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David's Everlasting Heir

INTRODUCTION: Though David desired to build a temple for God as he sat in his own luxurious house, after first agreeing with him, Nathan came back to him with an interesting message from the LORD. The account in 2 Samuel chapter 7 is the primary text for this study, and the parallel scripture is in 1 Chronicles 17:1-15. Part of the answer from the LORD could be applied to Solomon and to a physical temple that would remain in Jerusalem for a number of centuries, only to be destroyed when Judah went into captivity in Babylon. The temple was rebuilt in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah and remained into the time of Jesus, but no temple has been rebuilt since the destruction by the Romans in the first century A.D. Another part of this passage is prophetic about the descendent of David whose throne will last forever.

NOTE: All Bible passages are taken from the American King James Version.


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; 2 That the king said to Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within curtains. 3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in your heart; for the LORD is with you."

COMMENTS: When David became king over all Israel, Jerusalem was taken from the Jebusites who were descendents of Canaan, and David established it as the royal city. Through the good relationship with the king of Tyre David had a fine house built for him. 2 Samuel 5 "11 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house. 12 And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake." King David had the ark of God brought from the house of Obededom into Jerusalem, and there was much celebration and joy as it was placed into the tent that David had prepared for it. David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD and shared in celebration with the people. Then as David was secure and comfortable in his own house he spoke to Nathan about providing a permanent house for the ark of God. Nathan's first reaction was to agree with David as he said the LORD was with him.


2 Samuel 7 "4 And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, 5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus said the LORD, Shall you build me an house for me to dwell in? 6 Whereas I have not dwelled 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. 7 In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spoke I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build you not me an house of cedar? 8 Now therefore so shall you say to my servant David, Thus said the LORD of hosts, I took you from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: 9 And I was with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies out of your sight, and have made you a great name, like to the name of the great men that are in the earth."

COMMENTS: That very night the word of the LORD came to Nathan the prophet with details of the response he was to give to David about this desire to build a temple for the ark of God. The LORD referred to David as his servant, but David was not to build a house for God. The wording above from 1 Samuel gives indication that David may have been somewhat presumptuous when he was not first directed by the LORD, and the wording from the parallel passage is very clear that the LORD would not allow David to build a "house of cedar." 2 chronicles 17 "4 Go and tell David my servant, Thus said the LORD, You shall not build me an house to dwell in: 5 For I have not dwelled in an house since the day that I brought up Israel to this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another." Moses had been given specific instructions from God about how the first tabernacle was to be made, including all the furnishings. Over the nearly four hundred years in the land from the time of Joshua up to the time of David, the LORD had never instructed any of the twelve tribes to build a temple.

Therefore Nathan was directed to remind David that it was the LORD of hosts who had taken him from tending sheep to become ruler over Israel, the people of the LORD. And the LORD said he had been with David wherever he went and he cut off David's enemies out of his sight. The LORD had made a great name for David comparable to the great men of the earth. We can know from the record of scripture about David's difficult journey through life, from the starting point of keeping his father's sheep, and being anointed by Samuel as directed by the LORD. David had years of difficulty after King Saul had become his enemy, and after Saul's death David was king at Hebron for seven years before he became king over all of Israel in Jerusalem. David had come through those many years by faithfully trusting in the protection and provision from the LORD, and now with these reminders, it was apparent he needed to wait upon the LORD again.


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, 11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the LORD tells you that he will make you an house."

COMMENTS: The LORD had given David his protection and success in all the things he recounted through Nathan, and he wanted David to know that it will be the LORD who will appoint a place especially for his people and will plant them securely so they will not need to move any more. The LORD had said that the children of wickedness would not afflict them anymore as they had from the beginning, then through the period of the judges, and up to that particular time when the LORD had given David rest from all of his enemies. Scripture records that there had been periods of rest previous to David's lifetime, but they were always followed by periods of conflict as Israel strayed from the LORD. David could reflect on the many events of his own life guided by the LORD that had brought Israel to the current rest, and had placed him as their king. So it may have seemed to David when Nathan spoke to him that God was going to firmly establish Israel with David's immediate heir as king. But when Solomon was king the LORD warned him of the consequences if he did not walked in integrity of heart, and follow all of the commands of the LORD. 1 Kings 9 "1 And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do, 2 That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 And the LORD said to him, I have heard your prayer and your supplication, that you have made before me: I have hallowed this house, which you have built, to put my name there for ever; and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually. 4 And if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep my statutes and my judgments: 5 Then I will establish the throne of your kingdom on Israel for ever, as I promised to David your father, saying, There shall not fail you a man on the throne of Israel. 6 But if you shall at all turn from following me, you or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: 7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: 8 And at this house, which is high, every one that passes by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why has the LORD done thus to this land, and to this house? 9 And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold on other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore has the LORD brought on them all this evil."

There was peace during the reign of Solomon, but he set up idols in Jerusalem and allowed the worship of other gods. 1 Kings 11 "9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared to him twice, 10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. 11 Why the LORD said to Solomon, For as much as this is done of you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely rend the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. 12 Notwithstanding in your days I will not do it for David your father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of your son. 13 However, I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to your son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen." When Solomon's son Rehoboam became king, ten tribes separated into the northern kingdom with Jeroboam as their king (see 1Kings chapter 12), and all twelve tribes were never again reunited under one king.

