Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 6:21

So David said to Michal, "It was before the Lord , who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord , over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the Lord .
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - David;   Family;   Malice;   Michal;   Retaliation;   Sarcasm;   Thankfulness;   Women;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ark of the Covenant;   Michal;   Uzzah;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Michal;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Chronicles, Books of;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Dance;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Michal;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Chronicles, I;   Jerusalem;   Priests and Levites;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Michal ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Nachon;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - David;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Governor;   Mi'chal;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Appoint;   Ark of the Covenant;   Choose;   Criticism (the Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis);   Merab;   Prince;   Ruler;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Dancing;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

It was before the Lord, which chose me - David felt the reproach, and was strongly irritated, and seems to have spoken to Michal with sufficient asperity.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-6.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Play - See 2 Samuel 6:5 note. The speech might be paraphrased, Before the Lord which chose me, etc., yea, before the Lord have I danced. He humbles Michal‘s pride by the allusion to her father‘s rejection, and shows by Saul‘s example how little pride contributes to the stability of greatness. Therefore, for his part, he will not think anything done for the glory of God too mean for him; and if he cannot have honor from Saul‘s daughter, he will be content to be honored by the maid-servants.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-6.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Samuel 6:21

David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father.

David dancing before the ark because of his election

I What effect had this doctrine, this experience, this inward conviction upon David?

I. It made God the leading thought with David.

1. This was especially the case with David in his devotion. David that day worshipped God in spirit and in truth. The effect of this truth upon David was also that, as the Lord had become the great influence of his life, and the great object of his adoration, so he was to him his supreme Lord.

II. Secondly, it will create in us a proper disregard for human opinion.

1. In his worship David did not allow the opinions of men to weigh with him. He worshipped “before the Lord,” and there he left it.

2. He does not seek honour from the many. David sought not the honour which cometh from men.

3. David did not even consult the judgment of the few.

4. Beloved, the doctrines of grace put the very idea of honouring man out of court with us.

III. Then, thirdly, a sense of election causes a low opinion of self. David said, “I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight.” David would more and more abase himself before the Lord. A sense of electing love will render you base in your own sight. I will tell you why.

1. First, you will never understand why the Lord has chosen you. Often will you sing:

“What was there in me that could merit esteem,

Or give the Creator delight?

’Twas even so, Father, I ever must sing,

‘Because it seem’d good in thy sight.’”

2. I dare say David, in a few quick thoughts, reviewed his former estate.

3. Then the king recollected the dangers and troubles he had experienced.

4. David’s high position must have made him feel lowly when he knew to whom he owed it all. All the while David had a deep sense of his personal unworthiness. He did not know his own heart fully--no man does so. But he knew enough of himself to make him base in his own sight; for he could never think himself worthy of the choice of God, and all that it involved. Our heart adores and wonders as we think of the election of God. As we rise in the assurance of the Divine choice, we sink in our valuation of ourselves.

IV. A sense of Divine election fosters a feeling of holy brotherhood. It is wonderful how democratic the doctrines of grace are, and how aristocratic they are too. The chosen are all kings, and when we mix with the poorest of them we are kings with kings. Free grace strips the proud, but it adorns the humble. David honoured the humblest of the Lord’s chosen; for when Michal talked about what the handmaids of his servants would say, he answered, “Of the maid-servants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.” To be esteemed by them was a cheer to him.

V. A sense of being chosen of God stirs a desire for the service of God.

1. Such service will be personal.

2. This personal service will be cheerful.

3. This service will be in connection with the great sacrifice.

4. This service should be thoughtful.

5. This service must be obedient.

6. This service should be practical.

7. This service must be seen at home.

If you are chosen of God you will, like David, bless your household. You will long to see your sons and daughters brought to God.

VI. A sense of Divine election will excite sacred enthusiasm.

1. David had an inward delight in God. God was his exceeding joy.

2. In David’s case his inward peace boiled over in holy excitement. Before the ark he was singing, he was harping, he was worshipping, and at last must show it by the joyful motion of his body.

3. David felt so exultant that he wished everybody to know of his joy in God. He told all the crowd around of his delight in God; and he sang that day, “Declare His glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.” (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Irrepressible praisefulness

Once robbers besieged a monastery to rob it of its treasures. The monks carried the golden organ to a river near by, and sunk it in the water to keep it from the robbers’ hands. At certain periods, so the legend runs, the organ would rise out of the river and give forth such ravishing music as was never elsewhere heard by mortal ears. Such an instrument is a truly thankful heart--one in which is the joy of the Lord. The floods may go over it, but it ever rises out of them and sings its sweetest songs. Nothing can ever check its praise. It sings in the darkest night, its music rolling out into the gloom to cheer the weary pilgrim. A thankful heart always finds something good, even when all things seem evil.

