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From Dust to Kingship - Psalm 2

The final service in a Lenten series for Easter Sunday focused on Psalm 2, a royal psalm, probably composed for the coronation of a king. In the background of this Psalm is the promise of God's future redemption of his people and the coronation of his exalted king.

Worship Service
Also in this Series

Psalms for a Lenten Journey

This series of worship services for Lent is built around a sampling of the Psalms.

Theme of the Service

This is the final service in the series of "Psalms for a Lenten Journey" and is designed for Easter Sunday. Though Psalm 2 is certainly not a very common choice for Easter Sunday proclamation, we are convinced that you will find its message fresh, appropriate and powerful for Easter. Psalm 2 is a royal psalm, probably composed for the coronation of a king. In the background of this Psalm is the promise of God's future redemption of his people and the coronation of his exalted king. In the New Testament this Psalm is applied to Jesus Christ as the son of David and God's Anointed King. In this service we see the resurrected Jesus as the fulfillment of this promise.

We are grateful for the collaborative efforts of Professor Carl J. Bosma, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary, who is providing helpful information on each of the Psalms during this season. You will find the information he has provided at the end of the worship service.

* * * * *

Christ is risen! Shout Hosanna!
Celebrate this day of days!
Christ is risen! Hush in wonder; all creation is amazed. (SNC 147)


Prelude: "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" [see music notes]
and/or: "Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing"

The Easter Proclamation: Matthew 28:1-10 [see liturgy notes]
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

The Call to Worship
Glory to you, O God:
On this day you won victory over death,
raising Jesus from the grave
and giving us eternal life.
Glory to you, O Christ:
For us and for our salvation you overcame death
and opened the gate to everlasting life.
Glory to you, O Holy Spirit:
you lead us into the truth.
Glory to you, O blessed Trinity,
Now and forevermore. Amen. (TWS N.1.4.2)

*Song of Celebration: "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" PH 113:1-3, PsH 388:1-4, RL 325:1, 3, 4, SFL 172:1-3, TH 277:1, 3, 4, TWC234:1-4, UMH 302:1-4 [see music notes]

*God's Greeting and Congregational Amen!

*Song of Praise: "Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing" PH 111:1-4, PsH 397: 1-4, RL 326:1-4, TH 270: 1-4, TWC 157: 1-4[see music notes]

[see liturgy notes]

The Call to Confession:

Because we trust in God's covenant faithfulness, we are free to make our confession to God and call for his compassion. Let us, therefore, confess our sins that we may be renewed in his grace.

The Prayer of Confession:
Almighty God, you have raised Jesus from the grave
and crowned him Lord of all.
We confess that we have not bowed before him
or acknowledged his rule in our lives.
We have gone along with the way of the world
and failed to give him glory.
Forgive us and raise us from sin,
that we may be your faithful people,
obeying the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who rules the world and is head of the church, his body. Amen. (TWS, N.2.2.4)

The Assurance of Pardon

The Gospel of Christ speaks to us of the pardon we may have through the finished work of Jesus Christ. Please rise for the reading of the Gospel.

(The worshipers rise.)

*The Reading of John 11:25-27
This is the Gospel of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

On the basis of the Gospel of Christ, we may be assured that our sins are forgiven for the sake of Christ.

*Passing the Peace
The peace of Christ be with you all.
And also with you.

(The worshipers greet each other with the Easter greeting saying, "Alleluia, Christ is risen!" and responding "Christ is risen indeed!")

*United Song of Joy: "Oh, How Good Is Christ the Lord" PH 346, PsH 401, SFL 177

*God's Call to Grateful Living
You have given yourself to us, Lord.
Now we give ourselves for others.
You have raised us with Christ and made us a new people.
As people of the resurrection, we will serve you with joy.
Your glory has filled our hearts.
Help us to glorify you in all things. Amen. (TWS, N.9.1.6)


The Prayer for Illumination

The Old Testament Reading: Psalm 2
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

[Psalms for a Lenten Journey 9]

The Prayer of Application


*Song of Celebration: "Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen! SNC 150 [see music notes]

The Prayers of the People

The Offertory
Our Offering of Music: "Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen!" [see music notes]
Our Offering of Gifts for...

*Song of Faith: "Crown Him with Many Crowns" PH 151, PsH 410, RL 600, RN 56, SFL 181, TH 295, TWC 92, UMH 327 [seemusic notes]


*The Benediction with Congregational Amen!

*Closing Celebration: "The Hallelujah Chorus," Handel [see music notes]

Postlude: "Crown Him with Many Crowns" [see music notes]

* You are invited to stand.

Sermon Notes
Introduction to Psalm 2: "From Dust to Kingship"1
by Carl J. Bosma

In these days of international military conflict and tension, Psalm 2 is an excellent choice for a sermon on Easter. Although Psalm 2 is not a common text for Easter, a sermon on this text would cast a significantly different light on the meaning of Jesus' resurrection.

Like Psalm 22 and 118, Psalm 2 is also one of the more frequently quoted psalms in the New Testament. The most frequently quoted verse from this psalm is the divine declaration in verse 7, "You are my son; today I have begotten you." Significantly, this well-known divine declaration is also quoted in Acts 13:33 in connection with Jesus' resurrection, which sheds a different light on the usual interpretation of Jesus' resurrection.

The essence of the different light that Acts 13:33 casts on the resurrection is that it views the resurrection as Jesus' enthronement (cf. Rom 1:3-4).2 Although the term "enthronement" does not occur in Acts 13:33, it is implicit by the fact that Paul quotes Psalm 2:7. As is generally recognized, Psalm 2:7-9 refers to a royal ritual of enthronement.

Additional support for this interpretation of the resurrection as enthronement is found in the key text Acts 2:22-36. In this important text Peter interprets the resurrection and ascension as Jesus' enthronement on the basis of Psalm 110:1. Peter concludes his argument with the following remarkable claim in verse 36: "Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah (=Anointed), this Jesus whom you crucified."

Further, indirect support for this interpretation of the resurrection comes from an important theme uncovered by Walter Brueggemann in his article, "From Dust to Kingship." In this article Brueggemann calls attention to 1 Kings 16:2: "Because I [the Lord] exalted you and made you leader over my people Israel ." On the basis of this and other texts, Brueggemann suggests that to raise someone from the dust denotes the elevation of that person to a position of rulership, hence his title, "From Dust to Kingship."

