Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 7:8

"Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, "I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Blessing;   Nathan;   Shepherd;   Temple;   Scofield Reference Index - Eight Covenants;   Israel;   Thompson Chain Reference - Exaltation-Abasement;   Exalts, God;   God;   Promotion;   Rulers;   The Topic Concordance - Endurance;   Government;   Jesus Christ;   Name;   Throne;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Sheep;   Tabernacle;   Temple, the First;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Nathan;   Sheep;   Temple;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - David;   Nathan;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Israel;   Mediator, Mediation;   Servant of the Lord;   Easton Bible Dictionary - David;   Fold;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - David;   Shepherd;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Promise;   Samuel, Books of;   Sheepcote;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Covenant;   Jerusalem;   Nathan;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Messiah;   Quotations;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Nathan ;   Sheep-Cote;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Pastor;   Temple;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - David;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Accommodation;   God;   Mediation;   Nathan (1);   Prince;   Sheep;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ark of the Covenant;   David;  

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Samuel 7:8

I took thee from the sheepcote.

God’s making of a life

Though he was a born king by nature and character, David was not born a king. His father was a simple farmer, and his childhood was spent in the quiet scenes of a humble village. Jesus was born in the same Judean village-city, little Bethlehem. It is exactly thus that God ever carries out His mighty programme of action in creation, providence, and grace. The Rev. W. L. Watkinson says that, on visiting an art gallery recently, he noticed that some of the greatest pictures had not a splendid thing in them. The ordinary artist, when he wants to be effective, paints in a breadth of golden harvest, or be portrays a kingfisher or some other iridescent bird, or a tree in bloom, or that captivating thing, a rainbow. But you will notice that some of the greatest painters that ever lived never touch these things. They take common things--a railway cut, a ploughed field--no conspicuous object, only the black earth, the brown earth, the red earth; but their touch is a supreme touch, so that you can see the blossom in the dust and the rainbow in the cloud; and the picture, although it contains not a brilliant thing, is bathed in imagination, poetry, and beauty. So Christ can take the most common human plants in His garden and develop them into the most indescribable beauty and interest. God can take our poor humble lives and crown them with dignity and glory, as He honoured David the shepherd boy, if we fall into the royal line of the servants of righteousness. Before honour is humility. David was not a self-exalted king. He was called to rule, and he followed the Divine call wherever it led him, whether into the desert or into the palace.

Filling present limits

If a man be not signally successful in his present field he cannot reasonably hope to be more successful in a larger field. He must first fill out to his existing limits before he will be able to expand into the area of larger boundaries. A man may indeed have abilities beyond the sphere he is in at present, but in every such case the first indication of this is his filling that sphere satisfactorily. If he lacks where he is, he ought not to feel that he could do better, or even as well, if he were in a larger place. It were folly to expect that there is milk enough for a gallon measure when it cannot fill a pint pot. (Great Thoughts.)

God the Giver of power

That God is the Giver of power and dominion is a truth which has always been recognized in the unchangeable East. Thus, in the inscription of Darius on the rock at Behistun, the ninth paragraph reads: “Says Darius the king:--Ormazd [the god] granted me the empire. Ormazd brought help to me so that I gained this empire. By the grace of Ormazd, I hold this empire.” Substitute “Jehovah” for “Ormazd,” and David might truthfully have written that inscription. Again, in the Annals of Assurbanipal which are preserved on terra-cotta cylinders, now in the British Museum, it is said: “I am Assurbanipal, the seed of [the gods] Assur and Beltis, son of the great king of the North Palace, whom [the gods] Assur and Sin the lord of crowns, raised to the kingdom, prophesying his name from the days of old; and in his birth have created him to rule Assyria. [The gods] Shamas, Vul, and Ishtar, in power most high, commanded the making of his kingdom.” (Sunday School Times.)

From obscurity to eminence

For purposes of sober illustration or intense appeal to the unselfish and heroic, nothing can surpass the life of David Livingstone, whom Florence Nightingale called “the greatest man of his generation.” The vision of the boy placing his book on the spinning-jenny and studying amid the roar of the machinery at Blantyre, or sitting contentedly down before his father’s door to spend the night, upon arriving after the hour for locking it; the old coat, eleven years behind the fashion, which he wore when he emerged at Cape Town after Kolobeng had been pillaged; the sadness of the scene when he buried his little daughter in “the first grave in all this country,” he wrote to his parents, “marked as the resting-place of one of whom it is believed and confessed that she stall live again”; his jocular letters to his daughter Agnes about his distorted teeth, “so that my smile is like that of a hippopotamus”; the meeting with Stanley when he was a “mere ruckle of bones”; the indomitable grit of the man whose last words in Scotland were, “Fear God, and work hard”--this life is full of such things as these, capable of use, inviting it. And when, before or since, has this world been swayed by eloquence comparable with that of his death? No pulpit has ever spoken with such power. The worn frame kneeling by the bedside at Ilala, pulseless and grill, while the rain dripped from the eaves of the hut, dead in the attitude of prayer, solitary and alone, sent a thrill through the souls of men which, thank God, is vibrating still, and is working out the redemption wrought once for Africa by the world’s Redeemer. (W. G. Blaikie.)

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Samuel 7:8". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-samuel-7.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

GOD'S PROMISE TO BUILD DAVID A HOUSE (ROYAL LINEAGE)

"Now therefore thus shall you say to my servant David, `Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.'"

