Verse 6. God hath spoken in his holiness. Faith is never happier than when it can fall back upon the promise of God. She sets this over against all discouraging circumstances; let outward providences say what they will, the voice of a faithful God drowns every sound of tear. God had promised Israel victory, and David the kingdom; the holiness of God secured the fulfilment of his own covenant, and therefore the king spake confidently. The goodly land had been secured to the tribes by the promise made to Abraham, and that divine grant was an abundantly sufficient warrant for the belief that Israel's arms would be successful in battle. Believer make good use of this, and banish doubts while promises remain.
I will rejoice, or "I will triumph." Faith regards the promise not as fiction but fact, and therefore drinks in joy from it, and grasps victory by it. "God hath spoken; I will rejoice:" here is a fit motto for every soldier of the cross.
I will divide Shechem. As a victor David would allot the conquered territory to those to whom God had given it by lot. Shechem was an important portion of the country, which as yet had not yielded to his government; but he saw that by Jehovah's help it would be, and indeed was all his own. Faith divides the spoil, she is sure of what God has promised, and enters at once into possession.
And mete out the valley of Succoth. As the east so the west of Jordan should be allotted to the proper persons. Enemies should be expelled, and the landmarks of peaceful ownership set up. Where Jacob had pitched his tent, there his rightful heirs should till the soil. When God has spoken, his divine shall, our I will, becomes no idle boast, but the fit echo of the Lord's decree. Believer, up and take possession of covenant mercies. Divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. Let not Canaanitish doubts and legalisms keep thee out of the inheritance of grace. Live up to thy privileges, take the good which God provides thee.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 6. God hath spoken in his holiness. That is, by Samuel he hath promised, as he is an holy God, and true of his word, that I should be king of all Israel, and now he hath performed it. (2 Samuel 5.) Yet Calvin speaks of it as not yet performed; but the course of the history makes it plain that David was now king over the parts of which he here speaketh. I will divide Shechem, as subjects to me as Joshua having the land under him, divided it amongst his people: so David being king over all the parts of the land, divides to his followers such portions as belonged unto them by inheritance, from which happily some of them had been expelled by the time of Ishbosheth his reign; or some families in the time of those wars might be utterly wasted away, and so the king having free power to dispose of their lands, might give them amongst his men, and take part to himself. John Mayer.
Verse 6. God hath spoken in his holiness. That is, he hath given out his word from heaven, the habitation of his holiness and of his glory; or, he hath spoken it certainly, there is nothing but holiness in his word (and that is the strength of words). David having received this word stands assured, that as Shechem and Succoth, Gilead and Manasseh, Ephraim and Judah would willingly submit to him and yield obedience; so, also, that Moab, Edom, and Philistia, who were his professed enemies, should be subdued to him. He expected to conquer and triumph over them, to put them to the basest offices, as his vassals, because God had decreed and spoken it in his holiness. God hath spoken the word, saith he, therefore is shall be done, yea, it is done; and therefore David cried, All's mine, Gilead in mine, Manasseh is mine, Moab and Edom are mine, as soon as God had spoken the word. Joseph Caryl.
Verse 6. I will divide Shechem. It is as much as if he should say, I will not look to have my share measured out by others, but I will divide it, and measure myself, and will be the right owner and possessor thereof. Thomas Wilcocks.
Verse 6. I will divide Shechem, etc. Of Shechem and the Valley of Succoth, or booths, so called from Jacob's making booths, and feeding his cattle there. (See Genesis 33:17 - 18.) By these are meant Samaria; and David's dividing or meting them out, is a phrase to express his dominion over them, in being part of the regal power to distribute his province into cities and regions, and place judges and magistrates over them. To these the addition of Gilead (which contained the whole region of Bashan, etc., on the other side of Jordan), and then the mention of Manasseh and Ephraim, are designed, as by so many parts, to denote the kingdom of Israel, or the ten tribes; and their being his, and the strength of his head, notes him to be the Lord over them, and to make use of their strength in his wars, for the defending or enlarging his dominions. And then Judah yqqwxm is my lawgiver; as it refers to Jacob's prophecy of the sceptre and lawgiver not departing from Judah, denoting that to be the royal tribe; so by it is signified the kingdom of Judah (under which Benjamin is comprehended), that David is possessed of that also. Henry Hammond.
Verse 6. Succoth. If the preceding views are correct, we may rest in the result, that the present Skt represents the name and site of the ancient Succoth...We passed obliquely along the northern slope of the same broad swell, where the ground was covered only by a thick crop of thistles. On our right was a region of lower ground to which we gradually descended; full of grass, wild oats, and thistles, with an occasional thornbush. The soil was like that of an Ohio bottom. The grass, intermingled with tall daisies, and the wild oats reached to the horses backs; while the thistles sometimes overtopped the rider's heads. All was now dry; and in some places it was difficult to make our way through the exuberant growth. At last we came to the cause of this fertility, a fine brook winding along the bottom. We crossed it, and passed up again obliquely over another like swell, covered as before only with thistles. Here was an ancient oil vat, very large and of a single stone; it was evidently brought hither, and indicates the former growth of the olive in these parts. We struck the same stream again at its source, called Ain el Beida, a large and fine fountain, surrounded with gardens of cucumbers, and watering an extensive tract. We were here on the edge of the higher portion of the Ghr, where low ridges and swells project out from the foot of the western mountains, and form a rolling plain or plateau, which is well watered, arable and very extensively cultivated for wheat. The tract further east, which we had now crossed, may be said to extend to the high bank of the lower Jordan valley. It is less elevated, is more generally level, though crossed by low swells between the water courses, and has little tillage. The inhabitants of Tbs are divided into three hostile parties; and they carry their divisions into their agriculture in the Ghr. One party sows at Ain el Beida, where we now were; another around Ain Makhz, more in the north; and the third at Ridghah, Skt, and further south. The people of Teysr also sow on the south of Mlih; the water of which is used for irrigation. The whole tract north of Wady Mlih was said to be farmed from the government by one of the Sheiks of the Jenr family, who live at Jeba and in its neighbourhood. By him it is again let to the different villages. Robinson's "Biblical Researches in Palestine."
Verse 6-7. The chief and principal places where the seditious party had their residence and abode, were those which the psalmist mentions in the sixth and seventh verses, namely, Shechem, a city in the tribe of Ephraim; Succoth, a city in the tribe of Gad; Gilead and Manasseh, the utmost borders of the land of Canaan beyond Jordan. These were some of the chief places, which sided with Ishbosheth whilst he lived, as you may see, 2 Samuel 2; and, as it seemeth, they still cleaved to the house of Saul after he was dead, not acknowledging David for their king. John Brinsley.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 6. God's holy promise, ground for present joy, and for boldly taking possession of the promised good.