The explicit application of this Psalm to our Saviour, by Him
and by the apostles
and their frequent reference to its language and purport
Heb 10:12, 13),
leave no doubt of its purely prophetic character. Not only was there
nothing in the position or character, personal or official, of David or
any other descendant, to justify a reference to either, but utter
severance from the royal office of all priestly functions (so clearly
assigned the subject of this Psalm) positively forbids such a
reference. The Psalm celebrates the exaltation of Christ to the throne
of an eternal and increasing kingdom, and a perpetual priesthood
involving the subjugation of His enemies and the multiplication of His
subjects, and rendered infallibly certain by the word and oath of
1. The Lord said--literally, "A saying of the Lord," (compare
a formula, used in prophetic or other solemn or express declarations.
my Lord--That the Jews understood this term to denote the Messiah their
traditions show, and Christ's mode of arguing on such an assumption
Sit . . . at my right hand--not only a mark of honor
but also implied participation of power
Sit--as a king
though the position rather than posture is intimated (compare
Ac 7:55, 56).
until I make, &c.--The dominion of Christ over His enemies, as
commissioned by God, and entrusted with all power
for their subjugation, will assuredly be established
This is neither His government as God, nor that which, as the incarnate
Saviour, He exercises over His people, of whom He will ever be Head.
thine enemies thy footstool--an expression taken from the custom of
Eastern conquerors (compare
to signify a complete subjection.
2. the rod of thy strength--the rod of correction
(Isa 9:4; 10:15;
by which Thy strength will be known. This is His Word of truth
(Isa 2:3; 11:4),
converting some and confounding others (compare
out of Zion--or, the Church, in which God dwells by His Spirit, as once
by a visible symbol in the tabernacle on Zion (compare
rule thou, &c.--over enemies now conquered.
in the midst--once set upon, as by ferocious beasts
now humbly, though reluctantly, confessed as Lord
(Php 2:10, 11).
3. Thy people . . . willing--literally, "Thy people (are) free will
offerings"; for such is the proper rendering of the word "willing,"
which is a plural noun, and not an adjective
also a similar form
in the day of thy power--Thy people freely offer themselves
in Thy service, enlisting under Thy banner.
in the beauties of holiness--either as in
the loveliness of a spiritual worship, of which the temple service, in
all its material splendors, was but a type; or more probably, the
appearance of the worshippers, who, in this spiritual kingdom, are a
nation of kings and priests
attending this Priest and King, clothed in those eminent graces which
the beautiful vestments of the Aaronic priests
typified. The last very obscure clause--
from the womb . . . youth--may, according to this view, be thus
explained: The word "youth" denotes a period of life distinguished for
strength and activity (compare
--the "dew" is a constant emblem of whatever is refreshing and
The Messiah, then, as leading His people, is represented as continually
in the vigor of youth, refreshed and strengthened by the early dew of
God's grace and Spirit. Thus the phrase corresponds as a member of a
parallelism with "the day of thy power" in the first clause. "In the
beauties of holiness" belongs to this latter clause, corresponding to
"Thy people" in the first, and the colon after "morning" is omitted.
Others prefer: Thy youth, or youthful vigor, or body, shall be
constantly refreshed by successive accessions of people as dew from the
early morning; and this accords with the New Testament idea that the
Church is Christ's body (compare
4. The perpetuity of the priesthood, here asserted on God's oath,
corresponds with that of the kingly office just explained.
after the order--
after the similitude of Melchisedek, is fully expounded by Paul, to
denote not only perpetuity, appointment of God, and a royal priesthood,
but also the absence of priestly descent and succession, and
superiority to the Aaronic order.
5. at thy right hand--as
upholding and aiding, which is not inconsistent with
where the figure denotes participation of power, for here He is
presented in another aspect, as a warrior going against enemies, and
sustained by God.
strike through--smite or crush.
kings--not common men, but their rulers, and so all under them
(Ps 2:2, 10).
6. The person is again changed. The Messiah's conquests are described,
though His work and God's are the same. As after a battle, whose field
is strewn with corpses, the conqueror ascends the seat of empire, so
shall He "judge," or "rule," among many nations, and subdue
the head--or (as used collectively for "many") "the heads,"
over many lands.
wound--literally, "smite," or "crush" (compare
7. As a conqueror, "faint, yet pursuing"
He shall be refreshed by the brook in the way, and pursue to
completion His divine and glorious triumphs.