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Acts 13:13-38 by Robert Dean
Scripture has seen many translations. The study of the origins of these translations is key to understanding their accuracy related to the inspired text. Here Paul presents Jesus to a Jewish audience, weaving Old Testament promises through his message which are fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Could a fuzzy translation compromise the fact that these verses are meant to be Messianic? Take a careful look at the clarity of promise in these Messianic passages. Develop the meaning of begotten, the shared natures of God and His Son, the timing of the Messiah’s reign on earth and the imagery in these passages which present Jesus as Messiah and clearly show His relationship to the Father.

Messianic, Begotten, Forgiveness, Justification
Acts 13:13-39

 

We're in Acts, chapter 13.  We'll move around tonight a little bit but somebody sent me an amusing little cartoon the other day.  I just thought I'd share with everyone.  The cartoon shows a little mouse character who says, "Well, I haven't gone to church in a long time."  His friend says, "Oh, yeah.  Why is that?"  The mouse answers, "I'm perfect now."  [A lot of people think that.]  "Of course," his friend says.  The mouse says, "It sure has freed up a lot of time to get drunk watching football."  Just did that in honor of the Super Bowl the other night. 

Okay, Acts, chapter 13. Focus on these Messianic prophecies and promises in the Old Testament. This is important to get under our belt.  You should understand a few key passages in the Old Testament.  Some of you who have been around a while should be able to list off the top of your head three or four passages from the Old Testament that give clear messianic predictions. The foremost one in your mind should be what?  Anyone want to hazard a guess?  Okay, is it going to be in a long book or a short book?  Early book or late book?  Want to get those brain cells working tonight. By this time the person you're going to witness to is gone!  You missed out! The answer is Isaiah 53.  Now there are two psalms that are really important for Messianic prophecies that are the most frequently cited. They are Psalm 2 and Psalm 110. If we were back in Hebrews which we studied a few years ago those verses showed up several times each in the epistle to the Hebrews as the writer weaves together Psalm 110 and Psalm 2:7. These are fundamental verses for grasping a lot of different features related to the Messianic kingship or the divine kingship of the Messiah and the deity of Christ.  We need to look at those. 

Psalm 2:7 is quoted and cited here in Acts 13. These aren't easy verses to deal with and the reason is because our English translations are not the best of the Hebrew text but not only do we have that problem but the Hebrew text has been altered by virtue of Masoretic interference. If you're really interested in this topic go back and listen to a series I did at Christmas at 2010, or maybe 2009, dealing with Messianic prophecies. The inspired original Hebrews was written just in consonants, without vowels.  But when the Masoretes who were scribes in the early church age period and were responsible for copying and preserving the text and organizing and maintaining the text of the Hebrew scriptures as Christianity made greater and greater inroads into the Jewish community, the rabbis had a terrible time trying to protect their fortress and to keep Christians from using Hebrew scriptures to act as if they actually predicted Jesus. There were several places where they sort of messed around with the words by changing the vowel points. This is what happened in the early part of the Christian era in order to preserve the pronunciation of the Hebrew words, the Masoretes developed a system of putting points which were sometimes a single dot, or three dots, or two dots, or a vertical or horizontal line under a letter and those stood for vowels and you could change a word simply by changing the vowel points that were under the word. 

It's just like in English. If you take the word "here" and the word "hear" and you just write the consonants they both are spelled identically as "hr". But if you originally have the vowels as "here" and you change them to "hear", you've changed the meaning of the word. "Hear" is completely different from the word "here" so there are places in Messianic prophecies where key words were monkeyed with by changing the vowel points to change the meaning of the word.  We'll see in Psalm 110:3 that it just changes the meaning of the verse completely.  In fact, it basically makes that verse untranslatable.  It just doesn't make sense.  You can translate it but it makes no sense in context.  It's just gobble-d-gook.  Many Christian scholars believe this was an intentional effort on the part of the Masoretes to change the meaning of the text so it would not have an obvious Messianic reference and be related to a Messianic prophecy. 

So we have to deal with some of those issues and we have to understand these things.  That means writing little notes down in the margin of your Bible so you can relate to those things.  As we look at the context, what Paul is saying to the synagogue in Acts 13 has as a background the Abrahamic Covenant, just to review you.  In the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 12: 1-13 God promised Abraham a specific piece of real estate, "This land I will give to you and your generations in perpetuity." He promised that there would be a seed that he would give Abraham descendants, and through his seed all nations would be blessed. So he promises a third thing, a worldwide blessing. So three components to the Abrahamic covenant are land, seed, and blessing. Later on all three of these aspects of the Abrahamic covenant are expanded in their own independent covenants. 

