The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. (2 Samuel 22:6, NIV)
2 Samuel 22:6
ESV - 6 The cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.
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To me, in 2 Samuel 22:5-6, David is just using four different metaphors, or figures of speech, to express how close he came on multiple occasions during his life and reign to being killed by his enemies -- whether those enemies were Saul, Absalom, or any of the other individuals who opposed or fought against him. By speaking of the "cords of the grave", he is evoking an image of being in such dangerous situations that it seemed to him as if he were wrapped with cords that were pulling him into his grave (in other words, that those opposing forces were seeking to change him from a living being into someone who was dead). I don't believe that there is any special significance -- either literal or theological -- to these words. David is just expressing the same thought in four different poetic ways (which I think is also indicated by the fact that David's words are noted in 2:Samuel 22:2 as being a "song", and also that they are printed -- at least in the New International Version of the Bible from which I am reading -- in a poetic, rather than in a narrative, format.
These are the cords of Sheol (the place of the dead), which made David's life difficult and dangerous. This was just another way of saying as David told Jonathan, "There is but a step between me and death" (1 Samuel 20:3 NKJV). See 1 Samuel 20 New King James Version (NKJV) Jonathan’s Loyalty to David 20 Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and went and said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity, and what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?” 2 So Jonathan said to him, “By no means! You shall not die! Indeed, my father will do nothing either great or small without first telling me. And why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so!” 3 Then David took an oath again, and said, “Your father certainly knows that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.”
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