Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Ch. 1 Chronicles 17:1-27 (= 2 Samuel 7:1-29). God’s Answer to David’s expressed desire to build a Temple. David’s Thanks-giving
This passage is a reproduction with some omissions (cp. 1 Chronicles 17:1; 1 Chronicles 17:5; 1 Chronicles 17:12-13; 1 Chronicles 17:27) and variations (cp. 1 Chronicles 17:5-6; 1 Chronicles 17:9-11; 1 Chronicles 17:14; 1 Chronicles 17:17-19; 1 Chronicles 17:23; 1 Chronicles 17:27) of 2 Samuel 7. The text Is generally smoother in Chron., and in some cases (e.g. in 1 Chronicles 17:21) we cannot doubt that the Chronicler has emended the earlier text. Some variations given in the A.V. are not found in the Heb. text. Such variations are corrected in the R.V.
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. as David sat] R.V. when David dwelt.
in his house] Samuel adds, and the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies. The Chronicler omits these words probably because his next three chapters (18–20) are devoted to wars (cp. 2 Samuel 8, 10).
of cedars] R.V. of cedar (as Sam.).
the ark of the covenant] So called because it contained the two tables of the covenant, 1 Kings 8:9.
remaineth] R.V. dwelleth (as Sam.).
Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.2. in thine heart] The heart according to Heb. thought is the seat of intention and purpose.
And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,3. the same night] Genesis 20:3; 1 Samuel 3:2-3; 1 Kings 3:5; Job 4:12-13.
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.5. I brought up Israel] i.e. out of Egypt (so Sam.).
but have gone from tent to tent and from one tabernacle to another] Sam. but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. The Heb. text of Chron. defies translation; that of Sam. is better.
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?6. the judges] A better reading than the tribes (Sam.).
of cedars] R.V. of cedar; cp. 1 Chronicles 17:1.
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:7. sheepcote] Better as R.V. mg. pasture.
ruler] R.V. prince. Cp. 1 Chronicles 5:2, note.
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.8. thou hast walked] R.V. thou wentest (as Sam.).
and have made thee] R.V. and I will make thee.
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,9. Also I will ordain … and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved … as at the beginning] R.V. And I will appoint … that they may dwell in their own place, and be moved … as at the first.
waste them] Sam. afflict them.
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.10. and since the time … Israel. Moreover … Furthermore …] R.V. and as from the day … Israel; and … Moreover …
subdue all thine enemies] Sam. (R.V.) cause thee to rest from all thine enemies.
build thee a house] Sam. make thee an house, the house meant being a dynasty, and not a building.
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.11. be expired] R.V. be fulfilled, as Sam.
that thou must go to be with] Sam. and thou shalt sleep with.
which shall be of thy sons] Sam. which shall proceed out of thy bowels.
He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.12. me a house] Sam. an house for my name.
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:13. my son] Here Sam. adds, If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the stripes of the children of men.
as I took it from him that was before thee] Sam. as I took it from Saul whom I put away before thee.
But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.14. I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever] Sam. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee.
in mine house] Numbers 12:7; cp. 1 Timothy 3:15.
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?16. And … came] R.V. Then … went in (as Sam.), i.e. into the tent which he had pitched for the ark; 1 Chronicles 16:1.
sat before the Lord] So LXX. and 2 Samuel 7:18. The Targ. rightly paraphrases, “and tarried in prayer before Jehovah.” The same use of the verb “sit” to imply continuance is found in the Creeds; in which it is said that Christ “sitteth” on the right hand of the Father.
hitherto] R.V. thus far.
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.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.
What can David speak more to thee for the honour of thy servant? for thou knowest thy servant.18. speak more] R.V. say yet more.
for the honour of thy servant] R.V. concerning the honour which is done to thy servant. Samuel omits these words.
thou knowest thy servant] Approvest, acceptest; cp. Psalm 1:6; Psalm 101:4; Jeremiah 1:5.
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.19. for thy servant’s sake] 2 Samuel 7:21, for thy word’s sake, a better reading.
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?21. what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel] Better as R.V. mg., who is like thy people Israel, a nation that is alone in the earth. Cp. Targ. a people unique and chosen in the earth.
of greatness and terribleness] R.V. by great and terrible things.
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.23. let the thing … be established] Lit. let the word … be made Amen (i.e. “sure.”)
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.24. Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified] Render with R.V. mg. Yea, let it be established, and let thy name be magnified.
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.25. hast told] R.V. hast revealed to, it., hast uncovered the ear of.
hath … found … to pray] i.e. hath found words and courage to pray.
And now, LORD, thou art God, and hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:26. this goodness] R.V. this good thing.
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.27. now therefore let it please thee … that it may be … it shall be blessed] R.V. and now it hath pleased thee … that it may continue … it is blessed.
thou blessest, O Lord, and it shall be blessed] 2 Samuel 7:29, thou, O Lard God, hast spoken it; and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.