You have also given me the necks of my enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.
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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 18:40. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)41. And mine enemies didst thou make to turn their backs unto me:
as for them that hate me, I destroyed them.
The first clause means that his enemies were put to flight (Exodus 23:27), not (as the E. V. suggests) that he planted his foot on their necks in token of triumph (Joshua 10:24).
And who a rock save our God?
33 This God is my strong fortress,
And leads the innocent his way.
34 He makes my feet like the hinds,
And setteth me upon my high places;
35 He teacheth my hands to fight,
And my arms span brazen bows.
There is no true God who can help, except or by the side of Jehovah (cf. Deuteronomy 32:31; 1 Samuel 2:2). צוּר, as in 2 Samuel 22:2. This God is "my strong fortress:" for this figure, comp. Psalm 31:5 and Psalm 27:1. חיל, strength, might, is construed with מעוּזי, by free subordination: "my fortress, a strong one," like עז מחסי (Psalm 71:7; cf. Ewald, 291, b.). יתּר for יתר, from תּוּר (vid., Ges. 72; Olshausen, Gram. p. 579), in the sense of leading or taking round, as in Proverbs 12:26. God leads the innocent his way, i.e., He is his leader and guide therein. The Keri דּרכּי rests upon a misunderstanding. There is an important difference in the reading of this verse in Psalm 18, viz., "The God who girdeth me with strength, and makes my way innocent." The last clause is certainly an alteration which simplifies the meaning, and so is also the first clause, the thought of which occurs again, word for word, in 2 Samuel 22:40, with the addition of למּלחמה. איּלה or איּלת, the hind, or female stag, is a figure of speech denoting swiftness in running. "Like the hinds:" a condensed simile for "like the hinds' feet," such as we frequently meet with in Hebrew (vid., Ges. 144, Anm.). The reference is to swiftness in pursuit of the foe (vid., 2 Samuel 2:18; 1 Chronicles 12:8). רגליו, his feet, for רגלי (my feet) in the psalm, may be accounted for from the fact, that David had spoken of himself in the third person as the innocent one. "My high places" were not the high places of the enemy, that became his by virtue of conquest, but the high places of his own land, which he maintained triumphantly, so that he ruled the land for them. The expression is formed after Deuteronomy 32:13, and is imitated in Habakkuk 3:19. למּד is generally construed with a double accusative: here it is written with an accusative and ל, and signifies to instruct for the war. נחת, in the psalm נחתה, on account of the feminine זרועתי, is not the Niphal of חתת, to be broken in pieces, but the Piel of נחת, to cause to go down, to press down the bow, i.e., to set it. The bow of brass is mentioned as being the strongest: setting such a bow would be a sign of great heroic strength. The two verses (2 Samuel 22:34 and 2 Samuel 22:35) are simply a particularizing description of the power and might with which the Lord had endowed David to enable him to conquer all his foes.
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