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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

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Commentary on Psalms

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Ps 110 :

A royal psalm in which a court singer recites three oracles in which God assures the king that his enemies are conquered (1–2), makes the king “son” in traditional adoption language (3), gives priestly status to the king and promises to be with him in future military ventures (4–7).

110, 1 :

The Lord says to you, my lord: literally, “The Lord says to my lord,” a polite form of address of an inferior to a superior. Cf 1 Sm 25, 25; 2 Sm 1, 10 . The court singer refers to the king. Jesus in the synoptic gospels (Mt 22, 41–46 and parallels) takes the psalmist to be David and hence “my lord” refers to the messiah, who must be someone greater than David. Your footstool: in ancient times victorious kings put their feet on the prostrate bodies of their enemies.

110, 3 :

Before the daystar: possibly an expression for before the world began (PRv 8, 22 ). Like the dew I begot you: an adoption formula as in Pss 2, 7; 89, 27–28 .

110, 4 :

Like Melchizedek: Melchizedek was the ancient king of Salem (Jerusalem) who blessed Abraham (Gn 14, 18–20 ); like other kings of the time he performed priestly functions. Heb 7 sees in Melchizedek a type of Christ.

110, 7 :

Who drinks from the brook by the wayside: the meaning is uncertain. Some see an allusion to a rite of royal consecration at the Gihon spring (cf 1 Kgs 1, 33 . 38). Others find here an image of the divine warrior (or king) pursuing enemies so relentlessly that he does not stop long enough to eat and drink.

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