II Samuel 7

By Levi Clancy for לוי on

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2 Samuel 7 tells of David's wish to build a house for God, as David himself lives in a palace, but God wishes instead for the House of David, the establishment of a Davidic dynasty. David laments that he lives in a great palace, while God lives in a tent. God responds to David via the prophet Nathan, "Did I ever speak a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, "Why have you not built me a house of cedar?" (2 Samuel 7:7) God then continues with, "The Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever." (2 Samuel 7:11-13) David begins a length monologue proclaiming the greatness of Israel in connection with the Lord.

Following the conquest of Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 5 and its consecration with the arrival of the ark in 2 Samuel 6, the Lord himself has recognized that one of David's descendants will build a house for God. This would be his son Solomon, who would build a temple in Jerusalem, which was referred to as a house as the ancient Orientals conceived of a temple as a dwelling for the deity to whom it was dedicated. While the presence of the ark was enough to make Jerusalem sacred and blessed, the construction of a temple would figuratively and literally cement Jerusalem as the axis mundi, where the divine realm intersected permanently with non-sacred reality.