnote

Gill

Christ's victory over all enemies, sin, Satan, the world, and death; and illustrate it by the passage in Num. 23:24, "he shall drink of the blood of the slain"; with which compare Isa. 63:1. Footnote The idea is, this psalm speaks of our Lord’s victory; therefore, drinking at the brook is sort of like drinking the blood of His enemies.

Gill

Others think the allusion is to the eagerness of a general pursuing a routed army, and pushing on his conquest; who, though almost choked with thirst, yet will not stop to refresh himself; but meeting with a brook or rivulet of water by the way, takes a draught of it, and hastens his pursuit of the enemy: and so this is expressive of, the eagerness of Christ to finish the great work of man's salvation, and the conquest of all his and their enemies; see Luke 2:49. Footnote This is pretty similar to Barnes’ take on this passage.

Gill

I think the clause is rather expressive of the solace, joy, and comfort, which Christ, as man, has in the presence of God, and at his right hand, having finished the work of our salvation; then he drank to his refreshment of the river of divine pleasure, when God showed him the path of life, and raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, and introduced him into his presence; where are fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11). Footnote

Henry

Christ drank of this brook when he was made a curse for us, and therefore, when he entered upon his suffering, he went over the brook Kidron (John 18:1). He drank deeply of this black brook (so Kidron signifies), this bloody brook, so drank of the brook in the way as to take it out of the way of our redemption and salvation. Footnote Matthew Henry does make a good argument here; what would logically follow is our Lord lifting up His head when resurrected.

Wesley

He shall have a large portion of afflictions, while he is in the way or course of his life, before he comes to that honour of sitting at his father's right-hand. Waters in scripture frequently signify sufferings. To drink of them, signifies to feel or bear them. Therefore, He shall be exalted to great glory and felicity. Footnote

You may have, at first, questioned my interpretation. However, as you examine the alternatives, it becomes obvious that they are seriously lacking and that my interpretation begins to make a great deal more sense.

 

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Drinking water is an indication of refreshment, and often portrays the intake of Bible doctrine (which is refreshment to our souls).

 

Psalm 110:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳al (לַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

kên (ן ֵ) [pronounced kane]

so or thus

adverb

Strong's #3651 BDB #485

Together, ׳al kên (ל-ע ן̤) mean so, upon the ground of such conditions, therefore, on this account, on account.

rûwm (םר) [pronounced room]

to raise, to lift up [something], to make high; to elevate, to exalt; to erect, to build a house; to take away; to offer sacrifices

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #7311 BDB #926

Alternate readings give us: He will be lifted up; His head will be lifted up. The former is according to 6 manuscripts and the Syriac; the second is according to 2 manuscripts and the Syriac. Footnote

rôsh (שאֹר) [pronounced rohsh]

head, top, chief, front, choicest

masculine singular noun

Strong's #7218 BDB #910

Although a few manuscripts add Praise Jehovah here, that is probably because it belongs with the following psalm. Footnote

 

Translation: ...therefore, He has lifted up [his] head. There are three possible interpretation of his portion of v. 7: lifting up the head could mean, Jesus Christ has lifted up the head of Satan in victory; either as a severed head, or as grasping the hair of the head of one dead in battle and lifting it up to show the person is dead. This signifies the end of the battle and the end of the Tribulation.

 

Another interpretation is, Jesus lifts up his own head in victory (i.e., He stands erect). The idea is, one hangs one’s head when one is tired, worn out, or beaten. However, it is the antithesis for our Lord. He is refreshed, alert and majestic.

 

However, I believe the proper way to interpret this verse is this is the resurrection of our Lord from the dead. It is the antithesis to: And He bowed His head and exhaled His breath (John 19:30b). Then, the idea of this verse is, Jesus Christ is bodily resurrected from the dead. He lifts up His head and he drinks from the stream. His resurrection from the dead is indicative of Jesus’ victory over all. This I think is the proper way to understand this verse. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, Dead is swallowed up in victory. O Dead, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? (1Cor. 15:53–55 Isa. 25:8 Hosea 13:14). This meaning did not occur to me at first because I am, like many other westerners, chronologically oriented. So I expect to see vv. 1–7 to unfold chronologically. However, there is actually no reason to assume this.

 

Let me summarize this, and also indicate who favors which interpretation. What we are interpreting is, ...therefore, He has lifted up [His] head (or) He has lifted up a head.

The Various Interpretations of Psalm 110:7b

Interpretation

Arguments For and Against

Those Who Support this Interpretation

God the Father or God the Son lifts up Jesus’ head in victory.

