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Psalm 18

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#1
ayin jade

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This psalm is found, with some unimportant variations, in 2 Samuel 22. In that history, as in the inscription of the psalm here, it is said to have been composed by David on the occasion when the Lord “delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.” There can, therefore, be no doubt that David was the author. It is a song of victory. David, long pursued and harassed by foes who sought his life, at length felt that a complete triumph was obtained, and that he and his kingdom were safe, and he pours forth the utterances of a grateful heart for God’s merciful and mighty interposition.

From the place which this psalm occupies in the history of the life of David (2 Sam. 22), it is probable that it was composed in the latter years of his life (although some scholars think it occurred earlier in his life), though it occupies this early place in the Book of Psalms. The circumstance which is mentioned in the title - “and out of the hand of Saul” - does not necessarily conflict with this view, or make it necessary for us to suppose that it was composed immediately after his deliverance from the hand of Saul. To David, recording and recounting the great events of his life, that deliverance would occur as one of the most momentous and worthy of a grateful remembrance, for it was a deliverance which was the foundation of all his subsequent successes, and in which the divine interposition had been most remarkable. At any time of his life it would be proper to refer to this as demanding special acknowledgment. Saul had been among the most formidable of all his enemies. The most distressing and harassing events of his life had occurred in the time of his conflicts with him. God’s interpositions in his behalf had occurred in the most remarkable manner, in delivering him from the dangers of that period of his history.

From the fact that there are variations, though not of an essential character, in the two copies of the psalm, it would seem not improbable that it had been revised by David himself, and that one copy was used by the author of the Book of Samuel, and the other by the collector and arranger of the Book of Psalms. These variations are not important, and by no means change the essential character of the psalm. The minute variations in the language of the song as recorded in 2 Samuel 22, from that embodied in the Book of Psalms - which may be accounted for if 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.

The differences are:

1) The introduction, or the title of it, is adapted, in the psalm before us, to the purposes for which it was designed, when it was admitted into the collection. “To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spake unto the Lord the words,” etc.

2) The first verse of Ps. 18, “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength,” is not found in the psalm as it is in the Book of Samuel.

3) The second verse of the psalm is, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” In Samuel, the corresponding passage is, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; 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.”

4)In Psa_18:4, the reading is, “The sorrows of death compassed me” etc.; in Samuel, “The waves of death compassed me.”

5 etc) Similar variations, affecting the words, without materially affecting the sense, occur in Psa_18:2-4, Psa_18:6-8, Psa_18:11-16, Psa_18:19-21, Psa_18:23-27, also in Psa_18:28-30, Psa_18:32-45, and Ps. 18:47-51.

The psalm embraces the following subjects:

I. A general acknowledgment of God, and thanks to him, as the Deliverer in the time of troubles, and as worthy to be praised, Psa_18:1-3.

II. A brief description of the troubles and dangers from which the psalmist had been rescued, Psa_18:4-5.

III. A description, conceived in the highest forms of poetic language, of the divine interposition in times of danger, Psa_18:6-19,

IV. A statement of the psalmist that this interposition was of such a nature as to vindicate his own character, or to show that his cause was a righteous cause; that he was right, and that his enemies had been in the wrong; that God approved his course, and disapproved the course of his enemies: or, in other words, that these interpositions were such as to prove that God was just, and would deal with men according to their character, Psa_18:20-30.

V. A recapitulation of what God had done for him, in enabling him to subdue his enemies, and a statement of the effect which he supposed would be produced on others by the report of what God had done in his behalf, Psa_18:31-45.

VI. A general expression of thanksgiving to God as the author of all these blessings, and as worthy of universal confidence and praise, Psa_18:46-50. Prophetic imagery of the the glorious triumphs of the Messiah, David's seed and the Lord's anointed is evident here.

There are two passages cited out of it in the New Testament, and applied to Christ; Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my strength, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my rock; I will trust in Him; He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, in Hebrews 2:13 And again, "I will put My trust in Him." And again, "Behold Me and the children whom God has given Me." and Psalm 18:49 Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to Your name, in Romans 15:9 and that the nations might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written, "For this cause I will confess to You in the nations, and I will praise Your name." and there are many things in it that very well agree with him; he is eminently the "servant" of the Lord as Mediator; he was encompassed with the snares and sorrows of death and hell, and with the floods of ungodly men, when in the garden and on the cross God was his helper and deliverer, as man; and he was victorious over all enemies, sin, Satan, the world, death and hell; as the subject of this psalm is all along represented: and to Christ it does most properly belong to be the head of the Heathen, whose voluntary subjects the Gentiles are said to be, Psalm 18:43 You have delivered Me from the strivings of the people; You have made Me the head of the nations; a people whom I have not known shall serve Me. and which is expressed in much the same language as the like things are in Isaiah 55:4 Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the people, a Leader and Commander of peoples; which is a clear and undoubted prophecy of the Messiah; to which may be added, that the Lord's Anointed, the King Messiah, and who is also called David, is expressly mentioned in Psalm 18:50 magnifying the salvations to His king, and working mercy to His anointed, to David, and to his seed forevermore; and which is applied to the Messiah.

Since this psalm mirrors 2 Samuel 22, I will include those corresponding verses with each verse in this psalm.
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#2
ayin jade

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Psa 18:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said, I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

2Sa 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:

A Psalm of David - The words “A Psalm” are not here in the original, and may convey a slightly erroneous impression, as if the psalm had been composed for the express purpose of being used publicly in the worship of God. In the corresponding place in 2 Sam. 22, it is described as a “Song” of David: “And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song.” It was originally an expression of his private gratitude for God’s distinguishing mercies.

I will love thee, O Lord, my strength - The psalmist here expresses his love to the Lord, and his continuance in it; that Jehovah the Father was, is, and ever will be the object of Christ's love, is certain; and which has appeared by his readiness in the council and covenant of grace to do his will; by his coming down from heaven to earth for that purpose; by his delight in it, it being his meat and drink to do it; and by his sufferings and death, which were in compliance with, and obedience to it, John 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father has given Me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go away from here; and as in David, so in all regenerate ones, there is love to God; 1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.

I will love thee, O Lord - Most affectionately, and with my whole soul; as the Hebrew word signifies. This verse is not found in the song in 2 Sam. 22. It is a proper commencement of a psalm that is designed to recount so many mercies. Why should he love Jehovah? Not merely because he was infinitely great and good, possessed of all possible perfections, but because he was good to him: and he here enumerates some of the many blessings he received from him. It is the feeling which all should have when they recall the goodness of God to them in their past lives.

I will love thee, O Lord - Those that truly love God, may triumph in him as their Rock and Refuge, and may with confidence call upon him. It is good for us to observe all the circumstances of a mercy which magnify the power of God and his goodness to us in it. David was a praying man, and God was found a prayer-hearing God.

The servant of the Lord - The title deserves attention. David, although at this time a king, calls himself “the servant of Jehovah,” but makes no mention of his royalty; hence we gather that he counted it a higher honor to be the Lord's servant than to be Judah's king.

