The Agora
Bible Commentary
2 Samuel

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

2 Samuel 23

2Sa 23:3

ONE RULES OVER MEN IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: Christ, the "just" one: Mat 27:19,24; Act 3:14; Jam 5:6; 1Pe 3:18.

2Sa 23:4

THE LIGHT OF MORNING: "The sun of righteousness" (Mal 4:2), used of God (Psa 84:11) and the immortal saints (Mt 13:43; Dan 12:3). Christ's reign as refreshing rain bringing new life to the earth: Psa 72:6; Act 3:19. A covenant of life: Isa 55:1-3; Act 13:34.

2Sa 23:5

DESIRE: Christ, "the desire of all nations" (Hab 2:7).

AND GRANT ME MY EVERY DESIRE?: "Stick with it! Keep the mind fixed. Do not let the flesh sidetrack or divert. Set the one great goal before you, and eliminate everything else from your interest or your attention. There will be plenty of scope within that goal for all necessary attention and diversity. Do not be concerned about how much you accomplish. Do not be concerned about how well you do. Our very most and best is nothing in God's sight: it is the desire and effort that matters. Do be concerned -- very concerned -- about how great and strong your desire is: pray fervently that it be constantly increased. A fervent, singleminded desire for God is God's greatest blessing: from it all other joys and blessings flow. Do be concerned about a wandering mind, a wavering attention, a weak and easily distracted persistence. These are warning signs of weak faith, weak love, weak comprehension of the beauties of God and the glories of eternity -- childish signs that we are neglecting our homework. The only cure is much prayerful meditation devoted to the Word. If we are not prepared to shape our lives and affairs so that this is life's central factor, then God and eternity are not for us" (GVG).

2Sa 23:6

Vv 6,7: At the very end of his life, David looks forward to the Messiah to come, and sees the vague outline... of thorns... a tool of iron (piercing flesh?)... and the shaft of a spear!

THORNS: Gen 3:17l,18. Jdg 8:16 (men of Succoth to Gideon).

"David saw that the Son of God would not be allowed by the kings of the earth and their partizans to enter peaceably upon the possession of his throne; in fact they would do their best to prevent it. In his last words he styles them 'a thornbush to be thrust away and consumed' (v 6); and though they should fill the Son of God with iron and the shaft of a spear, he should nevertheless smite them, and by the power of the Eternal Spirit, be established in Zion as King over the nations to the utmost bounds of the earth, as testified in the second Psalm" (Phan 74).

2Sa 23:7

THE SHAFT OF A SPEAR: Jesus pierced: Joh 19:34-37.

2Sa 23:8

Vv 8-39: David's faithful men.

THESE ARE THE NAMES OF DAVID'S MIGHTY MEN: Cp the faithful of Heb 11. Also cp other list in 1Ch 11:10-47. These are the "building blocks" of Solomon's reign of peace. David did not slay his tens of thousands ALONE! (Many of the LORD's best servants are not well-known.)

The list of the redeemed, whom the king delights to honor. They had come to the Lord's Anointed in the days of his rejection, both Jews and Gentiles. Some Levites had abandoned a service of rituals and offerings. Others had given up high standing elsewhere. Some (like Joab?) were blotted out of list. Others died in service, but are still remembered. Now, on the eve of kingdom and glory, they are remembered and confessed before men (WBS 60).

Note: Joab -- the captain of David's army -- is "conspicuous by his absence" from the rolls of the mighty men. Joab performed many valiant deeds -- he was strong, courageous, intelligent. Yet he performed treacherous acts for questionable (selfish) motives: ie, killing Abner and Amasa. He intrigued against even his master -- David -- in matter of Bathsheba and Uriah.

2Sa 23:10

Eleazar stood firm when his brethren all failed.

2Sa 23:12

SHAMMAH TOOK HIS STAND: Along with David: 1Ch 11:13,14.

2Sa 23:13

Vv 13-17: This prob happened at a much earlier date: cp 1Sa 22.

VALLEY OF REPHAIM: Consistently translated in NIV. AV has "valley of the giants" (Jos 15:18; 18:16; Isa 17:5) or "valley of the Rephaim" (2Sa 5:18,22; 23:13; 1Ch 11:15; 14:9; Isa 17:5).

2Sa 23:16

"There is something peculiarly touching and beautiful in the above scene, whether we contemplate the act of the three mighty men in procuring the water for David, or David's act in pouring it out to the Lord. It is evident that David discerned, in an act of such uncommon devotedness, a sacrifice which none but the Lord Himself could duly appreciate. The odor of such a sacrifice was far too fragrant for him to interrupt it in its ascent to the throne of the God of Israel. Wherefore he, very properly and very graciously, allows it to pass him by, in order that it might go up to the One who alone was worthy to receive it, or able to appreciate it. All this reminds us, forcibly, of that beautiful compendium of Christian devotedness set forth in Phi 2:17,18: 'Yea, and if I be poured out upon the sacrifice, and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all; for this cause ye also joy and rejoice with me.' In this passage, the apostle represents the Philippian saints in their character as priests, presenting a sacrifice and performing a priestly ministration to God; and such was the intensity of his self-forgetting devotedness, that he could rejoice in his being poured out as a drink-offering upon their sacrifice, so that all might ascend, in fragrant odor to God" (CHM, cited by Pink).

There is, perhaps, a New Testament echo of this incident: the "three mighty men" of Christ were Peter, James, and John; like David's mighty men, they desired the kingdom and glory for their master. But the apostles did not really understand that Jesus must first "pour out" his life (cp Mat 16:21-23; 17:4; 19:27; 20:20-23) before he could drink of the cup of joy in his Father's kingdom. So Jesus, who turned water into wine (blood) at Cana (John 2:8), did in fact pour out the "water", or blood, of his own body, on the cross -- like David, he could not drink fully of the joy until he had first experienced the sorrow (Heb 12:2).

AND DREW WATER FROM THE WELL: "With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation" (Isa 12:3). Cp Joh 4:14; 7:37; Mat 10:42.

INSTEAD, HE POURED IT OUT BEFORE THE LORD: The real thirst of David: Psa 63:1-3.

2Sa 23:17

THE BLOOD OF THE MEN: Christ's blood is the blood of all men: Christ the representative of all men: "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died" (2Co 5:14).

2Sa 23:18

CHIEF OF THE THREE: There were 2 different "threes" who were "captains over the 30" (cp v 13): the first "three" were Jashobeam (v 8), Eleazar (v 9), and Shammah (v 11). The second "three" were Abishai (v 18), Benaiah (v 20), and (perhaps) Amasa (1Ch 12:18).

2Sa 23:20

Prob nowhere else in the world would a lion and snow come together. This lion strayed up out of the Jordan river valley and was trapped by a sudden snowfall (HistGeo 63; WIH 18,19).

2Sa 23:35

CARMELITE: Of Judah, descendant of Caleb (cp 1Sa 25:2,3).

ARBITE: Perhaps Kiriath-arba, or Hebron (Jos 15:13).

2Sa 23:39

AND URIAH THE HITTITE: The man whom the natural David would most like to forget is remembered by the HSp.

Previous Index Next