God’s Covenant with David

What covenant did God make with David?

God promised to give David an everlasting kingdom and an everlasting dynasty.


What is a dynasty?

A dynasty is a succession of kings who all come from the same family such as the house of Windsor in the UK.


Where in Scripture do we read of God making this covenant with David?

We can read this in 2 Samuel 7 and the parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 17.  In this chapter, David is established in his own palace and notices that the Ark of the Presence of God is still in the tabernacle.  David then resolves to build a proper temple for God, one befitting the greatness and majesty of Yahweh. (1 Chronicles 22:5)  When David shares his idea with Nathan the prophet, Nathan gives his hearty endorsement to the idea. (2 Samuel 7:3) That same night, however, God speaks to Nathan and gives him a message for king David.  In this message, God presents David with a covenant made with him personally.


Why do you call this a covenant when the word covenant is not used in this chapter?

It is not called a covenant here, but it is elsewhere; see Psalm 89:3.


Upon whom did the responsibility for keeping this covenant fall?

Previously, we noted in regard to the covenant which God made with Israel, that the responsibility for keeping the terms of this covenant fell largely on Israel itself.  This differed from the covenant God made with Abram where the responsibility for keeping the terms fell largely on God.  God’s covenant with David is very much like God’s covenant with Abram; God makes promises to David, and these promises are something God will perform.  This does not mean that nothing is expected from David.  God clearly says that if David or his sons sin against Him, they will be punished just as any father would punish his children.

When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.  I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.  But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you.  And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever. (2 Samuel 7:12-16)

For all that, however, God’s promise would not fail.  God would keep the promise of an everlasting dynasty to David and his sons.



Where is this covenant referenced in the Psalms?

Psalm 89 is a hymn of praise to God for this covenant.  Solomon also makes extensive reference to this covenant in his prayer at the dedication of the temple. (2 Chronicles 6)  Reference to this covenant is also found in the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah.


What does Psalm 89 teach us about God’s covenant with David?

We see many of the same ideas as were given in 2 Samuel 7.  First, we see most clearly that this covenant is something God has made with David and is something that God will do.  The weight of keeping this covenant is something that rests on God, not David.

I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, I will establish your seed forever and build up your throne to all generations. (Psalm 89:3-4)

Second, while this Psalm makes clear that the covenant is something God will do, God still expects that His covenant partners will stay true to Him.

If his sons forsake My law and do not walk in My judgments, If they violate My statutes and do not keep My commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes.  But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.  My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.  Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David.  His descendants shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me.  It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful.” Selah. (Psalm 89:30-37)

Finally, we see the same struggle to understand God’s covenant in the light of a person’s life experience.

But You have cast off and rejected, You have been full of wrath against Your anointed.  You have spurned the covenant of Your servant; You have profaned his crown in the dust.  You have broken down all his walls; You have brought his strongholds to ruin.  All who pass along the way plunder him; He has become a reproach to his neighbors. (Psalm 89:38-41)



What does the prophet Isaiah say about this covenant?

In Isaiah 7-12, the prophet is speaking to the nation about the threats looming from King Rezin of Syria and Pekah, the king of the ten Israeli tribes in the north; cf Edersheim.  These threats both, however, come to nothing before the powerful juggernaut of the Assyrians. (Isaiah 8:6-7)  In chapter 8, Isaiah prophesies that before his new born son can say his first words, the king of Assyria will carry away both the Syrians and the ten Israeli tribes. (Isaiah 8:4)  God calls on the people of the two southern tribes to be faithful to Him and not to fear Assyria. (Isaiah 8:13)  Then comes chapter 9 with its magnificent prophecy of the coming Messiah (cf Hengstenberg).

The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. (Isaiah 9:2)

God will free His people from their oppressors. (Isaiah 9:4)  The instruments used in war will be burned as completely useless. (Isaiah 9:5)  The reason this happen is this:

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Here the Messiah is clearly identified as one who will sit on David’s throne, a clear reference to the promise God made to David. (2 Samuel 7:13; Psalm 89:4, 29, 36)


What else does Isaiah say about God’s covenant with David?

