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To the Priest-King at the Right Hand of God
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them: What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He? They say unto Him: David's. He saith unto them: How then doth David in the spirit call Him Lord, saying: “The Lord hath said unto my Lord: Sit Thou on My right hand until I make Thine enemies the stool of Thy feet?” If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his Son? And no man was able to answer Him a word, neither durst any one from that day forth question Him further.
So we read in Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44. The inference which it is left for the Pharisees to draw rests upon the two premises, which are granted, that Psalms 110:1-7 is Davidic, and that it is prophetico-Messianic, i.e., that in it the future Messiah stands objectively before the mind of David. For if those who were interrogated had been able to reply that David does not there speak of the future Messiah, but puts into the mouth of the people words concerning himself, or, as Hofmann has now modified the view he formerly held ( Schriftbeweis, ii. 1, 496-500), concerning the Davidic king in a general way,
(Note: Vid., the refutation of this modified view in Kurtz, Zur Theologie der Psalmen, in the Dorpater Zeitschrift for the year 1861, S. 516.
Supplementary Note. - Von Hofmann now interprets Psalms 110:1-7 as prophetico-Messianic. We are glad to be able to give it in his own words.
“As the utterance of a prophet who speaks the word of God to the person addressed, the Psalm begins, and this it is then all through, even where it does not, as in Psalms 110:4, expressly make known to the person addressed what God swears to him. God intends to finally subdue his foes to him. Until then, until his day of victory is come, he shall have a dominion in the midst of them, the sceptre of which shall be mighty through the succour of God. His final triumph is, however, pledged to him by the word of God, which appoints him, as another Melchizedek, to an eternal priesthood, that excludes the priesthood of Aaron, and by the victory which God has already given him in the day of His wrath.
“This is a picture of a king on Zion who still looks forward to that which in Psalms 72:8. has already taken place, - of a victorious, mighty king, who however is still ruling in the midst of foes, - therefore of a king such as Jesus now is, to whom God has given the victory over heathen Rome, and to whom He will subdue all his enemies when he shall again reveal himself in the world; meanwhile he is the kingly priest and the priestly king of the people of God. The prophet who utters this is David, He whom he addresses as Lord is the king who is appointed to become spoken according to 2 Samuel 23:3. David beholds him in a moment of his ruling to which the moment in his own ruling in which we find him in 2 Samuel 11:1 is typically parallel.”)
then the question would lack the background of cogency as an argument. Since, however, the prophetico-Messianic character of the Psalm was acknowledged at that time (even as the later synagogue, in spite of the dilemma into which this Psalm brought it in opposition to the church, has never been able entirely to avoid this confession), the conclusion to be drawn from this Psalm must have been felt by the Pharisees themselves, that the Messiah, because the Son of David and Lord at the same time, was of human and at the same time of superhuman nature; that it was therefore in accordance with Scripture if this Jesus, who represented Himself to be the predicted Christ, should as such profess to be the Son of God and of divine nature.
The New Testament also assumes elsewhere that David in this Psalm speaks not of himself, but directly of Him, in whom the Davidic kingship should finally and for ever fulfil that of which the promise speaks. For Psalms 110:1 is regarded elsewhere too as a prophecy of the exaltation of Christ at the right hand of the Father, and of His final victory over all His enemies: Acts 2:34., 1 Corinthians 15:25; Hebrews 1:13; Hebrews 10:13; and the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 5:6; Hebrews 7:17, Hebrews 7:21) bases its demonstration of the abrogation of the Levitical priesthood by the Melchizedek priesthood of Jesus Christ upon Psalms 110:4. But if even David, who raised the Levitical priesthood to the pinnacle of splendour that had never existed before, was a priest after the manner of Melchizedek, it is not intelligible how the priesthood of Jesus Christ after the manner of Melchizedek is meant to be a proof in favour of the termination of the Levitical priesthood, and to absolutely preclude its continuance.
