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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
2 Samuel 7

 

 

Verse 1

2 Samuel 7:1 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;

Ver. 1. When the king sat in his house.] His newly built house of cedar; and considered that God and his ark dwelt in tabernaculo pelliceo et papillione, in a meaner tabernacle.

And the Lord had given him rest.] So that he abounded with leisure; and could relax a while.


Verse 2

2 Samuel 7:2 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.

Ver. 2. That the king said unto Nathan the prophet.] This he said out of that ardent devotion and zeal kindled and increased in him by his late religious joy at the removal of the ark; by the presence whereof he tasted more and more how good the Lord was: and thereupon consulted with himself and Nathan about a fit retribution: saying in effect as Psalms 116:12. The building of a temple non tantum voluit, sed et vovit, he both designed and vowed, [Psalms 132:2] but herein he failed, that he would run before the Lord’s commandment. So hard it is to hold the golden mean, and not to mingle some sin with our best actions.

See now, I dwell in an house of cedar.] Ahab dwelt in a palace of ivory, and yet had no thoughts of heart for God and his service. The thoughts of the wicked are little worth. [Proverbs 10:20]


Verse 3

2 Samuel 7:3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that [is] in thine heart; for the LORD [is] with thee.

Ver. 3. And Nathan said.] Ex proprio sensu, out of his private opinion, and not by divine revelation. Good men, then, may be out in matters of religion, as here both David and Nathan were; neither is it safe to pin our faith on another man’s sleeve - for who knoweth whither he may carry it? - but to "prove all things," and to "hold fast only that which is good." [1 Thessalonians 5:21] Nathan himself was here too well persuaded of David, as if he had been infallible: and why? For the Lord is with thee. What? always, and in all things? No, nor with any man in this life, surely. Nimis augusta res est nuspiam errare. Nathan shall see and say ere long, that he was mistaken. It is with us while here, as it was once with Peter, we walk one step and sink another.


Verse 4

2 Samuel 7:4 And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying,

Ver. 4. And it came to pass that night.] Post datum a Nathane intempestivum responsum. God will not suffer his dear children to lie long in error: but if in anything they be otherwise minded, he will reveal even this unto them. [Philippians 3:15]


Verse 5

2 Samuel 7:5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?

Ver. 5. Shalt thou build me an house?] q.d., In no wise. I accept of thy good will, [1 Kings 8:18] and will see thee well satisfied for the same: but I have other work for thee to do, [1 Kings 5:3] and shall reserve this piece of service for thy son, as more suitable to his peaceable reign, wherein "the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace to all people." [Psalms 72:7]


Verse 6

2 Samuel 7:6 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.

Ver. 6. But have walked in a tent and in a tubernacle.] By tent, some understand the hangings made of goats’ hair; and by tabernacle or habitacle, the sanctuary itself. See Exodus 26:6. The ark was transportative hitherto, till settled in Solomon’s temple: so till we come to heaven, we are in continual motion.


Verse 7

2 Samuel 7:7 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?

Ver. 7. Spake I a word.] They waited for my warrant for such an enterprise: and wilt not thou? Hold a while, and let thy sacrifice be offered with salt, thy zeal regulated by discretion: let this hold that by the heel, as Jacob did his brother Esau.


Verse 8

2 Samuel 7:8 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:

Ver. 8. Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David.] God signified his good acceptance by calling him his servant David: for at another time, when he had offended, it was plain David. [2 Samuel 24:12] So when the people had set up an idol, God fathereth them upon Moses; [Exodus 32:7] he would own them no longer.

I took thee from the sheepcote.] So that thou needest not to doubt of my love, though I use not thy service in this particular.

To be ruler over my people, over Israel.] Do this well, and thou needest not be idle.


Verse 9

2 Samuel 7:9 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.

Ver. 9. I was with thee, &c.] And so have sufficiently sealed up my love to thee.

Like unto the name of the great men.] Those men of renown.

Claros inter habes nomina clara viros.


Verse 10

2 Samuel 7:10 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,

Ver. 10. Moreover I will appoint,] q.d., For thy further comfort and encouragement, I do thee to know, that I will settle and felicitate thy subjects: who shall sit still and see golden days under thine and thy son’s government.

Neither shall the children of wickedness.] A fit description of tyrants and persecutors; brats of wickedness, that hell-hag; as Job calleth sparks the sons of fire, being engendered by it upon fuel.


