2 Samuel 8:15
And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice to all his people.
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2 Samuel 8:15. David reigned over all Israel — He has no disturbance at home, while he was engaged in wars abroad: but all Israel obeyed him. And David executed judgment and justice — That is, either, 1st, Having now finished his foreign wars, he applied himself to the civil government of his people, according to the law of God, which he executed duly by himself, or his judges: or, rather, 2d, Even while he was engaged in so many wars abroad, he did not neglect his people at home; but took care that justice should be administered to them, according to that divine admonition recorded in his last words, 2 Samuel 23:3, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. 8:15-18 David neither did wrong, nor denied or delayed right to any. This speaks his close application to business; also his readiness to admit all addresses and appeals made to him. He had no respect of persons in judgment. Herein he was a type of Christ. To Him let us submit, his friendship let us seek, his service let us count our pleasure, diligently attending to the work he assigns to each of us. David made his sons chief rulers; but all believers, Christ's spiritual seed, are better preferred, for they are made kings and priests to our God, Re 1:6.The Syrians - Read the Edomites, as in marginal references (compare Psalm 60:1-12 title), and as the context 2 Samuel 8:14 requires. For a further account of this war of extermination with Edom, see 1 Kings 11:15-16. The war with Edom was of some duration, not without serious reverses and dangers to the Israelites (2 Samuel 8:2 note). The different accounts probably relate to different parts of the campaign. 2Sa 8:15-18. His Reign.

15. David executed judgment and justice unto all his people—Though involved in foreign wars, he maintained an excellent system of government at home, the most eminent men of the age composing his cabinet of ministers.

Judgment and Justice, i. e. just judgment, as Deu 16:18. A figure called hendiadis as in Genesis 3:16 Matthew 4:16. And David reigned over all Israel,.... Not only over Judah, but over all the tribes of Israel, and over the whole land of Canaan, as promised to Abraham, Genesis 15:18; reaching to the river Euphrates, as Syria did, now conquered by David:

and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people; when he returned from his wars, he heard and tried all causes impartially, brought before him, and gave sentence according to the law of God, and administered righteous judgment without any respect to persons; all had justice done them that applied unto him, whether high or low, rich or poor; and indeed during his wars he was not negligent of the civil government of his subjects, and the distribution of justice to them by proper officers, in which he was a type of Christ; see Isaiah 11:5.

And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed {g} judgment and justice unto all his people.

(g) He gave judgment in controversies, and was merciful toward the people.

15. executed judgment and justice] Proving himself the true representative of Jehovah, whose attributes these are (Psalm 33:5; Psalm 89:14); and a true type of the perfect Messianic King (Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 32:1; Jeremiah 23:5-6).

15–18. David’s administration and officers

A summary notice of the internal administration of the kingdom, with a list of David’s chief officers of state, is appended to the account of his wars. Another list of these officers is given in ch. 2 Samuel 20:23-26 : on the differences between them see notes there. A similar list of Solomon’s officers is to be found in 1 Kings 4:1-6.Verse 15. - David executed judgment and justice. There was very little real truth in Absalom's fault finding with the administration of justice (2 Samuel 15:3, 4), unless we suppose - what is only too probable - that David, after his terrible crimes of murder and adultery, became lax in the discharge of his judicial duties. Here, at this period of his life, he was a zealous judge at home, as well as a brave and skilful general. He was one of those many sided characters who are great in a multitude of ways. Like Julius Caesar and our own Alfred, he was as distinguished in the arts of peace as in those of war. And thus, while his first care was for the establishment of religion, and while even the singing in the sanctuary was not beneath his notice, he also, even in the midst of dangerous wars, gave careful attention to the orderly government of his kingdom and the maintenance of right and law. We have already seen with what consummate skill he selected a capital immediately that he was made king of all Israel. Saul had done much in war. Though finally defeated at Gilboa, he had taught the Israelites their strength, and laid the foundations of David's empire; but he had done nothing to consolidate the tribes, or provide tribunals for the settlement of disputed legal rights or the punishment of crimes. Israel was as loose an aggregate of discordant atoms at his death as it was at his appointment; and the maintenance of order was left to the caprice of local sheiks. Samuel had done far more for the internal development and consolidation of the people than Saul; but it was David who made them into a nation. The continuance of his work was frustrated by the extravagance of Solomon, the folly of Rehoboam, and the ambition of the restless tribe of Ephraim; but the two parts into which his realm was broken at least held together, and there never again was danger of such anarchy and threatened disintegration as existed in the times of the judges. After the defeat of the king of Zobah and his allies, Toi king of Hamath sought for David's friendship, sending his son to salute him, and conveying to him at the same time a considerable present of vessels of silver, gold, and brass. The name Toi is written Tou in the Chronicles, according to a different mode of interpretation; and the name of the son is given as Hadoram in the Chronicles, instead of Joram as in the text before us. The former is evidently the true reading, and Joram an error of the pen, as the Israelitish name Joram is not one that we should expect to find among Aramaeans; whilst Hadoram occurs in 1 Chronicles 1:21 in the midst of Arabic names, and it cannot be shown that the Hadoram or Adoram mentioned in 2 Chronicles 10:18 and 1 Kings 12:18 was a man of Israelitish descent. The primary object of the mission was to salute David ("to ask him of peace;" cf. Genesis 43:27, etc.), and to congratulate him upon his victory ("to bless him because he had fought," etc.); for Toi had had wars with Hadadezer. "A man of wars" signifies a man who wages wars (cf. 1 Chronicles 28:3; Isaiah 42:13). According to 1 Chronicles 18:3, the territory of the king of Hamath bordered upon that of Hadadezer, and the latter had probably tried to make king Toi submit to him. The secret object of the salutation, however, was no doubt to secure the friendship of this new and powerful neighbour.
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