Psalm 2:11
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBTODWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 2:11. Serve the Lord with fear — That is, with reverence and an awful sense of his great and glorious majesty, rendering you careful and diligent to please him, and afraid to offend him. And rejoice — Do not esteem his yoke your dishonour and grievance, but know that it is a greater glory and happiness to be the subjects of this King than to be the emperors of the greatest empire; and accordingly rejoice in it, and bless God for this inestimable grace and benefit; with trembling — This is added to signify the quality of the joy to which he calls them and to distinguish it from that carnal and worldly rejoicing which is usually attended with security and presumption; and to warn them to take heed that they did not turn this grace of God into wantonness; but, on the contrary, work out their salvation with fear and trembling.

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.Serve the Lord with fear - With reverence, and with deep apprehensions of the consequences of not serving and obeying him. That is, serve him in not opposing, but in promoting his purpose of establishing a kingdom under the Messiah, with the deep apprehension that if you do not do it, he will arise and crush you in his wrath.

And rejoice - Prof. Alexander renders this "shout," and supposes that it refers to the customary recognition of a present sovereign. The word used - גיל gı̂yl - means properly to move in a circle, to revolve; and then to dance in a circle, to exult, to rejoice. Then, according to Gesenius, it means to tremble, to fear, from the leaping or palpitation of the heart Job 37:1; Hosea 10:5; Psalm 29:6. Gesenius renders it here "fear with trembling." The common translation, however, better expresses the sense. It means that they should welcome the purposes of Yahweh, and exult in his reign, but that it should be done with a suitable apprehension of his majesty and power, and with the reverence which becomes the public acknowledgment of God.

With trembling - With reverence and awe, feeling that he has almighty power, and that the consequences of being found opposed to him must be overwhelming and awful. The duty here enjoined on kings and rulers is that of welcoming the purposes of God, and of bringing their influence - derived from the station which they occupy - to bear in promoting the reign of truth upon the earth - a duty binding on kings and princes as well as on other men. The feelings with which this is to be done are those which belong to transactions in which the honor and the reign of God are concerned. They are mingled feelings, derived from the mercy of God on the one hand, and from his wrath on the other; from the hope which his promise and purpose inspires, and from the apprehension derived from his warnings and threatenings.

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— With fear, i.e. with reverence, and an awful sense of his great and glorious majesty, as very careful and diligent to please him, and afraid to offend him.

Rejoice; do not esteem his yoke your dishonour and grievance; but know that it is a greater glory and happiness to be the subjects of this King, than to be emperors of the greatest empire; and accordingly rejoice in it, and bless God for this inestimable grace and benefit.

With trembling: this is added to express the quality of this joy to which he calls them, and to distinguish it from that carnal and worldly rejoicing which is usually attended with security, and presumption, and licentiousness, and to warn them to take heed that they do not turn this grace of God into wantonness, nor slacken their dread of God’s tremendous majesty, and of his terrible judgments, if they should hereafter revolt from him, or rebel against him; but, on the contrary, work out their salvation with fear and trembling, as it is prescribed, Philippians 2:12: compare Matthew 28:8.

Serve the Lord with fear,.... Not the creature, neither more, nor besides, nor with the Creator; God and mammon cannot both be served; nor any fictitious and nominal deities, the idols of the Gentiles, who are not gods by nature; but the true Jehovah, the one and only Lord God, he only is to be worshipped and served, even Father, Son, and Spirit. Here it may be understood either of the Lord Christ, the Son of God, who is to be served by the kings and judges of the earth, he being King of kings, and Lord of lords; or rather of Jehovah the Father, since the Son seems to be distinguished from him in Psalm 2:12, and the service these persons are called unto lies not in the discharge of any office in the church, as in preaching the word, which is serving God in the Gospel of his Son; and hence the ministers of the word are eminently called the servants of the most high God; for kings and judges are not required hereby to lay aside their crowns and sceptres, and leave their seats of justice, and become preachers of the Gospel; but in acting according to the will of God revealed in his word, and in the whole worship of him, both internal and external: and this is to be done "with fear", not with fear of man, nor with servile fear of God, but with a godly and filial fear, with a reverential affection for him, and in a way agreeable to his mind and will; with reverence and awe of him, without levity, carelessness, and negligence;

and rejoice with trembling; some reference may be had to the joy in public worship, as at sacrifices and festivals, and the music in divine service under the law; and the singing of psalms and hymns and spiritual songs under the Gospel; and especially to the Gospel dispensation itself, which is a time of joy and rejoicing; the Gospel is good tidings of great joy; the kingdom of God is not in things external, but in joy in the Holy Ghost; and, above all, respect is had to a rejoicing in Christ Jesus, in his person, righteousness, and salvation: and which is consistent with "trembling"; not with a fearful looking for of judgment, but with modesty and humility; in which sense this word, when joined with "fear" as here, is used Philippians 2:12, and stands opposed to pride, haughtiness, and arrogance; men should so rejoice in Christ as to have no confidence in the flesh, or assume any degree of glory to themselves, or have any rejoicing in themselves, but wholly in Christ, giving all the glory of what they have to him.

