When a Kiss is not a Kiss – Nashqu Bar “Kiss the Son?”

Of the many “proof” texts in the King James Bible used by Christians to signify Jesus as Messiah King, Psalm 2:12 lifts itself right out of context and beckons to be dealt with. As many wrongly interpreted texts, when studied contextually there is a significant and apparent glitch.

If we look at the entirety of chapter two of Book of Psalms, we will see that it is speaking of a time when the nations (גוים goyim, translated “heathen” in KJV) form a conspiracy against those who are referred to as the anointed (משׁיחו mashechu is plural for משׁיח mashiach) of LORD.
The plot thickens as the nations try to cut off this anointed people. G-d laughs as he contemplates what he is going to do. (verse 4-5). In verse six, he sets up a king in Zion, his “holy mountain.”

‘Truly it is I that have established My king upon Zion, My holy mountain.’
(Psalm 2:6 Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917).

The king is not one and the same as the anointed plural from earlier in the chapter. This king is appointed by G-d at the time the nations are angry with Israel. In chapter 7, He declares to this king: “you are my son.” בני אתה. (Notice the rendering of the words here “my son.“)

“I will tell of the decree: the LORD said unto me: ‘Thou art My son, this day have I begotten thee.”
(verse 7)

Now who is this? (the LORD said unto me), Who is “me”? Who wrote the Psalm? Who is speaking? Is David the Messiah King? Other prophecies of the coming messiah or prince refer to him as David.

In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old.
(Amos 9:11 Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
(Hosea 3:5 Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
(Ezekial 37:24 Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

After telling the appointed king that he will inherit the nations and make him to rule over them with a rod of iron (verses 8-9) he gives instruction to the kings of the nations about the correct attitude that they must have:

10 Now therefore, O ye kings, be wise; be admonished, ye judges of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage in purity lest He be angry, and ye perish in the way, when suddenly His wrath is kindled. Happy are all they that take refuge in Him.

(Psalm 2:12 Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

KJV, NKJV and many other Bibles translate verse 12 this way:

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Suddenly it is “the son”/king who is to be kissed (or worshiped) rather than LORD. That gives the idea that the son (there are no capitalization of names in Hebrew language) is the one spoken of here. It gives credence to the Christian viewpoint of Jesus being the Messiah and son of G-d. But if the passage is seen as it is written in Hebrew, this is not the case. One small maneuver has changed all of this! We remember that in verse 7 when the king is called “my son”, the Hebrew is בני אתה (beni atah) for “you are my son.” In verse 12, what has been interpreted as “kiss the son” is נשׁקו בר (nashqu bar). Why would the author use the Hebrew word בני, beni first and then use the Aramaic word for the same meaning just 5 verses later?
Also, the word translated “kiss”, “nashqu, is not nashach (to kiss) but comes from the same root and can mean other things.

For בר, bar to mean “son” it would have to be an Aramaic word, not a Hebrew word. The Hebrew meaning of בר is clean, or purity. But is there any credibility to this as an Aramaic word? The entire passage is written in Hebrew. Why would they borrow one Aramaic word? Since בר has a meaning in Hebrew, why not use that as the source of interpretation?

© 2012 Jonathan Axelsson
אתר הבית של יונתן
Twitter @tzedaqyal

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About Meadow of Tzedaqyal

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 1881-1955)
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