“It is probably one of the most important texts, since it’s one of the few in the Second Temple literature that is so specifically concerned and interested in a Davidic messiah,” says Dr. Joel Willitts, professor of biblical and theological studies at North Park University, speaking on Psalms of Solomon 17. “In fact, the text calls that messiah Kyrios Christos, ‘Lord Messiah’—and it’s that kind of confession that we hear on the lips of Paul through his letters time and time again.”
Anyone interested in messianic expectations during the period in which the New Testament was written cannot ignore this important pseudepigraphal text. Further, this chapter from Psalms of Solomon creates interesting messianic translation questions in that it depicts an explicitly militaristic messiah.
“And gird him with strength, that he may shatter unrighteous rulers, and that he may purge Jerusalem from Gentiles who trample (her) down to destruction,” Psalms of Solomon 17 reads, referring to the messiah. “With a rod of iron he shall shatter all their substance; he shall destroy the godless nations with the word of his mouth.”
Dr. Willitts explains how this messianic text ought to be interpreted, in light of Wisdom tradition, in this brief clip from his Mobile Ed course NT202 A Survey of Jewish History and Literature from the Second Temple Period.
Learn more about this important depiction of the Second Temple messianic expectations in the Between the Testaments Bundle, which contains both NT202 and BI291 The Apocrypha: Witness between the Testaments by Dr. David A. deSilva. These courses are shipping soon. To claim the 40% discount, order before July 20.
A Conversation on the Davidic Messiah
“Isaiah is the key that unlocks the significance of what the Davidic messiah was going to do,” says Dr. Mark Strauss, professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary. “In Isaiah … you see the messiah is actually going to die as an atoning sacrifice for his people. And so, reading Isaiah as a unity, as certainly Jesus did, and first-century Jews did, you see the messiah is portrayed precisely as Luke portrays him: as the Davidic messiah whose role is to suffer and die and bring forgiveness of sins, and then the expansion of the gospel to the Gentiles.”
You can hear more from Dr. Strauss and Dr. Willitts as they discuss the Davidic messiah throughout the Bible and in other Second Temple literature, in particular, in this episode of the Mobile Ed Conversations podcast: