Bible Covenants - Davidic

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A brief look at the Davidic covenant in the Bible.

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Bible Covenants:

Bible Covenants Davidic Covenant

Bible Covenants:

Bible Covenants God promised to make a great nation from Abraham’s posterity (Ge. 12:1-3). As the people multiplied, they were forged into a theocracy under the Mosaic Covenant. In the Law of Moses, God promised to choose a king to rule over them (Deut. 17:14-15).

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Bible Covenants After the failure of King Saul, David, God’s chosen king, ascended the throne of Judah and Israel. David recognized God’s blessings to him and desired to return a blessing to God by building a permanent residence for the ark of God’s presence. Up until that time, the ark had resided in tents (2 Sa. 7:1-3).

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Bible Covenants Samuel Anointing David King

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Bible Covenants After receiving an initial “go ahead” from the prophet, the Word of God came to Nathan that David was not to build a “house” for God, but rather that God would make a “house” out of David and establish it forever.

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Bible Covenants Walter Kaiser noted: “It was the account of David’s proposal to build a ‘house,’ or temple, for the Lord and the revelation Nathan received with God’s counter-proposal that he would not allow David to construct it. Instead, Yahweh would make a ‘house’ out of David (2 Sa. 7:5-11)!” (Kaiser 149).

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Bible Covenants The house that God referred to was not a physical structure, but the “dynasty” of David: his family, his posterity, and dominion. Through David’s dynasty would be the fulfillment of the kingdom blessings of Abraham.

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Bible Covenants It was through the Davidic Covenant, then, that God more clearly defined the kingdom, seed, and dynasty aspects of His promises. The covenant terms include:

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Bible Covenants The promise of a posterity or “seed” to continue forever: “I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom” (2 Sa. 7:12).

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Bible Covenants The promise “seed” of the woman (Ge. 3:15) “who will be victorious over Satan,” has been narrowed to the “seed” of Abraham (Ge. 17:9) “who will be a blessing to all the earth” and further qualified to the “seed” of David (2 Sa. 7:12) “who will have a rule that will never end.”

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Bible Covenants God’s relentless plan was following a sure path to the foot of a manger in Bethlehem.

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Bible Covenants Seed of the Woman Ge. 3:15 Seed of Abraham Ge. 17:9 Seed of David 2 Sa. 7:12 Christ

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Bible Covenants The promise of an enduring kingdom: “But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Sa. 7:16).

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Bible Covenants God gave the sign of the Davidic Covenant to Jeremiah to confirm that a king would sit on the throne (Jer. 33:20-21).

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Bible Covenants The promise that an ancestor of David would be the Messiah king to sit on the throne: “I will be his father, and he will be my son” (2 Sa. 7:14a). These prophetic words of Nathan are laden with Messianic hope. The pre-eminent king, the Messiah, would come in David’s lineage and have a greater Father-Son relationship than David’s.

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Bible Covenants David’s relationship was only a type of the greater one to come. Again the Psalmist declared of the Messiah: “I will also appoint him my firstborn , the most exalted of the kings of the earth” (Psalm 89:27). The term “firstborn” had more to do with pre-eminent rank than first to be born.

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Bible Covenants The writer of Hebrews recognized that the father-son and “firstborn” terminology pointed to the Christ (He. 1:5-6, 8). David was awestruck by the promises granted to Him by God and recognized the far-reaching implications of them.

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Bible Covenants “With the realization that he had just been granted an everlasting dynasty, dominion, and kingdom, David blurted out in uncontainable joy: ‘And this is the Charter for all mankind, O Lord God!’ Thus the ancient plan of God would continue, only now it would involve a king and a kingdom. Such a blessing would also involve the future of all mankind (Kaiser 125).”

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Bible Covenants The Guarantee of Rule David was the recipient of the promises given to Abraham and would be the conveyor of those blessings to future generations. His covenant was therefore unconditional. Nevertheless, David was himself still under the Mosaic covenant terms with its attendant curses for disobedience.

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Bible Covenants Even though the promises of an eternal dynasty were given to David, he and his descendants would still have to meet the terms of the Mosaic covenant. God was not annulling His previous covenant word of which David was a participant.

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Bible Covenants The Psalter reveals the contingency (Ps. 132:11-12). When we say that the Davidic covenant is unconditional, we mean that God’s promise of continued rule guarantees that the privilege to that throne would continue forever in the Davidic line. The covenant promises always remain in force.

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Bible Covenants Whether or not David or one of his descendents received the privilege of rule depended on each individual’s faith and obedience to God. Walter Kaiser noted:

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Bible Covenants “The promise was indeed secure, and the Davidic line through which the promise was to come was sure; but whether David and his sons were transmitters or also personal participants in these benefits as realized in their times was not secure, only their life of faith and obedience could determine that” (Kaiser 66).

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Bible Covenants Neither “does the conditional aspect of any single generation’s participation in the blessings offered in the Davidic covenant contradict the eternality of their promises. The ‘if’ notices in this covenant (1 Kings 2:4; 8:25; 9:4-5; Pss 89:29-32; 132:12; cf. 2 Sam 7:14-15) referred only to any future generation’s participation in the benefits of the covenant, but they did not affect the transmission or the certainty of God’s eternal oath” (Kaiser, Promised Land , 307).

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Bible Covenants It is evident from Peter’s sermon that one of David’s descendants would be guaranteed the throne, not that all descendants would have such guarantee (Acts 2:29-30). So also the author of Hebrews declared that God found fault with the individuals, not the covenant promise (He. 8:8).

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Bible Covenants Not till the New Covenant would someone come who could fulfill the Mosaic terms perfectly and sit on David’s throne forever.

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Bible Covenants Gentiles Included in David’s House Due to their rebellion, the nation of Judah was taken into captivity. The last king to sit on the throne was King Zedekiah. After Zedekiah died, a descendant of David no longer sat on the throne.

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Bible Covenants But the Davidic Covenant promise still remained in force and Amos prophesied of a restoration of David’s dynasty in the future—a dynasty that would also include the Gentiles (Amos 9:11-12).

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Bible Covenants “David’s fallen tent” “normally signifies the hastily constructed shelters made of branches for the ‘feast of tabernacles’ (Lev 23:40, 42; Deut. 16:13). Here, however, it stands for the dynasty of David, which is normally styled ‘the house of David’” (Kaiser, Davidic Promise, 101).

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Bible Covenants Due to sin, David’s “tent” had fallen into disrepair. Nevertheless, from its dilapidated state God restored David’s dynasty through Christ. This prophetic event was fulfilled in the Church age as the Gentiles received the presence of the Holy Spirit. Thus James affirmed this at the Jerusalem council (Acts 15:14-18).

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Bible Covenants Both Jews and Gentiles have been reconciled together through the cross (Eph. 2:11-16). There is no more any place for racial division in Christ. The covenant promises have been extended to all who come to Him by faith. Kaiser noted:

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Bible Covenants “Thus, what was a dilapidated ‘booth’ of David will one day mean the restoration and unification of the northern and southern kingdom into a single kingdom under the one house of David, but it will be a kingdom that incorporates both believing national Israel and believing Gentiles from all the world” (Kaiser, The Messiah , 148).

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Bible Covenants The Davidic Anointings The kings of Israel were anointed by a prophet of God (1 Sa. 9:16; 10:1; 15:17; 1 Kings 19:15-16). This signified that the king was the “Lord’s anointed” and a recipient of His “ hesed ”—His covenant mercy (Ps. 18:50).

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Bible Covenants David received three royal anointings (1 Sa. 16:1, 12-13; 2 Sa. 2:4; 2 Sa. 5:1-3). When a king was anointed, it signified authority and responsibility from God.

