It is God that avenges me, and that brings down the people under 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 18:47. It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)48. avengeth me] For the wrongs inflicted by Saul (1 Samuel 24:12); for the insults of Nabal (1 Samuel 25:39); for the opposition of those who refused to acknowledge him as king (ch. 2 Samuel 4:8). Vengeance is the prerogative of God (Psalm 94:1), and the visible execution of it was anxiously looked for as His vindication of the righteousness and innocence of His servants.
bringeth down the people under me] The reference seems to be, as in 2 Samuel 22:44, to his success in overcoming internal opposition to his rule. It is not the boast of a triumphant despot, but the thanksgiving of a ruler who recognised the vital importance of union for the prosperity of Israel, and the extreme difficulty of reconciling all the discordant elements in the nation, and knew that it was a task beyond his unaided powers. Cp. Psalm 144:2. The Sept. reads “disciplineth.”
For Jehovah, but He answereth them not.
43 And I rub in pieces as the dust of the earth,
Like the mire of the streets I crush them and stamp upon them.
The cry of the foe for help is not attended to; they are annihilated without quarter. ישׁעוּ, to look out to God for help (with אל and על; vid., Isaiah 17:7-8), is more poetical than ישׁוּעוּ, "they cry" (in the psalm); and כּעפר־ארץ is more simple than על־פּני־רוּח כּעפר (in the psalm), "I crush them as dust before the wind," for the wind does not crush the dust, but carries it away. In the second clause of 2 Samuel 22:43, אדקּם is used instead of אריקם in the psalm, and strengthened by ארקעם. אדקּם, from דקק, to make thin, to crush; so that instead of "I pour them out like mire of the streets which is trodden to pieces," the Psalmist simply says, "I crush and stamp upon them like mire of the streets." Through the utter destruction of the foe, God establishes the universal dominion to which the throne of David is to attain.
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