Psalm 2

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General information

Settings by composers

See also Astiterunt reges terrae for settings of vv. 2-3 as the 7th responsory for Holy Saturday.

Text and translations

Clementine Vulgate

Latin.png Latin text

1  Quare fremuerunt gentes, et populi meditati sunt inania ?
2  Astiterunt reges terrae, et principes convenerunt in unum adversus Dominum,
  et adversus christum ejus.
3  Dirumpamus vincula eorum, et projiciamus a nobis jugum ipsorum.
4  Qui habitat in caelis irridebit eos, et Dominus subsannabit eos.
5  Tunc loquetur ad eos in ira sua, et in furore suo conturbabit eos.
6  Ego autem constitutus sum rex ab eo super Sion, montem sanctum ejus,
  prædicans praeceptum ejus.
7  Dominus dixit ad me : Filius meus es tu ; ego hodie genui te.
8  Postula a me, et dabo tibi gentes haereditatem tuam,
  et possessionem tuam terminos terræ.
9  Reges eos in virga ferrea, et tamquam vas figuli confringes eos.
10  Et nunc, reges, intelligite; erudimini, qui judicatis terram.
11  Servite Domino in timore, et exsultate ei cum tremore.
12  Apprehendite disciplinam, nequando irascatur Dominus, et pereatis de via justa.
13  Cum exarserit in brevi ira ejus, beati omnes qui confidunt in eo.

Douay-Rheims Bible

English.png English translation

Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things?
The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord and against his Christ.
Let us break their bonds asunder: and let us cast away their yoke from us.
He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them: and the Lord shall deride them.
Then shall he speak to them in his anger, and trouble them in his rage.
But I am appointed king by him over Sion his holy mountain, preaching his commandment.
The Lord hath said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.
Ask of me, and I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron, and shalt break them in pieces like a potter' s vessel.
And now, O ye kings, understand: receive instruction, you that judge the earth.
Serve ye the Lord with fear: and rejoice unto him with trembling.
Embrace discipline, lest at any time the Lord be angry, and you perish from the just way.
When his wrath shall be kindled in a short time, blessed are all they that trust in him.

Church of England 1662 Book of Common Prayer

English.png English text

1  Why do the heathen so furiously rage together : and why do the people imagine a vain thing?
2  The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together : against the Lord,
  and against his Anointed.
3  Let us break their bonds asunder : and cast away their cords from us.
4  He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn : the Lord shall have them in derision.
5  Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath : and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6  Yet have I set my King : upon my holy hill of Sion.
7  I will preach the law,
  whereof the Lord hath said unto me : Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
8  Desire of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance:
  and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9  Thou shalt bruise them with a rod of iron : and break them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
10  Be wise now therefore, O ye kings : be learned, ye that are judges of the earth.
11  Serve the Lord in fear : and rejoice unto him with reverence.
12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and so ye perish from the right way :
  if his wrath be kindled, (yea, but a little,) blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

King James Version

English.png English text

1  Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
3  Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4  He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5  Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6  Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7  I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8  Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9  Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
10  Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11  Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way,
when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Matthew Parker's Psalter

English.png English text

Psalme. II.

The Argument. Psalme. II.

Of Christ ye see
A Prophecie
Thus Dauid spake with vs:
As merueiling
That earthly king
Should rage against him thus

Quare fremuerunt.


1. Why fumeth in sight: the Gentils spite,
In fury raging stout?
Why taketh in hond: the people fond,
Uayne thinges to bring about?

2. The kinges arise: the lordes deuise,
in counsayles mett therto:
Agaynst the Lord: with false accord,
against his Christ they go.

3. Let vs they say: breake downe their ray,
of all their bondes and cordes:
We will renounce: that they pronounce,
their loores as stately lordes.

4. But God of might: in heauen so bright,
Shall laugh them all to scorne:
The Lord on hie: shall them defie,
they shall be once forlorne.


5. Then shall his ire: speake all in fire,
to them agayne therfore:
He shall with threate: their malice beate,
in his displeasure sore.

6. Yet am I set: a king so great,
on Sion hill full fast:
Though me they kill: yet will that hill,
my lawe and worde outcast.

7. Gods wordes decreed: I (Christ) wil sprede
for God thus sayd to me/e:
My sonne I say: thou art, this day,
I haue begotten the/e.

8. Aske thou of me/e: I will geue the/e,
to rule all Gentils londes:
Thou shalt possesse: in suernesse,
the world how wide it stondes.


9. With iron rod: as mighty God,
all rebels shalt thou bruse:
And breake them all: in pieces small,
as sherdes the potters vse.

10. Be wise therfore: ye kinges the more,
Receyue ye wisdomes lore:
Ye iudges strong: of right and wrong,
aduise you now before.

