I proceed from where I left off: DAVID’S MULTI-PERSONAL LORD PT. 1.
THE PRE-CREATIONAL BEGETTING OF DAVID’S LORD
Another interesting point about Psalm 110 is the fact that mention is made of the begetting of David’s Lord, a begetting which occurred before creation:
“The Lord said to my lord (Eipen ho Kyrios to Kyrio mou), ‘Sit on my right until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’ A rod of your power the Lord will send out from Sion. And exercise dominion in the midst of your enemies! With you is rule on a day of your power among the splendors of the holy ones. From the womb, before Morning-star, I brought you forth (egennesa se).” Psalm 109[Heb. 110]:1-3 (A New English Translation of the Septuagint, p. 603)
“The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand: Until I make thy enemies thy footstool. The Lord will send forth the sceptre of thy power out of Sion: rule thou in the midst of thy enemies. With thee is the principality in the day of thy strength: in the brightness of the saints: from the womb before the day star I begot thee.” Psalm 109:1-3 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
“LORD JEHOVAH said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies as a stool for your feet.’ LORD JEHOVAH will send the scepter of power to you from Zion and he will rule over your enemies. Your people are glorious in the day of power; in the glories of holiness from the womb, from the first, I have begotten you, Son. Your people are glorious in the day of power; in the glories of holiness from the womb, from the first, I have begotten you, Son.” Psalm 110:1-3 Peshitta Holy Bible Translation (PHBT https://biblehub.com/hpbt/psalms/110.htm)
“THE LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD will send forth the sceptre of his power out of Zion, and he will rule over thine enemies. Thy people shall he glorious in the day of thy power; arrayed in the beauty of holiness from the womb, I have begotten thee as a child from the ages.” George Lamsa Bible (LAMSA https://biblehub.com/lamsa/psalms/110.htm)
That God begat the King from before the day or morning star means that David’s Lord was already begotten before the constellations were created, and hence before creation.
What this shows is that David’s Lord was already existing when creation came into being, and was therefore already dwelling with God when David first wrote this Psalm under inspiration of the Holy Spirit!
We, therefore, have an OT text affirming that the Messianic King and Davidic Heir is God’s unique Son who had been begotten from before the creation of the ages!
And in case any one doubts the genuineness of this reading, the Greek and Latin translations of v. 3 have additional support from both the Syriac versions and many Hebrew Masoretic manuscripts (MSS).
This explains why the following Biblical scholars argue that yelidtika should be the preferred rendering of the Hebrew consonants, and state that this reading is accepted by many commentators:
For our present purposes, the main focus of interest in Psalm 110 is the notoriously corrupt verse 3b:
bahadre qodesh merechem mishchar laka tal yaldutheka
The corresponding Greek (Ps 109:3) reads:
en tais lamprostesin ton hagion
ek gastros pro heosphorou exegennesa se.
The MT points the last word as yaldutheka, “your youth.” The NRSV translates accordingly:
From the womb of the morning,
like dew, your youth will come to you.
MANY Masoretic manuscripts, however, read yelidtika, the reading presupposed by the Greek, and also supported by the Syriac. In view of the consonantal spelling in the MT, and the parallel in Psalm 2, this reading should be preferred and is accepted by many commentators.84
By re-pointing the Masoretic text, but making no changes to the consonants we read:
In sacred splendor, from the womb, from dawn,
you have the dew wherewith I have begotten you.85 (Adela Yarbro Collins & John J. Collins, King and Messiah as Son of God: Divine, Human, and Angelic Messianic Figures in Biblical and Related Literature [William. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., First Edition, First Printing, 2008], 1. The King as Son of God, pp. 16-17; bold and capital emphasis mine)
As noted by the aforementioned scholars, this term yelidtika which is the reading of many of the Masoretic MSS of Psalm 110:3, and which underlie the Greek, Latin, Aramaic/Syriac versions, is found in Psalm 2, a Psalm that is also considered Messianic:
“Why do the nations rage And the peoples meditate on a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against Yahweh and against His Anointed (Meshicho), saying, ‘Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!’ He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord (Adonay) mocks them. Then He speaks to them in His anger And terrifies them in His fury, saying, ‘But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain. I will surely tell of the decree of Yahweh: He said to Me, “You are My Son (beni), Today (hayyom) I have begotten You (yelidtika) Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron,You shall shatter them like a potter’s vessel.”’ So now, O kings, show insight; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Serve Yahweh with fear And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son (nashequ bar), lest He become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” Psalm 2:1-12
Here’s the key text in question:
“I will surely tell of the decree of Yahweh: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’” Psalm 2:7
Now compare this with the emendation of Psalm 110:3 proposed by Collins on the basis of the reading found in many of the Masoretic MSS:
“Your people will offer themselves willingly on the day you lead your forces on the holy mountains. In sacred splendor, from the womb, from dawn, you have the dew wherewith I have begotten you.”
