5

2 Samuel 7:12-16 is part of what is regarded as God's covenant with King David as relayed by Nathan the prophet. Many theologians have seen in this promise a pointing forward not just to David's immediate son Solomon but also to the Messiah. The language which describes an everlasting throne and kingdom lends credence to this idea as we know that Solomon's throne and kingdom did not last forever:

When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come 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. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”

One of the characteristics of this Davidic offspring is that God will be as a father to him and he will be as a son to God. That is fine and is still pleasingly Messianic however it is also stated that this Son will be disciplined when he commits iniquity (goes astray) yet, unlike Saul, God's steadfast love will not be taken away when this occurs.

How can this promise to David point to Jesus since the New Testament insists that Jesus never committed iniquity? 

1
  • As with all prophecy, there is a blend of what is future, prophetic and spiritual, mixed with what must be, of practical necessity, the administration (including necessary judgment) of that which is the framework in which the prophecy is couched, maintained and preserved. Good question, but I think the principles of prophecy are answered in many questions on this site. (Up-voted +1, but possibly intricately related, if not exactly a 'duplicate'.) – Nigel J Mar 24 at 12:32
1

As with many prophecies, this one also has double meanings and double fulfillments. The immediate fulfillment is Solomon. The future ultimate fulfillment is the Messiah. Because of these double meanings. The prophecies are often written ambiguously. That's the nature of prophecies.

If you have some doubts about the Messianic aspect, consider the 3-fold forever promise:

When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come 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. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.

This promise is not fulfilled horizontally by Solomon but can only be fulfilled vertically in the Messiah's Kingdom of God as pointed out by Jesus in Luke 17:21 (English Standard Version)

nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.

How can this promise to David point to Jesus since the New Testament insists that Jesus never committed iniquity?

This part of the prophecy is fulfilled in Solomon. Other more important parts are fulfilled in Jesus. This kind of double meaning is characteristic of many prophecies in the Bible.

2
  • So it's the Davidic Throne that is in view in this prophesy and not so much the individual? David's throne and house are established forever because Solomon's throne is established forever. The prophesy says Solomon will blow it but God won't remove His favor and this is why the throne is available to Messiah? – Mike Borden Mar 25 at 12:04
  • So it's the Davidic Throne that is in view in this prophesy and not so much the individual? Everything: Solomon, Jesus, and Davidic Throne. The prophesy says Solomon will blow it but God won't remove His favor and this is why the throne is available to Messiah? True. – Tony Chan Mar 25 at 13:28
1

2 Sam 7 is the earliest statement of the promises contained in what is called the Davidic or Royal Covenant as also found and expanded elsewhere, 2 Sam 23:5, 1 Kings 6:11, 12, 8:25, 1 Chron 17:11-14, 2 Chron 6:14-16, 7:17, 18, 13:5, Ps 89:4, 29, 34, 39, 132:11, 12, Jer 33:21, Eze 37:15-28, etc.

As part of this promise, God promised there would always be a blood descendant of David on his throne, by an eternal “covenant of salt” (ie very solemn), 2 Chron 13:5, forever, 2 Sam 7:13, 15, 16, Eze 37:26, (2 Sam 23:5).

While David and his successors were earthly kings, they were to recognize that the real king of Israel was God. 1 Sam 8:7, 8, 24:6, 2 Sam 19:21, 1 Chron 28:5, 2 Chron 9:8, 13:8, Ps 5:2, 44:4. See also 1 Sam 12:14.

Note that it is a simple matter of history that David’s descendants were not always faithful and the earthly Davidic dynasty ended in 586 BC with the final capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. However, the New Testament calls Jesus Christ, Messiah, “the Son of David” as a direct fulfilment of the (ultimately) eternal throne of David which Jesus inherited. Matt 1:1, 20, 9:27, 12:23, 15:22, 20:30, 15, 21:9, 15, Mark 10:35, Luke 1:32, 33, 18:38, 39, John 1:49, Acts 13:32-37, Heb 1:8. See also Rev 11:15, 19:16. Such a Messiah was prophesied long ago: Ex 15:18, Ps 10:16, 61:7, 68:16, 92:8, 93:5, 146:10, Isa 9:7, 47:7, Lam 5:19, Micah 4:7, etc. Compare Isa 55:3 with Acts 13:34.

Note especially, what the angel said to Mary before Jesus’ birth in Luke 1:32, 33 –

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!”

Note also Nathaniel's exclamation to Jesus in John 1:49:

“Rabbi,” Nathanael answered, “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

CONCLUSION

Why do people understand that 2 Sam 7 is Messianic? Because the NT writers recognized Jesus Christ, Lord Messiah, as the only legitimate successor to David's Eternal Throne.

None of this prevents some parts of the prophecy applying to the earthly successors of David, especially Solomon who was to build the temple, 2 Sam 7:12, 13; AND that Solomon and his earthly successors would be human sinners as well.

However, the eternal nature of the Dividic Throne and Dynasty means that ultimately, it must be fulfilled by Jesus as Messiah and King of the Kingdom of God.

2
  • "While David and his successors were earthly kings, they were to recognize that the real king of Israel was God." Only tangentially related but isn't this part of why Messiah must be God in the flesh? – Mike Borden Mar 25 at 12:06
  • @MikeBorden - I suppose you are correct - then Jesus took the Davidic throne to heaven. – Dottard Mar 25 at 20:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.