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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 22

Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the BibleKretzmann's Commentary

Verses 1-20

Gratitude for Deliverance in the Past

v. 1. And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song, which is simply another version of Psalms 18, from which it is distinguished only by slight deviations, in the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies and out of the hand of Saul.

v. 2. And he said, The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress, in whom he may confidently trust, and my Deliverer;

v. 3. the God of my rock, Deuteronomy 32:4, with reference to His unchangeable faithfulness; in Him will I trust. He is my Shield, covering him against the attacks of his enemies, and: the Horn of my salvation, yielding help and strength in overcoming the enemies, my high Tower, the inaccessible and safe stronghold, and my Refuge, my Savior; Thou savest me from violence. This is said of God by way of a general introduction.

v. 4. I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, or, upon Him whom I praised, who is the Praised One, I will call; so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The application is now made to David's own case.

v. 5. When the waves of death compassed me, they came upon him from all sides like breakers on the shore of the ocean, the floods of ungodly men, the streams of destruction, made me afraid.

v. 6. The sorrows of hell compassed me about, like sudden pangs of pain, or like ropes which threatened to throttle him; the snares of death prevented me, fell on him in a treacherous attack, especially during the persecutions of Saul.

v. 7. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God; and he did hear my voice out of His temple, out of the palace of His heavenly dwelling, and my cry did enter into His ears. The Lord's deliverance is next pictured.

v. 8. Then the earth shook and trembled, quaking to its very center; the foundations of heaven moved and shook because He was wroth, as when a terrible storm, with an accompanying earthquake, sweeps over the earth, sent by the wrath of His indignation.

v. 9. There went up a smoke out of His nostrils, the snorting being a sign of His anger, and fire out of His mouth devoured, like a fire ready to consume everything that comes into its path; coals were kindled by it, glowing coals burned out of Him. The picture is that of the rising of a storm-cloud and the flaming of the sheet-lightning which announces the storm.

v. 10. He bowed the heavens also, for the lowering storm-clouds seem to draw the heaven down to the earth, and came down; and darkness was under His feet, a symbol of the terror struck by God's wrath, as He hides His face in darkness.

v. 11. And He rode upon a cherub, as a bearer of the divine majesty and glory, and did fly; and He was seen upon the wings of the wind, as the bearers of the appearance of His glory.

v. 12. And he made darkness pavilions round about Him, like the tabernacles in which He made His habitation, dark waters and thick clouds of the skies, they served as the booths in which He was hidden.

v. 13. Through the brightness before Him were coals of fire kindled, glowing forth from the intense gloom like live coals.

v. 14. The Lord thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered His voice, God's wrathful judgment, as that of the all-powerful, unapproachable Judge, burst forth upon the enemies.

v. 15. And he sent out arrows and scattered them, shafts of lightning, like a warrior armed with bow and arrow; lightning, and discomfited them, all this tending toward the complete destruction of the enemy.

v. 16. And the channels of these a appeared, the very beds of the ocean becoming visible, the foundations of the world were discovered, laid bare by the terrible storm and the earthquake, at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of His nostrils, at the noise of His angry crashes of thunder.

v. 17. He sent from above, He took me, stretching out His hand from heaven to the very abyss, in order to save the drowning man; he drew me out of many waters.

v. 18. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me, Saul being thought of as the principal one; for they were too strong for me, they were able to overpower him without the help of God.

v. 19. They prevented me in the day of my calamity, falling upon him in a sudden attack; but the Lord was my Stay.

v. 20. He brought me forth also into a large place, setting him free from all narrowness and straits, procuring for him a condition of freedom; He delivered me because He delighted in me, loving him because of his integrity which flowed from his faith in the God of his salvation. In a similar manner every believer praises his God, who was so often his Help and his Stay, delivering him in the midst of danger, distress, and death.

Verses 21-51

Praise and Prophecy

v. 21. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. The righteousness of the heart is seen in the purity of the acts of his hands, in their abstaining from sin and unrighteousness.

v. 22. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, observing the rules of conduct laid down in His Law, and have not wickedly departed from my God, not fallen away from God through wickedness.

v. 23. For all His judgments were before me, the instructions to which He obligated all men; and as for His statutes, the precepts of His covenant, I did not depart from them, he was a sincere believer In, and follower of, Jehovah.

v. 24. I was also upright before Him, that was his immediate, inner relation to God, and have kept myself from mine iniquity, guarding himself against committing sin, and so contracting guilt. This testimony of David concerning himself agrees with that of the Lord, 1 Kings 14:8; 1 Kings 15:5.

