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Psalms 2:1

Context
Psalm 2 1 

2:1 Why 2  do the nations rebel? 3 

Why 4  are the countries 5  devising 6  plots that will fail? 7 

Psalms 7:7

Context

7:7 The countries are assembled all around you; 8 

take once more your rightful place over them! 9 

Psalms 9:8

Context

9:8 He judges the world fairly;

he makes just legal decisions for the nations. 10 

Psalms 44:2

Context

44:2 You, by your power, 11  defeated nations and settled our fathers on their land; 12 

you crushed 13  the people living there 14  and enabled our ancestors to occupy it. 15 

1 sn Psalm 2. In this royal psalm the author asserts the special status of the divinely chosen Davidic king and warns the nations and their rulers to submit to the authority of God and his chosen vice-regent.

2 tn The question is rhetorical. Rather than seeking information, the psalmist expresses his outrage that the nations would have the audacity to rebel against God and his chosen king.

3 tn The Hebrew verb רָגַשׁ (ragash) occurs only here. In Dan 6:6, 11, 15 the Aramaic cognate verb describes several officials acting as a group. A Hebrew nominal derivative is used in Ps 55:14 of a crowd of people in the temple.

4 tn The interrogative לָמָּה (lamah, “why?”) is understood by ellipsis in the second line.

5 tn Or “peoples” (so many English versions).

6 tn The Hebrew imperfect form describes the rebellion as underway. The verb הָגָה (hagah), which means “to recite quietly, meditate,” here has the metonymic nuance “devise, plan, plot” (see Ps 38:12; Prov 24:2).

7 tn Heb “devising emptiness.” The noun רִיק (riq, “emptiness”) may characterize their behavior as “worthless, morally bankrupt” but more likely refers to the outcome of their plots (i.e., failure). As the rest of the psalm emphasizes, their rebellion will fail.

8 tn Heb “and the assembly of the peoples surrounds you.” Some understand the prefixed verbal form as a jussive, “may the assembly of the peoples surround you.”

9 tn Heb “over it (the feminine suffix refers back to the feminine noun “assembly” in the preceding line) on high return.” Some emend שׁוּבָה (shuvah, “return”) to שֵׁבָה (shevah, “sit [in judgment]”) because they find the implication of “return” problematic. But the psalmist does not mean to imply that God has abandoned his royal throne and needs to regain it. Rather he simply urges God, as sovereign king of the world, to once more occupy his royal seat of judgment and execute judgment, as the OT pictures God doing periodically.

10 tn Heb “the peoples.” The imperfect verbal forms in v. 8 either describe God’s typical, characteristic behavior, or anticipate a future judgment of worldwide proportions (“will judge…”).

11 tn Heb “you, your hand.”

12 tn Heb “dispossessed nations and planted them.” The third masculine plural pronoun “them” refers to the fathers (v. 1). See Ps 80:8, 15.

13 tn The verb form in the Hebrew text is a Hiphil preterite (without vav [ו] consecutive) from רָעַע (raa’, “be evil; be bad”). If retained it apparently means, “you injured; harmed.” Some prefer to derive the verb from רָעַע (“break”; cf. NEB “breaking up the peoples”), in which case the form must be revocalized as Qal (since this verb is unattested in the Hiphil).

14 tn Or “peoples.”

15 tn Heb “and you sent them out.” The translation assumes that the third masculine plural pronoun “them” refers to the fathers (v. 1), as in the preceding parallel line. See Ps 80:11, where Israel, likened to a vine, “spreads out” its tendrils to the west and east. Another option is to take the “peoples” as the referent of the pronoun and translate, “and you sent them away,” though this does not provide as tight a parallel with the corresponding line.



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