I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion - Here the Gospel shall be first preached; here the kingdom of Christ shall be founded; and from hence shall the doctrine of the Lord go out into all the earth.
Yet have I set my king - The word “yet” is merely the translation of the conjunction “and.” It is rendered in the Vulgate “but autem;” and so in the Septuagint, δέ de It would be better rendered perhaps by the usual word “and:” “And I have set or constituted my king,” etc. This is properly to be regarded as the expression of God himself; as what he says in reply to their declared purposes Psalm 2:3, and as what is referred to in Psalm 2:5. The meaning is, he would speak to them in his anger, and say, “In spite of all your purposes and all your opposition, I have set my king on the hill of Zion.” That is, they had their plans and God had his; they meant to cast off his authority, and to prevent his purpose to set up the Messiah as king; he resolved, on the contrary, to carry out his purposes, and he would do it. The word rendered set - נסך nâsak - means, literally, to pour, to pour out, as in making a libation to the Deity, Exodus 30:9; Hosea 9:4; Isaiah 30:1; then, to pour out oil in anointing a king or priest, and hence, to consecrate, to inaugurate, etc. See Joshua 13:21; Psalm 83:11; Micah 5:5. The idea here is, that he had solemnly inaugurated or constituted the Messiah as king; that is, that he had formed the purpose to do it, and he therefore speaks as if it were already done. The words “my King” refer, of course, to the anointed One, the Messiah, Psalm 2:2. It is not simply a king, or the king, but “my king,” meaning that he derived his appointment from God, and that he was placed there to execute his purposes. This indicates the very near relation which the anointed One sustains to him who had appointed him, and prepares us for what is said in the subsequent verse, where he is called His Son.
Upon my holy hill of Zion - Zion was the southern hill in the city of Jerusalem. See the notes at Isaiah 1:8. It was the highest of the hills on which the city was built. It was made by David the capital of his kingdom, and was hence called the city of David, 2 Chronicles 5:2. By the poets and prophets it is often put for Jerusalem itself, Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 8:18; Isaiah 10:24; Isaiah 33:14, et al. It did not obtain this distinction until it was taken by David from the Jebusites, 2 Samuel 5:5-9; 1 Chronicles 11:4-8. To that place David removed the ark of the covenant, and there he built an altar to the Lord in the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite, 2 Samuel 24:15-25. Zion became thenceforward the metropolis of the king dom, and the name was transferred to the entire city. It is to this that the passage here refers; and the meaning is, that in that metropolis or capital God had constituted his Messiah king, or had appointed him to reign over his people. This cannot refer to David himself, for in no proper sense was he constituted or inaugurated king in Jerusalem; that is, there was no such ceremony of inauguration as is referred to here. Zion was called the “holy hill,” or “the hill of my holiness” (Hebrew), because it was set apart as the seat of the theocracy, or the residence of God, from the time that David removed the ark there. That became the place where God reigned, and where his worship was celebrated. This must refer to the Messiah, and to the fact that God had set him apart to reign over his people, and thence over all the earth. The truth taught in this passage is, that God will carry forward his own purposes in spite of all the opposition which men can make, and that it is his deliberate design to make his anointed One - the Messiah - King over all.