Psalm 2: Nations Plot in Vain Against The Coming Messianic King

Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?. Psalm 2:1

The Reign of the LORD’s Anointed

 1  Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2  The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 3  “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” 4  He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. 5  Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6  “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.”

7  “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8  Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9  You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ”

10  Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11  Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. 12  Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

Psalm 2, a royal Psalm, focuses on the coming glorious reign of the Lord’s Messiah.This messianic psalm shows the futility of rebellion against God (1-6), and affirms the certainty of God’s ultimate rule, to be established by his coming Son (7-12).   The author is anonymous in the Hebrew text, but the NT apostles assign it to David (Acts 4:24-26).  This Psalm should be read in conjuction with Ps. 110. Both Psalms point prophetically to the coming rule of Jesus (see Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5, 6; 5:5; Rev. 2:26, 27; 12:5).  Psalm 2 has four movements, each related to a different voice or speaker: 1. A description of the plans of the wicked (vv. 1-3); 2. The Father’s derisive laughter from heaven (vv. 4-6;); 3. The Son’s declaration of the Father’s decree (vv. 7-9); 4. The Spirit’s instruction to all kings to obey the Son (vv. 10-12).




Nations (Heb. Goy)

The Hebrew word goy basically means a body or group of people and it is usually translated nation. Although goy can be used to designate the people of Israel, especially before their settlement in Canaan (Josh 4:1; 5:6), the term generally refers to neighboring pagan nations (Deut. 4:38; Judg. 2:21, 22). These nations, characterized by wickedness, were considered enemies of God. Yet, the nations were not without hope, for the OT also speaks of the grace of God extending to all people through the coming of the promised Messiah (Is. 2:2, 11:10, 42:6).