2 Samuel 7

1 King David was settled in his palace, and the Lord kept him safe from all his enemies.
2 Then the king said to the prophet Nathan, "Here I am living in a house built of cedar, but God's Covenant Box is kept in a tent!"
3 Nathan answered, "Do whatever you have in mind, because the Lord is with you."
4 But that night the Lord said to Nathan,
5 "Go and tell my servant David that I say to him, "You are not the one to build a temple for me to live in.
6 From the time I rescued the people of Israel from Egypt until now, I have never lived in a temple; I have traveled around living in a tent.
7 In all my traveling with the people of Israel I never asked any of the leaders that I appointed why they had not built me a temple made of cedar.'
8 "So tell my servant David that I, the Lord Almighty, say to him, "I took you from looking after sheep in the fields and made you the ruler of my people Israel.
9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have defeated all your enemies as you advanced. I will make you as famous as the greatest leaders in the world.
10 I have chosen a place for my people Israel and have settled them there, where they will live without being oppressed any more. Ever since they entered this land, they have been attacked by violent people, but this will not happen again. I promise to keep you safe from all your enemies and to give you descendants.
12 When you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will make one of your sons king and will keep his kingdom strong. 1
13 He will be the one to build a temple for me, and I will make sure that his dynasty continues forever.
14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him as a father punishes his son. 2
15 But I will not withdraw my support from him as I did from Saul, whom I removed so that you could be king.
16 You will always have descendants, and I will make your kingdom last forever. Your dynasty will never end.' " 3
17 Nathan told David everything that God had revealed to him.
18 Then King David went into the Tent of the Lord's presence, sat down and prayed, "Sovereign Lord, I am not worthy of what you have already done for me, nor is my family.
19 Yet now you are doing even more, Sovereign Lord; you have made promises about my descendants in the years to come. And you let a man see this, Sovereign Lord!
20 What more can I say to you! You know me, your servant.
21 It was your will and purpose to do this; you have done all these great things in order to instruct me.
22 How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is none like you; we have always known that you alone are God.
23 There is no other nation on earth like Israel, whom you rescued from slavery to make them your own people. The great and wonderful things you did for them have spread your fame throughout the world. You drove out other nations and their gods as your people advanced, the people whom you set free from Egypt to be your own. 4
24 You have made Israel your own people forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.
25 "And now, Lord God, fulfill for all time the promise you made about me and my descendants, and do what you said you would.
26 Your fame will be great, and people will forever say, "The Lord Almighty is God over Israel.' And you will preserve my dynasty for all time.
27 Lord Almighty, God of Israel! I have the courage to pray this prayer to you, because you have revealed all this to me, your servant, and have told me that you will make my descendants kings.
28 "And now, Sovereign Lord, you are God; you always keep your promises, and you have made this wonderful promise to me.
29 I ask you to bless my descendants so that they will continue to enjoy your favor. You, Sovereign Lord, have promised this, and your blessing will rest on my descendants forever."

2 Samuel 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

David's care for the ark. (1-3) God's covenant with David. (4-17) His prayer and thanksgiving. (18-29)

Verses 1-3 David being at rest in his palace, considered how he might best employ his leisure and prosperity in the service of God. He formed a design to build a temple for the ark. Nathan here did not speak as a prophet, but as a godly man, encouraging David by his private judgment. We ought to do all we can to encourage and promote the good purposes and designs of others, and, as we have opportunity, to forward a good work.

Verses 4-17 Blessings are promised to the family and posterity of David. These promises relate to Solomon, David's immediate successor, and the royal line of Judah. But they also relate to Christ, who is often called David and the Son of David. To him God gave all power in heaven and earth, with authority to execute judgment. He was to build the gospel temple, a house for God's name; the spiritual temple of true believers, to be a habitation of God through the Spirit. The establishing of his house, his throne, and his kingdom for ever, can be applied to no other than to Christ and his kingdom: David's house and kingdom long since came to an end. The committing iniquity cannot be applied to the Messiah himself, but to his spiritual seed; true believers have infirmities, for which they must expect to be corrected, though they are not cast off.

Verses 18-29 David's prayer is full of the breathings of devout affection toward God. He had low thoughts of his own merits. All we have, must be looked upon as Divine gifts. He speaks very highly and honourably of the Lord's favours to him. Considering what the character and condition of man is, we may be amazed that God should deal with him as he does. The promise of Christ includes all; if the Lord God be ours, what more can we ask, or think of? ( Ephesians 3:20 ) . He knows us better than we know ourselves; therefore let us be satisfied with what he has done for us. What can we say more for ourselves in our prayers, than God has said for us in his promises? David ascribes all to the free grace of God. Both the great things He had done for him, and the great things He had made known to him. All was for his word's sake, that is, for the sake of Christ the eternal Word. Many, when they go to pray, have their hearts to seek, but David's heart was found, that is, it was fixed; gathered in from its wanderings, entirely engaged to the duty, and employed in it. That prayer which is from the tongue only, will not please God; it must be found in the heart; that must be lifted up and poured out before God. He builds his faith, and hopes to speed, upon the sureness of God's promise. David prays for the performance of the promise. With God, saying and doing are not two things, as they often are with men; God will do as he hath said. The promises of God are not made to us by name, as to David, but they belong to all who believe in Jesus Christ, and plead them in his name.

Cross References 4

  • 1. 7.12Psalms 89.3, 4; 132.11;John 7.42;Acts 2.30.
  • 2. 7.14Psalms 89.26, 27;2 Corinthians 6.18;Hebrews 1.5.
  • 3. 7.16Psalms 89.36, 37.
  • 4. 7.23Deuteronomy 4.34.

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. [Probable text (see 1 Ch 17.6)] leaders; [Hebrew] tribes.
  • [b]. [Probable text] you let a man see this; [Hebrew] this is a law for human beings.
  • [c]. [Probable text] them; [Hebrew] you [(plural).]
  • [d]. [One ancient translation (and see 1 Ch 17.21)] You drove out; [Hebrew] for your land.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO SECOND SAMUEL 7

This chapter expresses David's concern for building an house for the ark of God, which he communicated to Nathan the prophet, and was approved of by him, 2Sa 7:1-3; and who was that night sent by the Lord to David, to acquaint him, that as he had for many years dwelt in a tent, and had never given directions to the tribes of Israel, and the rulers of them, to build him an house, so neither should David build him one; but his son that would succeed him in the throne should; and also observes to him the many great things he had done for him, and promises him more, and particularly the establishment of his throne and kingdom for ever, in which he has respect to the Messiah, that should spring from him, 2Sa 7:4-17. Then follows a prayer of David, in which he expresses the sense he had of the greatness and goodness of God, and of his own unworthiness to receive such favours from him he had, returns him thanks for the promises he had made, and prays for the performance of them, 2Sa 7:18-29.

2 Samuel 7 Commentaries