v. 25. Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in His eyesight, rewarding every believer in accordance with the evidence presented in his life and works.

v. 26. With the merciful Thou wilt show Thyself merciful, and with the upright man Thou wilt show Thyself upright.

v. 27. With the pure Thou wilt show Thyself pure, and with the froward, the perverse, Thou wilt show Thyself unsavory, every man thus reaping as he sowed, being rewarded or punished according to his deeds.

v. 28. And the afflicted people Thou wilt save, those bowed down by a weight of misery; but Thine eyes are upon the haughty, those who look down upon and oppress the poor and afflicted, that Thou mayest bring them down. Cf Luke 1:52.

v. 29. For Thou art my Lamp, O Lord, as the Source of all his joy and good fortune; and the Lord will lighten my darkness, by taking away all affliction, wretchedness, and ruin.

v. 30. For by Thee I have run through a troop, running against the hostile forces and trampling them under foot; by my God have I leaped over a wall, conquering fortified places with ease.

v. 31. As for God, His way is perfect, He is altogether blameless in His government; the Word of the Lord is tried, without guile, pure, and true; He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him, offering protection against all dangers.

v. 32. For who is God save the Lord? He is the only true God. And who is a rock save our God? He only may be relied upon absolutely as trustworthy.

v. 33. God is my strength and Power, a Fortress of strength; and he maketh my way perfect, leading and guiding the perfect man on his way.

v. 34. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, swift in strength and in the pursuit of the enemies; and setteth me upon my high places, which the singer victoriously holds against his enemies.

v. 35. He teacheth my hands to war, and thus to hold their own against the enemies, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms, so that his arms are able to bend the bronze bow without difficulty.

v. 36. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation, whereby God protects and saves His people; and Thy gentleness hath made me great, by the favorable hearing of his prayer.

v. 37. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, giving to the wanderer a wide space for free movement, so that my feet did not slip, his ankles standing unwavering and firm; he was able to move with a light and strong step.

v. 38. I have pursued mine enemies and destroyed them, and turned not again until I had consumed them; they could not rise for further contest; they fell under his feet in helpless submission.

v. 39. And I have consumed them and wounded them that they could not arise; yea, they are fallen under my feet.

v. 40. For Thou hast girded me with strength to battle, all his strength and prowess came from Jehovah; them that rose up against me hast Thou subdued under me, they had to bow down their necks like helpless slaves.

v. 41. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, causing them to turn their back in flight, that I might destroy them that hate me.

v. 42. They looked, but there was none to save; even to the Lord, but he answered them not. Though in their extreme need they cried to the God of Israel for help, they received no deliverance at His hands.

v. 43. Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, rubbing, pulverizing, and scattering them; I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad, contemptuously scorning and throwing them away as worthless. The result of this victorious conflict with the enemies is also pictured.

v. 44. Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, from the insurrections in the midst of his own nation; Thou Hast kept me to be head of the heathen, of all the surrounding nations; a people which I knew not shall serve me, Here the Messianic thought is included, that eventually even those outside 3f the chosen people of the Lord would learn to know the true God in Christ Jesus.

v. 45. Strangers shall submit themselves unto me, strange, foreign people would pay fawning, hypocritical homage, since they felt powerless before the Lord's king; as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me.

v. 46. Strangers shall fade away, wither and shrivel up like a leaf in a hot wind, and they shall be afraid out of their close places, coming forth hobbling and trembling out of their fortresses.

v. 47. The Lord liveth; and blessed be my Rock, and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. These sentences return to the thought of the introduction, which dominated the entire psalm.

v. 48. It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me, subjecting the nations to his rule,

v. 49. and that bringeth me forth from mine enemies, delivering him from their power. Thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me; Thou hast delivered me from the violent man, saving him from the persecution of Saul, as of the man of violent deeds, and from all those that followed the latter in his hatred.

v. 50. Therefore I will give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto Thy name, as being expressive of all His deeds of deliverance, by which He has revealed Himself as the true God.

v. 51. He is the Tower of Salvation for His king, with the strong assurance of salvation, and showeth mercy to His anointed, unto David, and to his seed forevermore; the Messianic thought recurring here once more. Christ, the true Anointed of God, carried the Lord's cause to a still more victorious conclusion. He is the Head and King over all nations, over the spiritual Israel, the seed of Abraham gathered from all nations of the world.

Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 22". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kpc/2-samuel-22.html. 1921-23.
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