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The God who reigns forever

More prophetic hints to the Deity of the Messiah

Sam Shamoun

In the inspired Hebrew Scriptures there is a particular Psalm which celebrates the wedding of an unnamed King of Israel. The Psalmist composes a song celebrating this Davidic King’s wedding ceremony and lauds him for his outstanding qualities; and yet the way the writer describes this specific Ruler goes beyond the depiction of an ordinary human being:

“My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one (gibbor); clothe yourself with splendor and majesty. In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds. Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king's enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet. Your throne, O God (Elohim), will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God (Elohim Eloheyka), has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” Psalm 45:1-7

The Psalmist virtually stretches the Hebrew language to its limits in describing this particular King since virtually everything stated concerning him is applied to God in the other Psalms!

For instance, the Psalmists speak of the sword and arrows which Yahweh uses to destroy the wicked:

“My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts.” Psalm 7:10-13

“The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies, great bolts of lightning and routed them.” Psalm 18:13-14

The Psalms’ composers also mention that it is Yahweh who loves righteousness and justice, and abhors wickedness and sin:

“For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.” Psalm 5:4-6

“But the LORD sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice,” Psalm 9:7

“The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked he will rain snares; fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, he loves righteousness; the upright will behold his face.” Psalm 11:5-7

The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” Psalm 33:5

“May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. Selah” Psalm 67:4

“The King in his might loves justice. You have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.” Psalm 99:4

The Psalmists further depict Yahweh being clothed with splendor and majesty:

“For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.” Psalm 96:5-6

The Psalms even write that Yahweh is mighty, likening him to a mighty man of war:

“Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty (gibbor), the LORD, mighty in battle (gibbor milchama)!” Psalm 24:8

“Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, like a mighty man (gibbor) shouting because of wine.” Psalm 78:65

Moreover, according to the Psalms it is Yahweh’s throne that endures forever and ever since he is the eternal King whose reign never ends:

The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.” Psalm 10:16

“The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.” Psalm 29:10

“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.” Psalm 145:13

The LORD will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!” Psalm 146:10

As if this weren’t enough the Psalms emphatically proclaim that Yahweh is the only God or Elohim there is and that he alone is exalted over the entire creation, especially over all the other so-called gods!

“Let them know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.” Psalm 83:18

“For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God (Elohim).” Psalm 86:10

“For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.” Psalm 97:9

“Know that the LORD, he is God (Elohim). It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3

But it doesn’t end here. The Psalmist had more to say concerning this particular Davidic King:

“Kings’ daughters are among your noble ladies; At your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir. Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear: Forget your people and your father's house; Then the King will desire your beauty. Because he is your Lord, bow down to him. The daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; The rich among the people will seek your favor.” Psalm 45:9-12

The queen is exhorted to bow down (the word used here comes from shachah) to the King since he is her Lord.

In fact, the Greek version (called the Septuagint [LXX]) of Psalm 45:12 [44:13 in the Greek] has a different reading from the Hebrew text, one which refers to the daughters of Tyre rendering proskyneo (the common Greek word for worship or reverence) to this ruler:

"And daughters of Tyre will do obeisance to him with gifts; your face the rich of the people will entreat."

Nor is this the only place where the Psalms refer to the anointed King receiving honor and reverence:

“May desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust! May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!” Psalm 72:9-11

The obeisance and service that the nations are called to render unto the King foreshadow the worship that Jesus receives from the entire creation, as we shall see later on. It points to the universal scope of the Church, which is composed of individuals from “all tribes and nations.” More on this shortly.

The Psalmist then concludes by exhorting the peoples to remember the name of this glorious King and to praise or give him thanks forever:

“I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the peoples will praise you/give you thanks forever and ever.” Psalm 45:17

What makes this so astonishing is that all throughout the Psalms it is Yahweh whom the nations must bow to and worship,

“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him — those who cannot keep themselves alive.” Psalm 22:27-29

“Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.’ Selah” Psalm 66:3-4

“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.” Psalm 86:9

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.” Psalm 95:6

“All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!” Psalm 97:7; cf. 29:2; 96:9; 99:5, 9; 132:7; 138:2

And it is his name, his Person, which will be praised forever!

