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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,

Accept correction

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 2:13) God responds vigorously (Ps 2:46). A speaker proclaims the divine decree (in the legal adoption language of the day), making the Israelite king the earthly representative of God (Ps 2:79) and warning kings to obey (Ps 2:1011). The Psalm has a messianic meaning for the Church; the New Testament understands it of Christ (Acts 4:2527; 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; 16:1213) and high priests (Lv 8:12; Nm 3:3) received the power of their office through anointing.

a. [2:1] Rev 11:18.

b. [2:2] Ps 83:6.

c. [2:3] Ps 149:8.

d. [2:4] Ps 37:13; 59:9; Wis 4:18.

e. [2:7] Ps 89:27; 110:23; Is 49:1.

f. [2:9] Rev 2:27; 12:5; 19:15.

g. [2:11] Ps 34:9; 146:5; Prv 16:20.

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