2 Kings vii.

Notes & Commentary:

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

Ver. 2. Nathan. An admirable courtier, (Grotius) and a great saint, Ecclesiasticus 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. (Calmet) — Hebrew and Chaldean, “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, Genesis xlviii. 19. Samuel supposed that Eliab should have been king; (1 Kings xvi. 6,) and Eliseus confesses, that God had concealed from him the affliction of the woman with whom he lodged, 4 Kings iv. 24. (Calmet) — God afterwards sent the same Nathan to rectify his former decision, that he might not pass sentence, in future, without consulting him. (Menochius)

Ver. 7. Tribes. 1 Paralipomenon 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. (Calmet)

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

Ver. 11. House, or give thee children, who shall hold the sceptre. (Menochius)

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. (Challoner) — God passes over all the children whom David had already, 3 Kings 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. (Calmet) — But the spiritual kingdom of the Messias will last till the end of time, and be perfected in eternity. (Haydock) — In these predictions we must always distinguish the type from the reality. (Calmet)

Ver. 14. Men, who are not to be entirely destroyed, like the Chanaanites. (Calmet) — This is not unlike the human temptation of which St. Paul speaks, 1 Corinthians x. 13. See Psalm lxxii. 5., and lxxxviii. 33. (Haydock) — The rod of men denotes war, and stripes signify those punishments which God inflicts. (St. Jerome, Trad.) — Some parts of this declaration regard Christ; others Solomon, Hebrews i. 5. (Du Hamel)

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

Ver. 18. Lord. “More in soul, than by this posture of the body, remaining quiet in meditation and prayer.” (Cajetan) — Vatable says only kings were allowed to pray sitting, (Sa; Menochius) and they must be of the house of Juda. (Maimonides) — They say the priests always stood in the temple. But Josephus mentions seats of lead for them. (Jewish Wars vii. 11.) The Hebrew 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 St. Augustine, ad Simp. ii. q. 4.) Pythagoras ordered his disciples to pray sitting; and Homer represents Thetis in that attitude. (Calmet) — Far, in power and glory. (Haydock)

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. (Calmet) — Thus immortality, and all happiness, were proposed unto the first man. (Menochius) — Some use an interrogation; “Is this the law of Adam?” (Calmet) — Protestants, “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? (Haydock) — In 1 Paralipomenon 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. (Calmet) — Luther attributes this version, Hæc est ratio hominis, qui Daomius 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. (Haydock) — David is full of admiration that God should treat a weak mortal in such a manner. (Du Hamel)

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

Ver. 21. Word’s sake. Some copies (Haydock) of the Septuagint read “servant’s sake,” as 1 Paralipomenon xvii. (Calmet)

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

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

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

Ver. 29. Begin. Hebrew, “please, or deign to bless.” Septuagint and Jonathan, “begin.” (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

David’s purpose to build a temple is rewarded with the promise of great blessings in his seed: His prayer and thanksgiving.

1 And *it came to pass when the king sat in his house, and the Lord had given him rest, on every side, from all his enemies,

2 He said to Nathan the, prophet: *Dost thou see that I dwell in a house of cedar, and the ark of God is lodged within skins?

3 And Nathan said to the king: Go, do all that is in thy heart: because the Lord is with thee.

4 But it came to pass that night, that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:

5 Go, and say to my servant David: Thus saith the Lord: Shalt thou build me a house to dwell in?

6 Whereas I have not dwelt in a house from the day that I brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, even to this day: but have walked in a tabernacle, and in a tent.

7 In all the places that I have gone through with all the children of Israel, did ever I speak a word to any one of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?

8 And now thus shalt thou speak to my servant David: Thus saith the Lord of hosts: *I took thee out of the pastures from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people Israel:

9 And I have been with thee wheresoever thou hast walked, and have slain all thy enemies from before thy face: and I have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great ones that are on the earth.

10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and I will plant them, and they shall dwell therein, and shall be disturbed no more: neither shall the children of iniquity afflict them any more, as they did before,

11 From the day that I appointed judges over my people Israel: and I will give thee rest from all thy enemies. And the Lord foretelleth to thee, that the Lord will make thee a house.

12 *And when thy days shall be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

13 *He shall build a house to my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

14 *I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son: and if he commit any iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men.

15 *But my mercy I will not take away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before my face.

16 And thy house shall be faithful, and thy kingdom for ever before thy face, *and thy throne shall be firm for ever.

17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak to David.

18 And David went in, and sat before the Lord, and said: Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house that thou hast brought me thus far?

19 But yet this hath seemed little in thy sight, O Lord God, unless thou didst also speak of the house of thy servant for a long time to come; for this is the law of Adam, O Lord God.

20 And what can David say more unto thee? for thou knowest thy servant, O Lord God.

21 For thy word’s sake, and according to thy own heart, thou hast done all these great things, so that thou wouldst make it known to thy servant.

22 Therefore thou art magnified, O Lord God, because there is none like to thee, neither is there any God besides thee, in all the things that we have heard with our ears.

23 And what nation is there upon earth, as thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for them great and terrible things, upon the earth, before the face of thy people, whom thou redeemedst to thyself out of Egypt, from the nation and its god?

24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel, to be an everlasting people: and thou, O Lord God, art become their God.

25 And now, O Lord God, raise up for ever the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house: and do as thou hast spoken,

26 That thy name may be magnified for ever, and it may be said: The Lord of hosts is God over Israel. And let the house of thy servant, David, be established before the Lord.

27 Because thou, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to the ear of thy servant, saying: I will build thee a house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer to thee.

28 And now, O Lord God, thou art God, and thy words shall be true: for thou hast spoken to thy servant these good things.

29 And now begin, and bless the house of thy servant, that it may endure for ever before thee: because thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it, and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.



1: Year of the World 2960, Year before Christ 1044.

2: 1 Paralipomenon xvii. 1.

8: 1 Kings xvi. 13.; Psalm lxxvii. 70.

12: 3 Kings viii. 19.

13: 3 Kings v. 5.

14: 1 Paralipomenon xxii. 10.; Hebrews i. 5.

15: Psalm lxxxviii. 4. and 37.

16: Hebrews i. 8.