“In God we have boasted all day long, and we will give thanks/praise to your name forever. Selah.” Psalm 44:8

I will thank/praise you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.” Psalm 52:9

“But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks/praise to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.” Psalm 79:13

To summarize what we discovered from Psalm 45, we learned that,

  • Like God, this King is a mighty warrior who fights with his bow and sword.
  • Like God, he is clothed in splendor and majesty.
  • Like God, he loves justice/righteousness and hates wickedness.
  • The reign of this Davidic King, like God’s, is eternal, never ending.
  • Like God, he is to be praised forever.
  • In fact, the very same word used for the reverence that the King receives is applied to the worship which the nations must render to Yahweh.
  • Finally, this King is even called G/god or Elohim despite the fact that the Psalms expressly teach that Yahweh alone is Elohim!

The following questions naturally come to mind: how can a mere mortal be spoken of in such an exalted fashion? How can an Israelite Ruler be depicted in the same way that Yahweh is described throughout the Psalms? More importantly, how could any monotheist call a human being, no matter how exalted, G/god?

There are at least a couple of answers which best explain why an appointed human ruler could be described in such a majestic fashion.

One reason why the Davidic King could be called G/god or Elohim and depicted with such glory is because for all practical purposes this appointed ruler functioned as God to the covenant people, being God’s earthly representative who sat on Yahweh’s throne on earth,

“And of all my sons (for the LORD has given me many sons) he has chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.” 1 Chronicles 28:5

Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father; and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him.” 1 Chronicles 29:23

“Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the LORD your God! Because your God loved Israel and would establish them for ever, he has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” 2 Chronicles 9:8

Hence, the King could be called G/god in this functional sense since he represented God, spoke on behalf of God and with God’s authority, and ruled God’s people as God’s vice-regent.

The Messianic King – The Human Manifestation of Yahweh God

The other reason why the King could be addressed as G/god is because the Davidic rulers prefigured or foreshadowed the Messianic King, the One who comes to rule on David’s throne forever as the Mighty God and Father of eternity:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God (El Gibbor), Father of eternity (Abi ad), Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

The title, Mighty God, is ascribed to Yahweh in the very next chapter of Isaiah!

“In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God (El Gibbor).” Isaiah 10:20-21

Moreover, this particular Son of David is even called Yahweh our righteousness!

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: Yahweh our righteousness.’” Jeremiah 23:5-6

Interestingly, Jewish rabbinic authorities came to interpret Psalm 45 messianically, as a prophecy of the Messiah to come:

My works befit the king (vs. 2)… This song befits the King Messiah (Radak). You are beautiful beyond other men (vs. 3)… This refers to the all-inclusive excellence of the Messiah, of whom the prophet says (Isaiah 52:13) Behold My servant shall be enlightened, he shall be exalted and lifted up and he shall be very high (Ibn Yachya) Accordingly God has blessed you for eternity (vs. 3). The kingdom of the Messiah shall endure forever (Meiri). He shall be eternally endowed with the greatest of blessings: he will find favor in the eyes of all men (Radak).

Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty one – your majesty and your splendor (vs. 4)… In consonance with his opinion that this psalm describes the Messiah, Radak understands the sword as a regal weapon. Although the prophets always portray the Messianic era as a time of universals peace, this tranquility will be achieved only after the terrible war of Gog and Magog… During this cataclysmic confrontation, the Messiah’s martial skills will be his splendor. See Psalm 21:6… majesty and splendor You conferred upon him which Midrash Shocher Tov interprets as reference to Messiah who is endowed with two forms of excellence: beauty and strength.