Verse 11

2 Samuel 7:11 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.

Ver. 11. That he will make thee an house,] i.e., Give thee a numerous and longlasting offspring to succeed thee in the throne. See Exodus 2:21, Ruth 4:11, 1 Kings 2:24. Scarce any of the Roman emperors had a son to succeed him: all or most of them, till Constantine, died unnatural deaths.


Verse 12

2 Samuel 7:12 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.

Ver. 12. And thou shalt sleep with thy fathers.] Quando cubitum te contuleris, When thou shalt go to bed. When God’s children have done their work, he sendeth them to bed. [Isaiah 57:2]

I will set up thy seed after thee.] Solomen; [1 Chronicles 28:6] as also Christ: for this and the following promises are, some peculiar to Solomon, some to Christ; and some to both, as the types and antitypes.


Verse 13

2 Samuel 7:13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

Ver. 13. He shall build an house for my name.] Solomon, a material temple; Christ, a mystical - that is, the Church, which is the house of God. [1 Timothy 3:15] The Jews say that the Messiah is to build a temple, but then it must be a material one: and therefore in their daily prayers they call hard for his coming, and they cry altogether to God, Templum tuum brevi, valde cito, valde cito in diebus nostris, citissime nunc aedefica templum tuum brevi, (a) &c. Build thy temple, Lord, quickly, quickly, quickly, even in our days, &c. Oh that we would be as earnest for the building up of the mystical temple, and the speedy doing of it, that the topstone were once laid! &c.


Verse 14

2 Samuel 7:14 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:

Ver. 14. I will be his father.] Solomon’s, by adoption and regeneration. See 2 Corinthians 6:18. Christ’s, by eternal generation and personal union. [Hebrews 1:5 Psalms 2:7]

If he commit iniquity.] As Solomon did, but Christ could not. One Augustinus de Roma was censured in the Council of Basil for affirming that Christ was the greatest of sinners. It may be he meant that Christ was so by imputation, as Isaiah 53:6, 2 Corinthians 5:20. Otherwise it was blasphemy in the highest degree.

I will chasten him with the rod of men,] i.e., Gently and favourably, as parents do their children; thereby to break their stomachs, but not their bones. I will not lay the weight of my mighty hand upon him, to crush him to pieces, or grind him to powder; I will not scourge him with scorpions, but chasten him with the rods of men, of old, or weak, sickly men - as the Hebrew word signifieth (a) - who cannot strike hard, or do any great hurt with their ictus imbelles, and vanae sine viribus irae.


Verse 15

2 Samuel 7:15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took [it] from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

Ver. 15. But my mercy shall not depart away from him.] Why then Feri, Domine, feri, saith Luther. Strike while thou wilt, Lord; my sins are pardoned. I thank thee, O Lord, for all my pain, as another said. And, Not so much case, as the use, Lord, said a third.


Verse 16

2 Samuel 7:16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

Ver. 16. Thy throne shall be established for ever.] It shall, it shall - take my word for it: - in Christ, howsoever, who shall reign as God-man throughout all eternity.


Verse 17

2 Samuel 7:17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

Ver. 17. So did Nathan speak unto David.] He unsaid what he had said before, [2 Samuel 7:3] and thought it no such disgrace - since God had now revealed his mind to the contrary - as Jonah did, [Jonah 4:1-3] swelling, till he was ready to burst again. See the like piety and modesty in Isaiah 38:5. Augustine also is famous for his book of "Retractations"; wherein none had imitated him in Ludovicus Vives’s time. Bellarmine hath since written a book of "Recognitions": (a) but therein he maketh some things worse than before.


Verse 18

2 Samuel 7:18 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?

Ver. 18. And sat before the Lord.] So Elias sat under the juniper, and prayed; Stephen kneeled; [Acts 7:60] so did Paul and his company. [Acts 20:36] The publican stood and prayed. [Luke 18:13] And the Jews had a proverb, Absque stationibus non subsisteret mundus: Were it not that the saints stood in prayer, the world would not stand. The rule here given for gesture in prayer is, that that is to be used in private which we find fittest to excite our inward devotion; and that in public there be a uniformity observed.

Who am I, O Lord?] Thus use good men to vilify and nullify themselves before the Lord. [Proverbs 30:2]

That thou hast brought me hitherto?] Eξ οιων εις οια, as that noble Iphicrates said: How greatly am I advanced? May not every saint say as much See Ezekiel 16:3-15.


