Nathan Rebukes David
1So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. 2The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. 3The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. 4One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”
5David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! 6He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”
7Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. 8I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. 9Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. 10From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own.
11“This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. 12You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.”
David Confesses His Guilt
13Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. 14Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the word of the Lord*12:14 As in Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text reads the enemies of the Lord. by doing this, your child will die.”
15After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah’s wife. 16David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground. 17The elders of his household pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused.
18Then on the seventh day the child died. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He wouldn’t listen to reason while the child was ill,” they said. “What drastic thing will he do when we tell him the child is dead?”
19When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the child dead?” he asked.
“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”
20Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions,*12:20 Hebrew anointed himself. and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate.
21His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.”
22David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”
24Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David*12:24 Hebrew he; an alternate Hebrew reading and some Hebrew manuscripts read she. named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child 25and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded.*12:25 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads because of the Lord.
David Captures Rabbah
26Meanwhile, Joab was fighting against Rabbah, the capital of Ammon, and he captured the royal fortifications.*12:26 Or the royal city. 27Joab sent messengers to tell David, “I have fought against Rabbah and captured its water supply.*12:27 Or captured the city of water. 28Now bring the rest of the army and capture the city. Otherwise, I will capture it and get credit for the victory.”
29So David gathered the rest of the army and went to Rabbah, and he fought against it and captured it. 30David removed the crown from the king’s head,*12:30a Or from the head of Milcom (as in Greek version). Milcom, also called Molech, was the god of the Ammonites. and it was placed on his own head. The crown was made of gold and set with gems, and it weighed seventy-five pounds.*12:30b Hebrew 1 talent [34 kilograms]. David took a vast amount of plunder from the city. 31He also made slaves of the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with*12:31a Hebrew He also brought out the people [of Rabbah] and put them under. saws, iron picks, and iron axes, and to work in the brick kilns.*12:31b Hebrew and he made them pass through the brick kilns. That is how he dealt with the people of all the Ammonite towns. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.