Psalm 2:7 – An Eternal Today?

[Bibles: USA * Bibles: Canada * Bibles: United Kingdom]

[The Trinity’s Weak Links Revealed]

[The Companion Bible]

Psalm 2:7 – I declare concerning a statute: Jehovah said unto me, `My Son Thou [art], I to-day have brought thee forth. — Young’s Literal Translation

It is sometimes claimed, especially by trinitarians, that this scripture is saying that Jesus’ begettal is, to quote one trinitarian, “an eternal act, inside the glorious Godhead, without beginning, and without ending.” Another claims that the “orthodox” reader should understand Psalm 2:7 as: “Thou art My Son, I have eternally begotten Thee.” Another claims that in Psalm 2:7, the word “today” “denotes not one of ‘man’s days’ but is to be understood as ‘God’s day’, ‘the day of eternity’. Another states that it is “Christ’s Eternal generation from the Father.” Another states: “This likely points to the eternal generation of Christ.”

Is that what Psalm 2:7 is saying, that Jesus’ begettal is forever “today”, and thus is an eternal act? We need to be careful, if we would be led by the spirit, that we follow what God has revealed by means of his holy spirit in the scriptures, and not take any scripture in isolation. We should compare spiritual revealing with spiritual revealing. — 1 Corinthians 2:13.

The direct application of Psalm 2:7 to Jesus that God has given through his holy spirit as revealed in the scriptures is to the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus, and it is related to his being made a high priest, which did not occur while he was yet in the days of his flesh. (Acts 13:32,33; Hebrews 1:4,5; 5:5; 8:1,2,4) If the Hebrew word for begotten used here means a begettal in eternity, in view of the revealed application of this scripture, the question would be asked: Is Jesus forever in a stasis of eternally being raised as the first one brought forth from the dead? — Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5.

Actually Psalm 2:7 offers no proof of the trinity, and the idea that it refers to an eternal begettal outside of time has to be added to and read into the verse, and that in contradiction to the application of the scripture in the New Testament.

David is the one who wrote Psalm 2 (Acts 4:25); thus, some believe its first application could be to David. If so, this shows that “begotten” is also used here in the sense of ‘brought forth.’ But if its primary application is to David, yet the scriptures reveal that its greater application is to Jesus.

Some have claimed that this scripture was fulfilled when Jesus was born as a human; nevertheless, some of our trinitarian neighbors often give this scripture the thought that Jesus is “eternally” begotten of the Father in support of their trinity doctrine, although, like everything else pertaining to the trinity, such an idea has to be read into what is stated here.

This scripture is quoted three times in the New Testament, and not once is it given any thought of being begotten in eternity or outside of time. Some often think that this scripture is quoted by the Father when Jesus was baptized (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22), but there is no direct indication of this. There are also some other scriptures in the Gospels that some have thought to be quoted from Psalm 2:7, but actually there is no clear indication that such is the case: Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35.

Acts 13:32 And we declare to you glad tidings–that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ — New King James Version

In Acts 13:32,33, Paul applies Psalm 2:7 to when Jesus was raised from the dead. This agrees with Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 1:5, where Jesus is spoken of as the “firstborn” from the dead, the first to be begotten, brought forth, from the dead. Yet the special application also appears to relate to Jesus’ being exalted as result of his being raised out of death.

Hebrews 1:5 – For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”? — New King James Version.

Hebrews 1:5 quotes from both Psalm 2:7 and indirectly from 2 Samuel 7:14; 1 Chronicles 17:13; 22:10, the latter three of which were originally spoken of Solomon. Nevertheless, Jesus is the main one in whom these are fulfilled, as the promised seed of the house of David, to sit on the throne of David. — 2 Samuel 7:16; Psalm 89:35-37; Jeremiah 33:15-21; Luke 1:27,32,33; Revelation 22:16.

To what event was Paul applying this in Hebrews 1:5? If we read the verse before (Hebrews 1:4), we might get an idea: “having become so much better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they have.” When did Jesus become so much better than the angels? After he was raised from the dead as a mighty spirit being, for while he was yet a man in the flesh, he was a little lower than the angels. (Hebrews 2:9; 5:7) Thus Paul agrees here with what he stated in Acts 13:32,33, where he applies Psalm 2:7 to when Jesus was raised from the dead, although one could give it a pre-application from the time he was anointed with the holy spirit as a token, earnest, or down payment, in a way similar to manner that it is applied to the church. — 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:13,14.

Again, when was Jesus made such a high priest? While on earth in the flesh? No. “For if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, seeing there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law.” (Hebrews 8:4) Thus “we have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tent, which the Lord pitched, not man.” — Hebrews 8:1,2.

Thus, as a result of Jesus’ being raised, God exalted him to His right hand, which brought Jesus into the position as described in Hebrews 1:4,5.

