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David’s Wish to Build a House for God(A)

While King David was living in his house, Yahweh gave him peace with all his enemies around him. So the king said to the prophet Nathan, “Look, I’m living in a house made of cedar, while the ark of Elohim remains in the tent.”

Nathan told the king, “Do everything you have in mind, because Yahweh is with you.”

But that same night Yahweh spoke his word to Nathan: “Say to my servant David, ‘This is what Yahweh says: Are you the one who will build me a house to live in? I haven’t lived in a house from the day I took Israel out of Egypt to this day. Instead, I moved around in a tent, the tent of meeting. In all the places I’ve moved with all the Israelites, did I ever ask any of the judges[a] of Israel whom I ordered to be shepherds of my people Israel why they didn’t build me a house of cedar?’

“Now this is what you will say to my servant David: ‘This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: I took you from the pasture where you followed sheep so that you could be the leader of my people Israel. I was with you wherever you went, and I destroyed all your enemies in front of you. I will make your name famous like the names of the greatest people on earth. 10 I will make a place for my people Israel and plant them there. They will live in their own place and not be troubled anymore. The wicked will no longer oppress them as they used to do 11 ever since I appointed judges to rule my people Israel. So I will give you peace with all your enemies. I, Yahweh, tell you that Yahweh will make a house for you.

12 “‘When the time comes for you to lie down in death with your ancestors, I will send one of your descendants, one who will come from you. I will establish his kingdom. 13 He will build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Ab, and he will be my Son. If he sins, I will punish him with a rod and with blows inflicted by people. 15 But I will never stop showing him my love as I did to Saul, whom I took out of your way. 16 Your royal house will remain in my presence[b] forever. Your throne will be established forever.’”

17 Nathan told David all these words and everything he had seen.

18 King David went into the tent and sat in front of Yahweh. “Who am I, Adonay Yahweh,” he asked, “and why is my house so important that you have brought me this far? 19 And even this you consider to be a small act, Adonay Yahweh. You’ve also spoken about the distant future of my house. Adonay Yahweh, this is the teaching about the man.

20 “What more can I, David, say to you, Adonay Yahweh, since you know me so well! 21 You’ve done this great thing because of your promise and your own desire. You made it known to me.

22 “That is why you are great, Adonay Yahweh. There is no one like you, and there is no other god except you, as we have heard with our own ears. 23 Who is like your people Israel? It is the one nation on earth that Elohim came to free in order to make its people his own, to make his name[c] known, and to do great and wonderful things for them. You forced[d] nations and their gods out of the way of your people, whom you freed from Egypt to be your own. 24 You created the people of Israel to be your people forever. And you, Yahweh, became their Elohim.

25 “Now, Yahweh Elohim, keep the promise you made to me and my house forever. Do as you promised. 26 Your name will be respected forever when people say, ‘Yahweh Tsebaoth is Elohim over Israel.’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your presence. 27 You, Yahweh Tsebaoth, Elohim of Israel, have revealed it especially to me, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ That is why I have found the courage to offer this prayer to you.

28 Adonay Yahweh, you are Elohim, and your words are trustworthy. You promised me this good thing. 29 Now, please bless my house so that it may continue in your presence forever. Indeed, you, Adonay Yahweh, have promised it. With your blessing my house will be blessed forever.”


  1. 2 Samuel 7:7 1 Chronicles 17:6; Masoretic Text “tribes.”
  2. 2 Samuel 7:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Greek, Latin, Syriac; other Hebrew manuscripts “in your presence.”
  3. 2 Samuel 7:23 Or “its name.”
  4. 2 Samuel 7:23 Greek and 1 Chronicles 17:21; Masoretic Text “Your land.”

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