This psalm looks forward to the Battle of Armageddon when Jesus will judge nations and crush the rulers of the earth, establishing and extending his rule from Zion.
This psalm portrays the coronation of Messiah (Jesus) as king, and the establishment of his dominion over the world. In verse 1, David as the speaker, declares Jehovah's proclamation to his lord (the Messiah), "Sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool!" In Luke 20:41-44, Jesus quotes from this psalm in order to show that Messiah is not just a Son of David, but must also be the Son of God since David calls him 'Lord'. Jesus also alludes to this verse, together with Daniel 7:13-14, at his trial before the high priest. He says in Matthew 26:64, "But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven".

At what point in time does the coronation of Psalm 110 and Daniel 7:13-14 take place? Was Jesus crowned king after his resurrection, or is it a future event that takes place at his second coming? From various other passages, it seems that the answer is 'both'. Ephesians 1:20-21 says, "This power he exercised in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms far above every rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come". So from a heavenly perspective, Jesus has already been crowned and seated at God's right hand. This agrees with Jesus' statement at his trial, "But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Matthew 26:64). And according to Revelation 1:5, Jesus is already the ruler over the kings of the earth (i.e. the king of kings). However, it seems that Jesus' coronation will be visibly confirmed at the second coming, in the midst of all peoples, nations and language groups who will worship him (Daniel 7:14).

Verse 2 says, "The LORD extends your dominion from Zion". Zion has both heavenly and earthly dimensions in scripture, and this statement implies that at the second coming Christ's kingdom will be extended from the heavenly realm into the earthly realm and over the entire world. I believe this confirmation occurs at the seventh and last trumpet, as described in Revelation 11:15-18. Until that day, Jesus is waiting for his enemies to become his footstool (v1). But from the time of the last trumpet, he will reign visibly on the earth. Verse 2 also tells us that he will begin to rule in the midst of his enemies. Psalm 2:1 and Revelation 11:18 portray the nations raging in reaction to Messiah's enthronement as king. He will still need to defeat this rebellion, which he will do at the battle of Armageddon. So the establishment of his dominion will be a process that takes time, even after his second coming.

Verse 3 tells us that Jesus will lead an army of willing volunteers on the day of battle. This is the battle of Armageddon. Revelation 19:14 says, "The armies that are in heaven, dressed in white, clean, fine linen, were following him on white horses". It is clear from verse 8 of the same passage that fine linen is the clothing given to the saints. So these willing volunteers are human volunteers. It is clear that angels also visibly accompany Jesus at the second coming (Matthew 16:27, 25:31), but it is not clear whether the angels actually fight in his end-time battles. I believe his volunteer army will include Jews whom he has liberated from their 'Bozrah sheepfold' (Micah 2:12-13), as well as resurrected and raptured Christians. It may also include exiles from the ten lost tribes of Israel.

Verse 4 emphasises Jesus' priestly role. Hebrews 7 quotes this verse and explains that Jesus, as a priest in the order of Melchizedek, achieved for us what was impossible through the law and the levitical priesthood. Justin Martyr (2nd Century Church Father) explains that as priest in the order of Melchizedek, Messiah is priest of the uncircumcised (Gentile believers), and also of the circumcised (Jews) who believe in him and seek him (see The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1, p.211, Ch.XXXIII).

Verse 5 tells us Jesus 'strikes down kings in the day he unleashes his anger'. In Luke 4:19, Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:2 when he proclaimed the 'year of the Lord's favour'. He stopped short of proclaiming the 'day of vengeance of our God'. Today, we still live in the year of the Lord's favour, a time of amnesty when we can turn ourselves in and receive God's no-quibble guarantee of forgiveness. But the amnesty is soon coming to an end, and when Jesus comes again he will proclaim the day of his wrath, when he will judge the world and crush his enemies - see also Isaiah 24:21-22.

Verse 6 says, "…he shatters their heads over the vast battlefield". This fulfils Genesis 3:15a, "And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; her offspring will attack your head…" It also fulfils Balaam's prophecy about Jesus in Numbers 24:17, "…A star will march forth out of Jacob, and a sceptre will rise out of Israel. He will crush the skulls of Moab, and the heads of all the sons of Sheth."

Mike Bickle, in 150 Chapters on the End Times, comments on this psalm, "The fullness of the passage describes Jesus’ reign in the Millennium and His end-time judgment of the nations. This psalm is partially fulfilled by Jesus’ ministry through the church after His resurrection. Psalm 110 is the Old Testament passage that is the most quoted in the New Testament. It is directly quoted six times (Mt. 22:44; Mk 12:36; Lk 20:42; Acts 2:34; Heb. 1:13; 10:13) and has a total of twenty-five direct or indirect allusions to it. The two main themes in Psalm 110 are Jesus’ eternal, kingly and priestly ministry. In Psalm 110, the Father speaks two oracles to Jesus. First, the Father invites Jesus to sit with Him as a King forever (v. 1). Then, He gives Jesus spiritual responsibilities as a priest forever (v. 4)".
Places: Zion
Tags: Coronation of Jesus, Armageddon, Jesus rules in Zion, Jesus as king of the whole world, Jesus as priest, Jesus musters an army, Jesus overthrows earthly rulers, Jesus tramples his enemies, Jesus in Red
1 A psalm of David. Here is the Lord’s proclamation to my lord: “Sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool!”
2 The Lord extends your dominion from Zion. Rule in the midst of your enemies!
3 Your people willingly follow you when you go into battle. On the holy hills at sunrise the dew of your youth belongs to you.
4 The Lord makes this promise on oath and will not revoke it: “You are an eternal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.”
5 O Lord, at your right hand he strikes down kings in the day he unleashes his anger.
6 He executes judgment against the nations; he fills the valleys with corpses; he shatters their heads over the vast battlefield.
7 From the stream along the road he drinks; then he lifts up his head.