Psalm 2

Ps 2:1

לָ֭מָּה רָגְשׁ֣וּ גֹויִ֑ם וּ֝לְאֻמִּ֗ים יֶהְגּוּ־רִֽיק׃

Why are the nations in a tumult and the peoples plotting vanity?

Paraphrase: Why are all the nations of the world in a state of turmoil?  Why are so many of the peoples getting together and working up futile plots and schemes?  It’s all so pointless.

Comments:  

A rhetorical question.

A QTL followed by a YQTL with the latter showing imperfective aspect.

The lamed on ולְאֻמִּים is part of the root, not the preposition; see here.

 


Ps 2:2

יִ֥תְיַצְּב֨וּ׀ מַלְכֵי־אֶ֗רֶץ וְרֹוזְנִ֥ים נֹֽוסְדוּ־יָ֑חַד עַל־יְ֝הוָה וְעַל־מְשִׁיחֹֽו׃

The kings of the earth stand and the important people sit together against YHWH and against His Anointed.

Paraphrase:  The great kings of all these nations are meeting together and all their important people are sitting in closed session to plan their rebellion against YHWH and against His Anointed Son.

Comments:

יִתְיַצְּבוּ is a hitpael with the reciprocal nuance.

 


Ps 2:3

נְֽ֭נַתְּקָה אֶת־מֹֽוסְרֹותֵ֑ימֹו וְנַשְׁלִ֖יכָה מִמֶּ֣נּוּ עֲבֹתֵֽימֹו׃

Let us break off their shackles and send from us his ropes.

Paraphrase:  This is the futile scheme that they are trying to pull off.  They are saying to themselves, “Let us break off these shackles and get out from under the  heel of the Sovereign King.  Let’s tear off these ropes which bind us and declare our independence from God’s sovereign rule!

Comments:

Note מֹֽוסְרֹותֵימֹו.  In poetry, the third, masculine singular suffix is often מוֹ, see §g here.  The antecedent is YHWH and His Anointed.

The ה on נְנַתְּקָה marks it as a cohortative.

 


Ps 2:4

יֹושֵׁ֣ב בַּהַשָּׁמַ֣יִם יִשְׂחָ֑ק אֲ֝דֹנָ֗י יִלְעַג־לָֽמֹו׃

Sitting in the heavens, the Lord will laugh; He will mock them.

Paraphrase:  Now in the face of these plots, God the great Creator is in the heavens sitting on the throne of the universe.  He holds such scheming in contempt.  He laughs and mocks at these supposed “great ones” and all their plans.  To Him, they are but the dust in the balances.  Their plots are just exercises in futility.

Comments:

יֹושֵׁב is an attributive participle modifying אֲדֹנָי.

 


Ps 2:5

אָ֤ז יְדַבֵּ֣ר אֵלֵ֣ימֹו בְאַפֹּ֑ו וּֽבַחֲרֹונֹ֥ו יְבַהֲלֵֽמֹו׃

At that time, He will speak to them in His anger and in his wrath He will terrify them.

Paraphrase:  When the time comes for the showdown, God will address them in anger as His enemies.  His words will terrify them and send them flying in all directions.

Comments:

Note אֵלֵימֹו and יְבַהֲלֵמֹו.  In poetry, the third, masculine, plural suffix is often מוֹ, see §g here.

 


Ps 2:6

וַ֭אֲנִי נָסַ֣כְתִּי מַלְכִּ֑י עַל־צִ֝יֹּ֗ון הַר־קָדְשִֽׁי׃

and I have anointed My King, on Zion, the holy hill.

Paraphrase:  But here is what God will do.  He will speak to these rebellious nations tell them what took place in eternity past (Prov. 8:23; 1Peter 1:20) between God the Father and God the Son.  He will announce, “I have taken My Son and have poured oil on Him as a sign that this My Son is now invested with all My royal powers.  He is now authorized to act in My Name and as My Representative.  He is now the great King in Jerusalem, My holy hill where My Name dwells.  

Comments:  

נָסַ֣כְתִּי is a QTL and translated here as a past perfect.

 


Ps 2:7

אֲסַפְּרָ֗ה אֶֽ֫ל חֹ֥ק יְֽהוָ֗ה אָמַ֘ר אֵלַ֥י בְּנִ֥י אַ֑תָּה אֲ֝נִ֗י הַיֹּ֥ום יְלִדְתִּֽיךָ׃

Let me relate the mission YHWH said to Me.  “You are My Son; I this day have begotten You.”

