What is the meaning of the footnote (a) in Psalm 110 in the NIV?

Ps 110:1 The LORD says to my lord [(a) or Lord]: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

How does the footnote have significance to Matthew 22 Whose Son is the Christ?

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’? 45 If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” 46 And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

The Hebrew translation is of ladoni, meaning a master of human nature. Therefore if that is the correct translation, it is possible that the Pharisees were correct and Jesus was incorrect.

Now to retranslate Psalm 110: the LORD said to my son (son of David) Which understood as that King David foresaw he would not be King in the future but that his son would be, and therefore at this future time his son who is now the King would be like his master.

The footnote in Matthew is a alternative translation between "my Lord" or "my lord" (capitalized L or not).

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    you should have clarified what the footnote said. I had to guess. Commented May 3 at 23:34
  • "The Hebrew translation is of ladoni". Again the question omits the most important detail, in this case, what is "ladoni" translated into? Commented May 4 at 1:03
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    I did clarify the footnote in my original post. Somebody edited it afterwards
    – user64483
    Commented May 4 at 3:10
  • If I understand correctly; LORD means a divine nature God, lord means a human nature, and therefore Lord is a combination of human and divine nature.
    – user64483
    Commented May 4 at 3:13
  • Not quite. LORD is a word that substitutes for God's name (YHWH). But I think your are correct that the capital L in this particular use of the word is special... KJV does not normally use it for human beings. However, I don't see a footnote in the KJV for this verse. Commented May 4 at 3:46

9 Answers 9


The context is that no Pharisee in this instance doubts that Lord speaks to David’s Lord, and that the same David!’s Lord is Christ, whom the Pharisees expect still to come, because they do not acknowledge that Jesus is Christ.

Thus, all Pharisees whom Jesus addresses in this passage believe that the Lord of David to whom the Lord speaks is Christ who has not yet come, and therefore, they necessarily consider that Christ is “son” of David in the sense of the descendant of David. Now, they also agree with Jesus’ identification of this Christ who is to come with the David’s Lord in Psalm 110.

Therefore, Jesus puts this question interpreting the text in a way that David calls Christ his “Lord” not in any proleptic sense, (as it were that Christ did not yet exist and that after centuries he would be created by God and be a powerful King of Jews, more powerful even than David himself, and that’s why David calls the yet non-existent person his “Lord) but immediately! In fact, to call a non-existent person one’s “lord” is illogical and preposterous. What remains? Remains the only possibility: in David’s own time he acknowledged two Lords, both existing, one of them Christ, who cannot thus be his son, because this Lord is not, at that time, a humanly existing person, for to no human in his own time David, a grand King, could possibly refer to as “my Lord”. Thus, David has two persons as his Lords in his own lifetime and both of those persons are heavenly persons, for none of them lives on earth and none of them is human. Could the second Lord be an angel, a created spirit? Impossible! Because to call an angel “my Lord” is a sacrilege, a violation of the first commandment. Thus, both suprahuman persons are sharing divine dignity snd only that’s why are addressed by David as “Lords” with impunity.

One of those Lords is also Christ, whom Jesus identifies with his own person. Thus, Jesus here claims that He is incarnated Lord of David, who accepted a worship from David, being of divine dignity, as now, after the Incarnation also accepts worship from people around Him.

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    There’s a different meaning to LORD, Lord, and lord. The question asked why is there a footnote about the textual variant of Lord or lord.
    – user64483
    Commented May 3 at 21:17
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    @Roamer They agrees 100% about real existence of two Lords of David in the time of David writing this psalm. Jesus convinces them that one of the Lords is Christ, and Pharisees agree (otherwise their objection would have followed), and since they agree, He says that it is not a good theology to think that Christ is just a descendant/son of David, which is also true, but only partially. Jesus equating Himself with Christ and one of the David’s Lords teaches that He is the Incarnate Lord, both the Lord and descendant (in a lineage of His human nature) of David. Commented May 4 at 11:29
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    The Psalm is a song written for a servant musician to sing for King David to praise King David. It’s not a prophecy about a Messiah, Son of David.
    – user64483
    Commented May 4 at 12:17
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    @Roamer The question is not what you think this psalm is objectively about, but what it meant for Jesus and his colloquitor-Pharisees. Jesus equated Messiah/Christ with the Lord of David of this Psalm and the Pharisees had no objection. This established, He then liberated their minds from crude and only a human understanding of Messiah, elevating their minds to a higher, supra-human and even supra-angelic dimension, telling them that Messiah is in fact David's Lord, whom David worships, and since Jesus Himself equates Himself with Christ, then He is both a descendant/son and the Lord of David. Commented May 4 at 13:48
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    @Roamer Whatever meaning you put in "lord" is one thing, but another thing is what meaning was put by Jesus and the Pharisees whom He addressed in this particular moment described by Matthew. In this particular moment Pharisees agreed with Jesus that the King David had two Lords whom he mentioned in his prayer-verse; the Pharisees also agreed that the second Lord whom the first Lord told to sit right to Him was Christ. The gist of Jesus argument then is that: if Christ is acclaimed by David himself to be his Lord, how the same Lord be just his son/descendant as you believe him to be? Commented May 4 at 23:31

Psalm 110 is King David speaking prophetically, describing a conversation between God the Father (The LORD) and Messiah (my Lord) that he (David) somehow witnessed. David heard God the Father say to Messiah, "Sit at my right hand..." In mentioning this prophecy, Jesus highlights the title that the great King David used to refer to Messiah.

Firstly, David addresses Messiah as "my Lord", therefore David regards Messiah as greater than David, not his junior. This is certainly true, but it doesn't sound like the kind of thing Jesus would need to point out.

Psalm 110 was accepted as a Messianic psalm in NT times, but there are some things that we might miss when we read it:

  • David was a warrior king who defeated Israel's enemies all around

  • With Israel currently oppressed by the Romans, a warrior king would be really handy to drive them out and put Israel in charge again

  • "Son of" or "child of" means more than just physical ancestry. It usually means "in the character of"

  • While "Son of David" was never used in the OT as a Messianic title, it's easy to imagine the desire for deliverance from the Romans to morph into insistence that of course military leader would be part of Messiah's job description, and thus with a bit of wishful thinking, "Son of David" became Messiah's (man-made) title by NT times.

Secondly - and this is the part Jesus highlights - Messiah is not David's son in the 'character of' sense. The genealogies of Jesus explicitly point out that he is physically descended from David. However 'son of' or 'child of' in Jewish culture meant a lot more than genealogy. More like 'in the character of'. We see this in action in John 8:

They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father."

Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father [the devil]." [John 8:39-41]

This sounds like an odd exchange, but it's not at all a question of the physical ancestry of these Jews, but of whose character they are following. What Jesus is addressing here is the term "Son of David" as the recently-invented title for Messiah. It's not from God-given prophecy, but appears to be more wishful thinking by Jews under Roman oppression.

So back to our prophecy, Jesus is insisting that while he is physically descended from David, he doesn't need to follow his warrior-king character.

Now we've established what Messiah’s role isn't, we get to the content of what the LORD said to Messiah which tells us what Messiah’s role is. And the instructions are... "Sit". Which is not very warlike at all on Messiah's part, and contrasts with the instructions to David, which were mostly "Go and fight the Philistines!". But - "Until I make your enemies your footstool". So there are certainly enemies to be overthrown, but the fighting won’t be done by Messiah, it will be done by God the Father.

