2 Samuel 22:8 MEANING

2 Samuel 22:8
(8) Of heaven.--Psalms 18, "of the hills." The thought is the same, but the strong poetic figure by which the mountains are spoken of as "the pillars of heaven" (comp. Job 26:11) is softened in the psalm.

Verses 8-10. -

"And the earth quaked and trembled;
The foundations of the heavens shook,
And quaked because he was wroth.
A smoke went up in his nostril,

And fire out of his mouth devoured;
Red hot cinders burned from him.
And he bowed the heavens and came down,
And darkness was under his feet."
In describing the manifestation of God for his deliverance, David bore in mind and repeated the description of God's descent to earth given in Exodus 19:16, 18. But the poetic vigour of David's imagination intensities the imagery, and makes it more grand and startling. Not merely is there the earthquake and the volcano and the storm cloud, but the dim form of the Almighty is present, with the smoke of just anger at unrighteousness ascending from his nostrils, and the lightnings flashing forth to execute his wrath. But David certainly intended that these metaphors should remain ideal; and it was quite unnecessary for the Targum carefully to eliminate all such expressions as seem to give the Almighty bureau shape. In so doing it merely changes poetry into prose. But even more dull and commonplace is the explanation given by some modern commentators, that all that is meant is that David was once saved by a thunderstorm from some danger or other. Really this glorious imagery, taken from all that is grandest on earth, is intended to magnify to us the spiritual conception of God's justice coming forth to visit the earth and do right and equity. In ver. 8 for "the foundations of the heavens," we find in Psalm 18:7 "the foundations of the hills." The former is the grander metaphor, and signifies the mighty mountain ranges, like those of Lebanon, on which the skies seem to rest. The smoke signifies hailstorms and, perhaps, also the rain driven in wreaths along the ground by the wind. Red hot cinders burned from him describes the flashing lightnings that were shot forth like the coals from the refiner's furnace when heated to the full. It is to be regretted that the Revised Version retains the bathos of the old rendering, that God's fiery breath set coals on fire.

22:1-51 David's psalm of thanksgiving. - This chapter is a psalm of praise; we find it afterwards nearly as Ps 18. They that trust God in the way of duty, shall find him a present help in their greatest dangers: David did so. Remarkable preservations should be particularly mentioned in our praises. We shall never be delivered from all enemies till we get to heaven. God will preserve all his people, 2Ti 4:18. Those who receive signal mercies from God, ought to give him the glory. In the day that God delivered David, he sang this song. While the mercy is fresh, and we are most affected with it, let the thank-offering be brought, to be kindled with the fire of that affection. All his joys and hopes close, as all our hopes should do, in the great Redeemer.Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. See Gill on Psalm 18:7.
Courtesy of Open Bible