The first two Psalms are the introduction to the whole book. Neither of them has an intro explaining the song’s setting or its author. In some of the older manuscripts, the first Psalm is not even numbered, as are the others. Psalms 1 and 2 are combined into one Psalm in some other ancient manuscripts. That makes sense because the first Psalm begins with a beatitude, “Blessed is the one who…,” and Psalm 2 ends with a beatitude, “Blessed are all who….” The opening beatitude speaks of “one” man. Gaebelein says, The righteous, negatively, has nothing evil in him, no fellowship with sinners. Positively, he is fully obedient and devoted to God. He then acknowledges that this one man is not any of us. He says, “The godly One is the perfect One who walked down here separated from sinners and devoted to God. He walked in obedience, in dependence on God, and communion with Him, and therefore the blessing, honor, and glory are His.” The one man in the opening beatitude is the Lord Jesus Christ.

The closing beatitude says, “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” Psalm 1 begins with the description of Jesus’ perfection. Psalm 2 ends with the transfer of that happiness, blessedness, from the one perfect man to imperfect sinners who will run to him for protection. He has taken care of their sins on the cross. When he said “it is finished,” all our sins have been taken care of, and the blessedness belonging to the righteous man of Psalm 1 is deposited in our accounts by faith.

Gaebelein adds another feature to these two Psalms and makes them prophetic for the whole nation of Israel. The blessed man of Psalm 1 transfers his righteousness to all believers in this age and depicts all of Israel’s future. He writes, “It is still more a description of what the true-believing remnant of Israel will be someday ‘like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season.’ Such is converted, redeemed Israel’s future as revealed here and by Isaiah: ‘Thy people shall all be righteous, they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified (Isaiah 60:21). We behold then in these opening verses of the Psalms the Lord Jesus Christ as the perfect Man, the individual believer in his separation and devotion, and what Israel, saved and converted, will be in the future.”[1]

[1] Gaebelein, Arno C. 2009. The Annotated Bible: Ezra to Psalms. Vol. 3. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.