Psalm 109 (110)
«Εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος τῷ Κυρίῳ μου· Κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου, ἕως ἃν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν σου»
The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies the footstool of Your feet.”
This psalm is a prophecy concerning the birth and priestly reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will triumph over the enemies of evil, sin, and death. Parts of this psalm are read in Church during the Divine Liturgy on Christmas day. The first verse relates God the Father promising the Son that He will place His enemies below His feet. This reminds us of Christ’s victory at His Resurrection, for which we triumphantly chant: “Christ is risen from the dead. By death He has trampled on death”! Jesus Himself quoted this very psalm to the Pharisees to show His Divine origin: ““What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore” (Mat 22: 42-46).
The psalm also relates directly to the Nativity of our Lord: “I have begotten You from the womb before the morning star” (v. 3) reveals his earthly birth from the womb of the Theotokos according to His human nature, but also His Divine nature as begotten from the Father before all time, expressed through the words “before the morning star”.
Finally, the psalm also affirms that Christ is “a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (v. 4). In his Epistle to the Hebrews, St Paul explains that Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of the Most High God (Gen 14:18-20), was superior to Abraham and the whole priesthood of Levi, and being “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually” (Heb 7:3). Melchizedek was therefore a foreshadow of Christ, the true high priest, the embodiment of ultimate humility and crucified love, who would sacrifice Himself on the Cross for the sins of all.
Source: December-January 2015 Lychnos Edition