This fits relatively well with the context and with a chronologically interpretation of this psalm. He has defeated His enemies in the previous verse, and therefore lifts His head in victory.

Barnes, Clarke (more or less; Jesus is successful in His ventures), Darby, Gill (who suggests the contrast with John 19:30), Keil and Delitzsch, and Spurgeon.

Jesus lifts up the head of Satan, who has been slain.

This fits well with the context, where Jesus Christ destroys His enemies (vv. 5–6).


Even though Satan is not really slain, but cast into the Lake of Fire; we do not have to interpret this literally. That is, Jesus metaphorically holds up the slain head of Satan. On the other hand, there is no mention in this psalm of an individual foe.

I did not come across any commentators who suggested this.

Jesus lifts up His head as being resurrected by God the Father.

Although this does not really follow the previous verses, the first and second advents of our Lord were often intermingled in the Old Testament. That is, no one could point to the Old Testament and easily prove that there would be two advents of our Lord (although the advents did seem to be contradictory).


This verse is a perfect contrast to John 19:30b: Then He bowed His head and exhaled His breath. What has come before is predicated upon God the Father’s approval of the work of Christ and therefore, upon the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.


Furthermore, this better squares with v. 7a, where Jesus drinks from a brook along His way. The interpretations of this are, shall I say, wacky. However, if we understand this to refer to our Lord’s bodily resurrection, as opposed to some spiritual resurrection, then v. 7 is a cohesive thought. Jesus is raised from the dead in His human body.

Clarke also seems to offer this explanation as well. He writes: He must suffer and die [and be bodily resurrected], in order to have the triumphs already mentioned. Footnote

This alludes to the resurrection of our Lord in His first advent, and His exaltation over all in His second advent.

Given that the Old Testament does not clearly distinguish between these events; and given that this verse could be applied in both ways; this is a very reasonable approach.

Henry, Kukis.

The names of those who support this position or that were taken from E-Sword.

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It may also be instructive to see how this expression is used elsewhere in Scripture:

Addendum: How the Phrase Lift up the Head is used in Scripture

Scripture

Incident

Gen. 40:13, 19, 20

To lift up the head means for one to be executed.

Job 10:15, 16

In this context, not lifting one’s head denotes disgrace.

Psalm 24:7, 9

Lifting up the head here means, in joyous anticipation of our Lord (although the meaning here is less clear—it could refer to a simple opening of the gates).

Psalm 27:6

David’s head is lifted up above all his enemies.

Jer. 52:31

Here, Evil-merodach, the king of Babylon, lifts up the head of Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, meaning that he honored Jehoiachin and showed him respect.

These five passages, along with Psalm 110:7, give us several meanings for the phrase to lift up the head. Therefore, we cannot dogmatically assign a meaning to this phrase based upon what has come before.

 

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Now that we have completed our study, I would like you to see how this looks as organized:

The Organization of Psalm 110

vv. 1–3

Comments

vv. 5–7

Yehowah declares to my Adonai,

“Sit to My right hand until I place Your enemies [as] Your footstool.”

God the Father tells God the Son to sit at His right hand/God the Son destroys corrupt rulers in the Tribulation.

My Lord at Your right hand will shatter kings in the day of His anger.

Yehowah sends forth a mighty scepter [or, tribe] out of Zion

Subdue [or, rule among] Your enemies.

Jesus Christ destroys his enemies on earth and rules over all of the nations

He correctly evaluates the nations,

filling [the nations with] corpses,

He shatters the head over most of the earth.

With You [is] authority [or, dominion; or, (the) beginning] in [the] day of Your power. .in the brilliance [or, joyousness; or, greatness] of Your saints [or, angels], out of the womb before the morning I sired You. [From the Septuagint].

V. 3 looks at the beginning of the second advent, with a view toward the first (like some Old Testament passages, the two advents are intermingled); v. 7 views the culmination of the Tribulation.

He drinks from a brook along the road;

therefore, He has lifted up [his] head.

v. 4

Yehowah has sworn [a solemn oath] (and He will not change His mind):

“You [are] a priest forever according to the manner of Melchizedek.”

When we have a set of parallel verses, as we have above, the verse which stands in the middle is the most important verse; it stands out and stands apart from all that precede it and all that follow it.

Many of the aspects of Christ are revealed in this psalm. He is both a valiant man in battle as well as our High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek.

