Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!(A) This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed(B) you(C) king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you,(D) and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise(E) the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down(F) Uriah(G) the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed(H) him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword(I) will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household(J) I am going to bring calamity on you.(K) Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight.(L) 12 You did it in secret,(M) but I will do this thing in broad daylight(N) before all Israel.’”

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

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away(P) your sin.(Q) You are not going to die.(R) 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for[a] the Lord,(S) the son born to you will die.”

15 After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck(T) the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying(U) in sackcloth[b] on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused,(V) and he would not eat any food with them.(W)

18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”

19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed,(X) put on lotions and changed his clothes,(Y) he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.

21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept,(Z) but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows?(AA) The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’(AB) 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him,(AC) but he will not return to me.”(AD)

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  1. 2 Samuel 12:14 An ancient Hebrew scribal tradition; Masoretic Text for the enemies of
  2. 2 Samuel 12:16 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; Masoretic Text does not have in sackcloth.

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