T u¹ 1-4. Parable. Propounded. v¹ 5,6. David's anger. u² 7-9. Parable. Applied. v² 10-12. David's judgment. u³ 13-. Parable. Effect. v³ -13,14. David's forgiveness.
2 Samuel 12)
1: And the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David (see 11:27). And he came to him (Cp. title of Ps.51), and said to him, “There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
2: The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:
3: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own morsel, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was to him as a daughter.
4: And there came a traveler to the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come to him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.”
5: And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man that has done this thing shall surely die (Heb. is a son of death = liable to die):
6: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold (cp. Ex. 22:1. Sept. reads "sevenfold"), because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
7: And Nathan said to David, “You are the man (many means used to produce conviction: God's greatness [Job 42:1-6]; God's glory [Isa. 6:5]; God's power [Luke 5:8]; a famine [Luke 15:14,18]; a parable [here]). Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel (1 Sam.16:13), and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul;
8: And I gave you your master's house, and your master's wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given to you such and such things.
9: Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? you have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword (not Joab, or the Ammonites), and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the sons of Ammon.
10: Now therefore the sword (Fig., put for manifested hostility) shall never depart from your house (Fig. put for a part of time, i.e. lifetime); because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’
11: Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house (disgraced by one son [13:14], banished by another [15:19], revolted against by a third [1 Kings 2], bearded by his servant, betrayed by his friends, deserted by his People, bereaved of his children), and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor (prophecy. See 16:21,22. God is in control), and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.
12: For you did it secretly (see v.9): but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.’ ”
13: And David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” (Ps.51 is the expansion of this)
And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; therefore you shall not die. (Divine forgiveness instantly follows the sinner's confession [1 John 1:9]. Cp. Job 42:6,8,10. Isa. 6:5,6, "then flew". Luke 15:18,20, "his father ran", &c.)
14: However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme (this is noted in the Massorah as one of the emendations of the Sopherim, who altered the primitive text out of mistaken reverence for David and Yehovah. The original reading was "you have greatly blasphemed Yehovah"), the child also that is born to you shall surely die.”
R³ w¹ x¹ 15. Child stricken. y¹ 16. David's intercession. z¹ 17. Abstinence. w² x² 18,19. Child's death. y² 20-. David's worship. z² -20. Eating. w³ x³ 21. Child's death. Inquiry. y³ 22. David's weeping. z³ 23. Abstinence given up.15: And Nathan departed to his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife bare to David, and it was very sick.
16: David therefore besought God for the child; and David made a strict fast, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth (as a penitent, with Ps.51 for his utterance. Note his sitting before Yehovah as a worshiper, and his utterance [2 Sam.7:18-28]; and his standing as a servant [1 Chron.28:2], and his utterance and service [1 Chron.28:3-29:21]).
cv 17: And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.
18: And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he would not listen to our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?”
19: But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.”
20: Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshiped:
then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.
21: Then said his servants to him, “What thing is this that you have done? you did fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, you did rise and eat bread.”
22: And he said, “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’
23: But now he is dead, why should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him (I shall die and be buried [cp.v.19]: i.e. I shall go to the [not "a"] grave [Sheõl]. On the use of this Euphemism as denoting death and burial, see Gen.15:15 [cp. Josh. 24:2,14,15, Abraham's "fathers" being idolaters]; 25:8,17; 35:29; 49:29,33. Num. 20:26; 27:13; 31:22. Deut. 31:16; 32:50. Judg. 2:10. 1 Sam. 28:19 [note "you and your sons"]. 2 Kings 22:30. 1 Chron. 17:11. 2 Chron. 34:28. Acts 13:36), but he shall not return to me.”
24: And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in to her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called (some codices read "she", in contrast with "he" in next verse) his name Solomon (= Pacific or Peaceful. Cp. 7:13): and the Lord loved him.
25: And He sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and He called (i.e. Yehovah, by the hand of Nathan, in contrast with Bath-shba. See v.24) his name Jedidiah (= beloved of Yah), for the Lord's sake.
P X¹ 26-28. Rabbah and Joab. X² 29-31. Rabbah and David.
26: And Joab fought against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, and took the royal city.
27: And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, “I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters (= waters of the city: i.e. the lower waters or town, cutting off the citadel, which David came and took).
28: Now therefore gather the rest of the People together, and encamp against the city, and take it: lest I take the city, and it be called after my name.” (Was he trying to pick his uncle up?)
29: And David gathered all the People together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it.
30: And he took their king's crown from off his head (= the crown of Milcom, with Sept. Cp. 1 Chron. 20:2. Jer. 49:1,3. Amos 1:15. Zeph. 1:5), the weight whereof was a talent of gold (aprox. 131 lbs.) with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.
31: And he brought forth the People that were therein, and appointed (or appointed over, set, &c. Heb. sûm [Gen. 2:8; 45:8,9; 47:6. Ex. 2:14; 5:14. 1 Sam. 8:11; 2 Sam. 7:10. 2 Kings 10:24. Ps. 78:5; 81:5. Hos. 1:11, &c.) them with saws (especially to work with. Heb. letter Beth, prefixed as prep = in, within, with. When the prep. "under" = beneath, then it is either part of a verb or one of four distinct words: ’el [2 Sam. 2:23]; mattãh [1 Chron. 27:23]; tehoth’ [Jer. 10:11. Dan. 4:12,21; 7:27, "under the heavens"]; tahath [Dan. 4:14, "under a tree"]. Beth, when translated "under", is only in the sense of within [as "under or within the shelter of"] the "wing", or "under or within the earth"]. Otherwise used with a tool or weapon or instrument, it always means "with". See "with an axe" [Deut. 19:5. Jer. 10:3]; "with axes" [Jer. 4:22. Ezek. 26:9. Ps. 74:6]; "with nails and with hammers" [Jer. 10:4]; "with an ox-goad" [Judg. 3:31]; "with mattock" [Isa. 7:25]; "with sword and with bow" [Gen. 48:22. Josh. 24:12. 2 Kings 6:22]; "with a graving tool" [Ex. 32:4], &c.), and with harrows of iron, and with axes of iron, and made them pass by (or before) the brick-work (hence, brick pavement or paved area. Not brick-kiln; no brick-kilns in Palestine. All brick there are sun-dried. Only once spoken of as burnt - as being a strange thing [Gen. 11:3]. Heb. malbên, occurs only here, Jer. 43:9, and Nah. 3:14, the former at "entry" of royal palace, the latter said to be "fortified". Both out of the question, and quite incongruous for a brick-kiln. The very paved area of Jer. 43:9 was discovered at Taphanhes by Flinders Petrie in 1886, where Nebuchadnezzar did exactly what David did here and in 8:2 and 1 Chron. 20:3): and thus did he to all the cities of the sons of Ammon (i.e. as in 8:2, with Moab, so here; he caused the captives to pass by before him, he seated on a pavement of brick-work, or paved area, where he appointed them to various departments of labor for which they were suited. He was trying to be as fair as he could be. Cp. Jer. 43:9-11. These were the "strangers" [i.e. foreigners] and the "abundance of workmen" referred to in 1 Chron. 22:2,15. Cp. Deut. 29:11. Josh. 9:27. See 1 Kings 5:13; 9:15,21,22). So David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.