Psalms 2

1 Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
3 "Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us."
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 "I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill."
7 I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, "You are my son; today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling
12 kiss his feet, [a] or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take 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.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Cn: Meaning of Heb of verses 11b and 12a is uncertain

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 2

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