Psalm 2:7
I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) I will declare.—The anointed king now speaks himself, recalling the covenant made with him by Jehovah at his coronation.

I will tell.—Better, Let me speak concerning the appointment. The word rendered decree in our version is derived from a root meaning to engrave, and so stands for any formal agreement, but it is usually an ordinance clearly announced by a prophet or some other commissioned interpreter of the Divine will, and consecrated and legalised by mutual adoption by king and people.

The Lord hath.—Better, Jehovah said unto me: that is, at that particular time, the day which the great event made the new birthday, as it were, of the monarch, or perhaps of the monarchy. From the particular prince, of whose career, if we could identify him with certainty, this would be the noblest historical memorial, the Psalmist—if, indeed, any one historic personage was in his thought at all—let his thoughts and hopes range, as we certainly may, on to a larger and higher fulfilment. The figure of an ideal prince who was always about to appear, but was never realised in any actual successor on the throne, may possibly, by the time of this psalm, have assumed its great place in the nation’s prophetic hopes. Certainly the whole line of tradition claims the passage in a Messianic sense. (See Note, Psalm 2:2; and in New Testament Commentary, Note to Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; Hebrews 5:5. For the king, spoken of as God’s son, see Psalm 89:26-27, and comp. 2Samuel 7:14.)

Psalm 2:7. I will declare — Or publish, that all people concerned may take notice of it and submit to it, if they would escape the divine judgments which will be executed on the refractory and disobedient; the decree — The will and appointment of God concerning my advancement to the throne of Judah and Israel, and that of the Messiah, my seed, to universal empire over all mankind, and concerning the submission and obedience which must be paid thereto. The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son — These words, in some sort, might be said to, or of David, not only because kings in general, and magistrates, are, styled gods, and sons of the Most High; but because when God, who was properly king of Israel, fixed David on the throne of that kingdom, and made it hereditary in his family, he did, as it were, cede and transfer the government, and thereby the rights of primogeniture to him, hereby making him, as it were, his son and successor in the kingdom, according to Psalm 89:27, I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. But certainly the words much more properly belong to Christ, who is commonly known by this title, Song of Solomon of God, both in the Old and New Testament, and to whom this title is expressly appropriated by the Holy Ghost, who is the best interpreter of his own words, Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; Hebrews 5:5. This day have I begotten thee — This also is applied by some to David, understanding, by this day, the day of his inauguration, when he might be said to be begotten by God, inasmuch as he was then raised and delivered from all his calamities and troubles, which were a kind of death, and brought forth and advanced to a new kind of life, of royal state and dignity: and so this was the birth-day, though not of his person, yet of his kingdom; as the Roman emperors celebrated a double birth-day, first the day on which they were born, and then the day when they were advanced to the empire. But this, it must be acknowledged, is a far-fetched and doubtful sense: and therefore not to be allowed by the rules of legitimate interpretation, since the words may, much more properly, be applied to Christ. And, so applied, may be understood, either, 1st, Of what has been termed his eternal generation, or sonship, this day, signifying from all eternity, which may be considered as well described by this day, there being no succession, no yesterday, no to-morrow, in eternity; but all being as one continued day, or moment without change or flux: or, 2d, Of the manifestation of Christ’s eternal sonship in time; which was done both in his birth and life, when his being the Son of God was demonstrated by the testimony of the angel, Luke 1:32, by that of God the Father, Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5; and by his own words and works; and in his resurrection, which seems to be here chiefly intended, of which day this very place is expounded, Acts 13:33; when Christ was, in a most solemn manner, declared to be the Son of God with power, Romans 1:4. And at this day, or time, Christ might very well be said to be begotten by God the Father, 1st, Because the resurrection from the dead is in Scripture called a regeneration, or second birth, Matthew 19:28, as well it may, being a restitution of the very being which man received by his first birth: 2d, Because in this respect Christ is called, The first-begotten and firstborn from the dead: and, 3d, Because of that common observation, that things are often said to be done in Scripture when they are only declared, or manifested, to be done: see Genesis 41:13; Jeremiah 1:10; Ezekiel 43:3.2:7-9 The kingdom of the Messiah is founded upon an eternal decree of God the Father. This our Lord Jesus often referred to, as what he governed himself by. God hath said unto him, Thou art my Son, and it becomes each of us to say to him, Thou art my Lord, my Sovereign'. The Son, in asking the heathen for his inheritance, desires their happiness in him; so that he pleads for them, ever lives to do so, and is able to save to the uttermost, and he shall have multitudes of willing, loyal subjects, among them. Christians are the possession of the Lord Jesus; they are to him for a name and a praise. God the Father gives them to him, when, by his Spirit and grace, he works upon them to submit to the Lord Jesus.I will declare the decree - We have here another change in the speaker. The Anointed One is himself introduced as declaring the great purpose which was formed in regard to him, and referring to the promise which was made to him, as the foundation of the purpose of Yahweh Psalm 2:6 to set him on the hill of Zion. The first strophe or stanza Psalm 2:1-3 is closed with a statement made by the rebels of their intention or design; the second Psalm 2:4-6 with a statement of the purpose of Yahweh; the third is introduced by this declaration of the Messiah himself. The change of the persons speaking gives a dramatic interest to the whole psalm. There can be no doubt that the word "I" here refers to the Messiah. The word decree - חק chôq - means properly something decreed, prescribed, appointed. See Job 23:14. Compare Genesis 47:26; Exodus 12:24. Thus it is equivalent to law, statute, ordinance. Here it refers not to a law which he was to obey, but to an ordinance or statute respecting his reign: the solemn purpose of Yahweh in regard to the kingdom which the Messiah was to set up; the constitution of his kingdom. This, as the explanation shows, implied two things:

