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Deeper Commentary

2Sa 7:1 It happened, when the king lived in his house, and Yahweh had given him rest from all his enemies all around-
All his adult life, David had hardly slept more than a few nights in the same place. And he had always been surrounded by enemies who gave him no rest. Now finally he was living a stable life in his own house, with rest from his enemies. Instead of slumping into the mire of mediocrity in his spirituality, as many would have done, he reflects that he apparently has more than God, as it were. He has a nice house, whilst God's house was a tent. This desire to use a stable existence in God's service is a stellar example to God's children of all ages.

The account here may not be chronological, because we read of more wars in 2 Sam. 8. I suggest this is included after the account of bringing the ark to Zion in order to continue the theme of David's work for the ark. Or 2 Sam. 8 may be a summary of how David had been given rest.  But to be 'given rest' is the language of inheritance of the Kingdom (Heb. 4:1-11); the idea may be that a Messianic Kingdom could have been established at this point, had David accepted it. But instead, he laboured to build a physical temple rather than allowing God to effect this.

2Sa 7:2 that the king said to Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within curtains-
Any disparity between our own life situation and that of the things of God... ought to concern us. David didn't stop living in a house and instead live in a tent. Instead he did what he could to ensure that his abundance was not kept to himself. His motives were admirable throughout, and God saw that, but God was to use David's desires to teach that He doesn't need works, but just wants to share the abundance of His grace with others.

The reference to "curtains" doesn't mean that David was concerned that God's ark was under a tent, whilst he lived in a house. Rather is the reference to the ten curtains which comprised the tabernacle (Ex. 26:1). Although the tabernacle was at Gibeon and the ark in Zion, David had apparently made another tabernacle for the ark in Zion. David was assuming that he could change the Mosaic commandments about the tabernacle, and move God's purpose forward to something more permanent. We see here how he didn't consider the laws of Moses [of which the commands about the tabernacle were part] to be static. He saw them as open to interpretation and development. This was not a position he came to lightly, seeing he had been terribly punished for thinking he could flout the legislation about how the ark was to be transported.

Many of the commands within the "law of Moses" were clearly only intended for the wilderness generation, indeed they could only have been obeyed by them then; and David wondered whether the entire commands about the tabernacle were in that category. He was open to the idea of God moving on in His purpose and desires for men. Those today who claim that Mosaic legislation is eternally binding need to give this due weight. It's not just that the Mosaic law was abrogated by the Lord's death; but the whole nature of that law was that it was never intended to all be literally applied to every subsequent generation. And that meant that it was the spirit of it which was to be discerned and followed. 

2Sa 7:3 Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in your heart; for Yahweh is with you-
Nathan wrongly assumed that Yahweh would naturally agree to David's proposition to move on from the Mosaic idea of a tabernacle. David didn't actually state what he intended to do (:2), but Nathan assumes he knows David's intentions, and assumes he knows God will agree. Such assumptions are typical of human beings, and further adds psychological verisimilitude to the record. Nathan of course should have had the humility to first ask of God rather than assuming he knows God's will. The assumption we know God's will is a common problem amongst God's people; effectively we are elevating our gut feeling to the level of God's word.

2Sa 7:4 It happened the same night, that the word of Yahweh came to Nathan saying-
David’s plan to build a great house was met with the word of the Lord coming unto him “the same night”, telling him not to do this. There seems to be some allusion to this by the Lord Jesus when He spoke of the rich fool who wanted to build a greater barn being told the Lord’s word “that same night”. It could be that the Lord Jesus saw something material and very human in David’s desire to build a house for the Lord. See on :7.

2Sa 7:5 Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says Yahweh, Shall you build Me a house for Me to dwell in?-
Perhaps there was a pause after this statement. The emphasis was upon the words "you" and "Me". David had not given due thought to the magnitude and inappropriacy of what was in his mind; that he as a mere man could build a house for Yahweh to live in. He had failed to perceive the greatness of his God. Any idea of confining God within four walls was bizarre. The Chronicles record is clearer: "You shall not build Me a house". The way David insisted upon doing so reflects a refusal to accept, in the long term, the huge grace offered to him here. We see the typical human tendency to want to do works for God, and to be justified thereby- rather than to accept His work for us.

