Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 7:7

Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, which I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?'"'
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Nathan;   Prophets;   Temple;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Tabernacle;   Temple, the First;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Nathan;   Temple;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Nathan;   Temple;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Building;   Israel;   Mediator, Mediation;   Temple;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Cedar;   David;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Samuel, Books of;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Covenant;   Jerusalem;   Nathan;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Messiah;   Shepherd;   Temple (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Nathan ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Temple;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - David;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Mediation;   Nathan (1);   Tribe;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ark of the Covenant;   Cattle;   Chronicles, Books of;   David;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

With any of the tribes - "Spake I a word to any of the Judges" is the reading in the parallel place, 1 Chronicles 17:6, and this is probably the true reading. Indeed, there is but one letter of difference between them, and letters which might be easily mistaken for each other: שבטי shibtey, tribes, is almost the same in appearance with ht שפטי shophetey, judges; the ב beth and the פ pe being the same letter, the apex under the upper stroke of the פ pe excepted. If this were but a little effaced in a MS., it would be mistaken for the other, and then we should have tribes instead of judges. This reading seems confirmed by 2 Samuel 7:11.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-7.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The tribes of Israel - The duplicate passage reads judges (see margin and compare 2 Samuel 7:11). But a comparison with such passages as Psalm 78:67-68; 1 Kings 8:16; and 1 Chronicles 28:4, favors the reading “tribes,” and the phrase is a condensed one, the meaning of which is, that whatever tribe had in times past supplied the ruler of Israel, whether Ephraim in the days of Joshua, or Benjamin in the time of Saul, or Judah in that of David, God had never required any of these tribes to build a house in one of their cities.

An house of cedar - See 1 Kings 7:2-3; 1 Kings 10:17, 1 Kings 10:21; Jeremiah 22:14, Jeremiah 22:23. Beams of cedar marked a costly building. The cedar of Lebanon is a totally different tree from what we improperly call the red or Virginian cedar, which supplies the sweet-scented cedar wood, and is really a kind of juniper. The cedar of Lebanon is a close-grained, light-colored, yellowish wood, with darker knots and veins.

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

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel,.... See Gill on 2 Samuel 7:6 on the places mentioned there:

spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel; or rather the sceptres of Israel; so the word is rendered, Genesis 49:10; the sceptre bearers, rulers, and governors, whose custom was to carry a sceptre in their hands, as Ben Melech observes; and so in a parallel text, 1 Chronicles 17:6, it is, "to any of the judges of Israel"; any of those from the times of Moses and Joshua to the times of Saul and David, and this is confirmed by what follows:

whom I commanded to feed my people Israel; that is, to rule and govern them, protect and defend them, which cannot be said of the tribes, but of the rulers of them; and the Lord asks this question, whether ever he had said a word to any of those, in all that space of time, expressing anything of this kind:

saying, why build ye not me an house of cedar? they never were bid to do it, or expostulated with why they did not, or ever reproved for not doing it; therefore why should David think of doing it?

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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 7:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-7.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

In all [the places] wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a c 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?

(c) Concerning building a house: meaning without God's express word, nothing should be attempted.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-7.html. 1599-1645.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

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

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 7:7. Spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel The Judges of Israel. [ שׁפטי] Houbigant. Hallet in his notes, vol. 2: p. 25 makes the same remark.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-7.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Spake I a word? did I ever give any command about it? without which neither they did, nor thou shouldst attempt it.

