2 Samuel 7
New English Translation
The Lord Establishes a Covenant with David
7 The king settled into his palace,[a] for the Lord gave him relief[b] from all his enemies on all sides.[c] 2 The king said to Nathan the prophet, “Look! I am living in a palace made from cedar, while the ark of God sits in the middle of a tent.” 3 Nathan replied to the king, “You should go[d] and do whatever you have in mind,[e] for the Lord is with you.” 4 That night the Lord’s message came to Nathan, 5 “Go, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord has said: Do you really intend to build a house for me to live in? 6 I have not lived in a house from the time I brought the Israelites up from Egypt to the present day. Instead, I was traveling with them and living in a tent.[f] 7 Wherever I moved among all the Israelites, I did not say[g] to any of their leaders[h] whom I appointed to care for[i] my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house made from cedar?”’
8 “So now, say this to my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has said: I took you from the pasture and from your work as a shepherd[j] to make you leader of my people Israel. 9 I was with you wherever you went, and I defeated[k] all your enemies before you. Now I will make you as famous as the great men of the earth.[l] 10 I will establish a place for my people Israel and settle[m] them there; they will live there and not be disturbed[n] anymore. Violent men[o] will not oppress them again, as they did in the beginning 11 and during the time when I appointed judges to lead my people Israel. Instead, I will give you relief[p] from all your enemies. The Lord declares[q] to you that he himself[r] will build a dynastic house[s] for you. 12 When the time comes for you to die,[t] I will raise up your descendant, one of your own sons, to succeed you,[u] and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He will build a house for my name, and I will make his dynasty permanent.[v] 14 I will become his father and he will become my son. When he sins, I will correct him with the rod of men and with wounds inflicted by human beings. 15 But my loyal love will not be removed from him as I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will stand before me[w] permanently; your dynasty[x] will be permanent.’” 17 Nathan told David all these words that were revealed to him.[y]
David Offers a Prayer to God
18 King David went in, sat before the Lord, and said, “Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family,[z] that you should have brought me to this point? 19 And you didn’t stop there, O Lord God! You have also spoken about the future of your servant’s family.[aa] Is this your usual way of dealing with men,[ab] O Sovereign Lord? 20 What more can David say to you? You have given your servant special recognition,[ac] O Sovereign Lord! 21 For the sake of your promise and according to your purpose[ad] you have done this great thing in order to reveal it to your servant.[ae] 22 Therefore you are great, O Sovereign Lord, for there is none like you. There is no God besides you! What we have heard is true.[af] 23 Who is like your people, Israel, a unique nation[ag] on the earth? Their God[ah] went[ai] to claim[aj] a nation for himself and to make a name for himself! You did great and awesome acts for your land,[ak] before your people whom you delivered for yourself from the Egyptian empire and its gods.[al] 24 You made Israel your very own people for all time.[am] You, O Lord, became their God. 25 So now, O Lord God, make this promise you have made about your servant and his family a permanent reality.[an] Do as you promised,[ao] 26 so you may gain lasting fame,[ap] as people say,[aq] ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is God over Israel!’ The dynasty[ar] of your servant David will be established before you, 27 for you, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, have told[as] your servant, ‘I will build you a dynastic house.’[at] That is why your servant has had the courage[au] to pray this prayer to you. 28 Now, O Sovereign Lord, you are the true God.[av] May your words prove to be true![aw] You have made this good promise to your servant.[ax] 29 Now be willing to bless your servant’s dynasty[ay] so that it may stand permanently before you, for you, O Sovereign Lord, have spoken. By your blessing may your servant’s dynasty be blessed from now on into the future!”[az]
- 2 Samuel 7:1 tn Heb “house” (also in the following verse).
- 2 Samuel 7:1 tn Or “rest.”
- 2 Samuel 7:1 tn The translation understands the disjunctive clause in v. 1b as circumstantial-causal.
- 2 Samuel 7:3 tc Several medieval Hebrew mss and the Syriac Peshitta lack this word.
- 2 Samuel 7:3 tn Heb “all that is in your heart.”
- 2 Samuel 7:6 tn Heb “in a tent and in a dwelling.” The expression is a hendiadys, using two terms to express one idea.
- 2 Samuel 7:7 tn Heb “Did I speak a word?” In the Hebrew text the statement is phrased as a rhetorical question.
- 2 Samuel 7:7 tn Heb “tribes of Israel” (so KJV, NASB, NCV), but the parallel passage in 1 Chr 17:6 has “judges of Israel.”
- 2 Samuel 7:7 tn Heb “whom I commanded to shepherd” (so NIV, NRSV).
- 2 Samuel 7:8 tn Heb “and from after the sheep.”
- 2 Samuel 7:9 tn Heb “cut off.”
- 2 Samuel 7:9 tn Heb “and I will make for you a great name like the name of the great ones who are in the earth.”
- 2 Samuel 7:10 tn Heb “plant.”
- 2 Samuel 7:10 tn Heb “shaken.”
- 2 Samuel 7:10 tn Heb “the sons of violence.”
- 2 Samuel 7:11 tn Or “rest.”
