PSALM 2#A royal Psalm. To rebellious kings (Ps 2:1–3) God responds vigorously (Ps 2:4–6). A speaker proclaims the divine decree (in the legal adoption language of the day), making the Israelite king the earthly representative of God (Ps 2:7–9) and warning kings to obey (Ps 2:10–11). The Psalm has a messianic meaning for the Church; the New Testament understands it of Christ (Acts 4:25–27; 13:33; Heb 1:5).
A Psalm for a Royal Coronation
1Why do the nations protest
and the peoples conspire in vain?#a. [2:1] Rev 11:18.
2Kings on earth rise up
and princes plot together
against the Lord and against his anointed one:#Anointed: in Hebrew mashiah, “anointed”; in Greek christos, whence English Messiah and Christ. In Israel kings (Jgs 9:8; 1 Sm 9:16; 16:12–13) and high priests (Lv 8:12; Nm 3:3) received the power of their office through anointing.#b. [2:2] Ps 83:6.
3“Let us break their shackles
and cast off their chains from us!”#c. [2:3] Ps 149:8.
4The one enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord derides them,#d. [2:4] Ps 37:13; 59:9; Wis 4:18.
5Then he speaks to them in his anger,
in his wrath he terrifies them:
6“I myself have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7I will proclaim the decree of the Lord,
he said to me, “You are my son;
today I have begotten you.#e. [2:7] Ps 89:27; 110:2–3; Is 49:1.
8Ask it of me,
and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,
and, as your possession, the ends of the earth.
9With an iron rod you will shepherd them,
like a potter’s vessel you will shatter them.”#f. [2:9] Rev 2:27; 12:5; 19:15.
10And now, kings, give heed;
take warning, judges on earth.
11Serve the Lord with fear;
exult with trembling,
lest he become angry and you perish along the way
when his anger suddenly blazes up.#g. [2:11] Ps 34:9; 146:5; Prv 16:20.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him!