Whose kingdom will be established in 2 Samuel 7:12-13?                             By Jack Kettler


“And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also, the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee a house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Samuel 7:11-13) (underlining emphasis mine)


A New Testament reference:


“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” (Luke 1:32)


It is noteworthy that Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges connects Luke 1:32 with 2 Samuel 7:12:


“32. shall be called] i. e. shall be. The best comment on this verse is furnished by the passages of Scripture in which we find the same prophecy (Micah 5:4; 2 Samuel 7:12; Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 16:5; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 34:24; Hosea 3:5; Psalm 132:11) and its fulfilment (Php 2:9-11; Revelation 22:16). The throne of his father David] according to Psalm 132:11.” (1)


God makes a covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7:11-13. What is a covenant?


The Davidic covenant is where God promises that a descendant of David will reign on Israel’s throne over the people of God forever.


Francis Turretin was a professor of theology at Geneva during the Reformation. Turretin explains in more depth what a covenant is:


“A covenant denotes the agreement of God with man by which God promises his goods (and especially eternal life to him), and by man, in turn, duty and worship are engaged...This is called two‐sided and mutual because it consists of a mutual obligation of the contracting parties: a promise on the part of God and stipulation of the condition on the part of man.” (2)


Herman Witsius was a Dutch theologian, pastor, and a leading professor of the seventeenth century. He concurs with Turretin:


“A covenant of God with man is an agreement between God, about the way of obtaining consummate happiness; including a commination of eternal destruction, with which the contemner of the happiness, offered in that way, is to be punished.” (3)


In summary, God's Covenant with David or The Davidic Covenant:


The Davidic covenant is recorded in 2 Samuel 7:8-16. The Lord declares that he will build a house and preserve David’s lineage by establishing His kingdom and throne forever. The prophets, during Israel’s exile, reminded the people of the restoration under a Davidic king who would bring peace and justice. For one example, see (Ezekiel 37:24-28).


Luke 1:32 identifies David’s greater son as the Lord Jesus Christ.


To answer the title question about who will fulfill this promise, David’s greater son will accomplish this:


“And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Samuel 7:12-13)


In conclusion, from the Westminster Confession on the Covenants:


“Chapter VII. Of God’s Covenant with Man”


“I. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of Him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which He hath been pleased to express by way of covenant, (Isa 40:13-17; Job 9:32-33; 1Sa 2:25; Psalm 113:5-6; Psalm 100:2-3; Job 22:2-3; Job 35:7-8; Luke 17:10; Act 17:24-25).”


“II. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, (Gal 3:12); wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity, (Rom 10:5; Rom 5:12-20); upon condition of perfect and personal obedience, (Gen 2:17; Gal 3:10).”


“III. Man, by his fall, having made himself uncapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, (Gal 3:21; Rom 8:3; Rom 3:20-21; Gen 3:15; Isa 42:6); commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved, (Mar 16:15-16; John 3:16; Rom 10:6, 9; Gal 3:11); and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe, (Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 6:44-45).”


“IV. This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in Scripture by the name of a testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the Testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed, (Hebrews 9:15-17; Hebrews 7:22; Luke 22:20; 1Co 11:25).”


“V. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel, (2Co 3:6-9): under the law, it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all fore-signifying Christ to come, (Hebrews 8-10; Rom 4:11; Col 2:11-12; 1Co 5:7); which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, (1Co 10:1-4; Hebrews 11:13; John 8:56); by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the old Testament, (Gal 3:7-9, 14).”


“VI. Under the gospel, when Christ, the substance, (Col 2:17); was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, (Mat 28:19-20; 1Co 11:23-25): which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fulness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy, (Hebrews 12:22-27; Jerimiah 31:33-34); to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles, (Mat 28:19; Ephesians 2:15-19); and is called the new Testament, (Luke 22:20). There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations, (Gal 3:14, 16; Act 15:11; Rom 3:21-23, 30; Psalm 32:1; Rom 4:3, 6, 16-17, 23-24; Hebrews 13:8).”


“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)




1.      F. W. Farrar, Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, Luke, (Cambridge University Press, 1898), e-Sword version.

2.      Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, (Phillipsburg New Jersey, Presbyterian and Reformed, 1992), p.574.

3.      Herman Witsius, The Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man, Vol. 1, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Reformation Heritage Books, reprinted 2010), p. 45.


Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at: https://www.amazon.com/Books-Jack-Kettler/s?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3AJack+Kettler