2 SAMUEL 23
1 Now these words [devarim] of David, the last, are an oracle of David, son of Jesse [Dovid Ben Yishai]; even an oracle of the mighty man [gever ] enthroned [raised up above], concerning an Anointed One of the Elohim of Jacob [Moshiach Elohei Ya'akov]; and the pleasant theme of Israel's songs [singer of zemirot (songs) of Yisroel, said].
Bro Thomas' translation Eureka 4.1.4. [Orthodox Jewish Bible]
...the writer of the Book of Samuel did not style David "the sweet psalmist of Israel." In the words he used, he was still speaking of a certain anointed one, the things concerning whom were pleasant themes, and the subject-matter of Israel's praises; whereof he was about to discourse in brief in the forthcoming oracle.
The words unèim zèmirōth Yisrael, do not signify "sweet psalmist of Israel;" but are in apposition with nèum, "oracle," and signify, even the pleasant (theme) of Israel's songs.
All the kings and priests of David and Aaron's families were anointed ones. David was the Lord or Yahweh's anointed; but his oracle was not concerning himself nor an Aaronic person, but concerning that Anointed Hero, who is the illustrious burden of Hebrew poetry, and who, in the Forty-fifth Psalm, is exhorted to gird his sword upon his thigh with glory and majesty, that his right hand may do terrible things, whereby the people shall fall under him.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Feb 1855
2 Yahweh's spirit [Ruach] spake by me, and His word was upon my tongue [on my leshon].
David himself was a prophet, as Peter informs us (Acts 2:29-30). His prophetship may be said to have dated from the youthful day of his anointing by Samuel in his father's house, for we read on that occasion,
"The Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward" (1 Sam. 16:13).
And it may be said to have gone right up to the day of his death, for in "the last words of David," we read,
"The Spirit of the Lord spake by me and his word was on my tongue" (2 Sam. 23:1-2).
It is this fact that gives to the Psalms of David the divine character attributed to them in all apostolic allusion (Acts 1:16; 4:25; 13:33, and many other places). They are the writings of the Spirit of God, and not the natural literary effusions of David at all, as Jesus repeatedly recognises (Matt. 22:13; Mar. 12:36; Luke 24:44).
But though David was himself a prophet, it did not exclude the accessory activity of other prophets during his life and reign. Thus the prophet Gad gave him counsel while he was yet a fugitive in the lifetime of Saul (1 Sam. 22. 5). Thus also "Nathan the prophet" revealed to him the covenant of the throne after David had been king some years (2 Sam. 7.), and by the hand of the same prophet, the divine rebuke was administered in the matter of Bathsheba (2 Sam. 12:1).
By Gad also, who on this occasion is called "David's seer" (implying a special vehicle of communication with God), God offered David the choice of three punishments in punishment of the political pride of the census (2 Sam. 24:11).
"Nathan the prophet" was also very prominent in the proceedings connected with the accession of Solomon and the defeat and pretensions of Adonijah (1 Kings 1.).
The Christadelphian, Dec 1898
[Shmuel Bais 23 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]
3 Elohim of Israel [Yisroel] said, the Rock of Israel [Tzur Yisroel] discoursed saying, There shall be a ruler over mankind [adam], ruling in the righteous [Tzaddik] precepts [yirat ] of Elohim.
4 And as brightness of morning [ohr of the boker], He shall rise the sun [ shemesh] of an unclouded dawn; shining forth after rain [matar ] upon tender grass [deshe ] out of the earth [springing out of ha'aretz].
5 Though my house [Bais] is not so with El; yet he hath he appointed for me THE COVENANT OF THE OLAHM [Brit Olam], ordered in everything, and sure: truly this is all my salvation, and all my desire [chefetz], though He cause it not to spring forth.
THE COVENANT OF THE OLAHM
The berith or covenant, that promised this, was ever present to the mind of David. The truth of this is apparent abundantly in the Psalms; besides that, he would constantly have before his mind, what he tells us was "all his salvation, and all his delight."Phanerosis - David's expectations of the Messiah
This covenant of the throne and kingdom was David's desire and salvation, because it promised him a resurrection to eternal life, in the assurance that his house, kingdom, and throne, with God's son and his son, one person, sitting upon it, should be established in his presence for ever.
"I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, saying, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing which has gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven'' (Psalm 89:3, 4, 19-28, 34-37).
After these testimonies there requires no further proof that David's family was constituted by a solemn covenant the Royal House of God's Kingdom; and that one of David's posterity whom God should acknowledge to be his son, should be its everlasting king. The claims of Jesus to be David's Seed and God's Son have been fully established by his resurrcetion from the dead; which is an assurance to all men, both Jews and Gentiles, that God hath appointed him, as the Holy one of Israel their king; to rule the world in righteousness, and to establish truth and equity among the nations; as God sware to Moses, saying,
"Truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord."
