Psalm 2:8
Ask of me, and I shall give you the heathen for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.
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Psalm 2:8. Ask of me — Claim or demand it of me as thy right by my promise, and thy birth and purchase; the heathen for thine inheritance — To be possessed and enjoyed by thee in the manner of an inheritance, namely, surely and perpetually. Thus “Christ was to enter upon the exercise of the intercessorial branch of his priestly office, with a request to the Father that the heathen world, &c., might be given for his inheritance, in return for the labours he had undergone, and the pains he had endured; as also to supply the place of the Jews, who were his original inheritance and possession, but were cast off because of unbelief.” — Horne.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.Ask of me - That is, of God. This is a part of the "decree" or purpose, as mentioned in Psalm 2:7. That decree embraced not only the design to constitute him as his Son, in the sense that he was to be king in Zion, but also the purpose to give him a dominion embracing "the heathen" and "the uttermost parts of the earth." This wide dominion was to be given him on condition that he would "ask" for it, thus keeping up the idea that Yahweh, as such, is the great source of authority and empire, and that the Messiah, as such occupies a rank subordinate to him. This relation of the Father and Son is everywhere recognized in the New Testament. As we may be sure that the Messiah will ask for this, it follows that the world will yet be brought under his scepter. It may be added that as this wide dominion is promised to the Messiah only on condition that he "asks" for it or prays for it, much more is it true that we can hope for this and for no favor from God, unless we seek it by earnest prayer.

And I shall give thee - I will give thee. That is, he would ultimately give him this possession. No time is specified when it would be done, and the prophecy will be fulfilled if it shall be accomplished in any period of the history of the world.

The heathen - The nations (notes, Psalm 2:1); that is, the world. In the time of the writer of the psalm, the world would be spoken of as divided into Hebrews and other nations; the people of God and foreigners. The same division is often referred to in the New Testament under the terms Jew and Gentile, as the Greeks divided all the world into Greeks and barbarians. The word would now embrace all the nations which are not under the influence of the true religion.

For thine inheritance - Thy heritage; thy portion as my Son. There is an allusion here to the fact that he had constituted him as his Son, and hence, it was proper to speak of him as the heir of all things. See the notes at Hebrews 1:4.

And the uttermost parts of the earth - The farthest regions of the world. This promise would properly embrace all the world as then known, as it is now known, as it shall be hereafter known.

For thy possession - That is, as king. This, on the earth, was be to his possession as the Son of Yahweh, constituted as king. It may be remarked here,

(a) that this can have its fulfillment only in the Lord Jesus Christ. It was not true of David nor of any other Hebrew monarch that he had conceded to him, in fact, any such possession. Their dominions extended, at any time, but little beyond the bounds of Palestine, and embraced a very limited part of the earth - but a small territory, even as compared with many then existing kingdoms. The phrase used here could never have been applied to the limited and narrow country of Palestine.

(b) The promise is to be understood as still in full force. It has never been cancelled or recalled, and though its fulfillment has seemed to be long delayed, yet as no time was specified, its spirit and meaning have not been disregarded. Events have shown that it was not intended that it should be speedily accomplished; and events, when no time is specified, should be allowed to be interpreters of the original meaning of the prophecy.

(c) The promise will yet be fulfilled. It is evidently supposed in the promise that the Messiah would ask for this; and it is solemnly affirmed that if he did, this wide inheritance would be granted to him. The world, then, is to be regarded as given by covenant to the Son of God, and in due time he will set up his dominion over the earth, and rule over mankind. The period is coming when the actual scepter swayed over the nations of the earth will be that of the Son of God, and when his right to give laws and to reign will be acknowledged from the rising to the setting sun. This is the only thing in the future that is certainly known to us, and this is enough to make everything in that future bright.

8. The hopes of the rebels are thus overthrown, and not only so; the kingdom they opposed is destined to be coextensive with the earth.

heathen—or, "nations" (Ps 2:1).

and the uttermost parts of the earth—(Ps 22:27); denotes universality.

Ask of me; claim or demand it of me, as thy right by my promise, and thy birth and purchase.

For thine inheritance; to be possessed and enjoyed by thee in a manner of an inheritance, to wit, constantly, surely, and perpetually.

The uttermost parts of the earth; either,

1. The whole land of Canaan, from one end of it to the other, as this phrase is used, Psalm 61:2 72:8; which is but a very narrow sense, and that was but a very small kingdom, and no way agreeable to those magnificent expressions here used. Or rather,

2. The whole world, not only the Jewish nation, but the Gentiles also, as this phrase is almost universally used in the Old Testament, as Psalm 19:4 22:28 46:10 65:5 Isaiah 40:28 45:22, &c. And so these words declare the great amplitude of the kingdom of the Messiah. Ask of me,.... Jehovah is either here again introduced speaking, or these words are a continuation of the Son's account of what his Father said unto him; which do not suppose any superiority in the one, or inferiority in the other; but are only expressive of the Father's great respect and affection for his Son, as such a way of speaking among men shows, Esther 5:3; and of the great interest the Son had in his Father, who could ask nothing but he had it; and shows the perfect harmony, agreement, and unity between them: see 1 Kings 3:5; Christ, in the council and covenant of grace and peace, asked many things of his Father, which were granted; he asked for the persons of all the elect to be his bride and spouse, and his heart's desire was given him, and the request of his lips was not withheld from him: he asked for all the blessings of grace for them; for spiritual life here, and eternal life hereafter; and all were given him, and put into his hands for them, Psalm 20:2; and here it is promised him,

and I shall give thee the Heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession; by "the Heathen", and "the uttermost parts of the earth", are meant God's elect among the Gentiles, and who live in the distant parts of the world; which are Christ's other sheep, the Father has given to him as his portion, and whom he has made his care and charge: as if it was not enough that he should be King of Zion, or have the government over his chosen ones among the Jews, he commits into his hands the Gentiles also; see Isaiah 49:6; and these are given him as his inheritance and possession, as his portion, to be enjoyed by him; and who esteems them as such, and reckons them a goodly heritage, and a peculiar treasure, his jewels, and the apple of his eye. These words respect the calling of the Gentiles under the Gospel dispensation; and the amplitude of Christ's kingdom in all the earth, which shall be from sea to sea, and from the rivers to the ends of the earth.

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

(f) Not only the Jews but the Gentiles also.

8. Ask of me] Inheritance is the natural right of sonship. Yet even the son must plead the promise and claim its fulfilment. Dominion over the nations is not expressly mentioned in 2 Samuel 7; but cp. Psalm 89:27.

inheritance … possession] Words frequently applied to the gift of Canaan to Israel (Genesis 17:8; Deuteronomy 4:21; Deuteronomy 32:49). Now the world shall be his with equal right. Jehovah is king of the world, and He offers His representative a world-wide dominion. Cp. Psalm 72:8; Zechariah 9:9-10.Verse 8. - Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance. A very small part of the heathen were the inheritance of David, and therefore the Messiah only can be spoken of in this verse. Before Messiah "all kings" were to "fall down; all nations to do him service" (Psalm 72:11; comp. Isaiah 49:22; Isaiah 60:3, 4; Matthew 28:19, etc.). And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession (comp. Isaiah 52:10; Jeremiah 16:19; Micah 5:4; Zechariah 9:10; Acts 13:47). 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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