New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:

 The Promise To David

Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 17 Oct. 3 
The Covenant with David
It happened that as David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of Yahweh is under curtains. 2Nathan said to David, Do all that is in your heart; for God is with you. 3It happened the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan saying, 4Go and tell David My servant, ‘Thus says Yahweh, You shall not build Me a house to dwell in; 5for I have not lived in a house since the day that I brought up Israel to this day, but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tent to another. 6In all places in which I have walked with all Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to be shepherd of My people saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’’ 7Now therefore, you shall tell My servant David, ‘Thus says Yahweh of Armies, I took you from the sheep pen, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over My people Israel. 8I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you. I will make you a name, like the name of the great ones who are in the earth. 9I 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 waste them any more, as at the first, 10and from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover I tell you that Yahweh will build you a house. 11It shall happen, when your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who shall be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13I will be his father, and he shall be My son. I will not take My sure mercies away from him, as I took it from him that was before you; 14but I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever. His throne shall be established forever’. 15According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
David’s Response to the Covenant
16Then David the king went in and sat before Yahweh; and he said, Who am I, Yahweh God, and what is my house, that You have brought me thus far? 17This was a small thing in Your eyes, O God; but You have spoken of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have respected me according to the estate of a man of high degree, Yahweh God. 18What can David say yet more to You concerning the honour which is done to Your servant? For You know Your servant. 19Yahweh, for Your servant’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have worked all this greatness, to make known all these great things. 20Yahweh, there is none like You, neither is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 21What single nation in the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem to Himself for a people, to make You a name by great and awesome things, in driving out nations from before Your people, whom You redeemed out of Egypt? 22For Your people Israel You made Your very own people forever; and You, Yahweh, became their God. 23Now, Yahweh, let the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do as You have spoken. 24Let Your name be established and magnified forever, saying, ‘Yahweh of Armies is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel. The house of David Your servant is established before You’. 25For You, my God, have revealed to Your servant that You will build him a house. Therefore Your servant has found courage  to pray before You. 26Now, Yahweh, You are God, and have promised this good thing to Your servant. 27Now it has pleased You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You; for You, Yahweh, have blessed, and it is blessed forever.


17:2 Nathan replied too quickly, assuming that he knew God’s will and what God’s word ought to say in response to such a desire. But he was wrong. We see here a lesson in our need to base our response to situations strictly upon God’s revealed word rather than our assumption of what He probably meant.
17:10 I tell you that Yahweh will build you a house- God’s grace is reflected in all this; David wanted to build God a physical house, and God responds by saying He doesn’t need that but rather He will build David an eternal house in the sense of a family, based around David’s descendant who would be Yahweh’s own Son (Lk. 1:31-35). God loves to do for us above all we can ask or imagine of asking (Eph. 3:20); He delights to lavish grace upon us and we should delight to do the same to others, thinking what we could do for them that would make them say “Wow!” to God’s grace.
17:11 Set up your seed- The Greek LXX version of the Old Testament uses the word elsewhere translated ‘resurrect’ for “set up”. 
17:13 I will be his father, and he shall be My son- The only way for this to be fully fulfilled would be that a woman who was a direct descendant of David would have a child whose father was God. And the account of the virgin birth shows how it all came to pass. It’s impossible therefore that Christ physically pre-existed before His birth. Notice the future tenses here. We note too that Jesus was therefore the direct descendant of David and the rightful king of Israel. Yet He lived as a poor, despised working man and died the death of a rejected criminal. We who are in Him by baptism into Him will likewise not be discerned for who we really are by the unbelieving society in which we live.
Sure mercies- “The sure mercies of David” result in the wicked man forsaking his way (Is. 55:3); they therefore inspire us in forsaking sinful thoughts and wicked ways (Is. 55:7).
17:16 Who am I- This should be our response also, for the covenants of promise have been made with us too in that we are in Christ and they therefore concern us (Gal. 3:27-29). It was because David was truly humble that he could immediately respond in genuine humility to God's promises to him; whereas Solomon became proud because of them. Note how "David the king… sat before Yahweh, and said, Who am I...?". Grace produces quite different responses in different people; some it humbles, others misinterpret it to justify continuing in sin. 
17:17 Respected me according to the estate of a man of high degree- This could be rendered: “You have seen me as a type of the man on high”. David understood himself as a type of Christ.