The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The God of my rock.—In the psalm, “My God, my rock” (margin). The two expressions of the psalm are here united in one, and the recurrence of the similar expression in 2Samuel 22:47 (but not in the psalm) indicates that this was intentional.
And my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.—These words are omitted from the psalm, being compensated in part by the opening line there.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.
and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour;
thou savest me from violence. See Gill on Psalm 18:2.The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. The God of my rock] = my strong God: but it is better to alter the vowel points and read as in the Ps., “my God, my Rock.” The title Rock is frequently used to describe the strength, faithfulness, and unchangeableness of God. See Deuteronomy 32:4; Deuteronomy 32:37; 1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 28:1, &c.
in him will I trust] Better, in whom I take refuge: carrying on the metaphor of a hiding-place in the rocks. Quoted in Hebrews 2:13; cp. Psalm 94:22.
my shield] Compare God’s promise to Abram (Genesis 15:1); and Deuteronomy 33:29.
the horn of my salvation] The Power which saves and delivers me. The figure of the horn, as a symbol of victorious strength, is derived from horned animals. Cp. Deuteronomy 33:17; Luke 1:69.
and my refuge, &c.] The words, “and my retreat, my saviour, thou savest me from violence,” are omitted in Psalms 18.1 Chronicles 20:5). In another war with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan the son of Yaare-Orgim of Bethlehem smote Goliath of Gath, whose spear was like a weaver's beam. In the Chronicles, however, we find it stated that "Elhanan the son of Jair smote Lahmi the brother of Goliath of Gath, whose spear," etc. The words of our text are so similar to those of the Chronicles, if we only leave out the word ארגים, which probably crept in from the next line through oversight on the part of a copyist, that they presuppose the same original text, so that the difference can only have arisen from an error in copying. The majority of the expositors (e.g., Piscator, Clericus, Michaelis, Movers, and Thenius) regard the text of the Chronicles as the true and original one, and the text before us as simply corrupt. But Bertheau and Bttcher maintain the opposite opinion, because it is impossible to see how the reading in 2 Samuel. uld grow out of that in the Chronicles; whereas the reading in the Chronicles might have arisen through conscious alteration originating in the offence taken by some reader, who recalled the account of the conflict between David and Goliath, at the statement that Elhanan smote a giant named Goliath, and who therefore altered את הלחמי בית into אחי לחמי את. But apart from the question whether there were two Goliaths, one of whom was slain by David and the other by Elhanan, the fact that the conjecture of Bertheau and Bttcher presupposes a deliberate alteration of the text, or rather, to speak more correctly, an intentional falsification of the historical account, is quite sufficient to overthrow it, as not a single example of anything of the kind can be adduced from the whole of the Chronicles. On the other hand, the recollection of David's celebrated officer Elhanan of Bethlehem (2 Samuel 23:24; 1 Chronicles 11:26) might easily lead to an identification of the Elhanan mentioned here with that officer, and so occasion the alteration of לחמי את into הלחמי בית. This alteration was then followed by that of גלית אחי into גליה את, and all the more easily from the fact that the description of Lahmi's spear corresponds word for word with that of Goliath's spear in 1 Samuel 17:7. Consequently we must regard the reading in the Chronicles as the correct one, and alter our text accordingly; since the assumption that there were two Goliaths is a very improbable one, and there is nothing at all strange in the reference to a brother of Goliath, who was also a powerful giant, and carried a spear like Goliath. Elhanan the son of Jairi is of course a different person from Elhanan the Bethlehemite, the son of Dodo (2 Samuel 23:24). The Chronicles have יעוּר, instead of Jairi (the reading according to the Chethib), and the former is probably the correct way of writing the name.
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