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Ok whoever this passage is about is shown sitting at the right hand of God in verse 1. Being someone's right hand man means one's primary or most trusted assistant. Unless this meant something different in the ancient Hebrew (which I doubt), my question is that if this passage is about David, and that makes David, God's most trusted or primary assistant, then what does that mean to the Messiah? Will the Messiah be the second most trusted assistant?

My second question is, that in verse 5, we see God at the right hand of this person. Now that seems like a blasphemy to me because it's like saying a King is your right hand man as opposed to you being the King's right hand man. How do you guys resolve this to not become a blasphemy?

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    Does this answer your question? Psalm 110 in Jewish Tradition
    – magicker72
    Oct 21, 2021 at 2:08
  • @magicker72 Nope unfortunately it doesn't even touch on the blasphemy issue. Neither does it answer the first question.
    – Mordecai
    Oct 21, 2021 at 2:11
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    I don't understand teh second question. David goes in to battle but, though he leads his troops, he has God's assistance so metaphorically, God is "on his side". As per Malbim, "וה' על ימינך לעזרך במלחמה, עתה ה' על ימינך, ה' אשר מחץ ביום אפו מלכים שכבר כבש לפניך את עיר המלוכה ומחץ את המלכים שבה" How is it blasphemy to say that David had God's help and didn't conquer based solely on his own might?
    – rosends
    Oct 21, 2021 at 11:19

2 Answers 2

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As far as your first question it is worth noting the Malbim who writes that this terminology of Dovid sitting on His right is not a reference to him being Hashem's second in command but rather it is Hashem attesting to the fact that it is only really G-d who sits on the throne of Israel and controls the Jewish peoples' destiny. He therefore asks Dovid to sit on His right so that he can truly recognise that Dovid is a mere mortal king and only serves as Hashem's assistant.

שב לימיני, יצייר שכסא דוד הוא כסא ה' כמ"ש וישב שלמה על כסא ה' למלך, כאלו ה' יושב על כסא ההנהגה להנהיג את ישראל בהשגחה מיוחדת, כמלך המנהיג את עמו, ודוד יושב על כסא המלוכה לימינו, ובאשר היושב על הכסא צריך הדום לרגליו

Sit at my right: Hashem is delineating that the throne of Dovid is really the throne of Hashem. Like it writes "And Shlomo sat on the throne of G-d as king" (Divrei HaYamim I 29:23). It is as if Hashem sits on the throne of leadership to lead Israel under its special supervision like a king who leads his people. And Dovid is sitting on the throne to the right, and as for him who sits on the throne he needs the footstool at his feet.

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The verse is not saying that G-d is his "right-hand man", which is not an expression found in Biblical Hebrew. The verse is saying G-d is assisting him in his endeavors, carried out through his right hand.

In Jewish thought, no one can accomplish anything without G-d's help. If someone merits that G-d helps them regularly, we say G-d's presence is "with" them, metaphorically speaking. So G-d's presence is at David's right hand, assisting him. But the way you merit G-d's assistance is trying to fulfill his will.

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  • It doesn't have to say "right hand man". The picture of having someone on your right hand is understood as such, based on my understanding at least. Is there any other scripture in the Tanakh that shows mere mortals either being at God's right hand or having God at their right hand or both such as this example? I've been looking and haven't been able to find any.
    – Mordecai
    Oct 21, 2021 at 12:32
  • You write: "based on my understanding at least". In my experience, if my understanding makes something not make sense to me, my understanding is wrong. The concept of a right hand man did not exist back then, whatever you want to call it.
    – N.T.
    Oct 21, 2021 at 16:37
  • Can you give an example in the Tanakh of where someone known, a mere mortal, not up to interpretation such as this text, is shown at God's right hand and God is also shown at his right hand?
    – Mordecai
    Oct 21, 2021 at 21:37
  • How would that help?
    – N.T.
    Oct 21, 2021 at 23:52
  • @N.T. Did "right hand man" really not exist? What of sefaria.org/I_Kings.2.19
    – Double AA
    Oct 22, 2021 at 0:12

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