Psalm 110:1
A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
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(1) The Lord said . . .—The usual prophetic phrase, generally translated, “Thus saith,” &c. (See Note, Psalm 36:1.)

The psalmist may possibly be quoting an old prophetic saying, but, according to the usual way in which the expression is used, it marks an immediate inspiration.

My Lord.—Heb., adonî, an address of honour to those more noble than the speaker, or superior in rank: to a father, Genesis 31:35; to a brother, Numbers 12:11; a royal consort, 1Kings 1:17-18; to a prince, 1Kings 3:17; with addition of the royal title, “my Lord, O king,” 2Samuel 14:19.

The question of the person here intended is, of course, closely bound up with the general question of the authorship and meaning of the psalm. Here the various views that have been held are briefly enumerated:—

(1) The Messiah; and, if so, with a prophetic consciousness of His Divinity, or, at least, His superiority as a Prince over all other princes. (2) David himself: this is, of course, inconsistent with the Davidic authorship of the psalm. (3) Solomon. (4) Hezekiah. (5) Joshua son of Josedech. (6) One of the priest-kings of the Asmonean dynasty.

We now come to the words of the oracle: “Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.”

Commentators have sought in the customs of Arabia, and even in the mythology of the Greek poets, for proof that this expression denotes viceroyalty or copartnership in the throne. If this meaning could be established from Hebrew literature, these parallels would be confirmatory as well as illustrative; but the nearest approach to be found in the Old Testament only makes the seat at the king’s right hand a mark of extreme honour. (See the case of Bath-sheba, 1Kings 2:19; of the queen consort of Psalm 45:9; of Jonathan, 1 Maccabees 10:63.)

Nothing more can be assumed, therefore, from the words themselves than an invitation to sit at Jehovah’s right hand to watch the progress of the victorious struggle in which wide and sure dominion is to be won for this Prince. But even this is obscured by the concluding part of the psalm (see Psalm 110:5), where Jehovah is said to be at the right hand of the person addressed, and is beyond question represented ac[??] going out with him to battle. Hence, we are led to the conclusion, that the exact position (“at the right hand”) i not to be pressed in either case, and that no more is intended than that, with Jehovah’s help, the monarch who is the hero of the poem will acquire and administer a vast and glorious realm.

Footstool.—The imagery of the footstool (literally a stool for thy feet) is no doubt taken from the custom mentioned in Joshua 10:24.

Psalm 110:1. The Lord said unto my Lord — נאם יהוה לאדני, neum Jehovah ladoni, the saying, or decree, that is, I record the saying or decree of Jehohovah to my Lord, that is, to his Son the Messiah, whom I acknowledge as my Lord and God. This decree, made in eternity, was in due time published, and was actually executed when God raised up Christ from the dead, and brought him into his heavenly mansion. David designedly calls the Messiah his Lord, to admonish the whole church, that although he was his Song of Solomon according to the human nature, yet he had a higher nature, and was also his Lord, as being by nature God blessed for ever, and consequently Lord of all things, as he is called Acts 10:36; and by office, as he was God man, the Lord and King of the whole church, and of all the world, for the church’s sake. And this was said to prevent that offence which the Holy Ghost foresaw the Jews and others would be ready to take at the meanness of Christ’s appearance in the flesh. The Hebrew word אדון, adon, is one of God’s titles, signifying his power and authority over all things, and therefore is most fitly given to the Messiah, to whom God had delegated all his power in the universe, Matthew 28:18. Sit thou at my right hand — Thou who hast for so many years been veiled with infirm and mortal flesh, despised, rejected, and trampled upon by men, and persecuted unto death; do thou now take to thyself thy great and just power. Thou hast done thy work upon earth, now take thy rest, and the possession of that sovereign kingdom and glory, which by right belongs to thee; do thou rule with me, with an authority and honour far above all creatures, in earth or heaven. So this phrase is expounded in other places: see Luke 22:69; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 10:12-13; Ephesians 1:20, &c. It is a figurative expression, taken from the custom of earthly monarchs, who placed those persons on their right hands to whom they would show the greatest honour, or whom they designed to advance to the greatest power and authority: see 1 Kings 2:19. It here signifies the dominion which Jesus Christ, after his death, received from the Father, as the Messiah. Thus he says of himself, Revelation 3:21, I overcame, and am set down with my Father on his throne. Until I make thine enemies — Until, by my almighty power, communicated to thee, as Mediator, I make those that crucified thee, (converting some and destroying others,) and the idolatrous heathen, subjecting them to thy gospel, as also the power of sin and Satan in men’s hearts, and, at last, death itself, thy footstool — Thy slaves and vassals. This expression, thy footstool, which denotes an entire subdual of enemies, alludes to the custom of eastern nations, to tread upon the necks of the kings whom they had conquered, and so make them, as it were, their footstool.

