Psalm 2:1

Hebrew Bible

1 Why do the nations rebel? Why are the countries devising plots that will fail? 2 The kings of the earth form a united front; the rulers collaborate against the Lord and his anointed king. 3 They say, “Let’s tear off the shackles they’ve put on us. Let’s free ourselves from their ropes.” 4 The one enthroned in heaven laughs in disgust; the Lord taunts them.

Acts 4:25

New Testament

24 When they heard this, they raised their voices to God with one mind and said, “Master of all, you who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them, 25 who said by the Holy Spirit through your servant David our forefather, ‘Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot foolish things? 26 The kings of the earth stood together, and the rulers assembled together,against the Lord and against his Christ.’ 27 “For indeed both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, assembled together in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, 28 to do as much as your power and your plan had decided beforehand would happen.

 Notes and References

"... It is important to appreciate the variety of ways in which the NT uses the OT and how sometimes the explicit meaning that the NT surfaces works within the scope of the OT meaning but does so in a surprising direction. In Acts 4:25-27, the church prayed. They appealed to Psalm 2:1 as an example text for the nations raging and the peoples plotting against the anointed one of Israel. Every Jew reading that psalm in its OT context would have assumed that the enemies gathered against the Messiah and his Lord would be comprised only of the nations, of Gentiles. Yet when the church prayed that prayer, the enemies opposed to the Messiah included seemingly pious Jews who nevertheless had rejected Jesus alongside Gentiles like Pilate. What produced this change in referent? It simply emerged as the psalm was read by these early Christians in a fresh context brought about by the progress of divinely orchestrated events ..."

Bock, Darrell L. "Single Meaning, Multiple Contexts and Referents" in Berding, Kenneth, and Jonathan Lunde, editors. Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (pp. 114-115) Zondervan, 2009

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