The servant of the Lord - This expression also is wanting in 2 Sam. 22. It is possibly an addition by a later hand, as indicating the general character which David had acquired, or as denoting the national estimate in regard to his character. The same expression occurs in the title to Psa_36:1-12.

the servant of the Lord - not only by creation, nor merely by regeneration, but by office, as king of Israel, being put into it by the Lord, and acting in it in submission and obedience to him; just as the apostles under the New Testament, on account of their office, so style themselves in their epistles:

Who spake unto the Lord - Composed it as giving utterance to his feelings toward the Lord. Who delivered and sung this song in public, before all the congregation of Israel, to the honor and glory of God.

in the day that the Lord delivered him - When the Lord “had” delivered him; when he felt that he was completely rescued from “all” his foes. This does not mean that the psalm was composed on a particular day when God had by some one signal act rescued him from impending danger, but it refers to a calm period of his life. when he could review the past, and see that God had rescued him from “all” the enemies that had ever threatened his peace. This would probably, as has been suggested above, occur near the close of his life.

And from the hand of Saul - Saul had been one of his most formidable enemies, and the wars with him had been among the most eventful periods of the life of David. In a general review of his life, near its close, he would naturally recur to the dangers of that period, and to God’s gracious interpositions in his behalf, and it would seem to him that what God had done for him in those times deserved a special record. The original word in Psalm 18 - kaph - is not the same as in the corresponding place in 2 Sam. 22 - yâd - though the idea is substantially the same. The word used in Psalm 18 means properly the “palm” or “hollow” of the hand; the word used in 2 Samuel 22 means the hand itself.

And from the hand of Saul - Deliverance “out of the hand of Saul” is specially mentioned, not because this was the last, but because it was the greatest and most glorious, - a deliverance out of the deepest misery into regal might and glory.
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#3
ayin jade

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Psa 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

2Sa 22:2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

2Sa 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 saviour; thou savest me from violence.

The Lord is my rock - The idea in this expression, and in the subsequent parts of the description, is that he owed his safety entirely to God. He had been unto him as a rock, a tower, a buckler, etc. - that is, he had derived from God the protection which a rock, a tower, a citadel, a buckler furnished to those who depended on them, or which they were designed to secure. The word “rock” here has reference to the fact that in times of danger a lofty rock would be sought as a place of safety, or that men would fly to it to escape from their enemies. Such rocks abound in Palestine; and by the fact that they are elevated and difficult of access, or by the fact that those who fled to them could find shelter behind their projecting crags, or by the fact that they could find security in their deep and dark caverns, they became places of refuge in times of danger; and protection was often found there when it could not be found in the plains below.

The Lord is my rock - I stand on him as my foundation, and derive every good from him who is the source of good. The word sela signifies those craggy precipices which afford shelter to men and wild animals.

The Lord is my rock - Moses calls the Lord the Rock of Israel, because of His unchangeable faithfulness; Deu_32:4 He is the Rock; His work is perfect. For all His ways are just, a God of faithfulness, and without evil; just and upright is He.

And my fortress - He has been to me as a fortress. The word fortress means a place of defense, a place so strengthened that an enemy could not approach it, or where one would be safe. Such fortresses were often constructed on the rocks or on hills, where those who fled there would be doubly safe.

My God - Who hast been to me a God; that is, in whom I have found all that is implied in the idea of “God” - a Protector, Helper, Friend, Father, Savior.

my God - the strong and mighty One, who is able to save, and who is the covenant God and Father of His people.

in whom I will trust - as Christ did, and to whom these words are applied in Hebrews 2:13 And again, "I will put My trust in Him." And again, "Behold Me and the children whom God has given Me." and as his people are enabled to do even under very distressing and discouraging circumstances, Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

My strength - “My rock” although the Hebrew word is different from that which is used in the former part of the verse. Both words denote that God was a refuge or protection, as a rock or crag is to one in danger. Compare to Deu_32:37 And He shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted?

My buckler - The word used here is the same which occurs in Psa_3:3, where it is translated “shield.”

my buckler - or shield; who protects and defends them from their enemies, and preserves them from the fiery darts of Satan

the horn of my salvation - who pushes, scatters, and destroys their enemies, and saves them; a metaphor taken from horned beasts; so Christ, the mighty and able Savior, is called, Luke 1:69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David,

And the horn of my salvation - The “horn” is to animals the means of their defense. Their strength lies in the horn. Hence, the word is used here, as elsewhere, to represent that to which we owe our protection and defense in danger; and the idea here is, that God was to the psalmist what the horn is to animals, the means of his defense.

And the horn of my salvation - This describes God as the mighty protector and defender of the righteous. A shield covers against hostile attacks. In this respect God was Abraham's shield Gen_15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I am your shield and your exceeding great reward. and the helping shield of Israel Deu_33:29 Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help, and who is the sword of your excellency! And your enemies shall be found liars to you, and you shall tread on their high places. The figure is borrowed from animals, which have their strength and defensive weapons in their horns.

Horn of my salvation - Horn was the emblem of power, and power in exercise. The horn of salvation means a powerful, an efficient salvation.

And my high tower - He is to me what a high tower is to one who is in danger. Pro_18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. The word used here occurs in Psa_9:9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble, where it is rendered “refuge.” Such towers were erected on mountains, on rocks, or on the walls of a city, and were regarded as safe places mainly because they were inaccessible.

my high tower - whither the righteous run and are safe, Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. and where they are above and out of the reach of every enemy; Isaiah 33:16; in 2 Samuel 22:3, it is added, "and my refuge, my Savior, thou savest me from violence." These various epithets show the fullness of safety in Jehovah, the various ways he has to deliver his people from their enemies, and secure them from danger.
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#4
ayin jade

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Psa 18:3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

2Sa 22:4 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

I will call upon the Lord - The idea here is, that he would constantly call upon the Lord. In all times of trouble and danger he would go to him, and invoke his aid. The experience of the past had been such as to lead him to put confidence in him in all time to come. He had learned to flee to him in danger, and he had never put his trust in him in vain. The idea is, that a proper view of God’s dealings with us in the past should lead us to feel that we may put confidence in him in the future.

I will call upon the Lord - In prayer, for fresh mercies, and further appearances of himself, and discoveries of his grace and favor;

Who is worthy to be praised - More literally, “Him who is to be praised I will call upon, Jehovah.” The prominent - the leading thought is, that God is a being every way worthy of praise.

who is worthy to be praised - for the perfections of his nature, the works of his hands, his providential goodness, and more especially for his covenant grace and blessings in Christ.

So shall I be saved from my enemies - Ever onward, and at all times. He had had such ample experience of his protection that he could confide in him as one who would deliver him from all his foes.
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#5
ayin jade

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Psa 18:4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

2Sa 22:5 When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;

The sorrows of death compassed me - These words and the following, in this verse and Psalm 18:5, as they respect David, show the snares that were laid for his life, the danger of death he was in, and the anxiety of mind he was possessed of on account of it; and as they refer to Christ, include all the sorrows of his life to the time of his death, who was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief personally, and bore and carried the sorrows and griefs of all his people; and may chiefly intend his sorrows in the garden, arising from a view of the sins of his people, which he was about to bear upon the cross; and from an apprehension of the wrath of God, and curse of the law, which he was going to sustain for them. Matthew 26:38 Then He said to them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Wait here and watch with Me. The Hebrew word for "sorrows" signifies the pains and birth throes of a woman in labor; and is here fitly used of the sufferings and death of Christ; through which he brought forth much fruit, or many sons to glory.

