6. God Our Lord and King

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Audio (25:17) |

Ghent Altarpiece, God Almighty, by Hubert and Jan van Eyck
Hubert (c. 1366-1426). and Jan van Eyck (c. 1390-1441; Flemish painters), Ghent Altarpiece (1432), central panel, God Almighty enthroned. Cathedral of St. Bavo, Ghent. Larger image.
Our God reigns! Let's consider him as Lord and King, as absolute sovereign over his people, Ruler of All Things, Prince, Potentate, Majesty on High. 

When God revealed himself to the patriarchs it was as God Almighty or God Most High. To Moses it was Yahweh, I AM. But when a nation was brought out of Egypt, God revealed himself as their King. The Song of Moses concludes with the triumphant words: 

"The LORD will reign for ever and ever." (Exodus 15:18)

This is the first time in the Old Testament that mālak occurs with God as its reference. It means, "to reign, to be and exercise functions of a monarch, whether male (king) or female (queen)."1

God Our King (melek)

Melek is by far the most common word in the Old Testament for chief magistrate or ruler, and is usually translated "king, lord, captain, ruler, prince, chief."2, 3 "Shepherd" is sometimes used figuratively for "king" in the Old Testament, but we'll reserve our study of "shepherd" for chapter 8. 

The title of King for God doesn't appear much in the Pentateuch, but the symbolism of Exodus makes it inescapably clear that Israel was to see Yahweh as their King. Two of those symbols are: (1) the structure of the Old Covenant as a Suzerain-Vassal treaty and (2) the ark and tabernacle in the wilderness as the throne and royal tent of the King in the midst of the people.

The Suzerain-Vassal Treaty at Sinai

The first obvious symbol of kingship is the suzerain-vassal treaty. Scholars have observed that the covenant given at Mt. Sinai bears a close resemblance to ancient Near Eastern suzerain-vassal treaties. In such a covenant lesser kings (vassals) made peace with the great king of the region (suzerain). The vassal swore allegiance to the suzerain and offered tribute, while the suzerain -- literally, the "king of kings" -- swore protection if the vassal were attacked. These treaties typically included elements that seem to appear in Deuteronomy: (1) preamble (1:1-5), historical prologue (1:6-4:40), general stipulations (5:1-11:32), specific stipulations (12:1-26:15), blessings and curses (27:1-28:68), and witnesses (30:19; 31:19; 32:1-43).4 As a great king, a suzerain, Yahweh covenants with Israel to be their King and Protector. Yahweh is the high King, the great King, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Ark as Throne and Tabernacle as Palace

The second obvious symbols are the ark of the covenant and the tabernacle in the wilderness, designed to be seen as the dwelling place of Yahweh's Presence in the midst of the people. 

Model of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness
More information on the tabernacle available from BiblePlaces.com

The Ark of the Covenant as God's Throne

Eight times in the Old Testament Yahweh is described as "enthroned5 between the cherubim" that were on the ark (2 Samuel 6:2; also 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chronicles 13:6; Psalm 80:1; cf. Ezekiel 10:1). Twice God's enthroned Presence is in the context of reigning as King:

Ark of the Covenant
One model-maker's depiction of the ark of the covenant, that served as the throne of God, "enthroned between the cherubim" (Psalm 99:1). From BiblePlaces.com.

"The LORD reigns,
let the nations tremble;
he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
let the earth shake.
Great is the LORD in Zion;
he is exalted over all the nations.
Let them praise your great and awesome name--
he is holy.
The King is mighty, he loves justice --
you have established equity;
in Jacob you have done
what is just and right.
Exalt the LORD our God
and worship at his footstool;
he is holy." (Psalm 99:1-5)

"O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth." (Isaiah 37:16)

A number of Near Eastern thrones were flanked by winged creatures. (See my illustrated article, "Near Eastern Thrones and the Ark of the Covenant," www.jesuswalk.com/kingdom/thrones.htm). It is clear to a number of scholars that the ark is to be understood as the throne of the invisible King.

