Q. The Messianic Psalm 110 opens by talking about making the Lord’s enemies His footstool. How can this be taken literally, and what does it mean prophetically?
A. This well-known verse reads:
“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool,” ~ Psalm 110:1It was an ancient Middle Eastern custom that, when enemy kings were conquered, the conquerors would put their feet on their necks as they bowed before the victor. In the Book of Joshua, five kings made war against the children of Israel. These kings were captured and kept in a cave until their armies were conquered. At that time, the Bible says:
“And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the captains of the men of war who went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them,” ~ Joshua 10:24Psalm 110 has great prophetic significance, as it speaks of the coming Messiah as both King and Priest. It is quoted frequently in the New Testament, in particular by Jesus Himself (Matthew 22:43-45; Mark 12:35-37; and Luke 20:41-44). Our Lord, commenting on this first verse, acknowledged David as its author and used the Psalm to establish His own right to rule.
This verse has already had partial fulfillment, as Jesus today sits at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1:20). It will have complete fulfillment when Jesus returns at His Second Advent. At that time, He will defeat the Antichrist and his army and rule for 1,000 years. The Antichrist and the False Prophet will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20). The Devil will be bound in the abyss for the duration of the Millennium (Revelation 20:1-3). At the end of that time, he, too, will be cast into the Lake of Fire, following his final rebellion (Revelation 20:7-10). Then God will bring to pass the New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem. Thus the Apostle Paul’s comments on Psalm 110:1 will come to pass:
“For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death,” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:25-26This is further borne out in John’s description of the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation. There, he says:
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away,” ~ Revelation 21:4