Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 5:24

It shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall act promptly, for then the Lord will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Armies;   Mulberry Tree;   Philistines;   Prayer;   War;   Thompson Chain Reference - Battle of Life;   Battles, God;   Protector, Divine;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Trees;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Mulberry-Tree;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Philistia, philistines;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Mulberry;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ahijah;   Mulberry Trees;   Philistia;   Saul;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Balsam;   Oracles;   Philistines, the;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Angel;   David;   Israel;   Meonenim, Oak of;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Mulberry Tree;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Mulberry tree;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Mulberry trees;   Rephaim;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Mulbury Trees;   Philis'tines;   Reph'a-Im, the Valley of,;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Mulberry Tree;   Urim and Thummim;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Augurs' Oak;   Baca;   Balsam;   Names, Proper;   Samuel, Books of;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Baca;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Augury;   David;   Divination;   Groves and Sacred Trees;   Mulberry;   Theocracy;   Tree-Worship;   Witchcraft;  
Devotionals:
Faith's Checkbook - Devotion for May 3;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

When thou hearest the sound of a going - If there had not been an evident supernatural interference, David might have thought that the sleight or ruse de guerre which he had used was the cause of his victory. By the going in the tops of the mulberry trees probably only a rustling among the leaves is intended. The Targum says, a noise; the Arabic has it, the noise of horses' hoofs.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-5.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees,.... Of a going of the wind on the tops of these trees, making a rustling upon them, and that in such a manner as to resemble the going of men, or march of armies, as if they were moving in the air over the tops of the mulberry trees; which Jarchi and R. Isaiah interpret of angels being sent of God, and moving at that time to help David, and destroy the Philistines; so the Targum on 1 Chronicles 14:15. These trees being in Judea account for silk there, Ezekiel 16:10; though some think time was not known so early; others suppose it was, and to be the Hebrew byssus mentioned by PausaniasF1Eliac. sive, l. 5. p. 294. , as being of a yellow colour:

that then thou shall bestir thyself; or move towards the camp of the Philistines, and fall upon them in the rear, who, by reason of the sound in the trees, would not hear the motion of the Israelites; or, if they heard it, would take it to be no other than the motion of the trees they heard, both sounds being confounded together; or they would take the sound they heard for the motion of the enemy in the front, and give way, and so fall into the hands of the Israelites in their rear, which must throw them into the utmost confusion and consternation:

for then shall the Lord go out before thee to smite the host of the Philistines: by an angel or angels; so the Targum,"for then shall go forth the angel of the Lord, to make thee prosperous to slay in the camp of the Philistines;'

that being the precise time for the salvation of Israel, and the destruction of the Philistines, and the token of it.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-5.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees — now generally thought not to be mulberry trees, but some other tree, most probably the poplar, which delights in moist situations, and the leaves of which are rustled by the slightest movement of the air [Royle].

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-5.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.

The sound — A noise as it were of persons walking upon the tops of them, which I shall cause; and by this sign, both thou shalt he assured that I am coming to help thee; and the Philistines shall be affrighted, and not perceive the noise of thy army, until thou art upon them.

Bestir — Fall upon them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-5.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 5:24 And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.

Ver. 24. The sound of a going.] A hurry noise made by God’s angels, as 2 Kings 7:6, who are come to thy help.

Then thou shalt bestir thyself.] Break forth presently and set upon the enemy. We must also, in the spiritual warfare, observe and obey the motions of the Spirit, when he setteth up his standard; [Isaiah 59:19] for those are the sound of God’s goings, the footsteps of his anointed. [Psalms 89:51]

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-5.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 5:24. The sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry-trees "This may be rendered, among the first of the mulberry-trees; i.e. among the trees which were the first in order, and by which they entered into the grove; so that God gives David for a sign, the sound of many men's feet, walking on the ground amidst the trees, though nobody should be seen among those trees, which were before the eyes of all David's army." Houb. The Hebrew might be rendered, when thou hearest the sound of a moving in the tops, &c. Which implies nothing more than a ruling and extraordinary sound among the trees, which was to be the signal for David's attack.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, The Philistines, alarmed at David's success, the union of the kingdoms under him, and the friendship of Hiram, thought it high time to fall upon him before he was thoroughly settled in his throne, lest afterwards they should attempt it too late. They invade Israel with a numerous army, and pitch near Jerusalem, in the valley of Rephaim. David is ready to receive them, and goes down to the hold, some fortress which was below Jerusalem, where probably was the general rendezvous of his army. Before he goes forth, however, he inquires of God, and is sent with assurance of success. Confidently, therefore, he attacks and defeats their army, seizes their gods, whom they had brought into the field as their protectors, and, according to the Divine command, cast them into the fire. From this signal victory, the place is called Baal-perazim; God having broken forth as a resistless torrent upon his enemies, and thrown them down slain before him. Note;

(1.) Though the enemies of God's people think to crush them with their numerous forces, they assemble only to their own confusion. (2.) When we inquire of God upon our knees, we may expect an answer of peace, and go forth with confidence to oppose our spiritual enemies, assured that God will bruise sin and Satan shortly under our feet. (3.) They who put their trust in creature-supports, will find them as vain as the images of the Philistines.

