Psalms 2

The Reign of the LORD'S Anointed.

1 Why are 1the [a]nations in an uproar And the peoples 2devising a vain thing?
2 The 3kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together 4Against the LORD and against His [b]5Anointed, saying,
3 "Let us 6tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!"
4 He who [c]sits in the heavens 7laughs, The Lord 8scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His 9anger And 10terrify them in His fury, saying,
6 "But as for Me, I have [d]installed 11My King Upon Zion, 12My holy mountain."
7 "I will surely tell of the [e]decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are 13My Son, Today I have begotten You.
8 'Ask of Me, and 14I will surely give 15the [f]nations as Your inheritance, And the very 16ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 'You shall [g]17break them with a [h]rod of iron, You shall 18shatter them like [i]earthenware *.' "
10 Now therefore, O kings, 19show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the LORD with 20reverence And rejoice with 21trembling.
12 Do homage to 22the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For 23His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who 24take refuge in Him!

Psalms 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

Threatenings against the enemies of Christ's kingdom. (1-6) Promise to Christ as the Head of this kingdom. (7-9) Counsel to all, to espouse its interests. (10-12)

Verses 1-6 We are here told who would appear as adversaries to Christ. As this world is the kingdom of Satan, unconverted men, of every rank, party, and character, are stirred up by him to oppose the cause of God. But the rulers of the earth generally have been most active. The truths and precepts of Christianity are against ambitious projects and worldly lusts. We are told what they aim at in this opposition. They would break asunder the bands of conscience, and the cords of God's commandments; they will not receive, but cast them away as far as they can. These enemies can show no good cause for opposing so just and holy a government, which, if received by all, would bring a heaven upon earth. They can hope for no success in so opposing so powerful a kingdom. The Lord Jesus has all power both in heaven and in earth, and is Head over all things to the church, notwithstanding the restless endeavours of his enemies. Christ's throne is set up in his church, that is, in the hearts of all believers.

Verses 7-9 The kingdom of the Messiah is founded upon an eternal decree of God the Father. This our Lord Jesus often referred to, as what he governed himself by. God hath said unto him, Thou art my Son, and it becomes each of us to say to him, Thou art my Lord, my Sovereign'. The Son, in asking the heathen for his inheritance, desires their happiness in him; so that he pleads for them, ever lives to do so, and is able to save to the uttermost, and he shall have multitudes of willing, loyal subjects, among them. Christians are the possession of the Lord Jesus; they are to him for a name and a praise. God the Father gives them to him, when, by his Spirit and grace, he works upon them to submit to the Lord Jesus.

Verses 10-12 Whatever we rejoice in, in this world, it must always be with trembling, because of the uncertainty of all things in it. To welcome Jesus Christ, and to submit to him, is our wisdom and interest. Let him be very dear and precious; love him above all, love him in sincerity, love him much, as she did, to whom much was forgiven, and, in token of it, kissed his feet, ( Luke 7:38 ) . And with a kiss of loyalty take this yoke upon you, and give up yourselves to be governed by his laws, disposed of by his providence, and entirely devoted to his cause. Unbelief is a sin against the remedy. It will be utter destruction to yourselves; lest ye perish in the way of your sins, and from the way of your vain hopes; lest your way perish, lest you prove to have missed the way of happiness. Christ is the way; take heed lest ye be cut off from Him as your way to God. They thought themselves in the way; but neglecting Christ, they perish from it. Blessed will those be in the day of wrath, who, by trusting in Christ, have made him their Refuge.

Cross References 24

  • 1. Psalms 46:6; Psalms 83:2-5; Acts 4:25, 26
  • 2. Psalms 21:11
  • 3. Psalms 48:4-6
  • 4. Psalms 74:18, 23
  • 5. John 1:41
  • 6. Jeremiah 5:5
  • 7. Psalms 37:13
  • 8. Psalms 59:8
  • 9. Psalms 21:8, 9; Psalms 76:7
  • 10. Psalms 78:49, 50
  • 11. Psalms 45:6
  • 12. Psalms 48:1, 2
  • 13. Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; Hebrews 5:5
  • 14. Psalms 21:1, 2
  • 15. Psalms 22:27
  • 16. Psalms 67:7
  • 17. Psalms 89:23; Psalms 110:5, 6; Revelation 2:26, 27; Revelation 12:5; Revelation 19:15
  • 18. Psalms 28:5; Psalms 52:5; Psalms 72:4
  • 19. Proverbs 8:15; Proverbs 27:11
  • 20. Psalms 5:7
  • 21. Psalms 119:119, 120
  • 22. Psalms 2:7
  • 23. Revelation 6:16, 17
  • 24. Psalms 5:11; Psalms 34:22

Footnotes 14

Chapter Summary


This psalm is the second in order, and so it is called in Ac 13:33; which shows that the book of Psalms was in the same form in the apostles' days as now, and as it ever had been; and though it is without a title, yet certain it is that it is a psalm of David, since the twelve apostles of Christ with one voice ascribe it to him, in which no doubt they the generally received sense of the Jewish Ac 4:24,25; and the Messiah is the subject of and that it is a prophecy concerning him, his person, office, and kingdom, appears from the express mention of the Lord's Anointed, or Messiah, in his being set as King over Zion, notwithstanding the opposition made against him; from the person spoken of being called the Son of God, and that in such sense as angels and men are not, and therefore cannot belong to any creature; and from his having so large an inheritance, and such power over the Heathen; and from the reverence, service, and obedience due to him from the kings and judges of the earth; and from the trust and confidence which is to be put in him, which ought not to be placed but in a divine Person; and more especially this appears from several passages cited out of it in the New Testament, and applied to the Messiah, \Ac 4:25-27 13:33 Heb 1:5 5:5\, to which may be added, that the ancient Jewish doctors interpreted this psalm of the Messiah {s}; and some of the modern ones own that it may be understood either of David or of the Messiah, and that some things are clearer of the Messiah than of David {t}; and some particular passages in it are applied to him both by ancient and later writers among the Jews, as Ps 2:1,2, "Why do the Heathen rage" {u}; Ps 2:6, "I have set" {w}; Ps 2:7, "I will declare the decree", &c. {x}, and Ps 2:8, "Ask of me" {y}; and we may very safely interpret the whole of him.

{s} Jarchi in loc. {t} Kimchi in v. 12. & Aben Ezra in v. 6. 12. {u} T. Bab. Avodah Zarah, fol. 3. 2. Pirke Eliezer, c. 19. {w} R. Saadiah Gaon in Dan. vii. 13. {x} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 90. 2. Zohar in Numb. fol. 82. 2. Maimon in Misn Sanhedrin, c. 11. 1. & Abarbinel Mashmiah Jeshuah, fol. 37. 4. &. 38. 1. {y} T. Bab. Succah, fol. 52. 1. & Bereshit Rabba, s. 44. fol. 38. 4.

Psalms 2 Commentaries

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.