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44

As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;

foreigners came cringing to me.


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44. At the simple fame of my name they shall obey me. This is of the same import with the last clause of the preceding verse. Although David, by his victories, had acquired such reputation and renown, that many laid down their arms and came voluntarily to surrender themselves to him; yet, as they also had been subdued through the dread of the power of his arms, which they saw their neighbors had experienced to their smart, it cannot be said, properly speaking, that at the simple fame of the name of David they submitted themselves to him. This applies more truly to the person of Christ, who, by means of his word, subdues the world to himself, and, at the simple hearing of his name, makes those obedient to him who before had been rebels against him. As David was intended to be a type of Christ, God subjected to his authority distant nations, and such as before had been unknown to Israel in so far as familiar intercourse was concerned. But that was only a prelude, and, as it were, preparatory to the dominion promised to Christ, the boundaries of which must be extended to the uttermost ends of the earth. In like manner, David had acquired to himself so great a name by arms and warlike prowess, that many of his enemies, subdued by fear, submitted themselves to him. And in this God exhibited a type of the conquest which Christ would make of the Gentiles, who, by the preaching of the Gospel alone, were subdued, and brought voluntarily to submit to his dominion; for the obedience of faith in which the dominion of Christ is founded “cometh by hearing,” (Romans 10:17.)

The children of strangers shall lie to me. Here there is described what commonly happens in new dominions acquired by conquest, namely, that those who have been vanquished pay homage with great reverence to their conqueror; but it is by a reigned and forced humility. They obey in a slavish manner, and not willingly or cheerfully. This is evidently the sense. Some interpreters, indeed, give a different explanation of the word lie, viewing David as meaning by it that his enemies had either been disappointed in their expectation, or that, in order to escape the punishment which they were afraid he might inflict upon them, they had lied in declaring that they had never devised any thing hostile against him; but it appears to me, that this does not sufficiently express what David intended. In my opinion, therefore, the words to lie are here to be understood generally as in other places, for to be humbled after a slavish manner. The Hebrew word כהש, cachash, here used, which signifies to lie, is sometimes to be understood metaphorically for to be humbled, to submit to, to take upon one’s self the yoke of subjection; 437437     The Syriac version reads, “They shall submit themselves to me;” meaning a forced, and so a feigned and hypocritical subjection. but still in a feigned and servile manner. Those whom he terms the children of the stranger, or of strangers, are the nations who did not belong to the people of Israel, but who, previous to their being conquered by him, formed a distinct and an independent community by themselves. This also we see fulfilled in Christ, to whom many come with apparent humility; not, however, with true affection, but with a double and false heart, whom, on that account, the Holy Spirit fitly terms strangers. They are, indeed, mingled among the chosen people, but they are not united to the same body with them by a true faith, and, therefore, ought not to be accounted children of the Church. It is very true that all the Gentiles, when in the beginning they were called into the Church, were strangers; but when they began to entertain new feelings and new affections towards Christ, they who before were “strangers and foreigners” became

“fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,” (Ephesians 2:19.)




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