Psalm 18:42
Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(42) Before the wind.—In Samuel, the weaker “of the earth.”

Cast them outi.e., sweep them before me. In Samuel “stamp and tread them out.” So LXX. here “grind,” or “pound.”

18:32, and the following verses, are the gifts of God to the spiritual warrior, whereby he is prepared for the contest, after the example of his victorious Leader. Learn that we must seek release being made through Christ, shall be rejected. In David the type, we behold out of trouble through Christ. The prayer put up, without reconciliation Jesus our Redeemer, conflicting with enemies, compassed with sorrows and with floods of ungodly men, enduring not only the pains of death, but the wrath of God for us; yet calling upon the Father with strong cries and tears; rescued from the grave; proceeding to reconcile, or to put under his feet all other enemies, till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. We should love the Lord, our Strength, and our Salvation; we should call on him in every trouble, and praise him for every deliverance; we should aim to walk with him in all righteousness and true holiness, keeping from sin. If we belong to him, he conquers and reigns for us, and we shall conquer and reign through him, and partake of the mercy of our anointed King, which is promised to all his seed for evermore. Amen.Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind - As the fine dust is driven by the wind, so they fled before me. There could be no more striking illustration of a defeated army flying before a conqueror. DeWette says correctly that the idea is, "I beat them small, and scattered them as dust before the wind."

I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets - In the corresponding place in 2 Samuel 22:43, this is, "I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad." The idea in the place before us is, that he poured them out, for so the Hebrew word means, as the dirt or mire in the streets. As that is trodden on, or trampled down, so they, instead of being marshalled for battle, were wholly disorganized, scattered, and left to be trodden down, as the most worthless object is. A similar image occurs in Isaiah 10:6, where God is speaking of Sennacherib: "I will send him against an hypocritical nation ... to tread them down like the mire of the streets."

42. This conquest was complete. Or, rid them away, as dirt is usually swept or carried out of houses or streets. Or, tread them down, or bruise them, as men do dirt when they walk in the streets.

Then did I beat them small, as the dust before the wind,.... They being given up by God, and he not answering to their cries; the phrase denotes the utter ruin and destruction of them, and represents their case as desperate and irrecoverable; being, as it were, pounded to dust, and that driven away with the wind: just as the destruction of the four monarchies is signified by the iron, clay, brass, silver, and gold, being broken to pieces, and made like the chaff of the summer threshing floor, and carried away with the wind, so that no place is found for them any more, Daniel 2:35;

I did cast them out as the dirt of the streets; expressing indignation and contempt: in 2 Samuel 22:43; it is, "I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did, spread them abroad"; which also denotes the low and miserable condition to which they were reduced, and the entire conquest made of them, and triumph over them; see Isaiah 10:6; compare with this 2 Samuel 12:31.

Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
42. Two figures are combined to express the annihilation of David’s enemies. They were, as it were, pounded to dust (2 Kings 13:7), and then scattered like that dust driven before the wind. Cp. Isaiah 29:5; Isaiah 41:2. 2 Sam. reads only “as the dust of the earth.”

I did cast them out &c.] Flung them away as worthless refuse (Zephaniah 1:17). But the mire of the streets is usually spoken of as trampled under foot (Isaiah 10:6; Micah 7:10; Zechariah 10:5), and it suits the parallelism better to read with the LXX and 2 Sam., I did stamp them (Micah 4:13). The variation is again due to the confusion of similar letters (ארקםאדקם). The addition at the end of the verse in 2 Sam., “and did spread them abroad,” is probably a gloss.

Verse 42. - Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind (comp. Psalm 35:5). The enemy were beaten and dispersed so that they seemed driven as dust before the wind. I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. They were made no account of, treated with as little ceremony as the clay in the streets. Language of utter contempt. Psalm 18:42(Heb.: 18:42-43) Their prayer to their gods, wrung from them by their distress, and even to Jahve, was in vain, because it was for their cause, and too late put up to Him. על equals על; in Psalm 42:2 the two prepositions are interchanged. Since we do not pulverize dust but to dust, כּעפר is to be taken as describing the result: so that they became as dust (cf. Job 38:30, כּאכן, so that it is become like stone, and the extreme of such pregnant brevity of expression in Isaiah 41:2) before the wind (על־פּני as in 2 Chronicles 3:17, before the front). The second figure is to be explained differently: I emptied them out (אריקם from הריק) like the dirt of the streets, i.e., not merely: so that they became such, but as one empties it out, - thus contemptuously, ignominiously and completely (cf. Isaiah 10:6; Zechariah 10:5). The lxx renders it λεανῶ from הרק (root רק to stretch, make thin, cf. tendo tenius, dehnen dnn); and the text of 2 Samuel 22 present the same idea in אדיקם.
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