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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Psalms 110

Verses 1-7


Christ in exaltation, waiting for the judgment of His enemies, and to reign from Zion for the blessing of His willing people, exercising His priesthood after the order of Melchizedek.

In Psalm 109 , Christ is presented as waiting upon God to speak for Him in answer to the wicked who spake against Him ( Psa_109:1-2 ; Psa_109:21 ; Psa_109:31 ). In this psalm God speaks for Christ, in answer to the prayer of Psalm 109 . Thus while Psalm 109 , unfolds God's ways with Christ in humiliation, Psalm 110 presents God's purpose for Christ in exaltation.

(v. 1) In the days of Christ's humiliation men spoke against Christ with a lying tongue; they fought against Christ without a cause, and “persecuted the poor and needy man” ( Psa_109:2-3 ; Psa_109:16 ). God's answer is to exalt Christ to the place of supreme power in heaven, there to wait until His enemies are made His footstool, when He will have the place of supreme power on earth. He once waited in the days of His humiliation for God's answer to His prayer; He now waits in exaltation for the fulfillment of God's purpose.

(vv. 2-4) The verses that follow unfold God's purpose for Christ. God has decreed that He shall rule from Zion in the midst of His enemies. In the very scene of His humiliation, and man's hostility, His power will be displayed. If, however, He rules in the midst of His enemies, He will also exercise His Melchizedek priesthood in the midst of His willing people. From the dawn of that new day there will come to Him a new generation of willing people, here called “the dew of thy youth” (Lit. “young men”), in all the freshness and vigor of youth. (cp. Psa_22:31 ). As the King ruling from Zion, He will bring blessing from God to His willing people: as the Priest He will lead the praises of the people, and thus bless God on behalf of the people (cp. Gen_14:20 ).

(vv. 5-6) In the day of His power all that exalt themselves against the Lord will come under judgment. The One who now sits at Jehovah's right hand will rise up and “strike through kings.” The day of His patience will be followed by “the day of His wrath.” It will be a universal judgment “among the nations”; and an overwhelming victory that will turn the scene of conflict into a vast battlefield strewn with the corpses of His foes - “He shall fill (all places) with dead bodies” (JND).

The statement that “He shall smite through the head over a great country” (JND), would appear to refer to Israel's last enemy, the Gog of Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 . It can hardly refer to the Beast or to Antichrist, who we know, will be destroyed by the coming of Christ ( Rev_19:20 ). The psalm does not contemplate the actual descent of Christ, but rather, the overwhelming judgments among the nations that will take place after He has come.

(v. 7) The closing verse tells us that when all other heads are judged, Christ will “lift up the head.” The One who was once the perfectly dependent Man, will alone be the exalted Head over all. He is the One who drank of the brook in the way. In the day of His humiliation, as the dependent Man, He partook of the mercies the Lord provided in the way. He did not despise the brook: He was not detained by the brook. He stooped to be the dependent Man; therefore will He be the exalted Man, who will lift up the head above every other head. He will be the King of kings, and the Lord of lords.

It is well to note that the Lord Jesus definitely states that this psalm refers to Himself, and was written by David under the direction of the Holy Spirit. It is more frequently cited by New Testament writers than any other single portion of Scripture. It is quoted in each of the synoptic gospels to prove that David's son will be David's Lord ( Mat_22:43-44 ; Mar_12:36-37 ); Luk_20:42-43 ). It is quoted by Peter in Act_2:34-35 , to prove the exaltation of Christ; by Paul in 1Co_15:25 , to enforce the fact that all Christ's enemies will be annulled. In Heb_1:13 , it is used to prove the superiority of Christ over angels; in Heb_5:6 , to prove His Melchizedek priesthood; in Heb_7:17-21 , to prove the unchangeable character of His priesthood, and in Heb_10:13 , to prove His present waiting attitude.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 110". "Smith's Writings". 1832.