The Coming Prophesied Earthly Reign of the Messiah
2:1 Rabbi Rashi says: “Our Rabbis expound this Psalm 2 as relating to the coming King Messiah.”
Why are the nations in an uproar? Uproar better means to be emotionally restless. The nations are stirred and agitated. The peoples (plural) and the nations (plural) implies the confusion and the restless tempest among the “Goyim,” the Gentiles and the pagans. The question does not seek the reason for the planned revolt, but expresses astonishment at its planning because it is futile. For men to set themselves against God’s decree is “as hopeless as if the stars were to combine to abolish gravity.”
Uproar. The word is the same word meaning milling crowd or throng. It conveys the idea of a noisy assembly or mob. The world is shouting and boisterous for two reasons mentioned in verses 2-3. They are angry and rebelling against (1) the Lord, and against (2) His Anointed One!
They devise a vain thing. Better, “meditate a vain thing.” The plan they had gathered to consider, i.e. the overthrow of the Messiah is an empty scheme. The hatred of the Messiah is an awesome thing.
2:2 The kings of the earth. Eratz here best means the entire world, the whole earth. This is not simply a regional happening!
Against the Lord and against His Anointed (the HaMashioch=Messiah). The ceremony of dedication to a divinely ordained office included the pouring of oil upon the head. It was done at the consecration of a priest (Exod. 28:41), a king (1 Sam. 10:1), and occasionally a prophet (1 Kings 19:16). David called Saul the Lord’s anointed (1 Sam. 24:7). The text refers to “His Messiah.”
2:3 Let us tear their fetters apart. The fetters would be chains, but ropes are also mentioned. This is the world wishing to rid itself of the influence and control of God and His Messiah (Greek=Christos). The evilness of humanity cannot stand the thought of God or of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their names are repulsive to people, unless the Holy Spirit touches their heart and brings about conversion.
2:4 He who sits in the heavens laughs. Better, “He who is enthroned in heaven.” As in the book of Job, the reader is transported into the heavens to see the workings of God’s designs, and to ascertain how He responds to the hatred of the world. God is not making fun of the world but He is laughing in response to their puny efforts at thwarting what He is doing. “Laughs” is an anthropomorphism which makes the scene most vivid. See Psalm 73:1.
2:5 He will speak to them in His anger. God will be furious with the world. What will cause this anger and terror to come upon a specific future generation. It would be the mistreatment of the nation of Israel. Whatever, the world will be traumatized with dread because of what seems to be about to happen.
2:6 But as for Me, I have installed (will install as a future event coming) My King (the Messiah) upon Zion, My holy mountain. The entire Psalm is a future event. The upshot of what is happening is that the Messiah, the King, will be placed upon His throne at the place called Zion, which was the hill of the residences of the kings of Israel. Zion became a catch word for Jerusalem, for the Jewish people as a whole, and for the entire Holy Land! Zion is a poetical name for Jerusalem, for which “My holy mountain” is another epithet, i.e. “the city of our God, His holy mountain.”
2:7 I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord. Now the Anointed, the Messiah, speaks. He is called “God’s Son.” The Messiah, the King, claims that He is no usurper of the crown, nor has He assumed the Kingship to gratify His personal ambitions. He holds His office by Divine Decree!
Today I have begotten You. This is fulfilled and referred to concerning Christ in the book of John. John the Baptist said: “We have beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (1:14). Salvation comes through Israel’s Messiah. John the apostle wrote: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten (born) Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “Only begotten” is monogenous and is better translated as “the unique born one.”
In this verse, God the Father is addressing His Son just before He descends to earth to become flesh. He will be born as a human, though still the Son of God, yet without sin!
2:8 Ask of Me and I shall surely give you the nations as Your inheritance. Now the Father asks the Son to beseech Him for rule over the entire world. The “very ends of the earth” clearly indicates that this is a worldwide reign and not simply a localized rule.
The language of the verse is poetical hyperbole. So close is the relationship between God and His Anointed that any request would be granted, even dominion over the whole earth. Not that any such ambitious thought is first in the King’s mind; but it indicates the hopelessness of any attempt to dethrone Him.
2:9 You (the Messiah) will break them (the rebel nations) with a rod of iron (scepter), You shall shatter them like clay pots. If the plotters venture to proceed with their scheme, their fate will be utter destruction, like the shattering of a clay vessel. The “rod of iron” is the King’s club, His scepter of judgment He would use in warfare.
2:10 O kings, show discernment. Now there is an appeal for the rulers of the earth to think twice about what they are doing. Judges are also addressed, in other words, all those in authority are warned about their course of action—their rebellion against God and His Anointed King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Two ways confront them. One is to rebel against God’s decree, which will bring upon them severe retribution; the other is to submit to His will, and His Messiah, with peace as its sequel. They are exhorted to adopt the second alternative.
2:11 Worship the Lord with reverence. To worship the Lord is to accept the reign of His Son. Whatever He has said about Him, and the appointment of His rule, they must bow to. Instead of going forward in their downfall, they must rejoice in God’s choice of a King, standing in awe of His infinite Majesty!
2:12 Do homage to the Son. Literally, “Kiss the Son.” When a courtier came before a king, his son was seated at his right. The subject then kissed the hand of the son to show that he had the same respect and loyalty to the son as his father the king! Jesus Christ receives the same honor and loyalty as does His heavenly Father.
Lest He become angry. This idea is seen in John 3:17. The Messiah did not come the first time to judge men but to provide salvation. To turn away His anger is to accept Him as Savior!
His wrath may soon be kindled. This would probably be a reference to the impending and coming seven years of tribulation that will fall upon the world.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! “Take refuge” is the Hebrew verb khoss. It could better be translated “who hide under the shadow of, trust in” Him. They receive Him with favor and not with animosity or disdain. This verse sounds a lot like John 3:16. God gave His only begotten Son (Psa. 2:7) and whoever trusts in Him shall not perish but have eternal life!