Psalm 45:6-7 and Its Christological Contributions to Hebrews -- By: Herbert W. Bateman, IV
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Psalm 45:6-7 and Its Christological Contributions to Hebrews
* Herbert W. Bateman, IV is Professor of New Testament studies at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana.
In his past administration of human history, God not only endorsed, he canonized the importance of the Davidic monarchy for the nation of Israel.1 The Davidic king-priest was divinely called and authorized to rule Yahweh’s people, to build and maintain Yahweh’s temple, and to keep and enforce Yahweh’s law, which had been given through Moses (2 Sam 7:8–16; Pss 2; 72; 132:11–12). The temple was an important symbol to David and Solomon. It served to exemplify Yahweh’s presence, to exercise ceremonial law, and to endorse the Davidic king-priest’s right to rule. Although David initially desired to build the temple for Yahweh (“for me to dwell in,” 2 Sam 7:5), God modifies David’s request and promises that a temple will be built “for my name” (2 Sam 7:14).2 In addition, Solomon, not David, was to build God’s temple (1 Kgs 6:1–37; 8:1–66; 2 Chr 2:1–7:10). As a result, the temple remained an important symbol for subsequent Davidic kings, but Israel’s Davidic monarchy failed to honor Yahweh and his temple. Thus Yahweh set into motion a twofold plan of retribution and restoration.
With the eventual demise of the Davidic monarchy, the temple’s destruction, and Judah’s deportation to Babylon in 586, God’s people entered a period of exile. Those who emigrated back to Jerusalem from Babylonia during the Persian period constructed a new temple, “developed the canon of Torah,” and fashioned an internationalistic and pluralistic religion.3 Judaism thus emerged as a Diaspora
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religion, which tended to be separated from the local Jerusalem government, yet temple-centered. Albeit a temple-state, Judea employed symbols of sovereignty— most notably the temple—which were restricted due to its status as a secondary state in a province of the Persian and subsequent Grecian and Roman Empires. Thus many Jews of the first century believed Israel’s exile ...
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