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Matthew 22:44-45 YLT

The Lord said to my lord, Sit at my right hand, till I may make thine enemies thy footstool? If then David doth call him lord, how is he his son?'

Psalm 110:1 YLT

A Psalm of David. The affirmation of Jehovah to my Lord: 'Sit at My right hand, Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Is David the father of lord adoni or the LORD/Adonai?

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  • That’s an incorrect translation, the correct sentence structure is: A Psalm that David spoke to the LORD. “My LORD, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” Commented Jun 24 at 1:26
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    @ReturnOfRoamer - That translation of yours is not possible because YHWH appears ONCE in the verse, not twice. You are confusing the superscription with the Psalm. In your translation, we have David commanding YHWH - impossible!!
    – Dottard
    Commented Jun 24 at 2:57

4 Answers 4

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The simple answer is that the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ is ALL of the following -

  • The Son of God, John 1:34, 1 John 4:15, 5:10, 20, 13, etc
  • The Son of Man, Mark 14:21, 62, Luke 9:26, John 12:34, etc
  • The Son of David, Matt 1:1, Mark 10:47, Luke 3:31, 32, etc
  • The One Lord, Eph 4:5, 1 Cor 8:6.
  • "my Lord", John 20:13, 28, Luke 1:43, Phil 3:8; Matt 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42; Acts 2:34

The genius of Jesus' question to the pharisees was their acknowledged recognition that the Messiah was/would be the son of David - in their minds the conquering king to free them from Roman occupation, see Matt 22:41. They also recognized that Ps 110:1 was messianic.

However, what they could not understand was how David called his descendent, the Messiah, his "Lord", ie, someone much greater than David. (As a coming king, an earthly king and son of David would be his equal.)

But, the Messiah that they refused to recognize was standing in front of them and was much greater than David.

Further, the NT writers went much further than this by claiming even more titles for Jesus such as:

  • "Savior", Matt 1:21; Acts 4:12; 2 Tim 1:10; Tit 1:4, 2:13, 3:6; 2 Pet 1:1, 11 (compare Isa 43:3, 11, 14, 44:24, 45:17, 21, 49:7 which say that there is only one Savior, YHWH)
  • "First and Last", Rev 1:17, 18, 2:8, 22:13 (compare Isa 41:4, 44:6, 48:12 where this is the exclusive title of YHWH)
  • "Light of the world", John 1:4, 5, 9, 8:12, 9:5, 1 John 1:5-7, Matt 4:15, 16 (compare YHWH title of Light, Ps 27:1, Micah 7:8, Isa 9:2)
  • "Lord of Lords", Rev 17:14, 19:16 (compare YHWH title Deut 10:17, Ps 136:3, 26
  • etc (there are many more.)
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  • The other titles that you added are not relevant to the question. You may apply as many titles to Jesus, like "light of the world" ",First and Last, Saviour and lord of lords. but these other titles are not relevant to the question. Jesus said that “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me." John 12:44. And the one who sends is always greater than the one who is sent. John 13:16. Post a question about these titles that you apply to your conclusion so these can objectively be tackled. Commented Jun 23 at 5:06
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    @AlexBalilo - not relevant?? I think they merely confirm the conclusion reached that Jesus took the exclusive titles of YHWH in the OT.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jun 23 at 5:47
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    @AlexBalilo Let's say for the sake of argument the titles are not relevant. What makes you think that you quoting John 12:44 or John 13:16 "IS" relevant to the question? Why didn't you answer the question Jesus posed to the Jews? Here's the question again, "If David then calls Him "Lord!" how is He his son?" And take notice of vs46 Alex. "And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question. The bottom line for you is the fact that if the Jews did not know the answer to the question, you can't know!
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jun 23 at 13:21
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נְאֻ֤ם יְהוָ֨ה׀ לַֽאדֹנִ֗י (from Ps 110:1, BHS2003)

The LORD [YHWH] said to my lord, (in Psalm 110:1, JPS1985)

Note when my Lord refers to God it is usually אֲדֹנָי֙. When referring to a man, my lord is אדֹנִ֗י as here. Thus, what the Jewish listeners would understand when Jesus quoted this verse in Matt. 22:44 and his comments in v43 and v45 is one would not expect a father (David) to call his son my lord. One would expect the opposite. Thus, the Messiah is more than David's descendent.

my Lord = the genitive suffix indicates that this Lord is David’s Lord, and the word for Lord (‘adonai’) indicates a ruler or Master. It is a title recognizing superiority and, though frequently used for humans, it is sometimes used as a respectful title for YHWH (e.g., Ps 69:6). -- Mills, M. S. (1998). Five Messianic Psalms (Psalms 22, 23, 24, 16, 110) : An exegetical study guide. 3E Ministries.