The sorrows of death compassed me - Surrounded me. That is, he was in imminent danger of death, or in the midst of such pangs and sorrows as are supposed commonly to attend on death. He refers probably to some period in his past life - perhaps in the persecutions of Saul - when he was so beset with troubles and difficulties that it seemed to him that he must die. The corresponding place in 2 Sam. 22 is: “The waves of death.” The word which is used there means properly waves which break upon the shore - “breakers.” Either word denotes a condition of great danger and alarm, as if death was inevitable.

The sorrows of death compassed me - the cables or cords of death. He was almost taken in those nets or stratagems by which, if he had been entangled, he would have lost his life. The stratagems to which he refers were those that were intended for his destruction; hence called the cables or cords of death.

the floods of ungodly men - The figure “breakers or waves of death” is analogous to that of the floods of ungodly men (streams of Belial). Belial was afterwards adopted as a name for the devil (2Co_6:15). His distress is represented in both of them under the image of violent floods of water. Streams of wickedness are calamities that proceed from wickedness, or originate with worthless men.

And the floods of ungodly men - Hebrew, “Belial.” The word “Belial” means properly “without use or profit;” and then worthless, abandoned, wicked. It is applied to wicked men as being “worthless” to society, and to all the proper ends of life. Though the term here undoubtedly refers to “wicked” men, yet it refers to them as being worthless or abandoned - low, common, useless to mankind. The word rendered floods means in the singular, properly, a stream, brook, rivulet; and then, a torrent, as formed by rain and snow-water in the mountains. The word used here refers to such men as if they were poured forth in streams and torrents - in such multitudes that the psalmist was likely to be overwhelmed by them, as one would be by floods of water.

Psa 18:5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

2Sa 22:6 The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;

The sorrows of hell compassed me about - Or "the cords of the grave", under the power of which he was detained for awhile; the allusion may be to the manner of burying among the Jews, who wound up their dead bodies in linen clothes; so that they were as persons bound hand and foot; and thus were they laid in the grave; and so was Christ, till he was raised from the dead, when he showed himself to have the keys of hell and death, and to be no more under their power, or be held by them;

The sorrows of hell - The word used here is the same which occurs in the previous verse, and which is there rendered “sorrows.” On the word here rendered “hell.” It means here the “under-world, the regions of the dead.” It is a description of one who was overcome with the dread of death.

The snares of death - The word “snares” refers to the gins, toils, nets, which are used in taking wild beasts, by suddenly throwing cords around them, and binding them fast. The idea here is, that “Death” had thus thrown around him its toils or snares, and had bound him fast.

Prevented me - The word used here in Hebrew, as our word “prevent” did originally, means to “anticipate, to go before.” The idea here is that those snares had, as it were, suddenly rushed upon him, or seized him. They came before him in his goings, and bound him fast.
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#6
ayin jade

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Psa 18:6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

2Sa 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.

In my distress - This refers, most probably, not to any particular case, but rather indicates his general habit of mind, that when he was in deep distress and danger he had uniformly called upon the Lord, and had found him ready to help.

I called upon the Lord - I prayed. That is, he invoked God to help him in his trouble. He relied not on his own strength; he looked not for human aid; he looked to God alone.

And cried unto my God - The word used here denotes an earnest cry for help.

cried unto my God - so the members of Christ, when in distress, as they often are, through sin and Satan, through the hidings of God's face, a variety of afflictions, and the persecutions of men, betake themselves to the Lord, and call upon their God: a time of distress is a time for prayer; and sometimes the end God has in suffering them to be in distress is to bring them to the throne of his grace. Heb 4:16 Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

my cry came before him, even into his ears - God did not cover himself with a cloud, that his prayer could not pass through; but it was admitted and received; it came up before him with acceptance; it reached

He heard my voice out of his temple - That is, he, being in his temple, heard my voice. The word rendered temple cannot refer here to the temple at Jerusalem, for that was built after the death of David, but it refers either to heaven, considered as the temple, or dwelling-place of God, or to the tabernacle, considered as his abode on earth. The sense is not materially varied, whichever interpretation is adopted.

Even into his ears - Indicating that he certainly heard it.

Psa 18:7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

2Sa 22:8 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.

The foundations also of the hills moved - The mountains seemed to rock on their foundations. In the corresponding place in 2Sa_22:8 the expression is, “The foundations of heaven moved and shook;” that is, that on which the heavens seem to rest was agitated. Many suppose that the expression refers to the mountains as if they bore up the heavens; but one scholar supposes that the reference is to the heavens as a building or an edifice resting on foundations. Why the change was made in revising the psalm from the “foundations of the heavens” to the “foundations of the hills,” it is impossible now to determine. Note the similarity from His appearance on Sinai Deu_32:22 For a fire is kindled in My anger, and shall burn to the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with its increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

Because he was wroth - literally, “Because it was inflamed (or enkindled) to him;” that is, because he was angry. Anger is often compared to a raging flame, because it seems to consume everything before it. God seemed to be angry, and hence, he came forth in this awful manner, and the very earth trembled before him.

Then the earth shook and trembled - As it did quickly after Christ called upon the Lord, and cried to his God upon the cross, Matthew 27:51 And, behold! The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And the earth quaked, and the rocks were sheared, and so some time after, when his people were praying together, the place where they were assembled was shaken, Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness. as a token of God's presence being with them: and the shaking and trembling of the earth is often used as a symbol of the presence of God, and of the greatness of his majesty; as when he brought the children of Israel through the Red sea, went before them in the wilderness, and descended on Mount Sinai, which mountain then moved and quaked exceedingly.

the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken – the shaking of the earth and heavens, prophesied of in Haggai 2:6 For so says Jehovah of Hosts: Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land. and explained in Hebrews 12:26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will not only shake the earth, but also the heavens." of the removing the ordinances of the ceremonial law, that Gospel ordinances might remain unshaken.
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#7
ayin jade

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Psa 18:8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

2Sa 22:9 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

There went up a smoke out of his nostrils - the smoke seemed to be produced “by” his nostrils, or to be caused by his breathing. The comparison, according to some, is derived from wild beasts when excited with anger, and when their rage is indicated by their violent breathing. Isa 65:5 who say, Keep to yourself, do not come near me; for I am holier than you. These are a smoke in My nose, a fire that burns all the day. In Isaiah, this is meant to be emblematic of His wrath. This denotes, by a poetical figure, the greatness of his anger and indignation.

And fire out of his mouth devoured - That is, the clouds seemed to be poured forth from his nostrils, and the lightning from his mouth.

Coals were kindled by it - Everything seemed to glow and burn. The lightning, that appeared to flash from his mouth, set everything on fire. The heavens and the earth were in a blaze.

