2 Samuel 12

Nathan's parable
12:1-4

12:1 And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor

12:2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:

God sent Nathan to David. And Nathan said to David:

There were two men in a city, one rich and the other poor.

The rich man had many flocks and herds.

12:3 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 meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

But the poor man had nothing, except for one little lamb, which the poor man loved as his own daughter.

12:4 And there came a traveller unto 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 unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.

A traveler came to the rich man's house, and rather than taking one of his own animals to feed his guest, he took the poor man's lamb.
David's response

12:5-6

12:5 And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:

12:6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

When David heard the parable, he said,

The man that did this thing must die.

And he must give four lambs to the poor man, because he had no pity.

That man is you. And this will be your punishment.
12:7-14

12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

12:8 And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things."

Nathan said to David, "That man is you."

Here's what God says:

I gave you Saul's wives and kingdom. I would have given you anything.

Is polygamy OK?
What the Bible says about polygamy

12:9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

So why did you kill Uriah and take his wife?

12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

Because you did this, your kingdom will always be at war.

12:11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

12:12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

I will force your neighbor to have sex with your wives in the sight of everyone.

(It turns out that the "neighbor" God sends to do his dirty work is David's own son, Absalom.)

12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

12:14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

David said, "I have sinned against God."

Nathan said,

Don't worry about it. You won't die. God has forgiven you.

But because what you did makes God look bad to his enemies, God will kill the baby. [1]

Are we punished for the sins of others?
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God kiils a baby
12:15-23

12:15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.

And God made Bathsheba's baby boy sick.

12:16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.

12:17 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.

David begged God not to kill the baby. He fasted, slept on the ground, and refused to eat.

12:18 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 spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?

And on the seventh day, the baby died.

12:19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.

David asked his servants, "Is the baby dead?" and they answered, "Yes, he is dead."

12:20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

After the baby died, David washed, got dressed, had a nice meal, and worshiped the God who killed his son.

12:21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.

David's servants asked him, "What are you doing? You fasted and wept while the baby lived; now when the baby has died, you get up and eat?

12:22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

12:23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

David explained,

While the baby was alive, I fasted and wept, saying to myself, "Who knows? Maybe God will show some decency and not kill my baby."

But now that God has killed him, why should I fast? Will that bring him back to life?

David comforts Bathsheba and Solomon is born
12:24-25

12:24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him.

12:25 And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.

After God killed Bathsheba's baby boy, David got her pregnant again. God loved this baby (and so he decided not to kill it) and he called him Jedidiah, but everyone else called him Solomon.

Was Solomon David's second or fourth son by Bathsheba?

David tortures the children of Ammon
12:26-31

12:26 And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city.

12:27 And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters.

Joab fought against the Ammonites in the city of Rabbah. He took its water supply.

12:28 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.

David told Joab to conquer the city. If he fails to do so, David will conquer it and name it after himself.

12:29 And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it.

David must have gotten tired of waiting for Joab to take Rabbah. So he gathered all of the people together and took it himself.

12:30 And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.

David put the king's gold crown on his head, which weighed one talent (somewhere between 26 and 60 kilograms). He had a very strong neck.

12:31 And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.

David tortured the inhabitants of all the cities of Ammon, putting them under saws, axes, and the brick kiln.

What the Bible says about torture and slavery