Diagram of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness
Diagram of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness

We should understand the tabernacle in the wilderness as the dwelling of a great desert monarch The Holy of Holies that contains the ark is the throne room, the Holy Place is the hall where his ministers serve him with the seven-branched lampstand, table of showbread, and the altar of incense, and the courtyard containing the laver and the bronze altar comprise his royal precincts. Balaam looked down from the mountain heights at the tabernacle in the midst of Israel's camp and declared:

"The LORD their God is with them;
the shout of the King is among them." (Numbers 23:21; cf. 24:7)

When the temple was built in Jerusalem, it became his palace.

"Your procession has come into view, O God,
the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary." (Psalm 68:24)6

Psalm 48:1 and Matthew 5:35 call Jerusalem "the city of the Great King."

Tribute and Tithes for the King

Because he is a great King, tribute, tithes and offerings are due him:

"Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord (adonnay). For I am a great king," says the LORD of hosts, 'and my name is to be feared among the nations.'" (Malachi 1:14)

A tithe (10%) was expected to be given to a king as his due (1 Samuel 8:15) to support his administration, just as a tithe was given to Yahweh to support his ministers, the priests and Levites. Those who refused to give God "the whole tithe" to provide food for his "house" (i.e., household), were considered to be robbing God (Malachi 3:8-10). Those, of course, who did not consider God their King, did not feel under any obligation to tithe to him, but withheld God's tithe for themselves. (For more Scripture on God's plan for tithe to support his ministers, see my article "Does Your Church Run a Spiritual Sweatshop?" www.joyfulheart.com/church/sweatshop.htm)

Q1. Read 1 Samuel 8:15 and Malachi 3:8-10. How did tithing relate to a person's acceptance of God being his or her King in the Old Testament? How about for those of us who live under the New Covenant? What place does tithing have for us?





God Our King in Praise and Prophecy

A number of times in the poetic passages of the Bible we see God referred to as King, especially in the Psalms.7 Consider these variations on the title of King. Why don't you read each of them out loud, to get a sense of the Lord's majesty:

"Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray." (Psalm 5:2)
"The LORD is enthroned as King forever." (Psalms 29:10)
"How awesome is the LORD Most High,
the great King over all the earth!...
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to him a psalm of praise.
God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne. (Psalm 47:2, 6-8)
"You, O God, are my king from of old...." (Psalm 74:12)
"For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods." (Psalm 95:3)

"Shout for joy before the LORD, the King." (Psalm 98:6)

"I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever." (Psalm 145:1)

"O King of the nations." (Jeremiah 10:7)
"But the LORD is the true God;
he is the living God, the eternal King." (Jeremiah 10:10)
"The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you...." (Zephaniah 3:15)
"The LORD will be king over the whole earth...." (Zechariah 14:9)
"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." (1 Timothy 1:17)

These are just a few of the many references to God as King. Others include: Psalms 10:16; 44:4; 84:3; Isaiah 33:22; Jeremiah 8:19; "Jacob's King" (Isaiah 41:21); "your King" (Isaiah 43:15); "king over Jeshurun"8 (Deuteronomy 33:5).

Appointing a King to Rule for Yahweh (1 Samuel 8)

Yahweh was Israel's King. But during Samuel's term as Judge, Israel faced two problems that they felt would be solved by having a king: (1) they needed a designated military leader (1 Samuel 12:12) and (2) an orderly succession from one leader to the next (1 Samuel 8:1-5). One not-so-good reason was the desire to be like all other nations (1 Samuel 8:5). Though Deuteronomy 17:14-20 had made provision for a human king, the people's request was still an act of rebellion against God, a lack of trust in God's leadership. The people approached Samuel:

"They said to him, 'You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.'
But when they said, 'Give us a king to lead us,' this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: 'Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.'" (1 Samuel 8:5-7)

Saul and then David were appointed kings of Israel. However, it was with the understanding that they were ruling on behalf of the Great King, the King of kings, and at his appointing and anointing, not that they would somehow replace him (1 Chronicles 11:2; 14:2). It was as the Queen of Sheba said to Solomon:

"... The LORD your God ... has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the LORD your God ... to maintain justice and righteousness." (2 Chronicles 9:8)

Democracy and the Concept of King

Just what does it mean to have Yahweh as your King? In contrast to members of the British Commonwealth, the very premise of American democracy is the rejection of a king. The founding fathers were very careful to keep the President from having a king's absolute powers. He was elected for a definite term and could be removed if necessary. The People were in charge.