  • But Jesus in this passage says that the Son of David is not the Messiah,
    – user64483
    Commented May 4 at 15:42
  • Is not the point of the genealogies to show that Jesus is the Son of David, a descendant of David?
    – user64483
    Commented May 4 at 15:44
  • "Son of David" is a common OT moniker for the Messiah, so Jesus couldn't have been arguing against that point. And the genealogies did show that Jesus was a direct descendant of King David, both physically through Mary's line through David's son Nathan and legally through the line of kings down to Joseph, who adopted Jesus (and thereby bypassing the curse on Jeconiah).
    – Jed Schaaf
    Commented May 5 at 0:25
  • @JedSchaaf I too was told that 'Son of David' was a common reference to Messiah in OT. But when I checked, there are no examples - NONE. I'm happy to be proved wrong if I've missed anything, but you'll need to provide an example.
    – Rusty
    Commented May 5 at 7:38
  • Having just searched, I'll admit the phrase "son of David" doesn't appear in the OT (except in reference to his immediate children, like Absalom, Amnon, and Solomon). However, I did find a lot of messianic references to a descendant of David, which readily enough converts to "son of David": e.g. Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:4-6; Jeremiah 33; Ezekiel 34:22-24; Ezekiel 37:23-25; Hosea 3:4-5; Zechariah 12:9-11; Zechariah 13:1.
    – Jed Schaaf
    Commented May 5 at 9:41

Short answer: No, Jesus did not lose the original meaning.

Psalm 110:1 (NIV):

Of David. A psalm. The Lord says to my lord:[a] “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

[a] Or Lord

The only difference in the footnote is the capitalization of "lord" or "Lord" according to one's interpretation of whether the term refers to deity.

The Hebrew word transliterated "adonai" means simply "lord," "master," or "one with authority." Changing its grammatical form to "l'adoni" prefixes a preposition to the singular masculine form with 1st-person common singular possessive to result in "to my lord." "Adonai" is frequently used throughout the Old Testament to refer to both God and other rulers.

In Matthew, the Pharisees state that the Messiah ("Christ" is the Greek translation of the Hebrew term) would be the son (descendant) of David, which is in line with several OT prophecies and references to the Messiah. Jesus then refers to Psalm 110:1 as messianic (i.e. that "my lord" refers to the Messiah), and the Pharisees don't disagree with Him on that point (and thereafter avoided asking Him any more questions), which heavily implies that they also thought it was messianic, but couldn't come up with an answer to Jesus' question to them.

What were their possible options to answer Jesus? If they agreed that the Messiah was a descendant of David and David called Him "my lord," then that would work against their tradition that an ancestor was more important than his descendants. They would have readily agreed that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the important recipients of God's covenant, in which the Jewish people participated as being "within"/"descended from" these patriarchs. (The author of Hebrews also used this argument to show the superiority of the Melchizedek priesthood over the Aaronic priesthood.)

On the other hand, if the Pharisees disagreed on any other point (i.e. if they said that this passage was not messianic, that the Messiah was not the descendant of David, or that the Messiah was not lord over even the great king, David), then they'd contradict and/or have to reinterpret a whole lot of other clearly-established and well-accepted Scripture, in particular this passage in Psalm 110.

  • In context of the passage, it is only Jesus who references the Psalm 110 as being relevant to the Son of David. It was not the Pharisees who quoted the Psalm. Possible that Jesus set up a trick question for them.
    – user64483
    Commented May 5 at 0:33
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    The Pharisees notably did not disagree with anything Jesus said here. Jesus asked a "trick" question only insofar as it forced them to recognize a contradiction within their own beliefs (and modern Jews' belief, too!) - namely that the Messiah would be only a human.
    – Jed Schaaf
    Commented May 5 at 0:40
  • I understand no contradiction because lord is a title for a human master.
    – user64483
    Commented May 7 at 13:30
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    @Roamer The original Hebrew term doesn't make a distinction between human or divine. You must look at the contextual usage to see which is meant. The capitalization (or lack thereof) in English shows only how the translators interpreted it.
    – Jed Schaaf
    Commented May 17 at 23:42

The Hebrew of the verse in question says

לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר נְאֻם יְהֹוָה  לַאדֹנִי שֵׁב לִימִינִי עַד־אָשִׁית אֹיְבֶיךָ הֲדֹם לְרַגְלֶיךָ׃ Psalms 110:1

Of David. A psalm. YH-VH said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand while I make your enemies your footstool.” my translation

Unfortunately most English translations of this verse use the same word for both the tetragrammaton and the word לַאדֹנִי (l'adonee) which unequivocally means "to my master" or "to my lord". Among all of the authors of the Hebrew bible there a few things that they all had in common, one of them being that not a single one ever uses this word in reference to G-d. The Hebrew bible contains many names of G-d, but not in a single instance uses adonee for the Creator of the universe.