110:1-7 Christ's kingdom. - Glorious things are here spoken of Christ. Not only he should be superior to all the kings of the earth, but he then existed in glory as the eternal Son of God. Sitting is a resting posture: after services and sufferings, to give law, to give judgment. It is a remaining posture: he sits like a king for ever. All his enemies are now in a chain, but not yet made his footstool. And his kingdom, being set up, shall be kept up in the world, in despite of all the powers of darkness. Christ's people are a willing people. The power of the Spirit, going with the power of the world, to the people of Christs, is effectual to make them willing. They shall attend him in the beautiful attire of holiness; which becomes his house for ever. And he shall have many devoted to him. The dew of our youth, even in the morning of our days, ought to be consecrated to our Lord Jesus. Christ shall not only be a King, but a Priest. He is God's Minister to us, and our Advocate with the Father, and so is the Mediator between God and man. He is a Priest of the order of Melchizedek, which was before that of Aaron, and on many accounts superior to it, and a more lively representation of Christ's priesthood. Christ's sitting at the right hand of God, speaks as much terror to his enemies as happiness to his people. The effect of this victory shall be the utter ruin of his enemies. We have here the Redeemer saving his friends, and comforting them. He shall be humbled; he shall drink of the brook in the way. The wrath of God, running in the curse of the law, may be considered as the brook in the way of his undertaking. Christ drank of the waters of affliction in his way to the throne of glory. But he shall be exalted. What then are we? Has the gospel of Christ been to us the power of God unto salvation? Has his kingdom been set up in our hearts? Are we his willing subjects? Once we knew not our need of his salvation, and we were not willing that he should reign over us. Are we willing to give up every sin, to turn from a wicked, insnaring world, and rely only on his merits and mercy, to have him for our Prophet, Priest, and King? and do we desire to be holy? To those who are thus changed, the Saviour's sacrifice, intercession, and blessing belong.The Lord said unto my Lord - In the Hebrew, "Spake Jehovah to my Lord." The word יהוה Yahweh is the incommunicable name of God. It is never given to a created being. The other word translated "Lord - אדני 'Adonāy - means one who has rule or authority; one of high rank; one who has dominion; one who is the owner or possessor, etc. This word is applied frequently to a creature. It is applied to kings, princes, rulers, masters. The phrase "my Lord" refers to someone who was superior in rank to the author of the psalm; one whom he could address as his superior. The psalm, therefore, cannot refer to David himself, as if Yahweh had said to him, "Sit thou at my right hand." Nor was there anyone on earth in the time of David to whom it could be applicable; anyone whom he would call his "Lord" or superior. If, therefore, the psalm was written by David, it must have reference to the Messiah - to one whom he owned as his superior - his Lord - his Sovereign. It cannot refer to God as if he were to have this rule over David, since God himself is referred to as "speaking" to him whom David called his Lord: "Jehovah said unto my Lord." The reasoning of the Saviour, therefore, in Matthew 22:43-45, was founded on a fair and just interpretation of the psalm, and was so plain and conclusive that the Pharisees did not attempt to reply to it. Matthew 22:46. See the notes at that passage. No other interpretation "can" be given to it, consistently with the proper rules of expounding language, unless it be shown that the psalm was not composed by David, and might, therefore, be applied to someone whom the author would acknowledge as his "Lord." But there is no evidence of this, and there is no one in the Old Testament history to whom the psalm would be applicable.

Sit thou at my right hand - The position of honor and of rank. Compare the notes at Psalm 16:8. See also Psalm 45:9; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69; Acts 7:55; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 8:1. The phrase is properly applicable to the Messiah as exalted to the highest place in the universe - the right hand of God.