...The scripture foreseeing that God would temporarily abolish the kingdom of David, saith in view of the covenant,
"But Thou hast cast off and abhorred, Thou hast been wroth with thine anointed. Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant: Thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. Thou hast broken down all his hedges; Thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin. All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbours. Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground. The days of his youth hast Thou shortened: Thou hast covered him with shame" (Psalm 89:38-45).
This is descriptive of the state of the kingdom of God and of David for twenty-four centuries past. The crown and throne are in the dust, and the territory and people a bye-word among the nations. Instead of the covenant being fulfilled, if the present state of things were final, it would be "void," and the promise of God have failed. In view, then, of the promises and things as they are, the scripture inquires, "How long, Lord? Wilt Thou hide thyself for ever? Lord, where are thy former loving-kindnesses which thou swearest unto David in thy truth?" (verse 46-49). Yes; where are they? In promise still.
...The reader, then, will perceive from this exposition, that the kingdom of God must be studied in the two periods of its existence -- in the thousand years of the past, and in the thousand years of the Age to come. As God's kingdom of the past, it is the grandest theme of ancient, or modern, history; but as His kingdom of the future, it is the sublime topic of "the truth as it is in Jesus."
In the past, it existed under the law of Moses, which made nothing perfect. Its kings and priests were frail, and mortal men, who held the kingdom for a brief space, and then "left it to other people." Its subjects were rebellious; and its realm invaded and wasted by the hands of ruthless and barbarous foes. But how changed will be its fortunes in Messiah's age! The same land and nation will then be under the law of the New Covenant which goes forth from Zion.
All things will be perfected. Its king and pontiff will be the king immortal from the right hand of God. The rulers of the tribes will be the fishermen of Galilee, "shining as the stars for ever and ever." The chiefs of its cities; and the possessors of its glory, its honours, and its dominion, will be the holy ones of God, "equal to the angels," and subject unto death no more.
In short, "the saints of the Most High will take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever" (Dan. 7:18; 2:44), never receding from their position, nor leaving it to be possessed by others.
Elpis Israel 2.4.
Now David's throne would have continued from David's time until Ad, without interruption, if his sons had kept Yahweh's covenant and testimony; even that testimony which should be delivered to them after David wrote -- "which," says he, "I shall teach them." This testimony was the Gospel of the Kingdom, which the Eternal Spirit had sent Jesus of Nazareth to proclaim to Israel -- the Spirit's words put into the mouth of the prophet like unto Moses, which a man can reject only at the hazard of damnation (Deut. 18:15-19). But they despised the Covenant of Promise, and therefore the sons of David were excluded from the throne at the Babylonish captivity; and the throne itself abolished until the Son of God should come as "The Repairer of the Breach; the Restorer of the paths to dwell in" (Isaiah 58:12).
But David saw that the Son of God would not be allowed by the kings of the earth and their partizans to enter peaceably upon the possession of his throne; in fact that they would do their best to prevent it. In his last words he styles them "a thornbush to be thrust away, and consumed": and though they should fill the Son of God with iron and the shaft of a spear, he should nevertheless smite them (2 Sam. 23:5-7), and by the power of the Eternal Spirit, be established in Zion as King over the nations to the utmost bounds of the earth, as testified in the second Psalm.
Will a Jew read this, and persist in denying that Yahweh has a Son? In that testimony he will find predicted a conspiracy to murder "Yahweh's Anointed," and so get quit of his yoke. But that it is only temporarily successful, because of the interposition of Divine Power. Yahweh laughs their impotence to scorn, and tells them that notwithstanding all efforts against it, He will set His King on Zion, after He has raised him from the dead, according to the words, "Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten thee; and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them to pieces as a potter's vessel" (Psalm 2).
Phanerosis - David's expectations of the Messiah
All My Desire
Stick with it! Keep the mind fixed. Do not let the flesh sidetrack or divert. Set the one great Goal before you, and eliminate everything else from your interest or your attention. There will be plenty of scope WITHIN that Goal for all necessary attention and diversity. Do not be concerned about how much you accomplish. Do not be concerned about how well you do. Our very most and best is nothing in God's sight: it is the DESIRE and effort that matters.
DO be concerned -- very concerned -- about how great and strong your desire is: pray fervently that it be constantly increased. A fervent, singleminded desire for God is God's greatest blessing: from it all other joys and blessings flow.
DO be concerned about a wandering mind, a wavering attention, a weak and easily distracted persistence. These are warning signs of weak faith, weak love, weak comprehension of the beauties of God and the glories of eternity -- childish signs that we are neglecting our homework.
The only cure is MUCH prayerful meditation devoted to the Word. If we are not prepared to shape our lives and affairs so that THIS is life's central factor, then God and eternity are not for us.