And here, again, are the English translations of the ancient Greek, Latin, and Aramaic/Syriac versions:
With you is rule on a day of your power among the splendors of the holy ones. From the womb, before Morning-star, I brought you forth.” Psalm 109:3 LXX
“With thee is the principality in the day of thy strength: in the brightness of the saints: from the womb before the day star I begot thee.” DRA
“Your people are glorious in the day of power; in the glories of holiness from the womb, from the first, I have begotten you, Son.” PHBT
“Thy people shall he glorious in the day of thy power; arrayed in the beauty of holiness from the womb, I have begotten thee as a child from the ages.” LAMSA
In another post, I will address the NT application of Psalm 2 and the early Church’s understanding of the day on which the Davidic King was begotten by God.
PSALM 45 AND THE BEGETTING OF THE DIVINE KING
The following Psalm is truly remarkable:
“My heart is overflowing with a good word (rachash libbi dabar tob); I speak of the things which I have done concerning the king; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer… Thy throne, O God (Elohim), is eternal and for ever, the rod of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows… so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty; and bow before him, for he is thy Lord (Adonayik)… I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations; therefore shall the people praise thee eternally and for ever.” Psalm 45:1, 6-7, 11, 17 Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB)
What makes this Psalm so astonishing is because this eternal King is not only called God (Elohim), he is also called Lord (Adonay) whom the nations shall worship and praise forever!
In fact, the exact same Hebrew word for “your Lord” is only used one another time for YHVH himself!
“Thus says your Lord (Adonayik), Yahweh, even your God (Elohayik) Who contends for His people, ‘Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling, The chalice of My wrath; You will never drink it again.’” Isaiah 51:22
Moreover, in light of this Psalm’s application to Christ within the NT (see the next section), it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the early church fathers and theologians saw an allusion to the Son’s eternal begetting in the opening verses:
“My heart has uttered a good word (exereuxato he kardia mou logon agathon): I declare my works to the king: my tongue is the pen of a quick writer.” Psalm 44:2 LXX
Here’s the lexical meaning of the Greek phrase exereuxato, which comes from the words ek and ereugomai:
ek or ex: from, from out of
Original Word: ἐκ, ἐξ
Part of Speech: Preposition
Transliteration: ek or ex
Phonetic Spelling: (ek)
Definition: from, from out of
Usage: from out, out from among, from, suggesting from the interior outwards.
1537 ek (a preposition, written eks before a vowel) – properly, “out from and to” (the outcome); out from within. 1537 /ek (“out of”) is one of the most under-translated (and therefore mis-translated) Greek propositions – often being confined to the meaning “by.” 1537 (ek) has a two-layered meaning (“out from and to”) which makes it out-come oriented (out of the depths of the source and extending to its impact on the object).
NAS Exhaustive Concordance
a prim. preposition denoting origin
from, from out of
after (1), against (1), among (18), based (5), basis (2), because (10), belonged* (1), belonging* (1), depends (1), depends* (1), derived (1), grudgingly* (1), heavenly* (1), inspired (1), means (1), over (1), reason (1), result (4), say* (1), since (1), some (3), through (1), under (1), utterly* (1), way (1), without* (1).
