PMW 2023-040 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Like Isaiah 2, Psalm 2 provides powerful evidence for postmillennialism in the Old Testament. As I did with the preceding articles on several Isaiah passages, here I will present just a quick, running analysis of this glorious Psalm.
This is a royal psalm, wherein David (Acts 4:25) recalls his enthronement. It is also a Messianic Psalm, which skillfully weaves together David’s human kingship with Jesus’s divine (Messianic) kingship. As such it is a counterpart to Psalm 110 (see Psa. 110:1–7 Note). It is frequently cited in the New Testament (see esp. Acts 4:25–27; cp. Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:4; Heb. 1:5; etc.). David the king and Jesus the Messiah are related both biologically and theologically (Matt. 1:1; 22:41–46; Rom. 1:4): David is a type of Christ. Though the psalm opens with turmoil (vv. 1–3) it promises the universal dominion of God’s Son (vv. 7–9), then ends with a gracious invitation for kings to submit to God’s rule (vv. 10a, 11, 12a) — or be destroyed (vv. 10b, 12b).
Why are the nations in an uproar
Evidently David writes this psalm during some crisis in his kingdom (perhaps 2 Sam. 10?). Knowing that God’s covenant promises his kingdom’s permanent establishment (2 Sam. 7:8–16), David is astonished that the nations would bother to rebel against his rule. Thus, the very opening of the psalm sounds a note of confidence regarding the “vain” attempt to overthrow his rule (vv. 2–3). The word translated “devising” is the same word translated “meditate” in Psalm 1:2. While the righteous meditate on God’s word for directives for righteous living, the wicked meditate on vain actions doomed to catastrophic failure.
The kings of the earth take their stand
Though this undoubtedly reflects some current crisis under David’s rule (see v. 1 Note), the New Testament recognizes its deeper significance. When Peter and John were warned by the Jewish authorities not to speak about Jesus in Jerusalem, they responded by referencing this psalm to show that opposition to Christ is “futile.” They apply this psalm to Herod and Pontius Pilate’s roles in crucifying Christ and in persecuting his followers (Acts 4:25–28). The apostles (Peter and John, Acts 4:19) are confident as the march of the Christian faith throughout the world begins (Matt. 28:18; Acts 1:8; cf. John 3:17; 12:32).
Blessed Is He Who Reads: A Primer on the Book of Revelation By Larry E. Ball
A basic survey of Revelation from an orthodox, evangelical, and Reformed preterist perspective. Ball understands John to be focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70. Insightful. Easy to read.
For more Christian studies see: www.KennethGentry.com
Against the LORD and … His Anointed
The nations’s attempt to overthrow David’s rule is “vain” (v. 1), i.e., empty or worthless. This is because they align themselves not only against the Lord’s Anointed, but the Lord God himself. The Hebrew word for “Anointed” is mashiach, the word from which we derive “Messiah.” The Greek translation of the Hebrew word is christos (“Christ”). The prophets spoke of a coming Davidic king (Isa. 9:2–7; Jer. 23:5–6; 33:14–16; Eze. 34:23–24; Hos. 3:5) who would rule the nations in righteousness (Isa. 2:2–4; 11:10; Mic. 4:1–5).
He who sits in the heavens laughs
Despite the raging of the nations, the Lord scornfully mocks the opposition to his rule (cf. v. 2). The psalmist turns his attention from the earthly sphere (vv. 1–3) to the heavenly realm as he declares his confidence in God’s rule. Believers must always factor God into their daily lives and concerns (Matt. 10:28; John 14:1, 27; Rom. 8:28).
I have installed My King
In the Hebrew, the “I” is emphatic as God counters the bombast of the kings of the earth (vv. 1–3). As with Israel of old, we must recognize that the outcome of all issues is up to God alone (Psa. 75:6–7; Dan. 2:21; 4:17).
“Zion” is the name of a hill in Jerusalem, the city of David (Neh. 3:15; Luke 2:4, 11). It was the location of the fortress David captured from the Jebusites (2 Sam. 5:6–7; 1 Chron. 11:4–9). The name “Zion” applies to this stronghold in Jerusalem (Isa. 40:9; Mic. 3:12). God chose it as his dwelling place (Psa. 132:13).
I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD
These verses highlight the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:8–16), which promises that his descendant’s rule will be forever. The rule is not only everlasting, but here is even declared to extend to all “the nations” and to the “ends of the earth” (v. 8; cp. Psa. 67:7). This ultimately speaks of the kingdom of David’s greater son, Jesus Christ (Luke 1:32–33; Acts 2:25–36). This will be fulfilled by means of Christ’s Great Commission (Matt. 28:18–20; cp. Acts 1:8). Christ’s kingdom is divinely-ordained to conquer the world in righteousness (Isa. 2:2–4; 9:6–7; 11:1–16; cp. Psa. 22:27; 72:8–11; John 3:17; 12:32; see Gen. 12:3 Note). This hope was already embedded in the patriarchal promises (Gen. 22:17–18; 26:4; 28:14) and is confirmed by Jesus (John 3:17; 12:31–32). Believers must always trust in Christ’s victory in time and on earth.
You are My Son
This statement by the Lord in heaven (vv. 4, 6) declares the king to be his divine Son. David is such typologically (2 Sam. 7:12–16); but Jesus is God’s Son personally (Heb. 1:5; Matt. 1:1). According to Paul, this adoption comes to full expression at Jesus’s resurrection (Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:4). However, earlier declarations at his baptism (Matt. 3:17) and transfiguration (Matt. 17:5) marked him out as God’s Son.
Charismatic Gift of Prophecy (by Kenneth Gentry)
A rebuttal to charismatic arguments for the gift of prophecy continuing in the church today. Demonstrates that all revelatory gifts have ceased as of the conclusion of the Apostolic era.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
You shall break them with a rod of iron
The Messiah (see vv. 1–12 Note) will effectively rule over the nations (v. 8), even if he has to employ destructive force. This verse appears three times in Revelation, once concerning Christians as co-rulers with Christ (Rev. 2:26–27) and twice regarding Christ himself (Rev. 12:5; 19:15). In the LXX the Hebrew word for “break” is translated “shepherd” or “rule.” Christians have a calling to engage Christ’s rule among the nations (2 Cor. 10:3–5; Rev. 20:4–6).
Now therefore, O kings
The psalmist now calls on the world’s kings and judges (v. 10) to “worship the Lord” (v. 11). Serving him with “fear” would represent wisdom on their part (Psa. 111:10; Prov. 9:10; 15:33). This is a gracious call, even though it holds out a terrifying warning of his potential wrath.
THE TWO AGES AND OLIVET (advertisement)
I am currently researching a study of the Two-Age structure of redemptive history. My starting point is based on the disciples’ questions to Jesus in Matthew 24:3. Much confusion reigns among those unacquainted with the Two-Age analysis of history, which was promoted by Jesus (Matt. 12:32; Mark 10:29-30) and by Paul (Gal. 1:4; Eph. 1:21). The Two Ages are not the old covenant and the new covenant, but world history since the fall and the consummate order following the Second Coming and the Final Judgment.
If you would like to support me in my research, I invite you to consider giving a tax-deductible contribution to my research and writing ministry: GoodBirth Ministries. Your help is much appreciated!