King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Samuel 7

David’s care for the ark. (1-3) God’s covenant with David. (4-17) His prayer and thanksgiving. (18-29)

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David’s care for the ark

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.

God’s covenant with David

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.

His prayer and thanksgiving

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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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Enemies, before he had made war upon the surrounding nations. 1 Par. xviii. 1.

Ver. 2. Nathan. An admirable courier, (Grot.) and a great saint, Eccli. 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. Polyb. 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. C. — Heb. and Chal. “of curtains.”

Ver. 3. 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. Gen. xlviii. 19. Samuel supposed that Eliab should have been king; (1 K. xvi. 6,) and Eliseus confesses, that God had concealed from his the affliction of the woman with whom he lodged. 4 K. iv. 24. C. — God afterwards sent the same Nathan to rectify his former decision, that he might not pass sentence, in future, without consulting him. M.

Ver. 7. Tribes. 1 Paral. 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. C.

Ver. 10. Before, provided they be faithful. These promises are conditional.

Ver. 11. House, or give thee children, who shall hold the sceptre. M.

Ver. 12. 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. Ch. — God passes over all the children whom David had already, 3 K. 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. C. — But the spiritual kingdom of the Messias will last till the end of time, and be perfected in eternity. H. — In these predictions we must always distinguish the type from the reality. C.

Ver. 14. Men, who are not to be entirely destroyed, like the Chanaanites. C. — This is not unlike the human temptation of which S. Paul speaks. 1 Cor. x. 13. See Ps. lxxii. 5. and lxxxviii. 33. H. — The rod of men denotes war, and stripes signify those punishments which God inflicts. S. Jer. Trad. — Some parts of this declaration regard Christ; others Solomon. Heb. i. 5. D.

Ver. 16. Faithful; or continue a long time. M. 3 K. xi. 38. — Where is not the house of David? or how is this accomplished, except in the Church? — Thy face. Sept. “before me,” which is conformable to Ps. lxxxviii. 38. David saw Solomon on the throne, and beheld the Messias in spirit. C. — Souls departed still see what regards them, (Sa.) if they be happy. H.

Ver. 18. Lord. “More in soul, than by this posture of the body, remaining quiet in meditation and prayer.” Cajet. — Vatable says only kings were allowed to pary sitting, (Sa. M.) and they must be of the house of Juda. Maimon. — they say the priests always stood in the temple. But Josephus mentions seats of lead for them. Bel. vii. 11. The Heb. 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 S. Aug. ad Simp. ii. q. 4. Pythagoras ordered his disciples to pray sitting; and Homer represents Thetis in that attitude. C. — Far, in power and glory. H.

Ver. 19. 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. C. — Thus immortality, and all happiness, were proposed unto the first man. M. — Some use an interrogation; “Is this the law of Adam?” C. — Prot. “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? H. — In 1 Par. 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. C. — Luther attributes this version, Hæc est ratio hominis, qui Dominus 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. H. — David is full of admiration that God should treat a weak mortal in such a manner. D.

Ver. 20. Unto thee. To express his sentiments of gratitude. M. — What more can he desire?

Ver. 21. Word’s sake. Some copies (H.) of the Sept. read “servant’s sake,” as 1 Par. xvii. C.

Ver. 23. A name. So that all might praise God, for the favours which he had bestowed upon his people, (H.) and admire his power and glory. — Gods, whom thou didst cast out of Chanaan. Par. C. — From, is not expressed in the Vulg. or Heb. though Prot. also supply it. H. — Some explain Elohim, “gods,” of the chief men of the Hebrew nation. The power of the idols was overthrown; (Num. xxxiii. 4,) and the Israelites were rescued both from oppression, and from the service of false gods. Ezec. xvi. C. — Adonai is often substituted for Jehova; as appears from 1 Par. xvii. 21. 22. Kennicott.

Ver. 25. Raise up. As long as the promises were not fulfilled, they seemed to be dormant. M.

Ver. 27. In his heart. Lit. “has found his heart,” (H.) following the inspirations of divine grace, to pray with attention and love, (C.) and confidence. H.

Ver. 29. Begin. Heb. “please, or deign to bless.” Sept. and Jonathan, “begin.” C.