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Psalms 110:2-3

Context

110:2 The Lord 1  extends 2  your dominion 3  from Zion.

Rule in the midst of your enemies!

110:3 Your people willingly follow you 4  when you go into battle. 5 

On the holy hills 6  at sunrise 7  the dew of your youth 8  belongs to you. 9 

1 tn Since the Lord is mentioned in the third person (note the use of the first person in v. 1), it is likely that these are the psalmist’s words to the king, not a continuation of the oracle per se.

2 tn The prefixed verbal form is understood here as descriptive-dramatic or as generalizing, though it could be taken as future.

3 tn Heb “your strong scepter,” symbolic of the king’s royal authority and dominion.

4 tn Heb “your people, free will offerings.” Perhaps the people, in their willingness to volunteer, are compared metaphorically to freewill offerings. Following the LXX, some revocalize the text and read “with you is nobility.”

5 tn Heb “in the day of your power.”

6 tc Heb “in splendor of holiness.” The plural construct form הַדְרֵי (hadrey, from הָדַר, hadar, “splendor”) occurs only here; it may indicate degree or perhaps refer by metonymy to garments (see Pss 29:2 and 96:9, where the phrase הַדְרַת קֹדֶשׁ [hadrat qodesh] refers to “holy attire”). If one retains the reading of the MT, this phrase should probably be taken with the preceding line. However, because of the subsequent references to “dawn” and to “dew,” it is better to emend the text to הַרְרֵי קֹדֶשׁ (harrey qodesh, “mountains of holiness”), a reading found in many medieval Hebrew mss and in some other ancient witnesses (see Joel 2:2; Ps 133:3, as well as L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 [WBC], 80). The “mountains of holiness” are probably the hills surrounding Zion (see Ps 87:1; 125:2; 133:3).

7 tn Heb “from the womb of dawn.” The Hebrew noun רֶחֶם (rekhem, “womb”) is probably used here metonymically for “birth.” The form מִשְׁחָר (mishkhar) occurs only here and should be emended to שַׁחַר (shakhar, “dawn”) with the mem (מ) being understood as dittographic (note the final mem [ם] on the preceding word). The phrase “womb [i.e., “birth”] of dawn” refers to sunrise.

8 sn The point of the metaphor is not entirely clear. The dew may symbolize the king’s youthful vitality or, more likely (note the parallelism), may refer to his army of strong, youthful warriors.

9 tn Heb “to you [is].”



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