PSALM 72 - Messiah: The characteristics of His Reign
72:1 [A Psalm] for Solomon.
The original occasion of this psalm may have been the transfer of power
from David to Solomon. 1Chr 22:7-13,19; 1Kings 1:47,48; 1Kings 2:1-4
But there is a greater than Solomon in view here.
This Psalm is considered Messianic by Jews and Christians alike, due to its close parallels to many OT and NT passages which speak of the Messiah's kingdom. (However, this psalm is not quoted directly in the NT.)
Messiah's reign is...
A. Righteous, vs.1-7
B. Universal, vs.8-11
C. Beneficent, vs.12-14
D. Perpetual, vs.15-17
E. Reason to praise God, vs.18-19
F. Fulfillment of David's prayers, vs.20
[This outline was adapted from CHS.]
Give the king thy judgments, O God,
and thy righteousness unto the king's son.
The kingdom is given to the King's Son, who is also King:
Dan 7:13-14; Joh 5:22,23; Rev 5:5-10
72:2 He shall judge {HB=diyn, govern} thy people with righteousness,
and thy poor with judgment.
{ie., justice, see vs. 12-14}
Righteousness- is emphasized. The word occurs 4x in vs.1-7.
Psa 45:6,7; Isa 11:3-9; Jer 23:5,6
72:3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people,
and the little hills, by righteousness.
mountains, hills- ie., the gentile kingdoms, great and small, will be in peace with Israel.
Isa 32:1,17; Isa 62:1,2
72:4 He shall judge {HB=shaphat, execute justice for} the poor of the people,
he shall save the children of the needy,
{see vs.12-14}
and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
cp. Psa 2:8,9; Dan 2:34,35; Zech 9:8-10; Rev 19:2
72:5 They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure,
throughout all generations.
fear- reverence, be in awe of, be terrified of.
Even the oppressor (v.4) will submit to Him. Isa 2:2-4
as long as the sun and moon...- The repetition of similar phrases,
in this psalm and elsewhere in scripture, emphasizes the permanence of the Messianic Kingdom.
The notes, at v.17, provide a summary.
72:6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass:
as showers [that] water the earth.
When Messiah reigns, the earth will know "the times of refreshing."
2Sam 23:1-5; Pro 16:15; Pro 19:12; Hos 6:1-3; Mal 4:1-3; Acts 3:19-21
72:7 In his days shall the righteous flourish;
Isa 61:3-6; Mat 5:20; Joh 3:3
and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.
Eph 2:14-17
 
B. Messiah's Reign is Universal.- vs. 8-11
72:8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea,
and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
{cp. Zech 9:10}
He shall have dominion...-
In this section, note the geographic & political extent of His dominion.
He will rule over all people in all places.
the river- Euphrates. Solomon's kingdom was bounded on the east by Euphrates.
1Kin 4:21,24
But Messiah's kingdom is without bounds.
At Eden, the headwaters of Euphrates, Adam lost dominion over the earth.
Messiah's dominion extends to wherever man has wandered.
Psa 2:8; Psa 22:27,28
72:9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him;
and his enemies shall lick the dust.
lick the dust- indicates submission & servitude to Christ (and to Israel):
Isa 49:22,23; Mic 7:16,17
72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents:
the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
Psa 45:12; Psa 68:29; Isa 60:3,6,9
72:11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before him:
all nations shall serve him.
Rev 11:15; Rev 17:14
 
C. Messiah's reign is Beneficent (beneficial, good for His subjects). vs. 12-14
72:12 For he shall deliver {HB=natsal, snatch away, rescue} the needy when he crieth;
the poor also, and [him] that hath no helper.
The Messiah will be the true "beneficent dictator."
1Tim 6:15; Rev 12:5; 19:15
In these verses, the action is accomplished by the Messiah.
His people are those who are utterly dependent upon Him.
- - They are the spiritually poor and needy... those who know they have no help apart from Him. Their lowly condition is emphasized by the repetition of 'needy' (3x), and by the use of two different HB words for 'poor.' Do you truly need Him? Are you without hope, apart from Him?
At the King's first coming, He announced that His Kingdom is for the benefit of such people. Mat 5:1-12
72:13 He shall spare {ie., have compassion upon} the poor and needy,
and shall save
{HB=yasha, liberate} the souls of the needy.
72:14 He shall redeem {HB=ga'al, redeem as a kinsman} their soul from deceit and violence:
and precious shall their blood be in his sight.
{ie., He will avenge them}
Rom 12:19; Rev 6:9-11; Rev 17:6; Rev 18:20-19:2
 
D. Messiah's Reign is Perpetual. vs. 15-17
(Note the many words designating time, in this section.)
72:15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba:
prayer also shall be made for him continually;
[and] daily shall he be praised.
He shall live - Some versions have "they shall live," referring to the redeemed of vs.12-14.
Since their life depends on His, there is no conflict in the two readings.
Joh 11:25,26; Col 3:3,4; Rev 1:18
gold - cp. v.10; Isa 60:1-6
prayer... for Him... praise... to Him.- eg., Mat 6:10; Rev 5:8-14
72:16 There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains;
the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon:
and [they] of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.
Due to the devastation of the Great Tribulation, surviving crops & people will be few.
The Messiah will restore both to great abundance. In Him is Life. cp. v.6.
Lebanon - the region just north of Israel, known for its fertility & great forests.
The 'shaking' of the fruit refers to abundant productivity of the land.
The 'flourishing' of 'they of the city' refers to population growth.
The restoration of Israel, will overflow to the nations, under the Messiah's reign.
Hos 14:5-7; Joel 3:18; Amos 9:8-15
72:17 His name shall endure for ever:
his name shall be continued as long as the sun:
as long as sun & moon endure- This expression describes the duration of:
and [men] shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.
cp. Gen 12:3; Gen 22:18; Jer 4:2; Eph 1:3; Gal 3:13,14
 
E. Doxology: Messiah's Reign is Reason to give Praise to God. vs. 18-19
72:18 Blessed [be] the LORD God, the God of Israel,
who only doeth wondrous things.
72:19 And blessed [be] his glorious name for ever:
and let the whole earth be filled [with] his glory;
Amen, and Amen.
 
72:20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.
v.20 is a Postscript which closes the Second Book of Psalms (Psalms 42-72).
But its placement at the end of this Psalm of Messiah's Kingdom is not insignificant.
The establishment, of the Messianic Kingdom, will mark the fulfillment of David's prayers. 2Sam 23:1-5
"This Psalm realized will mean all prophecy materialized. [GWms]

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