According to the complaint in Psalm 22:15, God has put the Davidic king in the dust of death. A similar complaint is found in Psalm 89:39, "you have defiled his crown in the dust." Because Jesus appropriated Psalm 22 when he was crucified, we may infer that when God raised Jesus from the dust, he also elevated him to kingship. Like Psalm 110, therefore, when it is applied to Jesus' resurrection in Acts 13:33, it defines the nature and scope of Christ's kingship. For this reason, it is an appropriate psalm for a sermon on Easter. After we consider Psalm 2 itself, we will reflect on how one might preach this psalm for Easter.

I. Place and Function in the Psalter

Together with Psalm 1, Psalm 2 is the second of the two-part introduction to the Psalter. As we noted in our introduction to Psalm 1, Psalms 1 and 2 are linked together by the absence of a superscription above Psalms 2 and by the framing beatitudes. Psalm 1 begins with an extended beatitude, and Psalm 2 concludes with a simple form of a beatitude. Consequently, both psalms are concerned with the necessary conditions for happiness.

There is, however, a significant shift of emphasis and change of scene between the two psalms.3 These important shifts indicate that Psalms 1 and 2 have a distinctive literary genre and a different focus. Whereas Psalm 1 addresses the happiness of the individual "faced with the problem of wickedness in society," Psalm 2 deals with the question of the happiness of the community of believers "faced with the problems of a history made by nations contending for power."4 To this situation, the powerful word of comfort from Psalm 2 is that the Lord reigns and he will subject all nations to God's anointed king, called "my son" in Psalm 2:7.

As a result of its prefatory position, Psalm 2 also introduces two important themes that run through the Psalter. The first theme concerns the Lord's reign over the nations through the Davidic king from Zion. In fact, together with Psalm 72, this theme in Psalm 2 frames Books I and II of the Psalter. The second theme is taking refuge in the Lord, which, as Jerome F. D. Creach has demonstrated, is an important sub-theme of the royal metaphor of the Lord as king ("The Lord reigns"), the gravitational center of the Psalter.5

II. Compositional Structure

Psalm 2 has a very artistic structure. It unfolds dramatically into four strophes, each of which is approximately equal in length: 1) the tumultuous plotting of rebellious nations (vv. 1-3); 2) God's derisive response (4-6); 3) the king's quotation of God's decree (7-9); and 4) a solemn warning to the rebellious rulers (10-12). To these four strophes, a beatitude is added to form a frame with Psalm 1.

Three stylistic features of Psalm 2 should be noted. The first feature is that, structurally, there is a line by line contrasting correspondence between the first (vv. 1-3) and second strophe (vv. 4-6) of the poem.6 First,'Adonai's derisive laughter in verse 4 stands in sharp contrast to the plotting of the rebellious rulers in verse 1. Second, 'Adonai's threatening speech counteracts the military positioning of the rebellious rulers in verse 2. Third, the quotation of 'Adonai's speech in verse 6 challenges the quoted resolution of the rebellious rulers in verse 3.

A second structural feature is that the focus of the first (vv. 1-3) and fourth (vv. 10-12) strophe is on the rebellious rulers of the earth. In fact, the fourth strophe directly addresses the problem that was introduced in the first strophe. Similarly, the second and third strophes zoom in on the Lord's words of installation. This suggests that the four main strophes of Psalm 2 are arranged chiastically in an A (vv. 1-3) - B (vv. 4-6) - B' (vv. 7-9) - A' (vv. 10-12) pattern.7

Intimately related with the first two stylistic features is its very effective dramatic character, the third feature. Evidence for its dramatic form is, first of all, the changes in scene: from earth (vv. 1-3) to heaven (vv. 4-6) and back to earth (vv. 7-12). Second, "the clash of conflict rings through the psalm."8 Third, "the dramatist personae [of the psalm] are the protagonists in this conflict: on the one hand, nations and peoples together with their rulers; on the other hand, the Lord together with the Lord's anointed."9 Fourth, there is movement in the psalm: Verses 1-9 move progressively to the climactic summons in verses 10-12. Fifth, different persons are quoted as speaking: quotation of the rebellious ruler's resolution (vs. 3); quotation of the Lord's response (vs. 6); and the king's recitation of the Lord's decree (vv. 7-9).

The fourth important stylistic feature is the shift in addressees. Psalm 2 as a whole is addressed to Israel. However, the apostrophe in verses 10-12 suggests that the rulers of the nations are also included. Perhaps they are even included as addressees of the recital of the Lord's decree in verses 7-9.

The shift in addressees and the quotations of the words of different speakers leads a number of commentators to propose the use of multiple speakers in Psalm 2. For example, although N. H. Ridderbos recognizes that a king could be the speaker of the whole poem, nevertheless, he himself prefers an alternation of speakers.10 According to Ridderbos, an unidentified cult official uttered verses 1-6, a king spoke in verses 7-9, and the cult official of verses 1-3 enunciated the warning and beatitude in verses 10-12. In support of his preference, he appeals to the cultic context of the poem.11

The multiple speaker hypothesis would, no doubt, make the public reading of Psalm 2 in the liturgy much more dramatic. One person could read verses 1-2, another the resolution of the enemy in verse 3, another the part of the Judean king (vv. 7-9), and still another the quoted words of the Lord.12

Artur Weiser, however, protests that it is not necessary "to assign individual strophes to different speakers (the poet and the king)." In his opinion, "the whole psalm can easily be understood as having been uttered by the king alone."13

III. Literary Genre

Although commentators agree upon the compositional structure of Psalm 2, they disagree about the classification of the literary genre of Psalm 2. Generally, Psalm 2 is classified as a royal psalm.14 This classification, however, is based on the fact that a king is referred to in the body of the psalm. It is not based on formal characteristics and, consequently, does not distinguish Psalm 2 from, for example, Psalm 20. Psalm 20 is also a royal psalm, but it is a communal prayer on behalf of the king. Psalm 2, however, is not a prayer! This has important homiletical implications.

Further attempts to specify more clearly the classification of the literary genre of Psalm 2 based on formal characteristics depend on the definition of the occasion for which it was composed. The lack of historical specificity in the psalm complicates matters and argues for a typical situation. Even so, there is widespread disagreement over Psalm 2's original life setting.

A. Coronation Ceremony

Many contemporary commentators claim that Psalm 2 was composed as a liturgy for a coronation ceremony of an anonymous Davidic king in Jerusalem.15 This opinion is based on the coronation ceremony reported in 2 Kings 11:12 and the similarity between the decree of the Lord quoted in Psalm 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14. Some of the commentators who accept this hypothesis are of the opinion that there are multiple speakers in this psalm;16 however, Hans~Joachim Kraus states categorically that the text layout does not allow us to divide the psalm among different speakers.17 For Kraus, the speaker is the king.