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Bible Covenants “The oil of anointing, when used in worship, was a symbol of the divine Spirit; but in regal consecration it marked God’s gift of His Spirit to aid the king of Israel in administering His rule. It marked David as the recipient and representative of the divine majesty” Kaiser, The Messiah , 148).

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Bible Covenants The Messiah, or royal son of David, was referred to as the “the Lord’s anointed” (Ps. 2:2, 7; Jn. 1:41; 4:25). The word “Christ” means Messiah, or anointed one, and speaks of the presence of the Holy Spirit to empower the recipient. At just the right time the Messiah came in the power of the Spirit to set the captives free (Lk. 4:14, 16-18).

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Bible Covenants The anointings of David as king over Judah and Israel were limited, with the potential of being removed. “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me,” David lamented in Psalm 51:11. The anointing of Christ signified His complete approval from the Father (Mt. 3:16-17).

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Bible Covenants In Jesus the presence of the Holy Spirit was without limit (Jn. 3:33-34; Col. 2:9) and would never be taken away. For the believer, who is now the temple of the Holy Spirit, the anointing is in our hearts and abides continually ( 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 1 Jn. 2:27). The presence of the Holy Spirit anoints us as royal recipients of the faithful love to David (Rev. 5:10).

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Bible Covenants The Kingdom of Heaven The Davidic Covenant anticipates the eternal kingdom of the New Covenant. Isaiah 9:6-7 declares that the “royal rights linked to the Davidic dynasty” ( Feinburg 315) belong to Christ (Is. 9:6-7; cf. Mic. 5:2.)

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Bible Covenants Isaiah later prophesied that the consummation of the Messianic kingdom would be characterized by a remnant of Israel, the inclusion of the Gentiles, and a new age of God’s rest (Is. 10:20; 11:10; cf. Ro. 15:12). The New Testament identifies the Messiah King as Jesus Christ, the Son of David (Acts 13:22-23; cf. Acts 17:7; Ro. 1:3).

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Bible Covenants When Christ established His New Covenant, He conferred the kingdom on the disciples (Lk. 22:29-30). The terms of the New Covenant are nothing less that the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven!

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Bible Covenants This whole transfer of authority is illustrated in the phrase “key of David.” The key of David represents the inheritance and authority of the Davidic dynasty (Is. 22:20f). This authority was given to Christ as the Greater Son of David (Rev. 3:7).

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Bible Covenants By giving the Church the “keys of the kingdom” (Mt. 16:19), Christ was giving access to authority and power that belong to heaven itself! In a similar way, the transfer of kingdom authority to the members of a new kingdom is illustrated by the use of the “firstborn” terminology.

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Bible Covenants The kingdom inheritance of the Davidic “firstborn” (Christ the Messiah) now includes the Church, for Christ is the “firstborn among many brothers” (Ro. 8:29; cf. Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5). The writer of Hebrews calls believers, “the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven” (He. 12:23).

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Bible Covenants Like the Davidic priests who worshipped God, the people of the New Covenant have become a kingdom of priests (Rev. 1:6; 5:10; cf. Ex. 19:6). They minister in the authority of the kingdom of heaven by faith until the time when they take full possession of the promises to Abraham (Eph. 1:14).

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Bible Covenants Charles Feinberg, Jeremiah 31:22: Proverb, Promise, or Prophecy? , Bibleotheca Sacra , vol. 123, no. 492, Oct. 1966. Walter Kaiser, The Davidic Promise and the Inclusion of the Gentiles (Amos 9:9-15 and Acts 15:13-18): A Test Passage for Theological Systems , Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society , vol. 20, no. 2, June, 1977. ________. The Messiah in the Old Testament , (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995). ________. The Promised Land: A Biblical-Historical View , Bibleotheca Sacra , vol. 138, no. 552, Oct. 1981. ________. Toward an Old Testament Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978).

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