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Deeper Commentary


Psa 110:1

A Psalm by David-
There is a tendency amongst some personality types to turn every disagreement over interpretation of Scripture into a right : wrong, truth : error scenario. Matters relating to basic doctrine are capable of being dealt with like this. But to turn the interpretation of every Bible verse into a conflict area is a recipe for ecclesial disaster. So often the debate becomes personal, with a brother sure that he is right and the other wrong, and the other must be shown to be wrong. This leads inevitably to pride, and there is the possibility that the other party is degraded and feels abused by the other. We simply have to accept that much of Scripture is open to various levels of interpretation, which if placed side by side would appear to be contradictory. Consider, for example, how many different applications the NT gives to Psalms 2 and 110. Ps. 110 is quoted or alluded to multiple times; to prove the Lord Jesus is greater than David (Lk. 20:41-44), in heaven at God's right hand (Mk 12:36; 14:62), waiting until all enemies are put under His feet at His return (1 Cor. 15:25), yet also applied to His ascension and exaltation (Acts 2:34-36); it is used to prove the priesthood of the Lord Jesus, like that of the Levites, involved a call by God (Heb. 5:1-6); to prove the eternity of His priesthood (Heb. 6:20); and throughout Heb. 7 to prove that the priesthood of the Lord Jesus was greater than that of the Levites.

Yahweh says to my Lord, Sit at My right hand-

Biblically and historically, David’s immediate ‘Lord’ was Saul, but it could also have reference to Solomon and even to himself. Psalm 72 is a similar Psalm, imagining Solomon as the promised Messiah with a Messianic Kingdom. So Ps. 110 was originally a revelation to David of the potential possible for Solomon or Saul, who was an anointed ‘Messiah’ figure, expressed as a coronation ode. But Solomon and Saul failed, and so the fulfillment of the prophecy was rescheduled and reapplied to the Lord Jesus. And so the Lord Jesus uses this passages about Himself in Lk. 20:40-44: "David therefore calls him Lord, so, how is he his son?". Judaism’s concept of Messiah has always been vague and not commonly agreed, but there was and is the idea that the likes of Abraham, Moses and David are greater than Messiah. The Lord Jesus is pointing out that David considered Messiah to be his “Lord”, just as Messiah was greater than Abraham (Jn. 8:58). The “how” doesn’t imply that David’s Lord is not his son, but rather is a rhetorical question. How is the Messianic son of David, David’s “Lord”, to be his son or descendant? Mk. 12:37 says the Lord reinforced the question by asking “From whence is He his son?”. The answer had to be: ‘Through a woman in David’s direct line giving birth to Him’. And the questioners were fully aware that Jesus was in the direct line of David through Mary.

It seems that David became obsessed with the idea of Solomon being the Messiah, building a physical house for God, and being king over the eternal Messianic Kingdom. The words of Ps. 110:1 are applied by the NT to Jesus, but there is no reason to think that they were not primarily spoke by David with his eye on Solomon, whom he addresses as his Lord, such was his obsession: “The Lord saith unto my Lord…” (RV), and the rest of the Psalm goes on in the language of Ps. 72 to describe David’s hopes for Solomon’s Kingdom. ‘Solomon’ was actually called ‘Jedidiah’ by God through Nathan (2 Sam. 12:25). The ‘beloved of God’ was surely prophetic of God’s beloved Son. When God said “This is my beloved Son”, He was surely saying ‘Now this is the Jedidiah, whom I wanted Solomon to typify’. But David calls him Solomon, the man who would bring peace. I suggest that David was so eager to see in Solomon the actual Messiah, that he chose not to use the name which God wanted- which made Solomon a type of a future Son of God / Messiah. And this led to Solomon himself being obsessed with being a Messiah figure and losing sight of the future Messiah.

When he writes in Ps. 110 of how Yahweh said unto my Lord…he is quoting the very phrase used by Abigail years before, when they weren’t even married (1 Sam. 25:30). He was unconsciously alluding to the words of his wife before they were married, even years later. It is of course true that context plays a vital part in Biblical interpretation. But this can lead us to overlook the fact that many New Testament quotations of the Old Testament- many of those in the early chapters of Matthew, for example- are picking up words and phrases from one context and applying them to another.

Until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet-
The Lord’s enemies stood around Him as He applied this Psalm to Himself. And yet being at the footstool of the Lord doesn't have to mean being dominated by Him in judgment. It can refer to the great paradox whereby the Lord's enemies become His loyalest and most humble citizens, at His feet in submission, and thereby also at the Father's right hand of acceptance.

This is quoted in 1 Cor. 15:25 "For he must reign until He has put all his enemies under his feet". Having things and persons 'under the feet' doesn't necessarily mean they were to be killed or destroyed. It can mean simply submission before the one enthroned. "All things", a phrase often used for all God's people, are to be placed under the feet of the Lord Jesus (Ps. 8:6; Eph. 1:22; Heb. 2:8, which teach that it is the church who shall be under the Lord's feet. Rev. 12:8 may teach the same). I noted on Mt. 22:44 and Acts 2:35 that the making of the Lord's enemies His footstool means that they shall repentantly accept Him, rather than being destroyed by Him. "We were enemies" of God, but are now reconciled in grateful, humble submission (Rom. 5:10). This is the whole message of the preceding :24- that all things shall progressively be subjected under Christ's authority and Kingship, thereby becoming part of His Kingdom. To achieve this on a universal level, He shall have to come to earth and destroy those who refuse to submit. But the end in view is that the earth and all upon it shall be His Kingdom, under the dominion of His Kingship. And that process is to begin in the hearts of believers right now.

This is also quoted in Acts 2:35. The context is Peter's appeal for those who crucified the Lord to repent. They were His "enemies"; but once they became a footstool for His feet, then He would return. Therefore Peter appealed for their repentance, apparently understanding being 'a footstool for His feet' as meaning they would put themselves at His feet in obeisance. The Lord's footstool is the place where His worshippers come (Ps. 99:5; 132:7; Is. 66:1-3). The Father was willing to "make" His Son's enemies, those responsible for His death, into His worshippers. But they had to do their part, in repentance and acceptance of the activity of His Holy Spirit. Heb. 10:13 adds the detail that the Lord Jesus is eagerly looking for [AV "expecting"] His former enemies to become His footstool- and then He will return. This is why witness to Jewish people is so deeply significant in God's program.

Psa 110:2

Yahweh will send forth the rod of your strength out of Zion-
This perhaps alludes to Hannah's words of 1 Sam. 2:10, where she expected that Samuel would be both a ruler and a priest, although he was not strictly a Levite: "He will give strength to His king and exalt the horn of His anointed". This all sets the scene for this new leader being presented as a king and non-Levitical priest (:4).

Rule in the midst of your enemies!-
This is the scenario of Ps. 2:6,9. Zion, the temple mount, was also to be the place of rulership. This sets up the expectation for a merger between king and priest, which comes to term in the declaration in :4 that this ruler would be after the order of Melchizedek, a king-priest. The language of ruling in the midst of enemies is that used of Solomon (s.w. 1 Kings 4:24; Ps. 72:8), which was the characteristic of Messiah (Num. 24:19). The "rod" suggests judgment (Is. 10:24,26).

Psa 110:3

Your people offer themselves willingly in the day of your power, in holy attire-
People offering themselves willingly is the language of soldiers eager for battle in Jud. 5:2,9. But these willing soldiers are "in holy attire", they are priests. This again sets up the expectation that the leader as well as his followers are soldier-priests, priests who also have another function- as soldiers, in this case. See on :2,4.

Out of the womb of the morning, you have the dew of your youth-
David imagines Solomon as being reborn as he is enthroned as the Messianic king. The dew of youth would refer to the waters of birth which come from the womb, also seen in a figurative sense at the dawn of this new Messianic morning.

Psa 110:4

Yahweh has sworn, and will not change His mind: You are a priest forever-
There was no 'change of the Divine mind' in the fact that Solomon didn't live up to his Messianic potential, as discussed throughout Ps. 72. The oath that would not be changed was made ultimately to the Lord Jesus. Here in Ps. 110, the coronation ode declares the king to be not only king, but also an eternal priest.

This is quoted in Heb. 5:6 "As also He said elsewhere: You are a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek". This spoken word of inauguration and appointment was likewise uttered in the "day" when the Lord was "begotten" in resurrection (Heb. 5:5). There is no evidence here for any personally pre-existent Christ. The Hebrew writer alludes to and subverts the defiant language of the Maccabees in repeatedly describing Christ as "priest for ever" (Heb. 5:6; 6:20; 7:3,17,21)- when this was the term applied to Simon Maccabaeus in 1 Macc. 14:41. See on Lk. 20:25. The nature of the priesthood was to be eternal; so although there were similarities with the Aaronic priests, the priesthood of Messiah was not identical with it. It was after the order of Melchizedek.