11. The LORDE in feare: your seruice beare,
with dread to him reioyce:
Let rages be: resist not ye,
him serue with ioyfull voyce.

12. The sonne kisse ye: lest wroth he be,
lose not the way of rest:
For when his ire: is set on fire,
who trust in hym be blest.

Metrical 'Old Version' (Thomas Sternhold)

English.png English text

1  Why did the Gentiles tumults raise?
What rage was in their brain?
Why do the people still contrive
A thing that is but vain?

2  The kings and rulers of the earth
Conspire, and are all bent
Against the Lord, and Christ his son,
Whom he among us sent.

3  Shall we be bound to them? say they,
Let all their bonds be broke;
And of their doctrine and their law
Let us reject the yoke.

4  But he that in the heav'n doth dwell,
Their doings will deride:
And make them all as mocking-stocks
Throughout the world so wide.

5  For in his wrath he shall reprove
Their pride and scornful way,
And in his fury trouble them,
And unto them shall say,

6  I have anointed him my king
Upon my holy hill:
I will therefore, Lord, preach thy law
According to thy will:

7  The law whereof the Lord himself
Hath thus said unto me,
Thou art my only son, this day
Have I begotten thee.

8  All people I will give to thee,
As heirs at thy request:
The ends and coasts of all the earth
By thee shall be possess'd:

9  Thou shalt them bruise e'en like to those
That under foot are trod,
And as a potter's vessel break
Them with an iron rod.

10  Now ye, O kings, and rulers all,
Be wise therefore and learn'd,
By whom the matters of the world
Are judged and discern'd.

11  See that ye serve the Lord above
In trembling and in fear:
See that with rev'rence ye rejoice
When ye to him draw near:

12  See that ye do embrace and kiss
his son without delay:
Lest in his wrath ye suddenly
Perish from the right way.

13  If once his wrath (but little) shall
Be kindled in his breast,
Then only they that trust in him
Shall happy be and blest.

Metrical 'New Version' (Tate/Brady)

English.png English text

1  With restless and ungovern'd rage
Why do the heathen storm?
Why in such rash attempts engage,
As they can ne'er perform?

2  The great in counsel and in might
Their various forces bring;
Against the Lord they all unite,
And his anointed King.

3  "Must we submit to their commands?"
Presumptuously they say;
"No, let us break their slavish bands,
And cast their chains away."

4  But God, who sits enthroned on high,
And sees how they combine,
Does their conspiring strength defy,
And mocks their vain design.

5  Thick clouds of wrath divine shall break
On his rebellious foes;
And thus will he in thunder speak
To all that dare oppose:

6  "Though madly you dispute my will,
The King that I ordain,
Whose throne is fix'd on Zion's hill,
Shall there securely reign."

7  Attend, O earth, whilst I declare
God's uncontroll'd decree;
"Thou art my Son, this day my heir
Have I begotten thee.

8  Ask and receive Thy full demands;
Thine shall the heathen be;
The utmost limits of the lands
Shall be possess'd by thee.

9  Thy threat'ning scepter thou shalt shake,
And crush them every where;
As massy bars of iron break
The potter's brittle ware."

10  Learn then, ye princes, and give ear,
Ye judges of the earth;
11  Worship the Lord with holy fear;
Rejoice with awful mirth.

12  Appease the Son with due respect,
Your timely homage pay;
Lest he revenge the bold neglect,
Incens'd by your delay.

13  If but in part his anger rise,
Who can endure the flame?
Then blest are they whose hope relies
On his most holy Name.

Metrical version by James Merrick

English.png English text

1  Why thus enraged, ye tribes profane?
Why strive the Gentiles thus in vain?
Why, rous'd by discord's fierce alarms,
Do headlong nations rush to arms?

2  Earth's scepter'd lords rebellious rise
Against the ruler of the skies,
And him, on whose distinguish'd head
His hand the sacred oil has shed.

3  In factious counsels thus they join
And vaunting brave the pow'r divine:
'Quick let us each renounce their sway,
And cast their hated bands away.'

4  God from on high their threats shall hear,
Laugh as the tumult meets his ear,
And, arm'd with vengeance, thus aloud
Superior quell the frantic crowd:

5  'Yet, mortals, yet your monarch see
And bow to him the humble knee;
His throne on Sion's hill my hand
Has built, and what I build shall stand.'

6  Thy will, great Father, I obey;
Pleas'd I accept the offer'd sway,
And through the Earth's extended frame
The counsels of thy love proclaim.

7  'Thou art my Son, on this blest day
Begotten; (thus I hear thee say;)
Prefer thy wish, and to thy hand
Lo! I consign each heathen land.

