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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

2 Samuel 23

 

 

Verses 1-39


David's Last Words. The Exploits of his Heroes

1-7. This psalm is not contained in the book of Psalms. It is called 'the last' (rather, 'the latter') 'words of David,' in contrast with the earlier psalm, which forms 2 Samuel 22. We have no other means of determining its date.

2. By me] RM 'in me.' The idea is that God used the psalmist as His instrument and spokesman to repeat His words to the people: cp. 1 Kings 22:28; Hosea 1:2.

4. As the tender grass springing] render, 'when the tender grass springs.' The righteous ruler is like a bright, sunny morning, when there are no clouds and the grass springs out of the earth. There are no clouds to darken the present or threaten the future, and the whole land is alive with gladness and life.

5. This v. is better taken as a question: 'For is not my house so with God, seeing He hath made.. for all my salvation and all my desire, shall He not make it to grow? 'David refers to the promise actually made in the past and looks forward with confidence to the future. Everlasting covenant] cp. 2 Samuel 7:15, 2 Samuel 7:16.

Ordered in all things] i.e. properly drawn up and arranged in every respect. Grow] i.e. continue and increase: cp. Isaiah 45:8.

6, 7. These vv. contrast the fate of the wicked. Thorns cannot be pulled up with the naked hand, but the man who wishes to cut them down must take in his hand a long staff with an iron weapon at the end.

8-39. This list of heroes originally contained the first three, then a second three, then the 30:36 names in all, or with Joab, 37 names. This is the number actually given in 2 Samuel 23:39.

8-11. The first three, Ishbosheth, Eleazar, and Shammah.

8. The Tachmonite that sat in the seat] read, 'Ishbosheth the Hachmonite.' Chief among the captains] read, 'the chief of the three': cp. 2 Samuel 23:19. The same was Adino the Eznite] Chronicles rightly reads 'he lifted up his spear.'

11. Into a troop] read, 'to Lehi.' Lehi was the scene of Samson's exploit against the Philistines (Judges 15:9.).

13-16. We now get a great exploit, which promoted three other heroes to a place above the 30.

16. Poured it out unto the Lord] as too precious for human use.

18-20. Two names only of the second three have been preserved: Abishai and Benaiah.

24-39. Chronicles reduces this list to the correct number of 30, by omitting the name of Elika (2 Samuel 23:25). But we know that Asahel died early in David's reign, and another may have been chosen in his place.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 23:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/2-samuel-23.html. 1909.

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