Sin brings death, so the eternal priest appointed by the word of God's oath in Ps. 110:4 had to be not only eternal but also sinless. There could therefore be no other candidate for this priest than the Lord Jesus.

In the order of Melchizedek-
The Lord Jesus is a King-priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 6:13-18; Ps. 110:4); and through being in Him, we share this position. Through what He achieved for us on the cross, we have been made now king-priests, with the future hope of reigning on earth (Rev. 1:6; 5:10). 

Hebrews 7 interprets this statement at great length; I have discussed it in more detail on Heb. 7, but here is a reduced version:

Hebrews 7:1 For this Melchizedek, king of Jerusalem, priest of God Most High, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him- There is no hint that Abraham and Melchizedek were personally acquainted before this meeting, although they both were servants of the true God. We might wonder why God didn't connect them earlier. In His wisdom He doesn't always force believers to regularly fellowship with each other, indeed He made Abraham travel all around Canaan rather than telling him to settle near Melchizedek and form some kind of ecclesia or community of believers. And clearly the implication is that Abraham maintained a legitimate relationship with God without needing to use a human priest, even one as good and exalted as Melchizedek. For more on Melchizedek, see on 5:10.

Hebrews 7:2 To whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all. He was first, by interpretation, King of righteousness, and then also, King of Jerusalem, which is, King of peace- "King of righteousness" connects with Paul's appeal for the Hebrews to accept the word or Gospel of imputed righteousness in Christ; see on Heb. 5:13, remembering that here in chapter 7 Paul is picking up from Heb. 5:13 after the parenthesis of chapter 6. The connection between righteousness and peace is a feature of Messiah- in Him, they kiss each other (Ps. 85:10), and are the mainstay of the Messianic Kingdom on earth (Ps. 72:3; Is. 32:17; Rom. 14:17). Righteousness is emphasized before peace- "then also... king of peace". "The work of righteousness shall be peace" (Is. 32:17). But in Paul's theology, it is the righteousness of King Jesus which is imputed to us and thereby creates peace with God. This is the much laboured message of Romans 1-8. So we can understand his enthusiastic perception that Melchizedek, a type of Messiah, was king of righteousness "and then also... king of peace".

Hebrews 7:3 He was without recorded father or mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life but presented as being like the Son of God, abiding a priest continually- Without doubt God frames the Biblical record in order to highlight certain facts. Thus there is a marked lack of information concerning the father and mother of Melchizedek in Genesis. God is providing us with an interpretation of how He worded the account in Genesis, making the point that Melchizedek typified Christ. But although we are not to read Hebrews 7:3 at face value, there is no explicit indication to this effect. The objection that the New Testament does not warn us against reading the ‘casting out of demons’ language literally is therefore not valid. Hebrews 7:3 is one of many examples of where it is imperative to understand the way in which God is using language if we are to correctly understand His word, but there is no explicit warning about this in Hebrews 7:3!

Jesus has a Father (God) and a mother (Mary) and a genealogy (see Mt. 1, Lk. 3 and cp. Jn. 7:27). ‘Melchizedek’ therefore cannot refer to Him personally. Besides, Melchizedek was “made like unto the Son of God” (Heb. 7:3); he was not Jesus himself, but had certain similarities with Him which are being used by the writer for teaching purposes. “After the similitude of Melchizedek there arises another priest”, Jesus (Heb. 7:15), who was ordained a priest “after the order of Melchizedek” (Heb. 5:5,6). The language of Hebrews about Melchizedek just cannot be taken literally. If Melchizedek literally had no father or mother, then the only person he could have been was God Himself; He is the only person with no beginning (1 Tim. 6:16; Ps. 90:2). But this is vetoed by Heb. 7:4: “Consider how great this man was”, and also by the fact that he was seen by men (which God cannot be) and offered sacrifices to God. If he is called a man, then he must have had literal parents. His being “without father, without mother, without descent” must therefore refer to the fact that his pedigree and parents are not recorded. Queen Esther’s parents are not recorded, and so her background is described in a similar way. Mordecai “brought up... Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother... whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter” (Esther 2:7). The author of Hebrews was clearly writing as a Jew to Jews, and as such he uses the Rabbinic way of reasoning and writing at times. There was a Rabbinic principle that "what is not in the text, is not" (See James Dunn, Christology In The Making (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1980) p. 276 note 59)- and it seems that this is the principle of exposition being used to arrive at the statement that Melchizedek was "without father". Seeing no father is mentioned in the Genesis text, therefore he was "without father"- but this doesn't mean he actually didn't have a father. It's not recorded, and therefore, according to that Rabbinic principle, he effectively didn't have one.

