The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Kings
The king had now a palace of his own to dwell in, and the Lord kept him safe, on every side, from all his enemies.
Whereupon he said to the prophet Nathan, Here am I dwelling in a house all of cedar, while God’s ark has nothing better than curtains of hide about it!
And Nathan answered, Go thy own way, fulfil thy own purpose; the Lord is with thee.
But that same night the divine word came to Nathan,
Go and give my servant David a message from the Lord: Dost thou think to build a house for me 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 came and went.
This way and that the whole race of Israel journeyed, and I with them; now to this tribe, now to that, I gave the leadership of the rest, 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. No longer shall thy enemies trouble thee; and this too the Lord promises, that he will grant thy line continuance.
So, when thy days are ended, and thou art laid to rest beside thy fathers, I will grant thee for successor a son of thy own body, established firmly on his throne.
He it is that shall build a house to do my name honour. I will prolong for ever his royal dynasty;
he shall find in me a father, and I in him a son. If he plays me false, be sure I will punish him; ever for man the rod, ever for Adam’s sons the plagues of mortality;
but I will not cancel my merciful promise to him, as I cancelled my promise to Saul, the king that was banished from my favour.
Through the ages, far as thy thought can reach, dynasty and royalty both shall endure; thy throne shall remain for ever unshaken.
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 have been brought by thee to such power!
But it was not enough, Lord God, thou wouldst do more; thou wouldst foretell the destiny of thy servant’s line in days far hence; Lord God, can mortal man claim such rights?✻
No words can thy servant David find; such divine mercy thou showest him.
In fulfilment of thy promise, in pursuance of thy will, thou dost bring about all these marvels which thou hast made known to thy servant.
So great thou art, Lord God! None is like thee, 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, winning such renown for himself, doing such deeds of wonder and dread against any country, and its people, and its god, as thou didst when thou didst buy back thy people from Egypt?✻
So didst thou pledge this people of Israel to be thy people eternally, and thou, Lord God, didst become their God.
This promise, then, Lord God, which thou hast made concerning thy servant and his line, do thou for ever fulfil; make thy word good,
that so thy name may be for ever glorified, the Lord of hosts that is God of Israel; under thy divine care may the dynasty of thy servant David remain unshaken.
Lord of hosts, God of Israel, thou hast given me secret knowledge of thy will, promised me a long posterity; what wonder that thy servant finds his heart full of such prayers as these?
So be it, Lord God; thou art God, and thy word is ever faithful; since blessing thou hast promised to thy servant,
blessing on his line bestow, and keep it always under thy protection. Thou, Lord God, hast spoken, and through this blessing of thine my race shall be blessed for ever.
The Holy Bible