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. Serve] The context indicates that political submission to Jehovah in the person of His representative is primarily intended. Cp. Psalm 18:43; Psalm 72:11. But the wider meaning must not be excluded. Serve and fear are words constantly used with a religious meaning; and political submission to Israel is only the prelude to that spiritual submission of the nations to Jehovah, which is a constant element in the Messianic expectation of the O.T. Cp. Psalm 22:27-28; Psalm 67:7; Psalm 100:1 ff.; Psalm 102:15; &c.

rejoice with trembling] There is no need to alter the reading to tremble (Psalm 96:9) or to look for this meaning in the word rendered rejoice. Joyfulness tempered with reverent awe befits those who approach One so gracious yet so terrible. Cp. Psalm 97:1; Psalm 100:2; Hosea 3:5; Hosea 11:10-11; Hebrews 12:28. P.B.V. adds unto him with LXX and Vulg.

Verse 11. - Serve the Lord with fear. "If ye will not serve him (i.e. honour and obey him) from love, do it from fear;" "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10). And rejoice. Do not be content with fear. Go on from fear to love, and so to joy. Good men "rejoice in God alway" (Philippians 4:4). But such rejoicing must be with trembling; or, with reverence (Prayer-book Version), since no service is acceptable to God but such as is rendered "with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28). Psalm 2:11The poet closes with a practical application to the great of the earth of that which he has seen and heard. With ועתּה, καὶ νῦν (1 John 2:28), itaque, appropriate conclusions are drawn from some general moral matter of face (e.g., Proverbs 5:7) or some fact connected with the history of redemption (e.g., Isaiah 28:22). The exhortation is not addressed to those whom he has seen in a state of rebellion, but to kings in general with reference to what he has prophetically seen and heard. שׁפטי ארץ are not those who judge the earth, but the judges, i.e., rulers (Amos 2:3, cf. 1:8), belonging to the earth, throughout its length or breadth. The Hiph. השׂכּיל signifies to show intelligence or discernment; the Niph. נוסר as a so-called Niph. tolerativum, to let one's self be chastened or instructed, like נועץ Proverbs 13:10, to allow one's self to be advised, נדרשׁ Ezekiel 14:3, to allow one's self to be sought, נמצא to allow one's self to be found, 1 Chronicles 28:9, and frequently. This general call to reflection is followed, in 1 Chronicles 28:11, by a special exhortation in reference to Jahve, and in Psalm 2:12, in reference to the Son. עבדוּ and גּילוּ answer to each other: the latter is not according to Hosea 10:5 in the sense of חילוּ Psalm 96:9, but, - since "to shake with trembling" (Hitz.) is a tautology, and as an imperative גילו everywhere else signifies: rejoice, - according to Psalm 100:2, in the sense of rapturous manifestation of joy at the happiness and honour of being permitted to be servants of such a God. The lxx correctly renders it: ἀγελλιᾶσθε αὐτῷ ἐν τρόμῳ. Their rejoicing, in order that it may not run to the excess of security and haughtiness, is to be blended with trembling (בּ as Zephaniah 3:17), viz., with the trembling of reverence and self-control, for God is a consuming fire, Hebrews 12:28.

The second exhortation, which now follows, having reference to their relationship to the Anointed One, has been missed by all the ancient versions except the Syriac, as though its clearness had blinded the translators, since they render בר, either בּר purity, chastity, discipline (lxx, Targ., Ital., Vulg.), or בּר pure, unmixed (Aq., Symm., Jer.: adorate pure). Thus also Hupfeld renders it "yield sincerely," whereas it is rendered by Ewald "receive wholesome warning," and by Hitzig "submit to duty" (בּר like the Arabic birr equals בּר); Olshausen even thinks, there may be some mistake in בר, and Diestel decides for בו instead of בר. But the context and the usage of the language require osculamini filium. The Piel נשּׁק means to kiss, and never anything else; and while בּר in Hebrew means purity and nothing more, and בּר as an adverb, pure, cannot be supported, nothing is more natural here, after Jahve has acknowledged His Anointed One as His Son, than that בּר (Proverbs 31:2, even בּרי equals בּני) - which has nothing strange about it when found in solemn discourse, and here helps one over the dissonance of פּן בּן - should, in a like absolute manner to חק, denote the unique son, and in fact the Son of God.

