Verse 7. "He shall drink of the brook in the way " - He shall have sore travail, and but little ease and refreshment: but he shall still go on from conquering to conquer.
"Therefore shall he lift up the head. " - Or his head. He shall succeed in all his enterprises, and at last be peaceably settled in his ample dominions.
But these verses, as well as the former, may be applied to our Lord. The fifth verse may be an address to Jehovah: Adonai at thy right hand, O Jehovah, shall smite kings-bring down all powers hostile to his empire, in the day of his wrath-when, after having borne long, he arises and shakes terribly the rulers of the earth.
Ver. 6. He shall judge, give laws, among the heathen-send his Gospel to the whole Gentile world. He shall fill the field of battle with the dead bodies of the slain, who had resisted his empire, and would not have him to reign over them.
"He shall wound the heads over many countries. " - This must be spoken against some person possessing a very extensive sway. Perhaps Antichrist is meant; he who has so many countries under his spiritual domination.
Christ shall destroy every person, and every thing, which opposes the universal spread of his own empire. He will be a King, as well as a Priest for ever.
Ver. 7. He shall drink of the brook-he shall suffer sorely, and even die in the struggle: but in that death his enemies shall all perish; and he shall lift up the head-he shall rise again from the dead, possessing all power in heaven and earth, ascend to the throne of glory, and reign till time shall be no more. He must suffer and die, in order to have the triumphs already mentioned.
While all have acknowledged that this Psalms is of the utmost importance, and that it speaks of Christ's priesthood and victories, it is amazing how various the interpretations are which are given of different passages. I have endeavoured to give the general sense in the preceding notes, and to explain all the particular expressions that have been thought most difficult: and by giving the various readings from the MSS., have left it to the learned reader to make farther improvements.
It has, however, long appeared to me that there is a key by which all the difficulties in the Psalm may be unlocked. As this has not been suggested by any other, as far as I know, I shall without apology lay it before the reader: - The hundred and tenth Psalms is a WAR SONG, and every phrase and term in it is MILITARY.
1. In the first place may be considered here the proclamation of the Divine purpose relative to the sacerdotal, prophetic, and regal offices of the LORD JESUS CHRIST: "Jehovah said unto my Lord, SIT THOU ON MY RIGHT HAND."
2. A grievous battle, and consequent victory over the enemy, foretold: I WILL MAKE THINE ENEMIES THE FOOTSTOOL TO THY FEET, ver. 1.
3. The ensign displayed: "THE LORD SHALL SEND FORTH THE ROD OF THY STRENGTH; the pole on which the banner shall be displayed, at the head of his strength-his numerous and powerful forces.
4. The inscription, device, or motto on this ensign: "RULE THOU IN THE MIDST OF THINE ENEMIES," ver. 2.
5. The muster of the troops. A host of bold spirited volunteers; not mercenaries, neither kidnapped nor impressed; but twbdn ”[ am nedaboth, a volunteer people; high-born, loyal subjects; veteran soldiers; every man bringing gifts to his General and King.
6. The regimentals or uniform in which they shall appear: "THE BEAUTIES OF HOLINESS; dq yrdh hadrey kodesh, the splendid garments of holiness. The apparel showing the richness of the King, and the worth and order of the soldiers; every man being determined to do his duty, and feeling assured of conquest. The Lacedaemonian soldiers were clothed in scarlet; and never went to battle without crowns and garlands upon their heads, being always sure of victory. Potter's Ant., vol. ii., p. 55.
7. The number of the troops: THEY SHALL BE AS THE DROPS OF DEW AT BREAK OF DAY: - innumerable; and this shall be in consequence ûtdly yalduthecha, of thy nativity-the manifestation of Jesus. THOU shalt be born unto men; THEY shall be born of thy Spirit, ver. 3.
8. The title of the commander: "THOU ART A PRIEST," hk cohen, a Priest and a Prince. So was Agamemnon in Homer, and AEneas in Virgil. Both were princes; both were priests and both were heroes.
9. The perpetuity of this office: "FOR EVER;" ”lw[l Ieolam, for futurity-for all time-till the earth and the heavens are no more.
10. The resolution of setting up such a Priest and lying, and levying such an army: ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK. The Commander, muster, and establishment of the corps shall be according to the plan of that ancient king and priest; or, translating the words literally, qdx yklm ytrbd l[ al dabarti malki tsedek, all shall be executed as I have spoken to my righteous king; I have sworn, and will not change my purpose. All my purposes shall be fulfilled. This speaking may refer to the purpose, ver. 1, confirmed by an oath, ver. 4.
