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Bible Commentaries

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms

Psalms 110

Verses 1-7

Psalms 110:1-7.

V. 1. David ’ speaks of some person, much greater than himself, whom he calls his Lord ; so it can be no other but the LORD CHRIST, of whom he here prophesies : not, as he is wont to do elsewhere, with respect to himself, in the first place, as his type and figure ; but in plain words, which can belong to none but Christ alone : for no other king but he can be said in any sense to sit at God’s right hand ; nor was there any priest after the order of Melchizedek, that could be a shadow of him. . . .The Jews have taken a great deal of pains to wrest this Psalm to another sense : yet they are so divided in their opinions about it, (speaking inconsistent things, like drunken men, as St. Chrysostom’s words are, or rather, says he, like men in the dark, running against ’ one another,) that from thence alone we may be satisfied ’ they are in the wrong, and have their eyes blinded." Bp. Patrick. ’ We are here informed of JEHOVAH’S eternal and changeable decree concerning the kingdom of Messiah, its extension, power, and duration. That Messiah should, after his sufferings, be thus exalted, was determined in the divine counsel and covenant, before the world began. ...It was addressed by the Father to the Son ; by JEHOVAH to Messiah, whom David in Spirit styleth ... my Lord, one that should come after him, as his offspring according to the flesh ; but one, in dignity of ’ person and greatness of power, far superior to him, and ’ to every earthly potentate. ...To this person it was said ’ by the Father, " Sit thou at my right hand, until I make ’ " thine enemies thy footstool ; " in other words, Seeing, ’ O my Son Messiah, tnou hast " glorified me on the ’ " earth, and finisned the work which I gave thee to do ; " ’ . . . take now the throne prepared for thee from the found ’ ation of the world : behold, all power is given unto thee ; ’ enter upon thy mediatorial kingdom, and reign till every ’ opposer shall have submitted himself to thee, and sin and ’ death shall have felt thy all-conquering arm.’ Bp. Home. (Note, 1 Corinthians 15:20-28.) This interpretation is established by multiplied quotations from the Psalm, in the New Testament, with the most express application of it to the kingdom of Christ. David, speaking by the Holy Spirit, calls the promised Messiah, /iis Lard, though he was to descend from him, according to the flesh : not only because he should hereafter be far superior to him and all the kings of the earth ; but because he then existed in glory, as the eternal Son of God. (Notes, Matthew 22:41-46. Mark 12:35-37. Luke 20:41-44. Acts 2:33-36. Hebrews 10:11-18.)

V. 2. In the former verse the royal prophet reported the words of JEHOVAH to the Messiah : but here he addresses the Messiah as present. ’ The eternal LORD, who ’ hath thus decreed to honour thee, O most mighty Prince, ’ will make Zion first of all to feel how powerful thy ’ sceptre is,. ..and thence extend thy empire over all the ’ earth ; where...! foretell thou wilt prevail over all infidelity, idolatry, superstition, and impiety, which will set ’ themselves against thy authority.’ Bp. Patrick. (Notes, Revelation 20:1-6.) ’ Go on, victorious Prince ; plant the ’ standard of thy cross among the thickest ranks of the ’ adversary ; and, in opposition to both Jew and Gentile, ’ tumultuously raging against thee, erect and establish thy ’ church throughout the world.’ Bp. Home. the gospel, " preached with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven," is "the rod," or sceptre, of the Redeemer’s strength, or authority. This was sent forth from Zion by the apostles and evangelists, who were the instruments of setting up his kingdom ;

(Notes, Is. 2: 2- 5. Ezekiel 47:1-10. Luke 24:44-49 ;) by which he has ever since reigned over an innumerable multitude of subjects, in the midst of the most furious and inveterate enemies ; namely, evil spirits and wicked men, who in vain attempt to subvert his throne, or deprive him of his subjects : and thus he will continue to establish and enlarge his kingdom, till it fill the whole earth, and till time shall be no more.