B. A Cry of Defiance in Battle

Undoubtedly, verses 7-9 presuppose the enthronement of a Davidic king. However, the dramatic description of a planned rebellion of "the kings of the earth" in verses 1-3 and the fact that the introductory clause of verse 7, "he said to me," refers to a past event suggests that Psalm 2 reflects circumstances shortly after a coronation. The basic concern of Psalm 2, therefore, is not the coronation of a new king, but, as John T. Willis has argued convincingly, the need to suppress an impending rebellion of a confederacy of vassal nations.18

The fact that the name of the newly enthroned Davidic king is not mentioned in Psalm 2 makes it impossible to determine a specific date for this impending rebellion. However, in the ancient Near East and in Israel changes in monarchs were ideal occasions for rebellions, be that internal (1 Kgs 1; 1 Kgs 2) or external rebellions by subjected territories (2 Kgs 1:1, 3:5). Such rebellions were typical upon the death of a king and the coronation of a new inexperienced king. Consequently, the first and most urgent task of the new king was to squelch the rebellion in order to consolidate his rule.19

A classic Old Testament example is the rebellion of Mesha, king of Moab, who rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab (2 Kgs 1:1; 3:5). In this example, Joram, the newly appointed king of Israel, invited Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, to put an end to the rebellion.

On the assumption that Psalm 2 is concerned about the impending rebellion of vassal states against the newly enthroned Davidic king in Jerusalem and an ensuing military conflict, Willis argues persuasively that Psalm 2 "as a whole (and especially vv. 10-12) is a cry of defiance or bravado or ultimatum uttered by the king who rules on Zion over God's people."20 His argument is based on various examples from the Old Testament and extra-biblical examples where there was a defiant verbal exchange prior to a military engagement. A well-known Old Testament example is the verbal exchange between Goliath and David in 1 Samuel 17:41-47.

A less known instance, but nevertheless an important example for understanding Psalm 2, is the intimidating speech of Abijah from Mount Zemaraim against the forces of Jeroboam (2 Chron 13:4-8, 10, 12). In this speech Abijah first recalls that "the God of Israel has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt" (vs. 5). Then he reminds them of Jeroboam's revolt against Solomon and rejection of Rehoboam (vv. 6-2). The speech concludes with a lengthy warning that they will not succeed because the Lord is with the torah obeying forces of Judah (vv. 8-12).21

The example of a verbal exchange prior to the impending battle between Abijah and Jeroboam shows that this passage and Psalm 2 share three features: (1) threat of an impending military conflict, including a quotation of the resolution to rebel (vv. 1-3), (2) expressions of trust that the speaker and his comrades will prevail over the enemy (vv. 4, 6, 7-9), and (3) an urgent warning that the rebels will be defeated unless they surrender and resubmit themselves to the newly enthroned king (vv. 10-11).

As a cry of defiance, Psalm 2 has a two-fold purpose. First, it aims to encourage the king and his people as they face an imminent battle. For this reason it refers to the Lord's reaction in verses 4-6 and quotes God's decree to the newly enthroned king in verses 7-9. Indirectly, of course, it also encourages the king and his people to trust in the Lord. Second, on the basis of verses 4-9, it aims to demoralize the vassal states by summoning them in verses 10-12 to subject themselves to the Lord and his anointed or suffer the deadly consequences of their planned rebellion. In the concluding beatitude, it offers them a gracious alternative.22

IV. Exposition

A. The Rebellion of the Rulers (vv. 1-3)

Psalm 2 places the reader right in the middle of the trouble at hand with a lengthy rhetorical question that is introduced by the interrogative "Why?" This opening "Why?", which must be read per ellipsis and double duty with every clause in verses 1-2, is not a complaint (cf. Pss 10:1; 22:1),23 but "a derisive challenge"24that implies, "How dare they!"25

In a dramatic way26 the opening question (vs. 1) describes astonishingly the "nations" and their "peoples" frantically plotting a rebellion (Ps 64:3). From the start the speaker deems their planned insurrection as completely futile (Hab 2:13).

The next verse (vs. 2) pictures "the kings of the earth" as actively making preparations for war. They are lining up the troops in accordance with their military strategy! They have resolved to fight for independence from the imperial rule of a Judean king.

From the speaker's perspective, however, there is more at stake, as is evident from the additional prepositional phrase in this synonymously parallel poetic line, "against the Lord and his anointed." The confederacy of nations is not just making war preparations against a Judean king. First and foremost, they are rebelling against the Lord, who administers his kingdom through his royal representative on earth.

The opening series of incredulous questions of the first strophe of Psalm 2 reaches its climax in a direct quotation of the resolution of the rebellious rulers:
"Let us break their bonds
and throw off their cords!"

As is evident from Jeremiah 2:20, 5:5, 27:2, 30:8 and Nahum 1:13, the bonds and cords belong to a yoke. In Scripture a yoke is a common symbol for subjection to an imperial overlord. To break the bonds (Ps 107:14; Nah 1:13), therefore, is to liberate oneself from imperial rule. Consequently, the rulers of the earth are resolved to throw off the yoke of Judean rule.

B. The Reaction of the Lord (vv. 4-6)

The utter futility of this resolve is dramatically underscored in the second strophe (vv. 4-6), which marks a sudden shift in scene and mood, from the plotting rebellious kings on earth to the laughing 'Adonaienthroned in heaven (vs. 4 a). Compositionally, this new scene has, as we noted above, a sharp contrasting line by line correspondence between verses 4-6 and 1-3. This new dramatic scene lifts, as it were, the curtains and invites the audience (and readers) to see what the rebellious confederacy of vassal kings do not see. As far as the rebellious rulers are concerned, they are conspiring to liberate themselves from an "imperialist" Davidic dynasty. In actuality, however, according to verse 4 (cf. vs. 2), they are revolting against'Adonai, the sovereign ruler of the universe who is enthroned in heaven. In light of this important fact, the confederacy's planned revolt is even more ridiculous.

