Psalm 2:10
Be wise now therefore, O you kings: be instructed, you judges of the earth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 2:10. Be wise now therefore — Understand your true interest while you have time and space for repentance and submission; O ye kings — You and your people. Be instructed, ye judges — Or rulers, you and those that are ruled by you. But he speaks of and to kings and rulers only, 1st, Because they most need the admonition, as presuming upon their own power and greatness; and thinking it below them to submit to him: 2d, Because their authority and example would have great influence on their people and inferiors; and, 3d, To intimate the greatness of this monarch, that he was King of kings, and Lord of lords.2:10-12 Whatever we rejoice in, in this world, it must always be with trembling, because of the uncertainty of all things in it. To welcome Jesus Christ, and to submit to him, is our wisdom and interest. Let him be very dear and precious; love him above all, love him in sincerity, love him much, as she did, to whom much was forgiven, and, in token of it, kissed his feet, Lu 7:38. And with a kiss of loyalty take this yoke upon you, and give up yourselves to be governed by his laws, disposed of by his providence, and entirely devoted to his cause. Unbelief is a sin against the remedy. It will be utter destruction to yourselves; lest ye perish in the way of your sins, and from the way of your vain hopes; lest your way perish, lest you prove to have missed the way of happiness. Christ is the way; take heed lest ye be cut off from Him as your way to God. They thought themselves in the way; but neglecting Christ, they perish from it. Blessed will those be in the day of wrath, who, by trusting in Christ, have made him their Refuge.Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings - This is to be understood as the language of the psalmist. See introduction to the psalm, Section 3. It is an exhortation addressed to the rulers and princes whom the psalmist saw engaged in opposition to the purpose of Yahweh Psalm 2:1-3 - and hence, to all rulers and princes - to act the part of wisdom, by not attempting to resist the plans of God, but to submit to him, and secure his friendship. The psalmist cautions them to take warning, in view of what must certainly come upon the enemies of the Messiah; to cease their vain attempts to oppose his reign, and, by a timely submission to him, to ensure his friendship, and to escape the doom that must come upon his foes. The way of wisdom, then, was not to engage in an attempt in which they must certainly be crushed, but to secure at once the friendship of one appointed by God to reign over the earth.

Be instructed - In your duty to Yahweh and his Anointed One; that is, in the duty of submitting to this arrangement, and lending your influence to promote it. The word used here, and rendered "be instructed," means properly to chastise, chasten, correct; and it here means, be admonished, exhorted, or warned. Compare Proverbs 9:7; Job 4:3; Psalm 16:7.

Ye judges of the earth - Ye who administer justice; that is, ye rulers. This was formerly done by kings themselves, as it is now supposed to be in monarchical governments, where the judges act in the name of the king. In Republics, justice is supposed to be administered by the people through those whom they have appointed to execute it. The word here is equivalent to rulers, and the call is on those who occupy posts of office and honor not to oppose the purposes of Yahweh, but to bring their influence to the promotion of his designs. At the same time, it cannot be doubted that it is implied that they should seek to be interested personally in his reign.

10-12. kings … judges—For rulers generally (Ps 148:11), who have been leaders in rebellion, should be examples of penitent submission, and with fear for His terrible judgments, mingled with trust in His mercy, acknowledge—10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth

11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in

The scene again changes, and counsel is given to those who have taken counsel to rebel. They are exhorted to obey, and give the kiss of homage and affection to him whom they have hated.

"Be wise." - It is always wise to be willing to be instructed, especially when such instruction tends to the salvation of the soul. "Be wise now, therefore;" delay no longer, but-let good reason weigh with you. Your warfare cannot succeed, therefore desist and yield cheerfully to him who will make you bow if you refuse his yoke. O how wise, how infinitely wise is obedience to Jesus,, and how dreadful is the folly of those who continue to be his enemies! "Serve the Lord with fear;" let reverence and humility be mingled with your service. He is a great God, and ye are but puny creatures; bend ye, therefore, in lowly worship, and let a filial fear mingle with all your obedience to the great Father of the Ages. "Rejoice with trembling." - There must ever be a holy fear mixed with the Christian's joy. This is a sacred compound, yielding a sweet smell, and we muss see to it that we burn no other upon the altar. Fear, without joy, is torment; and joy, without holy fear, would be presumption. Mark the solemn argument for reconciliation and obedience. It is an awful thing to perish in the midst of sin, in the very way of rebellion; and yet how easily could his wrath destroy us suddenly. It needs not that his anger should be heated seven times hotter; let the fuel kindle but a little, and we are consumed. O sinner! Take heed of the terrors of the Lord; for "our God is a consuming fire." Note the benediction with which the Psalm closes "Blessed are all they that put their trust in him." Have we a share in this blessedness? Do we trust in him? Our faith my be slender as a spider's thread; but if it be real, we are in our measure blessed. The more we trust, the more fully shall we know this blessedness. We may therefore close the Psalm with the prayer of the apostles: - "Lord, increase our faith."

ThePsa 1:1-6 was a contrast between the righteous man and the sinner; thePsa 2:1-12 is a contrast between the tumultuous disobedience of the ungodly world and the sure exaltation of the righteous Son of God. In thePsa 1:1-6, we saw the wicked driven away like chaff; in thePsa 2:1-12, we see them broken in pieces like a potter's vessel. In thePsa 1:1-6, we beheld the righteous like a tree planted by the rivers of water; and here, we contemplate Christ, the Covenant Head of the righteous, made better than a tree planted by the rivers of water, for he is made king of all the islands, and all the heathen bow before him and kiss the dust; while he himself gives a blessing to all those who put their trust in him. The two Psalms are worthy of the very deepest attention; they are, in fact, the preface in the entire Book of Psalms, and were by some of the ancients, joined into one. They are, however, two Psalms; for Paul speaks of this as thePsa 2:1-12. (Acts 13:33,) The first shows us the character and lot of the righteous; and the next teaches us that the Psalms are Messianic, and speak of Christ the Messiah - the Prince who shall reign from the river even unto the ends of the earth. That they have both a far-reaching prophetic outlook we are well assured, but we do not feel competent to open up that matter, and must leave it to abler hands.