The book of Genesis usually goes to great lengths to introduce the family backgrounds of all the characters which it presents to us. But Melchizedek appears on the scene unannounced, with no record of his parents, and vanishes from the account with equal abruptness. Yet there can be no doubt that he was worthy of very great respect; even great Abraham paid tithes to him, and was blessed by him, clearly showing Melchizedek’s superiority over Abraham (Heb. 7:2,7). The writer is not just doing mental gymnastics with Scripture. There was a very real problem in the first century which the Melchizedek argument could solve. The Jews were reasoning: ‘You Christians tell us that this Jesus can now be our high priest, offering our prayers and works to God. But a priest has to have a known genealogy, proving he is from the tribe of Levi. And anyway, you yourselves admit Jesus was from the tribe of Judah (Heb. 7:14). Sorry, to us Abraham is our supreme leader and example (Jn. 8:33,39), and we won’t respect this Jesus’. To which the reply is: ‘But remember Melchizedek. The Genesis record is framed to show that such a great priest did not have any genealogy; and Messiah is to be both a king and a priest, whose priesthood is after the pattern of Melchizedek (Heb. 5:6 cp. Ps. 110:4). Abraham was inferior to Melchizedek, so you should switch your emphasis from Abraham to Jesus, and stop trying to make the question of genealogies so important (see 1 Tim. 1:4). If you meditate on how much Melchizedek is a type of Jesus (i.e. the details of his life pointed forward to him), then you would have a greater understanding of the work of Christ’.  


Hebrews 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the spoils- Melchizedek was a man, not a pre-existent God. The argument is that tithes are given to someone greater. Hence Jacob offers to give tithes to his father's God if He will preserve him (Gen. 28:22).

Hebrews 7:5 And they indeed of the sons of Levi that receive the priest's office- Paul doesn't call them Aaronites because he wants to make the point that the tribal head, Levi, was not the ancestor of Melchizedek; and as one of the patriarchs, he as it were paid tithes in Abraham to Melchizedek.

Have the commandment according to the law to take tithes from the people, that is, of their brothers; even though they are also descendants of Abraham- Levi's sons could take tithes of their brothers, but this did not make them 'greater' than their brothers. They were 'brothers' on the same level as those who tithed to them. But payment of tithes to an unrelated person was a more impressive evidence of the greatness of that person over the tithe payers.

Hebrews 7:6 Melchizedek was not descended from Levi by genealogy- There is no evidence that he was even from within the Abraham family; he was effectively a Gentile, the king-priest of Jerusalem. But the fact he was not a Levite is emphasized because this was a reason some were giving for not accepting the priesthood of the Lord Jesus.

But he took tithes of Abraham and blessed him that had received the promises- The blessing was given from Melchizedek to Abraham in response to tithes. Yet Abraham is the one who was to be a blessing in the land, according to "the promises" received. But actually, the blesser had himself first to be blessed. This definitely places Melchizedek on the level of manifesting God to Abraham.

Hebrews 7:7 But without any dispute the less is blessed of the better- To suggest anyone was "better" than Abraham was radical for Hebrews, who considered Abraham the father of their race. And to rub the point in by saying that he was "less" was to suggest that the entire metanarrative of descent from Abraham being so important was being overwritten- and had in fact been overwritten by any sensitive to the brief details given about Melchizedek. That the ministry of the Lord Jesus was "better" than that of the Mosaic law is stressed in Hebrews (1:4; 7:19,22; 8:6; 9:23; 12:24).

