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2 Samuel 23:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse saith, And the man who was raised on high saith, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Now these [be] the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man [who was] raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse declares, The man who was raised on high declares, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Now these [are] the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man [who was] raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Now these are the last words of David: David the son of Jesse saith, And the man who was raised up on high, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel saith,
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Now, these, are the last words of David,—The oracle of David, son of Jesse, Yea the oracle of The man raised up on high, The Anointed of the God of Jacob, the Delight of the Songs of Israel:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And these [are] the last words of David:—'The affirmation of David son of Jesse—And the affirmation of the man raised up—Concerning the Anointed of the God of Jacob, And the Sweetness of the Songs of Israel:
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Now these are David's last words. David the son of Isai said: The man to whom it was appointed concerning the Christ of the God of Jacob, the excellent psalmist of Israel said:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Nowe these bee the last words of Dauid: Dauid the sonne of Iesse saide, and the man who was raised vp on high, the Anointed of the God of Iacob, and the sweet Psalmist of Israel, said,
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And these [are] the last words of David. Faithful [is] David the son of Jesse{gr.Jessae}, and faithful the man whom the Lord raised up to be the anointed of the God of Jacob, and beautiful [are] the psalms of Israel.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Now these [be] the last words of Dawid. Dawid the son of Yishay said, and the man [who was] raised up on high, the anointed of the Elohim of Yaaqov, and the sweet psalmist of Yisrael, said,

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Now these x428
(0428) Complement
Prolonged from H0411; these or those.
[be] the last 314
{0314} Prime
From H0309; hinder; generally late or last; specifically (as facing the east) western.
words 1697
{1697} Prime
From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially a cause.
of Dwi דָּוִד. y1732
[1732] Standard
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
Dwi דָּוִד 1732
{1732} Prime
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
the son 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of Yiay יִשַׁי 3448
{3448} Prime
From the same as H3426; extant; Jishai, David's father.
said, 5002
{5002} Prime
From H5001; an oracle.
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
(1732) Complement
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
and the man 1397
{1397} Prime
From H1396; properly a valiant man or warrior; generally a person simply.
[who was] raised up 6965
{6965} Prime
A primitive root; to rise (in various applications, literally, figuratively, intensively and causatively).
<8717> Grammar
Stem - Hophal (See H8825)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 123
on high, 5920
{5920} Prime
From H5927; properly the top; specifically the Highest (that is, God); also (adverbially) aloft, to Jehovah.
the anointed 4899
{4899} Prime
From H4886; anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically the Messiah.
of the lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
of Ya`kv יַעֲקֹב, 3290
{3290} Prime
From H6117; heel catcher (that is, supplanter); Jaakob, the Israelitish patriarch.
and the sweet 5273
{5273} Prime
From H5276; delightful (objectively or subjectively, literally or figuratively).
psalmist 2158
{2158} Prime
(Feminine): from H2167; a song to be accompanied with instrumental music.
of Yi$rl יִשׂרָאֵל, 3478
{3478} Prime
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
said, 5002
{5002} Prime
From H5001; an oracle.
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Samuel 23:1

_ _ 2 Samuel 23:1-7. David professes his faith in God’s promises.

_ _ Now these be the last words of David — Various opinions are entertained as to the precise meaning of this statement, which, it is obvious, proceeded from the compiler or collector of the sacred canon. Some think that, as there is no division of chapters in the Hebrew Scriptures, this introduction was intended to show that what follows is no part of the preceding song. Others regard this as the last of the king’s poetical compositions; while still others consider it the last of his utterances as an inspired writer.

_ _ raised up on high — from an obscure family and condition to a throne.

_ _ the anointed of the God of Jacob — chosen to be king by the special appointment of that God, to whom, by virtue of an ancient covenant, the people of Israel owed all their peculiar destiny and distinguished privileges.

