That the king said unto Nathan the prophet
This is the first time this prophet is made mention of, but often afterwards, yet who he was, and from whence he came, is not known; he appears to be a man of great piety and prudence, as well as endowed with a prophetic spirit, and was very familiar with David, and perhaps dwelt in his palace; being a man on all accounts fit for conversation with princes, to whom David imparted what he had been meditating upon in his heart. The Jews have a tradition F20 that he was the same with Jonathan the son of Shimea, the brother of David, ( 2 Samuel 21:21 ) ; which is not very likely:
see now, I dwell in an house of cedar;
made of the cedars of Lebanon; see what a spacious palace it is:
but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains;
in a tabernacle within curtains, as the Targum; not the tabernacle of Moses, for that was at Gibeon, ( 1 Chronicles 21:29 ) ; but that which David had made for it, which consisted of curtains that were drawn around it, ( 2 Samuel 6:17 ) . It gave him a concern that he should dwell in so magnificent a palace, and the ark of God should have so mean an habitation; wherefore it was upon his mind to build a grand edifice for it, and this he suggested hereby to Nathan, and so he understood him, as appears by what follows; and the rather he was led to such a thought, being now at rest and in peace; for then it was an house was to be built for God, in which he would cause his name to dwell, as David might easily learn from ( Deuteronomy 12:9-11 ) ; and who so proper to set forward such a work as a king, and he when at rest from his enemies?
F20 Hieron. Trad. Heb. in 2 Reg. fol. 79. M. & in lib. Paralipom. fol. 89. B. F.