Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 7:12

When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Covenant;   David;   King;   Nathan;   Solomon;   Temple;   Scofield Reference Index - Israel;   Thompson Chain Reference - Covenant;   Covenants and Vows;   Sleep;   Sleep-Wakefulness;   The Topic Concordance - Endurance;   Government;   Jesus Christ;   Name;   Throne;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Human Nature of Christ, the;   Kings;   Promises of God, the;   Tabernacle;   Temple, the First;   Types of Christ;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Nathan;   Temple;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Covenant;   David;   Jerusalem;   Nathan;   Throne;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Fulfillment;   Israel;   Jesus Christ, Name and Titles of;   King, Christ as;   Leadership;   Mediator, Mediation;   Messiah;   Promise;   Easton Bible Dictionary - David;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Jehoram;   Kings, the Books of;   Midwives;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Covenant;   Messiah;   Samuel, Books of;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Covenant;   Immanuel;   Jerusalem;   Nathan;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Entry into Jerusalem;   Messiah;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Absalom ;   Nathan ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Temple;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - David;   Kings;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Accommodation;   Daniel, Book of;   Immanuel;   Mediation;   Nathan (1);   Promise;   Prophecy;   Text of the Old Testament;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ark of the Covenant;   David;   Euphemism;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The prophet, having detailed God‘s past mercies to David, now passes on to direct prophecy, and that one of the most important in the O d Testament.

I will set up the seed - In one sense this mannifestly refers to Solomon, David‘s successor and the builder of the temple. But we have the direct authority of Peter Acts 2:30 for applying it to Christ the seed of David, and His eternal kingdom; and the title the Son of David given to the Messiah in the rabbinical writings, as well as its special application to Jesus in the New Testament, springs mainly from the acknowledged Messianic significance of this prophecy. (See also Isaiah 55:3; Acts 13:34.)

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-7.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE GLORIOUS PROMISE OF THE MESSIAH

"When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men; but I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.'" In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David."

Not one word of this paragraph applies to Solomon. It is immaterial that David probably misunderstood it (at first) and that many so-called "great" Bible scholars find Solomon in every other word of it. Note the following:

"I will raise up your offspring after you" (2 Samuel 7:17). Solomon was not "raised up" after David, but during David's reign, the authority of David himself being the key factor in the enthronement of Solomon.

"I will be his father, and he shall be my son" (2 Samuel 7:14). Not even an angel of heaven deserved such a line as this, much less the reprobate Solomon with his seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines! The inspired author of Hebrews makes that fact absolutely indisputable. "To what angel did God ever say, "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son."? (Hebrews 1:5-7).

Psalms 2:7; 89:26-27; Acts 13:33 and other passages in the Bible make it clear that only of Jesus Christ was it ever said that God was his father and that He was God's son. Any notion that this refers to Solomon is ridiculous. "There is neither proof nor evidence that Solomon was a saved person,"[12] much less that God was his father and that he was God's son in any sense whatever.

"When he commits iniquity" (2 Samuel 7:14). These are the words, seized upon by many who wish to apply these words to Solomon; but they don't fit Solomon at all. When did God ever punish Solomon with the rod of men, or inflict upon him the stripes of the sons of men? On the other hand, the inspired Isaiah, using these very words, said, "The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5). Such glaring facts which are totally at variance with any intelligent application to Solomon are the background of this writer's total distrust of the translation which we find here in many of the current versions. We cannot accept this translation as valid, because it contradicts the rest of the passage.

We are happy indeed that the noted Adam Clarke, one of the truly great scholars of the past couple of centuries, gives us the correct translation, as follows:

EVEN IN HIS SUFFERING FOR INIQUITY; I SHALL CHASTEN HIM WITH THE ROD OF MEN (WITH THE ROD DUE TO MEN) AND WITH THE STRIPES (DUE TO) THE CHILDREN OF MEN.[13]

Yes indeed, Christ suffered "for iniquity," but not for iniquity committed by Him. As stated in that verse already cited from Isaiah, "He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities." Clarke has several pages regarding this true rendition of the passage here, backed by Lowth's Commentary on Isaiah (p. 187), Lowth, being one of the outstanding scholars of the 18th century.

If the current translations represent the true teaching of this passage, it is simply incredible that the inspired N.T. authors would have unequivocally applied the passage to Jesus Christ. To suppose that they actually did such a thing is not merely a reflection upon their inspiration, but likewise upon their common intelligence as well.