6 But the wicked [Bnei Beliyaal (rebellious)] shall be all of them as a thorn-bush [kotz] to be thrust away; yet without hand shall they be taken;
7 nevertheless A MAN shall smite upon them. He shall be filled with iron and the shaft of a spear [khanit ]; but with fire [eish ] to burn up while standing, they shall be consumed.
The berith or covenant, that promised this, was ever present to the mind of David. The truth of this is apparent abundantly in the Psalms; besides that, he would constantly have before his mind, what he tells us was "all his salvation, and all his delight."
The above testimonies I have translated from the Hebrew. The reader can compare them with the English version, and adopt which he thinks the more intelligible and correct. He will find that both renderings agree in affirming this:
1. That a dynastic house was guaranteed to David;
2. That the kingdom and throne of this dynasty should be established during a future period;
3. That the commencement and duration of that period were hidden from David;
4. That said kingdom and throne should be established by AIL; or, as Daniel says, by "the Eloah of the heavens;"
5. That the occupant of said throne should be a resurrected seed of David and Son of the Deity;
6. That this seed should come to his death by the violence of his enemies; and be pierced with a spear:
7. That the establishment of said kingdom and throne should come to pass after David's sleep with his fathers, and before his face; so that the establishment of the throne and kingdom would be after David's resurrection from among the dead;
8. That this Covenant of the then, and yet, Hidden Period, ordered in all things and sure, contained all that constituted the salvation looked for by David; and in which was his delight;
9. That He who should be at once seed of David and Son of the Deity should be Ruler over mankind, ruling them in righteousness and in glory, when occupying the covenanted throne; and,
10. That he should utterly destroy the power of the wicked.
When these things were revealed to David, concerning his royal descendant and his kingdom and throne, they became the anchor of his soul both sure and steadfast behind the veil of a future undefined. Now, David was a great poet; we may say, the greatest poet that ever lived; for the Songs of Israel were from his pen indited under the inspiration of Yahweh's spirit which spake by him, putting divine words upon his tongue.
The covenanted seed, and the glorious things to him belonging, were "the pleasant theme of Israel's songs." In these songs, that which was "all his salvation and all his delight" was always prominent; and made them, not merely David's, but Yahweh's songs, which "Israelites indeed," found difficult to sing when captives in a strange and foreign land (Psal. cxxxvii. 4). In the eighty-ninth of these songs, the Rock of Israel discoursed concerning the covenant, saying, "A hidden period of mercy shall be builded; thy faithfulness in them, the heavens, thou wilt establish. I have devised a covenant for my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant, saying, during a hidden period I will establish thy seed; and I will build thy throne for a generation of the race."
1. That 2 Sam. 23. is a register of David's thirty-seven heroes, over whom he was chief, and mightier than all;
2. That to this roll or register are prefixed "the Last Words of David;"
3. That the subject, or theme, of this document styled "the Last Words," is the Mightiest Hero of David's house, commonly called "Christ;"
4. That in this document, David affirms his own prophetic character;
5. That they were the last prophecy of the Spirit in David;
6. That they announced the ruling of mankind in righteousness by a Just One of David's house; who should be pierced with a spear, but should nevertheless destroy his enemies as utterly as a thornbush consumed by the burning flame;
7. That these words were delivered at some time subsequently to a certain covenant confirmed to David—the covenant of his salvation—which in the oracle he styles
berith Olahm, the Covenant of the Hidden Period, or Age to Come, commonly styled "the Millennium;"
8. That three distinct words, Elohim, Yahweh, and Ail, in five different places are used in the original, which are incorrectly rendered in the Common Version by Lord and God; and that two of the three being in the singular, and one in the plural, they ought to be so translated for the benefit of the English readers and this we did partially in our translation by rendering Elohim by "gods," Yahweh by "Jehovah," and Ail by "Mighty One;"
9. That Christ is one and the chief of the future gods of Jacob, who will be all equal to the angels, and associated with them; which angels were gods to Israel, but not objects of worship, under the law; and that David refers to both these classes of Elohim in his oracle;
10. That Yirath Elohim, instead of "fear of God," in the vulgar sense, signified, metonymically, "the precepts of righteousness;" in this sense we rendered it, and showed its harmony with other texts.
Such were the principal points set forth in the article referred to. We did not elaborate them to the extent of which they were susceptible; but in passing along illustrated them so far as to make our new translation intelligible to the most ordinary capacity, as we thought, and that convincingly so.
Six years have now elapsed since we published it; and if we had thought of it, we might have supposed that our readers had all forgotten that such a translation existed. But in this, we are happy to say, we should have been mistaken; our labor was still fresh, if not in the memory of our friends, at least in that of our adversaries, who are determined that the recollection of it shall not subside into oblivion; and that it shall be more extensively circulated than hitherto.
For all of which we are exceedingly obliged; and as we have published other emendations of the Common Version that have nonplussed some of the best Hebraists, if they will republish these, our obligation will be increased.
Nor will our indebtedness be diminished by their exercising all their craftiness, philological and theological, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; as this will only afford us an interesting opportunity (if they will be kind enough to send us a copy of their critical experiments) of contemplating their erudition, of criticizing their criticisms, of refuting their errors, and of amending our own; so that, having passed through the ordeal, our improved translations may be still more improved.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Apr 1861
One of the most enigmatical passages of the Common Version is that about the Belialites.
"But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away."
This is clear enough. They are the seed of the serpent, whose chief is to be bruised by the Woman's Seed; but the reason given is not so clear-
"Because they cannot be taken with hands:"
how, then, are they to be thrust away? A more literal rendering points us to the solution - -khi-lō bèyād yikkākhu-literally,
"though not with hand shall they be taken;"
which is equivalent to, they shall be taken without hand, that is, without human aid or interference-a phrase which places us in juxtaposition with Dan. 8:25; 2:34, 35, which reveal that the sons of Belial, whose power in the Latter Days is symbolized by the Belial Image of Nebuchadnezzar, and the Little Horn of the Goat,
"shall be broken without hand, "
by the stone "not in hands"-that is, by the Hero of the last words of David.
And here, again, is another obscurity. After telling us that Belial's sons shall all of them be thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands, the translators - not David - say that a man shall touch them who shall be fenced with iron and armed with a spear!
Which is as much as to say that, if a warrior be well cased in iron armour, and armed with a spear, he will be more than a match for the Belialites of the latter days, and may take them with hand; which is as absurd as it is contradictory. It is evident to all the living that the sons of Belial are still a vigorous and growing thorn-bush, obstructing every thing holy, just, and good, and filling the world with their deeds of violence and hyprocrisy.
They knock granite rocks about like skittles with their iron hail, and shake the earth with their deadly explosions. What chance would a man "fenced with iron and the staff of a spear" have of touching them, so as to thrust them into a fiery furnace in the place of their power?
Let such an old-fashioned warrior arise and try his metal upon the Russians and Allies, and he would soon find himself in an extremity from which no iron or spear could save him! But David oracularized no such absurdity. His words are
, "But the Man shall smite upon them; yimmālai b̆arzèl we-aitz kh̆anith: He shall be filled with iron and the shaft of a spear; but with fire to burn up they shall be consumed while standing."
This is intelligible. David declares that the Messiah of the Gods of Jacob is the Man who shall destroy the Belialites; but that before he should gain the victory over them, He should himself be wounded by the thrust of a spear.
The reader will readily perceive that this translation is in strict conformity with the fact. Jesus, whom we acknowledge to be the Messiah referred to in David's oracles, was "filled with iron and the shaft of a spear," when they were thrust into his side by the Roman soldier; the foregoing words are therefore correctly, when freely, rendered, he was wounded with a spear, by which the Jews were enabled to look upon Him whom they had pierced.
The word bèliy̆ăal, is often given in the Old Testament as a proper name; but incorrectly. It is compounded of bèli, without, and y̆aäl, use, profit, or advantage; hence, properly, unprofitableness, worthlessness, something useless, yielding no profit, or good fruit, bad; also a destroyer.
In David's last words it evidently stands for a plurality as indicated by the word ̄ khullāham, all of them; hence sons of worthlessness or the wicked is the proper rendering for "the sons of Belial." "In the same place" is another phrase that imparts no definite idea of David's meaning. He says, "the wicked shall be consumed basshāveəth, in standing;" that is, while they are in position, and are able to stand to arms.
When Messiah appears he will not find the power of the wicked broken; on the contrary, he will find their Chief, styled Gog by Ezekiel, in possession of Jerusalem, and, in the fulness of pride and power, contending with "the young lions of Tarshish" for the sovereignty of Palestine and Syria.
This Gog is the last dynasty of that power, styled "the King of fierce countenance" who "shall stand up against the Prince of princes," or Israel's Commander-in-Chief. But when this "Commander of the people," surnamed Michael, shall stand up for Israel, "Who," says Malachi, "shall stand when he appeareth?"
Here will be two standings-the standing of the fierce king, and the standing of Michael, the great prince; but whose standing shall endure? Messiah's, certainly, for "at that time Israel shall be delivered," and the armies of the Assyrian Gog shall fall by the sword of the Mighty Man "in standing" against Him; and
"their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their orbits, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them, and they shall slay one another."
Thus shall "the wicked be consumed while standing," and their power be broken to pieces, and come to an end without help; as David clearly foresaw, and predicted in the oracle before us.
From the whole, then, it is clearly apparent that a new translation of the Last Words of David is necessary to the comprehension of them by the English reader. Not finding one faithful to the original text, I concluded to attempt its improvement, and to furnish my readers with the result.Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Feb 1855