If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?”

Is Jesus saying that Mesiah is not David's son? What?


First, most English translations translate Psalms 110:1 as,

1 [[A Psalm of David.]] The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. KJV, ©1769

Notice how one word is all capitalized (i.e., LORD), while the other only has the initial letter L capitalized (i.e., Lord). However, when we look at the Hebrew, the two words are quite different:

Psalms 110:1 English and Hebrew Text

The Hebrew word in red is the Tetragrammaton Yahveh, the name of God. Obviously, this is only used in reference to God Himself. The Hebrew word in purple is אָדוֹן (adon), with a 1st person, singular number, pronominal suffix attached (“my”). Altogether, this word means “my lord.” It is typically used in reference to men.

The Hebrew word אָדוֹן, like the Greek word κύριος, means “master,” as in the master of a slave,1 or owner, as in the owner of a house.2 It can also be used as a honorary term, like the English word “sir.”3 Hence, it is a term with which a wife calls her husband4 or a son calls his father, just like many English-speakers call their fathers “sir” out of respect.

The son of David, the Messiah, would be expected to call his father, David, “my lord” (אֲדֹנִי), since David is his elder (father). Instead, it is David who calls his son, the Messiah, “my lord.” The reason that the Pharisees were stumped by the question is because they denied that the son of David, the Messiah, was God. If the Messiah is God, even if he were also human, he would be afforded the honor due to God. Accordingly, David would indeed call his son “my lord.”


1 cf. Eph. 6:5
2 cf. Luke 14:21
3 cf. John 20:15
4 Gen. 18:12 cf. 1 Pet. 3:6

  • 1
    Agreed. Not only this, but there is another reason as well - even YHWH addresses the Messiah as "Lord" (Adonai).
    – user25930
    Dec 30 '18 at 20:58
  • @Mac'sMusings-I know David does in Psa. 110:5, but I didn't want to stray off topic. Dec 30 '18 at 21:12
  • @Mac'sMusings Can you supply the text to which you are referring, please ?
    – Nigel J
    Dec 30 '18 at 23:29
  • Psa 110:1, 5. see also Heb 1:6, 8.
    – user25930
    Jan 1 '19 at 0:27

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