_ _ the sweet psalmist of Israel — that is, delightful, highly esteemed.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Samuel 23:1-7

_ _ We have here the last will and testament of king David, or a codicil annexed to it, after he had settled the crown upon Solomon and his treasures upon the temple which was to be built. The last words of great and good men are thought worthy to be in a special manner remarked and remembered. David would have those taken notice of, and added either to his Psalms (as they are here to that in the foregoing chapter) or to the chronicles of his reign. Those words especially in 2 Samuel 23:5, though recorded before, we may suppose he often repeated for his own consolation, even to his last breath, and therefore they are called his last words. When we find death approaching we should endeavor both to honour God and to edify those about us with our last words. Let those that have had long experience of God's goodness and the pleasantness of wisdom, when they come to finish their course, leave a record of that experience and bear their testimony to the truth of the promise. We have upon record the last words of Jacob and Moses, and here of David, designed, as those, for a legacy to those that were left behind. We are here told,

_ _ I. Whose last will and testament this is. This is related either, or is usual, by the testator himself, or rather, by the historian, 2 Samuel 23:1. He is described, 1. By the meanness of his original: He was the son of Jesse. It is good for those who are advanced to be corner-stones and top-stones to be reminded, and often to remind themselves, of the rock out of which they were hewn. 2. The height of his elevation: He was raised up on high, as one favoured of God, and designed for something great, raised up as a prince, to sit higher than his neighbours, and as a prophet, to see further; for, (1.) He was the anointed of the God of Jacob, and so was serviceable to the people of God in their civil interests, the protection of their country and the administration of justice among them. (2.) He was the sweet psalmist of Israel, and so was serviceable to them in their religious exercises. he penned the psalms, set the tunes, appointed both the singers and the instruments of music, by which the devotions of good people were much excited and enlarged. Note, The singing of psalms is a sweet ordinance, very agreeable to those that delight in praising God. It is reckoned among the honours to which David was raised up that he was a psalmist: in that he was as truly great as in his being the anointed of the God of Jacob. Note, It is true preferment to be serviceable to the church in acts of devotion and instrumental to promote the blessed work of prayer and praise. Observe, Was David a prince? He was so for Jacob. Was he a psalmist? He was so for Israel. Note, the dispensation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal, and therefore, as every man has received the gift, so let him minister the same.

_ _ II. What the purport of it is. It is an account of his communion with God. Observe,

_ _ 1. What God said to him both for his direction and for his encouragement as a king, and to be in like manner, of use to his successors. Pious persons take a pleasure in calling to mind what they have heard from God, in recollecting his word, and revolving it in their minds. Thus what God spoke once David heard twice, yea often. See here,

_ _ (1.) Who spoke: The Spirit of the Lord, the God of Israel, and the Rock of Israel, which some think is an intimation of the Trinity of persons in the Godhead — the Father the God of Israel, the Son the Rock of Israel, and the Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son, who spoke by the prophets, and particularly by David, and whose word was not only in his heart, but in his tongue for the benefit of others. David here avows his divine inspiration, that in his psalms, and in this composition, The Spirit of God spoke by him. He, and other holy men, spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. This puts an honour upon the book of Psalms, and recommends them to our use in our devotions, that they are words which the Holy Ghost teaches.

_ _ (2.) What was spoken. Here seems to be a distinction made between what the Spirit of God spoke by David, which includes all his psalms, and what the Rock of Israel spoke to David, which concerned himself and his family. Let ministers observe that those by whom God speaks to others are concerned to hear and heed what he speaks to themselves. Those whose office it is to teach others their duty must be sure to learn and do their own. Now that which is here said (2 Samuel 23:3, 2 Samuel 23:4) may be considered, [1.] With application to David, and his royal family. And so here is, First, The duty of magistrates enjoined them. When a king was spoken to from God he was not to be complimented with the height of his dignity and the extent of his power, but to be told his duty. “Must is for the king,” we say. Here is a must for the king: He must be just, ruling in the fear of God; and so must all inferior magistrates in their places. Let rulers remember that they rule over men — not over beasts which they may enslave and abuse at pleasure, but over reasonable creatures and of the same rank with themselves. They rule over men that have their follies and infirmities, and therefore must be borne with. They rule over men, but under God, and for him; and therefore, 1. They must be just, both to those over whom they rule, in allowing them their rights and properties, and between those over whom they rule, using their power to right the injured against the injurious; see Deuteronomy 1:16, Deuteronomy 1:17. It is not enough that they do no wrong, but they must not suffer wrong to be done. 2. They must rule in the fear of God, that is, they must themselves be possessed with a fear of God, by which they will be effectually restrained from all acts of injustice and oppression. Nehemiah was so (Nehemiah 5:15, So did not I, because of the fear of God), and Joseph, Genesis 43:18. They must also endeavor to promote the fear of God (that is, the practice of religion) among those over whom they rule. The magistrate is to be the keeper of both tables, and to protect both godliness and honesty. Secondly, Prosperity promised them if they do, this duty. He that rules in the fear of God shall be as the light of the morning, 2 Samuel 23:4. Light is sweet and pleasant, and he that does his duty shall have the comfort of it; his rejoicing will be the testimony of his conscience. Light is bright, and a good prince is illustrious; his justice and piety will be his honour. Light is a blessing, nor are there any greater and more extensive blessings to the public than princes that rule in the fear of God. As the light of the morning, which is most welcome after the darkness of the night (so was David's government after Saul's, Psalms 75:3), which is increasing, shines more and more to the perfect day, such is the growing lustre of a good government. It is likewise compared to the tender grass, which the earth produces for the service of man; it brings with it a harvest of blessings. See Psalms 72:6, Psalms 72:16, which were also some of the last words of David, and seem to refer to those recorded here. [2.] With application to Christ, the Son of David, and then it must all be taken as a prophecy, and the original will bear it: There shall be a rule among men, or over men, that shall be just, and shall rule in the fear of God, that is, shall order the affairs of religion and divine worship according to his Father's will; and he shall be as the light to the morning, etc., for he is the light of the world, and as the tender grass, for he is the branch of the Lord, and the fruit of the earth, Isaiah 11:1-5; Isaiah 32:1, Isaiah 32:2; Psalms 72:2. God, by the Spirit, gave David the foresight of this, to comfort him under the many calamities of his family and the melancholy prospects he had of the degeneracy of his seed.

