The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 2


1 Why do the nations protest and the peoples grumble in vain?


2 Kings on earth rise up and princes plot together against the LORD and his anointed:


"Let us break their shackles and cast off their chains!"


The one enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord derides them,


Then speaks to them in anger, terrifies them in wrath:


"I myself have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain."


I will proclaim the decree of the LORD, who said to me, "You are my son; today I am your father.


Only ask it of me, and I will make your inheritance the nations, your possession the ends of the earth.


With an iron rod you shall shepherd them, like a clay pot you will shatter them."


And now, kings, give heed; take warning, rulers on earth.


Serve the LORD with fear; with trembling bow down in homage, Lest God be angry and you perish from the way in a sudden blaze of anger. Happy are all who take refuge in God!



1 [Psalm 2] royal psalm. To rebellious kings ( Psalm 2:1-3) God responds vigorously ( Psalm 2:4-6). A speaker proclaims the divine decree (in the legal adoption language of the day), making the Israelite king the earthly representative of God ( Psalm 2:7-9) and warning kings to obey ( Psalm 2:10-11). The psalm has a messianic meaning for the Church; the New Testament understands it of Christ ( Acts 4:25-27; 13:33; Hebrews 1:5).

2 [2] Anointed: in Hebrew mashiah, "anointed"; in Greek christos, whence English Messiah and Christ. In Israel kings ( Judges 9:8; 1 Sam 9:16; 16:12-13) and high priests ( Lev 8:12; Numbers 3:3) received the power of their office through anointing.

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