The prophecy of Nathan
1 Once David was living in his palace, he said to the prophet Nathan, “Here am I living in a house of cedar, while the ark of Yahweh’s covenant dwells beneath a tent cloth.” 2 Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your mind, for God is with you.”
3 But that very night Yahweh said to Nathan, 4 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Yahweh says this: You yourself are not to build a temple for me to live in. 5 I have never lived in a temple from the day I brought Israel out until today, but went from tent to tent, from one shelter to another. 6 In all my journeying with the whole of Israel, did I say to any one of the rulers of Israel whom I had appointed as shepherds of my people: Why do you not build me a temple of cedar wood?
7 This you must say to my servant David: This is the word of Yahweh Sabaoth: I took you from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel. 8 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have defeated all your enemies as you advanced. I will make your name as great as the name of the greatest on earth. 9 I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall live in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked ever again oppress them, as they did 10 in the days when I appointed judges over my peo ple Israel. For now I will subdue all their enemies. More over I tell you that I will build you a house. 11 And when your days are ended and you must die and be buried with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will make his kingdom strong. 12 He will build a temple for me and I will make his throne firm forever. 13 I will be a father to him and he a son to me. I will not withdraw my support from him, as I withdrew it from Saul. 14 I will put him in charge of my people and his kingdom shall be established forever.”
15 Nathan told David accordingly all these words and this vision.
16 King David then went in and, seated before Yahweh, said: “I am not worthy of what you have already done for me, Yahweh God, nor is my family. 17 Yet in your eyes, O God, this is still not enough. For you have made a promise for my descendants reaching into the distant future and you have looked on me as a great man. 18 What more can I say to you? For you know your servant David. 19 You yourself have done this because you have looked kindly on your servant and you wanted to show your own greatness.
20 O Yahweh, there is none like you, no God ex cept you alone, that we have ever heard of. 21 Is there another people on the earth like your people Israel, whom you rescued from slavery in Egypt to make them your own people, giving yourself a name for great and terrible things by driving nations out before your people whom you rescued from Egypt?
22 You made your people Israel your own people forever; and you, Yahweh, have become their God. 23 Now, Yahweh, let the promise you have made to me and to my descendants be always kept. 24 May this promise hold good and your name be exalted forever; may they say, ‘Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, is God for Israel.’ And let my descendants be established before you forever.
25 O my God, you have just made known to me that you will build me a house; because of this I have to offer this prayer in your presence. 26 Yes, Yahweh, you are God indeed, and you have made this kind promise to me. 27 Be pleased, then, to bless my house so that they may remain forever in your favor. You, Yahweh, are the one who blesses, and your blessing will rest on them forever.”