In Isaiah 10, the prophet speaks of the judgment which God will bring on His people in the coming juggernaut of the Assyrian army (cf Hengstenberg).  The terror this will produce in the land of Israel is awful to read.  Town after town falls to the Assyrians.

He [the Assyrian army] has come against Aiath, he has passed through Migron; at Michmash he deposited his baggage.  They have gone through the pass, saying, “Geba will be our lodging place.” Ramah is terrified, and Gibeah of Saul has fled away.  Cry aloud with your voice, O daughter of Gallim! Pay attention, Laishah and wretched Anathoth!  Madmenah has fled. The inhabitants of Gebim have sought refuge.  Yet today he will halt at Nob; He shakes his fist at the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. (Isaiah 10:28-32)

Clearly, the Assyrian army is now ready to begin its attack on the city of Jerusalem.  It’s at this point of crisis, that the prophet announces:

Behold, the Lord, the GOD of hosts, will lop off the boughs with a terrible crash; those also who are tall in stature will be cut down and those who are lofty will be abased.  He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an iron axe, and Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One. (Isaiah 10:33-34)


Do not these verses teach that God will cut down the Assyrian tree, and it will be nothing but an old stump?

It certainly does teach this; however, the next chapter teaches us that the house of David has also been reduced to an old stump.  There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse… (Isaiah 11:1)  Here, the house of David is called the stump of Jesse teaching us that the house of David is just as dead as the Assyrians, and there is no hope of any help from this quarter.


What has become of God’s promise to David if the house of David is just an old stump with no life left in it?

God’s promise is now depending, not on anything the house of David can do for itself, but for what the Spirit of God will do.

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.  And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.  And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.  Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. (Isaiah 11:1-5)

This tiny, fragile shoot will become, by the power of the Spirit of God, the fulfillment of God’s promises to David, referred to here as the stump of Jesse.


What do these verses teach us about God’s covenant with David?

It reiterates to us the truth that this covenant depends not on what David does or will do, but entirely on what God will do.  David is just an old, dry stump; the Spirit of God is the only thing which proves to be a source of life and power.



What does the prophet Jeremiah say about this covenant?

God gave this message to Jeremiah:

Thus the LORD said to me, “Go and stand in the public gate, through which the kings of Judah come in and go out, as well as in all the gates of Jerusalem; and say to them, ‘Listen to the word of the LORD, kings of Judah, and all Judah and all inhabitants of Jerusalem who come in through these gates: ‘Thus says the LORD, “Take heed for yourselves, and do not carry any load on the sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem.  You shall not bring a load out of your houses on the sabbath day nor do any work, but keep the sabbath day holy, as I commanded your forefathers.  Yet they did not listen or incline their ears, but stiffened their necks in order not to listen or take correction.  But it will come about, if you listen attentively to Me,” declares the LORD, “to bring no load in through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but to keep the sabbath day holy by doing no work on it, then there will come in through the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever.  They will come in from the cities of Judah and from the environs of Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the lowland, from the hill country and from the Negev, bringing burnt offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving to the house of the LORD.  But if you do not listen to Me to keep the sabbath day holy by not carrying a load and coming in through the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem and not be quenched.”‘” (Jeremiah 17:19-27)

Here the responsibility of the sons of David to stay true to God is reaffirmed. (2 Samuel 7:14; Psalm 89:30)


Does this not teach that the covenant God made with David was conditioned on David and his son’s obedience?

In the sense that God will do what He promised to David, there is nothing expected from David or his sons.  God will keep His promise regardless of their behavior.  If, however, they as individuals will participate in the blessings of this covenant, they must stay true to God and observe His commands.


Kings & Chronicles

What do we learn about David’s covenant from these historical books?

This covenant is not explicitly mentioned in these books.  Still, the significance of these books for David’s covenant is huge.


How so?