To underscore this inference, the speaker first calls attention to the 'Adonai's position with the emphatic participial phrase "the one (who) sits enthroned in heaven" (vs. 4 a).27 As is evident from Psalm 103:19, this phrase denotes 'Adonai's rule over the universe. Moreover, Psalm 11:4 shows that 'Adonai is not inactive. On the contrary, from heaven God looks down to examine every human being (cf. Pss 14:2; 33:13-15) and, according to Psalm 66:7, the nations. In fact, according to Psalm 33:10, "the Lord foils the plans of the nations.."

Next the speaker describes 'Adonai's initial emotional reaction to the pitiful plotting of the confederacy (vs. 4). 'Adonai's first response to the rulers' defiance is one of derisive laughter (Ps 59:8). 'Adonai's laughter signals his unassailable sovereignty.28 He can laugh because, according to Psalm 37:13, he knows their end.

'Adonai's next reaction (vs. 5) is one of intense anger that aims to terrify the rebels (cf. Ps 48:6). Some limit God's reaction to actual speaking and then interpret verse 5 as an introduction to verse 6.29 But this attractive explanation overlooks the fact that verse 5 is introduced by "then" ('az), which refers to an impending future event (cf. vs. 12). Consequently, 'Adonai's intense anger in verse 5 probably refers to a tempestuous thunderstorm by which he will rout his opponents (Ps 83:14).30

After describing 'Adonai's emotional reactions (vv. 4-5), the speaker then quotes God's answer to the rebels in verse 6:
"But I, I have set31 my king
on Zion, the mountain of my holiness."

The words of this emphatic poetic line counter the quotation of the rebels' defiant words in verse 3 and serve as a gracious reminder that they are not just revolting against a Davidic king but against the sovereign ruler of the universe who has appointed the Davidic king to be his vice-gerent.

This verse introduces two intimately related and important themes that are reiterated again and again in the Psalter. First, as the Great King, the Lord chose the Davidic dynasty "to be his royal representatives on earth."32 Second, as the Great King, the Lord "also chose Jerusalem .as his own royal city, the earthly seat of his throne."33 These are two important themes to remember for understanding Jesus' resurrection as an enthronement.

C. The Reaction of the Anointed One (vv. 7-9)

After the climactic quotation of 'Adonai's words (vs. 6), there follows a resolution by the anointed one to speak on his own behalf: "I will tell of the decree of the Lord" (vs. 7 a). To legitimate his kingship over the nations, he quotes the content of the Lord's decree in verses 7 c-9.

The term "decree" (="covenant"34) probably refers to a protocol that kings received on the day of their coronation (cf. 1 Sam 10:25; 2 Kgs 11:12; 2 Chron 23:11).35 In this particular case the subsequent words in verses 7 c-9 represent the content of the protocol because they are a quotation of the Lord's address to the king.

Compositionally, the king's quotation of the Lord's protocol (vv. 7c-9) functions as an elaboration of verse 6. As such, this quotation also serves to underscore the foolishness of the rulers' planned rebellion. In fact, the use of the cohortative verb "I will tell" in verse 7 a and the cohortatives in verse 3 suggests that the king's words are specifically designed to answer the resolution of the rebellious kings.

The content of the protocol consists of three important parts. The first part is the well-known saying quoted in the New Testament:
"You are my son;
Today I have begotten you."

According to Gerhard von Rad, these words correspond formally to a formula found in Egyptian royal protocol.36 Qua content, however, the decree in Psalm 2:7 is radically different. In Egypt Pharaoh was a divine son of the gods. In Psalm 2:7 the words "you are my son" represent an adoption formula and the implied father-son relationship is governed by God's promise to David in 2 Samuel 7:14 ("I will be a Father to him, and he shall be a son to me").37 In this text the term "father" refers to God as the great king and "son" to the Davidic king as a subject king or vassal.

The second part of the decree (vs. 8) promises the nations as an inheritance to the Davidic king.38 As the "son" of the great king, the Davidic king is entitled to an inheritance. According to verse 8, this inheritance is there for the asking39 and consists of all the nations of the earth. As the son of the great king, therefore, the Davidic king is the rightful owner of all the earth. Consequently, as the Lord reigns over the whole earth as its creator, so also potentially his king reigns over all the earth.40

If this fact alone does not inspire fear in the hearts and minds of the rebellious rulers, the second promise in verse 9 certainly should. It reads as follows:
"You may41 break42 them with a rod of iron,
and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."

This verse appears to refer to the practice referred to in Egyptian execration texts. According to Kraus, "[i]n the Egyptian coronation and jubilee rituals the king demonstrated his world wide power by symbolically smashing earthen vessels that bore the names of foreign nations."43 Similarly, "Mesopotamian texts frequently mention the fact that a ruler smashes nations 'like pottery.' "44 Based on these parallel texts, therefore, verse 9 promises judiciary powers to the Davidic king to enforce his rightful claim to universal reign over the nations. Consequently, the implied meaning of this promise is: If the nations do not willingly subject themselves to you, then you may crush them with your royal scepter45 like pottery (cf. Jer 19:11).46

D. An Urgent Yet Gracious Warning (vv. 10-12)

After the king enunciated the royal protocol that he received from the Lord (vv. 7-9), there follows an urgent summons addressed to the rebellious rulers. Because this summons refers to the Lord (vs. 11) and the king (vs. 12 a) in the third person, many commentators assume a switch in speaker.47 For this reason they place verses 7 c-9 in quotation marks (cf. NIV; NRSV). G. H. Jones, however, claims that verses 10-12 d belong to the royal decree and were, therefore, still spoken by the king.48 We are not in a position to verify whether verses 10-12 d belong to the royal decree. But the fact that Abijah enunciated the warning against Jeroboam and his army argues for the position that it is the king who speaks in Psalm 2:10-12 d.

In language that reflects the wisdom tradition, the king first summons the revolting rulers to reconsider their futile plans to revolt in light of verses 8-9 (vs. 10):
"Now then, kings, act wisely!
Be warned,49 judges of the earth!"

Coming from the mouth of a king who has been promised universal judiciary power, there is an ironic ring to the description of the rebellious kings as "judges of the earth" (cf. Ps 148:11).

From the Davidic king's perspective, what does it mean to "act wisely"? Verse 11 provides the answer to this question:
Serve the Lord with fear;
and rejoice with trembling.

Because of the command in verse 12 a, "Kiss the son," translators have found the meaning of verse 11 bproblematic. However, the general sense of verse 11 is clear. Wisdom would dictate that the rebellious rulers should submit themselves to the Lord.