Psa 18:9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

2Sa 22:10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.

He bowed the heavens also - The allusion is still to the tempest, when the clouds ran low; when they seem to sweep along the ground; when it appears as if the heavens were brought nearer to the earth - as if, to use a common expression, “the heavens and earth were coming together.”

And came down - God himself seemed to descend in the fury of the storm.

And darkness was under his feet - A dark cloud; or, the darkness caused by thick clouds. The idea here is that of awful majesty and power, as we are nowhere more forcibly impressed with the idea of majesty and power than in the fury of a storm.

He bowed the heavens also, and came down - He made the heavens bend under him when he descended to take vengeance on his enemies. The psalmist seems here to express the appearance of the Divine majesty in a glorious cloud, descending from heaven, which underneath was substantially dark, but above, bright, and shining with exceeding luster; and which, by its gradual approach to the earth, would appear as though the heavens themselves were bending down and approaching towards us.
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#8
ayin jade

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Psa 18:10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

2Sa 22:11 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind.

And he rode upon a cherub - The cherub in the theology of the Hebrews was a figurative representation of power and majesty, under the image of a being of a high and celestial nature, “whose form is represented as composed from the figures of a man, ox, lion, and eagle,” Ezek. 1; 10. Cherubs are first mentioned as guarding the gates of Paradise, Gen_3:24 And He drove out the man. And He placed cherubs at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. then as bearing the throne of God upon their wings through the clouds, Ezek.1 and also as statues or images made of wood and overlaid with gold, over the cover of the ark, in the inner sanctuary of the tabernacle, and of the temple Exo_25:18 And you shall make two cherubs of gold; of beaten work you shall make them, in the two ends of the mercy-seat. 1Ki_6:23-28. Between the two cherubim in the temple, the Shechinah, or visible symbol of the presence of God, rested; and hence, God is represented as “dwelling between the cherubim,” Exo_25:22 And I will meet with you there, and I will talk with you from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubs on the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give you in commandment to the sons of Israel. Num_7:89 And when Moses had gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with Him, then he heard the voice of One speaking to him from the mercy-seat on the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubs. And He spoke to him. Psa_80:1 To the Chief Musician. A Testimony Concerning the Lilies. A Psalm of Asaph. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You dwelling between the cherubs, shine forth. Psa_99:1 Jehovah reigns; let the peoples tremble. He sits between the cherubs; let the earth quake. Here God is represented as “riding on a cherub;” that is, as coming forth on the clouds regarded as a cherub, as if, seated on his throne, he was borne along in majesty and power amidst the storm and tempest.

He rode a cherub and did fly - The cherub is not a personified earthly creature, for cherubim are angels around the throne of God (see at Gen_3:22). The poetical figure “riding upon the cherub” is borrowed from the fact that God was enthroned between the two cherubim upon the lid of the ark of the covenant, and above their outspread wings (Exo_25:20-21). As the idea of His “dwelling between the cherubim” (2Sa_6:2; 1Sa_4:4; Psa_80:2) was founded upon this typical manifestation of the gracious presence of God in the Most Holy place, so here David depicts the descent of Jehovah from heaven as “riding upon a cherub,” picturing the cherub as a throne upon which God appears in the clouds of heaven. The “flying” is also suggested by the wings of the cherubim. As the divine “shechinah” was enthroned above the ark of the covenant upon the wings of the cherubim, David in his poetical description represents the cherub and his wings as carrying the throne of God, to express the thought that Jehovah came down from heaven as the judge and savior of His servants in the splendor of His divine glory, surrounded by cherubim who stand as His highest servants around His throne.

He rode upon a cherub, and did fly - That is, as it is immediately explained, Yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. God was in the storm, and by the ministry of angels guided the course of it, and drove it on with such an impetuous force as nothing could withstand. He ‘rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm.’ Angels are in a peculiar sense the attendants and messengers of the Almighty, whom he employs as his ministers in effecting many of those great events which take place in the administration of his providence; and particularly such as manifest his immediate interposition in the extraordinary judgments which he inflicts for the punishment of sinful nations. The cherub is particularly mentioned as an emblem of the Divine presence, and especially as employed in supporting and conveying the chariot of the Almighty, when he is represented as riding in his majesty through the firmament of heaven. The cherub supported and led on the tempest, in which the Almighty rode as in his chariot. Thus they supported the mercy-seat, which was peculiarly the throne of God under the Jewish economy. God is expressly said to “make the clouds his chariot,” Psa_104:3; and to “ride upon a swift cloud,” Isa_19:1 : so that “riding upon a cherub,” and “riding upon a swift cloud,” is riding in the cloud as his chariot, supported and guided by the ministry of the cherubim. This is agreeable to the office elsewhere ascribed to the cherubim.

he did fly upon the wings of the wind - He seemed to move rapidly on the flying clouds, which may design the speedy help and assistance God gave to his Son, and gives to his people; and the swift destruction of their enemies. The words in 2 Samuel 22:11 are "and he was seen upon the wings of the wind"; which both express the same sense.

he did fly upon the wings of the wind - Rapidly as the clouds driven along by the wind. The “wings of the wind” are designed to represent the rapidity with which the wind sweeps along. Rapid motion is represented by the flight of birds; hence, the term wings is applied to winds to denote the rapidity of their movement. The whole figure here is designed to represent; the majesty with which God seemed to be borne along on the tempest.

Psa 18:11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

2Sa 22:12 And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.

He made darkness his secret place - Which, and the dark waters in the next clause, are the same with the thick clouds in the last, in which Jehovah is represented as wrapping himself, and in which he lies hid as in a secret place; not so as that he cannot see others, as wicked men imagine, Job 22:13; but as that he cannot be beheld by others.

He made darkness his secret place - God is represented as dwelling in the thick darkness, Deu_4:11; Psa_97:2. This representation in the place before us is peculiarly proper; as thick heavy clouds deeply charged, and with lowering aspects, are always the forerunners and attendants of a tempest, and greatly heighten the horrors of the appearance: and the representation of them, spread about the Almighty as a tent.

his pavilion round about him were dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies - these were as a tent or tabernacle, in which he dwelt unseen by men; see Job 36:29; all this may design the dark dispensation of the Jews, after their rejection and crucifixion of Christ; when God departed from them, left their house desolate, and them without his presence and protection; when the light of the Gospel was taken away from them, and blindness happened unto them, and they had eyes that they should not see, and were given up to a judicial darkness of mind and hardness of heart; which were some of the dark, deep, and mysterious methods of divine Providence, with respect to which God may be said to be surrounded with darkness, dark waters, and thick clouds; Romans 11:7.

Dark waters - The vapors strongly condensed into clouds; which, by the stroke of the lightning, are about to be precipitated in torrents of rain.
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#9
ayin jade

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Psa 18:12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.

2Sa 22:13 Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled.

At the brightness that was before him - From the flash of the play of the lightning that seemed to go before him.

His thick clouds passed - vanished. They seemed to pass away. The light, the flash, the blaze, penetrated those clouds, and seemed to dispel, or to scatter them. The whole heavens were in a blaze, as if there were no clouds, or as if the clouds were all driven away. The reference here is to the appearance when the vivid flashes of lightning seem to penetrate and dispel the clouds, and the heavens seem to be lighted up with a universal flame.

