Verse 8. Having looked at home with satisfaction, the hero king now looks abroad with exultation.
Moab, so injurious to me in former years, is my washpot. The basin into which the water falls when it is poured from an ewer upon my feet. A mere pot to hold the dirty water after my feet have been washed in it. Once she defiled Israel, according to the counsel of Balaam, the son of Beor; but she shall no longer be able to perpetrate such baseness; she shall be a washpot for those whom she sought to pollute. The wicked as we see in them the evil, the fruit, and the punishment of sin, shall help on the purification of the saints. This is contrary to their will, and to the nature of things, but faith finds honey in the lion, and a washpot in filthy Moab. David treats his foes as but insignificant and inconsiderable; a whole nation he counts but as a footbath for his kingdom.
Over Edom will I cast out my shoe. As a man when bathing throws his shoes on one side, so would he obtain his dominion over haughty Esau's descendants as easily as a man casts a shoe. Perhaps he would throw his shoe as nowadays men throw their glove, as a challenge to them to dare dispute his sway. He did not need draw a sword to smite his now crippled and utterly despondent adversary, for if he dared revolt he would only need to throw his slipper at him, and he would tremble. Easily are we victors when Omnipotence leads the way. The day shall come when the church shall with equal ease subdue China and Ethiopia to the sceptre of the Son of David. Every believer also may by faith triumph over all difficulties, and reign with him who hath made us kings and priests. "They overcame through the blood of the Lamb," shall yet be said of all who rest in the power of Jesus.
Philistia, triumph thou because of me. Be so subdued as to rejoice in my victories over my other foes. Or does he mean, I who smote thy champion have at length so subdued thee that thou shalt never be able to rejoice over Israel again; but if thou must needs triumph it must be with me, and not against me; or rather is it a taunting defiance, a piece of irony? O proud Philistia, where are thy vaunts? Where now thy haughty looks, and promised conquests? Thus dare we defy the last enemy, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" So utterly hopeless is the cause of hell when the Lord comes forth to the battle, that even the weakest daughter of Zion may shake her head at the enemy, and laugh him to scorn. O the glorifying of faith! There is not a grain of vain glory in it, but yet her holy boastings none can hinder. When the Lord speaks the promise, we will not be slow to rejoice and glory in it.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 8. Moab is my washpot. Implying that Moab should be reduced to slavery, it being the business of a slave to present the hand washing basin to his master. With the Greeks, plunein tina, to wash down any one, was a slang term, signifying to ridicule, abuse, or beat; hence we have the word washpot applied to the subject of such treatment. "You do not appear to be in your right senses, who make a washpot of me in the presence of many men." Aristophanes. Thomas S. Millington, in "The Testimony of the Heathen to the Truths of Holy Writ," 1863.
Verse 8. (second clause). When, keeping in view the idea of washing the feet, a person throws his shoes, which he has taken off, to any one to be taken away or to be cleaned -- kylfh with l[ and also with la, 1 Kings 19:19 , is "to throw to any one" -- the individual to whom it belongs to perform such an office must be a slave of the lowest kind. E. W. Hengstenberg.
Verse 8. Over Edom will I cast out my shoe, which notes either contempt of them, as if he had said, O look upon them as worthy only to scrape and make clean my shoes. Or secondly, conquest over them -- I will walk through Edom and subdue it. Joseph Caryl.
Verse 8. Over Edom will I cast out my shoe. By extension, immission, or projection of the shoe, either upon the necks of people, or over their countries, is meant nothing else but to overcome, subdue, bring under power, possess, and subject to vileness such men and such countries. The very vulgar acceptation of the word possession, in the grammatical sense, imports as much; for the etymology of possessio is no more but pedum positio. This manner of speaking hath also allusion to the positive law recorded in Deuteronomy 25:6-10 ; for the letter of the law is, that is the kinsman would not marry the brother's widow and raise up seed unto his brother; the widow loosing his shoe, and spitting in his face, he lost the claim and interest of such possessions as belonged to the woman in right of her husband. And the house of such a man was called domus discalceati, that is to say, "The house of him that hath his shoe loosed." The practice also of this law we find recorded in the book of Ruth, in the case of Elimelech's land, between Boaz and the kinsman, about the widow Ruth, who had her interest by right of her husband in the said land. Moreover, the frequent use of this phrase meeting us very often in the book of God, makes this to be the meaning of the words, as clear as the day. This king elsewhere singing his trophies, saith, "They are fallen under my feet." "Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon." But the people must "not meddle with Mount Seir; for God would not give them thereof so much as a foot's breadth;" yet ever the place whereon the soles of their feet should tread, from the wilderness of Lebanon and from the river Euphrates unto the utmost sea, should be theirs. Psalms 18:38 Deuteronomy 1:36 2:5. William Loe, in "A Sermon before the King at Theobalds," entitled, "The King's Shoe, made and ordained to trample on, and to tread down enemies," 1623.
Verse 8. Over Edom will I cast out my shoe. Turnus, having slain Palias, --
"Bestrode the corpse, and pressed it with his foot." Virgil.
Verse 8. Of the Philistines he says, Over Philistia it is mine to boast; for so I would translate, and not, as is usual, Philistia, triumph thou over me, which does not yield a consistent meaning. Hermann Venema.
Verse 8. (last clause). Let not our adversaries triumph over our breaches. "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy." Or, if they will, let them triumph: Triumph thou, O Philistia, because of me, or over me. John Brinsley.
Verse 8-10. Moab in the East, Edom in the South, and Philistia in the West (the North is not mentioned, because the banner of David had already been victorious there.) Augustus F. Tholuck.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 8. Moab is my washpot. How we may make sinners subservient to our sanctification. We are warned by their sin, and punishment, etc. See "Spurgeon's Sermons," No. 983, "Moab is my washpot."