2 Samuel 7
David wants to build a temple
David wants a house for God1David settled into his role as king and into his comfortable palace. Life was good because he was also living in peace with his neighbors.
2He told the prophet Nathan, “Look at me. I’m living in a house made from imported cedar, but the sacred Box of God  sits in a tent.”
3Nathan said, “Do whatever you think best about that. The LORD is with you in whatever you do.”
Nathan’s vision of the night4But that same night Nathan heard from the LORD. 
5The LORD said, “Give my man David this message: Why should you build a house for me?  6I didn’t need one to free the people of Israel from Egypt. Since then, I’ve lived among you and traveled with you all this time in a tent—in temporary quarters.  7During all this time I’ve traveled with the people of Israel, did I ever ask any of the leaders to build me a cedar house?
David, from shepherd to king8I pulled you from the fields and from shepherding sheep so you could take care of my people. 9I’ve been with you ever since, taking down your enemies and making you one of the most famous people on earth.
10I’ll plant my people of Israel where I want them and I’ll secure the land for them. They won’t have to worry about that. Evil people won’t be able to terrorize them like they’ve done in the past. 11I changed all of that when I gave you the leaders known as judges. You’re safe now. I’m protecting you from your enemies. And I’m building a house for you, a royal family dynasty.
12When your life here is over the LORD will choose someone from your family to rule this kingdom.
David’s family will build God’s temple13That king will build my house—a temple devoted to me. His dynasty will never end. 14I’ll treat him like a father treats a son. And when he does something wrong, I’ll punish him like a father would. 15But what I won’t do is withhold my loving kindness, as I did with Saul, whom I took from you. 16I guarantee that your home, your kingdom, and your dynasty are secure forever.”
17Nathan gave David this message, as God gave it to him in a vision.
David’s prayer of thanks to God18After David got this message, he went into the tent worship center he set up for the chest that held the Ten Commandments. He prayed, “Why me, LORD God? Who am I to deserve all that you’ve done for me and my family?
19To me, this seems a huge accomplishment. But it’s something you do with no trouble at all. You’ve said my family dynasty will live on. May your people remember this promise, LORD God. 20What can I say, LORD God. You know me inside and out. 21You’ve done all these great things for me because you wanted greatness for me.
22You, LORD, are one who is great. There’s no one like you. We’ve heard about how great you are. And now we know it’s all true.
Israel is God’s unique nation23What nation could possibly compare to Israel? Is there another nation whose god became famous for saving his people like you saved Israel from slavery in Egypt? Is there any other nation whose god performs miracles like yours and who drives off all enemies and their gods? 24You created Israel as a nation forever devoted to you. And you, in turn, devoted yourself to the people of Israel, as their God.
David prays for his family25Now LORD God, I’m asking you to do for my family and my royal dynasty what you promised. May my descendants reign for all time. 26May Israel honor you. May people always respect you because they know you are the LORD over all people, the God of Israel, and the reason David’s family reigns forever.
27You are the LORD of everyone and the God of Israel. And you’ve said you will build this house for me, a family of kings. That is why I can find the courage to thank you in this prayer. 28LORD, you are God. You do what you say you will do. And you’ve made a wonderful promise to me.
29Please continue to bless my family with your kindness and allow us to lead your people forever, as you’ve promised. May you bless my family forever.”
Better known as the Ark of the Covenant, meaning the chest that held the laws the Israelites agreed to obey: the Ten Commandments. See notes to 2 Samuel 6:2.
The writer later says God communicated to Nathan through a vision (7:16). Prophets often received visions at night, as in this case, and in dreams they sometimes called “visions of the night.”
David asked if he could build a house for God, meaning a temple where people could come to worship God. Instead, God turned this around on David, saying he would build a house for David, meaning a family dynasty of kings—one generation after another.
Israelites didn’t seem to think they could contain God in a Box or a tent or a temple. Yet they spoke of him as there whenever they came to worship him. It’s where they came to offer sacrifice to seek forgiveness or to give thanks or to ask for direction and help.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.