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2 Samuel 22:20-23


22:20 He brought me out into a wide open place;

he delivered me because he was pleased with me. 1 

22:21 The Lord repaid 2  me for my godly deeds; 3 

he rewarded 4  my blameless behavior. 5 

22:22 For I have obeyed the Lord’s commands; 6 

I have not rebelled against my God. 7 

22:23 For I am aware of all his regulations, 8 

and I do not reject his rules. 9 

1 tn Or “delighted in me” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

2 tn In this poetic narrative context the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not imperfect.

3 tn Heb “according to my righteousness.” As vv. 22-25 make clear, David refers here to his unwavering obedience to God’s commands. He explains that the Lord was pleased with him and willing to deliver him because he had been loyal to God and obedient to his commandments. Ancient Near Eastern literature contains numerous parallels. A superior (a god or king) would typically reward a subject (a king or the servant of a king, respectively) for loyalty and obedience. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 211-13.

4 tn The unreduced Hiphil prefixed verbal form appears to be an imperfect, in which case the psalmist would be generalizing. However, both the preceding and following contexts (see especially v. 25) suggest he is narrating his experience. Despite its unreduced form, the verb is better taken as a preterite. For other examples of unreduced Hiphil preterites, see Pss 55:14a; 68:9a, 10b; 80:8a; 89:43a; 107:38b; 116:6b.

5 tn Heb “according to the purity of my hands he repaid to me.” Hands suggest activity and behavior.

6 tn Heb “for I have kept the ways of the Lord.” The phrase “ways of the Lord” refers here to the “conduct required” by the Lord (see HALOT 232 s.v. דֶרֶךְ). In Ps 25 the Lord’s “ways” are associated with his covenantal demands (see vv. 4, 9-10). See also Ps 119:3 (cf. vv. 1, 4), as well as Deut 8:6; 10:12; 11:22; 19:9; 26:17; 28:9; 30:16.

7 tn Heb “I have not acted wickedly from my God.” The statement is elliptical, the idea being, “I have not acted wickedly and, in so doing, departed from my God.”

8 tn Heb “for all his regulations are before me.” The term מִשְׁפָּטָו (mishpatav, “his regulations”) refers to God’s covenantal requirements, especially those which the king is responsible to follow (cf Deut 17:18-20). See also Pss 19:9 (cf vv. 7-8); 89:30; 147:20 (cf v. 19), as well as the numerous uses of the term in Ps 119.

9 tn Heb “and his rules, I do not turn aside from it.” Ps 18:22 reads, “and his rules I do not turn aside from me.” The prefixed verbal form is probably an imperfect; David here generalizes about his loyalty to God’s commands. The Lord’s “rules” are the stipulations of the covenant which the king was responsible to obey (see Ps 89:31; cf v. 30 and Deut 17:18-20).

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