Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 7

David and Nathan see the Messiah

2 Samuel 7:16-17

In chapter 7, we are reading about the promises that God made to King David about the future of his family. God made these promises about 3,000 years ago; and David’s family continued to rule in Jerusalem for about 400 years afterwards.

However, it is important to realise that we are not just reading about promises to a king long ago. Rather, in these promises, God was establishing something very wonderful. He was establishing the government of his special king, called the Messiah, who comes from David’s family (Matthew 1:1). In the future, the Messiah will rule the whole world in a way that is completely right and good (Isaiah 11:1-9). His rule will never end. The Greek word for Messiah is ‘Christ’.

God showed this in a very powerful way to two very holy men, the prophets Nathan and David (see Acts 2:30-31). They did not merely hear God’s promises; they actually saw something. 2 Samuel 7:17 says that Nathan saw a vision. A vision is something that a person sees with his spirit, rather than with his physical eyes. In that way, God shows the person something real; it is not that person’s imagination.

In the original language (Hebrew), verse 16 says that David’s family and government would last always in David’s sight. (Some translations have in God’s sight, probably wrongly.) So, God showed this to David too, in David’s spirit. Abraham had a similar experience: he too saw God’s Messiah, and he (Abraham) was glad (John 8:56).

Next part: The greatness of God's kindness (2 Samuel 7:18-19)


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