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The second Psalm is of the same kind :
1. Why do the Heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
3. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
* 4. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
45. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
' 6. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
67. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.
8. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the Heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, thou shalt, dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
'10. Be wise now therefore, Oye kings : be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trem. bling
12. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little; blessed are all they that put their trust in him.'
This Psalm seems in a lower sense applicable to David ; but it suits much better with the Messias, especially when compared with the hundred-and-tenth, which is a key to it, and the apostles apply it to Christ.
No person ever lived before David, and none ever yet arose after him, to whom the cxth Psalm could be applied, besides Jesus Christ.
David was a king, he was a great and victorious king, he was a king by divine election and appointment, he was a prophet, he was called a man after God's own heart, nor because he was a better man than many of his subjects, for he was guilty of several faults, but because, as a king, he kept up the true religion, and made the laws of God to be observed in his dominions, and never fell into idolatry;
and upon all these accounts he could have no superior upon earth, none who could be his Lord. A great king, a promised Messias was to arise; but as he was to be the son of David, he must have been in that respect inferior to his father, and it seemed unnatural that David should pay homage to his own child. This difficulty our Saviour proposed to the Jews: they could not solve it, and he would not ; but his design was to intimate to them that the Mes. sias was a greater person than they apprehended, and that though he were inferior to David as he was the son of David, he was superior to him as he was the son of God.
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Christ ? Whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool ? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son ? And no man was able to answer him a word.'
Besides, what relation could there be of lord and servant between David and the Messias, when David was dead, or before the Messias was born, unless the Messias existed before his appearance upon earth, and were the Lord not only of the living, but of the dead ; that is, of those who though dead to men, yet lived to him, and were his servants ?
David therefore is to be thus understood; The Lord Jehovah hath said to my Lord the Messias, Thou shalt sit at my right hand, invested with divine power, and next in dignity, to me.
In 'this Psalm there are some expressions which are ámbiguous and obscure; but setting aside grammatical and critical difficulties, and attending to those parts of it which are plain, we find it foretold here that a person should arise, who should be greater than David, who should be a king, who should rule in the midst of his enemies, who should be an everlasting priest, and who by the assistance of God should overthrow kings and armies that opposed * him. These predictions were evidently accomplished in Christ.
By contparing this Psalm with other prophecies we may
observe that the person here mentioned was to be the son of David. It hath been universally agreed upon by Jews and Christians, that the Messias should be the son of David, for these reasons.
God promised to David, not only that he should have a son to reign after him, but that the kingdom should be continued
to his family. Thus in the First Book of Samuel, vii. 12. I will set up thy seed after thee--Thy house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever.' In Psalm Ixxxix. "I have found David my servant-My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stånd fast with him; his seed will I make to endure for ever.' In the cxxxid Psalm it is also declared ; I will make the horn of David to bud, I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.' 'Horn' means a “ king,' and the expression of budding' is taken from trees, which shoot forth branches. Isaiah
says, I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." That is, I will fulfil what I promised to David, lv. 3. And again; In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek, and his rest shall be glorious,' xi. 10. 'And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the spirit of the Lord "shall rest upon him, &c. xi. 1. This was said long after the death of David, so that the promised person was not yet come, but was to appear in future times.
Afterwards Jeremiah thus prophesies : Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute justice and judgment in the earth. And this is his name, whereby he shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.' xxii. 5.
Zechariah, who prophesied after the return from the captivity, taught the people to expect a great person, "The servant of God, the Branch,' that is, the Branch of Jesse,' the man whose name was the Branch,' who should build the temple, and be a king and a priest upon the throne. vi. 12. Many other prophecies there are concurring in this, that
should arise, who should be the son of David, and a great and illustrious prince; and he is called David by Hosea, Jeremiah, and Ezechiel. The children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, &c.—Afterwards shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king,' Hosea iii. 4, 5.
• But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them, Jeremiah xxx. 9. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them, I the Lord have spoken it.' Ezechiel xxxiv. 23, 24.
The most probable reason why the Messias is called David, is, that David was a type of him, and said many things, seemingly of himself, which by the Spirit of God were intended of the Messias.
Either these prophecies were accomplished in Christ, or they never have been accomplished at all ; but with Christ they correspond exactly.
2. The person mentioned in this Psalm was to be greater than David. This is too plain to want any further proof: « The Lord said unto my Lord.' And this was accomplished in Christ, if he were, as we learn from the Gospel, the Son of God in a sense most peculiar and high.
3. He was to be a king. Sit thou at my right hand: Rule thou in the midst.' This also is evident, and it was accomplished in Christ, who hath been acknowledged for a king by all his numerous subjects, from his resurrection to the present time. To sit at the right hand of God cannot mean less than to be next in honour and dignity to God, and therefore to be exalted, not only above all men, but above all creatures. This dignity was never conferred upon any man, except Christ, who, as the writers of the New Testament affirm, was received up into heaven, and was seen of Stephen appearing at the right hand of God.
But, further, it may be inferred from this Psalm that he was to be an everlasting king. It is said that he should be king and priest, and an everlasting priest, and consequently an everlasting king also. It is likewise said, “Sït thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool,
which was never accomplished in any of David's posterity except in Christ, in whom so much of the prediction hath been fulfilled as to be a sufficient earnest for the completion of the whole promise. Hence St. Paul proves Christ's everlasting kingdom: Christ must reign, says he, till all things, and all enemies are subdued and put under his feet. This is not yet accomplished, nor will be till the end of the world; for he hath and he will have his enemies who will not be subject to him; and besides, as he hath promised to overcome Death, and to confer everlastir
upon his servants, and as Death still reigns and will reign over them here below, during this state of things, his dominion will not be complete till Death is no more, and his servants are raised up by him at the last day, to live with him for ever. I Cor. xv.
4. It is said, in the third verse, of this person,— from the womb of the morning thou hast the dew of thy youth ;' which words are obscure. The reading of the LXX is very different and remarkable; · Before the morning star I begat thee.' 'Εκ γαστρος προ εωσφόρου έγέννησά σε. If this be right", which I take not upon me to determine, it contains an intimation that this great person was the Son of God before the creation, and in a high and peculiar sense, and not like other good men; and in the second Psalm it is said, “Thou art my Son, this day have I be
5. In the fourth verse, ' Thou art a priest w for ever after the order of Melchizedek,' might also be rendered, “Thou art a priest for ever, because thou art a just king'
! A friend of mine says, “I render the words thus; Prom the womb, from that which was thy morning, thy youth was a dew: i. e. as agreeable and refreshing as dew is in hot countries. This is a literal version, and is sense.' " See Critical Notes on some Passages of Scripture,' p. 54.
Sacerdos, aut minister. Grotius. Vox Chohen significat quidem interdum principem, eumque intimæ admissionis, ut diximus ad 2 Sam. viii. 18. 1 Reg. iv. 5. Sed de rege proprie dicto nusquam occurrit. Ideoque LXX Intt, où iepaus eis tòy aiva. Quod Jesu Christo soli convenit,' &c. Clericus.
* See • Critical Notes,' &c. Noster textus Hebræus habet, Secuna dum meum constitutionem, o rex mi juste. Grotius.