by Rabbi Jeffrey Adler
Psalm 110 is a profound statement anticipatory of the unique stature of the Messiah.
David begins: “Adonai (the Tetragammata representing the ineffable Divine Name) said to Adoni (my Lord), ‘shev l’yimini ad ashit oy’veyka hadom l’ragleyka.’” “Adonai said to my Lord, ‘Sit (or, dwell) at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’”
To be in the Presence of Elohim at all is a great thing. The 24th Psalm says that only those with “clean hands and pure hearts may ascend into the mountain of the Lord and stand in His Holy Place”. Then, to be at the left hand is also a unique honor. But, no one is at Adonai’s right hand. This accentuates Yeshua’s unique stature. In Revelation 5, only the Lamb is “haxios”, “worthy”, to break the 7 seals, thus allowing the scroll in the right hand of the One on the throne to be read. Note that everyone in the celestial throne room is “hagios”, “holy”, while only one is worthy enough, has the stature, to break the seals. Daniel 7:13f states that Messiah, after concluding His appointed business on earth and making atonement for sin, rising from the grave, and re-ascending to the Father, is given “dominion, glory, and sovereignty… that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will never pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.” Rabbi Paul says in Philippians 2 that because of His faithful obedience to the Divine salvific plan, God has “highly exalted” Yeshua’s Name, that “every knee will bow and every tongue profess that Yeshua is Adonai, to the glory of God the Father”. This one, whom King David refers to as his Lord, higher than the king himself, is so uniquely esteemed. He is to be seated at Adonai’s right, awaiting the destruction of His enemies.
This destruction of enemies parallels passages such as Psalm 2, where the rulers of earth, who consider the rule and laws of God to be constricting chains, seek to rip off those chains. God responds by ultimate judgements as portrayed in so many places in Scripture, such as Revelation 19, where Yeshua leads the armies of Heaven in final conflict.
Psalm 110:2 states: “Adonai will extend your mighty rod from Zion: Rule in the midst of your enemies.” “Matteh”, rod, or sceptre, evokes the images of Genesis 49:8-10, where Messiah is prophesied to come from Judah. “The sceptre will not depart from Judah…” David’s Lord will fulfill the Biblical mandate of being from Judah’s tribe, ruling over Zion, thus fulfilling Israel’s role of being a funnel for the flow of God into the world. (See Isaiah 2, Isaiah 11, Micah 4). He will rule over the world, and bring salvation even to His heretofore enemies. The rabbis often refer to this as “tikkun olam”, the “Healing of the world”. Isaiah 11 phrases it, “They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of Adonai as the waters cover the sea.”
Verses 4 continues: “Adonai has sworn,and will not relent: ‘You are a Kohen forever according to the order (divrati- manner, order, mode) of Malki-Tzedeq. While there is discussion and debate whether Malki_tzedeq’s appearance is a Messiophany, an out of time early appearance of Yeshua, in Genesis 14, the writer of Hebrews builds a strong case typical of rabbinic reasoning, that Scripture puts forward the “King of Salem” as a priest of El-Elyon, God Most High, not listing parentage or any prolegomena, appearing and blessing Avram, and receiving tithes from Avram, in a sense receiving homage from the Levitical priests still within Avram’s being. Therefore, His priesthood is recognized as superior to Levi’s’, since superiors receive tithes from their inferiors. The Levitical priesthood had its failures, such as Hophni and Pinchas in Samuel’s day, but, Malki-Tzedeq’s has no failure, thus, His priesthood is described as “l’olam”, “to forever”.
Our Psalm goes on to describe how this exalted “Lord of David” goes on to conquer and destroy all evil, ultimately stopping to drink from a river, which one only does after his battle is over and he has succeeded.
Psalm 110 is an incredible statement of the Divine Mashiach, the restorer of Israel, and the Salvation of the world!
Rabbi Jeffrey Adler is president of the Board of HaShomer and also Rabbi of Sha’arey Yeshua in Indianapolis, IN.