By Jeff Pulse –
The Old Testament text for this Sunday, December 24, 2017, is from the second book of Samuel the prophet. The text is II Samuel 7:1-11, 16, which shows King David’s desire and plan to build a house for the LORD and the response the LORD gives through His prophet Nathan. In context, this reading takes place immediately following the return of the Ark of the Covenant to the city of Jerusalem. The Ark had previously been with the Philistines, but David liberated it, and then it resided with Abinadab. David decided to bring it to Jerusalem but did not follow the proper order. Thus, Uzzah was struck dead when he touched the Ark to stabilize it. David left the Ark with the house of Obed-edom the Gittite for three months before finally bringing it the rest of the way to Jerusalem. It was such a joyous occasion that David danced about with the others. His wife Michal saw this and despised him in her heart. She resented David, and therefore she remained barren. A lot has happened surrounding the Ark of the Covenant which shows the presence of the LORD with His people. Now that it is in Jerusalem, the next obvious thing would be to construct a permanent dwelling place. This brings us to our text.
The pericope begins with David sharing his intentions with Nathan, who gives the green light, only to be informed by the LORD that the light is actually red! David is pointing out all the things he should do/can do for the LORD, but the LORD reverses the conversation and shows all the things He has done for Israel/David and all that He promises He will do.
I am grateful for the help provided by A. Steinmann and his II Samuel Commentary from the Concordia Commentary Series.
7:1 heniach-lo—root: nuach—hiphil “to give rest” “He caused him to have rest” (see also vs 11)
7:2 arazim—root: errz A peculiar and rare word, probably “cedar; fir”
hayriah “the tent curtain; tent”
7:4 “The Word of the LORD was to Nathan” This phrase/construction is used 87 times in the prophets.
7:5 koh amar Yahweh “Thus says the LORD” Indicates that that which follows is a divine revelation.
leshivti—root: yashab—infinitive construct “for me to dwell in”
7:6 haalthi—root: alah—hiphil “I brought up; I caused to be brought up”
mithhalek—root: halak—hithpael participle “moving around; moving about” Designates a regular, repeated action.
7:7 hithhalakti—root: halak—hithpael (see vs. 6)
mishkan—root: shakan “tabernacle” The place where God dwells—note the “presence” issue in this pericope.
7:8 hanaweh—root: naweh “grazing place; dwelling place of sheep” Steinmann notes that in this context it means the peaceful dwelling place of God’s redeemed people as his flock.
nagid “leader; ruler; prince”
7:9 waakrithah—root: karat—hiphil: “and I cut off; I caused to be cut off”
Note that this is the beginning of a string of promises (4) that concludes in verse 11. Each promise is expressed with a perfect verb with a waw consecutive…”and I will…”
7:10 yirgaz—root: ragaz “to tremble; to be disquieted; apprehensive”
yosiphu—root: yasap—hiphil: “to do again; repeat”
leanotho—root: anah—piel: “to oppress; afflict; humble; abuse”
7:11 hanichothi—root: nuach (see verse one)
7:16 weneman—root: aman—niphal participle: “to be permanent; endure; established” Often used in this way to indicate a king’s throne.