Until I make thine enemies thy footstool - Until they are entirely subdued under time. See the notes at Matthew 22:44. The enemies here referred to are the enemies of the Messiah considered as King (see Psalm 2:1-12); and the promise here is, that "he must reign until he shall have put all enemies under his feet." See the notes at 1 Corinthians 15:25.


Ps 110:1-7. The explicit application of this Psalm to our Saviour, by Him (Mt 22:42-45) and by the apostles (Ac 2:34; 1Co 15:25; Heb 1:13), and their frequent reference to its language and purport (Eph 1:20-22; Php 2:9-11; Heb 10:12, 13), leave no doubt of its purely prophetic character. Not only was there nothing in the position or character, personal or official, of David or any other descendant, to justify a reference to either, but utter severance from the royal office of all priestly functions (so clearly assigned the subject of this Psalm) positively forbids such a reference. The Psalm celebrates the exaltation of Christ to the throne of an eternal and increasing kingdom, and a perpetual priesthood (Zec 6:13), involving the subjugation of His enemies and the multiplication of His subjects, and rendered infallibly certain by the word and oath of Almighty God.

1. The Lord said—literally, "A saying of the Lord," (compare Ps 36:1), a formula, used in prophetic or other solemn or express declarations.

my Lord—That the Jews understood this term to denote the Messiah their traditions show, and Christ's mode of arguing on such an assumption (Mt 22:44) also proves.

Sit … at my right hand—not only a mark of honor (1Ki 2:19), but also implied participation of power (Ps 45:9; Mr 16:19; Eph 1:20).

Sit—as a king (Ps 29:10), though the position rather than posture is intimated (compare Ac 7:55, 56).

until I make, &c.—The dominion of Christ over His enemies, as commissioned by God, and entrusted with all power (Mt 28:18) for their subjugation, will assuredly be established (1Co 15:24-28). This is neither His government as God, nor that which, as the incarnate Saviour, He exercises over His people, of whom He will ever be Head.

thine enemies thy footstool—an expression taken from the custom of Eastern conquerors (compare Jos 10:24; Jud 1:7) to signify a complete subjection.

1 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

2 The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.

3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

Psalm 110:1

"The Lord said unto my Lord" - Jehovah said unto my Adonai: David in spirit heard the solemn voice of Jehovah speaking to the Messiah from of old. What wonderful intercourse there has been between the Father and the Son! From this secret and intimate communion spring the covenant of grace and all its marvellous arrangements. All the great acts of grace are brought into actual being by the word of God; had he not spoken, there had been no manifestation of Deity to us; but in the beginning was the Word, and from of old there was mysterious fellowship between the Father and his Son Jesus Christ concerning his people and the great contest on their behalf between himself and the powers of evil. How condescending on Jehovah's part to permit a mortal ear to hear, and a human pen to record his secret converse with his co-equal Son! How greatly should we prize the revelation of his private and solemn discourse with the Son, herein made public for the refreshing of his people! "Lord, what is man that thou shouldst thus impart thy secrets unto him."

Though David was a firm believer in the Unity of the Godhead, he yet spiritually discerns the two persons, distinguishes between them, and perceives that in the second he has a peculiar interest, for he calls him "my Lord." This was an anticipation of the exclamation of Thomas, "My Lord and my God," and it expresses the Psalmist's reverence, his obedience, his believing appropriation, and his joy in Christ. It is well to have clear views of the mutual relations of the persons of the blessed Trinity; indeed, the knowledge of these truths is essential for our comfort and growth in grace. There is a manifest distinction in the divine persons, since one speaks to another; yet the Godhead is one.

"Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies they footstool." Away from the shame and suffering of his earthly life, Jehovah calls the Adonai, our Lord, to the repose and honours of his celestial seat. His work is done, and he may sit; it is well done, and he may sit at his right hand; it will have grand results, and he may therefore quietly wait to see the complete victory which is certain to follow. The glorious Jehovah thus addresses the Christ as our Saviour; for, says David, he said "unto my Lord." Jesus is placed in the seat of power, dominion, and dignity, and is to sit there by divine appointment while Jehovah fights for him, and lays every rebel beneath his feet. He sits there by the Father's ordinance and call, and will sit there despite all the raging of his adversaries, till they are all brought to utter shame by his putting his foot upon their necks. In this sitting he is our representative. The mediatorial kingdom will last until the last enemy shall be destroyed, and then, according to the inspired word, "cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God even the Father." The work of subduing the nations is now in the hand of the great God, who by his Providence will accomplish it to the glory of his Son; his word is pledged to it, and the session of his Son at his right hand is the guarantee thereof; therefore let us never fear as to the future. While we see our Lord and representative sitting in quiet expectancy, we, too, may sit in the attitude of peaceful assurance, and with confidence await the grand outcome of all events. As surely as Jehovah liveth Jesus must reign, yea, even now he is reigning, though all his enemies are not yet subdued. During the present interval, through which we wait for his glorious appearing and visible millennial kingdom, he is in the place of power, and his dominion is in no jeopardy, or otherwise he would not remain quiescent. He sits because all is safe, and he sits at Jehovah's right hand because omnipotence waits to accomplish his will. Therefore there is no cause for alarm whatever may happen in this lower world; the sight of Jesus enthroned in divine glory is the sure guarantee that all things are moving onward towards ultimate victory. Those rebels who now stand high in power shall soon be in the place of contempt, they shall be his footstool. He shall with ease rule them, he shall sit and put his foot on them; not rising to tread them down as when a man puts forth force to subdue powerful foes, but retaining the attitude of rest, and still ruling them as abject vassals who have no longer spirit to rebel, but have become thoroughly tamed and subdued.

Psalm 110:2

"The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion." It is in and through the church that for the present the power of the Messiah is known. Jehovah has given to Jesus all authority in the midst of his people, whom he rules with his royal sceptre, and this power goes forth with divine energy from the church for the ingathering of the elect, and the subduing of all evil. We have need to pray for the sending out of the rod of divine strength. It was by his rod that Moses smote the Egyptians, and wrought wonders for Israel, and even so whenever the Lord Jesus sends forth the rod of his strength, our spiritual enemies are overcome. There may be an allusion here to Aaron's rod which budded and so proved his power; this was laid up in the ark, but our Lord's rod is sent forth to subdue his foes. This promise began to be fulfilled at Pentecost, and it continues even to this day, and shall yet have a grander fulfilment. O God of eternal might, let the strength of our Lord Jesus be more clearly seen, and let the nations see it as coming forth out of the midst of thy feeble people, even from Zion, the place of thine abode. "Rule thou in the midst off thine enemies;" as he does whenever his mighty sceptre of grace is stretched forth to renew and save them. Moses' rod brought water out of the flinty rock, and the gospel of Jesus soon causes repentance to flow in rivers from the once hardened heart of man. Or the text may mean that though the church is situated in the midst of a hostile world, yet it exerts a great influence, it continues to manifest an inward majesty, and is after all the ruling power among the nations because the shout of a king is in her midst. Jesus, however hated by men, is still the King of kings. His rule is over even the most unwilling, so as to overrule their fiercest opposition to the advancement of his cause. Jesus, it appears from this text, is not inactive during his session at Jehovah's right hand, but in his own way proves the abiding nature of his kingdom both in Zion and from Zion, both among his friends and his foes. We look for the clearer manifestation of his almighty power in the latter days; but even in these waiting times we rejoice that to the Lord all power is given in heaven and in earth.

Psalm 110:3

"Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth." In consequence of the sending forth of the rod of strength, namely, the power of the gospel, out of Zion, converts will come forward in great numbers to enlist under the banner of the Priest-King. Given to him of old, they are his people, and when his power is revealed, these hasten with cheerfulness to own his sway, appearing at the gospel call as It were spontaneously, even as the dew comes forth in the morning. This metaphor is further enlarged upon, for as the dew has a sparkling beauty, so these willing armies of converts have a holy excellence and charm about them; and as the dew is the lively emblem of freshness, so are these converts full of vivacity and youthful vigour, and the church is refreshed by them and made to flourish exceedingly. Let but the gospel be preached with divine unction, and the chosen of the Lord respond to it like troops in the day of the mustering of armies; they come arrayed by grace in shining uniforms of holiness, and for number, freshness, beauty, and purity, they are as the dewdrops which come mysteriously from the morning's womb. Some refer this passage to the resurrection, but even if it be so, the work of grace in regeneration is equally well described by it, for it is a spiritual resurrection. Even as the holy dead rise gladly into the lovely image of their Lord, so do quickened souls put on the glorious righteousness of Christ, and stand forth to behold their Lord and serve him. How truly beautiful is holiness! God himself admires it. How wonderful also is the eternal youth of the mystical body of Christi As the dew is new every morning, so is there a constant succession of converts to give to the church perpetual juvenility. Her young men have a dew from the Lord upon them, and arouse in her armies an undying enthusiasm for him whose "locks are bushy and black as a raven" with unfailing youth. Since Jesus ever lives, so shall his church ever flourish. As his strength never faileth, so shall the vigour of his true people be renewed day by day. As he is a Priest-King, so are his people all priests and kings, and the beauties of holiness are their priestly dress, their garments for glory and for beauty: of these priests unto God there shall be an unbroken succession. The realisation of this day of power during the time of the Lord's tarrying is that which we should constantly pray for; and we may legitimately expect it since he ever sits in the seat of honour and power, and puts forth his strength, according to his own word, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." THE ARGUMENT

