Psalm 110:5
The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
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(5) The Lord at thy right hand.—We are naturally tempted to understand this as still of the king whom the first verse placed at Jehovah’s right hand. But the word for Lord here is Adonai, which is nowhere else used except of God. Moreover, God throughout has as yet appeared as the active agent. It is He who stretched out the sceptre and conferred the office of priest; and hitherto the king has been the person addressed. It is therefore necessary still to consider him as addressed, and suppose that the change of position of Jehovah from the king’s right hand to his left is simply due to the usage of the language. To sit at the right hand was an emblem of honour, to stand at the right hand was a figure of protecting might (Psalm 16:8; Psalm 109:31); and the imagery of a battle into which the song now plunges caused the change of expression.

Psalm 110:5. The Lord at thy right hand — This, it seems, is to be understood of the Messiah, instated in his regal power at the right hand of his Father; and not of the Father himself, as his helper and defender, as the phrase is used Psalm 16:8, and in some other places. Thus, this is an apostrophe to God the Father concerning his Son. This sense of the clause agrees best with the following verses; for it is evident that it is the same person who strikes through kings, and judges among the heathen, and fills the places, &c. Shall strike through kings — That is, shall break in pieces the greatest powers upon earth, who shall provoke his displeasure, by an obstinate opposition to his authority, and the establishment of his gospel. In the day of his wrath — In the day of battle, when he shall contend with them, and pour forth the floods of his wrath upon them.

110:1-7 Christ's kingdom. - Glorious things are here spoken of Christ. Not only he should be superior to all the kings of the earth, but he then existed in glory as the eternal Son of God. Sitting is a resting posture: after services and sufferings, to give law, to give judgment. It is a remaining posture: he sits like a king for ever. All his enemies are now in a chain, but not yet made his footstool. And his kingdom, being set up, shall be kept up in the world, in despite of all the powers of darkness. Christ's people are a willing people. The power of the Spirit, going with the power of the world, to the people of Christs, is effectual to make them willing. They shall attend him in the beautiful attire of holiness; which becomes his house for ever. And he shall have many devoted to him. The dew of our youth, even in the morning of our days, ought to be consecrated to our Lord Jesus. Christ shall not only be a King, but a Priest. He is God's Minister to us, and our Advocate with the Father, and so is the Mediator between God and man. He is a Priest of the order of Melchizedek, which was before that of Aaron, and on many accounts superior to it, and a more lively representation of Christ's priesthood. Christ's sitting at the right hand of God, speaks as much terror to his enemies as happiness to his people. The effect of this victory shall be the utter ruin of his enemies. We have here the Redeemer saving his friends, and comforting them. He shall be humbled; he shall drink of the brook in the way. The wrath of God, running in the curse of the law, may be considered as the brook in the way of his undertaking. Christ drank of the waters of affliction in his way to the throne of glory. But he shall be exalted. What then are we? Has the gospel of Christ been to us the power of God unto salvation? Has his kingdom been set up in our hearts? Are we his willing subjects? Once we knew not our need of his salvation, and we were not willing that he should reign over us. Are we willing to give up every sin, to turn from a wicked, insnaring world, and rely only on his merits and mercy, to have him for our Prophet, Priest, and King? and do we desire to be holy? To those who are thus changed, the Saviour's sacrifice, intercession, and blessing belong.The Lord at thy right hand - See the notes at Psalm 16:8.

Shall strike through kings - The Hebrew word here rendered "shall strike," - from מחץ mâchats - means "to shake, to agitate"; and then, "to shake in pieces, to dash in pieces, to crush"; and here it has the sense of dashing in pieces, smiting, wounding, crushing. The "kings" referred to are the enemies of God and the Messiah, and the idea is that all would be subdued before him; that he would set up a universal dominion; that none would be able to stand before him; or, that he would reign over all the earth. The "language" is that which is derived from conquests in war; from the subjugation of enemies by force of arms. Compare the notes at Psalm 2:9-12; and the notes at Isaiah 11:4.

In the day of his wrath - Psalm 2:12.

5. at thy right hand—as Ps 109:31, upholding and aiding, which is not inconsistent with Ps 110:1, 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).

5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.

6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies: he shall wound the heads over many countries.

7 He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore shall he lift up the head.

The last verses of this Psalm we understand to refer to the future victories of the Priest-King. He shall not for ever sit in waiting posture, but shall come Into the fight to end the weary war by his own victorious presence. He will lead the final charge in person; his own right hand and his holy arm shall get unto him the victory.

Psalm 110:5

"The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath." Now that he has come into the field of action, the infinite Jehovah comes with him as the strength of his right hand. Eternal power attends the coming of the Lord, and earthly power dies before it as though smitten through with a sword. In the last days all the kingdoms of the earth shall be overcome by the kingdom of heaven, and those who dare oppose shall meet with swift and overwhelming ruin. What are kings when they dare oppose the Son of God? A single stroke shall suffice for their destruction. When the angel of the Lord smote Herod there was no need of a second blow; he was eaten of worms and gave up the ghost. Concerning the last days, we read of the Faithful and True, who shall ride upon a white horse, and in righteousness judge and make war, "Out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God."

