The Lord said to My Lord – Psalm 110 and the Messiah

The Lord said to My Lord
Psalm 110 and the Messiah
James Scott Trimm

In the Book of Matthew we read:

41 Now while the P’rushim were assembled, Yeshua asked them, saying:
42 How seems it to you concerning the Messiah? Whose Son is He? And they said to Him, He is the Son of David.
43 But He said to them: And how then spoke David, by the Ruach HaKodesh calling Him, My Adon, saying,
44 YHWH said to my Adon: Sit you on My right hand, until I make Your enemies the footstool of your feet?
45 If David then calls Him, My Adon: how is He his son?
46 And they could not return Him a word: neither did any man wish again to question Him further from that day.
(Matthew 22:41-46 HRV)

Here Yeshua cites Psalm 110 which reads (in its entirety):

1 A Psalm of David. (110:1) YHWH says unto my Adon: Sit you at My right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.
2 The rod of Your strength, YHWH will send out of Tziyon. Rule you in the midst of your enemies.
3 Your people offer themselves willingly in the day of your warfare; in adornments of Set-Apartness: from the womb of the dawn, yours is the dew of your youth.
4 YHWH has sworn, and will not repent: You are a cohen forever after the manner of MalkiTzadek.
5 YHWH, at your right hand, does crush kings in the day of His wrath.
6 He will judge among the nations: He fills it with the dead bodies. He crushes the head over a wide land.
7 He will drink of the brook in the way: therefore will he lift up the head.
(Ps. 110:1-7 HRV)

Yeshua identifies himself as the Messiah as being the “my Adon” who YHWH speaks to in verse 1.

The Midrash Tehillim (Midrash on Psalms) identifies the “My Adon” of Psalm 110:1 as Messiah.  According to the Midrash Tehillim:

The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit you at My right hand.
To the Messiah it will also be said,
and in mercy the throne be established;…
(Midrash Tehillim on Ps. 110:1)

Tovia Singer and other anti-missionaries (and others who question the deity of Messiah) insist that the “my Adon” of this passage is not YHWH.

However this identification is based on one of the “Tikkun Soferim”, the “emendations of the scribes”

While in verse 5 the Masoretic Text has “Adonai”, this is one of 134 places where the Masoretic Text reads “Adonai” but which the Masorah indicates that the text originally read “YHWH” and had been altered by the scribes in an attempt on their part to clarify the text. A copy found at the Cairo Geniza also has “YHWH” here.

The scribes changed YHWH to Adonai in verse 5 because they did not want you to “mistakenly” identify the “My Adon” on the right hand of YHWH in verse 1 with the “YHWH” on the right and in verse 5.

As Jeremiah warns us:

8 How do you say, We are wise, and the Torah of YHWH is with us? Behold, certainly in vain, has wrought the vain pen of the scribes.
9 The wise men are ashamed; they are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of YHWH, and what wisdom is in them?
(Jer. 8:8-9 HRV)

Tovia Singer’s argument is based on an admittedly altered text.  Singer elsewhere condemns those who “mess with” the text, yet here his entire argument is based on a text that was admittedly altered to prevent it from saying what it actually says. 

Verse 5 tells us that the “Adon” on the right is also “YHWH”.  The original reading of Psalm 110:5 identified the Adon on the right hand of YHWH as YHWH.

The Zohar make it clear that the “My Adon” of Psalm 110:1 is YHWH.  According to the Zohar in this verse one aspect of the Godhead is speaking to another aspect of the Godhead:

Rabbi Simeon further gave an exposition of the verse:
The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand
Until I make your enemies your footstool (Ps. 110:1)
“The Lord says unto my Lord”:
to wit, the upper grade [of the Godhead],
said to the lower [grade of the Godhead],
“sit at My right hand”,…
(Zohar 1:50b)

Verse 4 of Psalm 110 identifies this figure as “Melchizadek.”  This Melchizadek figure was especially important to the Essenes.  One document found at Qumran commonly called the Melchizadek document (11Q13) deals with this Melchizadek figure.  This document quotes from Isaiah 61:1 but substitutes “Melchizadek” for YHWH.  The document goes on to call this Melchizadek figure both “El” and “Elohim” and to identify him with the Messiah who is “cut-off’ in Dan. 9:27:

(…) And concerning what Scripture says, “In this year of Jubilee you shall return, everyone f you, to your property” (Lev. 25:13) And what is also written; “And this is the manner of the remission; every creditor shall remit the claim that is held against a neighbor, not exacting it of a neighbor who is a member of the community, because God`s remission has been proclaimed” (Deut.15:2) the interpretation is that it applies to the Last Days and concerns the captives, just as Isaiah said: “To proclaim the Jubilee to the captives” (Isa. 61:1) (…) just as (…) and from the inheritance of Melchizedek, for (… Melchizedek), who will return them to what is rightfully theirs. He will proclaim to themthe Jubilee, thereby releasing them from the debt of all their sins.  He shall proclaim this decree in the first week of the jubilee period that follows nine jubilee periods. Then the “Day of Atonement” shall follow after the tenth jubilee period, when he shall atone for all the Sons of Light, and the people who are predestined to Melchizedek.  (…) upon them (…) For this is the time decreed for the “Year of Melchizedek`s favor”, and by his might he will judge Elohim`s holy ones and so establish a righteous kingdom, as it is written about him in the Songs of David ; “An ELOHIM has taken his place in the council of EL; in the midst of the ELOHIM he holds judgment” (Ps. 82:1). Scripture also says about him;  “Over it take your seat in the highest heaven; A divine being will judge the peoples” (Ps. 7:7-8) Concerning what scripture says ; ” How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality with the wicked? Selah” (Ps. 82:2), the interpretation applies to Belial and the spirits predestined to him, because all of them have rebelled, turning from Elohim`s precepts and so becoming utterly wicked. Therefore Melchizedek will thoroughly prosecute the vengeance required by Elohim`s statutes. Also, he will deliverall the captives from the power of Belial, and from the power of all the spirits destined to him. Allied with him will be all the “righteous ELOHIM”(Isa. 61:3). (The …) is that whi(ch …all) the ELOHIM.

