Outreach to Judaism OUTREACH to JUDAISM


Introduction

Would God
Become a Man?

Is God One, or
Three-in-One?

Was Messiah
Supposed
to Be God?

Why Didn’t Jesus
Bring in the
Messianic Age?

If God Walked
on Earth,
What Would
He Be Like?

The Two
Servants
of Isaiah

Who is the
Servant of
Isaiah 53?

Is Lamo the
Smoking Gun
of Isaiah 53?

Who
Crucified
Jesus?

The Leader
of Isaiah’s
New Exodus

Tragedy
in Stone:
The Second
Temple

The
Champion
of Israel

Did Matthew
Murder the
Jewish
Scriptures?

Did Jesus
Fulfill the
Messianic
Prophecies?

The Mystic
Meaning
of Jacob’s
Ladder




E-MAIL


WAS MESSIAH
SUPPOSED TO BE GOD?


Was the Messiah predicted by the prophets supposed to be divine as well as human? Most Jews deny any such expectation. According to Rabbi Harvey H. Spivak, “For Jews, the Messiah is a human being and not a God, not a divinity. That would be completely contrary to traditional Jewish beliefs. The biblical prophets spoke about a Messiah ... as a human being.”[1]

The term “messiah” simply means “anointed one,” and was applied to the kings or priests of Israel.[2] Pouring oil on the head symbolized an outpouring of the Spirit to transform the person’s nature and to give him power to do the task God commissioned him to do.[3] So there were many “messiahs” in Jewish history.

Christianity is founded on the belief that the Old Testament predicts a divine-human Messiah. In Jewish opinion, however, the Old Testament does not support such a claim. The expectation of a Messiah did not flower until the time of the Maccabees and the Romans.[4] It is true that the royal Psalms “heap up extravagant statements” about the king.[5] But since the kings never reached the expectations set forth in Scripture, the hope of a righteous king who would usher in an age of peace was transferred from the actual king to an ideal king of the future. This, in Jewish opinion, is the origin of the hope of a coming Messiah.[6] Furthermore, Messiah was not intended to be divine; he was only a future Davidic ruler who would bring in the Messianic Age of Peace.

Whether the Messianic expectation flowered early or late in Israel’s history, it is clear that the Davidic kingship from its very beginning was described in divine as well as human terms. Perhaps this was because Yahweh Himself was Israel’s true King[7] and expected His earthly representatives to reflect His nature. An examination of the “extravagant statements” of the royal Psalms shows that these are descriptions of divinity that no human could or did fulfill. They clearly point to a divine Messiah. The following examples crescendo from an ideal super-human to a divine person:

1. The king was promised a special relationship with Yahweh -- he was “begotten” of God on the day of his installation as king.

I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill ... You are my son; today I have begotten you (Ps. 2:6-7; cf. 2 Sam. 7:14).

2. His reign would be righteous and just. David’s description of his son Solomon (Ps. 72) transcends the human Solomon, whose reign was not just (2 Chronicles 10:11). Such righteousness appears to be divine.

He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment (Ps. 72:2).

He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor (v. 4).

He shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper (v. 12).

Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity; you love righteousness and hate wickedness (Ps. 45:6-7).

3. His life, reign, and dynasty were to last forever.

He [the king] asked life of thee [the LORD], and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever (Ps. 21:4, AV).

Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever (2 Sam. 7:16; cf. v. 13).

In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth (Ps.72:7).

His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven (Ps. 89:29; cf. vv. 3-4).

His throne was to last “for ever and ever” (Ps. 45:6).

4. He would conquer His enemies and extend His dominion to the ends of the earth.

Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel (Ps. 2:8, 9, AV).

He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth (Ps. 72:8, NIV).

All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him (v. 11).

5. He is addressed as God.

Psalm 45, a paean of praise to the king, is the most astonishing of the royal Psalms. This king, “fairer than the children of men” (v. 2) is addressed as God (Elohim):

Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever (v. 6, AV).

