And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Had given him rest.—No intimation is given of how long this may have been after the events narrated in the last chapter; but it is evident that this narrative is placed here, not because it followed chronologically, but because it is closely related in subject, and the historian, after telling of the removal of the ark, wished to record in that connection David’s further purposes in the same direction. It must have been after the successful close of David’s principal foreign wars—“rest round about from all his enemies”—and the future in 2Samuel 7:10 does not necessarily imply that it was before the birth of Solomon; yet it is more likely to have been in a time of quiet prosperity, before the troubles of his latter years.2 Samuel 7:1-2. When the king sat in his house — That is, was settled in the house which Hiram’s men had built for him; then he reflected upon the unsettled state of the ark. For, being a pious prince, he spent much of his time in holy meditations and the exercises of devotion; and among other subjects of consideration, thought upon the meanness of God’s habitation in comparison of the splendour of his own. See now, I dwell in a house of cedar — Such as the rich Jews had in the days of Haggai, termed by the Lord ceiled houses; see Haggai 1:4; but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains — That is, in a tent or tabernacle, (2 Samuel 7:6,) composed of several curtains. This, David thought, ought not to be, and therefore resolved to build a stately house for God’s ark.
2Sa 7:1-3. Nathan Approves the Purpose of David to Build God A House.David being at rest desires to build God a house; which Nathan at first approves of; afterwards, in obedience to the word of God, forbiddeth him 2 Samuel 7:1-11. He promiseth him benefits and blessings in his seed, Solomon and the Messiah, who should build the house of God, 2 Samuel 7:12-17. David’s prayer and thanksgiving, 2 Samuel 7:18-29.
and the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies; both at home and abroad; though this rest and peace did not last long; for the next chapter gives an account of each of the people he was engaged in war with, 2 Samuel 8:1.And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2 Samuel 7:1-29. The Promise of Perpetual Dominion to the house of David
=1 Chronicles 17. Cp. Psalm 89:19-371–3. David’s desire to build a house for the Lord
1. when the king sat in his house] When the king dwelt in his house, which he had built in the “city of David” (ch. 2 Samuel 5:9; 2 Samuel 5:11; 1 Chronicles 14:1). At what period of his reign David formed this resolution to build a temple cannot be exactly determined. On the one hand the emphatic words “when the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies” (cp. 2 Samuel 7:9) seem to point to a time after some at least of the wars recorded in ch. 8. On the other hand it was before the birth of Solomon (2 Samuel 7:12), and so cannot be placed in the latter years of his reign. The arrangement of the book is not strictly chronological, and this narrative finds a most suitable place here from its close connexion with the subject of the preceding chapter.Verse 1. - When the king sat in his house. The order is not chronological; for the words, Jehovah had given him rest from all his enemies round about (so the Revised Version, rightly), imply the successful termination, not of all wars necessarily, but certainly of something more than that with the Philistine invaders in the Rephaim valley. A general summary of all David's wars is given in ch. 8, and it was probably after he had subdued the Philistines and Moab, and his throne was now fully established, that in some time of peace, possibly before Hanun forced him into wars which won for him an empire, David sent for Nathan, and told him his full desire. Its position here immediately after the account of the bringing of the ark to Zion has a higher unity than that of chronology. It shows that David had always a larger purpose than the mere placing of the ark in its feint; and, as soon as a period of tranquillity arrived, he confided his thoughts to the prophet. Thus, with only one step taken towards his whole plan, David exercised a wise moderation in leaving the service at Gibeon unmolested. As regards the word "rest," we have to distinguish between the first series of wars, which established David firmly on his throne, and the second series, which gave him widespread dominion. 1 Kings 8:55), and gave to all the (assembled) people, both men and women, to every one a slice of bread, a measure (of wine), and a cake for a festal meal, i.e., for the sacrificial meal, which was celebrated with the shelamim after the offering of the sacrifices, and after the king had concluded the liturgical festival with a benediction. לחם חלּת is a round cake of bread, baked for sacrificial meals, and synonymous with כּכּר־לחם (1 Chronicles 16:3), as we may see from a comparison of Exodus 29:23 with Leviticus 8:26 (see the commentary on Leviticus 8:2). But the meaning of the ἁπ. λεγ. אשׁפּר is uncertain, and has been much disputed. Most of the Rabbins understand it as signifying a piece of flesh or roast meat, deriving the word from אשׁ and פּר; but this is certainly false. There is more to be said in favour of the derivation proposed by L. de Dieu, viz., from the Ethiopic שׁפר, netiri, from which Gesenius and Roediger (Ges. Thes. p. 1470) have drawn their explanation of the word as signifying a measure of wine or other beverage. For אשׁישׁה, the meaning grape-cake or raisin-cake is established by Son of Sol 2:5 and Hosea 3:1 (vid., Hengstenberg, Christol. on Hosea 3:1). The people returned home after the festal meal.
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