Psalm 2, says

I will declare My decree,
"You are my son; today I have begotten you."...

"kiss the son, lest he be angry and you perish in the way,
when his wrath is kindled but a little;
blessed are all those who put their trust in him."

What is the Jewish understanding of who the "son" is in Psalm 2?


I. Scripture prior to this passage speaks of sons of God:

A. Either godly men/angels:
1. Genesis 6:2
2. Genesis 6:4

B. Angels:
1. Job 1:6
2. Job 2:1
3. Job 38:7

C. Israel/Israel's king/Solomon:
1. 2 Samuel 7:14
2. 1 Chronicles 22:10

  • 1
    Sarah, your edit to the question made it a completely different question which would have invalidated existing answers. Instead of changing the question here, please ask a new question.
    – Daniel
    May 30, 2016 at 13:34
  • 1
    I'd say it's on-topic, answerable, and clear. It's not clear why you say the son is "anointed".
    – Daniel
    May 30, 2016 at 16:01

2 Answers 2


Judaism often relates to descriptions such as son and father as metaphorical, regarding the relationship between God and the Jewish people.

The daat mikra Tanach explains the psalm to be divided into 4 parts with different speakers, verses 1-3 being the non Jewish nations, 4-6 being God to the nations 7-9 being the king relating God's words to him and 10-12 being the king talking to the nations.

Traditionally (based on chazal) the whole psalm is a description of conversations and rebuke to the non Jews between God the nations and the king mashiach. Specifically, in verse 6 God refers to his prince, or annointed one, the mashiach. However, there are also other understandings (e.g. Rashi) that read the psalm as a description of one of David's wars, to remind the Jews about to fight another nation of God's protection for them.

Specifically regarding verse 7, in the messianic understanding, as I hinted to earlier, daat mikra explains the references to son as follows (description/translation of the commentary mine):

...God said to me, you are to me as a son and from now on to the future I will be considered your father (rather than your actual father).

In other words, the Jewish king, or mashiach, is being described as a metaphorical son; this is a device used throughout Tanach.

Additionally, the translation you have should not read "Today I have given birth to you" rather it's a (metaphorical) description of the future; "I have given birth" (past tense) combined with"today" means from now on.


The following thorough Hebrew exposition explains why the final verse should not be translated "kiss the son": http://thejewishhome.org/counter/Psa2.pdf He points out that nowhere else in the Psalms is Aramaic used, so why with this one word translate it as though Aramaic (son) instead of Hebrew purity.

As is always the case, truth is much more beautiful than fiction.
This means the focus is not on the son in the final verse, but on pure worship of YHWH.

Serve YHWH with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Do homage in purity, lest He become scornful and you perish in the way, for in a flash His anger will kindle; happy are all who take refuge in Him.

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