Because these books relate the continued unfaithfulness of Israel to God, their Father.  As a result of this, God drives them out of the land, and the house of David seemingly comes to an end.  Consider these verses:

Now this [the exile of the ten northern tribes] came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had feared other gods and walked in the customs of the nations whom the LORD had driven out before the sons of Israel, and [in the customs] of the kings of Israel which they had introduced.  The sons of Israel did things secretly which were not right against the LORD their God. Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city.  They set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the LORD had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking the LORD.  They served idols, concerning which the LORD had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”  Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets.”  However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God.  They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the LORD had commanded them not to do like them.  They forsook all the commandments of the LORD their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal.  Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him.  So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah. (2 Kings 17:7-18)

The same indictment is brought against the two southern tribes:

Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the customs which Israel had introduced.  The LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them out of His sight. (2 Kings 17:19-20)

Similarly in 2 Chronicles 36:15-21.


What does this teach us about God’s covenant with David?

It teaches us to understand the fulfillment of this covenant in a non-literal way.  God fulfills His promise to David, not with a biological son of David sitting on an actual throne in the earthly city of Jerusalem but in the person of Jesus Christ.


Where does the Bible teach us to understand the fulfillment of this promise to David in this way?

In the preaching of the apostles.


New Testament

Is this covenant referenced at all in the New Testament?

Yes, the apostles preached that Jesus was the fulfillment of the God’s promise to David.  Consider Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost:

Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know–this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.  But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.  For David says of Him,


Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.  And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.  This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.  Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.  For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.’  Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:22-36)

Peter’s argument can be stated in the following propositions:

  1. God promised David that one of his sons would sit on his throne forever (Acts 2:30);
  2. David is dead, and we all know where his tomb is (Acts 2:29);
  3. Because of #1 and 2, David could not have been referring to himself when he spoke of one who would never be buried and suffer decay;
  4. David was a prophet and was speaking of the future Messiah in Psalm 16:10;
  5. This future Messiah is the the fulfillment of what God had promised David;
  6. God has made clear to us that Jesus is this promised Messiah by raising Him from the dead; (Acts 2:32, 36)
  7. Many of us were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ death, burial, the empty tomb, and Jesus’ being alive after being crucified.


What does all this teach us about God’s covenant with David?

It shows us that we must not expect a literal fulfillment of God’s promise to David.  It is the Son of David, Jesus Christ, who sits on the throne of David forever and ever and thus fulfils God’s covenant with David.



What disagreements exist as to the correct understanding of this covenant?

The premillennialists insist that this covenant be fulfilled literally.  Walvoord gives his interpretation of each of the elements of this covenant.

  1. The term “house” refers to the biological children of David.
  2. The term “throne” is not an actual throne but “the dignity and power which was sovereign and supreme in David as king.”
  3. The “kingdom” promised to David is his political kingdom which he once had when we he was king of Israel.
  4. The term “forever” means: “the Davidic authority and Davidic kingdom or rule over Israel shall never be taken from David’s posterity.  The right to rule will never be transferred to another family, and its arrangement is designed for eternal perpetuity. Whatever its changing form, temporary interruptions, or chastisements, the line of David will always have the right to rule over Israel and will, in fact, exercise this privilege.”


With what of this do you disagree?

The question is how Jesus fulfills this covenant.  Walvoord states the issue clearly:

The problem of fulfillment does not consist in the question of whether Christ is the one who fulfills the promises, but rather on the issue of how Christ fulfills the covenant and when He fulfills it. Concerning this question, there have been two principal answers: (1) Christ fulfills the promise by His present session at the right hand of the Father in heaven; (2) Christ fulfills the promise of His return and righteous reign on earth during the millennium.

Walvoord then provides four questions:

  1. Does the Davidic covenant require literal fulfillment?
  2. Does the partial fulfillment already a matter of history permit a literal fulfillment?
  3. Is the interpretation of this covenant in harmony with other covenant purposes of God?
  4. What does the New Testament teach regarding the present and future reign of Christ?


How do you answer the first of Walvoord’s questions?

