2 Samuel 22:1-51 - David's Psalm Of Thanksgiving.
Of the date when David wrote this psalm there can be little doubt. It was at the close of his first great series of victories, after Toi, the Hittite King of Hamath, had sent to him an embassy of congratulation ( 2 Samuel 8:9 , 2 Samuel 8:10 ), referred to very triumphantly in verses 45, 46. But there is no trace in it of the sorrow and shame that clouded over his latter days; and no man whose conscience was stained with sins so dark as those of adultery and murder could have written words so strongly asserting his integrity and the cleanness of his hands as are found in 2 Samuel 23:21-25 . The psalm belongs to David's happiest time, when he had won for Israel security and empire. It is written from first to last in a tone of jubilant exultation, caused, as we may well believe, by Nathan's acceptance of his purpose to build the temple, and by the solemn appointment of David as the theocratic king. If it were arranged according to time and matter, it would be placed immediately after 2 Samuel 8:1-18 ; as it is evidently David's thanksgiving for the benefits and blessings just promised to him and his seed.
But the scribes inserted it here, not so much because of its historical value, as because it is a national thanksgiving for the founding of that empire by which Israel became verily the theocratic people, and the type upon earth of the kingdom of the Messiah. The prophet who compiled the Books of Samuel rejoiced in David's victories, not because they gave Israel worldly dominion, but because they were a fulfilment of past prophecy, and a necessary part of the preparation for the religious position which Israel was to hold. Such as it had been under the judges, Israel would have been no fit home for the prophetic light. It could not have grown and developed, nor the race have become a Church fit to be the teacher of all mankind. And in this hymn the Church expresses her joy at the high office and extended usefulness to which God has seen fit to call her. The spiritual exposition of the psalm will naturally be sought in commentaries on the Book of Psalms. But such matters as its outward form, and the differences between the two texts, will not be out of place here.
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