2 Samuel 22:5
When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;
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(5) The waves of death.—In Psalms 18, “the sorrows of death,” in the Authorised Version, but literally, the bands of death. The word is entirely different, and the variation can hardly have been accidental. The form here accords better with the parallelism of the next clause.

22:1-51 David's psalm of thanksgiving. - This chapter is a psalm of praise; we find it afterwards nearly as Ps 18. They that trust God in the way of duty, shall find him a present help in their greatest dangers: David did so. Remarkable preservations should be particularly mentioned in our praises. We shall never be delivered from all enemies till we get to heaven. God will preserve all his people, 2Ti 4:18. Those who receive signal mercies from God, ought to give him the glory. In the day that God delivered David, he sang this song. While the mercy is fresh, and we are most affected with it, let the thank-offering be brought, to be kindled with the fire of that affection. All his joys and hopes close, as all our hopes should do, in the great Redeemer.This song, which is found with scarcely any material variation as 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 [278]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.

No text from Poole on this verse.

When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. See Gill on Psalm 18:4. When the {c} waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;

(c) As David (who was the figure of Christ) was by God's power delivered from all dangers: so Christ and his Church will overcome most grievous dangers, tyranny and death.

5. waves] Psalm 18:4 reads cords as in 2 Samuel 22:6; E. V sorrows.

ungodly men] Heb. Belial. See note on 1 Samuel 1:16. The parallelism points to the meaning destruction, physical mischief, instead of the ordinary meaning wickedness, moral mischief.

5–7. The Psalmist’s perils. His cry for help

5, 6.  For breakers of death had compassed me,

torrents of destruction were affrighting me,

cords of Sheol had surrounded me,

snares of death had encountered me.

The perils to which he had been exposed are described as waves and floods which threatened to engulf him: Sheol and death are represented as laying wait for his life like hunters with nets and snares.

Verses 5-7. -

"For the breakers of death surrounded me;
Torrents of wickedness
[Hebrew, 'of Belial'] terrified me;
Cords of Sheol surrounded me;
Snares of death came suddenly upon me.
In my distress I cried unto Jehovah,
And to my God I cried.
And he heard my voice out of his palace,
And my cry was in his ears."
Instead of breakers - waves dashing violently on rocks - Psalm 18:4 has "cords of death;" translated "sorrow" in the Authorized Version. But "cords of death" mean the fatal snares of the hunter, and are not in keeping with "torrents of wickedness." "Belial," literally, "worthlessness," is by many supposed, from the context to mean herd "destruction," that is, physical instead of moral wickedness. So in Nahum 1:11 "a counsellor of Belial" means a ruinous, destructive counsellor. Sheol is the world of the departed, and is equivalent to "death." Cried is the same verb twice used. In Psalm 18:6 it is altered, in the former part of the verse unto "I called" - a change probably suggested by the more fastidious taste of a later age. For temple we should translate palace, or heavenly temple. It is not the temple in Jerusalem, which was not yet built, but God's heavenly dwelling, that is meant. Instead of the terse ellipse, "And my cry in his ears," the full but heavy phrase, "My cry before him came into his ears," is substituted in Psalm 18:6. 2 Samuel 22:5 5 For breakers of death had compassed me,

Streams of wickedness terrified me.

6 Cords of hell had girt me about,

Snares of death overtook me.

7 In my distress I called Jehovah,

And to my God Icalled;

And He heard my voice out of His temple,

And my crying came into His ears.

David had often been in danger of death, most frequently at the time when he was pursued by Saul, but also in Absalom's conspiracy, and even in several wars (cf. 2 Samuel 21:16). All these dangers, out of which the Lord delivered him, and not merely those which originated with Saul, are included in 2 Samuel 22:5, 2 Samuel 22:6. The figure "breakers or waves of death" is analogous to that of the "streams of Belial." His distress is represented in both of them under the image of violent floods of water. In the psalm we find מות חבלי, "snares of death," as in Psalm 116:3, death being regarded as a hunger with a net and snare (cf. Psalm 91:3): this does not answer to well to the parallel נחלי, and therefore is not so good, since שׁאול חבלי follows immediately. בליּעל (Belial), uselessness in a moral sense, or worthlessness. The meaning "mischief," or injury in a physical sense, which many expositors give to the word in this passage on account of the parallel "death," cannot be grammatically sustained. Belial was afterwards adopted as a name for the devil (2 Corinthians 6:15). Streams of wickedness are calamities that proceed from wickedness, or originate with worthless men. קדּם, to come to meet with a hostile intention, i.e., to fall upon (vid., Job 30:27). היכל, the temple out of which Jehovah heard him, was the heavenly abode of God, as in Psalm 11:4; for, according to 2 Samuel 22:8., God came down from heaven to help him.

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