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Barnes' Notes on the Bible
1And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:
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.
2And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
3The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
4I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
5When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;
6The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;
7In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.
8Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.
9There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
10He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.
11And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind.
12And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.
13Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled.
14The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.
15And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.
16And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
17He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters;
18He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.
19They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.
20He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
21The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
22For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
23For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.
24I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.
25Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.
26With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.
27With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.
28And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.
29For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.
30For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.
31As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
32For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?
33God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.
34He maketh my feet like hinds' feet: and setteth me upon my high places.
35He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
36Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.
37Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip.
38I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them.
39And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet.
40For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me.
41Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.
42They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.
43Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad.
44Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me.
45Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me.
46Strangers shall fade away, and they shall be afraid out of their close places.
47The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.
48It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me,
49And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.
50Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.
51He is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.