Psalm 2 Commentary

EXPLANATION - This will be an ongoing Psalms project and will consist primarily of the superlative work the Treasury of David by Charles Haddon Spurgeon set in a verse by verse format so that each verse can be linked separately. This will be supplemented with comments on individual verses, Hebrew word studies, Greek word studies from the Septuagint and cross references from the prodigious Treasury of Scripture knowledge (TSK)

CHS contrasts and compares Psalm 1 and Psalm 2 - The first Psalm was a contrast between the righteous man and the sinner; the second Psalm is a contrast between the tumultuous disobedience of the ungodly world and the sure exaltation of the righteous Son of God. In the first Psalm, we saw the wicked driven away like chaff; in the second Psalm, we see them broken in pieces like a potter’s vessel. In the first Psalm, we beheld the righteous like a tree planted by the rivers of water; and here, we contemplate Christ, the Covenant Head of the righteous, made better than a tree planted by the rivers of water, for he is made king of all the islands, and all the heathen bow before him and kiss the dust; while he himself gives a blessing to all those who put their trust in him. The two Psalms are worthy of the very deepest attention; they are, in fact, the preface in the entire Book of Psalms, and were by some of the ancients, joined into one. They are, however, two Psalms; for Paul speaks of this as the second Psalm. (Acts 13:33+) The first shows us the character and lot of the righteous; and the next teaches us that the Psalms are Messianic, and speak of Christ the Messiah—the Prince who shall reign from the river even unto the ends of the earth. That they have both a far-reaching prophetic outlook we are well assured, but we do not feel competent to open up that matter, and must leave it to abler hands.

Steven Cole on Structure and background of the Psalm: - Psalm 2 is the most frequently quoted psalm in the New Testament. It fits together in an interesting way with Psalm 1 to introduce the Book of Psalms. Psalm 1 begins with, “How blessed”; Psalm 2 ends with the same word (in Hebrew). Psalm 1 ends with a threat; Psalm 2 begins with a threat. In Psalm 1, the godly man meditates on God’s law; in Psalm 2, the wicked meditates (NASB = “devising,” NIV = “plot”; same Hebrew word) on how to cast off the rule of God. In Psalm 1 the theme is the contrast between the righteous and the wicked person; in Psalm 2 the theme is the contrast between the rebellion of wicked rulers and nations and the rule of God’s righteous Messiah. Psalm 1 consists of two stanzas and six verses. Psalm 2 is twice as long, consisting of four stanzas and 12 verses.  The Psalm is structured as a dramatic presentation in four acts. In Act One (Ps 2:1–3), David raises the question about the chaos in the world, and the kings and rulers come forth in a chorus to say their lines (Ps 2:3). In Act Two (Ps 2:4–6), God calmly sits upon His throne in heaven and speaks His line against the rulers (Ps 2:6). In Act Three (Ps 2:7–9), God’s Anointed One speaks and reveals God’s decree or predetermined plan for dealing with man’s rebellion. In Act Four (Ps 2:10–12), the psalmist speaks out again, giving a closing appeal in light of the previous acts. For purposes of grasping the message of the psalm, Acts Two and Three may be grouped together so that the psalmist is saying three things: 1. The nations have rebelled against God (Ps 2:1–3). But, 2. God is sovereign and has a predetermined plan to judge man’s rebellion (Ps 2:4–9). Thus, 3. We must submit to Him while there is time (Ps 2:10–12). To understand this psalm, we must realize that on one level it applies to King David. The schemes of these rulers against the Lord and His anointed are rooted in a time in David’s reign when some of his vassal nations sought to rebel (such as 2 Samuel 10, when the Ammonites and Syrians rebelled). David, the Lord’s anointed king over His people, Israel, writes this song to show the folly of rebellion against God’s anointed king because of the promises God had made to that king. Thus, on one level, Ps 2:1–3 refers to those rebel kings and their attempts to shake off David’s rule over them. But it is also obvious that the psalm goes far beyond David’s experience. It is ultimately fulfilled only in God’s Anointed (Hebrew, “Messiah”), God’s Son who is also David’s son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David wrote this psalm not only about himself, but in a deeper and much more complete way, about Messiah Jesus. Thus just as these kings rebelled against King David, so all men have rebelled against King Jesus. (Psalm 2: Is The World Out Of Control?)

Related Resource:

Psalm 2:1  Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? (NASB95)

KJV  Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

  • Why (KJV): Ps 18:42 Ps 46:6 Ps 83:4-8 Isa 8:9 Lu 18:32 Ac 4:25 
  • rage (KJV): or, tumultuously assemble, Lu 22:1,2,5,22,23 Ac 16:22 17:5,6 19:28-32 
  • people (KJV): Mt 21:38 Joh 11:49,50 Ac 5:33 Rev 17:14 

Related Passages:

Psalms 46:6   The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted. 

Ps 83:4-8 — They have said, "Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more." 5 For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant: 6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; 7 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Assyria also has joined with them; They have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah.

Lk 22:1 — Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. 2 The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people. 22  "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!" 23  And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.

Mt 21:38 — "But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.'

Jn 11:49 — But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all, 50  nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish."

Rev 17:14 — "These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful."


Defying God's will is here described as vain for the nations, but the principle is true in all of our lives.

THOUGHT - To defy His good and acceptable and perfect will is foolish and can even be destructive. How much better to obey (Ro 12:2+) to "not be conformed (present imperative with a negative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) to this world, but be transformed (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." 

Related Resources:

NET NOTE Introduction - In this royal psalm the author asserts the special status of the divinely chosen Davidic king and warns the nations and their rulers to submit to the authority of God and his chosen vice-regent. (NET Note - excellent notes)

CHS TITLE.—We shall not greatly err in our summary of this sublime Psalm if we call it THE PSALM OF MESSIAH THE PRINCE; for it sets forth as in a wondrous vision the tumult of the people against the Lord’s anointed, the determinate purpose of God to exalt his own Son, and the ultimate reign of that Son over all his enemies. Let us read it with the eye of faith, beholding, as in a glass, the final triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ over all his enemies. Lowth has the following remarks upon this Psalm: “The establishment of David upon his throne, notwithstanding the opposition made to it by his enemies, is the subject of the Psalm. David sustains in it a twofold character, literal and allegorical. If we read over the Psalm, first with an eye to the literal David, the meaning is obvious, and put beyond all dispute by the sacred history. There is indeed an uncommon glow in the expression and sublimity in the figures, and the diction is now and then exaggerated, as it were on purpose to intimate, and lead us to the contemplation of higher and more important matters concealed within. In compliance with this admonition, if we take another survey of the Psalm as relative to the person and concerns of the spiritual David, a noble series of events immediately rises to view, and the meaning becomes more evident, as well as more exalted. The colouring which may perhaps seem too bold and glaring for the king of Israel, will no longer appear so when laid upon his great Antitype. After we have thus attentively considered the subjects apart, let us look at them together, and we shall behold the full beauty and majesty of this most charming poem. We shall perceive the two senses very distinct from each other, yet conspiring in perfect harmony, and bearing a wonderful resemblance in every feature and lineament, while the analogy between them is so exactly preserved, that either may pass for the original from whence the other was copied. New light is continually cast upon the phraseology, fresh weight and dignity are added to the sentiments, till, gradually ascending from things below to things above, from human affairs to those that are Divine, they bear the great important theme upwards with them, and at length place it in the height and brightness of heaven.”

CHS DIVISION.—This Psalm will be best understood if it be viewed as a four-fold picture.

  1. (In Ps 2:1, 2, 3) the Nations are raging;
  2. (Ps 2:4-6) the Lord in heaven derides them;
  3. (Ps 2:7-9) the Son proclaims the decree;
  4. and (from Ps 2:10-12) advice is given to the kings to yield obedience to the Lord’s anointed.

    This division is not only suggested by the sense, but is warranted by the poetic form of the Psalm, which naturally falls into four stanzas of three verses each.

Why are the nations in an uproar - NET - Why do the nations rebel?" The psalm begins with a rhetorical question. " Rather than seeking information, the psalmist expresses his outrage that the nations would have the audacity to rebel against God and his chosen king." (NET Note) Baker suggest that "The image of a gathering lynch mob conveys well the action suggested here." 

CHS -  We have, in these first three verses, a description of the hatred of human nature against the Christ of God. No better comment is needed upon it than the apostolic song in Acts 4:27, 28+:

“For of a truth against Thy Holy Child Jesus, Whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done.”

Why are the nations in an uproar  - CHS -  The Psalm begins abruptly with an angry interrogation; and well it may: it is surely but little to be wondered at, that the sight of creatures in arms against their God should amaze the psalmist’s mind. We see the heathen raging, roaring like the sea, tossed to and fro with restless waves, as the ocean in a storm; and then we mark the people in their hearts imagining a vain thing against God. Where there is much rage there is generally some folly, and in this case there is an excess of it. Note, that the commotion is not caused by the people only, but their leaders foment the rebellion.

Are in an uproar (ragas/ragash) in the Septuagint is the rare verb phruasso which literally, describes the actions of high-spirited horses snorting, neighing and stomping as they prepare to rush into battle! What irony in Psalm 2:1, for this is battle in which they will be utterly defeated and demolished (not just in time but in eternal punishment!) In the only other use in the Bible in Acts 4:25+ it used by Peter (quoting Psalm 2) declaring " ‘WHY DID THE GENTILES RAGE, AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS?" figuratively describing the Gentiles as arrogante insolent, raving angrily 

J. A. Alexander, D.D., 1850. “Why do nations make a noise,” tumultuate or rage? The Hebrew verb is not expressive of an internal feeling, but of the ourward agitation which denotes it. There may be an allusion to the rolling and roaring of the sea, often used as an emblem of popular commotion, both in the Scriptures and the classics. The past tense of this verb (why have they raged?) refers to the commotion as already begun, while the future in the next clause expresses its continuance.

And the peoples devising a vain thing (riq) - NET - Why are the countries devising plots that will fail?" The rhetorical question continues. Devising is the Hebrew word hagah which is often translated meditate and pictures these arrogant men as "meditating" on this madness! The should be meditating on His Word (Ps 1:2 - hagah) and not on how to destroy Him! The Hebrew word hagah is translated in the Lxx with meletao which means they give careful thought to this, meditate on it, think about it, plot, conspire. One might they say "rack their brains" but they do so in utter futility! Vain thing (riq) refers to their empty, useless plotting against El Elyon, the Most High God, Sovereign Over All

NET NOTE on devising - 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).

NET NOTE on vain thing-  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.

In a similar declaration David uses the same Hebrew word hagah writing

"O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless (riq; lxx - mataiotes = state of being without use or value, emptiness, futility, purposelessness, transitoriness) and aim at deception? Selah."  (Ps 4:2) 

“A vain thing.” A medal was struck by Diocletian, which still remains bearing the inscription, “The name of Christians being extinguished.” And in Spain, two monumental pillars were raised, on which were written:—I. “Diocletian Jovian Maximian Herculeus Cæsares Augusti, for having extended the Roman Empire in the east and the west, and for having extinguished the name of Christians, who brought the Republic to ruin.” II. “Diocletian Jovian Maximian Herculeus Cæsares Augusti, for having adopted Galerius in the east, for having everywhere abolished the superstition of Christ, for having extended the worship of the gods.” As a modern writer has elegantly observed: “We have here a monument raised by Paganism, over the grave of its vanquished foe. But in this, ‘the people imagined a vain thing;’ so far from being deceased, Christianity was on the eve of its final and permanent triumph, and the stone guarded a sepulchre empty as the urn which Electra washed with her tears. Neither in Spain, nor elsewhere, can be pointed out the burial place of Christianity; it is not, for the living have no tomb.”

