For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?
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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 18:31. For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
32. For who is a strong God (El) save Jehovah?
and who is a rock, save our God (Elôhîm)?
Cp. ch. 2 Samuel 7:22; Deuteronomy 32:31; 1 Samuel 2:2.
El, the name which describes God as the Mighty One, is found in Samuel only in 1 Samuel 2:3; 2 Samuel 22:31-33; 2 Samuel 22:48; 2 Samuel 23:5. For the combination of El and Elôhîm see Genesis 33:20.Verses 32-34. -
"For who is God, save Jehovah?
And who is a rock, save our God?
God is my strong Fortress,
And he guideth the perfect in his way.
He maketh my feet like the hinds,
And upon my high places he cloth set me." God; Hebrew, El; the Mighty One, used several times in this psalm. In the second clause the word is Elohim, the ordinary name of God. The psalmist's question is a strong assertion that Jehovah alone is God, and that he alone is a Rock of safety for his people. He guideth, etc. In Psalm 18:32 "He maketh my way perfect," like his own. The phrase here is probably that which David wrote, as being less usual, and it signifies that God will direct the upright man in his good way. Hinds. David's feet are swift as hinds, an animal famous for its speed and sureness of foot. My high places. The tops of the mountains are the favourite resort of the antelope (2 Samuel 1:18); and so with David, the possession of such rocky citadels as Bozez and Seneh (1 Samuel 14:4) made him master of the whole country.
According to my cleanness before His eyes.
26 Towards the pious Thou showest thyself pious,
Towards the perfectly innocent Thou showest thyself innocent.
27 Towards the genuine Thou showest thyself genuine,
And towards the perverse Thou showest thyself crooked.
28 And afflicted people Thou helpest,
And Thine eyes are against the haughty; them Thou humblest.
The motive for deliverance, which was expounded in 2 Samuel 22:21-24, is summed up briefly in 2 Samuel 22:25; and then in 2 Samuel 22:26 and 2 Samuel 22:27 it is carried back to the general truth, that the conduct of God towards men is regulated according to the conduct of men towards God. The vav cons. in ויּשׁב expresses the logical consequence. כּברי is used instead of ידי כּבר in 2 Samuel 22:21, which is repeated in the psalm simply for the sake of variation. The truth that God treats every man in accordance with his conduct towards Him, is expounded in four parallel clauses, in which the conduct of God is expressed in verbs in the Hithpael, formed from the adjectives used to describe the conduct of men towards God. To the חסיד, the pious or devoted to God, He also shows himself pious; and innocent, blameless, to the תמים גּבּור, the man strong in innocence, who walks in perfect innocence. נבר, a Niphal participle, from בּרר, he who keeps himself pure, strives after purity of walk. תּתּבר, an anomalous contraction of תּתבּרר (Ps.), analogous to the formation of נבר for נברר. The form תּתּפּל for תּתפּתּל, to show one's self perverse of crooked, is still more anomalous. God shows himself so towards the perverse, by giving him up to his perverseness (Romans 1:28). This general truth is applied in 2 Samuel 22:28 to the congregation of God, in the contrast which it presents of humble and haughty, and is expounded from the conduct of God, as displayed in the history of Israel, towards these two classes of men, into which the nation was divided. In the psalm, therefore, we find אתּה כּי, for which the simple ו is substituted here, because the verse does not contain any actual reason for what goes before. עני עם, afflicted people, is used to denote the pious and depressed in the nation; רמים, the high, i.e., the haughty, or godless rich and mighty in the nation. תּשׁפּיל is to be taken as a relative: whom Thou humblest (see Ewald, 332, b.; and for the thought, Isaiah 2:11). In the psalm the unusual mode of expression in the second clause is changed into the more common phrase, "Thou bringest down high, i.e., proud looks" (cf. Proverbs 6:17; Proverbs 21:4; Proverbs 30:13; Psalm 131:1, etc.).
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