This meaning is clearly articulated in the first command in verse 11 a, "Serve the Lord with fear." Strikingly, in the Psalter the words "serve the Lord" occur only here and in Psalm 100:2 a ("Serve the Lord with gladness"). The verb "serve" ('abad) denotes the relation of the vassal to the suzerain (Ps 18:43; 72:11),50and the reference to the breaking of the yoke in Jeremiah 30:8 and "serving the Lord" in verse 9 (cf. Jer 2:20) suggests that this is also the meaning in Psalm 2:10. Consequently, this admonition urges the rebellious rulers of the earth to accept the suzerainty of the Lord.51

The manner in which they should express their submission to the Lord's suzerainty is not clearly expressed in verse 11. However, the parallel clause in Psalm 100:2 (cf. vs. 4) and Psalm 96:8 suggest that they should demonstrate their fealty by means of a public procession to the palace of the Lord, the Great King, along with tributes. The conjunction of rejoicing and entry into a royal palace in Psalm 45:15 lends support to this suggestion because in verse 11 b of Psalm 2 the rulers are admonished to rejoice52 with trembling (Ps 48:7).53

Additional support for this suggestion comes from the climactic command in verse 12 a (without a parallel clause), in which the rebellious rulers are admonished to show their submission and allegiance by kissing the son.54 As royal iconography of that historical period demonstrates,55 kissing the feet of a suzerain signaled a vassal's submission (cf. Gen 41:40).56

As is typical of admonitions, the king's urgent warning (five imperatives!) to the rebellious rulers in verses 11-12 a is supported by a complex negative final clause in verse 12 bcd:
Lest he be angry
and you perish (in the) way
+because his anger burns57 quickly.

Because God is always the subject of the verb "to be angry" in the Old Testament, he is also the subject of the verb in verse 12 b. The double repetition of the root "anger" in verse 12 suggests that verse 12 bcd is related to verse 5, where this concept occurs for the first time in Psalm 2. In light of Psalm 107:7, the concept "way" (cf. Ps 1:6) probably refers to the military march of the rebellious vassals against the Judean king. Consequently, the speaker warns them that their military expedition will lead to complete ruin.

The gracious character of this stern admonition merits special attention. In a number of lament psalms, in which national enemies threaten the petitioner, one finds requests that God destroy them (Ps 56:7 b ). Illustrative of such requests is the concluding petition of Psalm 9; verses 19-20 of this psalm read as follows:
19 Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail;
let the nations be judged before you.
20 Put them in fear, O Lord;
let the nations know that they are only human.

Strikingly, Psalm 2 does not end in such a request! After verse 9 one might have expected a request that the Lord purges his land of the inimical nations (cf. Ps 10:16). Such, however, is not the case. To be sure, verse 12 bcd threatens destruction if the rebellious rulers do not submit themselves to God's rule, but the insistent summons that follows in verses 10-12 d is not a request for their destruction. Instead, this pressing summons is, for all practical purposes, a call to repentance. Apparently, like Psalm 22:27-28, Psalm 2 expects the nations to repent and recognize that "dominion belongs to the Lord" (Ps 22:28).

E. A Gracious Invitation (vs. 12 e)

This expectation also comes to clear expression in the beatitude that concludes Psalm 2, "Oh the happiness of those who take refuge in him!" Qua genre, this simple beatitude gives the impression that it does not belong to the main body of the poem. For this reason some commentators believe that it was added.58However, the beatitude is not an interloper. On the contrary, it is a fitting last word to the dramatic poem because it offers a gracious alternative to divine anger and destruction to all those who take refuge in the Lord (cf. Ps 34:8) and his representative king on earth. Significantly, this gracious invitation is not only addressed to Israel but also to the rebellious nations!59

Literally, "to take refuge in" means to take shelter in a protected space (cf. Ps 104:18). Metaphorically, in Scripture it refers primarily to the act of trusting in the Lord's royal protection (Ps 5:11-2), confident that he will deliver the believer from threatening forces (Ps 7:1).60

The concluding beatitude of Psalm 2, therefore, urges everyone to put their trust in the Lord and look to him for protection in times of distress. Strikingly, the beatitude insists that this is the only way to happiness. Like Psalm 1, Psalm 2 concludes with a stark choice.61 A sermon on Psalm 2 for Easter should press the audience to make the same choice.

V. Reflections for Proclamation

Our introduction to this exposition of Psalm 2 claimed that a sermon on Psalm 2 for Easter would cast a significantly different light on the meaning of Jesus' resurrection. This added nuance is the fact that, according to Acts 13:33 and Romans 1:3-4, the resurrection of Jesus, the son of David according to the flesh (Rom 1:3), denotes his enthronement as ruler over the whole universe. This same perspective is also present in Matthew 28:18, in which Jesus, in language borrowed from Daniel 7:13-14, claims, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me." As James L. Mays notes, these well-known words of Matthew 28:18 represent the fulfillment of Psalm 2:8, "Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession."62

Because this perspective on the meaning of Jesus' resurrection is probably novel to the audience, the sermon should not move too quickly from Psalm 2 to the New Testament. To bridge the gap between this ancient text and the contemporary audience, the sermon should first explain the royal connotations of the term "son" in Psalm 2:7. In Psalm 2 it means that the Davidic king (2 Sam 7:14) is God's anointed regent who is given world-wide dominion. To explain what was expected of a king, the sermon should refer to Psalm 72, which together with Psalm 2 frames Books I and II of the Psalter. Like Psalm 2:8, Psalm 72:8 also expects the Davidic king to exercise universal dominion. Moreover, like Psalm 22:27-28, Psalm 72:10-11 also expects the nations to come to Jerusalem to serve ('abad) him (vs. 11). However, the Davidic monarchy failed in its mission as God's anointed regent; it failed in its mission to be a blessing to the nations (Ps 72:17). Its failure resulted in the exile, and from there Israel questioned God's covenant faithfulness (Ps 89). However, to effect his reign over the world, the Lord graciously promised to restore the Davidic dynasty (cf. Is 11:1-9; 55:3). Jesus' resurrection and ascension mark the fulfillment of the promise. Since his resurrection and ascension, therefore, Jesus is actively asserting his world-wide dominion.