"I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul" (2 Samuel 7:15). The word "Saul" simply does not belong in this verse at all. We usually reject the notion of scholars that this or that verse is an interpolation; but we heartily agree with H. P. Smith that such is the case here.[14] The reference to Saul crept into the text here evidently through the opinion of some scribe who erroneously read the passage as applicable to Solomon.

"Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure before me; your throne shall be established forever" (2 Samuel 7:16). This great prophecy was doubtless misunderstood by those who first heard it; but there is no excuse for misunderstanding now, that the long centuries intervening have revealed the exalted meaning of the promise. We are not left in doubt as to what that meaning is. Inspired writers of the N.T., moved by the Holy Spirit, tell us exactly what the passage means.

DAVID'S INTERPRETATION OF THIS PROMISE

The apostle Peter tells us that "David says concerning Christ, `Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let thy Holy One see Corruption'" (Psalms 16:10). David being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption." (Acts 2:25-31). This passage applies this prophecy of 2 Samuel 7 to Jesus Christ, as the One who would sit upon David's throne, not to Solomon; and as noted in our chapter introduction, one word from the apostle Peter is worth a ton of opinions to the contrary!

"Your throne shall be established forever" (2 Samuel 7:16). This did not mean that the earthly dynasty of David over Israel would be continued forever. As a matter of fact, the throne of David over "all Israel" lasted only until the death of Solomon, when ten of the twelve tribes of Israel rejected that authority. The conceit of racial Israel being as intense as it was, the vast majority of the people most certainly accepted the promise as a guarantee of the perpetual continuity of the earthly dynasty of David. God's removal of the whole nation to Babylon was designed to enlighten Israel on that very point.

But what does it mean? that David's throne shall continue forever? The Davidic Psalms 89 gives the full explanation of this:

I (GOD) WILL NOT LIE UNTO DAVID. HIS SEED SHALL ENDURE FOREVER; AND HIS THRONE AS THE SUN BEFORE ME. IT SHALL BE ESTABLISHED FOREVER AS THE MOON AND AS A FAITHFUL WITNESS IN HEAVEN (2 Samuel 7:35-37).

None of the writings of David in the Psalms should be understood as contradicting the misunderstanding which he probably had about the application of this passage. Peter himself tells us that the prophets frequently were not able to understand the meaning of their own prophecies (1 Peter 1:10-12); and it is not unlikely that David construed much of this passage as applicable to Solomon, as did the vast majority of his contemporaries. People are still misunderstanding the passage.

By way of summary, what the Lord promised here was that a spiritual reality, "the throne of David" would have a perpetual and eternal existence, it would not be located in Jerusalem, but in heaven. Note the underlined phrase from Psalms 89:37, above. The enthronement of "the Son of David" upon that throne is a reference to the resurrection of Christ and to his being seated at the Right Hand of the Majesty on High. There is no reference whatever to any earthly continuity forever of the fleshly descendants of David as rulers over Israel. Those descendants appear in the passage only in that line where God promised to "build David a house" (2 Samuel 7:11).

This passage, along with other related passages throughout the Bible, is one of the most important prophecies of the Messiah to be found in Holy Writ; and the N.T. honors it with the very first verse, "Jesus Christ the Son of David the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1).

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-samuel-7.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And when thy days be fulfilled,.... The days of his life, which were appointed by the Lord for him to live, and when he had filled up the common term of man's life, as he exactly did; for he lived just seventy years, see 2 Samuel 5:4,

and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; die and be buried; for this is a phrase expressive of death, and the grave the common portion of men:

I will set up thy seed after thee; sons to succeed in the kingdom, as they did for the space of five hundred years; though here it respects one particular seed or son, even Solomon, as appears by what follows:

which shall proceed out of thy bowels; be begotten by him, and born unto him, and has regard to a future son of his not yet born; not Absalom nor Adonijah, nor any of the rest born in Hebron were to succeed him in the kingdom, but one as yet unborn:

and I will establish his kingdom; so that he shall have a long and happy reign, as Solomon had.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-7.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

I will set up thy seed after thee, etc. — It is customary for the oldest son born after the father‘s succession to the throne to succeed him in his dignity as king. David had several sons by Bath-sheba born after his removal to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:14-16; compare 1 Chronicles 3:5). But by a special ordinance and promise of God, his successor was to be a son born after this time; and the departure from the established usage of the East in fixing the succession, can be accounted for on no other known ground, except the fulfillment of the divine promise.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-7.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

And when, … — When the time of thy life shall expire. This phrase implies, that his days shall be prolonged to the usual course of nature, and not cut off in the midst, by any violent or untimely death.

