Psalm 110

Yahweh spoke to my lord:
“Take the throne at my right. * I have made your foes a seat, * a stool for your feet.”
    He forged your victorious mace; * he hammered it, Yahweh of Zion:
    your Might in fighting your foes, * your Strength on the day of your conquest.
    The Holy One appeared, your Comfort, * the Dawn of your life, * the Dew of your youth.
        Yahweh has sworn * and will not change his mind:
           “You are a priest of the Eternal * according to his pact,
        his rightful king, my lord, * as your right hand attests.”
    He smashed kings on the day of his wrath, * he routed nations.
    He piled up corpses * and smashed heads * over a wide terrain.
The King-Maker enthroned him; * the Supreme Being raised up his head.

1. A psalm for David.

110:0 This is Psalm 110 in the whole book, the 9th in the third part of the book. After treating of the Incarnation and the Passion, here we come to the glorification of Christ, which was attained through the humility of the Passion -Luke 18:14 (=14:11) He who humiliates himself will be exalted. -Phil 2:8-9 He humbled himself, becoming obedient to the Father unto death on the cross. Therefore God exalted him. I do not say this because the whole reason for his exaltation is from the humility of his humanity, but it is from the divinity united to it. Therefore this Psalm assigns the reason for the exaltation of Christ to both his divinity and his humanity. His humility was all the more excellect because the divine nature was conjoined. Therefore in Christ was fulfilled what is stated in Sirach 3:18 The greater you are, the more you should humble yourself. The title of the Psalm has nothing new, so does not need comment.

Because this Psalm treats of both natures of Christ in order to show that he should rightly be glorified and exalted, it is called the seventh of those that treat of both natures of Christ. These are Psalms 2, 8, 21, 72, 82, 108, and 110. It has two parts: (1) the first about his glorification, (2) the second the reason for his glorification: "With you is the principality". In the first part a twofold glory is touched on: (1) his exaltation in dignity, (2) his glorification in his subjects: "scepter of your power". The first of these has two points: (1) his glory that is hidden as long as we walk in faith (2 Cor 5:7), (2) his glory that is revealed with the hidden things of the darkness (1 Cor 4:5): "until I make". In the first there are two items: (1) that the Father acted in Christ, the man, (2) what he did, namely, to glorify him by seating him next to himself: "sit at my right hand".

The Lord said to my Lord:
Yahweh spoke to my lord:

110: So he says, The Lord God, in the person of the Father, as in 2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, or essentially for the whole Trinity, as in Isaiah 64:7 Yahweh, you are our Father -Mat 6:9 Our Father who are in heaven- said, not by moving his lips to make a sound, but by putting this into effect, since his speaking is his acting -Ps 33:9 He spoke and it was so. Or he said, that is, in his eternal Word he so ordained, and now he will fulfil it. For his eternal ordination cannot fail -Num 23:19 Can God speak and not do it, or promise something and not fulfil it? In other words, this is impossible. So in this verse "Father" can be understood personally or essentially. He spoke to my lord, the man Christ. He is addressed as a man, but not as simply human, but rather as his humanity is united to the divinity; otherwise he would only be a son, and not Lord -Mat 22:45 How could David call him Lord if he is only his son? In other words, he couldn't.

Sit thou at my right hand:
"Take the throne at my right.

110: The idea is: What did the Lord the Father say to your lord? Sit at my right, where my better goods are, although still hidden -Rev 4:2 A throne was set in heaven, and there someone sitting on the throne. This was realized in his ascension -Mark 16:19 He was taken up into heaven, and he sits at God's right. -Heb 1:3 He sits at the right of the Majesty in the highest.

Until I make thy enemies thy footstool.
I have made your foes a seat, a stool for your feet."

110:1.1.2. He had first touched on the glorification of Christ which was hidden; here he talks about his public glorification. The idea is: He said -and his word is his deed- to sit until I make your enemies, that is, the unbelievers who neverthless are predestined to life, a footstool, that is subject to your feet, namely, your eternal divinity which sustains and supports everything -Heb 1:3 sustaining everything by his word of power. In other words, his glorification is hidden until the end of the world, when all will be subject, and he will no longer reign hiddenly, which is an imperfect way of reigning -1 Cor 13:10 When the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with. This is taking the word "until" properly, which is the more common way it is understood.