As is evident from the quotation of Psalm 2:1-2 in Acts 4:25-26 and of Psalm 2:9 in Revelation 12:5, however, Jesus' enthronement as God's anointed regent was not met with grateful submission. As in Psalm 2, Acts 4:27 indicates that since his enthronement a confederacy of nations continues to oppose his enthronement. Revelation 11:18 underscores the same reality of international opposition. However, according to quotation of Psalm 2:9 in Revelation 19:15, there will come an end to this continual opposition to Christ's rule when he returns. Meanwhile, therefore, like the early church, the audience in the pews struggles with the "not yet" of Christ's rule reign "in the midst of the perils and threats of the powers at work in the world."63

It is the reality of this "not yet" that the sermon should address. For this reason the theme of the sermon should be the same as Psalm 2. The repeated references to nations and their kings throughout this artful poem demonstrate clearly that Psalm 2 is concerned about the constant tension between God's rule over the world through the agency of his anointed regent and the kingdoms of the earth and their rebellious rulers.64 Moreover, the goal of Psalm 2 as a cry of defiance is, in the first place, to comfort Israel. Likewise, therefore, the goal of the sermon should be to comfort the "Israel of God" (Gal 6:16), the church, which is now an international community (Rev 5:9-10). In response to the crucial question raised in verse 1 of Psalm 2, "Who controls this world?" the reassuring answer should, of course, be, "Jesus."

The fact that Jesus reigns has enormous consequences for how Christians live in this world filled with turmoil and international conflict.65 If Jesus reigns, there is no room, for example, for fanatic patriotism because the church is an international community. A Presbyterian pastor in Baghdad may well choose to preach on Psalm 2 on Resurrection Day! If Jesus really reigns, revolutionary movements or economic systems do not bring about the kingdom of righteous and peace (Ps 72). Righteousness is received through justification by faith and peace through the reconciling power of Jesus' blood (Rom 5). If Jesus reigns, Christians should be very circumspect of the use of political and military force to achieve justice and peace. Christ rules through the power of the Spirit (Zech 4:6).

The sermon should also aim for a twofold response. First, the sermon should remind the congregation that in Christ they too are sons and daughters of God (2 Cor 6:18; cf. 2 Sam 7:14). Consequently, they too have a royal task in this world (Rev 5:10). Like Christ, believers have also been given authority (Rev 2:26-27; cf. Ps 2:9). Therefore, the sermon should urge the believers, on the basis of Psalm 2:10-12, the application of the poem,66 to call the world to repentance (Acts 2:38). The sermon should urge them to follow the example of the early church in Acts 4, when it faces the opposition of a confederacy of Gentiles and Jews; they should pray and boldly preach the Gospel of repentance in Jesus Christ rather than organize counter political movements. As is clear from the book of Revelation, Christ's kingdom comes through suffering and not political activism!

The second response that the sermon should evoke is a decision to take refuge in the Lord. For that reason the sermon should end, like Psalm 2, with a brief exposition of the beatitude (vs. 12 e). This exposition should emphasize that taking refuge in the Lord is the only true way to happiness. The autonomous alternatives of contemporary culture are dead-end roads. Consequently, the sermon should call for a decision.

Homiletically, the sermon could follow the basic contours of Psalm 2. The sermon would then have four main points (or three, if one joins vv. 4-9), one for each strophe of the text,67 with a concluding appeal on the beatitude in verse 12 e. The opening question of Psalm 2:1-2 could serve as an introduction because it is "as timely as today's headlines."68

Music Notes:
Glossary of Hymnal Abbreviations:
PH The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
PsH The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
RL Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
RN Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
SFL Songs for LiFE (children's songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SNC Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Christian Reformed Church,
Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
TH Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America; Great
Commission Publications)
TWC The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company)
UMH The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
WOV With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)

We have placed no anthems in the service. What follows is a list of Easter anthems that have texts which focus on the kingship of Christ. If you have a choir available for the service, we would certainly encourage the use of anthem settings as well as the leading of choir in congregational songs for this service. Anthems can be placed appropriately in the service at nearly any point.

Harrison, Benjamin. Alleluia! Sing to Jesus. Scholin 1064 [1955] (SATB and organ or
piano; E-M)
Fedak, Alfred. Christus Paradox. GIA G-5463 [2000] (SATB and organ; M)
Wolff, S. Drummond. Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain. Concordia 98-2112 [1971]
(SATB with organ and opt. solo trumpet; E-M)
Courtney, Craig. Coronation. Beckenhorst BP1273 [1986] (Two-part mixed Choir,
keyboard, opt. horn and chimes or opt. brass quartet; E-M)
Pelz, Walter L. Crown Him With Many Crowns. Augsburg 11-9093 [1963] (SATB,
congregation, organ and trumpets; Concertato; E-M)
Roberts, Leon C. He Has the Power. GIA G2476 [1981] (SATB and Piano; Black
Gospel style; M)
Wolff, S. Drummond. Jesus Christ Is Risen Today Alleluia. Concordia 98-2050 [1969]
(SATB, two trumpets, organ and congregation; concertato; E-M)
Christiansen, Paul J. Lift High the Cross. Celebrations Unlimited CU 154 [1984] (SATB
with keyboard; E-M)
Nickel, Larry. No More Fear. Goliard Press GP92114 [1991] (SATB and keyboard;
based on Philippians 2; M)

Suggestions for prelude can be drawn from the following resources:

EASTER HYMN ["Christ the Lord Is Risen Today"]
Bish, Diane. Toccata on Christ the Lord Is Risen Today. Fred Bock B-G0634 [1982] (M)
Diemer, Emma Lou. Suite on Easter Hymns. SMP KK322 [1984] (E-M)
Haan, Raymond H. Fantasy on Jesus Christ is Risen Today. Concordia 97-5936 [1987] (E-M)
Goemanne Noël. (1971-Presser) Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000]
Held, Wilbur. Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ, vol. 4. Concordia 97-7032 [2005] (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. Six Preludes on Easter Hymns. Concordia 97-4649 [1975] (E)
Krapf, Gerhard. Sing and Rejoice, vol. 1. SMP KK234 [1978] (E, adaptable for piano)
Manz, Paul. God of Grace. Morningstar MSM-10-599 [2004] (E)
Powell, Robert J. (1993) Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)

Boertje, Barbara. Piano Improvisations for the Church Year. Unity 70/1194U [1998] (M)
Hamilton, Gregory. As the Grains of Wheat. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7577-0 [2003] (M)

Danner, David. Christ The Lord Is Risen Today. Triune HB146 [1985] (3 octaves /flute, E-M)
Honoré, Jeffrey. Alleluia Passacaglia. Agape 1552 [1992] (3-5 octaves, E-M)
Keller, Michael R. Alleluia, He Is Risen. Agape 1221 [1986] (3-5 octaves, M)