2Sa 7:6 For I have not lived in a house since the day that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have moved around in a tent and in a tabernacle-
Although this may primarily refer to the Angel, the point is that the God of the cosmos had intensely manifested Himself in the ark and the tabernacle / tent which enclosed it. This of itself revealed His humility. The idea is "I have walked continually"; like David up until this point (see on :1), He had been a wanderer. David had now ceased his years of wandering (:1), and was assuming that God was like himself, preferring a stable and sedentary life. But this assumption that God is like us at this moment and point of our lives is incorrect, and David later criticizes it (Ps. 50:21). He is who He is, and not a god made in our image, as we are at this moment; rather are we made in His image, and not the other way around. It is for us to hear His voice in His word and accept Him as He is, rather than assuming He will think how we do at this point in our development. David earlier had appreciated the idea of God being a wanderer when he was a wanderer, as his wilderness Psalms indicate. But now he was settled, he assumed that this was how God would like to be. 

2Sa 7:7 In all places in which I have walked with all the children of Israel, did I say a word to any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to be shepherd of My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’’-

David desired to build God a physical house. 2 Sam. 7:7-11 records God's response in clear enough language: God did not want a physical house because

1. It was not really possible for man to build God a house ("Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?" is surely rhetorical)

2. God had never asked Israel to build Him such a house before; indeed, it had been His expressed will that He should dwell among Israel in the temporary form of the tabernacle. God wanted a temporary abode to point forward to the fact that the reality was in Christ; thus the Law of Moses had features built into it which were intrinsically temporal, to point men forward to the stability and finality of Messiah. By building a permanent temple, Solomon reflects his lack of focus on the Messiah to come.

3. He would only have a permanent physical house when His people were permanently settled, never to be moved again (2 Sam. 7:10), i.e. in the Kingdom. Yet Solomon perceived that his kingdom was in fact the final Kingdom of God. David made this mistake, in assuming in Ps. 72 that Solomon’s Kingdom would undoubtedly be the Messianic one…and Solomon repeated the error, yet to a more tragic extent.

4. God plays on the confusion between 'house' in the sense of household, and 'house' in the sense of a physical building. He says: 'You  want to build me  a physical house. But am going to build you  a household  which will be my Kingdom'. The implication is that David's desire for a physical house was altogether too human, and that there is an opposition between what man thinks he can physically do for God, and the fact that God wishes to do things for men. Yet Solomon went ahead with his works rather than grappling with the reality of sheer grace. He so wanted to do  something. He betrays this when he writes in Ecc. 9:7: “God now accepteth thy works”. The Hebrew translated “accepteth” means literally to satisfy a debt, and is elsewhere translated ‘to reconcile self’. He saw works as reconciling man’s debt to God, rather than perceiving that grace is paramount. He keeps on about David his father; and yet there was a crucial difference. David perceived the need for grace as the basis of man’s reconciliation with God; whereas Solomon thought it was works. David wrote that God wants a broken heart and not thousands of sacrifices; yet Solomon offered the thousands of sacrifices, but didn’t have the contrite heart of his father.

5. To desire a physical house for God is to overlook the promised Messiah- that was surely the implication of the promise of the Lord Jesus following right on from the statement that a physical house was not required. Is. 57:15 and Is. 66:2 explain why this is- because God does not live in what man builds, but will fully dwell in one man to whom He will look, one who would have a humble spirit towards Him. And this man was of course the Lord Jesus. Solomon’s obsession with the temple therefore reflected his deeper problem- of not being focused upon the Christ to come.

So it ought to be clear from all this that God's response to the request to build a temple was negative; He did not want a physical temple. None of the four reasons for this listed above were just temporary considerations; they were reasons which were valid for all time. There can be no doubt that God's response here is at the basis of Is. 66:1,2: "The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all these things hath mine hand made... but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word" . God is saying that it simply isn't possible to build Him a house; instead, He seeks to dwell in the hearts of men. Yet Solomon wasn’t interested in the personal spiritual mindedness which enables this to happen. This is the same spirit as God's response to David: 'You can't build me a physical house, I will build my own household of believers'.

These words of Is. 66 are twice quoted in the New Testament. "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that  He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands... as though He needed any thing" (Acts 17:24,25). The reason for God not dwelling in temples is that He is Lord of heaven and earth. This reason does not change with time; He was Lord of heaven and earth at David's time just as much as He is now.