Some would dispute Walvoord’s understanding of what a literal fulfillment means; see Poythress’ careful dissection of this hermeneutic (chp8).  For our purposes here, we can clarify the question by asking, does the fulfillment of God’s promise to David require that a son of David be reigning over the same kingdom that David came to rule in 2 Samuel 5:5?


How does Walvoord answer this question?

He writes:

The difficulty with the interpretation of the Davidic covenant as fulfilled partly by temporal events and partly by a spiritualized interpretation is that it does not actually fulfill the covenant. A literal promise spiritualized is exegetical fraud.


Why does Walvoord say partly by temporal events and partly by a spiritualized interpretation?

This is because Reformed interpreters have generally understood that God fulfilled the Davidic covenant both temporally and spiritually.

  • The temporal fulfillment is that God did indeed put a Son of David on the throne forever.
  • The spiritual fulfillment is that this Son of David will not reign over David’s political kingdom (2 Samuel 5:5) but over the spiritual kingdom which Jesus announced (Mark 1:15) and which He continues at the right hand of the Father. (1 Corinthians 15:25)


How does Walvoord understand the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant?

He understands the first coming of Jesus to be a partial fulfillment of it while the 1000 year reign of Christ will be its final fulfillment.  The key point is that he believes that Jesus will reign over an actual, physical kingdom just as David did.


God promised David that his throne would be forever (2 Samuel 16).  Walvoord says it will last 1000 years.

Walvoord believes that the Son of David’s millennial reign will be 1000 years.  After this, however, it will last on into eternity.


What Scripture does Walvoord bring to support his contention stated previously that a spiritual fulfillment of a literal promise is fraudulent?

This is a hermeneutical assumption which Walvoord makes; he does not support it with any Scripture.  The New Testament authors certainly did not share his view.


How so?

Because they often understood Old Testament prophecies to be fulfilled in a spiritual way which is exactly what Walvoord says cannot function as a fulfillment.  This brings us to the really important question which is Walvoord’s fourth question above.


Show from the New Testament authors how they understood a fulfillment.

James’ comment on Amos is a good test case since Walvoord gives us his understanding of these verses.  At the council of Jerusalem, after Peter had spoken and after Paul and Barnabas had told their story, James rises to speak.  He references a passage in Amos which he believes will help resolve this issue of what to require from the Gentiles when they turn to Christ.

After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me.  Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for His Name.  And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, “‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.’  Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.  For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.” (Acts 15:13-21)

The usual understanding of this text is that the “tent of David” here refers to the line or dynasty of David which was about to be destroyed by the Babylonian armies.  God promises to rebuild or restore this throne for the purpose of bringing in the remnant of mankind who James understands to be the Gentiles.  For this reason, James does not believe that the Gentiles should be required to observe the Jewish rituals.


How does Walvoord understand James here?

He explains the “I will return” as a reference to the second coming of Jesus when He will return to the earth to begin His millennial reign.  This will be a special time of blessing for the Jews in which Jesus will reign over the land of Palestine.  He will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen, rebuild its ruins, and restore the Davidic kingdom to its glory.  The point is that this happens after the time when God is bringing salvation to the Gentiles which James had previously called “taking from the gentiles a people for His Name.”  A Walvoordian paraphrase might go like this:

The Original ESV Walvoordian paraphrase
μετὰ ταῦτα ἀναστρέψω καὶ ἀνοικοδομήσω τὴν σκηνὴν Δαυὶδ τὴν πεπτωκυῖαν καὶ τὰ κατεσκαμμένα αὐτῆς ἀνοικοδομήσω καὶ ἀνορθώσω αὐτήν ὅπως ἂν ἐκζητήσωσιν οἱ κατάλοιποι τῶν ἀνθρώπων τὸν κύριον καὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ἐφ᾽ οὓς ἐπικέκληται τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐπ᾽ αὐτούς λέγει κύριος ποιῶν ταῦτα γνωστὰ ἀπ᾽ αἰῶνος (Acts 15:16-18) After this, I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by My Name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old. (Acts 15:16-18) After I have brought salvation to the Gentiles and taken from them a people for the praise of My Name, I will return to earth and keep the promise I made to David.  I will setup My kingdom on this earth and rebuild the kingdom of David.  For 1000 years, I will reign from Jerusalem over the entire land of Palestine, and everyone will see the glory of David’s kingdom again.  After this earthly reign, I will return to heaven and reign there forever and ever.  All this I will do, in order that the Gentiles who have been effectually called by My Spirit, might seek and find Jesus.