Thus it is terribly difficult for Americans to relate to an absolute monarch, whose word is law and beyond whom there is no appeal. Americans are independent, fiercely resistant to any diminishment of their freedoms. Can an American be a true believer for whom God is King and Jesus is Lord?

It may be difficult but it is necessary to bend our knees and our wills before the King. If God's Messiah, Jesus, is not your King, can he really be your Savior? If life is about doing your own thing rather than seeking to do the will of God, then your faith is a sham, a farce, a delusion. Either Yahweh is your King or he is not? Which is it in reality? Jesus put it very clearly:

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:31)

Q2. What are the personal implications of Yahweh being your King and of Jesus being the Messiah sent from God? What are the advantages of being the subject of Yahweh as King? What does it mean for you to submit to the King on an everyday basis? How does a person reject Yahweh from being King over him or her?




The King, Yahweh of Hosts

A number of times the title "King" is associated with another title, "Yahweh of hosts," or "Yahweh, commander of the armies," which we discussed in chapter 2. For example:

"Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts --
he is the King of glory." (Psalm 24:10)
"... My eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." (Isaiah 6:5)

See also 1 Kings 22:19; Isaiah 44:6; Jeremiah 46:18; cf. 48:15; 51:57; Zechariah 14:16, cf. verse 17; Malachi 1:14.

King of Kings

There is a sense in which God is the King of all kings and rulers who govern under his overall suzerainty and law.

"... God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords..." (1 Timothy 6:15)

Paul teaches:

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established... For he is God's servant to do you good... He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer." (Romans 13:1-7, especially verses 1 and 4)

Sadly, many times in history the so-called "divine right of kings" has become a travesty where kings follow their own desires, rather than seeking to rule on behalf of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. On Judgment Day, national leaders will be held accountable to have ruled with righteousness and justice on behalf of their Suzerain. Even though the government may be technically secular, yet the governing authorities -- "God's servants to do you good" -- must rule with justice and righteousness.

Q3. What are the implications for governments that Yahweh is the King of kings and Lord of lords? What are the implications of removing "God" from a nation's currency and pledges, and ardently secularizing national life? Where does that put a nation with regard to God the King?





The Lord (´Adōnāy)

This brings us to another title for God, "Lord," ´ādōn, or with a first person suffix, ´adōnā(y) (there are various spellings). The word means "lord, master, owner," and sometimes "husband." It is a term for a person who deserves respect for his position or title. When ´ādōn appears in the special plural form with a singular pronominal suffix ´ădōnā(y), it refers to God some 300 times. Just as ´ĕlŏîm (God) is often plural in Hebrew, so ´ădōnā(y) might be called an intensive plural or plural of majesty. Only rarely is the suffix translated.9

We examined ´adonai when we studied Yahweh in chapter 3. Later Jews would not pronounce the divine name Yahweh, but instead substituted ´adonai when reading the Scripture out loud. This is the reason that most English Bibles substitute the word LORD (in small caps) when Yahweh appears. But it is important for careful readers of the Old Testament to distinguish: "Yahweh" is God's name, "Lord" (´ădōnāy) is a title. Sometimes the words are used in parallel, as:

"The LORD reigns... The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord (´ădōnāy) of all the earth." (Psalm 97:1, 5)

Sometimes (´ădōnāy) appears in a phrase such as "Lord of lords," which has the same meaning as "King of kings." See also "God of gods" (Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:2-3 (NIV);  and "Lord10 of kings" (Daniel 2:47).

Occasionally there is a combination of Adonai and Yahweh together. When this occurs, KJV usually renders it as "Lord GOD," the NRSV as "LORD God," while the NIV renders it as "Sovereign LORD" (just to confuse us). For example: Lord GOD...." (Ezekiel 28:12, NRSV. Also in Ezekiel 16:8; 29:3, 19; 30:10, 22; 32:11; Amos 1:8). In a well-known messianic passage the words appear together:

The LORD says to my Lord:
     "Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
     a footstool for your feet." (Psalm 110:1)

O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (Psalm 8:9, NIV, KJV)

The NRSV translates Psalm 8:9 as "LORD, our Sovereign"). In Isaiah you see the phrase "the Lord, the LORD of hosts" (KJV, cf. NIV), rendered by the NRSV as the Sovereign, the LORD of hosts" (Isaiah 1:24; 3:1; 10:16, 33; 19:4).