2nd, One repulse abates not their courage, but rather kindles their desire of revenge. They dare a second time renew their invasions, and encamp on the very spot where they had been before routed: so foolishly and wilfully do sinners rush on their own destruction. David again has recourse to God for direction; and, as before he was ordered to march and meet them with the drawn sword, now he must fetch a compass behind them, and God will fight for him; so that he shall have nothing to do, but pursue their flying hosts. A rushing noise among the trees is to be the signal for him to fall on; he obeys, and the Philistines are smitten and pursued to their borders, as far as Gazer. Note; (1.) When we wait God's motions, our warfare must prosper. (2.) The repeated efforts of corruption and temptation in the faithful soul, though grievous for the present, weaken the root of sin, lead to an entire conquest, and strengthen the graces in the hearts of believers. (3.) On a sound like a rushing mighty wind, the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles, and then Satan's kingdom fell before the sword of the Spirit, the word of God in their mouths.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-5.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The sound of a going; a noise as it were of persons walking upon the tops of them, which I shall cause; and by this sign, both thou shalt be assured that I am coming to help thee, and the Philistines shall be affrighted and amused, and not perceive the noise of thy army until thou art upon them.

Then thou shalt bestir thyself; do thou fall upon them.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-5.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24.The sound of a going — Like the noise of a moving army. It was the sound of Jehovah’s host moving before the army of Israel and leading David on to victory; and though, like Elisha’s servant, his eyes were holden that he could not behold the horses and chariots around him, (2 Kings 6:17,) yet he was permitted to hear the noise of their movements. This is one of the Old Testament texts which point to an unseen world of spiritual agencies around us which are sent forth to minister to the saints of God. Some of the saints have had their spiritual eyes unvailed to see the angelic hosts of God, but the cold rationalism of our day would fain rob us of all belief in a supernatural world of principalities and powers beyond us. Compare notes on 2 Kings 2:11-12; 2 Kings 6:17.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-5.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 5:24. When thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops, &c. — The Hebrew, בראשׁי, beroshee, here translated tops, may properly be rendered, in the beginnings, or, among the first of the mulberry-trees; that is, in the very entrance of the place where these trees were, or among those which were first in order, and by which the grove was entered. So that God gives David for a sign, the sound of many men’s feet walking, not on the tops of the trees, (for men do not walk there,) but on the ground amidst the trees, though nobody should be seen among them by any in David’s army. Probably the sound was to be heard by the Philistines, to whom it might appear as if a vast number of men were marching to fall upon them. The Hebrew, however, may be rendered, When thou hearest the sound of a moving in the tops, &c. And it may imply nothing more than a rushing and extraordinary sound among the trees, which was to be a signal for David’s attack. Then bestir thyself — Fall upon the Philistines. For then the Lord shall go before thee — By making such a noise either of a mighty host coming to assault them, or of something very extraordinary, that they shall be amazed, and confounded, and put to flight.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-5.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Trees. Many translate the Hebrew, "mulberry trees," or leave the original word, becaim, "the heights of Bochim." Septuagint seem to give a double version: "the sound of the agitation (or Alexandrian, "shutting up," (Haydock) as with an army on all sides) of the woods, of the lamentation." (Menochius) --- Theodoret supposes, "the woods put in motion, without any wind." It is thought that an army of spirits went before David, and threw the enemy into a panic. Storms of hail, &c., seem to have also cut them down, Isaias xxviii. 21., and Psalm xvii. 9.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-5.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.

The sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees [ hab

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) The sound of a going.—After David has gone to the rear of his enemies, he is to wait by “the mulberry trees,” or, as now generally understood, baca-shrubs, a plant resembling the balsam. Here a Divine signal was to be given him in “the sound of a going,” or, rather, of a march. The word is used of the march of the hosts of the Lord in Judges 5:4; Psalms 68:7. Then David was to “bestir himself,” literally, be sharp; he was to act quickly and vigorously.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.
sound
2 Kings 7:6
thou shalt bestir
Judges 4:14; 7:15; 1 Samuel 14:9-12; 1 Chronicles 14:15; Philippians 2:11,12
Reciprocal: Genesis 24:14 - thereby;  Exodus 11:4 - will I go;  Deuteronomy 33:7 - let his hands;  Joshua 6:10 - until the day;  1 Samuel 14:12 - Come up after me;  1 Samuel 14:15 - very great trembling;  2 Kings 13:17 - The arrow;  Ezekiel 3:13 - the noise

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-5.html.