Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains.1 Chronicles 17:1. Now it came to pass, &c. — This whole chapter is explained 2 Samuel 7., where the same things are recorded with very little variation of the words.
Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.
And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,
Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in:
For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.
Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?
Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:
And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.
Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning,
And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the LORD will build thee an house.1 Chronicles 17:10. Furthermore I tell thee, &c. — Must he think that his purpose was in vain, and that he should lose the reward of it? No: it being God’s act that prevented the execution of it, he shall be as fully recompensed as if it had been done.
And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.
He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.
I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:
But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.1 Chronicles 17:14. I will settle him in my house — In my dwelling-place, 1st, In Jerusalem, the place where God had put his name for ever; or, 2d, In the temple, which is more properly and constantly called God’s house; and so this expression agrees but very imperfectly with Solomon or his successors; who might, indeed, be said to be settled in God’s house, because they dwelt near it, and, in some sort, were set over it; and because they were to take care that the priests and others should perform their offices, and God’s service in it; but, strictly and properly, it agrees only to Christ, to whom alone that promise also of an everlasting establishment in this kingdom belongs, as was observed on 2 Samuel 7:16. And this expression seems to be most emphatically added to signify that the person in whom all those promises should be fully and perfectly accomplished, namely, the Messiah, should be settled not only in the king’s throne, as others of David’s successors were, but also in God’s house or temple; and consequently that he should be a priest as well as a king; which mystery was clearly revealed to David, Psalm 110:1-2; Psalm 110:4, and may be intimated, though obscurely, in these words. And in my kingdom — Either, 1st, In the kingdom of Israel, which God calls his kingdom, because he was, in a special manner, the king and governor of it, having raised them up and formed them into a kingdom, and given them that protection and assistance which kings owe to their kingdoms; and because he expected and required from them what kings do from their people, that they should be wholly governed by his laws, and devoted to his service. Or, 2d, In God’s kingdom, in a more large and general sense. And this, as well as the former phrase, may seem singularly to belong to the Messiah, who was not only to be the king of Israel, but also of all nations, as was foretold even in the Old Testament, in sundry passages; and, thus understood, this may be an intimation of that great mystery, which is more fully revealed in the New Testament, namely, that Christ is the head, king, or governor of all God’s church, consisting of Jews and Gentiles, and of all nations, and indeed of all creatures, the angels not excepted; all which is God’s kingdom, and by him given to his Son, our blessed Lord Jesus Christ.
According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said, Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?1 Chronicles 17:16. Who am I? &c. — We have here David’s solemn address to God, in answer to his gracious message. How humbly does he here abase himself, and acknowledge his own unworthiness! How highly does he advance the name of God, and admire his condescending favour! With what devout affections does he magnify the God of Israel: with what assurance build upon the promise! What an example this of believing, fervent prayer! The Lord enable us all thus to seek him!
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.
What can David speak more to thee for the honour of thy servant? for thou knowest thy servant.1 Chronicles 17:18-19. For the honour of thy servant — The honour God puts upon his servants, by taking them into covenant and communion with himself, is so great, that they need not, they cannot desire to be more highly honoured. Servant’s sake — In 2 Samuel 7:21, it is, for thy word’s sake, for the sake of thy promise made to thy servant.
O LORD, for thy servant's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all this greatness, in making known all these great things.
O LORD, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt?
For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, LORD, becamest their God.
Therefore now, LORD, let the thing that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant and concerning his house be established for ever, and do as thou hast said.
Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.1 Chronicles 17:24. A God to Israel — He is really to his people that which he hath styled himself, their God, having taken such care of them, and showed such mercy and truth to them, as fully answered that title.
For thou, O my God, hast told thy servant that thou wilt build him an house: therefore thy servant hath found in his heart to pray before thee.
And now, LORD, thou art God, and hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:
Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O LORD, and it shall be blessed for ever.1 Chronicles 17:27. Let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant — He is therefore encouraged to ask a blessing because God had intimated to him that he had blessings in store for him and his family; thou blessest, O Lord — And therefore unto thee shall all flesh come for a blessing: unto thee do I come for the blessing promised to me. And he is therefore earnest for the blessing, because those whom God blesseth are truly and eternally blessed. Thou blessest, and it shall be blessed — Men can but beg the blessing, it is God that commands it; what he designs, he effects; what he promises, he performs; saying and doing are not two things with him. Nay, it shall be blessed for ever — His blessings shall not be revoked from the faithful, and the benefits conferred by them are such as will survive time and days. David’s prayer concludes as God’s promise did, (1 Chronicles 17:14,) with that which is for ever. God’s word looks at things eternal, and so should our desires and hopes.