Ps 110

Ps. 110 There can be no doubt that this psalm looks forward to Christ. Jesus Himself cites it to show that David knew that its ultimate fulfillment would come with One who is greater than he (Mark 12:35–37 and parallels). Even before Christ’s coming, a prophetic-messianic interpretation of the psalm was well known among Jewish interpreters.

Nevertheless, like all other royal psalms, Ps. 110 does address the time in which it was first composed. It is likely that it was sung at the time of the coronation of the king. The composition seems to have been written after David defeated Jebus (Jerusalem), and celebrates his victory and enthronement in that city, explaining why he also inherits the royal priesthood of Melchizedek.

Focusing on two divine oracles, the first (v. 1) shows the close, but subordinate, relationship that the human king bears to the divine King. The New Testament writers cite this oracle to demonstrate Jesus’ post-resurrection glory and to point to the struggle between God and the spiritual powers of evil (Acts 2:34, 35; 1 Cor. 15:25; Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:13; 1 Pet. 3:22).

The second oracle appointed the king as a priest, but as a special type of priest. As opposed to the hereditary Aaronic priesthood, this priesthood is descended from Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18–23), whose mysterious origins are related to Jesus Christ, the great High Priest (Heb. 5:6; 7:17; 8:1; 10:12–14).