II Samuel 23

Sunday, November 8th, 2015



We have been working our way through II Samuel, and we have come to a passage stated to be David's Last Words.

We see that -


II Samuel 23:1 - 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 [i.e. the God of Israel], and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,

In verse 1 we see that David was conscious of his humble beginnings. He was a shepherd boy, the eighth son of Jesse. When Samuel came to anoint him king of Israel, his father didn't even have him present in the meeting with Samuel. He was out tending the sheep, but God's hand was already on David, teaching him many things he would need to know.

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he [i.e. the LORD] delighteth in his [i.e. the man's] way.

Likewise, God's hand has been on you and me. God knew all about David's father, mother, and siblings. David was placed in the home of God's choosing. He did the same for you and me. It doesn't make any difference what your home situation was. It could have been great, or it could have been terrible. God knew all about it and put you there. His hand was on you and me before we were ever born and has been on us ever since.

God determined whether you or I would be a boy or a girl. Talk about designer babies, God designed us the way He wanted us to be. He gave us the abilities He wanted us to have.

Psalms 139:13-14 - 13 For thou hast possessed my reins [i.e. You formed my inward parts]: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Throughout our lives, God has prepared us to serve Him in the capacity of His choosing. Don't fight against it. Accept it, and don't complicate things for yourself by getting involved in sin and failing to live for him. He loves you. Don't resist His will for your life by drawing lines and saying in effect, This is as far as I'm going to go and no farther. Remove any lines you have drawn. Don't burn the bridges of opportunity for your life before you get to them. Remember that there's only one life, 'twill will soon be past, and only what's done for Christ will last.

God blessed David with all the ability he would need to do God's will in his life. He has also done the same for you and me. He has equipped us to be able to do the things He wants us to do.

Let's remind ourselves of some things we have learned about David from the Scriptures.

As a young teenager, David was anointed to be king of Israel.

I Samuel 16:1-13 - 1 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. 2 And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD. 3 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee. 4 And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? [Samuel's coming made them nervous. It seems that they were concerned that he had come to deal with their sins.] 5 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. 6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him. 7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. 9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. 10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these. 11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. 12 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. 13 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.

As a young teenager, God introduced David to life in the king's palace. God was preparing him to be the king of Israel. Where better might he learn to function as a king than being with the king?

I Samuel 16:14-23 - 14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. 15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. 16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning [i.e. a skillful] player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. 17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. 18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning [i.e. skillful] in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him. 19 Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. 20 And Jesse took an ass [i.e. donkey] laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul. 21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him [i.e. Saul loved David] greatly; and he became his armourbearer [i.e. David became Saul's armorbearer]. 22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. 23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

God made a great warrior out of David. He prepared David to fight Goliath by having him defend the sheep against a lion and a bear and by Saul's making him his armorbearer.

I Samuel 17:32-37 - 32 And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine [i.e. with Goliath]. 33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

He defeated Goliath with a slingshot and a stone.

He later killed thousands and thousands of Philistine soldiers who were fighting against Israel.

He also learned to trust the LORD Who protected him while he was fleeing for his life from Saul who was trying to kill him.

He sinned against God and was reproved, corrected, and forgiven because he confessed and forsook his sins.

He is described in Scripture as a man after God's own heart.

I Samuel 13:14 - But now thy [i.e. Saul's] kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.

Acts 13:22 - And when he [i.e. God] had removed him [i.e. Saul], he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

Likewise, God expects us to pursue after Him with all our hearts.

Mark 12:30 - And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

II Timothy 2:15 - Study [i.e. endeavor, make every effort] to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth [i.e. one who is able to analyze the Word of Truth correctly].

Next, we see -


Note that God's Word was prominent in David's life. It must be prominent in our lives as well. If it is, God will use us as well as He used David. Keep studying the Word of God, seeking with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength to understand it and to live according to it. It must be your life regardless of whatever else you may do. Build your life on it.

Joshua 1:8 - This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

We continue with II Samuel 23

II Samuel 23:2 - The Spirit of the LORD spake by [i.e. through] me, and his word was in [i.e. on] my tongue.

II Samuel 23:3 - The God of Israel said [i.e. spoke], the Rock of Israel spake [i.e. spoke, said] to me, He that ruleth over men must be just [i.e. righteous], ruling in the fear of God.

II Samuel 23:4 - And he shall be as [i.e. the one who rules over men, who is righteous, and who rules in the fear of God will be like] the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as [i.e. like] the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining [i.e. through sunshine] after rain. [He will be like a refreshing new day with a bright blue, cloudless sky and like grass beginning to grow after rain.]

Furthermore, we see -


II Samuel 23:5 - Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure [i.e. secure]: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow [i.e. Will He not make my salvation and my desire to increase?].

The Davidic Covenant refers to God's promises to David through Nathan the prophet and is found in II Samuel 7 and later summarized in I Chronicles 17:11-14 and II Chronicles 6:16 . This is an unconditional covenant made between God and David through which God promises David and Israel that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would come from David's lineage and the tribe of Judah and would establish a kingdom that would endure forever. The Davidic Covenant is unconditional because God does not place any conditions of obedience on its fulfillment. The certainty of the promises made rests solely on God's faithfulness and does not depend at all on David's or on Israel's obedience.

The Davidic Covenant centers on several key promises that are made to David. First, God reaffirms the promise of the land that He made in the first two covenants with Israel (the Abrahamic and the Mosaic Covenants). This promise is seen in II Samuel 7:10,

II Samuel 7:10 - Moreover I will appoint [i.e. provide] a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness [i.e. wicked people] afflict [i.e. oppress] them any more, as beforetime,

God then promises that David's son will succeed him as king of Israel and that this son (Solomon) would build the temple. This promise is seen in II Samuel 7:12-13 ,

II Samuel 7:12-13 - 12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed [i.e. your offspring] after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He [i.e. Solomon] shall build an house for my name [i.e. a reference to the temple], and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

But then the promise continues and expands in II Samuel 7:16 ,

II Samuel 7:16 - And thine house and thy kingdom [i.e. David's house and David's kingdom] shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne [i.e. David's throne] shall be established for ever.

What began as a promise that David's son Solomon would be blessed and build the temple turns into something different - the promise of an everlasting kingdom. Another Son of David would rule forever and build a lasting house. This is a reference to the Messiah, Jesus Christ, called the Son of David in Matthew 21:9 .

Matthew 21:9 - And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

The promise that David's house, kingdom, and throne will be established forever is significant because it shows that the Messiah will come from the lineage or ancestry of David and that He will establish a kingdom over which He will reign.

Matthew 1:1 connects Jesus Christ to the lineage or ancestry of David,

Matthew 1:1 - The book of the generation of Jesus Christ [i.e. a composition of the ancestral line, of the family line, or of the lineage of Jesus Christ], the son of David, the son of Abraham.

The covenant is summarized by the words house, promising a dynasty in the lineage of David; kingdom, referring to a people who are governed by a king; throne, emphasizing the authority of the king's rule; and forever, emphasizing the eternal and unconditional nature of this promise to David and Israel.

Back to II Samuel 23

II Samuel 23:6 - But the sons of Belial [i.e. the worthless people, the sons of rebellion] shall be all of them as thorns thrust away [i.e. all of them will be thrust away like thorns], because they cannot be taken with hands [i.e. because they cannot be taken in hand]:

II Samuel 23:7 - But the man that shall touch them must be fenced [i.e. armed] with [or use a tool of] iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly [i.e. completely] burned with fire in the same place.

Finally, we see -


There follows a list with a few comments about 37 of David's mighty warriors. How timely to have this text today as we prepare to commemorate Veterans Day this week.

II Samuel 23:8 - These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat [i.e. Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonite], chief among the captains [i.e. chief of the captains]; the same was [i.e. he was called] Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time.

II Samuel 23:9 - And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away [i.e. and the men of Israel had retreated]:

II Samuel 23:10 - He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave [i.e. his hand clung, froze, stuck] unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil [i.e. to plunder, to strip the dead].

II Samuel 23:11 - And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles [i.e. lentils - A lentil was a dwarf leguminous plant, half a foot high, which is extensively cultivated in Palestine as a summer crop.]: and the people fled from the Philistines.

II Samuel 23:12 - But he stood in the midst of the ground [i.e. in the middle of the field], and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory.

II Samuel 23:13 - And three of the thirty chief [i.e. and three of the thirty chief men] went down, and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullam: and the troop of the Philistines pitched in the valley of Rephaim.

II Samuel 23:14 - And David was then in an hold [i.e. in the stronghold], and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem.

II Samuel 23:15 - And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!

II Samuel 23:16 - And the three mighty men brake through the host [i.e. broke through the camp] of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD.

II Samuel 23:17 - And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.

II Samuel 23:18 - And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among three [i.e. was chief among another three]. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among three [i.e. he won a name among these three, he was as famous as these three].

II Samuel 23:19 - Was he not most honourable of three? therefore he was their captain: howbeit he attained not unto the first three.

II Samuel 23:20 - And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow:

II Samuel 23:21 - And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man [i.e. a spectacular man, an impressive man, a huge Egyptian]: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff [i.e. a club], and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.

II Samuel 23:22 - These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among three mighty men [i.e. he was as famous as the three mighty men].

II Samuel 23:23 - He was more honourable than the thirty, but he attained not to the first three. And David set him over his guard [i.e. over the Cherethites, David's personal guard].

II Samuel 23:24 - Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,

II Samuel 23:25 - Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite,

II Samuel 23:26 - Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite,

II Samuel 23:27 - Abiezer the Anethothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite,

II Samuel 23:28 - Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite,

II Samuel 23:29 - Heleb the son of Baanah, a Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai out of Gibeah of the children of Benjamin,

II Samuel 23:30 - Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash,

II Samuel 23:31 - Abialbon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite,

II Samuel 23:32 - Eliahba the Shaalbonite, of the sons of Jashen, Jonathan,

II Samuel 23:33 - Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite,

II Samuel 23:34 - Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite [i.e. Eliam was the father of Bathsheba, and his father Ahithophel was the grandfather of Bathsheba],

II Samuel 23:35 - Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite,

II Samuel 23:36 - Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite,

II Samuel 23:37 - Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, armourbearer to Joab the son of Zeruiah,

II Samuel 23:38 - Ira an Ithrite, Gareb an Ithrite,

II Samuel 23:39 - Uriah the Hittite: thirty and seven in all.

Uriah was the husband of Bathsheba. David was responsible for murdering him in order to cover up his illicit affair with Bathsheba.