2Sa 7:8 Now therefore you shall tell My servant David this, ‘Thus says Yahweh of Armies, I took you from the sheep pen, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over My people, over Israel-
David was asked to reflect that his wandering around as a shepherd as a child and teenager had been to prepare him for leading Israel. But leading a people likewise involves an element of mobility, and God as the ultimate leader of Israel was likewise moving on and never static. Hebrew shepherds usually lead their sheep, but here David is described as being moved from following sheep, to going ahead as a leader. Here we have an example of where language and imagery is used in a way we might consider opportunistic; but this is the nature of Semitic writing and reasoning. A failure to appreciate the Hebrew nature of the Bible has led to so many misinterpretations of it.

2Sa 7:9 I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you-
David's continual wandering up until the point of :1 had always been with God's presence "with you wherever". This connects with God's own statement that He Himself had "walked continually" (:6). Those years had been in order to get David to appreciate God's own constant journeying. This is to be a feature of every believer's life. Even if we live and die in the house we were born in and never move 20 km. from our home village, life with God is a constant journey. And all within us will seek to turn it into the stability of mere religion, as David was seeking to do.

God encourages David to see himself as representative of Israel by saying this; they are words replete with reference to Israel in the wilderness and their establishment in the land. As David so loved his people and was their representative, for all they did to him, so with the Lord Jesus and His people. When God asked David “choose thee one of” three possible judgments, each of them involved the whole nation- e.g. “Shall seven years of famine come unto thee” (singular). David was their representative even in their time of failure.  

I will make you a great name, like the name of the great ones who are in the earth-
This is now developed by God into saying that He will make David a house / family. That family was to bear David's great name, but the "great name", the greatest in the earth [reading "great ones" as an intensive plural for a singular great name] was that of Yahweh. And this Name was to be carried by David's house and particularly by the Messianic seed who was now to be promised. AV "I have made thee a great name" would refer to how God was to do this through David's military victories (2 Sam. 8:13), indicating that 2 Sam. 7 is actually referring to events after 2 Sam. 8 and is not in chronological sequence.

2Sa 7:10 I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as at the first-
This connects with how David had planted the ark in its "place" in Zion (2 Sam. 6:17). God is saying that His grace is such that He will do exceeding far above what we ever ask or think to do for Him. He would plant and place Israel in an eternal Kingdom, just as David had planted and placed the ark in Zion. As David personally had been given rest from his enemies (:1), so would Israel be granted rest.

These words would have been comforting to the exiles; ultimately they would not be afflicted as they had been by the Babylonians, and would return to their land permanently (2 Sam. 7:10 s.w. for "afflict" in Zech. 10:2; Zeph. 3:19; Lam. 3:33; 5:11). The word used in 1 Chron. 17:9, 'to waste', is also used of the Babylonian wasting of Judah (Lam. 3:4).

2Sa 7:11 and as from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel. I will cause you to rest from all your enemies-
The constant affliction Israel experienced at the time of the judges was because of their sins; they had no rest from their enemies because of their continual unfaithfulness to Yahweh. These promises are therefore tantamount to saying that God would somehow permanently establish His people, in a way not conditional upon their faithfulness because He would somehow make them faithful. This is the language of the new covenant offered to the exiles, and is achieved today through the work of the Holy Spirit keeping us from falling from the covenant. The "blessing" promised to Abraham is therefore interpreted in Acts 3:25,26 as the power of God turning away His people's hearts from sin. And the same is implied in these promises to David. I will note on :15 that God likewise promised to remain faithful to David's seed even if he sinned. This is grace upon grace.

Moreover Yahweh tells you that Yahweh will make you a house-
To what was God referring to when He told David that David's son would build him a house? Firstly, we must bear in mind that in hundreds of places, the Hebrew word for "house" means 'household'. The eternal house promised to David is paralleled with the Kingdom; and a Kingdom is comprised of people. This is what is in view, not the building of any literal temple at the Lord's return. The Kingdom is the house of Jacob (Lk. 1:33). That the house of David is the Kingdom is evident from 2 Sam. 7:13,16; 1 Chron. 17:14 (cp. Lk. 11:17). The Kingdom was taken from the house of Saul and given to the house of David (2 Sam. 3:10), but later the Kingdom was taken from the house of David because of Solomon's apostacy (1 Kings 14:8). This is proof enough that at best the promises to David had only a tiny fulfilment in Solomon's Kingdom.

