Psalm 2


As we read the second Psalm, it becomes very clear that this psalm is Messianic in nature. Whoever wrote this psalm, clearly has the events surrounding the life of Christ in mind, Matthew 3:17 / Acts 4:25-26 / Acts 13:33 / Hebrews 1:5 / Hebrews 5:5.

We must remember that sometimes the Old Testament writers often spoke about the Messiah, but they didn’t fully understand what they meant and how they would be fulfilled, 1 Peter 1:10-12.

‘Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” Psalm 2:1-3

In the Bible, people were generally classed as either Jew or Gentile and so, the nations who conspired were Gentiles, that is, all those nations who weren’t of Israel.

When we turn to the New Testament we see Luke, quoting these words where he applies them to the hostility of unbelievers against Christians, Acts 4:25-26.

These Gentiles nations ‘conspire’, some translations use the word ‘rage’. They appear to ‘band together’ against God’s work through His people, but all their plotting is in vain, all their efforts are absolutely useless, Genesis 11:1-9 / Isaiah 54:17 / Romans 8:31.

Notice they go against the Lord and His Anointed. When we go back to Acts 4, we see this is a clear reference to King Jesus and the church, against which the nations futilely set themselves, Acts 4:25-28 / Acts 13:33 / Hebrews 1:5 / Hebrews 5:5 / Matthew 3:17 / Romans 1:4 / Revelation 2:26-27 / Revelation 19:15. Jesus, Himself clearly, alluded to the teaching of this very Psalm, Matthew 22:45.

Albert Barnes, in his commentary says the following.

‘The idea here is that it was the purpose of Jehovah and his Anointed to establish a dominion over men and that it was equally the purpose of the kings and rulers here referred to that it should not be done.’

‘The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying ‘I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” Psalm 2:4-6

The psalmist here gives us a picture of God sitting on His throne in heaven, laughing at the efforts of those who are against Him and His Anointed One. In other words, He simply isn’t concerned about those who oppose Him and His Anointed.

Although God laughs in heaven, He speaks to His opponents first before taking any action. God could easily wipe out His opponents but He doesn’t, He rebukes them first. In other words, He rebukes them first and by rebuking them He shows them mercy, Psalm 86:15 / Ephesians 2:4-5.

God wants those who oppose Him to know that He has installed a King, a King who is greater than all those earthly kings and rulers, Psalm 2:2. God’s King is installed on Zion, His holy mountain, that is Jerusalem.

God anointed kings in Israel and placed them on the throne in Jerusalem and while they reigned on the throne, they represented God’s authority on earth among the Israelites.

When we turn to the New Testament, we see that Jesus has now been given the authority of this reign, Daniel 7:13-14 / Ephesians 1:20-24. Jesus is now reigning in heaven with all authority over all nations, Matthew 28:18.

‘I will proclaim the LORD’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” Psalm 2:7-9

The Messianic King now speaks, He proclaims His decree which is the promise given to David, the father of the dynasty, through Nathan the prophet, 2 Samuel 7:4-17.

There’s no doubt that these words refer to Jesus, the Messiah because God Himself declared it from heaven that Jesus was His Son, Matthew 3:17 / Matthew 17:5 / Mark 1:11 / Mark 9:7 / Luke 3:22 / Luke 9:35 / 2 Peter 1:17.

The fulfilment of these words has been applied to the resurrection of Jesus, Acts 13:33, the superiority of Jesus over angels, Hebrews 1:5, and the high priesthood of Jesus, Hebrews 5:5.

The word, ‘become’ is the word KJV word, ‘begotten’ and this is the only time this word is used in the Old Testament in reference to the Lord.

It’s important to remind ourselves that Jesus wasn’t created, He is the Creator, Colossians 1:16-17. The psalmist is describing the relationship between two beings, he’s saying that the Father and the Son are of the same nature and being.

When a subject king was crowned, the reigning king of all the territory became the father of the subject king. The subject king, or regional king, owed all his allegiance to the king of the entire empire.

Notice the Lord’s anointed will be given to the nations as an inheritance and the ends of the earth will be His possession. Jesus, the Lord’s Anointed, will rule over all nations and all judgment is committed to Him, John 5:22 / Matthew 28:18 / Revelation 11:15. Zechariah also prophesied concerning the universal rule of Jesus, Zechariah 9:9-10.

Jesus has got so much power over all the nations, He literally smashes them to pieces as if they were pieces of pottery, Isaiah 11:4 / Revelation 2:27 / Revelation 12:5 / Revelation 19:15.

This is a reference to Judgment Day when God will bring about the destruction of all the wicked, Zephaniah 1:3 / Revelation 19:11-21.

Jesus is going to conquer all these nations through the authority of His word, John 12:48 and anyone who tried to resist His rulership will suffer destruction, when He returns for the final time, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9.

‘Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.’ Psalm 2:10-12

God has shown these rebellious nations mercy, He has given them fair warning and so, now the psalmist encourages the kings of the earth to give up their efforts in trying to defy the Lord.

If they are wise, they would know that everything they do against the Lord is a waste of time, and the outcomes aren’t going to be good for them.

The psalmist gives them a way out of avoiding destruction, they simply need to serve the Lord, fear the Lord and celebrate the Lord. This is all about total submission to the Lord, they need to totally surrender to Him and His Anointed.

Fear and trembling are always the results when we consider God’s power, fear and trembling bring about obedience to Him. If people submit to God they can celebrate, but they will also maintain enough respect towards God that they will still tremble.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The kings, rulers and judges of mankind should indeed be the spiritual leaders of the people, fearing God and showing by their example that allegiance and service which all men owe to their Creator. However, as this Psalm indicates, it is precisely this class of men who all too often have led the rebellion against God and His Christ. It is the conceit and egotism of men which have frequently led them to excessive folly, as for example, when Herod Agrippa I arranged to have himself proclaimed as ‘a god’ at Caesarea Philippi, as mentioned in Acts 12.’

Notice the kings are rulers are also asked to ‘kiss the son’, this again is all about submission, 1 Samuel 10:1 / 1 Kings 19:18 / Job 31:27 / Hosea 13:2. It’s the idea of a very important person, receiving a humble kiss from someone who is inferior.

If the kings and rulers don’t listen to the warnings, then all they can expect is sudden destruction. The psalmist says if they totally submit to God’s will, then they will be truly blessed, 1 Peter 5:6. They will be blessed with the refuge which comes from being in His hand, Psalm 1:1.


We all have choices to make in life, we can choose to be blessed or we can choose to be broken. We can choose to serve ourselves and serve those things which are so dear to us, like our jobs, and hobbies, or we can choose to serve God, Joshua 24:15 / Matthew 6:24.

It’s pointless trying to fight against God because we can never win, but God in His mercy gives people time to repent, 2 Peter 3:9.

He wants to bless us, John 10:10 / Ephesians 1:3, but He has also given us fair warning about the consequences if we don’t submit to His will, 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

Go To Psalm 3


"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."