11. Victory gained: ADONAI AT THY RIGHT HAND HATH TRANSFIXED ( Ćjm machats) KINGS IN THE DAY OF HIS WRATH, i.e., of battle and victory. Jesus, the Almighty King and Conqueror, fights and gains his battles, while sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high, ver. 5.
12. Judgment instituted and executed: "HE SHALL JUDGE AMONG THE HEATHEN," ”ygb baggoyim, among the nations. He shall bring forth, judge, and condemn his enemies; and he shall fill pits with the bodies of executed criminals, ver. 6.
13. False religion, supporting itself by the secular arm under the name of true religion, shall be destroyed. hbr Ćra l[ ar Ćjm machats rosh al erets rabbah; "He smites the head that is over an extensive land" or country. The priesthood that is not according to the order of Melchizedek shall be destroyed; and all government that is not according to him who is the eternal King and Priest, shall be brought down and annihilated. Who is this great HEAD? this usurping power? this antichristian authority? Let the Italian archbishop answer, ver. 6.
14. Refreshment and rest, the fruits of the victories which have been gained: "HE SHALL DRINK OF THE BROOK IN THE WAY; THEREFORE, SHALL HE LLFT UP THE HEAD." He and his victorious army, having defeated and pursued his enemies, and being spent with fatigue and thirst, are refreshed by drinking from a rivulet providentially met with in the way. But the rout being now complete and final, 15. The emperor is proclaimed and triumphs: God lifts up the HEAD, - ar rosh, the CHIEF, the CAPTAIN; as the word often means. Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, has a complete triumph; eternal peace and tranquillity are established. The Messiah is all in all-the last enemy, Death, is destroyed. Jesus, having overcome, has sat down with the Father upon his throne; and his soldiers, having also overcome through the blood of the Lamb, seated with him on the same throne, are for ever with the Lord.
They see him as he is; and eternally contemplate and enjoy his glory: - "Far from a world of grief and sin, With God eternally shut in." Hallelujah! The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth! Amen, Amen.
ANALYSIS OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND TENTH PSALM
This Psalms is short in appearance, but deep and copious in mysteries. The subject, without doubt, is Christ; since both St. Peter ( Acts ii. 34) and St. Paul ( Heb. i. 13) expound it of Christ; and in Matt. xxii. 44, Christ applies it to himself.
In this Psalm Christ is described as a Priest and a King.
I. Christ's kingdom, in the three first verses.
II. His priesthood, from the fourth to the seventh.
I. In reference to his kingdom the prophet acquaints us, 1. With his person; 2. With his power, and the acquisition of it; 3. The continuance of it; 4. The execution of it-First, Over his enemies; Secondly, Over his own people, which is the sum of the three first verses.
1. The person who was to reign was David's Lord; his son according to the flesh, but his Lord as equal to God; Philippians ii. 6, 7. As made flesh, and born of a virgin, the son of David; but as Immanuel, the Lord of David, which the Jews not understanding could not reply to Christ's question, Matthew xxii. 45.
2. As to his power, the Author of it was God: "The Lord said to my Lord," &c. Decreed it from everlasting. And again, "The Seed of the woman," &c.
3. And of his kingdom. He took possession, when the Lord said unto him, "Sit thou on my right hand." Christ, as the Son of God, was ever at God's right hand, equal to him in might and majesty; but, as man, was exalted to honour, not before his glorious ascension, Acts ii. 34; Eph. i. 20; Phil. ii. 9.
4. For the continuance of it. It is to be UNTIL, which notes, not a portion lof time, but a perpetuity. "Sit TILL I make, &c. Sit at God's right hand, that is, in power and glory, till he shall say to all the wicked, "Depart from me," Matthew 25., but not so as to be then dethroned. But when once all his enemies shall be made his footstool, then he shall visibly rule, "sitting at his Father's right hand for evermore;" go on to reign, neither desist to propagate and enlarge thy kingdom, till all men bow the knee to thy name, till all opponents be overthrown.
The beginning of this kingdom was in Zion: "The Lord shall send." &c.
1. The rod of his power was his scepter; that is, "His word, the Gospel, the wisdom of God," 1 Thess. ii. 13; "The sword of the Spirit," Eph. vi. 17; "The mighty power of God," &c., Rom. i. 16.
2. And this was to be sent out of Zion, Isa. xxiii. "It behoved Christ to suffer," &c., Luke xxiv. 46. The sound of the apostle's words went into all lands; but Zion must first hear, Acts xiii. 46.