We will not therefore deceive ourselves concerning the apprehension of the Psalm which is presented to us in the New Testament Scriptures. According to the New Testament Scriptures, David speaks in Psalms 110:1-7 not merely of Christ in so far as the Spirit of God has directed him to speak of the Anointed of Jahve in a typical form, but directly and objectively in a prophetical representation of the Future One. And would this be impossible? Certainly there is no other Psalm in which David distinguishes between himself and the Messiah, and has the latter before him: the other Messianic Psalms of David are reflections of his radical, ideal contemplation of himself, reflected images of his own typical history; they contain prophetic elements, because David there too speaks ἐν πνεύματι , but elements that are not solved by the person of David. Nevertheless the last words of David in 2 Samuel 23:1-7 prove to us that we need not be surprised to find even a directly Messianic Psalm coming from his lips. After the splendour of all that pertained to David individually had almost entirely expired in his own eyes and in the eyes of those about him, he must have been still more strongly conscious of the distance between what had been realized in himself and the idea of the Anointed of God, as he lay on his death-bed, as his sun was going down. Since, however, all the glory with which God has favoured him comes up once more before his soul, he feels himself, to the glory of God, to be “the man raised up on high, the anointed of God of Jacob, the sweet singer of Israel,” and the instrument of the Spirit of Jahve. This he has been, and he, who as such contemplated himself as the immortal one, must now die: then in dying he seizes the pillars of the divine promise, he lets go the ground of his own present, and looks as a prophet into the future of his seed: The God of Israel hath said, to me hath the Rock of Israel spoken: “A ruler of men, a just one, a ruler in the fear of God; and as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, a cloudless morning, when after sunshine, after rain it becomes green out of the earth.” For not little ( לא־כן to be explained according to Job 9:35, cf. Numbers 13:33; Isaiah 51:6) is my house with God, but an everlasting covenant hath He made with me, one ordered in all things and sure, for all my salvation and all my favour - ought He not to cause it to sprout? The idea of the Messiah shall notwithstanding be realized, in accordance with the promise, within his own house. The vision of the future which passes before his soul is none other than the picture of the Messiah detached from its subjectivity. And if so there, why may it not also have been so even in Psalms 110:1-7?
The fact that Psalms 110:1-7 has points of connection with contemporaneous history is notwithstanding the less to be denied, as its position in the Fifth Book leads one to suppose that it is taken out of its contemporary annalistic connection. The first of these connecting links is the bringing of the Ark home to Zion. Girded with the linen ephod of the priest, David had accompanied the Ark up to Zion with signs of rejoicing. There upon Zion Jahve, whose earthly throne is the Ark, now took His place at the side of David; but, spiritually considered, the matter stood properly thus, that Jahve, when He established Himself upon Zion, granted to David to sit henceforth enthroned at His side. The second connecting link is the victorious termination of the Syro-Ammonitish war, and also of the Edomitish war that came in between. The war with the Ammonites and their allies, the greatest, longest, and most glorious of David's wars, ended in the second year, when David himself joined the army, with the conquest of Rabbah. These two contemporary connecting links are to be recognised, but they only furnish the Psalm with the typical ground-colour for its prophetical contents.
In this Psalm David looks forth from the height upon which Jahve has raised him by the victory over Ammon into the future of his seed, and there He who carries forward the work begun by him to the highest pitch is his Lord. Over against this King of the future, David is not king, but subject. He calls him, as one out of the people, “my Lord.” This is the situation of the prophetico-kingly poet. He has received new revelations concerning the future of his seed. He has come down from his throne and the height of his power, and looks up to the Future One. He too sits enthroned on Zion. He too is victorious from thence. But His fellowship with God is the most intimate imaginable, and the last enemy is also laid at His feet. And He is not merely king, who as a priest provides for the salvation of His people, He is an eternal Priest by virtue of a sworn promise. The Psalm therefore relates to the history of the future upon a typical ground-work. It is also explicable why the triumph in the case of Ammon and the Messianic image have been thus to David's mind disconnected from himself. In the midst of that war comes the sin of David, which cast a shadow of sorrow over the whole of his future life and reduced its typical glory to ashes. Out of these ashes the phoenix of Messianic prophecy here arises. The type, come back to the conscious of himself, here lays down his crown at the feet of the Antitype.
