The background in 2 Samuel is from the earliest days of the monarchy, and shows a tension between settling down and the peregrinations of the wilderness. The one who is now settled has something to build and something to defend. The something can get in the way of life. Yet we (though in this case not he, David) are allowed to build. The building continues. What is it that we are doing in the temple of the created order?
This passage contains one of the two instances of a verse which is not from the Psalms, that is also part of the conversation between father and son in the Epistle to the Hebrews. The son is of course identified with Jesus in that epistle, but this does not preclude the identification with Israel, and with all who are incorporated into the character of the peaceable kingdom. Let's get rid of the razor wire around the pomegranate. Even given rest from our enemies, there will be work to do which cannot be done in isolated enclaves fraught with self-protection and fear.
David's response is from the heart in a set of words the like of which I have not yet seen in the Scripture. The phrase אַתָּה־הוּא֙ הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים, appears in 4 other places though this is the first time I have seen it. 1 Chronicles 17.26, 2 Chronicles 20.6, 2 Kings 19.15, and Isaiah 37.16. הוּא֙ הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים is rather more frequent and is translated quite naturally as he is God, so I wonder why this more complex phrase would be rendered without reference to the he. I am reading it as an interpolation, perhaps by the originator of the prayer, perhaps not. So I am allowing the literal comment to come through. And the pulse matches for the music. Other suggestions?
JB adds a note on perhaps what is another interpolation, the last part of verse 19. They say 'this is the instruction for the human' here makes no sense. It is a long tradition, and if this is indeed not from David's mouth, it is from some stylus scribbling impetuously (Psalm 45:2, my rendering). It is a tongue from the tradition that took the messianic intent of this passage to heart. Or it can be read as a reference to verse 9 which perhaps is the thought in the traditional translations, (but that as allusion seems doubtful to me).
David's Psalm 16, a free rendering which I did 3 years ago, might be fun today.
|2 Samuel 7||Fn||Min||Max||Syll|
|וַיְהִ֕י כִּי־יָשַׁ֥ב הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ בְּבֵית֑וֹ |
וַיהוָ֛ה הֵנִֽיחַ־ל֥וֹ מִסָּבִ֖יב מִכָּל־אֹיְבָֽיו
|1||And it happened that the king sat in his house, |
and Yahweh gave him rest on every side from all his enemies.
|וַיֹּ֤אמֶר הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ אֶל־נָתָ֣ן הַנָּבִ֔יא רְאֵ֣ה נָ֔א אָנֹכִ֥י יוֹשֵׁ֖ב בְּבֵ֣ית אֲרָזִ֑ים |
וַֽאֲרוֹן֙ הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים יֹשֵׁ֖ב בְּת֥וֹךְ הַיְרִיעָֽה
|2||And the king said to Nathan the prophet, See now, I myself sit in a house of cedar, |
and the ark of the God sits among the curtains.
|וַיֹּ֤אמֶר נָתָן֙ אֶל־הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ כֹּ֛ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר בִּֽלְבָבְךָ֖ לֵ֣ךְ עֲשֵׂ֑ה |
כִּ֥י יְהוָ֖ה עִמָּֽךְ
|3||And Nathan said to the king, What is in your heart, go, do, |
for Yahweh is with you.
|וַיְהִ֖י בַּלַּ֣יְלָה הַה֑וּא |
וַֽיְהִי֙ דְּבַר־יְהוָ֔ה אֶל־נָתָ֖ן לֵאמֹֽר
|4||And it was in that night, |
that the word of Yahweh happened to Nathan, saying,
|לֵ֤ךְ וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֙ אֶל־עַבְדִּ֣י אֶל־דָּוִ֔ד כֹּ֖ה אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֑ה |
הַאַתָּ֛ה תִּבְנֶה־לִּ֥י בַ֖יִת לְשִׁבְתִּֽי
|5||C||Go and say to my servant, to David, Thus says Yahweh, |
You? Are you to build for me a house to inhabit?
|כִּ֣י לֹ֤א יָשַׁ֙בְתִּי֙ בְּבַ֔יִת לְ֠מִיּוֹם הַעֲלֹתִ֞י אֶת־בְּנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם וְעַ֖ד הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה |
וָאֶֽהְיֶה֙ מִתְהַלֵּ֔ךְ בְּאֹ֖הֶל וּבְמִשְׁכָּֽן
|6||B||For I have not sat in a house from the day that I brought up the children of Israel from Egypt and till this day, |
but I am one who walks, by tent and by dwelling-place.
|בְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶֽׁר־הִתְהַלַּכְתִּי֮ בְּכָל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ הֲדָבָ֣ר דִּבַּ֗רְתִּי אֶת־אַחַד֙ שִׁבְטֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוִּ֗יתִי לִרְע֛וֹת אֶת־עַמִּ֥י אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר |
לָ֛מָּה לֹֽא־בְנִיתֶ֥ם לִ֖י בֵּ֥ית אֲרָזִֽים
|7||In all, wherever I walked, with all the children of Israel, a word did I speak with one the sceptres of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, |
Why have you not built for me a house of cedar?
|וְ֠עַתָּה כֹּֽה־תֹאמַ֞ר לְעַבְדִּ֣י לְדָוִ֗ד כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת אֲנִ֤י לְקַחְתִּ֙יךָ֙ מִן־הַנָּוֶ֔ה מֵאַחַ֖ר הַצֹּ֑אן |
לִֽהְי֣וֹת נָגִ֔יד עַל־עַמִּ֖י עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
|8||~||So now thus you say to my servant, to David, Thus says Yahweh of hosts, I took you from the home, from behind the flock, |
to be heralded over my people, over Israel.
|וָאֶהְיֶ֣ה עִמְּךָ֗ בְּכֹל֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָלַ֔כְתָּ וָאַכְרִ֥תָה אֶת־כָּל־אֹיְבֶ֖יךָ מִפָּנֶ֑יךָ |
וְעָשִׂ֤תִֽי לְךָ֙ שֵׁ֣ם גָּד֔וֹל כְּשֵׁ֥ם הַגְּדֹלִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר בָּאָֽרֶץ
|9||And I am with you every where you have walked, and I cut off all your enemies from before you, |
and I will make you a great name, like the name of the great that are in the earth.
|וְשַׂמְתִּ֣י מָ֠קוֹם לְעַמִּ֨י לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֤ל וּנְטַעְתִּיו֙ וְשָׁכַ֣ן תַּחְתָּ֔יו וְלֹ֥א יִרְגַּ֖ז ע֑וֹד |
וְלֹֽא־יֹסִ֤יפוּ בְנֵֽי־עַוְלָה֙ לְעַנּוֹת֔וֹ כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר בָּרִאשׁוֹנָֽה
|10||And I have set up a place for my people for Israel, and I will plant him, and he will dwell under it, and he will not shudder any more, |
and the children of injustice will not add to affliction as at first,
|וּלְמִן־הַיּ֗וֹם אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוִּ֤יתִי שֹֽׁפְטִים֙ עַל־עַמִּ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַהֲנִיחֹ֥תִי לְךָ֖ מִכָּל־אֹיְבֶ֑יךָ |
וְהִגִּ֤יד לְךָ֙ יְהוָ֔ה כִּי־בַ֖יִת יַעֲשֶׂה־לְּךָ֥ יְהוָֽה
|11||And from the day that I commanded judges over my people Israel, and have given rest for you from all your enemies. |
So Yahweh makes clear to you that Yahweh will make a house for you.
|כִּ֣י ׀ יִמְלְא֣וּ יָמֶ֗יךָ וְשָֽׁכַבְתָּ֙ אֶת־אֲבֹתֶ֔יךָ וַהֲקִימֹתִ֤י אֶֽת־זַרְעֲךָ֙ אַחֲרֶ֔יךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר יֵצֵ֖א מִמֵּעֶ֑יךָ |
|12||B||When full are your days, and you lie down with your ancestors, |
then I will raise up your seed after you, that goes out from your inner parts, and I will establish his kingdom.
|ה֥וּא יִבְנֶה־בַּ֖יִת לִשְׁמִ֑י |
וְכֹנַנְתִּ֛י אֶת־כִּסֵּ֥א מַמְלַכְתּ֖וֹ עַד־עוֹלָֽם
|13||f||He will build a house for my name, |
and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for evermore.
|אֲנִי֙ אֶהְיֶה־לּ֣וֹ לְאָ֔ב וְה֖וּא יִהְיֶה־לִּ֣י לְבֵ֑ן |
אֲשֶׁר֙ בְּהַ֣עֲוֺת֔וֹ וְהֹֽכַחְתִּיו֙ בְּשֵׁ֣בֶט אֲנָשִׁ֔ים וּבְנִגְעֵ֖י בְּנֵ֥י אָדָֽם
|14||Myself, I will be to him father, and he, he will be to me son, |
that in his perversity, I will be his referee with the sceptre of men, and with the contagion of the children of humanity.
|וְחַסְדִּ֖י לֹא־יָס֣וּר מִמֶּ֑נּוּ |
כַּאֲשֶׁ֤ר הֲסִרֹ֙תִי֙ מֵעִ֣ם שָׁא֔וּל אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֲסִרֹ֖תִי מִלְּפָנֶֽיךָ
|15||But my loving-kindness will not turn aside from him, |
as I have turned aside from Saul, whom I turned aside from your presence.
|וְנֶאְמַ֨ן בֵּיתְךָ֧ וּמַֽמְלַכְתְּךָ֛ עַד־עוֹלָ֖ם לְפָנֶ֑יךָ |
כִּֽסְאֲךָ֔ יִהְיֶ֥ה נָכ֖וֹן עַד־עוֹלָֽם
|16||And dependable is your house, and your kingdom, for evermore. |
In your presence your throne will be established for evermore.
|כְּכֹל֙ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה וּכְכֹ֖ל הַחִזָּי֣וֹן הַזֶּ֑ה |
כֵּ֛ן דִּבֶּ֥ר נָתָ֖ן אֶל־דָּוִֽד
|17||According to all these words and according to all this vision, |
such was the word of Nathan to David.
|וַיָּבֹא֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ דָּוִ֔ד וַיֵּ֖שֶׁב לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה |
וַיֹּ֗אמֶר מִ֣י אָנֹכִ֞י אֲדֹנָ֤י יְהוִה֙ וּמִ֣י בֵיתִ֔י כִּ֥י הֲבִיאֹתַ֖נִי עַד־הֲלֹֽם
|18||Then king David came in, and he sat in the presence of Yahweh, |
and he said, Who am I, O Lord Yahweh, and what is my house, that you have let me come to what is so far removed?
|וַתִּקְטַן֩ ע֨וֹד זֹ֤את בְּעֵינֶ֙יךָ֙ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֔ה וַתְּדַבֵּ֛ר גַּ֥ם אֶל־בֵּֽית־עַבְדְּךָ֖ לְמֵֽרָח֑וֹק |
וְזֹ֛את תּוֹרַ֥ת הָאָדָ֖ם אֲדֹנָ֥י יְהוִֽה
|19||And least still is this in your eyes, O Lord Yahweh. But you spoke, moreover, O God, of the house of your servant from afar, |
and this is the instruction for the human, O Lord Yahweh.
|וּמַה־יּוֹסִ֥יף דָּוִ֛ד ע֖וֹד לְדַבֵּ֣ר אֵלֶ֑יךָ |
וְאַתָּ֛ה יָדַ֥עְתָּ אֶֽת־עַבְדְּךָ֖ אֲדֹנָ֥י יְהוִֽה
|20||And what will David add further to speak with you? |
And yourself, you know your servant, O Lord Yahweh.
|בַּעֲב֤וּר דְּבָֽרְךָ֙ וּֽכְלִבְּךָ֔ עָשִׂ֕יתָ אֵ֥ת כָּל־הַגְּדוּלָּ֖ה הַזֹּ֑את |
|21||On behalf of your word, and according to your heart, you have done all this greatness, |
to inform your servant.
|עַל־כֵּ֥ן גָּדַ֖לְתָּ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֑ה |
כִּֽי־אֵ֣ין כָּמ֗וֹךָ וְאֵ֤ין אֱלֹהִים֙ זֽוּלָתֶ֔ךָ בְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־שָׁמַ֖עְנוּ בְּאָזְנֵֽינוּ
|22||So you are great. my Lord Yahweh. |
for there is none like you, and there is no God except you, in all that we have heard with our ears.