Verse 19

2 Samuel 7:19 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?

Ver. 19. And this was yet a small thing in thy sight.] We should make the most of God’s mercies unto us in our thankful acknowledgments, instancing the particulars.

For a great while to come.] In longinquum, for as far as Christ’s time, and to all perpetuity.

And is this the manner of man, O Lord God?] q.d., I think not. Men do not use to deal so liberally with their servants; they think it kindness enough to give them a pension, or some copyhold, {A kind of tenure in England of ancient origin: tenure of lands being parcel of a manor} to maintain them while they live; but take no care for their children after them, or how it shall fare with them in later ages.


Verse 20

2 Samuel 7:20 And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant.

Ver. 20. And what can David say more unto thee?] More I would say, but I want words, and am at a loss. But thou, Lord God, knowest thy servant - viz., that I could wish I had the "tongue of men and angels"; and that I could gladly grant thee better service than I am able to do thee.


Verse 21

2 Samuel 7:21 For thy word’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know [them].

Ver. 21. For thy word’s sake,] i.e., For thy Christ’s sake, saith Junius: or for thy promise’s sake made unto me by Nathan, as 2 Samuel 7:25.

And according to thine own heart, &c., ] i.e., Ex mere motu, out of pure and unexcited love thou didst give thy word and promise: and for thy word’s sake thou wilt perform it.


Verse 22

2 Samuel 7:22 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.

Ver. 22. Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God.] Great in goodness. Optimus Maximus.

According to all that we have heard with our ears.] Thy sweet promises - those fruits of thy free grace - give us good cause to think and to say so.


Verse 23

2 Samuel 7:23 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?

Ver. 23. And what one nation … is like thy people?] See Deuteronomy 4:7; Deuteronomy 33:29. {See Trapp on "Deuteronomy 4:7"} {See Trapp on "Deuteronomy 33:29"}

Whom God went to redeem.] Came down from heaven, as it were, to display his glorious power upon earth [Exodus 3:7-8] The whole Trinity did so in a special manner, when God the Son took our nature, and therein came to visit us.

And to defer you.] This he speaketh by a most emphatical apostrophe to the people: and then presently turneth him to God again, having his heart as full of heaven as it could hold.


Verse 24

2 Samuel 7:24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel [to be] a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God.

Ver. 24. For thou hast confirmed to thyself,] i.e., All the Israel of God by a perpetual covenant: by thy benefits also thou hast gained them unto thee, and to thine obedience.


Verse 25

2 Samuel 7:25 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.

Ver. 25. Do as thou hast said.] David knew well that God’s promises must be put into suit, must be prayed over. Eliah went forth to pray for rain, after He had promised it. David elsewhere saith, "Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope." [Psalms 119:49] "Lord, do as thou hast said," is a speeding argument; like Jonathan’s bow, that never returned empty.


Verse 26

2 Samuel 7:26 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.

Ver. 26. And let thy name be magnified for ever.] That God may be glorified by his benefits on us conferred, should be the principal end of our prayers Propter Te, Domine, propter Te, cried that holy man in story.


Verse 27

2 Samuel 7:27 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.

Ver. 27. Therefore hath thy servant found in his heart.] Or, as some read it, and the original will well bear it, Therefore hath thy servant found his heart - viz., thus well-affected, and all the powers of his soul concentred in the making of this prayer unto thee. He light of such a heart by hap, as we say, or upon serious and long seeking of such a heart; for the Hebrew word will bear both.


Verse 28

2 Samuel 7:28 And now, O Lord GOD, thou [art] that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:

Ver. 28. Thou art that God … and thou hast promised.] David hath never done with this; but improves it, and works out the goodness of it, by actuating his faith upon the promise.


Verse 29

2 Samuel 7:29 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.

Ver. 29. Let it please thee to bless.] Heb., Be thou pleased and bless. Another prophet hath it, "It hath pleased thee to bless." [1 Chronicles 17:27] Prayers are often made in faith, as if they were done things.

Let the house of thg servant be blessed for ever.] This is to press and oppress the promises, as we are commanded to do, [Isaiah 66:11] till we have expressed the utmost sweetness out of them. David prevailed and prospered hereupon, as appeareth by the next chapter.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-7.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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