And this is your splendor – gain success, ride high on truthfulness and righteous humility. May it guide you to awesome deeds with your right hand (vs. 5)… Radak understands verses 4 and 5 to mean: After You (Messiah) achieve Your splendid triumph over the enemies, as described in the preceding verse, do not subjugate them (ride over them) with pride and haughtiness. Rather be guided always by truth and sincere humility. And ride [high] on truthfulness. Rashi explains that the Torah scholar will issue true and honest decisions, unaffected by external factors. This is also a distinctive feature of the Messiah, as Scripture says: And the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge… and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes nor decide after the hearing of his ears (Isaiah 11:2, 3). True faith and sincere belief in Hashem are hallmarks of the Messiah as Isaiah (11:5) says: And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins and faith the girdle of his body (Ibn Yachya; Norah Tehillos). Targum interprets: [Messiah] will ride on a unique royal steed… And right and humility. This alludes to the excellent characteristics of the Messiah (Isaiah 11:4): And with righteousness he will judge the poor, and decide with equity for the humble of the earth (Ibn Yachya). May it guide you to awesome deeds with your right hand… Norah Tehillos comments that Messiah, will be endowed with an unerring genius for ‘sniffing out’ the truth, as it says: And he shall smell with the fear of HASHEM (Isaiah 11:3). According to Rashi (ibid), the Messiah will be able to detect a person’s innocence or guilt merely by observing his face…

You love righteousness and hate wickedness, accordingly has God, your God, anointed you with oil of joy above your peers (vs. 8). Other monarchs gain their thrones as a result of savage power struggles in which all law, order, and decency are callously discarded. The unpopular king who rules only by brute force oppresses and tyrannizes his subjects, plunging them into misery. Not so the king of David’s line. His throne is divinely established by virtue of the king’s equity and righteousness. Therefore his enthusiastic subjects welcome his anointment as a cause for national gladness… This is the message of our verse: You Messiah, personally love righteousness and have hate wickedness: therefore God has personally anointed you with a special anointment.

Hear, O maiden, see and incline your ear, forget your people and your father’s house (vs. 11)… Metzudas David interprets this entire verse in reference to the Messiah. The Psalmist exhorts all of the nations (the daughters) to listen to the commands of the Messiah and to forget the wicked conspiracy of the nations of Gog and Magog, who plan to battle God’s chosen king.

I will commemorate Your Name through all generations, therefore the nations will acknowledge You forever and ever (vs. 18). Rashi maintains that the Psalmist is referring to God. Radak is of the opinion that the verse is speaking of Messiah. In every generation we make the constant mention of his name and await his arrival with longing… Radak concludes that since Israel yearned for Messiah in every generation, therefore all nations will eventually acknowledge his [universal, absolute] sovereignty, which will be unprecedented in the annals of history. (Tehillim Psalms, Translation and Commentary by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer [Mesorah Publications, Brooklyn, 1978], Volume 2, Psalm 45, pp. 562-575; bold and underline emphasis ours)

They further explained Isaiah 9:6-7 and Jeremiah 23:5-6 as predictions of the Messianic King:

The prophet saith to the house of David, A child has been born to us, a son has been given to us; and he has taken the law upon himself to keep it, and his name has been called from of old, Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, He who lives forever, the Anointed One (or Messiah), in whose days peace shall increase upon us. (The Targum of Isaiah, J.F. Stenning, Editor and Translator [Oxford: Clarendon], p. 32; bold and underline emphasis ours)


… Behold the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Messiah, and he shall reign as king, and prosper, and shall enact a righteous and Meritorious law in the land. In his days they of the house of Judah shall be delivered, and Israel shall live in security. And this is the name which they call him: "May vindication be accomplished for us by the Lord in his day."’ (Targum Jonathan, The Messiah: An Aramaic Interpretation, Samson H. Levy (New York: Hebrew Union College, 1974), pp. 68-69; bold emphasis ours)

God will call the king Messiah after His own name, for it is said of the king Messiah This is his name whereby he shall be called: The Lord our righteousness (Jer. 23:6). (The Midrash on Psalms, William G. Braude, Translator (New Haven: Yale, 959), Yale Judaica Series, Volume XIII, Leon Nemoy, Editor, Book One, Psalm 2.2; bold emphasis ours)

Thus, the Messiah is actually Incarnate Deity, he whose name is Yahweh our righteousness, being the Mighty God who comes to be born as a man in order to reign on the throne of his human ancestor David! In the words of the inspired NT Scriptures:

“But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:26-35

Here, the angel Gabriel identifies the Lord Jesus as the Divine Child of Isaiah 9:6-7, the Son of God who reigns on David’s throne forever! The NT repeats this point of Christ’s kingdom being eternal, one that will never end and which can never be destroyed:

“and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:11

“Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.’” Revelation 11:15

The NT further teaches that Jesus is fully God in essence and possesses the whole fulness of Deity intrinsically and eternally:

“In the beginning (in eternity, before creation itself) was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (in essence). He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made… He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him… No one has ever seen God; the only One, who is God, who is in the Father's bosom, he has made him known.” John 1:1-3, 10, 14, 18

“Thomas answered and said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” John 20:28-29

“To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 9:5

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although existing in the nature of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,” Philippians 2:5-6

“For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,” Colossians 2:9

“waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (tou megalou theou kai soteros hemon 'Iesou Christou), who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed (hina lytrosetai hemas apo pases anomias), and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession (laon periousion), zealous for good deeds.” Titus 2:13-14

In this last passage Paul basically depicts Jesus as Yahweh since Yahweh is said to be the great God who redeems a people from their lawless deeds to be his own possession:

“And now if ye will indeed hear my voice, and keep my covenant, ye shall be to me a peculiar people (laos periousios) above all nations; for the whole earth is mine.” Exodus 19:5 LXX

“For you are great (hoti megas ei su), and do wonders: you are the only [and] the great God (su ei ho theos monos ho megas).” Psalm 85[86]:10 LXX

“Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities/lawlessness (kai autos lytrosetai ton Israel ek pason ton anomion autou).” Psalm 129 [130]:7-8 LXX

“For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure (periousiasmon autou).” Psalm 134[135]:4 LXX; cf. Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2

The blessed Apostle Peter does something similar when he speaks of the risen Lord Jesus being both God and Savior:

“Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ (en dikaiosune tou theou hemon kai soteros ‘Iesou Christou):” 2 Peter 1:1

Again, according to the inspired Hebrew writings Yahweh is the only just God that saves, and it is because of his righteousness or justice that individuals obtain salvation and are justified or declared to be righteous:

“If they will declare, let them draw nigh, that they may know together, who has caused these things to be heard from the beginning: then was it told you. I am God (ego ho theos), and there is not another beside me; a just [God] and a Saviour (dikaios kai soter); there is none but me. Turn ye to me, and ye shall be saved, ye that [come] from the end of the earth: I am God (ego eimi ho theos), and there is none other. By myself I swear, righteousness shall surely proceed out of my mouth; my words shall not be frustrated; that to me every knee shall bend, and every tongue shall swear by God, saying, Righteousness and glory shall come to him: and all that remove them from their borders shall be ashamed. By the Lord shall they be justified (apo kyriou dikaiothesontai), and in God shall all the seed of the children of Israel be glorified.” Isaiah 45:21-25 LXX

The Lord Jesus even shares the same Divine glory and majesty of his glorious Father:

"After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.' While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!'" Matthew 17:1-5

"And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed." John 17:5

"I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone 'like a son of man,' dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." Revelation 1:12-18

Christ also receives eternal praise, service and worship from all creation:

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom…Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearingThe Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:1, 8, 18

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

“and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the Firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5-6