Paraphrase:  I am God’s Son; now listen to what I have to say.  Let me tell you what happened in the never-begun ages of eternity past.  There, long before the earth was ever created, My Father, the Great King, YHWH of hosts said to Me.  “You are My Son!  I am your Father.”

Comments:

אֲסַפְּרָה is a cohortative.

חֹק is more than a decree; see here.  It’s a prescribed task that is given to someone.  I’ve translated it here in light of John 4:34; 6:38; and many others.

It is difficult to know how to understand the preposition אֶל here.

 


Ps 2:8

שְׁאַ֤ל מִמֶּ֗נִּי וְאֶתְּנָ֣ה גֹ֭ויִם נַחֲלָתֶ֑ךָ וַ֝אֲחֻזָּתְךָ֗ אַפְסֵי־אָֽרֶץ׃

Ask from me and I will give the nations for your inheritance and your possession [will be] the farthest reaches of the earth. 

Paraphrase:  “I am sending you to the nations of the earth.  They are in a state of rebellion against Me, but just say the word, and I will give them all to you.  They will be your inheritance (Heb 1:2), your property, yours to rule (Mt 28:18; Jn 17:2; 1Cor 15:24f), yours to judge, yours to save.  Even if You ask for the very ends of the earth I will not withhold any of these from You.”  This is the great mission My Father gave me.

Comments:

נַחֲלָתֶךָ is an object complement.

 


Ps 2:9

תְּ֭רֹעֵם בְּשֵׁ֣בֶט בַּרְזֶ֑ל כִּכְלִ֖י יֹוצֵ֣ר תְּנַפְּצֵֽם׃

You will injure them with an iron club; as the pot of a potter, you will shatter them.

Paraphrase:  Further My Father told Me, “All of these rebels who persist in their treason, you will utterly destroy in judgment.  They will collapse as though they had been struck with an iron bar.  They will go all to pieces just like the clay pots the potter throws out, and they shatter into a million pieces.

Comments:

 


Ps 2:10

וְ֭עַתָּה מְלָכִ֣ים הַשְׂכִּ֑ילוּ הִ֝וָּסְר֗וּ שֹׁ֣פְטֵי אָֽרֶץ׃

and now kings consider, be corrected, judges of the earth.

Paraphrase:  Now listen you rebellious rulers.  You may be kings and judges but don’t be so arrogant as to refuse to hear my last word.  

Comments:

Note the nifal triangle in הִוָּסְרוּ.

 


Ps 2:11

עִבְד֣וּ אֶת־יְהוָ֣ה בְּיִרְאָ֑ה וְ֝גִ֗ילוּ בִּרְעָדָֽה׃

Serve YHWH in fear and rejoice in trembling.

Paraphrase: My Father is not a God who delights in punishment.  He gets no pleasure from condemning rebels to death (Ezek 33:11) which He very well could do.  He would much rather see you turn from this treason.  My Father would much rather see you return to Him and to resume being His loyal subjects.  In order to this, you must first understand that these plots of yours and this desire to throw off My Father’s rule will bring down nothing but terror and destruction upon your heads.  The very thought of rebelling against My Father should make you shake with horror (Rom 6:21).  On the contrary, even as you tremble at this prospect, know that as soon as you come to My Father in humble repentance, you will find great joy and gladness under His loving rule (Rom 6:22).  There is no better King and no greater kingdom.  Life in My Father’s house is full of light, harmony, peace and joy (Rom 14:17).   

Comments:

     


Ps 2:12

נַשְּׁקוּ־בַ֡ר פֶּן־יֶאֱנַ֤ף׀ וְתֹ֬אבְדוּ דֶ֗רֶךְ כִּֽי־יִבְעַ֣ר כִּמְעַ֣ט אַפֹּ֑ו אַ֝שְׁרֵ֗י כָּל־חֹ֥וסֵי בֹֽו׃

Kiss the Son or He will be angry and you perish in the way because His anger starts up quickly.  Happy are all who take refuge in Him.

Paraphrase:  Now this is the good news I am sent to announce.  Everyone who submits to Me and gives themselves over to be ruled by My Father will rejoice with great joy and gladness.  Everyone who persists in their treason will experience the terror of God’s wrath as it flares up and consumes them.  Oh that the peoples of the earth would recognize my Father’s offer of mercy and receive it with joy (Dt 5:29)!   Oh what great joy those will have who flee for protection to this Anointed King, YHWH’s Son and find safety and new life in Him!

Comments: