2 Samuel 22:9
There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
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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. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. See Gill on Psalm 18:8. There went up a {d} smoke out of his nostrils, and {e} fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

(d) That is, clouds, and vapours.

(e) Lightening and thundering.

9.  Smoke arose in his nostril,

and fire from his mouth did devour:

hot coals came burning from him.

The startling boldness of the language will be intelligible if the distinctive character of Hebrew symbolism is borne in mind. It is no “gross anthropomorphism,” for the Psalmist did not intend that the mind’s eye should clothe his figure in a concrete form. His aim is vividly to express the manifestation of the wrath of God, and he does so in figures which are intended to remain as purely mental conceptions, not to be realised as though God appeared in any visible shape. See some excellent remarks in Archbishop Trench’s Comm. on the Epistles to the Seven Churches, p. 43.

a smoke] The outward sign of the pent-up fires of wrath. So anger is said to smoke (Psalm 74:1; Psalm 80:4 marg.). This bold figure is suggested by the panting and snorting of an angry animal. Cp. Job 41:20; in illustration of which Mr Cox quotes from Bertram’s Travels in Carolina: “I perceived a crocodile rush from a small lake … Thick smoke came with a thundering noise from his nostrils.” Martial speaks of fumantem nasum ursi “the smoking nostril of an angry bear” (Epigr. vi. 64. 28).

fire] Compare again Job’s description of Leviathan (Job 41:19-21). Fire is the constant emblem of the consuming wrath of God. See Deuteronomy 32:22; Psalm 97:3; Hebrews 12:29.

coals] The fiery messengers of vengeance. Cp. Psalm 140:10. 3 The God of Israel saith,

The Rock of Israel speaketh to me:

A Ruler over men, just,

A Ruler in the fear of God.

4 And as light of the morning, when the sun rises,

As morning without clouds:

From shining out of rain (springeth) green out of the earth.

5 For is not my house thus with God?

For He hath made me an everlasting covenant,

Provided with all, and attested;

For all my salvation and all good pleasure,

Should He then not cause it to grow?

As the prophets generally preface their saying with "thus saith the Lord," so David commences his prophetic saying with "the God of Israel saith," for the purpose of describing it most emphatically as the word of God. He designates God "the God" and "The Rock" (as in 2 Samuel 22:3) of Israel, to indicate that the contents of his prophecy relate to the salvation of the people of Israel, and are guaranteed by the unchangeableness of God. The saying which follows bears the impress of a divine oracle even in its enigmatical brevity. The verbs are wanting in the different sentences of 2 Samuel 23:3 and 2 Samuel 23:4. "A ruler over men," sc., "will arise," or there will be. בּאדם does not mean "among men," but "over men;" for בּ is to be taken as with the verb משׁל, as denoting the object ruled over (cf. Genesis 3:16; Genesis 4:7, etc.). האדם does not mean certain men, but the human race, humanity. This ruler is "just" in the fullest sense of the word, as in the passages founded upon this, viz., Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 9:9, and Psalm 72:2. The justice of the ruler is founded in his "fear of God." אלהים יראת is governed freely by מושׁל. (On the fact itself, see Isaiah 11:2-3.) The meaning is, "A ruler over the human race will arise, a just ruler, and will exercise his dominion in the spirit of the fear of God."

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