And coals of fire - This was the storm that followed the flash and the peal. There seemed to be coals of fire rolling along the ground, or falling from the sky. In the corresponding place in 2Sa_22:13 the expression is, “Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled.” That is, fires were kindled by the lightning.

And coals of fire - The splendor of the divine nature enveloped in clouds breaks through the dark covering in burning coals of fire. The coals of fire which burst forth, i.e., which break out in flame from the dark clouds, are the lightning which shoots forth from the dark storm-clouds in streams of fire.

At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed - The word signifies the lightning. This goes before him: the flash is seen before the thunder is heard, and before the rain descends; and then the thick cloud passes. Its contents are precipitated on the earth, and the cloud is entirely dissipated.

his thick clouds passed - that is, passed away; prophetically the gross darkness, which had for so many years covered the Gentile world, was removed when God sent forth his light and truth; and multitudes, who were darkness itself, were made light in the Lord.

hail and coals of fire - these may design the heavy, awful, and consuming judgments of God, which are sometimes signified by hail storms; Revelation 8:7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mixed with blood, and they were cast on the earth. And the third part of trees was burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

Psa 18:13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.

2Sa 22:14 The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.

The Lord also thundered in the heavens - Thunder is often in the Scriptures described as the voice of God. The former verse mentioned the lightning, with its effects; this gives us the report of the thunder, and the increasing storm of hail and fire that attended it.

Hail-stones, and coals of fire - Accompanying the thunder. The repetition seems to be because these were such striking and constant accompaniments of the storm.

And the Highest gave his voice - God, the most exalted Being in the universe, uttered his voice in the thunder; or, the thunder was his voice.

the Highest gave his voice - the same with thunder; for thunder is often called the voice of the Lord, Job 37:5 God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things, and we do not understand.
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#10
ayin jade

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Psa 18:14 Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.

2Sa 22:15 And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.

Yea, he sent out his arrows - The word arrows here probably refers to the lightnings mentioned in the other clause of the verse. Those lightnings scattered around, and accomplishing such destruction, seemed to be arrows sent forth from the hand of God.

Yea, he sent out his arrows – this may denote, either the doctrines of the Gospel, which were sharp in the hearts of Christ's enemies, and are either the means of subduing them to him, or of destroying them; or however, like arrows, give great pain and uneasiness where they stick, and grievously distress and torment; as does the fire which comes out of the mouth of the two witnesses, Revelation 11:5. Or else the judgments of God are meant, as famine, pestilence, and the sword, which God sent unto, and spent upon the Jewish nation, Deuteronomy 32:23.

And he shot out lightnings - As arrows; or, as from a bow. This illustrates the first, that He sent out arrows. The fiery brightness of lightning, in shape like burning arrows rapidly shot through the air, well represents the most terrible part of an awful storm. Before the terrors of such a scene the enemies are confounded and overthrown in dismay.

And scattered them - the enemies of David. They seem, however, to have been in his eye throughout the psalm, for it was the victory achieved over them by the divine interposition that he was celebrating throughout the poem.

And discomfited them - literally, to impel, to drive; then, to put in commotion or consternation. The allusion is to an army whose order is disturbed, or which is thrown into confusion, and which is, therefore, easily conquered. The idea is that David achieved a victory over all his enemies, as if God had scattered them by a storm and tempest.

Psa 18:15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

2Sa 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.

Then the channels of waters were seen - In 2Sa_22:16 this is, “And the channels of the sea appeared.” The idea is that, by the driving of the storm and tempest, the waters were driven on heaps, leaving the bottom bare. In Psalm 18 the word used, “waters” - mayim - would denote waters of any kind - seas, lakes, rivers; in the corresponding place in 2 Samuel, the word used - yâm - denotes, properly, the sea or the ocean. The word rendered channels means a pipe or tube; then a channel, or bed of a brook or stream, Isa_8:7; Eze_32:6; and then the bottom of the sea or of a river. The allusion is to the effect of a violent wind, driving the waters on heaps, and seeming to leave the bed or channel bare.

Then the channels of water were seen - There seems to be an allusion to the drying up of the sea when the Israelites passed through it.

The foundations of the world were discovered - Were laid open; were manifested or revealed. By mighty earthquakes, which overturned the earth, and made its lower parts visible. People seemed to be able to look down into the depths, and to see the very foundations on which the earth rests. The world is often represented as resting on a foundation, Psa_102:25; Isa_48:13; Zec_12:1; Pro_8:29.

At thy rebuke - At the expression of his anger or displeasure; as if God, in the fury of the tempest, was expressing his indignation and wrath.

At the blast of the breath of thy nostrils - At the breathing forth of anger, as it were, from his nostrils.
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#11
ayin jade

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Psa 18:16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

2Sa 22:17 He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters;

He sent from above - Either his hand, as in Psalm 144:7; he exerted and displayed his mighty power in raising Christ from the dead; or he sent help from his sanctuary; as in Psalm 20:2; and helped and strengthened him in a day of salvation; or when he wrought out the salvation of his people; or "he sent his word," as in Psalm 107:20; his word of command, to take up his life again, as he had given it to lay it down, John 10:18.

He sent from above - The Lord stretched His hand from the height into the deep abysses, which had been uncovered through the threatening of the wrath of God, and drew out the sinking man. As Moses was taken out of the waters of the Nile, so David was taken out of great (many) waters.

He took me - He took hold on me; he rescued me.

he drew me out of many waters - This is said either in allusion to Moses, who had his name from his being drawn out of the water, Exodus 2:10; and who was an eminent type of Christ; and this is the only place where the Hebrew word is made use of from whence he had his name; or else to a man plunged in water ready to be drowned; see Psalm 69:1. By these "many waters" may be meant the many afflictions, sorrows, and sufferings from which Christ was freed, when raised from the dead, and highly exalted and crowned with glory and honor.

He drew me out of many waters - Waters are often expressive of calamity and trouble, Psa_46:3; Psa_69:1; Psa_73:10; Psa_124:4-5. The meaning here is, that God had rescued him out of the many troubles and dangers that encompassed him, as if he had fallen into the sea and was in danger of perishing.

He drew me out of many waters - The waters thus poured out were sweeping the people away; but God, by a miraculous interference, sent and drew David out. Sometimes waters are used to denote multitudes of people; and here the word may have that reference; multitudes were gathered together against David, but God delivered him from them all.

Psa 18:17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

2Sa 22:18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.