This verse says that the king is God, with a rule that lasts forever! The force of the passage has been toned down by some versions, as RSV, “Your divine throne endures for ever and ever”; and NEB, “Your throne is like God’s throne, eternal.” But the Hebrew resists any softening here. Also the Septuagint is faithful in translating these verses unaltered.[8] The passage is an example of Hebrew-Scripture language bursting its banks to demand a more than human fulfillment.[9]

The passage continues:

Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows (v. 7).

Not only is the enthroned king called God [Elohim], but he is anointed by God [Elohim]. It appears in this passage that there are two divine Beings called Elohim.

A careful reading of verses 1-7 indicates that this Messiah (anointed v. 7) is indeed more than human. Grace is poured on his lips, he is most mighty, blessed forever, endowed with glory and majesty (vv.2-3). Truth, meekness and righteousness are the hallmarks of his character (v. 4), unmatched by any of Israel’s kings.

What does this Psalm mean? Did the kings of Israel think of themselves as God-kings? In a monotheistic society such audacity would be unthinkable. Since God is the ultimate king of Israel, does the king think of himself as a joint-ruler with God? No, the text says the king himself is God. Does verse 6 (“Thy throne O God...”) jump out of its context and apply directly to God? No, because verse 7 refers to him as the anointed king. Does the passage transcend David, envisioning a divine-human King who would some day rule on David’s throne? More than that, does it possibly have a double meaning -- applying in part to David and the future Messiah in the fuller sense? Probably this last understanding is best, because the second half of the chapter describes the royal marriage of the king to a beautiful “king’s daughter” (v. 13). This might apply to the king literally and to God spiritually. The theme of the royal marriage would then anticipate a theme developed later by the prophets -- the marriage of God to Israel (as in Isaiah 54; Hosea 1-3; Jeremiah 3, and Ezekiel 16).

Psalm 110 also transcends human boundaries.

The LORD said unto my Lord, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (v. 1).

To understand this verse it is necessary to identify the writer. Is it written by a servant of David’s, calling him, “my lord”? David, then, would be the one who sits at God’s right hand until God overcomes his enemies. There are reasons for a negative answer. First, the passage is clearly identified as “a Psalm of David” (Hebrew, le-dawid, belonging to David, in common with 72 other Psalms). David is here addressing his Lord, a divine being.

Secondly, while the word “lord” (adon) in the OT most frequently means simply “master” or “sir,” it is also used for God.[10] A rabbi has made a point that the vowel pointing adoni (my lord) is different from the word adonai, the divine name for “Lord.” He correctly points out that adoni is used of human beings, as in the words “my lord Joseph.” However, the Hebrew consonants of both words are the same; the vowel pointings were not added until the eighth century C.E. by the Masorete scholars. Because these men preferred a human understanding of the word, they put a different vowel mark under the n. It’s equivalent to spelling lord with a small or capital letter.

Jesus’ interpretation given centuries before the Masoretic editing is preferred. He used this text to propound a riddle to his accusers:

... Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
          Sit at my right hand,
till I put thy enemies under thy feet’?
          If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?”
And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did any one dare to ask him any more questions (Matthew 22:41- 46).

Jesus recognized correctly that Psalm 110 is Messianic, describing the conquests of the Davidic king. His question was this: If David addressed the Messiah as “Lord,” how could Messiah be David’s descendant? In fact, Jesus was claiming that he was David’s Lord, that he had existed as Lord in the time of David long before his birth in Bethlehem.

Most convincing is v. 4 where the LORD swears to David’s Lord:

You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.

The king of verses 1 and 2 is designated a priest in v. 4. Never were David or his descendant kings promised the priesthood. And this priest was to continue forever!

Thus the Psalms describe the Davidic king in divine terms, never fulfilled by any earthly king of Israel. This King must be divine and human, someone who would rule the world righteously forever and ever!

