This prophetic psalm is quoted extensively in the New Testament — Matthew 22:44; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:34-35; Hebrews 1:13, 5:6 and 10:12-13. Well before Jesus’ birth, rabbis had recognized this as a wholly Messianic prophecy. Jesus claimed this as His own. However, we know from more ancient Hebrew culture that this kind of thing bore echoes throughout the history of Israel until that final moment on the Cross when the New Covenant was instituted. Several major figures between David and Christ manifested elements of what is promised here, as God’s way of showing He had not forgotten the core of the promise.
That core promise is cast in terms of Ancient Near Eastern feudal terms, that God the Father would pour out His wrath against sin until no one was left to resist when His Son inherits the domain of Creation. It is the image of an imperial declaration upon the Son’s completion of a grand quest that earned His vestment as heir to the throne.
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