The land covenant is expanded in Deuteronomy 30 which begins in that first verse talking about a covenant different form the one given at Mount Horeb which is another name given for Mount Sinai. So if it's not the one given at Mount Horeb which would be the Mosaic covenant, it's a different covenant. This is a covenant related to the promise that God made that Israel would eternally possess the land. Now they wouldn't enjoy possession unless they were rightly related to God spiritually but the ownership of the land, the title of the land, was theirs forever. If they were disobedient God would remove them from the land. In the Old Testament we have an example of this where God brought in first the Assyrians in 722 B.C. to remove the northern kingdom of Israel. Then in 586 B. B. the southern kingdom of Judah was defeated by the Babylonians and most, but not all of the Jews were deported into other nations and removed from their historic homeland.  But they never lost title to the land. The Assyrians followed their policy of repopulating the land by redistributing other defeated populations into areas they conquered and that way, they dispersed these ethnic groups so they couldn't join together in a revolt and so they brought in a lot of ethnic groups form around the Empire and repopulated the area of the northern kingdom. 

But there were still members of those northern kingdom ten tribes in the area. They had fled south to Judea during the invasion by the Assyrians so you didn't lose the ten tribes.  That's one of those historic myths that they're the lost ten tribes.  I don't know, maybe some historian lost them because he doesn't believe the Bible but they weren't lost. God knew where they were but the Bible is very clear that they moved south when they saw the Assyrians coming. They evacuated their homes and they moved south and therefore all those tribes had remnant groups that continued in the land. Then in 586 B.C. they were removed. Now for seventy years they were out of the land but they still had ownership of the land.  That's demonstrated historically because God brought them back to the land and the people that had come in during the intervening period, had no rights to the land. 

Now that was a seventy year period but it sets an historic precedent for a second time when the Jewish people would be out of the land.  It wasn't seventy years this time.  It's almost two thousand years from A.D. 70 until the early part of the twentieth century.  If the Jewish people still owned the land and still had a right of return in 538 B.C., they still have the right of return in 1948 A.D. and it doesn't matter what the U.N. says, it doesn't matter what the European Union says, it doesn't matter what any Arab leader says, the only people who have the title deed to that piece of real estate are the people who God says have the title to it and that's the Jewish people. 

That's the only piece of real estate in the whole world where God has guaranteed a title deed.  Americans don't have a right to our land.  The British don't have a Divine right to their land. The Germans don't have a Divine right to their land. The Russians don't have a Divine right to their land. The Japanese, the Chinese, nobody else has a Divine right to their piece of real estate. There's only one piece of real estate on the whole planet that God has given a Divine contract to and has sworn to and as a matter of fact, that's that piece of real estate between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean that God has given to the Jewish people. That's the land covenant. 

The second covenant promised an eternal descendant to David that would sit on his throne forever and ever.  The eternal aspect of that indicated that whoever fulfilled that would have eternality as part of their character which would indicate and hints at deity that would be a Divine king. That's important for understanding our passage. And then there was a promise of a new nature that comes when the New covenant is put into effect. The New covenant is said to be between God and Judah and Israel. It's never said to be with the church. When God said when He brought that into effect there would be a new heart among all of the Jewish people. This doesn't occur until the Messianic king comes to establish His kingdom. When you look at all the different passages related to the New covenant, the ideas are present in a number of other passages, they all come into existence at the time when the king takes His throne, when He is crowned a king and He takes His place upon the throne of David.

Now that's also important, this coronation imagery, the crowning of the king and establishing Him upon the throne, are inherent to these passages that Paul is using in Psalm 2. So we have to understand that. The Abrahamic covenant is a backdrop to what Paul says in Acts 13. The Davidic covenant is also a backdrop. There are three passages. 2 Samuel 7: 12-16 is the primary passage. Psalm 89 is a meditation upon the Abrahamic covenant. 1 Chronicles 17:11-14 is the parallel passage in Chronicles for the Davidic covenant. God promised David an eternal house, an eternal kingdom, and an eternal throne. This is a kingdom, a house, and a throne without end. So this is the foundation. We see this connection in these verses. 

