1 Chronicles 17 Bible Commentary

Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown

(Read all of 1 Chronicles 17)


1. as David sat in his house--The details of this chapter were given in nearly similar terms (2Sa 7:1-29). The date was towards the latter end of David's reign, for it is expressly said in the former book to have been at the cessation of all his wars. But as to narrate the preparations for the removal of the ark and the erection of the temple was the principal object of the historian, the exact chronology is not followed.

5. I . . . have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another--The literal rendering is, "I was walking in a tent and in a dwelling." The evident intention (as we may see from 1Ch 17:6) was to lay stress upon the fact that God was a Mithhatlek (a travelling God) and went from one place to another with His tent and His entire dwelling (the dwelling included not merely the tent, but the fore-courts with the altar of burnt offerings, &c.) [BERTHEAU].

6. spake I a word to any of the judges--In 2Sa 7:7 it is "any of the tribes" of Israel. Both are included. But the judges "who were commanded to feed the people," form the more suitable antithesis to David.
Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?--that is, a solid and magnificent temple.

7. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote--a round tower of rude construction, high walled, but open at the top, in which sheep are often enclosed at night to protect them from wild beasts. The meaning is, I elevated you to the throne from a humble condition solely by an act of divine grace, and not from any antecedent merits of your own (see on 1Sa 16:11), and I enabled you to acquire renown, equal or superior to any other monarch. Your reign will ever be afterwards regarded as the best and brightest era in the history of Israel, for it will secure to the nation a settled inheritance of prosperity and peace, without any of the oppressions or disorders that afflicted them in early times.

9, 10. at the beginning, and since the time that I commanded judges--that is, including the whole period from Joshua to Saul.
I tell thee that the Lord will build thee an house--This was the language of Nathan himself, who was specially directed to assure David, not only of personal blessing and prosperity, but of a continuous line of royal descendants.

11. I will raise up thy seed--(See on 2Sa 7:12).

13. I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee--My procedure in dealing with him will be different from My disposal of Saul. Should his misconduct call for personal chastisement, I shall spare his family. If I see it necessary to withdraw My favor and help for a time, it will be a corrective discipline only to reform and restore, not to destroy. (On this passage some have founded an argument for Solomon's repentance and return to God).

14. I will settle him in my house--over My people Israel.
and in my kingdom for ever--God here asserts His right of supreme sovereignty in Israel. David and Solomon, with their successors, were only the vicegerents whom He nominated, or, in His providence, permitted.
his throne shall be established for evermore--The posterity of David inherited the throne in a long succession--but not always. In such a connection as this, the phrase "for evermore" is employed in a restricted sense (see on La 3:31). We naturally expect the prophet to revert to David before concluding, after having spoken (1Ch 17:12) of the building of Solomon's temple. The promise that his house should be blessed was intended as a compensation for the disappointment of his wish to build the temple, and hence this assurance is appropriately repeated at the conclusion of the prophet's address [BERTHEAU].

15. According to all . . . this vision--The revelation of the divine will was made to the prophet in a dream.

16. David the king . . . sat before the Lord, and said--(See on 2Sa 7:18).