|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:1-7 These words of David are very worthy of regard. Let those who have had long experience of God's goodness, and the pleasantness of heavenly wisdom, when they come to finish their course, bear their testimony to the truth of the promise. David avows his Divine inspiration, that the Spirit of God spake by him. He, and other holy men, spake and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. In many things he had his own neglect and wrong conduct to blame. But David comforted himself that the Lord had made with him an everlasting covenant. By this he principally intended the covenant of mercy and peace, which the Lord made with him as a sinner, who believed in the promised Saviour, who embraced the promised blessing, who yielded up himself to the Lord, to be his redeemed servant. Believers shall for ever enjoy covenant blessings; and God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, shall be for ever glorified in their salvation. Thus pardon, righteousness, grace, and eternal life, are secured as the gift of God through Jesus Christ. There is an infinite fulness of grace and all blessings treasured up in Christ, for those who seek his salvation. This covenant was all David's salvation, he so well knew the holy law of God and the extent of his own sinfulness, that he perceived what was needful for his own case in this salvation. It was therefore all his desire. In comparison, all earthly objects lost their attractions; he was willing to give them up, or to die and leave them, that he might enjoy full happiness, Ps 73:24-28. Still the power of evil, and the weakness of his faith, hope, and love, were his grief and burden. Doubtless he would have allowed that his own slackness and want of care were the cause; but the hope that he should soon be made perfect in glory, encouraged him in his dying moments.
Verse 1. - Now these be the last words of David. A long interval separates this psalm from the preceding. The one was written when David had just reached the zenith of his power, and, when still unstained by foul crime, he could claim God's favour as due to his innocence. These last words were David's latest inspired utterance, written, probably, towards the end of the calm period which followed upon his restoration to his throne, and when time and the sense of God's renewed favour had healed the wounds of his soul. David the son of Jesse said. It was probably this account of the author, and its personal character, which caused the exclusion of this hymn from the Book of Psalms. It seemed to belong rather to David's private history than to a collection made for use in the public services of the temple. Said. The word is one usually applied to a message coming directly from God. It is used, however, four times in Numbers 24. of the words of Balaam, and in Proverbs 30. of those of Agur. The solemnity of the word indicates the fatness of its inspiration. The sweet psalmist; literally, he who is pleasant in the psalms of Israel. David might well claim this title, as, under God, we owe the Psalter to him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now these be the last words of David,.... Which refer not to the psalm in the preceding chapter, but to what follows; not the last words he spoke, for he said many things afterwards; for the advice he gave to Solomon, and the instructions to him about building the temple, were delivered after this time; but these were the last after he had finished the book of Psalms; or the last that he spoke under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, or that he delivered out by way of prophecy; though the Jews (f) will not allow him to speak by the spirit of prophecy; they own he spoke by the Holy Spirit, which they distinguish from prophecy; but the Targum calls these words a prophecy, and takes them to be a prophecy of the Messiah, and of things to come, as undoubtedly they are, paraphrasing them thus;"these are the words of the prophecy of David, which he prophesied concerning the end of the world, concerning the days of consolation that should come;''this is observed to excite attention, the last words of dying men being usually regarded and remembered:
David the son of Jesse said; he began with his descent, which was comparatively mean, in order to illustrate the distinguishing goodness of God to him in his exaltation:
and the man who was raised up on high; from a low estate to an high one, from the sheepfold to the throne, to be king over all the tribes of Israel, and a conqueror, and head of the nations round about him:
the anointed of the God of Jacob; who was anointed king by Samuel by the order of the God of Jacob; and which was an instance of his being the God of Jacob or Israel, and of his care of them, and regard unto them, that he anointed such a man to be king over them, as well as it was an honour to David:
and the sweet psalmist of Israel; who composed most of the psalms and hymns of praise for the people of Israel; invented and set the tunes to them to which they were to be sung, and the instruments of music on which they were sung; and appointed singers to preside, and lead them in that part of divine worship, singing psalms and hymns; and very sweet were the psalms he composed as to the matter of them, and very sweet and delightful to the ear was the music in the manner of singing them: it may be rendered, who was "sweet" or "pleasant in the songs of Israel" (g), his warlike exploits and victories being the subject of them, 1 Samuel 18:6,
said; as follows; for all that goes before are the words of the penman of this book, drawing the character of David; in which he was a type of Christ, a branch out of the root of Jesse, highly exalted, and chosen from among the people, anointed to be prophet, priest, and King; and who sweetly expounded the psalms concerning himself, and ordered them to be sung in the churches, and of which he is the subject, and may be said to be sweetly held forth in them, see Luke 24:44.
(f) Maimon. Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. c. 45. (g) "jucundus psalmis", Montanus; "suavis in canticis", Vatablus; "amoenus psalmis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2Sa 23:1-7. David Professes His Faith in God's Promises.
1. Now these be the last words of David—Various opinions are entertained as to the precise meaning of this statement, which, it is obvious, proceeded from the compiler or collector of the sacred canon. Some think that, as there is no division of chapters in the Hebrew Scriptures, this introduction was intended to show that what follows is no part of the preceding song. Others regard this as the last of the king's poetical compositions; while still others consider it the last of his utterances as an inspired writer.
raised up on high—from an obscure family and condition to a throne.
the anointed of the God of Jacob—chosen to be king by the special appointment of that God, to whom, by virtue of an ancient covenant, the people of Israel owed all their peculiar destiny and distinguished privileges.
the sweet psalmist of Israel—that is, delightful, highly esteemed.
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