Summary: A rare conversation between two Lords - the LORD and the Lord. The enemies of the second Lord are to be put under his feet, and he is to be a high priest forever after the priestly order of Melchizedek. What is the order of Melchizedek?

For Sermon Central researchers: I have posted a series of 15 sermons on the Psalms. In recent personal studies I have found the psalms to be richer and more thought-provoking than I had fully appreciated. I had too often swept swiftly through psalms without slowing down to inquire as thoroughly as I might have into the depths of meaning and feeling that are expressed by the psalmists. Upon deeper examination and reflection, I find the psalms to be highly relevant to Christians in every age. My most recent foray into the psalms led me to present a series of studies of selected psalms in a class environment.

In my classes I did not examine every psalm, or every verse of the ones I did. Rather, I presented selected psalms that I believe to be representative of the collection in the book of Psalms. The studies were held in a class environment suitable for pauses for questions and discussion, and to pose “thought questions” where the meanings are not readily apparent, as is often the case in poetry. My notes include suggested points for such pauses, and I have not removed them in Sermon Central posts.

I developed the material with the view in mind that the series may be well used as sermons. There is an introductory sermon that describes what psalms are (whether they are in the 150-chapter book or elsewhere) and explains my approach to the series. The psalms I selected were presented in no particular order in the classes; however, I suggest that anyone using this material as a series begin with the introductory sermon and follow it with Psalms 1 and 2 in that order, as the first two psalms function as a pair. Beyond that, the selected psalms may be presented in any order.

To get as much enjoyment as we could from our study, I did some of the reading from the KJV, which I believe is the most beautiful of the English bible translations. For clarity we also used other versions, mainly ESV, which I have used for several years and the one I have come to prefer.

Psalm 110

Read the psalm


This is a Messianic psalm. It’s about the Christ, the anointed one.

I haven’t personally run the numbers, but Psalm 110 is said to be the most quoted psalm in the NT.

It is said to be “the gospel in a psalm,” but I prefer to think of it as “the gospel era in a psalm.”

David is the author according to the title. I see no reason to doubt it.

Again we have a lot of pronouns. I counted 22 in these 7 verses. V1 has 5.

Knowing who the pronouns refer to is key to understanding the psalm.

v1 – Two Lords

Portraying one Lord as speaking to another would be absurd if there were not two distinct identities within the deity, though in another sense the two are one.

In the psalm’s original language, the first Lord (probably in all caps in your bible) is from the unpronounceable tetragrammaton, which is transliterated YHWH. Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush in Exodus 3:15 is the first Biblical usage of that name, later made pronounceable by interspersing the leading vowels from the Greek Adonai, and Elohim, resulting in the now familiar “Yahweh.”

God had previously said that he was to be identified to Pharaoh as “I AM” when in the next verse, he tells Moses how he is to be identified - not to Pharaoh - but to the people of Israel.

That name is Yahweh:

Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

“Lord” in that verse is the tetragrammaton YHWH. The English language doesn’t have an exact translation of the word “Yahweh,” so in our Old Testament we see it written as “LORD” in all capital letters.

The second “Lord” in Psalm 110:1 is a different word – Adon, or Adonai. It means “master,” signifying anyone in a position of authority; e.g., when Abraham sent his servant to fetch a wife for his son Isaac, he made the servant swear that he would choose Isaac’s wife from the family in Mesopotamia and not from the Canaanites. Abraham made the servant put his hand under Abraham’s thigh to so swear (a way of swearing we rarely use today, as far as I know). Here’s what happened:

Genesis 24:9 …the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.

“Master,” referring to Abraham is from Adon, the root of Adonay or Adonai is the same root word as the second Lord in Psalms 110:1. Adon refers to one having authority over others.

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