“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God AND OF CHRIST, and they shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

“Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’ And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth; and he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.’ Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’ Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: ‘To him who sits on the throne AND TO THE LAMB be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’ The four living creatures said, ‘Amen,’ and the elders fell down and worshiped.” Revelation 5:6-14

In this last reference we see the fulfillment of Psalm 72:9-11 in that Christ, the Davidic Messianic King, purchases people from every tribe and nation with his blood to worship and serve both the Father and himself. This shows that, just like God is not only God and King over Israel but is the God and Ruler of the entire universe, Christ is more than the King of Israel since he is the King of kings and Lord of all nations as well as his Bride, the Church, which consists of believers from all peoples, tribes and languages.

This leads us to our next point. Just like the King of Psalm 45 married a woman Christ will also marry his Church, a union that is purely spiritual with absolutely no sexual consummation involved:

“I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” 2 Corinthians 11:1-2

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the churchfor we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:25-33

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.’ (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, ‘Write: “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.’” Revelation 19:7-9

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband… One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:1-2, 9-14

With the foregoing in view we can now more fully appreciate how the depiction of the King in Psalm 45 points to the greater Son of David, the Messianic King, the One who truly is God in essence and who actually does rule forever and ever.

In light of this it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the inspired author of Hebrews cited Psalm 45 in connection with the superiority of the Lord Jesus over the angels:

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven, having become as much superior to angels as the Name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs. For to what angel did God ever say, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’? Or again, ‘I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son’? And again, when God brings his Firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God's angels worship him.’ In speaking of the angels he says, ‘He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.’ But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.’ And, ‘You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.’ To which of the angels did God ever say, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’? Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:1-14

By writing that Jesus is the unchangeable Maker and Lord of all creation who is worshiped by all the angels, being the radiance or effulgence of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s substance or being, the inspired author was basically affirming that Christ is truly and essentially God and not someone who merely represented God.

As noted Evangelical NT scholar Murray J. Harris puts it:

“In establishing the superiority of Jesus over angels, the author draws a series of contrasts between them in verses 4-14. The antithesis between verse 7 and verses 8-9 that is marked by the strongly adversative mende is twofold: the angels serve (tous leitourgous), but the Son reigns (ho thronos souhe rhabdos); in their service of God the angels change their form (pneumatapuros phloga), but in his rule of equity the divine Son continues forever (ho theos eis ton aiona tou aionas). One contrast relates to function, the other to nature. Over against the variability of angelic function, the author sets the stability of the Son’s throne and the constancy of his rectitude. Over against the evanescence and impermanence of angelic form, the author sets the eternality and divinity of the Son’s person. Whereas the angels are addressed by God, the Son may be addressed as God. On this view verses 10-12 reinforce and extend the antitheses. While angels are creatures of divine fiat, the Son himself is the divine Creator. While they are mutable, he is immutable (su de diameneissu de ho autos ei). Never could it be said concerning the Son, ho poion ton huion autou pneuma kai ton leitourgon autou puros phloga. From this I conclude that to interpret theos as a vocative [direct address to the Son] does full justice to the flow of argument in the immediate context. … Given the affirmation of verse 3 that the Son is the effulgence of God’s glory and the visible expression of his being, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that when the author affirms further that God the Father addresses his Son as theos at his resurrection he intends to signify that, equally with the Father, Jesus possesses the divine nature. (Harris, Jesus as God - The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus [Grand Rapids; Baker Book House, 1992], IX. The Throne of God (Hebrews 1:8-9), C. Ho Theos in Hebrews 1:8, 2. As A Vocative, d. Context, pp. 216-218; bold emphasis and comments within brackets ours)


