To save him from those that condemn his soul: the Messiah: from his judges, the high priest and Jewish sanhedrim, and Pilate the Roman governor, who condemned him to death; but he committed his spirit, or soul, to God, who received it, and raised his body from the dead; and would not suffer it to see corruption, as a testimony of his innocence: or the soul of the poor saints, which the Lord saves from the condemnation of sin, Satan, the law, and their own consciences, Romans 8:1.
INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 110
A Psalm of David. This psalm was written by David, as the title shows, and which is confirmed by our Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew 22:43 and by the Apostle Peter, Acts 2:34 and was not written by anyone of the singers concerning him, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi; nor by Melchizedek, nor by Eliezer the servant of Abraham, concerning him, as Jarchi and others: for the former could not call Abraham his lord, since he was greater than he, Hebrews 7:7 and though the latter might, yet he could not assign his master a place at the right hand of God; nor say he was a priest after the order of Melchizedek: and as it was written by David, it could not be concerning himself, as the Targum, but some other; not of Hezekiah, to whom some of the Jews applied it, as Tertullian (m) affirms; but of the Messiah, as is clear from the quotation by Christ, Matthew 22:43 and from the references to it by the apostle, Acts 2:34. And that this was the general sense of the ancient Jewish church is manifest from the silence of the Pharisees, when a passage out of it was objected to them by our Lord concerning the Messiah; and is the sense that some of the ancient Jews give of it; says R. Joden (n),
"God will make the King Messiah sit at his right hand, &c:''
and the same is said by others (o); and it is likewise owned by some of the more modern (p) ones; and we Christians can have no doubt about it. The psalm is only applicable to Christ, and cannot be accommodated to any other; no, not to David as a type, as some psalms concerning him may.
"the Lord said in his Word.''
Galatinus (q) says the true Targum of Jonathan has it,
"the Lord said to his Word;''
and produces an authority for it. These are the words of Jehovah the Father to his Son the Messiah; the "Adon", or Lord, spoken of in Isaiah 6:1, the one Lord Jesus, and only Potentate; the Lord of all, the Lord of David, and of every believer; not by right of creation only, as of all mankind; but by redemption, having bought them; and by right of marriage, having espoused them; and by their own consent, they owning him to be their Lord. The words said to him by Jehovah, as follow, were said in his mind, in his eternal purpose and decree; which he, lying in his bosom, was privy, when he foreordained him to be the Redeemer; and in the council and covenant of peace, when he promised him this glory as the reward of his sufferings; and in the prophecies of the Old Testament, which speak as of the sufferings of Christ, so of the glory that should follow; and when the fact was done, when, after his death, resurrection, ascension, and entrance into heaven, he was placed, as follows:
Sit thou at my right hand; of power and majesty; expressive of the honour done to Christ, and the glory put on him in the human nature, such as angels nor any creature ever had, Hebrews 1:13, it being always accounted honourable to sit at the right hand of great personages, 1 Kings 2:19, and also of rule, and power, and authority; being upon the same throne with his Father, exercising the same government over angels and men; "sitting" is explained by "reigning" in 1 Corinthians 15:25. It also denotes having done his work, and to satisfaction; and therefore is set down, being entered into his rest, and having ceased from his work and labour, enjoying the presence of his divine Father; in which is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore: and it also signifies the continuance of regal honour and power; he sits and continues a King as well as a Priest for ever.
Until I make thine enemies thy footstool; Christ has his enemies; all the enemies of his people are his; some are overcome already by him, as sin, Satan, and the world; and the Jews, his enemies, who would not have him to reign over them, have been destroyed: but as yet all things are not put under his feet, which will be; as antichrist, and the kings of the earth that are with him, who will be overcome by him; the beast and false prophet will be taken and cast into the lake of fire; where also the old serpent, the devil, after he has been bound and loosed, wall be cast likewise; and when the last enemy, death, shall be destroyed; till that time comes, Christ reigns and will reign, and afterwards too, even to all eternity. The allusion is to the custom of conquerors treading upon the necks of the conquered; see Joshua 10:24.
(m) Adv. Marcion. l. 5. c. 9. (n) In Midrash Tillim apud Yalkut in loc. (o) R. Moses Haddarsan & Arama in Galatiu. de Cath. Arean. Ver. l. 3. c. 17. & l. 8. c. 24. (p) Saadiah Gaon in Daniel 7.13. Nachman. Disput. cum Fratre Paulo, p. 36, 55. Abkath Rochel, p. 80. (q) De Cathol. Arean. Ver. l. 3. c. 5. & l. 8. c. 24.