Joseph Caryl, 1647. Verses 1–4.—Herod, the fox, plotted against Christ, to hinder the course of his ministry and mediatorship, but he could not perform his enterprise; ’tis so all along, therefore it is said, “Why do the heathen imagine a vain thing?” A vain thing, because a thing successless, their hands could not perform it. It was vain, not only because there was no true ground of reason why they should imagine or do such a thing, but vain also because they laboured in vain, they could not do it, and therefore it follows, “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” The Lord see what fools they are, and men (yea, themselves) shall see it. The prophet gives us an elegant description to this purpose. Isaiah 59:5, 6. “They weave the spider’s web.… Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works.” As if he had said, they have been devising and setting things in a goodly frame to catch flies; they have been spinning a fine thread out of their brains, as the spider doth out of her bowels; such is their web, but when they have their web they cannot cut it out, or make it up into a garment. They shall go naked and cold, notwithstanding all their spinning and weaving, all their plotting and devising. The next broom that comes will sweep away all their webs and the spiders too, except they creep apace. God loves and delights to cross worldly proverbs and worldly craft.—

Related Resource:

Are in an uproar (07283)(ragas/ragash) is a verb used only here in the OT and means to be in tumult or commotion, to rage. TWOT adds that "rāgash and its derivatives have been translated by such ideas as "tumult" (KB, AV) or "noisy throngs" (BDB). However contextual parallels ("to plot" Psalm 2:1; "secret plots" Psalm 64:2; "sweet converse" Psalm 55:14) indicate that ideas such as "conspire" (RSV) are probably correct.

NET NOTE - 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.

Devising (01897hagah pronounced "haw-gaw") conveys the basic meaning of a low sound and so as used in the OT means to groan, to sigh or to mutter. Figuratively hagah refers to inward utterance, the words a man speaks to himself. And so hagah means to meditate (give serious thought and consideration to selected information implying a definite focusing of one’s thoughts on something so as to understand it deeply), to ponder (to carefully weigh in the mind, to appraise), to ruminate (literally to chew repeatedly for an extended period and figuratively to go over in the mind repeatedly and often casually or slowly).

Hagah -24v - declare(1), devise(2), devising(1), growls(1), make a sound(1), meditate(5), meditates(1), moan(3), moan sadly(1), mutter(2), mutters(1), ponders(1), utter(2), uttering(1), utters(1). Jos. 1:8; Job 27:4; Ps. 1:2; Ps. 2:1; Ps. 35:28; Ps. 37:30; Ps. 38:12; Ps. 63:6; Ps. 71:24; Ps. 77:12; Ps. 115:7; Ps. 143:5; Prov. 8:7; Prov. 15:28; Prov. 24:2; Isa. 8:19; Isa. 16:7; Isa. 31:4; Isa. 33:18; Isa. 38:14; Isa. 59:3; Isa. 59:11; Isa. 59:13; Jer. 48:31

Vain (07385) (riq from ruq = to make empty) means emptiness, worthlessness, vanity, delusion. There is one literal use in Jer. 51:34 ("empty vessel") but all the other uses are figurative and mean vain or "worthless. The first use in Lev 26:16 describes God's chastisement which would come on Israel for breaking the Mosaic Covenant they said they would do and obey (Ex 24:7+) = "you will sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies will eat it up." Egypt is described as offering only useless aid (Isa. 30:7). The people of Babylon would fight in vain against the Lord's judgment and "toil for nothing" (Jer. 51:58). As discussed in Psalm 2 all attempts to fight against the Almighty God are vain (Ps. 2:1).

Riq - 11v - empty(1), nothing(1), nothing*(1), uselessly(2), vain(4), vain thing(1), what is worthless(1). Lev. 26:16; Lev. 26:20; Job 39:16; Ps. 2:1; Ps. 4:2; Ps. 73:13; Isa. 30:7; Isa. 49:4; Isa. 65:23; Jer. 51:58; Hab. 2:13

Psalm 2:2  The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, (NASB95)

KJV  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

  • kings (KJV): Ps 2:10 48:4 110:5 Mt 2:16 Lu 13:31 23:11,12 Ac 12:1-6 Rev 17:12-14 
  • rulers (KJV): Mt 26:3,59 27:1 Ac 4:5-8 
  • Lord (KJV): Ex 16:7 Pr 21:30 Joh 15:23 Ac 9:4 
  • anointed (KJV): Ps 45:7 89:20 Isa 61:1  Joh 1:41 3:34 Ac 10:38 Heb 1:9 

Related Passages:

Ps 110:5 — The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.

Mt 2:16+ — Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.

Lk 13:31+ — Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, "Go away, leave here, for Herod wants to kill You."

Lk 23:11+ — And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate.

Rev 17:12-14+ — "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. 13 "These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. 14 "These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful."

Mt 26:59 — Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death.

Ac 4:5-8+ — On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. 7 When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?" 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people,

Ex 16:7+ — and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, for He hears your grumblings against the LORD; and what are we, that you grumble against us?"

Pr 21:30 — There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD.

Jn 15:23 — "He who hates Me hates My Father also.

Ac 9:4+ — and he (SAUL) fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" (NOTE: PERSECUTION OF CHRIST'S BODY THE CHURCH IS TANTAMOUNT TO PERSECUTING THE HEAD OF THE BODY, CHRIST!)

The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together - NET = "The kings of the earth form a united front; the rulers collaborate against the Lord and his anointed king."

NET NOTE on take their stand - The Hebrew imperfect verbal form describes their action as underway.

NET NOTE on take counsel together - 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).

CHS - “The kings of the earth set themselves.” In determined malice they arrayed themselves in opposition against God. It was not temporary rage, but deep-seated hate, for they set themselves resolutely to withstand the Prince of Peace.

CHS - “And the rulers take counsel together.” They go about their warfare craftily, not with foolish haste, but deliberately. They use all the skill which art can give. Like Pharaoh, they cry, “Let us deal wisely with them.” O that men were half as careful in God’s service to serve him wisely, as his enemies are to attack his kingdom craftily. Sinners have their wits about them, and yet saints are dull. But what say they? what is the meaning of this commotion?

John Trapp..—The many had done their part, and now the mighty show themselves.

Henry Smith, 1578..—“They banded themselves against the Lord, and against his Anointed.” But why did they band themselves against the Lord, or against his Anointed? What was their desire of him? To have his goods? No, he had none for himself; but they were richer than he. To have his liberty? Nay, that would not suffice them, for they had bound him before. To bring the people into dislike of him? Nay, that would not serve them, for they had done so already, until even his disciples were fled from him. What would they have then? his blood? Yea, “they took counsel,” saith Matthew, “to put him to death.” They had the devil’s mind, which is not satisfied but with death. And how do they contrive it? He saith, “they took counsel about it.”

Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying - Anointed (mashiach/masiyah) in the Septuagint is Christos (See also Messiah - Anointed One) clearly referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

David Pitcairn, 1851..—“Against Jehovah and against his Anointed.” What an honour it was to David to be thus publicly associated with Jehovah! And, because he was his anointed, to be an object of hatred and scorn to the ungodly world! If this very circumstance fearfully augmented the guilt, and sealed the doom of these infatuated heathen, surely it was that which above everything else would preserve the mind of David calm and serene, yea, peaceful and joyful notwithstanding the proud and boastful vauntiness of his enemies.… When writing this Psalm David was like a man in a storm, who hears only the roaring of the tempest, or sees nothing but the raging billows threatening destruction on every side of him. And yet his faith enabled him to say, “The people imagine a vain thing.” They cannot succeed. They canot defeat the counsels of heaven. They cannot injure the Lord’s Anointed.—

Anointed (04899mashiach/masiyah from mashach = to smear, anoint) is Hebrew word that in almost all OT uses is found in a compound phrase. It is a masculine noun which can function as an adjective (as in Lev 4:3,5, 16) which means "anointed." This Hebrew word is used several times to prophetically picture the Messiah, the Christ (1Sa 2:10, 35, Da 9:25-26). In the OT, priests, prophets and kings were anointed and all these offices were fulfilled in "the Mashiach," the Messiah.

Lxx translates mashiach in this verse (and most of the 38 uses in the OT) with the adjective Christos which describes one who has been anointed, symbolizing appointment to a task; as a title for Jesus, designating him as the Messiah sent from God (Jn 1:41, Jn 4:25 [Greek = messias], Ro 6:4). BDAG - Christos = "fulfiller of Israelite expectation of a deliverer, the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ."

Mashiach/masiyah 39x in 38v - Anointed(1), anointed(34), anointed ones(2), Messiah(2). Lev. 4:3; Lev. 4:5; Lev. 4:16; Lev. 6:22; 1 Sam. 2:10; 1 Sam. 2:35; 1 Sam. 12:3; 1 Sam. 12:5; 1 Sam. 16:6; 1 Sam. 24:6; 1 Sam. 24:10; 1 Sam. 26:9; 1 Sam. 26:11; 1 Sam. 26:16; 1 Sam. 26:23; 2 Sam. 1:14; 2 Sam. 1:16; 2 Sam. 1:21; 2 Sam. 19:21; 2 Sam. 22:51; 2 Sam. 23:1; 1 Chr. 16:22; 2 Chr. 6:42; Ps. 2:2; Ps. 18:50; Ps. 20:6; Ps. 28:8; Ps. 84:9; Ps. 89:38; Ps. 89:51; Ps. 105:15; Ps. 132:10; Ps. 132:17; Isa. 45:1; Lam. 4:20; Dan. 9:25; Dan. 9:26; Hab. 3:13

QUESTION - What does Messiah mean?

ANSWER Messiah comes from the Hebrew word mashiach and means “anointed one” or “chosen one.” The Greek equivalent is the word Christos or, in English, Christ. The name “Jesus Christ” is the same as “Jesus the Messiah.” In biblical times, anointing someone with oil was a sign that God was consecrating or setting apart that person for a particular role. Thus, an “anointed one” was someone with a special, God-ordained purpose.

In the Old Testament, people were anointed for the positions of prophet, priest, and king. God told Elijah to anoint Elisha to succeed him as Israel’s prophet (1 Kings 19:16). Aaron was anointed as the first high priest of Israel (Leviticus 8:12). Samuel anointed both Saul and David as kings of Israel (1 Samuel 10:1; 16:13). All of these men held “anointed” positions. But the Old Testament predicted a coming Deliverer, chosen by God to redeem Israel (Isaiah 42:1; 61:1–3). This Deliverer the Jews called the Messiah.

Jesus of Nazareth was and is the prophesied Messiah (Luke 4:17–21; John 4:25–26). Throughout the New Testament, we see proof that Jesus is the Chosen One: “These [miracles] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). We also hear testimonies that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). The ultimate evidence that Jesus is indeed the promised Messiah, the Anointed One, is His resurrection from the dead. Acts 10:39–43 is an eyewitness testimony to His resurrection and the fact that “he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.”

Jesus fulfills the role of Prophet, Priest, and King, which is further evidence to His being the Messiah. He is a prophet, because He embodied and preached the Word of God (see John 1:1–18; 14:24; and Luke 24:19); a priest, because His death atones for our sins and reconciles us to the Father (see Hebrews 2:17; 4:14); and a king, because after His resurrection God gave all authority to Him (see John 18:36; Ephesians 1:20–23; and Revelation 19:16).

The Jews of Jesus’ day expected the Messiah to redeem Israel by overthrowing the rule of the Romans and establishing an earthly kingdom (see Acts 1:6). It wasn’t until after Jesus’ resurrection that His disciples finally began to understand what the prophecies in the Old Testament really meant the Messiah would do (see Luke 24:25–27). The Messiah was “anointed” first to deliver His people spiritually; that is, to redeem them from sin (John 8:31–36). He accomplished this salvation through His death and resurrection (John 12:32; John 3:16). Later, Jesus the Messiah will deliver His people from their physical enemies, when He sets up His Kingdom on the earth (see Isaiah 9:1–7).

Related Resources:

Psalm 2:3  "Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!" (NASB95)

KJV   Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

  • Jer 5:5 Lu 19:14,27 1Pe 2:7,8 

Related Passages:

Jer 5:5 — "I will go to the great And will speak to them, For they know the way of the LORD And the ordinance of their God." But they too, with one accord, have broken the yoke And burst the bonds.

