2 Samuel Chapter 22
Verses 1-51: David’s song of praise here is almost identical to Psalm 18. This song also has many verbal links to Hannah’s prayer (see note on 1 Sam. 2:1-10), and together with it forms the framework for the books of Samuel. This song focuses on the Lord’s deliverance of David from all his enemies, in response to which David praised the Lord, his deliverer (verses 2-4). The major part of the song (verses 5-46), states the reason for this praise of the Lord. David first describes how the Lord had delivered him from his enemies (verses 5-20), then declares why the Lord had delivered him from his enemies (verses 21-28), then states the extent of the Lord’s deliverance from his enemies (verse 29-46). The song concludes with David’s resolve to praise his delivering Lord, even among the Gentiles (verses 47-51; see notes on Psalm 18:1-50 for a more detailed explanation).
2 Samuel 22:1 “And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day [that] the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:”
The linguistic features of the psalm attest to its antiquity. It is almost identical to Psalm 18, which has been specifically edited for use in the Israelite liturgy. This psalm is included here as a matter of historical record, much as Moses’ song of deliverance (in Exodus 15).
“All his enemies” (compare 7:1, 9, and 11). David composed this song toward the end of his life when the Lord had given him a settled kingdom and the promise of the Messianic seed embodied in the Davidic Covenant.
This is the very same song that is given (in Psalms chapter 18). This is a song of thanksgiving. The song itself is written by David. Notice, this song is for the LORD.
Verses 2-4: This introduction contains the sum and substance of the whole psalm, as David extols God as his defense, refuge and deliverer in the many experiences of his agitated life.
“For the “Lord” as a “rock” and a “horn of …. Salvation” (see the notes at 1 Sam. 2:1-2; and compare verse 32).
2 Samuel 22:2 “And he said, The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;”
“Rock” (see notes on 1 Sam. 2:2; Deut. 32:4).
“Fortress”: This term had previously been used to describe the citadel of Jerusalem (5:9), and the cave of Adullam (1 Sam. 22:1).
The LORD had been all of these things to David. The LORD, as the Rock, is the basis for the teaching of building your house upon the Rock.
Deuteronomy 32:4 “[He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.”
It was from the Rock in the wilderness that the water flowed from and fed the multitude. David had experienced the LORD as his fortress, when he was hunted by Saul. The LORD was his Deliverer when He delivered him over and over from harm’s way.
2 Samuel 22:3 “The God of my rock; in him will I trust: [he is] my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence.”
“Shield” (see Gen. 15:1; Deut. 33:29).
“Horn” (see note on 1 Sam. 2:1).
“High tower”: A secure, lofty retreat that the enemy finds inaccessible. As such, the Lord is the refuge of His chosen one, secure from all hostile attacks.
There is a state of rest and trust that we can all have, if we believe in Jesus to the utmost. David has obviously found that place. His faith has become so strong, that it has become trust. Trust is a place of rest in the LORD. He is aware that the LORD is his Rock that he must build upon to have that solid foundation. He knows that he cannot trust in man, just in the LORD. He knows the LORD builds a hedge around him and protects him, and is therefore, his shield.
The “horn” symbolizes strength. There is great strength in the assurance of salvation. The fact that he has risen above the world, makes the LORD his high tower. It is the strength of the LORD that makes it possible to rise above the mire of the world, when the world seems to close in around us or David. We can be like David and run to our refuge, the LORD. He saves from violence.
Psalms 91:7 “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee.”
2 Samuel 22:4 “I will call on the LORD, [who is] worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”
(See Psalm 18:3).
David very early on, discovered that when he called on the LORD, there was no way to fail. David inquired of the will of the LORD before undertaking a battle. His only failure was when he listened to his flesh, instead of obeying the commands of the LORD. David was totally aware that his success was because of the strength of the LORD within him. He would continually praise the LORD for his greatness. Another reason to praise the LORD is the fact that He inhabits the praises of his people. It is the LORD who saved David from his enemies.
Verses 5-7: David described how he cried to the Lord in the midst of his distress.
Pictured as violent floods of water like waves ready to break over him and traps set by a hunter to snare him, David faced the reality of imminent death in his personal experience, most frequently when pursued by Saul, but also in Absalom’s conspiracy and in certain wars (see 21:16).
2 Samuel 22:5 “When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;”
(In Psalms 18), “The sorrows of death,” in the Authorized Version, but literally “the bands of death”. The word is entirely different, and the variation can hardly have been accidental. The form here accords better with the parallelism of the next clause.
2 Samuel 22:6 “The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;”
“The sorrows of hell”: The word may no doubt mean pangs, as it is translated in the Septuagint, but is better explained of the cords or nets of the hunter. Hell is Sheol (Greek Hades), the mysterious unseen world, ready to seize and swallow up its victim (see note on 1 Sam. 2:6).
This chapter is a psalm of praise; we find it afterwards nearly as (Psalm 18). They that trust God in the way of duty shall find him a present help in their greatest dangers. David did so. Remarkable preservations should be particularly mentioned in our praises. We shall never be delivered from all enemies till we get to heaven. God will preserve all his people (2 Tim. 4:18). Those who receive signal mercies from God ought to give him the glory. In the day that God delivered David, he sang this song. While the mercy is fresh, and we are most affected with it, let the thank-offering be brought, to be kindled with the fire of that affection. All his joys and hopes close; as all our hopes should do, in the great Redeemer.
2 Samuel 22:7 “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry [did enter] into his ears.”
“Distress”: The particular trouble David was referring to was the potential of his imminent death (verses 5-6).
“His temple”: God’s heavenly dwelling place (Psalms 11:4; 29:9).
There are so many lessons in this song that David gives, that can apply to our life right now. If we could only understand that when we are facing an angry world, and even when we are facing death, that our help is in the Lord. We have not, because we ask not. Help is just a prayer away. God always hears the prayers of his people. The one thing that could separate David from other people in the Bible was his great love for the LORD.
Verses 8-16: In reaffirming the great majesty of God, David described His coming in power from heaven to earth (Exodus 19:16-20; Ezek. 1:4-28; Hab. 3:3-15).
2 Samuel 22:8 “Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.”
See the note at (Judges 5:4-5).
(Verses 8-16), may be drawn from a group of songs commemorating the Lord’s triumphal march from Mount Sinai to the Jordan River at the time of the conquest (Deut. 33:1-2; Judges 5:4-5; Psalms 18:7-10; 68:7-8; 77:16-18; 144:5-6; Hab. 3:2-15).
2 Samuel 22:9 “There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.”
This song, which is found with scarcely any material variation as (Psalm 18), and with the words of this first verse for its title, belongs to the early part of David’s reign when he was recently established upon the throne of all Israel. And when his final triumph over the house of Saul, and over the pagan nations (2 Sam. 22:44-46), Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, Ammonites, and Edomites, was still fresh (2 Sam. 21).
2 Samuel 22:10 “He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness [was] under his feet.”
The dark canopy of storm cloud, which is the pavement under His feet (Nahum 1:3); lowers as He descends to judgment. God is said to come down when He manifests His power in the world (Genesis 11:7; 18:21; Isa. 64:1). Darkness symbolizes the mystery and terror of His Advent (Exodus 19:16; 20:21; 1 Kings 8:12; Psalm 97:2).
The one thing I want us to see in this is that this is not a description of the power of the devil; this is the wrath of God. When the wrath of God comes against an unrepentant people, there are earthquakes, volcanoes, and storms of every kind imaginable. We must remember that the fire and brimstone sent on Sodom and Gomorrah was from the LORD on a sinful people, who would not repent. Our God is a consuming fire, as well as a loving Father.
2 Samuel 22:11 “And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind.”
Psalms 18, “he did fly.” The two words are exceedingly alike in the Hebrew, and either could easily be mistaken for the other. The form in the psalm is far more poetical.
2 Samuel 22:12 “And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, [and] thick clouds of the skies.”
Psalms 18, more fully, “He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him was dark waters.” A word appears to have dropped out here, and in the second clause the margin, “binding (or gathering) of waters” is a more exact translation, the word differing in one letter from that used in the psalm.
