The Omniscience of Our King
2 Samuel 18:13
Otherwise I should have worked falsehood against my own life: for there is no matter hid from the king…

There is no matter hid from the king. This is given, by the man who informed Joab that Absalom was hanging in an oak, as a reason why he might have been sure of death himself if he had killed Absalom. It shows how well informed David was understood to be of all that took place amongst his subjects. Such an impression respecting governors and magistrates in general as this man had respecting David, would go far to extinguish crime. The assertion here made as to King David's knowledge may be made absolutely, and without exception, in reference to our great King.

I. THE OMNISCIENCE OF CHRIST. This is claimed for and by him in Holy Scripture (see John 2:24, 25; Revelation 2:23; and the repeated declarations in the letters to the seven Churches, Revelation 2. and 3., as to his acquaintance with their works and condition. Also John 10:14, 15).

1. The sources of his knowledge. His own essential Divine faculty of knowing. He does not depend, like ordinary rulers, on informants. His "eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3).

2. The extent of his knowledge. He knows, not only the actions of men, but their hearts; all thoughts, emotions, motives, plans, purposes; all movements and events that can affect his kingdom. His enemies take counsel against him under his very eyes.

3. The impossibility of concealing anything from him. "There is no matter hid from the King." Nothing can hide aught from him. Not physical darkness; not distance; not efforts at concealment; no hypocrisy; no simulation or dissimulation; no excuses, contradictions, or evasions. The assertions in Psalm 139.; Job 34:21, 22; 2 Timothy 2:19; Hebrews 4:13, are as applicable to the Son as to the Father.


1. To confirm our confidence in his fitness to be King. Rule over such a kingdom as his - extending over numbers so vast, and reaching to the inmost souls of his subjects - requires omniscience as one of the attributes of the Ruler.

2. To deter us from wrong doing. As a similar knowledge deterred this Israelite from slaying the king's son.

3. To assure us that judgment will fall on the guilty, and only on them; and on each according to the measure of his guiltiness. For want of better knowledge in human rulers and magistrates, some innocent persons suffer as guilty, and many guilty ones escape punishment.

4. To encourage us in all that is good. Christ's perfect knowledge of us is a great comfort for Christians who are unknown or unacknowledged amongst men; for the maligned and misunderstood; for workers in obscurity; for such as do good quietly and secretly. "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee" (John 21:17). "Thy Father" - thy Redeemer and Lord - "which seeth in secret shall recompense thee" (Matthew 6:4, Revised Version). "Who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall each man have his praise from God" (1 Corinthians 4:5, Revised Version).

"Men heed thee, love thee, praise thee not,
The Master praises: what are men?"

5. To comfort us in all troubles. "Thou hast seen my affliction; thou hast known my soul in adversities" (Psalm 31:7, Revised Version). A special comfort for those whose troubles are too peculiar or too sacred to communicate to others. Though our King be so exalted, he interests himself in each one of his subjects, even the least, knows all that pains them, and sympathizes with them in all. - G.W.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.

WEB: Otherwise if I had dealt falsely against his life (and there is no matter hidden from the king), then you yourself would have set yourself against me."

Dealing Falsely Against Our Lives
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