That the penman of this Psalm was not Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, who writ it upon the occasion of Abraham’s victory over those kings, Ge 14, (as some of the later Jews have devised, out of opposition to Christianity,) nor any other person but David, is manifest from the title of the Psalm, which is a part of the sacred text. That this Psalm belongs to the Messiah is abundantly evident, both from the express testimony of the New Testament, Acts 2:34 1 Corinthians 15:25 Hebrews 1:13 10:13, and from the consent of the ancient Hebrew doctors, manifested implicitly in Matthew 22:44, and expressly from their own mouths. Of which see my Latin Synopsis upon this place; and from the matter of the Psalm, which can by no means or arts be made to agree to David, who was not David’s lord nor a priest, much less a priest forever, or after the order of Melchisedek, the priesthood of Aaron being in David’s time in use and force, and in the hands of another person and family. And whereas divers other Psalms, though principally directed to and to be understood of the Messiah, yet in some sort may be understood concerning David also, or at least took their rise and occasion from David, or from something relating to him, this Psalm is directly, and immediately, and solely to be understood concerning the Messiah; the Spirit of God wisely so ordering this matter, that it might be a most express and convincing testimony against the unbelieving Jews concerning the true Messiah, and concerning the nature and quality of his kingdom.

Written by David, as is manifest both from this title, which being given to this, as well as to many other Psalms, whereof David is confessed to be the author, either proves this to be David’s, or proves none of them to be so; and from Matthew 22:43,44 Mr 12:36, where also David is said to have spoken this Psalm in or by the Spirit of God, or by Divine inspiration.

An account of the calling the kingdom of Christ, Psalm 110:1-3; of his everlasting priesthood, Psalm 110:4; of his mighty conquest over his enemies, Psalm 110:5,6; and of his sufferings and triumph, Psalm 110:7.

The Lord; God the Father, the first person in the Trinity, to whom accordingly the original of all things, and especially of the work of man’s redemption by Christ, is ascribed.

Said; decreed or appointed it from eternity, and in due time published this decree, as is noted, Psalm 2:7, and actually executed it; which he did when he raised up Christ from the dead, and brought him into his heavenly mansion.

Unto my Lord; unto his Son the Messias, whom David designedly calls his Lord, to admonish the Jews and the whole church, that although he was his son according to the flesh, or his human nature, Acts 2:34 Romans 1:3, yet he had a higher nature and original, and was also his Lord, as being by nature God blessed for ever, and consequently Lord of all things, as he is called, Acts 10:36; and by office, as he was God-man, the Lord and King of the whole church, and of all the world for the church’s sake. And this was a necessary provision, to prevent that scandal which the Holy Ghost foresaw the Jews and others would be apt to take at the meanness of Christ’s appearance in the flesh. The Hebrew word Adon is one of God’s titles, signifying his power and authority or lordship over all things, and therefore is most fitly given to the Messias, to whom God hath delegated all his power in the world, Matthew 28:18.

Sit thou at my right hand: thou who hast for many years been veiled with infirm and mortal flesh, despised, and rejected, and trampled upon by men, and persecuted unto the death, do thou now take to thyself thy great and just power; thou hast done thy work upon earth, now take thy rest, and the possession of that sovereign kingdom and glory which by right belongeth to thee: do thou rule with me with equal power and majesty, as thou art God; and with an authority and honour far above all creatures, such as is next to mine, as thou art man; as this phrase is expounded in other places. See Mark 16:19 Luke 22:69 1 Corinthians 15:25 Hebrews 1:3,13 8:1 10:12,13 Eph 1:20, &c. It is a metaphor from the custom of earthly princes, who place those persons whom they honour most at their right hand; of which see 1 Kings 2:19 Psalm 45:9 Matthew 20:21. Sitting is put for reigning, 1 Kings 3:6, compared with 2 Chronicles 1:8, and withal notes the continuance of the reign, 1 Corinthians 15:25.