Psalms 110:1-7 consists of three sevens, a tetrastich together with a tristich following three times upon one another. The Rebia magnum in Psalms 110:2 is a security for this stichic division, and in like manner the Olewejored by חילך in Psalms 110:3, and in general the interpunction required by the sense. And Psalms 110:1 and Psalms 110:2 show decisively that it is to be thus divided into 4 + 3 lines; for Psalms 110:1 with its rhyming inflexions makes itself known as a tetrastich, and to take it together with Psalms 110:2 as a heptastich is opposed by the new turn which the Psalm takes in Psalms 110:2. It is also just the same with Psalms 110:4 in relation to Psalms 110:3: these seven stichs stand in just the same organic relation to the second divine utterance as the preceding seven to the first utterance. And since Psalms 110:1-4 give twice 4 + 3 lines, Psalms 110:5-7 also will be organized accordingly. There are really seven lines, of which the fifth, contrary to the Masoretic division of the verse, forms with Psalms 110:7 the final tristich.
The Psalm therefore bears the threefold impress of the number seven, which is the number of an oath and of a covenant. Its impress, then, is thoroughly prophetic. Two divine utterances are introduced, and that not such as are familiar to us from the history of David and only reproduced here in a poetic form, as with Ps 89 and 132, but utterances of which nothing is known from the history of David, and such as we hear for the first time here. The divine name Jahve occurs three times. God is designedly called Adonaj the fourth time. The Psalm is consequently prophetic; and in order to bring the inviolable and mysterious nature even of its contents into comparison with the contemplation of its outward character, it has been organized as a threefold septiad, which is sealed with the thrice recurring tetragamma.
In Psalms 20:1-9 and Psalms 21:1-13 we see at once in the openings that what we have before us is the language of the people concerning their king. Here לאדני in Psalms 110:1 does not favour this, and נאם is decidedly against it. The former does not favour it, for it is indeed correct that the subject calls his king “my lord,” e.g., 1 Samuel 22:12, although the more exact form of address is “my lord the king,” e.g., 1 Samuel 24:9; but if the people are speaking here, what is the object of the title of honour being expressed as if coming from the mouth of an individual, and why not rather, as in Ps 20-21, למלך or למשׁיחו נאם is, however, decisive against the supposition that it is an Israelite who here expresses himself concerning the relation of his king to Jahve. For it is absurd to suppose that an Israelite speaking in the name of the people would begin in the manner of the prophets with נאם , more particularly since this נאם ה placed thus at the head of the discourse is without any perfectly analogous example (1 Samuel 2:30; Isaiah 1:24 are only similar) elsewhere, and is therefore extremely important. In general this opening position of נאם , even in cases where other genitives that יהוה follow, is very rare; נאם Numbers 24:3., Numbers 24:15, of David in 2 Samuel 23:1, of Agur in Proverbs 30:1, and always (even in Psalms 36:2) in an oracular signification. Moreover, if one from among the people were speaking, the declaration ought to be a retrospective glance at a past utterance of God. But, first, the history knows nothing of any such divine utterance; and secondly, נאם ה always introduces God as actually speaking, to which even the passage cited by Hofmann to the contrary, Numbers 14:28, forms no exception. Thus it will consequently not be a past utterance of God to which the poet glances back here, but one which David has just now heard ἐν πνεύματι (Matthew 22:43), and is therefore not a declaration of the people concerning David, but of David concerning Christ. The unique character of the declaration confirms this. Of the king of Israel it is said that he sits on the throne of Jahve (1 Chronicles 29:23), viz., as visible representative of the invisible King (1 Chronicles 28:5); Jahve, however, commands the person here addressed to take his place at His right hand. The right hand of a king is the highest place of honour, 1 Kings 2:19.
