ESV Mark 12:36 David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

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    I would have thought that a throne is primarily a position of power, given by Divine authority . . "Rule thou, in the midst of thine enemies." But the question has prompted my thoughts, so (+1).
    – Nigel J
    Sep 29, 2018 at 23:19
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    The head controls the (right) hand.
    – Lucian
    Oct 1, 2018 at 14:17
  • It seems we can rule out any kind of equality in majesty or we run into trouble here: [Rev 3:21 KJV] (21) To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
    – Ruminator
    Apr 13, 2019 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


I do not think it's a place of equality, since the reference is drawn from Psalm 110:1,

1.) The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” (ESV)

Here in the Psalm, the LORD, (or יְהוָ֨ה / YHVH) is doing something for the Psalmist's Lord (or לַֽאדֹנִ֗י / l'adoni), that the Psalmist's Lord cannot do, or at least, is not allowed to do, for himself, that is, he is to sit down and apparently do nothing until YHVH turns his enemies into his footstool.

Another passage to consider is 1 Corinthians 15:24-28. It reads quite clearly that even though Jesus currently reigns, it is only for an appointed amount of time, after which, he will yield his rule to God the Father, and be fully subject to Him, that God may be all in all. But note verse 27 which reads "...it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him (ESV).

God the Father is the exception in the above and is therefore not subject to His Son, but rather contra-wise, that is, the Son is ever subject to the Father, thus indicating a lack of equality, even while being exalted to God's right hand.

The right hand then looks to be more a place of dependency, for the reasons just given above, but for other reasons as well:

The right hand of God is a place of glory (e.g. Acts 7:55)

When Stephen sees the glory of God, and then Jesus standing at the right hand of God, the statement seems to be cast into a certain synonymous poetic parallelism, in which the statement of the second cola is synonymous with the statement of the first, that is, that Jesus at the right hand of God is synonymous with the glory of God. This seems to gel nicely with Pauline Christology, in which he writes "He is the radiance of the glory of God..." (Hebrews 1:3 ESV).

Now, the right hand of God was not automatically due Christ Jesus; it needed to be earned by his faithful obedience:

Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus was exalted to the right hand of God by obeying the will of God all the way to the cross, and was thus vindicated and so, glorified. Equality of God was not something to be grasped at; that is, Jesus didn't desire to be equal to God, but preferred to be a mere human slave to God, even with the right hand of God being promised to him prophetically by the psalmist, predicated upon his obedience.

And in order to do so, to obey the will of God to the appointed death he suffered, he needed to rely upon the Holy Spirit of God (the "eternal Spirit") to do so:

  1. ...how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

This again speaks of dependence, that is, Jesus on his own, could not make his way successfully to the cross without the help of his Father and his Father's Spirit.

Finally, regarding the right hand of God being a place of exaltation, the following few verses suffice:

Psalm 118:16 (NASB)

  1. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.

Acts 2:33 (ESV)

  1. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.

Acts 5:31 (ESV)

  1. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

The psalmist's Lord from Psalm 110:1, which various authors of the New Testament interpret to be Jesus of Nazareth, did not presume to exalt himself, but rather, was exalted by God his Father as a way of honoring him for his obedient sacrifice on the cross. This, too, requires a dependence upon the psalmist's Lord upon the activity and grace of the exalter, that is YHVH, or God, the Father.

  • Can you please add your comment above to your answer and delete the comment? And also apply some formatting? Thanks. Very good answer. +1 and accepted as the answer.
    – Ruminator
    Sep 29, 2018 at 23:36

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