|וּמִ֤י כְעַמְּךָ֙ כְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל גּ֥וֹי אֶחָ֖ד בָּאָ֑רֶץ |
אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָלְכֽוּ־אֱ֠לֹהִים לִפְדּֽוֹת־ל֨וֹ לְעָ֜ם וְלָשׂ֧וּם ל֣וֹ שֵׁ֗ם וְלַעֲשׂ֨וֹת לָכֶ֜ם הַגְּדוּלָּ֤ה וְנֹֽרָאוֹת֙ לְאַרְצֶ֔ךָ מִפְּנֵ֣י עַמְּךָ֗ אֲשֶׁ֨ר פָּדִ֤יתָ לְּךָ֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם גּוֹיִ֖ם וֵאלֹהָֽיו
|23||C||And who is as your people, as Israel, one nation in the earth, |
that God led to ransom for himself a people, and to define for himself a name, and to do for yourself the great and fearful things for your land, before your people, that you have ransomed for yourself from Egypt, nations and their gods.
|וַתְּכ֣וֹנֵֽן לְ֠ךָ אֶת־עַמְּךָ֨ יִשְׂרָאֵ֧ל ׀ לְךָ֛ לְעָ֖ם עַד־עוֹלָ֑ם |
וְאַתָּ֣ה יְהוָ֔ה הָיִ֥יתָ לָהֶ֖ם לֵאלֹהִֽים
|24||And you prepare for yourself your people, Israel, for you, for a people, for evermore, |
and you Yahweh, you have become their God.
|וְעַתָּה֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהִ֔ים הַדָּבָ֗ר אֲשֶׁ֨ר דִּבַּ֤רְתָּ עַֽל־עַבְדְּךָ֙ וְעַל־בֵּית֔וֹ הָקֵ֖ם עַד־עוֹלָ֑ם |
וַעֲשֵׂ֖ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּֽרְתָּ
|25||And now, Yahweh, God, the thing that you have spoken over your servant, and over his house, uphold for evermore, |
and do as you spoke.
|וְיִגְדַּ֨ל שִׁמְךָ֤ עַד־עוֹלָם֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת אֱלֹהִ֖ים עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל |
וּבֵית֙ עַבְדְּךָ֣ דָוִ֔ד יִהְיֶ֥ה נָכ֖וֹן לְפָנֶֽיךָ
|26||And let your name be magnified for evermore, saying, Yahweh of hosts, God over Israel, |
and let the house of your servant David be established in your presence.
|כִּֽי־אַתָּה֩ יְהוָ֨ה צְבָא֜וֹת אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל גָּלִ֜יתָה אֶת־אֹ֤זֶן עַבְדְּךָ֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר בַּ֖יִת אֶבְנֶה־לָּ֑ךְ |
עַל־כֵּ֗ן מָצָ֤א עַבְדְּךָ֙ אֶת־לִבּ֔וֹ לְהִתְפַּלֵּ֣ל אֵלֶ֔יךָ אֶת־הַתְּפִלָּ֖ה הַזֹּֽאת
|27||Because you Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel, have disclosed to the ear of your servant, saying, A house I will build for you, |
so your servant found his heart praying to you this prayer.
|וְעַתָּ֣ה ׀ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֗ה אַתָּה־הוּא֙ הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים וּדְבָרֶ֖יךָ יִהְי֣וּ אֱמֶ֑ת |
וַתְּדַבֵּר֙ אֶֽל־עַבְדְּךָ֔ אֶת־הַטּוֹבָ֖ה הַזֹּֽאת
|28||And now, O Lord Yahweh, you, (he is the God), and your words are truth, |
and you have spoken to your servant this good.
|וְעַתָּ֗ה הוֹאֵל֙ וּבָרֵךְ֙ אֶת־בֵּ֣ית עַבְדְּךָ֔ לִהְי֥וֹת לְעוֹלָ֖ם לְפָנֶ֑יךָ |
כִּֽי־אַתָּ֞ה אֲדֹנָ֤י יְהוִה֙ דִּבַּ֔רְתָּ וּמִבִּרְכָ֣תְךָ֔ יְבֹרַ֥ךְ בֵּֽית־עַבְדְּךָ֖ לְעוֹלָֽם
|29||And now be determined, and bless the house of your servant, to be forever in your presence. |
For you, my Lord Yahweh, you have spoken, and from your blessing, let the house of your servant be blessed forever.