2 Samuel 7:18 MEANING

2 Samuel 7:18
(18) Then went king David in, and sat.--As always at every important point in his life, David's first care is to take that which he has in his mind before the Lord. The place to which he went must be the tent he had pitched for the ark. Here he sat to meditate in God's presence upon the communication which had now been made to him, and then to offer his thanksgiving (2 Samuel 7:18-21), praise (2 Samuel 7:22-24), and prayer (2 Samuel 7:25-29).

The Divine Name is here printed with the word GOD in small capitals. This is always done in the Authorised Version wherever it stands for JEHOVAH in the original. The same custom is also followed with the word LORD. Out of reverence for the name, Jehovah never has its own vowels in Hebrew, but is printed with those belonging to Lord, or in case this word also is used, then with those belonging to God.

Verse 18. - David... sat before the Lord. The word "sat" is usually explained by commentators as meaning "tarried." The rabbins give the word its ordinary meaning, and say that it was the privilege of kings to pray in a sitting posture. But we cannot possibly believe that kings at this early stage had established a special etiquette for observance in prayer, and the difficulty is merely imaginary. Because the Jews prayed standing, and we moderns pray kneeling, we both assume that to pray sitting was an irreverent act. It was not so, nor are we to think of David as sitting at ease in a chair. He sat upon the ground, as was the Oriental custom, with his feet doubled under him, and his head bent forward; and in this posture meditated upon Jehovah's message, and then poured out his thoughts. As it is expressly said that "he sat before Jehovah," the place must have been the outer court of the tabernacle. Who am I, O Lord Jehovah! In the Authorized Version Jehovah is rendered "God," because it has the vowels of the word Elohim; usually it is rendered "Lord," because the Masserites attached to it the vowels of Adonai, "lord," equivalent to Dominus. As Adonai here precedes Jehovah, the Massorites were driven from their usual practice, and were so superstitious as to suppose it more reverent to pronounce the name Elohim than that of Jehovah, to which the Jews attached magical powers. David's words are not so much a prayer as a meditation, full of thanksgiving, and even of wonder at the greatness of God's mercies to him. In it he first acknowledges his own unworthiness and the meanness of his father's house compared with the high dignity which God is bestowing upon him. For not only has he raised him to the kingly office, but promised him the continuance of his house "for a great while to come." Whether David understood as yet that he was now placed in the same position as Abraham of old, in that "in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed," is uncertain, and depends upon the interpretation put upon the following words. This only we may affirm, that whet he says in this place of his house remaining until a distant future falls far short of the meaning of the passages quoted above from the Psalms.

7:18-29 David's prayer is full of the breathings of devout affection toward God. He had low thoughts of his own merits. All we have, must be looked upon as Divine gifts. He speaks very highly and honourably of the Lord's favours to him. Considering what the character and condition of man is, we may be amazed that God should deal with him as he does. The promise of Christ includes all; if the Lord God be ours, what more can we ask, or think of? Eph 3:20. He knows us better than we know ourselves; therefore let us be satisfied with what he has done for us. What can we say more for ourselves in our prayers, than God has said for us in his promises? David ascribes all to the free grace of God. Both the great things He had done for him, and the great things He had made known to him. All was for his word's sake, that is, for the sake of Christ the eternal Word. Many, when they go to pray, have their hearts to seek, but David's heart was found, that is, it was fixed; gathered in from its wanderings, entirely engaged to the duty, and employed in it. That prayer which is from the tongue only, will not please God; it must be found in the heart; that must be lifted up and poured out before God. He builds his faith, and hopes to speed, upon the sureness of God's promise. David prays for the performance of the promise. With God, saying and doing are not two things, as they often are with men; God will do as he hath said. The promises of God are not made to us by name, as to David, but they belong to all who believe in Jesus Christ, and plead them in his name.Then went King David in,.... Into the tabernacle where the ark was, which he had prepared for it, 2 Samuel 6:17,

and sat before the Lord; before the ark, the symbol of his presence, and prayed, and gave thanks, as follows: from whence it appears that a sitting posture was sometimes used in prayer, of which we have other instances, Exodus 17:11. It is said (y) that Pythagoras, and also Numa, ordered that worshippers should sit. So that this act of devotion is not to be limited to any particular posture, though it seems most agreeable either to stand or kneel; and the Jews look upon this to be a peculiar case, and infer from hence that none were allowed to sit in the court but the kings of the house of Judah (z); and some of them (a) will not allow that to them, since the seraphim above are even said to stand, Isaiah 6:2; and suppose the meaning of this to be only that David supported himself in the court; and some render the words, "he remained before the Lord" (b); he continued in meditation, prayer, and thanksgiving, and such like acts of devotion, for a considerable time; so the Targum, in 1 Chronicles 17:16."King David came and continued in prayer before the Lord:"

and he said, who am I, O Lord God? a creature, a sinful creature, a mean and unworthy one, undeserving of a place in the house of God, and of access unto him, and to receive any favour from him, less than the least of all saints, less than the least of all mercies:

and what is my house: or family of which he was, the family of Jesse; for though it sprung from a prince in Israel, yet was but low and mean, in comparison of some others, and especially unworthy of the regard of the great God:

that thou hast brought me hitherto? to such grandeur and dignity, as to be king over all Israel and Judah, to have all his enemies subdued under him, and to be at peace and rest from them, and established in his kingdom; and which he signifies the Lord alone had brought him to, through many difficulties and tribulations, and which he could never have attained unto by his own wisdom and power, nor by the assistance of his friends; it was all the Lord's doing, and wondrous in his eyes.

(y) Vid. D. Herbert. de Cherbury de Relig. Gent. c. 7. p. 65. (z) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 69. 2. Maimon & Bartenor. in Misn. Yoma, c. 7. sect. 1.((a) Midrash in Abarbinel in loc. (b) "et mansit", Vatablus.

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