With any of the tribes: in 1 Chronicles 17:6, it is of the judges; and to them, not to the tribes, the following words agree,

whom I commanded to feed my people Israel. Either therefore the tribes are here put synecdochically for the rulers of the tribes, as the word church is sometimes used for the governors of it; or the word here rendered tribes may be rendered sceptres, as it is used Genesis 49:10, and sceptres put for sceptre-bearers or rulers, as is very frequent.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:7". 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

7.With any of the tribes — In the persons of their representatives, the elders. In Chronicles the reading is judges of Israel. Hitherto there had been no command to build such a house as David proposed. According to Josephus (Ant., 2 Samuel 7:4; 2 Samuel 7:4) Moses had foretold the building of such a temple but no such prediction appears in his writings.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:7". "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 7:7. The tribes of Israel whom I commanded to feed my people Israel The word tribes seems here to be put for judges, appointed to govern the tribes. Indeed, the Hebrew word שׁבשׂי, shibtee, here rendered tribes, signifies also sceptres, and, consequently, supreme governors or rulers; such as the judges were, who had the supreme authority in Israel. Saying, Why build ye not me a house of cedar? — God was the most proper judge what house was agreeable to him, and he never signified that he disliked his present, and desired a more stately habitation. Though God was pleased to give Moses directions for erecting the tabernacle, and afterward appointed Solomon to build him a more magnificent temple; yet this was done only with respect to, and as suitable to men, and not in regard of, or as any way suitable to himself. And the Scripture has taken great care to inculcate on us, that the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands, Acts 7:4. Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things, Acts 17:24. And this is perhaps peculiar to the pure religion of the Scriptures; for if we attentively examine them, we shall find in all other religions something in the principle of them, as if the worship of God was founded on his needing something. And among most of them we find a meanness of thought, as if temples were something to the Deity himself; and not, as the Scriptures rightly describe them to be, as witnesses only to men, that God concerns himself with the inhabitants of the earth, and will hearken to their prayers. Thus we find St. Stephen, in the Acts of the Apostles, (Acts 7:4,) calling the tabernacle, which Moses was ordered to make, The tabernacle of witness. And the Spirit of God put such a prayer into the heart and mouth of Solomon, at the dedication of the temple, as may sufficiently instruct us in what light the Holy Scriptures consider temples of any kind, namely, as concerning and having respect to men only, and as being nothing to God himself. But will God indeed (says Solomon) dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven, and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have builded? And the Scriptures everywhere represent God as the maker of the world and all things therein, as the supreme Lord of heaven and earth, as having the whole heavens for his throne, and the earth for his footstool; and therefore needing or requiring no worship from men, but as it is conducive to their welfare and happiness.

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

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Tribes. 1 Paralipomenon xvii. 6, by the substitution of p for b, reads Shophete, "judges," which seems more natural. Some farther information is there given and we learn that the reason why David was denied the privilege of building a temple, was because he had been so much engaged in war. (Calmet)

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

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

tribes, or "judges", as Chron. 2 Samuel 17:6.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:7". "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

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?

Spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, [ shibTeey (Hebrew #7626), tribes; but in 1 Chronicles 17:6 the word is shop

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:7". "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

(7) The tribes.—In the parallel place, 1 Chronicles 17:6, the word is “judges,” the difference in Hebrew being only of a single similar letter. But a like use of “tribes” for the judges sprung from them may be found in Psalms 78:67-68; 1 Chronicles 28:4.

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

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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?
walked
Leviticus 26:11,12
any of the tribes
1 Chronicles 17:6
any of the judges
Instead of [shbty] shivtey, "tribes," we should probably read, with Houbigant, Drs. Waterland and A. Clarke, and others, [shpty] shophtey, "judges;" which is the reading in the parallel passage. Indeed there is but one letter of difference between them, and letters which might be easily mistaken for each other; the apex under the upper stroke of the [p] pay, being the only mark to distinguish it from the [b] baith. Compare with ver. 11.
feed
5:2; Psalms 78:71,72; Isaiah 40:11; Jeremiah 3:15; 23:4; Ezekiel 34:2,15,23; Micah 5:4; Matthew 2:6; *marg:; John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28; 21:28; 1 Peter 5:1
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 8:16 - Since;  1 Chronicles 11:2 - Thou shalt;  2 Chronicles 6:5 - Since the day;  Psalm 28:9 - feed

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