GELOBT SEI GOTT ["Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing"]
Holman, Derek. Postlude on a Melody by Melchior Vulpius. Jaymar [1993] (D)
Krapf, Gerhard. Sing and Rejoice, vol. 1. SMP KK234 [1978] (Adaptable for piano, E)
Leavitt, John. (1991) Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)
Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations, set 5. Concordia 97-5257 [1974] (E-M)
Martin, Gilbert M. The Bristol Collection, vol. 2. Flammer HF-5078 [1975] (M)
Peterson, Lynn L. Organ Music for the Seasons, vol. 2. Augsburg 11-11010 [1999] (E-M)
Willan, Healy. Six Chorale Preludes, set 1. Concordia 97-3903 [1950] (E-M)

Keller, Michael R. Alleluia, He Is Risen. Agape 1221 [1986] (3-5 octaves, M)

Alternative harmonizations for the opening hymns can be found in:

EASTER HYMN ["Christ the Lord Is Risen Today"]
Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 2. Ludwig O-07 [1983]
Manz, Paul. Free Organ Accompaniments to Hymns, vol. 3. Augsburg 11-9189 [1966]
Wood, Dale. New Settings of Twenty Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9292 [1968]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Pam Gervais. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

GELOBT SEI GOTT ["Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing"]
Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 2. Ludwig O-07 [1983]
Johnson, David N. Free Harmonizations of Twelve Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9190 [1964]
Wood, Dale. New Settings of Twenty Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9292 [1968]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Maynard, Lynette. Let It Rip! At the Piano, vol. 2. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 [2003]

Alternative harmonizations and offertory suggestions based on "Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen" can be found in:

DEXTER/EARTH AND ALL STARS ["Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen"]
Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Eggert, John. Creative Hymn Accompaniments for Organ, vol. 2. CPH97-6851 [2000]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Organ, Anne Krentz. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

Offertory Suggestions:

Burkhardt, Michael. Praise and Thanksgiving, set 2. Morningstar MSM-10-752 [1989] (E-M)
Cherwien, David. Interpretations, bk. 3. AMSI OR-6 [1983] (M)
Kolander, Keith. Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)
Leavitt, John. With High Delight. Concordia 97-6845 [2000] (E-M)
Powell, Robert J. Sing a New Song. Augsburg 11-10766 [1996] (E-M)
Wallace, Sue Mitchell. Hymn Prisms. Hope 270 [1985] (E-M)
Wold, Wayne L. Augsburg Organ Library - Autumn. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7579-7 [2003] (E-
Wyton, Alec. Variants on Earth and All Stars. Augsburg 11-0849 [1973] (M)

David, Anne Marie. Here I Am, Lord. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7566-5 [2002] (E-M)
Organ, Anne Krentz. On Eagle's Wings. Augsburg 11-10711 [1996] (M)

Alternative harmonizations on the closing hymn can be found in:

DIADEMATA ["Crown Him with Many Crowns"]
Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 1. Ludwig O-05 [1975]
Wood, Dale. New Settings of Twenty Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9292 [1968]

Congregational copies of the "Hallelujah Chorus" can be purchased through Fred Bock Music Company B-G0745 [1984]. A choral arrangement transposed to the key of C by Clair W. Johnson was published by Rubank, Inc. in 1941. Using the transposition makes the chorus more accessible for congregational singing.

Suggestions for postlude, based on the closing hymn can be found in:

DIADEMATA ["Crown Him with Many Crowns"]
Burkhardt, Michael. Five Easter Season Hymn Improvisations. Morningstar MSM-10-403 [1990]
Callahan, Charles. Partita on Diademata. Morningstar MSM 10-409 [1991] (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. Hymn Preludes for the Pentecost Season. Concordia 97-5517 [1979] (E-M)

Boertje, Barbara. Piano Improvisations for the Church Year. Unity 70/1194U [1998] (E-M)

Keller, Michael R. Alleluia, He Is Risen. Agape 1221 [1986] (3-5 octaves, M)

Liturgy Notes:

1. The beginning of worship sets the expectation and tone for all that follows. This is even truer for Easter Sunday morning. Visitors are likely to be present, and expectations need to be carefully channeled. We suggest that the service begins with a firm and expressive reading of the Easter story. This is an excellent time to include a child or youth for the reading (or multiple voices). Regardless of who reads, we encourage some coaching so that the reading is effective and without stumbling. A verbal transition should be made before the Call to Worship to help the congregation be able to speak first.

2. We have included the service of confession and renewal this Sunday and have modified it slightly to be more fitting for Easter Sunday. We acknowledge that some congregations prefer not to include this on Easter Sunday. Though we may be tempted to set this aside for Easter because guests are present, we should remember that this part of the worship service is an excellent time and method to set forth the heart of the Christian Gospel clearly!

3. Some congregations have developed the tradition of closing Easter worship with the singing of "The Hallelujah Chorus" by Handel. If the congregation is included in the singing, you will need to provide music for them. It can be secured from Fred Bock Music Company B-G0745 [1984].