(a) that he was to be regarded and acknowledged as his Son, or to have that rank and dignity Psalm 2:7; and

(b) that the pagan and the uttermost parts of the earth were to be given him for a possession, or that his reign was to extend over all the world Psalm 2:8.

The word "declare" here means that he would give utterance to, or that he would now himself make a statement in explanation of the reason why Yahweh had determined to establish him as King on his holy hill of Zion. There is great beauty in thus introducing the Messiah himself as making this declaration, presenting it now in the form of a solemn covenant or pledge. The determination of Yahweh Psalm 2:6 to establish him as King on his holy hill is thus seen not to be arbitrary, but to be in fulfillment of a solemn promise made long before, and is therefore an illustration of his covenant faithfulness and truth. "The Lord hath said unto me." Yahweh hath said. See Psalm 2:2, Psalm 2:4. He does not intimate when it was that he had said this, but the fair interpretation is, that it was before the purpose was to be carried into execution to place him as King in Zion; that is, as applicable to the Messiah, before he became incarnate or was manifested to execute his purpose on earth. It is implied, therefore, that it was in some previous state, and that he had come forth in virtue of the pledge that he would be recognized as the Son of God. The passage cannot be understood as referring to Christ without admitting his existence previous to the incarnation, for all that follows is manifestly the result of the exalted rank which God purposed to give him as his Son, or as the result of the promise made to him then.

Thou art my Son - That is, Yahweh had declared him to be his Son; he had conferred on him the rank and dignity fairly involved in the title The Son of God. In regard to the general meaning of this, and what is implied in it, see Matthew 1:1, note; Hebrews 1:2, note; Hebrews 1:5, note; Romans 1:4, note; and John 5:18, note. The phrase "sons of God" is elsewhere used frequently to denote the saints, the children of God, or men eminent for rank and power (compare Genesis 6:2, Genesis 6:4; Job 1:6; Hosea 1:10; John 1:12; Romans 8:14, Romans 8:19; Philippians 2:15; 1 John 3:1); and once to denote angels Job 38:7; but the appellation "The Son of God" is not appropriated in the Scriptures to anyone but the Messiah. It does not occur before this in the Old Testament, and it occurs but once after this, Daniel 3:25. See the notes at that passage. This makes its use in the case before us the more remarkable, and justifies the reasoning of the author of the epistle to the Hebrews Heb 1:5 as to its meaning. The true sense, therefore, according to the Hebrew usage, and according to the proper meaning of the term, is, that he sustained a relation to God which could be compared only with that which a son among men sustains to his father; and that the term, as thus used, fairly implies an equality in nature with God himself. It is such a term as would not be applied to a mere man; it is such as is not applied to the angels Hebrews 1:5; and therefore it must imply a nature superior to either.

This day - On the application of this in the New Testament, see the notes at Acts 13:33 and the notes at Hebrews 1:5. The whole passage has been often appealed to in support of the doctrine of the "eternal generation" of Christ, meaning that he was "begotten" from eternity; that is, that his divine nature was in some sense an emanation from the Father, and that this is from eternity. Whatever may be thought of that doctrine, however, either as to its intelligibility or its truth, there is nothing in the use of the phrase "this day," or in the application of the passage in the New Testament Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5, to sustain it. The language, indeed, in the connection in which it is found, does, as remarked above, demonstrate that he had a pre-existence, since it is addressed to him as the result of a decree or covenant made with him by Yahweh, and as the foundation of the purpose to set him as King on the hill of Zion. The words "this day" would naturally refer to that time when this "decree" was made, or this covenant formed; and as that was before the creation of the world, it must imply that he had an existence then.

The time referred to by the meaning of the word is, that when it was determined to crown him as the Messiah. This is founded on the relation subsisting between him and Yahweh, and implied when in that relation he is called his "Son;" but it determines nothing as to the time when this relation commenced. Yahweh, in the passage, is regarded as declaring his purpose to make him King in Zion, and the language is that of a solemn consecration to the kingly office. He is speaking of this as a purpose before he came into the world; it was executed, or carried into effect, by his resurrection from the dead, and by the exaltation consequent on that. Compare Acts 13:33 and Ephesians 1:20-22. Considered, then, as a promise or purpose, this refers to the period before the incarnation; considered as pertaining to the execution of that purpose, it refers to the time when he was raised from the dead and exalted over all things as King in Zion. In neither case can the words "this day" be construed as meaning the same as eternity, or from eternity; and therefore they can determine nothing respecting the doctrine of" eternal generation."

Have I begotten thee - That is, in the matter referred to, so that it would be proper to apply to him the phrase "my Son," and to constitute him "King" in Zion. The meaning is, that he had so constituted the relationship of Father and Son in the case, that it was proper that the appellation "Son" should be given him, and that he should be regarded and addressed as such. So Prof. Alexander: "The essential meaning of the phrase "I have begotten thee" is simply this, "I am thy Father." This is, of course, to be understood in accordance with the nature of God, and we are not to bring to the interpretation the ideas which enter into that human relationship. It means that in some proper sense - some sense appropriate to the Deity - such a relation was constituted as would justify this reference to the most tender and important of all human relationships. In what sense that is, is a fair subject of inquiry, but it is not proper to assume that it is in anything like a literal sense, or that there can be no other sense of the passage than that which is implied in the above-named doctrine, for it cannot be literal, and there are other ideas that may be conveyed by the phrase than that of "eternal generation." The word rendered "begotten" (ילד yâlad) determines nothing certainly as to the mode in which this relationship was formed. It means properly:

(1) to bear, to bring forth as a mother, Genesis 4:1;

(2) to beget, as a father, Genesis 4:18; and then

(3) as applied to God it is used in the sense of creating - or of so creating or forming as that the result would be that a relation would exist which might be compared with that of a father and a son.

