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Part of Psalm 110 reads as follows (Webster translation):

110:5 The Lord at thy right hand will strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
110:6 He will judge among the heathen, he will fill the places with the dead bodies; he will wound the heads over many countries.

What is the purpose of this violence by the Lord who is "at the right hand" (and cf. Ps 110:1)?

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    Josh - I've made a "tidying up" edit. If my formulation of your question in the body of the post is not to your liking, then please edit it. Thanks. – Dɑvïd Jun 2 '18 at 12:02
  • In the day of his wrath - expressed in the New Testament as the Day of Judgment - the whole of humanity will be raised from the dead and will be judged according to their deeds. And the leaders and the politicians and the kings shall not be exempt. – Nigel J Jun 2 '18 at 12:51
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The "day of wrath" is a phrase used in the Bible many times.

God is extremely merciful. In Matthew 5:44-45 we see Jesus say

"But I tell you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 Then you will become children of your Father in heaven. For He makes His sun shine on good and bad people alike, and he sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous alike" (my emphasis).

This is an important attribute of God. One which Jesus teaches us to imitate.

However just because God sends His rain and sun to the wicked doesn't mean He ignores their evil actions. Isaiah 57:6 reads

Your place (you wicked men) is among the smooth stones in the vadi; these, these are what you deserve; you pour out drink offerings to them, you offer grain offerings to them. Should I calmly ignore these things?

God is merciful and patient to the wicked, giving them time to repent. However the Bible shows us that the Proverb Jesus referenced when He tells us to do good to our enemies is for the purpose that doing good to them is meant to cause them Shame.

If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee (Proverbs 25:21).

"If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads" (Romans 12:20).

In other words, God isn't showing these acts of kindness for people to trample over Him and get away with their evil acts forever. The Prophet Elijah, one of the greatest prophets in the bible, was given power by God to stop the rain from falling for 3.5 years.

In the time of Noah God used the rain to kill the entire world except Noah and his family.

This shows there is an end to Gods patience, and when that end comes a horrible day of wrath begins.

The book of Psalms actually compares this to a drunken man awaking in blinding anger with no hopes to control it:

65 Then the Lord awoke, as if from sleep, like a warrior shouting because of wine. 66 He struck his foes, driving them back and putting them to perpetual shame (Psalm 78).

So to answer your question, when God has finally had enough with the evil ways of men on the Earth His great judgment will begin.

It is often that God begins by striking people's leaders, as with Pharaoh in Egypt. Before God judged all of Egypt He made an appearance to Pharaoh through Moses.

When people's leaders fall they often have no one to turn to but God, as was with many of the Egyptians who came to believe in God and in Moses. Some of the Egyptians even left with the children of Israel from Egypt (see here).

I hope that answers your question. If there's anything else you want to add or ask please leave a comment below.

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  • The response of "mf" at he following citation gives us an unusual--yet likely closer to the truth--interpretation of the "flaming coals of fire on their head": ebible.com/questions/…. In other words, giving an obstreperous neighbor a heaping helping of hot coals was a way to do him a "solid" (a loving favor), so that if his fire at home had gone out, he would be able to restart it with those flaming coals. Something to think about. Don – rhetorician Jun 3 '18 at 19:32
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The answer to your questions concerning Psalm 110:5-6 depends upon the system of hermeneutics one uses to build their interpretations of the Bible.

My system of hermeneutics is probably a minority view on this forum but nevertheless I do accept it as the only valid one. My approach to the Scriptures is that of traditional dispensationalism, which attempts to consistently apply a literal, historical, grammatical interpretation.

In a dispensational view of Psalm 110:5-6 these verses will be literally fulfilled at the end of the seven year tribulation. The tribulation (Daniel 9, Matthew 24-25, and Rev. 6-19, along with other portions of the prophets), corresponds to the seventieth week of Daniel. It also goes by various other Old Testament terms or phrases: (1) the time of trouble, (2) the time of Jacob's trouble, (3) the day of the Lord. The last one takes some care as the day of the Lord is described in Scripture as both a time of tribulation and a time of blessing. It begins with a time of judgment and tribulation and ends at the end of the literal 1000 year kingdom known as the millennium.

As to Psalm 110:5-6 specifically, it corresponds with Revelation 19:11-21. In these verses, Jesus, who is called King of Kings and Lord of Lords, will come to the earth and he will pour out His wrath in the great winepress wrath of God (Rev. 19:14-17). The phrase in

Rev. 19:15 is "he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (KJV).

Who it is that will be destroyed in this way is described in

Rev. 19:19 "I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse and against his army.

following this event is the sheep and goat judgment of Matthew 25 that is distinct from the great white throne judgment of Rev. 20. It is the combination of His wrath and His judgments that Psalm 110:5-6 are describing as events that are part of the process of putting all under His footstool. It is after the defeat of His enemies that the Son (Jesus) will sit upon His own throne as fulfillment of the Davidic covenant where the Son of David will sit upon His throne.

Covenant theologians and theologians who apply a different hermeneutic to the Scriptures come to very different conclusions concerning these verses and the others that were mentioned here as also describing Psalm 11:5-6. For example in covenant theology, that results in amillennialism, they would spiritualize both Psalm 110:5-6 as well as most of Revelation.

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