The Lord Said To My Lord

Psalm 110:1 is the first verse of one of the key psalms of the Bible, one that invites a great variety of questions, including the extent to which David was familiar with the nature of God. There are a few scriptures in the Bible that indicate that certain people in the Bible, like David, the prophet Daniel, as well as the otherwise obscure writer of Proverbs 30, had a strong idea about the nature of God as consisting of a Father and Son who were both God but had different forms even if they were totally unified in will and purpose. Among the points of my pastor’s message yesterday was the way in which the personal from of God that is marked by Yahweh or the Eternal or LORD or the tetragrammaton is used to refer to both God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son, and there are definitely some verses and passages where that can be demonstration.

One of the more obvious cases where this takes place within the same verse, and one that was surprisingly not used in the sermon, was Genesis 19:24: “Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens.” In this particular example we have the striking situation where the Eternal–the one who became Jesus Christ–rained fire out of heaven from God the Father after he had investigated Sodom and Gomorrah as well as Admah and Zeboiim and found them lacking in righteous people enough to save them from fire and brimstone.

Unfortunately, this does not work in the case of Psalm 110, because this particular psalm differentiates between the Father and the Son by using different names for God. “The LORD said to My Lord” uses the YHVH for the Father and Adoni for the Son. To be sure, both of these forms refer to God, as Jesus Christ Himself makes plain when he cites this verse in Matthew 22:41-46: “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 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 then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”  And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.”

From this particular passage, we can recognize that the Pharisees knew Psalm 110:1 to be referring to the one who sat at the right hand of the Father as being God, even if the word used was Adoni instead of YHVH. Indeed, one of the notable emendations that are often made in the Bible in Judaism was the first-order replacement of YHVH with Adoni (My lord) and then the further replacement of Adonis with HaShem (the name) as a further way of avoiding polluting the supposed holiness of God’s name. We may say, therefore, that even if Psalm 110 does not prove the point that YHVH referred to both God the Father and Jesus Christ–a point that can be proven elsewhere–it still demonstrates that both beings were recognized as divine, and that this created difficulties with the Jews of Jesus’ day–and post-Talmudic Jews today as well as those who argue wrongly that YHVH only refers to God the Father–in properly understanding the nature of God from the Bible.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Christianity, Church of God, Musings. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s