|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:32, and the following verses, are the gifts of God to the spiritual warrior, whereby he is prepared for the contest, after the example of his victorious Leader. Learn that we must seek release being made through Christ, shall be rejected. In David the type, we behold out of trouble through Christ. The prayer put up, without reconciliation Jesus our Redeemer, conflicting with enemies, compassed with sorrows and with floods of ungodly men, enduring not only the pains of death, but the wrath of God for us; yet calling upon the Father with strong cries and tears; rescued from the grave; proceeding to reconcile, or to put under his feet all other enemies, till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. We should love the Lord, our Strength, and our Salvation; we should call on him in every trouble, and praise him for every deliverance; we should aim to walk with him in all righteousness and true holiness, keeping from sin. If we belong to him, he conquers and reigns for us, and we shall conquer and reign through him, and partake of the mercy of our anointed King, which is promised to all his seed for evermore. Amen.
Verse 34. - He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms (comp. Psalm 144:1). "A bow of steel" is a mistranslation, since nechusha (נְחוּשָׁה) is not "steel," but "brass," or rather "bronze "-and bows of steel were unknown to the ancients. Compare the comment on Job 20:24 ('Homiletic Commentary,' p. 352).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He teacheth my hands to war,.... From whence it appears, that war, in some cases, is lawful; and that all the skilfulness and art in training men for war, in the use of armour, in marshalling of armies, in forming sieges, &c. is all from God; see Psalm 144:1; and so is all that spiritual skill, in making use of the whole armour 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: see Psalm 16:7;
so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms; that is, the bow of an enemy falling into his hands, which might be literally true of David. It is in the Hebrew text, "a bow of brass"; and so Apollinarius renders it; which Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret strong iron, that is, steel; and so the Targum; see Job 20:24; Satan is an archer; his temptations are darts, and fiery ones; and his strong bow may be said to be broken by the arms of faith, when his temptations, under the influence of divine grace, are repelled and rendered ineffectual; and especially his bow was broken by Christ, not only in the wilderness, when he was vanquished by him; but in the garden, and on the cross, when Satan could find nothing in him, and get no other advantage over him, but to bruise his heel; when he himself had his head broke, his works ruined, and he himself destroyed. Some render the words, "mine arms have bent a bow of steel": that is, such skill and strength were given him that he was able to bend, draw, and shoot a bow or steel: the Targum is, "and hath strengthened mine arm as a bow of brass", or "steel"; and so the Syriac and Arabic versions; and to the same purpose the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Ethiopic versions; or it may be rendered, "my arms have bent", or "made to descend (o), a bow of brass"; for when a bow is bent, the horns or corners of it are made to descend towards a man.
(o) "ut current", Cocceius; so Michaelis; "ut descendat vel deprimatur", Gejerus; vid. Gussetii Comment. Ebr. p. 507. so Jarchi.
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