Psalm 89:27

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 27. Also I will make him my firstborn. Among the kings the seed of David were to be most favoured and indulged with most love and paternal regard from God: but in Jesus we see this in the highest degree verified, for he has preeminence in all things, inasmuch as by inheritance he has a more glorious name than any other, and is higher than the kings of the earth. Who can rival heaven's Firstborn? The double portion and the government belong to him. Kings are honoured when they honour him, and those who honour him are kings! In the millennial glory it shall be seen what the covenant stores up for the once despised Son of David, but even now faith sees him exalted as King of kings and Lord of lords. Lo, we bow before thee, thou Heir of all things! Our sheaves do obeisance to thy sheaf. All thy mother's children call thee blessed. Thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise. Jesus is no servant of princes, nor would he have his bride, the church, degrade herself by bowing before kings and eating the bread of a pensioner at their hands. He and his kingdom are higher than the kings of the earth. Let the great ones of the earth be wise and submit to him, for he is Lord, and he is the governor among the nations.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 27. I will make him my firstborn. First, because he is first in the order of predestination; for it is through him, as through the head, that we are predestinated, as we read in Ephesians 1:1-23 . Secondly, because he is first in the second generation to life everlasting, whence he is called ( Colossians 1:18 .) the firstborn from the dead, and in Revelation 1:5 , the first begotten of the dead; and, thirdly, because he had the rights of the firstborn; for he was appointed heir of all things; and he was made not only firstborn, but also, high above the kings of the earth; that is, Prince of the kings of the earth, and King of kings. -- Bellarmine.

Verse 27. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the, earth. This promise plainly implies superiority of a nature similar to what was enjoyed of old by the eldest son of a family -- the birthright privileges and blessings, which consisted principally in three important particulars: First, A double portion of the parent's earthly possessions, Deuteronomy 21:17 . Secondly. Rule or authority over the younger branches of the family, 2 Chronicles 21:3 ; and Thirdly, The exercise of the priesthood, because God claimed all the firstborn as his, and in their stead he appointed the Levites to do the priest's office, Numbers 8:14-17 . But, whilst it is literally true that Jesus was the firstborn son of his virgin mother, and on that account entitled to the customary privileges, the promise in the 89th Psalm ( Psalms 89:1-52 ) gives intimation of something specific and unusual. David was the youngest son of Jesse, the lowest on the list of a numerous family, -- the very last individual among them who could have expected exaltation over all others. But, notwithstanding these natural disadvantages, he was God's choice; and by referring to the Scripture history it would be easy to show in a variety of particulars, how the promise made to David, I will make him my firstborn, was literally and remarkably fulfilled in the son of Jesse. In like manner Jesse, to all human appearance, entering the world as heir apparent only to the poverty of Mary and her espoused husband, was far removed from every prospect of realizing that combination of royal and sacerdotal prerogative, which nevertheless was made stare to him by the promise of his heavenly Father: "I will make him my firstborn." The pronoun "my" gives great emphasis to the promise, but this word is interpolated; and however truly it conveys an idea of the unspeakable superiority which belongs to Jesus Christ as the result of his relationship with God, still we shall find that, even without this important pronoun, the promise simply of being "firstborn" has a sublimity and grandeur about it which needs neither ornament nor addition. The great Jehovah, the Maker and the Owner and the Ruler of the universe, hath said respecting his Christ, "I will make him my firstborn"; that is, I will constitute him the chief of all creatures, and the depository of all power, and the possessor of all privileges, and the heir of all creation. By way of excellence, he is the firstborn, "higher than all the kings of the earth", -- enjoying priority in point of time, and precedence in point of place. --David Pitcairn, in "The Anointed Saviour", 1846.

Verse 27. My firstborn. In the Hebrew idiom all kings were the sons of God: but David is the chief of these, God's firstborn. The Greeks had a similar mode of expressing themselves. Kings were the nurslings of Jupiter. -- Alexander Geddes.