We're starting not quite where I left off last time. We're backtracking just a little bit to make sure some points are made. In Acts 13:32, Paul says, "And we preach to you the good news.." which is represented by one word in the Greek euaggelizo [e)uaggelizw] which is a first person plural which is where you get the 'we' and aggelizo [a)ggelizw] is to announce good news, to announce good tidings, to announce good information bringing you a great message. Now that is then defined in the next phrase as the promise. What is the good information? There is an end dash between "tidings" and "that". Some times editors will use an end dash; sometimes they'll use a colon but what that is indicating is that the next phrase which begins with "that" is an explanation of the content of the good message, the good news. The good news is about the promise that was made to the fathers. 

Now if you're an American and you're patriotic and you hear "the fathers" you may think of the Founding Fathers in 1776.  But if you're Jewish, sitting in a synagogue in the 1st century and you hear the reference to the fathers you're going to think of the fathers of the nation of Israel, the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The emphasis is on the male line because it is the male line that is going to end with the male descendant who is the heir of David, the king, and the Messiah. 

Sometimes you get folks today who get all upset because you leave out the women. They think God is a misogynist. Well you have two options here. Either God is a misogynist, in which case He is a sinner and all out of sorts and God is really a nasty, evil God or the people have their mentality all twisted out of shape and there're nasty and evil because they have distorted the role of women and men. The reality is that people, human beings because of sin, have their sense of priorities and sense of identity all corrupted because of sin. They're the ones that are out of order. So the promise was made to the fathers. This is a statement that is very common to the Apostle Paul. We've studied these passages before in other series but I want to just point some of these things out to you. 

First of all I want you to turn in your Bible to Romans, chapter 4. We're just going to take a little tour. We've done some of this recently in our Romans series.  Notice in Romans 4:13, we have a use of this word "promise", "For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the word was not through the Law.." Paul is emphasizing there that receiving the promise which had to do with the promise God made to Abraham through the Abrahamic covenant related to the Israelites and to justification and future salvation. The realization of that promise was not only on the basis of human obedience through the Law but to the righteousness of faith. That is simply trusting and believing God, that He would give it. 

This is the basis in verse 9 where Paul says "Is this blessing [in verse 8] then on the circumcised or on the uncircumcised also? For we say faith was credited [accounted or imputed] to Abraham for righteousness." In other words, you can't be righteous enough to get the blessing of the promise but you receive it when you trust in Christ as Savior. So the promise to be heir of the world which has to do with salvation was not to Abraham or to his seed through the Law. That's the point. The promise wasn't to be realized through the Law but through the righteousness that comes from faith. 

In verse 14, Paul went on to say, "For if [and they're not] those who are of the Law [those who get there through good works like Judaism] are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified.." It's either faith or works, as far as Paul is concerned and that's true in the Old Testament.  He's going to give a classic example here. In verse 15, he says, "Because the Law brings about wrath [condemnation] for where there is no law, there is no violation." Verse 16, "For this reason it is by faith that it might be according to grace so that the promise might be sure to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law [Jews}, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all." Let's skip down to verse 18, "In hope against hope he believed so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken. So shall your descendants be. Without becoming weak in faith, he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform." This is where Abraham mixes his faith with the promise of God, and realizing it's of God's grace that he's going to receive the promise. Now that's Romans 4. 

He says the same things in Galatians 3. There are three representative verses here but the passage is much broader than these.  Let's get the context starting in verse 13, "Christ redeemed us [purchased us, paid the price for us] from the curse of the Law.." Now the curse of the Law was that unless you were completely clean you couldn't get into the presence of God and no animal sacrifice could do that. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law having become a curse for us—for it is written, "cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

Now what's interesting is that if you do a word study on the word promise which is the word translated promise and you run that in the New Testament that word promise relates to two things, basically.  One is the promise that Jesus made in Acts 1 of the coming of the Holy Spirit which occurs in Acts 2.  So that's one promise that's referred to but that's a New Testament promise. The other use of the word promise is what we see in Romans 4, Galatians 3, and Ephesians 2 which relates to the promise to Abraham. So those are the two main big promises which you have in the Bible: the promise to Abraham in the Old Testament and the promise of the Holy Spirit coming upon believers in the New Testament. 