Or the phrase could be understood as for as long as I make your enemies your footstool, that is for eternity. Thus, after mentioning Christ's dignity, there is added its eternity -Dan 7:14 His power will be an eternal power which will not pass away and his power will not be destroyed. This meaning of "until" occurs in many places in Scripture, e.g. 1 Sam 3:2-3 Eli could not see the lantern until it was put out (Albert's reading), that is, all the while it was burning and shining. -Mat 1:25 Joseph did not know her until she gave birth to her firstborn son, that is all the while she had not given birth.

Nor does it follow from "sit until I put your enemies" that you will not sit once I put them, just as it does not follow from "he did not know her until she gave birth" that he knew her afterwards, or from "he did not see the lamp until it went out" that he saw it after it went out. As Jerome said against Helvidius, it does not follow from the statement "Helvidius did not confess until he died" that he confessed after he died. Chrysostom gives a similar example in the statement "He did not speak to her until she died"; it does not follow that he spoke to her afterwards. And take 1 Timothy And take 1 Timothy 4:13 Until I come, be busy with reading, exhortation and teaching. That does not mean that he should stop these activities when Paul arrives.

So the enemies of Christ are subject to his feet every day, as he reigns. And they will be subject always, because he will always reign -Sir 24:7 I trampled powerful on the hearts of all excellent and humble people (Vul). -Is 45:1 Thus says Yahweh to his anointed one, to Cyrus whom I have grasped by the right hand, to make the nations bow before him and to take off the weapons-belt of kings, and his enemies will be his perpetual footstool. -Is 66:1 The heavens are my seat and the earth is my footstool.

2. The Lord will send forth the sceptre of thy power out of Sion:
He forged your victorious mace; he hammered it, Yahweh of Zion:

110:1.2.1. This section is about the glorification of Christ in the extension of his kingdom, and there are two points: (1) Christ's beginning, by the name of the kingdom, (2) to whom it extends: "rule in the midst of your enemies". The idea is: You are glorified in dignity, O Christ, even to sitting at the right of the Father, and the Lord will send the scepter, that is, the royal power which he will give you, from Zion, literally from that place. The kingdom arose from the Jews, which Zion stands for -Is 2:3 From Zion will come a law. Therefore the kingdom of Christ is called a scepter -Num 24:17 A staff will arise from Israel, that is, the reign of Christ will begin from the Israelites, and will strike the brow of Moab, that is, the principle members of the devil -Is 11:1 A rod will rise from the trunk of Jesse. It is rightly called a rod, because in Christ's reign there is justice, a strong rod for punishing the evil -Ps 2:9 You will rule them with an iron rod. There is also mercy, which is a golden and pliable rod for encouraging the good. This is the scepter of Ahasuerus (at the end of Esther).

rule thou in the midst of thy enemies.
He forged your victorious mace; he hammered it, Yahweh of Zion:

110:1.2.2 Here is the extension of his kingdom. He will send a staff from Zion. Rule, O Christ, or you shall rule in this manner, or God the Father will rule through you, in the midst of your enemies, that is, your kingdom will be extended right into their midst. For Christ was first made a small stone in Judea, but later he was made a large mountain in the whole world -Ps 72:8 (=Zech 9:10) He will rule from sea to sea. -Gen 49:8 Your hand will be upon the necks of your enemies, to throw them down and subject them to his faith. And that happened when the truth rejected by the Jews was carried to the Gentiles -Acts 13:46 We first had to speak the word of God to you. But since you reject it and do not judge yourselves worthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles. He also very well says in the midst because his kingdom is in their very hearts, which is in their very midst -Is 12:6 For great among you is the Holy One of Israel. -Luke 17:21 The kingdom of God is within you.

3. With thee is the principality in the day of thy strength: in the brightness of the saints:
your Might in fighting your foes, your Strength on the day of your conquest. The Holy One appeared, your Comfort, After talking about Christ's exaltation, here is given the reason for such a great exaltation. Since there are two natures in Christ, reasons are (1) first taken with regard to his divinity, (2) secondly with regard to his humanity: "The Lord has sworn". (1) The first thing that is considered about his divinity is his unity with the Father in creating, (2) secondly his eternal generation from the Father: "From the womb". The first takes up his unity with the Father in creating, and then the imperceptibility of this union in the present time, but its evidence in the future: "in the day of your strength". The idea is: The Father told the Son to sit at his right, and that he would extend his kingdom. He now gives the reason for this, saying, O Son, I am one and the same principle with you -John 10:30 I and the Father are one, of one essence and nature. He is one principle with me, to be manifested not in this miserable time, but on the day, that is, the brightness, of your strength, yours, that is, which is mine -1 Cor 1:24 We preach Christ the power of God, manifested in the brightness of the saints, when the saints are made splendid, both in soul -Is 58:11 God will fill your soul with splendor (Vul) - and in body -Tobit 13:11 You will shine with a splendid light (Vul). -Mat 13:43 Then the just will shine like the sun in the kingdom of my Father. Note that the Gloss assigns as a reason for the statement "I am the principle with you", the fact that I am with you.

