Psalm 18:50
Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.
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(50) This verse is by many treated as a late liturgical addition to the hymn. The change to the third person is certainly somewhat suggestive of this, but by no means conclusive.

The question of the relation of the two copies of this hymn to each other is far too complicated and difficult for discussion here. Each has been again and again claimed as the original. The best explanation of the variations is that the compositions were independent copies of some original, and that the psalm, like many others, was altered in preparation for the choir use.

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.Great deliverance giveth he to his king - To David, as king. The word in the original, which is rendered "deliverance," means properly salvations, and is here in the plural number. It refers not to one act of divine interposition, but to the many acts (referred to in the psalm) in which God had interposed to save him from danger and from death. The phrase "to his king" refers to the fact that God had appointed him to reign, and to administer the government for him. He did not reign on his own account, but he reigned for God, and with a view to do his will.

And showeth mercy to his anointed - To him who had been set apart to the kingly office by a solemn act of anointing. Compare 1 Samuel 16:13; 2 Samuel 2:4-7; 2 Samuel 5:3, 2 Samuel 5:17; 2 Samuel 12:7; compare 2 Kings 9:3, 2 Kings 9:6,2 Kings 9:12. It is in allusion to this custom that the Messiah is called the Anointed, or the Christ. See the note at Matthew 1:1.

To David, and to his seed - To his descendants, or posterity. There is an undoubted reference here to the promises made to David in regard to his successors on the throne. See 2 Samuel 7:12-16, 2 Samuel 7:25-26, and Psalm 89:19-37.

Forevermore - This expresses the confident expectation of David that the government would remain in his family to the latest times. This expectation was founded on such promises as that in 2 Samuel 7:12-13 : "I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom; he shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever." Also 2 Samuel 7:16 : "And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee; thy throne shall be established forever." See also Psalm 89:36 : "His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me." The perpetuity of this kingdom is found, in fact, in the reign of the Messiah, a descendant of David, in whose eternal reign these promises will receive an ample fulfillment. See Isaiah 9:7. Compare Luke 1:32-33. The temporal reign passed wholly away in the process of time from the descendants of David; the spiritual reign is perpetual in the Messiah. How far David understood this it is not important to inquire, and it would be impossible to determine. It is sufficient for the proper understanding of the place to remember

(a) that there will have been a strict fulfillment of the promise, according to the full import of the language, in the Messiah, the Son of David; and

(b) that, however this may have been understood by David who recorded the promise, the real author of the promise was the Holy Spirit, and that the real meaning of the promise, as thus recorded, was that it should be fulfilled as it has been.

In this, as in all other cases, the inquiry to be made in interpreting the language is not how the sacred penman understood it, but what was meant by the real author, the Spirit of God - and whether the prediction, according to that meaning, has been fulfilled. When a man employs an amanuensis, the inquiry in regard to what is written is not how the amanuensis understood it, but how he who dictated what was written intended it should be understood. Applying this principle, the prediction here and elsewhere, in regard to the perpetuity of the reign of David and his posterity, has been, and is, fulfilled in the most ample manner. "Great David's greater Son" shall reign forever and ever.

49, 50. Paul (Ro 15:9) quotes from this doxology to show that under the Old Testament economy, others than the Jews were regarded as subjects of that spiritual government of which David was head, and in which character his deliverances and victories were typical of the more illustrious triumphs of David's greater Son. The language of Ps 18:50 justifies this view in its distinct allusion to the great promise (compare 2Sa 7:12). In all David's successes he saw the pledges of a fulfilment of that promise, and he mourned in all his adversities, not only in view of his personal suffering, but because he saw in them evidences of danger to the great interests which were committed to his keeping. It is in these aspects of his character that we are led properly to appreciate the importance attached to his sorrows and sufferings, his joys and successes. To his king; to the king whom God himself chose, and anointed, or constituted.

To his seed; to all his posterity, and especially to the Messias, who is called David’s Seed, Acts 13:23 Romans 1:3; and his Son, Psalm 89:27 90:1, compared with Matthew 22:42; and the Seed by way of eminency, Galatians 3:16; and God’s Anointed and King, Psalm 2:2.

