And David spake unto Jehovah the words of this song in the day that Jehovah delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul: and he said,
Jehovah is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, even mine;
God, my rock, in him will I take refuge; My shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge;
My saviour, thou savest me from violence.2 Samuel 22:1-3 ASV
Christ made many arguments from the Sacred Scriptures to turn, not merely upon the exact words, but also on the very tense of a word.
The significance of this is that our Savior made an argument proving the resurrection of the dead to turn upon a single two-letter word, the word “am”, and the tense of the little verb, at that!
The inspired writers often “quoted” Scriptures with variations, but many such “quotations” are not “quotes” at all, but new Scriptures written by the inspired writer.
For example, see Ephesians 4:7-8, and under Romans 12:19, where in both instances the inspired Paul used O.T. passages with variations, but they must not be viewed as Paul’s faulty memory of what the quotations really were, but as NEW SCRIPTURE inspired exactly as Paul gave it.
David was the inspired author of both this chapter and Psalms 18; and one of them is just as inspired as the other is.
It is always impossible to know what the GIST OF THE TRUTH is unless we can discern it in the exact words used by the Holy Spirit.
The apostle Paul, especially, was diligent to observe the principle which we are here advocating.
He made an argument pertaining to the identity of Christ himself to turn upon the number of a single noun.
To Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed. He saith not, And to SEEDS, as of many, but as of one. And in thy SEED which is Christ (Galatians 3:16).
There is also an extensive application of this important principle in the interpretation of the N.T. The so-called doublets, in which we have similar statements by Christ, as variously reported by the gospels are not to be understood as variations of some imaginary invariable text, but as independently true and exactly accurate as they stand in the sacred Gospels.
The ridiculous critical canard that Christ made his declarations in some imaginary invariable form is not true.
The ministry of our Lord lasted about four years, and, like any campaign speaker in an election year, he delivered the same message in different words upon many different occasions.
All are exactly correct as they stand in the N.T. No proper understanding of the Word of God is possible without taking account of this understanding of variations in the vocabulary used by the inspired writers in speaking of the same or similar events and teachings.
(We have devoted fourteen pages to a discussion of this Song of David as recorded in Psalms 18 of our Vol. 2 commentary on The Psalms.
The opinions of fifteen reputable scholars are also cited therein; and for those who are interested in a more detailed discussion of what is written here in 2 Samuel 22, we believe it is sufficient to refer them to what we have written there.)
No system of interpreting Biblical passages is correct that ignores this principle.