And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.
All Commentaries on 2 Samuel 23:17 Go To 2 Samuel 23
Gregory The Dialogist
Much later, David was sitting opposite the enemy lines and desired longingly to drink from the cistern. Chosen soldiers of his broke through the enemy troops and returned unharmed with the water the king had desired. But the man who had been taught by his chastisements immediately reproached himself for having endangered his soldiers by his desire for water. He poured it out, making a libation to the Lord, as it is written there: “He poured it out to the Lord.” The water he poured out was changed into a sacrifice to the Lord, because he slaughtered his sin of eager desire by the penance of self-censure. The man who had once been unafraid to lust after another man’s wife was later terrified at having desired water. Since he remembered he had committed something forbidden, he was strict with himself and refrained even from what was allowed.