Sitting at the right hand of an ancient king meant sharing the throne with him

Daniel B. Wallace is here quoting Martin Hengel on the meaning of “sitting at the right hand of,” referring to Psalm 110.  The verse Wallace has in immediate focus is John 17:5:

Now what’s key here is he says ‘Glorify me at your side.’ That’s referring to Jesus sitting at the right hand of God. In fact, Psalm 110, which is used more than any verse in the entire NT, is speaking about sitting at the right hand of God…Martin Hengel…wrote a book called Early Issues in Christology…and what he demonstrated in that book is that to sit at the right hand of someone is to sit on the same throne as that person; and therefore that person shares the same attributes and the same authority. He showed archeologically some images of people sitting at the right hand of another king on inscriptions and things like this, and they’re actually sitting on the same throne…so when Jesus says, ‘glorify me at your side,’ he’s saying, ‘reinstate me on your throne at your right side so that my glory is going to be unveiled again so that everyone will see that I have the same attributes and the same authority as you’…

Here’s the original source, which gives context for this quote.

The author who gave the Wallace quote went on to say:

I agree that ‘sitting-at-God’s-right-hand’ implies that Jesus sits on God’s throne. However, we don’t need Hengel’s studies in archeology to demonstrate this, for the Scriptures themselves reveal this to be true on their own. Notice, however, that in the book of Revelation, Jesus speaks about sitting on his throne and on God’s throne in the following way:

“The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, just as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Rev. 3:21).

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