 

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Because I am allowed the magic of word processing, I first work out a reasonable translation and follow this with an interpretation. Then I examine several commentaries to see if I missed anything, or to see if I can better flesh out this meaning or that. I came across an approach in Clarke’s commentary, which apparently was original with him (although I essentially came up with the same approach independently). It is to be found below, with some editing. Footnote

Clarke’s Approach to Psalm 110

It has, however, long appeared to me that there is a key by which all the difficulties in the Psalm may be unlocked. As this has not been suggested by any other, as far as I know, I shall without apology lay it before the reader: The hundred and tenth Psalm is a War Song, and every phrase and term in it is Military.

1.    In the first place may be considered here the proclamation of the Divine purpose relative to the sacerdotal, prophetic, and regal offices of the Lord Jesus Christ: Jehovah said unto my Lord, “Sit on My Right Hand.”

2.    A grievous battle, and consequent victory over the enemy, foretold: “I Will Make Your Enemies a Footstool for Your Feet” (Psalm 110:1).

3.    The ensign displayed: The Lord Shall Send Forth the Rod of Your Strength; the pole on which the banner shall be displayed, at the head of his strength - his numerous and powerful forces.

4.    The inscription, device, or motto on this ensign: “Rule in the Midst of Your Enemies” (Psalm 110:2).

5.    The muster of the troops. A host of bold spirited volunteers; not mercenaries, neither kidnapped nor impressed; but a volunteer people; high-born, loyal subjects; veteran soldiers; every man bringing gifts to his General and King.

6.    The regimentals or uniform in which they shall appear: The Beauties of Holiness; the splendid garments of holiness. The apparel showing the richness of the King, and the worth and order of the soldiers; every man being determined to do his duty, and feeling assured of conquest. The Lacedaemonian soldiers were clothed in scarlet; and never went to battle without crowns and garlands upon their heads, being always sure of victory.

7.    The number of the troops: They Shall Be As the Drops of Dew at Break of Day: - innumerable; and this shall be in consequence of Your nativity—the manifestation of Jesus: You will be born unto men; They shall be born of thy Spirit (Psalm 110:3).

8.    The title of the commander: “You are a Priest,” ן ̤הֹ (cohên) a Priest and a Prince. So was Agamemnon in Homer, and Aeneas in Virgil. Both were princes; both were priests and both were heroes.

9.    The perpetuity of this office: “For Ever;” for futurity—for all time—till the earth and the heavens are no more.

10.  The resolution of setting up such a Priest and levying such an army: According to the Order of Melchizedek. The Commander, muster, and establishment of the corps shall be according to the plan of that ancient king and priest: “All will be executed as I have spoken to my righteous king; I have sworn, and will not change my purpose. All my purposes shall be fulfilled.” This speaking may refer to the purpose, (Psalm 110:1) confirmed by an oath (Psalm 110:4).

11.  Victory gained: Adonai at Your Right Hand Hath Transfixed Kings in the Day of His Wrath,* i.e., of battle and victory. Jesus, the Almighty King and Conqueror, fights and gains his battles, while sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Psalm 110:5).

12.  Judgment instituted and executed: He Shall Judge Among the Heathen (or, among the nations). He will bring forth, judge, and condemn his enemies; and he shall fill pits with the bodies of executed criminals (Psalm 110:6).

13.  False religion, supporting itself by the secular arm under the name of true religion, will be destroyed: He strikes the head that is over an extensive land (or country). The priesthood that is not according to the order of Melchizedek will be destroyed; and all government that is not according to him who is the eternal King and Priest, will be brought down and annihilated. Who is this great Head? This usurping power? This anti-Christian authority? Let the Italian archbishop answer** (Psalm 110:6).

14.  Refreshment and rest, the fruits of the victories which have been gained: He Will Drink of the Brook in the Way; Therefore, Will He Lift Up the Head. He and his victorious army, having defeated and pursued his enemies, and being spent with fatigue and thirst, are refreshed by drinking from a rivulet providentially met with in the way. But the rout being now complete and final,

15.  The emperor is proclaimed and triumphs: God lifts up the Head, the Chief, the Captain; as the word [head] often means. Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, has a complete triumph; eternal peace and tranquillity are established. The Messiah is all in all—the last enemy, Death, is destroyed. Jesus, having overcome, has sat down with the Father upon his throne; and his soldiers, having also overcome through the blood of the Lamb, seated with him on the same throne, are for ever with the Lord. They see Him as He is; and eternally contemplate and enjoy His glory.

*  The capitalizations are Clarke’s; and I don’t really know why.

** Is this a swipe at the pope?

Although I had essentially completed my analysis of Psalm 110 before reading this; I was glad to find several parallels.

 

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