Why does the “I will return” have to refer to Jesus’ second coming?  Why could it not refer to His first coming?

Walvoord says that the first coming of Jesus was not a “return,” but the text says I will return [בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא (Amos 9:11)].


What are we to make of this exegesis?

These verses cannot possibly mean what Walvoord says they mean.



Because the Bible clearly teaches that it was no purpose of the second coming of Christ to bring the Gentiles to faith in Jesus.  Walvoord and almost all Christians agree on this.  Yet, if Walvoord’s interpretation is correct, then this is what James is teaching.  Consider the purpose clause which comes in v17.  The main verbs are “I will return,” “I will rebuild,” “I will rebuild,” and “I will restore.”  The dependent clause “…that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord…” is adverbial and modifying these verbs giving the purpose or intent for the returning and rebuilding.

After this, I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that οπως the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by My Name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old. (Acts 15:16-18)

Now if the returning and rebuilding here is referring to Christ’s second coming as Walvoord would have us believe, then he would have to affirm that one purpose of Christ’s second coming is to bring the Gentiles into the kingdom.  Walvoord himself, however, does not believe this.  The second coming of Christ is for judgment, not for offering salvation. (Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Hebrews 9:28)


What else can be said against this interpretation?

Consider that the subject of these verbs as quoted from Amos is God, not Jesus.


Are there any other matters to consider as we try to understand this text correctly?

Consider the larger context of Acts 15.  If James understands the return here as Christ’s second coming, it’s hard to see how this supports James’ argument.  James is trying to show the gathered church that the conversion of the Gentiles to Christ is something that the prophets foretold was going to happen; and therefore, they should not stand in their way.  James references these verses from Amos as support for the idea that God is taking from the Gentiles a people for Himself “with this [Simon’s words] the words of the Prophets [Amos] agree.”  To what purpose, then, would James quote a verse that speaks of the second coming of Christ to setup a kingdom for the Jewish people?  What does Christ’s second coming in the unknown future have to do with the conversion of the Gentiles happening right then?  If God’s plan was to bring in the Gentiles with the first coming of Christ, then all is clear.  It follows, says James, that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God with rituals which belong to the Jewish people.  After all, Gentile inclusion was God’s plan all along as Amos teaches.  Calvin writes (p66):

In all that text [from Amos], there appeareth nothing as yet whence the calling of the Gentiles can be fet [inferred] or gathered; but that which followeth immediately after in the prophet, concerning the remnant of the Gentiles which shall call upon the name of the Lord, doth plainly show that the Jews and Gentiles shall make one Church, because that which was then proper to the Jews alone is given to both in general. For God placeth the Gentiles in like degree of honor with the Jews, when He will have them to call upon His Name. Those of Idumea, and the people thereabout, were in times past under David subject to the Jews; but though they were tributaries to the people of God, yet were they nevertheless strangers from the Church. Therefore, this was news and a strange thing, in that God reckoneth them up with the holy people, that he may be called the God of them all; seeing that it is certain that they are all made equal in honor among themselves by this means. Whereby it doth plainly appear how well the testimony of the prophet agreeth with the present purpose. For God promiseth to restore the decayed tabernacle, wherein the Gentiles shall obey the kingdom of David, not only that they may pay tribute, or take [to arms] weapon at the king’s commandment, but that they may have one God, and that they may be one family to Him.


Are there other examples in the New Testament where we see this hermeneutical principle at work?





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