When David was settled into his palace, he said to the prophet Nathan, "I'm living in a cedar palace while the chest containing the LORD's covenant is under curtains."
Nathan replied, "Go ahead and do whatever you are thinking, because God is with you."
But that very night God's word came to Nathan:
Go to my servant David and tell him, This is what the LORD says: You are not the one to build the temple for me to live in.
In fact, I haven't lived in a temple from the day I brought Israel out until this very day. I've been traveling from tent to tent and from dwelling to dwelling.
Throughout my traveling with the Israelites, did I ever ask one of Israel's tribal leaders, whom I appointed to shepherd my people, Why haven't you built me a cedar temple?
So then, say this to my servant David: This is what the LORD of heavenly forces says: I myself took you from the pasture, from following the flock, to be leader over my people Israel.
I've been with you wherever you've gone. I've eliminated all your enemies before you. Now I will make your name great—like the name of the greatest people on earth.
I'm going to provide a place for my people Israel, and plant them so that they may live there and no longer be disturbed. Cruel people will no longer trouble them as they did earlier,
when I appointed judges over my people Israel. I'll subdue all your enemies and make you great. As for a dynasty, the LORD will build one for you!
When the time comes for you to die, I will raise up a descendant of yours after you, one of your own sons, to succeed you, and I will establish his kingship.
He is the one who will build me a temple, and I will establish his throne forever.
I will become his father and he will become my son, and I'll never withdraw my faithful love from him as I did from the one before you.
I'll install him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne will be established forever.
Nathan faithfully reported all that he had seen and heard to David.