Lk 19:4 — So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way.

1Pe 2:7 — This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, "THE STONE which the builders REJECTED, THIS became the very corner stone," 8 — and, "A STONE of stumbling and a rock of offense"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.


Henry Morris has an interesting comment - This is the first of four stanzas in the psalm. The first three verses give the viewpoint of David, the second three of the Father, the third of the Son, the fourth of the Holy Spirit.

John Trapp. Resolved they were to run riot as lawless, and aweless, and therefore they slander the sweet laws of Christ’s kingdom as bonds and thick cords, which are signs of slavery. (Jer. 27:2, 6, 7) But what saith our Saviour? “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” It is no more burden to a regenerate man than wings to a bird. The law of Christ is no more as bands and cords, but as girdles and garters which gird up his loins and expedite his course. (AMEN!)

Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us! NET = They say, “Let’s tear off the shackles they’ve put on us."  The kings compare the rule of the Lord and the Messiah to being imprisoned. The NLT says "Let us break their chains," they cry, "and free ourselves from this slavery." In the Septuagint cords is rendered with zugos/zygos which was literally a crossbeam or crossbar and thus a yoke or a frame used to control working animals, but in Ps 2:3 is used figuratively here of what rebellious men perceived to be binding burdens, strict requirements, heavy obligations. Sadly they missed the truth that these so-called divine "fetters" and "cords" were actually given by God to lead men to the freedom found only in the Anointed One (See Purpose of the Law). Jesus Himself used this picture in His great invitation to all men declaring 

Come (aorist imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take (aorist imperative) My yoke upon you and learn (aorist imperative) from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt 11:28-30+

The Septuagint renders cast away with the verb aporrhipto which means to throw away and is used only once in the NT in Acts 27:43+ describing men jumping overboard. Indeed, these arrogant men in Psalm 2:1-3 are in effect jumping off the only vessel can take them to safety, for to reject the gentle rule of God's Anointed One is to jump into fiery flames of eternal punishment

CHS - “Let us break their bands asunder.” “Let us be free to commit all manner of abominations. Let us be our own gods. Let us rid ourselves of all restraint.” Gathering impudence by the traitorous proposition of rebellion, they add—“let us cast away;” as if it were an easy matter,—“let us fling off ‘their cords from us.’ ” What! O ye kings, do ye think yourselves Samsons? and are the bands of Omnipotence but as green withs before you? Do you dream that you shall snap to pieces and destroy the mandates of God—the decrees of the Most High—as if they were but tow? And do ye say, “Let us cast away their cords from us?” Yes! There are monarchs who have spoken thus, and there are still rebels upon thrones. However mad the resolution to revolt from God, it is one in which man has persevered ever since his creation, and he continues in it to this very day. The glorious reign of Jesus in the latter day will not be consummated, until a terrible struggle has convulsed the nations. His coming will be as a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap, and the day thereof shall burn as an oven. Earth loves not her rightful monarch, but clings to the usurper’s sway: the terrible conflicts of the last days will illustrate both the world’s love of sin and Jehovah’s power to give the kingdom to his only Begotten. To a graceless neck the yoke of Christ is intolerable, but to the saved sinner it is easy and light. We may judge ourselves by this, do we love that yoke, or do we wish to cast it from us?

Psalm 2:4  He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. (NASB95)

KJV  He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

  • He that (KJV): Ps 11:4 68:33 115:3 Isa 40:22 57:15 66:1 
  • shall laugh (KJV): Ps 37:13 53:5 59:8 2Ki 19:21 Pr 1:26 

Related Passages:

He that

Ps 11:4 — The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD'S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.

Ps 68:33 — To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times; Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice.

Ps 115:3 — But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.

Isa 40:22 — It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

Isa 57:15 — For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.

Isa 66:1 — Thus says the LORD, "Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?

shall laugh

Ps 37:13 — The Lord laughs at him, For He sees his day is coming.

Ps 53:5 — There they were in great fear where no fear had been; For God scattered the bones of him who encamped against you; You put them to shame, because God had rejected them.

Ps 59:8 — But You, O LORD, laugh at them; You scoff at all the nations.

2Ki 19:21 — "This is the word that the LORD has spoken against him: 'She has despised you and mocked you, The virgin daughter of Zion; She has shaken her head behind you, The daughter of Jerusalem!

Pr 1:26 — I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes,

CHS - Let us now turn our eyes from the wicked council-chamber and raging tumult of man, to the secret place of the majesty of the Most High. What doth God say? What will the King do unto the men who reject his only-begotten Son, the Heir of all things?

He who sits in the heavens laughs - NET = "The one enthroned in heaven laughs in disgust;the Lord taunts them."

NET NOTE on who sits - 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).

NET NOTE on laughs  - 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.

Cole comments - Mighty men rise up and proudly think that they’re so great and powerful. God laughs: “You’ve got to be kidding!” Who is puny man to try to stand against the Sovereign God? “He removes kings and establishes kings” (Dan. 2:21) according to His will. The mighty Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest ruler on the earth in his day, grew proud and attributed his greatness to himself. God humbled him with a strange disease, so that he lived in the fields and ate grass like a beast, until he learned that “the Most High is the ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes” (Dan. 4:25). Napoleon Bonaparte, when intoxicated with success at the height of his power, is reported to have said, “I make circumstances.” God laughs: “Oh, really?” God let him go on for a while, and then He spoke to him in His anger and terrified him in His fury (Ps. 2:5), and Napoleon came to nothing. Did you know that God is not worried about man’s rebellion against Him? He isn’t sitting on the edge of heaven, biting His nails, and saying, “Oh, what am I going to do?” He lets man go on for a while in his rebellion, but then His anger and judgment will come, and man’s proud plans will come to nothing. (Psalm 2: Is The World Out Of Control?)

CHS - Mark the quiet dignity of the Omnipotent One, and the contempt which he pours upon the princes and their raging people. He has not taken the trouble to rise up and do battle with them—he despises them, he knows how absurd, how irrational, how futile are their attempts against him—he therefore laughs at them.

Mathew Henry. “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh,” etc. Sinners’ follies are the just sport of God’s infinite wisdom and power; and those attempts of the kingdom of Satan, which in our eyes are formidable, in his are despicable.

Arthur Jackson, 1643..—“He that sitteth in the heavens.” Hereby it is clearly intimated, (1) that the Lord is far above all their malice and power, (2) that he seeth all their plots, looking down on all; (3) that he is of omnipotent power, and so can do with his enemies as he lists. “Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he pleased.” Psalm 115:3.

David Pitcairn.—The expression, “He that sitteth in the heavens,” at once fixes our thoughts on a being infinitely exalted above man, who is of the earth, earthly. And when it is said, “HE shall laugh,” this word is designed to convey to our minds the idea, that the greatest confederacies amongst kings and peoples, and their most extensive and vigorous preparations, to defeat his purposes or to injure HIS servants, are in his sight altogether insignificant and worthless. HE looks upon their poor and puny efforts, not only without uneasiness or fear, but HE laughs at their folly; HE treats their impotency with derision. He knows how HE can crush them like a moth when HE pleases, or consume them in a moment with the breath of HIS mouth. How profitable it is for us to be reminded of truths such as these! Ah! it is indeed “a vain thing” for the potsherds of the earth to strive with the glorious Majesty of Heaven.—

Thomas Adams.—“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh.” They scoff at us, God laughs at them. Laugh? This seems a hard word at the first view: are the injuries of his saints, the cruelties of their enemies, the derision, the persecution of all that are round about us, no more but matter of laughter? Severe Cato thought that laughter did not become the gravity of Roman consuls; that it is a diminution of states, as another told princes; and is it attributed to the Majesty of heaven? According to our capacities, the prophet describes God, as ourselves would be in a merry disposition, deriding vain attempts. He laughs, but it is in scorn; he scorns, but it is with vengeance. Pharaoh imagined that by drowning the Israelite males, he had found a way to root their name from the earth; but when at the same time, his own daughter, in his own court, gave princely education to Moses, their deliverer, did not God laugh? Short is the joy of the wicked. Is Dagon put up to his place again? God’s smile shall take off his head and his hands, and leave him neither wit to guide nor power to subsist.… We may not judge of God’s works until the fifth act: the case, deplorable and desperate in outward appearance, may with one smile from heaven find a blessed issue. He permitted his temple to be sacked and rifled, the holy vessels to be profaned and caroused in; but did not God’s smile make Belshazzar to tremble at the handwriting on the wall? Oh, what are his frowns, if his smiles be so terrible!—

The Lord scoffs (laag) at them - Lord is the great word 'adonay which is translated in the Septuagint with kurios (from kuros = might or power, related to kuroo = to give authority) primarily means the possessor, owner, master, the supreme one, one who is sovereign (e.g., Roman emperors - Acts 25:26+) and possesses absolute authority, absolute ownership rights and uncontested power. Kurios is used of the one to whom a person or thing belonged, over which he has the power of deciding, the one who is the master or disposer of a thing (Mk 7:28+

In the Septuagint scoffs (laag) is translated with ekmukterizo which means literally turn one's nose up at someone; hence ridicule, sneer at, scoff at. In a bit of irony it is used in Luke 16:14+ of men scoffing at Jesus "Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him." The tables will be turned when they meet Jesus the Judge of all men (Jn 5:22, 2Ti 4:1+) at the  Great White Throne Judgment! (Rev 20:11-15+) Another "ironic" use is Luke 23:35+ "And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering (ekmukterizo in the imperfect tense = over and over, again and again - very dramatic picture!) at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”

Henry Ainsworth.—“The Lord,” in Hebrew, Adonai, mystically signifieth my stays, or my sustainers—my pillars. Our English word “Lord” hath much the same force, being contracted of the old Saxon word “Llaford,” or “Hlafford,” which cometh from “Laef,” to sustain, refresh, cherish.

Martin Luther.—“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh at them: the Lord shall have them in derision.” This tautology or repetition of the same thing, which is frequent in the Scriptures, is a sign of the thing being established: according to the authority of the patriarch Joseph (Gen. 41:32), where, having interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh he said, “And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.” And therefore, here also, “shall laugh at them,” and “shall have them in derision,” is a repetition to show that there is not a doubt to be entertained that all these things will most surely come to pass. And the gracious Spirit does all this for our comfort and consolation, that we may not faint under temptation, but lift up our heads with the most certain hope; because “he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Hebrews 10:37.

Adonai (0136'adonay ’ādônLord, Lord, Lord, master, owner. No doubt exists about the meaning of this word. The Ugaritic adn means "lord" or "father" and the Akkadian adannu carries a similar meaning, "mighty." In the simple unsuffixed form or when pointed ădōnî, or ădōna(y), for the first common singular suffix or with other pronominal suffixes, ādôn usually refers to men. Sarah used it in reference to her husband (Genesis 18:12), Lot used it in addressing the angelic visitors (Genesis 19:2). Abraham's servant repeatedly called his master by it in Genesis 24. The pharaoh of Egypt was called by this title (Genesis 40:1), as well as Joseph his "vizier" (Genesis 42:10). Ruth used it of Boaz before they were married (Ruth 2:13). Hannah addressed Eli the priest by this term (1 Samuel 1:15). Saul's servants called him by the title as well (1 Samuel 16:16). Likewise, officers less than the king, such as Joab, had this appellation (2 Samuel 11:9). In 1 Kings 16:24 there is the unique reading "Shemer, 'owner' of the hill, Samaria." The prophet Elijah bore the title "lord" (1 Kings 18:7).However, there are numerous passages, particularly in Psalms, where these forms, which are the only ones to apply to men, refer to God. Exodus 34:23 combines "the Lord, YHWH, the God of Israel" (hā’ādōn yhwh ’ĕlōhê yisrāēl). Deut. 10:17 uses both the singular and plural in the construction "Lord of lords" (’ădōnê hāădōnîm; cf. Psalm 136:3). In Psalm 8:1 [H 2] God has the title "YHWH our Lord" (yhwh ădōnênû). The Messiah bears this title in Psalm 110:1. (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament- Recommended Resource for laymen's study of Hebrew vocabulary)

Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary - Adon, an early word denoting ownership, hence, absolute control… It is applied to God as the owner and governor of the whole earth (Ps. 114:7). It is sometimes used as a term of respect (like our “sir”) but with a pronoun attached (“my lord”). It often occurs in the plural. Adonai is, in the emphatic form, “the Lord.” Many regard this title as the plural of Adon.

