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When the Lord finally sent peace upon the land, and Israel was no longer at war with the surrounding nations, David said to Nathan the prophet, “Look! Here I am living in this beautiful cedar palace while the Ark of God is out in a tent!”

“Go ahead with what you have in mind,” Nathan replied, “for the Lord is with you.”

But that night the Lord said to Nathan, “Tell my servant David not to do it![a] For I have never lived in a temple. My home has been a tent ever since the time I brought Israel out of Egypt. And I have never once complained to Israel’s leaders, the shepherds of my people. Have I ever asked them, ‘Why haven’t you built me a beautiful cedar temple?’

“Now go and give this message to David from the Lord of heaven: ‘I chose you to be the leader of my people Israel when you were a mere shepherd, tending your sheep in the pastureland. I have been with you wherever you have gone and have destroyed your enemies. And I will make your name greater yet, so that you will be one of the most famous men in the world! 10-11 I have selected a homeland for my people from which they will never have to move. It will be their own land where the heathen nations won’t bother them as they did when the judges ruled my people. There will be no more wars against you; and your descendants shall rule this land for generations to come! 12 For when you die, I will put one of your sons upon your throne, and I will make his kingdom strong. 13 He is the one who shall build me a temple. And I will continue his kingdom into eternity. 14 I will be his father and he shall be my son. If he sins, I will use other nations to punish him, 15 but my love and kindness shall not leave him as I took it from Saul, your predecessor. 16 Your family shall rule my kingdom forever.’”

17 So Nathan went back to David and told him everything the Lord had said.

18 Then David went into the Tabernacle and sat before the Lord and prayed, “O Lord God, why have you showered your blessings on such an insignificant person as I am? 19 And now, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving me an eternal dynasty! Such generosity is far beyond any human standard! O Lord God! 20 What can I say? For you know what I am like! 21 You are doing all these things just because you promised to and because you want to! 22 How great you are, Lord God! We have never heard of any other God like you. And there is no other God. 23 What other nation in all the earth has received such blessings as Israel, your people? For you have rescued your chosen nation in order to bring glory to your name. You have done great miracles to destroy Egypt and its gods. 24 You chose Israel to be your people forever, and you became our God.

25 “And now, Lord God, do as you have promised concerning me and my family. 26 And may you be eternally honored when you have established Israel as your people and have established my dynasty before you. 27 For you have revealed to me, O Lord of heaven, God of Israel, that I am the first of a dynasty which will rule your people forever; that is why I have been bold enough to pray this prayer of acceptance. 28 For you are indeed God, and your words are truth; and you have promised me these good things— 29 so do as you have promised! Bless me and my family forever! May our dynasty continue on and on before you; for you, Lord God, have promised it.”


  1. 2 Samuel 7:5 Tell my servant David not to do it! literally, “Shall you build me a house to dwell in?”

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