I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from my iniquity.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 18, and with the words of this first verse for its title, belongs to the early part of David's reign when he was recently established upon the throne of all Israel, and when his final triumph over the house of Saul, and over the pagan nations 2 Samuel 22:44-46, Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, Ammonites, and Edomites, was still fresh 2 Samuel 21. For a commentary on the separate verses the reader is referred to the commentary on Psalm 18.
The last words of David - i. e., his last Psalm, his last "words of song" 2 Samuel 22:1. The insertion of this Psalm, which is not in the Book of Psalms, was probably suggested by the insertion of the long Psalm in 2 Samuel 22.
David the son of Jesse said ... - The original word for "said" is used between 200 and 300 times in the phrase, "saith the Lord," designating the word of God in the mouth of the prophet. It is only applied to the words of a man here, and in the strikingly similar passage Numbers 24:3-4, Numbers 24:15-16, and in Proverbs 30:1; and in all these places the words spoken are inspired words. The description of David is divided into four clauses, which correspond to and balance each other.
2Sa 22:1-51. David's Psalm of Thanksgiving for God's Powerful Deliverance and Manifold Blessings.
The song contained in this chapter is the same as the eighteenth Psalm, where the full commentary will be given [see on Ps 18:1, &c.]. It may be sufficient simply to remark that Jewish writers have noticed a great number of very minute variations in the language of the song as recorded here, from that embodied in the Book of Psalms—which may be accounted for by the fact that this, the first copy of the poem, was carefully revised and altered by David afterwards, when it was set to the music of the tabernacle. This inspired ode was manifestly the effusion of a mind glowing with the highest fervor of piety and gratitude, and it is full of the noblest imagery that is to be found within the range even of sacred poetry. It is David's grand tribute of thanksgiving for deliverance from his numerous and powerful enemies, and establishing him in the power and glory of the kingdom.Psalm 18:23. I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)24. upright] Or perfect, as in 2 Samuel 22:31; 2 Samuel 22:33. It expresses the sincerity of undivided devotion. As a sacrificial term it signifies without blemish, and so the Sept. renders it here ἄμωμος, for which cp. Ephesians 1:4; Colossians 1:22, &c.
have kept myself from mine iniquity] I have watched over myself that I might not transgress. Some see further in the words the recognition of an inherent tendency to sin, or an allusion to some special temptation, but the simple explanation is best.
Drew me out of great waters:
18 Saved me from my enemy strong;
From my haters, because they were too strong for me.
19 They fell upon me in my day of calamity:
Then Jehovah became my stay,
20 And led me out into a broad place;
Delivered me, because He had pleasure in me.
The Lord stretched His hand from the height into the deep abysses, which had been uncovered through the threatening of the wrath of God, and drew out the sinking man. ישׁלח without יד is used to denote the stretching out of the hand, and in the sense of reaching out to a thing (as in 2 Samuel 6:6). רבּים מים (great waters) does not refer to the enemy, but to the calamities and dangers (waves of death and streams of Belial, 2 Samuel 22:5) into which the enemies of the Psalmist had plunged him. ימשׁני, from משׁה (Exodus 2:10), from which the name of Moses was derived, to whom there is probably an allusion made. As Moses was taken out of the waters of the Nile, so David was taken out of great (many) waters. This deliverance is still further depicted in a more literal terms in 2 Samuel 22:18. עז איבי, my enemy strong, poetical for my strong enemy, does not refer to one single enemy, namely Saul; but, as the parallel "my haters" shows, is a poetical personification of all his enemies. They were stronger than David, therefore the Lord had to deliver him with an almighty hand. The "day of calamity" in which the enemy fell upon him (קדּם: see at 2 Samuel 22:6) was the time when David wandered about in the desert helpless and homeless, fleeing from the pursuit of Saul. The Lord was then his support, or a staff on which he could support himself (vid., Psalm 23:4), and led him out of the strait into the broad, i.e., into a broad space where he could move freely, because God had pleasure in him, and had chosen him in His grace to be His servant. This reason for his deliverance is carried out still further in what follows.
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