|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-6 We are here told who would appear as adversaries to Christ. As this world is the kingdom of Satan, unconverted men, of every rank, party, and character, are stirred up by him to oppose the cause of God. But the rulers of the earth generally have been most active. The truths and precepts of Christianity are against ambitious projects and worldly lusts. We are told what they aim at in this opposition. They would break asunder the bands of conscience, and the cords of God's commandments; they will not receive, but cast them away as far as they can. These enemies can show no good cause for opposing so just and holy a government, which, if received by all, would bring a heaven upon earth. They can hope for no success in so opposing so powerful a kingdom. The Lord Jesus has all power both in heaven and in earth, and is Head over all things to the church, notwithstanding the restless endeavours of his enemies. Christ's throne is set up in his church, that is, in the hearts of all believers.
Verse 5. - Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath. "Then" (אָז) means "after a time" - "presently" ('Speaker's Commentary'), when the fitting period has arrived. "He shall speak" - not in articulate words, not by a voice from heaven, not even by a commissioned messenger, but by accomplished facts. Christ does rule; Christ does reign; he sits a King in heaven, and is acknowledged as a King upon earth. In vain was all the opposition of the Jews, in vain persecution after persecution by the Gentiles. God has established his Church, and "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." And vex them. "Strike terror and dismay into them" (Kay). In his sore displeasure; or, "in the heat of his anger" (Trench and Skinner).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath,.... Or, "and he shall speak to them"; so Noldius: that is, the Lord that sits in the heavens, and laughs, and has the Heathen, the people, the kings and rulers in derision, shall not only silently despise their furious and concerted opposition to him and his Messiah, but shall at last speak out unto them, not in his word, but in his providences; and not in love, as to his own people, when he chastises them, but in great wrath, inflicting severe and just punishment. It seems to refer to the destruction of Jerusalem, after the crucifixion, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ; and after the pouring out of the Spirit, and when the Gospel, to their great mortification, had got ground, and made large advances in the Gentile world;
and vex them in his sore displeasure; or "in the heat of his anger" (e): see Deuteronomy 29:24, where the Holy Ghost speaks of the same people, and of the same ruin and destruction of them at the same time, as here: and as the carrying of the Jews captive into Babylon is called their vexation, Isaiah 9:1; much more may their destruction by the Romans; then it was they howled for vexation of spirit, Isaiah 65:14; the wrath of God came upon them to the uttermost; they were filled with trouble and confusion, with terror and consternation, as the word (f) used signifies; they were vexed to see themselves straitened and pent in on every side by the Roman armies, oppressed with famine and internal divisions, rapine and murder; to see their temple profaned and burnt, their city plundered and destroyed, and themselves taken and carried captive: and what most of all vexed them was, that their attempts against Jesus of Nazareth, the true Messiah, were fruitless; and that, notwithstanding all their opposition to him, his name was famous, his interest increased, his kingdom was enlarged, through the spread of his Gospel among the Gentiles; and what Jehovah in Psalm 2:6 says, though it is to the comfort of his people, was to their terror and vexation.
(e) "in aestu irae suae", Junius & Tremellius. (f) "conturbabit", V. L. Vatablus, Gejerus; so Musculus; Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "terrebit", Pagninus, Montanus; so Cocceius, Michaelis; see Ainsworth.
The Treasury of David
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
After he has laughed he shall speak; he needs not smite; the breath of his lips is enough. At the moment when their power is at its height, and their fury most violent, then shall his Word go forth against them. And what is it that he says? - it is a very galling sentence - "Yet," says he, "despite your malice, despite your tumultuous gatherings, despite the wisdom of your counsels, despite the craft of your lawgivers, 'yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.'" Is not that a grand exclamation! He has already done that which the enemy seeks to prevent. While they are proposing, he has disposed the matter. Jehovah's will is done, and man's will frets and raves in vain. God's Anointed is appointed, and shall not be disappointed. Look back through all the ages of infidelity, hearken to the high and hard things which men have spoken against the Most High, listen to the rolling thunder of earth's volleys against the Majesty of heaven, and then think that God is saying all the while, "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion." Yet Jesus reigns, yet he sees of the travail of his soul, and "his unsuffering kingdom yet shall come" when he shall take unto himself his great power, and reign from the river unto the ends of the earth. Even now he reigns in Zion, and our glad lips sound forth the praises of the Prince of Peace. Greater conflicts may here be foretold, but we may be confident that victory will be given to our Lord and King. Glorious triumphs are yet to come; hasten them, we pray thee, O Lord! It is Zion's glory and joy that her King is in her, guarding her from foes, and filling her with good things. Jesus sits upon the throne of grace, and the throne of power in the midst of his church. In him is Zion's best safeguard; let her citizens be glad in him.
"Thy walls are strength, and at thy gates
A guard of heavenly warriors waits;
Nor shall thy deep foundations move,
Fixed on his counsels and his love.
Thy foes in vain designs engage;
Against his throne in vain they rage,
Like rising waves, with, angry roar,
That dash and die upon the shore."
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. Then shall he speak—His righteous indignation as well as contempt is roused. For God to speak is for Him to act, for what He resolves He will do (Ge 1:3; Ps 33:9).
vex them—agitate or terrify them (Ps 83:15).
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