Old Testament

1 Chronicles 17
The Lord's Covenant With David
171After David was living in his own house, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Look! I am living in a house of cedar, but the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord sits under tent curtains.”
2Nathan said to David, “Do everything that is in your heart, because God is with you.”
3But that night the word of God came to Nathan. 4“Go and tell David my servant these things.”
This is what the Lord says. You will not be the one to build a house for me to live in, 5for I have not lived in a house from the day when I caused Israel to go up from Egypt until this day, but I have been in a moving tent as my dwelling place.[] 6In all my traveling about with all the Israelites, did I ever speak a word with one of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people, or ask, “Why have you not built a house of cedar for me?”
7Now you are also to say the following to my servant David:
This is what the Lord of Armies says. I took you from the pastures, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people Israel. 8I have been with you wherever you went. I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will make a reputation for you like the reputation of the great ones in the earth. 9I will establish a place for my people Israel, and I will plant them there. They will dwell there, and they will not be disturbed anymore. I will not allow wicked men to devastate them again as I did in the beginning, 10and as it happened during the times when I commanded judges over my people Israel, but I will subdue all your enemies.
I declare to you that the Lord will build a house for you. 11When your days are completed, you will go to be with your fathers. I will raise up your seed[] after you from among your sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12He will build a house for me. I will establish his throne forever. 13I will be his father, and he will be my son. My mercy I will not take away from him as I took it from the one who was before you. 14I will cause him to stand in my house and in my kingdom forever. His throne will be established forever.
15Nathan told David all the words that had been revealed in this vision.
David's Response to the Covenant
16Then King David went and sat before the Lord and said:
Who am I, Lord God, and what is my house that you have brought me to this point? 17Yet this was a small thing in your eyes, God! You have spoken about the house of your servant for a long time into the future. You have revealed to me the course for the man who will arise, Lord God.[]
18What more can David add to you for honoring your servant? You know your servant.
19 Lord, for the sake of your servant and according to the plan of your heart, you have carried out this great thing by making known all these great promises. 20Lord, there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, as is apparent from everything which our ears have heard.
21Who is like your people Israel? It is the one nation on earth for whom God went out to redeem a people to himself, to make for yourself a great name, by doing great and awe-inspiring things in order to drive out nations in front of your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt. 22You adopted Israel as your people forever. You, O Lord, became their God.
23Now, Lord, the word which you have spoken about your servant and about his house will stand firm forever. Do as you have spoken. 24It will stand firm. Your name will be great forever. It will be said: The Lord of Armies is the God of Israel.[] The house of David your servant will be established before you.
25For you, my God, have whispered into the ear[] of your servant that you would build a house for him. That is why your servant has dared to pray before you. 26Now, Lord, you are God and have said these good things concerning your servant. 27Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant to be forever before you. For what you, Lord, have blessed is blessed forever.


  • 17:5 Or been moving from tent to tent and dwelling place. The verse may allude to the many different sites where the Dwelling had been set up in the wilderness, but it may also allude to the fact that the original home of the Dwelling at Shiloh had been destroyed by the Philistines and since that time the ark had been in temporary quarters. The parallel in 2 Samuel 7:6 supports the first option.
  • 17:11 Or your offspring or your descendent. The literal term seed is retained to point out the continuity of the messianic promises from Eve, through Abraham, David, and the kings of Judah, until they reach their fulfillment in Christ, the Seed of the Woman. To agree with the singular number of the word seed, the pronouns are singular (he not they) throughout. Unlike the parallel in 2 Samuel, Chronicles does not mention the unfaithful descendants of Solomon but only Christ, the true fulfillment.
  • 17:17 The text is cryptic. Literally it reads and you see me like the turn of the man which is upward Lord God. (The word translated turn is the Hebrew word tor. The parallel word in 2 Samuel 7:19 is torah, which means law, so it is possible that there is a copying error here.) Most translations interpret this as a general reference to the honor given to David or as a statement that God has revealed the future to David. Martin Luther understood it as a direct reference to Christ: You have looked upon me in the form of a man who is in the highest, the Lord God.
  • 17:24 God of Israel is written twice in the Hebrew text.
  • 17:25 Literally you have uncovered the ear, which can mean you have revealed into the ear