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Daily Reading for January 27: Exodus 27-28; Proverbs 27

Study Verse: Psalms 109 and 110

Help Me, O Lord My God

109 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

    tBe not silent, O uGod of my praise!

    For wicked and vdeceitful mouths are opened against me,

speaking against me with lying tongues.

    They encircle me with words of hate,

and attack me wwithout cause.

    In return for my love they xaccuse me,

but I ygive myself to prayer.1

    So they zreward me evil for good,

and hatred for my love.

    aAppoint a wicked man bagainst him;

let an accuser stand cat his right hand.

    When he is tried, let him come forth guilty;

let his dprayer be counted as sin!

    May his edays be few;

may fanother take his goffice!

    May his hchildren be fatherless

and his wife a widow!

10    May his children iwander about and beg,

jseeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!

11    May kthe creditor seize all that he has;

may kstrangers plunder the fruits of his toil!

12    Let there be none to lextend kindness to him,

nor any to mpity his fatherless children!

13    May his nposterity be cut off;

may his oname be blotted out in the second generation!

14    May pthe iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord,

and let not the sin of his mother be qblotted out!

15    rLet them be before the Lord continually,

that he may scut off the memory of them from the earth!

16    For he did not remember to show kindness,

but pursued tthe poor and needy

and uthe brokenhearted, to put them to death.

17    vHe loved to curse; let curses come2 upon him!

He did not delight in blessing; may it be far3 from him!

18    He wclothed himself with cursing as his coat;

may it xsoak4 into his body like water,

like oil into his bones!

19    May it be like a garment that he wraps around him,

like a belt that he puts on every day!

20    May this be the reward of my yaccusers from the Lord,

of those who speak evil against my life!

21    But you, O God my Lord,

deal on my behalf zfor your name's sake;

because your asteadfast love is good, deliver me!

22    For I am bpoor and needy,

and my heart is stricken within me.

23    I am gone like ca shadow at evening;

I am dshaken off like a locust.

24    My knees are weak ethrough fasting;

my fbody has become gaunt, with no fat.

25    I am gan object of scorn to my accusers;

when they see me, they hwag their heads.

26    iHelp me, O Lord my God!

Save me according to your steadfast love!

27    Let them jknow that this is your hand;

you, O Lord, have done it!

28    kLet them curse, but you will bless!

They arise and are put to shame, but lyour servant will be glad!

29    May my accusers be mclothed with dishonor;

may they nbe wrapped in their own shame as in a cloak!

30    With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord;

I will opraise him in the midst of the throng.

31    For he stands pat the right hand of the needy one,

to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.

Sit at My Right Hand

110 A Psalm of David.

    qThe Lord says to my Lord:

r"Sit at my right hand,

       suntil I make your enemies your tfootstool."

    The Lord sends forth ufrom Zion

vyour mighty scepter.

wRule in the midst of your enemies!

    xYour people will yoffer themselves freely

on the day of your zpower,1

in aholy garments;2

       from the womb of the morning,

the dew of your youth will be yours.3

    bThe Lord has csworn

and will dnot change his mind,

       e"You are fa priest gforever

after the order of hMelchizedek."

    The Lord is at your iright hand;

he will jshatter kings on kthe day of his wrath.

    He will lexecute judgment among the nations,

mfilling them with corpses;

       he will nshatter chiefs4

over the wide earth.

    He will odrink from the brook by the way;

therefore he will lift up his head. [1]

 

Commentary:

PSALM 109

Whether David penned this psalm when he was persecuted by Saul, or when his son Absalom rebelled against him, or upon occasion of some other trouble that was given him, is uncertain; and whether the particular enemy he prays against was Saul, or Doeg, or Ahithophel, or some other not mentioned in the story, we cannot determine; but it is certain that in penning it he had an eye to Christ, his sufferings and his persecutors, for that imprecation (v. 8) is applied to Judas, Acts 1:20. The rest of the prayers here against his enemies were the expressions, not of passion, but of the Spirit of prophecy. I. He lodges a complaint in the court of heaven of the malice and base ingratitude of his enemies and with it an appeal to the righteous God (v. 1-5). II. He prays against his enemies, and devotes them to destruction (v. 6-20). III. He prays for himself, that God would help and succour him in his low condition (v. 21-29). IV. He concludes with a joyful expectation that God would appear for him (v. 30, 31). In singing this psalm we must comfort ourselves with the believing foresight of the certain destruction of all the enemies of Christ and his church, and the certain salvation of all those that trust in God and keep close to him.

To the chief Musician. A psalm of David.

Verses 1-5

It is the unspeakable comfort of all good people that, whoever is against them, God is for them, and to him they may apply as to one that is pleased to concern himself for them. Thus David here.

I. He refers himself to God's judgment (v. 1): "Hold not thy peace, but let my sentence come forth from thy presence, Ps. 17:2. Delay not to give judgment upon the appeal made to thee." God saw what his enemies did against him, but seemed to connive at it, and to keep silence: "Lord," says he, "do not always do so." The title he gives to God is observable: "O God of my praise! the God in whom I glory, and not in any wisdom or strength of my own, from whom I have every thing that is my praise, or the God whom I have praised, and will praise, and hope to be for ever praising." He had before called God the God of his mercy (Ps. 59:10), here he calls him the God of his praise. Forasmuch as God is the God of our mercies we must make him the God of our praises; if all is of him and from him, all must be to him and for him.