And now the prophet comes to the execution of his power: "Rule thou in the midst," &c. Converting all such as believe his Gospel, and confounding those who will not have him to reign over them. Now these enemies are the most in number; for the Church however greatly increased, is still surrounded by Turks, Jews, &c. Rule thou; be thou Ruler; go on, and set up thy standard universally; for believers are easily dealt with; they love thy government.
1. "For thy people shall be willing." Not forced by compulsion; "they shall flow together as water," Isaiah 2.
2. But not before thy grace has brought down their hearts: "In the day of thy power," that is, in the days of thy solemn assemblies, when the Gospel light shall be sent forth, and the apostles and messengers go abroad to preach thy truth.
3. The third quality of this good people is, "that they be holy." For some read the words thus: "They shall offer freewill-offerings with a holy worship." Our last translators point it, "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." Here they pause, and read on thus: "In the beauty of holiness from the womb of the morning." The Vulgate, In splendouribus sanctorum, "In the splendour of the saints," and stops there; but let the reading be as it will, all expositors are agreed that holiness must be the ornament of Christ's Church: - 4. Which sanctity these good people have not from themselves, but by the influence of the Holy Spirit, for "they shall worship in the beauty," &c. This is a very difficult place, and the rendering of it is so various, so perplexed by the several modes of pointing it, that the difficulty is increased. But see the notes. The fathers expound this passage of Christ himself, and the later divines, of his people, which is most probable. By their youth they understand their regeneration; by the dews, the graces bestowed on them; which come immediately from God. The prophet phrases it, "From the womb of the morning." As if the Holy Ghost had said, "The preaching of thy word shall bring forth a great and good people, plentiful as the drops of the morning dew. As the secret and refreshing dews come from heaven to refresh the earth, so thy power, regenerating the hearts of men by the secret operation of thy Holy Spirit, shall produce an immortal seed, children begotten to God. 'Thou hast the dew,' the grace of God, to beautify thy youth, and to make them holy by the direct influence of thy Spirit, to produce entire regeneration." II. The prophet, having foretold Christ's kingdom, now predicts his priesthood, under which his prophetical office may be implied. That Messiah was to be a priest at his coming, God sware: -
1. "The Lord sware." His word of assurance was given with his oath. In the priesthood of Christ lies the main weight of our redemption; therefore God swears that he shall be a priest to offer himself, and to intercede for us, without which he had in vain been our Prophet and our King.
2. "And will not repent." This is also added for our greater assurance.
God is sometimes represented as repenting, as in the case of Nineveh; but now that he was to save the world by this Priest, his Son, he takes an oath to do it, and he will not repent. His sentence for judgment is ever conditional; but his decree for mercy is absolute.
"He will not repent," &c.
The matter of the oath follows: "Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek."
1. Thou is emphatical: Thou- David's Lord, art a Priest, and none such a Priest as thou.
2. Art; for this priest was the I am; therefore, justly said, Thou art.
3. A Priest; whose office the apostle describes, Heb. v. 1.
4. For ever-Not as Aaron and his successors, who were priests, &c., Heb. vii. 23, 24.
5. After the order-The right, the law, the custom, the rites. See the notes.
6. OJ Melchizedek. - Which is opposed to the order of Aaron. He was not then to be a priest after the order of Aaron but by a former and higher order.
The difference lies in this: - 1. In the constitution of him to the priesthood. He was made with an oath; and so were not any of Aaron's order, Heb. vii. 20, 21.
2. In the succession. In Aaron's priesthood, the high priest, being mortal, died, and another succeeded; but this priest, as Melchizedek, "had neither beginning of days nor end of life," Heb. vii.
3. Melchizedeic was priest and king: so was Christ. Aaron was only a priest.
4. "Aaron and his sons offered up oxen," &c., Lev. xvi. 6. "But Christ, being holy," &c., offered no sacrifice for himself, but for our sins, Isa. liii. 9.
5. "Aaron was a local priest; but Christ an universal priest," John iv. 22.
6. "Aaron was anointed with material oil; Christ, with the Holy Ghost," Luke iv. 18, 21.
7. "Aaron's priesthood was temporary; Christ's for ever." A priest is to be: -
1. A person taken from among men, but select, fit for the office; thus was Christ a perfect man.
2. A priest must be ordained by God: "For no man," &c. "So Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest."Thou art my Son," &c.
