The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented 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 18:5. The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. the sorrows of hell] The word may no doubt mean pangs, as it is translated in the Sept. (ὠδῖνες, cp. Acts 2:24); but is better explained of the cords or nets of the hunter. Hell is Sheôl (Gr. Hades), the mysterious unseen world, ready to seize and swallow up its victim. See note on 1 Samuel 2:6.1 Chronicles 20:8). This verse contains a postscript, in which the previous verses are summed up. The accusative את־ארבּעת may be explained from a species of attraction, i.e., from the fact that the historian had יכּהוּ (2 Samuel 21:21) still in his mind: "As for these four, they were born to Rapha," i.e., they were descendants of the Rephaite family at Gath, where remnants of the aboriginal Canaanitish tribes of gigantic stature were still to be found, as in other towns of the Philistines (vid., Joshua 11:22). "They fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants." "By the hand of David" refers to the fact that David had personally fought with Yishbobenob (2 Samuel 21:16).
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