from the womb before the day star I begot thee.
the Dawn of your life, * the Dew of your youth. Here is taken up his eternal generation from the Father, the reason why he should be exalted. The idea is: You will be exalted because I begot you, through that undescribable generation referred to in Isaiah 53:8 Who will tell of his generationa? (Vul), from the womb, from my secred and hidden substance. He is called son because he came from the Father in three ways: (1) from the mouth -Sir 24:3 I came forth from the mouth of the Most High. (2) from the heart -Ps 45:2 My heart has composed a sweet song/word. (3) from the womb, because he is consubstantial and one with him. And that was before the day star, and therefore before every creature -Prov 8:23 From eternity I was cast, from the beginning, before the earth. The Gloss adds another reading concerning the historical David.

4. The Lord hath sworn,
Yahweh has sworn Here the Psalmist gives reasons from the humanity of Christ. The reason is the sacrifice of his humanity on the altar of the cross. There are four elements in this sacrifice: (1) who is the priest, since it is he himself who offered himself. (2) what purpose and fruit, or which virtue, especially belonged to this sacrifice: "The Lord at your right hand". (3) the time or manner of this sacrifice: "From the torrent", (4) how fruitfully and virtuously he made his offering: "Therefore".

The first element is that by the gift of God the man Christ was a priest offering himself, and here there are three items: (1) the divine promise, (2) the irrevocablity of the promise made: "and will not repent", (3) the matter of the promise: "You are a priest". The idea is: It is right for you to sit, for you are one principle with God the Father, in so far as you are God, and even in your humanity -The Lord, God the Father, swore, firmly promising -Heb 7:20 They were made priets without an oath, but he with an oath. And he entered by himself -Gen 22:16 I swore by myself, says Yahweh.

and he will not repent:
and will not change his mind: Here is the irrevocability, for God does not and cannot repent -1 Sam 15:29 He is not a man that he should repent. An objection: Genesis 6:7 I repent having made them. and 1 Sam 15:11 I repent that I made Saul king. And at the end of the same chapter, 15:35, Samuel was mourning Saul because Yahweh repented that he had made him king. Response: Change occurs in external things, but never in the divine counsel, which is the same as God. But when we repent there is change in both our counsel and our external action. Therefore, God is said to change because of a change in a thing, and he is said not to repent because of the stability of his counsel.

Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech.
"You are a priest of the Eternal according to his pact, his rightful king, my lord, as your right hand attests." Here is the matter of the irrevocable promise. There are two things: the eternity of the priesthood, and its quality: "according to the order". The idea is: He swore and promised that you are a priest, that is, you will be, forever, since your priesthood will last forever -Sir 45:7 He made an eteral covenant with him and gave him the priesthood of his people. -Heb 7:24 Because he remains for eternity, he has an indefectible priesthood. What kind of priesthood: according to the order of Melchisedech. Christ is said to be a priest according to the order of Melchisedech first by reason of its kind, since it has no genealogy, since nothing is read about his physical father and mother. And Christ said (Mat 12:48) Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? Secondly, by reason of his name: Melchisedech means "king of Salem", which means "king of peace". And of Christ is it said (Is 9:5) He will be called Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. -Eph 2:14 He is our peace. Thirdly, by reason of his work: For Melchisedech blessed Abraham (Gen 14:19). [Of Christ it can be said] (Num 6:27) They must call down my name on the Israelites, and then I shall bless them. Melchisedech received tithes; similarly we must give Christ first offerings and tithes, acknowledging with Paul (Phil 2:13) God, for his good will, works in you that you may will and carry out what you will. Melchisedech offered bread and wine (Gen 14:18). So Christ offered his disciples his blood under the form of wine and his flesh under the form of bread. He offered this to God the Father and has it offered daily (Mat 26:26-29).

