Please Support the Bible Translation Work of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
Psalm 2:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 Ask of me, and I will give nations as your inheritance,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
Ask of me. That is, of God. This is a part of the “decree” or purpose, as mentioned in Psalm 2:7. That decree embraced not only the design to constitute him as his Son, in the sense that he was to be king in Zion, but also the purpose to give him a dominion embracing “the heathen” and “the uttermost parts of the earth.” This wide dominion was to be given to him on condition that he would “ask” for it, thus keeping up the idea that Jehovah, as such, is the great source of authority and empire, and that the Messiah, as such, occupies a rank subordinate to him. This relationship between the Father and Son is recognized everywhere in the New Testament. As we may be sure that the Messiah will ask for this, it follows that the world will yet be brought under his scepter. It may be added that as this wide dominion is promised to the Messiah only on condition that he “asks” for it or prays for it, much more is it true that we can hope for this and for no favor from God, unless we seek it by earnest prayer.
and I will give nations. I will give thee. That is, he would ultimately give him this possession. No time is specified when it would be done, and the prophecy will be fulfilled if it shall be accomplished in any period of the history of the world. Nations, that is, the world. In the time of the writer of the psalm, the world would be spoken of as divided into Hebrews and other nations, the people of God and foreigners. The same division is often referred to in the New Testament under the terms Jew and Gentile, as the Greeks divided all the world into Greeks and barbarians. The word would now embrace all the nations which are not under the influence of the true religion.
As your inheritance. Thy heritage; thy portion as my Son. There is an allusion here to the fact that he had constituted him as his Son, and hence it was proper to speak of him as the heir of all things. See Notes on Heb. 1:4.
And the ends of the earth. The farthest regions of the world. This promise would properly embrace all the world as then known, as it is now known, as it shall be hereafter known.
Your possession. That is, as king. This, on the earth, was to be to his possession as the Son of Jehovah, constituted as king. It may be remarked here (a) that this can have its fulfillment only in the Lord Jesus Christ. It was not true of David nor of any other Hebrew monarch that he had conceded to him, in fact, any such possession. Their dominions extended, at any time, but little beyond the bounds of Palestine and embraced a very limited part of the earth—but a small territory, even as compared with many then existing kingdoms. The phrase here used could never have been applied to the limited and narrow country of Palestine. (b) The promise is to be understood as still in full force. It has never been canceled or recalled, and though its fulfillment has seemed to be long delayed, yet as no time was specified, its spirit and meaning have not been disregarded. Events have shown that it was not intended that it should be speedily accomplished, and events, when no time is specified, should be allowed to be interpreters of the original meaning of the prophecy. (c) The promise will yet be fulfilled. It is evidently supposed in the promise that the Messiah would ask for this, and it is solemnly affirmed that if he did, this wide inheritance would be granted to him. The world, then, is to be regarded as given by covenant to the Son of God, and in due time he will set up his dominion over the earth, and rule over mankind. The period is coming when the actual scepter swayed over the nations of the earth will be that of the Son of God, and when his right to give laws and to reign will be acknowledged from the rising to the setting sun. This is the only thing in the future that is certainly known to us, and this is enough to make everything in that future bright.
By Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews