2 Samuel 7
David Plans to Build a Temple
When King David lived in his house (palace) and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do everything that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”
But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Should you be the one to build Me a house in which to dwell? For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought the sons (descendants) of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle. Wherever I have gone with all the Israelites, did I speak a word to any from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, asking, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’
God’s Covenant with David
So now, say this to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like that of the great men of the earth. I will appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in a place of their own and not be disturbed again. The [a]wicked will not afflict them again, as formerly, even from the day that I appointed judges over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also declares to you that He will make a house (royal dynasty) for you. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down [in death] with your fathers (ancestors), I will raise up your descendant after you, who shall be born to you, and I will establish his kingdom. He [is the one who] shall build a house for My [b]Name and My Presence, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. When he commits iniquity (wrongdoing), I will discipline him with the rod of men and with the strokes of the sons of man. But My lovingkindness and mercy will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house (royal dynasty) and your kingdom will endure forever before Me; your throne will be established forever.”’” Nathan spoke to David in accordance with all these words and all of this vision.
Then King David went in and sat [in prayer] before the Lord, and said, “Who am I, O Lord [c]God, and what is my house (family), that You have brought me this far? Yet this was very insignificant in Your eyes, O Lord God, for You have spoken also of Your servant’s house (royal dynasty) in the distant future. And this is the law and custom of man, O Lord God. What more can David say to You? For You know (acknowledge, choose) Your servant, O Lord God. Because of Your word (promise), and in accordance with Your own heart, You have done all these great and astounding things to let Your servant know (understand). Therefore You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. What one nation on earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself, and to do great and awesome things for Yourself and for Your land, before Your people whom You have redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from nations and their gods? You established for Yourself Your people Israel as Your people forever, and You, O Lord, have become their God. Now, O Lord God, confirm forever the word [of the covenant] that You have spoken in regard to Your servant and his house (royal dynasty); and do just as You have spoken, so that Your Name may be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts (armies) is God over Israel;’ and may the house (royal dynasty) of Your servant David be established [d]before You. For You, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, have [e]revealed this to Your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house (royal dynasty).’ For that reason Your servant has found [f]courage to pray this prayer to You. And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant. Therefore now, may it please You to bless the house (royal dynasty) of Your servant, so that it may continue forever before You; for You, O Lord God, have spoken it, and with Your blessing may the house of Your servant be blessed forever.”
- 2 Samuel 7:10 Lit sons of wickedness.
- 2 Samuel 7:13 “Name” is equivalent to “Me” in 2 Sam 7:5. See also note Deut 12:5.
- 2 Samuel 7:18 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord, and so throughout the chapter.
- 2 Samuel 7:26 I.e. in Your Presence.
- 2 Samuel 7:27 Lit uncovered the ear of.
- 2 Samuel 7:27 Lit his heart.
2 Samuel 8
Now it came about after this that David defeated the Philistines and subdued (humbled) them, and he took control of Metheg-ammah [the main city] from the hand of the Philistines.
He defeated [a]Moab, and [b]measured them with a length of rope, making them lie down on the ground; he measured two lengths to [choose those to] put to death, and one full length to [choose those to] be kept alive. And the [surviving] Moabites became servants to David, bringing tribute.
Then David defeated Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of [c]Zobah, as he went to restore his power at the River [Euphrates]. David captured from him 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. David also hamstrung all the chariot horses (making them lame), but reserved enough of them for a hundred chariots. When the Arameans (Syrians) of Damascus came to help Hadadezer, king of Zobah, David struck down 22,000 Arameans. Then David put garrisons among the Arameans in Damascus, and the Arameans became his servants and brought tribute. The Lord helped David wherever he went. David took the shields of gold that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. And from Betah and Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took an immense quantity of bronze.
When Toi king of Hamath heard about David’s defeat of all the forces of Hadadezer, Toi sent [d]Joram his son to King David to [e]greet and congratulate him for his battle and defeat of Hadadezer; for Hadadezer had been at war with Toi. Joram brought with him articles of silver, gold, and bronze [as gifts]. King David also dedicated these [gifts] to the Lord, along with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he subdued: from Aram (Syria), Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah.
So David made a name for himself when he returned from killing 18,000 [f]Arameans (Syrians) in the Valley of Salt. He put garrisons in Edom; in all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became servants to David. And the Lord helped him wherever he went.
So David reigned over all Israel, and continued to administer justice and righteousness for all his people. Joab the son of Zeruiah was [commander] over the army; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder (secretary); Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were the [chief] priests, and Seraiah was the scribe; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was [head] over both the Cherethites and Pelethites [the king’s bodyguards]; and David’s sons were [g]chief [confidential] advisers (officials) [to the king].
- 2 Samuel 8:2 I.e. descendants of Lot (Gen 19:37).
- 2 Samuel 8:2 In ancient times a conqueror sometimes used an arbitrary system to determine which prisoners to execute.
- 2 Samuel 8:3 I.e. an Aramean (Syrian) kingdom.
- 2 Samuel 8:10 In 1 Chr 18:10, Hadoram.
- 2 Samuel 8:10 Lit ask him about his shalom and bless.
- 2 Samuel 8:13 A few manuscripts read Edomites (the form of the Hebrew letters makes the two names nearly identical).
- 2 Samuel 8:18 Lit priests. Even though the Hebrew word for priests is used in this verse, David’s sons would not serve as priests because they were from the tribe of Judah, not Levi. The ancient rabbis interpreted the statement to mean that the sons enjoyed some priestly privileges.