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Psalm 2:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Happy are all who take refuge in him.
 “Kiss the son.” (נַשְּׁקוּ־בַ֡ר nashshequ bar.) Here we have the Aramaic bar used not the Hebrew ben. LXX “accept correction” VG “learn discipline”
Kiss the Son. Him whom God hath declared to be his Son (Psalm 2:7), and whom, as such, he has resolved to set as King on his holy hill (Psalm 2:6). The word kiss here is used in accordance with Oriental usages, for it was in this way that respect was indicated for one of superior rank. This was the ancient mode of doing homage or allegiance to a king, 1 Sam. 10:1. It was also the mode of rendering homage to an idol, 1 Kings 19:18; Hos. 13:2; Job 31:27. The mode of rendering homage to a king by a kiss was sometimes to kiss his hand, or his dress, or his feet, as among the Persians. De Wette. The practice of kissing the hand of a monarch is not uncommon in European courts as a token of allegiance. The meaning here is that they should express their allegiance to the Son of God or recognize him as the authorized King, with suitable expressions of submission and allegiance; that they should receive him as King and submit to his reign. Applied to others, it means that they should embrace him as their Savior.
Lest he be angry. If you do not acknowledge his claims and receive him as the Messiah.
And you perish in the way. The word in here is supplied by the translators. It is literally, “And ye perish the way.” See Notes on Ps. 1:6. The meaning here seems to be either “lest ye are lost in respect to the way,” that is, the way to happiness and salvation; or “lest ye fail to find the way” to life; or “lest ye perish by the way,” to wit, before you reach your destination, and accomplish the object you have in view. The design seems to be to represent them as pursuing a certain journey or path—as life is often represented (comp. Ps. 1:1)—and as being cut down before they reached the end of their journey.
When his wrath is quickly kindled. When his wrath burns. Applying to anger or wrath a term that is common now, as when we speak of one whose anger is heated or who is hot with wrath.
Quickly. This probably refers to time and not to the intensity of his anger. This accords better also with the connection, for the design is not to state that there will be degrees in the manifestation of his anger, but that his anger would not long be delayed. In due time he would execute judgment on his enemies, and whenever his anger began to burn, his enemies must perish.
Happy are all who take refuge in him. Kings, princes, people;—all, of every age and every land; the poor, the rich, the bond, the free; white, black, copper-colored, or mixed; all in sickness or health, in prosperity or adversity, in life or in death; all, of every condition, and in all conceivable circumstances,—are blessed who put their trust in him. All need him as a Savior; all will find him to be a Savior adapted to their wants. All who do this are happy (comp. Notes on Ps. 1:1); all are safe in time and in eternity. This great truth is stated everywhere in the Bible, and to induce the children of men—weak, and guilty, and helpless—to put their trust in the Son of God, is the great design of all the communications which God has made to mankind.
By Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews
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