_ _ 2. What comfortable use he made of this which God spoke to him, and what were his devout meditations on it, by way of reply, 2 Samuel 23:5. It is not unlike his meditation on occasion of such a message, 2 Samuel 7:18, etc. That which goes before the Rock of Israel spoke to him; this the Spirit of God spoke by him, and it is a most excellent confession of his faith and hope in the everlasting covenant. Here is,

_ _ (1.) Trouble supposed: Although my house be not so with God, and although he make it not to grow. David's family was not so with God as is described (2 Samuel 23:3, 2 Samuel 23:4), and as he could wish, not so good, not so happy; it had not been so while he lived; he foresaw it would not be so when he was gone, that his house would be neither so pious nor so prosperous as one might have expected the offspring of such a father to be. [1.] Not so with God. Note, We and ours are that really which we are with God. This was what David's heart was upon concerning his children, that they might be right with God, faithful to him and zealous for him. But the children of godly parents are often neither so holy nor so happy as might be expected. We must be made to know that it is corruption, not grace, that runs in the blood, that the race is not to the swift, but that God gives his Spirit as a free-agent. [2.] Not made to grow, in number, in power; it is God that makes families to grow or not to grow, Psalms 107:41. Good men have often the melancholy prospect of a declining family. David's house was typical of the church of Christ, which is his house, Hebrews 3:3. Suppose this be not so with God as we could wish, suppose it be diminished, distressed, disgraced, and weakened, by errors and corruptions, yea, almost extinct, yet God has made a covenant with the church's head, the Son of David, that he will preserve to him a seed, that the gates of hell shall never prevail against his house. This our Saviour comforted himself with in his sufferings, that the covenant with him stood firm, Isaiah 53:10-12. (2.) Comfort ensured: Yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant. Whatever trouble a child of God may have the prospect of, still he has some comfort or other to balance it with (2 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 4:9), and there is none like this of the Psalmist, which may be understood, [1.] Of the covenant of royalty (in the type) which God made with David and his seed, touching the kingdom, Psalms 132:11, Psalms 132:12. But, [2.] It must look further, to the covenant of grace made with all believers, that God will be, in Christ, to them a God, which was signified by the covenant of royalty, and therefore the promises of the covenant are called the sure mercies of David, Isaiah 55:3. It is this only that is the everlasting covenant, and it cannot be imagined that David, who, in so many of his psalms, speaks so clearly concerning Christ and the grace of the gospel, should forget it in his last words. God has made a covenant of grace with us in Jesus Christ, and we are here told, First, That it is an everlasting covenant, from everlasting in the contrivance and counsel of it, and to everlasting in the continuance and consequences of it. Secondly, That it is ordered, well ordered in all things, admirably well, to advance the glory of God and the honour of the Mediator, together with the holiness and comfort of believers. It is herein well ordered, that whatever is required in the covenant is promised, and that every transgression in the covenant does not throw us out of covenant, and that it puts our salvation, not in our own keeping, but in the keeping of a Mediator. Thirdly, That it is sure, and therefore sure because well ordered; the general offer of it is sure; the promised mercies are sure on the performance of the conditions. The particular application of it to true believers is sure; it is sure to all the seed. Fourthly, That it is all our salvation. Nothing but this will save us, and this is sufficient: it is this only upon which our salvation depends. Fifthly, That therefore it must be all our desire. Let me have an interest in this covenant and the promises of it, and I have enough, I desire no more.

