What do the nations conspire and the people plot in vain? Psalm 2:1

Psalm 2 :1 (NRSV)

Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?

Has this prophecy been fulfilled if so when, and is there a possible future fulfillment?


Peter and John quoted Psa. 2:1–2 in Acts 4:25–26 and indicate its fulfillment in Acts 4:27:

27 For of a truth against Your holy child Jesus, whom You have anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

  • You might want to continue the quote through verse 31. And you might want to point out some of the things that they conspired 2 suppress. – Ruminator Jun 16 '19 at 11:10

Even a casual glance at Psalm 2 shows it to be a prophecy in the form of a hymn of praise to the coming Messiah, the anointed one.

  • Ps 2:1, 2 - this was quoted by Acts 4:25-27 as being fulfilled during Jesus' earthly life, specifically by Herod and Pilate (as well as the Jewish leaders) who plotted to kill Jesus but were completely frustrated by Jesus' resurrection. See also Ps 2:3. There is a possible future fulfilment when Jesus returns and "those that pierced him" see His return as per Rev 1:7.
  • Ps 2:4-6 appears to have been fulfilled by Jesus after His resurrection and ascension to heaven as he now sits enthroned at the right and of God in heaven (Ps 110:1, 5, Luke 22:69, Matt 26:64, Acts 2:33, 7:56, Rom 8:34, Eph 1:20, Col 3:1, Heb 1:3, 10:12, 12:2, 1 Peter 3:22) although if v6 is understood literally (not everyone does this) then it might have to wait for a still future fulfilment (eg Rev 11:17).
  • Ps 2:7 is quoted in Acts 13:13, Heb 1:5, 6 as being fulfilled at Jesus' incarnation (in Bethlehem).
  • Ps 2:8, 9 is either fulfilled at Jesus' inauguration of the Kingdom of heaven (Matt 3:2, 4:17, 5:3, 10, 20, 6:10, 7:21, 8:11, 10:7, 13:11, 24, 31, 33, 45, 47, etc) or when all evil is finally banished from the earth and Jesus reigns supreme.

Psalm 2:10-12 is a hymn of conclusion to encourage all kings and rulers to serve the LORD.

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