Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Luke reads Psalm 110

All of the synoptic gospels quote Psalm 110 causing me to wonder if it is possible to assert that Luke understands the Psalm differently than Matthew and/or Mark. But I had noticed that in Acts 13:33, Luke provided a most precise reference to the Second Psalm.

Psalm 110:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD says to my lord: "Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool."

The Septuagint and MT are in agreement. This verse is quoted exactly from the Septuagint in Luke 20:42-43, Acts 2:34-35 and Hebrews 1:13. Mark also quotes exactly from the Septuagint while Matthew 22:44 make a slight modification: “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I put thine enemies underneath thy feet.” The change made by Matthew is either subtle or of no significance. Matthew also changes the audience from scribes in Luke to the Pharisees while Mark does not specify the audience. The change in audience made by Matthew is significant. In Luke, there are no Pharisees depicted in Jerusalem. The Pharisees were not involved in Jesus' trial and execution.

Psalms 2 and 110 have from ancient times been considered almost as a pair because of their messianic tone. The letter to the Hebrews in particular quotes them side by side, and the Acts of the Apostles drew its strength from these sources. Neither Matthew nor Mark cited Psalm 2.

Thus Luke by citing the Second Psalm in a most precise manner is telling us Psalms 2 and 110 should be read together because Luke intends to emphasize the enthronement of Jesus as messianic king. This is consistent with the finding regarding Luke’s use of Psalm 118 and his modification thereof for the entry into Jerusalem where crowd proclaims in 19:38: “Blessed is the King that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

Copyrighted 2006


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