Psalm 110 is an important Messianic psalm pointing to the highly exalted status of the Messiah (to the right hand of God!) and to his priestly and royal nature. For these reasons, it is quoted frequently in the New Testament with reference to Yeshua. Yeshua even quotes it himself, pointing out how the Messiah was greater than David, since David called him “my lord.” However, you are mistaken in thinking that the New Testament (or Christian translations of the Hebrew Bible) makes the claim that the opening verse of this psalm means that Jesus is LORD (Yahweh). -- Brown, M. L. (2003). Answering Jewish objections to Jesus: Messianic prophecy objections (Vol. 3, pp. 133–134). Baker Books.

P.S. While my theology includes the Trinity, it is supported by other passages of Scripture. The Septuagint (LXX) seems to support Jesus being God the Son in this passage (Εἶπεν ὁ κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου) as well as does Matthew (εἶπεν κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου). However, κύριος in Greek is also used for human beings similar to master in English, and is not used exclusively for God. We must consider the Hebrew verse that Jesus quoted.

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τῷ Δαυιδ ψαλμός εἶπεν ὁ κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν σου

τῷ Δαυιδ ψαλμός εἶπεν ὁ κύριος

τῷ κυρίῳ μου

κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν σου

translation (how Jesus understood the sentence structure) A psalm that David spoke to the LORD. To my LORD; sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool

David proclaims that he exists to serve and honor the LORD and protect the LORD from enemies.

My translation of changing around where the sentences end is how Jesus understood Psalm 110:1.

Jesus is questioning the Pharisees how can the LORD be David’s son because the Pharisees have a different understanding of the Psalm than Jesus does. The Pharisees understood the Psalm as though David was sitting at the right hand of the LORD. Jesus understands the Psalm as though the LORD was sitting at the right hand of David. Pharisees believe that there is always a Messiah amongst them. They were expecting a new Messiah that was a son of David.

This argument between the Pharisees and Jesus occurs in Matthew 22. In Matthew 21:9 Jesus had just been proclaimed the son of David by the crowd.

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

With the Pharisees proclaiming that the Messiah was the son of David, Jesus is questioning why they the Pharisees aren’t agreeing with the crowd that spoke a short time earlier.

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Answer

Jesus meant He is greater than David.

Jesus said He is “greater than the Temple” (Mat 12:6); “greater than Jonah” (verse 41); and “greater than Solomon” (verse 42). He is greater than even patriarch Abraham because He was the I AM before Abraham came to be (John 8:58).

Jesus also meant that though the Christ was to be born in the lineage of David, the latter was not (“as was supposed” – Luke 3:23) the biological father of the Messiah. This was contrary to the Jewish belief. So OP’s attempt with Adonai/Adoni is irrelevant here.

Explanation

No father will ever call his son “my Lord”. Yet David called the Messiah, “my Lord”. Jesus says this shows the real Christ is much greater than King David.

Background:-

The incident where Jesus asks this question is found in all the synoptic gospels. So we need to take all of them into perspective to get the full impact of what Jesus meant.

In all the three gospels Jesus asks this question immediately after His discussion with the Pharisees regarding the greatest commandments in the Law.

Mark gives additional information. Jesus is questioned about the greatest commandment and He recites the famous Shema:

"Hear, Israel. The Lord our God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with……” etc. (Mar 12:29-30).

“And the scribe said to Him, You say well, Teacher. You have spoken according to truth, "that God is one," and "there is no other besides Him;" (verse 32).

And Jesus also commends the scribe.

It is in this context that Jesus asked the question mentioned in the OP.

His question has several dimensions:

  1. First of all, if, as the Jews believed, the Messiah would be a son of David, why would David call his own son “my Lord”? It doesn’t make sense. So it shows that the Messiah is more than the son of David.

