NETNew English Translation
1 Why#tn The question is rhetorical. Rather than seeking information, the psalmist expresses his outrage that the nations would have the audacity to rebel against God and his chosen king. do the nations rebel?#tn The Hebrew verb רָגַשׁ (ragash) occurs only here. In Dan 6:6, 11, 15 the Aramaic cognate verb describes several officials acting as a group. A Hebrew nominal derivative is used in Ps 55:14 of a crowd of people in the temple.
Why#tn The interrogative לָמָּה (lamah, “why?”) is understood by ellipsis in the second line. are the countries#tn Or “peoples” (so many English versions). devising#tn The Hebrew imperfect form describes the rebellion as underway. The verb הָגָה (hagah), which means “to recite quietly, meditate,” here has the metonymic nuance “devise, plan, plot” (see Ps 38:12; Prov 24:2). plots that will fail?#tn Heb “devising emptiness.” The noun רִיק (riq, “emptiness”) may characterize their behavior as “worthless, morally bankrupt” but more likely refers to the outcome of their plots (i.e., failure). As the rest of the psalm emphasizes, their rebellion will fail.
2 The kings of the earth#sn The expression kings of the earth refers somewhat hyperbolically to the kings who had been conquered by and were subject to the Davidic king. form a united front;#tn Or “take their stand.” The Hebrew imperfect verbal form describes their action as underway.
the rulers collaborate#tn Or “conspire together.” The verbal form is a Niphal from יָסַד (yasad). BDB 413-14 s.v. יָסַד defines the verb as “establish, found,” but HALOT 417 s.v. II יסד proposes a homonym meaning “get together, conspire” (an alternate form of סוּד, sud).
against the Lord and his anointed king.#tn Heb “and against his anointed one.” The Davidic king is the referent (see vv. 6-7).
3 They say,#tn The words “they say” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The quotation represents the words of the rebellious kings. “Let’s tear off the shackles they’ve put on us!#tn Heb “their (i.e., the Lord’s and the king’s) shackles.” The kings compare the rule of the Lord and his vice-regent to being imprisoned.
Let’s free ourselves from#tn Heb “throw off from us.” their ropes!”
4 The one enthroned#tn Heb “sitting.” The Hebrew verb יָשַׁב (yashav) is here used metonymically of “sitting enthroned” (see Pss 9:7; 29:10; 55:19; 102:12; 123:1). in heaven laughs in disgust;#tn As the next line indicates, this refers to derisive laughter. The Hebrew imperfect verbal forms in vv. 4-5 describe the action from the perspective of an eyewitness who is watching the divine response as it unfolds before his eyes.
the Lord taunts#tn Or “scoffs at”; “derides”; “mocks.” them.
5 Then he angrily speaks to them
and terrifies them in his rage,#sn And terrifies them in his rage. This line focuses on the effect that God’s angry response (see previous line) has on the rebellious kings. saying,#tn The word “saying” is supplied in the translation for clarification to indicate that the speaker is the Lord (cf. RSV, NIV).
6 “I myself#tn The first person pronoun appears before the first person verbal form for emphasis, reflected in the translation by “myself.” have installed#tn Or perhaps “consecrated.” my king
on Zion, my holy hill.”
7 The king says,#tn The words “the king says” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The speaker is the Lord’s chosen king. “I will announce the Lord’s decree. He said to me:#tn Or “I will relate the decree. The Lord said to me” (in accordance with the Masoretic accentuation).
‘You are my son!#sn ‘You are my son!’ The Davidic king was viewed as God’s “son” (see 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 89:26-27). The idiom reflects ancient Near Eastern adoption language associated with covenants of grant, by which a lord would reward a faithful subject by elevating him to special status, referred to as “sonship.” Like a son, the faithful subject received an “inheritance,” viewed as an unconditional, eternal gift. Such gifts usually took the form of land and/or an enduring dynasty. See M. Weinfeld, “The Covenant of Grant in the Old Testament and in the Ancient Near East,” JAOS 90 (1970): 184-203, for general discussion and some striking extra-biblical parallels. This very day I have become your father!
8 Ask me,
and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,#sn I will give you the nations. The Lord promises the Davidic king universal dominion.
the ends of the earth as your personal property.
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