The Psalmists’ expectations of an ideal king wielding a righteous scepter actually have their roots in the Torah. Jacob blessed Judah with the following words:

“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” (Gen. 49:10, AV). The Balaam oracles continue the Messianic expectation:

I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab and destroy all the children of Sheth....Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city (Num. 24:17-19, AV).

The expectation of a divine King on David’s throne is strengthened by the prophets, who confirmed and expanded it. Micah announced that the coming ruler would be born in David’s city, Bethlehem.

But thou, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2; Hebrew, v.1).

Was this “ruler in Israel” someone who had existed from all eternity in the past, as the King James Version indicates? Or had he existed only “from ancient times,” as the Revised Standard Version translates it? Whichever way the Hebrew word `olam is translated, the prophecy states that Israel’s future ruler had existed before he was born in Bethlehem. This fits well with the concept of a divine person, who existed before coming to this world as a human. But the text indicates more than preexistence. The one “going (or coming) forth” out of Bethlehem had been “going forth” many times in the past (a play on words in the Hebrew). It was customary for this divine being to interact with his creations, to “go forth” to meet them. He had “gone forth” to visit Abraham and Jacob and the children of Israel. Perhaps He had even gone forth to interact with other creations. Israel’s future ruler must be God Himself!

Isaiah describes a child named “Immanuel” (God is with us) whose birth would be a sign that Judah would be delivered from the kings of Israel and Syria (Isa. 7:1, 14, 16). This child was undoubtedly Isaiah’s own son who presaged the deliverance of Judah from her enemies, “for God is with us” (8:3, 7-8). After describing how his children are signs to an apostate nation lying in darkness (8:18, 22), Isaiah tells of great light coming to the northern region of Zebulun and Naphtali through the birth of a marvelous Child. Isaiah’s child bringing hope of deliverance from the Syro/Israeli attackers, becomes the type of a greater Child who will break the yoke of the oppressor (Isa. 9:1-8). This Child has both divine and human dimensions:

For unto us a child is born,
          to us a son is given (v. 6).

Does this refer to Yahweh’s adoption of a king on the day of his anointing, as in Ps. 2:6-7:

I have installed my King
          on Zion, my holy hill.
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD;
          He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”?[11]

In context Isaiah 9 is not referring to the investiture of a king because it parallels the birth of Isaiah’s child (7:14), as noted above. This passage is describing the actual birth of a child. Therefore he must be human. But, as Isaiah’s child was an indication that “God is with us” (7:14; 8:10), this child would actually be “God with us.” Note the divine dimensions of the descriptions that follow:

1. “The government shall be upon his shoulders” (Isa. 9:6-7; Hebrew, vv. 5-6).
God is the ultimate ruler (Isa.33:22).

2. “His name will be called Wonderful.”
This name is applied to God in Judges 13:18: “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is Wonderful?” (The “angel of the Lord” was God [v. 22]).

3. “Counselor”
“All this also comes from the LORD Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom” (Isa. 28:29).

4. “Mighty God” (El Gibbor)
“A remnant ... will return to the Mighty God” (Isa. 10:21).

5. “Everlasting Father” (abi `ad)
This is clearly a divine appellation as Isaiah himself indicates: “Thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting” (Isa. 63:16).

The following descriptions are Messianic:

1. Prince of peace (sar shalom)
A prototype of the “prince of peace” was “Melchizedek king of Salem, priest of the Most High God” (Gen. 14:18). His name and title mean “King of righteousness, King of Peace,” applied to the future Davidic king in Ps. 110:1, 4, above.

2. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end (9:7, Hebrew v. 6).
Compare Ps. 72:7 spoken of a king who reigns “as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.” “In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth” (AV). He ushers in the Messianic age of peace. From Micah and Isaiah, who were contemporaries, we find that the coming Messiah (Ruler, Davidic Prince) would be born as a child though he had preexisted before his birth, and would continue to rule forever. His name is Wonderful, He is the Mighty God, He is the everlasting Father. Most astonishing, He has all the names of the New Testament Trinity: Son -- “a son is born” -- (John 5:19-20), Father (Matthew 6:9), and Counselor, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). The fullness of the deity dwells in Him (Colossians 2:9).

Rabbi Singer proposes several reasons why Isaiah 9:6-7 could not apply to Jesus. The first is that the verbs (“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given”) are perfect tense, indicating an event that had already taken place. (Jesus wasn’t born until seven centuries later.) The second is that Jewish names often contain the divine name (yah or iah for Yahweh, and el for God) in them. Examples: Elijah -- Yahweh is my God; Tovia -- Yahweh is good; Daniel -- God is my judge, etc.). He proposes that the expression “mighty God” applies to King Hezekiah, who had just been born when Isaiah wrote and whose name means Yahweh (is) my strength. Hezekiah was a powerful king whom God used to bring revival to Judah and whom God delivered by slaying 185,000 Assyrians in one night (2 Chron. 30; 2 Kings 19:35). However, the passage could not apply to Hezekiah. He did not bring in the age of peace Isaiah describes -- there was constant war with Assyria during his reign. His government did not last forever. He himself lived only 54 years (2 Kings 18:2) and his dynasty came to an end at the Babylonian conquest a hundred years later (2 Chron.36:11ff). As to the perfect tense, it is used to show completed action, whether past or present, or pictured as completed in the future (called the “prophetic perfect”). “The prophet so transports himself in imagination into the future that he describes the future event as if it had been already seen or heard by him.”[12] This passage must be understood as Messianic.

Isaiah gives further details concerning the Messiah in Isa. 11:1-9.

1. He is not only the shoot of Jesse (v. 1), but the root or source of Jesse (v. 10). He is not only the descendant of Jesse but the ancestor. Here again, the Messiah pre-existed before He became human.

2. The Spirit of the LORD rests upon him (the spirit of counsel and power as in 9:6 above) -- a description of the Messianic anointing with the Spirit.

3. He judges with righteousness and justice. Righteousness is his belt, faithfulness the sash around his waist (Isa. 11:5). A similar description of God says: “He put on righteousness as his breastplate and the helmet of salvation on his head” (59:17).

4. He strikes the earth with the rod of his mouth and with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked -- clearly divine powers (cf. Job 4:9; Mal. 4:6; cf. Ps. 2:9).

5. He brings in the Messianic age of peace. The description of the ruler is followed by that of his realm (vv. 6-9) -- Paradise restored, with animals and humans dwelling together in peace (cf. Ps. 72:7; Isa. 9:6).

Other passages in Isaiah can legitimately be applied to the Messiah -- descriptions of an individual who is anointed with the Spirit and who reigns with righteous judgment for the oppressed, as described in the Psalms. The following passage is clearly about the Messiah -- He is anointed with the Spirit and reigns with righteous judgment.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
          because the LORD has anointed me
          to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
          to proclaim freedom for the captives
          and release for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
          and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
          and provide for those who grieve in Zion --
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes
          the oil of gladness instead of mourning
          and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isa. 61:1-3, NIV).

Verse 1 connects the presence of the Spirit with the anointing by God -- hence it is Messianic.

Isa. 42:1-4 connects the concept of the Spirit-filled leader who brings justice to the earth, as in the royal Psalms, with the “servant of the Lord” leading to the belief that the Messiah is the same individual as the servant of Deutero-Isaiah.

Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
          my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him
          and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
          or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
          and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
          he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
          In his law the islands will put their hope
.

The mission to bring justice to the earth is the mission of both the Davidic Messiah and the righteous servant.

Zechariah has much to say about the coming Messianic king.

Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD, ... and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee (Zech 2:10-11).

In this interesting passage, as in the Psalms, there are two Beings called the LORD, one of whom sends the other to come and dwell with His people.

