Nathan's prophecy that King David would have a descendant who would be God's son

Bible passage: 2 Samuel 7:14
Prophet: Nathan
Written: Nathan lived about 3,000 years ago

In 2 Samuel 7:14, the prophet Nathan delivers a prophecy in which God tells David that his son will be king of Israel and that God will regard David's son as his own son:

14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. (2 Samuel 7:14, NIV)

This prophecy was fulfilled immediately by King Solomon, then by a succession of kings from David's bloodline, and then ultimately by the Messiah, who also is a descendant of King David and is literally God's son.

King David lived about 3,000 years ago. His descendants, beginning with his son, Solomon, ruled over all or part of the land of Israel for about 400 years, until the Babylonians conquered the broader region, about 2,600 years ago.

For all of his many faults, Solomon ultimately was a man of faith, and God blessed him with a united kingdom and great wisdom.

The prophetic details of 2 Samuel 7:14 are part of a broader prophecy, found in 2 Samuel 7:12-16. In verse 16, we are told that David's throne will be established forever. So, the overall prophecy speaks of an immediate fulfillment, such as through David's son, Solomon, but then also of a long-term fulfillment.

Just as there was a succession of Davidic kings after David and Solomon, there also was a succession of fulfillments for this prophecy, with the Messiah being the final and complete fulfillment, about 2,000 years ago.

The Gospel writers of Matthew and Luke each record a genealogy of Jesus, tracing his lineage of ancestors. Some scholars believe that Matthew is tracing Jesus' legal lineage through his adoptive father, Joseph, and that Luke is tracing Jesus' bloodline through his mother, Mary. In both cases, David is listed as a descendant.

Because the Messiah himself is eternal, and a descendant of David, he literally can fulfill the promise of permanence in 2 Samuel 7:16, and he alone can fulfill verse 14, in the most literal sense, by being the son of God.

The prophecy found in 2 Samuel 7:14 is repeated in 1 Chronicles 17:13.

- by Ray Konig, author of 100 Prophecies. © Ray Konig and AboutBibleProphecy.com.