He delivered me from my strong enemy - Which, as it may respect David, may be understood of Goliath the Philistine champion, who was a man of war from his youth; or Saul, king of Israel; and, as it may respect David's antitype - Christ - may design either the chief priests, Scribes, and Pharisees, who were men of power and influence; or more especially Satan, the strong man armed, with all his principalities and powers; or, likewise death, the last enemy, from whose pains and cords he was loosed when raised from the dead, and when he was delivered from every other strong enemy;

from them which hated me - from the old serpent the devil, between whom and him there has been a lasting enmity; and from the world, the Pharisees, who bore an implacable hatred to Christ.

for they were too strong for me - as Goliath and Saul were too strong for David of himself, so Christ's enemies were too strong for him; not as God, for he is the mighty God, the Almighty, and stronger than the strong man armed, but as man; for in his human nature he had a sinless weakness, which showed itself in his agonies in the garden; or a natural weakness, through which he was crucified; and this weak nature of Christ Satan attacked, and got an advantage over, and brought it to the dust of death, which is meant by his bruising his heel, though by it he got a broken head. But though Christ's enemies were too strong for him, considered merely as man, they not being, at least many of them, flesh and blood, but principalities and powers; yet being helped by his Father, and supported by his divine nature, he overcame them, and was delivered from them.
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#12
ayin jade

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Psa 18:18 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.

2Sa 22:19 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.

They prevented me - They anticipated me, or went before me. The idea here is that his enemies came before him, or intercepted his way. They were in his path, ready to destroy him.

They prevented me in the day of my calamity - Referring to the times of his distress in the garden and upon the cross; the time of his sufferings and death.

But the Lord was my stay - on whom he leaned, relied, and depended, believing he would help him; and by whom he was supported and upheld, Isaiah 42:1. His support, or prop. That is, the Lord upheld him, and kept him from falling.

Psa 18:19 He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

2Sa 22:20 He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

He brought me forth also into a large place - Instead of being hemmed in by enemies He enabled me to clear the country of my foes, who had before cooped me up in holes and corners. Out of my straits and difficulties, into a state of freedom and comfort. So he ascribes all his mercies to God's good pleasure, as the first spring of them. This appears to be the allusion.

He brought me forth also into a large place - Into heaven, a place of the glorious liberty of Christ, after his captivity to death and the grave, whither he ascended leading captivity captive, and of the children of God; and a spacious place, where there is room enough for Christ and all his people; here he now is, and will remain till his second coming.

Because he delighted in me - God delivered David from all his enemies, because he was a man after his own heart, in whom he delighted; not for any merit and worthiness in him, but of his good will and pleasure: he delivered Christ because he was his elect, in whom his soul delighted; and who was daily his delight, rejoicing in his presence before the world was: and he delivers his church and people, in whom is his delight, Isaiah 62:4 You will no more be called Forsaken; nor will your land any more be called Desolate; but you will be called My Delight is in her, and your land, Married; for the LORD delights in you, And your land Married. the Father delighted in them, and therefore chose them to salvation; the Son delighted in them, and gave himself for them, and ransomed them out of the hands of him that is stronger than they; the Holy Spirit delighted in them, and therefore regenerates, renews, and sanctifies them, and seals them up unto the day of redemption.

Because he delighted in me - He saw that my cause was just, and he had favor toward me.
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#13
ayin jade

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Psa 18:20 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

2Sa 22:21 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

The Lord rewarded me - David proceeds to give the reasons why God had so marvelously interposed in his behalf.

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness - The righteousness and cleanness of hands, i.e., the innocence, which David attributed to himself, were not perfect righteousness or holiness before God, but the righteousness of his endeavors and deeds as contrasted with the unrighteousness and wickedness of his adversaries and pursuers, and consisted in the fact that he endeavored earnestly and sincerely to walk in the ways of God and to keep the divine commandments.

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness - Which, if applied to David, cannot be understood of his own personal righteousness, or of works of righteousness done by him, for these merit nothing at the hand of God; no reward, in strict justice, is due to them, or given to them: a man's own righteousness is imperfect, and by the law of God is not accounted a righteousness. It can be understood of the righteousness of Christ, which he, as Mediator, has wrought out for his people; this is perfect, pure, and spotless. Now, according to this righteousness, Christ in strict justice has been rewarded in his own person; as he had the work of man's redemption assigned him, and he agreed to do it, he had a reward promised him, and which he claimed, when he had glorified his Father and finished his work; and which he received when he was set down at the right hand of God, crowned with glory and honor, in consequence of his obedience, sufferings, and death; and he is rewarded in his members according to his righteousness, they being justified by it, and made heirs of eternal life on account of it, and are or will be glorified with him for evermore;

according to my righteousness - Those that forsake the ways of the Lord, depart from their God. David kept his eye upon the rule of God's commands. When he sinned, he was repentant. Those who resist God, and walk contrary to him, shall find that he will walk contrary to them, Lev_26:21-24.

Psa 18:21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

2Sa 22:22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

For I have kept the ways of the Lord - in strict justice, the words better agree with Christ, who kept the law of God perfectly, did his will completely; he came from heaven to do it; it was his meat and drink to accomplish it; and he always did the things which pleased his father, wherefore he rewarded him;

have not wickedly departed from my God - it is right and best to understand this of Christ, who never was guilty of sin, nor committed any wickedness in departing from God in the least.
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#14
ayin jade

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Psa 18:22 For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.

2Sa 22:23 For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.

For all his judgments - All his statutes, ordinances, laws. The word judgment is commonly used in this sense in the Scriptures, as referring to that which God has judged or determined to be right.

For all his judgments were before me - That is, the precepts of the law of God, which David had a respect unto, loved, took delight and pleasure in, and so had them all in his sight, and made them the rule of his actions; and the law of God is delighted in by regenerate persons, after the inward man; and though it is abolished as a covenant of works, it is a rule of walk and conversation to the saints; This in the highest and fullest sense was done by Christ, who was made under the law, in whose heart it was, and who came to fulfill it, and has completely fulfilled it;

Were before me - That is, I acted in view of them, or as having them to guide me. They were constantly before my eyes, and I regulated my conduct in accordance with their requirements.

And I did not put away his statutes from me - I did not reject them as the guide of my conduct.

I did not put away his statutes from me - this may have respect to the ceremonial law, and the ordinances of it, which David abode by, very strictly observed, renewed, and put in order; and which Christ, his antitype, never departed from, but conformed unto throughout the whole of his life; witness his circumcision, keeping of the passover, attendance on the synagogue and temple worship; nor did he put them away until they had their full accomplishment in him.

Psa 18:23 I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.

2Sa 22:24 I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.

I was also upright before him - The meaning is that he was upright in his sight. The word rendered upright is the same which in Job_1:1 is rendered perfect.

I was also upright - The times in which David was most afflicted were the times of his greatest uprightness. Adversity was always to him a time of spiritual prosperity.

