15 Then Nathan went to his house.

Loss of a Child

Later the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s [a]widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. 16 David therefore pleaded with God for the child; and David (A)fasted and went and (B)lay all night on the ground. 17 (C)The elders of his household stood beside him in order to help him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. 18 Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to [b]us. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm?” 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” 20 So David got up from the ground, (D)washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and (E)worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and when he asked, they served him food, and he ate.

21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was [c]alive; but when the child died, you got up and ate food.” 22 And he said, “While the child was still alive, (F)I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘(G)Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, and the child may live.’ 23 But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? (H)I am going to him, but (I)he will not return to me.”

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  1. 2 Samuel 12:15 Lit wife
  2. 2 Samuel 12:18 Lit our voice
  3. 2 Samuel 12:21 Some ancient versions still alive

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