|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-4 David's charge to Solomon is, to keep the charge of the Lord. The authority of a dying father is much, but nothing to that of a living God. God promised David that the Messiah should come from his descendants, and that promise was absolute; but the promise, that there should not fail of them a man on the throne of Israel, was conditional; if he walks before God in sincerity, with zeal and resolution: in order hereunto, he must take heed to his way.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I go the way of all the earth,.... A path which is the path of death (o), which all pass in, kings and peasants, high and low, rich and poor, great and small, good and bad; none are exempted, all must die, and do; it is the appointment of God, a decree which can never be reversed; all experience confirms it: this same phrase is used by Joshua, from whom David seems to have borrowed it, and shows that that book was written in his days, Joshua 23:14;
be thou strong therefore; not discouraged at my death, being a common thing, and to be expected; nor at being left alone, the Lord can give thee wisdom and counsel, assistance and strength, protection, and defence; take heart therefore, and be of good courage:
and show thyself a man; in wisdom and understanding, and in fortitude of mind, though so young a man; which were necessary for the government of so great a people, and to guard against the secret intrigues of some, and the open flatteries of others, and the fear of attempts against his person and government, and the temptations he might be liable to, to do wrong things; and especially they were necessary to enable him to keep the commands of God, as follows; which required great strength of mind and of grace, considering the corruptions of nature, the temptations of Satan, and the snares of men; see Joshua 1:7.
(o) "------ omnes una manet nox, Et calcanda semel via lethi". Horat. Carmin. l. 1. ode 28. ver. 15, 16.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. I go the way of all the earth—a beautiful and impressive periphrasis for death.
be thou strong, … show thyself a man—This counsel is similar to the apostolic direction (1Co 16:13) and refers to the fortitude or strength of mind that was required to discharge the onerous functions of king.
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