2 Samuel 22 Bible Commentary

John Darby’s Synopsis

(Read all of 2 Samuel 22)
The following commentary covers Chapters 22 and 23.

David's two songs

The songs that follow contain instruction of deep interest. In chapter 22 David comes forth from his sufferings and his affliction with a song of triumph and of praise. He had learnt what God was in his sufferings. He celebrates all that God had been for him, all that he had found Him to be in his necessities and dangers, the effect of God's power on his behalf, and the glorious and blessed result of this power. All this is given in a song, the expression of which will only be fully accomplished in Christ Himself.

In chapter 23 he celebrates his prosperity. But what a difference! He declares, it is true, what Christ will be when He reigns; and he does so in language of most attractive beauty, a beauty which ravishes the mind and transports it into the reign of Christ, that blessed "world to come of which we speak." But then this sorrowful thought presents itself—"my house is not so with God."

The song of triumph and praise for what God had: the sufferings of Christ

In the first of these two songs there is something more of profound interest. David speaks as a prophet; and, as he had done in so many other instances, he personifies the Lord Jesus, the Lord Jesus in connection with Israel. This song then sets before us the sufferings of Christ (as the representative of Israel, and often speaking of the nation as though it were Himself), sufferings which obtained also other deliverance of far surpassing excellence, as the cause of the deliverance out of Egypt and of all Israel's blessings, until the establishment of Messiah's glory in the age to come. He surrounds the agony of Christ with the whole history of Israel in salvation and in blessing, from Pithom and Rameses unto the destruction of the violent man at the end of days, and the submission of the nations to Messiah's sceptre; and he gives a voice to their distress in Egypt.

David's second song looks on to the coming of Christ: judgment executed before full blessing

In chapter 23 the covenant is, "all his salvation and all his desire," although at that time "he made it not to grow." Judgment must be executed ere the full blessing he expected could be brought in; and these thorns of iniquity must be "utterly burned in the same place." This will take place at the coming of Christ.

David's mighty men

If God honours and glorifies David, He does not forget those whom the energy of David's faith had brought around him. The Holy Ghost enumerates the mighty men of David, and recounts their deeds of valour and devotedness—deeds which obtain a name and a place for them when God writes up the people (Psalm 87). Joab is not among them.