Until doth not necessarily note the end or expiration of his kingdom at that time; for in other places it notes only the continuance of things till such time, without excluding the time following, as is evident from Genesis 28:15 Psalm 112:8 Matthew 1:25. So here it may signify that his kingdom should continue so long, even in the midst of his enemies, and in spite of all their power and malice, which was the only thing which was liable to any doubt; for that he should continue to reign after the conquest and utter ruin of all his enemies was out of all question. And yet this is a word of limitation, in regard of the mediatorial kingdom of Christ, in respect of which Christ rules with a delegated power, as his Father’s viceroy, and with the use of outward means, and instruments, and ordinances, &c., for that manner of administration shall cease; which also seems to be intimated by this word, as it is expounded 1 Corinthians 15:25.

I make, by my almighty power communicated to thee as God by eternal generation, and vouchsafed to thee as Mediator, to enable thee to the full discharge of thine office.

Thine enemies; which also are the enemies of thy church; all persecutors and ungodly men, who will not have Christ to rule over them, Luke 19:14; sin, and death, and the devil, 1 Corinthians 15:26.

Thy footstool; thy slaves and vassals to be put to the meanest and basest services, as this phrase implies, 1 Kings 5:3 Psalm 18:39 91:13; being taken from the manner of Eastern princes, who used to tread upon the necks of their conquered enemies, as we read, Joshua 10:24 Judges 1:7. And long after those times Sapores the Persian emperor trod upon Valerian emperor of the Romans, and Tamerlane used to tread upon Bajazet the Turkish emperor, whom he kept in an iron cage for that purpose.

The Lord said unto my Lord,.... The Targum is,

"the Lord said in his Word.''

Galatinus (q) says the true Targum of Jonathan has it,

"the Lord said to his Word;''

and produces an authority for it. These are the words of Jehovah the Father to his Son the Messiah; the "Adon", or Lord, spoken of in Isaiah 6:1, the one Lord Jesus, and only Potentate; the Lord of all, the Lord of David, and of every believer; not by right of creation only, as of all mankind; but by redemption, having bought them; and by right of marriage, having espoused them; and by their own consent, they owning him to be their Lord. The words said to him by Jehovah, as follow, were said in his mind, in his eternal purpose and decree; which he, lying in his bosom, was privy, when he foreordained him to be the Redeemer; and in the council and covenant of peace, when he promised him this glory as the reward of his sufferings; and in the prophecies of the Old Testament, which speak as of the sufferings of Christ, so of the glory that should follow; and when the fact was done, when, after his death, resurrection, ascension, and entrance into heaven, he was placed, as follows:

Sit thou at my right hand; of power and majesty; expressive of the honour done to Christ, and the glory put on him in the human nature, such as angels nor any creature ever had, Hebrews 1:13, it being always accounted honourable to sit at the right hand of great personages, 1 Kings 2:19, and also of rule, and power, and authority; being upon the same throne with his Father, exercising the same government over angels and men; "sitting" is explained by "reigning" in 1 Corinthians 15:25. It also denotes having done his work, and to satisfaction; and therefore is set down, being entered into his rest, and having ceased from his work and labour, enjoying the presence of his divine Father; in which is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore: and it also signifies the continuance of regal honour and power; he sits and continues a King as well as a Priest for ever.

Until I make thine enemies thy footstool; Christ has his enemies; all the enemies of his people are his; some are overcome already by him, as sin, Satan, and the world; and the Jews, his enemies, who would not have him to reign over them, have been destroyed: but as yet all things are not put under his feet, which will be; as antichrist, and the kings of the earth that are with him, who will be overcome by him; the beast and false prophet will be taken and cast into the lake of fire; where also the old serpent, the devil, after he has been bound and loosed, wall be cast likewise; and when the last enemy, death, shall be destroyed; till that time comes, Christ reigns and will reign, and afterwards too, even to all eternity. The allusion is to the custom of conquerors treading upon the necks of the conquered; see Joshua 10:24.

