2 Samuel 7


Yahweh’s Covenant with David

      • When the king had settled into his house and Yahweh had given him rest from all of his enemies all around, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “Look, I am living in a house made of cedar while the ark of God lives in a tent.” Nathan replied to the king, “Go ahead and do whatever you have in mind because Yahweh is with you.” But that night the word of Yahweh came to Nathan saying: “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Yahweh says: Are you to build a house for Me to live in? I have not lived in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up from Egypt until today. Instead, I have been traveling with them in a tent for My dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, have I ever said to any of the leaders whom I appointed to shepherd My people Israel, “Why haven’t you built Me a house made of cedar?”’

      • ESV Study Bible writes, “David contrasts his own cedar house (5:11) with the tent that houses the ark (6:17). It was common in the ancient Near East for a king to build a temple to honor his god.”

      • On Nathan’s response the same source notes, “Nathan probably means these words as a general comment on David and gives his own opinion as David’s counselor. That night, however, he receives a specific revelation from God, which he delivers to David as a prophet, the messenger of God.”

      • Now therefore, tell My servant David this, ‘Yahweh of Hosts says: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be the ruler over My people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone and I have destroyed all of your enemies from in front of you. I will make your name great like the names of the greatest ones on earth. I will appoint a place for My people Israel and plant them, so that they may have their own place and no longer tremble. Violent men will not afflict them anymore as they have done ever since the time that I appointed judges to lead My people Israel. I will give you rest from all of your enemies.’”

      • Moreover, Yahweh declares to you that Yahweh Himself will make a house for you. ‘When the time comes for you to die and rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me. When he sins, I will discipline him with a human rod and with wounds inflicted by men. But, I will not remove My steadfast love from him as I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from your way. Your house and your kingdom will endure before Me forever. Your throne will be established forever.’” Nathan reported to David all the words of this vision.

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “…Verses 8-17 are often described as the ‘Davidic covenant,’ even though the term ‘covenant’ does not appear there. But in Ps. 89:3 this promise is described using the words “I have made a covenant with my chosen one.’ David expresses his desire to build a house for the Lord. But the Lord does not approve, and instead states his own initiative that he will establish David’s house (i.e., dynasty) eternally, promising him an eternal throne…This is not, however, a guarantee that every occupant of the throne of David will himself enjoy the blessings without regard for his own piety (v. 14). Psalm 132:11 says that on this occasion the Lord swore to David with a ‘sure oath,’ from which he would not turn back, that ‘one of the sons of your body I will set on your throne’…This points to Solomon, who would ‘sit on the throne of Israel’ and build ‘the house for the name of the Lord’ (1 Kings 8:20), and eventually to Jesus, the Messiah who would sit on the throne eternally, thus establishing David’s throne forever (2 Sam 7:16; Luke 1:32-33).”

      • The same source adds, “Hebrews 1:5 applies the words I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son to Christ because, as Messiah, Jesus inherits David’s role as representative to God’s people (his ‘son,’ Ex 4:22-23; cf Ps 89:26-27).”

      • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible explains what is meant by the statement “ I will not remove My steadfast love from him as I removed it from Saul,” “On ‘love’ language used in ancient Near Eastern contexts to express covenant loyalty or the like…Covenantal use of love language is well illustrated in a later Biblical passage describing the relationship of Hiram, the king of Tyre, to David: “When Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with [lit. ‘had been one loving (or lover of)] David’ (1 Ki 5:1). A noteworthy conceptual parallel to the present passage, though involving a covenant agreement between two human rulers, is found in the Hittite Bronze Tablet…The ‘Great King’ Tudhaliya IV promises the vassal Kurunta that the treaty between them will remain in force and will apply even to Kurunta’s descendants. Even should a son or grandson of Kurunta commit treason, the covenant will remain inalienable…The offender, if proven guilty, will be punished, to be sure: ‘they shall do to him whatever the king of the land of Hatti decides. But they may not take from him his “house” [i.e., dynasty] and land…’”

      • In alignment with the NIV’s explanation of “love” above, NLT Illustrated Study Bible adds, “Like God’s promise to Abraham, his covenant with David is unconditional: It does not depend on human obedience or faithfulness but only on God’s unchanging love.”

      • Guzik provides the following explanation:

        • God promised David that the reign of his dynasty would last forever. Each of these great promises was partially fulfilled in Solomon, David’s son and successor to his throne. Solomon ruled on David’s throne. God’s mercies never departed from Solomon, though he sinned. Solomon built God a magnificent house.”

        • But the prophets foretold a greater fulfillment of these promises. Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute righteousness in the earth. . . Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Jeremiah 23:5-6) For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. . . Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it… from that time forward, even forever. (Isaiah 9:6-7) And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)

        • God’s promise of a house for David is completely fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus does reign and will reign on David’s throne forever. The Father’s mercies never departed from Jesus, even when He was made sin for us. Jesus is building the Father a magnificent house (Hebrews 3:3-6) in the sense that we are God’s temple (1 Peter 2:5) and the church is God’s new house.”

David’s Prayer of Thanks

      • Then King David went in, sat before Yahweh, and said:

        • Who am I, my lord Yahweh, and what is my house that you have brought me to this point? Yet, this was a small thing in Your eyes, my lord Yahweh, and You have spoken about Your servant’s house in the distant future. This is a revelation for mankind, my lord Yahweh.”

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “In spite of dramatic military success and popular acclaim of the whole nation, David humbly considers himself unworthy of all the Lord’s blessings, attributing his success instead to the Lord…”

        • Again, when comparing Bible translations, we note a translation difficulty with the end of verse 19. I opted for the HCSB rendering above. NET Bible’s text critical notes explains, “Heb ‘and this [is] the law of man’; KJV ‘is this the manner of man, O Lord God?’; NAB ‘this too you have shown to man’; NRSV ‘May this be instruction for the people, O Lord God!’ This part of the verse is very enigmatic; no completely satisfying solution has yet been suggested…The parallel passage in 1 Chr 17:17 reads differently.”

        • What more can David say to You? For You know Your servant, my lord Yahweh. For the sake of Your word and according to Your will, You have done this great thing in order to reveal it to Your servant.”

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible notes, “God made his promises to David will full knowledge that David had both strengths and weaknesses…God’s will, rather than David’s personal ambition, enabled David to accomplish great things…David spoke of what God promised to do for his heirs over the generations as a already-accomplished fact, showing his unshakable belief in God’s faithfulness.”

      • Therefore You are great, my lord Yahweh, because there is none like You and there is no God besides You, according to all we have heard with our own ears.”

      • And who is like Your people Israel? God went to one nation on earth to redeem a people for Himself, to make a name for Himself, and to perform great and awesome acts for Your land, before Your people whom You delivered for Yourself from Egypt and its gods. You have established Your people Israel as Your own people forever, and You, O Yahweh, became their God.”

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible adds, “David praised God for his goodness in redeeming and establishing the nation of Israel (7:23-24), not just David and his royal line (7:18-21). His prayer is corporate rather than just personal.”

      • So then, Yahweh God, confirm forever the promise that You have made Your servant and his house. Do as You have said so that Your name will be exalted forever when people say, ‘Yahweh of Hosts is God over Israel.’ The house of Your servant David will be established before You, because You, O Yahweh of Hosts, are God of Israel. You have revealed to Your servant, ‘I will build a house for you.’ Therefore, Your servant has had the courage to pray this prayer to You. My lord Yahweh, You are the true God, and Your words are true. You have promised this good thing to Your servant. Now, please bless Your servant’s house so that it may continue forever before You, because You, my lord Yahweh, have spoken. With Your blessing, Your servant’s house will be blessed forever.”

        • Guzik writes, “David’s prayer boldly asked God to do what He promised. This wasn’t passive prayer that said, ‘Well God, do whatever You want to do – I don’t really care one way or another.’ This wasn’t arrogant prayer that said, ‘Well God, let me tell You what to do.’ This was bold prayer that said, ‘God, here is Your promise – now I trust You to fulfill it grandly and to be faithful to Your word.’”

        • Guzik continues by giving these examples of practical application:

          • We may appropriate His promise for forgiveness: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

          • We may appropriate His promise for peace: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

          • We may appropriate His promise for guidance: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will guide you with My eye. (Psalm 32:8)

          • We may appropriate His promise for growth: He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

          • We may appropriate His promise for help: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace of help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

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