The New Testament is very insistent that the true temple of God is the body of Christian believers (1 Cor. 9:13; 2 Cor. 6:16; Heb. 10:21; 1 Pet. 4:17; Rev. 3:12; 11:1,2; 1 Tim.3:15). This string of passages is quite some emphasis. Yet Christ was the temple; he spoke of the temple of his body (Jn. 2:19-21; Rev. 21:22). For this reason, the Gospels seem to stress the connection between Christ and the temple (Mk.11:11,15,16,27; 12:35; 13:1,3; 14:49; Lk. 2:46; 21:38). Christ's body was the temple of God. By being in Christ, we too are the temple (1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:21), our body is the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19). Yet Solomon was not Christ centered; he didn’t want to see this connection. And we too can have an over-physical view of the Kingdom, centered around a literal temple in Jerusalem etc., rather than perceiving that the Kingdom / reign of God is, in its essence, over the hearts of men and women like us. The future political Kingdom will be the concrete articulation of the essence of the Kingdom principles which are now being lived out in the hearts of the people who are under the Lord’s present kingship.

In the person of Jesus, the essence of the Kingdom came nigh to men (Mt. 10:7; 11:4; 12:28)- and this was why one of His titles is “the Kingdom”. The Kingdom of God is about joy, peace and righteousness more than the physicalities of eating and drinking. In this sense the Kingdom was “among” first century Israel. The Kingdom of God is not merely a carrot held out to us for good behaviour. It is a reality right now, in so far as God truly becomes our king. Even in the Old Testament, the word  "temple" does not normally refer to the physical temple outside the records of Solomon's building of the temple. It is often stated that the house David's seed was to build would be for the Name of Yahweh. His Name refers to His mental attributes. A physical house is inappropriate to express these.

If the house refers to a household of righteous believers, all becomes plain. This explains why 2 Sam. 7:13,26 parallels God's eternal name with the eternal house and Kingdom which was promised to David. Building a house was a common Hebrew idiom for developing a household (Ruth 4:11; Dt. 25:9). God's promise to David about building him an eternal household was anticipated in His words to Eli: " I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind (i.e. David, 1 Sam. 13:14): and I will build him a sure house", in contrast to God's destruction of Eli's household (1 Sam. 2:35). 1 Kings 11:38 clinches the idea that this refers to David: "I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house as I built for David". In passing, note that these words to Solomon remind him that God will build him  a house, in opposition to the way in which Solomon so frequently speaks about building God a house.

2Sa 7:12 When your days are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers-
There is a strong sense that God has determined a number of "days" for our mortal life (Ps. 23:6; 2 Sam. 7:12), and David like all of us wished to know how many those days were for him, in order that he might live an appropriately humble life in response to realizing his frailty (Ps. 39:4). But that predetermined number of days can be cut short (Ps. 102:4,23,24) or extended (1 Kings 3:14; Prov. 9:11). Hezekiah would be the parade example of this; his days were cut short (Is. 38:10), and then lengthened in response to prayer (2 Kings 20:6). God is open to dialogue, His timetable in our personal lives is flexible according to our prayers; and He is also responsive to human behaviour. Like Job we should perceive our life as "my days" (he uses this term multiple times), so that we might use each of them for Him.

I will set up your seed after you, who shall proceed out of your body- "Set up" has a similar meaning to "establish". It is tempting to note that the Hebrew word is often translated "arise", and to wonder if there is here a hint that this seed will experience a bodily resurrection. The possible fulfilment in David's family was precluded by his sin with Bathsheba and the resultant effects upon his "house"; the same word for "set up" is in 2 Sam. 12:11 of how God would "raise / set up evil out of your own house". His house "was not so with God", as he concluded at the end of his life; and so he with us look for a fulfilment in his Messianic seed, the Lord Jesus, and the house of people being built up / established in Him.

The promise to David concerning Christ precludes his physical existence at the time the promise was made: “I will set up your descendant [singular] after you, which shall proceed out of your body... I will be his father, and he shall be my son” (2 Sam. 7:12,14). Notice the future tense used here. Seeing that God would be Christ’s Father, it is impossible that the Son of God could have already existed at that point in time when the promise was made. That this seed “shall proceed out of your body” shows that he was to be a literal, physical descendant of David. “The Lord has sworn in truth unto David... Of the fruit of your body will I set upon your throne” (Ps. 132:11). Solomon was the primary fulfilment of the promise, but as he was already physically in existence at the time of this promise (2 Sam. 5:14), the main fulfilment of this promise about David having a physical descendant who would be God’s son, must refer to Christ (Lk. 1:31-33).

And I will establish his kingdom-
"Prepared" or "established" is a major theme in the promises of the eternal establishment of David's throne (2 Sam. 7:12,13,16 etc.), and Solomon wrongly assumed that the conditional nature of the promises concerning the seed were just irrelevant to him as he had wisdom. Therefore he uses the word of how his kingdom has been "established" (1 Kings 2:24 s.w.). Solomon's contenders for the throne were all stopped by God, they tried to prepare or establish themselves but it never worked out (2 Sam. 15:1; 1 Kings 1:5); and so surely Solomon has the idea in mind that he has been established as the promised Messianic seed of David with an eternally "established" throne and kingdom. This leads him to the conclusion that the outcome of wisdom and folly is in this life, and he has no perspective of a final day of judgment and eternal establishment of God's Kingdom on earth. This is why the simplistic dichotomies he presents in Proverbs between the blessed and wise, and the cursed and foolish, are not always true to observed experiences in this life. For it is the future Kingdom which puts them in ultimate perspective.

2Sa 7:13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever-
Ultimately, as shown above, this refers to the building up of the house of believers to be the throne of the seed's eternal kingdom. The Lord Jesus will reign upon us, "whose house are we" (Heb. 3:6); we are His throne, the basis of His Kingdom. And that house and throne are being built up now, although it will only be more materially and physically articulated at His second coming and the establishment of His literal Kingdom upon earth. This process of building up is achieved by the colossal work of the Lord Jesus through His Spirit, calling, converting and transforming His people to be His house. This is how the New Testament alludes to these ideas of building and establishing (Acts 20:32; Rom 16:25; 1 Thess. 3:13; 2 Thess. 2:17; 3:3; 1 Pet. 5:10). Ps. 89:4 says that this building up of the throne goes on in "all generations". The idea is that the house and throne of the seed is built up from people of all generations. The light never went out for God's Truth and true people. In every generation there were some. This has big implications for those who consider that a very specific theology, especially one based upon 19th century revelations of truth, is required for salvation and membership of God's people.

The fact is that God did dwell, temporarily, in Solomon's temple. His glory entered it, and later left it in Ezekiel's time. This is the classic example of the way in which God will go along with men in their mistaken enthusiasm, working with them, even though this is contrary to His preferred way of doing things. A similar example is found in the way God forbad Israel to have a human king, because to do so would be a denial of His superiority and of their covenant relationship with Him. And yet Israel had a king. God did not turn a blind eye to this. Instead He worked through this system of human kingship. Or take marriage out of the faith. This is clearly contrary to God's ideal wishes. And yet in some cases He is prepared to work through this, in order to being about His purpose. There is even the possible suggestion in Acts 15:10 that God was ‘tempted’ to re-instate the law of Moses, or parts of it, in the first century, seeing that this was what so many of the early Christians desired to keep. That God is so eager to work with us should in itself be a great encouragement. Yet we must not come to presume upon God's patience, assuming that He will go along with us.

In any case, 2 Chron. 7:12 says that God accepted the temple only as a place of sacrifice, i.e. a glorified altar (cp. 2 Sam. 24:17,18). And yet- God didn't really want sacrifice (Ps. 40:6; Heb. 10:5). "Now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever" (2 Chron. 7:16) is a conditional promise, followed by five verses of conditions concerning Solomon's spirituality which he overlooked. Like Solomon, we too can fix upon promises without considering their conditionality. There is good reason to think that communally and individually we are increasingly shutting our eyes to the possibility of our spiritual failure and disaster. God constantly warned Solomon about the conditionality of the promises, before the building started (2 Sam. 7:14), during it (1 Kings 6:11-13) and immediately after completing it (1 Kings 9:2-9). Note, too, that Solomon had the idea that if sinful Israel prayed towards the temple, they would somehow be forgiven because of this. God’s response was that if they sought Him wherever they were and repented, then He would hear them- the temple was not to be seen as the instrument or mediatrix of forgiveness which Solomon envisaged. Likewise, Solomon’s implication that prayer offered in the temple would be especially acceptable was not upheld by God’s reply to him about this (2 Chron. 6:24-26 cp. God’s response in 2 Chron. 7:12,13).

2Sa 7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men-
Often the promises about the seed in the singular (the Lord Jesus) are applied to us in the plural (e.g. 2 Sam. 7:14 cp. Ps. 89:30-35). Those seminal promises to Abraham hinged around what would be realized in, not "by", his seed. All that is true of the Lord Jesus is now true of us, in that we are in Him. Baptism is not an initiation into a church. It isn't something which just seems the right thing to do. And even if because of our environment and conscience, it was easier to get baptized than not- now this mustn't be the case. We really are in Christ, we are born again; now we exist, spiritually! And moreover, we have risen with Him, His resurrection life, His life and living that will eternally be, is now manifest in us, and will be articulated physically at the resurrection.

There are connections between the promises to David about Jesus, and the later commentary upon them in Psalm 89 and Isaiah 53, with reference to the crucifixion.

2 Sam. 7 If he [Jesus] commit iniquity = Psalm 89 If his children [us] forsake my law =  Isaiah 53 The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all

2 Sam. 7 I will chasten him with the rod of men = Ps. 89 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod = Is. 53 For the transgression of my people was he stricken

2 Sam. 7 And with the stripes of the children of men = Ps. 89 And their iniquity with stripes = Is. 53 With his stripes we are healed.

The point of all this is to show how our sins were somehow carried by the Lord Jesus, to the extent that He suffered for them. But how was this actually achieved? It is one thing to say it, but we must put meaning into the words. I suggest it was in that the Lord so identified with us, His heart so bled for us, that He felt a sinner even though He of course never sinned. The final cry “My God, why have You forsaken Me?” clearly refers back to all the many passages which speak of God forsaking the wicked, but never forsaking the righteous. The Lord, it seems to me, felt a sinner, although He was not one, and thus entered into this sense of crisis and fear He had sinned. He so identified with us. In the bearing of His cross, we likewise must identify with others, with their needs and with the desperation of their human condition… and this is what will convert them, as the Lord’s identification with us saved us.

It is unthinkable that God has any possibility of sinning. The seed of David promised in 2 Sam. 7:12-16 was definitely Christ. Verse 14 speaks of Christ’s possibility of sinning: “If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him”. Christ was chastened with the rod of men "and with the stripes of the children of men", i.e. Israel (Is. 53:5; 1 Pet. 2:24; Mic. 5:1), in His death on the cross. But punishment with rod and stripes was to be given if Messiah sinned (2 Sam. 7:14). Yet Christ received this punishment; because God counted Him as if He were a sinner. His sharing in our condemnation was no harmless piece of theology. He really did feel, deep inside Him, that He was a sinner, forsaken by God. Instead of lifting up His face to Heaven, with the freedom of sinlessness, He fell on His face before the Father in Gethsemane (Mt. 26:39), bearing the guilt of human sin.

"Chasten" is the word used by Solomon when he speaks of the need to accept "reproof" in Prov. 15:12: "A scoffer doesn’t love to be reproved; he will not go to the wise". David had spoken of the house of Saul as scoffing at him (s.w. Ps. 119:51). And the line of David had been chosen to replace Saul because he had refused Samuel's reproof. David had accepted reproof and was open to it, notably from Nathan the prophet (Ps. 38:1; 141:5); and so again Solomon's Proverbs are true, but he harnesses them to the justification of himself and his father. But Solomon was only to remain the prophetic son of David if he accepted reproof (s.w. 2 Sam. 7:14); and he didn't. He refused to personalize his own wisdom, as we can.

2 Sam. 7:14 had warned the son of David that if he sinned, he would be punished "with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men". I take this as meaning that he would be punished like ordinary men are punished- and the implication could be that Solomon would have a tendency to think that he was more than human, somehow above the possibility of failing and being punished as an ordinary man, because he might think that he was somehow 'God', or at least, that what happens to all humanity would somehow not happen to him. This tendency to assume that we are somehow different to the rest of humanity, that we can sin in a certain way but they can't, that somehow for us it will all be OK... is as alive in us as it was in Solomon.

2Sa 7:15 but My loving kindness shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before you-
It was God's Spirit which departed from Saul and came upon David. Yet that Spirit is here called God's grace or loving kindness, and the New Testament makes the same connection between the grace / gift of God and the Holy Spirit. The formation of the seed, both collectively and individually in the Lord Jesus, was through the work of the Spirit. And that Spirit would abide fully and eternally upon the Lord Jesus (Jn. 3:34).

The clear message here is that God would as it were almost force through His promised program with David's seed. Even if the special seed sinned, he would be chastened, but God's gracious mercy would not depart from him (:14). This connects with the observation on :11 that God would as it were make Israel obedient, He would give them the blessings of obedience [not wandering any longer but being established], simply because that is what He was promising. These are the "sure mercies of David" available to all who will 'come to Him' (Is. 55:3). These things lead us to respect the Lord's achievement all the more, as the seed of David; if in fact He would personally have been accepted by God even if He had failed in some point. His perfection and endurance therefore achieved what Paul calls "so great salvation" (Heb. 2:3). The Greek implies there were qualities of salvation attainable; and the Lord obtained for us the highest possible level. And how can we neglect that...  

