One of the leading past critics of the British-Israel teaching stated, “The one passage which British-Israelism depends upon more than any other for the supposed transfer of the ten tribes of Israel to Great Britain is 2 Samuel 7:10: ‘Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,’” (KJV) –Anton Darms, “The Delusion of British-Israelism,” p.83. This important verse is repeated in 1 Chronicles 17:9.
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary has this to say concerning the importance of 2 Samuel chapter 7: “This chapter records the establishment of the Davidic Covenant, which amplifies and confirms the nation or seed promises of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1-3). The issues of this chapter are of immense theological importance. They reach all the way to the coming of Savior Jesus and especially to His coming reign on the throne of David.” We can therefore see how important a correct understanding of this Scripture passage is, and that the Prophet Nathan’s words were indeed looking far into the future.
Another critic, Samuel H. Wilkinson, in his book, “British-Israelism Examined,” states that the passage under consideration “requires the same tense forms of the verb as are found throughout the whole review of Nathan to David, of which it forms a part.” However, this chapter’s sweeping prophetic scene covered the past, present and future tenses, and was not just limited to one of them.
Mr. Wilkinson admitted that the Hebrew forms of verbs used in 2 Samuel 7:10-11 could be properly translated either as “the copulative vav” in the past tense, or to a “conversive” or future tense; yet he insisted that the past tense must be used, showing his bias against the British-Israel viewpoint. He justified this saying, “if one [tense] is past ALL should be past.” Why must the tenses in the two verses under consideration both be the same? Must the tenses in this entire chapter all be the same? Respected Biblical commentator, Dr. Johann Peter Lange (1802-1884), pointed out that the tenses did indeed change in these verses.
Dr. Lange wrote, “In these words the discourse turns to the future of the people. The sense is: after all these manifestations of favor in the past up to this time, the Lord will for the future assure His people a position and an existence, wherein they shall no more experience the affliction and oppression that they suffered from godless nations.” Dr. Lange points out that to make this prophecy refer to the past “is untenable—because: 1) we thus have the impossible statement that God gave David rest from the beginning of the period of the Judges on, and 2) the period of the Judges was anything but a time of quiet. And I give thee rest from all thy enemies.—The verb (Perf. with Waw consec.) is to be understood of the future, as is usual with this form when, as here, a future precedes…It is also here to be considered that the Perfect refers to Future in asseverations and assurances. To take the verb in a Perfect sense [= I have given rest], the narrative concerning the past in 2 Sam. 7:9 being thereby resumed is inadmissible, because the discourse has already in the preceding words turned to the future, and such a retrogressive repetition, considering the rapid advance elsewhere in all these words, would be intolerable. David’s present rest (2 Sam. 7:1) was only a temporary one—for the hostile nations were ever seeking opportunity to assault Israel. Although David’s wars and victories hitherto had so far firmly established Israel that the former times of “terror and distress” could not return, yet his reign was a constant war with the hostile nations around, in order to maintain the security that had been won, and to ward off the freshly in-pressing enemies.”
In his classic study, “British-Israel Truth Defended,” Rev. Dr. James Mountain, D.D. discussed 2 Samuel 7:10, giving five proofs in defense of the common rendering: 1. “The evidence that the passage in question is a predictive promise is very strong.” 2. “Palestine had already, in ages long past, been unconditionally awarded to the whole of the Twelve Tribes in the Abrahamic Covenant. Hence, there was no need for a repetition of the award. It would have been superfluous.” 3. “The ‘Appointed Place’ could not be Palestine; for during the whole of David’s reign, Israel and Judah were actually located in Palestine, and in national, and unmolested possession of the country. Hence, there was no need for either an historical statement or for a predictive promise that such a national possession should be theirs in the future. They were already there.” 4. “Palestine could not fulfil the geographical conditions of the promise as a place of safety; for the Holy Land is peculiarly liable to attack both from the North and the South.” 5. There is no “lack of reasonability or of harmony with the whole body of Scripture.” (p. 19)
Anton Darms stated that the common reading of Nathan’s prophecy is an error in the King James Bible, yet a survey of English Bible translations shows that virtually all of them agree in translating this verse in the future tense. In addition, the Greek Septuagint translation of about 300 B.C. also uses the future tense: “And I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell by themselves, and shall be no more distressed; and the son of iniquity shall no more afflict them, as he has done from the beginning.” The Septuagint is an ancient Biblical text that predated the available copies of the Hebrew Masoretic text upon which the King James Bible was based.
In contrast to the testimony of reputable scholars such as Dr. Johann Peter Lange, author of the massive twenty-five volume “Lange’s Bible Commentary,” unlettered critics such as Mr. Darms and Mr. Wilkinson insist that our Bibles are seriously in error, “God’s Word misconstrued and misapplied,” along with false claims of “the fact that this [King James Authorized Version] is a defective translation.” (Darms, ibid. pp. 85, 150). These men lacked any known academic training or any type of earned qualifying degrees while pontificating on proper Hebrew and Greek tenses! One has the definite impression that our critics would rather defame the reliability of the Bible rather than give up their misguided “dispensational futurist” theology. In fact, Mr. Darms very revealingly exclaimed that “Only by a right dispensational study of the Scriptures can one discover the fallacy of this [British-Israel] teaching.”(ibid. p.6) If you cannot accept cultic dispensationalism, you cannot disprove B.I.!
However, Anton Darms admitted, “British-Israelism does not rely on the one passage (2 Samuel 7:10) to confirm its contention with regard to ‘an appointed place’ for Israel, but uses other passages which refer to Israel as being ‘wanderers among the nations;’ and as such, being ‘sifted out’ and gathered from among those nations and at last brought to ‘the isles afar off,’ in ‘the north country’ and in ‘the west.’” (ibid. p.85) Our critic was never more correct than in his admitting that there are a trove of prophecies and promises that substantiate our belief, including that found in 2 Samuel chapter seven.