Psalm 89:27
Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) Firstborn.—Jesse’s youngest son became the firstborn, the favourite son of God. Here, of course, the epithet is extended to all the Davidic succession.

Psalm 89:27. I will make him my firstborn — As he calls me father, so I will make him my son, yea, my firstborn; the firstborn had divers privileges above other sons. This and the following passage, in some sort, agree to David, but are much more fully and properly accomplished in Christ, and seem to be ascribed to David here chiefly as he was a type of Christ, and that the mind of the reader might be led through him to Christ. Higher than the kings of the earth — If this be, in some sense, applicable to David, because he had a greater power and dominion than any of the neighbouring kings, or because he excelled all other kings of the earth in privileges, as he also probably did in honour and renown, obtained by his military achievements, and by that wisdom and justice by which he governed his dominions; and especially because he was a king chosen and advanced by the immediate appointment of God himself; was set over God’s peculiar and beloved people, and was intrusted with the care and patronage of the true religion and the worship of God in the world; if, on these accounts, it might be said that David was higher than the kings of the earth, how much more may it be affirmed of him who is King of kings, and Lord of lords, and God blessed for ever?89:19-37 The Lord anointed David with the holy oil, not only as an emblem of the graces and gifts he received, but as a type of Christ, the King Priest, and Prophet, anointed with the Holy Ghost without measure. David after his anointing, was persecuted, but none could gain advantage against him. Yet all this was a faint shadow of the Redeemer's sufferings, deliverance, glory, and authority, in whom alone these predictions and promises are fully brought to pass. He is the mighty God. This is the Redeemer appointed for us, who alone is able to complete the work of our salvation. Let us seek an interest in these blessings, by the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. As the Lord corrected the posterity of David for their transgressions, so his people shall be corrected for their sins. Yet it is but a rod, not a sword; it is to correct, not to destroy. It is a rod in the hand of God, who is wise, and knows what he does; gracious, and will do what is best. It is a rod which they shall never feel, but when there is need. As the sun and moon remain in heaven, whatever changes there seem to be in them, and again appear in due season; so the covenant of grace made in Christ, whatever alteration seems to come to it, should not be questioned.Also I will make him my first-born - He shall be regarded and treated by me as the first-born son is in a family; that is, with distinguished favor and honor. Compare Genesis 27:19; Genesis 29:26; Exodus 4:22; Exodus 13:12; Jeremiah 31:9. See also the notes at Colossians 1:15, notes at Colossians 1:18.

Higher than the kings of the earth - Than other kings; the most exalted among kings and rulers. This was entirely fulfilled in David, who occupied a pre-eminence among princes and rulers which no other king did: a prominence alike in his own personal character and his reign; in his relation to God; and in the fact that he was the ancestor of the Messiah, the "King of kings, and Lord of lords" Revelation 19:16; "the prince of the kings of the earth," Revelation 1:5.

26, 27. first-born—one who is chief, most beloved or distinguished (Ex 4:22; Col 1:15). In God's sight and purposes he was the first among all monarchs, and specially so in his typical relation to Christ. As he calls me Father, Psalm 89:26, so I will make him my son, yea, my first-born, who had divers privileges above other sons. This and the following passage in some sort agree to David, who may well be called God’s

first-born, as all the people of Israel are, Exodus 4:22; and so is Ephraim, Jeremiah 31:9. Nor can I see fit wholly to exclude David here, of whom all the foregoing and following verses may, and some of them must be, understood. But this is more fully and properly accomplished in Christ, and seems to be ascribed to David here as a type of Christ, and that our minds might be led through David to him whom David represented, even to the Messias, to whom alone this doth strictly and literally belong.

Higher than the kings of the earth: this also was in some sort accomplished in David, partly because he had a greater power and dominion than any of the neighbouring kings, yea, than any other kings of his age, and in those parts of the world, except the Assyrian monarch; nor is the expression here universal, but indefinite, and if it had been said higher than all the kings, yet even such universal expressions admit of some limitation or exception, as is manifest and confessed: and partly because David had many privileges, wherein he did excel all other kings of the earth of his age without exception; which probably he did in the honour and renown which he got by his military achievements, and by that wisdom and justice wherewith he managed all his dominions; but certainly he did in this, that he was a king chosen and advanced by the immediate order and appointment of God himself, that he was set over God’s own peculiar and beloved people, that he was intrusted with the care and patronage of the true religion and the worship of God in the world, and especially that he was not only an eminent type, but also the progenitor of the Messias, who is King of kings and Lord of lords, and God blessed for ever. Also I will make him my firstborn,.... Or, "make him the firstborn"; make him great, as Jarchi interprets it; give him the blessing, the double portion of inheritance: so Christ is made most blessed for ever, and has all spiritual blessings in his hands; and is heir of all things, and his people joint-heirs with him. Christ is God's "firstborn", or "first begotten", Hebrews 1:6, being begotten by him, and of him; and his firstbegotten, though none begotten after him; as the first that opened the womb, under the law, was called the firstborn, though none were ever born after; and in such sense his first begotten, as that he is his only begotten: and he is the firstborn, with respect to creatures; "he is the firstborn of every creature"; Colossians 1:15, being begotten and brought forth before any creature was in being, Proverbs 8:22, and, with respect to the saints, "he is the firstborn among many brethren", Romans 8:29, they are of the same nature, and in the same family, and in which Christ is a son, and the firstborn; and in all things he has the preeminence; and he is also "the firstborn from the dead", or "the first begotten of the dead", Colossians 1:18 being raised first from thence by his own power, and to an immortal life; and is the first fruits of them that sleep, and the efficient and meritorious cause of the resurrection of life, and the pattern and exemplar of it: even him the Father promises to make "higher than the kings of the earth"; having a kingdom of a superior nature to theirs, and a more extensive and durable one; and even they themselves shall be subject to him; hence he is called "King of kings", Revelation 19:16. This will be when their kingdoms become his; when they shall fall down before him, and worship him, and bring their riches and glory into his kingdom, or the New Jerusalem church state, Psalm 72:10. This passage is interpreted of the Messiah by the Jews (f).

(f) In Shemot Rabba, s. 19. fol. 104. 4.

Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27. I also corresponds to the emphatic He at the beginning of Psalm 89:26. It is God’s answer to David’s cry of filial love. The titles son and first-born applied to Israel (Exodus 4:22; Jeremiah 31:9) are conferred upon the king who is Israel’s representative: and the promise made to Israel (Deuteronomy 26:19, cp. Psalm 28:1) is here transferred to David,

I also will appoint him as firstborn,

Most high above the kings of the earth.

David’s posterity is included in his person: and the high promise, never fully realised in any of his successors, points forward to Him Whom St John styles in language borrowed from this verse and Psalm 89:37, “the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.”Verse 27. - Also I will make him my firstborn. There is but one true "Firstborn" - "the Only Begotten of the Father." All other so called "firstborns" - as Israel (Exodus 4:22), Ephraim (Jeremiah 31:9), David - are reflections or representatives, in some way or other, of the real and only true "Firstborn." Higher than the kings of the earth; literally, the most high above the kings of the earth; i.e. standing to the other "kings of the earth" as "the Most High" to his angelic ministers. Having thus again come to refer to the king of Israel, the poet now still further unfolds the promise given to the house of David. The present circumstances are a contradiction to it. The prayer to Jahve, for which the way is thus prepared, is for the removal of this contradiction. A long line, extending beyond the measure of the preceding lines, introduces the promises given to David. With אז the respective period of the past is distinctly defined. The intimate friend of Jahve (חסיד) is Nathan (1 Chronicles 17:15) or David, according as we translate בחזון "in a vision" or "by means of a vision." But side by side with the לחסידך we also find the preferable reading לחסידיך, which is followed in the renderings of the lxx, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum, Aquila, Symmachus, and the Quarta, and is adopted by Rashi, Aben-Ezra, and others, and taken up by Heidenheim and Baer. The plural refers to Samuel and Nathan, for the statement brings together what was revealed to these two prophets concerning David. עזר is assistance as a gift, and that, as the designation of the person succoured by it (שׁוּה על as in Psalm 21:6) with גּבּור shows, aid in battle. בּחוּר (from בּחר equals בּגר in the Mishna: to ripen, to be manly or of marriageable age, distinct from בּחיר in Psalm 89:4) is a young man, adolescens: while yet a young man David was raised out of his humble lowly condition (Psalm 78:71) high above the people. When he received the promise (2 Samuel 7) he had been anointed and had attained to the lordship over all Israel. Hence the preterites in Psalm 89:20-21, which are followed by promissory futures from Psalm 89:22 onwards. תּכּון is fut. Niph., to be established, to prove one's self to be firm, unchangeable (Psalm 78:37), a stronger expression than תּהיה, 1 Samuel 18:12, 1 Samuel 18:14; 2 Samuel 3:10. The Hiph. השּׁיא, derived from נשׁא equals נשׁה, to credit (vid., on Isaiah 24:2; Gesenius, Hengstenberg), does not give any suitable sense; it therefore signifies here as elsewhere, "to impose upon, surprise," with בּ, as in Psalm 55:16 with על. Psalm 89:23 is the echo of 2 Samuel 7:10.
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