Great deliverance giveth he to his king,.... Not that is king over him; for he is King of kings and Lord of lords; but that is made king by him, as David was; who did not usurp the throne, but was anointed king by the appointment of God, and was placed by him upon the throne; to whom he gave great deliverance from his enemies, or "magnified salvations" to him; which were great in kind, and many in number; and as Christ is, whom God has set as his King on his holy hill of Sion, against whom the Heathen raged, and kings and princes set themselves; but he is delivered from them all, and saved from the power of death and the grave, and ever lives to reign over, protect, and defend his people; in 2 Samuel 22:51, it is, he is "the tower of salvation for his king", with which compare Proverbs 18:10;

and showeth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore; which may be understood either of David literally, who was the Lord's anointed, and to whom God showed mercy in various instances; and then by his seed is meant the Messiah, who was of his seed according to the flesh; or of the Messiah, whose name signifies Anointed; and who is often called David, Ezekiel 34:23, Hosea 3:5; and so some of the Jewish doctors (u) from this verse prove that the name of the Messiah is David: and by his seed are meant his spiritual seed; all the elect of God, who are given him as his children, to whom he stands in the relation of the everlasting Father: and as mercy is kept with him for evermore, Psalm 89:28; so it is shown to them in regeneration, in the forgiveness of their sins, and in their everlasting salvation.

(u) Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2.

Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his {n} seed for evermore.

(n) This did not properly belong to Solomon, but to Jesus Christ.

50. These closing words may be due to a later poet, who thus sums up the lessons of the Psalm. But they may well be David’s own. He drops the first person, and surveys his own life from without, in the light of the great promise of 2 Samuel 7:12-16. These are the deliverances Jehovah has wrought for the king of His choice; this is a sample of the lovingkindness which He has shewn to His Anointed, and will shew to his seed for evermore. The words reach forward to the perfect life, and the world-wide victories, of the Christ, the Son of David.

Great deliverance &c.] Lit. He magnifieth the salvations of his king. Cp. Psalm 20:6. The Kthîbh and the Versions in 2 Sam. have the same reading: but the Qrç, which the A.V. follows, has “He is a tower of deliverance for his king.” Cp. Psalm 61:3; Proverbs 18:10.The consonants of the two words, as originally written defectively and without vowels, are identical.

mercy] lovingkindness. Cp. Psalm 17:7; 2 Samuel 7:15.

Verse 50. - Great deliverance giveth he to his king; literally, he magnifies salutations to his king. The primary reference seems to be to the gracious message which God sent to David by Nathan when he had brought the tabernacle into Jerusalem, and purposed to build a "house" worthy of it (see 2 Samuel 7:8-16). God had then "saluted" David as "his servant" (ver. 5), and sent him a message of the most gracious character, even promising the kingdom to him and to his seed "for ever" (vers. 13, 16). And showeth mercy to his anointed, to David. No doubt David is primarily intended, both by the "king" of the first clause, and by the "anointed" of the second; but the combination of the two, and the immediate mention of the "seed" which is to reign "for ever," carry the passage beyond the psalmist individually, and give to the conclusion of the psalm, at any rate, a semi-Messianic character. As Hengstenberg says, "Psalms of this kind are distinguished from those which may more strictly be called Messianic, only by this - that in the latter the Messiah exclusively is brought into view, while here he is presented to our notice only as a member of the seed of David" ('Commentary on the Psalms,' vol. 1. p. 324, Engl. trans.).

Psalm 18:50(Heb.: 18:50-51) The praise of so blessed a God, who acts towards David as He has promised him, shall not be confined within the narrow limits of Israel. When God's anointed makes war with the sword upon the heathen, it is, in the end, the blessing of the knowledge of Jahve for which he opens up the way, and the salvation of Jahve, which he thus mediatorially helps on. Paul has a perfect right to quote Psalm 18:50 of this Psalm (Romans 15:9), together with Deuteronomy 32:43 and Psalm 117:1, as proof that salvation belongs to the Gentiles also, according to the divine purpose of mercy. What is said in Psalm 18:50 as the reason and matter of the praise that shall go forth beyond Israel, is an echo of the Messianic promises in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 which is perfectly reconcileable with the Davidic authorship of the Psalm, as Hitzig acknowledges. And Theodoret does not wrongly appeal to the closing words עד־עולם against the Jews. In whom, but in Christ, the son of David, has the fallen throne of David any lasting continuance, and in whom, but in Christ, has all that has been promised to the seed of David eternal truth and reality? The praise of Jahve, the God of David, His anointed, is, according to its ultimate import, a praising of the Father of Jesus Christ.
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