Q: Does Psalm 2:12 really say "kiss the son"? My Jewish Bible reads, "pay homage in good faith."

A: The Hebrew of this verse (nashku var) has been debated for over 2000 years. On a translation level, it is difficult to know for sure how to most accurately render this phrase. Is it pure Biblical Hebrew, or is it laced with Aramaic? If its early Hebrew, then it should likely be translated “show sincere homage” or “worship purely”, but if its an Aramaicly-influenced Hebrew then likely it should be translated “kiss” or “pay homage to the son”. This is just one of those passages that’s hard to translate with certainty. I’ve pasted many of the translations below, including the Septuagint (LXX), the Vulgate, and Origen’s. Whether it should be translated as “kiss the son” or “show sincere homage” is irrelevant to the meaning of the psalm though, since the one to whom homage is paid is that messianic figure described as “son” (v.7), “king” (v.6), and “anointed one” (v.2). The point is that we are to embrace him and take refuge in him. On an interpretive level, we believe that the anointed one/king/son mentioned here is manifested in the person of Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth, whom we embrace as Messiah, King, and Son of God.

KJV Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son,

ASV Psalm 2:12 Kiss the son,

NIV Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son,

NAS Psalm 2:12 Do homage to the Son,

NAU Psalm 2:12 Do homage to the Son

RSV Psalm 2:12 kiss his feet,

NRS Psalm 2:12 kiss his feet,

NKJ Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son,

WEB Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son

DRA Psalm 2:12 Embrace discipline,

YLT Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Chosen One,

NAB Psalm 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear; with trembling bow down in homage,

NLT Psalm 2:12 Submit to God's royal son,

NJB Psalm 2:12 with trembling kiss his feet

LXX Psalm 2:12 Draxasthe paideias (Accept correction)

HEB Psalm 2:12 Nashku var

VUL Psalm 2:12 adprehendite disciplinam (Greek-based Latin Vulgate)

 

VUO Psalm 2:12 adorate pure (Hebrew-based Latin Vulgate)