I was also upright before him - In heart and conversation, being sincere and faithful; so David was in the sight of God; but this is much more true of Christ, in whom there was no unrighteousness nor guile, neither in his heart, nor in his lips; he was of perfect integrity, and faithful in all things to him that appointed him;

I kept myself from mine iniquity - From the iniquity to which I was prone or inclined. This is an acknowledgment that he was prone to sin, or that if he had acted out his natural character he would have indulged in sin - perhaps such sins as had been charged upon him. But he here says that, with this natural proneness to sin, he had restrained himself, and had not been deserving of the treatment which he had received. This is one of those incidental remarks which often occur in the Scriptures which recognize the doctrine of depravity, or the fact that the heart, even when most restrained, is by nature inclined to sin. It is, however, painfully certain that at some periods of his life - as in the matter of Uriah - he did give indulgence to some of the most corrupt inclinations of the human heart, and that, in acting out these corrupt propensities, he was guilty of crimes which have forever dimmed the luster of his name and stained his memory. These painful facts, however, are not inconsistent with the statement that in his general character he did restrain these corrupt propensities, and did “keep himself from his iniquity” So, in the review of our own lives, if we are truly the friends of God, while we may be painfully conscious that we have often given indulgence to the corrupt propensities of our natures - over which, if we are truly the children of God, we shall have repented - we may still find evidence that, as the great and habitual rule of life, we have restrained those passions, and have “kept ourselves” from the particular forms of sin to which our hearts were prone.
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#15
ayin jade

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Psa 18:24 Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.

2Sa 22:25 Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.

According to my righteousness - As if I were righteous; or, his acts of intervention have been such as are appropriate to a righteous life. David does not say that it was on account of his righteousness as if he had merited the favor of God, but that the interpositions in his behalf had been such as to show that God regarded him as righteous.

Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness - Having proved and supported this proposition by the above reasons, it is repeated, for confirmation's sake; The motive for deliverance, which was expounded in 2Sa_22:21-24, is summed up briefly in 2Sa_22:25; and then in 2Sa_22:26 and 2Sa_22:27 it is carried back to the general truth, that the conduct of God towards men is regulated according to the conduct of men towards God.

the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight - this phrase, "in his eyesight," is here added, to show that the righteousness of Christ was clean, pure, and spotless in the sight of God; in the eye of divine justice: hence those that are clothed with it are holy and unblamable, and irreprovable in his sight, Colossians 1:22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish, and without charge in His sight,

Psa 18:25 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;

2Sa 22:26 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.

With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful - Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful! For they shall obtain mercy. This may be applied to Christ, all whose ways are mercy and truth;

With the merciful - Thou wilt deal with him according to his character. As he is faithful and just, so will he find that he has to do with a God who is faithful and just. From the particular statement respecting the divine dealings with himself David now passes to a general statement (suggested by what God had done for him) in regard to the general principles of the divine administration. That general statement is, that God deals with men according to their character; or, that he will adapt his providential dealings to the conduct of men. They will find him to be such toward them as they have shown themselves to be toward him. The word merciful refers to one who is disposed to show kindness or compassion to those who are guilty, or to those who injure or wrong us.

Thou wilt show thyself merciful - It is in reference to this that our Lord teaches us to pray: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.” Mat_6:12. And in accordance also with this he said, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses,” Mat_6:14-15. If we act feelingly and mercifully towards our fellow creatures, God will act tenderly and compassionately towards us. The merciful, the upright, and the pure, will ever have the God of mercy, uprightness, and purity, to defend and support them.

With an upright man - This may also be interpreted of Christ, who is in the highest and fullest sense perfect, upright, and sincere, and faithful to him that appointed him; and as he has been faithful in all his covenant engagements with his Father, so his Father has been faithful to him in making good all he promised him; both with respect to his own glory, and the happiness of his people.

With an upright man - The idea is that of a man who is consistent, or whose character is complete in all its parts.
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#16
ayin jade

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Psa 18:26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

2Sa 22:27 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.

With the pure - Those who are pure in their thoughts, their motives, their conduct. Free from the least mixture or appearance of unrighteousness, or unfaithfulness.

Thou wilt show thyself pure - They will find that they have to deal with a God who is himself pure; who loves purity, and who will accompany it with appropriate rewards wherever it is found.

And with the froward - The word used here means properly perverse; a man of a perverse and wicked mind. It would be applicable to a man who perverts or wrests the words of others from their true meaning; who prevaricates or is deceitful in his own conduct; who is not straightforward in his dealings; who takes advantage of circumstances to impose on others, and to promote his own ends; who is sour, harsh, crabbed, unaccommodating, unyielding, unkind.

Thou wilt show thyself froward - In the corresponding place in 2Sa_22:27 it is rendered, “Thou wilt show thyself unsavory;” though the same word is used in the original. It cannot mean here that God would assume such a character, or that he would be crooked, crafty, perverse in his dealings with men, for no one can suppose that David meant to ascribe such a character to God; but the meaning plainly is, that God would deal with the man referred to according to his real character: instead of finding that God would deal with them as if they were pure, and righteous, and merciful, such men would find that he deals with them as they are - as perverse, crooked, wicked. Leviticus 26:27-28 And if you will not for all of this listen to Me, but will walk contrary to Me, then I will walk contrary to you also in fury. And I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.

With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure - None of Adam's posterity are pure by nature; they are all defiled with sin; and though some are pure in their own eyes, they are far from being cleansed from their filthiness; such only are pure who are sanctified by the Spirit of God, have clean hearts created in them, and whose hearts are purified by faith in the blood of Christ; who are justified by Christ's righteousness, and are washed from their sins in his blood.

With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure - this may likewise be understood of Christ, who, in his human nature, is pure from all sin. He indeed took upon him the sins of his people, and bore them, and made atonement for them, and brought in everlasting righteousness; which being done, God has showed himself pure to him, by justifying, acquitting, and discharging him from all such sins; by accepting his righteousness, and imputing it to those for whom he wrought it;

Psa 18:27 For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.

2Sa 22:28 And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.

For thou wilt save the afflicted people - From the particular tokens of divine favor toward himself in affliction and trouble, David now draws the general inference that this was the character of God, and that others in affliction might hope for his interposition as he had done.

For thou wilt save the afflicted people - As the people of God commonly are; they are afflicted with sin, and the corruption of their own hearts, and with Satan and his temptations, and with the world, its reproaches, and persecutions; but God in his own time saves them out of them, if not here, yet hereafter.

But wilt bring down high looks - or proud men, whom God humbles; these he abhors, resists, sets himself against, scatters and destroys. Another general inference probably derived from the dealings of God with the proud and haughty foes of David. As God had humbled them, so he infers that he would deal with others in the same way. “High looks” are indicative of pride and haughtiness.
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#17
ayin jade

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Psa 18:28 For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

2Sa 22:29 For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.

For thou wilt light my candle - For He was his lamp. He had lifted him out of a condition of depression and contempt into one of glory and honor, and would still further enlighten his darkness. This may either design outward prosperity, and the flourishing condition of David's kingdom; or internal spiritual light, and an increase of it, by giving fresh supplies of the oil of grace, to cause the lamp to burn more clearly; or rather the prosperous estate of Christ's kingdom; and may be the same with the lamp ordained for the Messiah.

For thou wilt light my candle - The word translated candle means lamp which best expresses the idea. In the Scriptures light is an image of prosperity, success, happiness, holiness, as darkness is the image of the opposite. The meaning here is, that David felt assured that God would give him prosperity, as if his lamp were kept constantly burning in his dwelling. To give one light is to make prosperous (Job_18:5, Job_18:6; Job_21:17).

