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
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
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
2. the rod of thy strength—the rod of
correction (Isa 9:4; 10:15; Jer 48:12), by which Thy strength will be known.
This is His Word of truth (Isa 2:3; 11:4), converting some and confounding others
out of Zion—or, the Church, in which
God dwells by His Spirit, as once by a visible symbol in the tabernacle
on Zion (compare Ps 2:6).
rule thou, &c.—over enemies now
in the midst—once set upon, as by
ferocious beasts (Ps 22:16),
now humbly, though reluctantly, confessed as Lord (Php 2:10, 11).
3. Thy people … willing—literally,
"Thy people (are) free will offerings"; for such is the proper
rendering of the word "willing," which is a plural noun, and not an
adjective (compare Ex 25:2; Ps 54:6), also a similar form (Jud 5:2-9).
in the day of thy power—Thy people
freely offer themselves (Ro 12:1) in
Thy service, enlisting under Thy banner.
in the beauties of holiness—either as
29:2, the loveliness of a
spiritual worship, of which the temple service, in all its material
splendors, was but a type; or more probably, the appearance of the
worshippers, who, in this spiritual kingdom, are a nation of kings and
priests (1Pe 2:9; Re 1:5), attending this Priest and King,
clothed in those eminent graces which the beautiful vestments of the
Aaronic priests (Le 16:4)
typified. The last very obscure clause—
from the womb … youth—may,
according to this view, be thus explained: The word "youth" denotes a
period of life distinguished for strength and activity (compare Ec 11:9)—the "dew" is a constant
emblem of whatever is refreshing and strengthening (Pr 19:12; Ho
14:5). The Messiah, then, as
leading His people, is represented as continually in the vigor of
youth, refreshed and strengthened by the early dew of God's grace and
Spirit. Thus the phrase corresponds as a member of a parallelism with
"the day of thy power" in the first clause. "In the beauties of
holiness" belongs to this latter clause, corresponding to "Thy people"
in the first, and the colon after "morning" is omitted. Others prefer:
Thy youth, or youthful vigor, or body, shall be constantly refreshed by
successive accessions of people as dew from the early morning; and this
accords with the New Testament idea that the Church is Christ's body
4. The perpetuity of the priesthood, here
asserted on God's oath, corresponds with that of the kingly office just
after the order—(Heb 7:15) after the similitude of Melchisedek, is
fully expounded by Paul, to denote not only perpetuity, appointment of
God, and a royal priesthood, but also the absence of priestly descent
and succession, and superiority to the Aaronic order.
5. at thy right hand—as Ps 109:31, upholding and aiding, which is not
inconsistent with Ps 110:1,
where the figure denotes participation of power, for here He is
presented in another aspect, as a warrior going against enemies, and
sustained by God.
strike through—smite or crush.
kings—not common men, but their
rulers, and so all under them (Ps 2:2, 10).
6. The person is again changed. The Messiah's
conquests are described, though His work and God's are the same. As
after a battle, whose field is strewn with corpses, the conqueror
ascends the seat of empire, so shall He "judge," or "rule," among many
nations, and subdue
the head—or (as used collectively for
"many") "the heads," over many lands.
wound—literally, "smite," or "crush"
7. As a conqueror, "faint, yet pursuing"
8:4], He shall be refreshed
by the brook in the way, and pursue to completion His divine and