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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 2

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 2

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 2

1. Why have nations gathered and [why do] kingdoms think vain things?   א. לָמָּה רָגְשׁוּ גוֹיִם וּלְאֻמִּים יֶהְגּוּ רִיק:
Why have nations gathered: Our Sages (Ber. 7b) expounded the passage as referring to the King Messiah, but according to its apparent meaning, it is proper to interpret it as referring to David himself, as the matter is stated (II Sam. 5:17): “And the Philistines heard that they had anointed David as king over Israel, and all the Philistines went up to seek, etc.,” and they fell into his hands. Concerning them, he says, “Why have nations gathered,” and they all gathered.  
and kingdoms think: vain things in their heart.  
and kingdoms: Heb. ולאמים. Menachem interprets לאמים, אמות, and גוים as all closely related.  
2. Kings of a land stand up, and nobles take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed?   ב. יִתְיַצְּבוּ | מַלְכֵי אֶרֶץ וְרוֹזְנִים נוֹסְדוּ יָחַד עַל יְהֹוָה וְעַל מְשִׁיחוֹ:
Kings of a land stand up and nobles take counsel, etc.: Heb. רוזנים, senors (seigneurs) in Old French, lords.  
take counsel: Heb. נוסדו, an expression of counsel (סוד), furt konsilez in Old French (furent conseilles), they hold counsel (see below 55:15). And what is the counsel?…  
3. "Let us break their bands and cast off their cords from us."   ג. נְנַתְּקָה אֶת מוֹסְרוֹתֵימוֹ וְנַשְׁלִיכָה מִמֶּנּוּ עֲבֹתֵימוֹ:
Let us break their bands: Deronproms lor koyongles in Old French (as in Jer. 27:2). These are the bands with which the yoke is tied.  
their cords: Heb. עבתימו, lor kordes (leur cordes) in Old French.  
4. He Who dwells in Heaven laughs; the Lord mocks them.   ד. יוֹשֵׁב בַּשָּׁמַיִם יִשְׂחָק אֲדֹנָי יִלְעַג לָמוֹ:
laughs… mocks… speaks: They are meant as the present tense.  
5. Then He speaks to them in His wrath; and He frightens them with His sore displeasure.   ה. אָז יְדַבֵּר אֵלֵימוֹ בְאַפּוֹ וּבַחֲרוֹנוֹ יְבַהֲלֵמוֹ:
Then He speaks to them: Heb. אלימו, like אליהם. And what is the speech?…  
6. "But I have enthroned My king on Zion, My holy mount."   ו. וַאֲנִי נָסַכְתִּי מַלְכִּי עַל צִיּוֹן הַר קָדְשִׁי:
But I have enthroned My king: Why have you gathered together? I have appointed this one for Me to govern and to reign on Zion, My holy mount.  
7. I will tell of the decree; The Lord said to me, "You are My son; this day have I begotten you.   ז. אֲסַפְּרָה אֶל חֹק יְהֹוָה אָמַר אֵלַי בְּנִי אַתָּה אֲנִי הַיּוֹם יְלִדְתִּיךָ:
I will tell of the decree: Said David, “This is an established decree, and [one] that I have received to tell this and to make known.”  
The Lord said to me: through Nathan, Gad, and Samuel.  
You are My son: The head over Israel, who are called “My firstborn son.” And they will endure through you, as is stated concerning Abner (II Sam. 3:18): “for God said, etc., ‘By the hand of My bondsman David shall I deliver… Israel.’” And for their sake, you are before Me as a son because they are all dependent upon you.  
this day have I: for I have enthroned you over them.  
begotten you: to be called My son and to be beloved to Me as a son for their sake, as it is stated (II Sam. 7:14) concerning Solomon: “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to Me a son.” We find further concerning David (Ps. 89:27) “He shall call Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’”  
8. Request of Me, and I will make nations your inheritance, and the ends of the earth your possession.   ח. שְׁאַל מִמֶּנִּי וְאֶתְּנָה גוֹיִם נַחֲלָתֶךָ וַאֲחֻזָּתְךָ אַפְסֵי אָרֶץ:
Request of Me: Pray to Me whenever you come to battle your enemies.  
9. You shall break them with an iron rod; like a potter's vessel you shall shatter them."   ט. תְּרֹעֵם בְּשֵׁבֶט בַּרְזֶל כִּכְלִי יוֹצֵר תְּנַפְּצֵם:
You shall break them: Heb. תרעם [like] תרוצצם.  
with an iron rod: That is the sword.  
you shall shatter them: Heb. תנפצם, you shall break them, and that is the expression of נפוץ throughout the Scriptures, a potsherd that is bro ken into fine pieces.  
10. And now, [you] kings, be wise; be admonished, [you] judges of the earth.   י. וְעַתָּה מְלָכִים הַשְׂכִּילוּ הִוָּסְרוּ שֹׁפְטֵי אָרֶץ:
And now, [you] kings, be wise: The Jewish prophets are merciful people. They reprove the heathens to turn away from their evil, for the Holy One, blessed be He, extends His hand to the wicked and to the righteous.  
11. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with quaking.   יא. עִבְדוּ אֶת יְהֹוָה בְּיִרְאָה וְגִילוּ בִּרְעָדָה:
and rejoice with quaking: When the quaking, about which it is written (Isa. 33:14): “Trembling seized the flatterers,” comes, you will rejoice and be happy if you have served the Lord.  
12. Arm yourselves with purity lest He become angry and you perish in the way, for in a moment His wrath will be kindled; the praises of all who take refuge in Him.   יב. נַשְּׁקוּ בַר פֶּן יֶאֱנַף | וְתֹאבְדוּ דֶרֶךְ כִּי יִבְעַר כִּמְעַט אַפּוֹ אַשְׁרֵי כָּל חוֹסֵי בוֹ:
Arm yourselves with purity: Arm yourselves with purity of the heart. Some explain נשקו as garnimont in Old French, equipping. (This is from the verb, garnir. Garnimont means to provide, as in Gen. 41: 40). Menachem (p. 179) interprets it as an expression of desire, as (in Gen. 3:16): “Your longing (תשוקתך) shall be for your husband.”  
lest He become angry: Heb. יאנף, lest He become angry.  
and you perish in the way: Like the matter that is stated (above 1: 16): “but the way of the wicked shall perish.”  
for in a moment His wrath will be kindled: For in a short moment His wrath will suddenly be kindled against them, and at that time, the praises of all those who take refuge in Him will be discerned, the praises of all who take refuge in Him.  
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