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110. Psalm 110

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

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

3Thy 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.

4The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

5The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.

6He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.

7He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

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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