(m) Adv. Marcion. l. 5. c. 9. (n) In Midrash Tillim apud Yalkut in loc. (o) R. Moses Haddarsan & Arama in Galatiu. de Cath. Arean. Ver. l. 3. c. 17. & l. 8. c. 24. (p) Saadiah Gaon in Daniel 7.13. Nachman. Disput. cum Fratre Paulo, p. 36, 55. Abkath Rochel, p. 80. (q) De Cathol. Arean. Ver. l. 3. c. 5. & l. 8. c. 24.

<> The {a} LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

(a) Jesus Christ in Mt 22:44 gives the interpretation of this, and shows that this cannot properly be applied to David but to himself.

1. The Lord said unto my Lord] Jehovah’s oracle unto [or touching] my lord! The rendering said (R.V. saith) does not represent the full force of the word ne’um, which is commonly used of solemn Divine utterances (Genesis 22:16, and frequently in the prophets; in the Psalter elsewhere Psalm 36:1 only). The Psalmist speaks with the authority of a prophet who is conscious of having received a message from God. It makes little difference whether we render unto or touching. The message is addressed through the Psalmist to the king, and the king is the subject of it. Strictly speaking the ‘oracle’ is the remainder of the verse ‘sit thou … footstool,’ Psalm 110:2-3 being the Psalmist’s expansion of it; but the whole Psalm is a Divine message of encouragement for the king.

my Lord] The R.V. has rightly dropped the capital letter, as being of the nature of an interpretation. ‘My lord’ (adônî) is the title of respect and reverence used in the O.T. in addressing or speaking of a person of rank and dignity, especially a king (Genesis 23:6; 1 Samuel 22:11; 1 Kings 1. passim, Psalm 18:7; and frequently).

sit thou at my right hand] The seat at the king’s right hand was the place of honour (1 Kings 2:19; Matthew 20:21; cp. Psalm 45:9; 1Ma 10:63). But more than mere honour is implied here. This king is to share Jehovah’s throne, to be next to Him in dignity, to be supported by all the force of His authority and power. The idea corresponds to the recognition of the king as Jehovah’s son in Psalm 2:7. Somewhat similarly the king was said to ‘sit on the throne of Jehovah’ (1 Chronicles 29:23; cp. Psalm 28:5; 2 Chronicles 13:8). The customs of ancient Arabia supply an illustration. There the Ridf or Viceroy sat on the king’s right hand, and took precedence next to him. Greek poets spoke of their gods as ‘assessors’ of Zeus, ‘sharing his throne.’ Pindar (fragm. 112 Donaldson) speaks of Athene as “sitting on the right hand of the father (Zeus) to receive his commands for the gods.” Callimachus (Hymn to Apollo, 28, 29) says that Apollo has power to reward the chorus, “since he sits at Zeus’ right hand.” But still more to the point, in view of the Messianic interpretation of the passage, is the description of Wisdom in Wis 9:4 as ‘Wisdom that sitteth by God on His throne’ (δός μοι τὴν τῶν σῶν θρόνων πάρεδρον σοφίαν). The residence of the king on Zion in close proximity to the Ark was an outward symbol of his dignity.

until I make thine enemies thy footstool] A metaphor for complete subjugation, derived from the practice described in Joshua 10:24. Cp. 1 Kings 5:3; 1 Corinthians 15:25, and for the promise cp. Psalm 2:8-9. Until need not of course imply that the session is to come to an end when the subjugation has been effected.

For the N.T. application of this verse to the exaltation of Christ in the Resurrection, see above, p. 665.

1–3. Jehovah’s oracle concerning the king: the assurance of victory over his enemies: the willing service of his people.

