Under the Microscope: Psalms 110:1 – False Capitalization Has Consequences

Apr 5, 2015 | False Doctrines & Inaccuracies |

This discussion has not yet been reviewed for possible edit.  That will occur as God wills to provide me the time and energy to do so.

Matthew 22:42-46 records the following exchange between Yeshua (Jesus) and some Pharisees with whom he was in conversation.

Matthew 22: 42-46 (AKJV)
42 saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

Many Christians do not realize Yeshua (Jesus) is here referring to the Psalms 110:1 passage in the Tanakh. (The Tanakh is referred to, we feel feel, fairly irreverently as the “Old” Testament by Christians. If anything, we would refer to it as the Older Testament.)

Psalms 110:1 is a verse of particular importance.  Yeshua (Jesus) used it as evidence he was superior to David and thus the ultimate Messiah.  Unfortunately, due to intentional mistranslation in Psalms from the original Hebrew, sincere traditional Christians are often lead to an understanding of this crucial verse that is incorrect.

Psalms 110:1 is one of the most referenced verses of the Tanakh in the New Testament.  It is also an unambiguous proof passage that Yeshua (David’s lord; i.e. “superior”) is not the Eternal G-d. Below, I will quote this passage from Psalms with the Hebrew words shown in parentheses following the correct English translation, including the correct capitalization.

Psalms 110:1 (KJV)
110 The LORD (YHWH) said unto my Lord (Adon), Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

As you can see, the Hebrew uses two entirely different words for “LORD” (YHWH) and “lord” (Adon).  Since few Christians ever devote time to reading the Holy Scripture Yeshua (Jesus) and all his followers used (Tanakh), they miss this entirely.  The term lord (Hebrew: Adon) is used numerous times to refer to men – not to the Creator G-d.  It is often used in reference to kings, captains, angels, husbands, princes, governors, household superintendent, even the proprietor of a hill in Samaria; basically anyone of superior rank. However, the term LORD (Hebrew: YHWH) is used exclusively for the One and Only Creator G-d.

How many of you ladies out there consider your husband G-d?  I suspect some of your husbands may sometimes try to act like G-d, but that’s another story.  If we followed the methods of translation used by Christians who promote the Trinity or other man-god doctrines for Psalms 110:1, husbands could literally claim to be G-d since the word (Adon) that is sometimes used in Scripture to refer to a husband is often claimed by Christian man-god promoters to be referring to G-d. There are some who actually imply this verse reads, “YHWH said unto YHWH” and translate it as “LORD said to my LORD.” That is not what it says!

Such butchery of Scripture is necessary for “proof” that Yeshua (Jesus) is YHWH; however, the actual Scripture (unedited by teachers of error) shows quite clear distinction between YHWH (LORD) and Adon (Yeshua Messiah).  Frankly, this one verse goes a long way to defeating the teachings of those that claim Yeshua (Jesus) is YHWH.  If Yeshua (Jesus) is YHWH the Hebrew would clearly show it, but it doesn’t.  Instead it shows Yeshua (Jesus) to be the anointed One (Messiah) of YHWH – the “lord” of David as suggested in Messiah’s conversation with the Pharisees.

Some basic and important points can be learned from this passage in Matthew.

  1. Psalms 110:1 is one of the most frequently referenced Tanakh passages within the New Testament.
  2. The frequency of its reference, even by Yeshua (Jesus), proves it to truly be the pure Word of G-d since they (including Yeshua) considered it so.
  3. The use of it in Matthew 22 shows the common and mistaken understanding of it within Judaism (even today) was that it applied to King David’s son in such a way as to make that son inferior or equal to David, who was a Messiah (anointed), but not the Messiah.  Although Yeshua (Jesus) is a literal descendant of King David, he is not – as was and still is supposed within Judaism – inferior or equal to David.  Instead the Messiah is superior to David – David’s Adon (lord), but not David’s G-d (YHWH).
  4. Some antisemites and anti-Hebraic individuals may present the ridiculous argument that the Hebrew used today for this verse is corrupt; however, the common understanding of the time, shown in the previous point, proves the Hebrew could not possibly have used the Hebrew term, YHWH, in both words.