Hebrews 7:8 And here mortal men receive tithes; but there one received them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives- The argument here might appear somewhat forced, but it was all legitimate within the style of Rabbinic midrash. Melchizedek "lives" in that there is no record of his death; we noted on :3 the Rabbinic principle that "what is not in the text, is not". And Paul goes on to reason that the priesthood of Melchizedek continues still, in that Messiah was to have this priesthood eternally. "That he lives" can also be understood as meaning that Melchizedek had a lifelong priesthood, that was not replaced by others because he had reached a certain age. McKnight observes that the Greek verb zē here is not in the present, but the imperfect of the indicative, and he translates "that he lives" as " lived, a priest all his life, in contradistinction from those who ceased to be priests at a certain age".

Hebrews 7:9 And, so to say, when Abraham paid the tithe, Levi, whose descendants receive the tithe, also paid a tithe- Abraham is seen as representing his descendant Levi. The Levitical priests did indeed pay a tithe of their tithes- to God. But Paul argues here that Levi, in Abraham, paid a tithe to Melchizedek, thus making him a manifestation of God.

Hebrews 7:10 For Levi was yet in the loins of his ancestor Abraham when Melchizedek met Abraham- This kind of argument may appear forced, but it was quite legitimate within the milieu of Jewish midrash.

Hebrews 7:11 Now if there was perfection through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be reckoned after the order of Aaron?- The argument is that the whole mention of Messiah having a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek would have been unnecessary if the Levitical priesthood and legal system could bring "perfection". Paul forces through the logic of his position by reasoning that the "need" for the Melchizedek priesthood meant that this new priest must actually not be "after the order of Aaron" and therefore must not be a descendant of Aaron. I have previously noted that this kind of apparently forced argumentation would have been acceptable to those used to this kind of reasoning in the rabbinical interpretations of the Old Testament. But it is all the same logically forced, although from our Christian perspective it all makes good sense. I suggested on expounding Paul's obsession with the Jerusalem Poor Fund in 2 Corinthians that he had an obsessive streak within him, whereby he marshaled all possible evidence to support his positions and at points his logic and reasoning bears the hallmark of the obsessive. It could well be that we have a case of that here.

Hebrews 7:12 For the priesthood being changed requires also a change of the law- This verse is a stubborn problem for those who consider that the Mosaic law has not been changed nor abrogated. The reasoning here is logically sound, but it depends upon the assumption that the Melchizedek priest has in fact come; and only in that case could it be reasoned that the priesthood had been changed from the Aaronic to that of Melchizedek, this requiring a change of the law. The argument only had [and has] force for those who accept Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. It is therefore highly relevant to the Hebrew Christian audience but would lack logical power with Hebrew non-Christians.

The whole Law of Moses is described as an everlasting covenant (Is. 24:5; Dt. 29:29), but it has now been done away (Heb. 8:13). The feasts of Passover and Atonement were to be “an everlasting statute unto you” (Lev. 16:34; Ex. 12:14); but now the Mosaic feasts have been done away in Christ (Col. 2:14-17; 1 Cor. 5:7). The Levitical priesthood was “the covenant of an everlasting priesthood” (Ex. 40:15; Num. 25:13), but “the priesthood being changed (by Christ’s work), there is made of necessity a change also of the law” (Heb. 7:12). There was an “everlasting covenant” between God and Israel to display the shewbread in the Holy Place (Lev. 24:8). This “everlasting covenant” evidently ended when the Mosaic Law was dismantled. But the same phrase “everlasting covenant” is used in 2 Samuel 23:5 concerning how Christ will reign on David’s throne for literal eternity in the Kingdom. In what sense, then, is God using the word olahm, which is translated “eternal”, “perpetual”, “everlasting” in the Old Testament? James Strong defines olahm as literally meaning “the finishing point, time out of mind, i.e. practically eternity”. It was God’s purpose that the Law of Moses and the associated Sabbath law were to continue for many centuries. To the early Israelite, this meant a finishing point so far ahead that he couldn’t grapple with it; therefore he was told that the Law would last for ever in the sense of “practically eternity”. For all of us, the specter of ultimate infinity is impossible to intellectually grapple with. We may glibly talk about God’s eternity and timelessness, about the wonder of eternal life. But when we pause to really come to terms with these things, we lack the intellectual tools and linguistic paradigms to cope with it. Therefore there is no Hebrew or Greek word used in the Bible text to speak of absolute infinity. We know that death has been conquered for those in Christ, therefore we have the hope of immortal life in his Kingdom. But God speaks about eternity very much from a human viewpoint.