- 2 Samuel 7:11 tn In the Hebrew text the verb is apparently perfect with vav consecutive, which would normally suggest a future sense (“he will declare”; so the LXX, ἀπαγγελεῖ [apangelei]). But the context seems instead to call for a present or past nuance (“he declares” or “he has declared”). The synoptic passage in 1 Chr 17:10 has וָאַגִּד (vaʾaggid, “and I declared”). The construction used in 2 Sam 7:11 highlights this important statement.
- 2 Samuel 7:11 tn Heb “the Lord.”
- 2 Samuel 7:11 tn Heb “house,” but used here in a metaphorical sense, referring to a royal dynasty. Here the Lord’s use of the word plays off the literal sense that David had in mind as he contemplated building a temple for the Lord. To reflect this in the English translation the adjective “dynastic” has been supplied.
- 2 Samuel 7:12 tn Heb, “when your days are full and you lie down with your ancestors.”
- 2 Samuel 7:12 tn Heb “your seed after you who comes out from your insides.”
- 2 Samuel 7:13 tn Heb “and I will establish the throne of his kingdom permanently.”
- 2 Samuel 7:16 tc Heb “before you.” A few medieval Hebrew mss read instead “before me,” which makes better sense contextually. (See also the LXX and the Syriac Peshitta.) The MT reading is probably the result of dittography (note the כ [kaf] at the beginning of the next form), with the extra כ then being interpreted as a pronominal suffix.
- 2 Samuel 7:16 tn Heb “throne.”
- 2 Samuel 7:17 tn Heb “according to all these words and according to all this revelation, so Nathan said to David.”
- 2 Samuel 7:18 tn Heb “house.”
- 2 Samuel 7:19 tn Heb “and this was small in your eyes, O Lord God, so you spoke concerning the house of your servant for a distance.”
- 2 Samuel 7:19 tn Heb “and this [is] the law of man”; KJV “is this the manner of man, O Lord God?”; NAB “this too you have shown to man”; NRSV “May this be instruction for the people, O Lord God!” This part of the verse is very enigmatic; no completely satisfying solution has yet been suggested. The present translation tries to make sense of the MT by understanding the phrase as a question that underscores the uniqueness of God’s dealings with David as described here. The parallel passage in 1 Chr 17:17 reads differently (see the note there).
- 2 Samuel 7:20 tn Heb “and you know your servant.” The verb here refers to recognizing another in a special way and giving them special treatment (see 1 Chr 17:18). Some English versions take this to refer to the Lord’s knowledge of David himself: CEV “you know my thoughts”; NLT “know what I am really like.”
- 2 Samuel 7:21 tn Heb “for the sake of your word and according to your heart.”
- 2 Samuel 7:21 tn Heb “to make known, your servant.”
- 2 Samuel 7:22 tn Heb “in all which we heard with our ears.” The phrase translated “in all” בְּכֹל (bekhol) should probably be emended to “according to all” כְּכֹל (kekhol).
- 2 Samuel 7:23 tn Heb “a nation, one.”
- 2 Samuel 7:23 tn Heb “whose God” or “because God.” In the Hebrew text this clause is subordinated to what precedes. The clauses are separated in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- 2 Samuel 7:23 tn The verb is plural in Hebrew, agreeing grammatically with the divine name, which is a plural of degree.
- 2 Samuel 7:23 tn Heb “redeem.”
- 2 Samuel 7:23 tn Heb “and to do for you [plural form] the great [thing] and awesome [things] for your land.”
- 2 Samuel 7:23 tn Heb “from Egypt, nations and their gods.” The LXX has “nations and tents,” which reflects a mistaken metathesis of letters in אֶלֹהָיו (ʾelohayv, “its gods”) and אֹהָלָיו (ʾohalayv, “its tents”).
- 2 Samuel 7:24 tn Heb “and you established for yourself your people Israel for yourself for a people permanently.”
- 2 Samuel 7:25 tn Heb “and now, O Lord God, the word which you spoke concerning your servant and concerning his house, establish permanently.”
- 2 Samuel 7:25 tn Heb “as you have spoken.”
- 2 Samuel 7:26 tn Heb “and your name might be great permanently.” Following the imperative in v. 23b, the prefixed verbal form with vav conjunctive indicates purpose/result.
- 2 Samuel 7:26 tn Heb “saying.” The words “as people” are supplied in the translation for clarification and stylistic reasons.
- 2 Samuel 7:26 tn Heb “the house.” See the note on “dynastic house” in the following verse.
- 2 Samuel 7:27 tn Heb “have uncovered the ear of.”
- 2 Samuel 7:27 tn Heb “a house.” This maintains the wordplay from v. 11 (see the note on the word “house” there) and is continued in v. 29.
- 2 Samuel 7:27 tn Heb “has found his heart.”
- 2 Samuel 7:28 tn Heb “the God.” The article indicates uniqueness here.
- 2 Samuel 7:28 tn The translation understands the prefixed verb form as a jussive, indicating David’s wish/prayer. Another option is to take the form as an imperfect and translate “your words are true.”
- 2 Samuel 7:28 tn Heb “and you have spoken to your servant this good thing.”
- 2 Samuel 7:29 tn Heb “house” (again later in this verse). See the note on “dynastic house” in v. 27.
- 2 Samuel 7:29 tn Or “permanently”; cf. NLT “it is an eternal blessing.”