Dr. Gregg Strawbridge - Psalm 72 - The Reign of the King


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The Character of the King’s Reign (1-4) - Psalm 72 ends Book II of the Psalms. This “royal” psalm is an idealized vision and prayer of the King of Israel and suggests “a messianic figure” (WBC). Certainly no Israelite King fulfilled this vision (not David, not Solomon, etc.), but “a delineation of the characteristics of the ideal king” (Eerdmans). There is a striking “disparity between its portrayal of the king and the actual behavior of the kings of Israel and Judah” (NIB). This ideal vision includes righteous judgments, justice, peace, vindicating the needy, and punishing oppressors. Biblical righteousness overturns unjust oppressors, rather than assuming power is injustice.
The Comprehensiveness of the King’s Reign (5-11) - The extent of the reign of this ideal King is expressed poetically, both in time and space, e.g., while the sun and moon endure and in territory; from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth, the sheiks of the desert, the kings of Tarshish (Spain) and the islands (Britannia), Sheba (Arabia/Yemen) and Seba (Egypt, Gen. 10:7). Beyond regional expansion, all kingdoms and all nations will serve him (11). David, Solomon, and especially the kings following never even approached the shadow of fulfilling this. This highlights the messianic expectations of this psalm. So, later versions (Targum) “add the the word ‘Messiah’ to ‘the king’”...

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