“Just as the whole doctrinal portion of the epistle (1:1-10:30) focuses on the superiority of Jesus, so its first segment (1:1-2:18) seeks to establish the superiority of Jesus to angels. After the exordium (1:1-4) he is shown to be superior because of his godhood (1:5-14): he has obtained a vastly superior title and office (onoma, 1:4) as the divinely begotten Son (1:5); as preeminent heir (‘firstborn’) he enjoys unrivaled dignity and a unique relation to God (1:6a; cf. v. 2: ‘the heir of all things’); he is the object of angelic worship (1:6b); in his person he is divine (1:8a); in the exercise of his divine sovereignty he is scrupulously just (1:8b); he has a superior joy (1:9); he is the unchangeable Lord of creation, which includes angels (1:10-12); and he is God’s exalted coregent (1:13)… One may therefore isolate verse 8 to the argument of Hebrews 1-2 as being to show that the superiority of Jesus to angels does not reside simply in his having distinctive titles, an exalted status, or redemptive functions, but preeminently in his belonging to a different category–that of deity. Just as he is set apart from sinners because he is ‘holy and without fault or stain’ (7:26), so he is set apart from angels because he may be appropriately addressed as theos: to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘Your throne, O God, will endure for ever and ever’? No angel was ever dignified by the title theos because no angel shared intrinsically in the divine nature. This use of theos for Jesus is all the more significant because the author carefully avoids using the term unnecessarily in 1:1-14, preferring to use a circumlocution (1:3; cf. 8:1) and to leave the subject of successive verbs of saying unexpressed (1:5-7, 13)…

“But verse 8a looks backward as well as forward. When the Son is said to be ‘the radiant light of God’s glory (on apaugasma te doxes)’ (v.3 JB) and to bear ‘the imprint of God's nature (charakter tes hupostaseos autou)’ (v. 3), he is being described as the intrinsic possessor of the nature of God without actually being given the generic title of ‘God.’ What verse 3 implies, verse 8 makes explicit: the Son is rightly addressed as theos inasmuch as he is the exact representation of the very being of ho theos… It is wholly appropriate, indeed imperative, that the angels of God worship Jesus, the firstborn, for he is by nature included within the generic category denoted by theos and therefore is a legitimate and necessary object of adoration.” (Ibid., E. Significance of a Vocatival Ho Theos in Hebrews 1:8, 1. Within Hebrews 1-2, pp. 221-222; bold emphasis ours)

Harris also makes the following rather astute observation,

“But to suggest that verse 8a is pivotal within the chapter is not to claim that the address ho theos is the zenith or the principal affirmation of the chapter. Of the three main titles given to Jesus in Hebrews 1, huios is the title on which attention is focused (vv. 2, 5 bis, 8a), so that theos (v. 8) and kyrios (v. 10) may be said to explicate two aspects of that sonship, viz., divinity and sovereignty. The principal point in the chapter is that the exalted Son is vastly superior to the angels (vv. 4-5, 13) as a divine King who is worshiped (vv. 6-9) and as a sovereign Creator who is changeless (vv. 10-12). In that verse 4 enunciates the theme of the superiority of the Son to angels that is to be developed, it forms the focal point of Hebrews 1-2.” (P. 223)

Hence, it is abundantly clear from the foregoing analysis that the writer to the Hebrews clearly saw that Psalm 45 finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus since Christ is in nature what the King of Psalm 45 was in function, namely, the eternal Son of God who fully possesses the very nature of God.

It now makes sense why an OT writer would speak of an Israelite King in such an exalted and glorious fashion. The Holy Spirit was inspiring the human author to describe the Davidic Ruler in such a way as to point to the One who was to come, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ, he who is truly God in nature and who rules forever and ever in justice and righteousness.

In other words, the Holy Spirit moved the Psalmist to depict this human King as a picture and a shadow of the coming glorious Messiah since he is the Divine King who reigns on David’s throne for all eternity.

Amen! Come Lord Jesus, come! We confess and believe that you are truly the eternal God who rules forever and ever and whose kingdom shall never end. We love and worship you, O risen Lord of eternal glory! Amen.

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