2 Samuel 22:13 “Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled.”
Rather, Out of the brightness. The psalm (with the same correction), is fuller, and perhaps the more exact representation of the original: “Out of the brightness before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.”
God is in control of all of the elements of the world. He commands the wind and the rain. His presence with the children of Israel was known by the smoke by day and the fire by night. We do know the presence of God in the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle had cherubims at each end of the mercy seat. God is a Spirit. He does not need to ride on anything, but this is David’s way of expressing the omnipresence of God. He knows the presence of God is there when needed, but this is the way he explains His immediate arrival.
2 Samuel 22:14 “The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.”
“The Lord thundered” (see note on 1. Sam. 7:10).
When the voice comes from heaven to someone, he understands what the voice is saying. Others, standing around, will just think it thundered.
2 Samuel 22:15 “And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.”
God sent lightning as arrows upon the enemies along with violent thunder, and threw them thereby into confusion. To throw into confusion, and thereby to destroy, is the standing expression for the destruction of the foe accomplished by the miraculous interposition of God (Exodus 14:24; 23:27; Joshua 10:10; Judges 4:15; 1 Sam. 7:10). To the thunder there were added stormy wind and earthquake, as an effect of the wrath of God, whereby the foundations of the sea and land were laid bare. I.e., whereby the depth of the abyss and of the hell in the interior of the earth, into which the person to be rescued had fallen, were disclosed.
The song contained in this chapter is the same as the eighteenth Psalm, where the full commentary will be given. It may be sufficient simply to remark that Jewish writers have noticed a great number of very minute variations in the language of the song as recorded here, from that embodied in the Book of Psalms. Which may be accounted for by the fact that this, the first copy of the poem, was carefully revised and altered by David afterwards, when it was set to the music of the tabernacle. This inspired ode was manifestly the effusion of a mind glowing with the highest fervor of piety and gratitude, and it is full of the noblest imagery that is to be found within the range even of sacred poetry. It is David’s grand tribute of thanksgiving for deliverance from his numerous and powerful enemies, and establishing him in the power and glory of the kingdom.
Many times the enemies of the people of the LORD experience terrible lightning and thundering in the midst of battle. This is the LORD fighting for His people.
2 Samuel 22:16 “And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.”
Psalms 18, “of waters.” There are several such slight differences between (2 Sam. 22:15-16), and the parallel verses in the psalm, which mark the two as distinctly different recessions. The most striking change is that of the last pronoun from “his” to “thy in the psalm, as appropriate to its use in public worship.
David is speaking of the nostrils of the LORD opening the Red Sea.
Exodus 15:8 “And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as a heap, [and] the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.”
Verses 17-20: In personalizing what he just said (in verses 8-16), David explained how God reached down from heaven to save him on the earth.
2 Samuel 22:17 “He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters;”
Stretched out His hand and caught hold of the sinking man, and drew him out of the floods of calamity which were engulfing him (compare 2 Sam. 22:5; Psalm 144:7).
2 Samuel 22:18 “He delivered me from my strong enemy, [and] from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.”
This inspired ode was manifestly the effusion of a mind glowing with the highest fervor of piety and gratitude, and it is full of the noblest imagery that is to be found within the range even of sacred poetry. It is David’s grand tribute of thanksgiving for deliverance from his numerous and powerful enemies, and establishing him in the power and glory of the kingdom.
The “many waters”, in the verse above, speak of the mass of David’s enemies. David is very well aware that it was the LORD who had reached down from heaven and took him out of his place of great danger.
2 Samuel 22:19 “They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.”
They encountered me, the same word (as in 2 Samuel 22:6), meaning to meet with hostile intention. Prevent is used in a sense which illustrates the transition from the original meaning ‘to go before’ to the modern meaning ‘to hinder.
2 Samuel 22:20 “He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.”
“He delighted in me”: This expression that the Lord was “pleased” with David (15:26). Provided a transition to (verses 21-28), where David described the basis of God’s saving deliverance.
“Stay” in the verse above, is speaking of a support. David is assured that his supernatural protection that he received from the LORD was because of God’s love for him.