II. He complains of his enemies, showing that they were such as it was fit for the righteous God to appear against. 1. They were very spiteful and malicious: They are wicked; they delight in doing mischief (v. 2); their words are words of hatred, v. 3. They had an implacable enmity to a good man because of his goodness. "They open their mouths against me to swallow me up, and fight against me to cut me off if they could." 2. They were notorious liars; and lying comprehends two of the seven things which the Lord hates. "They are deceitful in their protestations and professions of kindness, while at the same time they speak against me behind my back, with a lying tongue." They were equally false in their flatteries and in their calumnies. 3. They were both public and restless in their designs; "They compassed me about on all sides, so that, which way soever I looked, I could see nothing but what made against me." 4. They were unjust; their accusations of him, and sentence against him, were all groundless: "They have fought against me without a cause; I never gave them any provocation." Nay, which was worst of all, 5. They were very ungrateful, and rewarded him evil for good, v. 5. Many a kindness he had done them, and was upon all occasions ready to do them, and yet he could not work upon them to abate their malice against him, but, on the contrary, they were the more exasperated because they could not provoke him to give them some occasion against him (v. 4): For my love they are my adversaries. The more he endeavoured to gratify them the more they hated him. We may wonder that it is possible that any should be so wicked; and yet, since there have been so many instances of it, we should not wonder if any be so wicked against us.

III. He resolves to keep close to his duty and take the comfort of that: But I give myself unto prayer (v. 4), I prayer (so it is in the original); "I am for prayer, I am a man of prayer, I love prayer, and prize prayer, and practise prayer, and make a business of prayer, and am in my element when I am at prayer." A good man is made up of prayer, gives himself to prayer, as the apostles, Acts 6:4. When David's enemies falsely accused him, and misrepresented him, he applied to God and by prayer committed his cause to him. Though they were his adversaries for his love, yet he continued to pray for them; if others are abusive and injurious to us, yet let not us fail to do our duty to them, nor sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for them, 1 Sa. 12:23. Though they hated and persecuted him for his religion, yet he kept close to it; they laughed at him for his devotion, but they could not laugh him out of it. "Let them say what they will, I give myself unto prayer." Now herein David was a type of Christ, who was compassed about with words of hatred and lying words, whose enemies not only persecuted him without cause, but for his love and his good works (Jn. 10:32); and yet he gave himself to prayer, to pray for them. Father, forgive them.

Verses 6-20

David here fastens upon some one particular person that was worse than the rest of his enemies, and the ringleader of them, and in a devout and pious manner, not from a principle of malice and revenge, but in a holy zeal for God and against sin and with an eye to the enemies of Christ, particularly Judas who betrayed him, whose sin was greater than Pilate's that condemned him (Jn. 19:11), he imprecates and predicts his destruction, foresees and pronounces him completely miserable, and such a one as our Saviour calls him, A son of perdition. Calvin speaks of it as a detestable piece of sacrilege, common in his time among Franciscan friars and other monks, that if any one had malice against a neighbour he might hire some of them to curse him every day, which he would do in the words of these verses; and particularly he tells of a lady in France who, being at variance with her own and only son, hired a parcel of friars to curse him in these words. Greater impiety can scarcely be imagined than to vent a devilish passion in the language of sacred writ, to kindle strife with coals snatched from God's altar, and to call for fire from heaven with a tongue set on fire of hell.

I. The imprecations here are very terrible-woe, and a thousand woes, to that man against whom God says Amen to them; and they are all in full force against the implacable enemies and persecutors of God's church and people, that will not repent, to give him glory. It is here foretold concerning this bad man,

1. That he should be cast and sentenced as a criminal, with all the dreadful pomp of a trial, conviction, and condemnation (v. 6, 7): Set thou a wicked man over him, to be as cruel and oppressive to him as he has been to others; for God often makes one wicked man a scourge to another, to spoil the spoilers and to deal treacherously with those that have dealt treacherously. Set the wicked one over him (so some), that is, Satan, as it follows; and then it was fulfilled in Judas, into whom Satan entered, to hurry him into sin first and then into despair. Set his own wicked heart over him, set his own conscience against him; let that fly in his face. Let Satan stand on his right hand, and be let loose against him to deceive him, as he did Ahab to his destruction, and then to accuse him and resist him, and then he is certainly cast, having no interest in that advocate who alone can say, The Lord rebuke thee, Satan (Zec. 3:1, 2); when he shall be judged at men's bar let not his usual arts to evade justice do him any service, but let his sin find him out and let him be condemned; nor shall he escape before God's tribunal, but be condemned there when the day of inquisition and recompence shall come. Let his prayer become sin, as the clamours of a condemned malefactor not only find no acceptance, but are looked upon as an affront to the court. The prayers of the wicked now become sin, because soured with the leaven of hypocrisy and malice; and so they will in the great day, because then it will be too late to cry, Lord, Lord, open to us. Let every thing be turned against him and improved to his disadvantage, even his prayers.

2. That, being condemned, he should be executed as a most notorious malefactor. (1.) That he should lose his life, and the number of his months be cut off in the midst, by the sword of justice: Let his days be few, or shortened, as a condemned criminal has but a few days to live (v. 8); such bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days. (2.) That consequently all his places should be disposed of to others, and they should enjoy his preferments and employments: Let another take his office. This Peter applies to the filling up of Judas's place in the truly sacred college of the apostles, by the choice of Matthias, Acts 1:20. Those that mismanage their trusts will justly have their office taken from them and given to those that will approve themselves faithful. (3.) That his family should be beheaded and beggared, that his wife should be made a widow and his children fatherless, by his untimely death, v. 9. Wicked men, by their wicked courses, bring ruin upon their wives and children, whom they ought to take care of and provide for. Yet his children, if, when they lost their father, they had a competency to live upon, might still subsist in comfort; but they shall be vagabonds and shall beg; they shall not have a house of their own to live in, nor any certain dwelling-place, nor know where to have a meal's-meat, but shall creep out of their desolate places with fear and trembling, like beasts out of their dens, to seek their bread (v. 10), because they are conscious to themselves that all mankind have reason to hate them for their father's sake. (4.) That his estate should be ruined, as the estates of malefactors are confiscated (v. 11): Let the extortioner, the officer, seize all that he has and let the stranger, who was nothing akin to his estate, spoil his labour, either for his crimes or for his debts, Job 5:4, 5. (5.) That his posterity should be miserable. Fatherless children, though they have nothing of their own, yet sometimes are well provided for by the kindness of those whom God inclines to pity them; but this wicked man having never shown mercy there shall be none to extend mercy to him, by favouring his fatherless children when he is gone, v. 12. The children of wicked parents often fare the worse for their parents' wickedness in this way that the bowels of men's compassion are shut up from them, which yet ought not to be, for why should children suffer for that which was not their fault, but their infelicity? (6.) That his memory should be infamous, and buried in oblivion and disgrace (v. 13): Let his posterity be cut off; let his end be to destruction (so Dr. Hammond); and in the next generation let their name be blotted out, or remembered with contempt and indignation, and (v. 15) let an indelible mark of disgrace be left upon it. See here what hurries some to shameful deaths, and brings the families and estates of others to ruin, makes them and their despicable and odious, and entails poverty, and shame, and misery, upon their posterity; it is sin, that mischievous destructive thing. The learned Dr. Hammond applies this to the final dispersion and desolation of the Jewish nation for their crucifying Christ; their princes and people were cut off, their country was laid waste, and their posterity were made fugitives and vagabonds.

II. The ground of these imprecations bespeaks them very just, though they sound very severe. 1. To justify the imprecations of vengeance upon the sinner's posterity, the sin of his ancestors is here brought into the account (v. 14, 15), the iniquity of his fathers and the sin of his mother. These God often visits even upon the children's children, and is not unrighteous therein: when wickedness has long run in the blood justly does the curse run along with it. Thus all the innocent blood that had been shed upon the earth, from that of righteous Abel, was required from that persecuting generation, who, by putting Christ to death, filled up the measure of their fathers, and left as long a train of vengeance to follow them as the train of guilt was that went before them, which they themselves agreed to by saying, His blood be upon us and on our children. 2. To justify the imprecations of vengeance upon the sinner himself, his own sin is here charged upon him, which called aloud for it. (1.) He had loved cruelty, and therefore give him blood to drink (v. 16): He remembered not to show mercy, remembered not those considerations which should have induced him to show mercy, remembered not the objects of compassion that had been presented to him, but persecuted the poor, whom he should have protected and relieved, and slew the broken in heart, whom he should have comforted and healed. Here is a barbarous man indeed, not it to live. (2.) He had loved cursing, and therefore let the curse come upon his head, v. 17-19. Those that were out of the reach of his cruelty he let fly at with his curses, which were impotent and ridiculous; but they shall return upon him. He delighted not in blessing; he took no pleasure in wishing well to others, nor in seeing others do well; he would give nobody a good word or a good wish, much less would he do any body a good turn; and so let all good be far from him. He clothed himself with cursing; he was proud of it as an ornament that he could frighten all about him with the curses he was liberal of; he confided in it as armour, which would secure him from the insults of those he feared. And let him have enough of it. Was he fond of cursing? Let God's curse come into his bowels like water and swell him as with a dropsy, and let it soak like oil into his bones. The word of the curse is quick and powerful, and divides between the joints and the marrow; it works powerfully and effectually; it fastens on the soul; it is a piercing thing, and there is no antidote against it. Let is compass him on every side as a garment, v. 19. Let God's cursing him be his shame, as his cursing his neighbour was his pride; let it cleave to him as a girdle, and let him never be able to get clear of it. Let it be to him like the waters of jealousy, which caused the belly to swell and the thigh to rot. This points at the utter ruin of Judas, and the spiritual judgments which fell on the Jews for crucifying Christ. The psalmist concludes his imprecations with a terrible Amen, which signifies not only, "I wish it may be so," but "I know it shall be so." Let this be the reward of my adversaries from the Lord, v. 20. And this will be the reward of all the adversaries of the Lord Jesus; his enemies that will not have him to reign over them shall be brought forth and slain before him. And he will one day recompense tribulation to those that trouble his people.

Verses 21-31

David, having denounced God's wrath against his enemies, here takes God's comforts to himself, but in a very humble manner, and without boasting.

