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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 23

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-7

Two psalms (22:1-23:7)

The first of these two psalms was written by David to celebrate his victories over his enemies. Later it was put to music for use in the temple services and appears in the book of Psalms as Psalms 18:0.

David began the psalm by praising God who constantly answered his prayers and saved him from death (22:1-7). God displayed his mighty power in earthquakes, wind, rain, lightning, thunder and darkness (8-16), and sometimes he used these forces to save David from his enemies (17-20). God worked on behalf of David because of David’s uprightness and obedience (21-25), showing that God treats people as they deserve (26-30).
Because God is perfect in all his ways, David could always depend upon him (31-33). This God protected David and gave him ability as a soldier and a national leader (34-37), so that he repeatedly conquered his enemies (38-43). His fame spread far and wide as foreign nations submitted to his rule (44-46), but he gladly acknowledged that all his greatness came from God (47-49). Later kings of David’s dynasty could likewise be assured of God’s unfailing blessing (50-51).
In the second psalm David commented briefly on the blessings that a God-fearing king brought to his people. Life under such a king had a pleasantness that could be likened to that of a morning without clouds. As the sun benefited the grass after rain, so the king benefited his people (23:1-4). David’s dynasty was assured of the additional blessings of stability and lasting prosperity, because of the covenant God made with David (5; cf. 7:16). But, like any wise ruler, David knew also that he had to punish the wicked, and he would not avoid this responsibility even though it was often difficult and dangerous (6-7).

Verses 8-39

David’s mighty men (23:8-39)

From the hundreds of men who gathered around him during his flight from Saul, David had built a loyal and tough fighting unit. This unit remained the central strength of his army throughout his long reign (see 1 Samuel 22:1-2; 1 Samuel 30:9; 2 Samuel 15:18; 2 Samuel 15:18; 2 Samuel 18:1-2; 2 Samuel 20:7; 1 Chronicles 11:10; 1 Chronicles 11:10). The commander-in-chief of his army was Joab (see 8:16, 20:23).

Next in rank below Joab were three generals, or commanders, each of whom was a courageous fighter and a national hero. These men were known simply as The Three (8-12; 1 Chronicles 11:10-14). After The Three came The Thirty, three of whom were especially remembered for the occasion on which they risked their lives because of their devotion to David (13-17). The leader of The Thirty was Joab’s brother Abishai. Another notable figure among The Thirty was Benaiah, commander of David’s bodyguard (18-23; see note on 8:18).

Although the group took its name from the number thirty, there are more than thirty names in the biblical lists. This is probably because the lists include the names of those who had been killed and those who had replaced them (24-39; 1 Chronicles 11:20-47).

Bibliographical Information
Fleming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 23". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/2-samuel-23.html. 2005.
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