For you are my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thou art my lamp.—Comp. Psalm 27:1. The psalm changes the figure, “thou wilt light my candle (margin, lamp).” With this comp. Psalm 132:17; 1Kings 11:36; 1Kings 15:4.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 18:28. For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)29. For thou, &c.] For connects this verse closely with 2 Samuel 22:29, as the confirmation out of his own experience of the principles there enunciated.
my lamp] Illuminating all his life with the light of prosperity, as the lamp illuminates the house. Dominus illuminatio mea was David’s motto. Cp. Psalm 27:1; Psalm 132:17. With the different application of the figure in Psalm 18:28, “Thou wilt light my lamp,” cp. 1 Kings 11:36; 1 Kings 15:4.
29–31. God’s faithfulness attested by the Psalmist’s experience
After celebrating God’s goodness in delivering him from all the dangers which threatened his life, David goes on to describe how God had made him victorious over all his enemies.Verses 29-31. -
"For thou, Jehovah, art my Lamp;
And Jehovah will make my darkness light.
For by thee do I run upon a troop;
In my God I leap over a wall.
God - his way is perfect;
The word of Jehovah is purified.
He is a Shield to all that trust in him." Lamp. The lamp burning in the house is the proof of life and activity present there; and thus the extinguishing of the lamp means ruin and desolation (Job 21:17). So David is called "the lamp of Israel" (2 Samuel 21:17), because the active life of the nation centred in him. In a still higher sense the life and being of his people centres in God, and without him the soul is waste and void, like the universe before God said, "Let there be light." I run. To the warrior in old time speed was as important as strength, and thus Homer constantly calls Achilles "fleet of foot." It was his fleetness which gave Asahel a high place among the mighties (2 Samuel 2:18), and to this quality David now refers. The troop signifies a light armed band of marauders, whom with God's aid David could overtake, and stop in their course of rapine. The wall means fortifications like those of Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:7). Sieges were tedious affairs in old time, but David had captured that city with a rapidity so great that the metaphor in the text is most appropriate. Purified; or, refined. This does not mean that it is proved by experience and found true, but that it is absolutely good and perfect like refined gold (see Psalm 12:6).
According to the cleanness of my hands He recompensed me.
22 For I have observed the ways of Jehovah,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
23 For all His rights are before my eyes;
And His statutes,-I do not depart from them.
24 And I was innocent towards Him,
And kept myself from mine iniquity.
גּמל signifies to do to a person good or evil, like the Greek εὖ and κακῶς πράττειν τινά. The righteousness and cleanness of hands, i.e., the innocence, which David attributed to himself, were not perfect righteousness or holiness before God, but the righteousness of his endeavours and deeds as contrasted with the unrighteousness and wickedness of his adversaries and pursuers, and consisted in the fact that he endeavoured earnestly and sincerely to walk in the ways of God and to keep the divine commandments. מן רשׁע, to be wicked from, is a pregnant expression, signifying to depart wickedly from God. לנגדּי, i.e., as a standard before my eye. In the psalm we find עמּו תמים, innocent in intercourse with the Lord, instead of לו תמים (see Deuteronomy 18:13); and for the fact itself, David's own testimony in 1 Samuel 26:23-24, the testimony of God concerning him in 1 Kings 14:8, and the testimony of history in 1 Kings 15:5. מעוני, from mine iniquity, i.e., from the iniquity which I might have committed.
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