1 Chronicles 17:17
And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O God; for thou hast also spoken of thy servant's house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O LORD God.
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(17) And yet.—Samuel has the word here supplied in italics. David says, “My unlooked-for exaltation was not enough: thou hast also revealed to me the far future of my offspring.”

O God.—Here and at the end of the verse Samuel again has “my Lord, Jehovah.”

Also.—Samuel has this word in the text.

And hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree.—The Hebrew is obscure. Samuel has simply, “and this [is] the law of man, my Lord Jehovah.” The word “law” (tôrāh) has been supposed to mean manner or custom in this place, but it is not used in that sense elsewhere. Its strict sense is teaching. (Comp. Isaiah 8:16; Isaiah 8:20, where the oracles delivered to the prophet are called tôrāh.) The rendering therefore is, and this (thy gracious revelation) is a lesson to mankind. Our text demands one slight alteration, in accordance with this. Read tôrāh for tôr, and then we may translate: “and thou regardest me (LXX., ἐπεῖδές: comp. Luke 1:48) like man’s teaching (Psalm 32:8) that bringeth up (same verb, Ezekiel 19:2), O Lord God;” that is to say, Thy revelation is a part of my moral discipline, like the instruction which men give their children. David was not allowed to build the Temple, which was so far a check; but encouragement was added to the prohibition by the wisdom of his heavenly Teacher. If we might assume the other sense of tôrāh, we might render: and thou regardest me after the manner of men that exalteth, that is, as human benefactors help on those whom they favour. The old versions give no help.

17:1-27 David's purposes; God's gracious promises. - This chapter is the same as 2Sa 7. See what is there said upon it. It is very observable that what in Samuel is said to be, for thy word's sake, is here said to be, "for thy servant's sake," ver. 19. Jesus Christ is both the Word of God, Re 19:13, and the Servant of God, Isa 42:1; and it is for his sake, upon account of his mediation, that the promises are made good to all believers; it is in him, that they are yea and amen. For His sake it is done, for his sake it is made known; to him we owe all this greatness, from him we are to expect all these great things. They are the unsearchable riches of Christ, which, if by faith we see in themselves, and see in the Lord Jesus, we cannot but magnify as the only true greatness, and speak honourably of them. For this blessedness may we look amidst the trials of life, and when we feel the hand of death upon us; and seek it for our children after us.Hast regarded me ... - i. e., "Thou hast elevated me above other men, by making my kingdom perpetual, regarding me as if I were a man of high degree." Compare the 2 Samuel 7:19 note. 16. David the king … sat before the Lord, and said—(See on [386]2Sa 7:18). i.e. Thou hast treated me as if I had been born the son of a great monarch, and not a poor shepherd, as indeed I was, O Lord God. Otherwise thus, Thou hast regarded or respected me as the type or figure, or according to the rank or order of that excellent man, or man of high degree, who is also the Lord God, i.e. of the Messiah, who is God-man, i.e. Thou hast given to me and my house an everlasting kingdom, which is the peculiar privilege of that great person the Messiah, Daniel 2:44 7:13,14.

See Chapter Introduction And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O God; for thou hast also spoken of thy servant's house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of {o} high degree, O LORD God.

(o) You have promised a kingdom that will continue to me and my posterity and that Christ will proceed from me.

17. and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree] Better as in 2 Samuel 7:19, and this too after the manner of men (an exclamation). The Heb. phrase is not quite the same in the two passages, and there is nothing in Sam. corresponding with the words of high degree, but the text of Chron. seems to be derived from that of Sam. David says that God deals with him with the sympathy with which one man might deal with another. No satisfactory translation or explanation has yet been given of the Heb. word translated of high degree.

