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Psalm 2:3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 “Let us tear off their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
Let us tear off their bonds apart. The bands of Jehovah and of his Anointed. They who are engaged in this combination or conspiracy regard Jehovah and his Anointed as one and as having one object—to set up dominion over the world. Hence, they take counsel against both; and, with the same purpose and design, endeavor to cast off the authority of each. The word bands here refers to the restraints imposed by their authority. The figure is probably taken from fastening a yoke on oxen or the bands or cords which were used in plowing—the bands of the yoke being significant of their subjection to the authority or will of another. The same figure is used by the Savior in Matt. 11:29: “Take my yoke upon you.” The idea here is, that it was the purpose of Jehovah and his Anointed to establish a dominion over men, and that it was equally the purpose of the kings and rulers here referred to that it should not be done.
And cast away their cords from us. The same idea under another form—the cords referring not to that which would bind them as prisoners, but to the ropes or thongs which bound oxen to the plow; and, hence, to that which would bind men to the service of God. The word translated cords is a stronger word than that which is rendered bands. It means properly what is twisted or interlaced and refers to the usual manner in which ropes are made. Perhaps, also, in the words “let us cast away,” there is the expression of an idea that it could be easily done: that they had only to will it, and it would be done. Together, the expressions refer to the purpose among men to cast off the government or God, and especially that part of his administration that refers to his purpose to establish a kingdom under the Messiah. It thus indicates a prevalent state of the human mind as being impatient of the restraints and authority of God, and especially of the dominion of his Son, anointed as King.
The passage (Psalm 1:1-3) proves—(1) that the government of Jehovah, the true God, and the Messiah or Christ, is the same; (2) that opposition to the Messiah, or to Christ, is, in fact, opposition to the purposes of the true God; (3) that it may be expected that men will oppose that government, and there will be agitation and commotion in endeavoring to throw it off. The passage, considered as referring to the Messiah, had an ample fulfillment (a) in the purposes of the high priests, of Herod, and of Pilate, to put him to death, and in the general rejection of him by his own countrymen; (b) in the general conduct of mankind—in their impatience of the restraints of the law of God, and especially of that law as promulgated by the Savior, demanding submission and obedience to him; and (c) in the conduct of individual sinners—in the opposition of the human heart to the authority of the Lord Jesus. The passage before us is just as applicable to the world now as it was to the time when the Savior personally appeared on the earth.
By Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews