Therefore I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises to your name.
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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 18:49. Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)50. The celebration of Jehovah’s faithfulness to His servant is not to be confined within the narrow limits of Israel. His praise is to be proclaimed among the heathen, who, as they are brought under the dominion of His people, may also be brought to the knowledge of Jehovah. Cp. Psalm 96:3; Psalm 96:10. This verse is quoted by St Paul in Romans 15:9 (along with Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalm 117:1; Isaiah 11:10), to prove that the Old Testament anticipated the admission of the Gentiles to the blessings of salvation.Verses 50, 51. -
"Therefore will I praise thee among the nations,
And to thy Name will I sing.
Great deliverance giveth he to his king,
And showeth grace to his messiah -
To David, and to his seed forever." Great deliverance; literally, he maketh great the salvation of his king; that is, he rescueth him marvellously again and again. The K'ri substitutes tower, but it has no support either from the versions or from Psalm 18, though admitted into the Authorized Version. The difference between the two words "making great" and "tower" is, in the Hebrew, trifling. To his messiah. This mercy was shown to David as the anointed theocratic king, whose rule was the symbol of that of Christ.
Preservest me to be the head of the heathen.
People that I knew not serve me.
45 The sons of the stranger dissemble to me,
Upon hearsay they obey me.
46 The sons of the stranger despair,
And tremble out of their castles.
By "the strivings of my people" the more indefinite expression in the psalm, "strivings of the people," is explained. The words refer to the domestic conflicts of David, out of which the Lord delivered him, such as the opposition of Ishbosheth and the rebellions of Absalom and Sheba. These deliverances formed the prelude and basis of his dominion over the heathen. Consequently תּשׁמרני (Thou preservest me to be the head of the nations) occurs quite appropriately in the second clause; and תּשׂימני, "Thou settest me," which occurs in the psalm, is a far less pregnant expression. עם before ידעתּי לא is used indefinitely to signify foreign nations. Toi king of Hamath (2 Samuel 8:10) was an example, and his subjugation was a prelude of the future subjection of all the heathen to the sceptre of the Son of David, as predicted in Psalm 72. In v. 45 the two clauses of the psalm are very appropriately transposed. The Hithpael יתכחשׁוּ, as compared with יכחשׁוּ, is the later form. In the primary passage (Deuteronomy 33:29) the Niphal is used to signify the dissembling of friendship, or of involuntary homage on the part of the vanquished towards the victor. אזן לשׁמוע, "by the hearing of the ear," i.e., by hearsay, is a simple explanation of אזן לשׁמע, at the rumour of the ears (vid., Job 42:5), i.e., at the mere rumour of David's victories. The foreign nations pine away, i.e., despair of ever being able to resist the victorious power of David. יחגּרוּ, "they gird themselves," does not yield any appropriate meaning, even if we should take it in the sense of equipping themselves to go out to battle. The word is probably a misspelling of יחרגוּ, which occurs in the psalm, חרג being a ἁπ. λεγ. in the sense of being terrified, or trembling: they tremble out of their castles, i.e., they come trembling out of their castles (for the thought itself, see Micah 7:17). It is by no means probable that the word חרג, which is so frequently met with in Hebrew, is used in this one passage in the sense of "to limp," according to Syriac usage.
In conclusion, the Psalmist returns to the praise of the Lord, who had so highly favoured him.
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