Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Enemies, before he had made war upon the surrounding nations, 1 Paralipomenon xviii. 1.
Nathan. An admirable courier, (Grotius) and a great saint, Ecclesiasticus xlvii. He was neither too rough, nor too complaisant. --- Cedar. This was the most esteemed species of wood. The palace of the Persian kings, at Ecbatana, was chiefly built of it, and of cypress wood. (Polybius x.) --- Houses were not there built in such a solid manner, as they are in colder climates. They consisted mostly of wood. --- Skins. The outer veils of the tabernacle were made of skins, as others generally were. (Calmet) --- Hebrew and Chaldean, "of curtains."
Thee. David did not, perhaps, consult him as a prophet; and Nathan thought that the proposal was so just, that it might be safely carried into effect. The prophets are not inspired in all their actions. Joseph was of a different opinion from his father, Genesis xlviii. 19. Samuel supposed that Eliab should have been king; (1 Kings xvi. 6,) and Eliseus confesses, that God had concealed from his the affliction of the woman with whom he lodged, 4 Kings iv. 24. (Calmet) --- God afterwards sent the same Nathan to rectify his former decision, that he might not pass sentence, in future, without consulting him. (Menochius)
Tribes. 1 Paralipomenon xvii. 6, by the substitution of p for b, reads Shophete, "judges," which seems more natural. Some farther information is there given and we learn that the reason why David was denied the privilege of building a temple, was because he had been so much engaged in war. (Calmet)
Before, provided they be faithful. These promises are conditional.
House, or give thee children, who shall hold the sceptre. (Menochius)
I will establish his kingdom. This prophecy partly relates to Solomon; but much more to Christ, who is called the Son of David in Scripture, and the builder of the true temple, which is the Church, his everlasting kingdom, which shall never fail, nor be cast off for any iniquity of her children. (Challoner) --- God passes over all the children whom David had already, 3 Kings ii. 15. The temporal kingdom was enjoyed by David's posterity for a long time, sufficient to verify the expression for ever, as it is often used in Scripture. (Calmet) --- But the spiritual kingdom of the Messias will last till the end of time, and be perfected in eternity. (Haydock) --- In these predictions we must always distinguish the type from the reality. (Calmet)
Men, who are not to be entirely destroyed, like the Chanaanites. (Calmet) --- This is not unlike the human temptation of which St. Paul speaks, 1 Corinthians x. 13. See Psalm lxxii. 5., and lxxxviii. 33. (Haydock) --- The rod of men denotes war, and stripes signify those punishments which God inflicts. (St. Jerome, Trad.) --- Some parts of this declaration regard Christ; others Solomon, Hebrews i. 5. (Du Hamel)
Faithful; or continue a long time. (Menochius) (3 Kings xi. 38.) --- Where is not the house of David? or how is this accomplished, except in the Church? --- Thy face. Septuagint, "before me," which is conformable to Psalm lxxxviii. 38. David saw Solomon on the throne, and beheld the Messias in spirit. (Calmet) --- Souls departed still see what regards them, (Sa) if they be happy. (Haydock)
Lord. "More in soul, than by this posture of the body, remaining quiet in meditation and prayer." (Cajetan) --- Vatable says only kings were allowed to pary sitting, (Sa; Menochius) and they must be of the house of Juda. (Maimonides) --- they say the priests always stood in the temple. But Josephus mentions seats of lead for them. (Jewish Wars vii. 11.) The Hebrew expression may denote no more, than that David continued for a long time in fervent prayer; Josephus says, prostrate on the ground before the ark. It is not so much the posture of the body as the fervour of the soul, which God regards. See St. Augustine, ad Simp. ii. q. 4.) Pythagoras ordered his disciples to pray sitting; and Homer represents Thetis in that attitude. (Calmet) --- Far, in power and glory. (Haydock)
God. Thus man wishes to be treated. This maxim prevails universally. People seek for their own and their children's happiness; a favour which thou hast graciously promised unto me. (Calmet) --- Thus immortality, and all happiness, were proposed unto the first man. (Menochius) --- Some use an interrogation; "Is this the law of Adam?" (Calmet) --- Protestants, "manner of man." Can this felicity attend a man in his fallen state? Does the greatest friend treat his companion with so much condescension and regard? (Haydock) --- In 1 Paralipomenon xvii. 17, it is thus expressed, and hast made me remarkable above all men, O Lord God. Osiander translates, "Behold the law of man, of the Lord God." I now discern the mysterious union of the godhead with our humanity, in the person of the Son. (Calmet) --- Luther attributes this version, Hæc est ratio hominis, qui Daomius Deus est, to Zisgler; and hence proves the incarnation. Amama and Tarnovius shew the weakness of the proof, though the article of faith be otherwise indubitable. (Haydock) --- David is full of admiration that God should treat a weak mortal in such a manner. (Du Hamel)
Unto thee. To express his sentiments of gratitude. (Menochius) --- What more can he desire?
Word's sake. Some copies (Haydock) of the Septuagint read "servant's sake," as 1 Paralipomenon xvii. (Calmet)
A name. So that all might praise God, for the favours which he had bestowed upon his people, (Haydock) and admire his power and glory. --- Gods, whom thou didst cast out of Chanaan. (Paralipomenon) (Calmet) --- From, is not expressed in the Vulgate or Hebrew, though Protestants also supply it. (Haydock) --- Some explain Elohim, "gods," of the chief men of the Hebrew nation. The power of the idols was overthrown; (Numbers xxxiii. 4,) and the Israelites were rescued both from oppression, and from the service of false gods, Ezechiel xvi. (Calmet) --- Adonai is often substituted for Jehova; as appears from 1 Paralipomenon xvii. 21, 22. (Kennicott)
Raise up. As long as the promises were not fulfilled, they seemed to be dormant. (Menochius)
In his heart. Literally, "has found his heart," (Haydock) following the inspirations of divine grace, to pray with attention and love, (Calmet) and confidence. (Haydock)
Begin. Hebrew, "please, or deign to bless." Septuagint and Jonathan, "begin." (Calmet)