The Pharisees with whom Messiah was speaking would have obviously known the Hebrew words being used and also known that the term YHWH is reserved uniquely and only for G-d. That would have implied David’s physical descendant in the minds of Jews then and now was (is) YHWH, which was not even hinted at as a belief from the Hebrew reading they were obviously accepting as true.  Had that been the reading, they would not have considered David’s descendant inferior or equal to him! So it is certain that the Hebrew of Messiah’s day for this verse is precisely the same as what we have today.

  • So, the usage of the verse proves the Hebrew just discussed to be irrefutably correct: that two separate Hebrew words were used – (YHWH) and (Adon).
  • Therefore, instead of this verse suggesting that Messiah is G-d as Trinitarians wish us to think, it actually suggests the exact opposite! This verse provides evidence that Yeshua (Jesus) is not G-d, since one of the two beings in this prophetic verse is YHWH, who is speaking to a separate being that is Messiah Yeshua!

Those claiming Yeshua (Jesus) is YHWH using this passage from Psalms cannot possibly do so unless they reject the verse’s unambiguous meaning.  It is very clear in this verse that the Messiah is shown to not be YHWH!  This is absolutely irrefutable unless an outrageously mystical argument is used in an attempt to completely destroy the clear implication of the Scripture.  Unfortunately, that is precisely the tactic taken by all those that cleave to mysticism and mystery for their alleged evidence that Yeshua (Jesus) is YHWH.  In order to find proof, they must either shred context, add additional mystical meanings to clear passages, play word games with Hebrew words such as echad and elohim, or base their shaky arguments on a very few passages that may support them yet have other interpretations which are just as applicable and require no “mystery” gyrations to prove so.

Many Bibles and most preachers totally miss the simple and concrete points shown above regarding Psalms 110:1.  One reason is the failure of translators to properly render the verse in the New Testament Greek and sometimes even intentionally false renderings by capitalizing the English translation of the second term (Adon) in Psalms as LORD or Lord, instead of lord.  It should properly be translated as “lord” without any capitalization, whatsoever.

Check your Bible.  Odds are it is rendered incorrectly in Psalms; however, it appears later translations are begrudgingly correcting this error.  Most have at least ceased capitalizing the entire second “lord” (LORD) in Psalms 110:1 and are now simply capitalizing the first letter of the word (Lord).  (For instance, the American Standard Version renders the first “LORD” as “Jehovah” while the second is simply rendered as “Lord”. A clear distinction between the two. Additionally, the Amplified Bible uses “Lord” in both instances, however for the first includes a parenthetical indicating “G-d” and for the second, indicating “Messiah”. These are just two examples of Bibles beginning to make somewhat appropriate changes.) However, even this is incorrect since the Hebrew word for “Lord” with the “L” capitalized is Adonay, which is a completely different word used to refer the Lord G-d (Adonay Elohim).

Thus, with Psalms 110:1 it is possible to show proof-positive that historically there has been an intentional effort to mislead Christians into accepting Yeshua (Jesus) as YHWH through biased and blatantly false translating of Hebrew into English by Christian Bible translators.  Either that or the translators were of low intelligence.  Either way the picture isn’t pretty for them.

Psalms 110:1 (the Hebrew version) was used then by Yeshua (Jesus) to show his Messiahship.  Today, the same passage must be used to prove an entirely different fact of Scripture – that Yeshua (lord – Adon) and YHWH (LORD – YHWH) are not the same.  This passage is hard for those promoting Yeshua (Jesus) as G-d to get around since it so clearly shows the Father and the “lord” Yeshua (Jesus) as separate and distinct both in the actual Hebrew word and the fact the LORD (YHWH) was speaking to the lord (Yeshua).  The one speaking and the one being spoken to infers clear distinction between them.

I can envision a conversation today between Yeshua (Jesus) and the false prophets of the Christian world:

What think ye of Christ? Is he G-d?” The Theologians say unto him, “Yes Lord G-d.” 43 He saith unto them, “How then doth David in spirit clearly distinguish him from LORD G-d, saying, 44 YHWH (LORD) said unto my Adon (lord), Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then did not refer to him as G-d (or YHWH), how is he G-d (or YHWH)? 46 And no Trinitarian was able to answer him a word, neither durst any prophets of the Beast from that day forth ask him any more questions.”

Indeed, when the erroneous translation is corrected, Trinitarians are left unable “to answer him a word”.