(Note: Cf. the custom of the old Arabian kings to have their viceroy ( ridf ) sitting at their right hand, Monumenta antiquiss. hist. Arabum, ed. Eichhorn, p. 220.)
Here the sitting at the right hand signifies not merely an idle honour, but reception into the fellowship of God as regards dignity and dominion, exaltation to a participation in God's reigning ( βασιλεύειν , 1 Corinthians 15:25). Just as Jahve sits enthroned in the heavens and laughs at the rebels here below, so shall he who is exalted henceforth share this blessed calm with Him, until He subdues all enemies to him, and therefore makes him the unlimited, universally acknowledged ruler. עד as in Hosea 10:12, for עד־כּי or עד־אשׁר , does not exclude the time that lies beyond, but as in Psalms 112:8, Genesis 49:10, includes it, and in fact so that it at any rate marks the final subjugation of the enemies as a turning-point with which something else comes about (vid., Acts 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:28). הדם is an accusative of the predicate. The enemies shall come to lie under his feet (1 Kings 5:17), his feet tread upon the necks of the vanquished (Joshua 10:24), so that the resistance that is overcome becomes as it were the dark ground upon which the glory of his victorious rule arises. For the history of time ends with the triumph of good over evil, - not, however, with the annihilation of evil, but with its subjugation. This is the issue, inasmuch as absolute omnipotence is effectual on behalf of and through the exalted Christ. In Psalms 110:2, springing from the utterance of Jahve, follow words expressing a prophetic prospect. Zion is the imperial abode of the great future King (Psalms 2:6). מטּה עזּך (cf. Jeremiah 48:17; Ezekiel 19:11-14) signifies “the sceptre (as insignia and the medium of exercise) of the authority delegated to thee” (1 Samuel 2:10, Micah 5:3). Jahve will stretch this sceptre far forth from Zion: no goal is mentioned up to which it shall extend, but passages like Zechariah 9:10 show how the prophets understand such Psalms. In Psalms 110:2 follow the words with which Jahve accompanies this extension of the dominion of the exalted One. Jahve will lay all his enemies at his feet, but not in such a manner that he himself remains idle in the matter. Thus, then, having come into the midst of the sphere ( בּקרב ) of his enemies, shall he reign, forcing them to submission and holding them down. We read this רדה in a Messianic connection in Psalms 72:8. So even in the prophecy of Balaam (Numbers 24:19), where the sceptre (Numbers 24:17) is an emblem of the Messiah Himself.
In order that he may rule thus victoriously, it is necessary that there should be a people and an army. In accordance with this union of the thoughts which Psalms 110:3 anticipates, בּיום חילך signifies in the day of thy arriere ban, i.e., when thou callest up thy “power of an army” (2 Chronicles 26:13) to muster and go forth to battle. In this day are the people of the king willingnesses ( נדבת ), i.e., entirely cheerful readiness; ready for any sacrifices, they bring themselves with all that they are and have to meet him. There is no need of any compulsory, lengthy proclamation calling them out: it is no army of mercenaries, but willingly and quickly they present themselves from inward impulse ( מתנדּב , Judges 5:2, Judges 5:9). The punctuation, which makes the principal caesura at חילך with Olewejored, makes the parallelism of חילך and ילדוּתך distinctly prominent. Just as the former does not signify roboris tui , so now too the latter does not, according to Ecclesiastes 11:9, signify παιδιότητός σου (Aquila), and not, as Hofmann interprets, the dew-like freshness of youthful vigour, which the morning of the great day sheds over the king. Just as גּלוּת signifies both exile and the exiled ones, so ילדוּת , like νεότης , juventus , juventa , signifies both the time and age of youth, youthfulness, and youthful, young men (the youth). Moreover one does not, after Psalms 110:3, look for any further declaration concerning the nature of the king, but of his people who place themselves at his service. The young men are likened to dew which gently descends upon the king out of the womb ( uterus) of the morning-red.