Verses 21-25: David was not claiming to be righteous or sinless in any absolute sense. Rather, David believed God, was considered righteous by faith, and desired to please the Lord and be obedient to His commands. Thus, he was blameless when compared with his enemies.
2 Samuel 22:21 “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.”
“According to my righteousness”: This is no vain-glorious boasting of his own merits, but a testimony to the faithfulness of Jehovah to guard and reward His faithful servants. David does not lay claim to a perfect righteousness, but to sincerity and single-heartedness in his devotion to God. Compare his own testimony (1 Sam. 26:23), God’s testimony (1 Kings 14:8), and the testimony of history (1 Kings 11:4; 15:5), to his essential integrity.
Is not this conscious rectitude, this “princely heart of innocence,” a clear indication that the Psalm was written before his great fall?
“The cleanness of my hands”: The purity of my actions (compare Psalm 24:4).
2 Samuel 22:22 “For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.”
He goes on to substantiate the assertion of the preceding verse. Attempted nothing without his commandment.
2 Samuel 22:23 ” For all his judgments [were] before me: and [as for] his statutes, I did not depart from them.”
God’s commandments were continually present to his mind as the rule of life (compare Deut. 6:6-9; Psalm 119:30; 119:102).
“His statutes, I did not depart from them”: The psalm, by a very slight change in the original, has “I did not put away his statutes from me.” The former is the more common form, the latter suits better the parallelism here.
2 Samuel 22:24 “I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.”
“Upright”: Or perfect (as in 2 Sam. 22:31; 22:33). It expresses the sincerity of undivided devotion. As a sacrificial term it signifies without blemish, and so the Septuagint renders it here (for which compare Eph. 1:4; Col. 1:22).
“Have kept myself from mine iniquity”: I have watched over myself that I might not transgress. Some see further in the words the recognition of an inherent tendency to sin, or an allusion to some special temptation, but the simple explanation is best.
2 Samuel 22:25 “Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.”
The assertion of (2 Sam. 22:21), is repeated as the conclusion to be drawn from the review of his conduct (in 2 Sam. 22:22-24), and is confirmed in the following verses by a consideration of the general laws of God’s moral government.
This is speaking of the life that David lived before he met Bath-sheba. He was righteous in the sight of the LORD. He did not have sinful hands. He is correct in saying at that time; he had not departed to worldly ways. Not only did God love David, but David’s heart was stayed upon the LORD. David is absolutely sure that the wonderful protection and blessings from God came because of his relationship with the LORD. At that time, David was totally obedient to the LORD.
Verses 26-28: David stated the basic principles that the Lord follows in delivering or judging people.
2 Samuel 22:26 “With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful, [and] with the upright man thou wilt show thyself upright.”
“The merciful”: Or pious: the word includes love to God as well as to man (see note on 1 Sam. 2:9, and Matt 5:7).
“The upright man”: Literally the upright hero: the man who is valiant in maintaining his integrity.
In (verses 26–28), is the law of God’s dealings with men. The truth here enunciated is that God’s attitude towards men is regulated by men’s attitude towards God (compare 1 Sam. 2:30; 15:23). Not (though this is also true), that men’s conceptions of God are the reflection of their own characters.
2 Samuel 22:27 “With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavory.”
“With the pure”: Properly one who purifies himself (compare 1 John 3:3; Matt. 5:8; Psalm 73:1).
“You will show yourself unsavory”: Better, perverse. The man, who is froward, morally distorted and perverse, is given over by God to follow his own perverseness, till it brings him to destruction (compare Lev. 26:23-24; Rom. 1:28; Rev. 22:11). And as an illustration, compare the history of Balaam (Num. 22:20).
2 Samuel 22:28 “And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes [are] upon the haughty, [that] thou mayest bring [them] down.”
“Afflicted … haughty”: For the idea that the Lord saves the humble, but brings low the proud (see also 1 Sam. 2:4-7).
This verse is reminiscent of the themes found in Hannah’s song (in 1 Sam. chapter 2). God in His sovereignty creates reversals in human experience, exalting the poor and humble and bringing down the proud.
All of this is saying that whatever you do to others will be done to you. What you sow, you reap. David is fully aware to receive blessings from God; he must bless others around him who is God’s creation.