Notice in the following passage how Zechariah describes the coming ruler in terms derived from the Messianic Psalms: He is righteous (Ps. 72:2), humble (45:4), victorious over his enemies (2:9), bringing peace (72:7), with a dominion extending to the ends of the earth (vv. 8, 11).

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
          Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
          triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on an ass,
          on a colt, the foal of an ass ....
          and he shall command peace to the nations;
his dominion shall be from sea to sea
          and from the River to the ends of the earth (Zech. 9:9-10, RSV).

Messiah is pictured as a humble king of peace, riding not on a horse, the mount of war, but on an ass, signifying peace.

Daniel contributed to the Messianic hope of the Jewish people.[13] Before introducing the Messiah or Anointed One in chapter 9, he depicts a figure like “a son of God” (or “the gods”) who goes into the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (3:25). He also describes a “son of man” who will exercise everlasting dominion, as described in the Psalms.

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed (Dan. 7:13-14).

Here we have two divinities as seen in the Psalms, one called the Ancient of Days and the other the son of man. This “son of man” is also described as “the prince of the host” (reminiscent of the “commander of the host” in Joshua 5:14) and “the Prince of princes” (Dan. 8:11, 25). In chapter 10 “a man dressed in linen” with a face like lightning, eyes like flaming torches, and a voice like the sound of a multitude appears to Daniel -- a divine being.

It is in chapter 9 that the anointed one or Messiah clearly appears. To understand who this anointed one is, it is necessary to look at the whole chapter. Daniel is confessing the sins of his people which led to the destruction of their nation and their captivity in Babylon. He is pleading with God to forgive their sins. In response the angel Gabriel appears to him, telling him that a period of 70 weeks (490 years) is allotted to his people “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness,” and “bring in everlasting righteousness” (v. 24). Obviously God is the only one who can deal with sin and bring in everlasting righteousness. The next verse (25) tells the time when the anointed one (messiah), the prince, will come. Verse 26 says that the anointed one will be cut off. The historical-critical interpretation of the text is that there are two anointed ones: King Cyrus of Persia and the high priest Onias III who died in the time of the Maccabean revolt. However, from the context is it clear that “the anointed one” here is the one who answers Daniel’s prayer that the nation be forgiven -- by atoning for sin (v. 24) through dying or being “cut off” (v. 25), and by bringing in His own everlasting righteousness (v. 24). Therefore this Messiah must be a divine being. Here Messiah is given the role of atoning for sin and bringing in everlasting righteousness.

The New Testament Use of the Hebrew Scriptures

The New Testament draws heavily on the above texts as evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus claimed He was the subject of all three parts of the Hebrew Scriptures.

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself (Luke 24:27).

This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms (v. 44).

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me (John 5:39).

Psalm 2:7 (“Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee”) is quoted in the NT in connection with the enthronement of Jesus when He sat down at the right hand of God after His resurrection and ascension (Acts 13:33; Heb.1:1-5). The opposition of Pilate and Herod and the Jewish leaders to Jesus and the apostles was seen as a fulfillment of verses 1 & 2 of this Psalm: “The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One” (Ps. 2:7). To show Jesus is God, Heb. 1:8 quotes “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever” from Ps. 45:6 along with the description of His righteous reign (v. 7).

The angel Gabriel recited to Mary the Messianic promise of a son who would sit on the throne of his father David and reign for ever (2 Sam. 7:16; Luke 1:32-33).

Jesus used Ps. 110:1 (“The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand”) as a riddle for His accusers to solve. If Messiah was the son or descendant of David, how did David a thousand years earlier know him as his Lord?

Using the same text, the Apostle Peter found meaning in the words, “Sit at my right hand.” He reasoned that since David had never ascended to heaven to sit at God's right hand, the Psalm must apply to the divine Son of God (Acts 2:34-35). Jesus claimed that His true position was at the right hand of God (Matt. 26:64).

