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I Kings 6:12-13 KJV

“Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake My people Israel.”

What specifically does the Lord mean by this phrase: “then will I perform my word with thee which I spake unto David thy father”?

Does the phrase speak exclusively to Solomon or does it allude to someone else?

2 Answers 2

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Perform should be translated as Confirm

The Lord addresses Solomon here, not anyone else. The word translated here as "perform" has many meanings. "Confirm" is one of them, and the sense of the phrase should need no further explanation with that translation. God will soon confirm his word to David. The context ("concerning this house which thou art building") makes it clear that the issue has to do with the Temple.

On that basis we can narrow down the various statements that God made to David about the royal covenant. This is the best candidate:

When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’ ” (2 Sam. 7:11-16)

God is speaking to Solomon. The only other person alluded to is David. What God means is that the Temple, which God spoke of to David in 2 Sam. 7:11-16, would be built by Solomon, thus confirming God's word to David.

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This promise to Solomon in 1 Kings 6:12, 13 is part of, and is a promise of the continuation of, the Davidic or Royal covenant, see appendix below.

The Davidic covenant was first enunciated in 2 Sam 7 to which Solomon became heir. That is, God promised a number of things to David, and by extension, Solomon, and in 1 Kings 6:12, 13, God is promising to fulfil those promises that were made to David in 2 Sam 7.

However, the Royal covenant was to extend far beyond Solomon; indeed, the Royal covenant was eternal (2 Sam 23:5, 1 Kings 9:5, 2 Chron 13:5, Eze 37:25, 26) and was ultimately fulfilled in Messiah Jesus who became the king of Israel, precisely as promised by the angel Gabriel to Mary in Luke 1:32, 33. [Note that many of the earthly kings of literal Israel were unfaithful, but Jesus was and is faithful (Rom 3:22, 26, Gal 2:16, 3:22, Rev 14:12) and still reigns as king of Spiritual Israel.]

APPENDIX - Davidic or Royal Covenant.

Davidic (or Regal, or Royal) Covenant was defined in 2 Sam 7, 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. This is an eternal covenant.

The provisions of the Davidic Covenant were as follows.

  • God promised to make David, a shepherd king over Israel. 2 Sam 7:9, 1 Kings 8:25, 2 Chron 21:7.
  • God promised to defeat all David’s enemies and give him peace on all sides, 2 Sam 7:9
  • David’s name would be great, 2 Sam 7:9-11
  • 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).
  • God promised that the descendant of David would have God as his Father and he would be His son, 2 Sam 7:14.
  • David’s son, Solomon, was the person to build the temple, 2 Sam 7:12, 13.
  • David and his descendants must remain faithful to God and keep all that is written in the Book of the Law (Deuteronomy), Deut 17:18, 31:26.

Note that the Davidic Covenant was distinct from the Israelite and Levitical Covenants – David became a type of the eternal reign of Messiah to come.

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, 29:23, 2 Chron 9:8, 13:8, Ps 5:2, 44:4. See also 1 Sam 12:14.

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 and John 1:49.

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!”

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  • Thanks but I see it differently. In 2 Samuel 7 nowhere does it say that the seed is Solomon. I read this passage as a reference to the Messiah. Compare the language in that chapter to Acts 7 and Steven’s speech. Steven supports 2 Samuel 7 in stating that both David and Solomon disobeyed God and built the temple anyway. This passage in 1 Kings 6:12 would be consistent with the view of Messiah as the seed but then the Lord tells Solomon that if Solomon would be Messiah-like and do everything written in the law (a la Deut 28), then God would fulfill His word via Solomon.
    – alb
    Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 1:57
  • @alb - are you reading the same Bible - this contains promises about the throne of David and who would build the temple and that David's son would shepherd the people, etc, etc. I agree that Jesus as messiah inherited David's throne but David would have understood that his son Solomon would build the temple and that David's throne would last forever.
    – Dottard
    Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 2:06
  • If you remember, the bible only presents David's testimony about his conversation with God about the building of the Temple. David embellishes quite a bit (ie, denied building the Temple because he was a man of war). Please reread Acts 7:44-50 and how it relates to 2 Samuel 7, ie God doesn't dwell in a house made with hands. Verse 47 is a condemnation which gets Steven murdered.
    – alb
    Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 2:12

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