So if you skip down to Galatians 3:16, Paul writes, "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed." Now notice he says the text in the Old Testament does not say to "seeds" [plural, as of many}. This is one reason we believe in verbal inspiration, each word whether it's singular or plural is significant because Paul looks back and says it doesn't say "seeds" [plural}. You can't mess around just because you don't like maybe the case or the number or something else grammatically about the word. Every word is what it is because that's what the Holy Spirit intended.  It doesn't say "seeds as of many" but "as of one" and "to your seed which is Christ."  So Christ is the one who becomes the effective agent of bringing about the promise of the blessing. He goes on to say in verse 17, "What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise." 

So if the promise was made to Abraham based on faith, that's 430 years before the Law, so the Law is not significant for realizing the blessing because the Law is against grace. So the Law is out; it's not important for salvation. The Abrahamic covenant doesn't have its fulfillment under the Law but in the coming of Christ. Then he says in verse 18, "For if the inheritance is based on Law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise." That's his logic. It's grace, grace, grace. God freely gives us, based upon His character, based upon who Jesus Christ is and based upon what He did upon the cross. That's the key, remembering that. Okay, so Galatians 3 reiterates his emphasis on the promise. 

Let's just do a flyby here on Ephesians 2. Two verses. Ephesians 2:12, "that you [gentiles] were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise.." Covenants of promise: the Abrahamic covenant, the Land covenant, the Davidic covenant, the New covenant, those covenants according to Romans 9 belong to the Jewish people forever and ever and ever. They are eternal covenants and so the Gentiles are considered strangers because they weren't part of the covenant contract. They're not party of the first part which was God or party of the second part which was Israel. 

Verse 12 continues, "Having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."  So we become partakers of the promises of Abraham by virtue of our position in Christ.  Okay, that's why Paul emphasizes this thing again and again and again. When we're saved, we're identified with Christ, we're made part of His body, and by virtue of that, we become heirs of the promise. 

One other verse is Exodus 12:25 which is the first use of the word promise in the Old Testament. "When you enter the land which the Lord will give you, as He has promised.."  Who did He promise it to?  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Abrahamic covenant, "then you will keep this service." So contextually when you do a word study on this word "promise" as it is used in Romans 4, Galatians 3,  Ephesians 2 and 3, it relates back to that Abrahamic covenant promise. Now, this is what Paul is doing.  He's talking to a Jewish audience that is extremely familiar with the contents of the Old Testament. Now most of the time when you and I are talking to anyone, especially of a Jewish background, they're as ignorant of the Old Testament as gentiles are unless they happen to come out of some sort of Orthodox background or training where they've really been taught more. They're just like a blank slate, as it were. What Paul does in Acts 13, he's going to start weaving these Old Testament predictions together for us. He says there's been the Abrahamic covenant and the Davidic covenant. 

Then he said in verse 33, "That God has fulfilled this promise to our children.." Whom are their children?  To whom does this refer? That refers to the descendants of the fathers so this is addressed to Jews. He's addressing a Jewish audience and he's trying to connect the dots for them to show that Jesus fulfills these promises.  He's using the basic word group here from pleroo [plhrow] which is used again and again to indicate scriptural fulfillment. He uses a perfect tense verse. Now that's important because it shows that he's referencing from action that's been completed in the past with the results that continue. So God fulfilled, at some point in the past, completely fulfilled this with reference to us, their children "in that He raised up Jesus.." He uses the standard word for resurrection anastasis [a)nastasij].  So now he's making his point.  He's changed from the promise to the confirmation of the promise. What confirms the promise? It's the resurrection. See, the resurrection is important, not in reference to the work of salvation but in terms of the application and implication of salvation to people. 

So now he says by connecting it to another level that this resurrection, showing that it was predicted in the Old Testament,  he goes to Psalm 2.  He quotes Psalm 2:7 which reads, You are My Son, Today I have begotten You." The word that is translated into the Greek of the Septuagint, sometimes gets a little technical. I run into this again and again and again.  In fact, a man sent me an email today with some questions so I talked to him on the phone. He was telling me that he teaches a small group up in Idaho.  He said that this group came out of a somewhat charismatic background. They never had any serious Bible teaching. They'd been part of a church that sort of dwindled and died so he's got a remnant of about ten or twelve people who meet in his home. He's been teaching them and he's been live streaming and listening to us for the last couple of years. He said, "You've got to realize that this was all new for this people three or four years ago when they realized that the King James Bible wasn't really that great of a translation." That rocked their faith."

I remember last year when we had Ron here from Kiev and he was talking about textual criticism. He had a seminar down in Pasadena at an independent Baptist Church, I believe, on the history of the Bible. He came by the house to pick up a book that afternoon. He was shaking his head and he said, "These people had no idea the Bible wasn't originally written in English." Now we laugh about things like that but the sad thing is these people make up the majority of evangelical Christians. It's sad because we have pastors who don't know much better and they can't teach them and train them. We need to be in prayer that God will raise up young men who will have a passion to know the Word of God and will get off their rear end and will go to seminary and get training to fill pulpits and teach people. 

There are a lot of people, I think, who are really hungry. It's just that they've been starved to death by ignorant shepherds and ignorant pastors. We need to pray that we will have a new generation of young men who would have the spiritual courage to go get training and to trust the Lord for their life and not to be so concerned about the physical, logistical sustenance for themselves and their families but would go to seminary and get trained. It's just really sad. The average evangelical today is just not very bright and they make decisions based upon this abysmal ignorance. A friend of mine, Ed Hines who is a professor at Liberty Bible College and he's a strong independent Baptist, said one year when we were in Greece, "You know, you've got to love the Baptist people. They've wonderful people but their theology is a mile wide and an inch deep and think they think it's an inch wide and a mile deep." That's our problem. People think they know the Bible and they're ignorant and they have no humility. That is why the evangelical church in America is failing and that is why we're coming under judgment in time from God because people don't want to know the truth. So we have all kinds of problems. 

Now this verse comes out of the Old Testament, "You are My Son.  Today I have begotten You." When you read that in English, a couple of questions should occur to you. When is today? When is this said? When is this spoken? When is the today that's mentioned in the verse? And what does it mean to say "I have begotten You." If you look at the Greek, it is a perfect active indicative of gennao which refers to a completed past action. So at the time this is spoken it would be understood as "today I have already begotten you."  So it's not talking about the time in which the begottening takes place. But this word is used in another important Old Testament psalm and we have to see the connection between the two and that's the one I mentioned earlier, Psalm 110: 3. So let's turn there because we have to connect some of these dots. 

We've done that in some other ways, in past series especially when I talked about the whole issue of the Ascension of Christ to the right hand of the Father and the significance of that ascension to our present power and position in Christ. That is something, if you've never studied that, it's heavy, but you need to master that if you want to get out of diapers. Psalm 110:1 is a verse that is quoted in the New Testament probably more than any other Old Testament passage. It's quoted in Matthew 22:44 and in the parallel passages in the Gospels. It's quoted in all three of the synoptics. It's quoted in Acts 2 in Peter's sermon. It's quoted in 1 Corinthians 15:25. It's quoted in Hebrews 1:13 and 1 Peter 3:22 and it's quoted here. The last phrase here relates to our quote in Acts 13.

So in Psalm 110:1, "The Lord says to my Lord.." Now who is the first Lord?  If you look at your English text the first Lord is upper case. That is always a translation of the sacred Tetragrammaton, the proper name of God, Yahweh. It's wrongly translated as Jehovah. Jehovah is really a compound word made up of the four consonants of the sacred Tetragrammaton, the holy name of God and then, because the Jews didn't want to pronounce that, in antiquity they would pronounce adonai. They put under the consonants of Yahweh the Hebrew vowels of adonai and that's where they got this yehovah. That's where they got those vowels but that's not a real word. They wrote the vowels there in order to remind people to say adonai and not to read the word out. 

Today, in modern times, you will find Jews using a circumlocution yaschem which means the name so when they see the name of God there they read yaschem and they refer to God as "the name". So we have the first Lord is Yahweh, the second Lord is the word adonai so here you have two divine beings discussing something. The first one says to the second one, "Sit at My right hand." Now some people say the Jews were monotheists buy the monotheism of the Old Testament wasn't a singular monotheism. That came later in post-second temple rabbinical Judaism. It wasn't there to begin with.  It's not here. You have two divine beings who are in a unity so the first one says to the second one, who is the Messiah, "Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies Your footstool."

This occurs immediately after the ascension of Christ.  God the Father, Yahweh, tells God the Son to sit and wait. We're going to wait out a period of time and that's the church age and when that comes to completion there will be a judgment on the earth like nothing there has ever been. That's what we call the tribulation or Daniel's seventieth week when that ends, based on Daniel, chapter 7. That's when the kingdom is going to be given. That is when the second one will receive His kingdom.  His enemies will be made His footstool at the Battle of Armageddon. The point I want to remind you of is there's this huge battle that occurs just prior to the coronation and installation of the king. 