Deuteronomy 32:18 : "of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful." Compare Jeremiah 2:27 : "Saying to a block (idol), Thou art my father, thou hast begotten me." So Paul says, 1 Corinthians 4:15 : "In Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel." The full meaning, therefore, of this word would be met if it be supposed that Yahweh had given the Messiah this place and rank in such a sense that it was proper to speak of himself as the Father and the Anointed One as the Son. And was there not enough in designating him to this high office; in sending him into the world; in raising him from the dead; in placing him at his own right hand - appointing him as King and Lord - to justify this language? Is not this the very thing under consideration? Is it proper, then, in connection with this passage, to start the question about his eternal generation? Compare the notes at Romans 1:4. On this passage Calvin says (in loc.), "I know that this passage is explained by many as referring to the eternal generation of Christ, who maintain that in the adverb today there is, as it were, a perpetual act beyond the limits of time, denoted. But the Apostle Paul is a more faithful and competent interpreter of this prophecy, who in Acts 13:33 recalls us to that which I have called a glorious demonstration of Christ. He was said to be begotten, therefore, not that he might be the Son of God, by which he might begin to be such, but that he might be manifested to the world as such. Finally, this begetting ought to be understood not of the mutual relation of the Father and the Son, but it signifies merely that he who was from the beginning hidden in the bosom of the Father, and who was obscurely shadowed forth under the law, from the time when he was manifested with clear intimation of his rank, was acknowledged as the Son of God, as it is said in John 1:14." So Prof. Alexander, though supposing that this is founded on an eternal relation between the Father and the Son, says, "This day have I begotten thee may be considered as referring only to the coronation of Messiah, which is an ideal one," vol. i., p. 15. The result of the exposition of this passage may therefore be thus stated:

(a) The term "Son," as used here, is a special appellation of the Messiah - a term applicable to him in a sense in which it can be given to no other being.

(b) As used here, and as elsewhere used, it supposes his existence before the incarnation.

continued...

7. The king thus constituted declares the fundamental law of His kingdom, in the avowal of His Sonship, a relation involving His universal dominion.

this day have I begotten thee—as 2Sa 7:14, "he shall be My son," is a solemn recognition of this relation. The interpretation of this passage to describe the inauguration of Christ as Mediatorial King, by no means impugns the Eternal Sonship of His divine nature. In Ac 13:33, Paul's quotation does not imply an application of this passage to the resurrection; for "raised up" in Ac 13:32 is used as in Ac 2:30; 3:22, &c., to denote bringing Him into being as a man; and not that of resurrection, which it has only when, as in Ac 2:34, allusion is made to His death (Ro 1:4). That passage says He was declared as to His divine nature to be the Son of God, by the resurrection, and only teaches that that event manifested a truth already existing. A similar recognition of His Sonship is introduced in Heb 5:5, by these ends, and by others in Mt 3:17; 17:5.

7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee.

8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

This Psalm wears something of a dramatic form, for now another person is introduced as speaking. We have looked into the counsel-chamber of the wicked, and to the throne of God, and now we behold the Anointed declaring his rights of sovereignty, and warning the traitors of their doom.

God has laughed at the counsel and ravings of the wicked, and now Christ the Anointed himself comes forward, as the Risen Redeemer, "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." Romans 1:4. Looking into the angry faces of the rebellious kings, the Anointed One seems to say, "If this sufficeth not to make you silent, 'I will declare the decree.'" Now this decree is directly in conflict with the device of man, for its tenour is, the establishment of the very dominion against which the nations are raving. "Thou art my Son." Here is a noble proof of the glorious Divinity of our Immanuel. "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?" What a mercy to have a Divine Redeemer in whom to rest our confidence I "This day have I begotten thee." If this refers to the Godhead of our Lord, let us not attempt to fathom it, for it is a great truth, a truth reverently to be received, but not irreverently to be scanned it may be added, that if this relates to the Begotten One in his human nature, we must here also rejoice in the mystery, but not attempt to violate its sanctity by intrusive prying into the secrets of the Eternal God. The things which are revealed are enough, without venturing into vain speculations. In attempting to define the Trinity, or unveil the essence of Divinity, many men have lost themselves: here great ships have foundered. What have we to do in Such a sea with our frail skiffs?

"Ask of me." It was a custom among great kings to give to favoured ones whatever they might ask. (See Esther 5:6; Matthew 14:7.) So Jesus hath but to ask and have. Here he declares that his very enemies are his inheritance. To their face he declares this decree, and "Lo! here," cries the Anointed One, as he holds aloft in that once pierced hand the sceptre of his power, "He hath given me this, not only the right to be a king, but the power to conquer." Yes! Jehovah hath given to his Anointed a rod of iron with which he shall break rebellious nations in pieces, and, despite their imperial strength, they shall be but as potters' vessels, easily dashed into shivers, when the rod of iron is in the hand of the omnipotent Son of God. Those who will not bend must break, Potters' vessels are not to be restored if dashed in pieces, and the ruin of sinners will be hopeless if Jesus shall smite them.

