God told David, “Your family will be bosses for ever”
1 After David became the big boss, God kept his enemies away from Israel. So he sat down happily in his big house in Jerusalem.
2 There was a man called Nathan. He told God’s messages to people. One day, David said to him, “Listen, I live here in this big fancy house, but God’s special box still lives in a tent. I want to build a proper house for that special box.”
3 Nathan said, “God is looking after you. You can do anything you want to do.”
4 But that night God gave Nathan a dream and told him a different story.
5 He told him to say this to David,
“David, you are my working man. Listen to me. I want you to leave it. Don’t build a house for me. And don’t build a house for that special box.
6 I led the Israel mob to walk away from Egypt and to come back to this country. All that time I didn’t live in a house. Today I still don’t live in a house. I still go from place to place, and I still live in a tent.
7 I picked bosses for the Israel mob, to look after them. I didn’t say to any of those bosses, ‘Build me a nice house.’ I never said that.
8 So, listen carefully to me. At first you just looked after sheep. Then I picked you to look after my mob, the Israel nation. I picked you to be the big boss for them.
9 I was always close to you whenever you did all kinds of important things. I helped you to hunt away the cheeky people that came here from other places. And now I will make you really important. Everybody in every place will hear about you and remember your name, and they will say you are great.
10-11 For a long time I picked judges and other bosses for my people, the Israel mob. Other mobs kept on giving them trouble, and they fought with the Israel mob. But from now on, I will look after my mob here in this country. This country belongs to Israel now. They can sit down here and live quietly, and not be frightened any more. Those other mobs will leave them alone.
Listen, I am telling you this, so you will know. I will make your family important. And I will keep on making your family important.
12 One day you will die, and then I will pick one of your sons to be the big boss, and I will make him strong. He will be a strong boss for his people for a long time.
13 Nobody can stop him from being the big boss of this country. And then his son will be the big boss, and later his son’s son will be the big boss. It will be like that for ever. The big boss will always be a son from your family. Your son is the right one to build a house for me, not you.
14 I will be like his father, and he will be like my son. If he does wrong, I will send somebody to punish him, the way men punish people. But I will keep on looking after him, and I will keep on teaching him, just like a father does.
15 You see, I loved Saul at first. But after a while I didn’t love him any more. So I picked you to be the big boss instead of him. But I will treat you better than Saul. I will keep on loving your son always, for as long as he will be the big boss.
16 Your family line will stay for ever. One of them will always be the big boss.”
That’s the story God told Nathan in a dream.
17 Then Nathan told David everything that God said.
(We have not yet translated 7:18—10:19.)