Verses 29-46: Empowered by God (verses 29-37), David was able to gain total victory over his enemies (verses 38-43), both in Israel and throughout the nations (verses 44-46).
2 Samuel 22:29 “For thou [art] my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.”
“For the “Lord” as a “lamp” (see Psalm 27:1).
“My lamp”: David as the “lamp” of Israel (see note on 21:17), reflected the light of the glory of God, who was the “Lamp” of David himself.
The Lord is the Light of the world.
John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Ephesians 5:8 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”
2 Samuel 22:30 “For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.”
Two memorable events in David’s life seem to be here alluded to: The successful pursuit of the predatory “troop” of Amalekites which had sacked Ziklag (1 Sam. 30 and in 2 Sam. 22:8; .22:15; 22:23). The same word “troop” is used of the Amalekites: And the capture of Zion, effected with such ease that he seemed to have leapt over the walls which its defenders trusted were impregnable (2 Sam. 5:6-8).
“Run through”: Better, run after. The point is the speed of the pursuit, not the completeness of the defeat.
We know this is true, because David was in the midst of Saul’s troop of soldiers when he cut the skirt of Saul off. Fortifications are intended with the reference to the wall.
2 Samuel 22:31 “[As for] God, his way [is] perfect; the word of the LORD [is] tried: he [is] a buckler to all them that trust in him.”
“Tried”: I.e. refined: like pure gold, with no taint of earthly dross (compare Psalms 12:6; 119:140; Prov. 30:5).
“A buckler”: A shield to all them that take refuge in him (compare 2 Sam. 22:3).
“Buckler” in the verse above, means shield or protector.
Deut. 32:4 “[He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.”
Matt. 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
2 Samuel 22:32 “For who [is] God, save the LORD? and who [is] a rock, save our God?”
“God” as in “for who is God” is translated from El. It is speaking of the Almighty. There is no other God.
1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
God is a Spirit. God is a consuming Fire. God is the LORD. God is our Rock. God is Truth. God is Light. God is Life. God is everything positive and good in this world. We build our lives upon this Rock because everything else is shifting sand.
2 Samuel 22:33 “God [is] my strength [and] power: And he maketh my way perfect.”
Better, my strong fortress. Psalm 18 has quite a different thought, which is expressed in 2 Sam. 22:40, “It is God that girded me with strength.”
“Makes my way perfect”: “Makes” is a different word from that similarly translated (in Psalm 18:32), and seems to express the removal of obstacles which blocked up the path of his life. Observe the analogy between the perfection of God’s way (2 Sam. 22:31), and His servant’s (compare Matt. 5:48; Psalms 101:2; 101:6).
2 Samuel 22:34 “He maketh my feet like hinds’ [feet]: and setteth me upon my high places.”
The hind, like the gazelle, was a type of agility, swiftness, and surefootedness, indispensable qualifications in ancient warfare (compare 2 Sam. 2:18; 1 Chron. 12:8).
“Sets me upon my high places”: The metaphor of the hind, bounding unimpeded over the mountain tops, is continued. David’s high places are the mountain strongholds, the occupation of which secured him in possession of the country (compare Deut. 32:13).
(Habakkuk 3:19), is an obvious imitation of this passage.
2 Samuel 22:35 “He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.”
A “bow” made “of steel” would be heavy and difficult to use but very powerful. David attributes his strength in battle to God’s help.
God’s ways are perfect. I have said so many times that true Christians are believers in and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we are Christians, we must become more and more like Him every day. David is proclaiming that his strength in everything he does is in Jesus. The Christians say it the way it is in the following Scripture.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
2 Samuel 22:36 “Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.”
“Thy gentleness”: This is the translation of the word (in Psalm 18:35). The word here, which differs very slightly, and is otherwise unknown, is undoubtedly meant for it. If taken as it stands it would, by its etymology, mean thy answering, viz., to the prayers offered. The psalm inserts between the two clauses of the verse, “and thy right hand hath holden me up.”
Notice salvation is a free gift.
2 Samuel 22:37 “Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip.”
“Enlarged my steps”: Given me free space for unobstructed motion (compare 2 Sam. 22:20; Prov. 4:12), and the power to advance with firm, unwavering steps.