Lord in the New Testament (kurios)

In the Septuagint Greek Old Testament and in the New Testament, both Yahweh and adonai are usually rendered by the Greek noun kurios, "owner," from a root meaning "to swell, to be strong." The Greeks used kurios for both gods and rulers.11 The New Testament uses kurios for the owner of a vineyard, the master of the steward or slaves, and in polite address to a superior person, as well as for God and as a title of Jesus. Because of its use for Yahweh, when kurios is applied to Jesus it implies a position equal to God. Thus the confession "Jesus is Lord" really means "Jesus is Yahweh, God himself" -- a very powerful statement for a Jew especially (Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 12:3).

Q4. What is the significance of the confession "Jesus is Lord"? Why is this necessary for salvation, according to Romans 10:9?




The Kingdom of God is at Hand

Both John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2) and Jesus (Matthew 4:7) came with the message, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Jesus' disciples carried the same message to the villages where they preached (Matthew 10:7). Just what is the kingdom of God? Jesus was essentially declaring that in his person as the Messiah -- the one God anointed to reign on his behalf -- the Kingdom of God was present. The Reign of God, was both in the present with his teaching, miracles, and sacrifice; in the ministry of the disciples and Christians today, and in the future ("thy kingdom come," Matthew 6:10). In the last day, Christ shall come as mighty King and Victor (Revelation 19). Do you submit to Christ's reign now? If so, then the Kingdom of God resides in you and empowers you to do the same works that Jesus did (John 14:12).

Ruler, Sovereign, Potentate, Prince, Majesty on High

Now let's consider a few other titles of God in his role as Ruler as they appear in some translations:

"... God, the blessed and only Ruler (dunastēs), the King of kings and Lord of lords." (1 Timothy 6:15)

Dunastēs, "one who can do something,"12 is variously translated as "Ruler" (NIV), "Sovereign" (NRSV), and "Potentate" (KJV). Another word used for God is the Greek despotēs, from which we get our word "despot." The word means "owner" and when it refers to God means "absolute ruler."13 It occurs in Luke 2:29; Acts 2:24; and ...

"Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?" (Revelation 6:10)

 In the Old Testament, God's title is occasionally described by the verb māshal, "rule, have dominion reign."14

"Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the Ruler (māshal) of all things." (1 Chronicles 29:12, NIV)

"For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor (verb māshal) among the nations." (Psalm 22:28, KJV)

Twice in Daniel the term "Prince" (śar)15 is applied to God in the context of his battle with the antichrist: "Prince of the host" (Daniel 8:11) and the "Prince of princes" (Daniel 8:25). The word also appears in the messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:6: "And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

In heaven, the victorious martyrs are given harps and they sing "the song of Moses" and "the song of the Lamb"

"Great and amazing are your deeds,
Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations!"16 (Revelation 15:3, NRSV)

He is not just King of Israel, but King of every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth, and the One to whom each shall answer (Revelation 20:11-15). Finally we come to "the Majesty on High" in Hebrews. 

"When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Hebrews 1:3, NRSV).
"We have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." (Hebrews 8:1)

"Majesty" is megalōsunē, "a state of greatness or preeminence, majesty," used only of God.17 It is similar to Nebuchadnezzar's phrase, "King of Heaven" (Daniel 4:37) and "Lord of Heaven" (Daniel 5:23). In the New Testament, God is referred to twice as "Lord of heaven and earth" (Matthew 11:25; Acts 17:24, using kyrios).

Names and Titles of God, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

Now available as in paperback and  e-book formats. Includes Hebrew & Greek word studies, discussion questions and handouts for groups or classes, suggests songs, comprehensive with 120 core names, titles, etc., total of 219 varieties.  Detailed index. Modestly priced. Buy your copy today.

Living as Subjects of the King

We are not independent citizens of the earth, we are subjects of the King of the World. He is our Lord. He is our Ruler. He is our Prince and Sovereign Lord. The Kingdom of God is at hand in our lives to the degree that the King reigns in our hearts. Live so as to please your King, the Lord of Heaven and Earth.


Father, it's so tempting to live as if we were subject only to our own whims and fancies. Help us to live our lives listening to, obeying, and then following our King. May your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. In the name of Jesus your Messiah, we pray. Amen.

