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Nathan approves David's design of building an house for God,
ver. 1 - 3.
God forbids it, but promises to bless him and his seed, ver. 4 - 17.
His prayer and thanksgiving, ver. 18 - 29.
1: Sat - That is, was settled in the house which Hiram's men had
built for him, then he reflected upon the unsettled state of the ark.
2: Curtains - That is, in a tent or tabernacle, ver.(6), composed
of several curtains.
3: Nathan said - Pursue thy intentions, and build an house for the
ark. The design being pious and the thing not forbidden by God, Nathan
hastily approves it, before he had consulted God about it, as both he and
David ought to have done in a matter of so great moment. And therefore
Nathan meets with this rebuke, that he is forced to acknowledge his
error, and recant it. For the holy prophets did not speak all things by
prophetic inspiration, but some things by an human spirit.
4: The word of the Lord came - Because David's mistake was pious,
and from an honest mind, God would not suffer him to lie long in it.
5: Shalt thou - That is, thou shalt not.
6: Tent and tabernacle - These two seem thus to be distinguished,
the one may note the curtains and hangings within, the other the frame
of boards, and coverings upon it.
8: My servant - Lest David should be too much discouraged, or
judge himself neglected of God, as one thought unworthy of so great an
honour, God here gives him the honourable title of his servant, thereby
signifying that he accepted of his service, and good intentions.
10: Appoint - That is, I will make room for them, whereas hitherto
they have been much distressed by their enemies. Or, I will establish a
place for them, that is, I will establish them in their place or land.
My people - Among the favours which God had vouchsafed, and would
vouchsafe to David, he reckons his blessings to Israel, because
they were great blessings to David; partly, because the strength and
happiness of a king consists in the multitude and happiness of his people;
and partly, because David was a man of a public spirit, and therefore
no less affected with Israel's felicity than with his own.
Before time - Namely in Egypt.
11: And as since - Nor as they did under the judges. But all this is
to be understood with a condition, except they should notoriously forsake
God. And have caused thee - That is, and as until this time in which I
have given thee rest. But these words, though according to our translation
they be enclosed in the same parenthesis with the foregoing clauses, may be
better put without it, and taken by themselves.
For the foregoing words in this verse, and in ver.(10), all concern the
people of Israel; but these words concern David alone, to whom the
speechs returns after a short digression concerning the people of Israel.
And they may be rendered thus. And I will cause thee to rest, &c. - More
fully and perfectly than yet thou dost. He will, &c. - For thy good
intentions to make him an house, he will make thee an house, a sure
house, that is, he will increase and uphold thy posterity, and continue
thy kingdom in thy family.
12: And when, &c. - When the time of thy life shall expire. This
phrase implies, that his days shall be prolonged to the usual course of
nature, and not cut off in the midst, by any violent or untimely death.
I will set - I will set up in thy throne, thy posterity, first
Solomon, and then others successively, and at last the Messiah. So the
following words may be understood, part of his posterity in general, part of
Solomon, and part of Christ only, according to the different nature of
the several passages.
13: He shall - This is meant literally of Solomon, who alone did
build the material house or temple; but ultimately of Christ, who is the
builder of God's spiritual house or temple. For my name - That is, for my
service, and glory. For ever - This is not meant of Solomon, for his
kingdom was not for ever. But it is to be understood of David's
posterity, in general, and with special respect to Christ, in whose person
the kingdom was to be lodged for ever.
14: His father - I will carry myself towards him as a father, with
all affection, and I will own him as my son. This is intended both of
Solomon, as a type of Christ; and of Christ himself as is evident from(Heb 1:5).
If he commit - This agrees only to Solomon and some others of
David's posterity; but not to Christ, who never committed iniquity, as
Solomon did, who therein was no type of Christ, and therefore this
branch is terminated in Solomon; whereas in those things wherein
Solomon was a type of Christ, the sense passes through Solomon to
Christ. Rod of men - With such rods as are gentle and moderate, and
suited to man's weakness.
15: My mercy - That is, Or, my kindness, that is, the kingdom
which I have mercifully promised to thee and thine. From Saul - In regard
of his posterity, for the kingdom was continued to his person during life.
16: Before thee - Thine eyes in some sort beholding it: for he lived
to see his wise son Solomon actually placed in the throne, with
reputation and general applause, which was in itself a good presage of the
continuance of the kingdom in his family: and being considered, together
with the infallible certainty of God's promise to him and his, (of the
accomplishment whereof, this was an earnest,) gave him good assurance
thereof; especially considering that he had his eyes and thoughts upon the
Messiah, (Ps 110:1), &c.
whose day he saw by faith, as Abraham did, (Joh 8:56), and whom
he knew that God would raise out of the fruit of his loins to sit on his
throne, and that for ever: and so the eternity of his kingdom is rightly
said to be before him.
18: In - Into the tabernacle. Sat - He might sit for a season
whilst he was meditating upon these things, and then alter his posture and
betake himself to prayer. Who am I, &c. - How infinitely unworthy am I
and my family of this great honour and happiness!
19: This - Which thou hast already done for me, that thou hast
brought me hitherto, to that pitch of honour, and peace, and prosperity,
in which through thy favour I now stand.
Was small - Though it was more than I deserved, or could expect, yet thou
didst not think it enough for thee to give to me.
A great while - For many future ages, and indeed to all eternity.
Is this, &c. - Do men use to deal so kindly with their inferiors, as thou
hast done with me? No: this is the prerogative of divine grace.
20: David say - Either in a way of gratitude and praise, words cannot
express my obligations to thee, nor my sense of these obligations: Or in a
way of prayer. What can I ask of thee more than thou hast freely done?
Thou knowest - Thou knowest my deep sense of thy favours, and my
obligations to thee. And my condition and necessities, what I do or may
need hereafter; and as thou knowest this, so I doubt not thou wilt supply
21: Thy word's sake - That thou mightest fulfil thy promises made to
me, and thereby demonstrate thy faithfulness. Own heart - Or thy own mere
liberality and good pleasure, without any desert of mine. So far was
David, though a very gracious man, from thinking his actions meritorious.
22: Great - Both in power and in goodness, as appears by the great
and good things which thou hast done for me.
24: Confirmed - Partly, by thy promises, and that sure covenant which
thou hast made with them: and partly, by thy glorious works wrought on their
behalf, as it appears this day. Their God - In a peculiar manner, and by
special relation and covenant: for otherwise he is the God and father of
26: Let thy name - That is, do thou never cease to manifest thyself
to be the God and governor of Israel.
27: This prayer, &c. - That prayer that is found in the tongue only
will not please God. It must be found in the heart. That must be
lifted up and poured out before God.
28: That God - That God who hast declared thyself to be Israel's
God, and in particular my God.
29: Continue forever, &c. - When Christ for ever sat down on the
right - hand of God, and received all possible assurance, that his seed and
throne should be as the days of heaven, then this prayer was abundantly