I. He pours out his complaint before God concerning the low condition he was in, which, probably, gave advantage to his enemies to insult over him: "I am poor and needy, and therefore a proper object of pity, and one that needs and craves thy help." 1. He was troubled in mind (v. 22): My heart is wounded within me, not only broken with outward troubles, which sometimes prostrate and sink the spirits, but wounded with a sense of guilt; and a wounded spirit who can bear? who can heal? 2. He apprehended himself drawing near to his end: I am gone like the shadow when it declines, as good as gone already. Man's life, at best, is like a shadow; sometimes it is like the evening shadow, the presage of night approaching, like the shadow when it declines. 3. He was unsettled, tossed up and down like the locust, his mind fluctuating and unsteady, still putting him upon new counsels, his outward condition far from any fixation, but still upon the remove, hunted like a partridge on the mountains. 4. His body was wasted, and almost worn away (v. 24): My knees are weak through fasting, either forced fasting (for want of food when he was persecuted, or for want of appetite when he was sick) or voluntary fasting, when he chastened his soul either for sin or affliction, his own or other's, Ps. 35:13; 69:10. "My flesh fails of fatness; that is, it has lost the fatness it had, so that I have become a skeleton, nothing but skin and bones." But it is better to have this leanness in the body, while the soul prospers and is in health, than, like Israel, to have leanness sent into the soul, while the body is feasted. 5. He was ridiculed and reproached by his enemies (v. 25); his devotions and his afflictions they made the matter of their laughter, and, upon both those accounts, God's people have been exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that were at ease. In all this David was a type of Christ, who in his humiliation was thus wounded, thus weakened, thus reproached; he was also a type of the church, which is often afflicted, tossed with tempests, and not comforted.

II. He prays for mercy for himself. In general (v. 21): "Do thou for me, O God the Lord! appear for me, act for me." If God be for us, he will do for us, will do more abundantly for us than we are able either to ask or think. He does not prescribe to God what he should do for him, but refers himself to his wisdom: "Lord, do for me what seems good in thy eyes. Do that which thou knowest will be for me, really for me, in the issue for me, though for the present it may seem to make against me." More particularly, he prays (v. 26): "Help me, O Lord my God! O save me! Help me under my trouble, save me out of my trouble; save me from sin, help me to do my duty." He prays (v. 28), Though they curse, bless thou. Here (1.) He despises the causeless curses of his enemies: Let them curse. He said of Shimei, So let him curse. They can but show their malice; they can do him no more mischief than the bird by wandering or the swallow by flying, Prov. 26:2. He values the blessing of God as sufficient to counterbalance their curses: Bless thou, and then it is no matter though they curse. If God bless us, we need not care who curses us; for how can they curse those whom God has not cursed, nay, whom he has blessed? Num. 23:8. Men's curses are impotent; God's blessings are omnipotent; and those whom we unjustly curse may in faith expect and pray for God's blessing, his special blessing. When the Pharisees cast out the poor man for his confessing Christ, Christ found him, Jn. 9:35. When men without cause say all the ill they can of us, and wish all the ills they can to us, we may with comfort lift up our heart to God in this petition: Let them curse, but bless thou. He prays (v. 28), Let thy servant rejoice. Those that know how to value God's blessing, let them but be sure of it, and they will be glad of it.

III. He prays that his enemies might be ashamed (v. 28), clothed with shame (v. 29), that they might cover themselves with their own confusion, that they might be left to themselves, to do that which would expose them and manifest their folly before all men, or rather that they might be disappointed in their designs and enterprises against David, and thereby might be filled with shame, as the adversaries of the Jews were, Neh. 6:16. Nay, in this he prays that they might be brought to repentance, which is the chief thing we should beg of God for our enemies. Sinners indeed bring shame upon themselves, but they are true penitents that take shame to themselves and cover themselves with their own confusion.

IV. He pleads God's glory, the honour of his name:-Do for me, for thy name's sake (v. 21), especially the honour of his goodness, by which he has proclaimed his name: "Deliver me, because thy mercy is good; it is what thou thyself dost delight in, and it is what I do depend upon. Save me, not according to my merit, for I have none to pretend to, but according to thy mercy; let that be the fountain, the reason, the measure, of my salvation."

Lastly, He concludes the psalm with joy, the joy of faith, joy in assurance that his present conflicts would end in triumphs. 1. He promises God that he will praise him (v. 30): "I will greatly praise the Lord, not only with my heart, but with my mouth; I will praise him, not in secret only, but among the multitude." 2. He promises himself that he shall have cause to praise God (v. 31): He shall stand at the right hand of the poor, night to him, a present help; he shall stand at his right hand as his patron and advocate to plead his cause against his accusers and to bring him off, to save him from those that condemn his soul and would execute their sentence if they could. God was David's protector in his sufferings, and was present also with the Lord Jesus in his, stood at his right hand, so that he was not moved (Ps. 16:8), saved his soul from those that pretended to be the judges of it, and received it into his own hands. Let all those that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him.

