Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 22


2 Samuel 22:5-7

In powerful word-pictures, David describes himself as a dying man, without even the slightest hope that he could escape death. In his greatest danger, he hardly seemed aware of his human enemies and their great cruelty. Rather, in that situation, death itself was his main enemy, and (in the Hebrew language), BELIAL and SHEOL supported it.

So, in verse 5, David describes death as like a flood of water. It was as if waves rushed over him, to drown him. That was how it felt for David in his battles, with enemies right round him. Or, perhaps David is describing how Saul tried to find and to kill him, with an army of 3000 men (1 Samuel 24:1-2). In that situation, BELIAL attacked David. By the word BELIAL, David probably meant wicked behaviour. However, later people used that word to mean the devil (2 Corinthians 6:15). That attack was wicked – it was the devil’s work, and its only purpose was to cause David’s death.

Perhaps someone might hope to escape even from a sudden flood of water. However, nobody can ever escape if they cannot move. David felt as if he was in a hunter’s trap or a net. SHEOL means the place where dead people are – often, people translate it as the grave or even as hell. It was clear to David that he could not escape.

So, David prayed. He appealed desperately to God, who alone has power over death, over BELIAL and SHEOL. In his royal palace in heaven, God heard David’s prayer. He would not allow death and BELIAL and SHEOL to destroy the life of David, his humble servant. He himself came in great power to rescue his servant David.

Next part: God comes in a storm to rescue David (2 Samuel 22:8-15)


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