Sunday, February 18, 2007

Jesus and the Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom (2.1.2. David, Israel & the Temple)

As mentioned above, David completed the conquest of the Land of Canaan by capturing the city of Jerusalem. In this, David fulfilled the conditions of the Deuteronomic covenant for a central sanctuary: “rest from all your enemies round about (Deut 12:10). This is finally fulfilled by David. In the great passage where God swears his covenant oath to David in 2 Samuel 7, we begin reading, “Now when the king dwelt in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies round about . . .” Recognizing that the conditions for the central sanctuary have been met, David announces to the prophet Nathan his desire to “build” (בָּנָה, “bānāh”) a “house” (בַּיִת, “bayith”) for God (2 Sam. 7:2; cf. 7:5).

God responds to David by rewarding him with a covenant promise[1] in which he promises to establish his “house” (בַּיִת, "bayith”) through giving him a son (בֵּן,“bēn”), who will build the Lord’s “house” (בַּיִת, "bayith”) (2 Sam 7:11b-12, 14). The play on the words “house” (בַּיִת, "bayith”), which here means both “temple” and “royal dynasty,” and the pun on the terms “build” (בָּנָה, “bānāh”) and “son” (בֵּן, “bēn”) is widely recognized.[2] The building of the temple and the Davidic covenant are therefore inextricably linked.

In fact, there is a strong connection between Israel’s cultic worship and the Davidic king. It is important to note, therefore, that the Davidic king is frequently described as functioning as a priest. 2 Samuel 6 describes how David brought the ark into Jerusalem wearing an ephod (v. 14), erecting the tent for the ark (v. 17; cf. 1 Chr 15:1; 16:1), offering sacrifices (v. 17; cf. 1 Chr 16:2), and blessing the people (v. 18). In fact, Ps 132 implies that it was this action on the part of David which led God to swore the covenant to him.[3] The Chronicler especially notes David’s role as the organizer of Israel’s worship—assigning the duties of the Levites (1 Chr 16:4, 37-43; cf. 24-26) and preparing for the future temple building project (1 Chr 22:1).[4] The Davidic status as priest-king is especially clear in his association with Melchizedek, the priest-king of Salem in Psalm 110.[5]
[1] It is beyond the scope of this essay to deal with the various issues raised by covenant scholars. Suffice it to say, it is widely accepted that the language used to describe God’s promise indicates a “grant type” covenant, in which God binds himself in an unconditional way to David. Hahn sums up the features recognized: references to an oath (Ps. 89:3-4; 35, 49; 110:4; 132:11), the promise of blessing on the recipient and cursing his enemies (e.g., Ps. 89:20-23), God’s assumption of the covenant responsibilities (2 Sam. 7:9, 11-12; Ps. 89:24-29, 33-37), and the description of the covenant as a reward for David’s faithfulness (Ps. 89:4; cf. 7:12-16; 110:4). See Scott Hahn, Kinship By Covenant: A Biblical Theological Study of Covenant Types and Texts in the Old and New Testaments (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1995), 306-09.
[2] A. A. Anderson, 2 Samuel (vol. 11 in Word Biblical Commentary; Dallas: Word Books, 1989), 115; Patrick D. Miller, “Psalm 127: the house that Yahweh builds,” in JSOT 22 (1982): 119-32, cf. 123; Scott Hahn, Kinship By Covenant, 319-22.
[3] Antti Laato, “Psalm 132 and the Development of the Jersalemite/Israelite Royal Ideology,” in CBQ 54 (1992): 49-66; Hahn, Kinship by Covenant, 335.
[4] Johannes Tromp, “The Davidic Messiah in Jewish Eschatology of the First Century BCE” in Restoration: Old Testament, Jewish and Christian Perspectives (vol., 72 in Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism; ed., James M. Scott; Leiden: Brill, 2001), 199-200. Also see Peter Leithart, From Silence to Song: The Davidic Liturgical Revolution (Moscow, Idaho: Canon Press, 2003), 25-6: "Consistent with [the Chronicler's] overall liturgical interest, Chronicles presents David as a new Moses, who, with the great prophet, co-founded the worship of Israel. The simple fact that Chronicles devotes so much space to David's preparations for the temple is enough to bring out parallels with Moses, since much of the revelation given to Moses concerned the tabernacle, its furnishings, and its worship (Exod. 25-31, 35; Leviticus; Num. 3-9). Like Moses, David assigned duties to the priests and Levites. Like Moses, David received a "pattern" for the house of Yahweh (Exod 25:9, 40; 26:30; 1 Chr. 28:19). Like Moses David ensured that the plundered riches of Yahweh's enemies were devoted to the service of His house. The Chronicler also appeals to the commands and ordinances of David as authoritative instruction for Israel's worship..."
[5] A very widely held Jewish tradition held that the city of Melchizedek was actually Jerusalem (1Q20 22:12-13; Joseephus, Ant. 180 and Jewish Wars, 6:438). The Davidic king is thus closely connected with him, as priest-king over (Jeru)salem. Hahn, Kinship by Covenant, 347-48.

See the next post in this series...
Complete outline (with links) of "Jesus and the Restoration of the Kingdom" series

No comments: