2 Samuel 23:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: 'When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God,

New Living Translation
The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me: The one who rules righteously, who rules in the fear of God,

English Standard Version
The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God,

New American Standard Bible
"The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me, 'He who rules over men righteously, Who rules in the fear of God,

King James Bible
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The God of Israel spoke; the Rock of Israel said to me," The one who rules the people with justice, who rules in the fear of God,

International Standard Version
The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has talked to me. "When one is governing men justly, he fears God while governing.

NET Bible
The God of Israel spoke, the protector of Israel spoke to me. The one who rules fairly among men, the one who rules in the fear of God,

New Heart English Bible
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, 'One who rules over men righteously, who rules in the fear of God,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The God of Israel spoke to them. The rock of Israel told me, 'The one who rules humans with justice rules with the fear of God.

JPS Tanakh 1917
The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: 'Ruler over men shall be The righteous, even he that ruleth in the fear of God,

New American Standard 1977
“The God of Israel said,
            The Rock of Israel spoke to me,
            ‘He who rules over men righteously,
            Who rules in the fear of God,

Jubilee Bible 2000
The God of Israel dictated unto me, the strong One of Israel spoke): He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

King James 2000 Bible
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

American King James Version
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

American Standard Version
The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spake to me: One that ruleth over men righteously, That ruleth in the fear of God,

Douay-Rheims Bible
The God of Israel said to me, the strong one of Israel spoke, the ruler of men, the just ruler in the fear of God.

Darby Bible Translation
The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me, The ruler among men shall be just, Ruling in the fear of God;

English Revised Version
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me: One that ruleth over men righteously, that ruleth in the fear of God,

Webster's Bible Translation
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

World English Bible
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, 'One who rules over men righteously, who rules in the fear of God,

Young's Literal Translation
He said -- the God of Israel -- to me, He spake -- the Rock of Israel: He who is ruling over man is righteous, He is ruling in the fear of God.
Study Bible
David's Last Song
2"The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue. 3"The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me, 'He who rules over men righteously, Who rules in the fear of God, 4Is as the light of the morning when the sun rises, A morning without clouds, When the tender grass springs out of the earth, Through sunshine after rain.'…
Cross References
Exodus 18:21
"Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.

2 Samuel 22:2
He said, "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

2 Samuel 22:3
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, You save me from violence.

1 Kings 10:9
"Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness."

2 Chronicles 19:7
"Now then let the fear of the LORD be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the LORD our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe."

2 Chronicles 19:9
Then he charged them saying, "Thus you shall do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and wholeheartedly.

Job 34:17
"Shall one who hates justice rule? And will you condemn the righteous mighty One,

Psalm 72:1
A Psalm of Solomon. Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king's son.

Isaiah 11:1
Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
Treasury of Scripture

The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

God

Genesis 33:20 And he erected there an altar, and called it EleloheIsrael.

Exodus 3:15 And God said moreover to Moses, Thus shall you say to the children …

Exodus 19:5,6 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, …

Exodus 20:2 I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of …

the Rock

2 Samuel 22:2,32 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer…

Deuteronomy 32:4,30,31 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: …

Psalm 42:9 I will say to God my rock, Why have you forgotten me? why go I mourning …

he that ruleth. or, Be thou ruler, etc.

Psalm 110:2 The LORD shall send the rod of your strength out of Zion: rule you …

must be just

Exodus 23:6-8 You shall not wrest the judgment of your poor in his cause…

Deuteronomy 16:18-20 Judges and officers shall you make you in all your gates, which the …

Psalm 82:3,4 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy…

Proverbs 31:9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Isaiah 11:4,5 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with …

Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.

Jeremiah 23:5 Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will raise to David …

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: …

Hebrews 1:8 But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: …

ruling

Exodus 18:21 Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as …

2 Chronicles 19:7-9 Why now let the fear of the LORD be on you; take heed and do it: …

Nehemiah 5:14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor …

(3) The Rock of Israel.--Comp. 2Samuel 22:3. A frequent Scriptural comparison, appropriate here, to show the perfect reliability of what God declares.

He that ruleth.--The English gives the true sense, but the original is exceedingly elliptical, both here and in the following verse. The fundamental point of all just government has never been more perfectly set forth:--that it must be "in the fear of God."

Verses 3, 4. - He that ruleth, etc. This rendering of the Hebrew is very beautiful, and fit to be graven on the hearts of rulers. There is often almost an inspiration in the renderings of the Authorized Version. Grammatically, nevertheless, the psalm declares the blessedness of the king who is just, and may be translated as follows: -

"He that ruleth over men righteously,
That ruleth in the fear of God -
And as the morning light shall he be,
when the sun riseth,
A morning without clouds;
Yea, as the tender grass from the earth,
from sunshine, from rain."
A king who rules his people justly is as glorious as the sun rising in its strength to drive away the works of darkness, and give men, by precept and example, the light of clear knowledge of their duty. But the last metaphor is especially beautiful. In the summer, vegetation dries up under the burning heat of the sun; all is bare and brown, and a few withered stalks of the coarser plants alone remain. But when the rains come, followed by bright sunshine, nature at one burst flashes into beauty, and the hillsides and plains are covered with the soft green of the reviving grass, through which myriads of flowers soon push their way, and clothe the landscape with bright colours. So a just and upright government calls into being countless forms of human activity, and fosters all that is morally beautiful, while it checks the blighting influences of unregulated passion and selfish greed. The God of Israel said,.... To David, or by him; he who was the covenant God of Israel literally considered, and is the covenant God and Father of the whole spiritual Israel, and who is owned, believed in, and worshipped by them:

the Rock of Israel spake to me; the same with the God of Israel in other words, who is the strength and security of Israel; or the second divine Person, the Son and Word of God, is meant, who is often called a rock in Scripture; and is the rock on which the Israel or church of God is built, and in whom it remains safe and firm, the gates of hell not being able to prevail against it; and so here is an instance and proof of a trinity of persons in the Godhead; the God of Israel, Jehovah the Father; the Rock of Israel, Jehovah the Son; and the Spirit of Jehovah, as in 2 Samuel 23:2, who is Jehovah the Spirit: now what was said by these three divine Persons to David, and by him, and concerning himself as a type of the Messiah, follows:

he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God; which is a character every king among men ought to have, administering justice to their subjects; ruling not only according to the laws of the land, but according to the law of God; having his fear before their eyes, and acting with a view to his honour and glory, whose vicegerents they are, and to whom they are accountable; they should rule with gentleness and humanity, considering they are men, and not brutes, they rule over. Agamemnon in Homer is often called "king of men". This character, in all respects, was found in David, 2 Samuel 8:15; and may be here given as an instruction to his son and successor, Solomon; and is in all respects applicable to the Messiah, who is a "ruler" or King by the designation of his father; a ruler "over men", even over all men, yea, over the greatest of men, King of kings, and Lord of lords, and especially, and in an eminent sense, King of saints; and he is "just", a King that reigns in righteousness, righteous in all his ways and works, and particularly just as a King, as well as in all his other characters, see Jeremiah 23:5; and upon whom, as man and Mediator, the Spirit of "the fear of the Lord" rests, and under the influence of which, as such, he has acted, Isaiah 11:1; so the Targum applies these words to the Messiah thus,"the true Judge said, he would appoint to me a King, who is the Messiah, who shall arise and rule in the fear of the Lord:''and they may be rendered, there shall be "a ruler over men, just, ruling in the fear of God"; or ruling, appointing, ordering, and directing the worship of God, and the ordinances of it under the Gospel dispensation, as Christ did, see Matthew 28:18. 3. the Rock of Israel—This metaphor, which is commonly applied by the sacred writers to the Almighty, was very expressive to the minds of the Hebrew people. Their national fortresses, in which they sought security in war, were built on high and inaccessible rocks.

spake to me—either preceptively, giving the following counsels respecting the character of an upright ruler in Israel, or prophetically, concerning David and his royal dynasty, and the great Messiah, of whom many think this is a prophecy, rendering the words, "he that ruleth"—"there shall be a ruler over men."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.
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