5. The Lord at thy right hand hath broken kings in the day of his wrath.
He smashed kings Here is shown the power or benefit of this king who offered himself, (1) first with reference to the Jews, (2) with reference to the Gentiles: "He shall judge among nations". As for the Jews, first is the matters in which the power of his Passion especially appears, secondly when: "on the day". The idea is: The Lord powerfully established a priest who offered himself. Then the Father is addressed: O Father, the Lord (Christ) at your right hand, where he was just said to be established, has smashed kings, that is, he physically smashed the elders among the Jews and other rulers through the Romans, when like from a smashed vase every prince of the world carried his own part -Rev 2:27 Like a clay pot it will be broken. -Ps 2:9 Like a clay pot you will smash them. -Job 38:15 The exalted arm will be broken. He also broke them in mind when all that they were thinking was dissipated and annihilated -Job 5:12 He dissipates the thoughts of the crafty so that they cannot succeed in their intrigues. And that on the day of his wrath, that is, when he vented his anger on them through the Romans and smashed them interiorly and exteriorly -Luke 20:18 Anyone on whom the rock falls it will smash. These are the kings referred to in Psalm 2 and in Acts 4:26 The kings of the earth and rulers came together against the Lord and against his Christ. Then was fulfilled Isaish 33:14 Sinners in Zion were terrified.

6. He shall judge among nations,
he routed nations. Here is considered the power or benefit of the king for the Gentiles, (1) first in all generally, (2) secondly, especially in the leaders: "He shall crush". Under the first there is shown (1) first his rule almong the Gentiles, (2) his benefit to all generally: "He shall fill". The idea is: He will smash the kings opposed to him and also judge among nations, that is, he will go over to the Gentiles to be their judge -Is 42:1 He will proclaim judgment to the nations. -Jer 23:5 He will reign as king and be wise and make judgment and justice in the land. -Jer 25:31 Judgment will be made in Yahweh's favor among the nations. -Acts 10:45 Among the nations the gift of the Holy Spirit is poured out.

he shall fill ruins:
He piled up corpses The idea is: He will move over to the Gentiles and fill ruins after visiting them, restoring the ruins of those nations, calling them back from the sin of idolotry into which they had fallen -Is 49:19 Your ruins will be too small for the inhabitants. -Is 51:3 Yahweh has had pity on Zion, that is, the Church, and on all her ruins he will repair, that is, in the triumphant Church with regard to the angels, [It is difficult to see what Albert means regarding "repairing angels", since their moral status cannot change.] and in the militant Church with regard to all. For everything had been in ruins: Jerusalem was leveled and Judas had fallen. According to the Gloss, he will also repair ruins by giving grace to the humble who come humbly before him with a contrite heart -2 Sam 4:1-7 Elisha filled the vases with oil. -1 Peter 5:5 God gives grace to the humble. -Job 11:17 A life will arise brighter than noon.

he shall crush the heads in the land of many.
and smashed heads over a wide terrain. This is the second benefit to the Gentiles, and the idea is: He will repair ruins or give grace to the humble and crush, humiliating, the heads of many which had been raised high by pride -Ps 74:14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan, that is, the proud and elated who are its heads -Luke 20:18 Anyone who falls on that stone will be dashed to pieces. -Is 2:17 Men's arrogance will be brought low on that day. -Is 45:2 I shall level the heights. And that in the land, literally in this life. Another reading has in an abundant land, since many will be crushed by the abundance of worldlly things -Prov 1:32 The prosperity of the stupid will bring them to ruin. Another reading has in good, so that there will be a good result. -Augustine: It is better for a man to go around humbly with his head crushed than to keep it raised high and later fall under a death sentence.

7. He shall drink of the torrent in the way:
The King-Maker enthroned him; After talking about the priesthood of Christ, then his power or benefit, here is presented the manner of offering. The idea is: Christ, the eternal priest, crushed kings, filled ruins and smashed heads. But what is his sacrifice? From the torrent, that is, troubles and stormy passing crises, he will drink, and invite his relations to take the same drink -Mat 20:22 Can you drink the cup which I am going to drink? Litterally, he was arrested in the garden across the Kedron valley (torrent) and led to his Passion -2 Sam 15:23 King David, praying, crossed the valley, withstanding wonderfully and delightfully all the hard stones of this valley. The stones of that valley were sweet to him. These are the stones with which David killed Goliath.

therefore shall he lift up the head.
the Supreme Being raised up his head. Here is shown the exaltation of the one who offered himself so virtuously. The idea is: Having drunk plenty from the torrent, therefore he shall lift up high and boldly his head -Phil 2:8-9 He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted him -Sir 11:1 The wisdom of the humble will lift up his head. -Sir 20:11 And there is the one who from humility lifts up his head. If Christ had to suffer this way so as to enter his glory, it is certain that we will not enter except by humility -Luke 14:11 (=18:14) Hewho humbles himself will be exalted, and his position will be very high, since his heart is joined very firmly to the Lord -Job 22:29 He saves those of downcast eyes, as he raised Christ to glory. May he bring us to the same glory.