8  I bid thee rule the nations round,
Far as to Earth's remotest bound.
Though join'd in firmest league, thy foes
With vain attempt thy pow'r oppose:

9  Thy arm the iron rod extends;
Behold them, as the stroke descends,
Crush'd like the potter's brittle store,
And scatter'd, to unite no more.'

10  Ye kings, from error's sleep arise,
Ye judges of the earth, be wise.
While ye in duteous zeal conspire,
To serve with joy th'eternal Sire.

11  O, lest ye perish from the way
That leads to realms of endless day,
With awful love, with holy fear,
His Son, the world's great hope, revere.

12  If yet but kindling in his hand
The vengeful bolt uplifted stand,
Thrice happy, who on him depend,
And thankful own th'almighty friend.

Metrical paraphrase by Isaac Watts, 1719

English.png English text

Maker and sovereign Lord
Of heaven, and earth, and seas,
Thy providence confirms thy word,
And answers thy decrees.

The things so long foretold
By David are fulfilled,
When Jews and Gentiles joined to slay
Jesus, thine holy child.

Why did the Gentiles rage,
And Jews, with one accord,
Bend all their counsels to destroy
The Anointed of the Lord?

Rulers and kings agree
To form a vain design;
Against the Lord their powers unite,
Against his Christ they join.

The Lord derides their rage,
And will support his throne;
He that hath raised him from the dead
Hath owned him for his Son.

Now he's ascended high,
And asks to rule the earth
The merit of his blood he pleads,
And pleads his heavenly birth.

He asks, and God bestows
A large inheritance;
Far as the world's remotest ends
His kingdom shall advance.

The nations that rebel
Must feel his iron rod;
He'll vindicate those honors well
Which he received from God.

Be wise, ye rulers, now,
And worship at his throne;
With trembling joy, ye people, bow
To God's exalted Son.

If once his wrath arise,
Ye perish on the place;
Then blessed is the soul that flies
For refuge to his grace.


Why did the nations join to slay
The Lord's anointed Son?
Why did they cast his laws away,
And tread his gospel down?

The Lord, that sits above the skies,
Derides their rage below;
He speaks with vengeance in his eyes,
And strikes their spirits through.

"I call him my Eternal Son,
And raise him from the dead;
I make my holy hill his throne,
And wide his kingdom spread.

"Ask me, my Son, and then enjoy
The utmost heathen lands:
Thy rod of iron shall destroy
The rebel that withstands."

Be wise, ye rulers of the earth,
Obey th' anointed Lord,
Adore the King of heavenly birth,
And tremble at his word.

With humble love address his throne;
For if he frown, ye die:
Those are secure, and those alone,
Who on his grace rely.


Why did the Jews proclaim their rage?
The Romans, why their swords employ?
Against the Lord their powers engage,
His dear Anointed to destroy?

"Come, let us break his bands," they say,
"This man shall never give us laws:"
And thus they cast his yoke away,
And nailed the Monarch to the cross.

But God, who high in glory reigns,
Laughs at their pride, their rage controls,
He'll vex their hearts with inward pains,
And speak in thunder to their souls.

"I will maintain the King I made
On Zion's everlasting hill;
My hand shall bring him from the dead,
And he shall stand your Sovereign still."

His wondrous rising from the earth
Makes his eternal Godhead known;
The Lord declares his heav'nly birth,
"This day have I begot my Son.

"Ascend, my Son, to my right hand,
There thou shalt ask, and I bestow,
The utmost bounds of heathen lands;
To thee the Northern Isles shall bow."

But nations that resist his grace
Shall fall beneath his iron stroke;
His rod shall crush his foes with ease,
As potters' earthen work is broke.

Now, ye that sit on earthly thrones,
Be wise, and serve the Lord, the Lamb;
Now at his feet submit your crowns,
Rejoice and tremble at his name.

With humble love address the Son,
Lest he grow angry, and ye die;
His wrath will burn to worlds unknown,
If ye provoke his jealousy.

His storms shall drive you quick to hell;
He is a God, and ye but dust:
Happy the souls that know him well,
And make his grace their only trust.