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
STRONGS NT 1537: ἐκ
ἐκ, before a vowel ἐξ, a preposition governing the genitive. Also, it denotes exit or emission out of, as separation from, something with which there has been close connection; opposed to the prepositions εἰς into and ἐν in: from out of, out from, forth from, from, (Latine, ex) (cf. Winers Grammar, 364, 366f (343f); Buttmann, 326f (281)). (Strong’s Greek: 1537. ἐκ (ek or ex))
ereugomai: to spit, by ext. to speak aloud
Original Word: ἐρεύγομαι
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (er-yoog’-om-ahee)
Definition: to spit, to speak aloud
Usage: (lit: I belch forth, hence) I utter, declare.
NAS Exhaustive Concordance
a prim. verb
to spit, by ext. to speak aloud
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
STRONGS NT 2044: ἐρεύγομαι
ἐρεύγομαι: future ἐρεύξομαι;
1. to spit or spue out (Homer).
2. to be emptied, discharge itself, used of streams (Appendix Mithr c. 103); with the accusative to empty, discharge, cast forth, of rivers and waters: Leviticus 11:10 the Sept.
3. by a usage foreign to classic Greek (Winers Grammar, 23 (22f)), to pour forth words, to speak out, utter: Matthew 13:35 (Psalm 77:2 (); cf. Psalm 18:3 (); (Alex.)). The word is more fully treated of by Lobeck ad Phryn., p. 63; (cf. Rutherford, New Phryn., p. 138).
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
The early Christians took this verse to be the Father’s declaration of how he begot his Son, who is his very Word (Logos) that later became flesh. I.e., the Father “vomited,” “spat out,” “belched forth,” so to speak, his good Word from out of his heart, from his very own bosom.
As the Apostle John would later put it by inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
“In the beginning was the Word (ho Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men… There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens everyone. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him… And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth… No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” John 1:1-4, 9-10, 14, 18
And here’s how St. Augustine explained this specific Psalm:
Mine heart has uttered a good word Psalm 44:1. Who is the speaker? The Father, or the Prophet? For some understand it to be the Person of the Father, which says,
Mine heart has uttered a good word, intimating to us a certain unspeakable generation. Lest you should haply think something to have been taken unto Him, out of which God should beget the Son (just as man takes something to himself out of which he begets children, that is to say, an union of marriage, without which man cannot beget offspring), lest then you should think that God stood in need of any nuptial union, to beget
the Son, he says,
Mine heart has uttered a good word. This very day your heart, O man, begets a counsel, and requires no wife: by the counsel, so born of your heart, you build something or other, and before that building subsists, the design subsists; and that which you are about to produce, exists already in that by which you are going to produce it; and you praise the fabric that as yet is not existing, not yet in the visible form of a building, but on the projecting of a design: nor does any one else praise your design, unless either you show it to him, or he sees what you have done. If then by the Word
all things were made, John 1:3 and the Word is of God, consider the fabric reared by the Word, and learn from that building to admire His counsels! What manner of Word is that by which heaven and earth were made; Hebrews 11:3 and all the splendour of the heavens; all the fertility of the earth; the expanse of the sea; the wide diffusion of air; the brightness of the constellations; the light of sun and moon? These are visible things: rise above these also; think of the Angels,
Principalities, Thrones, Dominions, and Powers. Colossians 1:16 All were made by Him. How then were these good things made? Because there was
uttered forth ‘a good Word,’ by which they were to be made….
5. It proceeds:
I speak of the things which I have made unto the King. Is the Father still speaking? If the Father is still speaking, let us enquire how this also can be understood by us, consistently with the true Catholic Faith,
I speak of the things that I have made unto the King. For if it is the Father speaking of His own works to His Son, our
King, what works is the Father to speak of to the Son, seeing that all the Father’s works were made by the Son’s agency? Or, in the words,
I speak of My works unto the King, does the word,
I speak, itself signify the generation of the Son? I fear whether this can ever be made intelligible to those slow of comprehension: I will nevertheless say it. Let those who can follow me, do so: lest if it were left unsaid, even those who can follow should not be able. We have read where it is said in another Psalm,
God has spoken once. So often has He spoken by the Prophets, so often by the Apostles, and in these days by His Saints, and does He say,
God has spoken once? How can He have spoken but
once, except with reference to His
Word? Hebrews 1:1-2 But as the
Mine heart has uttered a good Word, was understood by us in the other clause of the generation of the Son, it seems that a kind of repetition is made in the following sentence, so that the
Mine heart has uttered a good Word, which had been already said, is repeated in what He is now saying,
I speak. For what does
I speak mean?