When to shout “Glory”

Billy Bray, the Cornish preacher, was a constant visitor among the sick and dying. On one occasion he was sitting by the beside of a Christian brother who had been always very reticent, and afraid to confess joyously his faith in Christ. Now, however, he wast filled with gladness. Turning to Billy, whose beaming face and sunny words had done so much to produce this joy, he said, “Oh, Mr. Bray, I’m so happy that, if I had the power, I’d shout ‘Glory!’” “Hae, mon,” said Billy, “what a pity it was thee didn’t shout ‘Glory!’ when thee hadst the power!”

Reasonableness of religious zeal

In the Natural History Museum at Central Park, New York, a valuable butterfly may be seen. It is estimated that the insect cost its former owner, a Pennsylvanian doctor, at least £2,000. The butterfly is to be found only in a certain part of West Africa, and the gentleman fitted out an expedition and maintained it for more than two years, in order that the rare insect might be added to his entomological collection. If such zeal is shown by one who desires to secure a butterfly, is it to be wondered at that Christians at times display an unusual enthusiasm? Ought they not rather to do so more widely and frequently, when the glory of God and the salvation of never-dying souls are at stake?

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Samuel 6:21". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-samuel-6.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And David said unto Michal, it was before the Lord,.... Before the ark of the Lord, what was done was done there; she upbraided him with his dancing and singing, which was designed for the honour and glory of God, and in thankfulness to him for the bringing the ark to his city, and therefore she ought not to have reproached him with it, and he adds:

which chose me before thy father, and before all his house; see 1 Samuel 13:14; which he observed to humble her pride, and mortify her, as well as to remark the distinguishing goodness of God to him, which laid him under obligation to express his thankfulness to him in every shape:

to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel; which was a high honour conferred upon him, and required the utmost gratitude:

therefore will I play before the Lord; upon the harp, or praise before him, as the Targum, sing his praise before the ark, unto any instrument of music, without once imagining I disgrace myself, on the contrary think it to be the highest honour to me to be employed in such service.

Copyright Statement
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 6:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-6.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And David said unto Michal, k [It was] before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.

(k) It was for no worldly affection, but only for that zeal that I bore to God's glory.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:21". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-6.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.

Before the Lord — In his presence and service, which though contemptible to thee, is, and ever shall be honourable in mine eyes.

Who chose — Who took away the honour from him and his, and transferred it unto me, whereby he hath obliged me to love and serve him with all my might.

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 6:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-6.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 6:21 And David said unto Michal, [It was] before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.

Ver. 21. Which chose me before thy father.] It is hard for the best men to recriminate without some tincture of tartness, and to keep quick the fire of zeal without all smoke of sin.

Therefore will I play.] Ludam ut illudar, as Bernard hath it.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-6.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 6:21. It was before the Lord I uncovered myself before the Lord. Houb. Who renders the last clause of the verse, therefore have I rejoiced before the Lord. The Hebrew word, שׂחקתי sichakti, according to Chandler, refers to David's playing like the rest of the people on some musical instrument, as it is expressly said in the 5th verse, that David and all the house of Israel played [ משׂחקים mesuchekim] before the Lord.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:21". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-6.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

It was before the Lord; in his presence and service, which though contemptible to thee, is, and ever shall be, honourable in mine eyes.

Which chose me before thy father, and before all his house; which took away the honour from him and his, and transferred it upon me, whereby he hath obliged me to love and serve him with all my might.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-6.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

21.Chose me before thy father — A remark calculated to humble Michal by reminding her of her father’s fall.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-6.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

It was. Omit these words and supply Ellipsis by adding, with Septuagint, "Before Jehovah [did I dance]".

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-6.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(21) Therefore will I play.—Rather, have I danced. (See 2 Samuel 6:5.)

Before the Lord.—David first gives the true and sufficient reason of his conduct—what he had done was before the Lord, in honouring whom no man can be really humbled; and then he turns with a reproof to Michal, which should have shown her the utter unworthiness of her objections. God had set aside her father and his house for this very spirit of pride in which she was now indulging, and had chosen him instead.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.
before
14,16; 1 Corinthians 10:31
chose
1 Samuel 13:14; 15:28; 16:1,12; Psalms 78:70-72; 89:19,20; Acts 13:22
play
5; 1 Chronicles 15:29
Reciprocal: Judges 21:21 - dance;  2 Samuel 7:8 - ruler;  2 Samuel 21:9 - before the Lord;  1 Chronicles 17:7 - ruler;  Job 2:10 - as one;  Psalm 75:7 - he putteth;  Acts 7:46 - found;  2 Corinthians 5:13 - it is to;  1 Thessalonians 3:9 - before

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-6.html.