_ _ 3. Here is the doom of the sons of Belial read, 2 Samuel 23:6, 2 Samuel 23:7. (1.) They shall be thrust away as thorns — rejected, abandoned. They are like thorns, not to be touched with hands, so passionate and furious that they cannot be managed or dealt with by a wise and faithful reproof, but must be restrained by law and the sword of justice (Psalms 32:9); and therefore, like thorns, (2.) They shall, at length, be utterly burnt with fire in the same place, Hebrews 6:8. Now this is intended, [1.] As a direction to magistrates to use their power for the punishing and suppressing of wickedness. Let them thrust away the sons of Belial; see Psalms 101:8. Or, [2.] As a caution to magistrates, and particularly to David's sons and successors, to see that they be not themselves sons of Belial (as too many of them were), for then neither the dignity of their place nor their relation to David would secure them from being thrust away by the righteous judgments of God. Though men could not deal with them, God would. Or, [3.] As a prediction of the ruin of all the implacable enemies of Christ's kingdom. There are enemies without, that openly oppose it and fight against it, and enemies within, that secretly betray it and are false to it; both are sons of Belial, children of the wicked one, of the serpent's seed; both are as thorns, grievous and vexatious: but both shall be so thrust away as that Christ will set up his kingdom in despite of their enmity, will go through them (Isaiah 27:4), and will, in due time, bless his church with such peace that there shall be no pricking brier nor grieving thorn. And those that will not repent, to give glory to God, shall, in the judgment-day (to which the Chaldee paraphrast refers this), be burnt with unquenchable fire. See Luke 19:27.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Samuel 23:1

Last words — Not simply the last that he spoke, but the last which he spake by the spirit of God, assisting and directing him in an extraordinary manner. When we find death approaching, we should endeavour both to honour God, and to profit others with our last words. Let those who have had experience of God's goodness, and the pleasantness of the ways of wisdom, when they come to finish their course, leave a record of those experiences, and bear their testimony to the truth of the promise. Raised — Advanced from an obscure estate, to the kingdom. Whom, God singled out from all the families of Israel, and anointed to be king. Psalmist — He who was eminent among the people of God, for composing sweet and holy songs to the praise of God, and for the use of his church in after ages: these seem not to be the words of David, but of the sacred penman of this book.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

2 Samuel 23:1

Now these [be] the (a) last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man [who was] raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,

(a) Which he spoke after he had written the psalms.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
am 2989, bc 1015, An, Ex, Is, 476

the last:

Genesis 49:1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you [that] which shall befall you in the last days.
Deuteronomy 33:1 And this [is] the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.
Joshua 23:1-24:32 And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old [and] stricken in age. ... And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.
Psalms 72:20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.
2 Peter 1:13-15 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting [you] in remembrance; ... Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.


2 Samuel 7:8-9 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: ... And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great [men] that [are] in the earth.
Psalms 78:70 He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:

the anointed:

1 Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
1 Samuel 16:12-13 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he [was] ruddy, [and] withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this [is] he. ... Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
Psalms 2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
Psalms 89:20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:

sweet psalmist:

1 Chronicles 16:4-5 And he appointed [certain] of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel: ... Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obededom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals;
1 Chronicles 16:7 Then on that day David delivered first [this psalm] to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.
1 Chronicles 16:9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.
Amos 6:5 That chant to the sound of the viol, [and] invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;
Luke 20:42 And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me.
Ephesians 5:19-20 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; ... Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
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Gn 49:1. Dt 33:1. Jsh 23:1. 1S 2:10; 16:12. 2S 7:8. 1Ch 16:4, 7, 9. Ps 2:6; 72:20; 78:70; 89:20. Am 6:5. Lk 20:42; 24:44. Ep 5:19. Col 3:16. Jm 5:13. 2P 1:13.

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