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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 23

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-39

Chapter 23

In chapter twenty-three,

These are the last words of David. The son of Jesse, the man who was raised up on high, the anointed [of God,] of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel. [I like that last title, "the sweet psalmist of Israel."] The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue ( 2 Samuel 23:1-2 ).

So David acknowledges that God spoke by him. It was God's word that was in his tongue. These words are confirmed in the New Testament. Peter in quoting one of the Psalms of David said, "And David by the mouth of the Holy Ghost spake saying..." attributing the words of David actually to the Holy Spirit. David here himself is attributing his words to the Holy Spirit. As you read the Psalms you realize that surely they must be inspired of God, the worship of God that is actually inspired by God. "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me. His word was in my tongue."

The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God ( 2 Samuel 23:3 ).

Oh, I wish that they would put that somewhere in the swearing-in ceremonies of every leader in our country. Anyone who rules over men must do so in justice and the fear of God. What a whole different climate would exist in the United States today if our leaders were each of them just ruling in the fear of God. The problem with man is that he cannot really handle authority. If you don't believe that just go down to the city council meeting on some Monday night, and watch them as they sit there as little gods wanting everybody to bow to them, and to do their obeisance and "come to me," and "I" and they're expecting everybody to just caliber over them. Even in local government. But it only gets worse as you go up the ladder.

I am absolutely appalled at the corruption that exists in the local level of government. What we see in the local levels of government is only just so little compared to what you see when you get further up in the government, because man is totally incapable of ruling over men because he fails to do it in the fear of God. You see, you begin to think that you are the authority, because people are coming to you constantly for favors. People are constantly telling you how wonderful you are, building you up, in order that they might get favors from you and you begin to take the position of making the decisions in authority, not taking into account God, and the fact that you're gonna have to answer to God one day, for each decision that you've made. Because if you are in a position of leadership, you actually are representing God, because you're ruling over people's lives. Every man who rules over men should do so in justice, in the fear of God.

David said, "came to me powerfully from the Lord." David's rule was marked by justice and in the fear of God. David made his mistakes, true. But yet he was aware of his accountability to God, and that is something every leader, every ruler over man needs to be keenly aware of his accountability to God. Someday he's gonna answer to God.

You know there are so often the desire to escape this urban life. "Oh, if I could only live in the country. Oh, if I could only move up into central California into one of those little country towns where things are so clean, and pure and all."

I have a friend who took the position of Chief of Police in one of these nice little country towns in central California. He's having a terrible time with the corrupt politicians who are trying to tell him who he can arrest, and who he can't arrest. Certain things, crimes going on in town, he's just to overlook those completely. If there are certain people in town that park their cars in the wrong place, they're not to get ticketed. So he just quit issuing parking tickets. Then they came all upset, "Why aren't you?" He said, "I can't do selective enforcement." But you talk about corruption, it's all over because man doesn't have the fear of God in his heart, and doesn't recognize the fact that he is accountable to God. When man becomes the end in himself, you've got corruption in the worst form. It's a breeding ground for corruption.

I have friends in Sacramento that say no matter how sincere and honest you are, Sacramento has the capacity of corrupting the most honest man within three months. Human government is corrupt to the core. Anybody is naive, and their head is in the sand if they think any different because men are not obedient to the word of God, where the Lord came to him and declared, "He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." If we would follow that one rule, we could clean up the whole society. If those who were ruling over men were just, and ruling in the fear of God, that would end all the corruption in government. But such is not the case, and it doesn't look like it's going to be the case in the near future, unless Christ comes.

He shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun rises, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by a clear shining after a rain. Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, and he has ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow. But the sons of Belial [or Satan] shall all of them be thorns that are thrust away, because you cannot take them up with your hands: But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall utterly be burned with fire in the same place ( 2 Samuel 23:4-7 ).

Now you have David's hall of fame. These are the mighty men that were with David, the men that fought in his armies.

Among the chief captains was Adino: [Sounds like Italian] in one time he lifted up his spear against eight hundred men, and killed them. [He was a tough cookie.] After him was Eleazar, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were gathered together against Israel: He arose, and he smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and the hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to the spoil ( 2 Samuel 23:8-10 ).

This guy was fighting so long that he couldn't tell where his hand ended and the sword began. He just, his hand was locked, and he just kept wailing away until the guy just came in and took the spoil after them, and he did all of the battle. A mighty, one of the three mighties of David.

And after him was Shammah. And the Philistines had gathered together unto a piece of ground that was full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines. But he stood in the middle of the ground, and defended it, and he slew the Philistines: and the Lord wrought a great victory ( 2 Samuel 23:11-12 ).

Then it tells of another three who, when David was battling against the Philistines, and the Philistines had taken Bethlehem.

David out there in that hot sun said, Oh if I only had a drink of water from that well that is there near the gate of the city of Bethlehem. ["Oh, I'm so thirsty."] So these three guys went in and they broke through the Philistine lines, and they got David a drink of water from that well, and brought it back out to David, wiping out several Philistines in the task. And they brought David this water from the well, and David took the water and poured it on the ground, said, Man this water cost blood, I won't drink it. These were numbered as a part of David's mighty men ( 2 Samuel 23:15-17 ).

So it goes on and tells of the mighty men and of their acts. Then it just gives a list of the names of the men finally, the thirty men who were numbered with David, who were the mighty men of David. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 23". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/2-samuel-23.html. 2014.
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