Names of God

  • Eternal King
  • Great King
  • God of gods
  • Jacob's King
  • King (melek)
  • King and God
  • King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible
  • King of All the Earth
  • King of Glory
  • King of Heaven
  • King of Israel
  • King of Kings
  • King of the Nations, King of Saints, King of the Ages
  • King Over Jeshurun
  • King Over the Whole Earth
  • King, the LORD of hosts
  • Lord (adonai, kurios)
  • Lord GOD, Sovereign LORD
  • Lord of All the Earth
  • Lord of Heaven
  • Lord of Heaven and Earth
  • Lord of Kings
  • Lord of Lords
  • Lord, the LORD of Hosts
  • Majesty in the Heavens
  • Majesty on High
  • My God and King
  • My God the King
  • My King and My God
  • My King from of Old
  • Prince (Śar)
  • Ruler of All Things
  • Ruler, Sovereign, Potentate
  • Sovereign
  • Sovereign Lord
  • Sovereign Lord (despotēs)
  • The LORD, the King


If you have a song in this category to suggest, please let me know (www.joyfulheart.com/contact/). With a few exceptions, I have tried to limit this list to songs which celebrate God as King, rather than Jesus the Messiah as King, for the purposes of this study.

"Arise, King of Kings," by Don Moen and Paul Baloche (©2003 Integrity's Hosanna! Music)

"Be Thou My Vision" ("high king of heaven...."), words are attributed to Dallan Forgaill, 8th Century, translated by Mary E. Byrne(1905), and versed by Eleanor H. Hull (1912). The tune is of Irish folk origin.

"Great Is the Lord" (Psalm 48:1), words and music by Robert Ewing (©1976, Robert Ewing, Waco, TX), with the refrain, "the city of the Great King."

"Hallelujah, for the Lord our God the Almighty Reigns," words and music by Dale Garratt (©1972 Scripture In Song, a div. of Integrity Music, Inc.)

"He Is Exalted, the King is Exalted on High," by Twila Paris (©1985, Straightway Music, a div. of EMI Christian Music Publishing)

"How Great Is Our God," also known as "The Splendor of the King," by Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves (©2004 worshiptogether.com songs, Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing; sixsteps Music, Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)

"Lord Reign in Me," words and music by Brenton Brown (©1998 Vineyard Songs, UK/Eire, Admin. by Vineyard Music UK)

"Majesty," by Jack Hayford, (©1981 Rocksmith Music, Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.). Though the song specifically refers to Jesus, I'm including it here as a class "King" worship song.

"Now unto the King Eternal" (1 Timothy 1:17), by Lorraine Sonneberg (©1972 Dawn Treader Music, Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)

"Our God Reigns!" words and music by Leonard E., Jr. Smith (©1974, 1978, New Jerusalem Music)

"Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven," words: Henry F. Lyte (1834), music: John Goss (1869).

"Rejoice, the Lord is King," words: Charles Wesley (1744), music: John Darwall (1770)

"We Bow Down," words and music by Twila Paris (©1984 Singspiration Music, Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.)

"You Are Holy" ("Prince of Peace;" "... I will sing to and worship the King who is worthy"), by Mark Imboden and Tammi Rhoton (©1994 Imboden Music, Admin. by Music Services; Martha Jo Publishing, Admin. by Music Services)

"You Are the Lord, the Famous One," by Chris Tomlin and Jesse Reeves (©2002 worshiptogether.com songs, Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing, sixsteps Music, Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)