(Note: The lxx renders it: ἐν ταῖς λαμπρότησι τῶν ἁγίων σου (belonging to the preceding clause), ἐκ γαστρὸς πρὸ ἑωσφόρου ἐγέννησά σε (Psalt. Veron. exegennesa se; Bamberg. gegennica se). The Vulgate, following the Italic closely: in splendoribus sanctorum; ex utero ante luciferum genui te . The Fathers in some cases interpret it of the birth of the Lord at Christmas, but most of them of His antemundane birth, and accordingly Apollinaris paraphrases: γαστρὸς καρπὸς ἐμῆς πρὸ ἑωσφόρου αὐτὸς ἐτύχθης . In his own independent translation Jerome reads בהררי (as in Psalms 87:1), in montibus sanctis quasi de vulva orietur tibi ros adolescentiae tuae , as Symmachus ἐν ὄρεσιν ἁγίοις , - elsewhere, however, ἐν δόξῃ ἁγίων . The substitution is not unmeaning, since the ideas of dew and of mountains (Psalms 133:3) are easily united; but it was more important to give prominence to the holiness of the equipment than to that of the place of meeting.)
משׁחר is related to שׁחר just as מחשׁך is to חשׁך ; the notion of שׁחר and חשׁך appears to be more sharply defined, and as it were apprehended more massively, in משׁחר and מחשׁך . The host of young men is likened to the dew both on account of its vigorousness and its multitude, which are like the freshness of the mountain dew and the immense number of its drops, 2 Samuel 17:12 (cf. Numbers 23:10), and on account of the silent concealment out of which it wondrously and suddenly comes to light, Micah 5:7. After not having understood “thy youth” of the youthfulness of the king, we shall now also not, with Hofmann, refer בּהדרי־קדשׁ to the king, the holy attire of his armour. הדרת קדשׁ is the vestment of the priest for performing divine service: the Levite singers went forth before the army in “holy attire” in 2 Chronicles 20:21; here, however, the people without distinction wear holy festive garments. Thus they surround the divine king as dew that is born out of the womb of the morning-red. It is a priestly people which he leads forth to holy battle, just as in Revelation 19:14 heavenly armies follow the Logos of God upon white horses, ἐνδεδυμένοι βύσσινον λευκὸν καθαρόν - a new generation, wonderful as if born out of heavenly light, numerous, fresh, and vigorous like the dew-drops, the offspring of the dawn. The thought that it is a priestly people leads over to Psalms 110:4. The king who leads this priestly people is, as we hear in Psalms 110:4, himself a priest ( cohen ). As has been shown by Hupfeld and Fleischer, the priest is so called as one who stands (from כּחן כּוּן in an intransitive signification), viz., before God (Deuteronomy 10:8, cf. Psalms 134:1; Hebrews 10:11), like נביא the spokesman, viz., of God.
(Note: The Arabic lexicographers explain Arab. kâhin by mn yqûm b - 'mr 'l - rjl w - ys‛â fı̂ ḥâjth , “he who stands and does any one's business and managest his affair.” That Arab. qâm , קום , and Arab. mṯl , משׁל , side by side with עמד are synonyms of בהן in this sense of standing ready for service and in an official capacity.)
To stand before God is the same as to serve Him, viz., as priest. The ruler whom the Psalm celebrates is a priest who intervenes in the reciprocal dealings between God and His people within the province of divine worship the priestly character of the people who suffer themselves to be led forth to battle and victory by him, stands in causal connection with the priestly character of this their king. He is a priest by virtue of the promise of God confirmed by an oath. The oath is not merely a pledge of the fulfilment of the promise, but also a seal of the high significance of its purport. God the absolutely truthful One (Numbers 13:19) swears - this is the highest enhancement of the נאם ה of which prophecy is capable (Amos 6:8).
