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2 Samuel 3:18 speaks of David saving Israel:

18 Now then do it: for the Lord hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.

Ephesians 2:8 speaks of Christ saving His people:

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:


The Hebrew word here rendered with the English verb "to save" is יָשַׁע ("yasha")

The Greek word here rendered with the English verb "to save" is σῴζω ("sozo")


Noting that 2 Samuel speaks of "all" enemies, which of the following is correct:

A. "To save" means the same thing in both contexts. Salvation comes through Christ (Ephesians), and David saves from all Israel's enemies in the sense that Christ is his descendant

B. "To save" in 2 Samuel speaks just of physical deliverance (such as from enemy armies), a form of deliverance David would provide many times. David was then a type for Christ, who would provide spiritual deliverance.

C. These words convey distinct ideas that are not related.

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    Wow! This is a very perceptive and interesting question. I honestly think either options A or B could be valid! +1 :)
    – Rajesh
    Apr 27 at 19:45

3 Answers 3

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The two words, יָשַׁע (yasha) and σῴζω (sozo) both mean save as in rescue from danger. However, the lexicons classify these meanings into two distinct categories:

  • to save/rescue from physical danger as from a war as in 2 Sam 3:18
  • to save/rescue from "transcendent danger" (BDAG) and thus eternally as in Eph 2:8.

Three more points need to be made.

  1. God is often cast in both the OT and NT as being able and often does rescue/save in both senses
  2. God often uses humans as His appointed agents to save in the physical sense such as was the case with King David in 2 Sam 3:18. However, this does not make David Messiah, merely an agent of God's bidding and will.
  3. Salvation in the transcendent sense can only come via the hand of God, Acts 4:12. However, again, God can and does send people to do His bidding as part of the process to win people's hearts and minds. It is still a miracle of the Holy Spirit that people decide to accept the salvation that only God can and will provide.

Therefore, I would agree with option "B" of the OP.

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No it doesn't. At least at first glance. ”Yasha” in the Old Testament always means physical deliverance. The only two exception can be found in the book of Ezekiel.

29 I will also save (הוֹשַׁעְתִּ֣י) you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. (Ezekiel 36)

23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save (הוֹשַׁעְתִּ֣י) them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 37)

So Ezekiel dramatically expands the meaning and adds a spiritual dimension to the old definition of ”yasha”.

Matthew uses that new expanded definition and quotes from Ezekiel 37:23 in the first chapter of his gospel:

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save (σώσει) his people from their sins. (Matthew 1)

Then of course other New Testament authors do the same that Matthew.

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In [2 Samuel 3:18], the term "הוֹשִׁיעַ" Hoshia (saved) relates to deliverance from physical destruction: מִיַּד פְּלִשְׁתִּים 'from-hands [of] Philistines' during battle - not from immoral behavior.

Regarding rescue from immoral behavior, David דָוִד himself invalidates your options in [Tehillim 19:14] (Psalm 19:13) praying for salvation from sin:

"Withhold Your-servant [David/Israel] from willful sins; let them not rule over me; then I will be perfect and I will be cleansed of much transgression." (גַּ֚ם מִזֵּדִ֨ים | חֲשׂ֬ךְ עַבְדֶּ֗ךָ אַל־יִמְשְׁלוּ־בִ֖י אָ֥ז אֵיתָ֑ם וְ֜נִקֵּ֗יתִי מִפֶּ֥שַֽׁע רָֽב)
  • David דָוִד could not save Yisrael from their sins, like his anointed mortal descendants.

[Option.D] David's own prayer to YHVH יהוה in [Tehillim 19:14-15] (Psalm 19:13-14) for protection from sins - inspires Yeshua's prayer in [Matthew 6:13] to acknowledge our Father יהוה as our only Redeemer.

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