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Psalm 110:5-7

5. The Lord at thy right hand 331331     “The Lord at thy right hand. In this psalm it is evident, verse 1, that יהוה is the title of God the Father, and so again, verse 4, and אדני of the Messiah God the Son, in respect of that dignity, and dominion, and regal power, to which he was to be exalted at his ascension, that ‘at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.’ This is expressed, verse 1, by his ‘sitting at God’s right hand,’ for which the Apostle, 1 Corinthians 15:25, reads, ‘it must be that he reign.’ By this it is evident that, in this verse, ‘The Lord at thy right hand,’ must be understood of the Messiah instated in his regal power at the right hand of his father, and not of the Father as his παραστάτης, to back and help him, as Psalm 16:8, and elsewhere, the phrase is used. For of the Son thus exalted we know it is that we read John 5:22, that ‘the Father has committed all judgment to the Son.’ Agreeable to which it is that this ‘Adonai,’ or ‘Lord at Jehovah’s right hand here, shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath;’ i.e., shall act revenges most severely on the opposers of his kingdom; which revenges, in the New Testament, are peculiarly attributed to Christ, and called ‘the coming of the Son of Man, coming in the clouds, coming with his angels, and the approaching or coming of his kingdom.’” — Hammond. In this 5th verse the Psalmist makes a sudden apostrophe to Jehovah. Horsley is much inclined to indulge in a conjecture, which Dr Kennicott, too, seems to have entertained, that the word יהוה, Jehovah, has been lost out of the text after the original word for at thy right hand; and that the passage should run thus: “The Lord at thy right hand, O Jehovah!” hath broken in pieces kings in the day of his wrath. 6. He shalt judge among the heathen, he shall fill all with ruins; he shall break the head over a great country. 7. He shall drink of the torrent in the way, and therefore shall he elevate his head on high.

 

5. The Lord at thy right hand In these words David celebrates the dreadful nature of that power which Christ possesses for the dispersion and destruction of his enemies; and by this means he affirms, that though encompassed by bands of deadly foes, yet their malignant attempts would not prevent God from upholding the King whom he has set up. It is proper to consider the expression, in the day of his wrath, by which we are instructed patiently to endure the cross, if it happen that God, for a time, conceals himself during the prevalence of the cruelty and fury of enemies; for he knows well when the full and fit season arrives for executing vengeance upon them. Next, he invests Christ with power over the nations, and the people of uncircumcised lips; meaning, that he was not chosen King to reign over the inhabitants of Judea only, but also to keep under his sway distant nations, agreeably to what was predicated of him in Psalm 2:8. And because, in all parts of the earth, as well as in the confines of Judea, there would be many rebellious and disobedient persons, he adverts also to their destruction; thus intimating, that all who should set themselves in opposition to Christ, must be made to fall before him, and their obstinacy be subdued.

7 He shall drink Not a few interpreters, in my opinion, expound this verse in a very harsh manner: that the carnage would be so great, as to cause the blood of the slain to flow in torrents, out of which Christ, the Conqueror, might drink till he was satiated. 332332     This opinion is held by Michaelis and Doederlein. But although a fearful carnage of God’s and his people’s enemies is sometimes poetically described by His arrows being made drunk with blood, Deuteronomy 32:42; and as producing a stream of blood, in which his people, victorious over them, might dip or wash their feet, as in Psalm 68:24; yet neither He nor they are said to drink such blood. There is a great difference between this latter and the two preceding metaphors; and we cannot think that the idea of drinking human blood, much less of making God drink it, would have entered the mind of any Israelite. The idea is abhorrent to human nature, and must have appeared particularly shocking to the Jews, who were strictly prohibited by the laws of Moses from eating even the blood of beasts. Akin to this is the exposition of those who would have it to be a figurative representation of misery and grief, and thus descriptive of the many afflictions to which Christ was liable during this transitory life. The similitude seems rather to be drawn from the conduct of brave and powerful generals, who, when in hot pursuit of the enemy, do not suffer themselves to be diverted from their purpose by attending to luxuries; but, without kneeling down, are content to quench their thirst by drinking of the stream which they are passing. It was in this way that Gideon found out the brave and warlike soldiers; regarding such as kneeled down to drink as destitute of courage, he sent them back to their homes, Judges 7:5. It therefore appears to me that David figuratively attributes military prowess to Christ, declaring that he would not take time to refresh himself, but would hastily drink of the river which might come in his way. 333333     Similar is the opinion of Grotius. He regards the words as containing a description of a strenuous and active warrior, whom no obstacle can prevent from prosecuting victory with the utmost ardor; “Who,” to use his own language, “when pursuing the enemy, does not seek for places of entertainment, that he may refresh himself with wine, but is contented with water, which he takes hastily in passing; and whenever he can find it, not only from a river, but from a torrent.” “Schnurrer,” says Rosemüller, “seems to have perceived the true meaning of the verse, which he gives in the following words: — ‘Though fatigued with the slaughter of his enemies, yet will he not desist; but, having refreshed himself with water taken from the nearest stream, will exert his renovated strength in the pursuit of the routed foe.’” — Messianic Psalms, page 284. This is designed to strike his enemies with terror, intimating to them the rapid approach of impending destruction. Should any one be disposed to ask, Where then is that spirit of meekness and gentleness with which the Scripture elsewhere informs us he shall be endued? Isaiah 42:2, 3; 61:1, 2; I answer, that, as a shepherd is gentle towards his flock, but fierce and formidable towards wolves and thieves; in like manner, Christ is kind and gentle towards those who commit themselves to his care, while they who wilfully and obstinately reject his yoke, shall feel with what awful and terrible power he is armed. In Psalm 2:9, we saw that he had in his hand an iron scepter, by which he will beat down all the obduracy of his enemies; and, accordingly, he is here said to assume the aspect of cruelty, with the view of taking vengeance upon them. Wherefore it becomes us carefully to refrain from provoking his wrath against us by a stiff-necked and rebellious spirit, when he is tenderly and sweetly inviting us to come to him.


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