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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

Psalms 110

Verses 1-7

Psalms 110:1-7 :

The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool ( Psalms 110:1 ).

This immediately gives to us the indication that this is one of those Messianic psalms. Or a psalm concerning the Messiah that has its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. And this first verse of the psalm is quoted in Hebrews as referring to Jesus Christ. "As the Lord said unto my Lord," or Yahweh said unto my Lord, Adonai, "Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool." Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of the Father in glory. And God is coming to judge the earth, to put down all of the enemies of Jesus Christ, to bring all things in subjection unto Him. And by the time the Great Tribulation is over, the nations will have been subdued and will be brought in subjection unto Jesus Christ who shall come to reign. But the Father said, or, "The Lord said unto my Lord, 'Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool."

So the writer of the Hebrews said, "God hath put all things in subjection unto Him, but we do not yet see all things in subjection" ( Hebrews 2:8 ). It hasn't yet come; yet it shall. But we see Jesus.

The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 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. The LORD hath sworn, and he will not change, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek ( Psalms 110:2-4 ).

Now here in this prophetic psalm is an interesting little shot. It takes us immediately back to the time of Abraham, who when five kings had gotten together and came down and captured four cities and took slaves and the loot from Sodom. And Abraham heard of it and his nephew Lot was there in Sodom. And so he gathered the servants of his own house, armed them, and they took out after this confederacy of kings. They caught up with them, and Abraham and his servants destroyed them and got back Lot and all of the captives, and all of the loot that these kings had taken.

Now as Abraham with his servants was coming back victorious, as they came near Jerusalem, the priest of the most high God in Jerusalem came out to meet Abraham with bread and wine. And Abraham gave to him a tenth of all that he had; that is, of the spoils that he had taken. Abraham paid tithes unto him. The priest was named Melchizedek. He had a second name, the King of Peace.

Now Abraham, the father of the nation; Abraham, the father of the faithful, those who will believe, in paying tithes to Melchizedek and receiving from Melchizedek a blessing, is showing that Melchizedek is actually one step above Abraham. For the lesser receives the blessing from the greater. And receiving the blessing from Melchizedek, the King of Peace, and paying tithes unto him, he was doing homage unto Melchizedek, known as the priest of the most high God.

Now Abraham had a son, Isaac, who had a son Jacob, who had twelve sons; one named Levi that was ordained by God to be the priestly tribe in Israel. And the family of Moses, Aaron, were chosen to be a high priest from the family of Aaron. Now Jesus, when He came, became the great High Priest unto God. For the duty of the priest was always twofold. The priest would appear before God for the people because the people themselves could not approach the holy, righteous God. It was necessary that they come to the priest who was a mediator, and the priest would go to God for the people. And then, having gone to God for the people, he would come out to the people and speak to them for God. And so God said unto Aaron, "And when you go forth and put My name upon the people, put My name on the people thus, 'The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord cause His face to shine upon thee, and give thee peace" ( Numbers 6:23-26 ). So he represented God to the people, but he represented the people to God, so he was a mediator.

Now in the New Testament, we have a new mediator, not a son of Levi. But He became the great high priest who went before God to represent us and who comes to us to represent the Father. But a Jew would immediately object to Jesus receiving the title of the great High Priest. For a Jew would say, "How can Jesus be a great high priest when He comes from the tribe of Judah? The Bible doesn't say anything about Judah being the priesthood, but speaks of Levi and the priesthood in Levi. Therefore, how can Jesus be the high priest coming from the tribe of Judah?" And this is how that difficulty is solved.

Even in the scripture itself, even in prophecy, God threw this in to the mind of the psalmist. As he's writing this psalm, God threw it in in order that there might be the basis for the high priesthood of Jesus. "For thou has sworn, and will not repent," "I have sworn and not will not repent," or, "The Lord has sworn, will not repent, 'Thou art a priest forever after,'" not the Aaronic order, or the Levitical order, but after "the order of Melchizedek." An order of priesthood which actually precedes the order of Levi and is superior to the order of Levi in that the father of Levi paid tithes and did homage unto Melchizedek.

So it is actually a superior order of priesthood, the priesthood of Melchizedek, to whom Abraham paid tithes and did homage. Therefore, Christ, a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Now, there are certain Bible scholars that believe that Melchizedek was actually none other than Jesus Christ in what is known as the theophany, the appearance of God in the Old Testament.

In the gospel of John, Jesus is having sort of an argument with the Pharisees concerning Abraham. And Jesus is talking about His Father being God. And they said, "We have Abraham as our father." And Jesus said, "If you had Abraham as your father, then you would believe in Me. For Abraham rejoiced to see My day." And they said, "Come on, who are you trying to kid? You're not fifty years old. What do you mean Abraham saw you?" And Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am" ( John 8:56-58 ).

But scholars believe that the reference to Abraham seeing or rejoicing to see My day is a reference to Melchizedek, when Abraham paid tithes unto him. So it is a very interesting verse that God has inserted here. We go back to Genesis, but we also go on to the book of Hebrews where this is used as the argument to the Jews to point out how that Christ can be our great High Priest, not after the Levitical order, but after the order of Melchizedek, a different order of priesthood. And showing that God had declared it, "The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, 'Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.'"

The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through the kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies ( Psalms 110:5-6 );

Of course, this is talking now about the great judgment of God that is coming as He strikes through the kings in the day of His wrath. The day of God's wrath is come. Great Tribulation. "He will judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with dead bodies." As the blood will flow to the horses' bridle throughout the whole valley of Megiddo.

he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head ( Psalms 110:6-7 ). "

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 110". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.