Psalm 110:6

"He shall judge among the heathen," or, among the nations. All nations shall feel his power, and either yield to it joyfully or be crushed before it. "He shall fill the places with the dead bodies." In the terrible battles of his gospel all opponents shall fall till the field of fight is heaped high with the slain. This need not be understood literally, but as a poetical description of the overthrow of all rebellious powers and the defeat of all unholy principles. Yet should kings oppose the Lord with weapons of war, the result would be their overwhelming defeat and the entire destruction of their forces. Read in connection with this prophecy the passage which begins at Revelation 19:17 and runs on to the end of the chapter. Terrible things in righteousness will be seen ere the history of this world comes to an end. "He shall wound the heads over many countries." He will strike at the greatest powers which resist him, and wound not merely common men, but those who rule and reign. If the nations will not have Christ for their Head, they shall find their political heads to be powerless to protect them. Or the passage may be read, "he has smitten the head over the wide earth." The monarch of the greatest nation shall not be able to escape the sword of the Lord; nor shall that dread spiritual prince who rules over the children of disobedience be able to escape without a deadly wound. Pope and priest must fall, with Mahomet and other deceivers who are now heads of the people. Jesus must reign and they must perish.

Psalm 110:7

"He shall drink of the brook in the way." So swiftly shall he march to conquest that he shall not stay for refreshment, but drink as he hastens on. Like Gideon's men that lapped, he shall throw his heart into the fray and cut it short in righteousness, because a short work will the Lord make in the earth. "Therefore shall he lift up the head." His own head shall be lifted high in victory, and his people, in him, shall be upraised also. When he passed this way before, he was burdened and had stern work laid upon him; but in his second advent he will win an easy victory; afore-time he was the man of sorrows, but when he comes a second time his head will be lifted in triumph. Let his saints rejoice with him. "Lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." In the latter days we look for terrible conflicts and for a final victory. Long has Jesus borne with our rebellious race, but at length he will rise to end the warfare of long-suffering, by the blows of justice. God has fought with men's sins for their good, but he will not always by his Spirit strive with men; he will cease from that struggle of long-suffering love, and begin another which shall soon end in the final destruction of his adversaries. O King-priest, we who are, in a minor degree, king-priests too, are full of gladness because thou reignest even now, and wilt come ere long to vindicate thy cause and establish thine empire for ever. Even so, come quickly. Amen.

The Lord; either,

1. God the Father, whose words and oath he last mentioned, Psalm 110:4. So this is an apostrophe of the psalmist to Christ, Thy God and Father is at thy right hand, to wit, to defend and assist thee, as that phrase is used, Psalm 16:8 109:31, and elsewhere. See Poole "Psalm 110:1".

And he, to wit, God the Father,

shall strike, & c., as it follows. Although this latter clause may belong to the Messias; and as in the former he spake to him, so in this he speaketh of him; such changes of persons being very frequent in this book. Or,

2. God the Son, or

the Lord, who is at thy right hand, as was said before, Psalm 110:1,

shall strike, & c. So this is an apostrophe to God the Father concerning his Son. This seems best to agree with the following verses; for it is evident that it is the same person

who strikes through kings, and judgeth among the heathen, and filleth, &c. And so this whole verse, and those which follow, speak of one person, which seems most probable.

Shall strike through kings shall mortally wound and destroy all those kings and potentates who are obstinate enemies to him and to his church.

In the day of his wrath; in the day of battle, when he shall contend with them, and pour forth the floods of his wrath upon them.

The Lord at thy right hand,.... These words are either directed to Christ, at whose right hand the Lord was to help and assist him, Psalm 16:8 or to the church, consisting of the Lord's willing people, at whose right hand he is to save them; is ready to help them, and is a present help to them in time of need, Psalm 109:31 or rather to Jehovah the Father, at whose right hand the "Adonai", or Lord, even David's Lord, and every believer's Lord, is, as in Psalm 110:1, and who is spoken of in all the following clauses; and to whom the things mentioned are ascribed, and so what immediately follows:

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.

The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
5. The Lord] Adônai, i.e. Jehovah. The king is still addressed. Jehovah stands at his right hand as his champion in the battle. Cp. Psalm 16:8; Psalm 121:5; Psalm 109:31.

shall shatter kings] The verb is in the perfect tense, but the tenses in Psalm 110:6-7 shew that it is to be regarded, according to a common Hebrew idiom, as a ‘prophetic’ perfect. The victory is still future, but the Psalmist regards it as already won.

in the day of his wrath] The day of judgement upon the surrounding heathen nations, which is further described in Psalm 110:6. Cp. Psalm 2:5; Psalm 2:12; Psalm 21:9; Job 20:28; Isaiah 13:9; Isaiah 13:13; Zephaniah 2:3.

5–7. The scene changes to the battle-field. The king goes forth to war against his enemies. But he does not go in his own strength. Jehovah is at his right hand to fight his battles. In hot pursuit of his flying foes he halts but for a moment to refresh himself, and then presses on to his final triumph.

Verse 5. - The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. "Adonai" here is certainly Jehovah (Cheyne). He stands at Messiah's right hand (comp. Psalm 16:8; Psalm 121:5) to protect and defend him, and give him victory in the battle. Ver. 5 carries on the description of Messiah's triumph begun in ver. 3. The kings to be "struck through" are those that resist the progress of the gospel - Herod Agrippa, Galerius, Julian, and the like. Psalm 110:5Just as in Psalm 110:2 after Psalm 110:1, so now here too after the divine utterance, the poet continues in a reflective strain. The Lord, says Psalm 110:5, dashes in pieces kings at the right hand of this priest-king, in the day when His wrath is kindled (Psalm 2:12, cf. Psalm 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 Psalm 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 Psalm 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, Psalm 7:9; Psalm 9:9; Psalm 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 Psalm 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 (Psalm 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, Psalm 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 Psalm 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. Psalm 110:7 expresses the toil of his battle, and Psalm 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, Psalm 83:10; Psalm 106:7), is correctly drawn to ישׁתּה by the accentuation: he shall on his arduous way, the way of his mission (cf. Psalm 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.
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