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Adam Clarke Commentary

2 Samuel 7

Introduction

David consults the prophet Nathan about building a temple for the Lord, and is encouraged by him to do it, 2 Samuel 7:1 -3. That night Nathan receives a revelation from God, stating that Solomon, not David, should build the temple, 2 Samuel 7:4 -16. Nathan delivers the Divine message, and David magnifies God for his mercies, and makes prayer and supplication, 2 Samuel 7:17 -29.

Verse 1

When the king sat in his house - That is, when he became resident in the palace which Hiram, king of Tyre, had built for him.And the Lord had given him rest - This was after he had defeated the Philistines, and cast them out of all the strong places in Israel which they had possessed after the overthrow of Saul; but before he had carried his arms beyond the land of Israel, against the Moabites, Syrians, and Idumeans. See 2 Samuel 8:1 -14.

Verse 2

I dwell in a house of cedar - That is, a house whose principal beams, ceiling, and wainscot, were cedar.Dwelleth within curtains - Having no other residence but the tabernacle, which was a place covered with the skins of beasts, Exodus 26:14 .

Verse 3

Nathan said to the king - In this case he gave his judgment as a pious and prudent man, not as a prophet; for the prophets were not always under a Divine afflatus; it was only at select times they were thus honored.For the Lord is with thee - Thou hast his blessing in all that thou doest, and this pious design of thine will most certainly meet with his approbation.

Verse 5

Shalt thou build me a house - That is, Thou shalt not: this is the force of the interrogative in such a case.

Verse 7

With any of the tribes - "Spake I a word to any of the Judges" is the reading in the parallel place, 1 Chronicles 17:6 , and this is probably the true reading. Indeed, there is but one letter of difference between them, and letters which might be easily mistaken for each other: שבטי shibtey, tribes, is almost the same in appearance with שפטי ht shophetey, judges; the ב beth and the פ pe being the same letter, the apex under the upper stroke of the פ pe excepted. If this were but a little effaced in a MS., it would be mistaken for the other, and then we should have tribes instead of judges. This reading seems confirmed by 2 Samuel 7:11 .

Verse 10

I will appoint a place - I have appointed a place, and have planted them. See the observations at the end, 2 Samuel 7:25 (note.

Verse 11

The Lord - will make thee a house - Thou hast in thy heart to make me a house; I have it in my heart to make thee a house: thy family shall be built up, and shall prosper in the throne of Israel; and thy spiritual posterity shall remain for ever. God is the author of all our holy purposes, as well as of our good works, he first excites them; and if we be workers together with him, he will crown and reward them as though they were our own, though he is their sole author.

Verse 13

He shall build - That is, Solomon shall build my temple, not thou, because thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars. See 1 Chronicles 22:8 (note; and see also the observations at the end, 2 Samuel 7:25 (note.The throne of his kingdom for ever - This is a reference to the government of the spiritual kingdom, the kingdom of the Messiah, agreeably to the predictions of the prophet long after, and by which this passage is illustrated: "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it, with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even For Ever." Isaiah 9:7 .

Verse 14

If he commit iniquity - Depart from the holy commandment delivered to him; I will chasten him with the rod of men-he shall have affliction, but his government shall not be utterly subverted. But this has a higher meaning. See the observations at the end, 2 Samuel 7:25 (note.

Verse 15

But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul - His house shall be a lasting house, and he shall die in the throne of Israel, his children succeeding him; and the spiritual seed, Christ, possessing and ruling in that throne to the end of time.The family of Saul became totally extinct; the family of David remained till the incarnation. Joseph and Mary were both of that family; Jesus was the only heir to the kingdom of Israel; he did not choose to sit on the secular throne, he ascended the spiritual throne, and now he is exalted to the right hand of God, a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance and remission of sins. See the observations at the end of the chapter, 2 Samuel 7:25 (note.Many have applied these verses and their parallels to support the doctrine of unconditional final perseverance; but with it the text has nothing to do; and were we to press it, because of the antitype, Solomon, the doctrine would most evidently be ruined, for there is neither proof nor evidence of Solomon's salvation.

Verse 18

Sat before the Lord - Sometimes, when a Hindoo seeks a favor from a superior, he sits down in his presence in silence; or if he solicits some favor of a god, as riches, children, etc., he places himself before the idol, and remains in a waiting posture, or repeats the name of the god, counting the beads in his necklace. - Ward.

