1 Chronicles 17:17
And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O God; for you have also spoken of your servant's house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O LORD God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(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.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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. In 1 Chronicles 17:11, עם־אבתיך ללכת, "to go with thy fathers," used of going the way of death, is similar to "to go the way of all the world" (1 Kings 2:2), and is more primitive than the more usual אבות עם שׁכב (2 Samuel 7:12). מבּניך יהיה עשׁר, too, is neither to be altered to suit ממּעיך יצא אשׁר of Samuel; nor can we consider it, with Berth., an alteration made by the author of the Chronicle to get rid of the difficulty, that here the birth of Solomon is only promised, while Nathan's speech was made at a time when David had rest from all his enemies round about (2 Samuel 8:1), i.e., as is usually supposed, in the latest years of his life, and consequently after Solomon's birth. For the difficulty had already been got rid of by the omission of those words in 1 Chronicles 17:1; and the word, "I have cut off all thine enemies from before thee" (1 Chronicles 17:8), does not necessarily involve the destruction of all the enemies who ever rose against David, but refers, as the connection shows, only to the enemies who up till that time had attacked him. Had the author of the Chronicle only wished to get rid of this supposed difficulty, he would simply have omitted the clause, since "they seed" included the sons of David, and needed no explanation if nothing further was meant than that one of his sons would ascend the throne after him. And moreover, the thought, "thy seed, which shall be among thy sons," which Bertheau finds in the words, would be expressed in Hebrew by מבּניך אשׁר, while מבּניך יהיה אשׁר signifies, "who will come out of (from) thy sons;" for מן היה does not denote to be of one, i.e., to belong to him, but to arise, be born, or go forth, from one: cf. Ben. 1 Chronicles 17:16; Ecclesiastes 3:20. According to this, the linguistically correct translation, the words cannot be referred to Solomon at all, because Solomon was not a descendant of David's sons, but of David himself.

(Note: As old Lavater has correctly remarked: Si tantum de Salomone hic locus accipiendus esset, non dixisset: semen quod erit de filiis tuis, sed quod erit de te.)

The author of the Chronicle has interpreted אחריך את־זרעך theologically, or rather set forth the Messianic contents of this conception more clearly than it was expressed in ממּעיך יצא אשׁר. The seed after David, which will arise from his sons, is the Messiah, whom the prophets announced as the Son of David, whose throne God will establish for ever (1 Chronicles 17:12). This Messianic interpretation of David's זרע explains the divergence of the chronicler's text in 1 Chronicles 17:13 and 1 Chronicles 17:14 from 2 Samuel 7:14-16. For instance, the omission of the words after בּן in 2 Samuel 7:13, "If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men" (2 Samuel 7:14), is the result of the Messianic interpretation of זרעך, since the reference to the chastisement would of course be important for the earthly sons of David and the kings of Judah, but could not well find place in the case of the Messiah. The only thing said of this son of David is, that God will not withdraw His grace from him.

The case is exactly similar, with the difference between 2 Samuel 7:14 and 2 Samuel 7:16. Instead of the words, "And thy house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee, thy throne shall be established for ever" (Sam.), the promise runs thus in the Chronicle: "And I will settle (העמיד, cause to stand, maintain, 1 Kings 15:4; 2 Chronicles 9:8) him (the seed arising from thy sons) in my house and in my kingdom for ever, and his throne shall be established for evermore." While these concluding words of the promise are, in the narrative in Samuel, spoken to David, promising to him the eternal establishment of his house, his kingdom, and his throne, in the Chronicle they are referred to the seed of David, i.e., the Messiah, and promise to Him His establishment for ever in the house and kingdom of God, and the duration of His throne for ever. That בּיתי here does not signify the congregation of the Lord, the people of Israel, as Berth. thinks it must be translated, is clear as the sun; for בּית, immediately preceding, denotes the temple of Jahve, and בּיתי manifestly refers back to לי בּית (1 Chronicles 17:12), while such a designation of the congregation of Israel or of the people as "house of Jahve" is unheard of in the Old Testament. The house of Jahve stands in the same relation to the kingdom of Jahve as a king's palace to his kingdom. The house which David's seed will build to the Lord is the house of the Lord in his kingdom: in this house and kingdom the Lord will establish Him for ever; His kingdom shall never cease; His rule shall never be extinguished; and He himself, consequently, shall live for ever. It scarcely need be said that such things can be spoken only of the Messiah. The words are therefore merely a further development of the saying, "I will be to him a Father, and I will not take my mercy away from him, and will establish his kingdom for ever," and tell us clearly and definitely what is implicitly contained in the promise, that David's house, kingdom, and throne will endure for ever (Sam.), viz., that the house and kingdom of David will be established for ever only under the Messiah. That this interpretation is correct is proved by the fact that the divergences of the text of the chronicler from the parallel narrative cannot otherwise be explained; Thenius and Berth. not having made even an attempt to show how בּבּיתי והעמדתּיהוּ could have arisen out of בּיתך ונאמן. The other differences between the texts in the verses in question, לי (Chron.) for לשׁמי, את־כּסאו for ממלכתּו כּסּא את (1 Chronicles 17:12, cf. 2 Samuel 7:13), and לפניך היה מאשׁר instead of וגו אשׁר שׁאוּל מעם (1 Chronicles 17:13, cf. 2 Samuel 7:15), are only variations in expression which do not affect the sense. With reference to the last of them, indeed, Berth. has declared against Thenius, that the chronicler's text is thoroughly natural, and bears marks of being more authentic than that of 2 Samuel 7.

In the prayer of thanksgiving contained in 1 Chronicles 17:16 to 27 we meet with the following divergences from the parallel text, which are of importance for their effect on the sense.

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