Verse 1. - The Lord said unto my Lord. Jehovah said unto him who is my Lord and Master, i.e. to Messiah, who is my liege Lord, although about to be, in some mysterious way, my descendant. Sit thou at my right hand. An exaltation too high for any merely human personage (comp. Acts 2:33; Acts 7:56; Hebrews 1:3). Until I make thine enemies thy footstool. To place the foot upon the neck or body of defeated enemies was a common practice of Oriental conquerors. Psalm 110:1In Psalm 20:1-9 and Psalm 21:1-13 we see at once in the openings that what we have before us is the language of the people concerning their king. Here לאדני in Psalm 110:1 does not favour this, and נאם is decidedly against it. The former does not favour it, for it is indeed correct that the subject calls his king "my lord," e.g., 1 Samuel 22:12, although the more exact form of address is "my lord the king," e.g., 1 Samuel 24:9; but if the people are speaking here, what is the object of the title of honour being expressed as if coming from the mouth of an individual, and why not rather, as in Psalm 20-21, למלך or למשׁיחו? נאם is, however, decisive against the supposition that it is an Israelite who here expresses himself concerning the relation of his king to Jahve. For it is absurd to suppose that an Israelite speaking in the name of the people would begin in the manner of the prophets with נאם, more particularly since this נאם ה placed thus at the head of the discourse is without any perfectly analogous example (1 Samuel 2:30; Isaiah 1:24 are only similar) elsewhere, and is therefore extremely important. In general this opening position of נאם, even in cases where other genitives that יהוה follow, is very rare; נאם Numbers 24:3., Numbers 24:15, of David in 2 Samuel 23:1, of Agur in Proverbs 30:1, and always (even in Psalm 36:2) in an oracular signification. Moreover, if one from among the people were speaking, the declaration ought to be a retrospective glance at a past utterance of God. But, first, the history knows nothing of any such divine utterance; and secondly, נאם ה always introduces God as actually speaking, to which even the passage cited by Hofmann to the contrary, Numbers 14:28, forms no exception. Thus it will consequently not be a past utterance of God to which the poet glances back here, but one which David has just now heard ἐν πνεύματι (Matthew 22:43), and is therefore not a declaration of the people concerning David, but of David concerning Christ. The unique character of the declaration confirms this. Of the king of Israel it is said that he sits on the throne of Jahve (1 Chronicles 29:23), viz., as visible representative of the invisible King (1 Chronicles 28:5); Jahve, however, commands the person here addressed to take his place at His right hand. The right hand of a king is the highest place of honour, 1 Kings 2:19.

(Note: Cf. the custom of the old Arabian kings to have their viceroy (ridf) sitting at their right hand, Monumenta antiquiss. hist. Arabum, ed. Eichhorn, p. 220.)

Here the sitting at the right hand signifies not merely an idle honour, but reception into the fellowship of God as regards dignity and dominion, exaltation to a participation in God's reigning (βασιλεύειν, 1 Corinthians 15:25). Just as Jahve sits enthroned in the heavens and laughs at the rebels here below, so shall he who is exalted henceforth share this blessed calm with Him, until He subdues all enemies to him, and therefore makes him the unlimited, universally acknowledged ruler. עד as in Hosea 10:12, for עד־כּי or עד־אשׁר, does not exclude the time that lies beyond, but as in Psalm 112:8, Genesis 49:10, includes it, and in fact so that it at any rate marks the final subjugation of the enemies as a turning-point with which something else comes about (vid., Acts 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:28). הדם is an accusative of the predicate. The enemies shall come to lie under his feet (1 Kings 5:17), his feet tread upon the necks of the vanquished (Joshua 10:24), so that the resistance that is overcome becomes as it were the dark ground upon which the glory of his victorious rule arises. 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. In Psalm 110:2, springing from the utterance of Jahve, follow words expressing a prophetic prospect. Zion is the imperial abode of the great future King (Psalm 2:6). מטּה עזּך (cf. Jeremiah 48:17; Ezekiel 19:11-14) signifies "the sceptre (as insignia and the medium of exercise) of the authority delegated to thee" (1 Samuel 2:10, Micah 5:3). Jahve will stretch this sceptre far forth from Zion: no goal is mentioned up to which it shall extend, but passages like Zechariah 9:10 show how the prophets understand such Psalms. In Psalm 110:2 follow the words with which Jahve accompanies this extension of the dominion of the exalted One. Jahve will lay all his enemies at his feet, but not in such a manner that he himself remains idle in the matter. Thus, then, having come into the midst of the sphere (בּקרב) of his enemies, shall he reign, forcing them to submission and holding them down. We read this רדה in a Messianic connection in Psalm 72:8. So even in the prophecy of Balaam (Numbers 24:19), where the sceptre (Numbers 24:17) is an emblem of the Messiah Himself.

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