David’s Wish to Build a House for God
(1 Chronicles 17:1–27)
1While King David was living in his house, the Lord gave him peace with all his enemies around him. 2So the king said to the prophet Nathan, “Look, I’m living in a house made of cedar, while the ark of God remains in the tent.”
3Nathan told the king, “Do everything you have in mind, because the Lord is with you.”
4But that same night the Lord spoke his word to Nathan: 5“Say to my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one who will build me a house to live in? 6I haven’t lived in a house from the day I took Israel out of Egypt to this day. Instead, I moved around in a tent, the tent ⌞of meeting⌟. 7In all the places I’ve moved with all the Israelites, did I ever ask any of the judges #7:7 1 Chronicles 17:6; Masoretic Text “tribes.” of Israel whom I ordered to be shepherds of my people Israel why they didn’t build me a house of cedar?’
8“Now this is what you will say to my servant David: ‘This is what the Lord of Armies says: I took you from the pasture where you followed sheep so that you could be the leader of my people Israel. 9I was with you wherever you went, and I destroyed all your enemies in front of you. I will make your name famous like the names of the greatest people on earth. 10I will make a place for my people Israel and plant them there. They will live in their own place and not be troubled anymore. The wicked will no longer oppress them as they used to do 11ever since I appointed judges to rule my people Israel. So I will give you peace with all your enemies. I, the Lord, tell you that I will make a house for you.
12“ ‘When the time comes for you to lie down in death with your ancestors, I will send one of your descendants, ⌞one⌟ who will come from you. I will establish his kingdom. 13He will build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14I will be his Father, and he will be my Son. If he sins, I will punish him with a rod and with blows inflicted by people. 15But I will never stop showing him my love as I did to Saul, whom I took out of your way. 16Your royal house will remain in my presence #7:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Greek, Latin, Syriac; other Hebrew manuscripts “in your presence.” forever. Your throne will be established forever.’ ”
17Nathan told David all these words and everything he had seen.
18King David went into the tent and sat in front of the Lord. “Who am I, Almighty Lord,” he asked, “and why is my house so important that you have brought me this far? 19And even this you consider to be a small act, Almighty Lord. You’ve also spoken about the distant future of my house. Almighty Lord, this is the teaching about the man.
20“What more can I, David, say to you, Almighty Lord, since you know me so well! 21You’ve done this great thing because of your promise and your own desire. You made it known to me.
22“That is why you are great, Lord God. There is no one like you, and there is no other god except you, as we have heard with our own ears. 23Who is like your people Israel? It is the one nation on earth that God came to free in order to make its people his own, to make his name #7:23 Or “its name.” known, and to do great and wonderful things for them. You forced #7:23 Greek and 1 Chronicles 17:21; Masoretic Text “Your land.” nations and their gods out of the way of your people, whom you freed from Egypt to be your own. 24You created the people of Israel to be your people forever. And you, Lord, became their God.
25“Now, Lord God, keep the promise you made to me and my house forever. Do as you promised. 26Your name will be respected forever when ⌞people⌟ say, ‘The Lord of Armies is God over Israel.’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your presence. 27You, Lord of Armies, God of Israel, have revealed it especially to me, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ That is why I have found the courage to offer this prayer to you.
28“Almighty Lord, you are God, and your words are trustworthy. You promised me this good thing. 29Now, please bless my house so that it may continue in your presence forever. Indeed, you, Almighty Lord, have promised it. With your blessing my house will be blessed forever.”