New Unger's Bible Dictionary - Lord (Heb. ’Adôn), an early word denoting ownership; hence, absolute control. It is not properly a divine title, being used of the owner of slaves (Genesis 24:14, 27; Genesis 39:2, 7, rendered “master”), of kings as the lords of their subjects (Isaiah 26:13, “master”), of a husband as lord of the wife (Ge18:12). It is applied to God as the owner and governor of the whole earth (Psalm 114:7). It is sometimes used as a term of respect (like our sir) but with a pronoun attached (“my lord”). It often occurs in the plural. Adonai (Heb. ’adônay), emphatic, “the Lord”; many regard it as the plural of no. 2. It is used chiefly in the Pentateuch—always where God is submissively and reverently addressed (Exodus 4:10, 13; Joshua 7:8) and also when God is spoken of (1Kings 13:9; 1Kings 22:6; etc.). The Jews, out of a superstitious reverence for the name Jehovah, always pronounce Adonai where Jehovah is written. The similar form, with the suffix, is also used of men, as of Potiphar (Genesis 39:2, “master”) and of Joseph (Genesis 42:30, 33).

Laughs (07832) sachaq means "to laugh," "to amuse," "to mock," "to rejoice" or "to struggle." A cognate form is found only in the Ethiopic term sahaqa, meaning "to laugh." The root of sāchaq conveys the general idea of laughter, especially in the Qal, whether in joy or amazement, and can connote either positive or negative uses. In a positive sense, Job smiled in spite of his terrible plight (Job 29:24); the wife of noble character can "rejoice in time to come" (Prov. 31:25); the opposite of weeping is identified as laughing (Ecc. 3:4). Sāchaq has a negative usage as well. For example, young men laughed mockingly at Job's misfortune (Job 30:1) in contrast to the respect he had been honored with previously (see Job 29:7-11). Also, the destruction of Jerusalem was laughed at by her neighbors (Lam. 1:7), and the Chaldeans "shall deride every strong hold" (Hab. 1:10) of their weaker enemies. Metaphorically, the wild donkey scornfully laughed at cities (Job 39:7), the ostrich laughed at the horse and its rider whom she could easily outrun (v. 18), the brave warhorse laughed in the face of fear (v. 22) and the sea monster Leviathan laughed at man's feeble weapons (41:29). Further, obstinate sinners were laughed at by God (Pss. 2:4; 37:13; 59:8), by Wisdom (Prov. 1:26) and by righteous men (Ps. 52:6). Samson was forced to serve as a joker by amusing and entertaining the Philistine crowd (Judg. 16:27). References to sāchaq in the Piel stem connote the idea of "to be merry," in addition "to laugh." For example, the Philistines "made sport" of Samson by forcing him to entertain them, possibly with feats of strength (Judg. 16:25). Jeremiah prophesied of singing and rejoicing at the time when Israel would be restored (Jer. 30:19; 31:4). The prophet disliked the company of revelers (Jer. 15:17). Sāchaq illustrates the merriment of children (Zech. 8:5), wild animals playing in the mountains (Job 40:20) and the Leviathan frolicking in the sea (Ps. 104:26). The women of Israel danced and sang for Saul and David because of their military prowess (1 Sam. 18:7), and David danced before God in thanksgiving, raising the disdain of Saul's daughter Michal (1 Chr. 15:29; cf. 2 Sam. 6:5, 21). Elsewhere, men from the armies of Saul and David conducted a contest of martial sport, an idea originating from Abner and Joab, the generals of each army (2 Sam. 2:14). The twelve-on-twelve competition proved indecisive, resulting in fierce battle that day. The one instance of sāchaq in the Hiphil stem involves the people's ridicule and scorn of Hezekiah's couriers, who delivered the king's message encouraging everyone to celebrate the Passover in their homes once again (2 Chr. 30:10). (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

Sachaq - 36v - amuse(1), amusing(1), celebrate(2), celebrating(3), hold a contest(1), joking(1), laugh(6), laughed them to scorn(1), laughs(6), merrymakers(2), mock(1), mocked(1), play(2), played(1), playing(1), rejoicing(2), scorns(1), smiled(1), smiles(1), sport(1). Jdg. 16:25; Jdg. 16:27; 1 Sam. 18:7; 2 Sam. 2:14; 2 Sam. 6:5; 2 Sam. 6:21; 1 Chr. 13:8; 1 Chr. 15:29; 2 Chr. 30:10; Job 5:22; Job 29:24; Job 30:1; Job 39:7; Job 39:18; Job 39:22; Job 40:20; Job 41:5; Job 41:29; Ps. 2:4; Ps. 37:13; Ps. 52:6; Ps. 59:8; Ps. 104:26; Prov. 1:26; Prov. 8:30; Prov. 8:31; Prov. 26:19; Prov. 29:9; Prov. 31:25; Eccl. 3:4; Jer. 15:17; Jer. 30:19; Jer. 31:4; Lam. 1:7; Hab. 1:10; Zech. 8:5

Scoffs (03932) laag - deride, to scorn, to mock. The idea is to disclaim, deride, despise (to their face), ridicule. It can mean to make a face at someone by sneering at them (this is the ultimate put down!) 

Gilbrant - The verb lāʿagh occurs eighteen times in the OT, most often in the poetic and prophetic Books. The Biblical Hebrew meaning is attested in Middle Hebrew and Targumic. Originally, it had reference to "mocking" an individual, imitating his voice by stammering (cf. the Syrian cognate; this meaning is also attested in Middle Hebrew). Isaiah 33:19 ("stammering tongue," a Niphal participle on the verb) reflects this meaning. With the imperfect of the verb (incompleted action) and the prepositions le (HED #3937), "to" or "for," and be (HED #904), "in" or "at," the verb denotes "ridiculing."

Invariably, it is the righteous who are "mocked" or "scorned." "He who mocks the poor shows contempt for his Maker" (Prov. 17:5, NIV). Ultimately, such conduct is directed at God, Who takes care of the poor. In the final analysis, it is God who "scoffs at the nations" (Ps. 59:8, NIV). Here it is used parallel with the verb tsāchaq (HED #6978), "to laugh." Wisdom mocks at the calamity of the wicked (Prov. 1:26).

The wicked direct their contempt at fathers (Prov. 30:17), God's servants (Job 21:3; Jer. 20:7), Nehemiah (Neh. 2:19) and his messengers in general. Hezekiah's couriers bearing invitations to the Passover were "laughed to scorn" (2 Chr. 30:10).

The prophecy of the passion coincides graphically with the actual event (Ps. 22:7, "He trusts in the Lord, let the Lord rescue him;" Luke 23:35, "let him save himself," NIV). Contempt is often directed at the righteous, but the reverse is sometimes seen, e.g., the Assyrian army's debacle at Jerusalem (2 Ki. 19:21; Isa. 37:22). History's culmination provides ultimate vindication when the Messiah comes. With respect to the enemies of God, He "shall have them in derision." (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

Laag - 18v - laugh(1), mock(3), mocked(5), mocks(4), scoff(2), scoffs(1), sneer(1), stammering(1). 2 Ki. 19:21; 2 Chr. 30:10; Neh. 2:19; Neh. 4:1; Job 9:23; Job 11:3; Job 21:3; Job 22:19; Ps. 2:4; Ps. 22:7; Ps. 59:8; Ps. 80:6; Prov. 1:26; Prov. 17:5; Prov. 30:17; Isa. 33:19; Isa. 37:22; Jer. 20:7

Psalm 2:5  Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, (NASB95)

KJV  Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

  • Then (KJV): Ps 50:16-22 Isa 11:4 66:6 Mt 22:7 23:33-36 Lu 19:27,43,44 Rev 1:16 19:15 
  • sore (KJV): Ps 110:5,6 Zec 1:15 

Related Passages:

Isa 11:4 — But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.

Isa 66:6 — "A voice of uproar from the city, a voice from the temple, The voice of the LORD who is rendering recompense to His enemies.

Mt 22:7 — "But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.

Mt 23:33-36 — "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? 34 "Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 "Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Lk 19:27 — "But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence."

Lk 19:43 — "For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side,

Lk 19:44 — and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

Rev 1:16 — In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

Rev 19:15 — From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

Ps 110:5 — The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.

Ps 110:6 — He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.

Zec 1:15 — "But I am very angry with the nations who are at ease; for while I was only a little angry, they furthered the disaster."

Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify (VEX) them in His fury, saying - NET = " Then he angrily speaks to them and terrifies them in his rage, saying,"

This is ultimately fulfilled in the book of Revelation (eg, note mankind's reaction at the 6th Seal...

The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:14-17+)

NET NOTE on fury - 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.

John Trapp.—“Vex them;” either by horror of conscience, or corporal plagues; one way or the other he will have his pennyworths of them, as he always has had of the persecutors of his people.—

CHS - After he has laughed he shall speak; he needs not smite; the breath of his lips is enough. At the moment when their power is at its height, and their fury most violent, then shall his Word go forth against them. And what is it that he says?—it is a very galling sentence—“Yet,” says he, “despite your malice, despite your tumultuous gatherings, despite the wisdom of your counsels, despite the craft of your lawgivers, ‘yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.’ ” Is not that a grand exclamation! He has already done that which the enemy seeks to prevent. While they are proposing, he has disposed the matter. Jehovah’s will is done, and man’s will frets and raves in vain. God’s Anointed is appointed, and shall not be disappointed. Look back through all the ages of infidelity, hearken to the high and hard things which men have spoken against the Most High, listen to the rolling thunder of earth’s volleys against the Majesty of heaven, and then think that God is saying all the while, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” Yet Jesus reigns, yet he sees of the travail of his soul, and “his unsuffering kingdom yet shall come” when he shall take unto himself his great power, and reign from the river unto the ends of the earth. Even now he reigns in Zion, and our glad lips sound forth the praises of the Prince of Peace. Greater conflicts may here be foretold, but we may be confident that victory will be given to our Lord and King. Glorious triumphs are yet to come; hasten them, we pray thee, O Lord! It is Zion’s glory and joy that her King is in her, guarding her from foes, and filling her with good things. Jesus sits upon the throne of grace, and the throne of power in the midst of his church. In him is Zion’s best safeguard; let her citizens be glad in him.

    “Thy walls are strength, and at thy gates
    A guard of heavenly warriors waits;
    Nor shall thy deep foundations move,
    Fixed on his counsels and his love.

    Thy foes in vain designs engage;
    Against his throne in vain they rage,
    Like rising waves, with angry roar,
    That dash and die upon the shore.”