1 For this title I am indebted to Walter Brueggemann's article, "From Dust to Kingship," ZAW 84 (1972): 1-18.
2 Cf. John H. Hayes, "The Resurrection as Enthronement and the Earliest Church," Interpretation 22 (1968): 333-345.
3 Patrick D. Miller, "Psalm 2," in Interpreting the Psalms (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1986), 87-88.
4 James L. Mays, Psalms, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1994), 44.
5 Jerome F. D. Creach, Yahweh as Refuge and the Editing of the Hebrew Psalter, JSOT Supplement Series 217 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), 51-55.
6 Erhard S. Gerstenberger, Psalms: Part I with an Introduction to Cultic Poetry, The Forms of Old Testament Liturature, Volume XIV (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 45.
7 Nic. H. Ridderbos, Die Psalmen: Stilistische Verfahren und Aufbau mit besonderer Berücksichtigung von Ps 1-41, BZAW 117 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1972), 61 and 123. Cf. Peter C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50, WBC 19 (Waco: Word Publishers, Inc., 1983), 65; Willem A. VanGemeren, "Psalms," The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 5 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991), 64.
8 Miller, "Psalm 2," 88.
9 Miller, "Psalm 2," 88.
10 N. H. Ridderbos, De Psalmen: Opnieuw Uit de Grondtekst Vertaald en Verklaard, Eerste Deel, Psalm 1-41 (Kampen: Kok, 1962), 1: 76. Cf. Craigie, Psalms 1-50, 65; Robert Davidson, The Vitality of Worship: A Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 14-15; Craig C. Broyles, Psalms, New International Biblical Commentary (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1999), 45; Konrad Schaefer,Psalms, BERIT OLAM: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2001), 9; Marti J. Steussy, Psalms, Chalice Commentaries for Today (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2004), 14.
11 Ridderbos, De Psalmen, 1: 76.
12 Steussy, Psalms, 15.
13 Artur Weiser, Psalms: A Commentary, OTL, tr. Herbert Hartwell (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1962), 109.
14 Craigie, Psalms 1-50, 64; Hans~Joachim Kraus, Psalm 1-59: A Commentary, tr. Hilton C. Oswald (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1988), 126.
15 Ridderbos, De Psalmen, 1: 77; Craigie, Psalms 1-50, 64.
16 See note 10 above.
17 Kraus, Psalms 1-59, 126. Cf. Weiser, Psalms, 109; J. H. Eaton, Kingship and the Psalms (Naperville: Allenson, 1976), 111.
18 John T. Willis, "A Cry of Defiance-Psalm 2," JSOT 47 (1990): 38.
19 Weiser, Psalms, 109.
20 Willis, "A Cry of Defiance," 44.
21 Willis, "A Cry of Defiance," 41-42.
22 Willis, "A Cry of Defiance," 38.
23 Pace Gerstenberger (Psalms, 1: 45), who reads it as a complaint (cf. Ps 10:1; 22:2).
24 Miller, "Psalm 2," 89.
25 Stek, The NIV Study Bible, Fully Revised (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002), 789.
26 The alternation of verbs from QTL to YQTL in vs. 1 and from YQTL to QTL in vs. 2 lends vividness to the description.
27 Cf. Ps 11:4; 103:19; 113:5; 123:1; Is 40:20; 66:1.
28 Kraus, Psalms 1-59, 129.
29 Kraus, Psalms 1-59, 129; Miller, "Psalm 2," 90; Broyles, Psalms, 45.
30 Ridderbos (De Psalmen, 1:80) refers to Ps 46:7 and 1 Sam 7:10. For the fear inspiring effect of a theophanic storm, see also Ex 15:15.
31 Literally, the verb means, "to pour out a libation." However, in Prov 8:23 it clearly means, "to set up."
32 Stek, The NIV Study Bible, 782.
33 Stek, The NIV Study Bible, 782.
34 Cf. Pss 50:16; 105:10; Is 24:5; 2 Kgs 17:15; 1 Chron 16:17. Cf. G. H. Jones, "The Decree of Yahweh (Ps. II 7)," VT 15 (1965): 336-344, especially p. 337.
35 Gerhard von Rad, "The Royal Ritual in Judah," in The Problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays, tr. E. W. Trueman Dicken (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1966), 222-231. Cf. Kraus, Psalms 1-59, 130.
36 von Rad, "The Royal Ritual in Judah," 226. Cf. Kraus, Psalms 1-59, 129-130; G. Cooke, "The Israelite King as Son of God," ZAW 73 (1961): 202-225.
37 Cf. Ps 89:26, 27.
38 von Rad ("The Royal Ritual in Judah," 226) again finds a parallel between vs. 8 and Egyptian royal protocol.
39 Cf. 1 Kgs 3:5; Ps 20:5; 21:2.
40 Stek, The NIV Study Bible, 789. Cf. Ps 72:8; Micah 5:3; Zech 9:10.
41 According to J. A. Emerton ("The Translation of Verbs in the Imperfect in Psalm II.9," Journal of Theological Studies 29 [1978]: 499-503), the YQTL verbs should be translated as modals, "You may break.."
42 Apparently the NIV adopted the LXX text. Instead of "break," the LXX assumes a different verbal root, meaning, "to pasture," "to shepherd." The N.T. quotation of Ps 2:9 in Rev 2:26-27 (cf. Rev. 12:5; 19:15) follows the LXX. The second half of vs. 9, however, supports the more destructive meaning. Cf. G. Welhelmi, "Der Hirt mit dem Eisernen Szepter: Überlieferungen zu Psalm II 9," VT 27 (1977): 196-204.
43 Kraus, Psalms 1-59, 132. Cf. Othmar Keel, The Symbolism of the Biblical World: Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Book of Psalms, tr. Timothy J. Hallett (New York: The Seabury Press, 1978), 266-267.
44 Kraus, Psalms 1-59, 132.
45 Cf. Ps 23:4; Is 10:24; 30:31-32; 2 Sam 7:14.
46 N. H. Ridderbos, De Psalmen, 1:81.
47 Cf. Ridderbos, De Psalmen, 1: 82.
48 Jones, "The Decree of Yahweh (Ps. II 7)," 344.
49 Cf. Lev 26:23; Jer 6:8.
50 Cf. 2 Sam 8:2, 6, 14; 10:19.
51 Note contrast with Psalm 100:2.
52 For rejoicing in the Lord's kingship see: Ps 97:1; 149:2.
53 For the combination of "fear," "trembling" and "praise" see: Ps 22:23.
54 Many translations (NRSV) and commentators find the translation "son" for the Aramaic word bar untenable. However, Ridderbos (De Psalmen, 1: 82) is not persuaded by the objections.
55 Keel, Symbolism, 268.
56 Cf. 1 Sam 10:1; 1 Kgs 19:18; Hos 13:2; Is 49:23; etc.
57 Cf. Is 30:27.
58 Creach, Yahweh as Refuge, 75.
59 Nahum 1:7-8 defines God's goodness in terms of the fact that one can take refuge in him and count on deliverance from enemies. Verse 9 then challenges the protagonist, "Why do you plot against the Lord?"
60 Pss 5:11; 7:1; 11:1; 34:8; 64:10; 104:18; 118:8-9; Nah 1:7; etc.
61 Davidson, Vitality, 19.
62 James L. Mays, " 'You are My Son': An Interpretation of Psalm 2," in The Lord Reigns: A Theological Handbook to the Psalms (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994), 116; idem, Psalms, 51.
63 Mays, Psalms, 48.
64 Mays, " 'You are My Son,' " 109; idem, Psalms, 45.
65 For the following suggestions I am indebted to Mays, " 'You are My Son,' " 116.
66 Mays, " 'You are My Son,' " 109.
67 For an interesting outline see: Walter C. Kaiser, Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981), 172-173.
68 J. Clinton McCann, Jr. "The Book of Psalms: Introduction, Commentary and Reflection," in The New Interpreter's Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996), 691.