I will set — I will set up in thy throne, thy posterity, first Solomon, and then others successively, and at last the Messiah. So the following words may be understood, part of his posterity in general, part of Solomon, and part of Christ only, according to the different nature of the several passages.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-7.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-7.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

When thy days be fulfilled; when the time of thy life shall expire. This phrase implies that his days shall be completed and prolonged to the usual course and stint of nature, and not out off in the midst, by any violent or untimely death.

I will set up thy seed after thee; I will set up in thy stead and throne thy posterity, first Solomon, and then others successively, and at last the Messias. So the following words may be understood diversely, part of his posterity in general or indefinitely taken, part of Solomon, and part of Christ only, according to the differing nature of the several passages.

Out of thy bowels; out of thy inward parts, or from thy loins; who shall be begotten by thee.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-7.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

12.I will set up thy seed after thee — Here is the germ of those Davidic prophecies of Messiah which come out in greater boldness and precision in some of his psalms. Psalms 2, 110. Thy seed refers primarily to Solomon and his successors, but it reaches on in its prophetic significance, and includes that Greater Son in whom alone the kingdom finds its eternal perpetuity.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-7.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 7:12. And when thy days are fulfilled, &c. — When the time of thy life shall expire. This phrase implies, that his days should be prolonged to the usual course of nature, and not cut off in the midst, by any violent or untimely death. Thy seed, which shall proceed out of thy bowels — This manner of speaking shows that it was intended to be understood of one who was not yet born, namely, Solomon; and that Absalom, Adonijah, and the rest who pretended to the kingdom, were not designed for it, having already proceeded from him. I will establish his kingdom — Solomon reigned a long time himself, and his posterity after him, and the Messiah, his seed, will reign for ever. So the following words may be understood, part of Solomon, part of his posterity in general, and part of Christ only, according to the different nature of the several passages.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-7.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-7.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

sleep with thy fathers. Figure of speech Euphemism (App-6), put for "die". See note on Deuteronomy 31:16.

My his Father = to him for a Father.

My son = to Me for a son.

iniquity. Hebrew `avah. App-44.

men. Hebrew. "enosh. App-14. Psalms 89:31, Psalms 89:32.

men. Hebrew. "adam. App-14.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-7.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

I will set up thy seed after thee ..., [ zar`

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-7.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) Which shall proceed.—The promise here given certainly has immediate reference to Solomon, and it is thought by many that the use of the future shows that he was not yet born. This may be the fact, and if so, the expression will give an important indication of the point in David’s reign to which this passage belongs. But the same expression might have been used after Solomon’s birth, the future tense being merely an assimilation to the futures of the whole passage, and the point of the promise being that David’s son shall succeed to his throne.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-7.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
And when
1 Kings 2:1; 8:20
sleep
Deuteronomy 31:16; 1 Kings 1:21; Daniel 12:2; Acts 13:36; 1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 4:14
I will set
Genesis 15:4; 1 Kings 8:20; 1 Chronicles 17:11; Psalms 89:29; 132:11,12; Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:1-3,10; Matthew 22:42-44; Acts 2:30
Reciprocal: Genesis 47:29 - must die;  Judges 2:10 - General2 Samuel 12:24 - she bare;  2 Samuel 22:51 - seed;  1 Kings 1:11 - Nathan;  1 Kings 1:26 - General1 Kings 2:4 - fail;  1 Kings 2:12 - his kingdom;  1 Kings 2:15 - for it was;  1 Kings 5:5 - as the Lord;  1 Kings 7:21 - Jachin;  1 Kings 8:19 - General1 Kings 8:24 - thou spakest;  1 Kings 9:5 - I will establish;  1 Kings 15:4 - for David's;  1 Kings 22:40 - slept;  2 Kings 8:19 - for David;  2 Kings 10:35 - Jehu slept;  2 Kings 13:13 - slept;  2 Kings 14:16 - Jehoash;  2 Kings 15:38 - Jotham;  1 Chronicles 22:9 - a son;  2 Chronicles 1:9 - let thy promise;  2 Chronicles 6:9 - thy son;  2 Chronicles 6:15 - and spakest;  2 Chronicles 6:16 - saying;  2 Chronicles 9:31 - slept;  2 Chronicles 13:5 - to David;  2 Chronicles 21:7 - as he promised;  2 Chronicles 23:3 - as the Lord;  Psalm 31:15 - My times;  Psalm 89:4 - GeneralPsalm 119:42 - for I trust;  Acts 13:23 - this;  Acts 26:6 - the promise;  Romans 1:3 - which

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-7.html.