You can see an example of this in the KJV translation of Genesis 24:54:

And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master. (ladonee: לַאדֹנִי) [Abraham].” (Genesis 24:54, King James Version)

So who is the adonee of this passage? The answer lays in the first words of the verse. The Psalm begins with the opening Hebrew words מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד (Mizmor l’David).” The word "Mizmor" means "a song" and the phrase means "A Song of David".

So why would David write these songs? Who did King David intend to sing these songs? David founded the city of Jerusalem, the city where the Temple was built. In fact, both the city and the Temple were named after him, the City and Temple of David. While not being allowed by G-d to build the temple, he made preparations for it's construction, and even arranged for the Temple service (II Samuel 7; I Chronicles 14-17, 22-26). This is where the Book of Psalms played its central role. King David was a faithful servant of God who possessed extraordinary skills as a teacher, musician, and poet. In fact, King David authored most of the Book of Psalms. The central purpose of the composition of this sacred work for the Levites to sing them in the Temple. The Levites would stand on a platform and joyfully chant these spiritually exhilarating Psalms to an inspired audience. Accordingly, the Levites would sing:

The Lord [God] said to my master [King David] “Sit thou at my right hand…” (Psalm 110:1)

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    And it’s a song about King David, not a prophecy about a future Messiah or a (seventy thousand word dissertation about how Jesus is fulfilling this prophecy)
    – user64483
    Commented May 3 at 19:34
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    + 1 Avi Abraham I agree that the psalm may indeed refer to David, in which case we should think of it as being sung be a temple singer, not David himself. An even better understanding IMO is that "my Lord" refers to Abraham, because Abraham was a priest in the order of Melchizedek, as the psalm mentions. This understand works whether of not David is the singer. Commented May 3 at 23:27
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    The question now is whether both Jesus and the Pharisees misunderstood the Psalm. I think yes,
    – user64483
    Commented May 4 at 20:26
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    "Adonai" never refers to the Creator? A simple search through any halfway decent concordance shows that's flat wrong. In Deuteronomy 10:17, Moses tells the people, "YHWH your God is God of gods and Lord of lords," using (Hebrew grammatical) forms of "adonai" for "Lord" and "lords." In Judges 6:15, Gideon refers to YHWH using "adonai." Exodus 34:23 uses all three terms "YHWH," "Elohim," and "Adonai" together. Etc.
    – Jed Schaaf
    Commented May 4 at 21:33
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    "Adonee" and "adonai" and "ha-adon" and all the other forms of the word in Hebrew share the same root and differ only in the grammatical construction. English has only a relatively few words, mostly pronouns, that have different forms based on their grammatical use. It's useless to argue that the grammatical construction (or pronunciation) of the word matters to the extent you're claiming.
    – Jed Schaaf
    Commented May 5 at 1:01

Did Jesus lose the original meaning of Psalm 110:1? No, Jesus did not lose the original meaning of Psalm 110:1. Jesus asked "How is it that David under inspiration called the Messiah "lord"? If David calls him "lord" how is he his son? Jesus did not deny he was a son of David for he has been called "son of David" Matthew 1:1, 20:30-31, 21:0. Yes, he was David's son, but he was also David's superior or lord. Jesus' use of Psalm 110:1 affirms that the supremely exalted position of the Messiah, but, the Messiah is not God.

Examining Psalm 110:1 we find,

Bible hub show the two lords is Psalm 110:1 as,

The LORD יְהוָ֨ה ׀ (Yah·weh) Noun - proper - masculine singular Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

said נְאֻ֤ם (nə·’um) Noun - masculine singular construct Strong's 5002: An oracle

to my Lord: לַֽאדֹנִ֗י (la·ḏō·nî) Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular Strong's 113: Sovereign, controller

The 1st LORD in Psalm 110:1 is Jehovah/YHWH. The second lord is translated from the Hebrew word l'adoni. The word adoni is a title which never refers to God. The 2nd lord (l'adoni) in Psalm 110:1 is Jesus Christ. Jesus is (adoni) Lord, not the LORD (YHWH). The form l'adoni is never used elsewhere in the Old Testament to refer to YHWH.

