Psalm 110

Psalm 110 is an oracle, a revelation from God through the psalmist to the earthly ruler. The sentences are often uncertain in meaning: as if words are missing, combined with wordplays. It is the most cited Psalm in the New Testament, interpreted by Christians as describing their “Lord” seated next to God. For the rabbis the subject is a “lord,” referring to  three other possibilities: Abraham, David, or the future Messiah. There is another image in this short Psalm that prompts divergent interpretation, namely what is the meaning of the phrase, “You are a kohen forever, upon my word of Malki-Zedek” (verse 4; also see Genesis 14: 18-20)? We will consider the consequential religious debates between Jews and Christians as to Psalm 110’s significance. And as with each Psalm that we study, we will ask: How are these words personally relevant

Our study is dedicated to my teacher and friend Rabbi Jack Riemer as he completes thirty days of mourning for his brother, Morris Riemer.