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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 7–9
Verses 7–9

We have heard what the kings of the earth have to say against Christ’s kingdom, and have heard it gainsaid by him that sits in heaven; let us now hear what the Messiah himself has to say for his kingdom, to make good his claims, and it is what all the powers on earth cannot gainsay.

I. The kingdom of the Messiah is founded upon a decree, an eternal decree, of God the Father. It was not a sudden resolve, it was not the trial of an experiment, but the result of the counsels of the divine wisdom and the determinations of the divine will, before all worlds, neither of which can be altered—the precept or statute (so some read it), the covenant or compact (so others), the federal transactions between the Father and the Son concerning man’s redemption, represented by the covenant of royalty made with David and his seed, Ps. 89:3. This our Lord Jesus often referred to as that which, all along in his undertaking, he governed himself by; This is the will of him that sent me, John 6:40. This commandment have I received of my Father, John 10:18; 14:31.

II. There is a declaration of that decree as far as is necessary for the satisfaction of all those who are called and commanded to yield themselves subjects to this king, and to leave those inexcusable who will not have him to reign over them. The decree was secret; it was what the Father said to the Son, when he possessed him in the beginning of his way, before his works of old; but it is declared by a faithful witness, who had lain in the bosom of the Father from eternity, and came into the world as the prophet of the church, to declare him, John 1:18. The fountain of all being is, without doubt, the fountain of all power; and it is by, from, and under him, that the Messiah claims. He has his right to rule from what Jehovah said to him, by whose word all things were made and are governed. Christ here makes a tow-fold title to his kingdom:—1. A title by inheritance (Ps. 2:7): Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. This scripture the apostle quotes (Heb. 1:5) to prove that Christ has a more excellent name than the angels, but that he obtained it by inheritance, Ps. 2:4. He is the Son of God, not by adoption, but his begotten Son, the only begotten of the Father, John 1:14. And the Father owns him, and will have this declared to the world as the reason why he is constituted King upon the holy hill of Zion; he is therefore unquestionably entitled to, and perfectly qualified for, that great trust. He is the Son of God, and therefore of the same nature with the Father, has in him all the fulness of the godhead, infinite wisdom, power, and holiness. The supreme government of the church is too high an honour and too hard an undertaking for any mere creature; none can be fit for it but he who is one with the Father and was from eternity by him as one brought up with him, thoroughly apprized of all his counsels, Prov. 8:30. He is the Son of God, and therefore dear to him, his beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased; and upon this account we are to receive him as a King; for because the Father loveth the Son he hath given all things into his hand, John 3:35; 5:20. Being a Son, he is heir of all things, and, the Father having made the worlds by him, it is easy to infer thence that by him also he governs them; for he is the eternal Wisdom and the eternal Word. If God hath said unto him, “Thou art my Son,” it becomes each of us to say to him, “Thou art my Lord, my sovereign.” Further, to satisfy us that his kingdom is well-grounded upon his sonship, we are here told what his sonship is grounded on: This day have I begotten thee, which refers both to his eternal generation itself, for it is quoted (Heb. 1:5) to prove that he is the brightness of his Father’s glory and the express image of his person (Ps. 2:3), and to the evidence and demonstration given of it by his resurrection from the dead, for to that also it is expressly applied by the apostle, Acts 13:33. He hath raised up Jesus again, as it is written, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. It was by the resurrection from the dead, that sign of the prophet Jonas, which was to be the most convincing of all, that he was declared to be the Son of God with power, Rom. 1:4. Christ is said to be the first-begotten and first-born from the dead, Rev. 1:5; Col. 1:18. Immediately after his resurrection he entered upon the administration of his mediatorial kingdom; it was then that he said, All power is given unto me, and to that especially he had an eye when he taught his disciples to pray, Thy kingdom come. 2. A title by agreement, Ps. 2:8, 9. The agreement is, in short, this: the Son must undertake the office of an intercessor, and, upon that condition, he shall have the honour and power of a universal monarch; see Isa. 53:12; Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, because he made intercession for the transgressors. He shall be a priest upon his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both, Zech. 6:13. (1.) The Son must ask. This supposes his putting himself voluntarily into a state of inferiority to the Father, by taking upon him the human nature; for, as God, he was equal in power and glory with the Father and had nothing to ask. It supposes the making of a satisfaction by the virtue of which the intercession must be made, and the paying of a price, on which this large demand was to be grounded; see John 17:4, 5. The Son, in asking the heathen for his inheritance, aims, not only at his own honour, but at their happiness in him; so that he intercedes for them, ever lives to do so, and is therefore able to save to the uttermost. (2.) The Father will grant more than to the half of the kingdom, even to the kingdom itself. It is here promised him, [1.] That his government shall be universal: he shall have the heathen for his inheritance, not the Jews only, to whose nation the church had been long confined, but the Gentiles also. Those in the uttermost parts of the earth (as this nation of ours) shall be his possession, and he shall have multitudes of willing loyal subjects among them. Baptized Christians are the possession of the Lord Jesus; they are to him for a name and a praise. God the Father gives them to him when by his Spirit and grave he works upon them to submit their necks to the yoke of the Lord Jesus. This is in part fulfilled; a great part of the Gentile world received the gospel when it was first preached, and Christ’s throne was set up there where Satan’s seat had long been. But it is to be yet further accomplished when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ, Rev. 11:15. Who shall live when God doeth this? [2.] That it shall be victorious: Thou shalt break them (those of them that oppose thy kingdom) with a rod of iron, Ps. 2:9. This was in part fulfilled when the nation of the Jews, those that persisted in unbelief and enmity to Christ’s gospel, were destroyed by the Roman power, which was represented (Dan. 2:40) by feet of iron, as here by a rod of iron. It had a further accomplishment in the destruction of the Pagan powers, when the Christian religion came to be established; but it will not be completely fulfilled till all opposing rule, principality, and power, shall be finally put down, 1 Cor. 15:24; Ps. 110:5, 6. Observe, How powerful Christ is and how weak the enemies of his kingdom are before him; he has a rod of iron wherewith to crush those that will not submit to his golden sceptre; they are but like a potter’s vessel before him, suddenly, easily, and irreparably dashed in pieces by him; see Rev. 2:27. “Thou shalt do it, that is, thou shalt have leave to do it.” Nations shall be ruined, rather than the gospel church shall not be built and established. I have loved thee, therefore will I give men for thee, Isa. 43:4. “Thou shalt have power to do it; none shall be able to stand before thee; and thou shalt do it effectually.” Those that will not bow shall break.

In singing this, and praying it over, we must give glory to Christ as the eternal Son of God and our rightful Lord, and must take comfort from this promise, and plead it with God, that the kingdom of Christ shall be enlarged and established and shall triumph over all opposition.