2Sa 7:16 Your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you-

The translations tend to add "in your presence", implying David's resurrection to behold it. But the grammar is indeterminate. It could as well mean in God's presence, and this is how David interprets it in Ps. 61:7.

Solomon came to overlook the conditionality of the promises because his father had done the same. David on his deathbed speaks of how “God has given one to sit on my throne this day, my eyes even seeing it” (1 Kings 1:48). He forgot how those promises more essentially spoke of his house “for a great while to come”, and how only after “you shall sleep with your fathers” would David see “your house and your kingdom established for ever before you” (2 Sam. 7:12,16), thus implying David’s resurrection. He lost this focus in his enthusiasm for Solomon, and it seems that Solomon followed suite. David focused upon some words of God but out of context. Just as we call can.

Your throne shall be established forever’-
Abigail quotes the promise of a priest being raised up with a "sure house" (1 Sam. 2:35), imagining that David was to become a Messianic king-priest; and to have blood on his hands would preclude that. Abigail's phrase "a sure / established house" (1 Sam. 25:28) is used in the promises to David (2 Sam. 7:16; 1 Kings 11:38). It's as if she was so in tune with God's ways that she had some premonition of His intentions with David, although she saw these as conditional upon David not shedding the innocent blood of her family. Or perhaps the promise of 1 Sam. 2:35 about a priest with a "sure house" had already been developed by Samuel in relation with David, and Abigail was aware of that. The promises to David which mention a sure house for him would therefore only be confirming what had already been promised.

I suggested on :13 that this establishment of the throne was a process of building up and establishing God's people over the generations, coming to full term in the establishment of the Lord Jesus on David's revived throne in Jerusalem at His second coming. Ps. 89:4 says that this building up of the throne goes on in "all generations". The idea is that the house and throne of the seed is built up from people of all generations. The light never went out for God's Truth and true people.

2Sa 7:17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David-
Nathan faithfully relayed the vision he received in these words to David. This is in contrast to how he had over hastily assumed to know God's word and will in the matter the day before.

2Sa 7:18 Then David the king went in and sat before Yahweh; and he said, Who am I, Lord Yahweh-
The promises to David are described as the mercy of God (Is. 55:3; Ps. 89:33,34). God having a son is the sign of His love for us, and this must elicit a response in us. David himself marvelled that such mercy had been shown to him: "Who am I... and what is my house… You know Your servant" (2 Sam. 7:18-20). And yet in the very next chapters, we read of how David made a renewed attempt to show mercy to the house of Saul. Mephibosheth says that he is "thy servant… what is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such… as I am?" (2 Sam. 9:8 AV). Mephibosheth is using the very words which David used to God; David is showing mercy to Mephibosheth in the very way in which the promises of God to him were the "mercies" shown to David. Appreciating that the promises concern us personally, and that they reveal such loving grace from the Father, can only lead to a similar response in showing love and grace through entering into the lives and destinies of others.

And what is my house, that You have brought me thus far?-
"I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which thou hast shewed unto thy servant" (Gen. 32:10) was spoken by Jacob on that night of destiny, in recognition of how he was morally unworthy to receive the promises which God had given him (see context). David picked this up in 2 Sam. 7:18, where he comments on his unworthiness to receive the promises to him, which were an extension of those Jacob received.

2Sa 7:19 This was yet a small thing in Your eyes, Lord Yahweh; but You have spoken also of Your servant’s house for a great while to come; this is not the way of men, Lord Yahweh!-
Such is the wonder of God’s promise to us that we really have no excuse to sin. Every sin is in a sense a denial of His promises. God told David that he had no excuse for what he did with Uriah and Bathsheba, because he had given him so much, “and if that had been too little, I would have added unto you…” (2 Sam. 12:8). “Too little” sends the mind back to 2 Sam. 7:19, where the promises to David are described as a “little thing”; the promises were so wonderful that David should not have allowed himself to fall into such sin. And us likewise.

2Sa 7:20 What more can David say to You?-
In view of all God had said to David, he had nothing to say to God, and the implication is that he would now not say to God his plans of building a house for God. His later desire and insistence upon doing so would suggest he lost this intensity of understanding and awareness.