(Notes, Psalms 2:7-12. Is. 9: 6, 7. Daniel 2:44-45. Matthew 16:18. John 10:26-31. Romans 8:32-39. Revelation 11:15-18.)

V. 3. ’ The " people " of Christ are those given him ’ by his Father, and gathered to him by the preachers of ’ his word. " The day of his power," is the season of ’ their conversion, when the corruptions of nature can no ’ longer hold out against the prevailing influences of grace ; ’ when the heart, will, and affections turn from the world ’ to God ; and they make, as the first disciples did, a free ’ and voluntary offering of themselves, and all they have, ’ to their Redeemer. Then it is, that they appear " in ’ " the beauties of holiness," adorned with humility, faith, ’ hope, love, and all the graces of the Spirit.’ Bp. Home. The word rendered " thy youth " may refer to the first publication of the gospel, the early days of the glorified Redeemer’s kingdom ; when converts, numerous as the drops of dew, which, by a bold metaphor, are said to be produced " from the womb of the morning," " gladly received the word," and willingly yielded themselves to the Lord Jesus. The word, rendered " willing," is literally voluntary offerings: it seems to imply the most unreserved cheerfulness, in presenting the oblation ; like that which David expresses. (Note, 1 Chronicles 29:10-19.) The scene exhibited on the day of Pentecost, and just afterwards ; when the haughty and selfish crucifiers of Christ, in that " day of his power," not only were made willing by divine grace to accept his salvation, but without the least reluctance, devoted their all, as a free will offering to his service ; is a striking illustration of the emblem, or rather a fulfilment of the prophecy. (Notes, Acts 2:37-47; Acts 4:32-37. 2 Corinthians 8:15.) ’ The whole verse... containeth a lively character of the subjects of Christ’s spiritual kingdom, who are described by their relation to him as " his people ; by their willingness to obey and " serve him ; by their honourable attire, and splendid " robes of holiness ; " and by their multitudes, resemblirig the drops of dew upon the grass." Bp. Horne.

V. 4. ’ The oath of God was the great seal of heaven, ’ designed to intimate the importance of the deed to which ’ it was set, and " to shew the heirs of promise, the immutability of his counsel." ...Oblation, intercession, ’ nnd benediction are the three branches of the sacerdotal ’ office, which our great High Priest now exerciseth for ’ us.’ Bp. Horne. The Rsdeemer’s kingdom is inseparably connected with the performances of his priestly office ; to which he was appointed by an irrevocable engagement of the Father, and in which he abides from age to age. In virtue of his atonement and intercession, he employs all his power and authority for the benefit of his redeemed people. But it should be carefully noted, that the two offices of king and priest were incompatible according to the Mosaick law, at least after the appointment of David and his family to the kingdom : and the ancient Jews must have known, if they had not been blinded by prejudice, that a new order and constitution must take place at the coming of the Messiah, who was to be " a Priest upon his "throne;" (Note, Zechariah 6:12-13;) a Priest, not after Aaron’s order, which, as David’s son, he could not be ; but after the order of Melchizedek. It is observable, that this is the only place, in which Melchizedek is mentioned in the whole Scripture, except in the narrative by Moses ; and by the apostle, when proving to the Hebrews that Jesus was the Messiah. The New Testament dispensation made no alteration, except in those things in which the Old Testament taught all, who understood it and attended to it, to expect an alteration. (Notes, Genesis 14:18-20. Hebrews 5:7-10; Hebrews 6:16-20; Hebrews 7:1-10.) ’As Melchizedek, the ’ figure of Christ, was both king and priest ; so the effect ’ cannot be accomplished in any king, save only Christ.’ After the order, &c.] Or, " According to my appointment, " even that of Melchizedek ; " or, " According to my ap" pointment, O Melchizedek."

