The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The First Book or Paralipomena
Now that David had a palace of his own to dwell in, he said to the prophet Nathan, Here am I dwelling in a house all of cedar, while the ark that bears witness of the Lord’s covenant has nothing better than curtains of hide to cover it!
And Nathan answered, Fulfil thy own purpose; the Lord is with thee.
But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan,
Go and give my servant David a message from the Lord: Not thine to build me a house to dwell in.
House was never mine, since I rescued the sons of Israel from Egypt; still in a tabernacle, a wanderer’s home, I journeyed this way and that,
ever at Israel’s side. Now to this ruler, now to that, I gave the leadership of my people Israel, and never did I reproach any of them for not building me a house of cedar.
This message, then, thou wilt give to my servant David from the Lord of hosts: Out in the pasture-lands, where thou wast tending the sheep, I summoned thee away to bear rule over my people Israel;
go where thou wouldst, I was ever at thy side, exterminating thy enemies to make room for thee, granting thee such renown as only comes to the greatest on earth.
Henceforth my people are to have a settled home, taking root in it and remaining in undisturbed possession of it, no longer harassed by godless neighbours, as they have been
ever since I first gave Israel judges to rule them. Now, I have crushed all thy enemies, and this too thou must know, that the Lord means to grant thy line continuance.
So, when thy days are ended, and thou hast become part of thy race, I will grant thee for successor a son of thy own body, established firmly on his throne.
He it is that shall build me a house. I will prolong for ever his royal dynasty;
he shall find in me a father, and I in him a son. I will not cancel my merciful promises to him, as I cancelled my promise to the king who went before thee.
Sovereignty undisturbed I will give him among this people of mine, in this kingdom of mine, for ever; his throne, to endless time, is secure.
All this message, all this revelation, was handed on by Nathan to king David.
And David went into the Lord’s presence, and betook himself to prayer: Lord God, he said, that one such as I am, sprung from such a house as mine, should receive such gifts!
But it was not enough, thou wouldst do more, wouldst foretell the destiny of thy servant’s line in days far hence; Lord God, thou hast honoured me as no man ever yet was honoured.
No words can thy servant David find; such glory thou dost grant, such favour thou dost shew him.
Lord, thou wilt have thy great deeds known, and it has been thy pleasure to do great things in thy servant’s behalf;
none is like thee, Lord, thou alone art God, read we the history of past days aright.
Can any other nation say, like thy people Israel, that its God came to buy it back for himself as his own people, as thou didst, in rescuing us from Egypt, in dispossessing the nations, through thy dread power, to make room for us?
So thou didst pledge this people of Israel to be thy people eternally, and thou, Lord, didst become their God.
This promise then, Lord, which thou hast made concerning thy servant and his line, do thou for ever fulfil; make thy word good,
so that thy name may for ever live, for ever be glorified. In one breath let men say, Israel has the Lord of hosts for its God, and, Through his favour, the dynasty of his servant David ever abides.
O Lord my God, thou hast given me secret knowledge of thy will, promised me a long posterity; what wonder that I am emboldened to make this prayer before thee?
So be it, Lord; thou art God, and it is thy word that promises thy servant such bounty;
thou dost vouchsafe to bless his line and keep it always under thy protection; through this blessing of thine my race shall be blessed for ever.✻
The Holy Bible