171King David was now living in his palace. One day he sent for the prophet Nathan and said to him, “Here I am living in a house built of cedar, but the LORD's Covenant Box is kept in a tent!”
2Nathan answered, “Do whatever you have in mind, because God is with you.”
3But that night God said to Nathan, 4“Go and tell my servant David that I say to him, ‘You are not the one to build a temple for me to live in. 5From the time I rescued the people of Israel from Egypt until now, I have never lived in a temple; I have always lived in tents and moved from place to place. 6In all my travelling with the people of Israel I never asked any of the leaders that I appointed why they had not built me a temple made of cedar.’
7“So tell my servant David that I, the LORD Almighty, say to him, ‘I took you from looking after sheep in the fields and made you the ruler of my people Israel. 8I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have defeated all your enemies as you advanced. I will make you as famous as the greatest leaders in the world. 9-10I have chosen a place for my people Israel and have settled them there, where they will live without being oppressed any more. Ever since they entered this land they have been attacked by violent people, but this will not happen again. I promise to defeat all your enemies and to give you descendants. 11When you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will make one of your sons king and will keep his kingdom strong. 12He will be the one to build a temple for me, and I will make sure that his dynasty continues for ever. 13
I will be his father and he will be my son. I will not withdraw my support from him as I did from Saul, whom I removed so that you could be king. 14I will put him in charge of my people and my kingdom for ever. His dynasty will never end.’ ”
15Nathan told David everything that God had revealed to him.
16Then King David went into the Tent of the LORD's presence, sat down, and prayed, “I am not worthy of what you have already done for me, LORD God, nor is my family. 17Yet now you are doing even more; you have made promises about my descendants in the years to come, and you, LORD God, are already treating me like a great man.17.17 Probable text and you, LORD God… man; Hebrew unclear. 18What more can I say to you! You know me well, and yet you honour me, your servant. 19It was your will and purpose to do this for me and to show me my future greatness. 20LORD, there is none like you; we have always known that you alone are God. 21There is no other nation on earth like Israel, whom you rescued from slavery to make them your own people. The great and wonderful things you did for them spread your fame throughout the world. You rescued your people from Egypt and drove out other nations as your people advanced. 22You have made Israel your own people for ever, and you, LORD, have become their God.
23“And now, O LORD, fulfil for all time the promise you made about me and my descendants, and do what you said you would. 24Your fame will be great, and people will for ever say, ‘The LORD Almighty is God over Israel.’ And you will preserve my dynasty for all time. 25I have the courage to pray this prayer to you, my God, because you have revealed all this to me, your servant, and have told me that you will make my descendants kings. 26You, LORD, are God, and you have made this wonderful promise to me. 27I ask you to bless my descendants so that they will continue to enjoy your favour. You, LORD, have blessed them, and your blessing will rest on them for ever.”