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II Samuel 22 Part 2

14. “The LORD thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.

Yahweh thunders from the heavens, and Elyon gives forth His voice. This is typical Hebrew poetry, and the thunder is a poetic picture for the voice. Again, this fits with the picture of Him coming in the great thunderstorm. Elyon is God as the Ruler and Owner of heaven and earth, and clearly Yahweh and Elyon are the same here. There is truly none higher than Yahweh, for He is God.

Here Psalm 18 repeats the line it added at the end of the previous verse, “Hailstones and coals of fire.” This probably means that these accompanied His great thundering voice. Yet they are not mentioned here in II Samuel 22 in the original composition. Read the rest of this entry »

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II Samuel 22

1. Then David spoke to the LORD the words of this song, on the day when the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.

“Then” here does not seem to mean right at this time, for this appears to have been written earlier in David’s life after the LORD had delivered him from the power of all his enemies, especially from the power of the jealous and murderous King Saul, and from his enemies all around. This would have been when David was set in peace on the throne, probably around the time of II Samuel 7.

This is called a “song,” which clearly indicates it was meant to be sung and was not just a poem. This song, which he wrote as a personal composition at first for his own use and edification, was later edited by him for public use and placed into the Psalms, the song book of Zion, as Psalm 18. There it was dedicated for public use rather than just David’s own private use, as we can see from its dedication to “the Chief Musician.” We can compare the two psalms and note the many similarities, and the few editorial changes, between the two versions of this song. This is the original version, and Psalm 18 is the edited, final form of the same Psalm. David in doing this uses the same right any author has to do with his own material, particularly when adapting it for a new use. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 21

1. Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, “It is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house, because he killed the Gibeonites.”

Now we start to consider some of the noteworthy events of the latter part of David’s reign. The first one of these is a famine that comes on Israel. Bullinger in The Companion Bible suggests that the words “year after year” actually indicate that this famine started the next year after the events of the previous chapter. This would make David to be 58 years old at the time of the famine. This famine lasts for three years.

David asks the LORD why there is a famine. This was in line with how Israel was supposed to think according to the law. We might think a famine is just a natural occurrence, and in our day that could well be all it is. Yet Israel was never supposed to think this way, for a famine in Israel was never just a natural occurrence. The advent of a famine in the land was known, by any who knew God’s law, to be a sign that the LORD was not pleased with His people. This was made clear in multiple passages in the law, such as Deuteronomy 28. First of all, we read the positive side of it: there would be no famine if they were obeying the LORD’s commands. We see this in Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 4-5, 8, and 11-12, quoted below. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 20 Continued

11. Meanwhile one of Joab’s men stood near Amasa, and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David—follow Joab!”

One of Joab’s men, no doubt acting at Joab’s orders while personally fully supporting this popular and charismatic man, encourages all to favor Joab. He stands by Amasa’s body and suggests that to favor Joab, and even to be for David, means to follow Joab. This does not leave much choice, does it? Who would favor a dead body as army commander over a living and successful, mighty man? Who among David’s loyal men would turn back and refuse to act for him now? So Joab’s man makes it “a vote for Joab is a vote for David,” and David’s loyal men have little choice but to go along with it. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 20

1. And there happened to be there a rebel, whose name was Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite. And he blew a trumpet, and said:
“We have no share in David,
Nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse;
Every man to his tents, O Israel!”

We have seen that tensions had mounted to the breaking point between the angry people of Israel, who felt insulted that David had not waited for them before crossing the Jordan, and the people of Judah, whom they had insulted by accusing them of stealing David from the rest of the nation. Now the tense situation is made worse by a troublesome man who happens to be there, and who takes the opportunity to make a bad situation worse. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 19 Part 4

31. And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim and went across the Jordan with the king, to escort him across the Jordan.

Now we read of a third and final significant man who meets David upon his return from exile. This is Barzillai from Gilead on the east side of Jordan, the man from Rogelim who had met David as one of the entourage of three wealthy men who thoughtfully and loyally came to offer him generous supplies and aid for himself and his people as they fled. This man stands in happy contrast to the insincere hypocrisy of Shimei and the half-hearted and self-centered support of Mephibosheth. Barzillai is a man of a different stripe. His love is unmixed with selfishness. His loyalty is whole-hearted and real. He had no ulterior motive to come to support David as he fled. He did not hope for future favors, nor seek to cover past sins. He simply came to support with love and loyalty the king God had set over him and over his people. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 19 Part 3

24. Now Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. And he had not cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he returned in peace.

Now Mephibosheth Saul’s son meets him. We might wonder about this name “the son of Saul,” since we know that he was actually Jonathan’s son and therefore Saul’s grandson. Yet we need to realize that there was no word for “grandson” in Hebrew, and “son” meant the representative of Saul’s family, which Mephibosheth certainly was at this time. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 19 Part 2

16. And Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite, who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David.

Now we have a very interesting section in which we will consider three different men who came to meet King David during his crossing of the Jordan. We will consider them, why they came, and how David reacted to them. We will see that they had very different motives in doing this, and we will learn some lessons from each one of them.

The very first to meet David is Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite of Bahurim. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 19

1. And Joab was told, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.”

Joab receives a report back, perhaps from Cushi, of how David received his tidings. It is reported to him that the king is weeping and mourning over his son Absalom. This Joab might well have anticipated, considering what David’s orders to his captains had been. Yet perhaps Joab was more concerned with getting his own way, with doing what he thought was right instead of what the king thought was right and with how to get away with it afterwards, to consider that David might respond this way when he learned the news of Absalom’s death. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 18 Continued

16. So Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing Israel. For Joab held back the people.

Next Joab blows a trumpet to recall the People from pursuing after Israel, who were fleeing at this point, it seems, due to the combined calamity of the slaughter caused by David’s men and the slaughter caused by the woods devouring them. Joab doubtless realizes the same thing that Ahithophel did the other way around: that with Absalom out of the way, there was no longer really anything to fight for. Further fighting will just lead to more bitterness and hard feelings down the road. To stop the fighting now is to minimize the damage to David’s reputation among the rebels. With Absalom gone, the best thing to do is to bring the wayward men of Israel back into the fold of David’s reign. Now, they can go about mending the breach and bringing all Israel under David once again.

Therefore Joab holds back the People. This was wise strategy. There is no doubt that Joab was a clever man. Too bad he was not also an obedient, a Godly, or a loyal one. Read the rest of this entry »