Verse 17. - David here makes a clear sad very just difference between all that had been done for him, and the very great prospect now in addition put before him: Thou... hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree; i.e. thou hast treated me, or dealt with me, in this promise as though [ had been of high rank indeed. The parallel reading is very concise (2 Samuel 7:19), and perhaps somewhat obscure, "And is this the manner [or, 'law'] of man?" or, "And this is to be a law of man," i.e. this continuity of a great while to come. Elliptical as this reading may seem, there is no real difficulty in feeling its essential harmony with the passage before us. David's unfeigned surprise and joy in the "great while to come" nature of the promises made to him and his house overpower all else in his estimation. It is, indeed, a most opportune emphasis that he lays upon this element of the full promise, and accords exceptionally well with our later knowledge and brighter light. Our Authorized Version rendering throws out sufficiently this surprise, and gives not inadequately the drift of the passage. The continuity and exaltedness of the promise, which was only fully realized in the greater Son of David, the Christ, might well astonish David. 1 Chronicles 17:17Instead of the words האדם תּורת וזאת (2 Samuel 7:19), the Chronicle has המּעלה האדם כּתור וּראיתני, and sawest me (or, that thou sawest me) after the manner of men; תּור being a contraction of תּורה equals תּורה. ראה, to see, may denote to visit (cf. 2 Samuel 13:5; 2 Kings 8:29), or look upon in the sense of regard, respicere. But the word המּעלה remains obscure in any case, for elsewhere it occurs only as a substantive, in the significations, "the act of going up" (or drawing up) (Ezra 7:9), "that which goes up" (Ezekiel 11:5), "the step;" while for the signification "height" (locus superior) only this passage is adduced by Gesenius in Thes. But even had the word this signification, the word המּעלה could not signify in loco excelso equals in coelis in its present connection; and further, even were this possible, the translation et me intuitus es more hominum in coelis gives no tolerable sense. But neither can המעלה be the vocative of address, and a predicate of God, "Thou height, Jahve God," as Hgstb. Christol. i. p. 378 trans., takes it, with many older commentators. The passage Psalm 92:9, "Thou art מרום, height, sublimity for ever, Jahve," is not sufficient to prove that in our verse המּעלה is predicated of God. Without doubt, המּעלה should go with וגו ראיתני, and appears to correspond to the למרחוק of the preceding clause, in the signification: as regards the elevation, in reference to the going upwards, i.e., the exaltation of my race (seed) on high. The thought would then be this: After the manner of men, so condescendingly and graciously, as men have intercourse with each other, hast Thou looked upon or visited me in reference to the elevation of myself or my race, - the text of the Chronicle giving an explanation of the parallel narrative.

(Note: This interpretation of this extremely difficult word corresponds in sense to the not less obscure words in 2nd Samuel, and gives us, with any alteration of the text, a more fitting thought than the alterations in the reading proposed by the moderns. Ewald and Berth. would alter וראיתני into והראיתני (hiph.), and המעלה into למעלה, in order to get the meaning, "Thou hast caused me to see like the series of men upwards," i.e., the line of men who stretch from David outward into the far future in unbroken series, which Thenius rightly calls a thoroughly modern idea. Bttcher's attempt at explanation is much more artificial. He proposes, in N. k. Aehrenlese, iii. S. 225, to read למעלה...וּראיתני, and translates: "so that I saw myself, as the series of men who follow upwards shall see me, i.e., so that I could see myself as posterity will see me, at the head of a continuous family of rulers:" where the main idea has to be supplied.)

The divergence in 1 Chronicles 17:18, את־עבדּך לכבוד אליך instead of אליך לדבּר (2 Samuel 7:20), which cannot be an explanation or interpretation of Samuel's text, is less difficult of explanation. The words in Samuel, "What can David say more unto Thee?" have in this connection the very easily understood signification, What more can I say of the promise given me? and needed no explanation. When, instead of this, we read in the Chronicle, "What more can Thy servant add to Thee in regard to the honour to Thy servant?" an unprejudiced criticism must hold this text for the original, because it is the more difficult. It is the more difficult, not only on account of the omission of לדבּר, which indeed is not absolutely necessary, though serving to explain יוסיף, but mainly on account of the unusual construction of the nomen כבוד with את־עבדּך, honour towards Thy servant. The construction יהוה את דּעה is not quite analogous, for כבוד is not a nomen actionis like דּעה; את־ כבד is rather connected with the practice which begins to obtain in the later language of employing את as a general casus obliquus, instead of any more definite preposition (Ew. 277, d, S. 683f., der 7 Aufl.), and is to be translated: "honour concerning Thy servant." The assertion that את־עבדּך is to be erased as a later gloss which has crept into the text, cuts the knots, but does not untie them. That the lxx have not these words, only proves that these translators did not know what to make of them, and so just omitted them, as they have omitted the first clause of 1 Chronicles 17:19. In 1 Chronicles 17:19 also there is no valid ground for altering the עבדּך בּעבוּר of the Chronicle to make it correspond to דּברך בּעבוּר in Samuel; for the words, "for Thy servant's sake," i.e., because Thou hast chosen Thy servant, give a quite suitable sense; cf. the discussion on 2 Samuel 7:21. In the second half of the verse, however, the more extended phrases of 2nd Samuel are greatly contracted.

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