The visitation is the Day of Salvation that He has decreed through Isaiah the prophet concerning all the captives, inasmuch as Scripture says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion “Your ELOHIM reigns”.” (Isa. 52:7)This scriptures interpretation : “the mountains” are the prophets, they who were sent to proclaim Elohim`s truth and to prophesy to all Israel. “The messengers” is the Anointed of the spirit, of whom Daniel spoke; “After the sixty-two weeks, an Anointed shall be cut off” (Dan. 9:26) The “messenger who brings good news, who announces Salvation”is the one of whom it is written; “to proclaim the year of YHWH`s favor , the day of the vengeance of our Elohim; to comfort all who mourn” (Isa. 61:2) This scripture’s interpretation: he is to instruct them about all the periods of history for eternity (… and in the statutes) of the truth. (…) (…. dominion) that passes from Belial and returns to the Sons of Light (….) (…) by the judgment of God, just as t is written concerning him;”who says to Zion “Your ELOHIM reigns” (Isa. 52:7) “Zion” is the congregation of all the sons of righteousness, who uphold the covenant and turn from walking in the way of the people. “Your ELOHIM” is Melchizedek, who will deliver them from the power of Belial. Concerning what scripture says, “Then you shall have the trumpet sounded loud; in the seventh month . . . ” (Lev. 25;9)
(11Q13 Col. 2)

The Book of Hebrews in an extended homiletic Midrash on Psalm 110 which also identifies Messiah with this Melchizadek figure.

Philo makes a very interesting comment concerning the Torah command of the cities of refuge (Num. 35:6-28; Josh. 20:1-9). The Torah says:

And the assembly shall deliver the manslayer, out of the hand of the avenger of
blood, and the assembly shall restore him to his city of refuge, where he was fled. And he shall dwell therein until the death of the High Priest, who was anointed with the Set-Apart oil.
(Numbers 35:25)

Philo makes an interesting observation on this passage, he writes:

The fourth and last of the points which we proposed to discuss, is the appointing as a period for the return of the fugitives the death of the high priest, which, if taken in the literal sense, causes me great perplexity; for a very unequal punishment is imposed by this enactment on those who have done the very same things, since some will be in banishment for a longer time, and others for a shorter time; for some of the high priests live to a very old age, and others die very early, and some are appointed while young men, and others not until they are old. And again of those who are convicted of unintentional homicide, some have been banished at the beginning of the high priest’s entrance into office, and some when the high priest has been at the very point of death. So that some are deprived of their country for a very long time, and others suffer the same infliction only for a day, if it chance to be so; after which they lift up their heads, and exult, and so return among those whose nearest relations have been slain by them. This difficult and scarcely explicable perplexity we may escape if we adopt the inner and allegorical explanation in accordance with natural philosophy. For we say that the high priest is not a man, but is the Word (Logos) of God, who has not only no participation in intentional errors, but none even in those which are involuntary.
(On Flight 106-108)

Elsewhere he writes:

XXVI. (82) But Melchisedek shall bring forward wine instead of water, and shall give your souls to drink, and shall cheer them with unmixed wine, in order that they may be wholly occupied with a divine intoxication, more sober than sobriety itself. For the Word is a priest, having, as its inheritance the true God, and entertaining lofty and sublime and magnificent ideas about him, “for he is the priest of the most high God.”{38}{Genesis 14:18.} Not that there is any other God who is not the most high; for God being one, is in the heaven above, and in the earth beneath, and there is no other besides Him.”{39}{Deuteronomy 4:39.} But he sets in motion the notion of the Most High, from his conceiving of God not in a low and grovelling spirit, but in one of exceeding greatness, and exceeding sublimity, apart from any conceptions of matter.
(“De Allegoriis Legum,” iii. 26).

Moreover Philo taught the “Word” (Logos) and the Messiah are one and the same:

“The head of all things is the eternal Word (Logos) of the eternal God, under which, as if it were his feet or other limbs, is placed the whole world, over which He passes and firmly stands. Now it is not because Messiah is Lord that He passes and sits over the whole world, for His seat with His Father and God but because for its perfect fullness the world is in need of the care and superintendence of the best ordered dispensation, and for its own complete piety, of the Divine Word (Logos), just as living creatures (need) a head, without which it is impossible to live.”
(Q&A on Exodus, II, 117)

Philo thus concludes that the Messiah is the Word and the true High.  If we follow Philo’s logic through, then through the death of the Messiah, these exiles are set free.

The “My Adon” of Psalm 110:1 is the Messiah.  He is the Melchizadek figure, the heavenly High Priest of Ps. 110:4.  And he is the YHWH on the right hand in Ps. 110:5. 

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2 thoughts on “The Lord said to My Lord – Psalm 110 and the Messiah”

  1. To say Yeshua is idolatry and blasphemy and therefore can not be the proper translation or meaning of the text. Yah cannot die, Yeshua died. Yah is not a man, Yeshua is a man, a Last Adam. There are not two YHWH, where everyone especially in the Shema, the Lord is one. I cannot believe you would spread such confusion and heresy. In Romans chapter five Paul says the Word (not Logos a Greek god, but the Aleph-Tav) became flesh. Not Yah became flesh. I have over 50 verses from the Apostolic Writings saying who Yeshua is according to the writers, and none of them say he is YHWH.

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