Nathan’s Parable and David’s Repentance

12 So the Lord sent Nathan to David.(A) When he arrived, he said to him:

There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one small ewe lamb that he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up, living with him and his children. It shared his meager food and drank from his cup; it slept in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man could not bring himself to take one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for his guest.[a]

David was infuriated with the man and said to Nathan: “As the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! Because he has done this thing and shown no pity, he must pay four lambs for that lamb.”(B)

Nathan replied to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel,(C) and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you and your master’s wives into your arms,[b] and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah, and if that was not enough, I would have given you even more. Why then have you despised the command of the Lord by doing what I consider[c] evil?(D) You struck down Uriah(E) the Hittite with the sword and took his wife as your own wife—you murdered him with the Ammonite’s sword.(F) 10 Now therefore, the sword will never leave your house(G) because you despised Me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own wife.’

11 “This is what the Lord says,(H) ‘I am going to bring disaster on you from your own family: I will take your wives and give them to another[d] before your very eyes, and he will sleep with them publicly.[e] 12 You acted in secret, but I will do this before all Israel and in broad daylight.’”[f]

13 David responded to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”(I)

Then Nathan replied to David, “The Lord has taken away your sin; you will not die.(J)

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  1. 2 Samuel 12:4 Lit for the man who had come to him
  2. 2 Samuel 12:8 Lit bosom
  3. 2 Samuel 12:9 Alt Hb tradition reads what He considers
  4. 2 Samuel 12:11 Or to your neighbor
  5. 2 Samuel 12:11 Lit in the eyes of this sun
  6. 2 Samuel 12:12 Lit and before the sun

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