Psalm 2

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1: Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? edit

2: The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, edit

3: Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. edit

4: He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. edit

5: Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. edit

6: Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. edit

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

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

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

10: Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. edit

11: Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. edit

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 him. edit

Many believe this psalm was used in the coronation of a Davidic king. While one section of it has coronation language (vv.7-8), the point of it is not about coronation, but warfare.

Context and summary: Many times in the history of Judah and Israel they had political oversight over other nations. Often, as these nations wished to obtain their political freedom, they would do acts of "rebellion" such as refusing to pay their annual "protection fee" or take up arms against the ruling nation. This psalm is warning such nations not to be rebellious against the Davidic king of Judah or else God would destroy them, for the Davidic king had God's full support.

Anointed: The anointing of oil was used for different offices in Judah, such as priest and sometimes, prophet. In this case, the title is used of the Judean king.

Laughs: God does not laugh with humor, but in derision.

Zion: A hill in Jerusalem, where God's authority rests.

Son: This is in reference to the promise to David, where David's son who becomes king is adopted by God. (II Samuel 7) It was common in ancient empires to call the emperor the "son of God", with the reference to deity meaning whichever god is the patron god of the nation.

Your inheritance: Since the Davidic king is God's son, he receives an inheritance from God. In this case, it is all the nations of the earth which is to be under his rule.

Reverence, trembling, homage: The nations of the world should give honor to the king, in showing him proper worship as an emperor deserves-- including annual payments and bowing down in submission. This is done out of fear of God's power which will be put upon them in His wrath.

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