2 Samuel 22:38 I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them.
In the Psalms, for destroyed we find “overtaken,” and the second “I had consumed them” is omitted. This exultation of David at the result of his wars is in accordance with the harsh treatment inflicted by him upon the vanquished. His enemies were God’s enemies, whom he must consume. The “new commandment” of Christianity forbids and condemns this delight in conquest.
2 Samuel 22:39 “And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet.”
“Wounded them, that they could not rise”: Which was not only true of the Amalekites, but of all with whom David engaged in war.
“They are fallen under my feet”: Either dead, or become subject and tributaries to him; as the Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, and Edomites (see 2 Sam. 8:1).
2 Samuel 22:40 “For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me.”
Either to slay them, or to trample or put a yoke upon them; or rather the sense is, thou hast made them to fly before me, to turn their necks or backs unto me, as the word is used (in Joshua 7:8); and it is expressive of an utter rout and vanquishing of them.
“That I might destroy them that hate me”: They not being able to face him and stand against him.
2 Samuel 22:41 “Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.”
The first clause means that his enemies were put to flight (Exodus 23:27), that he planted his foot on their necks in token of triumph (Joshua 10:24).
David knows from experience, that his strength and victory in his battles was from God. This assurance of who God is and what He does, to help those who obey Him, is a personal thing with David. We also know from the judges that God strengthened them also, to help in battle against their enemy, who was also the enemy of God. David was really a warrior in the employ of the LORD. David’s victories were victories for God as well.
2 Samuel 22:42 “They looked, but [there was] none to save; [even] unto the LORD, but he answered them not.”
“They looked”: They looked for help (compare Isaiah 17:7-8). The (Septuagint and Psalm 18:41) read, they cried. There is only the difference of a single letter between the words, as far as the consonants are concerned.
“Even unto the Lord”: In their extremity, even the heathen might cry for mercy to the “unknown God” of their enemies (compare 1 Sam. 5:12; Jonah 3:7).
This is speaking of the heathen who never knew God, and it is also speaking of those who knew God but turned to idolatry as well. God would not save them because they were unfaithful to Him.
2 Samuel 22:43 “Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, [and] did spread them abroad.”
Psalms 18 reads, “Dust before the wind,” and in the second clause omits “did spread them abroad.” The psalm thus combines in one compact figure what is here spread out in two clauses. The change is certainly designed, and heightens the poetic effect.
David, as the champion of the LORD, defeated the enemies of the LORD.
2 Samuel 22:44 “Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, thou hast kept me [to be] head of the heathen: a people [which] I knew not shall serve me.”
“Thou hast kept me.”: The wording of the psalm, “Thou hast made me,” involves only a slight difference in the original, and is a mere clerical variation.
“A people which I knew not shall serve me (see Psalm 18:43).
2 Samuel 22:45 “Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me.”
The reference seems to be to the civil wars and internal dissensions which had disturbed the early years of David’s reign, while Saul’s house still endeavored to maintain its position. Through all these conflicts he had been safely brought, and preserved to exercise dominion over the heathen nations round (compare 2 Sam. 8:1-14; Psalm 2:8).
2 Samuel 22:46 “Strangers shall fade away, and they shall be afraid out of their close places.”
Like plants scorched up by the burning sun (compare Exodus 18:18).
The English here follows (Psalm 18:45). But the Hebrew verbs differ by the transposition of a letter. This is probably a mere clerical error, but if it be retained the sense will be a little changed. The psalm means, came trembling from their fastness, representing the conquered as submitting with fear. The text here, came limping from their fastness; suggesting that the remnant of the enemy had already been injured and wounded.
Heathen people did take David in when he was running from Saul. The heathen did greatly admire him, since his hundreds avoided being killed by Saul’s thousands. We know also, that there came a time when David left the heathens and came back to lead the Israelites, after the death of Saul.
2 Samuel 22:47 “The LORD liveth; and blessed [be] my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.”
Life is the essential attribute of Jehovah, Who is the Living God in contrast to the dead idols of the heathen. The experience of David’s life was to him a certain proof that God is the living, acting Ruler of the World (compare Joshua 3:10).
“The God of the rock of my salvation”: God who is strong and faithful to work out deliverance for me (2 Sam. 22:3).
(Psalm 18:46), has merely “the God of my salvation.”
David pauses to give great praise to the LORD again. The word “liveth” means continues to live. This shows the eternity of the LORD. David cannot say enough of the greatness of the God who is his Rock. He is not only the salvation of David, but of all who will dare to believe.
2 Samuel 22:48 “It [is] God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me,”
For the wrongs inflicted by Saul: (1 Sam. 24:12); for the insults of Nabal (1 Sam. 25:39); for the opposition of those who refused to acknowledge him as king (2 Sam. 4:8). Vengeance is the prerogative of God (Psalm 94:1), and the visible execution of it was anxiously looked for as His vindication of the righteousness and innocence of His servants.
“Bringeth down the people under me”: The reference seems to be (as in 2 Sam. 22:44), to his success in overcoming internal opposition to his rule. It is not the boast of a triumphant despot, but the thanksgiving of a ruler who recognized the vital importance of union for the prosperity of Israel. And the extreme difficulty of reconciling all the discordant elements in the nation, and knew that it was a task beyond his unaided powers (Psalm 144:2).
2 Samuel 22:49 “And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.”
The opposite of “shutting him up into the hand of his enemies” (Psalm 31:8; 2 Sam. 22:20; 2 Sam. 22:37).
“The violent man”: This may mean men of violence in general (Psalm 140:1; 140:4; 140:11).
David realizes that his success is because of what God has made him. We all are what God allows us to be. He is leader of all Israel, because God anointed him to be leader of all Israel. It was God who elevated David to this position, not David.
2 Samuel 22:50 “Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.”
Paul quotes this (in Romans 15:9).
This is so great, that David realizes his part in this is to thank the LORD for the things He has done. David is saying “To God be the glory for the things He has done”. God rescued David over and over, and the heathen are aware of this protection and anointing that the LORD has on David.
2 Samuel 22:51 “[He is] the tower of salvation for his king: and showeth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.”
“His king … his anointed”: These terms are singular and thus do not seem to refer to David and his descendants. Rather they refer to the promised “descendant,” the Messiah of (7:12). The deliverance and ultimate triumph of David foreshadow that of the coming Messiah. At the end of his life, David looked back in faith at God’s promises and forward in hope to their fulfillment in the coming of a future “king,” the “anointed one” (see notes on 1 Sam. 2:10).
This is reaffirmation of the covenant with “David” (see the note on 7:12-16).
The LORD had promised David an everlasting kingdom. This will be fulfilled through Jesus Christ, who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He will come and reign upon this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Luke 1:31-33 “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:” “And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
2 Samuel Chapter 22 Questions
1. What are the words of this chapter?
2. Who wrote these words?
3. The Lord is my ______, and my ___________, and my deliverer.
4. How does the author describe verse 3 of this lesson?
5. What does the “horn” symbolize?
6. Who is worthy to be praised?
7. How bad were the conditions David faced in verses 5, 6, and 7?
8. What does verse 8 say, happened in response to David’s need?
9. Who controls the elements of the world?
10. What does the voice of the LORD sound like to those who are standing by, when someone hears the voice of God?
11. In David’s distress, he called upon the ________.
12. What is the one thing the author wants us to see in verses 8, 9, and 10?
13. Our God is a consuming __________, as well as a loving Father.
14. How was the presence of God seen by the children of Israel?
15. When God speaks to someone from heaven, he understands what He is saying, but others standing nearby think it was _____________.
16. What is the lightning called in verse 15?
17. What is David speaking of in verse 16?
18. What is the statement “many waters” saying in verse 17?
19. What is “stay”, in verse 19, speaking of?
20. David said the LORD rewarded him according to his _________________.
21. Verses 26, 27, and 28, are saying what?
22. For who is God, save the _________?
23. Notice, salvation is a ________ _______.
24. David, as the ____________ of the LORD, defeated the enemies of the LORD.
25. Who accepted David better than his own people?
26. What does “liveth” show us?
27. What had God promised David?
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