The Promise easily divides into two separate prophecies in verses 4–7 and 8–16. The first prophecy is formally marked by the divine messenger formula "Thus says the Lord" (verse 4), and the second also begins with a repetition of the divine messenger formula in verse 8. At the very least, the repetition of the messenger formula sets verses 8–16 apart from verses 4–7 as a separate literary unit. The first unit deals with David’s request to build a temple, a request that is rebuffed by God. The second unit is the promise to build a dynasty for David. The two prophecies are juxtaposed, yet there is no tension in meaning; rather, the two parts play on one another. The LORD says in verses 4-7 that David will not build a temple () for God, but in verses 8-16, the LORD promises to build a kingdom () for David. The two parts are rhetorically joined by a clever pun using the Hebrew word , which usually is translated "house" but can also have the sense of "dynasty" (as in "house of David," in the now famous Tel Dan inscription). Rather than David building God a (i.e., temple), God will build David a (i.e., dynasty).


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