Verse 9. As yet the interior fortresses of Edom had not been subdued. Their invading bands had been slain in the valley of salt, and David intended to push his conquests even to Petra the city of the rock, deemed to be impregnable.
Who will bring me into the strong city? It was all but inaccessible, and hence the question of David. When we have achieved great success it must be a stimulus to greater efforts, but it must not become a reason for self confidence. We must look to the strong for strength as much at the close of a campaign as at its beginning.
Who will lead me into Edom? High up among the stars stood the city of stone, but God could lead his servant up to it. No heights of grace are too elevated for us, the Lord being our leader, but we must beware of high things attempted in self reliance. EXCELSIOR is well enough as a cry, but we must look to the highest of all for guidance. Joab could not bring David into Edom. The veterans of the valley of salt could not force the passage, yet was it to be attempted, and David looked to the Lord for help. Heathen nations are yet to be subdued. The city of the seven hills must yet hear the gospel. Who will give the church the power to accomplish this? The answer is not far to seek.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
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.
Verse 9. Who will lead me into Edom? The entrance to Petra is by a narrow gorge, lined by lofty precipices, formed by the channel of a rivulet. This defile is nearly two miles in length. At some places the overhanging rocks approach so near to each other that only two horsemen can proceed abreast. Dr. Tweedie, in "Ruined Cities of the East," 1859.
Verse 9. The believer, when he promises to himself great things, must neither be senseless of the difficulties of opposition which he is to meet with, nor of his own inability to overcome difficulties; but being sensible of both, must look to God for assistance and furniture to overcome; for when David considered the strength of the fenced royal cities of the enemy, he saith, Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? Wilt not thou, O God? David Dickson.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 9. The soul winner's question.
- The object of attack; the strong city of man's heart,
barricaded by depravity, ignorance, prejudice,
- Our main design. To penetrate, to reach the citadel
- Our great enquiry. Eloquence, learning, wit, none of
these can force the gate, but there is One who can.