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2 Samuel 7:14 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.

2 Corinthians 6:18 New King James Version (NKJV)

18“I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”[a]

In 2 Corinthians the Apostle Paul is seen exhorting the church at Corinth,but the NKJV indicate this as a quote in its footnotes of 2 Samuel 7 which is given to David by the Prophet Nathan concerning his son Solomon.

The wording & context are slightly different,so how can we understand this quote?

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  • The key is found in vs 6:14 "Do not be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers." Paul urged his readers not to follow in Solomon's footsteps (he fell into idolatry after marrying foreign wives. ) Oct 28, 2023 at 21:08

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From the context in 2 Corinthians 6, it would appear that there is no direct connection between 2 Samuel 7:14 and 2 Corinthians 6:18 other than a topical reference to “sons and daughters”. My KJV has that same 2 Samuel 7:14 reference, as well as a reference to Isaiah 43:6 which also mentions “sons and daughters” but other than that, there appears to be no other significance. In 2 Samuel 7:14, the “son” reference is to the Messiah and in 2 Corinthians 6:18, the “sons and daughters” reference would be to the believer.

2 Samuel 7: 6-16

6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. 7 In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar? 8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: 9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. 10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, 11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house. 12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

In 2 Samuel 7:5-16, God is explaining to David that God does not want David to build a physical house for Him. He mentions that in all the time the tabernacle traveled around with the Israelites in the wilderness, He never once asked anyone to build Him a permanent house. God says that David will not build a house for God but God would build a house for David (v11). The reference to “house” is a reference to the “family” of God and not a physical temple. How will David’s family (house) be built; only through the coming Messiah.

In 2 Samuel 7: 12-13, God tells David that David’s “son” which will proceed from David’s heart and soul, will be the one to build the family for God and David. This “son” is the Messiah.

Verse 14:

14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

This verse is a reference to the crucifixion (note the rod and stripes of men). God then goes on in v15-16 to reference the eternal qualities of the Messiah’s kingdom, ie, mercy, kingdom and throne would all be established forever. Please note in verse 16 that God says, “THINE” (ie David’s) house and kingdom will be established forever. Obviously, the only way David’s house will be established forever would be through the promised Messiah as none of these were accomplished during Solomon’s reign.

In 2 Corinthians 6, we see Paul is talking about the believer separating themselves from the practices of unbelievers and by continuing to walk by faith, believers will be received by God as His sons and daughters. There is no reference to the Messiah here.

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The connection is taken from the LXX:

LXX 2 Reigns 7:8-14 NETS

8 And now this is what you shall say to my slave David: This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the sheepfold for you to be leader for my people, for Israel 9 and was with you in all to which you went and destroyed all your enemies from before you and made you renowned like the name of the great ones who are upon the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, and they will encamp by themselves, and they will be distressed no more, and a son of injustice shall not add to afflict them as formerly 11 from the days that I appointed judges over my people Israel, and I will give you rest from all your enemies, and the Lord will tell you that you will make a house for him. 12 And it will be if your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, that I will raise up your offspring after you who shall be from your belly, and I will prepare his kingdom; 13 he shall build me a house for my name, and I will restore his throne forever. 14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me, and if injustice comes, then I will punish him with a rod of men and with attacks of sons of men.

The Greek translates יהוה צבאות who speaks to Nathan (verse 7:8) as κύριος παντοκράτωρ, Lord Almighty. Thus in the Greek translation, the entire message Nathan is to deliver to David is from κύριος παντοκράτωρ.

Paul cites only the first portion of verse 7:14. He adds daughters which is absent in the Hebrew and Greek text. This prevents an overly literal understanding to mean God is father only to men. Paul has interpreted the promise of God's Fatherhood as one made to both male and female.

Finally, Paul truncates verse 7:14 after the promise of fatherhood, but he adds who it was that made the promise, λέγει κύριος παντοκράτωρ, says Lord Almighty, quoting the LXX verbatim.

Conclusion
As he often does, Paul connects multiple Scriptures to convey a single point:

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ESV

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

The singular idea is believers, we (verse 16) are the Temple of the Living God, or the living Temple of God.1 This is possible because Christ has no accord or harmony with Belial, a name for Satan. The Scriptures Paul uses to show this separation and God's intent to dwell with His people begins verse 16. The NKJV points to Leviticus 26:12 (also Jeremiah 32:38 and Ezekiel 37:27) as what Paul is citing. In verse 17 he uses Isaiah 52:11 (also Ezekiel 20:34, 41). In verse 18 he uses 2 Samuel 7:14 and 7:8. By ending with λέγει κύριος παντοκράτωρ, says Lord Almighty, Paul in effect attributes all to Lord Almighty.

Obviously Paul has taken from several places the idea of God dwelling with His people. The key is how he applies God's response to David's desire to build a singular and stationary Temple in Jerusalem. Paul works from the promise to be a Father. Thus believers will be His sons and daughters. Wherever His children are (in this case Corinth) He dwells in their midst. Since they are in His presence, they should avoid that which is unclean, go from the midst (of that which is unclean), and be welcomed by Christ (who has no harmony with Belial).

All of this Paul states was λέγει κύριος παντοκράτωρ, spoken by Lord Almighty.


1. Literally, we for temple of/from God are living.

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To understand clearly we need to refer to the context: the issue of intermarriage. Solomon's foreign wives led him to sin, and Christians should not follow his example. As @Revelation Lad rightly says, the OP verse is part of a longer section which informally combines several scriptures. He does this to make a specific point: that Christians should not marry non-Christians: "Do not be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers."(6:14)

In the case of 2 Corinthians 6:18, Paul has expanded the meaning of the original OT verse from the individual to the community level. An insightful comment in a footnote from the NABRE editors:

This is a chain of scriptural citations carefully woven together. God’s covenant relation to his people and his presence among them... is translated into the personal language of the parent-child relationship, an extension to the community of the language of 2 Sm 7:14 (2 Cor 6:18).

Solomon violated his agreement with God when he allowed his foreign wives to lead him into idolatry. Paul invokes God's covenant with Solomon to warn that Christians, as a community, should not "yoke themselves" to pagans.

Conclusion: To boil the issue down, Paul was urging Christians to avoid marrying non-believers. He thus paraphrased 2 Sam. 7:14 so that it no longer referred specifically to God and Solomon as an individual, but to God and the Christian community collectively.

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