2 Samuel 23:4

4 he 1dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain[a] that makes grass to sprout from the earth

2 Samuel 23:4 Meaning and Commentary

2 Samuel 23:4

And [he shall be] as the light of the morning, [when] the sun
riseth, [even] a morning without clouds
That is, such a ruler that rules in righteousness, and in the fear of God; he is the light and glory of his people, who guides and directs them, makes them cheerful and comfortable; his administrations are pleasant and delightful, and promise a growing and increasing happiness to them, like the morning light and rising sun; and there are no clouds, nor forebodings of dark times, affliction and distress, coming upon them, but all the reverse: and with Christ these metaphors well suit, who is the true light that shines, ( John 1:9 ) ; the morning star, ( Revelation 22:16 ) ; the dayspring from on high, ( Luke 1:78 ) ; the sun of righteousness, ( Malachi 4:2 ) ; and light of the world, ( John 8:2 ) ( 9:5 ) ; his going forth or appearance in human nature, at his incarnation, was as the morning, ( Hosea 6:3 ) ; the first discovery him to Adam, after sin had brought a night of darkness on the world, was as the dawn of the morning; and this light like that of the morning increased, fresh and clearer discoveries of him being made to the patriarchs afterwards; and though as yet the sun was not up, and it was not a morning without clouds, yet the discoveries then made brought joy with them, as to Abraham and others, and were a sure sign of the sun rising. When Christ appeared in the flesh, the sun of righteousness then arose, and scattered the darkness of the night, both in the Jewish and Gentile world; introduced the light of the Gospel to a greater degree than it was under the legal dispensation, and made the Gospel day; which was not only like the morning light, growing and increasing, but was as a morning without clouds, without the darkness of the ceremonial law, the shadows of which now disappeared; and without the storms and tempests of the moral law, its curses being bore and removed by Christ; and without the frowns of divine wrath, reconciliation and satisfaction being made by him: and this is all applicable particularly to the government of Christ, which is delightful and grateful to his people, serviceable and beneficial to them, under which they enjoy great peace and prosperity; and which will more and more increase, and stilt be more glorious and illustrious, see ( Psalms 72:7 Psalms 72:8 ) ( Isaiah 30:26 ) . A learned writer F9 has observed, that in an ancient manuscript the word "Jehovah" is inserted and read thus,

``and as the light of the morning shall arise Jehovah the sun,''

which clearly points to Christ the sun of righteousness; and be it an interpolation, it gives the true sense of the words: a glorious, beautiful, and illustrious person is described in Ovid F11 by the same figure as here:

[as] the tender grass [springing] out of the earth by clear shining
after rain;
which springs up the faster, and is more flourishing after a shower of rain, and when upon that the sun breaks out and shines clearly: or "from clear shining from rain" F12; that is, the springing of the tender grass out of the earth is owing partly to the rain which falls in the night, and partly to the sun rising in the morning, and the clear shine of it: this may denote the fruitful and flourishing estate which a good and righteous ruler over men is the happy instrument of bringing his people into; and may be applied both to the incarnation of Christ, when he grew up as a tender plant, or as the tender grass, mean in his original and descent, weak in himself as man; and yet this fruit of the earth was excellent and comely, beautiful and glorious, and the springing of it owing to the favour and good will of God, and his coming was as the latter and former rain to the earth, ( Hosea 6:3 ) ; and to the government of Christ, and the benefits of it to his church and people; who flourish under it the light of his grace and favour, and through rains of Gospel doctrines they are blessed with: or "than clear shining, than rain"; Christ is more beneficial to his people, who are comparable to grass for their meanness, and weakness, and number, than the sun and rain are to the grass in the field.


F9 Dr. Kennicott's State of the Hebrew Text, Dissert. 1. p. 468.
F11 "Talisque apparuitilli" Metamorph. l. 14. Fab. 16. ver. 767.
F12 (rjmm hgnm) "a splendore, a pluvia germen de terra", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus.

2 Samuel 23:4 In-Context

2 "The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God,
4 he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth
5 "For does not my house stand so with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. For will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire?
6 But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away, for they cannot be taken with the hand;

Cross References 1

  • 1. [Judges 5:31; Proverbs 4:18; Hosea 6:5]

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.