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
against the LORD and against his anointed one:*b
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.
d. [2:4] Ps 37:13; 59:9; Wis 4:18.
e. [2:7] Ps 89:27; 110:2–3; Is 49:1.
f. [2:9] Rev 2:27; 12:5; 19:15.