This is not to say that Jesus was not God’s Son as his offspring before his baptism or his resurrection. He was “brought forth” as a son at his original creation, for if the angels were called “sons of God”, he certainly was also the firstborn son of God — the firstborn of all creation. — Proverbs 8:24-26; Job 38:7; Colossians 1:15.

Further, he was conceived as God’s Son (by means of God’s spirit) in Mary’s womb. (Matthew 1:20; Hebrews 10:5) Gabriel announced to Mary that Jesus will be called Son of God before Jesus is born. (Luke 1:35) Matthew applies the prophecy of God’s son coming out of Egypt to Jesus when he was yet a young child. (Matthew 2:15) That Jesus recognized that he was God’s Son before being baptized can be seen by his statement when he was twelve: “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” — Luke 2:49

The following are some of the scriptures that indicate that Jesus was God’s son before coming to the earth: Proverbs 30:4; Mark 12:26; John 1:18; 8:28,38; 17:5,24; Romans 8:3; 1 Corinthians 8:9; Galatians 4:4; 1 John 4:9.

Nevertheless, the scriptures give direct application of Psalm 2:7 only to Jesus’ being raised out of death.

Many translations say in Psalm 2:7, as well as Hebrews 1:5: “Today I have become your father.” Some have inquired as to why we disagree with these translations. We first note that neither the Hebrew of Psalm 2:7 nor the quotations in the Greek NT, have the word “father” in the text within the phrase being translated. Some would, despite the application of Psalm 2:7 in the NT to the resurrection of Jesus, like to add the word “Father” into the verse, as it would seem to give support to “eternal generation” idea, that is, that Jesus is eternally begotten outside of time. However, in view of what we have presented above, we conclude that it should not be translated: “Today I have become your Father!” because this leads to a false impression that before the begettal being spoken, Jehovah was not the father of Jesus.

The Hebrew *Yalad* carries several different thoughts, as can be seen by the following definitions of the word:

1. to bear, bring forth, beget, gender, travail
–a. (Qal)
—-1. to bear, bring forth 1a
–b. of child birth 1a
–c. of distress (simile) 1a
–d. of wicked (behaviour)
—-1. to beget
–e. (Niphal) to be born
–f. (Piel)
—-1. to cause or help to bring forth
—-2. to assist or tend as a midwife
—-3. midwife (participle)
–g. (Pual) to be born
–h. (Hiphil)
—-1. to beget (a child)
—-2. to bear (fig. – of wicked bringing forth iniquity)
–i. (Hophal) day of birth, birthday (infinitive)
–j. (Hithpael) to declare one’s birth (pedigree)

Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius. “Hebrew Lexicon entry for Yalad”.
“The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon”.

In view of the context, we conclude that the word is being used in Psalm 2:7 as meaning “to bring forth”. One could say it is a “figurative” birth, but it is still a bringing forth into being, in the case as applied, to Jesus’ being brought forth as the first one to be be born from the dead.  See Job 15:35; Psalm 7:14, 90:2; Isaiah 26:14; 51:18 and Zephaniah 2:2 where the KJV renders the word as “brought forth”, in which the context shows that it is not referring to a literal birth, as being born from a female.

Strictly speaking, it could be rendered “become a father to.” However, to so render it can change the whole meaning in the eyes of many, if one reads such as though it were saying that Yahweh was not a father to Jesus before his resurrection. (Acts 13:32,33) If applied to David, it would have to be an acknowledgment of his being brought forth, born, so to speak, as the King of Israel, not of an actual birth. However, the heathen were never given to David in his lifetime, so the full application of this must be to the Son of David. Nor could it be speaking of Solomon, since Solomon never received the heathen as an inheritance either. Thus the true application belongs to Jesus, and that is the way the apostle Paul applies it, and that to the time of his resurrection, not to be an alleged eternal “today”. Whoever one may wish to apply the verse to, “today” designates a point in time, not an eternity of “today” in which Jesus (or David) is alleged to be today forever in the past, today now, and today forever in the future, being begotten, or in an eternal stasis of being begotten as the Son of God. Jesus, was, however, brought forth, raised up, made alive, in the spirit, and to him all things have been given, made subject, to him. (Ephesians 1:20-23; Philippians 2:9; 1 Peter 3:18) Not until after Jesus’ ascension were Gentiles allowed to be part of the church. In due time, during his millennial rule, the age to come, when Satan will not be around to deceive the heathen (Revelation 20:1-4), Jesus will use the power and authority that has been given to him to bring the heathen into subjection, to the glory of God. — Isaiah 2:2-4; Philippians 2:10,11.

See our study on “The Restoration of All Things

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 Jesus and His God

1 comment to Psalm 2:7 – An Eternal Today?