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12 1-2 So the Lord sent the prophet Nathan to tell David this story:

“There were two men in a certain city, one very rich, owning many flocks of sheep and herds of goats; and the other very poor, owning nothing but a little lamb he had managed to buy. It was his children’s pet, and he fed it from his own plate and let it drink from his own cup; he cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. Recently a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing a lamb from his own flocks for food for the traveler, he took the poor man’s lamb and roasted it and served it.”

David was furious. “I swear by the living God,” he vowed, “any man who would do a thing like that should be put to death; he shall repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are that rich man! The Lord God of Israel says, ‘I made you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. I gave you his palace 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. Why, then, have you despised the laws of God and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah and stolen his wife. 10 Therefore murder shall be a constant threat in your family from this time on because you have insulted me by taking Uriah’s wife. 11 I vow that because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man, and he will go to bed with them in public view.[a] 12 You did it secretly, but I will do this to you openly, in the sight of all Israel.’”

13 “I have sinned against the Lord,” David confessed to Nathan.

Then Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. 14 But you have given great opportunity to the enemies of the Lord to despise and blaspheme him, so your child shall die.”

15 Then Nathan returned to his home. And the Lord made Bathsheba’s baby deathly sick. 16 David begged him to spare the child and went without food, and lay all night before the Lord on the bare earth. 17 The leaders of the nation pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused. 18 Then, on the seventh day, the baby died. David’s aides were afraid to tell him.

“He was so broken up about the baby being sick,” they said, “what will he do to himself when we tell him the child is dead?”

19 But when David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened.

“Is the baby dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is.” 20 Then David got up off the ground, washed himself, brushed his hair, changed his clothes, and went into the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. Then he returned to the palace and ate. 21 His aides were amazed.

“We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the baby was still living, you wept and refused to eat; but now that the baby is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.”

22 David 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.’ 23 But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

24 Then David comforted Bathsheba; and when he slept with her, she conceived and gave birth to a son and named him Solomon. And the Lord loved the baby, 25 and sent congratulations[b] and blessings through Nathan the prophet. David nicknamed the baby Jedidiah (meaning, “Beloved of Jehovah”) because of the Lord’s interest.* 26-27 Meanwhile Joab and the Israeli army were successfully ending their siege of Rabbah the capital of Ammon. Joab sent messengers to tell David, “Rabbah and its beautiful harbor are ours![c] 28 Now bring the rest of the army and finish the job, so that you will get the credit for the victory instead of me.”

29-30 So David led his army to Rabbah and captured it. Tremendous amounts of loot were carried back to Jerusalem, and David took the king of Rabbah’s crown—a $50,000 treasure made from solid gold set with gems—and placed it on his own head. 31 He made slaves of the people of the city and made them labor with saws, picks, and axes and work in the brick kilns;[d] that is the way he treated all of the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and the army returned to Jerusalem.


  1. 2 Samuel 12:11 in public view, literally, “under this sun.”
  2. 2 Samuel 12:25 and sent congratulations, literally, “Jehovah sent word by Nathan the prophet.” because of the Lord’s interest, literally, “because of the Lord.”
  3. 2 Samuel 12:26 Rabbah and its beautiful harbor are ours, or “I have taken the City of Waters.”
  4. 2 Samuel 12:31 made them labor with saws, picks, and axes and work in the brick kilns, or “killed them with saws and iron harrows, and in the brick kilns.”

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