Peter confirms Jesus' exaltation based on the truth of Psalm 110:1 in Acts 2:34-36 when Jesus was positioned at the right hand of God,

for David did not go up to the heavens, and he saith himself: The Lord saith to my lord, Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thy foes thy footstool; assuredly, therefore, let all the house of Israel know, that both Lord and Christ did God make him -- this Jesus whom ye did crucify.'

Unlike the misstatement of some about the Hebrew word for the second lord in Psalm 110:1, Jesus did not muddle the terminologies to distinguished his God from him.

  • Hosea 2:16 In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’
    – user64483
    Commented May 4 at 20:34
  • @Roamer I'm not sure that's relevant...? In Hosea, God is saying that the nation of Israel will be "promoted" (if you will) to be His "wife" instead of His "servant." The position of wife carries a much higher and closer relationship connection.
    – Jed Schaaf
    Commented May 7 at 2:57
  • It is greatly relevant because the NT scriptures swap in Jesus as being the Nation of Israel. The nation of Israel is the firstborn son, Exodus 4:22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, Israel is my firstborn son,
    – user64483
    Commented May 7 at 14:28
  • @Roamer So, the Son of God is to become the Wife of God? That's quite a stretch. Where/how does the NT replace the nation of Israel with Jesus? All the replacement theologies I've seen replace Israel (per Hosea, the "wife of God") with the church (the "bride of Christ"). This interpretation seems to have even less standing than that.
    – Jed Schaaf
    Commented May 17 at 3:02


Jesus didn’t lose the original meaning of Psalms 110:1. (After all, as the Word of God, He inspired it!)


Let us not be like those Jews who didn’t look at the big picture but were parochial and rejected Jesus as the Christ because ’they thought’ Jesus didn’t have any connection to Bethlehem (John 7:41-42). Jesus ’seemed’ to be coming from Galilee.

Little did the poor fellows know that God had fulfilled the prophecy of Micah 5:2 by making Jesus to be born in Bethlehem! They didn’t realize that God hid the truth from the “wise and prudent” of the world but revealed the same “to the babes in faith”.

So, let us look at the big picture.

This is a Psalm of David. So David wrote this Psalm.

“Jehovah said to my Lord/lord”.

Now the big question is, whether David used “Adonai” (my “L”ord; as Abraham called Jehovah in Gen 18:3) or “adoni” (my “l”ord; as Sarah called Abraham in Gen 18:12).

Let us analyze and see the truth:

  1. In their enthusiastic fervor, the Unitarians overlook an important term in here: “the right handof Jehovah!

The right hand of a person in the Scripture is a very important place to be at.

This is all the more important when somebody is asked to “sit” at the right hand. Let us look at an example from the Scripture:

“And Bathsheba came in to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed to her, and sat on his throne, and placed a throne for the king's mother. And she sat at his right hand” 1 King 2:19).

Bathsheba is no ordinary human to Solomon and Israel. She was the mother of the King. No king will allow any ordinary person to sit on a throne at his right hand unless that person is unique and special.

Then how could we ever think that the very God Almighty, Yahweh, will allow an angel (even an arch-angel) or any person to “sit” at His right hand?

No way!


Because, Yahweh’s “right hand is high” (Psalms 89:13) and “exalted” (Psalms 118:16) and no one can “sit” there, unless the Person is special or unique!

If anyone has still doubt, see Whom King David has “set” at his right hand:

“I have set Jehovah always before me; for He is at my right hand: I shall not be shaken” (Psalms 16:8).

So, the Scripture is very clear. A “lord” cannot sit at the right hand of Yahweh.

Summary: It has to be “Lord” (and not lord) who is asked to sit at the right hand of Yahweh Senior. So the Lord is Adonai, a term used for God in the OT.

  1. Then naturally, a question will arise: then why “adoni” instead of Adonai is used in the Hebrew OT?

Answer: Originally the Hebrew OT was written only in consonants. The vowels were orally added when read aloud.

I will illustrate:

In English (if English is written only with consonants) both “Adonai” and “adoni” will be written as “DN” and “DN”! The vowels will be added only when we read the text.

It was in the Middle Ages, when the Masoretes (the Jewish scribes) undertook the task of copying the OT, that the vowels were added into the written Hebrew.

The Maoretes were well familiar with the Christian attempts to establish the “cursed” (to the Jews) Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah! So, it is claimed that they added vowels to make the adoni in Psalms 110:1.

(I remember having seen a list of the minor alterations the Masoretes, when adding vowels, made in the OT some times before, somewhere in an internet site. But I am unable to locate it now)

Since the original Hebrew OT was written and continued to be copied only in consonants even late in the Middle Ages; since it was the Masoretic Jews who added the vowels in the OT and since both “Adonai” and “adoni” were written in the same consonants, it is highly probable that Psalms 110:1 must have used Adonai.

Also, let us see another significant factor: the second Lord/lord is called by David as “my Lord”.

Who was the Lord of the mighty King David?

It was Yahweh only!

“Oh my soul you have said to Jehovah, You are my Lord” (Psalms 16:2).

“You have seen, O Jehovah; do not keep silence, O Lord, do not be far from me. Stir Yourself and awaken to my judgment, to my cause, my God and my Lord (Psalms 35:22-23).

[If somebody remembers Apostle Thomas who called Jesus, “my Lord and my God”, I am not responsible!]

So, David’s Lord is Yahweh! This means “Yahweh said to my Adonai” is the original verse in Psalms 110:1. In other words, “Yahweh said to my Yahweh”!

This is exactly what we see in the Greek Septuagint:

“Kurios said to my Kurios”!

Summary: It has to be “Lord” (and not lord) who is asked to sit at the right hand of Yahweh Senior. So the Lord is Adonai, a term used for God in the OT.

  1. The Greek translation of the OT is known as Septuagint which was translated around 250 years before Christ.

It is significant that the Greek translators used the same Greek word for both Yahweh and Adonai/adoni: “KURIOS”!

“Kurios said to my Kurios”.

Unless they are crazy, no sensible persons would use the same word for the Almighty Yahweh and an ordinary person in the same sentence. They would have differentiated them.

The fact that they did not differentiate the terms confirms the truth that the second Hebrew word was “Adonai” in fact.

Summary: It has to be “Lord” (and not lord) who is asked to sit at the right hand of Yahweh Senior. So the Lord is Adonai, a term used for God in the OT.


Jesus didn’t lose the original meaning. His question is still valid. After all, He is Greater than the wisest Solomon (Mat 12:42).

The word in Psalms 110:1 is Lord with a capital L.


What a beautiful Psalm of David! I read it multiple times in the interlinear Hebrew to get a better sense of its power and flow.


Psalm 110 also includes a reference to Melchizedek which helps define the relationship between David, David's Adonai, and YHWH.

Consider the relationship of Melchizedek, King of Righteousness, King of Peace, with Abram as a parallel.

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. – Genesis 14:18-20 ESV

Abram tithed this mysterious man mentioned only twice in the Tanakh, Genesis 14 and Psalm 110, a person of a previously unknown priesthood of God and the King of Peace.

God delivered Abram from his enemies, Abram tithed Melchizedek, and Melchizedek gave Abram bread and wine, and a blessing. Who was this man that Abram should tithe him? And Abram received what would later become the Passover Afikomen, which is now broken and hidden.

Here’s an abbreviated paraphrase of Psalm 110:

YHWH said to my Adonai, sit down beside me until I make your enemies your footstool.

YHWH will have you rule from Zion in your day—your people will join you in the beauty of holiness.

YHWH swears that you are eternally a priest of the order of Melchizedek.

Adonai at your right hand, kings will be executed in the day of wrath, nations judged, and corpses piled up.

Therefore, Adonai will lift his head from his lowly posture of drinking from a brook.

The elements of Psalm 110 are David as witness, YHWH, Adonai, the Melchizedek priesthood, Adonai's holy people, the day of wrath, the judgment of kings and nations, and Adonai rising in honor from lowliness.

