Be wise now therefore, O ye kings
This address is made not so much to the kings of the earth in David's time, as to those who would be under the Gospel dispensation, and times of the Messiah; and particularly who would rise up, and set themselves against the Lord and his Anointed, ( Psalms 2:2 ) ; and with these are to be understood their subjects: for if they are to serve the Lord, and be subject to Christ, then much more those that are under them; and they are rather spoken to particularly, because their examples have great influence on those over whom they rule, whether for good or evil these are exhorted to be wise, or to act the wise part; for great men are not always wise; wisdom, riches, and honour, do not always go together; men may be in high places, and yet be of low understandings; however, they do not always act wisely, and particularly those kings did not, when they rose up and set themselves against the Lord and his Messiah; since such opposition must be fruitless, nor is there any counsel against the Lord. And we learn, from the connection of these words with the following, that the truest wisdom in kings and people is to fear God, be subject to Christ, and trust in him. The words are an inference from what goes before; "therefore", since Christ is set as King over Zion, and he is no other than the Son of God, and who has a power over all flesh; one part of the world is his inheritance and possession, and the other part he will in a little time break and dash to pieces; wherefore "now", under the Gospel dispensation, while it is today, and now is the accepted time and day of salvation, before the blow is given; act the wise part and leave off opposing, and become subject to so great and powerful a King;
be instructed, ye judges of the earth;
who are under kings, being appointed by them to hear causes and minister justice; they answer to the sanhedrim of the Jews; to the rulers in ( Psalms 2:2 ) . These are exhorted to receive instructions, not in things political and civil they may be well acquainted with; but in things religious and evangelical, in the worship of God, in the Gospel of Christ, and in his ordinances; for persons in such posts should not be above instruction in these things. The word may be rendered, "be ye chastised" or "corrected" F9; that is, suffer reproof, correction, and chastisement at the hand of God, whether by words or deeds; submit to it patiently, and receive instruction from it: for God sometimes reproves kings and princes of the earth, on account of their sins, and for the sake of his people, when they should learn righteousness; see ( Psalms 105:14 Psalms 105:15 ) ( Isaiah 26:9 ) .
F9 (wrowh) "castigamini", Piscator; so Ainsworth; "corrigimini", Castalio, Gejerus, Michaelis.