I utter a Word. And whence but from His heart, from His very inmost, does God utter the Word? You yourself do not speak anything but what you bring forth from your
heart, this word of yours which sounds once and passes away, is brought forth from no other place: and do you wonder that God
speaks in this manner? But God’s
speaking is eternal. You are speaking something at the present moment, because you were silent before: or, look you, you have not yet brought forth your word; but when you have begun to bring it forth, you as it were
break silence; and bring into being a word, that did not exist before. It was not so God begot the
speaking is without beginning, and without end: and yet the
Word He utters is but
One. Let Him utter another, if what He has spoken shall have passed away. But since He by whom it is uttered abides, and That which is uttered abides; and is uttered but once, and has no end, that very
once too is said without beginning, and there is no second speaking, because that which is said once, does not pass away. The words
Mine heart has uttered a good Word, then, are the same thing with,
I speak of the things which I have made unto the King. Why then,
I speak of the things which I have made? Because in the Word Itself are all the works of God. For whatever God designed to make in the creation already existed in
the Word; and would not exist in the reality, had it not existed in the Word, just as with you the thing would not exist in the building, had it not existed in your design: even as it is said in the Gospel:
That which was made in Him was life. John 1:3-4 That which was made then was in existence; but it had its existence in the Word: and all the works of God existed there, and yet were not as yet
The Word however already was, as this
Word was God, and was with God: and was the Son of God, and One God with the Father.
I speak of the things I have made unto the King. Let him hear Him
speaking, who apprehends
the Word: and let him see together with the Father the Everlasting Word; in whom exist even those things that are yet to come: in whom even those things that are past have not passed away. These
works of God are in
the Word, as in the Word, as in the Only-Begotten, as in the
Word of God…
7. Lo! now then that Word, so uttered, Eternal, the Co-eternal Offspring of the Eternal, will come as
Fairer than the children of men Psalm 44:2.
Than the children of men. I ask, why not than the Angels also? Why did he say,
than the children of men, except because He was Man? Lest you should think
the Man Christ 1 Timothy 2:5 to be any ordinary man, he says,
Fairer than the children of men. Even though Himself
Man, He is
fairer than the children of men; though among the children of men,
fairer than the children of men: though of the children of men,
fairer than the children of men.
Grace is shed abroad on Your lips.
The Law was given by Moses. Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ. John 1:17… (Augustine, Expositions on the Psalms, Psalm 45)
NT EXEGESIS AND APPLICATION
In light of the foregoing, it shouldn’t be surprising that the NT applies Psalm 2 to Jesus Christ:
“So when they were released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, ‘O Master, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, “Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples devise vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.” For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your slaves may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders happen through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.’ And when they had prayed earnestly, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with confidence.” Acts 4:23-31
“And we proclaim to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today I have begotten You.’” Acts 13:32-33
“In this way also Christ did not glorify Himself to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You’; just as He says also in another passage, ‘You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.’” Hebrews 5:5-6
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And she was with child, and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth… And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne… Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.’” Revelation 12:1-2, 5, 10
Nor should it surprise us that Psalms 2:7, 45:6-7 and 110:1 are all cited together in relation to Christ’s post-resurrection ascension and heavenly enthronement:
“For to which of the angels did He ever say, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You’? And again, ‘I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me’? And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, ‘And let all the angels of God worship Him.’… But of the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God (ho Theos), is forever and ever, And the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.’… But to which of the angels has He ever said, ‘Sit at My right hand, Until I put Your enemies As a footstool for Your feet’?” Hebrews 1:5-6, 8-9, 13
The NT authors could see that only Jesus can make sense out of all these Psalms where a human King is given the very names, titles, position, characteristics and worship which the Hebrew Bible attributes to YHVH alone. I.e., Jesus is the God-Man, being the eternally begotten Son of God who is essentially coequal with the Father that humbled himself to become a flesh and blood human being in order to fulfill the promises given to king David and the nation of Israel.
In the next segment I will seek to address how the early church understood Psalm 2:7 in relation to the eternal generation of the Son.