William S. Plummer, D.D., LL.D., 1867. Verses 5, 9.—It is easy for God to destroy his foes.… Behold Pharaoh, his wise men, his hosts, and his horses plouting and plunging, and sinking like lead in the Red sea. Here is the end of one of the greatest plots ever formed against God’s chosen. Of thirty Roman emperors, governors of provinces, and others high in office, who distinguished themselves by their zeal and bitterness in persecuting the early Christians, one became speedily deranged after some atrocious cruelty, one was slain by his own son, one became blind, the eyes of one started out of his head, one was drowned, one was strangled, one died in a miserable captivity, one fell dead in a manner that will not bear recital, one died of so loathsome a disease that several of his physicians were put to death because they could not abide the stench that filled his room, two committed suicide, a third attempted it, but had to call for help to finish the work, five were assassinated by their own people or servants, five others died the most miserable and excruciating deaths, several of them having an untold complication of diseases, and eight were killed in battle, or after being taken prisoners. Among these was Julian the apostate. In the days of his prosperity he is said to have pointed his dagger to heaven defying the Son of God, whom he commonly called the Galilean. But when he was wounded in battle, he saw that all was over with him, and he gathered up his clotted blood, and threw it into the air, exclaiming, “Thou hast conquered, O thou Galilean.” Voltaire has told us of the agonies of Charles IX. of France, which drove the blood through the pores of the skin of that miserable monarch, after his cruelties and treachery to the Huguenots.—

Psalm 2:6  "But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain." (NASB95)

KJV   Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

  • Yet (KJV): Ps 45:6 89:27,36,37 110:1,2 Isa 9:6,7 Da 7:13,14 Mt 28:18 Ac 2:34-36 5:30,31 Eph 1:22 Php 2:9-11 
  • set (KJV): Heb. anointed
  • my (KJV): etc. Heb. Zion, the hill of my holiness, Ps 48:1,2 50:2 78:68 132:13,14 Heb 12:22 Rev 14:1 

Related Passages:

Ps 45:6 — Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

Ps 89:27 — "I also shall make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth.

Ps 89:36 — "His descendants shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me.

Ps 89:37 — "It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful." Selah.

Ps 110:1 — The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet." 2 — The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, "Rule in the midst of Your enemies."

Isa 9:6 — For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 — There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

Da 7:13 — "I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 — "And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.

Mt 28:18 — And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Ac 2:34-36 — "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: 'THE LORD said to my LORD, "SIT at MY RIGHT hand, 35 UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES a footstool for YOUR FEET."' 36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified."

Ac 5:30 — "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31 — "He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Eph 1:22 — And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,

Php 2:9-11 — For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Ps 48:1 — Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God, His holy mountain.

Ps 48:2 — Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion in the far north, The city of the great King.

Ps 50:2 — Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth.

Ps 78:68 — But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved.

Ps 132:13 — For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation.

Ps 132:14 — "This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.

Heb 12:22 — But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,

Rev 14:1 — Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.

But - In contrast to the futile plans of arrogant, rebellious men, "God has a predetermined plan to deal with man’s rebellion. This plan centers on the person and the power of God’s Messiah, His Anointed one." (Psalm 2: Is The World Out Of Control?)

As for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain - NET = “I myself have installed my king on Zion, my holy hill.” This is a clear reference to the Messiah Who will reign in Jerusalem as King of kings. 

NET NOTE on -  The first person pronoun appears before the first person verbal form for emphasis, reflected in the translation by “myself.”

Henry Morris on installed - The word used for "set" actually means either "offer" or "pour out." This concluding assertion in the three-verse stanza comes from the Father's perspective; He declares that He has used the rejection of His Christ by the kings and rulers as the very means by which Christ would be offered up as a sacrifice for sin in preparation for being anointed as King.

“Yet have I set my KING,” etc.—Jesus Christ is a threefold King. First, his enemies’ King; secondly, his saints’ King; thirdly, his Father’s King.

First. Christ is his enemies’ King, that is, he is King over his enemies. Christ is a King above all kings. What are all the mighty men, the great, the honourable men of the earth to Jesus Christ? They are but like a little bubble in the water; for if all the nations, in comparison to God, be but as the drop of the bucket, or the dust of the balance, as the prophet speaks in Isaiah 40:15, how little then must be the kings of the earth! Nay, beloved, Christ Jesus is not only higher than kings, but he is higher than the angels; yea, he is the head of angels; and, therefore, all the angels in heaven are commanded to worship him. Col. 2:12 Heb. 1:6.… He is King over all kingdoms, over all nations, over all governments, over all powers, over all people Dan. 7:14.… The very heathen are given to Christ, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. Psalm 2:8.

Secondly. Jesus Christ is his saints’ King. He is King of the bad, and of the good; but as for the wicked, he rules over them by his power and might; but the saints, he rules in them by his Spirit and graces. Oh! this is Christ’s spiritual kingdom, and here he rules in the hearts of his people, here he rules over their consciences, over their wills, over their affections, over their judgments and understandings, and nobody hath anything to do here but Christ. Christ is not only the King of nations, but the King of saints; the one he rules over, the other he rules in.

Thirdly. Jesus Christ is his Father’s King too, and so his Father calls him: “I have set my King upon my holy hill of Zion.” Well may he be our King, when he is God’s King. But you may say, how is Christ the Father’s King? Because he rules for his Father. There is a twofold kingdom of God committed to Jesus Christ; first, a spiritual kingdom, by which he rules in the hearts of his people, and so is King of saints; and, secondly, a providential kingdom, by which he rules the affairs of this world, and so he is King of nations.—Condensed from William Dyer’s Christ’s Famous Titles, 1665.

Stephen Charnock, 1628–1680.—“Yet have I set my King.” Notice—1. The royal office and character of our glorious Redeemer: he is a King, “This name he hath on his vesture and on his thigh.” Rev. 19:16. 2. The authority by which he reigns; he is “my King,” says God the Father, and I have set him up from everlasting: “The Father judgeth no man; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” The world disowns his authority, but I own it; I have set him, I have “given him to be head over all things to the church.” 3. His particular kingdom over which he rules; it is over “my holy hill of Zion”—an eminent type of the gospel church. The temple was built upon Mount Zion and therefore called a holy hill. Christ’s throne is in his church, it is his head-quarters, and the place of his peculiar residence. Notice the firmness of the divine purpose with respect unto this matter. “Yet have I set” him “King;” i.e., whatever be the plots of hell and earth to the contrary, he reigns by his Father’s ordination.—

Martin Luther.—“Zion.” The name “Zion” signifies a “distant view” (speculam.) And the church is called “a distant view” (specula), not only because it views God and heavenly things by faith (that is, afar off), being wise unto the things that are above, not unto those that are on the earth: but also, because there are within her true viewers, or seers, and watchmen in the spirit, whose office it is to take charge of the people under them, and to watch against the snares of enemies and sins; and such are called in the Greek bishops (ἐπίσκοποι), that is, spyers or seers; and you may for the same reason give them, from the Hebrew, the appellation of Zionians of Zioners.

Believer's Study Bible - "Zion" (referred to 40 times in the Psalter) denotes Jerusalem, the messianic seat of government during the millennial reign of Christ (cf. 48:1, 2; Isa. 2:2, 3). It was originally a Canaanite city conquered by David (cf. 2 Sam. 5:7).

Related Resources:

Psalm 2:7  "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. (NASB95)

KJV   I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

  • the decree (KJV): or, for a decree, Ps 148:6 Job 23:13 Isa 46:10 
  • Thou (KJV): Mt 3:17 8:29 16:16 17:5 Ac 8:37 13:33 Ro 1:4 Heb 1:5 3:6 Heb 5:5,8 
  • this (KJV): Ps 89:27 Joh 1:14,18 3:16 Heb 1:6

Related Passages:

Ps 148:6 — He has also established them forever and ever; He has made a decree which will not pass away.

Isa 46:10 — Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';

Mt 3:17 — and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

Mt 8:29 — And they cried out, saying, "What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?"

Mt 16:16 — Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Mt 17:5 — While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!"

Ac 13:33 — that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, 'YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY i have begotten YOU.'

Heb 1:5+ — For to which of the angels did He ever say, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU"? And again, "I WILL BE A FATHER to HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON to ME"?

Heb 3:6 — but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

Heb 5:5 — So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU";

Heb 5:8 — Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You - NET = "The king says, “I will announce the Lord’s decree. He said to me: ‘You are my son. This very day I have become your father." The verse is quoted in Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; 5:5 referring to Jesus Christ. 

NET NOTE on You are My Son -  The Davidic king was viewed as God’s “son” (see 2 Sa 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.

Believer's Study Bible on You are My Son -  - This strong affirmation of the divinity and eternal sonship of the Lord is quoted by Paul at Antioch of Pisidia with reference to the bodily resurrection of Jesus (Acts 13:33); the verse is quoted twice by the author of Hebrews (Heb. 1:5; 5:5). On the issue of the Messiah's sonship, cf. 2 Sam. 7:14.

Henry Morris on begotten You - There are several senses in which Christ is the only begotten Son of God, but the emphasis here is on His resurrection from the dead, as evident from the quotation of this verse in Acts 13:33. He was "declared to be the Son of God with power, the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4). He was also called the "firstborn from the dead" (Colossians 1:18) and the "first begotten of the dead" (Revelation 1:5; Hebrews 5:5).

Steven Cole - When Psalm 2:7 says, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You,” there are two possible interpretations. Either it refers to the day of the eternal decree, when Christ was declared to be the Son of God and begotten (John Walvoord, Jesus Christ Our Lord [Moody Press], p. 41). Since the decree is eternal, Christ’s Sonship is eternal. Or, “this day” refers to the time when Christ’s identity was manifested, when the Father bore witness to Christ as being His own Son, which was primarily through the resurrection (Rom. 1:4; this is Calvin’s view, Calvin’s Commentaries [Associated Publishers & Authors], 2:129–130). But both views hold that Christ is eternally the Son of God.  God’s predetermined plan for dealing with man’s rebellion involves the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, whom God sent into the world to pay the penalty for man’s rebellion (John 3:16; Gal. 4:4). He died according to the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God at the hands of godless men (Acts 2:23; 4:27–28). But God raised Him from the dead and He ascended to heaven, where He is now waiting to return with power (Psalm 2: Is The World Out Of Control?)

CHS—The dispute concerning the eternal filiation of our Lord betrays more of presumptuous curiosity than of reverent faith. It is an attempt to explain where it is far better to adore. We could give rival expositions of this verse, but we forbear. The controversy is one of the most unprofitable which ever engaged the pens of theologians.—

CHSHe said to Me This Psalm wears something of a dramatic form, for now another person is introduced as speaking. We have looked into the counsel-chamber of the wicked, and to the throne of God, and now we behold the Anointed declaring his rights of sovereignty, and warning the traitors of their doom. God has laughed at the counsel and ravings of the wicked, and now Christ the Anointed himself comes forward, as the Risen Redeemer, “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Ro. 1:4+.

CHSI will surely tell of the decree of the LORD Looking into the angry faces of the rebellious kings, the Anointed One seems to say, “If this sufficeth not to make you silent, ‘I will declare the decree.’ ” Now this decree is directly in conflict with the device of man, for its tenor is the establishment of the very dominion against which the nations are raving.

CHS“Thou art my Son.” Here is a noble proof of the glorious Divinity of our Immanuel. “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?” (Heb 1:5+) What a mercy to have a Divine Redeemer in whom to rest our confidence!

CHS—“This day have I begotten thee.” If this refers to the Godhead of our Lord, let us not attempt to fathom it, for it is a great truth, a truth reverently to be received, but not irreverently to be scanned. It may be added, that if this relates to the Begotten One in his human nature, we must here also rejoice in the mystery, but not attempt to violate its sanctity by intrusive prying into the secrets of the Eternal God. The things which are revealed are enough, without venturing into vain speculations. In attempting to define the Trinity, or unveil the essence of Divinity, many men have lost themselves: here great ships have foundered. What have we to do in such a sea with our frail skiffs?

CHS—“Ask of me.” It was a custom among great kings to give to favoured ones whatever they might ask. (See Esther 5:6; Matt. 14:7.) So Jesus hath but to ask and have. Here he declares that his very enemies are his inheritance. To their face he declares this decree, and “Lo! here,” cries the Anointed One, as he holds aloft in that once pierced hand the sceptre of his power, “He hath given me this, not only the right to be a king, but the power to conquer.” Yes! Jehovah hath given to his Anointed a rod of iron with which he shall break rebellious nations in pieces, and, despite their imperial strength, they shall be but as potters’ vessels, easily dashed into shivers, when the rod of iron is in the hand of the omnipotent Son of God. Those who will not bend must break. Potters’ vessels are not to be restored if dashed in pieces, and the ruin of sinners will be hopeless if Jesus shall smite them.