Hebrews 7:13 For he of whom these things are said belongs to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar- The "He" refers to the Melchizedek priest who was to be Messiah. "Has ever" makes the point that a new priesthood is now in view. The Lord Jesus serves at the altar; this is the altar at which the Levitical priests have no right to eat / fellowship, but we Christians do (Heb. 13:10), suggesting that we in Christ are likewise there, serving at and eating at the heavenly altar which features so strongly in Revelation, as part of the Heavenly sanctuary which the tabernacle was a dim reflection of. The Lord Jesus is actively 'serving' there; He is not passive in Heaven, just waiting to return to earth.

Hebrews 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord originated from the tribe of Judah. Regarding this tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood- The Lord being descended from Judah was "evident" or obvious- presumably from the genealogies which connected Mary to the tribe of Judah. But again as noted on Hebrews 7:11, Paul's enthusiasm seems to be carrying him away, for it was far from obvious that Jesus of Nazareth was from Judah. However he may have meant instead that Messiah had to come from Judah; this much was indeed "evident" from the Old Testament and undisputed.

Hebrews 7:15 And what we say is even more abundantly evident, if after the likeness of Melchizedek there arises another priest- The abundantly obvious argument was that the Melchizedek priest had to be eternal (see Hebrews 7:16,17); and the only candidate was Jesus, whom Christians believed had been resurrected and given eternal life. He was the only person who had then been immortalized. But this argument again was logically powerful only to a Hebrew Christian, and not to a Hebrew non-Christian. The 'arising' of this 'other priest' may be a hint at His resurrection to immortality.

Hebrews 7:16 Who has been appointed, not on the basis of a law about physical descent, but according to the power of an endless life- The Levitical priests became priests by reason of their age and descent, whereas the Melchizedek Messiah priest had to be "appointed". The basis of the Lord's appointment was His immortality- because the priest had to have an eternal ministry, so it was necessary that he was immortal. And the only immortalized human was Jesus of Nazareth.

Hebrews 7:17 For it is witnessed: You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek- "For ever" is being interpreted as meaning that the priest would be immortal, making the resurrected, immortalized Jesus the only possible candidate. The 'witnessing' by God in Ps. 110:4 is understood as the priest being "appointed" (Hebrews 7:16).

Hebrews 7:18 On the other hand, there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness- This new priesthood required a new law; a changed priesthood meant a changed law (Hebrews 7:12). And this required an "annulling" of that law, and that was because it was weak and unprofitable. Such language appears to deprecate the law, although Paul elsewhere says that the law was "holy, just and good" (Rom. 7:12); it was weak and not profitable because it was unable to bring salvation or perfection to those under it. The strong language used here about the law of Moses must be given its full weight by those who argue that it should still be kept today.

Hebrews 7:19 (For the law made nothing perfect)- Likewise Hebrews 7:11 has argued that the Levitical priesthood had to be changed because it could not bring "perfection". The law convicted men of sin and offered some mechanism of patching up the broken relationship caused by it. But it did not enable moral perfection. By being in Christ, we can be counted as Him, the only perfect human. Faith in Christ could therefore make perfect in that the Lord Jesus was 'made perfect' by His sufferings, particularly on the cross (Hebrews 5:7-9).

And a bringing in thereupon of a better hope, through which we draw near to God- By being counted as in Christ, having His perfection as ours due to our status in Him, we have the sure hope of future salvation. The elpis or hope in view is a solid expectation regarding the future, not a mere hoping for the best. And it is by having this hope that we find strength against materialism and "draw near to God". The Hebrew readership would have understood this as meaning 'drawing near in priestly service' (cp. Ex. 19:22). The Hope we have compels us to God's service. 

Hebrews 7:20 And the Melchizedek priesthood was not without the taking of an oath- The oath taken was by God (Ps. 110:4), vowing by Himself to honour the eternally powerful priesthood of Messiah. Such Divine underwriting was not given to the Levitical priesthood.

Hebrews 7:21 The Levitical priests were made priests without an oath, but he with an oath: The Lord swore and will not change His mind; you are a priest for ever- The eternal nature of the Lord's Melchizedek priesthood is at the basis of the certainty of our hope for future salvation (Hebrews 7:19). God Almighty guarantees that the Lord Jesus will be our eternal priest. Our standing before Him is therefore eternal; we have such a priest who is not simply a mediator between God and men, a conduit allowing us to offer to Him and approach Him, but a priest who on His own agenda eternally secures our salvation. 