The theme of Psalm 110 is David's Adonai being honored by YHWH, the judgment of the nations, and the three rewards granted by YHWH, namely an eternal priesthood (spiritual), sovereignty over the nations (political), and a holy people (relational).

Based on these three absolutely extraordinary rewards, we can see why Psalm 110 was considered messianic by the Jewish authorities as a fulfilment of 2 Samuel 7:12-16 ESV:

When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”

This prophecy was only partially fulfilled by David's son, Solomon, but extends beyond Solomon to an eternal fulfilment in the person of Messiah. Thus, it seems reasonable that in English, the Hebrew word, ladonai, should be capitalized, Lord, in acknowledgment.


To go against the flow here. Yes Jesus did lose the meaning of this psalm but not for the reason I have seen outlined.

This psalm is attributed לְדָוִ֗ד מִ֫זְמ֥וֹר Of David a psalm

Rather then the typical reverse מִ֫זְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִ֑ד A psalm of David

Meaning this is a psalm about David by a third party, or by David concerning himself in 3rd person.

The NIV and NET translate this correctly. The NET even gives footnotes.

So when we see

The Lord says to my lord:[a] “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

What it's really saying is "YHVH" said to "adon"(my lord)(David). "Sit at my right hand..."

Thats the proper context.

So when Jesus says If David calls him ‘Lord’, how can he be his son?”

The Pharisees couldn't answer because the question made no sense since David doesn't call any one lord. David is being called lord, by the author of the psalm.

Is there a hidden meaning that Jesus was calling out by presenting the verse in this way. Perhaps he was making a statement the pharisees couldn't answer.

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    Commented May 19 at 2:42

I am not sure which Bible the OP is using. The footnote in the NABRE explains that "my lord" is:

a polite form of address of an inferior to a superior... The court singer refers to the king. Jesus in the synoptic gospels (Mt 22:41–46 and parallels) takes the psalmist to be David and hence “my lord” refers to the messiah, who must be someone greater than David.

I have to go out on a limb and suggest that the OP is right to wonder if Jesus lost the original meaning here. The NABRE seems to think so. Then who is "my lord" here if not Jesus? It would be either David or Abraham. If David, then the psalm was not written by him but sung of him. If the author is David, then the logical identity of "my lord" would be Abraham, who was both David's great ancestor and a priest in the order of Melchizedek as well as a victorious military leader, just as the psalm says.

This interpretation is confirmed by Rashi, who wrote:

Our Rabbis interpreted it [this psalm] as referring to Abraham our father, and I shall explain it according to their words: The word of the Lord to Abraham, whom the world called “my master,” as it is written (Gen. 23:6): “Hearken to us, my master.”

Conclusion: Being uncertain as to which footnote the OP refers to, I conclude that it probably does indeed relate to the fact that Jesus' understanding of Psalm differs from the traditional Jewish interpretation (as well as that of some modern interpreters). In other words, "my lord" in this psalm does not refer to the Messiah, but either to David or Abraham.

  • The original 1611 King James: The LORD said unto my Lord…..the question is addressing the difference between Lord and lord
    – user64483
    Commented May 4 at 3:05
  • 1
    @Roamer... My Lord and my lord is a distinction without a difference... as simple matter of whether the title given to one's master should receive a capital letter or not. When KJV refers to the name of God it uses all caps: the LORD. (actually caps and small caps) Commented May 4 at 3:33
  • Well no, because Lord translates to Adonai. lord translates to ladonai. Not the same meaning. lord is a human nature.
    – user64483
    Commented May 4 at 11:15
  • 1
    @Roamer Adonai is the Hebrew word for "lord" or "one with authority"; whether that's capitalized or not depends on whether the context refers to the Divine Lord or a human lord. "L'adoni" is just "adonai" with a prefix of " l' " which is the Hebrew word for "to".
    – Jed Schaaf
    Commented May 4 at 20:48
  • 1
    The Hebrew word is, within itself, ambiguous. It could be the Divine Master or a human master. Context indicates which it is.
    – Jed Schaaf
    Commented May 4 at 22:29

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