PSALM 110

This psalm is pure gospel; it is only, and wholly, concerning Christ, the Messiah promised to the fathers and expected by them. It is plain that the Jews of old, even the worst of them, so understood it, however the modern Jews have endeavoured to pervert it and to rob us of it; for when the Lord Jesus proposed a question to the Pharisees upon the first words of this psalm, where he takes it for granted that David, in spirit, calls Christ his Lord though he was his Son, they chose rather to say nothing, and to own themselves gravelled, than to make it a question whether David does indeed speak of the Messiah or no; for they freely yield so plain a truth, though they foresee it will turn to their own disgrace, Mt. 22:41, etc. Of him therefore, no doubt, the prophet here speaks of him and of no other man. Christ, as our Redeemer, executes the office of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, with reference both to his humiliation and his exaltation; and of each of these we have here an account. I. His prophetical office (v. 2). II. His priestly office (v. 4). III. His kingly office (v. 1, 3, 5, 6). IV. His estates of humiliation and exaltation (v. 7). In singing this psalm we must act faith upon Christ, submit ourselves entirely to him, to his grace and government, and triumph in him as our prophet, priest, and king, by whom we hope to be ruled, and taught, and saved, for ever, and as the prophet, priest, and king, of the whole church, who shall reign till he has put down all opposing rule, principality, and power, and delivered up the kingdom to God the Father.

A psalm of David.

Verses 1-4

Some have called this psalm David's creed, almost all the articles of the Christian faith being found in it; the title calls it David's psalm, for in the believing foresight of the Messiah he both praised God and solaced himself, much more may we, in singing it, to whom that is fulfilled, and therefore more clearly revealed, which is here foretold. Glorious things are here spoken of Christ, and such as oblige us to consider how great he is.

I. That he is David's Lord. We must take special notice of this because he himself does. Mt. 22:43, David, in spirit, calls him Lord. And as the apostle proves the dignity of Melchizedek, and in him of Christ, by this, that so great a man as Abraham was paid him tithes (Heb. 7:4), so we may by this prove the dignity of the Lord Jesus that David, that great man, called him his Lord; by him that king acknowledges himself to reign, and to him to be acceptable as a servant to his lord. Some think he calls him his Lord because he was the Lord that was to descend from him, his son and yet his Lord. Thus his immediate mother calls him her Saviour (Lu. 1:47); even his parents were his subjects, his saved ones.

II. That he is constituted a sovereign Lord by the counsel and decree of God himself: The Lord, Jehovah, said unto him, Sit as a king. He receives of the Father this honour and glory (2 Pt. 1:17), from him who is the fountain of honour and power, and takes it not to himself. He is therefore rightful Lord, and his title is incontestable; for what God has said cannot be gainsaid. He is therefore everlasting Lord; for what God has said shall not be unsaid. He will certainly take and keep possession of that kingdom which the Father has committed to him, and none can hinder.

III. That he was to be advanced to the highest honour, and entrusted with an absolute sovereign power both in heaven and in earth: Sit thou at my right hand. Sitting is a resting posture; after his services and sufferings, he entered into rest from all his labours. It is a ruling posture; he sits to give law, to give judgment. It is a remaining posture; he sits like a king for ever. Sitting at the right hand of God denotes both his dignity and his dominion, the honour put upon him and the trusts reposed in him by the Father. All the favours that come from God to man, and all the service that comes from man to God, pass through his hand.

IV. That all his enemies were in due time to be made his footstool, and not till then; but then also he must reign in the glory of the Mediator, though the work of the Mediator will be, in a manner, at an end. Note, 1. Even Christ himself has enemies that fight against his kingdom and subjects, his honour and interest, in the world. There are those that will not have him to reign over them, and thereby they join themselves to Satan, who will not have him to reign at all. 2. These enemies will be made his footstool; he will subdue them and triumph over them; he will do it easily, as easily as we put a footstool in its proper place, and such a propriety there will be in it. He will make himself easy by the doing of it, as a man that sits with a footstool under his feet; he will subdue them in such a way as shall be most for his honour and their perpetual disgrace; he will tread down the wicked, Mal. 4:3. 3. God the Father has undertaken to do it: I will make them thy footstool, who can do it. 4. It will not be done immediately. All his enemies are now in a chain, but not yet made his footstool. This the apostle observes. Heb. 2:8, We see not yet all things put under him. Christ himself must wait for the completing of his victories and triumphs. 5. He shall wait till it is done; and all their might and malice shall not give the least disturbance to his government. His sitting at God's right hand is a pledge to him of his setting his feet, at last, on the necks of all his enemies.

V. That he should have a kingdom set up in the world, beginning at Jerusalem (v. 2): "The Lord shall send the rod or sceptre of thy strength out of Zion, by which thy kingdom shall be erected, maintained, and administered." The Messiah, when he sits on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, will have a church on earth, and will have an eye to it; for he is King upon the holy hill of Zion (Ps. 2:6), in opposition to Mount Sinai, that frightful mountain, on which the law was given, Heb. 12:18, 24; Gal. 4:24, 25. The kingdom of Christ took rise from Zion, the city of David, for he was the Son of David, and was to have the throne of his father David. By the rod of his strength, or his strong rod, is meant his everlasting gospel, and the power of the Holy Ghost going along with it-the report of the word, and the arm of the Lord accompanying it (Isa. 53:1; Rom. 1:16),-the gospel coming in word, and in power, and in the holy Ghost, 1 Th. 1:5. By the word and Spirit of God souls were to be reduced first, and brought into obedience to God, and then ruled and governed according to the will of God. This strong rod God sent forth; he poured out the Spirit, and gave both commissions and qualifications to those that preached the word, and ministered the Spirit, Gal. 3:5. It was sent out of Zion, for there the Spirit was given, and there the preaching of the gospel among all nations must begin, at Jerusalem. See Lu. 24:47, 49. Out of Zion must go forth the law of faith, Isa. 2:3. Note, The gospel of Christ, being sent of God, is mighty through God to do wonders, 2 Co. 10:4. It is the rod of Christ's strength. Some make it to allude not only to the sceptre of a prince, denoting the glory of Christ shining in the gospel, but to a shepherd's crook, his rod and staff, denoting the tender care of Christ takes of his church; for he is both the great and the good Shepherd.

