2 Samuel 12-13
New King James Version
Nathan’s Parable and David’s Confession
12 Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And (A)he came to him, and (B)said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. 3 But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. 4 And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
5 So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this [a]shall surely die! 6 And he shall restore (C)fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I (D)anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! 9 (E)Why have you (F)despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? (G)You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. 10 Now therefore, (H)the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will (I)take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, (J)but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ ”
And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has (M)put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord (N)to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” 15 Then Nathan departed to his house.
The Death of David’s Son
And the (O)Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. 16 David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and (P)lay all night on the ground. 17 So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18 Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!”
19 When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?”
And they said, “He is dead.”
20 So David arose from the ground, washed and (Q)anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and (R)worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”
22 And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; (S)for I said, ‘Who can tell whether [b]the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go (T)to him, but (U)he shall not return to me.”
Solomon Is Born
24 Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So (V)she bore a son, and (W)he[c] called his name Solomon. Now the Lord loved him, 25 and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So [d]he called his name [e]Jedidiah, because of the Lord.
Rabbah Is Captured(X)
26 Now (Y)Joab fought against (Z)Rabbah of the people of Ammon, and took the royal city. 27 And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, “I have fought against Rabbah, and I have taken the city’s water supply. 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.” 29 So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah, fought against it, and took it. 30 (AA)Then he took their king’s crown from his head. Its weight was a talent of gold, with precious stones. And it was set on David’s head. Also he brought out the [f]spoil of the city in great abundance. 31 And he brought out the people who were in it, and put them to work with saws and iron picks and iron axes, and made them cross over to the brick works. So he did to all the cities of the people of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
Amnon and Tamar
13 After this (AB)Absalom the son of David had a lovely sister, whose name was (AC)Tamar; and (AD)Amnon the son of David loved her. 2 Amnon was so distressed over his sister Tamar that he became sick; for she was a virgin. And it was improper for Amnon to do anything to her. 3 But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab (AE)the son of Shimeah, David’s brother. Now Jonadab was a very crafty man. 4 And he said to him, “Why are you, the king’s son, becoming thinner day after day? Will you not tell me?”
Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”
5 So Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me food, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat it from her hand.’ ” 6 Then Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let Tamar my sister come and (AF)make a couple of cakes for me in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.”
7 And David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Now go to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.” 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was lying down. Then she took flour and kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. 9 And she took the pan and placed them out before him, but he refused to eat. Then Amnon said, (AG)“Have everyone go out from me.” And they all went out from him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom, that I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them to Amnon her brother in the bedroom. 11 Now when she had brought them to him to eat, (AH)he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.”
12 But she answered him, “No, my brother, do not [g]force me, for (AI)no such thing should be done in Israel. Do not do this (AJ)disgraceful thing! 13 And I, where could I take my shame? And as for you, you would be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; (AK)for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 However, he would not heed her voice; and being stronger than she, he (AL)forced her and lay with her.
15 Then Amnon hated her [h]exceedingly, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Arise, be gone!”
16 So she said to him, “No, indeed! This evil of sending me away is worse than the other that you did to me.”
But he would not listen to her. 17 Then he called his servant who attended him, and said, “Here! Put this woman out, away from me, and bolt the door behind her.” 18 Now she had on (AM)a robe of many colors, for the king’s virgin daughters wore such apparel. And his servant put her out and bolted the door behind her.
19 Then Tamar put (AN)ashes on her head, and tore her robe of many colors that was on her, and (AO)laid her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly. 20 And Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this thing to heart.” So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.
21 But when King David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 22 And Absalom spoke to his brother Amnon (AP)neither good nor bad. For Absalom (AQ)hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
Absalom Murders Amnon
23 And it came to pass, after two full years, that Absalom (AR)had sheepshearers in Baal Hazor, which is near Ephraim; so Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 Then Absalom came to the king and said, “Kindly note, your servant has sheepshearers; please, let the king and his servants go with your servant.”
25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, let us not all go now, lest we be a burden to you.” Then he urged him, but he would not go; and he blessed him.
26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.”
And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Absalom urged him; so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.
28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, “Watch now, when Amnon’s (AS)heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon!’ then kill him. Do not be afraid. Have I not commanded you? Be courageous and [i]valiant.” 29 So the servants of Absalom (AT)did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and each one got on (AU)his mule and fled.
30 And it came to pass, while they were on the way, that news came to David, saying, “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left!” 31 So the king arose and (AV)tore his garments and (AW)lay on the ground, and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn. 32 Then (AX)Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered and said, “Let not my lord suppose they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead. For by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore, (AY)let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead. For only Amnon is dead.”
Absalom Flees to Geshur
34 (AZ)Then Absalom fled. And the young man who was keeping watch lifted his eyes and looked, and there, many people were coming from the road on the hillside behind [j]him. 35 And Jonadab said to the king, “Look, the king’s sons are coming; as your servant said, so it is.” 36 So it was, as soon as he had finished speaking, that the king’s sons indeed came, and they lifted up their voice and wept. Also the king and all his servants wept very bitterly.
37 But Absalom fled and went to (BA)Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 So Absalom fled and went to (BB)Geshur, and was there three years. 39 And [k]King David [l]longed to go to Absalom. For he had been (BC)comforted concerning Amnon, because he was dead.
- 2 Samuel 12:5 deserves to die, lit. is a son of death
- 2 Samuel 12:22 Heb. mss., Syr. God
- 2 Samuel 12:24 So with Kt., LXX, Vg.; Qr., a few Heb. mss., Syr., Tg. she
- 2 Samuel 12:25 Qr., some Heb. mss., Syr., Tg. she
- 2 Samuel 12:25 Lit. Beloved of the Lord
- 2 Samuel 12:30 plunder
- 2 Samuel 13:12 Lit. humble me
- 2 Samuel 13:15 with a very great hatred
- 2 Samuel 13:28 Lit. sons of valor
- 2 Samuel 13:34 LXX adds And the watchman went and told the king, and said, “I see men from the way of Horonaim, from the regions of the mountains.”
- 2 Samuel 13:39 So with MT, Syr., Vg.; LXX the spirit of the king; Tg. the soul of King David
- 2 Samuel 13:39 So with MT, Tg.; LXX, Vg. ceased to pursue after