Verse 19

And is this the manner of man - Literally: And this, O Lord God, is the law of Adam. Does he refer to the promise made to Adam, The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent? From my line shall the Messiah spring, and be the spiritual and triumphant King, for ever and ever. See the additions at the end, 2 Samuel 7:25 (note.

Verse 20

What can David say more - How can I express my endless obligation to thee?

Verse 25

And do as thou hast said - David well knew that all the promises made to himself and family were conditional; and therefore he prays that they may be fulfilled. His posterity did not walk with God, and therefore they were driven from the throne. It was taken from them by the neighboring nations, and it is now in the hands of the Mohammedans; all the promises have failed to David and his natural posterity, and to Christ and his spiritual seed alone are they fulfilled. Had David's posterity been faithful, they would, according to the promises of God, have been sitting on the Israelitish throne at this day.It is worthy of remark how seldom God employs a soldier in any spiritual work, just for the same reason as that given to David; and yet there have been several eminently pious men in the army, who have labored for the conversion of sinners. I knew a remarkable instance of this; I was acquainted with Mr. John Haime, a well known preacher among the people called Methodists. He was a soldier in the queen's eighth regiment of dragoons, in Flanders, in the years 1739-46. He had his horse shot under him at the battle of Fontenoy, May 11, 1745; and was in the hottest fire of the enemy for above seven hours; he preached among his fellow soldiers frequently, and under the immediate patronage of his royal highness the Duke of Cumberland, commander-in-chief; and was the means of reforming and converting many hundreds of the soldiers. He was a man of amazing courage and resolution, and of inflexible loyalty. One having expressed a wonder "how he could reconcile killing men with preaching the Gospel of the grace and peace of Christ," he answered, "I never killed a man." "How can you tell that? were you not in several battles?" "Yes, but I am confident I never killed nor wounded a man." "How was this? did you not do your duty?" "Yes, with all my might; but when in battle, either my horse jumped aside or was wounded, or was killed, or my carbine missed fire, and I could never draw the blood of the enemy." "And would you have done it if you could?" "Yes, I would have slain the whole French army, had it been in my power; I fought in a good cause, for a good king, and for my country; and though I struck in order to cut, and hack, and hew, on every side, I could kill no man." This is the substance of his answers to the above questions, and we see from it a remarkable interfering Providence; God had appointed this man to build a spiritual house in the British army, in Flanders, and would not permit him to shed the blood of his fellow creatures.1. Because, in 2 Samuel 7:10 , the prophet speaks of the future prosperity of the Jews, as to be afterwards fixed, and no more afflicted; which circumstances are totally repugnant to the fate of the Jews, as connected with the birth and death of Christ.2. Because the son here promised was 2 Samuel 7:13 to build a house; which house, it is pretended, must mean the temple of Solomon; and of course Solomon must be the son here promised. And,3. Because 2 Samuel 7:14 supposes that this son might commit iniquity, which could not be supposed of the Messiah.The first of these objections is founded on our wrong translation of 2 Samuel 7:10 , where the words should be expressed as relating to the time past or present. For the prophet is there declaring what great things God had already done for David and his people; that he had raised David from the sheepfold to the throne; and that he had planted the Israelites in a place of safety, at rest from all those enemies who had so often before afflicted them. That the verbs ושמתי vesamti, and ונטעתי unetati, may be rendered in the time past or present, is allowed by our own translators; who here 2 Samuel 7:11 render והניחתי vahanichothi, and have caused thee to rest, and also render והגיד vehiggid, and telleth; which construction, made necessary here by the context, might be confirmed by other proofs almost innumerable. The translation, therefore, should run thus: I took thee from the sheepcote; and have made thee a great name; and I Have Appointed a place for my people Israel; and Have Planted them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more. Neither Do the children of wickedness afflict them any more; as before-time, and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over Israel: and I Have Caused thee to rest from all thine enemies.

2 Samuel 7


  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;
  2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.
  3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.
  4 And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying,
  5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?
  6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.
  7 In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?
  8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:
  9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.
  10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,
  11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.
  12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
  13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
  14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
  15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
  16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
  17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
  18 Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?
  19 And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD?
  20 And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant.
  21 For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them.
  22 Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
  23 And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?
  24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God.
  25 And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said.
  26 And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee.
  27 For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.
  28 And now, O Lord GOD, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:
  29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.

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