A Psalm for a Royal Coronation
1Why do the nations protest
and the peoples conspire in vain?a
2Kings on earth rise up
and princes plot together
3“Let us break their shackles
and cast off their chains from us!”c
4The one enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord derides them,d
5Then he speaks to them in his anger,
in his wrath he terrifies them:
6“I myself have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7I will proclaim the decree of the LORD,
he said to me, “You are my son;
today I have begotten you.e
8Ask it of me,
and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,
and, as your possession, the ends of the earth.
9With an iron rod you will shepherd them,
like a potter’s vessel you will shatter them.”f
10And now, kings, give heed;
take warning, judges on earth.
11Serve the LORD with fear;
exult with trembling,
lest he become angry and you perish along the way
when his anger suddenly blazes up.g
Blessed are all who take refuge in him!
* [Psalm 2] A royal Psalm. To rebellious kings (Ps 2:1–3) God responds vigorously (Ps 2:4–6). A speaker proclaims the divine decree (in the legal adoption language of the day), making the Israelite king the earthly representative of God (Ps 2:7–9) and warning kings to obey (Ps 2:10–11). The Psalm has a messianic meaning for the Church; the New Testament understands it of Christ (Acts 4:25–27; 13:33; Heb 1:5).
* [2:2] Anointed: in Hebrew mashiah, “anointed”; in Greek christos, whence English Messiah and Christ. In Israel kings (Jgs 9:8; 1 Sm 9:16; 16:12–13) and high priests (Lv 8:12; Nm 3:3) received the power of their office through anointing.