Bible Commentaries

2 Samuel 23

Verses 1-39

Here we have first, the second psalm, containing David's last recorded words in this connection. They breathe the consciousness of his own failure, and sing of the divine faithfulness. In verses one to four David set forth the true ideal of kingship in most exquisite language. In verse five he recognized that he had not realized the ideal, but declared that nevertheless God had been faithful to His Covenant. In the last movement, verses six and seven, in words that must have been to him full of searching power, he announced what the fate of the wicked inevitably must be.

The reign of David was pre-eminently the heroic age in Israel's history. This is demonstrated in the list of the mighty men and their exploits. It is interesting to remember that these were men who had gathered to him in Adullam, who had been described as men in debt, in danger, and discontented. They were possessed of natural powers, which had been spoiled but now were redeemed and realized.

These were the elements of David's reign. His deepest character, as we have seen, was the result of such convictions as he had given utterance to in the great psalm; and the result of such character on others had been the transformation of strong men who were useless into mighty men who were capable of deeds of heroism. More than all his victories against outside foes, the influence of his life and character on the men nearest to him testify to his essential greatness.