Hebrews 7:22 By this also has Jesus become the surety of a better covenant- The sure hope of Hebrews 7:19 is underpinned by the way the Lord is the surety or guarantor of the better covenant. The Greek for "surety" occurs only here in the NT and LXX. The idea is of a guarantor who promises his self sacrifice in the case that the party to the covenant is unfaithful. It literally means 'the pledge of a limb'. The "surety" could offer his own limbs, or himself into bondage as a slave, if the person being guaranteed somehow failed. The Lord's death confirmed God's promises as being for real. But did God's side of the covenant need such a surety? Perhaps we are better to think of the Lord's being a surety as being a guarantee for our faithfulness to the covenant. But we have not been faithful to it; and so He died, gave His all, His limbs, and became the preeminent servant of Yahweh on the cross. This was to the end that the new covenant between God and us might still stand, despite our infraction of it.

Hebrews 7:23 And they indeed have been made priests many in number, because that by death they are hindered from continuing- The eternal priesthood required for the Messianic Melchizedek priest could not be attained by mortal priests.

Hebrews 7:24 But he, because he abides for ever, has his priesthood unchangeable- The eternal priesthood of the Melchizedek priest meant that His priesthood can never be changed. He has obtained eternal redemption for us, and that can never be liable to any renegotiation. Our hope for eternity is therefore sure (Hebrews 7:19) because the One who obtained it is immortal, and His work for us is in this sense eternal.

Psa 110:5

The Lord is at your right hand-
The Lord now sits at the Father’s right hand. But Ps. 110 describes God as being at Christ’s right hand. The confusion of the idioms surely demonstrates the mutuality between them. And the relationship between Father and Son is openly offered to us in John 17.

He will crush kings-
This is the word used of the crushing of the kings in the eretz promised to Abraham which will happen at the hands of Messiah in the last day (Num. 24:8,17; Dt. 33:11). I noted on :3 the allusions to the destruction of the nations within the eretz at the tie of Deborah and Barak. And in line with that, we find the same word for "crush" used in Jud. 5:26 of how Jael crushed or pierced the head of Sisera. Hence :6 uses the same word of how the heads of all Yahweh's enemies would likewise be pierced or crushed. This was what Yahweh did to those in Canaan at the time when Israel first entered the land as a nation (Hab. 3:13). See on :7. These things will come to full term in the final "day of His wrath" at the return of the Lord Jesus. 

In the day of His wrath-
The day of Yahweh's wrath is the last day, against the apostate in Israel (Dt. 31:17; Is. 13:9,13; Ez. 38:18 s.w.) as well as against the "kings" in the eretz promised to Abraham who were to be subsumed beneath the one Messianic king in Zion.

Psa 110:6

He will judge among the nations, He will heap up dead bodies-
This is the judgment of the latter day of His wrath (:5). "The nations" in view are specifically those within the eretz promised to Abraham. The heaping up of dead bodies is the latter day scenario of Ez. 39, and we have noted allusions to Ez. 38 in this Psalm.

He will crush the ruler of the whole earth-
"Crush" is the word just used in :5 of how Jael pierced or crushed the head of Sisera, an image used for how all the kings in the land promised to Abraham were to be crushed by the Messianic ruler in the final "day of His wrath" (:5; see notes there). The implication is that there will be a singular "ruler of the whole earth", the eretz promised to Abraham; this is the antichrist figure which occurs in so many prophecies. He is the "man of sin" of 2 Thess. 2, the individual known as Gog who will be the head or rosh of the confederacy which overruns Israel (Ez. 38:2). I noted on :5 that the phrase "day of His wrath" is also used in Ez. 38:18. Here, "ruler" likewise translates rosh.

Psa 110:7

He will drink of the brook in the way; therefore He will lift up His head-
The simple idea may be that the victorious but exhausted victor drinks from the brook, and lifts up his head in triumph. But we have seen on :3,5 the allusions to the victory of Jael, so
Jael smiting off Sisera's head may be the basis of these words about lifting up or off the head. "Brook" translates the same word used of the "river" Kishon in the context of Deborah and Jael's victory (Jud. 4:7,13; 5:21). It also connects with David cutting off Goliath's head in an encounter full of echoes of the latter-day conflict between Christ and the surrounding nations. And again the word for "brook" is used in the context of that conflict (1 Sam. 17:40).