In thy majesty ride prosperously - These words cannot be spoken of Solomon; they are true only of Christ. His riding is the prosperous progress of his Gospel over the earth. He uses no sword but the sword of the Spirit; and what religion, system of truth, pretended or real, ever made such progress as the religion of Christ has done, without one sword being ever drawn to propagate it from the first introduction of Christianity to the present time? His Gospel is Truth, proclaiming Humility, ענוה anvah, and Righteousness. This, indeed, is the sum of the Gospel; and an epitome of its operations in the hearts of men.
The Chaldee is different: "And the Lord will teach thee to perform terrible things by thy right hand." The Arabic: "And with admiration shall thy right hand direct thee." The Septuagint: "And thy right hand shall lead thee wonderfully." To the same purpose are the Vulgate, Anglo-Saxon, and the old Psalter. The meaning is, Nothing shall be able to resist thee, and the judgments which thou shalt inflict on thine enemies shall be terrible.
And in thy majesty ride prosperously - Margin, “Prosper thou, ride thou.” The majesty here referred to is the glory or magnificence which became a prince of such rank, and going forth to such deeds. The prayer is, that he would go forth with the pomp and glory becoming one in that station. The word used here, rendered in the margin, “prosper thou,” means properly to go over or through, to pass over, and may be correctly rendered here, pass on; that is, move forward to conquest. The word “ride” refers to the way in which warriors usually went forth to conquest in a chariot of war. The idea is that of one caparisoned for war, and with the glory appropriate to his rank as king, going forth to victory. This language is such as is often employed in the Scriptures to describe the Messiah as a conquering king.
Because of truth - On account of truth; or in the cause of truth. That is, the great purpose of his conquests would be to establish a kingdom based on truth, in contradistinction from the existing kingdom of darkness as based on error and falsehood. The “object” of his conquests was to secure the reign of truth over the minds of people. Compare John 18:37.
And meekness and righteousness - literally, “humility-righteousness;” or, humble right. It would be a kingdom or a conquest of righteousness,” not” established, as most kingdoms are, by pride and arrogance and mere power, but a dominion where humility, meekness, gentleness would be at the foundation - that on which the whole superstructure would be reared. Its characteristic would be righteousness or justice - a righteousness and justice, however, not asserted and established by mere power, or by the pride of conquest, but which would be established and maintained by meekness or gentleness: a kingdom not of outward pomp and power, but the reign of the gentle virtues in the heart.
And thy right hand - The instrument of martial power and success; that which, in war, wields the sword and the spear. “Shall teach thee.” Shall guide thee, or lead thee to the performance of terrible things.
Terrible things - Fearful deeds; things that are suited to excite astonishment or wonder. They were such things as would be regarded as distinguished achievements in war, indicating extraordinary valor; such conquests as would strike the world with amazement. We have here, therefore, a description of the Messiah as going forth to the great conquest of the world; and at the same time we have this intimation of the nature of his kingdom, that however great the “power” which would be exerted in securing its conquests, it would be founded on “truth:” it would be a kingdom where righteousness would prevail, and whose essential characteristic would be gentleness and peace.