"Ye sinners seek his grace,

Whose wrath ye cannot bear;

Fly to the shelter of his cross,

And find salvation there."

I will declare, or publish, that all people concerned may take notice of it, and submit to it upon their peril. Publication or promulgation is essential to all laws or statutes.

The decree, or, concerning the decree, i.e. the will or pleasure and appointment of God concerning my advancement into the throne, and the submission and obedience which the people here following shall yield to me.

Thou art my Son; which though it may in some sort be said to or of David, who was in some respects the son of God, and begotten by him, as all believers are, John 1:12 1Jo 3:9 Jam 1:18; yet much more truly and properly belongs to Christ, who is commonly known by this title both in the Old and New Testament, as Proverbs 30:4 Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:15 Matthew 3:17 4:3,6, and oft elsewhere; and to whom this title is expressly appropriated by the Holy Ghost, who is the best interpreter of his own words, Acts 13:33 Hebrews 1:5 5:5, and to whom alone the following passages belong.

This day have I begotten thee: this is also applied by some to David, and so this day is the day of his inauguration, when he might be said to be begotten by God, inasmuch as he was then raised and delivered from all his troubles and calamities, which were a kind of death, and brought forth and advanced to a new kind of life, of royal state and dignity; and so this was the birthday, though not of his person, yet of his kingdom, as the Roman emperors celebrated a double birthday; first the emperor’s, when he was born, and then the empire’s, when he was advanced to the empire. But this is but a lean, and far-fetched, and doubtful sense; and therefore not to be allowed by the laws of interpretation, when the words may be properly understood concerning Christ. And so this may be understood either,

1. Of his eternal generation.

This day; from all eternity, which is well described by this day, because in eternity there is no succession, no yesterday, no to-morrow, but it is all as one continued day or moment, without change or flux; upon which account one day is said to be with the Lord as long as a thousand years, and a thousand years as short as one day, 2 Peter 3:8. Or rather,

2. Of the manifestation of Christ’s eternal sonship in time; which was done partly in his birth and life, when his being the Son of God was demonstrated by the testimony of the angel, Luke 1:32, and of God the Father, Matthew 3:17 17:5, and by his own words and works; but principally in his resurrection, which seems to be here mainly intended, of which day this very place is expounded, Acts 13:33; when Christ was in a most solemn manner declared to be the Son of God with power, Romans 1:4. And this day or time Christ might very well be said to be begotten by God the Father; partly, because the resurrection from the dead is in Scripture called a regeneration or second birth, Matthew 19:28, as well it may, being a restitution of that very being which man received by his, first birth, and that by the peculiar and mighty power of God; partly, because in this respect Christ is called the first begotten of the dead, Revelation 1:5; and partly, because of that common observation, that things are oft said to be done in Scripture when they are only declared or manifested to be done; of which see instances, Genesis 41:13 Jeremiah 1:10 Ezekiel 43:3, and elsewhere. I will declare the decree,.... These are the words of Jehovah's Anointed and King, exercising his kingly office, according to the decree and commandment of the Father: for these words refer not to the following, concerning the generation of the Son, which does not depend on the decree and arbitrary will of God, but is from his nature; but these words relate to what go before. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Oriental versions, place this clause at the end of Psalm 2:6; some render it, "declaring his commandment", or "the commandment of the Lord"; the laws that he would have observed, both by him and by the subjects of his kingdom. The Syriac and Arabic versions, "that he might declare the commandment of the Lord"; as if this was the end of his being appointed King. The word is differently rendered; by many, "the decree", the purpose of God concerning Christ as Mediator, and the salvation of his people by him; and who so fit to declare this as he who lay in the bosom of the Father, and was privy to all his secret thoughts and designs, and in when the eternal purpose was purposed. John 1:18. The Chaldee paraphrase renders it by "the covenant", the everlasting covenant of grace; and who so proper to declare this as he with whom the covenant was made, and who is the covenant itself, in whom all the blessings and promises of it are, and the messenger of it. Malachi 3:1. It may not be unfitly applied to the Gospel, which is the sum and substance of both the decree and covenant of God; it is what was ordained before the world for our glory. This Christ was appointed to preach, and did declare it in the great congregation; the same with the counsel of God, Acts 20:27. The words will bear to be rendered, "I will declare" "to the command" (h); or according to the order and rule prescribed by Jehovah, without adding to it or taking from it: agreeably to which he executed his office as King, and Prophet also. The doctrine was not his own, but his Father's he preached; he spake not of himself, but as he taught and enjoined him; the Father gave him commandment what he should say and speak, John 12:49; and he kept close to it, as he here says he would: and he ruled in his name, and by his authority, according to the law of his office; and which might be depended upon from the dignity of his person, which qualified him both for his kingly and prophetic offices, expressed in the following words:

