Eschatological Problems VII: The Fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 102:406 (Apr 1945)
Article: Eschatological Problems VII: The Fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant
Author: John F. Walvoord


Eschatological Problems VII: The Fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant

John F. Walvoord

The importance of the promise of God to David regarding his posterity and his throne has been frequently ignored in treatments of the field of eschatology. Those who deny the inspiration of the Scriptures are at no pains to weigh its significance. Those who are more serious in their attempts to ascertain the exact meaning of Scripture have too often been satisfied with the simple solution that these promises are fulfilled in Christ. It is the thesis of this discussion that the Davidic covenant deserves an important place in determining the purposes of God and that its exegesis confirms the doctrine of a future reign of Christ on earth.

Analysis of the Covenant

David had the godly ambition to build a temple to Jehovah. The incongruity of allowing the ark of God to remain in a temporary tent-like tabernacle while he himself lived in the luxury of a house of cedar seemed to call for the erection of a suitable permanent building to be the center of worship. To Nathan, the prophet, was revealed that God intended David to build something more enduring than any material edifice. David’s “house” was to be his posterity and through them his throne and his kingdom were to continue forever. The main features of the covenant are included in the following passage: “When thy days are fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, that shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; but my loving

kindness shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thy house and thy kingdom shall be made sure for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever” (2 Sam 7:12–16).

The provisions of the Davidic covenant include, then, the following items: (1) David is to have a child, yet to be born, who shall succeed him and establish his kingdom. (2) This son (Solomon) shall build the temple instead of David. (3) The throne of his kingdom shall be established forever. (4) The throne will not be taken away from him (Solomon) even though his sins justify chastisement. (5) David’s house, throne, and kingdom shall be established forever.

To Solomon, then, was promised a throne which would be established forever. To David was promised a posterity, a throne, and a kingdom established forever. T...

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