(Note: Apart from the fact of בר not having the article, its indefiniteness comes under the point of view of that which, because it combines with it the idea of the majestic, great, and terrible, is called by the Arabian grammarians Arab. 'l-tnkı̂r lt'dı̂m or ltktı̂r or lthwı̂l; by the boundlessness which lies in it it challenges the imagination to magnify the notion which it thus expresses. An Arabic expositor would here (as in Psalm 2:7 above) render it "Kiss a son and such a son!" (vid., Ibn Hishâm in De Sacy's Anthol. Grammat. p. 85, where it is to be translated hic est vir, qualis vir!). Examples which support this doctrine are בּיר Isaiah 28:2 by a hand, viz., God's almighty hand which is the hand of hands, and Isaiah 31:8 מפּני־חרב before a sword, viz., the divine sword which brooks no opposing weapon.)

The exhortation to submit to Jahve is followed, as Aben-Ezra has observed, by the exhortation to do homage to Jahve's Son. To kiss is equivalent to to do homage. Samuel kisses Saul (1 Samuel 10:1), saying that thereby he does homage to him.

(Note: On this vid., Scacchi Myrothecium, to. iii.((1637) c. 35.)

The subject to what follows is now, however, not the Son, but Jahve. It is certainly at least quite as natural to the New Testament consciousness to refer "lest He be angry" to the Son (vid., Revelation 6:16.), and since the warning against putting trust (חסות) in princes, Psalm 118:9; Psalm 146:3, cannot be applied to the Christ of God, the reference of בו to Him (Hengst.) cannot be regarded as impossible. But since חסה בּ is the usual word for taking confiding refuge in Jahve, and the future day of wrath is always referred to in the Old Testament (e.g., Psalm 110:5) as the day of the wrath of God, we refer the ne irascatur to Him whose son the Anointed One is; therefore it is to be rendered: lest Jahve be angry and ye perish דּרך. This דּרך is the accus. of more exact definition. If the way of any one perish. Psalm 1:6, he himself is lost with regard to the way, since this leads him into the abyss. It is questionable whether כּמעט means "for a little" in the sense of brevi or facile. The usus loquendi and position of the words favour the latter (Hupf.). Everywhere else כּמעט means by itself (without such additions as in Ezra 9:8; Isaiah 26:20; Ezekiel 16:47) "for a little, nearly, easily." At least this meaning is secured to it when it occurs after hypothetical antecedent clauses as in Psalm 81:15; 2 Samuel 19:37; Job 32:22. Therefore it is to be rendered: for His wrath might kindle easily, or might kindle suddenly. The poet warns the rulers in their own highest interest not to challenge the wrathful zeal of Jahve for His Christ, which according to Psalm 2:5 is inevitable. Well is it with all those who have nothing to fear from this outburst of wrath, because they hide themselves in Jahve as their refuge. The construct state חוסי connects בו, without a genitive relation, with itself as forming together one notion, Ges. 116, 1. חסה the usual word for fleeing confidingly to Jahve, means according to its radical notion not so much refugere, confugere, as se abdere, condere, and is therefore never combined with אל, but always with בּ.

(Note: On old names of towns, which show this ancient חסה. Wetzstein's remark on Job 24:8 [Comm. on Job, en loc.]. The Arabic still has hsy in the reference of the primary meaning to water which, sucked in and hidden, flows under the sand and only comes to sight on digging. The rocky bottom on which it collects beneath the surface of the sand and by which it is prevented from oozing away or drying up is called Arab. hasâ or hisâ a hiding-place or place of protection, and a fountain dug there is called Arab. ‛yn 'l-hy.)

Links
Psalm 2:11 Interlinear
Psalm 2:11 Parallel Texts


Psalm 2:11 NIV
Psalm 2:11 NLT
Psalm 2:11 ESV
Psalm 2:11 NASB
Psalm 2:11 KJV

Psalm 2:11 Bible Apps
Psalm 2:11 Parallel
Psalm 2:11 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 2:11 Chinese Bible
Psalm 2:11 French Bible
Psalm 2:11 German Bible

Bible Hub








Psalm 2:10
Top of Page
Top of Page