Davidic Covenant

Surveying the Period from Joshua to David (Part 4)

Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Returning to chapter 7 of 2 Samuel, verse 13 speaks of David’s son building “a house for My name” with the addition of the pledge of an everlasting dynastic kingdom. Walter Kaiser has commented on the connection between the establishing of a kingdom and the right to erect a temple. He writes,

[A]ccording to 2 Samuel 7:13…the “house” of David had to be first established by Yahweh before a temple could be built. Temple building could only be the completion and crowning effect of Yahweh’s creation of a kingdom.1

If this is right then David could not begin his reign by ordering the construction of a temple to Yahweh. Why not? Because peace in the kingdom was not attained during David’s reign, either through having to impose his reign over dissidents, or through his own disastrous breaking of the law he was supposed to be upholding via the incident with Bathsheba and Uriah (2 Sam. 11).

As Niehaus reminds us, the covenants of God,

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Surveying the Period from Joshua to David (Part 3)

Gerard van Honthorst - King David Playing the Harp (1622)

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

God’s Covenant with David

David was the king that Yahweh had promised (Gen. 17:4-6, 16; Deut. 17:14-15). His reign came some four centuries after God had said that He would “surely set a king over you” (Deut. 17:15), and not much shy of a millennium after the covenant made with Abraham. God never seems to be in a hurry.

In many ways 2 Samuel 7 is the strategic point for understanding the covenants with Israel. It pulls together the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants, land and people and God-centered government, in a way that concretizes the one and shows the righteous yet temporal nature of the other. In the person of the King the Lord’s creation goal will take shape. That King is not David, but David, like Abraham, is granted the inestimable privilege of beginning the dynasty (cf. Matt. 1:1).

Scripture presents the Davidic covenant almost as a response from Yahweh to the relocation and veneration of the ark of the covenant. Here is a man who will take the covenant seriously (even though he will sin grievously – Psa. 51).

The importance of the Davidic covenant is underlined by the fact that, as with all the previous Divine covenants, God Himself utters it.

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Is Jesus Currently on David's Throne? Peter's Use of Psalm 132:11 in Acts 2:30

The purpose of this blog post is to examine Peter’s use of Psalm 132:11 in Acts 2:30 with a view toward grasping Peter’s understanding of the throne of David concept.

Acts 2 describes the baptizing and filling ministry of the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ ascension. This is all related to Jesus, the resurrected Messiah, who currently is at the right hand of the Father. Jesus is the One who has poured forth the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33). The culmination of Peter’s argument in Acts 2 is found in his declaration that God has made the resurrected Jesus “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).

Three quotations from the Psalms are found in Acts 2:29-36 — Psalms 16, 132, and 110. The focus of this blog post, though, is on Peter’s use of Psalm 132:11 in Acts 2:30 and how this relates to the throne of David issue. Peter declared:

And so, because he [David] was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne (Acts 2:30).

Much debate exists on the implications of this verse, mostly concerning whether it implies that Jesus is currently sitting upon David’s throne today in heaven. Does Peter’s quotation of Psalm 132:11 indicate a change or advancement concerning the concept of David’s throne from a physical-earthly reality to a spiritual one. This topic involves both how Peter uses Psalm 132:11 and what this means for understanding the throne of David.

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