Luther's translation

German.png German text

1  Warum toben die Heiden, und die Leute reden so vergeblich?
2  Die Könige im Lande lehnen sich auf, und die HERREN ratschlagen miteinander wider den HERRN und seinen Gesalbten:
3  Lasset uns zerreißen ihre Bande und von uns werfen ihre Seile!
4  Aber der im Himmel wohnet, lachet ihrer, und der HERR spottet ihrer.
5  Er wird einst mit ihnen reden in seinem Zorn, und mit seinem Grimm wird er sie schrecken.
6  Aber ich habe meinen König eingesetzt auf meinem heiligen Berg Zion.
7  Ich will von einer solchen Weise predigen, daß der HERR zu mir gesagt hat: Du bist mein Sohn, heute hab ich dich gezeuget.
8  Heische von mir, so will ich dir die Heiden zum Erbe geben und der Welt Ende zum Eigentum.
9  Du sollst sie mit einem eisernen Zepter zerschlagen; wie Töpfe sollst du sie zerschmeißen.
10  So laßt euch nun weisen, ihr Könige, und laßt euch züchtigen, ihr Richter auf Erden!
11  Dienet dem HERRN mit Furcht und freuet euch mit Zittern!
12  Küsset den Sohn, daß er nicht zürne und ihr umkommet auf dem Wege; denn sein Zorn wird bald anbrennen. Aber wohl allen, die auf ihn trauen!

Metrical version by Clément Marot

French.png French translation

Pourquoy font bruyt, et s'assemblent les gens?
Quelle follie à murmurer les meine?
Pourquoy sont tant les peuples diligens
A mectre sus une entreprise vaine?

Bandez se sont les grands Roys de la terre,
Et les Primats ont bien tant presumé
De conspirer, et vouloir faire guerre
Touts contre Dieu, et son Roy bien aymé:

Disants entre eulx desrompons, et brisons
Touts les lyens dont lyer nous pretendent:
Au loing de nous jectons, et mesprisons
Le joug, lequel mectre sur nous s'attendent.

Mais cestuy là, qui les haultz cieulx habite,
Ne s'en fera que rire de là hault.
Le Toutpuissant de leur façon despite
Se mocquera: car d'eulx il ne luy chault.

Lors s'il luy plaist, parler à eulx viendra
En son courroux (plus qu'aultre espouventable)
Et touts ensemble estonnés les rendra,
En sa faveur terrible, et redoubtable.


Roys, dira il, d'où vient ceste entreprinse?
De mon vray Roy j'ay faict election,
Je l'ay sacré, sa couronne il a prinse
Sur mon tres sainct, et hault [mont] de Sion.

Et je (qui suis le Roy, qui luy ay pleu)
Racompteray sa sentence donnée:
C'est qu'il m'a dict: Tu es mon Filz esleu,
Engendré t'ay ceste heureuse journée.

Demande moy, et pour ton heritage
Subjects à toy touts peuples je rendray:
Et ton Empire aura cest advantage,
Que jusqu'aux bords du monde l'estendray.

Verge de fer en ta main porteras,
Pour les dompter, et les tenir en serre,
Et s'il te plaist, menu les briseras,
Aussi aisé, comme ung vaisseau de terre.

Maintenant donc, ô vous et Roys, et Princes,
Plus entenduz, et sages devenez:
Juges aussi de terres, et provinces,
Instruction à ceste heure prenez.


Du Seigneur Dieu serviteurs rendez vous,
Craignez son ire, et luy vueillez complaire:
Et d'estre à luy vous resjouyssez touts,
Ayants tousjours crainte de luy desplaire.

Faictes hommaige au Filz, qu'il vous envoye,
Que courroucé ne soit amerement:
Affin aussi que de vie, et de voye,
Ne periss[i]ez trop malheureusement.

Car tout acoup son courroux rigoreux
S'embrasera, qu'on ne s'en donra garde.
O combien lors ceulx là seront heureux,
Qui se seront mys en sa saulvegarde!

Káldi fordítás

Hungarian.png Hungarian translation

Miért agyarkodnak a pogányok, s gondolnak a népek hiúságokat?
Fölállanak a föld királyai, és a fejedelmek egybegyűlnek az Úr ellen és az ő fölkentje ellen.
"Szaggassuk el köteleiket, és rázzuk le magunkról igájokat!"
A mennyekben lakó kineveti őket, és az Úr kigúnyolja őket.
Akkor szól nekik haragjában, és búsulásában megháborítja őket.
"Én pedig királlyá rendeltettem tőle Sionon, az ő szent hegyén, és parancsát hirdetem.
"Az Úr mondá nekem: Fiam vagy te, én ma szültelek téged.
"Kérjed tőlem, és neked adom a pogányokat örökségűl, és birtokúl a föld határait.
"Vasvesszővel fogod őket kormányozni, s mint a cserépedényt, összetöröd őket."
És most, királyok, okúljatok; tanúljatok, kik a földet itélitek.
Szolgáljatok az Úrnak félelemmel, és örvendezzetek neki rettegéssel.
Fogadjátok el a fegyelmet, nehogy valamikor megharagudjék az Úr, és elvesszetek az igaz útról;
mikor hirtelen fölgerjed az ő haragja, boldogok mindnyájan, kik benne bíznak.