God’s Covenant with David

As David sat in his house (palace), he said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I live in a house of cedars, while the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under tent curtains.” Then Nathan said to David, “[a]Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.”

But it came about that same night that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell David My servant, ‘Thus says the Lord, “You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in; for I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought Israel up [from Egypt] until this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from one dwelling place to another. Wherever I have walked with all Israel, did I say a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people, saying, ‘Why have you not built for Me a house of cedar?’”’ Now, therefore, this is what 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 leader over My people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make your name like the name of the great ones of the earth. I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place and not be moved again [nor tremble with fear]; and the [b]wicked will not waste (persecute) them anymore, as formerly, 10 since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel. And I will humble and subdue all your enemies.

“Furthermore, I tell you that the Lord will build you a house (a blessed posterity). 11 And it shall come to pass that when your days are completed and you must go to be with your fathers [in death], I will raise up one of your descendants after you, one of your own sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.(A) 13 I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My steadfast love and mercy away from him, as I took it from him (King Saul) who was before you.(B) 14 But I will settle [c]him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forevermore.”’”© 15 According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

David’s Prayer in Response

16 Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house and family that You have brought me this far? 17 This was a small thing in Your eyes, O God; but You have spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the standard and estate of a man of high degree (prominence), O Lord God. 18 What more can David say to You for the honor granted to Your servant? For You know Your servant. 19 O Lord, for Your servant’s sake, and in accordance with Your own heart, You have accomplished all this greatness, to make known all these great things. 20 O Lord, there is no one like You, nor is there any God except You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 21 And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make a name for Yourself by great and awesome and terrible things, by driving out nations from before Your people, whom You redeemed out of Egypt? 22 You made Your people Israel Your own people forever, and You, Lord, became their God.

23 “Therefore now, O Lord, let the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and his house endure forever, and do as You have said. 24 Let Your name [and the character that it denotes] endure and be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is the God of Israel, yes, a God to Israel; and the house of Your servant David is established before You.’ 25 For You, O my God, have revealed to Your servant that You will build for him a house (descendants); therefore Your servant has found courage to pray before You. 26 And now, O Lord, You are God, and you have spoken and promised this good thing to Your servant. 27 Therefore may it please You to bless the house (descendants) of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for what You bless, O Lord, is blessed forever.”


  1. 1 Chronicles 17:2 This may have been advice expressed by Nathan rather than a prophecy; in v 4 it becomes clear that God did not tell Nathan to say this.
  2. 1 Chronicles 17:9 Lit sons of wickedness.
  3. 1 Chronicles 17:14 At this point the prophecy looks ahead from Solomon to the Messiah (Christ), whose reign will be forever; yet the reference to Solomon is not lost, and the Messiah’s reign in a sense will be the fulfillment of Solomon’s as described here.

Cross references

  1. 1 Chronicles 17:12 : 1 Chr 28:7
  2. 1 Chronicles 17:13 : Heb 1:5, 6
  3. 1 Chronicles 17:14 : Is 9:7