The last clause in verse 11 "Also the LORD tells you that he will make you an house" is better understood as meaning family or descendents especially since David heard this as he sat in his luxurious house of cedar. The same Hebrew term that is used here, is in some parts of scripture more definitely used to mean a structure, and in other parts to mean a family. David understood this to mean his family, and his line would be preserved into the future with blessing from the LORD. When that word is used in verses 12 and 13 taken together, it could have either or both meanings if it encompasses more than one prophecy.


2 Samuel 7 "12 And when your days be fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, which shall proceed out of your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever."

COMMENTS: When this message was delivered from the LORD by Nathan to David, he had not yet committed his sin with Bathsheba and Solomon was not even foreseeable to him in his future. So David's expectation would have been that he would remain as king until his lifetime was ended, then one of his sons would succeed him on the throne. It would be reasonable if David applied what he heard to mean that The LORD promised to establish the throne of his immediate heir, who also would build a house for God. Then the succession of the throne would continually pass to descendents of David. Much happened in succeeding years which David could not have anticipated. He sinned grievously with Bathsheba, but the second child from their union was named Solomon. In subsequent years two of his sons tried to take his throne without his blessing. Near the end of his life he did appoint Solomon as his successor and he made many preparations for Solomon to build the temple in Jerusalem.

Other scripture documents that David made preparations before his death for Solomon to build the temple. 1 Chronicles 22 "5 And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be built for the LORD must be exceeding magnificent, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death. 6 Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the LORD God of Israel." After David had died Solomon completed the temple and made reference to David his father. 1 Kings 8 "15 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which spoke with his mouth to David my father, and has with his hand fulfilled it, saying, 16 Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build an house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel. 17 And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. 18 And the LORD said to David my father, Whereas it was in your heart to build an house to my name, you did well that it was in your heart. 19 Nevertheless you shall not build the house; but your son that shall come forth out of your loins, he shall build the house to my name. 20 And the LORD has performed his word that he spoke, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel."

However, the more significant fulfillment of the prophetic words of the LORD to David spanned many more centuries and included the rest of the prophecy about an everlasting kingdom. That king who was to come would truly be a descendent of David in the flesh, but the house he would build would be a family by spiritual adoption and his throne would be over an everlasting kingdom. There also would be many other prophecies fulfilled about him. Isaiah 9 "6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."

Several centuries after Isaiah's prophecy, the son of David came by the Holy Spirit through the virgin Mary to be the everlasting king. Luke 1 "30 And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God. 31 And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God." There were quite a few kings in Judah who were descendents of Solomon, but Jesus was not a descendent of Solomon. he came through the line of descendents through David's son Nathan as recorded in the gospel of Luke 3:21-31. That passage starts with the voice from heaven declaring Jesus to be the Son of God, and then lists the genealogy in reverse order from Mary's father back to Nathan, the son of King David. The identity of David is confirmed in succeeding verses by listing his line of ancestry that is clearly verified in the Old Testament scripture.

Jesus is head of the family of God and the family members are all who have received the Holy Spirit as more clearly revealed in the New Testament. Hebrews 3 "6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end." And there are family units who have gathered together from generation to generation in our present world. 1 Timothy 3 "15 But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." This church is a household comprised of citizens of a kingdom, and can also embody the symbolic representation of a temple as expressed by the Apostle Paul. Ephesians 2 "19 Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together grows to an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." And there are to be spiritual sacrifices at the living temple. 1 Peter 2 "5 You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." Another letter gives us examples of spiritual sacrifices. Hebrews 13 "14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. 15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."


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: 15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established for ever before you: your throne shall be established for ever. 17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak to David."

COMMENTS: David had been chastened by the LORD for his iniquity as a father chastens a son, but the mercy of the LORD had not been taken from him as it had been from King Saul. So David could consider that Nathan was saying the LORD would not put away his mercy for his son Solomon. But David had never turned away from the true and living God as Saul had done, and as Solomon eventually did during his reign thus nullifying the continual blessing of the LORD for Solomon's descendents. . But there is a descendent of David who came through the line of David's son Nathan, and was born of a virgin to be son of man and Son of God. He took the discipline for others as he had no guilt of his own. 1 Peter 2 "21 For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously: 24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed." Isaiah 9:6-7 and Luke 1:30-33-35 in the previous section reveal the everlasting kingdom established by the power and authority of the LORD.

Paul provides an excellent overview of the fulfilled promise of prophecy that we have in Jesus. Romans 1 "1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised before by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6 Among whom are you also the called of Jesus Christ: 7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."

We have so much more scripture available in our current age as we consider all the words and the vision that Nathan revealed to David as he had been instructed by the LORD. What a blessing to us that we have our sure hope in the LORD as our king rather than even the most powerful man who will ever rule in the earth. Psalm 118 "8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. 9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes." Psalm 146 "2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises to my God while I have any being. 3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. 4 His breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. 5 Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: 6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keeps truth for ever."


LORD, thank you for the additional scripture that has helped me to see other dimensions as I have studied this passage to better appreciate your perpetual blessing to King David, and to all who place their faith and trust in you alone. Give me the discernment to use the opportunities you place before me to be faithful to your kingdom and to function in whatever way you have prepared for me. Thank you for the many mercies in my life just as scripture records your mercy given to David. May I through your Spirit never move to a point of worship of any but you, LORD, the true and living God. I praise you, LORD, that you have made me part of your family and of your kingdom by grace through faith in the unique son of David who is the Son of God. Your blessings have much impact in the present world, but I praise you most of all for the sure hope of being part of your eternal kingdom. Amen.

Published 13 June 2015