VI. That his kingdom, being set up, should be maintained and kept up in the world, in spite of all the oppositions of the power of darkness. 1. Christ shall rule, shall give laws, and govern his subjects by them, shall perfect them, and make them easy and happy, shall do his own will, fulfil his own counsels, and maintain his own interests among men. His kingdom is of God, and it shall stand; his crown sits firmly on his head, and there it shall flourish. 2. He shall rule in the midst of his enemies. He sits in heaven in the midst of his friends; his throne of glory there is surrounded with none but faithful worshippers of him, Rev. 5:11. But he rules on earth in the midst of his enemies, and his throne of government here is surrounded with those that hate him and fight against him. Christ's church is a lily among thorns, and his disciples are sent forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; he knows where they dwell, even where Satan's seat is (Rev. 2:13), and this redounds to his honour that he not only keeps his ground, but gains his point, notwithstanding all the malignant policies and powers of hell and earth, which cannot shake the rock on which the church is built. Great is the truth, and will prevail.

VII. That he should have a great number of subjects, who should be to him for a name and a praise, v. 3.

1. That they should be his own people, and such as he should have an incontestable title to. They are given to him by the Father, who gave them their lives and beings, and to whom their lives and beings were forfeited. Thine they were and thou gavest them me, Jn. 17:6. They are redeemed by him; he has purchased them to be to himself a peculiar people, Tit. 2:14. They are his by right, antecedent to their consent. He had much people in Corinth before they were converted, Acts 18:10.

2. That they should be a willing people, a people of willingness, alluding to servants that choose their service and are not coerced to it (they love their masters and would not go out free), to soldiers that are volunteers and not pressed men ("Here am I, send me"), to sacrifices that are free-will offerings and not offered of necessity; we present ourselves living sacrifices. Note, Christ's people are a willing people. The conversion of a soul consists in its being willing to be Christ's, coming under his yoke and into his interests, with an entire compliancy and satisfaction.

3. That they should be so in the day of his power, in the day of thy muster (so some); when thou art enlisting soldiers thou shalt find a multitude of volunteers forward to be enlisted; let but the standard be set up and the Gentiles will seek to it, Isa. 11:10; 60:3. Or when thou art drawing them out to battle they shall be willing to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes, Rev. 14:4. In the day of thy armies (so some); "when the first preachers of the gospel shall be sent forth, as Christ's armies, to reduce apostate men, and to ruin the kingdom of apostate angels, then all that are thy people shall be willing; that will be thy time of setting up thy kingdom." In the day of thy strength, so we take it. There is a general power which goes along with the gospel to all, proper to make them willing to be Christ's people, arising from the supreme authority of its great author and the intrinsic excellency of the things themselves contained in it, besides the undeniable miracles that were wrought for the confirmation of it. And there is also a particular power, the power of the Spirit, going along with the power of the word, to the people of Christ, which is effectual to make them willing. The former leaves sinners without matter of excuse; this leaves saints without matter of boasting. Whoever are willing to be Christ's people, it is the free and mighty grace of God that makes them so.

4. That they should be so in the beauty of holiness, that is, (1.) They shall be allured to him by the beauty of holiness; they shall be charmed into a subjection to Christ by the sight given them of his beauty, who is the holy Jesus, and the beauty of the church, which is the holy nation. (2.) They shall be admitted by him into the beauty of holiness, as spiritual priests, to minister in his sanctuary; for by the blood of Jesus we have boldness to enter into the holiest. (3.) They shall attend upon him in the beautiful attire or ornaments of grace and sanctification. Note, Holiness is the livery of Christ's family and that which becomes his house for ever. Christ's soldiers are all thus clothed; these are the colours they wear. The armies of heaven follow him in fine linen, clean and white, Rev. 19:14.

5. That he should have great numbers of people devoted to him. The multitude of the people is the honour of the prince, and that shall be the honour of this prince. From the womb of the morning thou hast the dew of thy youth, that is, abundance of young converts, like the drops of dew in a summer's morning. In the early days of the gospel, in the morning of the New Testament, the youth of the church, great numbers flocked to Christ, and there were multitudes that believed, a remnant of Jacob, that was as dew from the Lord, Mic. 5:7; Isa. 64:4, 8. Or thus? "From the womb of the morning (from their very childhood) thou hast the dew of thy people's youth, that is, their hearts and affections when they are young; it is thy youth, because it is dedicated to thee." The dew of the youth is a numerous, illustrious, hopeful show of young people flocking to Christ, which would be to the world as dew to the ground, to make it fruitful. Note, The dew of our youth, even in the morning of our days, ought to be consecrated to our Lord Jesus.

