Psalm 110 is unique in the sense that Jesus himself used it in Mark 12:35-37 (Matthew 22:41-45; Luke 20:42) to reference himself, his ascension and his coming reign. This clearly indicates the prophetic value of David’s words in Psalm 110. Likewise, the writer of Hebrews (Heb. 1:13) and Peter on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:34-35) quote Psalm 110:1 to refer to Jesus, his deity, his ascension and his ultimate victory over all his enemies.
This divine king, the Messiah, is also recognized in Psalm 110:4 as a priest chosen by God to serve him forever. This is an interpretation confirmed in Hebrews 7:21 where Jesus is identified as the priest of a covenant better than the covenant represented by the Levitical priesthood. Zechariah spoke in similar fashion of the Messiah building his own Temple to rule from as royalty while serving as the priest. The same verses, Zechariah 6:12-13, call this divine king the “Branch,” which is a reference back to “the branch” from the line of David prophecied by Jeremiah in Jeremiah 23:5:
“Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord. It is he who shall build the temple of the Lord and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And there shall be a priest on his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” – Zechariah 6:12-13
David knew he himself would not build the Temple, but that the Temple planned in his day was to be built by his son Solomon. Yet, David also knew Solomon could never serve as a priest in this Temple because, first, the Law forbid it and, second, the Levitical priesthood had already been established and was already functioning. This is the way Jesus understood Psalm 110 because he was quick to point out to his challengers (the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Scribes of Mark 12 and Mathew 22) that it was very interesting that David begins Psalm 110 saying:
“The Lord say to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’“
After Jesus had answered a series of questions from the religious leaders that were designed to embarrass Jesus, Matthew records Jesus responding to their loaded questions with a complicated question of his own. Jesus presentation of his question based on Psalm 110 and the resulting conversation is recorded by Matthew like this:
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying,
“What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”
They said to him, “The son of David.”
He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet” ’?
If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41-46)
Some other points of interest in this prophetic Psalm are:
- 110:3 – On the day of the Messiah’s victory there will be those who offer themselves to assist him in battle. They will appear fresh, young and willing.
- 110:5-6 – On the day of the Messiah’s wrath and judgment he will destroy the rebel nations across the earth.
In the United States the Midwest most closely resembles the religious makeup of the overall population.
The South, by a wide margin, has the heaviest concentration of members of evangelical Protestant churches.
The Northeast has the greatest concentration of Catholics.
The West has the largest proportion of unaffiliated people, including the largest proportion of atheists and agnostics.
(The Pew Forum,