the Lord hath said unto me, thou art my Son; not by creation, as angels and men; nor by adoption, as saints; nor by office, as civil magistrates; nor on account of his incarnation or resurrection; nor because of the great love of God unto him; but in such a way of filiation as cannot be said of any creature nor of any other, Hebrews 1:5; He is the true, proper, natural, and eternal Son of God, and as such declared, owned, and acknowledged by Jehovah the Father, as in these words; the foundation of which relation lies in what follows:

this day have I begotten thee; which act of begetting refers not to the nature, nor to the office, but the person of Christ; not to his nature, not to his divine nature, which is common with the Father and Spirit; wherefore if his was begotten, theirs must be also: much less to his human nature, in which he is never said to be begotten, but always to be made, and with respect to which he is without father: nor to his office as Mediator, in which he is not a Son, but a servant; besides, he was a Son previous to his being Prophet, Priest, and King; and his office is not the foundation of his sonship, but his sonship is the foundation of his office; or by which that is supported, and which fits him for the performance of it: but it has respect to his person; for, as in human generation, person begets person, and like begets like, so in divine generation; but care must be taken to remove all imperfection from it, such as divisibility and multiplication of essence, priority and posteriority, dependence, and the like: nor can the "modus" or manner of it be conceived or explained by us. The date of it, "today", designs eternity, as in Isaiah 43:13, which is one continued day, an everlasting now. And this may be applied to any time and case in which Christ is declared to be the Son of God; as at his incarnation, his baptism, and transfiguration upon the mount, and his resurrection from the dead, as it is in Acts 13:33; because then he was declared to be the Son of God with power, Romans 1:4; and to his ascension into heaven, where he was made Lord and Christ, and his divine sonship more manifestly appeared; which seems to be the time and case more especially referred to here, if it be compared with Hebrews 1:3.

(h) Heb. "ad decretum", Michaelis, Piscator; "juxta vel secundum statutum", Musculus, Gejerus; "praescriptum et modum certum", Cocceius.

I will declare the {d} decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this {e} day have I begotten thee.

(d) To show that my calling to the kingdom is from God.

(e) That is to say, concerning man's knowledge, because it was the first time that David appeared to be elected by God. So it is applied to Christ in his first coming and manifestation to the world.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. the decree] The solemn and authoritative edict, promulgated in the promise made to David and his house through Nathan (2 Samuel 7:12 ff).

hath said unto me] Better, said unto me (R.V.), or, said of me.

this day] The day when he was anointed king. If Nathan was (as is commonly supposed) Solomon’s tutor, he had no doubt trained him to a consciousness of his high calling; and when in concert with Zadok he anointed him (1 Kings 1:34), he would not fail to impress upon him the significance of the rite. Comp. David’s charge to him in 1 Chronicles 22:6 ff.

have I begotten thee] I is the emphatic word in the clause, contrasting the new sonship by adoption with the existing sonship by natural relation. The recognition of Christ’s eternal sonship in the Resurrection corresponds to the recognition of the king’s adoptive sonship in the rite of anointing (Acts 13:33; Romans 1:4).

