And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hands.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For the battle is the Lord’s . . .—Although we possess no special ode or psalm composed by David on the occasion of this mortal combat, in which, owing to his sure trust in Jehovah, he won his never-to-be-forgotten victory, yet in many of the compositions attributed to him in the Psalter we find memories of this, his first great triumph. So in Psalm 44:6-8 we read—
“I will not trust in my bow,
Neither shall my sword save me.
In God we boast all the day long,
And praise thy Name for ever.”
And in Psalm 33:16-20,
“There is no king saved by the multitude of an host,
A mighty man is not delivered by much strength.”
* * * * *
“Our soul waiteth for the Lord,
He is our help and our shield.”1 Samuel 17:47. Saveth not with sword and spear — That is, that he can save without these arms, and with the most contemptible weapons, and that he needs not human force to effect his designs. For the battle is the Lord’s — The events of war are wholly in his power. And he will give you into our hands — David speaks thus confidently, because he was assured of success, by particular inspiration. How great is the difference between the speech of Goliath and that of David! The former consists of the vain- glorious boasting words of a man proudly confiding in his own strength, and thinking of nothing but his own glory. The words of the latter, although expressing an equal assurance of victory, are humble and modest, attributing nothing to himself, but all to the power and goodness of God; building his hopes upon, and rejoicing in, the honour that would accrue to God from his success, instead of puffing himself up with the glory that would arise to himself therefrom.1 Samuel 14:6; Exodus 14:13-18; Judges 7:2, Judges 7:4,Judges 7:7; Psalm 44:6, etc., and their practical use to the Church as lessons of trust in God, and distrust of ourselves. That the Lord saveth not with sword and spear, i.e. that he can save without these arms, and with the most contemptible weapons, such as mine seem to thee.
The battle is the Lord’s, i.e. the events of war are wholly in his power, to give success to whom and by what means he pleaseth.
He will give you into our hands: David speaks thus confidently, because he was assured of it by a particular inspiration from God.
that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear; that is, by outward means and instruments, by arms and armed men; he does not save by them only, or by them always; he can save as well without them as with them:
for the battle is the Lord's; it is under his direction; the issue and event of it depend on his will, and are owing to him; or, as the Targum,"from the Lord is the victory of wars,''it is he that gives it to whom he pleases:
and he will give you into our hands; not only this Philistine into the hands of David, but the army of them into the hands of the Israelites; David knew, and was assured of this by the Lord, and it was on this he relied, and was what animated him to engage with this champion in the manner he did.And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hands.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)47. the Lord saveth not with sword and spear, &c.] A lesson which is needed at all times, when men are tempted to fall down and worship brute force. It is a leading thought in Hannah’s song (1 Samuel 2:1-10); cp. also 1 Samuel 14:6; Psalm 44:6-7; Hosea 1:7; Zechariah 4:6; 1 Corinthians 1:27-28.1 Samuel 17:41. The Philistine came closer and closer to David.
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