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Psalms 2:4-5

Context

2:4 The one enthroned 1  in heaven laughs in disgust; 2 

the Lord taunts 3  them.

2:5 Then he angrily speaks to them

and terrifies them in his rage, 4  saying, 5 

Psalms 2:9

Context

2:9 You will break them 6  with an iron scepter; 7 

you will smash them like a potter’s jar!’” 8 

1 tn Heb “sitting.” The Hebrew verb יָשַׁב (yashav) is here used metonymically of “sitting enthroned” (see Pss 9:7; 29:10; 55:19; 102:12; 123:1).

2 tn As the next line indicates, this refers to derisive laughter. The Hebrew imperfect verbal forms in vv. 4-5 describe the action from the perspective of an eyewitness who is watching the divine response as it unfolds before his eyes.

3 tn Or “scoffs at”; “derides”; “mocks.”

4 sn And terrifies them in his rage. This line focuses on the effect that God’s angry response (see previous line) has on the rebellious kings.

5 tn The word “saying” is supplied in the translation for clarification to indicate that the speaker is the Lord (cf. RSV, NIV).

6 tc The LXX reads “you will shepherd them.” This reading, quoted in the Greek text of the NT in Rev 2:27; 12:5; 19:15, assumes a different vocalization of the consonantal Hebrew text and understands the verb as רָעָה (raah, “to shepherd”) rather than רָעָע (raa’, “to break”). But the presence of נָפַץ (nafats, “to smash”) in the next line strongly favors the MT vocalization.

7 tn The Hebrew term שֵׁבֶט (shevet) can refer to a “staff” or “rod,” but here it probably refers to the Davidic king’s royal scepter, symbolizing his sovereignty.

8 sn Like a potters jar. Before the Davidic king’s awesome power, the rebellious nations are like fragile pottery.



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