The second verse says, "The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter [a rod of your strength] from Zion, saying, 'Rule in the midst of Your enemies.'" In the second verse a rule is represented as being established through harsh means, strong discipline, "The rod of your strength" and it is ruling in the midst of Your enemies. The Messiah will establish His kingdom in the midst of hostility. He will put down the revolt of the kings of the earth. Then I want to get to the verse I want to focus on. "Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power. In the holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew." Anybody want to volunteer and tell me what it means, "from the womb of the dawn, you have the dew of your youth." No idea what that means. It doesn't even make sense in English.

 ((CHART))  What I have up here, do you see anything in here about birth?  Nothing.  Okay. Now notice what's at the bottom of the chart.  The word on the left is YaLDuTeyKa.  Remember in Hebrew you only have consonants in the original text. What I did was capitalize the consonants. So what you had was YLDTK. Now if you look at the second word, you have the same consonants but the first word has different vowels from the second one. They are different words. Same consonants, different vowels which make them different words. The first word represents the vowels the Masoretes inserted when they were putting together the text in the 7th, 8th, 9th century A.D. The word on the right is translated as "to give birth" which gives a completely different meaning to the verse. So if you look at it that way, then Psalm 110 becomes translated something like the Septuagint translation. I'm not just pulling this out of my head because I'm a Christian and I want to translate this the way I want to translate this for a Christian. The second reading there is the way the rabbis who translated the Septuagint in the 2nd century before Christ into Greek translated it. So the way they translated it into Greek indicates that they saw the second reading, not the first reading. So we have an historical witness from the time of Christ and before that read and translated this verse in a completely different way from the way it's translated by the 8th and 9th century A.D. Now why did they change the translation later on?  Because they wanted to stifle the influence of Christians who were claiming this was Messianic prophecy.

The Septuagint is translated, "In majestic holiness from the womb of the dawn, I have begotten You." Think about that. Quite a different sentence but it makes a lot more sense. The Lord [God the Father] said to My Lord [The Messiah], "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool. The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, Rule in the midst of Your enemies. Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power, in Holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew."  What does the term "womb of the dawn" mean?  It means from eternity past, from the beginning of the beginning. That's the imagery of the dawn. So the Messiah King, the Divine King, is stated to be begotten from the womb of the dawn. Now this relates this back also to Numbers 24: 17 which talks about there will be star coming forth from Jacob, from the tribe of Jacob. That is this birth relationship there. All I want to show here is the connection to this word begotten from yalad showing that Psalm 110 presents the Messianic king as a divine king seated at the right hand of God the Father awaiting a future victory. 

What we have is the ascension of Christ, who goes up through the first and second heavens, to the third heaven and there he sits in a position of passivity at the right hand of God the Father.  This is not His own throne.  He has not been enthroned yet. He is sitting there until something. He's waiting for something. Until God the Father is going to defeat His enemies and give Him the kingdom.  That's yet future from now. It hasn't happened now. That's the backdrop for understanding Psalm 2. 

So hold your place here and let's go to Psalm 2. I know that all of this get complicated and I will review part of this again next time because I won't get all of this in tonight.  Psalm 2 is one of the greatest Messianic psalms in the Old Testament. It's quoted several times in the New Testament. It starts off with a question, focusing on the fact there is a military conflict taking place on the earth and the nations are raging, the kings are gathering for battle against the Lord's anointed. Now the Lord here is mentioned in verse 2, an upper case Lord.  That refers to Yahweh, and against his mashiyach, His Messiah. 

What the kings of the earth are saying is what's reported in verse 3. "Let us tear their fetters apart.." In other words they want to throw off all of this God Stuff.  They think, "God just wants to keep us from having fun. He doesn't want to let us run our life the way we want to; He doesn't want us to run the kingdoms on the earth the way we want to. You know, God, doesn't believe in global warming and we think global warming is right so we've got to get rid of God.  God doesn't like gay marriage, so we have to get rid of God because He won't let us have gay marriage. God is for the ownership of private property. We're for socialism so we've got to get rid of God because God won't let the kings have the money. He wants the people to have the money.  God is in favor of self-defense so He wants people to have weapons to defend themselves and the government says it wants to be the real messiah who protects the people."  So the kings want to throw off divine mandates and divine government. So what their representatives are saying is "Let us tear their [God's} fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!" 