For thou wilt light my candle - Thou wilt restore me to prosperity, and give me a happy issue out of all my afflictions. By the lamp of David the Messiah may be meant: thou wilt not suffer my family to become extinct, nor the kingdom which thou hast promised me utterly to fail.

For thou wilt light my candle - The lamp is an image of life, which as it were burns on and on, including the idea of prosperity and high rank; it is the usual figurative word for the continuance of the house of David, 1Ki_11:36, and frequently David's life and dominion, as the covenant king, is the lamp which God's favor has lighted for the well-being of Israel, and His power will not allow this lamp (2Sa_21:17) to be quenched.

The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness - Will shed light on my path, which would otherwise be dark: will impart light to my understanding; will put peace and joy in my heart; will crown me with his favor.

The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness – This is true of Christ, not only of the prosperity of his kingdom and interest, but of him personally; who though, when on the cross, was in darkness of soul, being forsaken by his God; yet, when raised from the dead, he was received up to heaven, and set down at the right hand of God, and was made full of joy with his countenance, Acts 2:28.

Psa 18:29 For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

2Sa 22:30 For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.

For by thee I have run through a troop - The word troop here refers to bands of soldiers, or hosts of enemies. The word rendered run through means properly to run; and then, as here, to run or rush upon in a hostile sense; to rush with violence upon one. The idea here is that he had been enabled to rush with violence upon his armed opposers; to overcome them, and to secure a victory. The allusion is to the wars in which he had been engaged.

Have I leaped over a wall - I have been able to scale the walls of an enemy, and to secure a victory. He refers to his successful attacks on the fortified towns of his enemies. The general idea is, that all his victories were to be traced to God.
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#18
ayin jade

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Psa 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

2Sa 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.

God, his way is perfect - His conduct is like his nature, absolutely pure.

The word of the Lord is tried - The idea is, that his word had been tested as silver or any other metal is in the fire. It has been abundantly tested or tried, and it still stands. It has stood all tests; and has never failed those who pleaded it before its author. It has been tested by the friends of God, and has been found to be all that it promised to be for support and consolation in trial.

He is a buckler - Or, a shield, for so the original word means. A sure protection to every simple believing soul.

Psa 18:31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?

2Sa 22:32 For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?

For who is God save the Lord - The idea is, that no other being has evinced the power, the wisdom, and the goodness which properly belong to the true God; or, that the things which are implied in the true nature of God are found in no other being. None is worthy of adoration but the self-existent, eternal, infinitely perfect, and all-merciful Being.

Or who is a rock save our God - There is no one who can furnish such safety or defense; no one under whose protection we can be secure in danger
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#19
ayin jade

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Psa 18:32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

2Sa 22:33 God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.

It is God that girdeth me with strength - Who gives me strength. The girdle was a necessary part of their dress; it strengthened and supported the loins; served to confine the garments close to the body; and in it they tucked them up when journeying. The strength of God was to his soul what the girdle was to the body. The girdle was also an ornamental part of the dress, and from it the sword was suspended.

And maketh my way perfect - He directs me so that I do not go astray; he blesses me in my undertakings; and by him the issue of my labors is crowned with prosperity. Gives me complete success in my undertakings; or, enables me so to carry them out that none of them fail.

and maketh my way perfect - or safe, or prosperous. God removed every impediment and obstacle out of his way, and made it plain and easy, and gave him victory over his enemies; this has been verified in Christ, who has conquered sin, Satan, the world, death, and the grave: for this is not to be understood of the way and course of David's life and conversation, which was not perfect and unspotted, but had many blemishes and imperfections in it, which he often owns, confesses, and bewails.

Psa 18:33 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

2Sa 22:34 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet: and setteth me upon my high places.

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet - The hind is the female deer, remarkable for fleetness or swiftness. The meaning here is, that God had made him alert or active, enabling him to pursue a flying enemy, or to escape from a swift-running foe.

And setteth me upon my high places - places of safety or refuge. In allusion to the hinds, antelopes, mountain goats, etc., which frequented such places, and in which they found both food and safety. God frequently preserved the life of David by means of these. The idea is, that God had given him security, or had rendered him safe from danger.

And setteth me upon my high places - Confirms me in that high estate into which he hath advanced me.In a spiritual sense, may design the everlasting love of God, the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises; and Christ himself, with the fullness of grace in him, on which believers may be said to be set, when their faith is directed to them, and they live and dwell upon them. The words were fulfilled in Christ, when God highly exalted him at his right hand, and set him above all principalities and powers, and made him higher than the heavens.
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#20
ayin jade

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Psa 18:34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

2Sa 22:35 He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

He teacheth my hands to war - The skill which David had in the use of the bow, the sword, or the spear - all of which depends on the hands - he ascribes entirely to God.

He teacheth my hands to war - From whence it appears, that war, in some cases, is lawful. All that spiritual skill is also from God, in making use of the whole armor of God against every enemy, sin, Satan, and the world; and even the wisdom and skill, counsel and instruction, which Christ as man and Mediator had, when it was the hour and power of darkness; when he was engaged with principalities and powers, and got the victory over them, were from the Lord.

So that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms - This is mentioned as an instance of extraordinary strength, as if he were able to bend a bow made of metal. The original word rendered steel means properly brass. The method of making brass out of copper was known at a very early period of the world; and the ancients had the art of hardening it, so as to work it into the most efficient swords. From his own account David was swift, courageous, and strong.

Psa 18:35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

2Sa 22:36 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.

The shield of thy salvation - In all battles and dangers God defended him. He was constantly safe because he possessed the salvation of God. Everywhere God protected him.

Thou hast given me the shield of thy salvation - Meaning either temporal salvation, which was a shield to him when he had no outward one, as when he fought with Goliath; and was what preserved him in all his battles at other times: or spiritual salvation, which is of the Lord, and in which his glory is concerned; the words may be applied to Christ, who, though he was not saved from dying, yet was preserved in the day of salvation, and was not suffered to see corruption in the grave.

And thy right hand hath holden me up - He has sustained him when in danger of failing, as if He had held him with His own hand. In a spiritual sense, Jesus the Messiah holds him up. References to the right hand or arm in the Old Testament frequently are Messianic references. Compare to Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? Psalm 20:6 Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven With the saving strength of His right hand.

And thy gentleness hath made me great - The word here rendered gentleness, evidently means here favor, goodness, kindness. It commonly means humility, modesty, as applied to men; as applied to God, it means mildness, clemency, favor. The idea is, that God had dealt with him in gentleness, kindness, clemency, and that to this fact alone he owed all his prosperity and success in life. It was not by any claim which he had on God; it was by no worth of his own; it was by no native strength or valor that he had been thus exalted, but it was wholly because God had dealt kindly with him, or had showed him favor. So all our success in life is to be traced to the favor - the kindness - of God.

thy gentleness hath made me great - David was very mean and low by his birth and occupation; but God of his grace and goodness, of his sovereign good will and pleasure, raised him to an high estate, set him on the throne of Israel, and gave him honor among and above the kings of the earth. The same with Christ, who was very low in his estate of humiliation on earth, but is now highly exalted, and crowned with glory and honor; who first endured great sufferings, and then entered into his glory
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