Be wise; understand your true interest. Now, whilst you have time and space for repentance and submission.

O ye kings; you and your people. But he speaks of and to kings only; partly, because they most needed the admonition, as presuming upon their own power and greatness, and thinking it below them to submit to him; partly, because their authority and example could do much with their people; and partly, to intimate the greatness of this monarch, and that he was King of kings, and Lord of lords. Ye judges, or rulers, or governors; the same called kings in the former branch. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings,.... This address is made not so much to the kings of the earth in David's time, as to those who would be under the Gospel dispensation, and times of the Messiah; and particularly who would rise up, and set themselves against the Lord and his Anointed, Psalm 2:2; and with these are to be understood their subjects: for if they are to serve the Lord, and be subject to Christ, then much more those that are under them; and they are rather spoken to particularly, because their examples have great influence on those over whom they rule, whether for good or evil these are exhorted to be wise, or to act the wise part; for great men are not always wise; wisdom, riches, and honour, do not always go together; men may be in high places, and yet be of low understandings; however, they do not always act wisely, and particularly those kings did not, when they rose up and set themselves against the Lord and his Messiah; since such opposition must be fruitless, nor is there any counsel against the Lord. And we learn, from the connection of these words with the following, that the truest wisdom in kings and people is to fear God, be subject to Christ, and trust in him. The words are an inference from what goes before; "therefore", since Christ is set as King over Zion, and he is no other than the Son of God, and who has a power over all flesh; one part of the world is his inheritance and possession, and the other part he will in a little time break and dash to pieces; wherefore "now", under the Gospel dispensation, while it is today, and now is the accepted time and day of salvation, before the blow is given; act the wise part and leave off opposing, and become subject to so great and powerful a King;

be instructed, ye judges of the earth; who are under kings, being appointed by them to hear causes and minister justice; they answer to the sanhedrim of the Jews; to the rulers in Psalm 2:2. These are exhorted to receive instructions, not in things political and civil they may be well acquainted with; but in things religious and evangelical, in the worship of God, in the Gospel of Christ, and in his ordinances; for persons in such posts should not be above instruction in these things. The word may be rendered, "be ye chastised" or "corrected" (i); that is, suffer reproof, correction, and chastisement at the hand of God, whether by words or deeds; submit to it patiently, and receive instruction from it: for God sometimes reproves kings and princes of the earth, on account of their sins, and for the sake of his people, when they should learn righteousness; see Psalm 105:14.

(i) "castigamini", Piscator; so Ainsworth; "corrigimini", Castalio, Gejerus, Michaelis.

{g} Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

(g) He exhorts all rulers to repent in time.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. Be wise now therefore] Now therefore should stand first, as in R.V., emphatically introducing the conclusion to be drawn from the statements of the preceding verses.

kings … judges of the earth] Not the rebel leaders of Psalm 2:2 exclusively, though the warning has a special significance for them, but all world-rulers, fudges = rulers generally, administration of justice being one of the most important functions of the king in early times. Cp. Psalm 148:11; Proverbs 8:16.

10–12. The poet speaks, drawing the lesson from the great truths which have been set forth. There is a better way. Submission may avert destruction. The leaders of the nations are exhorted to be wise in time, and accept the suzerainty of Jehovah instead of resisting until His wrath is kindled.Verse 10. - Be wise now therefore, O ye kings. The remainder of the psalm contains the advice of the psalmist to the rebels of vers. 1-3, and to all who may be inclined to imitate them. "Be wise," he says," be prudent. For your own sakes desist from attempts at rebellion. Jehovah and Messiah are irresistible. Ye will find it "hard to kick against the pricks.'" Be instructed, ye judges of the earth. "Be taught," i.e., "by experience, if ye are not wise enough to know beforehand, that opposition to God is futile." Compare the advice of Gamaliel (Acts 5:38, 39). Above the scene of this wild tumult of battle and imperious arrogance the psalmist in this six line strophe beholds Jahve, and in spirit hears His voice of thunder against the rebels. In contrast to earthly rulers and events Jahve is called יושׁב בּשּׁמים: He is enthroned above them in unapproachable majesty and ever-abiding glory; He is called אדני as He who controls whatever takes place below with absolute power according to the plan His wisdom has devised, which brooks no hindrance in execution. The futt. describe not what He will do, but what He does continually (cf. Isaiah 18:4.). למו also belongs, according to Psalm 59:9; Psalm 37:13, to ישׂחק (שׂחק which is more usual in the post-pentateuchal language equals צחק). He laughs at the defiant ones, for between them and Him there is an infinite distance; He derides them by allowing the boundless stupidity of the infinitely little one to come to a climax and then He thrusts him down to the earth undeceived. This climax, the extreme limit of the divine forbearance, is determined by the אז, as in Deuteronomy 29:19, cf. שׁם Psalm 14:5; Psalm 36:13, which is a "then" referring to the future and pointing towards the crisis which then supervenes. Then He begins at once to utter the actual language of His wrath to his foes and confounds them in the heat of His anger, disconcerts them utterly, both outwardly and in spirit. בּהל, Arab. bhl, cogn. בּלהּ, means originally to let loose, let go, then in Hebrew sometimes, externally, to overthrow, sometimes, of the mind, to confound and disconcert.
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