      “Ye sinners seek his grace,
      Whose wrath ye cannot bear;
      Fly to the shelter of his cross,
      And find salvation there.”

Related Resource:

Psalm 2:8  'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. (NASB95)

KJV   Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

  • Ask (KJV): Joh 17:4,5 
  • and I (KJV): Ps 22:27 72:8 Da 7:13 

Related Passages:


Jn 17:4 — "I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.

Jn 17:5 — "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

and I

Ps 22:27 — All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations will worship before You.

Ps 72:8 — May he also rule from sea to sea And from the River to the ends of the earth.

Da 7:13 — "I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.

Ask of Me - The Father addressing His beloved Son. NET = "8 Ask me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your personal property."

Stephen Charnock.—“Ask of me.” The priesthood doth not appear to be settled upon Christ by any other expression than this, “Ask of me.” The Psalm speaks of his investiture in his kingly office; the apostle refers this to his priesthood, his commission, for both took date at the same time; both bestowed, both confirmed by the same authority. The office of asking is grounded upon the same authority as the honour of king. Ruling belonged to his royal office, asking to his priestly. After his resurrection, the Father gives him a power and command of asking.

and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession

NET NOTE onI will surely give the nations - The Lord promises the Davidic king universal dominion.

Verse 8.—It will be observed in our Bible that two words of verse eight are in italics, intimating that they are not translations of the Hebrew, but additions made for the purpose of elucidating the meaning. Now if the “thee” and the “for” are left out, the verse will read thus, “Ask of me, and I shall give the heathen, thine inheritance, and thy possession, the uttermost parts of the earth.” And this reading is decidedly preferable to the other. It implies that by some previous arrangement on the part of God, he had already assigned an inheritance of the heathen, and the possession of the earth, to the person of whom he says, “Thou art my Son.” And when God says, “I will give,” etc., he reveals to his Anointed, not so much in what the inheritance consisted, and what was the extent of possession destined for him, as the promise of his readiness to bestow it. The heathen were already “the inheritance,” and the ends of the earth “the possession,” which God had purposed to give to his Anointed. Now he says to him, “Ask of me,” and he promises to fulfil his purpose. This is the idea involved in the words of the text, and the importance of it will become more apparent, when we consider its application to the spiritual David, to the true Son of God, “whom he hath appointed the heir of all things.” (Hebrews 1:2)

William Gurnall, 1617–1679.—As the limner looks on the person whose picture he would take, and draws his lines to answer him with the nearest similitude that he can, so God looks on Christ as the archetype to which he will conform the saint, in suffering, in grace, in glory; yet so that Christ hath the pre-eminence in all. Every saint must suffer, because Christ suffered: Christ must not have a delicate body under a crucified head; yet never any suffered, or could, what he endured. Christ is holy, and therefore so shall every saint be, but in an inferior degree; an image cut in clay cannot be so exact as that engraved on gold. Now, our conformity to Christ appears, that as the promises made to him were performed upon his prayers to his Father, his promises made to his saints are given to them in the same way of prayer: “Ask of me,” saith God to his Son, “and I shall give thee.” And the apostle tells us, “Ye have not, because ye ask not.” God hath promised support to Christ in all his conflicts. Isaiah 42:1. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold;” yet he prayed “with strong cries and tears,” when his feet stood within the shadow of death. A seed is promised to him, and victory over his enemies, yet for both these he prays. Christ towards us acts as a king, but towards his Father as a priest. All he speaks to God is by prayer and intercession. So the saints, the promise makes them kings over their lusts, conquerors over their enemies; but it makes them priests towards God, by prayer humbly to sue out those great things given in the promise.

Psalm 2:9  'You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.'" (NASB95)

KJV    Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

  • Ps 21:8,9 89:23 110:5,6 Isa 30:14 60:12 Jer 19:11 Da 2:44 Mt 21:44 Rev 2:26,27 12:5 

Related Passages:

Revelation 2:27;  AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father;

Revelation 12:5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

Revelation 19:15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

Ps 21:8 — Your hand will find out all your enemies; Your right hand will find out those who hate you.

Ps 21:9 — You will make them as a fiery oven in the time of your anger; The LORD will swallow them up in His wrath, And fire will devour them.

Ps 89:23 — "But I shall crush his adversaries before him, And strike those who hate him.

Ps 110:5 — The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.

Ps 110:6 — He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.

Isa 30:14 — Whose collapse is like the smashing of a potter's jar, So ruthlessly shattered That a sherd will not be found among its pieces To take fire from a hearth Or to scoop water from a cistern."

Isa 60:12 — "For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, And the nations will be utterly ruined.

Jer 19:11 — and say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Just so will I break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter's vessel, which cannot again be repaired; and they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place for burial.

Da 2:44 — "In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.

Mt 21:44 — "And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust."


You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware - NET = " You will break them with an iron scepter; you will smash them like a potter’s jar.’”

NET NOTE on rod of iron - The Hebrew term שֵׁבֶט (shevet) can refer to a “staff” or “rod,” but here it probably refers to the Davidic king’s royal scepter, symbolizing his sovereignty. Like a potters jar. Before the Davidic king’s awesome power, the rebellious nations are like fragile pottery.

Henry Morris - rod of iron.  This promise is also cited in the New Testament as applying specifically to Christ (Revelation 19:15+). Christ extended it to His followers who, faithful in enduring persecutions as He did, will be given "power over the nations;" and will be given authority to "rule them with a rod of iron" (Revelation 2:26-27+). 

Steven Cole - Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, will return bodily to this earth in power and glory to crush all opposition and to reign in righteousness from David’s throne. John describes his vision of the Lord Jesus in that great day in Revelation 19:15–16+: “And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’” At the end of Christ’s 1,000 year reign, Satan and all who followed him will be thrown into the lake of fire where they will be tormented forever and ever (Rev. 20:10–15+). That is God’s plan for dealing with rebellious man and with Satan and His forces. His plan involves the Second Person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God, who is going to return to this earth in power to put down all rebellion and to rule in righteousness.  (Psalm 2: Is The World Out Of Control?)

David Pitcairn.—The “rod” has a variety of meanings in Scripture. It might be of different materials, as it was employed for different purposes. At an early period, a wooden rod came into use as one of the insignia of royalty, under the name of sceptre. By degrees the sceptre grew in importance, and was regarded as characteristic of an empire, or of the reign of some particular king. A golden sceptre denoted wealth and pomp. The right, or straight sceptre of which we read in Psalm 45:6, is expressive of the justice and uprightness, the truth and equity, which shall distinguish Messiah’s reign, after his kingdom on earth has been established. But when it is said in Rev. 19:15, that he, “whose name is called the Word of God,” will smite the nations, and “rule them with a rod of iron,” if the rod signifies “his sceptre,” then the “iron” of which it is made must be designed to express the severity of the judgments which this omnipotent “King of kings” will inflict on all who resist his authority. But to me it appears doubtful whether the “rod of iron” symbolizes the royal sceptre of the Son of God at his second advent. It is mentioned in connection with “a sharp sword,” which leads me to prefer the opinion that it also ought to be regarded as a weapon of war; at all events, the “rod of iron” mentioned in the Psalm we are endeavouring to explain, is evidently not the emblem of sovereign power, although represented as in the hands of a king, but an instrument of correction and punishment. In this sense the word “rod” is often used.… When the correcting rod, which usually was a wand or cane, is represented, as in the second Psalm, to be of “iron” it only indicates how weighty, how severe, how effectual the threatened chastisement will be—it will not merely bruise, but it will break. “Thou shall break them with a rod of iron.” Now it is just such a complete breaking as would not readily be effected excepting by an iron rod, that is more fully expressed in the following clause of the verse, “Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” The completeness of the destruction, however, depends on two things. Even an iron rod if gently used, or used against a hard and firm substance, might cause little injury; but, in the case before us, it is supposed to be applied with great force, “Thou shalt dash them;” and it is applied to what will prove as brittle and frangible as “a potter’s vessel”—“Thou shall dash them in pieces.” … Here, as is other respects, we must feel that the predictions and promises of this Psalm were but very partially fulfilled in the history of the literal David. Their real accomplishment, their awful completion, abides the day when the spiritual David shall come in glory and in majesty as Zion’s King, with a rod of iron to dash in pieces the great antichristian confederacy of kings and peoples, and to take possession of his long-promised and dearly-purchased inheritance. And the signs of the times seem to indicate that the coming of the Lord draws nigh.—

Psalm 2:10  Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. (NASB95)

KJV    Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

  • Be wise (KJV): Jer 6:8 Ho 14:9 
  • O (KJV): Ps 45:12 72:10,11 Isa 49:23 52:15 60:3,10,11 
  • be instructed (KJV): Ps 82:1-8 

Related Passages:

Be wise

Jer 6:8 — "Be warned, O Jerusalem, Or I shall be alienated from you, And make you a desolation, A land not inhabited."

Hos 14:9 — Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.


Ps 45:12 — The daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; The rich among the people will seek your favor.

Ps 72:10 — Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents; The kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts.

Ps 72:11 — And let all kings bow down before him, All nations serve him.

Isa 49:23 — "Kings will be your guardians, And their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth And lick the dust of your feet; And you will know that I am the LORD; Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame.

Isa 52:15 — Thus He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand.

Isa 60:3 — "Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

Isa 60:10 — "Foreigners will build up your walls, And their kings will minister to you; For in My wrath I struck you, And in My favor I have had compassion on you.

Isa 60:11 — "Your gates will be open continually; They will not be closed day or night, So that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, With their kings led in procession.

be instructed

Ps 82:1-8 — God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers. 2 How long will you judge unjustly And show partiality to the wicked? Selah. 3 Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. 5 They do not know nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are shaken. 6 I said, "You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High. 7 "Nevertheless you will die like men And fall like any one of the princes." 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth! For it is You who possesses all the nations.

CHS - The scene again changes, and counsel is given to those who have taken counsel to rebel. They are exhorted to obey, and give the kiss of homage and affection to him whom they have hated.

Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth - NET = " So now, you kings, do what is wise;you rulers of the earth, submit to correction."

CHS -O kings, show discernment; —“Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings,” etc. As Jesus is King of kings and Judge of judges, so the gospel is the teacher of the greatest and wisest. If any are so great as to spurn its admonitions, God will make little of them; and if they are so wise as to despise its teachings, their fancied wisdom shall make fools of them. The gospel takes a high tone before the rulers of the earth, and they who preach it should, like Knox and Melville, magnify their office by bold rebukes and manly utterances even in the royal presence. A clerical sycophant is only fit to be a scullion in the devil’s kitchen.

“Be wise.”—It is always wise to be willing to be instructed, especially when such instruction tends to the salvation of the soul. “Be wise now, therefore;” delay no longer, but let good reason weigh with you. Your warfare cannot succeed, therefore desist and yield cheerfully to him who will make you bow if you refuse his yoke. O how wise, how infinitely wise is obedience to Jesus, and how dreadful is the folly of those who continue to be his enemies! “Serve the Lord with fear;” let reverence and humility be mingled with your service. He is a great God, and ye are but puny creatures; bend ye, therefore, in lowly worship, and let a filial fear mingle with all your obedience to the great Father of the Ages.

Rejoice with trembling.”—There must ever be a holy fear mixed with the Christian’s joy. This is a sacred compound, yielding a sweet smell, and we must see to it that we burn no other upon the altar. Fear, without joy, is torment; and joy, without holy fear, would be presumption. Mark the solemn argument for reconciliation and obedience. It is an awful thing to perish in the midst of sin, in the very way of rebellion; and yet how easily could his wrath destroy us suddenly. It needs not that his anger should be heated seven times hotter; let the fuel kindle but a little, and we are consumed. O sinner! Take heed of the terrors of the Lord; for “our God is a consuming fire.” Note the benediction with which the Psalm closes:—“Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” Have we a share in this blessedness? Do we trust in him? Our faith my be slender as a spider’s thread; but if it be real, we are in our measure blessed. The more we trust, the more fully shall we know this blessedness. We may therefore close the Psalm with the prayer of the apostles:—“Lord, increase our faith.”