For You know Your servant, Lord Yahweh-
See on :18. David is expressing what we often do to God; that we cannot express our gratitude enough in words or praise, we can only ask God to know us, and know how we feel.

2Sa 7:21 For Your word’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have worked all this greatness, to make Your servant know it-
David spoke of how God’s word and “own heart” are parallel (2 Sam. 7:21); God’s mind / spirit is expressed in His word, although David may here more understand the "word" as referring to God's purpose (as in Jn. 1:1) rather than the scriptures. David was sure the promises would come true; he speaks in the past tense of how God had worked already these great things.

2Sa 7:22 Therefore You are great-
LXX continues from :21: "that he may magnify You". The purpose of God's expression of grace through the promises is so that we who receive them might magnify Him. The Psalms which praise Yahweh's greatness were therefore manifestations of this sense of gratitude for the promises (Ps. 35:27; 40:16; 48:1).

Yahweh God. For there is none like You, neither is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears-
What characterizes Yahweh as the one and only God is His grace, which David has just experienced poured out. Divine grace is the defining feature of the one true faith; no other god, idol or religious system comes close to it.

2Sa 7:23 What one nation in the earth is like Your people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem to Himself for a people, and to make Himself a name, and to do great things for You, and awesome things for Your land, before Your people, whom You redeemed to yourself out of Egypt, from the nations and their gods?-
Israel had been redeemed from the gods of Egypt. Yet they took those gods with them through the Red Sea, and carried the tabernacle of Moloch and Remphan through the wilderness along with that of Yahweh (Acts 7:43). The LXX here brings out this point: "so that thou shouldest cast out nations an their tabernacles from the presence of thy people, whom thou didst redeem for thyself out of Egypt". That Israel carried these tabernacles and gods with them suggests that this was a redemption refused. And David, having experienced the grace which can only come from Yahweh, is resolved to only serve Him and root out all such idolatry.

2Sa 7:24 You established for Yourself Your people Israel to be a people to You for ever; and You, Yahweh, became their God-
God had promised to establish David's seed, God's true people, as His throne and people for ever. David recognizes that what had been promised to him had already been offered to Israel; although as noted on :23, they had refused this through their idolatry and failure to be God's exclusive kingdom / people, rejecting Him as their God. It was similar to God's thought of rejecting His people and working instead through Moses and his seed. God had been persuaded against that, but now David perceives that God is going to work not through Israel as a whole but through him and his seed. The allusion is to Dt. 32:6 where Israel act as the most foolish nation in rejecting the God who established them as a nation.

2Sa 7:25 Now, Yahweh God, the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant, and concerning his house, confirm it for ever, and do as You have spoken-
David seems to feel the need to show his agreement with God's plan (also in :29). This may be because he perceived the similarity with Moses, who was also offered to have God working not with Israel but with him and his seed. And Moses hadn't agreed. But David agrees.

2Sa 7:26 Let Your name be magnified for ever, saying, ‘Yahweh of Armies is God over Israel; and the house of Your servant David shall be established before You’-
David invites the faithful to join him in praising God for His plan of salvation revealed in these promises; and the Psalms which magnify Yahweh's Name are therefore motivated by these promises.

2Sa 7:27 For You, Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, have revealed to Your servant saying, ‘I will build you a house’. Therefore Your servant has found in his heart to pray this prayer to You-
The idea of the Hebrew is that David speaks of being bold in his prayer of praise for the promises made to him ("Therefore hath thy servant been bold to pray this prayer", RVmg.). Yet Heb. 4:16 encourages us to be bold in prayer. He was our pattern in prayer.

2Sa 7:28 Now, O Lord Yahweh, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant-
The idea is "You are the one and only God". The context is Israel's idolatry, and how God is now working through David and his seed as His Kingdom, rather than through an Israel who rejected Him as the only true God.

2Sa 7:29 Now therefore let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue for ever before You; for You, Lord Yahweh, have spoken it. Let the house of Your servant be blessed for ever with Your blessing
David describes the promises as "blessing" (2 Sam. 7:28,29), a word normally used in the context of forgiveness. So David was aware of the grossness of sin, of the need for self-examination, to ensure that his technical breaches of the Law of Moses were truly a reflection of his friendship with God rather than an indication of spiritual weakness. For David's house to become God's eternal Kingdom would require their blessing with forgiveness in order to be immortalized.