"My king on Zion"
Answers the question: "What is the psalmist trying to accomplish?"
Answers the question: "What argument(s) does the psalmist make to accomplish this purpose?
Answers the question: "What theological truth might an ancient or contemporary audience draw from this Psalm?
Translations as Tools
No single translation can fully capture the meaning and beauty of the original Hebrew. Each English rendering highlights a particular feature(s) of the biblical text.
1. Why have nations thronged, and why do peoples mutter emptiness?
2. Kings of earth are standing, and rulers have conspired together against YHWH and against his anointed one.
3. “Let us tear off their bonds, and let us throw their ropes from us.”
4. The one enthroned in the heavens laughs. The Lord mocks them.
5. Then he speaks to them in his wrath, and he dismays them with his anger.
6. “And I have fashioned my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7. Let me recount the decree. YHWH said to me, "You are my son. I have fathered you today.
8. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance and the ends of the earth your property.
9. You will crush them with an iron sceptre. You will smash them like a potter’s vessels."
10. And now, kings, be wise. Accept discipline, rulers of earth.
11. Serve YHWH with fear and rejoice with trembling.
12. Kiss the son, lest he become angry and you perish in your conduct, for his anger rages easily. Happy are all who take refuge in him.
* The "close-but-clear" is a formal-equivalent rendering of the Hebrew. It is based on the interlinear, adjusted for English word-order. It aims to be as close to the Hebrew as possible while still being clear in English.
1. Why are all these nations gathered together?
Why do they waste their time plotting?
2. Why would kings of earth band together in rebellion
against YHWH and his anointed king?
3. “Let’s rip off their restraints.
Let’s throw away their chains!”
4. The God who reigns in heaven laughs.
The Lord of all derides them.
5. Now he speaks to them in wrath.
He terrifies them with anger.
6. “I have forged my king as my image
on Zion, my sacred mountain.”
7. I will declare the decree:
YHWH said to me, "You are my son.
Today, I’ve become your father.
8. Just ask, and I will give you nations for your inheritance
and make the whole world your property.
9. You will crush them with an iron sceptre
and shatter them like pottery."
10. Now then, you kings, wise up!
Receive this rebuke, you earthly rulers!
11. Serve YHWH with reverence!
Shout for joy and shake with fear!
12. Kiss the son, lest he become angry and you come to an end,
for his anger flares up quickly.
Here’s to all who take shelter in him!
** The "synthesis" is a dynamic-equivalent rendering, intended to support the Synthesis (at-a-glance) visualisation.
Psalm 2 - Grammar
Psalm 2 - Participants - Mini-Story
Psalm 2 - Discourse - Macrosyntax
Psalm 1 - Semantics - Story behind
Psalm 1 - Discourse - Performance
Psalm 1 - Top 3 Poetic Features