6. That he should be not only a king, but a priest, v. 4. The same Lord that said, Sit thou at my right hand, swore, and will not repent, Thou art a priest, that is, Be thou a priest; for by the word of his oath he was consecrated. Note, (1.) Our Lord Jesus Christ is a priest. He was appointed to that office and faithfully executes it; he is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin (Heb. 5:1), to make atonement for our sins and to recommend our services to God's acceptance. He is God's minister to us, and our advocate with God, and so is a Mediator between us and God. (2.) He is a priest for ever. He was designed for a priest, in God's eternal counsels; he was a priest to the Old-Testament saints, and will be a priest for all believers to the end of time, Heb. 13:8. He is said to be a priest for ever, not only because we are never to expect any other dispensation of grace than this by the priesthood of Christ, but because the blessed fruits and consequences of it will remain to eternity. (3.) He is made a priest with an oath, which the apostle urges to prove the pre-eminence of his priesthood above that of Aaron, Heb. 7:20, 21. The Lord has sworn, to show that in the commission there was no implied reserve of a power of revocation; for he will not repent, as he did concerning Eli's priesthood, 1 Sa. 2:30. This was intended for the honour of Christ and the comfort of Christians. The priesthood of Christ is confirmed by the highest ratifications possible, that it might be an unshaken foundation for our faith and hope to build upon. (4.) He is a priest, not of the order of Aaron, but of that of Melchizedek, which, as it was prior, so it was upon many accounts superior, to that of Aaron, and a more lively representation of Christ's priesthood. Melchizedek was a priest upon his throne, so is Christ (Zec. 6:13), king of righteousness and king of peace. Melchizedek had no successor, nor has Christ; his is an unchangeable priesthood. The apostle comments largely upon these words (Heb. 7) and builds on them his discourse of Christ's priestly office, which he shows was no new notion, but built upon this most sure word of prophecy. For, as the New Testament explains the Old, so the Old Testament confirms the New, and Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega of both.

Verses 5-7

Here we have our great Redeemer,

I. Conquering his enemies (v. 5, 6) in order to the making of them his footstool, v. 1. Our Lord Jesus will certainly bring to nought all the opposition made to his kingdom, and bring to ruin all those who make that opposition and persist in it. He will be too hard for those, whoever they may be, that fight against him, against his subjects and the interest of his kingdom among men, either by persecutions or by perverse disputings. Observe here,

1. The conqueror: The Lord-Adonai, the Lord Jesus, he to whom all judgment is committed, he shall make his own part good against his enemies. The Lord at thy right hand, O church! so some; that is, the Lord that is nigh unto his people, and a very present help to them, that is at their right hand, to strengthen and succour them, shall appear for them against his and their enemies. See Ps. 109:31. He shall stand at the right hand of the poor, Ps. 16:8. Some observe that when Christ is said to do his work at the right hand of his church it intimates that, if we would have Christ to appear for us, we must bestir ourselves, 2 Sa. 5:24. Or, rather, At thy right hand, O God! referring to v. 1, in the dignity and dominion to which he is advanced. Note, Christ's sitting at the right hand of God speaks as much terror to his enemies as happiness to his people.

2. The time fixed for this victory: In the day of his wrath, that is, the time appointed for it, when the measure of their iniquities is full and they are ripe for ruin. When the day of his patience has expired, when the day of his wrath comes. Note, (1.) Christ has wrath of his own, as well as grace. It concerns us to kiss the Son, for he can be angry (Ps. 2:12) and we read of the wrath of the Lamb, Rev. 6:16. (2.) There is a day of wrath set, a year of recompences for the controversy of Zion, the year of the redeemed. The time is set for the destruction of particular enemies, and when that time shall come it shall be done, how unlikely soever it may seem; but the great day of his wrath will be at the end of time, Rev. 6:17.

3. The extent of this victory. (1.) It shall reach very high: He shall strike through kings. The greatest of men, that set themselves against Christ, shall be made to fall before him. Though they be kings of the earth, and rulers, accustomed to carry their point, they cannot carry it against Christ, they do but make themselves ridiculous by the attempt, Ps. 2:2-5. Be their power among men ever so despotic, Christ will call them to an account; be their strength ever so great, their policies ever so deep, Christ will be too hard for them, and wherein they deal proudly he will be above them. Satan is the prince of this world, Death the king of terrors, and we read of kings that make war with the Lamb; but they shall all be brought down and broken. (2.) It shall reach very far. The trophies of Christ's victories will be set up among the heathen, and in many countries, wherever any of his enemies are, not his eye only, but his hand, shall find them out (Ps. 21:8) and his wrath shall follow them. He will plead with all nations, Joel 3:2.

4. The equity of this victory: He shall judge among them. It is not a military execution, which is done in fury, but a judicial one. Before he condemns and slays, he will judge; he will make it appear that they have brought this ruin upon themselves, and have themselves rolled the stone which returns upon them, that he may be justified when he speaks and the heavens may declare his righteousness. See Rev. 19:1, 2.

5. The effect of this victory; it shall be the complete and utter ruin of all his enemies. He shall strike them through, for he strikes home and gives an incurable wound: He shall wound the heads, which seems to refer to the first promise of the Messiah (Gen. 3:15), that he should bruise the serpent's head. He shall wound the head of his enemies, Ps. 68:21. Some read it, He shall wound him that is the head over many countries, either Satan or Antichrist, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of his mouth. He shall make such destruction of his enemies that he shall fill the places with the dead bodies. The slain of the Lord shall be many. See Isa. 34:3, etc.; Eze. 39:12, 14; Rev. 14:20; 19:17, 18. The filling of the valleys (for so some read it) with dead bodies, perhaps denotes the filling of hell (which is sometimes compared to the valley of Hinnom, Isa. 30:33; Jer. 7:32) with damned souls, for that will be the portion of those that persist in their enmity to Christ.