  2. It is well known to the Jews that King David called Yahweh Elohim as “my Lord and my God” (Psalms 35:23). David called Yahweh “my Lord” (Psalms 16:2; 141:8; 35:22).

So, Jesus’ question is aimed at knowing (in Psalms 110:1) who this “my Lord” of David is if not Yahweh Lord/Adonai!

  1. If, as seen above, David’s “my Lord” is Yahweh Adonai, then what about the Shema?!

Jesus knew the Shema:

“Hear O Israel, Yahweh our God is one Yahweh” (Deut 6:4).

Jesus also knew:

“And Yahweh God said, Behold! The man has become as one of Us” (Gen 3:22).

The one Yahweh Elohim says “one of Us”!

The truth is, God is a composite one God/Elohim!

(No wonder, Moses used the uniplural word Elohim for true God throughout the Torah).

Conclusion

As a prophet of God, David knew the Messiah will be an Incarnation of Yahweh his Adonai. That is why he called Yahweh and the future Messiah as “my Lord/Adonai”.

Jesus implied that He is the Messiah, the “my Lord” of David and hence the Yahweh Incarnated. Jesus is God.

Post Script

Since the OP mentioned about the identity of the Adoni/Adonai, I have the following contentions to make:

I state that it is “Adonai” that was originally written in Psalms 110:1 and the supporting points are:

Point 1:-

Both “Adonai” and “adoni” looked the same in ancient Hebrew until the entrance of Masoretic Jews as the scribes in the Middle Ages.

Until then Hebrew was written only in consonants without any vowels. Vowels were used only orally when the OT was read.

Both “Adonai” and “adoni” look the same when written in Hebrew consonants. For example, if we remove the vowels from both “Adonai” and “adoni” in English itself, they will look “DN” and “DN”.

So, we have two historical considerations to make:

When was the vowels added in written form permanently in the OT?

In the Middle Ages when the Christians were stating that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah.

Who added the vowels permanently in the OT?

The Masoretic Jews who were familiar with the Christians who stated that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah.

So, chances are there they added the vowels of “adoni” instead of “Adonai”.

(I am in no way downplaying the exemplary service provided by the Masoretes).

Point 2:-

Who was David’s Lord?

David was a powerful king. He had no one above him except Yahweh. So let us see who was his Lord?

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

“But my eyes are on You, O Jehovah, my Lord; in You I take refuge; do not make my soul naked” (Psalms 141:8).

“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).

[Does anyone remember Apostle Thomas declaring his faith in Jesus as “my Lord and my God” in John 20:28?]

It is very clear that Yahweh alone was David’s “my Lord”. There was no other real “my Lord” to David.

So, when David speaks “my Lord” in Psalms 110:1, it definitely is “my Adonai” not adoni.

Point 3:-

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!

Why?

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 (Monogenes)!

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. So it has to be “Adonai”.

Point 4:-

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 which is “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.

Point 5:-

“The Lord (Adonai) at your right hand” Psalms (110:5).

Who is this?

Verse 1 clearly “defines” and “introduces” the Messiah as the Lord/lord at the right hand of Yahweh. (This is the right hermeneutics, right?)

This cannot be anyone else because IF the Messiah is at the right hand of Yahweh, then Yahweh canNOT be at the right hand of the Messiah. Yahweh will be at the left hand of the Messiah!

So this Messiah who is the “my Lord/lord” of David IS the Adonai or the Lord at the right hand of Yahweh.

A likely objection:-

Some may argue that verse 5 is talking about Yahweh at “your” (that is, David’s) right hand.

But then there is a problem. Verse 7 talks about this same Adonai “shall drink out of the torrent on the way”!

This is talking about a triumphant Messiah who conquers kings and judges them.

If I am not wrong, Yahweh is never depicted as drinking from any torrent. (Objections are welcome).

So the “Adonai” in verse 5 and the supposed “adoni” in verse 1 are the same Person and the same Person is at the same right hand.

And this strongly points to “Adonai” to be the correct word in verse 1.

Adoni is used for human beings and Adonai is used for Yahweh. But in Psalms 110:1, strong chances are there, “Adonai” was used originally.

(Unless someone can disprove my above 5 points, I will stand vindicated).

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