In all [the places] wherein I have walked with all the children
of Israel (See Gill on 2 Samuel 7:6) on the places mentioned there:
spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel;
or rather the sceptres of Israel; so the word is rendered, ( Genesis 49:10 ) ; the sceptre bearers, rulers, and governors, whose custom was to carry a sceptre in their hands, as Ben Melech observes; and so in a parallel text, ( 1 Chronicles 17:6 ) , it is, "to any of the judges of Israel"; any of those from the times of Moses and Joshua to the times of Saul and David, and this is confirmed by what follows:
whom I commanded to feed my people Israel;
that is, to rule and govern them, protect and defend them, which cannot be said of the tribes, but of the rulers of them; and the Lord asks this question, whether ever he had said a word to any of those, in all that space of time, expressing anything of this kind:
saying, why build ye not me an house of cedar?
they never were bid to do it, or expostulated with why they did not, or ever reproved for not doing it; therefore why should David think of doing it?