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To whom does Psalm 2:7 refer with the words, “You are my son, today I have begotten you”?

you are my son, today I have begotten you

In Psalm 2, which Acts 4:25 identifies as being written by David, we read of the Lord God saying to someone, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you” (Psalm 2:7). For the sake of accuracy and understanding, diligent Bible students make a point of examining difficult passages within their proper contexts. Here is the whole of the second psalm:

Why do the nations rage
   and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
   and the rulers take counsel together,
   against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
   and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
   the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
   and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
   on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
   today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
   and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
   and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
   be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
   and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
   lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
   for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him (Psalm 2:1–12, ESV).

Psalm 2 is one of the many messianic psalms; accordingly, it is Christ Jesus, the Son of David, of whom the psalmist, King David, speaks. Observing the wholesale rebellion against God and His decrees, David rhetorically asks, “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot in vain?” Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the eyes of all who refuse to believe in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:4). Hardened by their faithlessness, these rebels seek to usurp God’s authority by casting off His righteous commandments and mocking all that is good and holy. This unholy spirit of rebellion appears particularly prevalent among the world’s rulers (Psalm 2:3). While King David’s observations were made three thousand years ago, the preponderance of today’s godless politicians threaten the moral well-being of the nations they lead. Leaders who honor God and seek to do His will are becoming increasingly rare. The few godly leaders remaining face relentless attacks from powerful adversaries.

No matter how much the nations rage, believers should not despair, for God does not sit upon His throne wringing His hands in worry. On the contrary, God laughs at the petty tyrants who shake their fists at Him (Psalm 2:4). It is as if their vain plans and rebellious attacks are a source of divine amusement, for Satan and all who follow him will never unseat the Sovereign of the universe. God is our mighty fortress and will not be shaken.

While Satan is currently the “god of this world,” his reign is doomed, and his destruction is in sight, for God the Father has decreed that God the Son will take His rightful place as ruler over the entire earth (Psalm 2:7). The Messiah, the One “begotten” in verse 7, will judge the earth (verse 8); He will be given the nations as a heritage and all the earth as His possession (verse 8). We will see this fulfilled at Christ’s second coming and His subsequent millennial reign (Revelation 19:11—20:6).

David concludes this psalm with a solemn warning (Psalm 2:10–12). Those who are wise will abandon their evil plans and repent. They will “kiss the Son” (verse 12). The Lord Jesus is merciful and stands ready to forgive all who will receive Him as Savior; however, those who refuse His tender mercy and continue in their plotting must face the white-hot fury of His judgment. The enemies of God are notified, “You will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—for his anger flares up in an instant” (verse 12, NLT).

May all who belong to Jesus take comfort knowing that evil will not win. Jesus is victorious. Our future is in His able hands, and we will never experience His divine wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

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Questions about Psalms

To whom does Psalm 2:7 refer with the words, “You are my son, today I have begotten you”?
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This page last updated: July 26, 2022