Then there's a pause. Verse 4 says, "He who sits in the Heavens, laughs." That's God. He's laughing at these puny little politicians. He's laughing at the Democrats. He's laughing at the Republicans and at all the Christian socialists. He's saying, "Christian socialists? What an oxymoron." Christian socialism is neither Christian nor socialism. It's just an abortion of politics but that's what runs and has destroyed Europe. So God is laughing at all these things. He's laughing at the Marxists and the Stalinists and the "Chicoms" and everybody else. "The Lord scoffs at them [holds them in derision}." God doesn't respect diversity. God hates diversity because diversity is human beings, the creature, asserting themselves over against God.  He hates that so He laughs at them.  God has no respect for rebellious creation.

Verse 5, "Then He will speak to them in His anger [Divine judgment] and terrify them in His fury.  In verse 6 God speaks, "But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain."  Now has God set His king on Zion yet? No, it didn't happen at the First Advent, it's not happening now, it's in the future. So that tells us the setting of this psalm is sometime in the future when the kings of the world are engaged in a massive military campaign against God.  Same situation we have referenced in Psalm 110:2.  Now we come to our verse, Psalm 2:7 where Messiah speaks, "I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord. He said to me, "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You" So sometime in the future God, the Son, is going to take charge and when He is crowned king and takes the throne, He will remind the world of the decree that God made with reference to Him from eternity past. 

 Verse 7, "I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord.  He said to Me, You are my Son.  Today I have begotten You." Now when did this begottenness take place?  In eternity past.  But today is referencing the declaration of His begottenness. We just have a couple of minutes left so I need to hit this kind of quick. "I will declare the decree." This is the Messiah talking,  "the Lord has said to Me. You are my Son. Today I have begotten You." We have to look at that verb begotten. What that's telling us is something very significant. Once again we have to look at it and recognize that when you look at the vowels that are put in there, although all the grammar and the lexicons say this should be in what is called the qal stem, which is the basic usage stem in Hebrew, but it could easily also be understood as a hipel and the hipel is the causative stem.  Either way both stems, which is what you need to take away from this, both stems are used to indicate a declaration of something. It's not saying today I have begotten you but it's saying today I declare you are the begotten one. That's an important difference. It's not talking about birth. Begotten is not a term for birth pangs. It's a term for indicating a distinct relationship of nature. It may involve being born but its focus is on a son having the same nature as the father.  Here we're seeing that the Son has the same eternal divine nature. The One begotten has the same eternal divine nature as the one making the declaration. So the Father/Son language here is to be understood as figurative, not literal. 

This is unlike Mormonism which says that God [Elohim] came down and had sex. That's not what this is talking about. This is talking about God, the Father, who is representing His relationship to the second person of the trinity as one of a relationship of essence. The pagan religions all had the gods having sex with humans or one another but never in Hebrew. They wouldn't stand for that. That was blasphemy so the term "you are my son" indicates that the nature of the son is the same as that of the father. What we have in this passage is an implied comparison or metaphor between the coronation of the king where the crowning of the king at the beginning of His reign is being used as analogous to birth as the beginning of life. So this is the beginning of reign of the king. 

The declaration is a declaration related to the beginning of the Messiah's reign on the earth. Now this is quoted in the same way in Hebrews 1, having the same sense. The verb 'begotten' is used also in John1:18, "No one has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." That only with "begotten" indicates a unique class of the word, that this is a uniquely generated person, not born but generated. That is the exact language that was used in the Nicene Creed to emphasize the fact that Jesus was begotten and not made. Begotten does not mean created; it doesn't mean made; it doesn't mean birth; it means generated, an eternal generation is the way the ancient church fathers clarified this. This is a declaration that is made with reference to the beginning of the Messiah's reign on the earth. 

I'm just going to stop there. That gives us the core meaning Paul is referencing in Acts 13. Because you're not Jewish and I'm not Jewish, we don't have a lot of in-depth facility with the Old Testament theology on these passages. We have to spend a lot of time just explaining this quote that Paul has from Psalm 2:7 and Acts 13:33 so that the significance of this verse makes some sense for us because he starts off first of all in verse 32 that what he's proclaiming is a fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise. Yet in verse 33 he's going to connect this to David and to the Davidic king Messiah and the Messianic rule of Psalm 2:7. Then when we get to verse 34, he's going to connect that to the resurrection in Isaiah 53.  I'll hit all of this again in review and try to pull this together.