Standard Abbreviations https://www.jesuswalk.com/names-god/refs.htm

  1. Robert D. Culver, mālak, TWOT #1199.
  2. Ibid. Melek can refer to a king at any level, from an emperor or to a lowly vassal king.
  3. "Before the exile, Yahweh is mostly seen as King of Israel, bringing peace to his chosen people. Later, Judaism calls him King of the World, enthroned in Jerusalem and magnified by all nations" (Gerhard von Rad, basileuō, ktl., TDNT 1:565-71).
  4. G.E. Mendenhall (Law and Covenant in Israel and the Ancient Near East (Presbyterian Board of Colportage of Western Pennsylvania, 1955) developed this understanding of Deuteronomy. See Richard A. Taylor, "Form Criticism," DOTP 340. Paul R. Williamson, "Covenant," DOTP 139-155. M.W. Chavalas, "Moses," DOTP 577. Peter C. Craigie (The Book of Deuteronomy (New International Commentary on the Old Testament; Eerdmans, 1976), pp. 79-83) sees an Egyptian background to the Deuteronomic covenant.
  5. Yāshab means "sit, remain, dwell," and in the context of a king or a throne, "be enthroned" (Walter C. Kaiser, yāshab, TWOT #922). See also "The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
    the Lord is enthroned as King forever." (Psalm 29:10)
  6. "Sanctuary in verse 24 is qōdesh," sacred place." "Temple" in 68:29 is hêkāl, "palace, temple, nave, sanctuary."
  7. Tryggve N. D. Mettinger (translated by Frederick H.Cryer), In Search of God: The Meaning and Message of the Everlasting Names (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988), chapter 6, pp. 92-112) has found three elements in a number of Old Testament passages where God is acclaimed as King: (1) God's victory over the forces of chaos, (2) his acclamation as King, and (3) construction of his palace/temple. These battles include (a) the creation battle, (b) the Zion battle, (c) the exodus battle, and (d) the battle on the Day of the Lord. Mettinger traces 43 times in the Old Testament where "King" is used of God, 13 times where the verb malak, "to be king, to reign," is used of God, terms signifying "kingdom" used 10 times with God, the Lord sitting on his throne 11 times, 8 times where God rules, governs, masal.
  8. Jeshurun, "upright," is a symbolic name for Israel.
  9. Robert L. Alden, ´dn, TWOT 27b.
  10. "Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord (Aramaic mārēh) of kings..." Mārē´, mārēh, TWOT #2839. "Lord," used of God and also of the king. From an Aramaic root corresponding to Hebrew mara´, in the sense of "domineering, a master."
  11. Werner Foerster and Gottfried Quell, kýrios, ktl., TDNT 3:1039-1098.
  12.  Dunastēs, from the verb dunamai, "to be able, to have power," carries the idea, "one who can do something" (Walter Grundmann, dýnamai, ktl., TDNT 2:284-317).
  13. Despotēs can refer to the master of the house, master as distinct from slave, absolute ruler (equivalent to týrannos in Plato), powerful divine being, the Roman emperor, and (astrologically) planet. In the Greek Old Testament Septuagint it doesn't appear nearly as often as kýrios with reference to God, but does occur 56 times with a special emphasis on God's omnipotence. The NIV and NRSV translate despotēs as "Sovereign Lord," while the KJV renders it as "Lord" (K.H. Rengstorf, despotēs, ktl., TDNT 2:44-49).
  14. Māshal means "rule, have dominion, reign," though the precise manner of rule may vary from one context to another (Robert D. Culver, māshal, TWOT #1259).  Both the KJV and NRSV translate māshal as a verb in 1 Chronicles 29:12 rather than as a substantive. This verb is also used Isaiah 52:7, which inspired the chorus "Our God Reigns!" 
  15. Śar is used 318 times in the Old Testament to refer to a "head man," variously "prince, chief, captain, ruler, governor, keeper, chief captain, steward, master."14 It is also applied God as the captain or commander that appears to Joshua before the battle of Jericho: "... As commander of the army of the Lord I have now come." (Joshua 5:14) (Gary G. Cohen, śārar, TWOT #2295a. Robert D. Culver, mālak, TWOT #1199).
  16. Other translations render the last phrase as "King of saints" (KJV) and "King of the ages" (NIV). The differences here are due to a copyist error. The original is probably "King of the nations," which would mean in context, "King of the Gentiles." G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation (New International Greek Testament Commentary; Eerdmans, 1999), pp. 795-796. This reading has a {C} probability (A being most probably, D being iffy) according to Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (United Bible Societies, 1971), p. 755-756.
  17. BDAG 623.

Copyright © 2024, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

Sign up now!To be notified about future articles, stories, and Bible studies, why don't you subscribe to our free newsletter,The Joyful Heart, by placing your e-mail address in the box below. We respect your privacy and never sell, rent, or loan our lists. Please don't subscribe your friends; let them decide for themselves.
Country(2-letter abbreviation, such as US)
Preferred FormatHTML (recommended) Plain text