He appoints the person addressed as a priest for ever “after the manner of Melchizedek” in this most solemn manner. The i of דברתי is the same ancient connecting vowel as in the מלכי of the name Melchizedek; and it has the tone, which it loses when, as in Lamentations 1:1, a tone-syllable follows. The wide-meaning על־דּברת , “in respect to, on account of,” Ecclesiastes 3:18; Ecclesiastes 7:14; Ecclesiastes 8:2, is here specialized to the signification “after the manner, measure of,” lxx κατὰ τὴν τάξιν . The priesthood is to be united with the kingship in him who rules out of Zion, just as it was in Melchizedek, king of Salem, and that for ever. According to De Wette, Ewald, and Hofmann, it is not any special priesthood that is meant here, but that which was bestowed directly with the kingship, consisting in the fact that the king of Israel, by reason of his office, commended his people in prayer to God and blessed them in the name of God, and also had the ordering of Jahve's sanctuary and service. Now it is true all Israel is a “kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:6, cf. Numbers 16:3; Isaiah 61:6), and the kingly vocation in Israel must therefore also be regarded as in its way a priestly vocation. Btu this spiritual priesthood, and, if one will, this princely oversight of sacred things, needed not to come to David first of all by solemn promise; and that of Melchizedek, after which the relationship is here defined, is incongruous to him; for the king of Salem was, according to Canaanitish custom, which admitted of the union of the kingship and priesthood, really a high priest, and therefore, regarded from an Israelitish point of view, united in his own person the offices of David and of Aaron. How could David be called a priest after the manner of Melchizedek, he who had no claim upon the tithes of priests like Melchizedek, and to whom was denied the authority to offer sacrifice
(Note: G. Enjedin the Socinian (died 1597) accordingly, in referring this Psalm to David, started from the assumption that priestly functions have been granted exceptionally by God to this king as to no other, vid., the literature of the controversy to which this gave rise in Serpilius, Personalia Davidis, S. 268-274.)
inseparable from the idea of the priesthood in the Old Testament? (cf. 2 Chronicles 26:20). If David were the person addressed, the declaration would stand in antagonism with the right of Melchizedek as priest recorded in Gen. 14, which, according to the indisputable representation of the Epistle to the Hebrews, was equal in compass to the Levitico-Aaronic right, and, since “after the manner of” requires a coincident reciprocal relation, in antagonism to itself also.
(Note: Just so Kurtz, Zur Theologie der Psalmen, loc. cit. S. 523.)
One might get on more easily with Psalms 110:4 by referring the Psalm to one of the Maccabaean priest-princes (Hitzig, von Lengerke, and Olshausen); and we should then prefer to the reference to Jonathan who put on the holy stola, 1 Macc. 10:21 (so Hitzig formerly), or Alexander Jannaeus who actually bore the title king (so Hitzig now), the reference to Simon, whom the people appointed to “be their governor and high priest for ever, until there should arise a faithful prophet” (1 Macc. 14:41), after the death of Jonathan his brother - a union of the two offices which, although an irregularity, was not one, however, that was absolutely illegal. But he priesthood, which the Maccabaeans, however, possessed originally as being priests born, is promised to the person addressed here in Psalms 110:4; and even supposing that in Psalms 110:4 the emphasis lay not on a union of the priesthood with the kingship, but of the kingship with the priesthood, then the retrospective reference to it in Zechariah forbids our removing the Psalm to a so much later period. Why should we not rather be guided in our understanding of this divine utterance, which is unique in the Old Testament, by this prophet, whose prophecy in Zechariah 6:12. is the key to it? Zechariah removes the fulfilment of the Psalm out of the Old Testament present, with its blunt separation between the monarchical and hierarchical dignity, into the domain of the future, and refers it to Jahve's Branch ( צמח ) that is to come. He, who will build the true temple of God, satisfactorily unites in his one person the priestly with the kingly office, which were at that time assigned to Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel the prince. Thus this Psalm was understood by the later prophecy; and in what other sense could the post-Davidic church have appropriated it as a prayer and hymn, than in the eschatological Messianic sense? but this sense is also verified as the original. David here hears that the king of the future exalted at the right hand of God, and whom he calls his Lord, is at the same time an eternal priest. And because he is both these his battle itself is a priestly royal work, and just on this account his people fighting with him also wear priestly garments.
Just as in Psalms 110:2 after Psalms 110:1, so now here too after the divine utterance, the poet continues in a reflective strain. The Lord, says Psalms 110:5, dashes in pieces kings at the right hand of this priest-king, in the day when His wrath is kindled (Psalms 2:12, cf. Psalms 21:10). אדני is rightly accented as subject. The fact that the victorious work of the person addressed is not his own work, but the work of Jahve on his behalf and through him, harmonizes with Psalms 110:1. The sitting of the exalted one at the right hand of Jahve denotes his uniform participation in His high dignity and dominion. But in the fact that the Lord, standing at his right hand (cf. the counterpart in Psalms 109:6), helps him to victory, that unchangeable relationship is shown in its historical working. The right hand of the exalted one is at the same time not inactive (see Numbers 24:17, cf. Numbers 24:8), and the Lord does not fail him when he is obliged to use his arm against his foes. The subject to ידין and to the two מחץ is the Lord as acting through him. “He shall judge among the peoples” is an eschatological hope, Psalms 7:9; Psalms 9:9; Psalms 96:10, cf. 1 Samuel 2:10. What the result of this judgment of the peoples is, is stated by the neutrally used verb מלא with its accusative גויּות (cf. on the construction Psalms 65:10; Deuteronomy 34:9): it there becomes full of corpses, there is there a multitude of corpses covering everything. This is the same thought as in Isaiah 66:24, and wrought out in closely related connection in Revelation 19:17; Revelation 18:21. Like the first מחץ , the second ( Psalms 110:6) is also a perfect of the idea past. Accordingly ארץ רבּה seems to signify the earth or a country (cf. ארץ רחבה , Exodus 3:8; Nehemiah 9:35) broad and wide, like תּהום רבּה the great far-stretching deep. But it might also be understood the “land of Rabbah,” as they say the “land of Jazer” (Numbers 32:1), the “country of Goshen” (Joshua 10:41), and the like; therefore the land of the Ammonites, whose chief city is Rabbah. It is also questionable whether ראשׁ על־ארץ רבּה is to be taken like κεφαλὴν ὑπὲρ πάντα , Ephesians 1:22 (Hormann), or whether על־ארץ רבה belongs to מחץ as a designation of the battle-field. The parallels as to the word and the thing itself, Psalms 68:22; Habakkuk 3:13., speak for ראשׁ signifying not the chief, but the head; not, however, in a collective sense (lxx, Targum), but the head of the רשׁע κατ ̓ ἐξοχήν (vid., Isaiah 11:4). If this is the case, and the construction ראשׁ על is accordingly to be given up, neither is it now to be rendered: He breaks in pieces a head upon the land of Rabbah, but upon a great (broad) land; in connection with which, however, this designation of the place of battle takes its rise from the fact that the head of the ruler over this great territory is intended, and the choice of the word may have been determined by an allusion to David's Ammonitish war. The subject of Psalms 110:7 is now not that arch-fiend, as he who in the course of history renews his youth, that shall rise up again (as we explained it formerly), but he whom the Psalm, which is thus rounded off with unity of plan, celebrates. Psalms 110:7 expresses the toil of his battle, and Psalms 110:7 the reward of undertaking the toil. על־כּן is therefore equivalent to ἀντὶ τούτου . בּדּרך , however, although it might belong to מגּחל (of the brook by the wayside, Psalms 83:10; Psalms 106:7), is correctly drawn to ישׁתּה by the accentuation: he shall on his arduous way, the way of his mission (cf. Psalms 102:24), be satisfied with a drink from the brook. He will stand still only for a short time to refresh himself, and in order then to fight afresh; he will unceasingly pursue his work of victory without giving himself any time for rest and sojourn, and therefore (as the reward for it) it shall come to pass that he may lift his head on high as victor; and this, understood in a christological sense, harmonizes essentially with Philippians 2:8., Hebrews 12:2, Revelation 5:9.
The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Psalms 110". Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27