3. The high priest was ordained of men in things pertaining to God, to be their advocate, mediator, interpreter, and reconciler, in all those things in which men make their addresses to God, or God is to signify his will to them; and so was Christ, for he is the Advocate, the Mediator for his people; he reconciles them to God, he interprets his will to us by preaching his Gospel to the poor.
4. The high priest was ordained that he might offer gifts and sacrifices for sin. Their sacrifices were the blood of bulls, &c.; but Christ was most infinitely precious, even his own blood, Eph. v. 2; Heb. ix. 26; x. 10-12.
5. The high priest must have compassion on the ignorant, and those who are out of the way; such was Christ: "For we have not," &c., Heb. iv. 15.
6. Lastly, the high priest was compassed with infirmities; and so was Christ: "In all things it became him," &c. "He took our infirmities," &c.
It remains now to show: - 1. How he is "a priest for ever?" 2. How a priest "after the order of Melchizedek?" He is "a priest for ever," in respect to his person, office, and effect.
1. In respect of his person and office. For he succeeded no priest, his vocation being immediate. Neither is any to succeed him in this priesthood; "for he lives for ever," and therefore needs not, as the priests under the old law, any successor to continue his priesthood.
2. A priest he is for ever in respect of the effect: because by that sacrifice which he once offered on the cross he purchased the inestimable effects of redemption and eternal salvation, in which sense the priesthood is eternal.
"That Christ is a priest for ever" is evident; but it remains to be shown how he is a priest after the order-the rite, the manner, the word, and power given and prescribed to Melchizedek.
1. This Melchizedek was king of Salem, and priest of the most high God, Genesis 14.; so was Christ a King of Jerusalem above, God's own city, and a priest, "offering himself a sacrifice for sin."
2. Melchizedek is by interpretation king of righteousness; so is Christ the Lord our righteousness, Jer. xxiii. 6; 1 Corinthians i. 30.
3. Melchizedek is king of Salem, i.e., peace; so Christ is the Prince of peace, Isa. ix. 6.
4. "Melchizedek was without father or mother;" so was this our priest, as revealed by God to us, "without beginning of days or end of life," as touching his Godhead.
5. "Melchizedek blessed Abraham;" so Christ us "in turning every one of us away from his iniquities." 6. "Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine to refresh Abraham's army;" so Christ instituted the sacrament, set forth in bread and wine, to refresh the hungry and thirsty souls of his genuine followers.
After the prophet had said "that the Messiah shall be a priest," &c., he intimates in this verse that, notwithstanding all opposition that shall be made against him, yet his priesthood should be eternal; for,
1. "The Lord is on thy right hand." Giving thee power in defense of his Church.
2. "And this thy Lord shall strike through kings," &c. The greatest of thy enemies.
3. "In the day of his wrath." For such a day there is, and it will come, when the proudest tyrant shall not escape.
In the following verse Christ is described as a valiant conqueror.
1. "He shall rule and judge." Not only the Jews, but all people.
2. "He shall fill the places," &c. Make such a slaughter among his enemies, as enraged soldiers do in the storming of a city, when they fill the trenches with the dead bodies.
"He shall wound the heads," &c. Even kings and monarchs, those in the greatest power and authority.
The prophet, through the whole of the Psalm, had spoken of Christ's exaltation: that he was set at God's right hand; by oath was made a priest; and that, in defense of his kingdom and priesthood, he would subdue, conquer, and break to pieces his enemies. In this last verse he tells us by what means he came to this honour: his cross was the way to the crown; his passion and humiliation, to his exaltation: "He," saith David, "shall drink of the brook by the way; there fore, shall he lift up his head;" as if he had said, with the apostle: "He humbled himself, and became obedient to death," &c.
1. "He shall drink." To drink, is to be afflicted, Jer. xlix. 12.
2. "He shall drink of the brook," ljn nachal, of the torrent; and that is more than of the cup, for a cup contains but a certain portion of sorrows, but a torrent, a whole flood of miseries. In a cup, that which is drunk may be clear and clean; but in a torrent, a man can expect nothing but muddy and troubled water. Thus the prophet intimates here that the drink offered him should be much and troubled. And in his passion he descended into the depth of the torrent, and drank deep of it.
3. "In the way." On his journey that preceded his resurrection and ascension.
But claritas humilitatis praemium, "glory is the reward of humility." Because he thus humbled himself and willingly underwent his death and passion, for the glory of his Father, and the salvation of man; therefore shall God "lift up his head." He shall ascend into heaven; sit on his right hand, and be constituted the Judge of quick and dead. He shall rise from the dead and have all power committed to him in heaven and earth.