Bible passage: 2 Samuel 7:12
Written: Nathan lived about 3,000 years ago
The prophet Nathan, who lived about 3,000 years ago, told King David that a son of his would be raised up to succeed him on the throne:
When your days are fulfilled, and you sleep with your fathers, I will set up your offspring after you, who will proceed out of your body, and I will establish his kingdom. (2 Samuel 7:12, WEB)
David was already king so it might seem natural that one of his sons would succeed him. But the monarchy of Israel was new and had gotten off to a difficult start. David was only the second king of Israel and he was not related to the first king, Saul. So, this prophecy from Nathan informed David that it would be one of his own descendants who would inherit the throne, and not the descendant of someone else.
The initial fulfillment of this prophecy came from Solomon, one of David's sons. Solomon reigned over the united kingdom of Israel for 40 years after the time of David. He was Israel's third king.
At one point, Solomon, when speaking before the Israelites, spoke of Nathan's prophecy as being fulfilled in him:
Yahweh has established his word that he spoke; for I have risen up in the place of David my father, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as Yahweh promised, and have built the house for the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel. (1 Kings 8:20, WEB)
There is also a Messianic application to this prophecy in that Solomon would be the initial fulfillment and that the Messiah would be the ultimate fulfillment.
The prophetic details of 2 Samuel 7:12 are part of a broader prophecy found in 2 Samuel 7:11-16. In verse 14, there is a reference to a descendant of David as being regarded as God's son. And in verse 16, there is a promise that David's throne would be permanent and eternal, a promise that cannot find fulfillment in any one normal, mortal human being.
The line of Davidic kings lasted about 400 years and came to an end during the rise of the Babylonian Empire, about 2,600 years ago. Jesus was born about 600 years after that. Jesus, as explained in the New Testament, is the son of God and is fully human and fully God. As a human being, Jesus is a descendant of King David and fulfills verse 12. As the literal son of God, he literally fulfills verse 14. And as a divine being, he can uniquely fulfill the eternal reign alluded to in verse 16.
The prophecy found in 2 Samuel 7:12 is repeated in 1 Chronicles 17:11.
- Research and commentary is based on the book 100 Fulfilled Bible Prophecies. © Ray Konig and AboutBibleProphecy.com.