V. 5, 6. ’ By " the Lord," or, My Lord, " at thy right ’ " hand,". . . the same person must undoubtedly be understood, who is mentioned in the first verse under the same ’ title, >rnn , as " sitting at the right hand of JEHOVAH." ’ And the Psalmist, who has hitherto addressed himself to ’ Messiah, or the Son, must be supposed now to make a ’ sudden apostrophe to ... the Father : as if he had said, ’ This my Lord Messiah, who sitteth at thy right hand, O ’ JEHOVAH, " shall smite through kings in the day of his ’ " wrath." The kings of the earth will endeavour to de’ stroy his religion, and put an end to his kingdom : the ’ Neros, the Domitians, the Dioclesians, the Maxentiuses, ’ the Julians, &c. &c. shall stand up, and set themselves ’ in array against him : but " the Lamb shall overcome ’ " them," he shall " judge " and punish the " heathen " ’ princes, ... and strew the ground with their " carcasses." ’ Bp. Horne. This will receive a more tremendous completion, when he shall destroy all antichristian powers, and set up his kingdom throughout the earth ; as it must evidently appear to anyone who attentively compares the various prophetical scriptures referred to in the margin.

(Notes, Psalms 149:7-9. Isaiah 34:1-17; Isaiah 63:1-6. Revelation 6:9-17; Revelation 19:11-21.)

V. 7 He shall first humble himself to the meanest condition ; not living in the state of a king here in this world, but of a way-faring man, . . .who is content with such provision as he meets withal. For which cause, after the enduring many hardships, even death itself, he shall be highly exalted to his royal and priestly dignity in the heavens.’ Bp. Patrick. ’ In his " way " to glory, he was to drink deep of the waters of affliction.’ Bp. Home. " Drinking of the brook," may however mean the refreshments with which the Saviour was supported, in passing through his sufferings, and beginning his conquests by triumphing over Satan on the cross, and over death by his resurrection. For either the waters of comfort, or the waters of affliction, may be meant : yet the scriptures, referred to in the margin, seem to favour the exposition first given. ( Notes, Luke 24:25-31 . Philippians 2:5-11; Philippians 4:8-11 .)


Our ascended Saviour is " King of kings and Lord of " lords : " the decree has been accomplished ; the Mediator reigns in human nature over all worlds, and shall reign till death, the last enemy, be destroyed by him. His gospel, " the rod of his strength," has reached our land, and we have heard it : and his kingdom is set up amidst opposing foes. But what are we ? Has his gospel been " the power " of God unto our salvation ? " Has his kingdom been set up in our hearts ? Are we become his loyal subjects ? Once we knew not our need of his salvation, and were not willing that he should " reign over us : " have we then experienced a " day of his power ? " Have we been rendered willing to renounce every sin, to turn our backs on an ensnaring world, to rely only on his merits and mercy, and to have him for our Prophet, Priest, and King ? And do we desire and long, and constantly pray, to be adorned with the beauties of holiness? Vast multitudes through successive generations have experienced this change; to them the Saviour’s sacrifice, intercession, and benediction belong ; he is their merciful and faithful High Priest, and their " King of righteousness and peace ; " their powerful Protector and Friend ; and because he ever lives, they shall live also with him for evermore. Vet, as lie passed through sufferings in his way to glory, so must his people : and, having drunk of the bitter waters of death, they too shall lift up their heads, be delivered from Satan, sin, and every foe, and be for ever happy in his presence. But the Saviour’s power will be dreadful beyond all expression or conception, to all who oppose, neglect, or pervert his gospel. Many persecuting tyrants have already felt the weight of his vengeance ; many more will yet be made sensible of the madness of provoking his indignation ; and his coming to establish his kingdom, and to judge the world, will be attended with the terror and ruin of every enemy. Let us then bow to the sceptre of his grace, and yield ourselves to be his subjects, with all we are and have, as a free will offering, to be employed for his glory ; that we may " love his appearing," as the accomplishment of all our desires and expectations.

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Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 110". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. 1804.