Psalm 2:11  Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling. (NASB95)

KJV   Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling..

  • Serve (KJV): Ps 89:7 Heb 12:28,29 
  • rejoice (KJV): Ps 95:1-8 97:1 99:1 119:120 Php 2:12 Heb 4:1,2 12:25 

Related Passages:


Ps 89:7 — A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him?

Heb 12:28 — Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;

Heb 12:29 — for our God is a consuming fire.


Ps 95:1-8 — O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the LORD is a great God And a great King above all gods, 4 In whose hand are the depths of the earth, The peaks of the mountains are His also. 5 The sea is His, for it was He who made it, And His hands formed the dry land. 6 Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. 7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, As in the day of Massah in the wilderness,

Ps 97:1 — The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; Let the many islands be glad.

Ps 99:1 — The LORD reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake!

Ps 119:120 — My flesh trembles for fear of You, And I am afraid of Your judgments.

Php 2:12 — So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

Heb 4:1 — Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.

Heb 4:2 — For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

Heb 12:25 — See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.

Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling - NET = Serve the Lord in fear. Repent in terror."

NET NOTE on worship - The Hebrew verb translated “serve” refers here to submitting to the Lord’s sovereignty as expressed through the rule of the Davidic king. Such “service” would involve maintaining allegiance to the Davidic king by paying tribute on a regular basis.

NET NOTE on rejoice with trembling - Traditionally, “rejoice with trembling” (KJV). The verb גִּיל (gil) normally means “rejoice,” but this meaning does not fit well here in conjunction with “in trembling.” Some try to understand “trembling” (and the parallel יִרְאָה, yirʾah, “fear”) in the sense of “reverential awe” and then take the verbs “serve” and “rejoice” in the sense of “worship” (cf. NASB). But רְעָדָה (rʿadah, “trembling”) and its related terms consistently refer to utter terror and fear (see Exod 15:15; Job 4:14; Pss 48:6; 55:5; 104:32; Isa 33:14; Dan 10:11) or at least great emotional distress (Ezra 10:9). It seems more likely here that גִּיל carries its polarized meaning “mourn, lament,” as in Hos 10:5. “Mourn, lament” would then be metonymic in this context for “repent” (referring to one’s rebellious ways). On the meaning of the verb in Hos 10:5, see F. I. Andersen and D. N. Freedman, Hosea (AB), 556-57.

Steven Cole - It is not just the proud kings of David’s day who have rebelled against the Lord and His Anointed. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Ro 3:23+). We have all, in our own way, said toward God, “Let us tear His fetters apart, and cast away His cords from us” (Ps. 2:3). We’ve all said, “I’ll do it my way!” At first glance, you would have thought that everyone would welcome God’s Messiah, who came to save us from our sins. But the issue isn’t just salvation. Jesus didn’t come to save us so that we could get a free ticket to heaven and then go our own way. The issue is one of lordship. The Lord’s Anointed is the King who will reign, if not by our willing submission now, then by forced submission when He comes again. He does not take second place to anyone. Every knee shall bow! Thus the exhortation of Ps 2:10–12 applies to each person: All people must show discernment and take warning. All people should bow in submission and fear before God and give the kiss of obeisance to His Son. The picture is that of bowing and expressing submission before a monarch so as not to incur his displeasure. We must submit to Christ as Savior and Lord before He returns in judgment, so that we do not “perish in the way.” The urgency of submitting to Christ is expressed by the phrase, “His wrath may soon be kindled” (Ps 2:12). The signs of our times point to the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first time He came in mercy, to save. The second time He comes in wrath, to judge. The end time events predicted in the Bible are all lining up, just as predicted. But even if His coming is delayed, you have no guarantee that you will have another day on this earth. If you do not submit to Jesus Christ before you die, you will face the wrath of His judgment (Heb. 9:27+)! As Matthew Henry put it, “Those that will not bow shall break.” (Psalm 2: Is The World Out Of Control?)

Martin Luther.—“Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” There are two kinds of serving and rejoicing in God. First, a serving in security, and a rejoicing in the Lord without fear; these are peculiar to hypocrites, who are secure, who please themselves, and who appear to themselves to be not unuseful servants, and to have great merit on their side, concerning whom it is said (Psalm 10:5), “Thy judgments are far above out of his sight;” and also afterwards (Psalm 36:1), “There is no fear of God before his eyes.” These do righteousness without judgment at all times; and permit not Christ to be the Judge to be feared by all, in whose sight no man living is justified. Secondly, a serving with fear and a rejoicing with trembling; these are peculiar to the righteous who do righteousness at all times, and always rightly attempt both; never being without judgments, on the one hand, by which they are terrified and brought to despair of themselves and of all their own works; nor without that righteousness, on the other, on which they rest, and in which they rejoice in the mercy of God. It is the work of the whole lives of these characters to accuse themselves in all things, and in all things to justify and praise God. And thus they fulfil that word of Proverbs, “Blessed is the man that feareth alway” (28:14); and also that of Philip, 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord alway.” Thus, between the upper and nether mill-stone (Deut. 24:6), they are broken in pieces and humbled, and the husks thus being bruised off, they come forth the all-pure wheat of Christ.

Thomas Watson, 1660.—The fear of God promotes spiritual joy; it is the morning star which ushers in the sunlight of comfort. “Walking in the fear of God, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.” God mingles joy with fear, that fear may not be slavish.

William Bates, D.D., 1625–1699.—“Serve the Lord with fear.” This fear of God qualifies our joy. If you abstract fear from joy, joy will become light and wanton; and if you abstract joy from fear, fear then will become slavish.—

Psalm 2:12  Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (NASB95)

KJV  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

  • Kiss (KJV): Ge 41:40,43,44 1Sa 10:1 1Ki 19:18 Ho 13:2  Joh 5:23 
  • Son (KJV): Ps 2:7 
  • and (KJV): etc. Or, "and ye lose the way," or, "and ye perish in the way." The LXX., and Vulgate have, "and ye perish from the righteous way:"  and the Syriac, "and ye perish from his way."
  • ye perish (KJV): Ps 1:6 Joh 14:6 
  • when (KJV): Ps 2:5 2Th 1:8,9 Rev 6:16,17 14:9-11 
  • Blessed (KJV): Ps 40:4 84:12 146:3-5 Pr 16:20 Isa 26:3,4 30:18 Jer 17:7 Ro 9:33 Ro 10:11 Eph 1:12 1Pe 1:21 2:6 

Related Passages:


Ge 41:40 — "You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you."

Ge 41:43 — He had him ride in his second chariot; and they proclaimed before him, "Bow the knee!" And he set him over all the land of Egypt.

Ge 41:44 — Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."

1Sa 10:1 — Then Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on his head, kissed him and said, "Has not the LORD anointed you a ruler over His inheritance?

1Ki 19:18 — "Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him."

Hos 13:2 — And now they sin more and more, And make for themselves molten images, Idols skillfully made from their silver, All of them the work of craftsmen. They say of them, "Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves!"

Jn 5:23 — so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.


Ps 2:7 — "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

ye perish

Ps 1:6 — For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.

Jn 14:6 — Jesus *said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.


Ps 2:5 — Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying,

2Th 1:8 — dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

2Th 1:9 — These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

Rev 6:16 — and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;

Rev 6:17 — for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"

Rev 14:9-11 — Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."


Ps 40:4 — How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.

Ps 84:12 — O LORD of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Ps 146:3-5 — Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. 4 His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts perish. 5 How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the LORD his God,

Pr 16:20 — He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

Isa 26:3 — "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.

Isa 26:4 — "Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.

Isa 30:18 — Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

Jer 17:7 — "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD.

Ro 9:33 — just as it is written, "BEHOLD, I LAY in ZION A STONE of STUMBLING and a rock of offense, AND HE WHO BELIEVES in HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."

Ro 10:11 — For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER believes in HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."

Eph 1:12 — to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

1Pe 1:21 — who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

1Pe 2:6 — For this is contained in Scripture: "BEHOLD, I LAY in ZION a choice stone, A PRECIOUS corner stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES in HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."

Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled - NET - "Give sincere homage. Otherwise he will be angry, and you will die because of your behavior, when his anger quickly ignites"

NET NOTE on perish in the way Heb “and you will perish [in the] way.” The Hebrew word דֶּרֶךְ (derekh, “way”) here refers to their rebellious behavior (not to a pathway, as often understood). It functions syntactically as an adverbial accusative in relation to the verb “perish.”

NET NOTE on kindled - Or “burns.” The Lord’s anger is compared here to fire, the most destructive force known in ancient Israel.

Henry Morris - Kiss the Son.  In this final exhortation of the Holy Spirit, concluding the fourth and final three-verse stanza of the psalm, Christ is again acknowledged as the unique Son of God. In Psalm 2:7, the Hebrew word used to denote sonship is ben; here it is bar. Some modern translations inexplicably change this command to read: "Kiss his feet."

CHS “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry.” From the Person, the Son, we shall pass to the act (Osculamini, kiss the Son); in which we shall see, that since this is an act which licentious men have depraved (carnal men do it, and treacherous men do it—Judas betrayed his Master by a kiss), and yet God commands this, and expresses love in this; everything that hath, or may be abused, must not therefore be abandoned; the turning of a thing out of the way, is not a taking of that thing away, but good things deflected to ill uses by some, may be by others reduced to their first goodness. Then let us consider and magnify the goodness of God, that hath brought us into this distance, that we may kiss the Son, that the expressing of this love lies in our hands, and that, whereas the love of the church, in the Old Testament, even in the Canticle, went no farther but to the Osculatur me (O that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! Cant. 1:1), now, in the Christian church, and in the visitation of a Christian soul, he hath invited us, enabled us to kiss him, for he is presentially amongst us. This leads us to give an earnest persuasion and exhortation to kiss the Son, with all those affections, which we shall there find to be expressed in the Scriptures, in that testimony of true love, a holy kiss. But then lest that persuasion by love should not be effectual and powerful enough to us, we shall descend from that duty, to the danger, from love, to fear, “lest he be angry;” and therein see first, that God, who is love, can be angry; and then, that this God who is angry here, is the Son of God, he that hath done so much for us, and therefore in justice may be angry; he that is our Judge, and therefore in reason we are to fear his anger: and then, in a third branch, we shall see how easily this anger departs—a kiss removes it.

John Richardson, Bishop of Ardagh, 1655.—“Kiss,” a sign of love among equals: Gen. 33:4; 1 Sam. 20:41; Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20. Of subjection in inferiors: 1 Sam. 10:1. Of religious adoration in worshippers: 1 Kings 19:18; Job 31:27.

