Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 17

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains.

As David sat in his house. The details of this chapter were given in nearly similar terms, 2 Samuel 7:1-29. The date was toward the latter end of David's reign; because it is expressly said in the former book to have been at the cessation of all his wars. But as to narrate the preparations for the removal of the ark and the erection of the temple was the principal object of the historian, the exact chronology is not followed.

Verses 2-4

Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 5

For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.

I ... have gone from tent to tent ... The literal rendering is, 'I was walking in a tent and in a dwelling.' The evident intention (as we may see from 1 Chronicles 17:6) was to lay stress upon the fact that God was a Mithhallek (a traveling God), and went from one place to another with His tent and His entire dwelling. The dwelling included not merely the tent, but the fore-courts, with the altar of burnt offerings, etc. (Bertheau.)

Verse 6

Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?

Spake I a word to any of the judges. In 2 Samuel 7:7 it is "any of the tribes" of Israel. Both are included. But the judges, 'who were commanded to feed the people,' form the more suitable antithesis to David.

Why have ye not built me an house of cedars? - i:e., a solid and magnificent temple.

Verse 7

Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:

Thus saith the Lord ... I took thee from the sheep-cote [ min (H4480) hanaaweh (H5116)]. The flocks of nomad people are commonly kept in the open country, without being put within folds. In other circumstances they are driven into uncovered enclosures raised in various parts of their pastoral range. These are the 'sheep-cotes'-a rude structure of mud walls, generally in the form of a round tower of rude construction, high-walled, but open at the top, in which sheep are often enclosed at night to protect them from wild beasts. The meaning is: I elevated you to the throne from a humble condition solely by an act of divine grace, and not from any antecedent merits of your own (see the note at 1 Samuel 16:11), and enabled you to acquire renown equal or superior to any other monarch. Your reign will be ever afterward regarded as the best and brightest era in the history of Israel, because it will secure to the nation a settled inheritance of prosperity and peace, without any of the oppressions or disorders that afflicted them in early times.

Verses 8-9

And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 10

And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the LORD will build thee an house.

And since the time that I commanded judges - i:e., including the whole period from Joshua to Saul.

I tell thee that the Lord will build thee an house. This was the language of Nathan himself, who was specially directed to assure David, not only of personal blessing and prosperity, but of a continuous line of royal descendants. [ Waa'agid (H5046) laak (H3807a), "I tell thee." The Septuagint, combining these two words, have one word, wa'ªgadelk, which they render by: kai auaxeesoo de, 'and I will increase thee.' The sense is good, and in full accordance with the tenor of the divine promise. But to found upon a clause thus acquired an argument that the Septuagint had a Hebrew text before them superior to our present one will appear unwarranted, when it is considered that these words are translated one way in Samuel and another way here. The Septuagint contains an additional error in this passage; because in that version the words (1 Chronicles 17:4), uwbayit (H1004) yibneh (H1129) lªkaa (H3807a) Yahweh (H3068), "that the Lord will build thee an house," are rendered, hoti oikon oikodomeeseis autoo, 'that thou wilt build an house to him.']

Verse 11

And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.

I will raise up thy seed (2 Samuel 7:12).

Verse 12

He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 13

I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:

I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it. My procedure in dealing with him will be different from my disposal of Saul. Should his misconduct call for personal chastisement, I shall spare his family. If I see it necessary to withdraw my favour and help for a time, it will be a corrective discipline, only to reform and restore, not to destroy. On this passage some have founded an argument for Solomon's repentance and return to God.

Verse 14

But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.

I will settle him in mine house - over my people Israel.

And in my kingdom. God here asserts His right of supreme sovereignty in Israel. David and Solomon, with their successors, were only the vicegerents whom He nominated or, in His providence, permitted.

His throne shall be established for evermore. The posterity of David inherited the throne in a long succession, but not always. In such a connection as this, the phrase, "for evermore," is employed in a restricted sense (see the note at Lamentations 3:31). We naturally expect the prophet to revert to David before concluding, after having spoken (1 Chronicles 17:12) of the building of Solomon's temple. The promise that his house should be blessed was intended as a compensation for the disappointment of his wish to build the temple; and hence, this assurance is appropriately repeated at the conclusion of the prophet's address (Bertheau).

Verse 15

According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

According to all ... this vision. The revelation of the divine will was made to the prophet in a dream.

Verse 16

And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said, Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?

David the king ... sat before the Lord, and said - (see the notes at 2 Samuel 7:18-29.)

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.