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2 Samuel 7:18-28

David Offers a Prayer to God

7:18 King David went in, sat before the Lord, and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, 1  that you should have brought me to this point? 7:19 And you didn’t stop there, O Lord God! You have also spoken about the future of your servant’s family. 2  Is this your usual way of dealing with men, 3  O Lord God? 7:20 What more can David say to you? You have given your servant special recognition, 4  O Lord God! 7:21 For the sake of your promise and according to your purpose 5  you have done this great thing in order to reveal it to your servant. 6  7:22 Therefore you are great, O Lord God, for there is none like you! There is no God besides you! What we have heard is true! 7  7:23 Who is like your people, Israel, a unique nation 8  on the earth? Their God 9  went 10  to claim 11  a nation for himself and to make a name for himself! You did great and awesome acts for your land, 12  before your people whom you delivered for yourself from the Egyptian empire and its gods. 13  7:24 You made Israel your very own people for all time. 14  You, O Lord, became their God. 7:25 So now, O Lord God, make this promise you have made about your servant and his family a permanent reality. 15  Do as you promised, 16  7:26 so you may gain lasting fame, 17  as people say, 18  ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel!’ The dynasty 19  of your servant David will be established before you, 7:27 for you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have told 20  your servant, ‘I will build you a dynastic house.’ 21  That is why your servant has had the courage 22  to pray this prayer to you. 7:28 Now, O sovereign Lord, you are the true God! 23  May your words prove to be true! 24  You have made this good promise to your servant! 25 

1 tn Heb “house.”

2 tn Heb “and this was small in your eyes, O Lord God, so you spoke concerning the house of your servant for a distance.”

3 tn Heb “and this [is] the law of man”; KJV “is this the manner of man, O Lord God?”; NAB “this too you have shown to man”; NRSV “May this be instruction for the people, O Lord God!” This part of the verse is very enigmatic; no completely satisfying solution has yet been suggested. The present translation tries to make sense of the MT by understanding the phrase as a question that underscores the uniqueness of God’s dealings with David as described here. The parallel passage in 1 Chr 17:17 reads differently (see the note there).

4 tn Heb “and you know your servant.” The verb here refers to recognizing another in a special way and giving them special treatment (see 1 Chr 17:18). Some English versions take this to refer to the Lord’s knowledge of David himself: CEV “you know my thoughts”; NLT “know what I am really like.”

5 tn Heb “for the sake of your word and according to your heart.”

6 tn Heb “to make known, your servant.”

7 tn Heb “in all which we heard with our ears.” The phrase translated “in all” בְּכֹל (bÿkhol) should probably be emended to “according to all” כְּכֹל (kÿkhol).

8 tn Heb “a nation, one.”

9 tn Heb “whose God” or “because God.” In the Hebrew text this clause is subordinated to what precedes. The clauses are separated in the translation for stylistic reasons.

10 tn The verb is plural in Hebrew, agreeing grammatically with the divine name, which is a plural of degree.

11 tn Heb “redeem.”

12 tn Heb “and to do for you [plural form] the great [thing] and awesome [things] for your land.”

13 tn Heb “from Egypt, nations and their gods.” The LXX has “nations and tents,” which reflects a mistaken metathesis of letters in אֶלֹהָיו (elohav, “its gods”) and אֹהָלָיו (’ohalav, “its tents”).

14 tn Heb “and you established for yourself your people Israel for yourself for a people permanently.”

15 tn Heb “and now, O Lord God, the word which you spoke concerning your servant and concerning his house, establish permanently.”

16 tn Heb “as you have spoken.”

17 tn Heb “and your name might be great permanently.” Following the imperative in v. 23b, the prefixed verbal form with vav conjunctive indicates purpose/result.

18 tn Heb “saying.” The words “as people” are supplied in the translation for clarification and stylistic reasons.

19 tn Heb “the house.” See the note on “dynastic house” in the following verse.

20 tn Heb “have uncovered the ear of.”

21 tn Heb “a house.” This maintains the wordplay from v. 11 (see the note on the word “house” there) and is continued in v. 29.

22 tn Heb “has found his heart.”

23 tn Heb “the God.” The article indicates uniqueness here.

24 tn The translation understands the prefixed verb form as a jussive, indicating David’s wish/prayer. Another option is to take the form as an imperfect and translate “your words are true.”

25 tn Heb “and you have spoken to your servant this good thing.”

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