In building the doctrine of the high priestly ministry of Jesus, the author of Hebrews makes heavy use of Ps.110:4: “Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec” (Heb. 5:6, 10; chap. 7). Explaining how Jesus became our high priest when He sat down at God’s right hand, he asserts that only Jesus was Priest and King forever, as the Psalm predicts.

It appears that Jesus Christ was the only one who fulfilled the “extravagant statements” about the Davidic king in the Old Testament. They must have been addressed to Him in the first place, using the anointed king David as a type of the greater Messiah to come.

What, then, is the Hebrew Scriptures’ view of Messiah? It is clear that God was Israel’s rightful King. From the time David was anointed king, Scripture looks through him and beyond him to a greater Person, a divine King who would rule with justice forever. The Psalms call Him God (Ps. 45:6-7). The prophets describe Him as existing before becoming human (Mic. 5:2), as being born into the world of humanity having all the titles and powers of God (Isa. 9:6). This is consistent with earlier revelations of God as two divine Beings. Only Jesus Christ, the One who was with God at the creation of the world (John 1:1-3; Gen. 1:26), and was born of a virgin in Bethlehem (Matt. 1:21; 2:1) and who is seated at God’s right hand in heaven (Heb. 1:3) meets all the specifications of Scripture.





1 Shabbat Shalom, “Interview: Rabbi Harvey H. Spivak,” April/1997: 5.

2 With reference to kings, see 1 Sam. 2:10; 10:1; for priests, Lev. 8:12; Num. 3:3.

3 See 1 Samuel 10:1, 6; 16:13; compare Isaiah 61:1.

4 Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible [IDB], Sup. Vol., s.v. “Messiah, Jewish” by E. Rivkin.

5 E. Jenni lists the royal Psalms as 2, 18, 20, 21, 45, 72, 101, 110, 132. IDB, Vol. 3, s.v. “Messiah, Jewish.”

6 Ibid.

7 It was God’s original intention that He Himself be Israel’s God/King. When the people demanded a human king, He countered that He was their King (1 Sam. 8:7: see also 12:12; Jud. 8:23). Israel’s ultimate king was God Himself: “for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously” (Isa. 24:23).

8 The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, completed by Hebrew scholars in the second century BCE.

9 Derek Kidner, Psalms 1-72: an Introduction & Commentary (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1973), p.172. Mitchell Dahood has proposed an innovative solution: by revocalizing the word “throne” he turns it into a verb, “God has enthroned you forever,” to parallel v. 2 “God has blessed you forever,” and v. 7, “God has anointed you.” The word “throne” is never used as a verb in Scripture, but he cites “the Ugaritic-Hebrew proclivity for coining such verbs” and the difficulty of the clear meaning as justification for amending the Hebrew text (The Anchor Bible, PSALMS I; 1-50 [New York: Doubleday, 1965], p. 273).

10 “Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord (adon) God” (Ex. 23:17; 34:23); “the ark of the covenant of the Lord” (adon), (Joshua 3:11); “the Lord (adon) of all the earth” (v. 13).

11 “The birth or begetting in vv. 6--H 5 is, according to Ps. 2:7, to be regarded as the adoption of the king by Yahweh as he began his reign.” Jenni, IDB 3, p. 362.

12 Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, Oxford University Press, 13th impression, 1976, pp. 309, 312-313. Other examples of the prophetic perfect are cited as Isa. 9:1ff, 10:28, 11:9, etc. (references from the Hebrew Bible). The succeeding verbs in the passage are future -- “the government will be...”; “his name will be called,” etc., indicating the future intent of the passage.

13 “Daniel is important for the development of the messianic idea since its author used such enigmatic expressions as ‘Son of man,’ ... spoke of an ‘anointed prince’ (mashiah nagid), conjured up the puzzling image of the ‘ancient of days,’ and held out a hope for resurrection” (Rivkin, op. cit, p. 590).

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