Thomas Adams.—“Kiss the Son.” To make peace with the Father, kiss the Son. “Let him kiss me,” was the church’s prayer. Cant. 1:2. Let us kiss him—that be our endeavour. Indeed, the Son must first kiss us by his mercy, before we can kiss him by our piety. Lord, grant in these mutual kisses and interchangeable embraces now, that we may come to the plenary wedding supper hereafter; when the choir of heaven, even the voices of angels, shall sing epithalamiums, nuptial songs, at the bridal of the spouse of the Lamb.—

John Donne—“Kiss the Son.” That is, embrace him, depend upon him all these ways: as thy kinsman, as thy sovereign; at thy going, at thy coming; at thy reconciliation, in the truth of religion in thyself, in a peaceable unity with the church, in a reverent estimation of those men, and those means whom he sends. Kiss him, and be not ashamed of kissing him; it is that which the spouse desired, “I would kiss thee, and not be despised.” Cant. 7:1. If thou be despised for loving Christ in his gospel, remember that when David was thought base, for dancing before the ark, his way was to be more base. If thou be thought frivolous for thrusting in at service, in the forenoon, be more frivolous, aud come again in the afternoon: “Tanto major requies, quanto ab amore Jesu nulla requies;”* “The more thou troublest thyself, or art troubled by others for Christ, the more peace thou hast in Christ.” … “Lest he be angry.” Anger, as it is a passion that troubles, and disorders, and discomposes a man, so it is not in God; but anger, as it is a sensible discerning of foes from friends, and of things that conduce, or disconduce to his glory, so it is in God. In a word, Hilary hath expressed it well; “Pæna patientis, ira decernentis;” “Man’s suffering is God’s anger.” When God inflicts such punishments as a king justly incensed would do, then God is thus angry. Now here, our case is heavier; it is not this great, and almighty, and majestical God, that may be angry—that is like enough; but even the Son, whom we must kiss, may be angry; it is not a person whom we consider merely as God, but as man; nay, not as man neither, but a worm, and no man, and he may be angry, and angry to our ruin.… “Kiss the Son,” and he will not be angry; if he be, kiss the rod, and he will be angry no longer—love him lest he be; fear him when he is angry: the preservative is easy, and so is the restorative too: the balsamum of this kiss is all, to suck spiritual milk out of the left breast, as well as out of the right, to find mercy in his judgments, reparation in his ruins, feasts in his lents, joy in his anger.—From Sermons of John Donne, D.D., Dean of St. Paul’s, 1621–1631.

Joseph Caryl.—“If his wrath be kindled but a little;” the Hebrew is, if his nose or nostril be kindled but a little; the nostril, being an organ of the body in which wrath shows itself, is put for wrath itself. Paleness and snuffling of the nose are symptoms of anger. In our proverbials, to take a thing in snuff, is to take it in anger.

John Newton.—“His wrath.” Unspeakable must the wrath of God be when it is kindled fully, since perdition may come upon the kindling of it but a little.—

How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! NET - "How blessed are all who take shelter in him!"

NET NOTE on blessed - The Hebrew noun is an abstract plural. The word often refers metonymically to the happiness that God-given security and prosperity produce (see Pss 1:1; 34:9; 41:1; 65:4; 84:12; 89:15; 106:3; 112:1; 127:5; 128:1; 144:15).

NET NOTE on take refuge in Him  - Who take shelter in him. “Taking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear, and serve the Lord (Pss 5:11-12; 31:17-20; 34:21-22).

Henry Morris - Blessed are all they.  This is a beautiful evangelical promise. Psalm 1:1 promises blessing to those who do not follow the counsel of the ungodly; Psalm 2:12 promises blessing to those who do trust Christ.

Steven Cole applies the truths of Psalm 2 - You can’t find peace and safety anywhere in the world, but only in Christ. A few years ago, a retired couple, alarmed by the threat of nuclear war, studied all the inhabited places on earth, looking for the place where they could most likely escape the threat of war. They studied and traveled and traveled and studied. Finally they found the perfect place: a small, obscure island off the coast of South America. They moved to the Falkland Islands just before Britain invaded to reclaim that territory from Argentina! World chaos and war will only increase as His coming draws near. If we can’t escape it, what can we do? The last line of the Psalm is God’s gracious invitation: “How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” Don’t run from God; run to Him! Derek Kidner aptly says, “And there is no refuge from Him: only in him” (Psalms [IVP], 1:53). As we see the chaos in the world, we can be truly happy and blessed by taking refuge in our God. The early church took refuge in Him by praying Psalm 2 as they faced persecution (Acts 4:23–35+). In our troubled times, when it looks as if the enemy is winning, we can do the same. Let’s join the early church in doing everything we can to make Christ Lord of all the nations! Even if we should die a martyr’s death, our sovereign God will ultimately triumph! A cartoon shows a fearful couple, huddled together in bed as they watch TV. The announcer is saying, “And that’s the news. Good night and pleasant dreams!” The only way we can watch the news of this troubled world and have pleasant dreams is if we’ve taken refuge in our sovereign God, who has even the proud rebellion of wicked men under His control. (Psalm 2: Is The World Out Of Control?)

THOUGHT - I suggest a better idea regarding the "nightly news" -- don't watch it! I have "fasted" from the news (varying from "pseudo-news" to overt lies) for almost 3 years and I am sleeping better than I have ever slept in my life (and I am 75, an age when I am supposed to experience "sleep issues!") If there is anything I absolutely need to know, somehow I seem to find out from a friend or one of my children. Do an experiment - Try fasting from the news (even Fox news) for a month and see if you do not sleep better during that time. If you don't, then go ahead and watch the nightly "news" and let if trouble your soul (which it will! How can I be so sure? Because of God's Word in 2Pe 2:7-8+ which says that God "rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he SAW [cf his "NIGHTLY VIEWS" with our "NIGHTLY NEWS!"] and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented [basanizo in the imperfect tense = over and over, again and again!!!] day after day by their lawless deeds). Beloved, don't torment your righteous soul by viewing the nightly deeds of lawlessness on the "news"! 


Whole Psalm.—Shows us the nature of sin, and the terrible results of it if it could reign.

Verse 1.—Nothing is more irrational than irreligion. A weighty theme.
The reasons why sinners rebel against God, stated, refuted, lamented, and repented of.
The crowning display of human sin in man’s hatred of the Mediator.

Verses 1 and 2.—Opposition to the gospel, unreasonable and ineffectual.—Two sermons by John Newton.

Verses 1 and 2.—These verses show that all trust in man in the service of God is vain. Inasmuch as men oppose Christ, it is not good to hang our trust upon the multitude for their number, the earnest for their zeal, the mighty for their countenance, or the wise for their counsel, since all these are far oftener against Christ than for him.

Verse 2.—“Spurgeon’s Sermons,” No. 495, “The Greatest Trial on Record.”

Verse 3.—The true reason of the opposition of sinners to Christ’s truth, viz.: their hatred of the restraints of godliness.

Verse 4.—God’s derision of the rebellious, both now and hereafter.

Verse 5.—The voice of wrath. One of a series of sermons upon the voices of the divine attributes.

Verse 6.—Christ’s sovereignty. 1. The opposition to it: “yet.” 2. The certainty of its existence: “Yet have I set.” 3. The power which maintains it: “have I set.” 4. The place of its manifestation: “my holy hill of Zion.” 5. The blessings flowing from it.

Verse 7.—The divine decree concerning Christ, in connection with the decrees of election and providence. The Sonship of Jesus.
This verse teacheth us faithfully to declare, and humbly to claim, the gifts and calling that God hath bestowed upon us.—Thomas Wilcocks.

Verse 8.—Christ’s inheritance.—William Jay. Prayer indispensable.—Jesus must ask.

Verse 9.—The ruin of the wicked. Certain, irresistible, terrible, complete, irretrievable, “like a potter’s vessel.”
The destruction of systems of error and oppression to be expected. The gospel an iron rod quite able to break mere pots of man’s making.

Verse 10.—True wisdom, fit for kings and judges, lies in obeying Christ.
The gospel, a school for those who would learn how to rule and judge well. They may consider its principles, its exemplar, its spirit, etc.

Verse 11.—Mingled experience. See the case of the women returning from the sepulchre. Matt. 28:8. This may be rendered a very comforting subject, if the Holy Spirit direct the mind of the preacher.
True religion, a compound of many virtues and emotions.

Verse 12.“Spurgeon’s Sermon,” No. 260.—An earnest invitation. 1. The command. 2. The argument. 3. The benediction upon the obedient.—
Last clause.—Nature, object, and blessedness of saving faith.

Sermons by Verse
Psalm 2

Opposition to Messiah Unreasonable John Newton Psalm 2:1
A Great National Hope Phillips Brooks, D. D. Psalm 2:1-12
A Magnificent Lyric A. Maclaren, D. D. Psalm 2:1-12
Authorship and Meaning of the Psalm Professor A. B. Davidson. Psalm 2:1-12
Messiah's Rule F. B. Meyer, B. A. Psalm 2:1-12
The Divine King C. Short Psalm 2:1-12
The Heathen in Three Aspects W. Forsyth Psalm 2:1-12
The Holy War W. L. Watkinson. Psalm 2:1-12
The King in Zion Monday Club Sermons Psalm 2:1-12
The King in Zion: a Messianic Psalm C. Clemance Psalm 2:1-12
The Messiah King J. O. Keen, D. D Psalm 2:1-12
The Opposition to God and His Christ F. W. Macdonald, M. A. Psalm 2:1-12
The Prophetical Element in the Psalm J. J. S. Perowne. Psalm 2:1-12
The Reign of Christ W. Cooke, D. D. Psalm 2:1-12
Taking Counsel Against Christ David Caldwell, A. M. Psalm 2:2
The Greatest Trial on Record Charles Haddon Spurgeon Psalm 2:2
The False and the True in Kingship W. Forsyth Psalm 2:2-6
Bands that Cannot be Broken F. W. Macdonald. Psalm 2:3
Sinners Vainly Attempt to Dissolve Their Obligations W. Emmons, D. D. Psalm 2:3
Tendency of the Young to Infidelity D. Merrill. Psalm 2:3
Opposition to Messiah in Vain John Newton Psalm 2:4
First a Laugh Then a Smite Joseph Parker, D. D. Psalm 2:4-5
The Laughter of God Thomas Adams. Psalm 2:4-5
Christ the Fulfilment of Prophecy   Psalm 2:6
Christ the King   Psalm 2:6
Christ, King of Zion James Ewing. Psalm 2:6
Christ, the King of Nations C. S. Findlay. Psalm 2:6
Christ's Kingdom H. M. Patterson, D. D. Psalm 2:6
Christ's Kingly Office T. Boston, D. D. Psalm 2:6
Christ's Kingly Office W. Cunningham, D. D. Psalm 2:6
The Enemies of Christ William Nicholson. Psalm 2:6
The King and the Kingdom T. B. Baker. Psalm 2:6
The King in Zion C. A. Dickinson. Psalm 2:6
The Royalty of the Son of God James Stalker, D. D. Psalm 2:6
The Sovereignty Zion's King E. Erskine. Psalm 2:6
Demonstration of Sonship Weekly Pulpit Psalm 2:7
Preaching the Law Bishop Andrewes. Psalm 2:7
The Lord's Decree Joseph Parker, D. D. Psalm 2:7
Christ's Inheritance L. O. Thompson. Psalm 2:8
Final Triumph of Christianity J. M. Sherwood, D. D. Psalm 2:8
Prayer for Missions James Gilmour. Psalm 2:8
Prayer Glorified by Christ's Example W. Jay. Psalm 2:8
The Church Aroused to the Missionary Work John Brown, A. M. Psalm 2:8
The Heathen for Christ Homilist Psalm 2:8
Universal Dominion of Christ J. P. Newman. Psalm 2:8
Jehovah's Iron Rod David Caldwell, A. M. Psalm 2:9
Opposition to Messiah Ruinous John Newton Psalm 2:9
The Power and Triumph of the Kingdom of Christ R. Bickerdike, M. A. Psalm 2:9
The Powers of Evil Broken E. R. Barrett, B. A. Psalm 2:9
Heavenly Wisdom D. Featley, D. D. Psalm 2:10
Antagonistic Forces W. L. Watkinson. Psalm 2:11
Christian Reverence J. H. Newman, B. D. Psalm 2:11
Divine Service J. M. Stott, M. A. Psalm 2:11
The Mixture of Joy and Fear in Religion Hugh Blair, D. D. Psalm 2:11
The Reverence Due to Divine Providence T. Secker. Psalm 2:11
A Timely Remonstrance   Psalm 2:12
An Earnest Invitation   Psalm 2:12
An Earnest Invitation Charles Haddon Spurgeon Psalm 2:12
Christ's Wrath Kindled   Psalm 2:12
The Blessedness of Trusting in God A. Alexander, D. D. Psalm 2:12
The Soul's Kiss James Wells, M. A. Psalm 2:12
The Symbol of the Kiss John Donne. Psalm 2:12