2 Samuel 22:8
Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(8) Of heaven.—Psalms 18, “of the hills.” The thought is the same, but the strong poetic figure by which the mountains are spoken of as “the pillars of heaven” (comp. Job 26:11) is softened in the psalm.

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.

Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. See Gill on Psalm 18:7. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.
8. shook and trembled] The paronomasia of the original may be preserved by translating, and the earth did shake and quake.

the foundations of heaven] The mountains on which the vault of heaven seems to rest: cp. “the pillars of heaven” (Job 26:11): or perhaps the universe is regarded as a vast building, without any precise application of the details of the metaphor. See note on 1 Samuel 2:8. For heaven Psalm 18:7 reads “the mountains.”

8–16. The manifestation of Jehovah for the discomfiture of David’s enemies

Earthquake and storm are regarded as the visible manifestations of Divine Power: and therefore God’s interposition for the deliverance of His servant from the perils that surrounded him is described as accompanied by terrible phenomena in nature. We have here an ideal description of a Theophany, based on the description of the Theophany at Sinai. See Exodus 19:16-18; and cp. Psalm 68:8; Psalm 77:16-18; Jdg 5:4-5. It is not indeed impossible that David refers to some occasion when his enemies were scattered by the breaking of a terrible storm (cp. Joshua 10:11; 1 Samuel 7:10): but we have no record of such an event having actually happened in his life; and in any case the picture is designed to serve as a description of God’s intervention for his deliverance in general, and not upon any single occasion. His power was exerted as really and truly as if all these extraordinary natural phenomena had visibly attested His Advent.

The earthquake (2 Samuel 22:8); the distant lightnings (2 Samuel 22:9); the gathering darkness of the storm (2 Samuel 22:10-12); the final outburst of its fury (2 Samuel 22:13-16); are pictured in regular succession.

Psalms 29 may be compared as illustrating David’s sense of the grandeur and significance of natural phenomena.

Verses 8-10. -

"And the earth quaked and trembled;
The foundations of the heavens shook,
And quaked because he was wroth.
A smoke went up in his nostril,

And fire out of his mouth devoured;
Red hot cinders burned from him.
And he bowed the heavens and came down,
And darkness was under his feet."
In describing the manifestation of God for his deliverance, David bore in mind and repeated the description of God's descent to earth given in Exodus 19:16, 18. But the poetic vigour of David's imagination intensities the imagery, and makes it more grand and startling. Not merely is there the earthquake and the volcano and the storm cloud, but the dim form of the Almighty is present, with the smoke of just anger at unrighteousness ascending from his nostrils, and the lightnings flashing forth to execute his wrath. But David certainly intended that these metaphors should remain ideal; and it was quite unnecessary for the Targum carefully to eliminate all such expressions as seem to give the Almighty bureau shape. In so doing it merely changes poetry into prose. But even more dull and commonplace is the explanation given by some modern commentators, that all that is meant is that David was once saved by a thunderstorm from some danger or other. Really this glorious imagery, taken from all that is grandest on earth, is intended to magnify to us the spiritual conception of God's justice coming forth to visit the earth and do right and equity. In ver. 8 for "the foundations of the heavens," we find in Psalm 18:7 "the foundations of the hills." The former is the grander metaphor, and signifies the mighty mountain ranges, like those of Lebanon, on which the skies seem to rest. The smoke signifies hailstorms and, perhaps, also the rain driven in wreaths along the ground by the wind. Red hot cinders burned from him describes the flashing lightnings that were shot forth like the coals from the refiner's furnace when heated to the full. It is to be regretted that the Revised Version retains the bathos of the old rendering, that God's fiery breath set coals on fire. 2 Samuel 22:8 8 Then the earth swayed and trembled,

The foundations of the heavens shook

And swayed to and fro, because He was wroth.

9 Smoke ascended in His nose,

And fire out of His mouth devoured,

Red-hot coals burned out of Him.

10 And He bowed the heavens and came down,

And cloudy darkness under His feet.

Jehovah came down from heaven to save His servant, as He had formerly come down upon Sinai to conclude His covenant with Israel in the midst of terrible natural phenomena, which proclaimed the wrath of the Almighty. The theophany under which David depicts the deliverance he had experienced, had its type in the miraculous phenomenon which accompanied the descent of God upon Sinai, and which suggested, as in the song of Deborah (Judges 5:4-5), the idea of a terrible storm. It is true that the deliverance of David was not actually attended by any such extraordinary natural phenomena; but the saving hand of God from heaven was so obviously manifested, that the deliverance experienced by him could be poetically described as a miraculous interposition on the part of God. When the Lord rises up from His heavenly temple to come down upon the earth to judgment, the whole world trembles at the fierceness of His wrath. Not only does the earth tremble, but the foundations of the heavens shake: the whole universe is moved. In the psalm we have "the foundations of the hills" instead of "the foundations of the heavens," - a weaker expression, signifying the earth to its deepest foundations. The Hithpael יתגּעשׁ, lit., to sway itself, expresses the idea of continuous swaying to and fro. לו חרה כּי, "for it (sc., wrath) burned to him," it flamed up like a fire; cf. Deuteronomy 32:22; Deuteronomy 29:19. "Smoke," the forerunner of fire, "ascended in His nose." The figurative idea is that of snorting or violent breathing, which indicates the rising of wrath. Smoke is followed by fire, which devours out of the mouth, i.e., bursts forth devouring or consuming all that opposes it. The expression is strengthened still further by the parallel: "red-hot coals come out of Him," i.e., the flame of red-hot coals pours out of Him as out of a glowing furnace (cf. Genesis 15:17). This description is based entirely upon Exodus 19:18, where the Lord comes down upon Sinai in smoke and fire. We are not to picture to ourselves flashes of lightning; for all these phenomena are merely the forerunners of the appearance of God in the clouds, which is described in 2 Samuel 22:10, "He bowed the heavens" to come down. ערפל, which is frequently connected with ענן, signifies cloudy darkness, or dark clouds. The substratum of this description is the fact that in a severe storm the heavens seem to sink down upon the earth with their dark clouds. The Lord draws near riding upon black thunder-clouds, "that the wicked may not behold His serene countenance, but only the terrible signs of His fierce wrath and punishment" (J. H. Michaelis).

2 Samuel 22:8 Interlinear
2 Samuel 22:8 Parallel Texts

2 Samuel 22:8 NIV
2 Samuel 22:8 NLT
2 Samuel 22:8 ESV
2 Samuel 22:8 NASB
2 Samuel 22:8 KJV

2 Samuel 22:8 Bible Apps
2 Samuel 22:8 Parallel
2 Samuel 22:8 Biblia Paralela
2 Samuel 22:8 Chinese Bible
2 Samuel 22:8 French Bible
2 Samuel 22:8 German Bible

Bible Hub

2 Samuel 22:7
Top of Page
Top of Page