"I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep" (2 Samuel 7:8). The true greatness of David did not derive from his magnificent house of cedar, nor from the glories that accrued to him as the King of Israel, but from his character, his integrity, his humility and his unwavering trust in God. This verse suggests to David that his mind was running too much in the direction of those accouterments of worldly success such as palatial buildings, etc.

"I ... have cut off all your enemies from before you ... I will give you rest from all your enemies" (2 Samuel 7:9,11). Is this a contradiction? Certainly not! 2 Samuel 7:9 refers to the enemies God had already cut off; and 2 Samuel 7:11 refers to the future enemies of David from whom God would also give him rest.

"And I will appoint a place for my people Israel ... they may dwell in their own place ... and be disturbed no more ... as formerly" (2 Samuel 7:10). This was not a promise that Israel would never be disturbed again; but that their disturbances and afflictions would not be of the intensity and frequency as formerly.

"The Lord will make you a house" (2 Samuel 7:11). The "house" which the Lord here promised to make for David has no reference whatever to a palace or to any kind of a physical residence. It is a promise that God would establish his dynasty as a ruling family in Israel, and that God would give David a great name among all the distinguished rulers over the kingdoms of men. It is an indisputable fact that God did exactly what He here promised to do for David.

Significantly, this was not a conditional promise; God's promise to accomplish this was in no sense dependent upon the merit or the righteousness of those persons who would compose that dynasty.

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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 7:8". "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

Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David,.... For it was taken well at his hands, in part, that it was in his heart, and he had a desire to build an house for God, though he was wrong in determining upon it without seeking the Lord; and lest he should be discouraged by the prohibition of him from building, the following things are observed to assure him it was not from disregard unto him, or displeasure at him, that he would not be employed in this service; since the Lord had given sufficient tokens of his favour to him, and with which he should be content, as having honour enough done him; it was enough that God had raised him up from a low estate to great grandeur and dignity:

thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel; for that was his employment, to keep his father's sheep, before he was taken into Saul's court, and married his daughter, when after his death he came to have the crown, of Israel: now this is said, not to upbraid him with his former meanness, but to observe the goodness of God unto him, and what reason he had for thankfulness, and to look upon himself as a favourite of God, who of a keeper of sheep was made a shepherd of men, to rule and feed them; so Cyrus is called a shepherd, Isaiah 44:28; and Agamemnon, in HomerF23Iliad. 2. , is called "the shepherd of the people".

Copyright Statement
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 7:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-7.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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:

My servant — Lest David should be too much discouraged, or judge himself neglected of God, as one thought unworthy of so great an honour, God here gives him the honourable title of his servant, thereby signifying that he accepted of his service, and good intentions.

Copyright Statement
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 7:8". "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 7:8 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.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:8". 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

So shalt thou say unto my servant David: lest David should be too much discouraged, or judge himself neglected and forsaken of God, as one thought unworthy of so great an honour, God here gives him the honourable title of his servant, thereby signifying that he accepted of his service, and of his good intentions, which also was expressed at this time, as it may seem from 1 Kings 8:18, though not in this place.

I took thee from the sheep-cote, to be ruler over my people; I advanced thee, and I do not repent of it.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-7.html. 1685.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 7:8. So shalt thou say unto my servant David — Lest David should be discouraged, or judge himself neglected of God, as one thought unworthy of so great an honour, God here gives him the honourable title of his servant, thereby signifying that he accepted of his service and good intentions.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-7.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the LORD of hosts. Hebrew. Jehovah.Sebaioth. App-4. One of the Jehovah titles. Compare 2 Samuel 5:10; 2 Samuel 6:2, and see note on 1 Samuel 1:3.

I took. Compare 1 Samuel 16:11, 1 Samuel 16:12. Psalms 78:70, Psalms 78:71.

over. Some codices, with one early printed edition, Syriac, and Vulgate, omit this second "over".

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:8". "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

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:

So shalt thou say unto my servant David. Yahweh's designation of David by the honourable title of his servant, was to give him a gracious assurance that his pious intentions were appreciated. It was a kind and delicate form of address, with a view not to dishearten him or wound him feelings, by a stern or disdainful rejection of his proposal; and though it is not stated here, it is affirmed elsewhere (1 Kings 8:18) that a positive expression of approval was given him on this occasion.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:8". "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

(8) Sheepcote.—Better, pasture.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-7.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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:
I took thee
1 Samuel 16:11,12; 1 Chronicles 17:7; Psalms 78:70
following
Heb. after. ruler.
6:21; 12:7; 1 Samuel 9:16; 10:1
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 2:8 - set them;  1 Samuel 2:10 - he shall;  2 Samuel 14:13 - people;  2 Samuel 22:49 - thou also;  2 Samuel 23:1 - raised;  1 Kings 3:6 - great;  1 Kings 8:16 - I chose David;  1 Chronicles 14:2 - his kingdom;  1 Chronicles 28:4 - chose me;  2 Chronicles 1:8 - Thou has showed;  2 Chronicles 32:28 - cotes;  Psalm 21:5 - glory;  Psalm 89:19 - Then;  Psalm 89:21 - With;  Psalm 113:7 - needy;  Proverbs 25:6 - in the presence;  Isaiah 55:3 - the sure;  Amos 7:15 - took;  Luke 1:48 - regarded;  Acts 7:46 - found;  Acts 13:22 - he raised

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-7.html.