"the Word of the Lord shall send, &c.''
the essential Word.
Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies; or, "thou shalt rule", as the Targum and Arabic version; in the hearts of those who, in their unregenerate state, are enemies: but the arrows of his word being sharp in them, they are brought to submit to him; the everlasting doors are caused to open; he enters in, takes possession of their hearts, and rules there. Or this may be understood of his church in the world, which is his kingdom, and lies surrounded with enemies on all hands; but, in spite of them, and all their opposition, he will support his kingdom and interest.
(r) Jelammedenu apud Yalkut in oc. Bemidbar Rabba, fol. 224. 1. Vid. Bereshit Rabba, fol. 75. 1.
In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning: this does not design the place where these willing subjects of Christ should appear; either in Zion, beautiful for situation; or in Jerusalem, the holy city, compact together; or in the temple, the sanctuary, in which strength and beauty are said to be; or in the church, the perfection of beauty: but the habit or dress in which they should appear, even in the beautiful garment of Christ's righteousness and holiness; the robe of righteousness, and garments of salvation; the best robe, the wedding garment; gold of Ophir, raiment of needlework; and which is upon all them that believe: as also the several beautiful graces of the Spirit; the beauty of internal holiness, by which saints are all glorious within; and holiness is the beauty and glory of God himself, of angels and glorified saints. This, though imperfect now, is the new man put on as a garment; and is true holiness, and very ornamental. The phrase, "from the womb of the morning", either stands in connection with "the beauties of holiness"; and the sense is, that as soon as the morning of the Gospel dispensation dawns, these people should be born again, be illuminated, and appear holy and righteous: or, "from the womb, from the morning (x)", shall they be "in the beauties of holiness"; that is, as soon as they are born again, and as soon as the morning of spiritual light and grace breaks in upon them, and they are made light in the Lord, they shall be clad with these beautiful garments of holiness and righteousness; so, "from the womb", signifies literally as soon as men are born; see Psalm 58:3 Hosea 9:11 or else with the latter clause, "thou hast the dew of thy youth": and so are rendered, "more than the womb of the morning", i.e. than the dew that is from the womb of the morning, is to thee the dew of thy youth; that is, more than the dew of the morning are thy converts; the morning is the parent of the dew, Job 38:28, but the former sense is best; for this last clause is a remember or proposition of itself,
thou hast the dew of that youth; which expresses the open property Christ has in his people, when made willing; and when they appear in the beauty of holiness, as soon as they are born of the Spirit, and the true light of grace shines in them; then those who were secretly his, even while unwilling, manifestly appear to belong unto him: so young lambs, just weaned, are in Homer (y) called "dews"; and it is remarkable that the Hebrew words for "dew" and "a lamb" are near in sound. Young converts are Christ's lambs; they are Christ's youth, and the dew of it; they are regenerated by the grace of God, comparable to dew, of which they are begotten to a lively hope of heaven; and which, distilling upon them, makes them fruitful in good works; and who for their numbers, and which I take to be the thing chiefly designed by this figure, are like to the drops of the dew; which in great profusion is spread over trees, herbs, and plants, where it hangs in drops innumerable: and such a multitude of converts is here promised to Christ, and which he had in the first times of the Gospel, both in Judea, when three thousand persons were converted under one sermon; and especially in the Gentile world, where the savour of his knowledge was diffused in every place; and as will be in the latter day, when a nation shall be born at once, and the fulness of the Gentiles be brought in. The sense given of these words, as formed upon the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, respecting the generation of Christ's human or divine nature, is without any foundation in the original text.
(s) "in die exercitus tui", Munster, Vatablus, Piscator, Gejerus; so Ainsworth; "quum educes tuas copias", Tigurine version; "die copiarum tuarum", Junius & Tremellius. (t) "oblationes voluntariae", Junius & Tremellius; "spontanea oblatio", Cocceius, Gejerus. (u) "Milites voluntarii", Bootius. (w) Epist. l. 11. Ephesians 8. (x) "a vulya, ab aurora", Montanus. (y) Odyss. ix. v. 222.
Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek; or, "according to the word of Melchizedek" (z); that is, according to what is said of him; there being an agreement between the things said of one and of the other; so the Syriac version, "according to the likeness of Melchizedek", see Hebrews 7:15 of him no mention is made elsewhere, but in Genesis 14:18 and in the epistle to the Hebrews. Various are the opinions of men concerning him: some think he was not a man, but an angel that appeared to Abraham: others, a divine power, superior to Christ, who were called "Melchizedecians": and others, that he was the Holy Ghost; and others, the Son of God himself, in an human form. On the other hand, some take him to be a mere man. The general notion of the Jews is, that he was Shem, the son of Noah; others, that he was a Canaanitish king, of the posterity of Ham: but others do not think it proper or lawful to inquire who he was, or from whom he descended; this being purposely hidden from men, that he might be more clearly a type of Christ. That there is a likeness between them is certain; the signification of his name, a title of office, King of righteousness, and King of peace, agrees with Christ the Lord, our righteousness and our peace: his being without father, mother, descent, beginning of days, and end of life, agree with the divinity, humanity, and eternity of Christ; and who is likewise King and Priest, as he was; and who blesses his people, as he did Abraham; and refreshes them with bread and wine, as he did Abraham's soldiers; See Gill on Hebrews 7:2. See Gill on Hebrews 7:3. Now Christ is a Priest like him; whose office is to offer sacrifice, which he has done, even himself, for the atonement of the sins of his people; to make intercession for them, which he ever lives to do; to introduce their persons to his Father, and present their petitions to him; and to call for every blessing for them, and answer all charges against them: in which office he continues for ever; there never will be any change in his priesthood, as there has been in Aaron's; nor will he ever have any successor: his priesthood is unchangeable, or does not pass from one to another, Hebrews 7:24, the efficacy of his blood and sacrifice always continues, and intercession is ever made by him, and the glory of his mediation is ever given him. The apostle produces this passage in proof of the change of the Aaronic priesthood, and so of the law, Hebrews 7:11 and about the time Christ appeared as the high priest, the legal priesthood sensibly declined, and which the Jews themselves own; for they say,
"after the death of Ishmael Ben Phabi, the splendour of the priesthood ceased (a);''
which man was made priest by Valerius Gratus, governor of Judea, under Tiberius Caesar (b),
(z) "super meum verbum", Montanus; "juxta verbum", Vatablus. (a) Misn. Sotah, c. 9. s. 15. (b) Joseph. Antiqu. l. 18. c. 2. s. 2. Vid. ib. l. 20. c. 7. s. 8.
shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath; not only strike at them, and strike them; but strike them through, utterly destroy them. This is to be understood of the kings and princes that stood up and set themselves against him, Psalm 2:2, which is interpreted of Herod and Pontius Pilate, Acts 4:26, who both died shameful deaths; as did another Herod, that set himself against the apostles and church of Christ, Acts 12:1, and also of Heathens, kings and emperors, who persecuted the Christians; as Diocletian, Maximilian, and others; who are represented as fleeing to rocks and mountains, to hide them from the Lamb, the great day of his wrath being come, Revelation 6:15, and also of the antichristian kings, that shall be gathered together to the battle of the Lord God Almighty, and shall be overcome and slain by Christ, Revelation 16:14 which will be a time of wrath, when the vials of God's wrath shall be poured out upon the antichristian kings and states; see Revelation 16:1. And may also reach the last and general judgment; when kings, as well as others, shall stand before him, and receive their awful doom from him; and shall perish when his wrath is kindled against them, Psalm 2:11.
He shall fill the places with the dead bodies: the Targum adds,
"of the ungodly that are slain;''
namely, at the battle of Armageddon; when the fowls of the air shall be called to eat the flesh of kings, captains, and mighty men; of horses and their riders; of all men, bond and free, great and small, Revelation 19:17.
He shall wound the heads over many countries; that is, kings over many countries; as the Targum explains it: it is to be read in the singular number, "he shall wound the heads over a large country" (c); him who is the head over a large country; meaning either Satan, the god of this world, the wicked one, under whom the world lies; and who has deceived the inhabitants of the earth, and rules them at his pleasure; him Christ has wounded and bruised, even his head; destroyed him and all his power, policy, schemes, and works, agreeably to the first hint concerning him, Genesis 3:15 or else antichrist, who is head over a large country, or many countries; the whore that sits on many waters, which are people, nations, and tongues, and reigns over the kings of the earth; who has seven heads and ten horns; one of whose heads has been wounded already, of which it has been curing again; but ere long this beast will receive such a wound from Christ, as that he will never recover of it; when he shall consume him with the breath of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming; see Revelation 17:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:8. Musculus renders it, "the head of the country of Rabbah": and refers it to David's conquest of the king of the Ammonites, whose head city was Rabbah, 1 Chronicles 20:1.
(c) "caput super terram multam", Pagninus, Montanus; "vel amplam", Piscator, Coceius; so Gejerus & Michaelis.