7–9. Jehovah has acknowledged the king as His own: and now the king takes up Jehovah’s declaration, and appeals to the Divine decree of sonship, and the promise of world-wide dominion.Verse 7. - I will declare the decree. It is best to suppose that Messiah here takes the word, and maintains it to the end of ver. 9, when the psalmist resumes in his own person. Messiah "declares," or publishes, a "decree," made by God the Father in the beginning of all things, and communicated by him to the Son, whereby he made known the relationship between them, and invested the Son with sovereign power over the universe. The Lord hath said unto me; rather, said unto me (see the Revised Version). It was said, once for all, at a distant date. Thou art my Son. Not "one of my sons,,' but "my Son;" i.e. my one Son, my only one - "my Son" κατ ἐξοχήν (comp. Psalm 89:27; Hebrews 1:5). This day have I begotten thee. If it be asked, "Which day?" the answer would seem to be, the day when Christ commenced his redemptive work: then the Father "committed all judgment" - "all dominion over creation" to the Son" (John 5:22), gave him, as it were, a new existence, a new sphere, the throne of the world, and of all that is or that ever will be, in it (see 'Speaker's Commentary,' ad loc.). The Psalm begins with a seven line strophe, ruled by an interrogative Wherefore. The mischievous undertaking condemns itself, It is groundless and fruitless. This certainty is expressed, with a tinge of involuntary astonishment, in the question. למּה followed by a praet. enquires the ground of such lawlessness: wherefore have the peoples banded together so tumultuously (Aquila: ἐθορυβήθησαν)? and followed by a fut., the aim of this ineffectual action: wherefore do they imagine emptiness? ריק might be adverbial and equivalent to לריק, but it is here, as in Psalm 4:3, a governed accusative; for הגה which signifies in itself only quiet inward musing and yearning, expressing itself by a dull muttering (here: something deceitful, as in Psalm 38:13), requires an object. By this ריק the involuntary astonishment of the question justifies itself: to what purpose is this empty affair, i.e., devoid of reason and continuance? For the psalmist, himself a subject and member of the divine kingdom, is too well acquainted with Jahve and His Anointed not to recognise beforehand the unwarrantableness and impotency of such rebellion. That these two things are kept in view, is implied by Psalm 2:2, which further depicts the position of affairs without being subordinated to the למה. The fut. describes what is going on at the present time: they set themselves in position, they take up a defiant position (התיצּב as in 1 Samuel 17:16), after which we again (comp. the reverse order in Psalm 83:6) have a transition to the perf. which is the more uncoloured expression of the actual: נוסד (with יחד as the exponent of reciprocity) prop. to press close and firm upon one another, then (like Arab. sâwada, which, according to the correct observation of the Turkish Kamus, in its signification clam cum aliquo locutus est, starts from the very same primary meaning of pressing close to any object): to deliberate confidentially together (as Psalm 31:14 and נועץ Psalm 71:10). The subjects מלכי־ארץ and רוזנים (according to the Arabic razuna, to be weighty: the grave, dignitaries, σεμνοί, augusti) are only in accordance with the poetic style without the article. It is a general rising of the people of the earth against Jahve and His משׁיח, Χριστὸς, the king anointed by Him by means of the holy oil and most intimately allied to Him. The psalmist hears (Psalm 2:3) the decision of the deliberating princes. The pathetic suff. êmō instead of êhém refers back to Jahve and His Anointed. The cohortatives express the mutual kindling of feeling; the sound and rhythm of the exclamation correspond to the dull murmur of hatred and threatening defiance: the rhythm is iambic, and then anapaestic. First they determine to break asunder the fetters (מוסרות equals מאסרות) to which the את, which is significant in the poetical style, points, then to cast away the cords from them (ממּנוּ a nobis, this is the Palestinian mode of writing, whereas the Babylonians said and wrote mimeenuw a nobis in distinction from ממּנוּ ab eo, B. Sota 35a) partly with the vexation of captives, partly with the triumph of freedmen. They are, therefore, at present subjects of Jahve and His Anointed, and not merely because the whole world is Jahve's, but because He has helped His Anointed to obtain dominion over them. It is a battle for freedom, upon which they are entering, but a freedom that is opposed to God.
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