II. We have here the Redeemer saving his friends and comforting them (v. 7); for their benefit, 1. He shall be humbled: He shall drink of the brook in the way, that bitter cup which the Father put into his hand. He shall be so abased and impoverished, and withal so intent upon his work, that he shall drink puddle-water out of the lakes in the highway; so some. The wrath of God, running in the channel of the curse of the law, was the brook in the way, in the way of his undertaking, which must go through, or which ran in the way of our salvation and obstructed it, which lay between us and heaven. Christ drank of this brook when he was made a curse for us, and therefore, when he entered upon his suffering, he went over the brook Kidron, Jn. 18:1. He drank deeply of this black brook (so Kidron signifies), this bloody brook, so drank of the brook in the way as to take it out of the way of our redemption and salvation. 2. He shall be exalted: Therefore shall he lift up the head. When he died he bowed the head (Jn. 19:30), but he soon lifted up the head by his own power in his resurrection. He lifted up the head as a conqueror, yea, more than a conqueror. This denotes not only his exaltation, but his exultation; not only his elevation, but his triumph in it. Col. 2:15, Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them. David spoke as a type of him in this (Ps. 27:6), Now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies. His exaltation was the reward of his humiliation; because he humbled himself, therefore God also highly exalted him, Phil. 2:9. Because he drank of the brook in the way therefore he lifted up his own head, and so lifted up the heads of all his faithful followers, who, if they suffer with him, shall also reign with him.[2]



t See Ps. 28:1

u Deut. 10:21; [Ps. 71:6; Jer. 17:14]

v Ps. 52:4

w See Ps. 69:4

x Ps. 38:20

y [Ps. 69:13]

1 Hebrew but I am prayer

z See Ps. 35:12

a For ver. 6-15, see Ps. 35:4-8; 69:22-28

b [1 Chr. 21:1; Zech. 3:1]

c Job 30:12

d Prov. 28:9; [Prov. 15:8; 21:27]

e [Ps. 55:23]

f Cited Acts 1:20

g Num. 4:16; [1 Chr. 24:3]

h Ex. 22:24

i [Gen. 4:12]; See Ps. 59:15

j [Ps. 37:25]

k [Deut. 28:43, 44]

k [Deut. 28:43, 44]

l [Ps. 36:10]

m [Job 5:4]

n See Ps. 21:10

o Prov. 10:7

p Ex. 20:5

q Neh. 4:5; Jer. 18:23

r [Ps. 90:8]

s Ps. 34:16

t ver. 22; Ps. 40:17

u See Ps. 34:18

v [Prov. 14:14; Ezek. 35:6]

2 Revocalization; Masoretic Text curses have come

3 Revocalization; Masoretic Text it is far

w [ver. 29; Ps. 73:6]

x [Num. 5:22]

4 Revocalization; Masoretic Text it has soaked

y ver. 6, 29

z [Jer. 14:7]; See Ps. 23:3

a Ps. 69:16; [Ps. 63:3]

b ver. 16

c See Ps. 102:11

d Ex. 10:19; [Neh. 5:13; Job 38:13]

e Ps. 35:13

f [Job 16:8]

g Ps. 22:6; 69:19

h See Ps. 22:7

i Ps. 119:86

j [Job 37:7]

k [2 Sam. 16:12]

l [Isa. 65:14]

m ver. 18; See Job 8:22

n Ps. 71:13; [Ps. 35:26]

o [Ps. 22:25]

p ver. 6; See Ps. 16:8

q Cited Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42, 43; Acts 2:34, 35

r Cited Heb. 1:13; [Matt. 26:64; Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2]

s Heb. 10:13; [1 Cor. 15:25; Eph. 1:22; Heb. 2:8; 1 Pet. 3:22]

t [Ps. 8:6; 18:38; Josh. 10:24]

u [Ps. 68:35]

v Jer. 48:17; Ezek. 19:14; [Ps. 45:6]

w Ps. 72:8; [Dan. 7:13, 14]

x Judg. 5:2; Neh. 11:2

y [Ex. 35:29]

z [Isa. 13:3, 4]

1 Or on the day you lead your forces

a [Rev. 19:14]; See 1 Chr. 16:29

2 Masoretic Text; some Hebrew manuscripts and Jerome on the holy mountains

3 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

b Cited Heb. 7:21

c Ps. 132:11; Heb. 6:17, 18

d Num. 23:19

e Cited Heb. 5:6; 7:17, 21; [Heb. 6:20]

f Zech. 6:13

g Heb. 7:24, 28; [John 12:34]

h Gen. 14:18

i See Ps. 16:8

j [Ps. 68:14]

k Rom. 2:5; Rev. 6:17; [Ps. 2:5, 12]

l Isa. 2:4; Joel 3:12; Mic. 4:3

m See Ezek. 39:17-19; Rev. 19:17, 18

n [Ps. 68:21]

4 Or the head

o [Judg. 7:5, 6]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 109:title-110:7). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (pp. 901-904). Peabody: Hendrickson.