The seemingly discordant literary imagery of Ps 110 has been a point of contention for scholars. Many have been troubled by the reference to king as priest in verse 4 since the psalm is otherwise dominated by imagery of the deity at war and the king enthroned over his enemies. Arguments over this verse have drawn data primarily from biblical texts and from other ancient Near Eastern literature. Scholars employ various methodologies to make sense of this verse and its imagery. Some resolve this crux by claiming that warfare and priesthood were integrated within the role of the king in the ancient Near East. Others argue that the roles of king and priest were not connected in ancient Israel. Still others contend that, even if such a connection existed, it would not have been emphasized in a royal psalm until after the exile when the position of priest became far more important than in earlier periods. A turn to ancient Near Eastern iconographic data provides new insight on this discussion. This article demonstrates that constellations of priestly, royal, and violent imagery in ancient Near Eastern iconography assist us in understanding the literary imagery presented by Ps 110. This article, then, contributes to the understanding of the literary image of the king in Ps 110:4, while also clarifying the interconnection between the roles of kingship and priesthood in ancient Syria-Palestine.

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