Psalms 110

 

לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר נְאֻם יְהוָה לַאדֹנִי שֵׁב לִימִינִי עַד־אָשִׁית אֹיְבֶיךָ הֲדֹם לְרַגְלֶיךָ׃   110:1

Psal. 110:1   A psalm for David:

                        A declaration of the Lord to my lord,

                                 “Sit to My right hand until

                         I make your enemies a stool for your feet.”

Part of this verse is referred to in the new testament (Matthew 22:44 and Mark 12:36) as corroboration that the messiah is the Lord (support for the triune god).  But I’m fairly well convinced that this psalm is a continuation of the preceding psalm and does not refer to the messiah.  There someone oppressed (either Israel, David or the hymn leader) ends the chapter with the words “For He will endure as the right hand of a needy one, to save from the judges of his soul.”  In this verse, the Lord says to the oppressed one, “Remain as My right hand until ....” or alternatively, “Sit to my right until ....”  Two things are wrong with the Christian interpretation of this verse.  First, do they not believe that Jesus has always sat at the right hand of the Lord?  Here he remains only until he “appears.”  Second, don’t they also believe that the messiah will himself make his enemies a footstool?  In this verse it is the Lord (the Father) that does that.

מַטֵּה־עֻזְּךָ יִשְׁלַח יְהוָה מִצִּיּוֹן רְדֵה בְּקֶרֶב אֹיְבֶיךָ׃   110:2

Psal. 110:2   The Lord shall send forth the staff of your strength from Zion.

                                  “Rule in the midst of your enemies.”

עַמְּךָ נְדָבֹת בְּיֹום חֵילֶךָ בְּהַדְרֵי־קֹדֶשׁ מֵרֶחֶם מִשְׁחָר לְךָ טַל יַלְדֻתֶיךָ׃   110:3

Psal. 110:3   “Your people are volunteers in the time of your strength;

                                   with the splendors of holiness from the womb of dawn,

                        yours is the dew of your youth.”

I’m not sure I understand this verse.  Too many obscure metaphors, I fear.  David’s people being volunteers?  It  must mean that they offer themselves freely in support of David.  The splendors of holiness?  I’m not sure; the sages and scholars seem to connect this with the garments of the priests.  But I’m guessing the volunteers are soldiers.  Might they wear such splendors of holiness?  From the womb of dawn?  What is the womb of the dawn?  Apparently the dawn is mother to something -- the dew?  And I suppose the last line refers to David’s splendors of holiness.  But what does it mean?  The intent of the psalmist escapes me.

נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה וְלֹא יִנָּחֵם אַתָּה־כֹהֵן לְעוֹלָם עַל־דִּבְרָתִי מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק׃   110:4

Psal. 110:4   The Lord has sworn and will not repent:

                                   “You are a priest forever, according to the manner of Melchizedek.”

David or Israel or the hymn leader is called a priest, but not in the sense of Aaron, but in the manner of Melchizedek.  Remember him?

אֲדֹנָי עַל־יְמִינְךָ מָחַץ בְּיוֹם־אַפּוֹ מְלָכִים׃   110:5

Psal. 110:5   The Master is at your right hand,

                                   He strikes kings through at a time of His “anger.”

יָדִין בַּגּוֹיִם מָלֵא גְוִיּוֹת מָחַץ רֹאשׁ עַל־אֶרֶץ רַבָּה׃   110:6

Psal. 110:6   He will execute judgment among the nations, full of corpses,

                                    shattering any head over many a land.

מִנַּחַל בַּדֶּרֶךְ יִשְׁתֶּה עַל־כֵּן יָרִים רֹאשׁ׃   110:7

Psal. 110:7   He will drink from a brook on the way;

                                    therefore he can lift up the head.

I assume the psalmist is speaking of David or Israel or the hymn leader in this last verse, not the Lord.  It seems a bit awkward that he addresses the oppressed one throughout this psalm in the second person.  Then suddenly here he changes to third person.  Strange!  But that’s the kind of thing that happens in the bible.

 

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